Monday 17 February 1992

Inquiry re Ministry of Health information

Jack Hollingsworth

Evelyn Dodds


Chair / Président(e): Offer, Steven (Mississauga North/-Nord L)

Vice-Chair / Vice-Président(e): Miclash, Frank (Kenora L)

Bisson, Gilles (Cochrane South/-Sud ND)

Christopherson, David (Hamilton Centre ND)

Conway, Sean G. (Renfrew North/-Nord L)

Eves, Ernie L. (Parry Sound PC)

Harnick, Charles (Willowdale PC)

Hope, Randy R. (Chatham-Kent ND)

Mills, Gordon (Durham East/-Est ND)

Murdock, Sharon (Sudbury ND)

Owens, Stephen (Scarborough Centre ND)

Scott, Ian G. (St George-St David L)

Substitution(s) / Membre(s) rempliçant(s):

Elston, Murray (Bruce L) for Mr Scott

Kormos, Peter (Welland-Thorold ND) for Ms S. Murdock

Wood, Len (Cochrane North/-Nord ND) for Mr Bisson

Clerk / Greffier: Arnott,Douglas

Staff / Personnel: Jackson, Patricia, Committee Counsel

The committee met at 1008 in room 151.


The Chair: The Legislative Assembly committee will call this meeting to order. To begin, last week Dr LeBlanc, in his testimony, had given an undertaking to provide to members of the committee an extract from the communications press clipping file. We are now in receipt of that extract. It is now being circulated and will be marked as exhibit 36 for members' files. It is a piece of work that still had to be completed from last week's dealings.

For members of the committee, the calling of individuals before this committee today will be as follows: Dr Hollingsworth, Ms Evelyn Dodds, Mr Robert Dodds and Mr Larry Corea.

Having said that, I would like to now call Dr Hollingsworth.

Mr Christopherson: On a point of order, Mr Chairman: Could I just ask what happened with Dr Kosar?

The Chair: Dr Kosar is also scheduled to be called, but he has been out of town and will be scheduled just as soon as we can get hold of him.

Mr Christopherson: Thank you.


The Chair: If there are no further matters, we will now call Dr Hollingswrth. Good morning, Dr Hollingsworth.

Dr Hollingsworth: Good morning.

The Chair: Dr Hollingsworth, prior to the questioning, which will take place from Ms Jackson, at the outset the subcommittee has decided that all persons called to give testimony will be administered an oath. On that basis, Dr Hollingsworth, I would ask the clerk of the committee to administer the oath.

Jack Hollingsworth, sworn.

The Chair: Thank you very much. Dr Hollingsworth, once more, prior to Ms Jackson, counsel to the committee, posing questions to you, I would like to remind you that in the event you are asked a question which you cannot properly answer without divulging confidential information, could you then please advise the committee, and if there is not a way to disclose that information without divulging such confidential information, then the matter may be addressed in camera.

For members of the committee, I have already spoken earlier this morning with the subcommittee members that there will be the need at the end of this public hearing to move into an in camera session with Dr Hollingsworth. So I have put members of the committee on notice in that area. Having said that, Ms Jackson.

Ms Jackson: Dr Hollingsworth, you, sir, I understand graduated from University College in Dublin with an MD in 1979.

Dr Hollingsworth: That is true.

Ms Jackson: And you came to Canada, sir, in 1984?

Dr Hollingsworth: Correct.

Ms Jackson: You have, I understand, a fellowship in internal medicine which is recognized in both Ireland and Canada?

Dr Hollingsworth: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: A fellowship is in fact a formal recognition of your specialization in internal medicine?

Dr Hollingsworth: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: And within the specialty of internal medicine, sir, as I understand it, you have a further recognized subspecialty, and that is gastroenterology?

Dr Hollingsworth: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: And you have obtained your fellowship in gastroenterology in the United States, and as well in 1987 received your fellowship in gastroenterology in Canada?

Dr Hollingsworth: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: Sir, you presently live in Sudbury?

Dr Hollingsworth: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: You moved there in 1987, I believe, in August?

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes.

Ms Jackson: At the time that you moved there, sir, I understand you anticipated joining what we have come to know as the underserviced area program in Sudbury for gastroenterology?

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Did you in fact become enrolled in the underserviced area program?

Dr Hollingsworth: I did.

Ms Jackson: When?

Dr Hollingsworth: There was some delay in getting enrolled, for, I guess, bureaucratic reasons. So from the evidence that you have got in your exhibits, it was not till June of the following year that I was finally enrolled in it, from what I understand from that document.

Ms Jackson: So you understand that you became enrolled some time in June of 1988?

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes, yes.

Ms Jackson: You have made reference to a document. Dr Hollingsworth, do I take it that you are referring to the document I showed you before the hearings commenced, which is exhibit 8, and in particular the list of specialists on the underserviced area program?

Dr Hollingsworth: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: Does the indication in that exhibit that you became enrolled in the underserviced area program in the summer of 1988 accord with your recollection, sir?

Dr Hollingsworth: It seems rather late, but it must be true if that is what is recorded. I had thought I had been enrolled before Christmas, but obviously that is true.

Ms Jackson: In any event, sir, the effect of being enrolled in the underserviced area program, we have heard, is that over a period of four years you receive a $40,000 tax-free grant?

Dr Hollingsworth: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: On the basis of what you see in exhibit 8, which I take it you are accepting, it would suggest that you will complete your enrolment on the underserviced area program some time in the summer of 1992?

Dr Hollingsworth: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: Now, sir, you are associated with some hospitals in Sudbury?

Dr Hollingsworth: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: Which hospitals, Dr Hollingsworth?

Dr Hollingsworth: Sudbury General Hospital, Sudbury Memorial Hospital and Laurentian Hospital.

Ms Jackson: All right. I understand, sir, that you are also a member of the Sudbury and District Medical Society?

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes.

Ms Jackson: What is that, Dr Hollingsworth?

Dr Hollingsworth: It is a society of doctors who are joined in an attempt to forward medical services in the community and to act on behalf of the patients and the public and themselves to improve services in Sudbury.

Ms Jackson: On December 2 of last year, were you in Queen's Park on behalf of the Sudbury and District Medical Society?

Dr Hollingsworth: I was.

Ms Jackson: Were you with anyone?

Dr Hollingsworth: I came to Queen's Park with Dr Stephen Kosar Jr in order to lobby the standing committee on social development concerning Bill 135.

Ms Jackson: Is Dr Kosar a member of the Sudbury and District Medical Society as well?

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes.

Ms Jackson: When you say you were coming to lobby with respect to Bill 135, what bill was that?

Dr Hollingsworth: It was a bill that allowed the Ontario Medical Association to Rand fees from the doctors of the province whether they were members or not. The Sudbury and District Medical Society felt this was inappropriate.

Ms Jackson: You were coming to make those representations to the standing committee on social development.

Dr Hollingsworth: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: The Rand formula, as it is known, the deduction of dues for all doctors in the province, was a feature of the agreement between the OMA and the government which had been negotiated in the spring.

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes, that is correct.

Ms Jackson: When were you scheduled to make your presentation before the social development committee?

Dr Hollingsworth: As far as I recollect, it was approximately 3:30 or 3 o'clock in the afternoon. We flew down in the morning and arrived at the Legislature at approximately 10 o'clock and we spent the rest of the time lobbying as many MPPs as we could meet.

Ms Jackson: In the course of lobbying MPPs and seeing what you could do prior to your presentation, did you meet with Shelley Martel?

Dr Hollingsworth: I did.

Ms Jackson: How did that come about?

Dr Hollingsworth: We had a meeting with Ernie Eves and we had phoned her office from his office to arrange a meeting. That was not possible, so after we had lunch, we came back to the Queen's Park area and we went to the House where we saw she was sitting.

Ms Jackson: So you went to the visitors' gallery in the Legislature?

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes.

Ms Jackson: And you saw Shelley Martel sitting in the House?

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes.

Ms Jackson: What did you do then?

Dr Hollingsworth: We had her paged by one of the pages and we met her outside the House, just in the lobby.

Ms Jackson: You had her paged and she came and met you where?

Dr Hollingsworth: At the members' enclosure.

Ms Jackson: Where is that?

Dr Hollingsworth: It was in the east lobby of Queen's Park.

Ms Jackson: Just to the east of the Legislature?

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes. Mr Owens arrived during the course of our meeting. He could clarify that better.

Ms Jackson: In any event, you understood -- it is an area for members, is it?

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes, it was the members' enclosure and she had to escort us into that.

Ms Jackson: So she met you outside and took you in.

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes.

Ms Jackson: What happened then, sir?

Dr Hollingsworth: We met with her for approximately an hour. We were really attempting to lobby her, because she was a local MPP and she was one of the three people who were key to our getting support for our objective. Our objective was to have the threshold billing caps lifted for northern Ontario.

Ms Jackson: Had you met Ms Martel before?

Dr Hollingsworth: No.

Ms Jackson: You say she was one of three key people with respect to your objective and you said your objective was to change the impact of the threshold. Was that the purpose of your meeting with Ms Martel?

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Who were the other key people you had identified?

Dr Hollingsworth: Two of the key people were Mr Laughren, the Treasurer, who was essentially unreachable for our purposes -- he was tied up with a lot of other problems, we were told -- and Ms Murdock. I do not think she was in the House the day we were there, so we met with Ms Martel.

Ms Jackson: They were key people because of the area they represented or was it for some other reason?

Dr Hollingsworth: They were local MPPs. There was a major crisis in health care about to occur in Sudbury at that time because of the legislation that was proposed and because of the threshold caps.

Ms Jackson: You said you met with Ms Martel for about an hour. What do you recall of your conversation?

Dr Hollingsworth: I have made a summary of my conversation with Ms Martel and I have submitted it to you as an exhibit which I would like to read from if possible.

Ms Jackson: I would like you to give the committee your recollection, if you would. If it is helpful to you to refer to that note while you do so, that is fine. I take it you are indicating you would like to refer to that note?

Dr Hollingsworth: If you want me to give you my recollection, I can give you my recollection. My recollection is two and a half months old and it is not as accurate as the notes, most likely.

Ms Jackson: Let's start with this, Dr Hollingsworth: Let me ask you to give the committee what is currently your best recollection and then I am going to ask you to go back to the notes and clarify certain things in there. In giving your recollection, if you want to refer to the notes, you may do so.

Mr Kormos: Excuse me, if I may, Mr Chair. I appreciate very much the difficulty most people have in referring to a conversation without having an opportunity to refer to notes they might have made relating to it. There is certainly no contest or no concern here about the doctor being able to use those notes. If I were in his position, I would feel far more comfortable being able to refer to notes that I had made.


Ms Jackson: I am content to proceed that way, Mr Chairman. I have given the clerk copies of the notes. Could he circulate those to members? You have a copy of your notes in front of you, as I understand it, Dr Hollingsworth, do you?

The Chair: Yes, the summary of the conversations will be distributed and marked as exhibit 37.

Ms Jackson: Dr Hollingsworth, when did you prepare those notes?

Dr Hollingsworth: Those notes were prepared December 11, 1991. There is the wrong date on those notes. It says 1992.

Ms Jackson: All right. Now using those notes to the extent that you need to to assist yourself, what can you recall of that conversation?

Dr Hollingsworth: Maybe I should read through the notes for the benefit of the committee and then I can go back to them.

"On Monday, December 2nd, 1991, in the members' enclosure of the east lobby of Queen's Park, at approximately 1400 hours, I met with Shelley Martel, in an unscheduled meeting, to discuss billing difficulties in northern Ontario and the proposed Bill C-135. Present for the interview, which lasted for approximately one hour, was Dr S. E. Kosar Jr, and also at one point near the end of the interview, Mr Owens, an MPP said hello to us and shook our hands and then left. He was not present for the interview.

"During the course of the interview, Ms Martel was extremely pleasant. She mentioned to us that she was familiar with our cases and she stated she had seen our files. She appeared to have the attitude that we were of good standing and personality and she stated, `I know you are good guys.' Her attitude suggested that she knew our personal circumstances as they related to our practices.

"She gave me specific dates as to when I began and was due to end the underserviced area program, and knew more about that issue than I did. She knew our specialties and she knew how long we had been in Sudbury. She stated these facts to me.

"During the course of the interview, Ms Martel became particularly upset when she mentioned that four GPs in Sudbury were billing over the threshold limit of $400,000. We asked her for their names and she declined to give them. She mentioned Dr Donahue's (a specialist's) case and said that what he was doing was `totally unacceptable.'" At the time she said that, she said it in this way, "What he's doing is totally unacceptable."

Ms Jackson: When you say, "She said it in this way," you shook your head a bit --

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes.

Ms Jackson: -- and you gestured with your hands.

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Did she do that?

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes, she did exactly that.

Ms Jackson: All right, you shook your head back and forth.

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes.

Ms Jackson: And when you say she gestured with her hands, you are lifting your hands up in the air slightly.

Dr Hollingsworth: That is correct.

"She appeared to have information concerning Dr Donahue's practices that would not be generally available to the public. She mentioned that she had some concerns about his medical practices. On one occasion she stated, `His practices are totally unacceptable,' on another occasion she stated, `What Dr Donahue is doing is totally unacceptable.' We explained to her that there was a medical review council available from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario to review medical practices. This appeared to be new information to her and she expressed surprise and interest in this. She stated, `I am surprised, I did not know about this.'

"She expressed concerns and agreed with us that the fly-in doctor program would not work and would only cost more money. We suggested to her that there were other ways to look at spending, and issues such as travel arrangements for patients and inappropriate referrals and unnecessary repeat examinations would be areas of interest perhaps to the government, which we were willing to help her with. She discounted this as an option.

"We explained our position that we wanted the billing threshold for all of northern Ontario lifted as a geographic zone. She expressed concerns about this, particularly in relation to Dr Donahue and those GPs who are billing over the threshold. She stated, `A blanket lifting of the threshold cap would not fly with the rest of the cabinet, because they could not condone what Dr Donahue and the GPs are doing.'

"I telephoned Ms Martel in Toronto at her Queen's Park office on Tuesday, December 3rd, but I was unable to speak to her at that time. She returned my call shortly afterward that same day. At that time we discussed the billing situation for approximately 30 to 40 minutes by phone. At that time, she agreed that she knew an awful lot about me including many small facts that I was unaware of myself."

I would like to make a correction there. "Many small facts" should be "facts I was unaware of myself." She did not --

Ms Jackson: Instead of saying "many small facts," it should just be "facts?"

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes, "facts." "She did not deny this by phone."

Actually, in that conversation, as a clarification to this exhibit, I would like to state that we had been trying to lobby her, and I remember saying to her: "Look, you seem to know an awful lot about me. You seem to know my phone number, my date of birth, a lot of personal things, and yet this information, you're not using it in a way that's constructive." I used this as an attempt to get her to agree to have some lifting of the threshold caps.

"She did not deny any of this by phone. I again beseeched her to try and help us as the local MPP to get Sudbury and the northern Ontario region exempted from the billing threshold cap.

"Finally, the conversation came to an end and she agreed to try to get us a meeting with the Minister of Health and told us she had tried on the Monday and failed, and would keep trying again until the weekend. During this telephone conversation, she did not disclose to me any new information from my personal file, but after the previous day's conversation I was left with the opinion she knew my billing practices.

"On December 11, 1991, I gave an interview to CBC Sudbury in which I stated that Ms Martel had told us that she had seen our files and had relayed this information to Dr Kosar and myself. This was a follow-up to the information concerning the case of the specialist in Sudbury that Ms Martel had made comments about at a public function. The issue of confidentiality had not struck me at the time I met with Shelley. Indeed I was impressed by her personality and her goodwill.

"In anticipation of this inquiry, I have prepared these notes which summarize my conversations with Ms Martel.

"These notes were prepared December 11."

Ms Jackson: Dr Hollingsworth, in certain places in those notes you have put remarks in quotations. Do I take it that where you have put those remarks in quotations, you are quite sure that those are the words that were used?

Dr Hollingsworth: The only place I am not 100% sure is page 3, paragraph 1, "She stated `a blanket lifting of the threshold cap,'" that quotation. It was a long conversation and I cannot recall whether she included the GPs in that comment or it was just Dr Donahue. I am just not sure, but I know she definitely said that about Dr Donahue. The course of the conversation suggested that there were going to be no GPs exempted from the cap because the complement of GPs was about 80% of expected compared to down south. So I am not sure whether that included the GPs.

Ms Jackson: Now, dealing first of all with the comments -- sorry, in other areas where you make reference to what she said but you do not put the comments in quotations, may we take it that that is the general gist of what she said but you are not sure of the exact words?

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes. I cannot be sure of the exact words now. At the time I made the notes, the quotations were firm and the general tone of the conversation is reflected in the rest of the document.

Ms Jackson: But in respect of the words that are not in quotes, when you made these notes on December 11, can the committee take it that you were not sure of the exact words that she used if you have not put them in quotes?

Dr Hollingsworth: Which words are you referring to exactly?

Ms Jackson: I had not thought of any at the moment, but I am just trying to understand the general principle that you used when you made reference to these notes.

Dr Hollingsworth: There was no suggestion that the rest of the notes were inaccurate at the time I made them. They were --

Ms Jackson: I am not suggesting that, Dr Hollingsworth. I am just trying to understand the difference between what you have put in quotes and what you have not. I take it, with the one exception that you have just described on page 3, where you have put something in quotes, you were quite sure on December 11 of the words used? Is that fair?

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes. I think for purposes of the inquiry, I was quite sure of the quotations.

Ms Jackson: And where you have not put the matters in quotes, you are quite sure of the general sense of what she said but you are not sure of the exact words.

Dr Hollingsworth: I cannot recall the exact words; yes, that is true.

Ms Jackson: Okay. Now, dealing with the comments concerning Dr Donahue that you make reference to on page 2, can you tell the committee, first of all, when in the conversation this issue of Dr Donahue came up?

Dr Hollingsworth: It came up after, I would say, about 10 minutes. It was not very long into the conversation that she mentioned Donahue herself.


Ms Jackson: In what context did it come up?

Dr Hollingsworth: We were there to lobby and we immediately, as soon as we could, went to our pitch, which was that we really felt we already had underservicing in northern Ontario, that there was a gross lack of specialists in particular and that there should be a blanket lifting of the threshold caps. That brought that remark from her when we stated that.

Ms Jackson: Did you know at the time to whom she was referring? Did you know of --

Dr Hollingsworth: She mentioned him by name.

Ms Jackson: Did you know who he was?

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes.

Ms Jackson: The words you have put in quotation marks make reference to what Dr Donahue was doing being "unacceptable" or "totally unacceptable." What did you understand she was referring to as being unacceptable?

Dr Hollingsworth: She stated his medical practices were unacceptable.

Ms Jackson: She stated his medical practices -- the part you have in quotes at the middle of page 2 says, "On one occasion she stated, `His practices are totally unacceptable.'" You have not put medical practices in quotes.

Dr Hollingsworth: It was a long conversation. I think the only practices she could be referring to would presumably be medical practices. As far as I recall, she used the words "medical practices." I cannot be 100% sure on that. She definitely was talking about his medical behaviour; I mean his behaviour in relation to his practice.

Ms Jackson: You certainly understood that she was talking about medical practices.

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Is it fair that you are not sure specifically whether or not she used the words "medical practices" as opposed to "practices"?

Dr Hollingsworth: That is fair but, I mean, in the context of conversation, we were doctors from Sudbury talking about billing thresholds. It is fair to assume "practices" related to medicine.

Ms Jackson: That certainly was what you did assume.

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes, that is what we took her to mean.

Ms Jackson: Is it possible that she might have been referring to Dr Donahue's practices in terms of his practices at that time dealing with the media and this issue?

Dr Hollingsworth: No, that was not the context of it at all.

Ms Jackson: When she made those remarks, did she elaborate at all as to what she was referring to in terms of the practices that were unacceptable?

Dr Hollingsworth: She did not give specific instances or mention any cases of patients or anything like that.

Ms Jackson: Did she say what she found unacceptable?

Dr Hollingsworth: No, she did not.

Ms Jackson: Did she say anything at all about the unacceptability of his practices beyond what you have specifically noted on this page?

Dr Hollingsworth: There was no specific reference given.

Ms Jackson: How did you respond to those comments?

Dr Hollingsworth: We were shocked. I was surprised because this appeared to be a side issue to me. We were down here to try to get some progress in this situation that was going to become rapidly explosive, because we were going to be faced with no obstetricians, no cardiovascular surgeons and no cardiologists. It was going to go on and on and on, and it was not going to be long before there were very few medical services in Sudbury. It was a very difficult situation and we were there to try to get some progress. It was really not our aim to talk about this issue, so we did not dwell on it.

Ms Jackson: You say you were shocked. Did you say anything to Ms Martel concerning the comments she made about Dr Donahue?

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes. We told her that if a doctor's practices were unacceptable, there was a medical review council to review practices. She then said she was surprised --

Ms Jackson: Apart from making reference to the existence of the medical review council, did you make any other response to her remarks about Dr Donahue?

Dr Hollingsworth: I cannot answer that question because I cannot recall.

Ms Jackson: Do I take it that except for the comment that you note later on page 3, that "`a blanket lifting of the threshold cap would not fly with the rest of the cabinet because they would not condone what Dr Donahue'" was doing, apart from that comment, the only comments you can recall about Dr Donahue are those noted on page 2?

Dr Hollingsworth: At this time that is all I can recall.

Ms Jackson: You make reference as well at the top of the page to the fact that, "She mentioned that four GPs in Sudbury were billing over the threshold limit of $400,000." When in the conversation did that come up?

Dr Hollingsworth: I think that happened early in the conversation, because --

Ms Jackson: Was that before the remarks about Dr Donahue or after?

Dr Hollingsworth: Around the same time, actually. I think the remarks about the GPs were made earlier on. We were not that worried about the GPs because we felt that with 80% of the complement needed, or suggested to be needed by southern Ontario figures, the main issue was to get the specialists exempted from the cap so that they could get on with their work.

Ms Jackson: Did she say anything else about the four GPs, other than that they would be billing over the threshold?

Dr Hollingsworth: I think there was a statement to the effect more or less that the GPs would be excluded from the conversation because there was a sufficient quota of GPs. The GP issue was kind of put to one side, as far as I recall.

Ms Jackson: Did she say anything to you that indicated that she knew which GPs were over the threshold?

Dr Hollingsworth: She declined to give their names, but she did not say whether she knew their names or not.

Ms Jackson: And did she say anything at all about the four GPs apart from what you have now told the committee?

Dr Hollingsworth: She made no remarks about their practices or about their standing. There were no other remarks about the GPs.

Ms Jackson: Did she say anything that would tend to identify any of them?

Dr Hollingsworth: No. In fact, I had said to her that: "Look, maybe these GPs are working three shifts a day. Maybe they're working in a walk-in clinic at night and running a nursing home and doing a practice and working emerg shifts on weekends," and she said, "No, they're not." Or she shook her head anyway. I mean, maybe she did not say no, but she shook her head. But she did not give me any specific information about them.

Ms Jackson: So are you able to tell the committee whether her response was a dismissal of the issue or a dismissal of your remarks or anything else?

Dr Hollingsworth: I cannot, actually. I cannot honestly answer that question.

Ms Jackson: All right. Then coming back to the first page of your notes, where you make reference to her familiarity with your own cases, when in the conversation did the question of the familiarity with your own cases come up?

Dr Hollingsworth: Immediately.

Ms Jackson: Before the remarks about Dr Donahue and the four GPs?

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes.

Ms Jackson: All right. You said, "She mentioned to us that she was familiar with our cases." What is your best recollection of what she said?

Dr Hollingsworth: She said, "I know you're good guys."

Ms Jackson: Is that all she said that indicated she was familiar with your cases?

Dr Hollingsworth: During the course of the conversation -- early on in the conversation, in fact -- we introduced ourselves, told her our names, and she said she knew who we were. She knew, in my case, when I was finishing the underserviced program. Even though this was an unscheduled meeting, she was able to tell me the date that my underserviced program would be expired. We told her that we were not there on our own behalf, that both of us would probably not reach the threshold this year, but that we were there to represent the problems of the community and as advocates for the rest of the specialists and the patients, and there would be problems of underservicing very quickly.

Ms Jackson: Did she respond to that?

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes, she said, "Fine," or some remark like that.

Ms Jackson: She said what?

Dr Hollingsworth: "Fine."

Ms Jackson: After you said you would not reach the threshold she said "fine"?

Dr Hollingsworth: I must say I cannot recall whether she said she already knew that, but as the conversation went on, she seemed to know an awful lot that surprised me. But I cannot swear under oath that she said she knew that already.

Ms Jackson: All right. You say she knew the dates when you began and ended with the underserviced area plan. Can you look, please, at exhibit 8, which is in that black book in front of you, Dr Hollingsworth. Exhibit 8 is a rather large document, unfortunately without page references. I want to refer you to a place about two thirds of the way through the exhibit where there is a long list of specialists on program. In particular, under the h's I am going to first of all ask you to look at your own name.

Dr Hollingsworth: Okay.

Ms Jackson: You are shown there as an internist who begins the underserviced area program on the seventh day of the sixth month in 1988, and you have indicated earlier you think that is probably correct. Is that the date that Miss Martel referred to?


Dr Hollingsworth: Yes. She referred to June. She did not refer to the day of the month, she referred to the month.

Ms Jackson: All right. And what did she say as to when you finished on the underserviced area program?

Dr Hollingsworth: She said that I was not subject to a threshold limit and that I was on the underserviced program, therefore would be exempted. Dr Kosar then produced his letter from Ms Lankin of November 14 stating that there would be no more exemptions granted. I have my own copy here.

Ms Jackson: I am sorry, but can we just come back to the earlier question, Dr Hollingsworth? Did Ms Martel say anything about when you would finish on the underserviced area program?

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes. She did.

Ms Jackson: What date did she say you would finish?

Dr Hollingsworth: She said I would not be finished till June of 1992.

Ms Jackson: And that would follow automatically --

Dr Hollingsworth: Four years.

Ms Jackson: -- from the fact that you began in 1988.

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Everybody finishes four years after they begin.

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Can you turn the page for a moment and look at Dr Kosar's name on the next page? You said that she made reference to when you began on the underserviced area program. Did she make similar reference with respect to Dr Kosar?

Dr Hollingsworth: I cannot recall a similar reference, but she did know that both of us were on the underserviced area program; I know that.

Ms Jackson: You indicate in your notes that she knew your specialties. What did she say about your specialty?

Dr Hollingsworth: I introduced myself and I told her I was Dr Hollingsworth and I was representing the medical society and I was a specialist in Sudbury and I was a gastroenterologist and she said, "Yes, I know that."

Ms Jackson: And what did she say with reference to Dr Kosar?

Dr Hollingsworth: I think she knew he was an ophthalmologist before he told her. I think she came forward with that. It is difficult to recall; it is two and a half months ago. But she definitely knew him. He had been on the underserviced program before, in Bonfield, near North Bay. I think he talked to her about that too.

Ms Jackson: Did he initiate that reference to being on the underserviced area program in Bonfield or did she?

Dr Hollingsworth: I think he did.

Ms Jackson: All right. Now, was there anything else she said that indicated she knew of your particular cases, apart from the references to your specialties, the dates you were on the underserviced area programs and that you were good guys?

Dr Hollingsworth: No, she gave no specific numbers or amounts or, you know -- she had no other statistics at that time. But she did know the dates and the fact I was on the program.

Ms Jackson: You say in the last part of the second paragraph of exhibit 37, "Her attitude suggested that she knew our personal circumstances as they related to our practices." What was it that you thought she knew?

Dr Hollingsworth: My impression after our conversation on December 2 was that she knew how much I billed.

Ms Jackson: And from what did you get that impression?

Dr Hollingsworth: Well, the fact that she was extremely pleasant, extremely receptive to our -- you know, our lobbying. She said, "I know you're good guys." We explained to her that we were probably not going to reach the threshold that year, and there seemed to be no surprise. There was no, you know -- she did not say, "Gee, aren't you good guys for coming down when you're not going to be involved yourselves," or something. She just said, "Yeah, okay." She did not seem to be -- there was nothing that I presented to her that seemed to surprise her.

Ms Jackson: Although if she knew that you were on the underserviced area program, she would know that the threshold, one way or another, did not pose a particularly pressing problem for either of you.

Dr Hollingsworth: Well, in fact I think that is wrong. I have a letter here dated November 14 which states that there will be no further threshold payment adjustments. And there was a great deal of confusion among the doctors as to what exactly was the truth at that time. Within a couple of days we had received two letters from the Ministry of Health.

Ms Jackson: Mr Chairman, I think it would be a good idea if we obtained a copy of that letter from Dr Hollingsworth and marked it as the next exhibit. We will make copies perhaps at the next suitable break.

The Chair: That letter will be marked as exhibit 38.

Ms Jackson: Dr Hollingsworth, that letter appears to indicate that there are not going to be any further exemptions under the threshold.

Dr Hollingsworth: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: Under the original OMA/government agreement, there were two categories, as I understand it, of general exemptions, one related to people who were in the underserviced area program. Did you understand that?

Dr Hollingsworth: Well, in fact, you are referring to the memorandum of agreement between the OMA and the government --

Ms Jackson: That is right.

Dr Hollingsworth: -- and that section 10(a)(i) and 10(a)(ii), which is all at the discretion of the Minister of Health. So there was no blanket exemption given in that document.

Ms Jackson: So you did not understand --

Dr Hollingsworth: So we were confused at this time.

Ms Jackson: Just so we understand your state of mind when you were having this conversation with Ms Martel, I take it from what you are saying that you did not understand that people who were on the underserviced area program --

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes.

Ms Jackson: -- were automatically exempt from the threshold.

Dr Hollingsworth: Exactly. That is correct, yes.

Ms Jackson: So whatever Ms Martel might have thought, you did not assume that because you were on the underserviced area program you were clear of this threshold problem.

Dr Hollingsworth: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: But you do not know, of course, whether Ms Martel might have assumed that you were. Correct?

Dr Hollingsworth: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: What you knew from this letter was that if you did not have an automatic exemption by virtue of being on the underserviced area program, you were going to lose the opportunity to have any further exemption, because the letter indicates that no further discretionary exemptions were going to be granted.

Dr Hollingsworth: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: So when you had the meeting that you did on December 2, your assumption about your own status was that the threshold might well -- that you would not be protected from the threshold by virtue of the underserviced area program.

Dr Hollingsworth: Well, that is correct, and the point we made to Ms Martel was that neither Dr Kosar nor myself were likely to reach the amount of money necessary to be subject to the threshold.

Ms Jackson: That is what I wanted to explore, Dr Hollingsworth. From your point of view, since you were not automatically exempted from the threshold because of the underserviced area program, your view would be that the question of whether you were affected by the threshold or not would be directly related to your income.

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes, exactly.

Ms Jackson: Whereas, if somebody thought you were automatically exempted from the threshold by virtue of being on the underserviced area program, that person would conclude that you would not have a problem, because you were on the underserviced area program.

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes. But my statement was that Ms Martel did not express any surprise when we told her we would not reach the amount of money necessary to be subject to the threshold caps. That is my statement.

Ms Jackson: I understand that, but she did not indicate to you whether she was aware of that or not before you told her.

Dr Hollingsworth: She did not say one way or the other whether she knew how much I had billed or whether she did not.

Ms Jackson: Okay, all right. Now, you mentioned, in the course of your evidence, and I think you made this point in relation to the telephone call the next day, that she knew your phone number and date of birth. Was that something she told you in the phone call or in this meeting on December 5?

Dr Hollingsworth: No, I was merely illustrating the fact that she had been doing a lot of work on this issue. She appeared to me to be very well prepared, to have a reasonable grasp of what was happening in the whole issue, and in my particular circumstances, and Dr Kosar's, she appeared to have a very good grasp.

She did not actually know my date of birth or my phone number. I merely said that to her, you know, "You appear to have these facts, and you appear to know a lot of things about me, and yet the direction you are going in, it seems to me to be the wrong direction." So the point I was making to her was that she was doing a lot of work that was going in vain. That was the point I was making.

Ms Jackson: All right. In terms of the specific knowledge or impression that she gave you about your personal situation, she knew when you began and ended on the underserviced area program, what your specialty was, and appeared not to be surprised by the information that you would not meet the threshold this year.

Dr Hollingsworth: Exactly. Yes, that is precisely it.

Ms Jackson: Is there any other indication she gave you of knowledge of your personal situation?

Dr Hollingsworth: Well, her whole attitude throughout the course of the meeting was extremely helpful, and when she was speaking about Dr Donahue her attitude was very much the opposite --

Ms Jackson: Does the fact that --

Dr Hollingsworth: -- so that it seemed to me she had a preconceived idea of who I was, what I was doing, and also of who Dr Donahue was and what he was doing.


Ms Jackson: All right. Is there any other information that she gave you that suggested she knew your personal circumstances?

Dr Hollingsworth: No, no other information.

Ms Jackson: You say in your notes, "She mentioned to us that she was familiar with our cases, and she stated she had seen our files." Now, that is not in quotes. Do we take it from what you said earlier that she may or may not have used those words?

Dr Hollingsworth: Well, there is no dispute about these facts, because if you have her statements on CBC Radio from December 12, she stated that she had seen my files, but they were the underserviced area files.

Ms Jackson: I understand that, Dr Hollingsworth, and ultimately the committee, of course, is going to hear from Ms Martel. But what the committee needs to know today is what you remember and what you do not remember.

Dr Hollingsworth: I remember her saying she had seen my files.

Ms Jackson: So she did use those words.

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes.

Ms Jackson: All right. Why did you not, then, put that in quotes?

Dr Hollingsworth: Well, I can put it in quotes. She stated "she had seen my files."

Ms Jackson: And on reflection, you should have done that?

Dr Hollingsworth: Perhaps I should have, yes.

Ms Jackson: All right. You say at the bottom of the page, "she knew how long we had been in Sudbury." You have indicated you had been in Sudbury for the better part of a year before you began on the underserviced area program. Did she indicate to you when you actually came to Sudbury or when you became on the underserviced area program?

Dr Hollingsworth: No. I mean, to my mind, when I came to Sudbury, I applied for the underserviced area program and there was some delay. In my recollection, it seems an extraordinarily long time, because I had, you know, pre-registered with the program, and it had taken me that long to get on to it. I was surprised and I still am. When I say that, I think there is a blur in my mind between the two. Obviously, there is a gap of almost 10 months, which I do not consider all that significant. She did not indicate that she knew when I moved to Sudbury any other way except through the underserviced program, if that is the point you are making.

Ms Jackson: Yes, that is what I was trying to understand. Thank you.

Now turning to page 3 of your notes, Dr Hollingsworth, you indicate, "She stated `a blanket lifting of the threshold cap would not fly with the rest of the cabinet because they could not condone what Dr Donahue and the GPs are doing,'" and you have indicated that, on reflection, you are not sure she put the GPs in that group. In what context did the balance of that comment come up?

Dr Hollingsworth: Could you repeat the last bit of your question, please? In what context --

Ms Jackson: What were you talking about that elicited this comment from Ms Martel?

Dr Hollingsworth: Okay. I think this was probably towards the end of the conversation. We were lobbying to have the threshold caps lifted, and she made the statements that I have quoted. But earlier in the conversation, we had discussed quotas and complements of doctors, and I think there was agreement between her and us that there was a reasonable quota of general practitioners in Sudbury. So I cannot be 100% sure that the GPs were included in that particular statement, but they were definitely discounted from any lifting of the threshold cap in the conversation. But I do remember her saying that about Dr Donahue.

Ms Jackson: So this was put forward as one reason why a blanket exemption from the threshold for the entire area would not work.

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes. I mean, I think the point she made was that they wanted to go through each case, you know, to vet each case, and there have been subsequent meetings between the medical society representatives and the Ministry of Health. I think the overall thrust is towards some local organization such as the district health council having control over the doctor's income and saying each year, "We think what you're doing is okay," or, you know, "We think some of your work could be done by general practitioners." There appears to be a thrust in that direction.

Ms Jackson: Did she say what it was that Dr Donahue was doing that cabinet would not condone?

Dr Hollingsworth: No, except that she had earlier said his practices were unacceptable.

Ms Jackson: No other specification of what was unacceptable when she made this comment --

Dr Hollingsworth: No.

Ms Jackson: -- beyond what she had made earlier.

Dr Hollingsworth: But in my mind, I am 100% sure she was not referring to his media episodes, where he had been quite frank with the media in his criticism of the government. There was no focusing on that in the whole interview with Ms Martel.

Ms Jackson: Okay. No reference to how he dealt with the media at all.

Dr Hollingsworth: No.

Ms Jackson: All right. Now then, you indicate you spoke to Ms Martel the next day by telephone. When was that?

Dr Hollingsworth: It was approximately noon before she got back to me.

Ms Jackson: What was your purpose in calling her on that occasion?

Dr Hollingsworth: When we had lobbied her, we had mentioned to her that we were willing to come to Toronto and meet with the Minister for Health at any time to explain to her the problems we could foresee in Sudbury, and if she would just give us a date or a time, any time, we would come down and meet. We wanted to explain to Ms Lankin the problems that were going to be faced in Sudbury, so the follow-up conversation was to try to get a meeting with the Health minister.

Ms Jackson: Do I take it from your earlier testimony that she said nothing in the course of that conversation that indicated a greater knowledge of your personal situation than what she had revealed the previous day?

Dr Hollingsworth: No, there was nothing in that conversation that indicated further knowledge.

Ms Jackson: In the conversation the previous day, was there any other discussion of any other specific physician or physicians?

Dr Hollingsworth: No.

Ms Jackson: Was there in your telephone conversation of December 3?

Dr Hollingsworth: No, there was not.

Ms Jackson: Now, Dr Hollingsworth, could I ask you to turn up exhibit 23 in that black book that is beside you, please. What you are looking for, so you know, Dr Hollingsworth, is a transcript of an interview on December 11 at 7:50 in the morning on CBC's Morning North, Sudbury.

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes, I have got it here.

Ms Jackson: Do you have that?

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes, I have it here.

Ms Jackson: That, sir, is an interview that you did give on that day?

Dr Hollingsworth: It is.

Ms Jackson: Could I ask you to turn to the two last pages of the interview, Dr Hollingsworth? At the bottom of the second-last page, you make the comment: "Could I just make one more comment with respect to files. You know, I didn't realize this, but -- I didn't realize that the politicians were entitled to have our files, but Mrs Martel did have my file. She told me she'd seen my file when I met with her and this question about a doctor's -- she wasn't referring to me in that conversation with Mrs Dodds, but she did have access to my file and Dr Kosar's file and she said that to both of us in her -- "

Dr Hollingsworth: I do not have that.

Ms Jackson: You do not have that?

Dr Hollingsworth: I do not have that page. I am missing page 6 in this file. Page 8 is gone too.

Ms Jackson: Well, let me show you my copy of this exhibit and ask you just to read from the bottom of page 8 of the interview, I guess, over to the end of your remarks at the end of the page, and then I will ask you a couple of questions about that.

Dr Hollingsworth: "Dr Hollingsworth" --

Ms Jackson: I am sorry. Just read it to yourself. I have read it into the record. If you could just familiarize yourself with what you said.

Dr Hollingsworth: Okay.

Ms Jackson: Now you say there in the following paragraph, Dr Hollingsworth: "I'm saying she told me she'd seen my file. She knew when I entered the underserviced area program. She knew statistics about me that I must say I didn't know myself." What statistics were you there referring to?

Dr Hollingsworth: The specific dates of entry to the program.

Ms Jackson: Of the underserviced area program?

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Now, Dr Hollingsworth, in that interview, you do not make any reference to the comments that are in your notes about Dr Donahue. Why is that, sir?

Dr Hollingsworth: Well, I do not think it is appropriate to discuss a doctor's medical practices on CBC Radio. That is the major reason.

Ms Jackson: All right. And you made the notes, sir, on December 11. Why did you make notes?

Dr Hollingsworth: Okay. After I gave the interview on CBC, my own lawyer had been listening to the radio and he came to my office and suggested I make notes for this very reason.

Mr Stockwell: Good lawyer.

Ms Jackson: Right. Mr Chairman, the one remaining area, the one remaining question I have for Dr Hollingsworth will elicit personal, confidential information and I would defer that to the in camera portion of the session.


The Chair: Thank you very much, Ms Jackson. We will now open the session up to questions per caucus. Mr Christopherson.

Mr Christopherson: On a point of order, Mr Chair: I wonder if it would cause any great grief were we to hear the in camera testimony first. Then any questions we have would be based on all the input we are going to receive, rather than asking questions now and then hearing more information afterwards. Now, I realize we set that procedure with the subcommittee, and I guess I am asking if we could not follow that, since it seems to make common sense, I would think.

The Chair: Mr Christopherson, just for the benefit of committee members, the subcommittee has, as you have indicated, already discussed that possible procedure, and the subcommittee had already decided that questioning would commence after a public portion in public, and then move to an in camera proceeding with questions in camera.

One of the issues that was addressed was really the difficulties of going in camera and out of camera, back and forth. We are trying to keep that to a minimum, but as per our terms of reference, if the subcommittee wishes that we change the proceedings in terms of the way in which witnesses are questioned, that certainly is a matter for the subcommittee to decide.

If I do not see any change of procedure affirmed by members of the subcommittee, then, Mr Christopherson, I would suggest that we take this matter up at the very next subcommittee meeting.

Mr Kormos: I spoke to that very same issue last week. I would ask you, Chair, to call upon the subcommittee to revisit that because it seems to me that it is just -- I appreciate the subcommittee did what it did and undoubtedly in good faith, but before it had a chance to see how things flow, during the course of the last week -- now that it has had a chance to see how things flow, or indeed do not flow, you would think the subcommittee would want to revisit that and address the common sense that is inherent in Mr Christopherson's proposition. Surely common sense, although there has certainly been a shortage of it over the last week, could rear its head around here once in a while, right? So perhaps the subcommittee could visit that issue now before we lead ourselves down yet a more prickly, thornier and darker path than surely any of us or at least most of us would want to travel unarmed and alone.

The Chair: Mr Kormos, all I am doing is reciting a previous decision made by the subcommittee on this very point. Certainly if members of the subcommittee want to bring it back up at a further subcommittee meeting, that is well within their rights and certainly in keeping with the terms of reference. However, I am left with a previous decision of the subcommittee and, as such, I would open this up to questions on a rotational basis; 20 minutes to the members of the government side. Mr Mills.

Mr Mills: Thank you very much.

The Chair: I am sorry, Mr Mills; I think there were some discussions going on. As we are keeping this to a rotational basis, it would now be up to the government caucus to commence the questioning. We are going to limit the questioning to 20 minutes per caucus.

Mr Mills: Dr Hollingsworth, I would like to, first of all, revisit the CBC interview with -- I believe, exhibit 23 -- Ruth Reed. You are familiar with that. I have read the exhibit and it says there that you said, "She knew statistics about me that I must say I didn't know myself." We have heard you reply to that.

On Tuesday, February 11, in the afternoon sitting, we had Dr MacMillan here. You are quite familiar with Dr MacMillan and his role. I posed to the doctor some questions about the information that you alleged, in the CBC interview, Ms Martel had. We are talking about public document exhibit 8. Are you okay?

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes, go ahead.

Mr Mills: I suggested to Dr MacMillan that in public document exhibit 8 there was "all kinds of statistical evidence about the date the support started and things like that." I asked the doctor if it would be fair for me to assume the document you were talking about on that CBC interview was, in fact, public information. I would just like to go over what the doctor said. Then I am going to invite your comments.

Dr MacMillan replied: "I have no knowledge of any other documents that would be available to which he would be referring. I believed, when I read that, that he was either misinformed or just adding fuel to the fire. I did not believe that anybody would have a file on Dr Hollingsworth, since I am the only one, plus the district office, that would have access to obtaining that kind of information. I am not aware, to this day at least, of any file having been prepared on Dr Hollingsworth."

Doctor, I would invite your comments on what Dr MacMillan told us in the committee, that he does not know anything about anything.

Dr Hollingsworth: Well, Mr Mills, your question lasted five minutes. Could you tell me what you want me to tell you?

Mr Mills: I want your comments on what Dr MacMillan said about whether or not Ms Martel had access to information other than the public document in exhibit 8.

Dr Hollingsworth: You want me to comment about a file on myself?

Mr Mills: Pardon?

Dr Hollingsworth: You wish me to comment if there is any file on my personal practice?

Mr Mills: Do you agree or not agree with what the doctor said?

Dr Hollingsworth: Let me try to address your question. When I stood up to speak at the meeting on December 5 in Sudbury, which was a public meeting held to clarify some of the problems in Sudbury, Dr MacMillan took a file with my name on it marked "confidential" and placed it in his lap in clear view of Mr Decter, the Deputy Minister of Health. I think there is a file on me and I feel that that action, while it may have attempted to make me cower in front of bureaucracy, has only firmed my resolve to find out about that file. I am glad you raised the issue, sir.

Mr Mills: Do you have any information, other than that, that is contrary to what Dr MacMillan said?

Dr Hollingsworth: I do not know how much information you want. I have just said that there was a file, and I understand from Dr Lord, who is a GP in Sudbury, that a confidential file was placed within view of the Deputy Minister of Health. I think there clearly was a file on me. I do not know how much more you want me to say about that.

Mr Mills: Where was this doctor sitting with this file in relation to Ms Martel?

Dr Hollingsworth: Ms Martel was not even present at the meeting. Maybe for purposes of information for the committee I should clarify what happened. There was a meeting held in Sudbury on December 5 to discuss billing issues. Present at the meeting were various MPPs, excluding Ms Martel and Mr Laughren. Ms Murdock was there. The seating arrangements were such that the MPPs were far away from where Dr MacMillan and Mr Decter were sitting. When I stood up to speak, Mr Decter apparently asked Dr MacMillan who I was. I am told he said, "That's Hollingsworth," and Dr MacMillan lifted a file and placed it on his lap and the file was marked "confidential." They are separate issues. The meeting with Ms Martel happened on December 2 at Queen's Park. This meeting on December 5 happened in the regional council chambers in Sudbury.

Mr Mills: Would you enlighten me about doctors entering and leaving the underserviced area program, about the -- is this public information? Would you consider it public information?

Dr Hollingsworth: I am told it is public information. It was never, as far as I know, publicized before this current issue. I have never seen it in public before. As far as I understood, on my own personal behalf, I was signing a contract with the government that was confidential, but I see my name on a list that is being distributed to the media, which I must say I find somewhat irritating.


Mr Mills: Earlier on, if I can go back in time, you left me a little bit confused. I made a note that you made some comment that Ms Martel knew your date of birth, etc, and then you have come back, I believe -- correct me if I am wrong -- when you said, "That's not true." Could you clear that up for me?

Dr Hollingsworth: No, I think, you know, there was a little bit of Irish wit being used in the phone conversation to Ms Martel. To illustrate how much it appeared she was doing a lot of background work, I said, "You appear almost to have my phone number and my date of birth and a lot of information you've been working with, and yet you seem to be going in the wrong direction." I do not say that she had my phone number or my date of birth, it was just an illustration of the amount of work that the honourable minister was doing at the time.

Mr Mills: But would it be fair to say, doctor, that Ms Martel was an advocate for the northern doctors and that perhaps as much information as she could possibly give in a legal manner would help you in your quest to overcome the difficulties that many of the doctors in Sudbury were having, or in the northern area? Would it not seem fair to say that the better armed with information she would be, the better she could advocate on your behalf?

Dr Hollingsworth: That is true.

Mr Mills: So you would say that Ms Martel really was an advocate for the doctors who were experiencing some problems.

Dr Hollingsworth: Well, I mean I think she was working very hard to achieve a resolution to the problems. I would not say she was a doctors' advocate, but she was trying to help, yes.

Mr Mills: To help you.

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes.

Mr Mills: I want to talk about, you know, the general mood in Sudbury. You know we heard Dr MacMillan say that when he arrived in Sudbury he got in a taxi and without any prompting whatsoever the taxi driver more or less gave him a run-down of the whole problem and who was what and what. So I just would like to have your comments on how you feel about what the mood was in Sudbury and the type of information that was considered out there in this arena, public information.

Dr Hollingsworth: Okay. In terms of doctors' billings there was no public information about who was billing what, except the underserviced area program identified clearly a cardiovascular surgeon's income, who was the only one on the program, so we all knew in Sudbury who the cardiovascular surgeon was and what he was making. This was as a result of a document that was made public by the government.

In terms of what the public knew, I was only party to one instance of hearing a rumour. It was in November.

The Chair: Order. On the issue of rumour I think members of the subcommittee will know and remember that there is a decision we made about general rumours, that they were not going to be elicited, on the issue of rumour. It is a matter which the subcommittee specifically addressed two subcommittee meetings previously, so I would caution you, Dr Hollingsworth, with respect to the question and response.

Dr Hollingsworth: I am cautioned.

Mr Harnick: Mr Chair, I do not think we really have to ask what the substance of the rumour happened to be. I think the nature of the question was that the cab driver in Sudbury knew all about this, so therefore the proposition to the witness is that everybody in Sudbury knew all about it. I think the witness should be entitled to tell us, as he started to, that he only heard one instance of any rumour over the whole period of time that this has been going on. I get the impression that that is what he is saying. Maybe even counsel would want to ask the question or word the question. We are not after the substance or the actual content of the rumour, but we are after how prevalent rumours were on the street.

The Chair: The issue that the subcommittee decided was based around the issue of rumour, around the substance of the rumour, not on the fact of rumour but rather on the substance of the rumour, and it was decided by the subcommittee that the substance of any rumours would not be elicited at this time. In fact, on the advice of counsel -- she has indicated to me that the fact of rumour could be referred to but not the substance of.

Dr Hollingsworth: I am not sure I can do one without the other. Do I say there was a negative rumour or a positive rumour or a mediocre rumour?

The Chair: It could be indicated, for instance, that a rumour was heard without dealing with what that rumour was in fact.

Dr Hollingsworth: I do not feel that the evidence would be of any help to the inquiry if I cannot elaborate on it.

The Chair: That is up to you. All I can do is tell you, Dr Hollingsworth, that the subcommittee has decided, certainly on the issue of rumour, that at this point in time the substance of any rumours are ones which would not be elicited at this time. However, we have also not addressed the issue as to whether you can indicate that a rumour was heard. We would ask if you could abide by that ruling of the subcommittee on the issue of rumour.

Dr Hollingsworth: So you want me to say I heard a rumour?

The Chair: If that be the answer.

Dr Hollingsworth: It is such a qualified answer, I think it is almost worthless. I mean, without explaining the circumstances, the situation that occurred and the time of the rumour as it relates to this case, I would like to withdraw my remark, if that is possible.

The Chair: That is fine.

Mr Mills: Thank you, Mr Chair. I was just trying to set the tone and the mood and to relate that to certain things, but I guess we cannot do that.

Perhaps my final question at the moment to you, doctor, is, were you surprised? It would seem to me that in the interview -- were you surprised that Miss Martel had knowledge of even the underserviced area program and your name and all those things? Did that surprise you?

Dr Hollingsworth: I was surprised at her memory and her ability to know. I mean, this was an unscheduled meeting. We had gone to make a presentation to the committee on social development and had called in to see her by chance, so we had not kind of set a meeting for next Wednesday at 2:30. The fact that she knew all these things surprised me because it was not an expected meeting.

Mr Mills: No, but -- you know, in fairness, she had been advocating for you, so she would be -- personally, if I were advocating for some doctors in my constituency, I would take it upon myself to be primed up so that when I met them I would know exactly what I was talking about. My question again is that you were surprised even that she had documentation that was public?

Dr Hollingsworth: You see, the question between what is public and what is not is raised, because it certainly is public now but I do not think it was public beforehand, that I know of. I mean, I do not know that it was public information, that my name was on a list that was sent around to the media a couple of years ago. I never saw that.

Mr Mills: We have the information from Dr MacMillan that such a document in exhibit 8 was in fact public and has always been public. So you were surprised at that?

Dr Hollingsworth: I am surprised that is public information, yes.

Mr Mills: Okay. That is all for now. Thank you, Mr Chair.

The Chair: Mr Owens. Oh, you are going to yield to Mr Kormos or whatever his name is?

Mr Kormos: No one has yielded to me in a long time.

Mr Owens: Kormos, take it and run with it.


Mr Kormos: Doctor, your contact with Shelley Martel, did that begin on this lobby meeting with her at the --

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes.

Mr Kormos: I am told it was in the east lobby.

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes.

Mr Kormos: Beside the Legislative Assembly.

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes, that is true.

Mr Kormos: So you and Ms Martel had not met before then?

Dr Hollingsworth: Never met before.

Mr Kormos: Telephone conversations before that?

Dr Hollingsworth: Never, ever.

Mr Kormos: Correspondence before that?

Dr Hollingsworth: There may have -- I mean, I sent letters out to the MPPs. I had tried to phone Miss Martel myself -- but I had never actually spoken to her -- for the few weeks before the meeting. I had called her constituency offices and had called her office at Queen's Park.

Mr Kormos: What kind of preparatory work was done for the meeting, I guess, rather than what kind -- what notice was given to Queen's Park or folks here that you and the people who were with you were going to be up here lobbying on that day?

Dr Hollingsworth: Well, it was a committee, a standing committee, so that all of Queen's Park would have had knowledge of that information.

Mr Kormos: And you were travelling about, visiting MPPs from the north or any who would sit and talk with you?

Dr Hollingsworth: Anybody who would sit and talk to us at the time, actually. We were pretty desperate.

Mr Kormos: Fair enough. No suggestion that Ms Martel, when you were talking with her in the east lobby, even knew that you were among the people who were going to be participating in this lobby group, is there? I do not know, maybe there is, maybe there is not. I do not know.

Dr Hollingsworth: I do not understand the question. Could you repeat the question?

Mr Kormos: Was there anything that would have forewarned Ms Martel that indeed you were one of the people who was going to be participating in the lobby group?

Dr Hollingsworth: Which lobby group?

Mr Kormos: In the lobby group when you were visiting, the lobby group that met with Ms Martel in the east lobby.

Dr Hollingsworth: There were only two of us. It was not actually, you know, a scheduled lobby group. We were going to make a presentation about an hour later to the standing committee on legislation and social development and we called into the Legislature just basically to kill some time. We saw her there. We had her paged. It was not a formal arrangement. Does that answer your question? I am not sure.

Mr Kormos: Yes, fair enough.

Dr Hollingsworth: Okay.

Mr Kormos: I suppose what I am trying to find out is -- I would really like to know, as best we can, whether Ms Martel could have anticipated that it was you, specifically you, who was going to be meeting with her in the east lobby on that day.

Dr Hollingsworth: The only way she could have anticipated, with the short notice, was that we had called her office and tried to meet with her about an hour before. So maybe that is how she happened to pull what information she had.

Mr Kormos: Maybe.

Dr Hollingsworth: Maybe that is the explanation. I do not know.

Mr Kormos: Okay. I guess it would be helpful, then, to find out exactly what time -- or not exactly, I mean give or take, what time it was that you met.

Dr Hollingsworth: I would say within two hours of having met with her we had called her office.

Mr Kormos: Yes, but what time was the meeting in the east lobby?

Dr Hollingsworth: Approximately 2 o'clock in the afternoon.

Mr Kormos: Around 2 o'clock, and the House was sitting that day, obviously?

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes.

Mr Kormos: So I guess just about the beginning of question period?

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes.

Mr Kormos: Now, during that meeting with her in the east lobby you recall a conversation about Dr Donahue?

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes, specifically about Dr Donahue.

Mr Kormos: Once again, I am as sympathetic as anybody could be about the problem in remembering conversation that far back. Who raised the issue of Dr Donahue?

Dr Hollingsworth: Miss Martel did.

Mr Kormos: How?

Dr Hollingsworth: Well, it came in relation to our request to have the threshold limits lifted for all of northern Ontario in a blanket fashion, for all parts of the underserviced area, which is north of the French River, and she then mentioned Dr Donahue.

Mr Kormos: She mentioned him?

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes.

Mr Kormos: But again, you are telling me that -- can you tell us what she said about Dr Donahue?

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes, it is in my exhibit here. She said that his practices were totally unacceptable --

Mr Kormos: Yes?

Dr Hollingsworth: -- and what he was doing was totally unacceptable, and later in the conversation she stated that a blanket lifting of the exemptions would not fly with the rest of the cabinet because they could not condone what Dr Donahue was doing. Now she may have said -- she may have mentioned the GPs in that statement too. I am just not sure of that.

Mr Kormos: Fair enough. You have been very clear about the fact that that may or may not have been mentioned. I am getting the impression that she is speaking about Dr Donahue and his practice in the context of selling a blanket lifting of the threshold to her cabinet colleagues --

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes.

Mr Kormos: -- and it is in that context that she is talking about the nature -- what did she say about Dr Donahue's practice?

Dr Hollingsworth: She said they were unacceptable.

Mr Kormos: Yes, but did --

Dr Hollingsworth: She did not give specific instances. There was no mention of a particular case that had been handled badly or inappropriately. It was a general statement.

Mr Kormos: You must have responded to that at least in your head a little bit.

Dr Hollingsworth: I was shocked. I was amazed that she said this. This was really a very unusual thing to happen, because we were there to represent all the specialists and doctors in Sudbury and she was returning to this point.

Mr Kormos: I am sure somebody must have said, "What do you mean unacceptable?"

Dr Hollingsworth: I am pretty sure from my own point of view that we were very keen to get the problem resolved that we had come down to resolve. We did not dwell on that ourselves. In fact, in retrospect, perhaps we should have, but we did not because we really wanted to try to have a resolution for the billing threshold problem. So it was not at that time my interest to dwell on that.

Mr Kormos: So nobody asked you to expand on what she meant by saying --

Dr Hollingsworth: I think the comment I made was that if his practices are unacceptable, there is a medical review council from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario to review such practices, and if she feels that, she should report it to the college.

Mr Kormos: That is the point on which your notes -- you indicate surprise.

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes, she was surprised. She said she did not know about that.

Mr Kormos: When you talked to her on the phone, what day was that? That was December 3, was it not?

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes, December 3.

Mr Kormos: When you talked to her on the phone, was that about the OMA role?

Dr Hollingsworth: We felt the way forward would be to get a meeting with Ms Lankin so that we could try to get the thresholds exempted for northern Ontario. So we were pushing Ms Martel all the time to try to get us a meeting with Ms Lankin, but she kept saying she could not arrange such a meeting. She would try, but it was very difficult. And she said she had a very busy schedule.

Mr Kormos: I appreciate, I really do, the concern about seeing a file with your name on it stamped "confidential." Somebody told me the Premier was walking around with one with my name on it and it was stamped "confidential" just a couple of days ago. So I appreciate the concern that can create, I sure do.

During that 30- to 40-minute conversation, you indicate that Shelley Martel agreed she knew an awful lot about you, a considerable amount about you, including small or not-so-small facts that you were unaware of yourself. What facts did she tell you about during the conversation that led you to -- again, I am agreeing that the presence of that file in Dr MacMillan's lap undoubtedly helped you get to where you were going, but what did she tell you about yourself?

Dr Hollingsworth: Unfortunately, it is two and a half months ago. The only thing I can recall is that my general impression after my conversation in the Legislature with Ms Martel was that she appeared to have a pre-set idea of what I was and what I was doing and a very different idea of what Dr Donahue was and what he was doing. I cannot give you a specific number. She did not say, "Yes, you're billing this amount," or "Yes, you saw this number of patients last year." I cannot say that. That is not true. She never mentioned specific details like that.

Mr Kormos: You are talking about a sensation or a feeling you got from her.

Dr Hollingsworth: A feeling, yes, an attitude.

Mr Kormos: Again, it is a feeling that is compounded by Dr MacMillan producing this file marked "confidential."

Dr Hollingsworth: It is certainly an anxiety one has about this.

Mr Kormos: But we are talking about a feeling that is arrived at after a whole number of these occasions.

Dr Hollingsworth: Oh, no, this feeling was arrived at after my meeting with Ms Martel. In fact, I remarked to my secretary the following day that I was surprised at how much detail she had on me and what she knew about me. But as I say, there are no other facts I can give you that would confirm that.

Mr Kormos: You did not know that the underserviced area program doctors were published in a list?

Dr Hollingsworth: No, I never knew that.

Mr Kormos: Not only were they published, but UAP is what, a four-year program?

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes.

Mr Kormos: You are funded or you receive a grant for a period of four years. Again, I am giving you the best information. They are not only published and were published, but their dates of commencing the program are published. So it is not difficult to figure out when you are off the program.


Dr Hollingsworth: That is right.

Mr Kormos: Is it right that when you are on UAP the threshold does not apply?

Dr Hollingsworth: Well, that is the whole issue of debate. The letter that will be exhibit 39, I think, clearly states from the minister that we would -- that I would not be exempt. It was a letter to me personally, saying I would not be exempted. So there was some confusion among the doctors' ranks as to who exactly was exempt and who was not exempt.

Mr Kormos: Fair enough, and again it is no surprise to me to learn that somebody is saying one thing and somebody else is saying another. That does not surprise me. It may offend me and shock me, but it does not surprise me, having been around here for a couple of years.

The Chair: Just to remind you, there is a minute.

Mr Kormos: Thanks, Chair. Now, did you know that Dr Kosar back on -- I do not know whether you are familiar with the interview he gave to MCTV. That is up in Sudbury, is it not?

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes.

Mr Kormos: It is a TV station up in Sudbury. On December 11, 1991, apparently a 6 pm news broadcast fellow called Bond -- must be one of the local --

Dr Hollingsworth: It is a lady.

Mr Kormos: Thanks, doctor. A person called Bond, a newscaster person, says, "Dr Kosar says Shelley Martel never claimed to have seen his confidential look at the files, but he was surprised by the amount of information she had about his and other physicians' billings." Does that surprise you, if indeed that is the case? I am relying on a transcript of the news broadcast.

Dr Hollingsworth: Sure.

Mr Kormos: Does it surprise you to hear Dr Kosar say that?

Dr Hollingsworth: Well, it is a bit disconcerting, having come here and made this deposition, but I can clarify one or two things. First of all, at the east lobby I was sitting right beside Shelley Martel. It was almost at right angles. I do not know if -- in the members' enclosure there there is a couch beside the wall and there are a couple of chairs here. I was sitting right beside her and he was a couple of feet down. So he may not have --

Mr Kormos: Do not let people get the impression it is luxurious. I mean, it is fine but it is not -- it is old furniture.

Dr Hollingsworth: First of all, he may not have heard all she said. I was nearer to her, closer to her. The second thing is that she went on radio the following -- I do not know if you have the transcript of December 12, CBC, where she said she had seen files but they were underserviced area files. So I do not think there is any dispute about the fact that she said to me she had seen our files. That is my understanding of it.

Mr Kormos: You mean reference to the UAP files?

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes. Well, that was clarified, yes, afterwards.

Mr Kormos: Okay. Well, I think that is it. I am very properly ending on time. It is the first time I have been proper since this started. I might do it again.

Dr Hollingsworth: Thank you.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Kormos. Mr Conway.

Mr Conway: Thank you very much. Just to pick up on that last point, Dr Hollingsworth, if the minister had had, as you understand that she had, some access to your underserviced area files, would it be your understanding that that would not -- let me put it this way: The files to which reference has been made are your underserviced area program files. You would be surprised, I take it, on the basis of your testimony here today, that politicians, ministers of the crown, would have access to those kinds of files.

Dr Hollingsworth: I would be surprised, yes.

Mr Conway: Because those files presumably would contain quite extensive information about who you were and what you were about.

Dr Hollingsworth: Well, I did not realize that it is public knowledge, these files are public knowledge. When I signed the contract with the underserviced area program, I understood it was a contract with the government and was thus confidential. I have never signed a waiver saying that my details could be made public, so I am surprised that the politicians have them. On the other hand, if I had been approached beforehand and asked to sign a waiver so that Miss Martel could intercede on our behalf, that would be a different matter.

Mr Conway: I want to just ask some questions around the situation in Sudbury before taking you to the notes of your December 2 and 3 encounters with Ms Martel. This committee has had the evidence put before it that for some days, some weeks prior to the meetings you had on December 2 and 3 with Ms Martel, the whole question of the so-called framework agreement was the subject of quite a lively public debate in Sudbury, according to some of the documentary evidence we have, as early as the early part of November, and perhaps earlier, though our information I think really begins in November, that there was quite an active debate in the media in Sudbury and in the community generally. Would that be a fair representation?

Dr Hollingsworth: That is true.

Mr Conway: You had, yourself, presumably been following that and participating in that.

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes. We had a public meeting on December 5, which was a kind of culmination of all the effort for the previous month that we had put in. There was a lot of public debate, a lot of press releases. The president of the medical society was making press statements quite frequently.

Mr Conway: So when you met Ms Martel on 2 December in Toronto at the members' enclosure at Queen's Park it would be fair to say that all parties came to that discussion with a pretty keen understanding that this was an issue of some urgent and pressing interest in Sudbury.

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes, that is true.

Mr Conway: Now to your deposition: I am going to just quickly summarize, and I would like your response to my summary. The impression I have is that you and Dr Kosar, on behalf of the academy of medicine in Sudbury, came to Toronto to lobby the government on the occasion of the debate around Bill 135, but primarily to lobby ministers of the crown and other members of the Legislature about your concern around what that so-called framework agreement, of which Bill 135 was a part, is going to do in terms of the availability of medical services, particularly specialty services, in northern Ontario; that you had come to see Ms Martel on an unscheduled basis; that she agreed to see you in the members' enclosure; that you found a local member who seemed to be sympathetic, well briefed on the general situation, to say the very least, someone who, according to what you have said here today, had a very good grasp of the general situation and specific information as well, someone who seemed to say that you and Dr Kosar were good guys. When she said that, I take it that, in the context of both the discussion and the general situation that had been obtaining over this matter for four or five weeks, there were bad guys as well as good guys?

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes, that is true.

Mr Conway: Would I be fair in concluding that Dr Donahue might have been one of the bad guys?

Dr Hollingsworth: He was obviously perceived to be a bad guy from what Ms Martel told me.

Mr Conway: The difficulty Ms Martel seemed to be having with the people who are not good guys seemed to focus, according to page 2 of your deposition, around practices and billings related to those practices?

Dr Hollingsworth: That is true.

Mr Conway: You are saying on page 2 that she was particularly upset in discussing four GPs and Dr Donahue. Did she at any point in that upset become at all specific about what it was that was unacceptable about their practices?

Dr Hollingsworth: She did not mention the four GPs' practices being unacceptable. She mentioned Dr Donahue's practices as being unacceptable and she was not specific on that point.

Mr Conway: But according to your evidence, she said on at least two or three occasions that what he was doing was quite unacceptable.

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes.

Mr Conway: Having regard to what she said and the way in which she said it on the afternoon of December 2, which was a Monday, I believe, what ran through your mind three or four days later when the provincial media reported that Ms Martel had had quite a discussion in Thunder Bay on the night of Thursday, December 5, with a certain Ms Dodds at which time, according to Ms Dodds, Miss Martel said: "I have seen his records. You will lose sympathy when you see the charges that we lay against him."


She, meaning Miss Martel, according to Ms Dodds, used the word "criminal." There was widespread press coverage of that on I believe Friday, December 6, or certainly if not that day very shortly thereafter. I am just interested to know, in light of your conversation that was reported in your deposition of the December 2 encounter with Miss Martel, what ran through your mind when you first heard the press reports of what had happened between Miss Martel and Ms Dodds in Thunder Bay on the night of December 5, 1991.

Dr Hollingsworth: First, the issue of confidentiality became of concern to me. I had not thought about it that much at my meeting with Miss Martel at the time. It did not really strike me that I should look into or delve into this issue, but it was obviously being delved into somewhere else. The second is pure speculation, and if you wish I will speculate for the benefit of the inquiry, but it is just speculation and worth only that.

It appeared to me that there was an explanation as to why she was so helpful towards us, in that she may have had a preconceived knowledge of what we were billing, and so negative towards Dr Donahue, but that is pure speculation. That is not based on fact.

Mr Conway: But when you heard the press reports -- and let me be frank. I have here what Ms Dodds said Miss Martel said in Thunder Bay. Now I have your deposition of the conversation four days earlier in which you and Dr Kosar are identified as good guys and there is at least one bad guy who is doing some things that are totally unacceptable. You will forgive me if I make at least a general link between what you are reporting from that conversation and what becomes the focus of a fairly heated discussion in Thunder Bay four nights later.

Dr Hollingsworth: I will forgive you.

Mr Conway: You would forgive me if I made that.

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes.

Mr Conway: Thank you. Just a couple of other quick questions before I turn it over to my colleagues. The meeting on December 5 in Sudbury, I recall, was quite a meeting. It was quite a spirited meeting at which the framework agreement came under fairly strong criticism.

Dr Hollingsworth: That is true.

Mr Conway: Can you tell me who some of the people were at that meeting? You were there. I was not. Can you tell me a little bit about what sorts of people were there criticizing the government policy?

Dr Hollingsworth: The meeting lasted approximately four hours. The chairman was Dr Killian DeBlacam, the president of the local medical society. Representing the Ministry of Health, Dr MacMillan was there; Mr Decter, the deputy minister, was there; and Eugene LeBlanc, one of the ministry officials, was there. Many of the specialists made presentations, including myself; Dr Chris Farrel, an obstetrician; Dr Alnoor Abdulla, a cardiologist; Dr Paul Van Boxel, a general surgeon; and also Dr J. P. Donahue, who made a presentation. The presentations were generally critical of the way in which the framework agreement had been reached and would be implemented, specifically in reference to Sudbury.

Mr Conway: We know that approximately a week before that December 5 meeting, a meeting was held over the weekend in Sudbury at which a number of people -- Drs MacMillan and LeBlanc were present -- talked to a number of specialists in Sudbury about the whole situation. I gather that by the evening of December 5 many people still felt that what had been discussed at that meeting on November 30 or whenever was still not satisfactory to resolve most of the concerns of the Sudbury doctors, particularly the specialists. Is that a fair representation?

Dr Hollingsworth: That is true. We wanted a blanket lifting of the thresholds because of the problems we are going to face very soon, and that had not been forthcoming.

Mr Conway: Finally, Dr Hollingsworth, I am interested again to know about that encounter that you referred to at the December 5 meeting, where Dr MacMillan took from a briefcase a file that you believed to have been a confidential file on yourself.

Dr Hollingsworth: When I started to speak, Mr Decter asked -- this is testimony reported to me by Dr Lord, a GP in Sudbury. Dr Lord tells me that Mr Decter asked Dr MacMillan, "Who is that speaking?" Dr MacMillan said, "That's Hollingsworth," and he produced a file marked "confidential" and placed it on his lap in clear view of the deputy minister.

Mr Conway: Dr Lord was obviously close enough to be able to --

Dr Hollingsworth: He was sitting directly behind.

Mr Conway: Fine. Thank you.

Mr Elston: Dr Hollingsworth, much has been made by both Mr Mills and by Mr Kormos about the list of the UAP physicians. It would appear to me that under no circumstances would a listing of physicians who were entitled to receive a grant also have included in it the incomes of physicians. Would that be your understanding?

Dr Hollingsworth: That is true.

Mr Elston: I presume this was well known to Mr Mills and Mr Kormos when they were suggesting that merely by viewing the list of the starting dates and the completion dates of the underserviced area program, Ms Martel would know whether or not you were a good guy or a bad guy according to your December 2 conversation. Would it appear to you during the discussion of December 2 that Ms Martel had information other than just the fact that the three of you, Kosar, Hollingsworth and Donahue, were all in the underserviced area program?

Dr Hollingsworth: The attitude she had towards Dr Donahue was totally different compared to the attitude towards Dr Kosar and myself. There was a definite distinction in her mind between the three of us.

Mr Elston: Even though each of you was on the underserviced area program, she certainly had distinguished among the three of you as to who was good and who was bad.

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes.

Mr Elston: That would suggest to me -- you may agree or disagree -- that she had detailed information, or at least some detailed information, about the manner in which each of you carried on your practices. Is that what you felt?

Dr Hollingsworth: I agree.

Mr Elston: Is there, when you file material for the underserviced area program, a detailed listing of the billings and the practices which you carry on?

Dr Hollingsworth: There is no information sent from my office to the underserviced area program concerning my billings. The only information that could be got from my billings, except directly from me, would be from the OHIP office of which Dr MacMillan is the director.

Mr Elston: To comply with continuing on the underserviced area program, do you make an annual report to the underserviced area program?

Dr Hollingsworth: There is no record of billings given to the underserviced program. There will probably be from now on, because they have separate billing numbers as a result of this whole issue. But beforehand there was none.

Mr Elston: The only contact you would have had that may have appeared on an underserviced area program list would have been the date of your starting the contract, the date of termination, probably to bring it to completion, but no detail with respect to what services you were rendering under that except that it was in relation to your specialty. Is that true?

Dr Hollingsworth: That is true.

Mr Elston: She or anyone looking at a listing of the underserviced area program could not determine whether one physician was carrying on a practice in any particular manner. Is that true?

Dr Hollingsworth: That is true.

Mr Elston: The only manner in which a person could distinguish whether or not a practice was being carried on successfully and competently and capably was to look at other materials. Is that not also true?

Dr Hollingsworth: That is true.

Mr Elston: We are left now with Mr Mills and Mr Kormos suggesting that the underserviced area program list by itself would have disclosed all this information. Would you consider that to be an errant view?

Dr Hollingsworth: That is untrue. It does not disclose that information.

Mr Elston: Okay. The only place your information about billings is made is directly to the OHIP office. Is that true?

Dr Hollingsworth: That is true.

Mr Elston: You do that once a month?


Dr Hollingsworth: The billings are submitted in midmonth, and OHIP has a record of them, and the only person who has knowledge of other doctors' billings are himself and his bank manager and his secretary and the OHIP office.

Mr Elston: And the people in the OHIP office?

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes, that is true.

Mr Elston: In determining, then, whether Dr Donahue was a bad performer, as Ms Martel alleged during your December 2 meeting and otherwise at other meetings that she attended, she must have had information from other files than the UAP?

Dr Hollingsworth: That is true.

Mr Elston: Can you tell us a little bit about the type of information that would go in in your billing? I know this may be a little bit pedestrian for some, but I think it is interesting because this may disclose to us from whence Ms Martel's information about Dr Donahue actually came. Could you describe what you would put in a billing, please?

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes, sir. Each month we send in the previous month's billings, which consist of daily transaction summaries, so that there is each day you see a certain number of patients and do a certain number of procedures. It goes on magnetic disc usually now, and it is submitted to the OHIP office. Each procedure or consultation or minor assessment is all coded separately so that using computer methods, the OHIP office can find out how much a specific doctor billed for a specific service; for example, for consultations, for minor assessments, for syringeing ears or whatever example you want to give. That information can be pulled, and it is used to form practice profiles. If you request it, you can get your practice profile; it will tell you how you are compared to the provincial average.

Mr Elston: In fact, it is quite sophisticated. They bill by code for each procedure, is that not true?

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes, that is right.

Mr Elston: It is then connected to a fee, which then is remitted. Just to repeat so that I can underscore this, that information is not filed under the underserviced area program materials?

Dr Hollingsworth: The only way that could get on to an underserviced area file is to be released by the OHIP office. There is no other way that information could get -- I mean, except if the doctor sent it himself.

Mr Elston: And again -- this is repetitious, I know, but there is no access to the information in a doctor's OHIP file to the public in general, is there?

Dr Hollingsworth: No, that is protected.

The Chair: Mr Elston, just to remind you there is just a minute or so.

Mr Elston: Okay. Well, I think we have got what is substantially needed here, Mr Chairman. We have got the separation of detail between the OHIP billings, which are necessary to complete the obligations as a physician billing the OHIP system, and the underserviced area program, which does not take in any detailed filing of your practice profile, which only requires you to complete the term of a contract. I think that differential between the list under the underserviced area program and the, in fact, confidential OHIP material is what needs to be known. Because Ms Martel obviously, Mr Chair, differentiated among these three physicians that she was talking about, Kosar, Hollingsworth and Donahue; ie, Kosar and Hollingsworth were good guys, she said, and Dr Donahue was not, and in fact had unacceptable medical practices, which could only be determined --

Mr Owens: That was not stated.

Mr Elston: -- which could only be determined --

The Chair: Order.

Mr Elston: -- by having access to the detailed billing information, or at least a synopsis of that material. I think we have what we need here.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Elston. Mr Eves.

Mr Eves: Thank you, Mr Chairman. I just have a few brief questions, Dr Hollingsworth. During your discussion with Ms Martel, was there ever any discussion about physicians opening up their books?

Dr Hollingsworth: There was an obsession from the ministry, particularly Mr Decter and Dr MacMillan, about opening our books.

Mr Eves: What about your conversation with Ms Martel?

Dr Hollingsworth: I am trying to remember. There was a -- she did say that, you know; she mentioned me specifically. She said, "What you are doing," you know, in terms of discussing things with the media, "is somewhat unfair because you are on the underserviced program and therefore you are not subject to any controls on your income, and it is unfair that we can't use that information against you." She did not actually use the words, "open your books," but she did say that she wished that she could make more information public.

Mr Eves: Did she have any -- did she refer to any specific physician?

Dr Hollingsworth: In that regard, I cannot recollect. It is two and a half months ago, so I cannot be sure.

Mr Eves: Okay. Has anyone, during the course of this entire issue, ever asked you to open your books?

Dr Hollingsworth: I have been asked many times to open my books. My offer has been that if the Health minister would come and spend a day with me and see some of the problems that we are dealing with, I would open my books then.

Mr Eves: Who have you been asked by to open your books?

Dr Hollingsworth: I have been asked by -- well, the media is one. Ruth Reed asked me on CBC Morning North. Mr LeBlanc, I think from the ministry, suggested to me that we should open our books. There was an obsession from the ministry, and from Mr Decter in particular, with opening the books. He stated in the Globe and Mail that he wanted to find out what was real and what was noise and that doctors should open their books, and it was very clearly stated. I have the reference here. Mr Michael Decter, Globe and Mail, November 19, 1991: "We need to find out what's real and what's...noise." We need the doctors to "open their books."

There was an obsession with us making public our figures and what we were earning, and it was almost like, you know, picking us off one by one. There was need to find out and make public what we were earning. It was a continuing theme from the ministry.

Mr Eves: In your opinion, would physicians opening their books assist the government in dealing with this issue?

Dr Hollingsworth: I think one of the issues that is very important to understand is the difference between gross and net income, which is a major issue here; that 50% of a doctor's income goes to spending money taking care of his patients -- getting tests arranged, getting consultations typed etc. For example, when Mr Decter came to Sudbury, he made a presentation that included astronomical billings by certain doctors, and one example he gave was a dermatologist billing $700,000. This does not take into account the costs that are involved with running an office.

The government has attempted to kind of make us look bad by saying we should open our books and that this specialty bills an average of this amount and that amount, so that even in our own towns people say, "Well, he's a gastroenterologist; therefore, he's billing X number of dollars." It has been very difficult for us.

Mr Eves: During the course of this entire matter in the Sudbury area, has anyone ever indicated to you that they were able to obtain confidential information about any Sudbury physician?

Dr Hollingsworth: Yes, and I will give that evidence in camera. That is the extra evidence I have to give.

Mr Eves: Are you at liberty to say who?

Dr Hollingsworth: I am not.

Mr Eves: Are you at liberty to say where this information came from?

Dr Hollingsworth: I think if I explained the circumstances --

The Chair: If I might, I would just like to remind Dr Hollingsworth of the earlier warning. In the event that you cannot provide, in response to a question, an answer which would not divulge private and confidential information, there will be an opportunity in an in camera proceeding to continue on with that line of questioning.

Mr Eves: Perhaps you could assist me, Mr Chair. How is my asking the witness, "Who provided this information?" divulging confidential information?

The Chair: I am advised by counsel, Mr Eves, that it is very difficult to respond to the question without divulging the problem which is required to be done in an in camera proceeding.

Mr Eves: Well, I guess I will have to wait for that, Mr Chairman --

The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Eves.

Mr Eves: -- and take your advice and counsel's advice.

The Chair: Mr Harnick.

Mr Harnick: I have one question, doctor. In the course of your lobbying to discuss the threshold and have the government understand the circumstances of doctors generally and how they would be affected by the threshold issue, did you, during the course of time that you were involved in this, come to realize or become aware of any particular strategy that the government was using in terms of this issue?

Dr Hollingsworth: You are asking me for my own conclusions from a set of events that occurred?

Mr Harnick: Yes.

Dr Hollingsworth: There was, we felt -- well, I certainly felt -- a definite intimidation occurring, particularly when I spoke at the meeting in Sudbury and Dr MacMillan produced a file marked "Confidential" while I was speaking. That was very threatening at the time. Different physicians had told me that Dr MacMillan had told them he was carrying their files in his briefcase. I am told he produced the file of one physician and threw it on the desk and said, "You don't bill very much, do you?" So there was a definite attitude that there were good boys and bad boys in the classroom.

Also, the use by Mr Decter of gross billing figures for an area that was separate to Sudbury and in totally different circumstances, in a public meeting which was widely covered by the media, was potentially very damaging for local doctors. Because if I am a dermatologist, or a cardiologist or a gastroenterologist, the average Mr Joe Public would therefore say, "There goes Hollingsworth, the gastroenterologist, who bills this amount of dollars." So even by not releasing our figures, it was extremely damaging to us in terms of our relationship with the public.

Mr Harnick: Did you ever get a sense of how the government was trying to justify to the public the use and acceptance of this threshold issue?

Dr Hollingsworth: I think, obviously, the average person earning X amount of dollars and seeing someone earning 10 times X amount of dollars would have very little sympathy for that person without realizing that you can divide that number in two; you can take off money for a pension plan, for health care benefits, optical and dental insurance. When you get down to it, our incomes were not that much higher than the bonus miners in Sudbury, although the gross incomes were. So I think there was a definite fogging of the real issue on behalf of those people such as Mr Decter releasing those figures at public meetings.

Mr Harnick: Thank you, Doctor.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Harnick. Thank you, Dr Hollingsworth. That will bring to a close the proceedings of this morning. We will resume at 2 pm. For members of the committee and for those in the audience, our proceedings will be an in camera session commencing at 2 pm. The meeting is adjourned until 2 pm.

The committee recessed at 1203.


The committee resumed in closed session at 1407.

The committee continued in open session at 1530.


The Chair: I call the meeting to order, seeing a quorum. Before us now is Mrs Evelyn Dodds. Mrs Dodds, I would like to indicate that it has been the practice of this committee that anyone coming before the committee is given an oath. At this point in time, I would like to invite the clerk to administer the oath to you.

Evelyn Dodds, sworn.

The Chair: Mrs Dodds, just before counsel commences questioning, I have been giving a warning to all persons who are before the committee. In the event that you are asked a question which you cannot properly answer without divulging confidential information could you please advise the committee, and if there is not a way to disclose this information without divulging such confidential information, then the matter will be addressed in camera.

Mrs Dodds: Thank you.

The Chair: Ms Jackson.

Ms Jackson: Mrs Dodds, I understand that you are a resident of Thunder Bay.

Mrs Dodds: Yes, I am.

Ms Jackson: And that you have lived there since approximately 1978.

Mrs Dodds: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: You are, as I understand, currently an alderman in Thunder Bay --

Mrs Dodds: Yes, I am.

Ms Jackson: -- a position which you have held since November 5, 1991. You are in your first term, I understand.

Mrs Dodds: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: Before that, you were active in local politics to the extent of having been a school board trustee for six years, and during that period chairman of the board of education for a period of two years.

Mrs Dodds: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: Just continuing with the sort of political part of your career, you ran, as I understand it, for provincial office on behalf of the Progressive Conservative Party in 1987.

Mrs Dodds: Yes, I did.

Ms Jackson: Unsuccessfully.

Mrs Dodds: Very unsuccessfully.

Mr Elston: I know the feeling.

Ms Jackson: And a year later you left the party.

Mrs Dodds: Yes, I did. I publicly resigned from the Conservative Party a year after that.

Ms Jackson: From that time to this, you have not been an active member of a political party.

Mrs Dodds: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: You are the manager of a clinic called the Intercity Orthopaedic Clinic.

Mrs Dodds: Yes, I am.

Ms Jackson: You have held that position since September 1990.

Mrs Dodds: That is right.

Ms Jackson: Mrs Dodds, let me take you back to the period before December 5 of last year and ask you what knowledge you had, if any, before then of any controversy surrounding the reaction of the medical community in Sudbury to the agreement that had recently been entered into between the OMA and the government.

Mrs Dodds: There had been a few articles, but certainly not headlines, in our local newspaper that described the protests of one or more physicians, and there had been an article published that referred to a physician who had closed his clinic and had to lay off 14 people.

Ms Jackson: Did the article identify the physician by name?

Mrs Dodds: I do not recall whether or not it did.

Ms Jackson: Did the article identify the physician by specialty?

Mrs Dodds: I believe it stated his specialty to be dermatology.

Ms Jackson: Apart from what you read in the newspaper about those matters generally and that physician specifically, did you have any other knowledge of any controversy on this issue in Sudbury?

Mrs Dodds: No, not in Sudbury.

Ms Jackson: Or any direct involvement in it?

Mrs Dodds: None whatsoever.

Ms Jackson: Was there a similar controversy in the period before December 5, 1991, among the medical community as you knew it in Thunder Bay?

Mrs Dodds: No, there was not. There was no public controversy at all. There were many doctors who were objecting in private conversations to what was going on, and of course as a clinic manager I had experienced some difficulties in adjusting to all the changes that OHIP had imposed upon us, but there had been no public statement or controversy that I was aware of.

Ms Jackson: On December 5, 1991, I understand that you attended a social function in the evening.

Mrs Dodds: Yes, I did.

Ms Jackson: What was the function?

Mrs Dodds: This was a Christmas cocktail party hosted by the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, of which my husband is a member. It was an early evening type of event that I went to for just a very brief period of time, because I was on my way to the airport.

Ms Jackson: Why did you go?

Mrs Dodds: My husband persuaded me that many of our friends in that organization whom we had not seen in quite some time had been asking about me. I had not even written that particular function down in my day book because I did not think I was going to fit it in, but he persuaded me that I had half an hour or so before having to get to the airport, and would I just pop in and say Merry Christmas to everyone and then be on my way.

Ms Jackson: This was a Thursday night.

Mrs Dodds: Yes, it was.

Ms Jackson: Approximately what time was the function?

Mrs Dodds: It was about -- after 6 and before 7 -- the plane was at 7:25 -- somewhere between 6:15 and a quarter to seven, somewhere in that area. I cannot be more specific than that.

Ms Jackson: Some time between 6:15 and a quarter to seven would be, are you saying, the time when you arrived at it?

Mrs Dodds: Somewhere in that time period I was actually at the reception. I know I got to the airport by about 7 and I know I did not leave the house before 5:30. That is as close as I can tie it down.

Ms Jackson: Can we take it that the cocktail party was under way before you arrived and continued after you left?

Mrs Dodds: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Who was in attendance?

Mrs Dodds: They were CIMM members, geologists and mining people and engineering people and mining suppliers and so on, who belong to that organization, and their mates, having a Christmas party.

Ms Jackson: About how many people, roughly?

Mrs Dodds: There were about 80 to 100 people in the room, I would guess.

Ms Jackson: Where was it being held?

Mrs Dodds: It was at the Airlane Motor Hotel, which is just down the road from the airport, which is why I was able to pop in.

Ms Jackson: In addition to the members of the institute and their spouses or friends or whoever, was anyone else -- did you know that anyone else was going to be in attendance?

Mrs Dodds: No.

Ms Jackson: Was in fact anyone else in attendance?

Mrs Dodds: Well, as it turned out, Shelley Martel was there.

Ms Jackson: When you arrived at the cocktail party was Miss Martel already there?

Mrs Dodds: I do not know. I did not see her.

Ms Jackson: Had you met her before?

Mrs Dodds: No.

Ms Jackson: What did you do when you arrived?

Mrs Dodds: I went from group to group and received congratulations, from people I had not seen in quite some time, on the election that had -- it had been a long time since I had seen some of these people, and chatted about how everyone was and wished people a Merry Christmas and just gradually was making my way around the room to get back to the door and get out. My husband was being very good at shepherding me from group to group so that I would not be late for the airport. Just as we got to the end of our tour of the room, he said: "Oh, come over here. Someone wants us to meet Shelley before you go."

Ms Jackson: Did you know whom he meant?

Mrs Dodds: No, I did not at that time.

Ms Jackson: What happened then?

Mrs Dodds: I finished whatever I was saying to the people I was talking to and turned to meet the next group, and it was Shelley Martel and she was introduced to me and a discussion started.

Ms Jackson: All right. When you were introduced to Miss Martel, was your husband there?

Mrs Dodds: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Who else was in the immediate group of people with you when you met Miss Martel?

Mrs Dodds: There was an employee of the local ministry of northern affairs standing with Miss Martel.

Ms Jackson: Do you know who that was?

Mrs Dodds: Yes, I do.

Ms Jackson: Who?

Mrs Dodds: Do I say it here?

Ms Jackson: Yes.

Mrs Dodds: Okay, it was John Mason. I did not know him at the time but I have since learned that that was his name. My husband knows him. I had not -- I do not think I had met him before. There was a prospector by the name of Dave Petrunka standing to my right and there was another person standing behind my husband. Neither one of us knows who he was and he was not there for the whole conversation.

Ms Jackson: Do I take it from what you have said that you were more or less a sort of circle of people?

Mrs Dodds: Yes.

Ms Jackson: And on your right, then, we would find whom?

Mrs Dodds: On my right would be Dave Petrunka and then Shelley Martel, then her assistant and then my husband and myself and then the other man, who was sort of in between, standing behind my husband for just a brief period of time.

Ms Jackson: All right. How close to one another were you, just roughly speaking?

Mrs Dodds: Five or six feet, just the distance a conversational circle needs to be in a reception where everyone is talking at once and where you want to hear each other.

Ms Jackson: After the introductions, was there any conversation?

Mrs Dodds: Yes. My husband began to tell Miss Martel his opinion of some of the recent legislation that he felt was impacting negatively on small mines, and Miss Martel did not react sympathetically to his comments. The conversation then leaped rather rapidly from legislation impacting on mines to the impact of payroll burdens mandated by other levels of government to the EHT, the employer health tax, to health care costs. It leaped very rapidly from those, from one to the other.

When it got into the discussion of the health care costs, Miss Martel made a comment to the effect that it was doctors who were receiving most of the health care moneys and she said something about how doctors were seeing patients as if they were on an assembly line and were earning far too much money. Of course my attention was riveted at that point because that is a subject dear to my heart now, managing a clinic. I said that there were good doctors and bad doctors but that capping their incomes was certainly not the way to restrict the bad ones from the things they were doing. I began to try to explain to her the difference between gross income and net income and she interrupted. She seemed to be very defensive and irritated at what I was saying, expressing the views that I was --

Ms Jackson: Can I just stop you there?

Mrs Dodds: -- in somewhat the same tone of voice that I am right now.


Ms Jackson: Can I just stop you there, because I want to ask you about that. First of all, you said your husband began by expressing some negative views about mining issues. Can you describe his manner when he did that? Was he speaking loudly?

Mrs Dodds: As loudly as you need to be heard in a room like that, which would be reasonably loudly, just a slightly louder than normal conversational tone.

Ms Jackson: And fairly forcefully?

Mrs Dodds: I would not -- mind you, he is my husband. I find it very difficult to describe him objectively. I did not think there was anything more forceful about the way he was speaking than any other time. Naturally, if he is expressing a political opinion or an opinion on legislation that he considers to be damaging, there is an urgency to his tone.

Ms Jackson: Can you describe for the committee Miss Martel's manner when she responded to your husband's --

Mrs Dodds: Instant rejection.

Ms Jackson: -- to his remarks? Was she forceful, was she quiet, was she flustered, was she calm? Anything you can tell the committee about her manner?

Mrs Dodds: She reacted very quickly to anything that was said, very negatively and disdainfully, just as if she -- brushing off other people's ideas. It was not the sort of discussion where people listen to each other, perhaps agreeing to disagree but at least understanding each other a little bit more at the end. It was just a very -- I guess I could best describe it as if she had said: "Oh, don't bother me with that. You're wrong," just that kind of, "It's wrong; get away from me," sort of attitude.

Ms Jackson: Now, you said you had never met Miss Martel before.

Mrs Dodds: No, I had not.

Ms Jackson: Can we take it from that that you would be unable to say whether she appeared to be tired or stressed, because you would not know what she ordinarily appeared to be?

Mrs Dodds: I would have nothing to compare to, but I did not observe anything that struck me as unnatural. I would not have described her as being tired or stressed. If this had not happened, I would not have thought to describe her as anything other than someone who was there and looked normal.

Ms Jackson: But you do not know what she would be like normally, never having seen her before?

Mrs Dodds: No, that is right.

Ms Jackson: And you have never seen her since?

Mrs Dodds: That is right; I have not.

Ms Jackson: And you never had a conversation with her?

Mrs Dodds: No.

Ms Jackson: All right. Now, you said that you reacted and you made a comment to her about doctors. Can you describe your manner when you made that comment? Were you speaking loudly?

Mrs Dodds: Loudly enough to be heard, but my pace of tone and my intensity were perhaps the same as right now. I was looking her straight in the eye and trying to impress my point upon her, because obviously I felt it important that she understand it. But it was simply not received.

Ms Jackson: What was her response?

Mrs Dodds: Her response was irritation, defensiveness, a very rapid cutting off of sentences.

Ms Jackson: You have described the manner of her response. Can you remember what she said?

Mrs Dodds: She began to -- I have to back up. What was the last thing I told you I said?

Ms Jackson: You gave us your opening remarks about doctors.

Mrs Dodds: Yes. I was trying to explain to her the difference between gross and net and I began rhyming off all the expenses that are paid from a physician's gross income. As I was rhyming them off she said, "Oh, for heaven's sake, I don't believe any of this," or something like that. And then someone to my left said, "What about that doctor in Sudbury who just had to lay off 14 people?"

Ms Jackson: Who said that?

Mrs Dodds: I am not certain. My husband cannot remember saying it. I know it came from my left. I did not turn to see who said it. He does not remember saying it but it might have been him or it might have been the man standing next to him. We do not remember.

Ms Jackson: Was it you?

Mrs Dodds: No, it was not me. I was trying to -- as a matter of fact, the image I had in my mind when I was trying to explain this to her was more or less my own clinic, not anyone else's situation, but trying to say, well, the secretaries and the nurses and the people who do the billing and the people who schedule the operations and so on and even the people who clean your office are all people who are paid from a doctor's income. Then that is when someone said, "What about that doctor in Sudbury who just had to" -- oh, no, there was something even before that, where I said, "You're making doctors leave this province, and as a citizen I am becoming increasingly nervous that some day I am going to be sick and hauled into a hospital and there will be no one of the right specialty to care for me." She said, "Oh, they're not leaving," and I said: "Yes, they are. You go on down and check the statistics on orthopaedic surgeons. They're leaving the province."

Ms Jackson: Now, you have put that point today --

Mrs Dodds: Yes.

Ms Jackson: -- as forcefully and emphatically --

Mrs Dodds: Yes.

Ms Jackson: -- and with some gestures. Did you do it that way at the cocktail party?

Mrs Dodds: Certainly.

Ms Jackson: And what was her answer to that?

Mrs Dodds: Again, she began to talk over me, and I do not remember the exact words, but she was not having any part of it. She did not believe they were leaving Ontario and she certainly did not believe they were deserving of anyone's kindness. Then when the statement came up -- and it is hard to remember the exact sequence of what was said when -- but when the comments came up on the Sudbury doctor who had fired or had had to lay off 14 people -- "What about that doctor who just had to lay off 14 people?" -- that is when she stopped me cold and she said, "Oh, him."

Ms Jackson: And now you have just gestured like this.

Mrs Dodds: Her hand went like this: "Oh, him."

Ms Jackson: You have just gestured with your right hand.

Mrs Dodds: Yes, she did.

Ms Jackson: Did she do that?

Mrs Dodds: Yes, she did.

Ms Jackson: You have gestured with your right hand. Did she do that?

Mrs Dodds: I would have to stop and visualize which is my left facing her. She gestured. I really would not want to swear as to which hand she gestured with.

Ms Jackson: All right. And what did she say?

Mrs Dodds: She said, "Oh, him." She said: "I've seen his file. You're going to lose all sympathy for him when you find out how many charges we lay against him" or "are going to be laid against him." I cannot remember the exact, but charges were going to be laid against him.

Mr Kormos: Can we --

The Chair: Mr Kormos?

Mr Kormos: Once again, there is a whole whack of people over there trying to write this down. I am trying to write it down, too. If we could do this slowly.

Ms Jackson: Mrs Dodds, there is of course going to be a Hansard of this, but a lot of people are trying to take down exactly what you say now for questions later or any other purpose. So I think on this it might be helpful, and generally, if you could speak just a little more slowly.

Mrs Dodds: I will try.

Ms Jackson: Now, could you, for the benefit of the committee members, repeat your best recollection of what Ms Martel said?

Mrs Dodds: She said: "Oh, him. I've seen his file. You're going to lose all sympathy when you find out how many charges are laid against him."

Ms Jackson: Now, you have said the words "laid against him" might be that or might be something else?

Mrs Dodds: I cannot recall if she said "we are going to lay against him" or if she said it in the objective "are going to be laid." I cannot remember if she said "we are going to lay them" or "they're going to be laid," but they were going to be laid.

Ms Jackson: All right. And when --

Mrs Dodds: And then there was something to the effect of: "You're going to be surprised. You're wrong. I know about that situation." There were a few other little comments back and forth. I think two or three people started talking at once then. Then I said, "What did you just say?" or "What?" And she said, "Yes, it's criminal," and she used the word "criminal," which made me very frightened. At that point my husband said, "Well, it's time to get you to the airport."

Interjection: Thank you for caring.

Mrs Dodds: Yes, thank you for caring, yes -- and we managed to put on our best smiles and say, "Well, it's been very nice to meet you," and shake hands around the circle. He took my arm and out the door we went, and I have to confess, I was still muttering all the way down the hall.

Ms Jackson: What was the tone of her voice when she made the comments you have just recited?

Mrs Dodds: Utter contempt for physicians; utter disdain for any views that were not hers.

Ms Jackson: Now, what was it that she did that gave you the impression of utter disdain?

Mrs Dodds: Oh, just the way it was -- the earlier comments about doctors seeing patients on an assembly line, the way she said, "Oh, him," when the doctor --

Ms Jackson: So it was what she said that made that impression to you?

Mrs Dodds: Her tone and the words; just utter contempt. You have to appreciate that I have only been a clinic manager -- I was an engineering firm manager and a mine controller before that. I have only been involved in the medical field for a little over a year. I know full well that the doctors I work for do not have the faintest idea what is being billed for them. I am responsible for that. I have a staff, and it worries me enormously to think that if I am making a mistake in the way my staff is handling their billings, there is a possibility that someone like Shelley Martel could raise the spectre of charges. As a clinic manager, this was a very frightening thing to hear.


Ms Jackson: So you are explaining how you reacted and why you reacted.

Mrs Dodds: Yes, that is right.

Ms Jackson: How loud was her voice, if you can recall, when she made those remarks?

Mrs Dodds: It was not shouting. It was intense; a little sharp, perhaps, and loud enough to be heard in a cocktail party setting. Of course, you always have to be a little louder in a situation like that.

Ms Jackson: To be heard in your immediate group.

Mrs Dodds: Mm-hmm, because there is commotion all around you; there are people talking behind you and around you.

Ms Jackson: What did you take from those words?

Mrs Dodds: I had the distinct impression that the Sudbury doctor who had been reported in the newspaper as having laid off 14 people was going to be criminally charged. That was the impression I had. I further had the impression that Shelley Martel had information about him that the ordinary public did not have; that she had seen his file.

Ms Jackson: You said your husband took you away and got you in the car to go to the airport. Did you have occasion to discuss this conversation with anyone when you got to the airport?

Mrs Dodds: Yes, when I roared into the airport -- and it turned out we had five minutes before I had to go through security -- my husband, Bob, said, "Come on, I'll get you a cup of coffee and calm you down." We went into the little coffee shop in the airport and there was one of my bosses, an orthopaedic surgeon who had just returned from one of the remote community clinics that he conducts, and he was waiting for someone who was picking him up. As I did not know he was going to be there, I did not realize our paths were going to cross. But as soon as I saw him I went over to him and I said, "John, John, what's going on in Sudbury?" He said, "What do you mean?" I related this conversation that I had had five minutes before with Shelley Martel and I said: "For heaven's sake, she's talking about criminal charges. We'd better find out what's going on there, what's happening. Do you know who this person is in Sudbury?" He said he did not, and I said, "Well, find out. I'll call you tomorrow from Toronto." His ride came -- actually the fellow who was picking him up came during this very brief discussion and my husband was talking to the person who came to pick him up. John and I finished our conversation and then off I went through security.

Ms Jackson: Now, the person you had this conversation with is named what?

Mrs Dodds: Dr John Porter.

Ms Jackson: Did you have any further conversations about the conversation you had had with Ms Martel that day?

Mrs Dodds: No.

Ms Jackson: Now, you said you were going to Toronto. For what purpose did you go to Toronto?

Mrs Dodds: My employers had asked me to attend a special conference put on by the Canadian Institute of Law and Medicine on the subject of the freedom of information act. I had recently written our access-to-information policy for the clinic. They were not certain that it was correct and they wanted me to go to this conference to check it out.

Ms Jackson: So you went to the conference the next day.

Mrs Dodds: It was at the Royal York Hotel.

Ms Jackson: Was there anything that took place at that conference that called up the memory of what had happened the night before?

Mrs Dodds: I guess you could say it was the final straw. The first scheduled speaker was not there so the conference began with the second one and then someone else started to speak. None of that was a surprise to me at all. Then a man came who was late. He was supposed to have been the first one to speak so they put him back on, even though he was supposed to be the first one. They put him on when he arrived. I believe it was Mr Decter, who is with the Ministry of Health. He was late because he had been in Sudbury the night before. There was a fierce snowstorm and that had caused him to be late.

He began his talk by making a lot of humorous references to the meeting the night before in Sudbury, which I had not known about until that moment. There were quite a few people there and I gathered from the comments he made -- the exact nature of which I cannot recall -- but he was joking about how they had been pretty hard on him, which, of course, made me remember the night before because that was the situation raised in my discussion the night before as well. Here he was referring to the same situation.

Then he said something about, "For what we pay doctors they should be glad to" -- and I did not even wait to hear the rest of his sentence. It was a disparaging comment about physicians in general and I am afraid that was when I became angry. That was the straw that broke the camel's back. I just banged my hand down on the table and I said, "That's enough," and I told the people at the table with me, "Save my place; I'm going to be back," and I went to my room and began making phone calls.

Ms Jackson: Whom did you telephone?

Mrs Dodds: The first person I tried to reach was Mike Harris. You must appreciate that I had no idea what was going on in Queen's Park. I have my hands full with my own life in Thunder Bay, and I had no idea what was going on, what the latest situation was with the OMA and the government, or whether the opposition parties had been doing anything. I had no idea.

Ms Jackson: Now, just stopping there, were you calling Mr Harris about the remark you just heard from Mr Decter, or about what had happened the night before, or about --

Mrs Dodds: What had happened the night before.

Ms Jackson: And why were you calling Mr Harris?

Mrs Dodds: I wanted to find out what had been going on. Number one, I did not know if this doctor in Sudbury really was being charged or not.

Mr Jackson: Did you think Mr Harris would know?

Mrs Dodds: I thought he would have some idea what was going on in this battle, because it was obvious from Mr Decter's comments in the morning that it was a fairly public and controversial battle, so I did expect that he would know.

I had no idea how to place what I had witnessed into any sort of perspective. I am right out of it as far as Toronto politics are concerned. I do not know where to fit such an incident into the scheme of things, and I wanted to talk to him to get his reaction and his advice.

Mr Jackson: So you were looking for somebody who knows a little bit more about this controversy than yourself?

Mrs Dodds: That is right.

Mr Jackson: Why choose Mr Harris?

Mrs Dodds: He is a friend of mine.

Mr Jackson: All right. Did you succeed in reaching him?

Mrs Dodds: No, he was not in the office. His assistant gave me his constituency number and I phoned there, but he was apparently at a funeral and would not be reachable for several hours. So I phoned his Toronto office back again and said, "Look, Mike is unavailable, where's Dianne?" I am also friends with Dianne Cunningham. They said, "Well, she's in her constituency office, and we know she's there because we just talked with her a little while ago," so I got that number and phoned her, and I was able to speak with her right away.

Mrs Jackson: And what was it you were contemplating doing? Were you contemplating doing anything as you were trying to find someone who knew a little bit more about this issue than you, or were you just trying to gather more information?

Mrs Dodds: I had not formed any specific plan until discussing it, though I knew that an action by a minister of the government that had angered me that much was something that should be made public in some form. How to do that, I had not decided. I told Dianne what had happened, and I --

Ms Jackson: You did get hold of Dianne?

Mrs Dodds: Yes, she was there, and so I was able to speak with her. I described to her what had happened, and I told her I was very angry, that I felt that what I had witnessed was indicative of the general attitude of this government towards physicians, and that I was becoming extremely nervous about what was going to happen to health care in general, not only as a clinic manager but as someone slowly, perhaps quickly, reaching old age, I would really like the availability of health care to remain solid in this province.

Ms Jackson: In addition to talking about that general concern, did you tell her specifically about the conversation of the night before?

Mrs Dodds: Yes. I described it exactly and I said: "What's been going on down here? Have you heard anything about a Sudbury doctor having criminal charges laid against him?" She said, "No, I haven't." I said: "Well, what was Shelley Martel saying to me, then? She told me that in front of people."

Ms Jackson: Did she know what Sudbury doctor was being referred to?

Mrs Dodds: She did not remember the name. I did not know the name, and she never mentioned the name if she did remember it. The name did not come up, but she knew that it was the one who had been in the paper as laying off 14 people. We both knew which one we were talking about from that description.

Ms Jackson: All right. Was anything else said in that conversation about the incident?

Mrs Dodds: Well, I said: "I think I have to do something about this. This has got me very angry. What should I do?" and she said, "Well, I can't really advise you, but you know what to do." I said: "Well, this has to be made public. I'm going to go down there and tell people. Do you know of any reason why I shouldn't do that?" She said no, she did not know of any reason why I should not, as long as I was absolutely certain that what I was telling was the truth. I said, "It certainly is," and --

Ms Jackson: Just so we understand the context in which you were putting this, did you at that time know anything about any process for the review or investigation of doctors' billings, either in the ministry or in the College of Physicians and Surgeons?


Mrs Dodds: Very little. It had not come up in the year or more that I had been managing the clinic. Even right now I cannot tell you the exact process for it.

Ms Jackson: Now, having told her and she having agreed that it was appropriate that it should be made public, what did you do next?

Mrs Dodds: I then called Dr John Porter, who was at the Port Arthur General Hospital in surgery. I cannot remember if I happened to catch him right away or if he had to call me back, but I said, "You remember what I told you about last night in the airport?" He said, "Yes," and I said: "Well, I'll tell you, they've made me mad again this morning. The fellow who spoke this morning has the same attitude towards you guys." I said: "I've had enough of it. I want to go down there and say publicly what happened last night, but you never know when you do things like this what the repercussions are going to be." I said: "I need your permission. This is not something that I can do on my own." And he said, "Oh, well, as far as I am concerned, go right down there and tell them."

Ms Jackson: Why did you need his permission, in your mind?

Mrs Dodds: Because I work for a clinic and my actions, when they are within the health field, could have been construed as coming from the clinic or from my employers, and you never know what people are going to think. I mean, I have taken on some rather controversial challenges in my time, and one thing I have learned is that you can never predict what people are going to think or how they are going to react. Sometimes you think that there should be a darned volcano going off out there and there is nothing and nobody seems to care; other times you do something that you think is perfectly simple and innocent and whole world blows up. So I had learned that fallout from such things is unpredictable and sometimes spreads further than the individual. When I challenged the educational system, I think the biggest victims of that were my children, and I needed their permission when I was doing that. So in this case, because I am associated with a clinic and because it was a medical issue that I was going to say something publicly about, it was just the right thing to do, to ask my bosses if it was all right.

Ms Jackson: And did he say it was all right?

Mrs Dodds: He said that as far as he was concerned it was fine, but he said: "Listen, I better check with the partners. I'll get back to you." Then I called my husband and told him what I was about to do and we chatted for a while, mostly about the storm the night before and things like that, and then my --

Mrs Jackson: And then did you get further permission from Dr Porter?

Mrs Dodds: Dr Porter called me back and said that he had been successful in reaching three of the partners. The fifth one -- he makes the fourth -- the fifth one was in surgery and could not be reached, but they had said, "Yes, go ahead."

Ms Jackson: So what did you decide then to do?

Mrs Dodds: I went back downstairs to the conference room, which had about 300 people in it, I estimate, associated with the medical field. Question period was going on, and as I walked in the back doors the person who was standing at the centre microphone had just left that microphone. So I just walked right up to it and very shortly thereafter was asked what my question was and I publicly repeated what Shelley Martel had said the night before.

Ms Jackson: Mrs Dodds, beside you there is a black book of exhibits. I would ask you to turn to exhibit 17 and tell the committee whether that is in fact a correct report of what you asked and what you were told.

Mrs Dodds: How do you find 17 in here?

The Chair: Just one moment. The clerk will assist.

Mrs Dodds: Oh, thanks. This is the same one that you gave me to check?

Ms Jackson: That is the same one I showed you last time.

Mrs Dodds: Yes, okay. I checked this yesterday and this is what I said.

Ms Jackson: Mrs Dodds, did you give any consideration to the fact that by making these allegations as public as you did, you were making the allegations about the doctor a great deal more public than Ms Martel had?

Mrs Dodds: That frankly did not cross my mind. After all, a minister is the second-highest-placed person in the entire province and she had said those things to a total stranger the night before. It would not even cross my mind that they were considered private by other people.

Ms Jackson: Did you have any information that they were being any more broadly circulated than mentioned in a conversation the night before?

Mrs Dodds: I knew no more about it than I have related to you. I did not have any idea what was going on or -- I do not always get to read the Toronto newspapers.

Ms Jackson: So there was at least the possibility that by repeating these allegations in a public place you were giving them much greater circulation than they had previously had.

Mrs Dodds: That did not occur to me. It did not.

Ms Jackson: All right. After you had the exchange that is recorded in exhibit 17, what was the next event arising from your earlier conversation with Shelley Martel?

Mrs Dodds: What happened next?

Mrs Dodds: I went back to my room and called the Globe and Mail.

Ms Jackson: Why did you do that?

Mrs Dodds: Because I felt very strongly that this behaviour had to be publicly exposed.

Ms Jackson: Who did you call?

Mrs Dodds: No person in particular. I have no contacts in the Toronto media any more and I simply called the news desk. Someone took my call.

Ms Jackson: And what did you say to the news desk?

Mrs Dodds: I repeated exactly what I had said in the session downstairs.

Ms Jackson: Do you know if they published it?

Mrs Dodds: I have no idea. I did not get the Globe for about a week after that. We have to make a special trip into town to find the Globe and then race other people to it.

Ms Jackson: Did anything more happen on the Friday then -- December 6 this is -- that related to the conversation you had had with Shelley Martel?

Mrs Dodds: No, there was nothing else that day.

Ms Jackson: And did you return home --

Mrs Dodds: Yes.

Ms Jackson: -- to Thunder Bay the next day?

Mrs Dodds: To Thunder Bay the Friday night, yes.

Ms Jackson: And did you have any conversations on Saturday in relation to this matter?

Mrs Dodds: Yes, I did. During the afternoon I received a telephone call at my home from someone who identified herself as Shelley Martel's assistant.

Ms Jackson: Did she give you a name?

Mrs Dodds: Yes. She said her name was MaryLou -- Lou or Ann? I can never remember. MaryLou, I think.

Ms Jackson: Did she give you a second name?

Mrs Dodds: No.

Ms Jackson: And what did she say?

Mrs Dodds: She said that she was calling on behalf of Miss Martel, that Miss Martel was going to be contacting me herself soon but that she was unavailable that day. She said that she was calling in reference to an unfortunate discussion that had taken place on Thursday night. I said, "You could call it that." She asked me not to repeat the substance of that conversation to anyone.

Ms Jackson: What is your best recollection of exactly what she said when she asked you not to repeat it?

Mrs Dodds: She said: "I am asking you not to tell anyone what was said on Thursday night. I am asking you not to repeat that conversation."

Ms Jackson: Did she say why?

Mrs Dodds: No.

Ms Jackson: What did you say?

Mrs Dodds: I said, "I'm sorry, but she said what she said and I can repeat it to anyone I choose."

Ms Jackson: You said that she indicated she was calling on behalf of Shelley Martel.

Mrs Dodds: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Are those the words she used, or is that the gist of what she communicated to you?

Mrs Dodds: I do not recall if she said, "I'm calling for her" or "on behalf of her" or "at her request," but it was very clear that she was calling for Miss Martel. I understood that Miss Martel had instructed her to call me. That is how I understood her purpose for calling.

Ms Jackson: Was there anything else said in that conversation, by her, first of all?

Mrs Dodds: I cannot remember anything else.

Ms Jackson: By you?

Mrs Dodds: No, simply that I refused to remain silent and she said, "Well, Miss Martel will be contacting you," and I said, "Thank you for calling," and hung up.

Ms Jackson: And did Miss Martel contact you?

Mrs Dodds: The next day.

Ms Jackson: This is now Sunday.

Mrs Dodds: Sunday.

Ms Jackson: I should go back -- I am sorry -- and ask you, you said that the conversation with MaryLou or MaryAnn was in the afternoon on Saturday?

Mrs Dodds: I think it was.

Ms Jackson: Do you remember when?

Mrs Dodds: Not exactly. I was preparing for a very large staff party for my husband's company. I was in a bit of a mess.

Ms Jackson: I take it it was a short conversation.

Mrs Dodds: Very short.

Ms Jackson: Ms Martel called you the next day. What is your best recollection of the time of day that she called you?

Mrs Dodds: Again, I think that one was in the early afternoon, somewhere around 2 o'clock. I cannot swear to the exact time, but that is my sense of when it took place.

Ms Jackson: And could you then give the committee your best and slowest recollection of what was said in that conversation?

Mrs Dodds: She identified herself. She said, "This is Shelley Martel," and I said hello. She said, "I'm calling you about our conversation on Thursday night," and she said, "I'm calling to apologize to you for the things I said." She said, "I want you to understand that the things I said were not based on fact," or "not founded on fact," or something like that, and I said: "Oh. Okay." She said: "Yes, I'm calling to apologize to you. Do you understand, I have not seen his file and he is not going to be charged?" She specified those two items as having been incorrect. She said: "The things I said were untrue," and she used the word "untrue," which completely flabbergasted me, because "untrue" is the same as a lie and I had just had a minister call me and tell me that she had lied and I did not know what to say. I am not a person who is often stuck for words, but I was at that moment. I said, "Oh, well, I really" -- she said it twice, because the first time I was just completely silent and then she repeated it. Then I said: "Well, it's very gracious of you to call. However, I think your apology would be better directed towards the physician," and she said, "Yes, I'm going to call Dr Donahue next."


Ms Jackson: Had you ever heard his name before?

Mrs Dodds: No. That was the first I knew what his name was.

Mrs Jackson: What was said next?

Mrs Dodds: Very little. There was something about how she was going to apologize to him. She asked me to convey the apology to my husband and I said I would. She asked me my fax number. She said she was going to write me a letter and I gave her my fax number. This part went rather quickly.

I know you asked me yesterday if I had given her the name of the prospector who was standing next to me and I said no, I had not. I was thinking about that last night. I may have given her the name. I know that to all the reporters who wanted the names of the other people standing in the group, I did not reveal any names, and I would not do so without their permission, but I think I gave her the name.

Ms Jackson: Was there any conversation about anybody else who had been in your group on the night of the 5th?

Mrs Dodds: No, because the only -- no. She did not ask me the name of the person she was with, and she knew this one on my left was my husband. The only one she could possibly have asked about was the prospector.

Ms Jackson: You had indicated, I think, that there might have been some other person in or near the circle that you did not know.

Mrs Dodds: I did not know who he was.

Ms Jackson: All right.

Mrs Dodds: I do not think he was there for the whole conversation either. We do not know him.

Ms Jackson: And is that your complete recollection of the telephone call?

Mrs Dodds: Yes.

Ms Jackson: What happened next that arises from the conversation on the 5th?

Mrs Dodds: On Monday morning, when I went to my office, there was a fax waiting for me and it was the letter which you have as one of your exhibits, where she apologizes for the comments that she made and says that they were without foundation, that her comments about the physician were entirely without foundation.

Ms Jackson: If you can give us a minute, Mrs Dodds, we have not in fact marked that as an exhibit.

Mrs Dodds: Oh, I beg your pardon.

Ms Jackson: That is the letter from Ms Martel to yourself dated December 8, 1991. Mr Chairman, could we mark that as the next exhibit, please?

The Chair: That will be marked as exhibit 39.

Ms Jackson: Before you received this letter, Mrs Dodds, had you had any contact with the media, apart from the call to the Globe and Mail that you made on Friday?

Mrs Dodds: Yes. On Sunday afternoon, about half an hour after Shelley Martel called me, as coincidence would have it, the Globe and Mail reporter phoned me to tell me that he had not been able to track her down, and was she still in Thunder Bay? I said I did not think so, I had just talked with her on the telephone, and I said, "I just had the most bizarre conversation."

Ms Jackson: You said "the" Globe and Mail reporter. You had not previously been talking to a Globe and Mail reporter, you just talked to the news desk?

Mrs Dodds: No, when I had called the news desk at the Globe, it was a reporter I was speaking with, who had questioned me about what had happened, yes.

Ms Jackson: Who was that, then?

Mrs Dodds: I am sorry, I do not remember. If he is here he is probably terribly offended, but I do not remember his name.

Ms Jackson: Was it the same reporter who called you back on the Sunday?

Mrs Dodds: Yes. If I see his name, I will probably recognize it.

Ms Jackson: And what did you say to the reporter?

Mrs Dodds: I told him I had just had an extremely bizarre conversation just a half an hour before with Shelley Martel and repeated it to him. He said, "This is getting weird." He had apparently been trying to find her.

Ms Jackson: Did you have any further conversation with the reporter?

Mrs Dodds: With?

Ms Jackson: With the reporter.

Mrs Dodds: No, it was a very brief conversation.

Ms Jackson: Then you get into your office on Monday morning and you receive exhibit 39 --

Mrs Dodds: That is right.

Ms Jackson: -- and you read it?

Mrs Dodds: Yes.

Ms Jackson: What did you then do? First of all, do you know when you received it?

Mrs Dodds: I knew it was early in the morning. I do not recall the exact time I went into the office that morning, but I usually do get in well before 9, so it could have been anywhere between 7 and 9. I do not remember. I did not make a note of my arrival time that day.

Ms Jackson: But was this one of the first things you saw when you got there?

Mrs Dodds: It was sitting right on my desk and, actually, one of the people in the office who had retrieved it from the fax machine, as soon as I got in, came roaring in to say, "What is that all about?" They had seen it and it was causing a bit of --

Ms Jackson: After you read it what did you do?

Mrs Dodds: Well, I knew that what I had in front of me was something that really had nothing to do with me and that this was something others would be in a better position to know what to do with. So I phoned Mike Harris's office again and said: "Guess what I have? I don't know what to do with this thing. You fellows will know better than I," and I faxed this letter to his office and forgot about it.

Ms Jackson: Who did you speak to in Mike Harris's office, Mr Harris or someone else?

Mrs Dodds: No, I think that time I was speaking with Bill King. I have never met Bill.

Ms Jackson: Why did you call Mr Harris's office on this occasion?

Mrs Dodds: Because he is the leader of an opposing party in the House. He would know what to do about an incident that involves a minister of the government. I do not know. He would know.

Mr Mills: That would be a change.

The Chair: Order, please.

Ms Jackson: Mrs Dodds, in response to the request, did you fax the letter?

Mrs Dodds: Yes, I did.

Ms Jackson: What happened next?

Mrs Dodds: I received a phone call from someone else in Mr Harris's office, a lady -- I do not remember her name; again, I am sorry, I do not have a good memory for names -- who said she wondered if I would simply write out the sequence of events that had happened because, obviously, since Thursday there had been a fair number of things that had happened, and I did.

I said, "I don't have time to type anything out." I was up to my eyebrows in work at the clinic. I said, "If I just handwrite it, will that be good enough?" And she said: "Oh, yes. It's just so that we know what it is this letter -- where this letter fits into the sequence." So I did. I very quickly handwrote a description of the events, the chronology of events, and I faxed it through.

Ms Jackson: I am going to ask the clerk to put in front of you a copy of a four-page, handwritten letter of December 9, 1991, apparently from yourself to the attention of Mike Harris, and I will ask you if that is the letter you have just described.

Mrs Dodds: Yes, that is the one.

Ms Jackson: Mr Chairman, could we mark that as exhibit 40?

The Chair: Marked as exhibit 40.

Ms Jackson: Having done that, did you have any further involvement with respect to this matter on that day?

Mrs Dodds: No. I did not hear anything until the next day, and then all kinds of reporters were phoning me, so I gathered it had been raised in the House.

Ms Jackson: All right. I want to ask you about some reports of your conversations on the next day. May we take it that, apart from the discussions you had with the media, until you were called to give evidence in these proceedings, you have had no further involvement with respect to this matter?

Mrs Dodds: None whatsoever.

Ms Jackson: I am going to ask the clerk, then, to put in front of you and to distribute to members four extracts from the media. The first is an article from the Windsor Star, December 10, 1991.

The Chair: He is just coming around.

Ms Jackson: Sorry, Mr Clerk, this is an unfortunate load. You might want to do all four at the same time.

There is also an article in the Times News from December 10, 1991; an extract from CHUM on December 10, 1991, and an extract from Morning North, CBC Sudbury, apparently an interview with you, Mrs Dodds, on December 11.

Mr Chairman, it might be a good idea if we marked them all as one exhibit collectively, exhibit 41.

The Chair: They will all be marked as exhibit 41 and distributed immediately.


Ms Jackson: Just bear with us, Mrs Dodds. I would like these to be in front of everybody when I ask you the questions about them.

Can I just make a general inquiry of the room while this is going on? I had given my copy of the exhibits to the last witness to use and put it beside the witness desk, and it seems to have gone off. If anybody happens to have a large copy of the exhibits, I would greatly appreciate its return. There is just this one.

Interjection: There is a book back here.

Interjection: No, it is not that one; it is grey coloured.

The Chair: We will make inquiries to see where it may have gone off to.


The Chair: I believe the exhibits are now before all committee members, Ms Jackson.

Ms Jackson: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Mrs Dodds, the first one I wanted to ask you about is some remarks that you are noted to have made to the Windsor Star on December 10, and I am looking at the third column of that article, where there is a paragraph that says, "Dodds said later in a telephone interview there were five people around when Martel made the remarks during an argument over the government's decision to put a cap on what a doctor can bill and that Martel spread her hands apart, indicating the doctors had a thick file."

That was not something you made any reference to in your earlier evidence, Mrs Dodds. Is that an accurate reference to your description to this reporter?

Mrs Dodds: She was gesturing quite a bit throughout the conversation and when she referred to the files, she did gesture to show that it was a big one. Now whether that was symbolic or literal, I have no way of knowing.

Ms Jackson: When you say she gestured, you spread your hands apart.

Mrs Dodds: Well, she went like that.

Ms Jackson: So she moved one hand or both hands?

Mrs Dodds: One, if she -- just the one hand. "I've seen his file," just like that.

Ms Jackson: She moved one hand from the centre of her body over to the side? Is that a fair description of the gesture?

Mrs Dodds: That is as closely as I can recall it, yes.

Ms Jackson: And you interpreted that as being a reference to the size of the file?

Mrs Dodds: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Would it be fair that it might refer to something else? It might just be a hand gesture?

Mrs Dodds: It might have just been a gesture.

Ms Jackson: Then, can you look at the article of the Times News, December 10, 1991. In the third column again you are -- reference is made to some comments of yours. Do you recall whether you talked to someone named Pauline Johnson of the Times News?

Mrs Dodds: Yes. Pauline Johnson was someone who called me several times. I recall the name because it is the name of a school in Brantford.

Ms Jackson: And you are reported there to have said -- I am now looking at the third paragraph -- that either Martel "was lying then or she is lying now." Did you in fact make those remarks to Ms Johnson?

Mrs Dodds: Yes, I did.

Ms Jackson: Then you are quoted as saying that you were "frankly shocked" by Ms Martel's outburst. Is that a fair -- is that an accurate quote?

Mrs Dodds: Yes.

Ms Jackson: And last, you say, or you are quoted as saying, "The entire conversation was bordering on the hysterical." Is that an accurate quote?

Mrs Dodds: Hindsight is a wonderful thing. I do not know if I would use the word "hysterical" if I were writing this out to be an accurate description. It certainly verged in that direction. She certainly was reacting very quickly and strongly. "Hysterical" might be an overcharacterization.

Ms Jackson: So I take it you are not quarrelling that you might have used this word when you talked to Ms Johnson --

Mrs Dodds: No.

Mr Jackson: -- but you are now saying it might not have been an appropriate word.

Mrs Dodds: That is right.

Ms Jackson: Whether or not it was appropriate to use the word, would you describe Ms Martel's demeanour on the occasion of December 5 as hysterical?

Mrs Dodds: No, I would not describe it as that now. It -- almost hysterical.

Ms Jackson: Because of what she said or because of how she said it?

Mrs Dodds: A very rapid, intensely emotional and defensive reaction that just seemed out of proportion to the views that were being expressed in the group.

Ms Jackson: And then you are quoted as saying, "She just cut us right off and lashed out in a hateful way."

Mrs Dodds: She certainly did.

Ms Jackson: And is that an accurate quote?

Mrs Dodds: Oh, yes it is.

Ms Jackson: And did she -- was she cutting you off in your remarks?

Mrs Dodds: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Was anyone cutting her off in her remarks?

Mrs Dodds: I do not recall. I know I had great difficulty completing my description of why gross and net billings were not the same thing.

Ms Jackson: Then, I would like you to turn to the report of your remarks on CHUM, and I am looking at the page that has a round numeral 9 on the left-hand corner and the word "Brian" on the top right-hand corner. See that page?

Mrs Dodds: I am sorry, I do not think I have that one. CHUM? There is CJRQ and CBC and --

Ms Jackson: If you go up, the page behind CJRQ should be a note that has a number 9 in the left and "Brian" on the right.

Mrs Dodds: Oh, I am sorry. Okay, thanks. I did not recognize the -- okay, it says "CHUM" there.

Ms Jackson: In the middle of the page there are four lines that appear to be next to your initials. It appears that these are remarks made by you, and they are as follows: "On Saturday, her assistant called and in a very, sort of, intimidating, authoritative voice, said, `I am asking you not to repeat what Ms Martel said.' And I told her that what she said was what she said. And I could repeat to anybody I chose." First of all, is this a quote of something that you said on CHUM?

Mrs Dodds: Yes, except they left the word "it" out; "and I could repeat it to anybody I chose."

Ms Jackson: Now you say there that her assistant spoke in an intimidating and authoritative voice. Are you there speaking of the conversation you told us about earlier on Saturday with either MaryLou or MaryAnn?

Mrs Dodds: Yes.

Ms Jackson: What was it about her voice that caused you to characterize it as intimidating and authoritative?

Mrs Dodds: It was a very haughty, sort of lofty tone: "I am telling you to do this." I did not like it.

Ms Jackson: Anything else?

Mrs Dodds: No.

Ms Jackson: It is fair that you did not much like anything about the way that Ms Martel and her colleagues handled this, I take it?

Mrs Dodds: An extremely distasteful episode.

Ms Jackson: And then can I ask you, lastly, to turn to the interview on CBC Sudbury, apparently between yourself and someone named Reid. Is that an interview that you in fact gave on that date on CBC Sudbury?

Mrs Dodds: Yes. I was in the Thunder Bay studio for that interview, I think.

Ms Jackson: Then can you turn to page 4 of that interview and --

Mrs Dodds: Yes, I was in the studio for that one.

Ms Jackson: When I say page 4, I am looking at the bold-faced numbers, which are sort of the second set of telefax numbers on the page. The page I am looking at, in fact, has got another reference, which is page 3. If you look at the page, it says, "Morning North" and, on the right, "Page 3."

Mrs Dodds: Okay, yes.

Ms Jackson: Have you got that page?

Mrs Dodds: Yes.

Ms Jackson: In the middle of that page, you are quoted as saying the following, and this is apparently in respect of the conversation on Sunday with Ms Martel: "How can you accept or reject an apology when someone said, `I lied. What I told you was untrue'? I mean, you can't. It's done." And you carry on.

Now this afternoon, when you told us about this conversation, you certainly indicated Ms Martel said that her words were untrue, but you did not use the word -- you did not say that she used the word "lie" or "lied."

Mrs Dodds: Excuse me, I think I am on the wrong page. I do not see that sentence that you are referring to.

Ms Jackson: I am looking at the page that -- if you look at the page that has "Page 3" written out just above the type of the transcript.

Mrs Dodds: Yes, I see that.


Ms Jackson: It starts with the remarks, "Reid: Do you think there is the possibility..." Do you see that?

Mrs Dodds: No. Oh, that one says three as well. Okay. "Do you think there is the possibility...could possibly be written off as just cocktail..." Okay, I have it now, thank you.

Ms Jackson: In the middle of that page there is a quote apparently from you. You are talking here of the conversation with Ms Martel.

Mrs Dodds: This is a radio interview. I do not think the transcriber should have felt free to put quotation marks in there, because it is impossible to tell from the spoken word unless someone specifically says "quote, unquote," what is a quote. I was describing it. What do you do when someone says "I lied"? I did not say "quote, unquote."

Ms Jackson: You earlier told us that Ms Martel used the word "untrue."

Mrs Dodds: "Untrue."

Ms Jackson: You, in your mind, said, "She is saying she lied."

Mrs Dodds: That is right. To me those two are the same.

Ms Jackson: But did she use the word she "lied"?

Mrs Dodds: No. She used the word "untruth."

Ms Jackson: Thank you, Mrs Dodds. Those are my questions.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Ms Jackson. We are now going to start the rotation of questioning. To keep in line with respect to previous questions, the first series of questions will be asked by the official opposition. We will try to keep this to approximately 30 minutes.

Mr Conway: I want to begin my questions by asking you a little bit about your clinic, just generally speaking. You have been at the clinic now for I think you said something over a year.

Mrs Dodds: Yes. I started in September 1990.

Mr Conway: Your responsibilities at the clinic are?

Mrs Dodds: I am the manager of the clinic, responsible for its financial affairs, its staffing, security and whatever else.

Mr Conway: In that sense, then, I think you are a very helpful witness to the committee at another level entirely and that has to do with helping us understand how it is that information around billings in the ordinary scheme of things makes its way back and forth from, say, a clinic like yours to OHIP and vice versa. Can you just quickly describe how that would work in a clinic like yours?

Mrs Dodds: I do not know if all clinics are the same, but I know a substantial number operate the same way that ours does, and I know that a lot of clinics use exactly the same software that we do.

The doctors complete bill slips for office appointments or they complete a sheet when they are in the hospitals performing surgery or in the fracture clinics or out of town in the remote communities or in emergency when they are on call and they are called in to attend to someone in the emergency department of a hospital. There is a bill slip they complete. They bring it back into our clinic and I have staff members who are trained in inputting the data into the computer system. The data have to be tied to the patient's name, date of birth and health insurance number. The code is inputted for the procedure the doctor carried out and the date of the visit. On our system, at night, that all backs up and posts, and then however often you want to do it, you tell the computer you are producing a bill disc which is formatted exactly the way OHIP instructs you to. The discs are delivered to the local OHIP office, they are put into the OHIP computer and once a month a cheque is forwarded with a computer printout of what has been rejected and what has been paid.

Mr Conway: So in that transaction, essentially it is the clerical staff, broadly described, at your clinic who would gather together that data. Once it is gathered and inputted at the clinic, it really then simply goes to OHIP and vice versa. That transaction is that direct. When I talk about clerical, I am talking about non-medical people who gather the information together, collate it in some kind of systematic way, ship it off to OHIP and then once a month or whenever, it comes back.

Mrs Dodds: The staff interpret the doctor's writing to determine what procedure was done and they input the proper code into the computer for that patient. The doctor does not see what goes in for him. As a matter of fact, we have great difficulty reconciling our batch input to what comes back from OHIP. There are a great many errors in the OHIP data bank that do not match the information that patients are giving us. There are sometimes fees submitted which are rejected by OHIP's computer and we do not know why. There is a code given next to it, but each one has to be returned. Some months the list of rejections is a stack of computer printouts that thick.

There can be errors in the inputting by my own staff where they might have inputted the wrong patient's name or they might have had the wrong birthdate or they might have erroneously entered something twice. If they have done half of their work in the morning and they leave and come back, they might accidentally put it in twice. Or the patient might have seen more than one doctor the same day, but OHIP's computer does not think that is all right, so it does not allow it. The doctor has no idea. He gets his cheque once a month that my staff go through, calculate and prepare. He just says, "Thank you very much," and that is it.

Mr Conway: That was -- actually you anticipate the point for this series of questions, that typically if I were to take the physicians in your clinic -- no other clinic, just your clinic, on the basis of your experience -- it probably would not be unusual to find out that most of the doctors had a very poor understanding of the specifics of their profiles.

Mrs Dodds: Oh, they are not one bit interested. Just this past week I had to contact the personal accountant of one of the physicians I work for because he needed to know how much he made last year to put on an insurance form and he had no idea.

Mr Conway: He would not, to the best of your knowledge, be unusual in that?

Mrs Dodds: Oh no, doctors are famous for that. Clinic managers' conferences are sometimes quite humorous because we swap stories about these guys.

Mr Conway: It becomes important for this inquiry to understand what doctors, let us say, might reasonably know about their billing profiles, since of course this inquiry is seized of a situation where it is being alleged that people outside the medical and OHIP community appeared to have a pretty good idea of what certain doctors' situations were.

Mrs Dodds: The billing system is so complicated that you do need, under ideal circumstances, a highly sophisticated computer system to sort the data for you. There is a wide variety of programs available. There are people who do not use a computer system at all, who fill out cards by hand for every patient contact, and there are many kinds of computer programs.

Now we have -- six months ago I converted our office to a new computer system which we discovered only two months ago could give us a wonderful report for each of our physicians called a production report. Not all computer systems have this. I did not even know for the first six months that we had this program that we could do it to. But there is an interesting piece of information the doctors now are able to get, where it tells them exactly how many contacts of each type, how many diagnoses of each type they have made in the billing period.

They are finding it interesting. As a matter of fact, some of the physicians in my clinic have said that it is assisting them in their practice, that if they have slipped into a certain kind of diagnosis too many times then they have to stop and think, "Maybe I'm not thinking enough as these patients come." It is very helpful to them. But you do not always get that, and we did not get it until just a few months ago.

Mr Conway: I appreciate that just as general background information. Now I would like to come back to the specifics --

Mrs Dodds: Oh, and if I could just add another point that might even put more character to all of this, they often forget to hand in their slips. One of the problems I have as a manager is trying to track everything they are doing and referencing it back to the billing that is actually accomplished on their behalf, because we will sometimes find that when one of them has a suit cleaned he finds a pocket full of bill slips from two months ago that he forgot to hand in.

Mr Conway: Ms Dodds, again I just want to quickly ask you to refresh my memory. You have been in public life in Thunder Bay for how many years now?

Mrs Dodds: I was first elected to the board of education in -- I was there six years and that term ended just this past November 1991, so it would have been 1985.


Mr Conway: So you, in the course of your public life in Thunder Bay, would have had the opportunity to have had discussions such as the opportunity for discussion at the Airlane at the night of December 5 with cabinet ministers before?

Mrs Dodds: Oh my goodness, yes. Many.

Mr Conway: So you were not a person unknown to these kinds of encounters. You had had several of these kinds of discussions.

Mrs Dodds: I believe I had one with you one year at the same hotel.

Mr Conway: I want to help, then -- I want to try to focus in on the discussion that did take place, particularly in light of your letter, exhibit 39. You have given quite a detailed and quite an animated picture of what happened at the encounter with Miss Martel. Can you just tell me how long in time that conversation was? The circle -- was it five minutes, was it 10?

Mrs Dodds: It could not have been more than five minutes from beginning to end.

Mr Conway: So if all that you have told us transcribed happened in five or 10 minutes, it must have been quite a fast-paced discussion?

Mrs Dodds: It was difficult to complete a sentence. Miss Martel was breaking in and it leaped rather rapidly, yes.

Mr Conway: I will not take you through the testimony that the committee counsel elicited as to the sequencing of events, but I gather that, as you have just indicated, it was moving quite rapidly and at a certain point Ms Martel, and I forget the words you used, shot very directly the comments that are really the core of your testimony. She now alleges that she made that up, that what she said had no foundation, no basis in fact and it was untrue. What is your response, particularly given the context of the conversation? Because the impression I get is that you were engaged in an extremely heated, rapid-fire conversation and that the participants scarcely came up for air.

Mrs Dodds: It was rapid. I would say intense rather than "heated." "Heated" implies personal insults and shouting, and there was none of that. It was an intense exchange of conflicting views, would be an accurate way.

Mr Conway: Was there any lengthy pause on the part of Ms Martel before she cast the famous words about --

Mrs Dodds: No, there was no pause at all. It was thrown into the middle of the opinions that were being said.

Mr Conway: And the comments about the doctor in question were offered with not a lowering in the intensity of her --

Mrs Dodds: No.

Mr Conway: And there was no pause? She seemed to do this just in stride?

Mrs Dodds: Yes.

Mr Conway: And what she said fitted in, I gather, with her earlier comments about doctors in general?

Mrs Dodds: Yes, I think her comments were indicative of a contempt that she feels for physicians in general. I found it to be chilling.

Mr Conway: But my specific concern is -- and you were there; I was not --

Mrs Dodds: I wish you had been.

Mr Conway: -- the Legislature has been told, and you were told by letter on December 8, exhibit 39, that what was said was said "entirely without foundation." In the legislative debate that ensued a few days later it was said repeatedly that it was just made up.

Mrs Dodds: Are you asking me my opinion of that?

Mr Conway: Yes, I would ask you to just give the committee some response to those statements by the minister in light of the conversation that you had with her.

Mrs Dodds: My sense is that it was not made up and that it was something she knew that she was pulling out to win the argument.

Mr Conway: The sequencing of events that I want to proceed with is that you left -- what time did you leave the Airlane that night?

Mrs Dodds: I was at the airport by 7; my flight was at 7:25.

Mr Conway: So you are in Toronto, then, the next morning. At this conference at some point, when you get to that microphone -- did you have a direct exchange with either Dr MacMillan or Mr Decter?

Mrs Dodds: Not with Mr Decter, but with Dr MacMillan. I have been at seminars and conferences before at which I have exchanged views with Dr MacMillan, and so I began by telling him that, for a change, he was doing something I agreed with, which was the freedom of information act. But then I repeated what Miss Martel had done the night before and I asked him to explain to me just how it was that a minister would have private information on a physician. Was his act going to protect the rights of physicians?

Mr Conway: What time of the day Friday are you engaged in this public discussion with Dr MacMillan?

Mrs Dodds: Somewhere between 11 and 11:30.

Mr Conway: So it is before noon on Friday, December 6, and you are discussing this -- we have the transcript. I think that is exhibit 17 --

Ms Jackson: I am unable to tell you as --

Mr Conway: Well, I believe, anyway, we have a transcript of the conversation that -- I think it is the conversation between yourself and Dr MacMillan. Mr Decter is also in the room at this point.

Mrs Dodds: He was sitting at the head table.

Mr Conway: So by noon on Friday, December 6, roughly 12 hours after the incident occurred in Thunder Bay, both the executive director of OHIP, Dr Robert MacMillan, and Mr Michael Decter, the Deputy Minister of Health, are made very aware of what happened in Thunder Bay -- at least your version of what happened at Thunder Bay.

Mrs Dodds: Yes.

Mr Conway: And your concerns around the, perhaps, want of confidentiality in these matters.

Mrs Dodds: That is correct.

Mr Conway: Approximately 12 to 14 hours later, by early or mid-Saturday afternoon, MaryLou, from Ms Martel's office, calls you at home in Thunder Bay to tell you what exactly again?

Mrs Dodds: Not to repeat what Miss Martel had said on Thursday night.

Mr Conway: And that Ms Martel would be in touch with you presently.

Mrs Dodds: Yes.

Mr Conway: And that, I repeat, is at some point 12 to 14 hours after we know you told the Deputy Minister of Health and Dr MacMillan at OHIP of your upset and concern about what the minister had done in Thunder Bay.

Mrs Dodds: In a room with 300 people.

Mr Conway: They know by midday Friday. By midafternoon Saturday, December 7 a staffer to the Minister of Northern Development is on the phone to you telling you not to repeat the conversation, and by midday Sunday, approximately at 2 pm, Ms Martel phones you and seems to be quite specific.

Mrs Dodds: Yes, she was.

Mr Conway: Did you have a feeling that she was almost reading from a prepared text?

Mrs Dodds: The thought did cross my mind that she had sought some sort of advice and she was specifically listing those items which were, in her words, untrue.

Mr Conway: The reason I asked the question, I say to you and to the committee, is that you said in your earlier response to committee counsel that by 2 o'clock approximately on the afternoon of Sunday, December 8 -- is that the right date? -- the minister has called you to apologize. She has said again that what she said was untrue.

Mrs Dodds: Yes, and then she said, "I have not seen that physician's file and he is not going to be charged."

Mr Conway: Did she use the words "that what I said was without foundation in fact"?

Mrs Dodds: That is right.


Mr Conway: I am interested in this because of course there appears to have been a very clear, firm and rather narrow version from the minister that is repeated then many, many times from December 9 or 10 through until the adjournment of the Legislature before Christmas.

There seems to be quite a similarity in language between what the minister is saying to you on the afternoon of Sunday, December 8, and what appears obviously in her letter of that same day, though you received it by fax, I presume, when you went to work the following Monday.

Mrs Dodds: On Monday. I cannot comment on that because I occasionally see the news from Toronto but not all the time.

Mr Conway: I have no further questions.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Conway. Mr Miclash.

Mr Miclash: Mrs Dodds, you indicated that you have some grave concerns about this whole incident around the attraction of health care professionals to the northern region of the province. Could you maybe just expand a little bit on that?

Mrs Dodds: I have only, as I mentioned to you, become aware in the last year of the problems that we have with health care in the north. We have great difficulty attracting specialists and we have great difficulty keeping them when we get them.

Our own clinic lost an orthopaedic surgeon about nine months ago, for instance, and we have so far been unsuccessful in replacing him. We have three hospitals that have to be covered on call by orthopaedic surgeons. Their schedules are brutal. I would not want to work the hours that these fellows have to work, and yet they have no choice because all three hospitals have to be covered and, in my opinion, we have a shortage of specialists in the north.

They also go out and do about 25 clinics in smaller towns. I believe Kenora is one of them. They do this because patients need it but also because it makes more sense for a doctor to travel to a small community and to see 25 or 30 patients in a day as opposed to having the government pay those 25 or 30 people to come into Thunder Bay for two or three days to have their appointments.

There have been so many changes in the OHIP system in the last year that as a manager I have felt for the past year that I have just been leaping from one issue to the next. First it was the amalgamation of the Workers' Compensation Board billings in with our own discs, which caused all kinds of procedural hassles until we had that one tied down. Then came the health numbers, which was a badly botched exercise. The data bank of OHIP was not as accurate as it should be so there were all kinds of rejections of billings that were because of incorrect data banks. We had to sort that out.

Then we had the Independent Health Facilities Act, which meant that we had a huge procedure to go through because of our little tiny X-ray unit. Now we have had to set up a whole separate billing system for our X-ray charges -- we can no longer bill those the same way we did the other -- and now the capping. Of course my clinic also is a physiotherapy clinic, which was billing one way that is permitted under OHIP, but with the capping applied retroactively, it cost my clinic $100,000 by surprise and we have had to shut it down.

Mr Miclash: Getting back to the actual incident and how things unfolded right from that evening that you met the minister in Thunder Bay and going through the various media reports, and we have a good number of them in front of us, and the attention that this entire incident has received across the province, in your position, do you feel that is going to have any effect on attracting such professionals as you are speaking of, such professionals who are needed, to the north?

Mrs Dodds: We have been having difficulty attracting specialists all along, as you know. I do not know how this incident -- I am sorry, I thought I heard a cat or something.


The Chair: Mrs Dodds, you can carry on.

Mr Kormos: Well, it was distracting. I heard it too.

Mrs Dodds: I do not know how this incident will impact on them specifically. I do know that I am hearing every day of more and more doctors who are preparing to leave. They feel that practising in the north is a little harder than practising anywhere else in the first place. They do not have the same degree of sophisticated equipment available for their use as they would have in bigger centres. They are far away from other people whom they can consult with on difficult cases. Now they feel that they are being treated as a low-level civil servant by the government, and I hear nothing else in medical circles but talk of, "Have you heard how in Texas they need such and such or in Arizona they need such and such?"

The really curious thing is that not one of them expects to make any more money in the States, but they know that they will be the ones deciding what they are going to do with their patients. We even have something ridiculous up there called "quotas" on certain kinds of operations. If a doctor is permitted to perform only 10 of a certain kind of operation, you had better hope you are not the 11th one to walk in who needs it before the end of the year.

For a specialist in the north to reach the gross cap and to then have the penalty applied, that specialist would have to work about 70 hours a week in several locations and probably restrict his vacation time to three, no more than four, weeks a year, which is substantially less than even our mill workers in Thunder Bay receive as vacation. Doctors, of course, are not paid for their vacations; mill workers are.

Now with the cap being applied, I predict to you that when we reach the last six weeks of a fiscal year you are going to find that there are several key specialties that are not represented at all. They are not going to be there. Why should they?

Mr Miclash: Good. I thank you for that information. Thank you, Mr Chair.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Miclash, and thank you very much, Mrs Dodds. As we are so close to 5 o'clock this afternoon, we will adjourn this session. We will resume tomorrow at 10 o'clock so that further questions can be posed of you, Mrs Dodds, from both the third party and government caucus members.

I remind all members of the subcommittee that we are having a meeting at 5 o'clock today.

The committee adjourned at 1657.