Wednesday 11 March 1992

Inquiry re Ministry of Health information

Keith Harfield

Honourable Shelley Martel

Keith Harfield


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):

Tilson, David (Dufferin-Peel PC) for Mr Eves

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

Also taking part / Autres participants et participantes:

Edwardh, Marlys, counsel, Ruby and Edwardh

Rust-D'Eye, George H., counsel, Weir and Foulds

Clerk / Greffier: Arnott, Douglas

Staff / Personnel: Jackson, Patricia, Committee Counsel

The committee met at 0940 in room 151.


The Chair: Good morning. I would like to call the morning session of this Legislative Assembly committee to order. Members will be aware of the agenda for today's meeting.


The Chair: Prior to our counsel commencing questioning with the minister, I would like to recite to the members of the committee the status with respect to Mr Keith Harfield.

On February 6, 1992, at the direction of the subcommittee on committee business, I wrote to the Speaker requesting that a Speaker's warrant be issued to compel the attendance of Keith Harfield and Associates, Management Consultants, 143 Applegrove Street, Sudbury, to attend and give evidence before the standing committee on the Legislative Assembly at 10 am on Thursday, February 13, 1992. This request for a Speaker's warrant followed after repeated efforts by committee council to question Mr Harfield, all of which met with no cooperation.

On February 7, the Speaker agreed to the request and issued his warrant to compel the attendance of Mr Harfield. On the 10th and 11th of February, again after repeated attempts, the Sergeant at Arms was unable to effect service of the warrant on Mr Harfield.

On February 14, at the further direction of the subcommittee on committee business, I again wrote to the Speaker requesting that a Speaker's warrant be issued to compel the attendance of Keith Harfield to attend and give evidence before the standing committee on the Legislative Assembly at 10 am on Monday, March 9, 1992.

On March 3 the subcommittee on committee business was advised by the Speaker that the service of the warrant had been effected on Mr Harfield.

On March 9 Mr Harfield attended at committee. At that time he indicated to committee counsel that he would not answer certain questions which would be put to him in evidence before this committee. After consultation with Mr Harfield's counsel, it was agreed that his evidence would be deferred to the morning of March 10, to allow him to reflect on his position overnight.

On March 10 Mr Harfield failed to attend at the committee. His counsel advised that he had gone to the emergency department of a local hospital with suspected food poisoning. Later in the day Mr Harfield's counsel advised that Mr Harfield had been treated for food poisoning and was discharged from the hospital that afternoon. He advised that he would attend before the committee at 9:30 on March 10 -- I am sorry; that would be on March 11.

It is the 11th of March, it is 9:30 approximately and I am calling on Mr Harfield.

Mr Rust-D'Eye: My name is George Rust-D'Eye. I am counsel for Mr Harfield.

The Chair: Yes, Mr Rust-D'Eye. If you could please sit down at the table, just for Hansard's purposes.

Mr Rust-D'Eye: Two things, Mr Chairman.

First of all, it is true that Mr Harfield has not yet, in informal discussions with counsel, agreed or given the names of individuals concerned. That I would not take to be a refusal to give that information to this committee.

Second of all, Mr Harfield was feeling very ill yesterday. I believe, from talking to him, that in fact he did have food poisoning. It may well be a medical problem that prevents him from being here this morning, but my last contact with him was that I did expect that he would be here this morning at 9:30. Depending of course on what happens here, I will try immediately to reach him. I do not -- I cannot tell you I have information as to where he is at the present time. I will try to reach him and have him here at the earliest possible opportunity, but I am afraid I cannot assist the committee further at this point.

The Chair: I would like to thank you very much, Mr Rust-D'Eye, for your assistance in this matter as provided. I have called Mr Harfield. I do not see him before the committee. I thank you very much for providing comments on the situation to date. It will be my position that this matter will be referred to the subcommittee, as is our right under our terms of reference, to discuss any further action that this committee feels is appropriate with respect to Mr Harfield. Mr Kormos and Mr Conway.

Mr Kormos: Mr Chair, I appreciate your reference of the matter to the subcommittee, but I find it somewhat outrageous that Mr Harfield would play this cat-and-mouse game now on to the third day of this week. I am asking you, Chair, to assure this committee that the process which is necessary to avoid any impression of acquiescence to his -- well, it is a contempt for this process to not appear -- that we take the next step that is necessary to ensure that he is either cited for that contempt and to ensure his attendance here by whatever means necessary. I mean, this is really not just bizarre but increasingly unusual. One finds oneself -- perhaps those abdominal pains were really cold feet.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Kormos. Mr Conway and Mr Tilson.

Mr Conway: Mr Chairman, I view the matter very seriously and I would simply want to say to you that we should in the presence of counsel make it very plain to counsel that this committee is limited in time as to when it can meet. We will meet for the last time on Thursday. We believe Mr Harfield has evidence that is very material to these proceedings and I would strongly encourage counsel to do all that he can to encourage Mr Harfield to attend at the earliest opportunity.

I well appreciate that there are a number of factors that may be troubling Mr Harfield, but he is, I think, an extremely important witness to this process with evidence that we must hear. While counsel is in attendance, I would simply like to make the point that every effort, not just by the staff of this committee and the Chair of this committee but by counsel, should be expended to cause Mr Harfield's early attendance at these hearings.

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

Mr Tilson: I guess my question is just, how are we leaving this? Counsel is going to go out and phone him and find out where he is? Exactly what is happening if he is doing that? We do not know. I mean, we are making all kinds of allegations against him. Maybe it is true, maybe it is not. He should be here. Are you saying you are going to go and phone him? Is that what you are telling us?

Mr Rust-D'Eye: Yes, sir. He was here at the time appointed in the warrant originally. To the best of my knowledge, he is in the city and, to the best of my knowledge, he is prepared and wants to testify. I will do everything possible immediately after I leave here to reach him.

Mr Tilson: And then you will come back and tell us, will you, when he is available to be here? We would like to see him today.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Tilson.

Mr Tilson: No, but --

The Chair: I am sorry?

Mr Tilson: I am uncertain as to where we are leaving this.

The Chair: I can tell you, and I have heard from the comments of representatives from all three parties and to the counsel, just to remind all members, that the Speaker's warrant is one which is of a continuing nature, that the Speaker's warrant is worded as one which requires Mr Harfield's attendance until this committee feels that his attendance is no longer required.

I believe that what we have heard today from his counsel is that the counsel is going to be making all attempts to locate Mr Harfield and to bring Mr Harfield before this committee when he is located, which would be, I believe, immediately, and then to be proceeded with.

I understand from comments from all members, and I think that that is something which all committees recognize who have gone through these hearings, that it is clearly the opinion of all members of this committee that Mr Harfield's testimony is very important.

There is an effected Speaker's warrant on Mr Harfield. We are, apart from the work that is going to be done by our staff and counsel, attempting to contact Mr Harfield and to have him immediately attend before this committee to provide evidence on this matter. That is where this matter has to rest at this point in time, save as to say that the issue as to Mr Harfield's non-attendance, if that be the case at the end of this day, is going to be the subject matter of a subcommittee where we are going to be looking at all of the options that are available to the subcommittee as a result of the facts as I have outlined them earlier.

I thank you again, Mr Rust-D'Eye, for providing the status of the matter as is known to yourself at this time. I would suggest at this point in time that we would allow Mr Rust-D'Eye to try to locate his client after hearing the comments and the concerns and opinions of all members of this committee, and that we would now move to resume questioning with the minister.



The Chair: Good morning, counsel. As you will recall yesterday, the oath was administered. There was a series of questioning which had been commenced by counsel and had not yet been completed, and I would invite Ms Jackson to continue questioning.

Ms Jackson: Ms Martel, before I proceed with the events of December 5, can I just go back to one matter that we covered in the evidence yesterday? On November 14, when you met Ian Wood and Nuala Doherty when they were on their way to the Ministry of Health, I take it that is a meeting of which you have no notes. You have no notes of your conversation with Ian Wood and Nuala Doherty?

Hon Miss Martel: We were in an elevator.

Ms Jackson: Yes.

Hon Miss Martel: So no, I have no notes from that particular encounter.

Ms Jackson: I am not suggesting there is anything wrong with that, but it is apparent that you do take a lot of notes, and I just wanted to have you confirm for the committee that you do not have notes of that, and so you are going purely on your recollection of that conversation when you testify here today.

Now, we saw yesterday in evidence that by very early on the following morning, Ms Doherty had clearly developed a strongly negative assessment of Dr Donahue and his practice. Do you recall the memorandum we referred to that talked about entrepreneurial greed? I wanted to ask you whether it is possible that in that brief conversation with Ms Doherty she communicated any of that negative assessment or the basis for it to you.

Hon Miss Martel: No, my recollection was that there was not much of a conversation at all because we were only going down seven floors. The conversation began with me asking Mr Wood why he was in fact in Toronto, because normally he works in the Treasurer's office in the riding, and he responded to me that he was down doing some other work but particularly trying to get some information with respect to the doctor situation.

I asked the two of them where they were off to at that point, and he said they had arranged a meeting with Ministry of Health staff and were on their way there. The only other thing I said to him was that I would have someone from my staff contact them later so in fact we could have whatever information they had gained from that meeting with Health. To the best of my knowledge, that was the extent of the conversation. They were in a hurry, and as soon as I got off the elevator I went in a different direction than they did.

Ms Jackson: Let me come, then, to December 5, a day when, as I understand it, you had a series of scheduled events in Thunder Bay.

Hon Miss Martel: Before you get there, there was one other piece of information that was quite critical to my assessment of Dr Donahue, and that came from a comment made by another dermatologist on CBC on December 3.

Ms Jackson: I am sorry, yes. Do you want to tell the committee about that?

Hon Miss Martel: I read this article on the same morning that it was given in Sudbury. It was an interview that a Dr Hradsky gave to CBC in Sudbury. Dr Hradsky is a dermatologist who flies into Sudbury every second week and provides a clinic to patients in the city, so she does a bit of part-time work in Sudbury. She also has a full-time practice in Toronto.

In the course of the article, which was not a question-and-answer but very much her making a statement with respect to what was happening in Sudbury, she gave a number of points with respect to her background.

Ms Jackson: Can I just point out to you and to the committee that that is found at exhibit 76. Sorry, do you want to just continue with what you were saying?

Hon Miss Martel: I found that her curriculum vitae --

The Chair: Could I just ask --

Ms Jackson: I am told your microphone is not working.

The Chair: There is some sort of malfunction with your microphone. If I could ask -- and I apologize for this, but I have just been informed -- if your counsel could move one seat over, if both of you could move one seat over. I apologize; we have just been given that information, that there is some sort of buzz. I do not want any further interruptions with this, so I would like to just make certain that these microphones are working.

Hon Miss Martel: Can you hear me now, Mr Chair? Are they working now?

The Chair: Yes. Again, I apologize.

Interjection: Ms Edwardh, can you just try yours while we wait?

Ms Edwardh: Oh, mine. Hello?

The Chair: Thank you very much.

Ms Jackson: Miss Martel, you were telling us that on December 3 you became aware of the interview that is exhibit 76. What struck you about it?

Hon Miss Martel: Two things, if I might -- well, actually three: (1) the very impressive background of the dermatologist in question, who spent some time relating what her own practice was about, what kind of work she did in Toronto, who she assisted with respect to that work.

There were two points that I thought to be extremely important with respect to her assessment of the situation: (1) that she felt she ran a fairly normal dermatological practice and did that with her two staff and, she also said, a Mac computer.

She went through what the comments had been in the paper on the weekend, ie, Dr Donahue saying that he felt he would need somewhere in the order of a billing of $800,000 to $1 million in order to have a comfortable income and a viable practice. Following from that, she said to herself, and said this on air: "And I have to ask myself why? What are 14 people doing in a dermatology office?"

Following from that, she made reference to some other comments that had been made by Dr Donahue in the paper which were that patients, particularly having cancer, would have to go to Toronto now for treatment. She again asked why that would be when in fact the city had just opened a new cancer treatment centre, which was brand-new, which was quite functional, where people could go for that kind of treatment.

I think the line that struck me the most was her last comment which was, "There is something dreadfully wrong with this picture." I have never seen, either in opposition or in government, a physician either contradicting or making comments about another physician in public. I have never seen it with lawyers either, so this really struck me because I was quite, quite surprised she would do that and why she would make some comments that I thought were very clear regarding her impression of his practice.

Her impression of his practice was very much one that I had been wondering about, and it certainly reinforced in my mind, rightly or wrongly, that some of my assessments with respect to that practice and what was happening with 14 staff were in fact correct.

I took away from that, given that it was another dermatologist who was aware of clients in Sudbury because she was coming to Sudbury and has been for the last 10 years to treat people, that she would have a fairly good reading of the subject, and her reading of it was quite negative. I took away from that that some of my assessment of what was going on was indeed correct or had some basis and some foundation.

Ms Jackson: You say it reinforced your assessment about the 14 staff. Do you mean the question you had raised earlier as to whether there was too much delegation of an unsupervised nature?

Hon Miss Martel: Whether there was a need for all that staff in terms of doing what might be considered dermatology, but again the same questions about supervision and monitoring and who was doing what in relation to procedures that were being carried out.

Ms Jackson: You had already mentioned the concern about who was doing what and whether they were properly supervised and whether there was overdelegation. Do I understand you to be saying that you also had a concern about whether the 14 people were in fact doing dermatology?

Hon Miss Martel: I did not know what they were all doing because I have no broad knowledge of the full extent of Dr Donahue's practice. From some of the people who were calling in, I knew they were doing psoriasis treatment, for example; there would be treatment of some skin lesions, because he had certainly made reference to that in his meeting with us on November 15. I knew they had been doing hair removal, but I did not think that was going to be going on, because that was going to be going on at his other practice called the Doctor's Studio. So I had no sense other than that of what else he might be doing, what the scope of that was and who in fact might be doing pieces of those procedures.

Ms Jackson: I am trying to understand, though, specifically the concern you have about his practice as a result of that. We have the question of overdelegation and undersupervision. Are you saying you had, as a result of this interview or otherwise, a concern that these 14 people were doing something that was not dermatology or something that should not be done in a doctor's office?


Hon Miss Martel: I can only go back to what Dr Hradsky said, which was her own concern, ie, asking herself, "What are 14 people doing?" She had said in the interview that she felt her practice was a "normal" dermatology practice, so she was left with a question in her mind as to what everyone was doing.

Ms Jackson: I think, though, it is important to understand what the concern then becomes in your mind as a result of hearing that question.

Hon Miss Martel: I apologize. I do not know that there was an additional concern as much as it reinforced in my mind the questions I had already had regarding what was going on in the office, what was the nature of that practice. What it did for me was reinforce in my mind that some of the concerns I had had and some of the misgivings I had had about 14 staff in an office and what they were doing were clearly not ones that only I had but were shared by someone else, someone who I thought was quite important in terms of being another dermatologist.

Ms Jackson: Did this interview have any other impact on your assessment of Dr Donahue and his practice? It reinforced the concerns you already had, particularly with respect to overdelegation and undersupervision of 14 staff. Did it have any other impact on you?

Hon Miss Martel: I think it convinced me that there was something wrong. When she said at the end of the interview, "There is something dreadfully wrong with this picture," I felt that was a pretty important fact. This is coming from another dermatologist who also practises in Sudbury, albeit not on a full-time basis, but someone else who has gotten on and in a public way made a very significant comment about a fellow physician. I have never seen that before. I have never seen a physician say something like that in public about another. It not only surprised me, but it made me very convinced that in fact something was very wrong with this practice.

Ms Jackson: Have we now covered all of the matters that contributed to the impression you had of Dr Donahue when you went to Thunder Bay on December 5?

Hon Miss Martel: Yes, we have.

Ms Jackson: On December 5, you had for some time been scheduled to have a series of visits in Thunder Bay. You have kindly provided us with a copy of your itinerary for that day and I think it might be helpful, in asking you to describe what took place, if we start with that itinerary. Mr Chairman, could we mark that as the next exhibit?

The Chair: The itinerary as distributed will be marked as exhibit 111.

Ms Jackson: Ms Martel, I understand this itinerary reflects the series of visits as originally planned. It is not an after-the-fact statement of what you did, is that right?

Hon Miss Martel: There is one additional meeting that does not appear on here.

Ms Jackson: That is right. My point simply is this is your advance itinerary, this is not an after-the-fact reconstruction of what you did that day?

Hon Miss Martel: Oh, sorry. No, that is correct.

Ms Jackson: There is, as you point out, at least one additional matter that was not noted on the itinerary. Could you tell the committee what that was?

Hon Miss Martel: On the first page, at 8 am, there was a breakfast meeting with officials from the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission.

Ms Jackson: Why was that scheduled?

Hon Miss Martel: Well, not only did I have a major problem going on in Sudbury at this time, I also had a major political problem as Minister of Northern Development with respect to a decision that we had made regarding air service in northern Ontario.

Ms Jackson: "We" being the ministry?

Hon Miss Martel: Yes, in conjunction with Ontario Northland Transportation Commission. That commission operates in northern Ontario a series of trains, buses, planes, ferries, barges and telecommunications. My ministry has a memorandum of understanding with Ontario Northland Transportation Commission that they will undertake some direction from us with respect to broadening or maintaining or changing the delivery of those transportation services in northern Ontario.

The issue at hand at this particular time was a decision that had been made to extend what we would call Dash-8 service into Kenora and into the whole corridor that followed through from Thunder Bay, Sault Ste Marie, Sudbury and then on to North Bay. Originally in December last year I had turned down a request from the community of Kenora to provide such service. They had lobbied very hard to me, along with a number of other people who had lobbied, to take a look at the situation. We had spent some months reviewing it, and indeed in November I announced that we would be extending that service.

Through the course of making that decision I had asked officials from ONTC at three different meetings, three different occasions, whether or not we had the appropriate and ample and sufficient information to make that decision and to know that it would not cost us more money as a government, to have some good idea of people who may in fact be affected and be laid off from other private companies, and that we indeed had a detailed business report with respect to how this would function, if it would break even and in fact if it would make money. Up until this particular meeting I had been assured that was all in hand and was all looked after, it would be a good news announcement and it would be very positive for us.

Well, it was anything but all of that, and in fact soon after the announcement was made one of the airlines, Bearskin Air, announced that it would be laying off, would probably lose about 21 people in its organization as a direct consequence of this decision. We entered into meetings to try to talk to the management about how we could accommodate those people in our expansion in Sault Ste Marie. All of this became very public; it was raised in the House several times. The Bearskin employees themselves did a tape and interviewed people who were going to be laid off and quite correctly, as a lobbying effort, sent it to all members of the Legislature.

They had called us before I was going up to Thunder Bay and asked if they could have a meeting with me to discuss this and to try and make me change my mind on this matter. I requested that the ONTC officials also come with me so that they could be helpful in defending this particular case to the Bearskin employees and to the broader community as well. There was quite a community effort now against this, and it was causing a lot of grief to my colleague, Shelley Wark-Martyn. The 8 o'clock breakfast meeting was established so that I could sit with them and find out exactly what we did or did not have in the way of information that we could give to people to justify this decision.

Ms Jackson: That is in preparation for the meeting with employees of Bearskin at 9:30?

Hon Miss Martel: Exactly. I went to the breakfast meeting, and three staff members from ONTC were there. We started to go through the information I thought they had which would have justified the decision we made, and found to my dismay that in fact the information that I had been told we had was not quite there and in fact there was no business study to show that this was going to be a good idea. There had been a real lack of understanding of the impact that this was going to have not only on Bearskin employees but now also on Canadian Partner employees, who had been told that there would be vast numbers of layoffs there as well. In fact I had made a decision and not had any good, ample information to back it up.

So I was sitting at an 8 o'clock breakfast meeting, suddenly discovering that in an hour and a half I was going to have to have a meeting with employees, and I did not have the information to justify this, and I did not have the information to justify what was going to happen at Canadian Partner either. So I was really frustrated at this point because we were in an awful political mess. We had put Shelley Wark-Martyn in a terribly difficult political situation and put myself in an embarrassing situation as well, and I was very, very unhappy with what had happened there.


Ms Jackson: After that meeting, it appears from your schedule you went on to the Red Oak Inn to be driven to the Thunder Bay office?

Hon Miss Martel: Correct. That was Michael Gravelle who picked me up from there. We went to the meeting with the Bearskin employees. They had two employees there who were acting as representatives of the whole group and counsel who was operating for free for the employees at that time. We had a very frank and candid discussion about this, but also one that was controversial as well because at that point I was still trying to find a way to save some face and continue on with the decision and try and accommodate these people within the increasing organization we were going to have in Sault Ste Marie.

They were very unhappy with this and talked a lot about the number of employees who were going to be affected and who they were and how long they had worked for the company and the fact that government money was being used in the public sector and this government money was going to put them out of business and force them to lose their employment. We got into -- the best way to describe it is a philosophical discussion about the public versus the private sector, and they were very much of the view that only the private sector should be operating in northern Ontario and there was no role for the public sector with respect to transportation, in spite of the fact that I had pointed out there were many cases where the private sector did not want to go in and deal with the communities, and that is the role we were playing.

Ms Jackson: In terms of the response to these employees and the defence of the decision that had been taken and the position of ONTC, was that being done exclusively by you or were you being assisted by others from the ministry?

Hon Miss Martel: No, at that point it was being done exclusively by me. In all fairness, though, the employees had asked for a private meeting first with myself without staff. When I left to go on to the press conference, the staff who were with me from ONTC then came in and dealt further with the employees who were there. So at that point I was by myself.

Ms Jackson: All right. Coming to that private meeting then, what happened next?

Hon Miss Martel: We then went from there. I said to them -- at that point I was still quite insistent on proceeding and I had hoped that we could accommodate them and do the best job that we could, and thought we could do that. But I was feeling very much like I was skating on some very thin ice at this point because I really did not know whether we could do that, and in the back of my mind was even thinking at that point that we were going to have to back down and let it go because it had developed into much more of a bigger problem than I had ever anticipated.

We then went to meet with the rest of the staff in Northern Development. I had met with the staff before on recent other trips to Thunder Bay but I --

Ms Jackson: When you say "staff" in this context, staff of what?

Hon Miss Martel: Mines staff. Staff of my own ministry. When I go into communities where we have an office, I try and at least drop into our own offices to say hello to people. I had not been --

Ms Jackson: Is that the 10:30 meeting?

Hon Miss Martel: Yes, that is correct. I had not been Mines minister and in Thunder Bay yet, the two together, so I was meeting for the first time a number of the Mines staff. The whole group, then, did join in as well before it was all over.

Ms Jackson: Was there anything eventful at that meeting?

Hon Miss Martel: No, it was fine.

Ms Jackson: Then what was the next item on your agenda?

Hon Miss Martel: That was November and so there were a number of initiatives with respect to sexual assault and the government was making announcements with respect to funding for sexual assault initiatives. We have a great deal of funding that goes into northern Ontario in that regard and so we had asked at least three representatives from groups who would be providing care or counselling with respect to sexual assault to come to the press conference because we would making announcements with respect to money that would be going to them in order to provide that service. We also wanted them to come so that there could be a bit of a public focus on the work that they do, because I think they do very good work and I wanted the community to be able to see that and the community have a recognition of that for them.

We started the press conference, Shelley Wark-Martyn and myself, and we had only started to introduce ourselves when the media interrupted and said: "We want to talk about Bearskin. We don't want to talk about your other announcements that you're going to make." I said to them, "I have these people with me who have been good enough to take some time off work and come here today and they'd like to say their piece," and the media who were present said to me: "Well, we'll only take five minutes. We only want five minutes so we can make the noon newsclip and then we'll get back to the announcement."

The five minutes turned into 35 minutes and through most of that there was quite a barrage of questions because there were a number of media there representing print, television and radio, and it was a barrage of questions about why were we doing this, why were we going to be cutting off all of this employment for these people, why was the public sector in on what should be only a private sector matter, how did I know for sure that the government would not have to put any money into this particular operation, how would I know it was going to make money, and it went on and on. At one point, Shelley Wark-Martyn finally said to one of the staff who was there from Ontario Northland Transportation Commission if he did not think he might -- should be helping me with some of these questions. So he got to the table as well and started to try and give some explanation as a general manager as to what was the basis for his recommendation to me to proceed with that. This went on for 35 minutes. There were no questions about the announcement.

When we finally called it to a halt, which we did, the media all got up and left. The three people who had been sitting there, who were waiting to talk about sexual assault initiatives, did not have a chance to say anything. The media had gone, they were quite angry that they had sat there for that long and they were not able to talk about what they did and get that on the air. They were quite angry that they had in fact wasted some of their time to come that day. So I did the best that I could to assure them that I did really care about what they did. That was why I had invited them, that was why we provided the funding. But all in all it left a pretty bad taste with everyone, just the way it had all played out.

Ms Jackson: And following that press conference, what was the next item on your agenda?

Hon Miss Martel: We were late leaving the press conference. I then had to speak at Fort William First Nation. They were having a conference on economic development.

Ms Jackson: This was a lunch speech, was it?

Hon Miss Martel: Yes, it was. They were having a conference on economic development and as my ministry provides a number of initiatives for economic development, particularly with respect to native peoples, they had asked me to come and talk about some of those initiatives. By the time I got there the lunch was over, so I had half a bowl of soup while they waited for me to finish in order that I could start and not make them too late in their schedule. I did that, I gave the speech that I had, we talked to a number of people who were there and then we left because at this point we were starting to run really late.

Ms Jackson: And what was the next item? The next item on your agenda appears to be a tour of the Faye Peterson Transition House. Did that occur?

Hon Miss Martel: This was a great meeting. Faye Peterson Transition House is one that my ministry funded through the anti-recession program. It is a shelter for women and children, and we went there. I know the staff very well. It was a great meeting; we saw the whole facility for the first time -- it had not opened at that point -- and it was just a wonderful tour. There was nothing wrong with that at all.

Ms Jackson: All right. Then what was the next item on your schedule?

Hon Miss Martel: Well, the next item was one that you do not wish on anyone, in the sense that it was a really controversial demonstration that was going on at Shelley Wark-Martyn's office.

Ms Jackson: Was that in fact what was scheduled?

Hon Miss Martel: No, it was not scheduled. She had decided to have an open house. Her riding association had called and they had called around to their membership and they had put it in the paper that I would be there so the folks could come and meet me. We had blocked a good part of time to do that, so I would be able to --

Ms Jackson: And that is the item that is down for 3 to 4:30?

Hon Miss Martel: That is correct. However, earlier in the day, about 50 airline pilots from Canadian Partner had been given layoff notices from their employer, and their employer had told them that the reason that they were being laid off was because of the government decision to extend Dash-8 service into a corridor in which they were operating. There were at least, I would say, 35 to 40 pilots there, all in their uniforms; a number were with their wives, and there were some children as well, and they had come to the open house so that they could actively demonstrate against this particular decision. They were all inside her office because it was terribly cold that day.

So I went in; I saw them all there. I recognized that I was in more trouble than I really wanted to be at about this point in time. However, I went around the room and I shook everyone's hand and then I stopped and I put myself in the middle of the room and I said, "I understand that you want to talk to me and so I am prepared to hear what you have to say and let's talk." And then it started.

A large number of people moved quite close to me and demanded to know why we had made this particular decision, demanded to know upon what basis we had made a decision that was going to cost them their jobs. A number of women moved in closer and said, "Well, I would like you to explain to my kids why their father is not going to have a job any more." A number of people started pointing and coming quite close who were saying: "You have made a terrible decision. We want to know why. You have no right to have us laid off. You have no right to make this kind of decision. The government has no right to use our public taxpayers' dollars against us. You are putting us out of work," etc.


It went on like that for half an hour. I tried the best I could to respond, using some of the information that we had to make the decision. After it was well over half an hour, Shelley Wark-Martyn came in -- she was somewhere else and was late -- and went to the ONTC officials who were standing on the stairs quite far away from me, not saying anything. I went and told them that perhaps she should join me and help me or assist me in giving some reason as to why we were making this decision, because the decision had been based on information they had given me. So they finally came down and stood beside me and started to deflect some of the criticism and started to talk to some of the pilots who were there as well.

At that point, I moved back out of the circle that had come around me and I started to move around the room. There were other people who were there who were Shelley's constituents who had nothing to do with this but had also taken the time to come out, and I wanted to be at least able to say hello to them and talk to them. So I started around the room to do that.

I got to the far corner of the room and I turned around. A pilot had come in on this side towards me and stopped very close to me and looked at me and said, "Why are you forcing me to lose my job?" He started pointing in my face. He was quite close to me and I tried to back up, but there was a woman who was behind me and I could not go any further because I was going to be sitting on her. He kept pointing and saying: "When I am finished for good, I am coming down to your office at Queen's Park and you are going to have to apologize to me for putting me out of business. Are you going to do that? Do you have enough guts to do that? Do you have enough courage to come and say `I'm sorry' when I come down and ask for your apology?" I was trying to say to him: "Look, we are trying to find a resolution. There is no guarantee that that is what is going to happen." He just kept insisting and pointing in my face.

Three others came this way. They were not pointing, but their concerns were the same and the circle closed in quite close to me again. At that point, I was just very, very anxious about how this was all going to end.

Peter Dyment, who had been with me from ONTC, finally told the group that he would be prepared to meet with one of their reps from the association and the president of the company as well, and that that meeting would take place in Toronto the following week. While that did not satisfy people, it seemed to be enough for the moment to have them finally leave. But that did not occur until 5 o'clock and that whole thing went on for almost two hours. Almost all of it was concentrated on people being very close, a lot of finger pointing, a lot of yelling and a lot of very unhappy people, so it was a very difficult situation. It was one that unnerved me a great deal.

Ms Jackson: And you had been scheduled to leave there at about 4:30. You said it went on for almost two hours. It sounds as though you left closer to 5.

Hon Miss Martel: We did not leave there until 5:15, actually, because there were some media who had stuck around who then wanted to do clips from what had happened and wanted my comments. I did not have very much to say at that point other than, "Look, I hear what the people had to say -- they made that loud and clear -- and I will do what I can to try to resolve their situation."

Ms Jackson: The next visit on your agenda is to a transitional learning centre. Did you go there?

Hon Miss Martel: Yes, we did.

Ms Jackson: Was there anything untoward that happened at that visit?

Hon Miss Martel: No, that visit was fine. Again, it is a project that we had put some money into. When I had been there a year before, it was only in the building stage. Now it was complete and there were staff and residents there. There was no problem there.

Ms Jackson: And then the next visit that was scheduled on your agenda was at 6 o'clock to attend the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy Christmas reception, and you went there?

Hon Miss Martel: I did.

Ms Jackson: Were you late arriving?

Hon Miss Martel: Yes, we were. Not very late, though.

Ms Jackson: And just before we go into what happened there, can you briefly tell the committee what was ahead of you in terms of the balance of the day?

Hon Miss Martel: I had to make two more speeches yet that evening. One I had had a chance to read only once. The other one was not fully prepared, it was handwritten notes at this point in time. That was to Shelley Wark-Martyn's riding association. The meeting that I had to give the speech to, which was the meeting after the Christmas reception --

Ms Jackson: That is the one at 7:30?

Hon Miss Martel: Yes. It was to the Northwestern Ontario Prospectors Association, and we already knew that that was going to be confrontational. This is a group that has been, rightly or wrongly, very unhappy with some of our policies. They are very concerned about the state of mining in general in the province, and wanted me there (a) to make a speech, but more importantly for -- at that point they had wanted a question-and-answer period an hour and a half long with respect to what I was or was not doing as minister to try to aid their cause. It had been a group that had publicly in some cases said some fairly nasty things about me so I already knew that that was going to be controversial. I also had only read the speech once, so I was not really clear of the content, but I knew it was going to be a difficult question-and-answer period.

The speech to Shelley's riding association I assumed was going to be fine, because a lot of her association were people that I already knew.

We were to leave from there and get into a ministry van. We had two staffers from the Mines section who were then going to be driving us to Manitouwadge because we started in Manitouwadge fairly early the next day and we were worried that we might not get there in the morning if we took a plane. So we had yet a four-hour drive in front of us and we were not due to leave till 10.

Ms Jackson: When you arrived at the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy Christmas reception, what happened?

Hon Miss Martel: We went in, hung up our coats and made our way to the area where the reception was being held and signed in. At that point in time a decision was made that I would go around the room and meet the clients with John Mason, who was one of the Mines staff who works in Thunder Bay. The clientele who were at the reception itself were clientele from the Ministry of Mines and it was to be -- I was not to make any speeches. I was only to go around the room and say hello to people, wish them a merry Christmas, ask them how they were doing etc.

Ms Jackson: You have described them as clientele of the ministry. I think you should perhaps explain what you mean by this.

Hon Miss Martel: Sorry. It was a mining event, and I was there in the capacity of Minister of Mines, so the people who were there would be some prospectors and developers. They would be people who sold mining equipment, for example. They would be officials from mining companies who were going to be there, most of them with their wives.

Ms Jackson: So the people whose livelihood is affected by what the ministry does. Is that what you mean when you say "clientele"?

Hon Miss Martel: Yes, very much affected by what we do.

Ms Jackson: All right.

Hon Miss Martel: Not only us; the feds, too -- but a lot of what we do as well.

Ms Jackson: Fair enough. So you started around the room.

Hon Miss Martel: I did. I started around the room, and I was in tow with John Mason. We started around the room this way, and our intention was to come around in a circle. We got over to the right-hand side of the room --

Ms Jackson: So you are about a quarter of the way around the room, are you?

Hon Miss Martel: Yes, that is correct. We got there and as we were approaching there was an elderly gentleman who was standing waiting for us. John Mason, the ministry staff, said: "This is a Mr Petrunka. He comes to see us quite often in the ministry office. He is a character," and he said that in a positive sense. "He has written us a letter as well, which I have not finished responding to, so you have not seen it." He was telling me that. "But he has some concerns and he will want to raise them with you." We went up and met Mr Petrunka, said hello to him, and he indeed talked about the letter that he had sent and raised some of this concerns with mining, so we were talking about some of the concerns and the state of mining at that point. So we were standing together.

John Mason was on my right-hand side, and out of the corner of my eye, another gentleman was brought into the circle. I turned to greet him, and he was introduced as Mr Dodds. I shook his hand and said, "Hello." I remember being told that his company was Trow, but I did not catch the rest of it at that point in time.

We began to chat. I asked him how his business was going, and he talked to me about some of the problems in the industry, what was happening in terms of his own business, the state of mining in general in the province, all of which I agreed to, that there was a low level of exploration. I said some of the problem was at the federal level as well, and he agreed to that.

And so we were talking about his business, and then all of a sudden, from this side, into the circle --

Ms Jackson: From your left.

Hon Miss Martel: This way, into the circle, comes Mrs Dodds. She does not say "Hello." She does not say "Hello," "Goodbye," or "How are you?" or anything. The first thing out of her mouth is, "Why is the NDP driving the doctors out of Ontario?" I was so taken aback because I would never normally do that to anyone, minister or not, and I was quite taken aback by how -- well, in fact, how rude the interruption had been, when her husband and myself were discussing this quite -- chatting and there was no problem. But the first words were out, "Why are you driving all the doctors out of Ontario?"

I looked at her. I was very taken aback and I said: "Well, we're not driving doctors out of Ontario. What are you talking about?" And she said to me, "Well, why does the government think it has a right to determine what a doctor can earn in the province of Ontario?" I was really surprised by that and I said: "Well, because we pay for it. I mean, the public pays for health care in this province and if we want to have a system that we can protect, we have to get control on some of the costs. And one of the biggest costs in the health care system right now is physicians' incomes and those have increased quite dramatically in the last number of years. So if we're going to get a handle on this system we've got to get a handle on some of those costs."


We started to interrupt each other and that happened during the whole course of the conversation. She said to me that she thought that doctors had a right to bill whatever they wanted, whatever fee for service could provide, that whatever doctors billed was what they should be able to get back, and I said to her that I disagreed fundamentally with that and I said: "Look it, I'll give you an example. I don't think a general practitioner should be able to earn over $400,000 a year. If a GP is earning over $400,000 a year, then he's got to be seeing a heck of a lot of patients and those patients have to be coming in and out of his office like this, and that's not good health care when you run people in and out of your office. As a physician you don't give them any good health care and as a patient, they don't even have a chance to talk to you about what their problem is." So I said: "I don't think any GP should have a right to earn over $400,000. I disagree."

She then said that she thought -- it was her opinion that some people, or the public, should pay for parts of health care anyway, should pay for that out of their own pocket. And again I said to her: "Well, I don't believe that. I believe in a universal system. I philosophically and fundamentally disagree with you because I don't think that people should have to pay out of their own pockets for a health care system in this province," and it was quite confrontational. We were interrupting each other. I was very agitated and frankly, I felt, so was she. She then said to me: "Well, I disagree with you. People should be able to earn whatever they want and, anyway, lots of physicians are leaving Ontario as a result of this." And I said to her, "Nonsense." Her husband at that point interrupted and he said, "What about that Dr Donahue?" And honestly --

Ms Jackson: And he used the name?

Hon Miss Martel: It was like he just pressed a button, because of all the people I was trying to help in Sudbury, of all the physicians, he was the last one who I thought had a legitimate case with respect to an exemption. Frankly, it was just as if he pressed a button, and at that point I lost it. I lost it and I said, to the best of my recollection, three parts of this conversation. I talked about having seen a file. I said that clearly and I used the word "file." I talked about charges. I do not know if I said, "He should be charged," "He would be charged," "We're going to charge him," "There should be charges." I talked about charges, and I also used the word "criminal."

Let me just back up and try to go through what I meant when I said that. I have never seen a confidential file for this doctor or for any other doctor ever, and I had no access to it at that point in time and I never have at any time. When I talked about "file" to her I was talking about all of the information that I had gathered with respect to this particular physician and his situation. I had files in my riding office with all kinds of letters of complaints coming in. I had files in my Toronto office on the front of my desk with respect to the underserviced area program, memos that had come from Nuala and Larry Corea about him. I had packages with respect to the underserviced area program and what he could and could not be exempt, and I had a huge media file about everything that he had had to say. When I said "file" to her I meant all of the information that I had pulled together on him, which left me with a very, very bad impression about his particular case.

The reference to charges: There is no doubt and it is quite correct that Mrs Dodds would have walked away from that conversation and thought that at some point very soon charges would be laid against Dr Donahue. That is not the case, that was not true. I had no knowledge at that point in time that there would be charges. I had no idea what kind of charges could be laid, even, in that case. I was not in any position or trying to bring about any charges. That was completely untrue and I have no knowledge even to this day of what kind of charges could be, if there was. I certainly know I was not at that point taking any steps to have any kind of charges laid.

The use of the word "criminal": I certainly said that, "It's criminal," and that was very much a reflection of how I felt about the whole situation that had gone on in Sudbury, particularly with respect to Dr Donahue. I felt then, and frankly I feel today, that I had been personally manipulated by him, that the community had been manipulated, because he had never from the start provided them with the factual information about his particular situation. He put out all kinds of information with respect to his finances, which were completely contradictory but left people very frightened that he was going to leave. In my community, given what he had done, there was an overwhelming sense of hysteria and fear and anxiety that Dr Donahue was going to leave, that he was going to be the first of many and there would be a flood out of our community of specialists. I really resented that that had happened, because I felt it had been totally unnecessary, totally uncalled for and frankly, from start to finish, that I personally had been used in this whole endeavour. That was how I felt at the time and that, to the best of my knowledge, is what I said and to the best of my recollection why I said it.

Ms Jackson: May I back you up first of all and just ask you -- you said that Mr Dodds said, "What about that Dr Donahue?" Are you confident he used the name?

Hon Miss Martel: Yes, I am.

Ms Jackson: You said you recall that you definitely said the three things and that one of them related to charges and one of them related to it being criminal.

Hon Miss Martel: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: Is it possible that what you said was that he would be subject to criminal charges?

Hon Miss Martel: No. My recollection is that the "criminal" came after, and it was in the context of how I viewed the entire situation, that I thought it was abhorrent, that I thought it was unfair.

Ms Jackson: That you thought it was -- what was the first word?

Hon Miss Martel: Abhorrent.

Ms Jackson: Abhorrent and unfair.

Hon Miss Martel: It was a reflection in my mind of the whole situation that was happening in Sudbury.

Ms Jackson: So by "criminal," you meant it was abhorrent and it was unfair?

Hon Miss Martel: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: Taking the three parts of your statement, the first, that you had seen a file, was, as you used that word, true? You had seen a file, as you used that word?

Hon Miss Martel: Yes, but what has come from there is that I have somehow seen a confidential file, which I have never seen.

Ms Jackson: And you have clearly stated that, but in terms of how you used the file, namely, "information I have," that part of your statement, as you were using those words, was true?

Hon Miss Martel: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: Then the last part of your statement, you are using the word "criminal" as in the sense of it is abhorrent and unfair?

Hon Miss Martel: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: So that part of your statement, as you used those words, is true?

Hon Miss Martel: That is right.

Ms Jackson: The middle part of your statement, that there were or were going to be charges, is absolutely untrue?

Hon Miss Martel: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: And I think you have sometimes described that as a lie?

Hon Miss Martel: That is correct. That is what it was.

Ms Jackson: Miss Martel, some people would certainly understand that in a moment of anger, after a difficult day, one might use excessive language or be unusually brash or rude or even blurt out something that you were not meant to say, but some people will have difficulty understanding how anger, however intense, could lead to a lie. Can you explain it any more than you have?

Hon Miss Martel: Miss Jackson, I think that if I could explain it any more, I probably would not be here right now. I cannot explain any better than I have tried to during the questioning in the House and what I have said today as the reason for this. I was very angry. It had been an awful day from start to finish. I had in the back of my mind, before I arrived at that conversation, certainly a very bad impression about Dr Donahue, and when his name was used in terms of trying to say, "Look, this is an example of someone who is so hard pressed by your policy that he is leaving the province," that was it. All my feeling of anger and frustration that I had felt about the way he had handled the situation came right there. I do not know how else I can explain it to you. I certainly understand how awful it sounds and what impression that leaves with respect to me in the public. I have known that ever since this has happened. However, I cannot explain to you any better than that or add any more than that, I think, about why I said what I said.

Ms Jackson: Would you describe that as a normal reaction for you when you are angry?


Hon Miss Martel: No, I do not make it a habit to go around and say things about people, either in my private life or my public life. I recognize there are standards that all of us are expected to live by as MPP. There are further standards that I am expected to live by because I am a member of a cabinet. I do my best in the course of my duty, both in private and in public, to live up to that, because I understand how important it is for the public to have a sense of trust and a sense of faith in its politicians and, in particular, cabinet ministers.

I do not, as a normal course of events, fly off the handle in the way I did in Thunder Bay and say the kind of things I did at that point. I do not conduct myself in that way. Why I did that particular evening in the course of what was happening, in the course of my conversation with Mrs Dodds, and being goaded on and on, and then trying to shut it down, I can only say to you I have tried the best I can to explain it to you.

Ms Jackson: The day you have described was certainly a very busy one; as I understand it, one of the busier ones you have had throughout the whole fall session. Is that right?

Hon Miss Martel: We checked back, in doing a third-quarter estimate, as we normally do, of all the meetings I have and all of the tours that I do. It was the worst day that I had from September to the end of December of last year.

Ms Jackson: In terms of the number of events.

Hon Miss Martel: And the speaking engagements. I have never had three on the same day.

Ms Jackson: And it was a difficult day in terms of the Bearskin issue you confronted.

Hon Miss Martel: I also do not normally get protests that are demonstrated against. I know that happens in the course of events to all of us. It has not normally happened to me. Not only were there pilots there who were going to lose their jobs, but there were wives and there were kids, and I think that made it all the more difficult.

Ms Jackson: While it was an extremely busy and very difficult day, you would agree, I think, as a minister, that a minister has to face from time to time very busy and very difficult days.

Hon Miss Martel: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: Including that kind of day.

Hon Miss Martel: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: Did you, after you had made the statements you did to Mrs Dodds, attach any particular significance to them or importance at the time or immediately thereafter?

Hon Miss Martel: No, I did not.

Ms Jackson: When did the conversation you had with Mrs Dodds start to become significant in your mind? When did you realize it was not something that had just happened and was over?

Hon Miss Martel: I walked away from that conversation and I did not think any more about it until late Friday evening when I arrived in Kenora. I continued on with my tour. I was in Manitouwadge and Marathon the next day. The ministry staff drove me back to Thunder Bay. I got on a plane and arrived in Kenora about 11:30 Kenora time that evening. I went to the hotel where we were staying and there was a message marked "urgent" from my executive assistant, MaryLou Murray, so I called her at that point in time.

It was 12:30 Toronto time, and she said to me when she got me on the phone, "Did you have a meeting about doctors last night in Thunder Bay?" I said no. She said to me, "Did you have a conversation with anyone about doctors when you were in Thunder Bay?" I said no. She said, "Shelley, did you say something like this to anyone when you were in Thunder Bay," and she had, at her end of the line, written down three lines of comments that she relayed back to me. These were the comments Mrs Dodds had made public at the freedom of information conference she was at. She repeated those lines to me and said, "Did you say that?" I said, "Yes, I may well have," and that was my first recollection of what had gone on Thursday night.

Ms Jackson: When she told you this had been said at the conference, what, if anything, did you decide to do about it?

Hon Miss Martel: My initial reaction was to feel quite ill. I said to her: "We have to find this woman. I have to apologize to her, because what I've said is not true." She said, "Do you know who it was?" I said, "No, I don't have any idea who it was," and she said: "Look, why don't we wait till tomorrow morning. I'll call the Premier's office in the morning. I will talk to them and relay what has happened. In the meantime, you, from your end, try and find out who it was you made the comments to." So we agreed to do that and that we would get in touch with each other in the morning, and I hung up.

Ms Jackson: Did she say where she had learned of these comments?

Hon Miss Martel: I am sorry. I do not know if it was that day or when I got back to Toronto that the story unfolded in terms of where this had been made public.

Ms Jackson: Right.

Hon Miss Martel: I know it now, and I knew it shortly after, but I cannot tell you with any certainty that she described to me that night what had happened.

Ms Jackson: What do you now know had happened?

Hon Miss Martel: That Mrs Dodds had been at -- at that time I did not know who it was, but a woman had been at a conference that Dr MacMillan was at. Dr MacMillan was on the panel and he was talking about protection of patients' files under freedom of information and how that was kept confidential. This woman got up at the meeting and asked him what was being done to protect the confidentiality of doctors' files. He asked her in some way what she meant, and she said, clearly, at this conference, that she had had a conversation with the Minister of Northern Development -- named me -- the night before and that I had said I had seen a file of a physician and that there were going to be charges.

That was my understanding of what had been relayed, to the best of my recollection, publicly at this meeting. How it came back to us was in the following way: Some staff from I believe it was Cabinet Office were at this particular conference. They came back and called a person who was -- it might not have been Cabinet Office, excuse me. The person who called us was from Cabinet Office, so someone who had been there, ministry personnel -- I do not know which ministry, not ours -- but ministry personnel called a woman in Cabinet Office and called her to relay to her what had happened.

Ms Jackson: What is the name of the person in Cabinet Office?

Hon Miss Martel: It is Judy Wright. She called my executive assistant and asked if she was aware if I had had a conversation with a woman in Thunder Bay the night before. MaryLou said not that she was aware of, that I had had a pretty full day and there was no room on my agenda for another meeting on anything. Judy said this had taken place, this knowledge had been made public at this particular conference and MaryLou should call this particular woman and trust that whatever she had written down with respect to what the woman had said would be indeed what the woman had said. Whatever had been written down by this particular person who had been at the meeting recounting what Mrs Dodds had said, we were to take that as very much fact. So MaryLou did call, copied down what she had written, and that was what she used to read over the phone to me that night.

Ms Jackson: Had she heard from anybody else about the conference?

Hon Miss Martel: Yes, she heard from Dr MacMillan, who called. Dr MacMillan was very unhappy about the whole thing because he felt it left people with an impression that he had somehow leaked confidential information to me. He was very upset about that, and that his position as head of OHIP was somehow compromised because of the comments. She said to him very clearly, no. She knew very well we had received nothing confidential. She was quite aware of that, was not sure what I had said, but certainly would track it down and try and sort it out. So he had called in the afternoon as well.

Ms Jackson: After the conversation with MaryLou, what steps did you take to find out who the woman was whom you had talked to?

Hon Miss Martel: In the morning I had a breakfast meeting with the mayor of Kenora and the reeves of the outlying district.

Ms Jackson: We are now at Saturday morning?

Hon Miss Martel: Yes; excuse me. Before that began, Kathleen O'Hara, my communications assistant who was travelling with me for that portion of the tour -- she joined me on Friday night in Thunder Bay -- got on the phone and called back to the ministry staff who had been with me at the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy reception. She asked them who I had been speaking with. They started to go through a list of people and she said: "Particularly, there would have been a man and a woman who were together. There was a conversation going on about doctors. Do you remember who it might have been?"

We were finally able to track down, through John Mason, that the woman and the man who we were speaking with were Mr and Mrs Dodds.

Ms Jackson: And did you hear anything more from MaryLou about her contact with the Premier's office that morning?


Hon Miss Martel: Not at that time. Kathleen then got in the process of trying to find MaryLou. I had an 8 o'clock breakfast meeting and I just continued with the rest of the tour that we had. So I went to the breakfast meeting and met with the mayors and the reeves who were there. We then went to Women's Place in Kenora, which provides sexual assault counselling etc to women. We went there because we had some announcements with respect to funding we were providing for them as well for these initiatives. We went there and did that press conference, and we arrived back at the hotel, Lake of the Woods, about 11, 11:30, and packed up all our stuff.

She had not been able, as far as I can remember, to get hold of MaryLou at that point. I could be wrong about that, because my recollection of those next 48 hours is quite blurred. However, she was in the process of trying to contact MaryLou. I myself did not speak to MaryLou again until we reached Ignace. We were driving from Kenora to Atikokan because we were having a dinner with the community that evening to celebrate the reopening of the sawmill. We had put some money in there and had a new organization that was running it, so we were there for a community celebration. We stopped in Ignace, and it was at that time that I talked to MaryLou.

Ms Jackson: And what did you learn?

Hon Miss Martel: She had contacted the Premier's office and relayed to them what had happened. The Premier himself was in Saskatchewan that weekend, along with David Agnew. She was discussing this matter with Melody Morrison on the Premier's staff. Melody was in the process of contacting, as I understood it, the Premier or David Agnew to relay what had happened. She had also, at that point, contacted the ministry lawyer, Mr Steve Stepinac, and asked him for his advice on what should be done. She relayed to him the conversation, asked him what he thought about it and what we should do. He told her that she should get on the phone to Mrs Dodds immediately and she should tell Mrs Dodds as clearly as she could that the statements that I had made were unfounded, and that she should ask Mrs Dodds not to repeat them. She wrote out the instructions that he had given her with respect to what she should say to her.

So she got on the phone and she did just that. She called Mrs Dodds and she repeated to Mrs Dodds exactly what our lawyer had told her to say, which was that the comments that I had made were not true and that she should not repeat them because they were not true.

Ms Jackson: Had that conversation already taken place when you spoke to her?

Hon Miss Martel: Yes, it had.

Ms Jackson: And was there any instruction or advice from the Premier's office as to what you should be doing about this?

Hon Miss Martel: The Premier's office, via Melody, told us to keep going with the rest of the tour. It was our understanding from that, from conversations during the course of the next 24 hours -- that my staff are probably better to relay than I, frankly, because I got it third-hand -- as we went back and forth and told them what we were doing, that in fact this was not a matter that I would be resigning over. We were told to keep going; this was not a matter to resign over.

Ms Jackson: But was there any other advice as to what you should do about it?

Hon Miss Martel: No. By the time we got to Atikokan and called MaryLou again and checked in with her, she told me that arrangements had been made for me to see a lawyer that Sunday morning, so that when I got into Toronto, I and Kathleen should proceed directly to the ministry office and there would be a lawyer, Mr Porter, who would be there, and he would be acting as counsel for us on this particular matter. She had gotten his name through another lawyer who was a friend of his. Actually, our deputy had made all those connections. So she had made those arrangements by the time I talked to her at 7 in the evening, and the instructions that I had were to proceed directly to the ministry office and he would be waiting to go through the matter with me at that time.

Ms Jackson: So the next morning you flew to Toronto?

Hon Miss Martel: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: And you met with Mr Porter?

Hon Miss Martel: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: And who else was present?

Hon Miss Martel: MaryLou Murray, my executive assistant, and Kathleen O'Hara, who is my communications assistant.

Ms Jackson: Now, you know, Ms Martel, that you cannot be obliged to describe the advice you were given in that meeting.

Hon Miss Martel: I do, but I will waive that.

Ms Jackson: All right. Can you tell the committee what happened?

Hon Miss Martel: Yes. Mr Porter asked --

Ms Jackson: This is Julian Porter?

Hon Miss Martel: Yes, it is. He asked me to explain to him what I had said and to go through very carefully what I had said. I did that to the best of my recollection. He thought about it for a time. He asked questions. He went back and forth. There was a discussion on what had happened and why. He felt at that point that while there would be a chance, a good chance, that I would also have a libel suit against me, he thought at that point in time, and told me clearly, that he thought my more important problem was a political one and that I should also try and get some political advice because he did not think, given his background and his own political persuasion, that he would be the best person to give that to me.

He told me at that time that our next plan of action was to take every step that we could to minimize any of the damage that might come to Dr Donahue, and so he outlined for me a course of action, which I followed. We sat down together and we put together a script of what I could or could not say when questioned about this, and that was the script that I then used in the Legislature from that point on.

Ms Jackson: Do you have a note of that script today?

Hon Miss Martel: The note that we have is a note that took part of that script and was used in a media interview at 5:30 on Sunday afternoon. The press had picked up wind of this, through what measure I was not clear even at that time, and we sat together and pulled from the script I was using in front of me when I made calls, to use for me when I called the media. So I do not have in any of my notes now the exact script that he prepared, but to the best that is possible, it appears in a piece of paper that I used with media interviews.

Ms Jackson: All right, and we can find that in the notes that we marked as exhibit 107 yesterday. About two thirds of the way through you have a note that, both in the handwritten version and in the typed version, has in the middle of the page in big letters "Don't get lured into this." Do you have that note, Ms Martel?

Hon Miss Martel: I do.

Ms Jackson: Do you have that note?

Hon Miss Martel: Yes.

Ms Jackson: And using that note, what is the best recollection you have of the script that you and Mr Porter put together?

Hon Miss Martel: Julian made it very clear that I should not under any circumstance do two things: (1) I should not repeat the doctor's name at any time; (2) I should not repeat the comments that I had made, and under no circumstance should I repeat those either in the House or to the media, or to anyone else for that matter, because in his view that would just make what was already a bad situation even worse and it would cause me probably in the long run some more legal difficulties, more than I already had.

So the script that we put together was that I had made remarks in a private conversation, this conversation was very heated, the remarks that I had made were unfounded and they were not based in fact, that I had contacted those who had been involved in the conversation or who had been implicated by it and I had offered them my apologies and that those apologies had been accepted. I was told not to say any more than that, if at all possible.

Ms Jackson: After you had worked out this script, what did you then do with it?


Hon Miss Martel: The first call I made was to Mrs Dodds. I called Mrs Dodds, I think, a little before noon on Sunday morning.

Ms Jackson: Who was present when you did?

Hon Miss Martel: Mr Porter was standing in front of my desk listening to me, and MaryLou Murray was on this side of my desk, so both of them were in the room at the time I had the conversation with Mrs Dodds.

Ms Jackson: Do you have a note of that conversation?

Hon Miss Martel: No, I do not think that I do, because what I was using was the script that we had worked out before I started to make any calls, and that is the script that appears almost intact in the conversation with the media.

Ms Jackson: Just before the note we were looking at, there is a handwritten note about, "Mrs Dodds -- Mr Petrunka -- not sure if he heard any of this."

Hon Miss Martel: Mm-hmm.

Ms Jackson: Does that relate at all to your conversation with Mrs Dodds?

Hon Miss Martel: No, it does not. It relates to a conversation I next had with John Mason.

Ms Jackson: All right. And can you, to the best of your recollection, describe what you said to Mrs Dodds?

Hon Miss Martel: I called Mrs Dodds, I identified myself and said that I was calling with respect to the conversation that we had had on Thursday night. I told her I was calling to tell her that the remarks that I had made were unfounded, they were not based in fact, and I would appreciate it very much if she did not extend that conversation to anyone else. I told her that I was calling to apologize to her and to all of the others who had been involved in that or implicated by it. She said to me, "Well, I hope you are calling that physician," and I said, "Yes, I will be calling a physician."

I asked if she would extend my apologies to her husband, and she said that she would do that, and she added that she would also extend my apologies to the other person who was involved in the conversation. I said to her, "No, I will be calling John Mason myself," and she said, "No, I don't mean John Mason." I said, "Well, then, I am unsure who you are talking about," and she said, "I mean the other person who was involved in the conversation." I said, "Well, I'm afraid I don't know who that is." She insisted that she would talk to him herself and I insisted that I would like to know who it was because I was making the apologies myself directly to people. She told me that she thought Mr Petrunka had been involved in the conversation as well, so I assured her that I would talk to him myself directly because that is the way I wanted to handle it at that point in time.

She thanked me for calling, said it was most gracious of me to do so, and then we hung up. The conversation was no more than about four minutes.

Ms Jackson: Did she give you any indication of whether or not she would repeat what you had said?

Hon Miss Martel: She gave me no indication at all as to what she would do next.

Ms Jackson: Right. After that conversation, what did you do next?

Hon Miss Martel: I called Mr Mason.

Ms Jackson: And that is the note that is just before the one we have been looking at that starts with the words, "Mrs Dodds -- Mr Petrunka"?

Hon Miss Martel: That is correct. I called Mr Mason and he was at church, so I asked his wife if she would be so good as to have him call me at the Toronto office directly when he got in, and she said that she would.

At that point in time, Kathleen was trying to get a phone number for Dr Donahue because his phone number was unlisted. So when she went through the phone book and realized that, we talked to each other about who we should call, who might have it. So we agreed that we would call Dr Abdulla and see if he could get it for us. Kathleen talked to Dr Abdulla and he said he would try the hospital, his own hospital, Memorial, and see if he could get a telephone number for us. So he went away to do that on our behalf.

At that point, Julian had also said that it was important that we send follow-up letters to the people who we had talked to, to outline my conversation with them. So he sat with MaryLou and started to draft a letter that we were preparing for Mrs Dodds. MaryLou had asked for a fax number when she had called Mrs Dodds. My understanding is that she had also told Mrs Dodds that I would be calling, and so had asked for both a telephone number and where she would be on the Sunday. So we had her fax number. The two of them set about putting together a letter that we could send to her later that evening outlining the conversation that she and I had had and to again extend my apologies.

At one point Dr Abdulla called back. He had been unsuccessful in obtaining a phone number for Dr Donahue, but he told us we should try Dr de Blacam because he felt Dr de Blacam would have it. We tried Dr de Blacam, and again a young child answered the phone and said he was gone to church. So we asked if he could call our office when he got back in, and we would try to track down the phone number that way.

Ms Jackson: In the meantime, though, you had spoken to John Mason.

Hon Miss Martel: No. This was going on. John Mason called somewhere in that time frame. I talked to him. I said I was calling as a result of the conversation that I had been involved with with Mr and Mrs Dodds that evening. I said to him that during that point of the conversation, I had said some things which were unfounded, they were not true, and I would appreciate if he would not repeat any of that conversation. He told me that he had not understood most of what went on, in any event, but he understood that both she and I had appeared to be agitated and that it had been a hostile conversation. But he could not recollect any details of it other than there had been some mention of doctors.

I asked him if indeed he recalled whether Mr Petrunka had been part of this conversation or not, and he said that he believed he had not, that in fact he felt he had moved away quite far from the circle at that point in time and could not possibly have heard any of the conversation. I said to him that in any event I wanted to be sure that I talked to him, so he looked up in the phone book in Thunder Bay and got Mr Petrunka's phone number for me. I hung up from my conversation with Mr Mason and I then called Mr Petrunka. His answering machine was on, so I did not get through to him at that time.

Ms Jackson: In the conversation with John Mason, did you use Dr Donahue's name?

Hon Miss Martel: No, I did not. I had been specifically instructed by Julian not to use his name.

Ms Jackson: In the conversation with Mrs Dodds, did you use Dr Donahue's name?

Hon Miss Martel: No, I did not.

Ms Jackson: Are you confident of that?

Hon Miss Martel: I am absolutely confident of that because Julian stood right in front of me to make sure that I did not say anything that was outside of the script we had prepared.

Ms Jackson: All right. Now, did you succeed in contacting Dr Donahue while you were still with Mr Porter?

Hon Miss Martel: No, I did not.

Ms Jackson: Did you have any discussion with Mr Porter about how you should handle this matter in the House?

Hon Miss Martel: He said very clearly to me that it was important that I remember in answering any questions in the House that I do not repeat the doctor's name and that I do not repeat the comments that I was said to have made, that it was terribly important that I remember that and under no circumstance be lured into or led into repeating either of those two things.

Ms Jackson: Now, that afternoon there was a cabinet meeting?

Hon Miss Martel: Yes, there was.

Ms Jackson: By the time you went to the cabinet meeting, had anybody succeeded in obtaining Dr Donahue's telephone number?

Hon Miss Martel: No. My recollection is that Dr Abdulla, when he called back to tell us to contact Dr de Blacam, also indicated that he understood Dr Donahue was in Toronto that weekend and might be difficult to find. Miss O'Hara then got on to the phone and started calling a number of hotels in Toronto to see if we could possibly find anywhere that he had checked into so I could talk to him. She called five or six and had no success in locating him or having him found at any of these hotels, so she was advised, really, to stop at that point.

Somewhere in the time that I had left, we managed to obtain the phone number. I am not sure if it came via Dr Abdulla or Dr de Blacam, but by the time I got back from the cabinet meeting, which was after 6:30 or so, the phone numbers for both of them were there.

Ms Jackson: When you went to the cabinet meeting, did you mention the incident to anybody?

Hon Miss Martel: No, I did not.

Ms Jackson: Why not?

Hon Miss Martel: I did not think it was, I guess, my place to do that. We had advised the Premier's office of what had happened. We had been told to continue on. I suppose that I felt at this time that if his office wanted to advise others of what had happened or wanted me to do that, that they would in fact give me some green light or they in fact would do that. I did not have the sense that, since I had been told to do nothing else, I should be talking to all my cabinet colleagues about what happened.

Ms Jackson: Now, you said that after the cabinet meeting you returned to your office and someone had managed to locate Dr Donahue's telephone number. Did you speak to him then?

Hon Miss Martel: We tried again, and again there was no answer, so we went for supper because I had not eaten. I took the phone number and also the paper -- at this point, all I had left was the paper upon which I had made the media comments -- and went back to my own apartment. At 5 -- there is a portion that you have missed. We had received a telephone call from the Toronto Star asking for an interview, and a little before 5, I gave that interview.

Ms Jackson: While you were still at your office.

Hon Miss Martel: No, I was outside in the anteroom. No, excuse me, I was in the Premier's staff office at that point in time. I had come out of the cabinet meeting and Melody Morrison was with me and I made this particular call to the reporter. I said what was on that piece of paper and I said no more.


Ms Jackson: All right. Then you returned to your office, you got the telephone number and you went home.

Hon Miss Martel: That is correct, after we went for dinner.

Ms Jackson: At some point during the course of the evening did you speak to Mr Petrunka?

Hon Miss Martel: Yes, I did. I tried him again and was able to get through to him. I told him I was calling with respect to a conversation I had had that he may have been party to or heard on Thursday night. I said to him that I was calling because the remarks that I made, which he may have overheard, were unfounded and I would ask him not to repeat them. He said two things: (a) that he did not remember any conversation -- he remembered that Mrs Dodds had been very aggressive in her manner towards me, moving back and forth -- and (b) that he was a little offended that I would ask him not to repeat anything. He said, "I'm not like that, so I would not do that," and he thanked me very much for calling. That was the end of that conversation.

Ms Jackson: Did you finally succeed in speaking to Dr Donahue that night?

Hon Miss Martel: I did. It was about 10:30 that evening.

Ms Jackson: And you made notes of that conversation?

Hon Miss Martel: I did.

Ms Jackson: Those are the notes that again are found in exhibit 107, four pages over from where we have just been, under the date December 8, 1991, and against the words "Dr Donahue." Using those notes to the extent you need to, can you give the committee, please, your best recollection of that conversation?

Hon Miss Martel: Anything that I can recall Dr Donahue had to say is here. I scribbled it as fast as I could. I can go through them if you want, but in essence that is everything he had to say to me.

Ms Jackson: What did you say to him?

Hon Miss Martel: When I got on the phone I told him that I was calling because I had made some comments about him in a conversation that I was involved in on Thursday, and he said to me that he had not heard anything about it. I said, "Well, in any event, whether you've heard or not, I'm calling to say that I was involved in a very heated exchange and I made some comments about you."

Julian had told me I should deal with Dr Donahue differently than the others in the sense that I should tell him everything I could and respond to every question he had as best I could and that I should be as open and up front as possible with him about what I knew about how it had become public at a particular forum etc. The conversation lasted about 45 minutes and that is indeed what happened. I told him to the best of my recollection what I had said at that conversation, going very much on what Mrs Dodds had also publicly said at this conference.

I told him in no uncertain terms that there had been a suggestion that the file was a billing or some kind of confidential information, that I did not know his billings, that I had no access to any confidential information. He asked me several times, "A file; what kind of file?" I said, "I want to assure you I have no confidential information at all, if that's what comes out."

During the course of the conversation, he mentioned several times that he was going to call the Ministry of Health to get this sorted out. He would be calling them to try to sort it out and to try to get a response from them. Near the end of the conversation he also said he was going to call Dr MacMillan. I was not sure why he was going to do so at this point and I tried to reassure him again that the remarks I had made had come from me and no one else had put me up to it, that no one had given me any information and that what I had said had come directly from me. He still at that point, though, wanted to talk to Dr MacMillan, and he said he would be doing that the next day.

Ms Jackson: Is that your best recollection of everything that was said?

Hon Miss Martel: That and everything that is listed here, which I think is pretty extensive.

Ms Jackson: Coupled with what is listed in your notes. Can I ask you then to turn to exhibit 39, which is a letter of December 8 from yourself to Mrs Dodds. Is that the letter that was worked on in your office on the 8th?

Hon Miss Martel: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: And signed by you and sent on the Sunday?

Hon Miss Martel: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Then could you look at exhibit 96, please. That is a letter that you sent to Dr Donahue apologizing.

Hon Miss Martel: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: On the following afternoon, Monday afternoon, as is well known, this matter was raised in the House. Did you at any time up until then receive any advice from the Premier's office as to what you should say in the House?

Hon Miss Martel: No.

Ms Jackson: Did you receive any advice from the Premier's office as to what you should say to others about this incident?

Hon Miss Martel: No, I did not.

Ms Jackson: Did you receive any advice from the Premier's office as to what you should write to people about this issue?

Hon Miss Martel: No. We had taken that upon ourselves and done that on Sunday afternoon. By the time I was in the House on Monday, the apology letters to Dr Donahue, to Mrs Dodds and to Dr MacMillan had already gone out. That had been done.

Ms Jackson: Now I want to just review with you any conversations you have had with other people about this incident and I want to start by taking you back. While you were still travelling through the north on the Saturday and the Sunday, and at the point at which it had clearly become an issue because you were having the conversations you indicated with MaryLou, did you discuss your conversation with anyone other than MaryLou and Kathleen?

Hon Miss Martel: Yes. When we were driving across northwestern Ontario we were with Howard Hampton's constituency assistant, Len Myhr. When we got to Ignace and I talked to MaryLou about her conversation with Mrs Dodds, I got back into the car. I had already missed one meeting at that point because, frankly, I was lying in the back seat of the car and I was feeling quite sick about the whole matter and I did not go into a meeting that he and Kathleen had had with chiefs from a particular band who were concerned about wild rice production.

After we left Ignace, Len, who was quite concerned about how I looked and how I sounded, said to me finally: "What is wrong? What has happened to you?" It was at that point that I told him what had happened on the Thursday night and that we had just talked to MaryLou and I brought him up to speed as to what we were trying to do, what was being done in terms of now getting us a lawyer and also getting some advice as to how to continue to proceed. So he was the one person who knew about it. He left us on Saturday night after Atikokan. He stayed only for a time at the community dinner and then drove back to Dryden, which is where he lives.

Ms Jackson: Did you ask him to do anything about this conversation?

Hon Miss Martel: No, I did not. I did not speak to him at all and have not since that night.

Ms Jackson: Did you describe the conversation to anyone else?

Hon Miss Martel: Yes, there were two other people. One, Iain Angus, is a federal member from the Thunder Bay area who was also at the dinner. I talked to Iain because I knew this was going to be in his backyard in terms of when it became public because Mrs Dodds lives in Thunder Bay and so does Iain. I told him what had happened so that on Monday morning, if he got interviewed by the press in his own community, he would not be caught off guard.

The other person I spoke to was Howard Hampton, because Howard drove Kathleen and me from Atikokan on to Thunder Bay that evening. We were in his constituency for a good part of our tour. The celebration that was going on in Atikokan was one that he attended because he and Iain and I had worked very hard on this particular matter.

So when we drove back I talked to him about it. Frankly, I asked him, in his view as a lawyer -- I did not think of Howard in terms of Attorney General; I suspect I should have. Howard is a friend of mine and I asked him what position he thought I would be in with respect to a libel suit. Howard gave me some of his opinions about that matter and also said he thought it was more of a political problem for me at this point than anything else. That was the information that we exchanged.

Ms Jackson: Did you ask him to do anything about the incident?

Hon Miss Martel: No, I did not.

Ms Jackson: Did you describe the conversation to anybody else while you were in the north?

Hon Miss Martel: No. Those are the people who were involved, who were directly with me.


Ms Jackson: Let me bring you back to Toronto then. After the matter was raised in the House and indeed after there was some awareness that there was going to be some suggestion in the press of a leak of confidential information on Tuesday, December 10, do you recall discussing this matter with Frances Lankin?

Hon Miss Martel: Frances asked me in a very quick conversation if I had seen any confidential information, and I told her that I had not, under no circumstances, I had not, and she said to me, "Why did you say what you said?" I told her there had been a lot of things going on at home, a lot of people calling my office, that there were a lot of things in the community about this particular matter, and that was where some of my information came from with respect to my opinion of Dr Donahue. I do not remember much else, because we were in a hurry. She had asked me because she was going into the House -- that is my best recollection -- so we were stopped somewhere. It was not at a meeting, that I can recall.

Ms Jackson: I may have confused it in the way I put the question to you. In fairness, let me perhaps help you. Frances Lankin testified that she first asked you on her way into the House on Monday morning whether you had seen any confidential information and you said no, and I think you have just indicated there was such a conversation. She recalled, as well, a second meeting the following evening with you and others.

Hon Miss Martel: That is right, there is another conversation.

Ms Jackson: Do you recall that meeting?

Hon Miss Martel: Sorry, I thought you wanted the two, because in my recollection there were two different times when we talked.

Ms Jackson: In the first conversation going into the House, do you recall giving her a quick explanation of what had happened?

Hon Miss Martel: That is correct. Then there was a meeting on Tuesday night. There was a special P and P meeting and I came into that. We were in the anteroom outside the P and P meeting and she said to me, "I need to talk to you, and David is going to come with us." I said, "That is fine," so we went back into Lynn Spink's office and we sat in there. At some point, I am not sure when, Sue Colley also appeared.

Frances was sitting across from me, David was here and Sue was here, and she looked me in the eye and she said to me, "Did you ever receive any confidential information about Dr Donahue?" and I said, "No, I have not." She said to me: "I have got to ask you again and you have got to tell me if you know something. Did you ever at any point receive any confidential information? Did you hear anything, did someone send something to you, did you ever get any confidential information about this doctor?" and I said, "Absolutely not."

She went on to describe at that point that in fact tomorrow the Toronto Sun would have an article that showed that there had been a leak of a memo from OHIP and that she was going to be taking steps to ask the privacy commissioner to investigate this particular matter. She was very concerned because she had got up in the House already and said that to the best of her knowledge there had been no information given at all and now she was being put in the position that indeed something had been leaked somewhere, so she was very concerned to ask me again to be absolutely certain that I had never received anything.

Those, to the best of my recollection, were the two main points: (a) had I ever seen anything and (b) the reason why she was so concerned.

Ms Jackson: Do you recall whether she asked you for an explanation of what you had done on that occasion?

Hon Miss Martel: She asked me what I had done, but my recollection is not as clear that it was there.

Ms Jackson: All right. So your recollection is that any discussion about the explanation for what you had done had taken place the previous morning.

Hon Miss Martel: Before.

Ms Jackson: The previous day?

Hon Miss Martel: The points that I remember clearly from that meeting were her asking me twice, and being quite emphatic about it, whether or not I had seen any confidential information, and then relaying to the four people who were there what had happened. She had also at that point given some pretty clear instructions to Sue Colley about wanting to have a meeting immediately in the morning with her own staff to try to get to the bottom of it.

Ms Jackson: You have described that the explanation you gave her as being related to things you heard in Sudbury and an opinion that you formed as a result. Her evidence of this conversation, which was that it took place the following day, was that in answer to the question: "Where did you get this from? Why did you say he was going to be charged? Where did this come from?" you responded, "Frances, this is something that is on the streets of Sudbury," or "is well known on the streets of Sudbury. Constituents have come into my office and have said these things to me, but I can't say any more." Is that, in your view, consistent with the explanation you recall giving Frances Lankin?

Hon Miss Martel: Miss Jackson, I have tried to explain to you what my recollection of the conversation is. I hear what you are saying is Frances's best recollection. Any discrepancies that are there between the two I cannot explain. I have tried to give you as best as I can what I recall saying to her.

Ms Jackson: Had you ever heard on the streets of Sudbury that there were charges pending against Dr Donahue?

Hon Miss Martel: No, I had not.

Ms Jackson: To the best of your knowledge, have you ever received any confidential information about Dr Donahue?

Hon Miss Martel: No, Miss Jackson, I have not.

Ms Jackson: I want to ask you your own view of this incident in terms of the Premier's guidelines for ministers. I think it would be helpful if we circulated the applicable guidelines.

The Chair: The guidelines as distributed are going to be marked as exhibit 112.

Ms Jackson: You will recognize, Ms Martel, that this is simply an extract of those guidelines. The vast majority of them deal with conflict of interest. What you have before you is indeed an extract of something called the Premier's Guidelines with Respect to Conflict of Interest, 1990. You can confirm for the committee that this is part of a larger document dealing with the Premier's guidelines on conflict of interest.

Hon Miss Martel: Yes, it is.

Ms Jackson: Paragraph 4 says, "Ministers shall at all times act in a manner manner" -- I guess it is "will act in a manner," with a typographical error -- "that will bear the closest public scrutiny." Do you understand that to be a statement of how ministers are to behave, not only with respect to conflict of interest but with respect to everything they do?

Hon Miss Martel: That is correct; in public and in private.

Ms Jackson: In your view, were the statements you made in Thunder Bay on December 5 in compliance with these guidelines?

Hon Miss Martel: No, they were not, Miss Jackson. They fell far short of what the Premier's guidelines state.

Ms Jackson: Quite apart from the guidelines, do you consider that they are appropriate conduct for a minister of the crown?

Hon Miss Martel: Miss Jackson, I would be very hard pressed to say that my conduct was appropriate. It was not appropriate. I understand from the Premier's guidelines that all that we do, not only in our ministerial capacity but I consider in private as well, must bear up to the closest possible scrutiny. In any conversations that we have with people, in any activity that we undertake, in any of the relationships that we have with people, to the best of our ability as a group and as an individual, I have to live up to that and try and assure myself and the public at large that whatever I do can bear the closest public scrutiny and that it would be above and beyond reproach. I try to live up to those guidelines. I try to do that in my personal life; I try and do that in my life as MPP and as minister. But on this occasion in Thunder Bay, I did not live up to those guidelines. That is very clear for anyone to see and I clearly recognize that myself.

Ms Jackson: Did you consider whether you should resign as a result?

Hon Miss Martel: Yes, I did. I considered that for well over 48 hours if not longer, from the time that I knew this had become a public matter in the sense that it had been raised in a public forum to probably well into the time that I entered into the House and the questions began on it.

Ms Jackson: What did you decide?

Hon Miss Martel: I think there were a couple of factors that I took into account from a very personal point of view: (a) the context in which the remarks had been made in terms of the day itself, what had happened during that day, the controversy surrounding most of that day, how tired I was, how I felt, the kind of argument that I got into and that it was very heated and that in a moment of extreme anger I said something that never should have been said.

I took into account as well, I guess on the other side, the four years that I have spent in this place, what I have tried to do as a member, the contribution that I think I have made as a member of the opposition and that I think I am making as a minister. And I took into account some of the positive changes that I think we have brought to northern Ontario in this last year, and I consider myself to have pushed a lot of that because I have been minister.

Taking all those things into account, I felt that at the end of the day, while it was a very serious matter, it was not a matter that I should resign over and that to the best extent possible I had tried to minimize the damage that I had done to the doctor by talking to him directly, by talking to those who had been involved, by extending my apologies, by not repeating his name nor the conversation in a public place in order to minimize as much as possible the damage that I could do to him. Taking all those into account, I thought, and I felt, that I would be better to stay where I was, because I firmly believe that in spite of what has happened here, which is a very serious thing, that I still can make a very positive contribution, not only as an MPP but as a cabinet minister.

Ms Jackson: And do you still think that today?

Hon Miss Martel: I still think that today. I think that more than ever.

Ms Jackson: Thank you, Ms Martel. Those are my questions.

The Chair: Thank you, Ms Jackson. Being mindful of the time and the length of questioning, it would be my intention -- I have spoken with subcommittee members -- that we would adjourn now until 1:30 to resume questioning.

The committee recessed at 1132.


The committee resumed at 1335.

The Chair: We will call the afternoon session of the Legislative Assembly committee to order. Before we commence with the rotation from caucus to caucus on questioning, I would like to indicate to members of the committee that Mr Harfield is in our committee room and is prepared to present his evidence in this matter. I have had a request that as a result of us now starting with the rotation of questioning with the minister, Mr Harfield be released, to return by 4:30 this afternoon. I would invite Mr Harfield and his solicitor to come to the table to permit their undertaking to return at 4:30.

This is just done, Mr Harfield and Mr Rust-D'Eye, just for the purposes of Hansard and for the benefit of committee members. It is my understanding that you would like to be released for a certain period of time this afternoon, and we are permitted to do that on an undertaking that you will return to this committee room by 4:30 this afternoon.

Mr Rust-D'Eye: Mr Chairman, I have talked to counsel for the committee. I will return prior to the time when Mr Harfield will testify, but I believe he is prepared to undertake that he will be back at 4:30.

The Chair: That would be sufficient. Mr Harfield, could you --

Mr Harfield: Yes, I will be.

The Chair: Thank you very much.

Mr Rust-D'Eye: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

The Chair: Having dealt with that matter, I would now invite questions from caucus to caucus on a rotational basis. Minister, I think you may already be aware that the process we have used in this committee is that each caucus is permitted a certain time period and, up to that time period, to ask questions of you. The rotation is now with the third party, and I have allocated one hour per caucus for questioning.

Having said that, I would invite Mr Harnick to commence questioning.

Mr Harnick: Thank you, Mr Chairman. May I, at the outset, Minister, thank you for your very candid description and recitation of the events. It has made what we have to do somewhat easier.

What I would like to do, I have received some documentation, which I received late this morning, dealing with a news story aired on MCTV in Sudbury on the 3rd of March. I do not know if that rings a bell for you. The gentleman who was being interviewed was a gentleman by the name of Felix Bocy. Does that mean anything to you?

Hon Miss Martel: No, it does not.

Mr Harnick: Well, perhaps if I could have the clerk --

The Chair: Mr Harnick, if you have copies of that --

Mr Harnick: I do.

The Chair: -- I would ask the clerk to get those and he could distribute them --

Mr Harnick: Perhaps I could have the clerk distribute this.

The Chair: -- to all members of the committee, including the minister and her counsel. As they are distributed we will mark those as exhibit 113.

Mr Harnick: What this is, there are two documents. There is one which is a transcript of a television story aired March 3, the other the transcript of a story aired March 10. If I could just read the first document, the story aired Tuesday, March 3. It is entitled "Explosive New Allegations Have Surfaced in the Shelley Martel Affair."

"A Sudbury man has come forward suggesting the Northern Development minister badmouthed doctors in a heated conversation he had with her in Sudbury. MCTV's Carol Bond has the exclusive story.

"When stockbroker Felix Bocy" -- B-o-c-y -- "approached Shelley Martel in a Sudbury airport last November, he expected some polite answers to his questions about the controversy surrounding doctors' billings to OHIP.

"The response he got left him shocked and upset.

"Felix Bocy talked with Shelley Martel," and now I quote:

"`At first she took a deep breath, and then I thought she was going to get really upset with me. It seemed to hit a real raw nerve. I said "I'd like to discuss Dr Donahue and the capping situation." And she ventured to say, "Well, these doctors, we can't keep paying these doctors," what I thought she said, "obscene amounts of money."

"`She just kept saying, "We can't keep on paying them these kinds of dollars," and I kept saying, "Shelley, that's not the issue." Now, for her to be portrayed at these hearings as a champion of doctors' causes, really, it's galling.'"

Miss Martel, do you remember having this conversation with Mr Bocy in the airport?

Hon Miss Martel: Mr Harnick, no, I do not.

Mr Harnick: Do you then have no recollection of this matter?

Hon Miss Martel: Mr Harnick, there were a number of people who talked to me about this matter. You are asking me if I can pinpoint this gentleman directly to an interview or some kind of discussion we had in an airport, and I am telling you that I cannot.

Mr Harnick: Had you had any other conversations among the many that you were having where this issue was put to you in public situations such as this?

Hon Miss Martel: As I said to the committee over the last two days, at a number of functions I was at, people approached me about this particular matter. I understand that Sharon as well, at a number of functions she was at, had a similar situation.

People in the community were very concerned. There were a number of discussions going on about this matter almost everywhere you went. So at the function that I related to you where I was Saturday night at the Steel Hall, there were a number of people who approached me. There was a general discussion at the table. When I was doing my clinics in the east end of my riding, constituents who were coming to my clinics to talk about their own matters with respect to why they wanted to see me also talked about their concerns: Either (a) they did not want Dr Donahue to leave, or (b) they were in agreement with the government policy and thought that billing over $400,000 uncapped was not correct. So there were many people who talked to me about this issue, yes.

Mr Harnick: Would this answer, as described by Mr Bocy, that you cannot remember making have been your stock answer?

Hon Miss Martel: No, Mr Harnick, it would have not, and since I cannot remember this conversation, I am loath to say that what he said may or may not, in fact, be correct.

A number of people talked to me about it to say whether or not they were in favour. I spent time with a number of people to say clearly: "$400,000 is not a cap. After that point in time doctors can still earn income. It is at two-thirds of their income in the first place, one-third in the second place, so it is not, as it has been portrayed in the media, which is, after $400,000 you don't get paid again."

I told a number of people that I was having meetings with the medical community and also with the Ministry of Health, that I was very concerned about what was happening as well, because I understand how important medical services are to the community, and that I was doing what I could to try to find a positive resolution to it.

Mr Harnick: Did you ever say what this gentleman believes he heard you say? What he thinks that you said was, "We can't keep paying these doctors," and then he thinks you said, "obscene amounts of money." Now, is that a comment you would have made to a citizen in Sudbury?

Hon Miss Martel: Mr Harnick, I would say quite the contrary. Most of the people who I talked to, I told them what I was trying to do to find a resolution to the matter. It was well known in the community that I was working particularly with the cardiologists to try and find a way to have the ministry move around the exemption and find a way to get them beyond so that they could continue to practise.

Mr Harnick: You see, what bothers me is -- what I have here is a description of a conversation that a private citizen had in the Sudbury airport. He is alleging that you indicated, "We can't keep paying these doctors" -- what he thought you said was "obscene amounts of money." If that in fact is what you said, I have some real concern.

Hon Miss Martel: I understand your concern, Mr Harnick. What I am saying to you as clearly as I can, I do not remember this gentleman and I do not remember the conversation.

Mr Harnick: Okay. Now, the next document that I have is from MCTV and it aired on March 10, which would have been, I believe, last night at 6 pm.

The Chair: Mr Harnick, do you have a copy of that?

Mr Harnick: It is part of the documents, the second page of exhibit 113.

The Chair: I am sorry.

Mr Harnick: "As Martel took the stand in Toronto, several people were being questioned here in Sudbury by a man who some say left them feeling frightened and intimidated.

"The questioning comes on the heels of damning testimony from a Sudbury woman who said an assistant to Martel told her she had inside information on the doctor. Carol Bond reports."

The report goes on to say:

"Denise Pope-Fretz, a patient of Dr J-P Donahue, received a disturbing phone call from a stranger today.

"He wanted to come over and talk to her about a phone call she had made to the office of Shelley Martel last November.

"The visit left Denise shaken and concerned.

"Denise Pope-Fretz questioned about phone call: `I asked him who he was working for and he said he was working with Shelley Martel's lawyer.'"

Question: "`What kind of questions did he ask you?'

"`He asked me if I remembered talking to the lady (at Martel's office) and I kept saying, "I can't remember," and he kept repeating himself, "Well, you would remember if someone was rude to you." I said, "That was a long time ago."

"`You say he was holding something?

"`He was holding I believe it was a clipboard and he had names highlighted and it looked like people he had visited and I asked him how he got my name and he said, "Well, your name was not spelled right, but we have your address which was right."

"`Did he ask you to sign something?'

"`Over the telephone, I told him that I was not signing anything and he said, "Well, you don't have to." But he said, "I just need your statement," and I said, "I don't have anything to say," and he said, "I still need to hear you tell me something," and I said, "No comment."'"

Can you tell me what that is all about?

Hon Miss Martel: Yes, I would be pleased to, Mr Harnick. In fact, at this point, Miss Edwardh, my counsel, would like to explain, because she has had the discussions both with the gentleman who was doing the interview --

Mr Harnick: That is quite all right with me.

Ms Edwardh: You will recall, Mr Harnick, that a witness appeared before this committee on Monday saying that on or about November 15, I think around noon, she had had a telephone conversation with the constituency office?

Mr Harnick: Yes.

Ms Edwardh: And at that time she received certain information from the constituency office. You will recall as well the minister's response, which was that she found it quite unbelievable that such a conversation could have occurred at that time. As well, you will know that one of the workers from the constituency office will be testifying before you tomorrow. In any event, I made the decision that it would be appropriate to make inquiries of people who had called, simply to see whether or not there was someone in the four or five individuals who called before that call was made or four or five who called after it who had received such information.

I went to a well-known lawyer in the Sudbury area and I said, "Do you have a reliable investigator, a private investigator, who could ask people if they had received any information that they thought was inappropriate when they made the call to the constituency office?" As a result, he retained a person who had been a police officer in the Sudbury area for 15 or 16 years, who had worked then as a process server and investigator, and asked people if they would mind recalling what the contents of their communication had been and asked them if they would write it out in their own hand and send it to my office.


Indeed I have, and I indicated to inquiry counsel last evening that this kind of material I hoped would come through and I would make it available to her. I received this morning some of those by fax. Certainly, when I spoke to the private investigator last night, he said to me that it was the first time in many, many years, including as a police officer, that anyone had ever suggested he intimidated anyone. He certainly did not intend to. It was a request that was made to assist this committee with a view to handing over these results to inquiry counsel.

Mr Harnick: You can see why people have become rather concerned about where this is going. I suspect you have some question as to the validity of the testimony of Ms Majkot.

Hon Miss Martel: If I might, Mr Harnick, I gave my constituency assistant Kim Morris specific instructions on how to respond on the telephone. To my best recollection those instructions were given the day before this particular call seems to have been made into our office. Indeed the call was made, because we have a record of it. My constituency staff were specifically instructed by me on how to respond. That is why I found it, as I said yesterday, very hard to believe that she would have said anything like what was repeated here on Monday.

Mr Harnick: You do know that, I believe, it was Mr Waddell of Sharon Murdock's office who came here and gave evidence.

Hon Miss Martel: Yes.

Mr Harnick: You are aware of that.

Hon Miss Martel: That is right.

Mr Harnick: And you are aware that when he came he told us that they had done a calculation and that in fact he was answering the phone and providing the calculation numbers to people who were phoning. And you are aware of the fact that the numbers were based on many inaccurate assumptions. That was what the evidence showed.

Hon Miss Martel: If I might, I would say it was based on information that Dr Donahue made public himself, but having said that, okay.

Mr Harnick: We have that coming out of Sharon Murdock's office.

Hon Miss Martel: Mm-hmm.

Mr Harnick: We have Susan Majkot's story about what she was told out of your office and we have got phone calls, petitions and letters of support for Dr Donahue, and I cannot help but believe that a strategy was being developed to deal with Dr Donahue. Dr Donahue was a thorn in your side every time you went back to your community. He was on the media. He was about to close a practice that many people wanted him to continue and we have a certain strategy developing to deal with him. I find it difficult to escape coming to that conclusion.

Hon Miss Martel: Well, Mr Harnick, if I might, first of all, whatever went on in Sharon's office with respect to calculations they made and gave to the public was their business. I did not direct them to do that, nor did I direct my staff to in fact use any calculations. I did not want them using calculations; I wanted them to say only what I instructed them to say. I think what was going on in Sharon's office is quite separate and apart from what went on in mine. That is the first thing. Okay?

The second thing is, I made it very clear to Miss Morris that in no way, shape or form did I want her to move out of the instructions that I had given to her with respect to what to say to people who were calling in, and those instructions were very clear, and I relayed them to the committee yesterday. To the best of my recollection, she did not move out of that script. She would not have, for example, taken any instruction from Mr Waddell were he to call my office and offer her use of some of his figures. She would not have taken instruction from him because she does not. She is employed by me, and so her instructions come from me.

There was no doubt there were a large number of letters of support for Dr Donahue, that is quite correct, and a large number of phone calls, and certainly he, I would say, had developed an action plan in terms of trying to raise this issue as much he could publicly. His patients were asked to sign a petition. They were asked to call all the MPPs. At every point that he could he made himself available to the media -- print, television, radio -- to explain his cause, and that is what he did.

But I can tell you from my perspective, while he might have been the person who got it rolling publicly in Sudbury, the concern that I had with respect to medical provision, had I to prioritize it, was with respect to the cardiologists, and that is where the focus of my time on this issue was spent.

Mr Harnick: And in the course of that, you had Dr Donahue rattling the bushes, so to speak, making your job more difficult than it otherwise would be.

Hon Miss Martel: Two things: It did not make my job with the Ministry of Health any more difficult at all, and in fact the use of the cardiologists situation was very helpful in my discussions and negotiations with the Ministry of Health as to why there had to be some kind of resolution worked out, why we could not just go with the Minister of Health's letter which said there would be no more exemptions.

There is no doubt that Dr Donahue had a public campaign which I felt was based on some very misleading information, and I did not like that. I resented that. But if I might, the focus of my efforts during all that time was to deal with the cardiologists and have Health deal with them and find a strategy through one of the proposals that they had put forward as the answer to the problem.

Mr Harnick: Dealing with exhibit 107, if you turn to the seventh page, the typewritten one, which is a little easier for me, why did you indicate in that document "Ministry of Health needs to bring his billing list with them and someone who understands what procedures" -- I guess it is "procedures" -- "he may/may not be doing and what his staff are doing and what rates his staff are billing services at etc"?

Hon Miss Martel: My understanding of those people who were going to be looked at with respect to individual exemptions from the minister, that is, under section 10, the discretionary power that she had to provide exemptions, was that anyone who was in that category and making that request would have to automatically meet with the Ministry of Health to put on the table the details and the nature of their practice and the details of the nature of their request for the exemption.

So it seemed to me that what I was saying here was in fact what I have expected would go on all along for any one individual specialist who was going to make a request for an exemption, that is, sooner or later he or she was going to have to sit down with the Ministry of Health and going to have to, on their side, bring all of their information with respect to their practices in salary, wages, overhead, leases that they had etc, and the ministry, from its perspective, would then bring billings information to determine the revenue versus the operating cost and if a solution could be found there with respect to an exemption.


Mr Harnick: You see, what concerns me is that when you answer that question now, there is absolutely no need to do this in any kind of a public forum. I can appreciate that the Ministry of Health has his billing information. They can make use of that billing information and they can make the determinations. My concern is the fact that he was asked to do it openly and in public and that you went to a meeting almost with the expectation that that was what he should be doing.

Hon Miss Martel: No, I would disagree with you. I think Michael Decter's letter, when it talked about "publicly" -- the letter I was asked to review yesterday -- makes it clear that he and whoever had written it wanted a public discussion. I do not think it would be fair or appropriate to assume, from what I said yesterday in terms of my request for a meeting with him, that I thought there would be, for example, media or large numbers of the public present. When I asked Dr Donahue if he was prepared to come to a meeting and talk about his situation I said that either I or a member of my staff would be there, that the Ministry of Health would be there and that he would be there, and to bring to that table any of his financial people he thought were necessary.

Mr Harnick: But --

Hon Miss Martel: And that was made very clear to him.

Mr Harnick: In light of the letter he received from Dr Decter dated the 19th of November --

Hon Miss Martel: Mm-hmm.

Mr Harnick: -- can you blame him for not wanting to attend a meeting after getting a letter like this?

Hon Miss Martel: If I might, I made a request to him because he had come to me and asked for help. My assumption was that he was prepared to have me do what I could to find a resolution to his situation. At the meeting on November 15, I told him very clearly that while I had his letter and his request for exemption, I myself had no idea as to what his problem was in terms of finances. I can only go from my perspective of my offer, which came as a result of his request to me for help.

Mr Harnick: But you had also indicated to him, and I think it is clear in your evidence a couple of times, where you said you wanted to try and arrange a meeting with him to meet with somebody from the Ministry of Health.

Hon Miss Martel: That is true.

Mr Harnick: And then shortly after that he gets this letter from Dr Decter that says it should be done openly, that it should be done publicly. Quite frankly, I do not say this in any criticism of you, but this cannot be what he was contemplating from any discussions he had had with you.

Hon Miss Martel: No, I would not think he would have got that impression from me at all, because I had never left the impression with him that I thought it would be an open, public forum.

Mr Harnick: Exactly.

Hon Miss Martel: I responded to his request to do something, which was to set up a meeting.

Mr Harnick: But you will agree with me that when he gets this letter, at the very least it has to send a bit of a mixed signal to him -- at the very least.

Hon Miss Martel: Well, it may. I cannot speak for what was on his mind at the time and what he was thinking. I would say that I think part of the dilemma he found himself in was that he himself had made the details of his practice very public.

Mr Harnick: But I am just talking about the contents of this letter.

Hon Miss Martel: Do you take that --

Mr Harnick: It is not the same signal, as far as you are concerned, that you were sending to him.

Hon Miss Martel: No, I would say I made it very clear to him whom I expected to be at the meeting.

Mr Harnick: You see, at the same time we have also got exhibit 105, and I gather -- you can correct me if I am wrong -- it is a copy of a fax that was sent after the meeting with Nuala and Ian when they went to see the Ministry of Health on the 14th, after your meeting in the elevator.

Hon Miss Martel: Mm-hmm; okay.

Mr Harnick: That is correct?

Hon Miss Martel: Yes, this fax came into my office on the 15th.

Mr Harnick: And you had indicated to, I think, your executive assistant to make sure she got that note, because you were interested in the results of that meeting.

Hon Miss Martel: That is correct.

Mr Harnick: You cannot help but note paragraph 5. What I glean from paragraph 5 is essentially four things: There is an opinion that "he wants taxpayers to support his entrepreneurial greed.... He wants to be exempted from the threshold or he will withhold services from people who really need dermatology care. Of all the specialists dermatologists have low overhead." Why does he "have such high overhead?" And "he should open his books and his billing and administrative practices to the scrutiny of his peers." Then the letter is "MOH."

When I look at that paragraph that was conveyed to you and that in fact you were interested in seeing, in a document that you had specifically requested, I cannot help but see a strategy developing. When I look at that document and I look at Mr Decter's letter and I look at what was happening in Sharon Murdock's constituency office, and when I look at what Miss Majkot -- quite frankly, I found her to be a credible witness and I do not think that after cross-examination anyone proved that she was not a credible witness. When I look at all those things, I see a strategy developing in order to deal with Dr Donahue.

If I can just continue for a moment, at the same time as I see that particular strategy developing, I see you personally drawing certain conclusions based on second- and third- and fourth-hand information.

Hon Miss Martel: No, not second- or third-hand.

Mr Harnick: Based on conclusions you were drawing from media reports, based on conversations you had at a union meeting, based on people you met at a dinner, one woman who went so far as to be worried that the 14 people working for Dr Donahue were being exploited, and based on conclusions that you drew in terms of the way he practised, whether there was enough supervision or not enough supervision, and without reflecting on whether you were right or you were not right, that in conjunction with the other things I have mentioned surely looks to me like there was a very specific strategy being developed to deal with Dr Donahue.

Hon Miss Martel: Well, Mr Harnick, that may be your opinion, and I guess I could speak in this one instance on behalf of Sharon and Floyd and myself and say I think we have all got some better things to do with our time than to sit down and try to figure out if we should, or how we could, go after this doctor; we really do. I think the allegation that I hear coming, that as a consequence of little pieces that you have pulled together about what was happening in various offices, we, the three of us, had sat down together and developed some plan or some mission to destroy this physician is absolutely false and wrong. We never did anything of the kind.

As I said earlier, I was the lead on this issue, and I was the lead because the communication and correspondence had come to my office first. I spent the time bringing in the others to different meetings that I was trying to set up and have in order to get to the bottom of it. I have a lot of other work to do as MPP and as minister, and it is incredible to me to think that you really do think seriously that we sat down and did something like this. I have a lot of better things to do with my time.

I was worried about what was going on in Sudbury, that is correct, and I was worried about what I thought were some very misleading statements that Dr Donahue made; that is correct as well. But I tell you as clearly as I can right now that the three of us did nothing of the kind of what I think you are suggesting, number one. Second, I spent the majority of my time on this issue dealing with the cardiologists and trying to find a resolution to their problem, because in my mind that was clearly the most important issue to be resolved in the city at that time.


Mr Harnick: Dealing with the cardiologists, one of the things that concerns me is that the dealings with them were of a totally different nature. They were never asked to produce their books. I have reviewed your documentation, and I note that your documentation simply deals with the kinds of practices they were running, as opposed to any specific questioning of their financial means.

Hon Miss Martel: May I respond?

Mr Harnick: Now, I suspect that what you are going to say is that is because Dr Donahue made all of this public, but the fact is that you approached the cardiologists in a totally different way than you approached the dermatologists and the other GPs, where the concentration was very much on, "These guys are making too much money."

Hon Miss Martel: No, I think you are wrong about a couple of things. They were never asked to produce their books. I can tell you that Dr Abdulla said to me on the night we met in his office that he would be prepared to give me or anyone from the Ministry of Health any information that I wanted with respect to his practice and he would confirm for me that he would get any of the medical and financial information of any of the other four cardiologists, if we wanted to see those as well. In fact, at the meeting, in a bit of a gesture of fun, he also said, "I have my chequebook with me. Would you like to see that too?" and he started to pull it out. I said I was not interested in that. The knowledge that I had from him that he was prepared to come and put anything that anyone wanted on the table was enough.

He also repeated that in the meeting that we had on November 30. It may not be written in my notes. I did not write everything down that he said because I thought I had very clear notes from my meeting with him, the night meeting in my office. He also said very clearly there to the Ministry of Health staff who were there that whatever they wanted in terms of information from him or the four other cardiologists, they would give at any time, at any place. There was never any hesitation from them at all. I must tell you that that contrasted quite dramatically to the situation with Dr Donahue.

Mr Harnick: But in the end that information was not necessary from the cardiologists?

Hon Miss Martel: No. I could say that it still may be. You see, my understanding --

Mr Harnick: But to date?

Hon Miss Martel: I do not know where the discussions are within the Ministry of Health to date with respect to the exemptions. Let me make this as clear as I can to you. My understanding all along with respect to the ministerial use of discretionary power to grant exemptions would be that those specialists who wanted an exemption would have to sit down at some point or another with the Ministry of Health, representatives from the OMA and their own people in order to go through that very process. That has always been my understanding of how an exemption in fact would be granted.

Although I have not read the details of the framework agreement that was released most recently in the media, I can tell you that in December, when it was announced that an agreement in principle had been in place, at that point in time it was made very clear to me that that would still be the process, that there would be a team or a body of people and the physician who was requesting an exemption would have to come to that body and go through that process there. That has always been my understanding.

Mr Harnick: But that material, as far as you are concerned and in your dealings, was never produced or needed to be produced to you or any of the people who you deal directly with?

Hon Miss Martel: My understanding is that it may yet well be produced. You see, it was not produced at that time only because there had not been a framework put in place.

Mr Harnick: But it has not been produced today, in terms of your dealings with the matter?

Hon Miss Martel: No, but bear in mind I have not talked to Dr Abdulla since this started, because I was told not to, so I do not know where they are in this process yet.

Mr Harnick: Okay. Thank you.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Harnick. Mr Tilson.

Mr Tilson: Thank you, Mr Chair. I wonder if, Miss Martel, you could tell us when you first raised the incident of the Donahue matter with the Premier?

Ms Edwardh: I wonder at this time whether I might make a comment, Mr Chairman. Through discussions that I have had, I had understood, and before my client claims executive privilege, that the matter of the specific conversations was not going to be the subject of inquiry because of some deference to the notion of executive privilege. If I am mistaken, I would like to be informed and then at least I can have some time to consult with my client. I would like a ruling, though, as to whether or not this is a proper area of inquiry.

The Chair: This subcommittee has already decided that any discussions that took place between the minister and the Premier were not going to be permitted as a result of executive privilege. Now, I did not object to the question at that point in time because I do not believe that Mr Tilson had completed asking the question and I understand that it may possibly have been a question that asked of the minister as to what her actions were, which I do not believe we have dealt with. But certainly, any questions, any issues, that dealt between the minister and the Premier were not going to be permitted as a result of executive privilege.

Ms Edwardh: That clarifies it. Thank you very much, Mr Chairman.

Mr Tilson: Well, Mr Chair, I was simply asking when she first raised the matter with the Premier. I did not ask what was said.

Hon Miss Martel: And I will not be responding to contents, thank you. Mr Tilson, I spoke to the Premier directly about this on Tuesday, December 10.

Mr Tilson: And did you have any other conversations with him?

Hon Miss Martel: Yes, I did.

Mr Tilson: How many?

Hon Miss Martel: I had another one on the following day.

Mr Tilson: Any other conversations?

Hon Miss Martel: No.

Mr Tilson: That is all you had, even after all the questions that were being raised in the House?

Hon Miss Martel: There were two discussions that I had with the Premier, himself and myself.

Mr Tilson: Yes.

Hon Miss Martel: They took place on Tuesday the 10th and on Wednesday, December 11.

Mr Tilson: Well, now, I will get on to another area and that is the whole issue of matters that were being raised involving the billings of doctors in the north and your reaction to that. Specifically with respect to Dr Donahue at least, and others, you appeared to be annoyed, to be angry, with some of the billing practices of some of the doctors in the north. Do you feel that you were justified in being angry against those doctors who you felt throughout were wrong?

Hon Miss Martel: Mr Tilson, if I might, the one individual whom I was very unhappy with was Dr Donahue and that has been made clear in this committee. What I was angry about was the way that he portrayed this particular issue and the way that he led what I would call his lobbying on this particular matter. I felt then, and I feel now, that the way it was handled was totally inappropriate, that on many occasions in talking to the press he made quite contradictory statements with respect to his billings, first of all. He told his patients and he told the community that he was being forced to leave, and in fact in a number of articles he said he was going to the United States. But I also knew that he was in the process of opening a clinic in Sudbury, so he was not going anywhere, and yet it was clearly what he was telling his patients and what he was telling the public.

Mr Tilson: There is no question that he was on a campaign to criticize the government for the way it was handling the whole issue. He was very critical of your government.

Hon Miss Martel: That is true.

Mr Tilson: And I guess we watched how --

Hon Miss Martel: But, Mr Tilson, can I just say one more thing before you get to your question?

Mr Tilson: Well, let me finish.

Hon Miss Martel: I guess the other thing I would raise in terms of what I was angry about was: Health care is really important to people in this province. It is critical in my community because people have fought long and hard to try and attract and maintain specialists. I think it is really awful for a specialist to threaten to leave when I do not think he had any intention of leaving, and to tell people their services were going to be withdrawn, when in fact I also did not think he should be withdrawing his service because the adjustments were not coming until December, and because his financial statement was quite a bit different than he was leading the public to believe. I think what I found really awful about this was what he did to the public in terms of creating hysteria and concern and fear around their health care and access to it. That is the bottom line which really made me angry about this.

Mr Tilson: There is no question he was on a campaign against the government. He was doing a number of things which you and your government colleagues did not approve of and you were angry and your actions justified it -- the very fact that we are here, the very fact that we are having this hearing is a result of your anger because of the meeting with Mrs Dodds. The name Donahue was mentioned and you went bonkers. At least, that is your testimony. Bonkers is a little strong, but that is essentially what happened.

So I guess the question I have is, the next time that someone, whether it is in Health or someone else, decides to criticize the government in a manner that you and your colleagues do not like, how are you going to conduct yourself?


Hon Miss Martel: Well, there are two things, Mr Tilson, if I might. I do not think what I said in Thunder Bay was to stop a criticism of the government, and in fact I had been working very hard in the last three weeks up to that point to try and change what the policy was on this particular matter. I had been trying to convince the Ministry of Health that the statement with respect to there would be no more exemptions was not going to work, and in fact in northern Ontario, in my community in particular, it was going to cause a great deal of trouble. So I was actually, in behind the scenes, actively trying to change what was the policy at that point.

Secondly --

Mr Tilson: Dealing specifically with Dr Donahue --

Hon Miss Martel: No, I am going to answer that.

The Chair: Order. Please allow the minister to respond.

Hon Miss Martel: That is the first thing, because you asked me about the next time someone criticizes government policy, all right?

Mr Tilson: Yes.

Hon Miss Martel: And I am saying that what I said about him I do not think reflected on my concern about government policy, okay? It concerned his actions around this matter.

Secondly, I would like to be able to tell you and tell this whole committee that I would never fly off the handle again. I do not think I can say that. I do not think you could say that if you were sitting in my position. I do not think any member in this room could and not wonder what may happen in the future that may lead them to say, in a moment of anger, rightly or wrongly, something that they deeply regretted later.

Mr Tilson: Well, I understand what you are saying, although I guess we are looking at how you were actively getting involved in this. You have accused Dr Donahue, rightly or wrongly -- because there are no facts. You do not have facts. These are based on newspaper reports, on comments from patients, from comments and individuals you know as to the alleged conduct that Dr Donahue has. And it has boiled down, the fact of the matter is, he is a major critic of your government, and quite naturally you have taken no action other than your own actions.

I assume, for example, you could have gone to the Ministry of Health and requested an investigation. You have suggested criminal activity. You could have contacted the Ontario Provincial Police. You have suggested other wrongdoings with respect to billings and excess staff. You could have gone to the College of Physicians and Surgeons in your capacity as a minister, or at least indirectly through the Minister of Health. You have that ability. But instead you chose to go another route. I guess it gets down to the whole question as to how you will act if someone else decides to criticize the government, an individual, on your policies, your government policies.

Hon Miss Martel: A couple of things: You said there were no facts, and I can tell you that most of what I put together in my head came from Dr Donahue's own statement to the media, and he made many statements, and most of them were quite contradictory.

Secondly, it was my feeling all along that because he was requesting an exemption, sooner or later he was going to have to sit down, like everyone else who was requesting an exemption, with the Ministry of Health and go through his practice and his billings and his costs and his expenses. So at some point or another, like any other specialist who was dealing with this particular matter, he would have to come, and then there would be a study done at that point in time of what his situation was.

You have asked me again, how do I know whether this might not happen again if someone approaches me with respect to government policy? I can only say what I said to you before, earlier in the testimony. I do make every effort that I can, in public and in private, to live up to the guidelines that are set out for my conduct, because I recognize how important that is to the public. If you were to say, "Will you make a mistake again?" I could not promise you that. I do not think anyone in this room could do that.

Mr Tilson: I would like to ask one final question dealing with the area of your admission to this committee that you have breached the Premier's guidelines, and specifically you have indicated that you handled this matter wrong, and the counsel has referred to you, to the guidelines. I must confess, I listened to your making that admission, and I listened to you making your admission last June, June almost a year ago, June of 1991, when you admitted that you breached the guidelines there. In fact you offered your resignation. This was in the House on June 13. Very briefly, I am going to read the latter portion of your letter that was read to the House.

Mr Owens: Is this material?

Mr Tilson: No, I am not filing any material.

I am referring to Hansard of June 13, 1991:

"While in opposition, I wrote two letters on behalf of constituents to the College of Physicians and Surgeons. However, while my letter was written regarding a constituency matter, I am a member of the government and the cabinet. Upon reflection, I realize that it is difficult for the public to discern between the role of a representative of the constituency and the role of a representative of the government and indeed cabinet. It is not appropriate to write such a letter and I profoundly apologize for doing so.

"I deeply regret my error in judgement and any embarrassment this has caused the Premier, my colleagues, my staff and the staff at my ministry. It is clear that the writing of such a letter could be perceived as having exercised undue political influence on the College of Physicians and Surgeons.

"Therefore, in order to accept responsibility for this possibility, I have offered my resignation to the Premier. I leave the matter in his hands. Again, I apologize to all the House, to my colleagues and to the public for the error which I have committed."

Now, that is an admission that you erred on the guidelines. You have admitted at these hearings that you erred on the guidelines. Quite frankly, the facts are very similar with respect to your conduct. In fact, they again were dealing with medical matters.

I would like you to justify the fact that in both situations you admitted that you violated the guidelines, and yet it was only in the situation in the spring of last year that you offered your resignation. Why would a minister, in admitting that she violated the guidelines, not have resigned?

Hon Miss Martel: There were a couple of things. Let me go back to the incident in June and talk about that for a second. Two things come to my mind in terms of why I offered my resignation at that point.

Number one: In our system the separation between the executive and the judiciary is quite clear. It is important that that separation be maintained, and it also has to be maintained with respect to independent tribunals, of which the College of Physicians and Surgeons can be considered one. At that time I had quite openly written a letter which very much could have been used in a public way and which the public could have perceived as me using influence as a minister of the crown, even though it was signed as an MPP, to try and exert undue pressure on the college with respect to a particular physician. I find that to be a very serious breach of what has to be a very clear division between our executive council and government, and independent tribunals.

Second, the writing of the letter itself: I sat at home on a Sunday afternoon doing my case work and came upon this letter. I went through it and I agreed with the premise that had been stated by the constituent that something should be done and that the doctor should not be allowed to practise as charges were pending. I sat and I wrote out a letter in longhand to the college to say just that. There was a whole great deal of thought in that, and it was an action that I think was quite deliberate. I sat, I wrote it out and I sent it in to be typed.

It was quite a bit different, in my mind, from the action which occurred in Thunder Bay on the 5th, where there was no thought given whatsoever to what I said. I did not come into that room looking for someone so that I could say the most outrageous thing about Dr Donahue that I could. I did not come into the room doing that. It was not a deliberate action. That it happened is not acceptable; I agree with you there. But in my mind the two are quite separate and apart.

Having said that, we all make judgements, and I certainly thought very seriously and very hard about resigning in this case. I did that over a couple of days, and at the end of the day, in thinking about this matter, what had prompted it, what I had done, what had happened, that I had gotten angry and I should not have, but I had gotten angry and got goaded in a conversation that I would have been much better to walk away from. I said something that should not have been said. I think that from there I did what I could to try and minimize that becoming a more damaging issue to the physician in particular. Having weighed all of those considerations plus what I think my role is here and what I think I can contribute, I decided that I would not resign in the second case.

Mr Tilson: Well, I look at the very first statement with respect to the guidelines, and that says, "To increase public confidence in the integrity of government," and then a number of guidelines are given. In June 1991, or perhaps it was prior to that time, it would appear that you made a mistake, because otherwise the Premier chose not to accept your resignation. On this occasion, on your own admission, at the December 5 meeting with Mrs Dodds, or the time with Mrs Dodds, you, on your own admission, made a deliberate lie.

So in June it was a mistake and, quite contrary, in December it was deliberate. I am still at a loss to coincide both those situations. In fact, I would suggest to you quite the contrary, that the situation in December is far more serious than the situation in June because of the deliberate nature of it.

Hon Miss Martel: Well, you see, Mr Tilson, I would disagree with you in the use of the word "deliberate." Let me say again, I did not walk into that room looking for the first person I could to blurt out something about Dr Donahue. That was not my intention at all when I walked into that room. It was a reception. I was meeting clients from the Ministry of Mines.

I was there at a Christmas party to talk about their concerns for mining and to wish them a merry Christmas, and I think there is a much greater difference between me sitting down, consciously writing out a letter that says, "I think this doctor should be removed because of the charges that are pending against him," versus me in the middle of a discussion which is very intense, which is very confrontational, where someone mentions this doctor's name and all of my anger with respect to what he had done in my community came out in a statement that, I agree with you, was quite inappropriate, but I think there is quite a significant difference between those two cases.

Mr Tilson: Is not the mistake in the June situation that you really did not know that you were dealing with the tribunal? It was a letter. I believe it was a mistake. But in this particular case, in the December situation, the Dodds incident, that was quite deliberate. You made a criminal accusation of a doctor in a community, in a community where there are grave problems that you and your colleagues had raised with respect to alleged overbillings, and you had indicated that you had been frustrated with this man, that you did not approve of his tactics, you did not approve of what he was doing. You knew a lot about him. You had read about him. You had made your own inquiries about him. You had formulated an opinion about him. And you made a deliberate lie.

I do not know where the people of Ontario are going to know the difference when I read that guideline. I do not know whether they will know the difference when you say to -- how are we going to "increase public confidence in the integrity of government" when we have trouble justifying those two situations? That is the confusion that I think many of us are having.

Hon Miss Martel: Well, Mr Tilson, I have tried the best I can to explain to you what was in my mind with respect to the differences. I think the added difference in the case of the June incident would also have to include the fact that in this province and in this process there has to be a very clear distinction between the cabinet and between the legal system and from their independent tribunals, and that the effect of my letter in June, the public perception that could have come from that, was very much that a cabinet minister was trying to influence a process, an independent tribunal process, that we should be nowhere near.

Those are some of the kinds of considerations that I made in my mind. Your use of "deliberate" and your view of the word "deliberate" and how it relates to these two circumstances are different than mine, and at the end of the day, in terms of public confidence and public trust, I have no doubt that I will be judged. I will be judged in my own riding and I expect this government will be judged as well. I recognize that.

Mr Tilson: Thank you.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Tilson. Seeing no further questions from the third party, we will now move over to the government.

Ms Edwardh: I wonder if we could just have a five-minute recess before we go on to that stage.

The Chair: Absolutely. Certainly.

Ms Edwardh: Thank you very much.

The Chair: We will have a 10-minute recess.

The committee recessed at 1435.


The Chair: We will bring the standing committee on the Legislative Assembly afternoon session back to order. Just prior to recess, the third party had completed its questioning. We will now, in rotation, move to members of the government side. I remind everyone that the time period is one hour per caucus. Mr Christopherson.

Mr Christopherson: Thank you, Chair. We do not believe that there is anything that we have to add or that needs to be added and would pass. Thank you.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Christopherson. Having said that, I will move to the official opposition. Mr Elston.

Mr Elston: Thank you very much. Miss Martel, I have a few questions for you, mostly about your background, I guess, and history, to begin with. You have been in politics actively now, at least from an elected point of view, since 1987.

Hon Miss Martel: That is true.

Mr Elston: Were you involved in politics actively before that time?

Hon Miss Martel: It depends on what you mean by "actively." If I might, Mr Elston, at that point in time when I was still living in the riding of Sudbury East, before I went off the university, I participated on a number of election campaigns.

Mr Elston: With your father.

Hon Miss Martel: That is correct.

Mr Elston: And probably with others.

Hon Miss Martel: Mr Rodriguez, when he ran federally in 1984.

Mr Elston: You know the political system pretty well.

Hon Miss Martel: Not too badly, yes.

Mr Elston: You served on the opposition benches from 1987 till some date in 1990 which I cannot recall at the moment. Is that true?

Hon Miss Martel: I will bet you cannot.

Mr Owens: Would you like me to refresh your memory?

The Chair: Order.

Mr Elston: And you had a pretty successful career in opposition, did you not? You led some very interesting --

Hon Miss Martel: Do I take this as a compliment, Mr Elston?

Mr Elston: No, really. Yes, I found you to be a very effective opposition politician. I have worked with you as House leader as well and I have found you to be a very effective person there. I even gave you some advice at one time about busy schedules which we will pass over for now.

Hon Miss Martel: I should have taken that advice, yes, okay.

Mr Elston: But you have led some very interesting campaigns about government business and government policies, have you not? You have been involved in opposition to Bill 162, for instance.

Hon Miss Martel: Correct.

Mr Elston: You were pretty instrumental in mounting a fairly diligent public offensive against that legislation.

Hon Miss Martel: That is correct.

Mr Elston: So why is it you were so surprised that people whose jobs are being taken away were confronting you on the day of December 5? You understand the system extremely well, do you not?

Hon Miss Martel: Yes, Mr Elston, I guess the response that I would give is that I do not normally have those kinds of meetings. I am not normally protested when I go out. I know it happens to all of us from time to time, but certainly it was a meeting that I had not expected. We had no indication that these people were going to come, even though it was an open house, and it was not really until we arrived there and understood the magnitude of the problem, because not only were pilots there but their wives and children, that I found it to take me aback quite a bit.

I think the second thing is that you would know as well as I that at some of these things you also have staff who can make it a little bit easier or move you away or deflect some of that. You would know that. I ended up in the position of standing there quite by myself for some long time defending the government's policy while someone was coming quite close into my space. That made me anxious at that time and I remember that sentiment very clearly.

Mr Elston: I remember some of the discussions around Bill 162 and some of the organized public confrontations with individuals. They were quite close and they were quite heated, and ministers from an administration that I happened to serve in were actually confronted by that same type of active and angry and zealous crowd. So can you tell me, since you were involved in those issues of the day, why you would be surprised that other people would actually take the same type of action against you when they were upset?

Hon Miss Martel: I do not think I said I was surprised, Mr Elston. If I left you with that impression -- quite the contrary. The impression that I was trying to convey is how I felt and what I went through on that particular day in question. I have, to the best of my ability, tried to express to the committee my feelings, my sentiments as I went through that day and encountered some of these difficulties. I do not often find myself in a crowd of predominantly males who I feel are quite close on my personal space, who are pointing their fingers in my face. I just do not. So whether or not that is common for other cabinet ministers, whether or not that is what Mr Sorbara felt like on the controversy on Bill 162, I can only tell you how I felt on that particular day. I was greatly unnerved by it.

Mr Elston: I was just pointing out that other ministers in other administrations have been confronted by very intense disputes, demonstrations, some of them organized, some of them orchestrated, in which they did not go about trying to defame some person as a manner of defending themselves or the public policy against those protests. Why is it that you think that you should survive when you have transgressed the guidelines in circumstances which are very much akin to what we have just described with 162?

Hon Miss Martel: Well, Mr Elston, I cannot speak for what other ministers go through and the positions they are put in and what they say or do not say. I can only speak for what I did, and that is what I have tried to do during the course of my testimony at these hearings.

I spent a lot of time in the 48 hours, at least, after that particular incident in Thunder Bay trying to sort out what I should or should not do. I tried to explain in my testimony this morning some of the considerations that I took account of in my head in responding to the decision which I ultimately made. I took a number of factors into account. I thought of them very seriously. I went back and forth in my head about resigning and not resigning, because at a couple of stages I had decided that I would, and at the end of all of that thrashing about in my head, decided that yes, I had breached the guidelines -- that was very clear -- that there are, I would assume, in the Premier's mind differences in terms of how he deals with those breaches and that for my own self, while I recognized how serious a matter it was, I did not think, at the end of the day, it was a matter worth resigning over.

Mr Elston: We heard about the June event from questions that were raised by Mr Tilson. Do you recall a letter sent to you dated November 9, 1989, by Gord Wilson, who talked to you about the inappropriate use of his name in conjunction with meetings that you had not been at when they were discussing the issue of 162 with the Minister of Labour?

Hon Miss Martel: My recollection of a letter from Gord Wilson was with respect to a statement I made in the House on a particular matter of policy, yes.

Mr Elston: I will just quote from this letter and I think I will make it available as an exhibit as soon as I am finished with it here.

The Chair: Certainly.

Mr Elston: It says, "In my view, it was inappropriate for you to use my name in a letter to an affiliate of this federation on this topic and it was equally inappropriate for you to speak in the Legislature of the OFL's meeting with the Minister of Labour regarding the abovementioned regulatory process without first having had discussion with my office directly," and, "I am among the first to acknowledge" -- and this is where he acknowledges -- "the tremendous effort that you and the ONDP" -- that is, the Ontario New Democratic Party -- "caucus mounted in an effort to stop Bill 162 and I have personally commented to you as to the depth of this appreciation and recognition of your hard work on the issue."

This becomes evidence, does it not, of the way in which you carry out your duties, that you have an inability to maintain a balanced sense of your dedication and appreciation for the need to win the issue? Sometimes you make -- in fact, on three separate occasions now you have made judgements which have crossed the bounds of appropriate behaviour, in this case of an opposition MPP, in the last two cases of a minister of the crown. Is it not true that you sometimes, and often, have shown a lack of appreciation for the line of activity?

Hon Miss Martel: Mr Elston, you used the word "often." I will not agree with that. I just will not.

Mr Elston: Okay, what would "often" be then?


Hon Miss Martel: You are talking about my political history here over four years. I suspect that while I am the one who is sitting here answering questions, some others around this room would be hard pressed to say that something similar might not have happened to them, particularly in the context of Gord Wilson's letter. I would be hard pressed to think that I am the only one sitting in this room today who has ever made a mistake or made an error in judgement, okay?

There is no doubt that I do become passionate about issues which are of great importance to me. I was very concerned about what was going on in my own riding and in the city with respect to the possibility of physicians leaving. There is no doubt about that. I was doing everything I could to convince the Ministry of Health that there had to be some kind of change, because from my reading of the cardiology situation in particular they may well have left. There was certainly that possibility. I was doing everything I could to try and reverse that policy in order that we may be able to keep the specialists.

But I am not going to sit here today and agree with you that on a normal day for me, or in the normal course of events for me, I make significant errors in judgement, such as the ones you have recounted, two in particular -- I am not sure that I would put the first in the same category -- or that I carry out my normal course of business in a manner that is not appropriate.

I have said to the members of the committee that I recognize the importance of the guidelines because of the impact they have on the public, and I do try, in my public and my private life, to live up to those. In the case in December and in the case in June I did not. That is quite correct.

Mr Elston: If three separate examples are not often, how many examples, how many transgressions would you consider would describe often making errors in judgement about the need to do whatever had to be done to win your way?

Hon Miss Martel: Well, Mr Elston, I think I have explained, in the case in Thunder Bay in particular, that quite contrary to being there defending government policy, I had taken a very active role in trying to circumvent some of that government policy in order to respond to a particular problem that was in my community. And second --

Mr Elston: Could I just interrupt you? I think you probably would choose a different word than "circumvent." I suspect you would want to change that word. You are not trying to get around it; you are trying to change the policy, presumably, in fairness. I do not think "circumvent" is quite the right word.

Hon Miss Martel: Amend. Is "amend" a better word?

Mr Elston: Amend; I think it is a better word --

Hon Miss Martel: All right.

Mr Elston: -- because all your other testimony is to that effect. And I am admitting, I mean -- I am quite fair on that. You are not trying to undermine the policy; you are trying to change it, presumably.

Hon Miss Martel: I am trying to make a change to it in order that the specialists and physicians in my community would not be forced to leave, because the way they were written and the application were going to mean that.

I think what I am taking some exception to, if I might, with respect to your line of questioning, is the assumption I hear that somehow or other I make errors of judgement on a repeated basis and therefore may not be fit either to serve as a cabinet minister or as a member in this place. That I would take exception to. I admit I made mistakes and I wish I could say today that I will not make any more, but I do not think I can as a human --

Mr Elston: Surely you are going to try and undertake to us that you are not going to slander somebody again.

Hon Miss Martel: Well, I think "slander" is a legal term, which may or may not be appropriate in this forum. I think I have made it clear, through my testimony, Mr Elston, what went on that day and what happened and I deeply regret that I did that, because certainly I would not be in the position I am in here today, and quite familiar to the public of Ontario in a way that I wish I was not. But it happened. I cannot do anything else to change what happened.

Mr Elston: You felt Donahue was misleading -- sorry, I do not think you said "misleading"; I think you said "manipulating" you, right?

Hon Miss Martel: Yes.

Mr Elston: You also said he was manipulating your community. True?

Hon Miss Martel: Perhaps a better word would have been the sentiments of my community. I felt he was manipulating me personally.

Mr Elston: And using you to do that.

Hon Miss Martel: Would you like me to go further?

Mr Elston: You had, long before December 5, made up your mind about Donahue, had you not?

Hon Miss Martel: Mr Elston, I do not think there is a particular point during those weeks that led up to December 5 where I can say that suddenly in the back of my mind I had this feeling about this particular specialist. Certainly there were points leading up to the December 5 meeting where I felt I had obtained some particularly new and relevant information that made me really question what he was after.

For example, on November 15, there was no indication at all that he was on the underserviced area program. Therefore, the figures he was giving to the Treasurer and I with respect to his financial situation were quite incorrect. November 30, when I discover he is on the underserviced area program, then the thought comes to me that he is making substantially more money than I had thought, but secondly, there was even less reason for him to be talking to the community about leaving because in fact his financial picture was much different; and (b) because the adjustment around the billing was not due to come in December, and we were working away to find a solution.

So I felt personally that while he had made a request by letter to me in writing for help, he was not really serious about it. I never felt that, even from the first and only time I met him publicly, which would have been on November 15. I never felt he was serious about his request at all.

In terms of what was happening in the community, yes, I think he played very much on the emotions of the community, for all the reasons I have already described.

Mr Elston: You had told us in your testimony earlier, as a result of November 15, the events of that day and I guess the meeting -- and it is very close to these words -- "I had responded positively, I thought," and as a result he turned you off and he caused you to be frustrated. In fact, Donahue was becoming a real pain in the backside for you, as the lead of the three New Democratic members in Sudbury, was he not?

Hon Miss Martel: He was certainly a public figure in terms of what our focus was, dealing with the issue.

Mr Elston: This was your issue, was it not?

Hon Miss Martel: Yes.

Mr Elston: Among the three members?

Hon Miss Martel: Yes, I was the lead on it, that is correct.

Mr Elston: So every time he popped up in the press or in the media, it was you for whom there was more pressure, to whom more pressure was being applied, although it was to be distributed among the three of you. Is that not true?

Hon Miss Martel: No. I would disagree with you, because all of the three of us were receiving calls from his patients at that point. It was not solely targeted on our office.

Mr Elston: But this was your issue. You had to handle this for the three members in Sudbury, did you not?

Hon Miss Martel: Yes, and my issue and my response had to be how to find a satisfactory response to this situation.

Mr Elston: Not only did you have this issue, you also had the issue of the cardiologists, for whom you developed, over the course of their interventions with you, a better feeling than you developed for the Donahue issue, is that not true, although you handled both of them?

Hon Miss Martel: Yes, that is true, but I think I would like to take it on a much -- on a global picture. I was the lead on the issue and my responsibility then was to find a solution.

Mr Elston: Yes.

Hon Miss Martel: That is what I am charged with. That is what each of us is charged with when we take the lead on an issue.

Mr Elston: That is right.

Hon Miss Martel: So my focus during that time was to find a resolution.

Mr Elston: You had decided certainly, or you were coming close to deciding, by November 15 that Donahue really did not want a solution from you. Is that not right?

Hon Miss Martel: No.

Mr Elston: You felt you were being used by him. You were frustrated.

Hon Miss Martel: No, Mr Elston, I would not use that date in my mind at all. When I went to the meeting on November 15, there were a couple of things that I knew: one, that calls were coming into our office from his patients. Those patients were saying very clearly that he had told them he was leaving the community. I knew as well, because he himself had been on TV, that he was in fact opening a clinic for hair removal, therefore was probably not leaving the community. I had not to that point seen any of the articles in the paper with respect to his saying publicly that he had reached the cap three months ago. Those I had not seen.

So the information I went to the November 15 meeting with in my head was (a) that he was probably not leaving, although he was telling people, and (b) he had 14 staff and there were concerns that were raised to me at a meeting of Steelworkers about what they did. To the best of my recollection, I did not have much more information than that when I went to that meeting.

Mr Elston: You knew subsequently that Dr Donahue closed both his clinic and his practice, did you, from the end of November until mid-January?

Hon Miss Martel: I knew that he had closed his medical practice. On the day that he closed his medical practice, the announcement on the radio was that he would be opening his electrolysis clinic the next week.

Mr Elston: He testified here earlier that in fact not only was his practice closed, but so was the clinic, until the announcement of January 13, I think it was, by Frances Lankin.

Hon Miss Martel: Mr Elston, all I am recounting to you is what my knowledge was from the paper. Very clearly on a radio interview on Friday, the 29th, he said that he was closing his office, that he had to dispose of some half a million dollars worth of equipment and he would be opening his hair removal clinic on the Monday.


Mr Elston: You found the November 15th meeting fairly intense, did you? At least confrontational. Maybe I should not say "intense" yet. I took it from your testimony you thought it was a fairly difficult meeting. There were more people there than you suspected?

Hon Miss Martel: No, that was not why I found it confrontational. I felt that Floyd and I had come there in good faith with an open mind about how to deal with this particular matter. We had been requested by Dr Donahue, and I had been by Dr Abdulla, to give them some aid with this particular matter. We came to a meeting in the expectation of getting information of how we could help and found quite the contrary, that Dr Donahue's attitude at that point in time was that he really did not want any help. I was, at that point in time, very surprised about him taking out his cheques, throwing them directly in front of the Treasurer and saying, "You can pay all my staff their final paycheques."

Mr Elston: Everybody throws cheques to the Treasurer these days.

Hon Miss Martel: I think he would wish. It seemed to me that for someone who wanted our help he went about a strange way asking for it.

Mr Elston: So you, by your admission there, had concluded as of the November 15th meeting that Donahue did not really want your help at all?

Hon Miss Martel: No, I would not say that either.

Mr Elston: Well, you just said that. I am sorry.

Hon Miss Martel: No.

Mr Elston: You just said, "He didn't want our help; he threw the cheques in front of the Treasurer."

Hon Miss Martel: Oh? I said it was a strange way to go about looking for our help.

Mr Elston: We will check Hansard, but --

Hon Miss Martel: If I might, my feeling that he did not want our help came as we made some efforts to try and arrange a meeting for him, as he had requested to me because he had not been able to talk to anyone in the Ministry of Health for eight months. So as we went through the next couple of weeks and he at first said, yes, he would be quite prepared to come to a meeting with Dr MacMillan, one of my staff, to a point where he was not quite sure any more if he would, to a point where he did not want to at all because he did not want to be the focus of public attention or media attention any more and that he was not the issue.

Over the course of those conversations and over the course of a couple of days, then I became quite convinced that he had not wanted our help from the beginning. But I cannot say to you that at a specific point on one day this became clear to me. It happened as a consequence of things we were trying to do with our effort to give him some assistance.

Mr Elston: So November 15th was a bit of a surprise for you in terms of the day, the way the meeting unfolded, it became a little more intense, a little more confrontational than you had expected when you went into the forum?

Hon Miss Martel: I think that there was an adversarial attitude that was established.

Mr Elston: Mm-hmm.

Hon Miss Martel: I do not think it came from us in terms of Floyd and I.

Mr Elston: No, but it surprised you, though? You were taken aback by it?

Hon Miss Martel: But of course I was, because we were there as local representatives who were interested in figuring out how we could help.

Mr Elston: And not only that, but you had just gone through several other engagements. The night of the 14th you had flown up here, you had been back and forth, a very busy schedule, and you had come into this meeting on the 15th in good faith to help anyone who was there to receive help genuinely.

Hon Miss Martel: Uh-huh.

Mr Elston: You were interested. So being confronted by this sort of public demonstration became a little bit of an irritant to you, did it not?

Hon Miss Martel: I would not say that it was a public demonstration. I think the only demonstration was by Dr Donahue himself.

Mr Elston: Okay, but --

Hon Miss Martel: The others were quite fine.

Mr Elston: -- his demeanour was upsetting to you at least, was it not?

Hon Miss Martel: I found it strange that someone who wanted our help would go to that kind of length to get it, because it was not the way I, if I were a constituent, would try and approach my local MPP for help.

Mr Elston: Did he make you angry? Did him throwing the cheques in front of the Treasurer make you angry?

Hon Miss Martel: I thought it was quite bizarre.

Mr Elston: Yes, it was upsetting that he would do all this.

Hon Miss Martel: Well again, Mr Elston, he asked for our help. That is a strange way to go about asking for help. I am not sure what else I can add.

Mr Elston: Yes, quite a surprise. I am trying to figure out then why your reaction in this particular meeting, which was a very big surprise and which followed an extremely busy week of flying back and forth from Sudbury to Toronto and defending your estimates and going through some local clinics and doing all this, resulted in you, by your own testimony, sitting down in the middle of this meeting and deciphering, with some detail, what you felt would have been his gross billings. Do you remember telling us about how methodically you went through that event in that meeting on November 15? Do you remember that?

Hon Miss Martel: It was not difficult for me to come to a conclusion about what his gross billings were. It did not require a great deal of calculation. He said to us at the meeting that he had reached his cap three months ago and the cap --

Mr Elston: Oh, yes. I am not disputing the fact that you did it. I am very interested that you, in the middle of this very tough schedule on this particular week, when by your own admission you had been flying back and forth -- you had had some clinics, and you had other clinics that were being prepared -- were able in the middle of a very surprised forum, where cheques were thrown on the table in front of the Treasurer, to sit down and coolly calculate the gross billings of a physician about whom you had been receiving a fair bit of difficulty, and in contrast to your description of how you reacted on a December 5 meeting where you had run into several surprise events. But by December 5, you had already concluded that you did not like Donahue much, at least his tactics. Is that not true? I should not say you did not like him personally, but you did not care for his tactics. In fact, they were offensive to you, were they not?

Hon Miss Martel: Can I answer?

Mr Elston: Yes.

Hon Miss Martel: Yes, I found that his tactics and the way he dealt with the matter were offensive. I felt he really manipulated the sentiments and the emotions of people in my community who have a deep respect and concern for health care.

Mr Elston: So when his name was mentioned to you, all you had to do was hear the name to defend yourself against a charge that he was unfairly being treated. Is that not true? Is that not why you reacted so quickly, because you had already made your mind up that you had to defend yourself and your government against his accusations? That is why you said the things you did, is it not?

Hon Miss Martel: Mr Elston, if I had thought --

Mr Elston: I am thinking reflex.

Ms Edwardh: Excuse me. Could she answer the question?

Mr Elston: Sure.

Hon Miss Martel: If I had thought at the time all of those things before I opened my mouth, I would have never said it. What I have tried to do here, to the best of my ability, is to put into context for people what I was thinking as I moved through those weeks leading up to December 5, and second, what I was feeling as I moved through that day. If I had given any thought before I opened my mouth I would have never, ever said what I did; I would have walked away. But I did not, and I made the comments. I have tried to describe to the committee to the best of my ability what they were. I regret that I made them, but I cannot take them back. They are there. I have done what I can to try to respond to that situation and I am not sure what else I can tell you.

Mr Elston: But, really, what you tell us about December 5 is that the December 5 meeting was a culmination of a series of events which led you to believe that you had to defend yourself and your party against the attacks by one Dr Donahue in Sudbury. Is that not true? You had to set straight the record. Is that not true?

Hon Miss Martel: I go back to my point that I was not there defending government policy. I was quite actively, I think, trying to amend it, if "amend" is the best word we can use. I would not agree with you in saying that my response was a defence of government policy. No, I do not think it was.

Mr Elston: But the very mention of Donahue conjured up the issue and the manipulation you felt was being applied both to you and the people of Sudbury by that person. Your reflex was to deliver a defence of your people or of the New Democrats by saying the things you said. It was that reflex to defend yourself against an accusation that Donahue was being unfairly treated. Is that not true? That it may have been spontaneous may be very true, but it was a defence none the less, was it not?


Hon Miss Martel: Mr Elston, if you were to stand back now and take a look at it and you have to make a decision whether or not it was, I did not think of that at the time. It was not something that was conscious in my mind that I have to say something in order to defend myself or I have to say something in order to defend government policy, even though I am actively trying to amend government policy. I cannot say to you today that I sat and thought about what I was doing, because I did not. I opened my mouth and there it was, and what was said, yes, is very wrong. But I cannot tell you what I was consciously thinking of or trying to decipher in my head before I said it because I just do not know.

Mr Elston: Was it not sort of a reflex or instinctive reaction when Donahue's name came up that you had information, that you wanted to put an end to any thought -- that you had information you thought could put an end to any thought that Donahue was being useful in this debate?

Hon Miss Martel: Mr Elston, I can only tell you what I feel now. In hindsight, that may well have been the case. Was I thinking it then? I did not think of anything at that point. I just went ahead and opened my mouth. I am trying to answer you in the best way that I can. You are asking me to think about what I thought about, what rationale I was trying to build in my head before I said what I said. There was no rationale. Obviously if there was, if I had thought about it all, I would have never said what I said.

Mr Elston: Rather instinctive like your writing the letter to the College of Physicians and Surgeons because at the moment that you read the letter requesting your assistance you said "That's what I'll do." In this situation, being confronted at the end of a very busy day, or maybe in the middle of a very busy day, by this person who came at you -- I think that is as you described it -- and by the mention of that name, it was instinctive for you to use whatever means were within your power to defend yourself against a false accusation about Donahue's plight. I think that is how people have to measure this. Those are my questions.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Elston. Mr Conway, just prior to that, I would like to indicate that we will distribute that exhibit of November 9 as number 114. Mr Conway.

Mr Conway: Thank you very much, Mr Chairman. Ms Martel, I want to thank you very much for a very elucidating day and a half's worth of testimony. I have tried to listen very carefully to what you have said and, believe me, I can appreciate very keenly the circumstances in which you found yourself, particularly on the evening of December 5. I look at exhibit number 111 and it is a killer schedule. I hope that people inside government take a look at that and make sure those kinds of schedules are revisited. I am probably the only one in this room outside of yourself who can say that early in a ministerial career I had the opportunity to encounter Mrs Dodds in a Thunder Bay hotel to discuss matters of mutual interest of concern at the time. I was responsible for an extremely contentious public policy that our government was initiating. So from a very personal point of view I want to say I have some very keen appreciation for the circumstances in which you found yourself.

Having said that, and recognizing the limitations of time this afternoon, one of the most startling admissions to me in your testimony is that from that period of time, about 6:30, 7 o'clock on Friday, December 5, till late on the evening of Saturday, December 6, in Kenora, you, by your testimony this morning, admitted that you did not see that there had been a problem. It was only when the call came from Toronto, I believe, that you realized there might be some difficulty arising out of your private conversations with that person at the Airlane the night before.

Hon Miss Martel: Mm-hmm.

Mr Conway: The fact that in a conversation in a public place you used words like "criminal" and "charges" with a person you did not know, particularly after your painful experience of June 1991 with the College of Physicians and Surgeons case, having regard to that very recent precedent, it did not cross your mind at all that the use of that kind of language with a person you did not know, albeit in a public place, albeit in what you thought was a private conversation with a person you did not know, that did not strike you until 27 or 28 hours later, and then only because someone from your office called, as potentially problematic?

Hon Miss Martel: That is correct, Mr Conway.

Mr Conway: I find that very troubling. I have said in your absence, and let me say in your presence, I have a very high regard for you personally. I know something of the family and the political tradition from which you come. I do not say this to be cute or glib. You are your father's daughter and you, I am sure, are very proud of that, and you should be. One of the things I have tried to imagine -- I thought of this last night, because I went to bed watching John Rodriguez in the House of Commons. Fascinating, fabulous speech on the Mazankowski budget. If anybody wants to see Sudbury basin NDP populism at its best, I would recommend that tape from last night.

I am sitting here trying to imagine what friends in the NDP in Sudbury would do when a major public policy of which they are rightly proud was under attack in the kind of way that clearly Dr Donahue was attacking, and, I might add, not always by reference to the Marquis of Queensberry rules. It is very clear that by the end of November you, Elie Martel's daughter, are pretty ticked off at the way in which this gentleman is presenting the case. Believe me, I am entirely sympathetic as to why you would be -- my words, not yours -- ticked off at his presentation of the case around threshold and related matters.

I am trying to imagine how people then might behave and respond. I said in your absence, "The Elie Martel I know would have an instinctive reaction," and it would be somewhat mine: attack. I have before me in this hearing all kinds of evidence that suggests that there were a lot of people working inside the government preparing an attack dossier. I will not bore you with all of the exhibits, but we have -- you have added, by the way, with exhibit 105, a very helpful one. It does not surprise me that someone in the Treasurer's office is saying that Donahue "wants taxpayers to support his entrepreneurial greed."

We know, for example, with exhibit 44 -- the very famous exhibit 44, the full version of which we have seen in this committee; this is the Teatero memorandum -- that by late in the afternoon of November 13 -- perhaps it was some time November 14 -- certain political staffers either saw or had the opportunity to see this very, very relevant file. We know that people in the communications branch of the Ministry of Health either saw it or had the opportunity to see it. Boy, if you were out to get at Dr Donahue, would exhibit 44 be relevant to your interest.

I have been one of those who has been deeply concerned that your speech in Thunder Bay on the night of December 5 bears a very direct linkage to some of this material. I have not been able, on the basis of a lot of testimony, to make that direct linkage, though I am extremely suspicious and I probably will remain so. But I have got to take you at your testimony, which is very powerful, extremely powerful.


I want to talk about the conduct of ministers, because I sit here and I listen, and just about everything you have said to me is entirely believable, particularly when I look at your schedule. What I do not understand, knowing particularly who you are and the circumstances from which you come -- a keen appreciation of the principles of political propriety and ministerial responsibility -- is that having done what you did, for whatever reason, and regardless of how tired you were, and I can appreciate how stressed out you might have been, that when you as a minister of the crown said those things to which you have admitted, you do not imagine that to be misconduct. I just find that breathtaking. Not that you should not come back to a cabinet at some point, but to say those things about anybody --

I ask you this: You were an extremely effective Labour-WCB critic for your party. What would you have thought if in the midst of the worker compensation reform legislation that our government, perhaps very ham-handedly, introduced and pursued, I had gone to a meeting as, let us say, Solicitor General for the Peterson government and said to someone, who then reported to you: "You know, if you knew what I knew about that union leader, you wouldn't be nearly as supportive. I've seen his file, and I've got to tell you, what he's up to is almost criminal. You know, there are charges about to be laid." What would Shelley Martel have said or done?

I think Shelley Martel would have rightly said: "Conway, that's a penalty and to the penalty box you must go. You simply cannot say those things." And I am not being facetious. I mean, you are a bright, experienced, intelligent person, and I am not interested in getting into the details of the June event, where I am very, very sympathetic to your situation. Believe me, I am. But that did happen a few months before this event in December.

Your Premier in a very eloquent way in exhibit 112 said that the fundamental principles by which his ministers were going to be expected to behave and by which they would be judged were that they would at all times act in a manner that will bear the closest public scrutiny. You yourself have said that your conduct with Mrs Dodds fell far short of those guidelines. How is it that you can continue, for this time at least, in this cabinet, having done what you did and having regard to these guidelines?

Hon Miss Martel: Is that your question?

Mr Conway: Yes.

Hon Miss Martel: If I might, Mr Conway, I did try and answer that when I was being questioned by counsel. I will try again. I have, to the best of my ability, in the time that I have been here in opposition and in government, tried to maintain a high standard in terms of my conduct in public and in private. That is important. It is important for the public and for public trust, and I understand that, and I understood that very well when my father was a member here also.

In this case, a judgement was made. That judgement was made based on many hours of reflecting on what I had done, on regretting a great deal of what I had done, on wishing it would all go away but knowing that it was not, on reflecting on what had happened, the kind of schedule I had had, people who had been involved, and bearing that against or comparing it to I think my performance in this place and my performance as a minister and what I think I can still contribute in this place and to my riding. And bearing both of those very much in mind, after many hours of struggling with it, I decided that it was not a matter that I would put my resignation forward over.

Mr Conway: Alan Redway went to the Ottawa airport a few months ago as the federal Minister of Housing, and I am sure that when he went to the Ottawa airport the last thing he had in his mind was making some flip comment about airport security. But for whatever reason, he made an unfortunate comment that was reported, and in my view he did precisely the right thing. He stood down from the federal cabinet, because you just cannot have federal cabinet ministers -- at least, one hopes one does not have federal cabinet ministers -- going around being light-hearted about airport security.

Twenty years ago, Darcy McKeough, in his job as a Minister of Municipal Affairs, signed, I am sure quite inadvertently, a municipal something or other that affected South Chatham Estates, in which his brother or family had some kind of an interest, and without any delay, he tendered his resignation. He left. He came back within a few months.

I have listened carefully to what you have said. I just do not get it, because you have made a powerful case here today, but you have made a case for your going to the penalty box for at least some period of time.

When I hear your response to me earlier, I think back to what I thought a breathtaking column by Ms Landsberg in the Toronto Star of June 18, 1991, in which she is writing about the incident involving the College of Physicians and Surgeons. I was just dumfounded by that column by Ms Landsberg, because basically what she is saying there is that if the cause is just, just about any means are allowed. I am sorry, but the Premier has made plain that not just any means are allowed, that it is simply unacceptable, surely, to go into a public place as a minister of the crown and talk about "charges" and "criminal" as they apply to an identified individual.

Is not part of your problem that you are having an ongoing difficulty understanding that you are no longer Shelley Martel, the very active advocate for the good people of Sudbury, but that you are now a minister of the crown with broader responsibilities? You just cannot separate in your mind, as apparently Ms Landsberg has difficulty as well separating out -- not only do some means disqualify themselves entirely, but that as a cabinet minister, you just simply cannot go around advocating in the way that you once did.

Hon Miss Martel: Well, Mr Conway, that may be the role we are supposed to play. However, I do not forget where I come from, I do not forget who put me here and I do not forget, ever, that there are some very important issues in my riding that I will have to deal with whether I am on the opposition side or on the ministers' side. The day I start to forget that will probably be the day I start to go down and kiss the next election goodbye, because I do not think you can ever come here and forget about where you come from and who you represent.

Mr Conway: Listen, I am very sensitive to that, as I think all elected members are, but I think those of us who have served in government understand that when you are a cabinet minister, you have got a different kind of responsibility. It is not that many decades ago that the first thing one had to do as a private member upon the invitation to join the cabinet was to resign and return to the riding to get approval to sit as a cabinet minister. That is a clear recognition of the doctrine that there is a different level of responsibility.

What I am having a great deal of difficulty with -- and I thought over the lunch hour about what you said this morning, but does she not understand that as a minister, regardless of how tired you are, regardless of how you feel -- and let me say again, I put myself in your position through October and November. I just look at the evidence before me and I say again, I am very appreciative of the frustration you would have had.

To be partisan for a moment, I am surprised at the extent to which some people out there are now reading and using the old NDP play book. I tell you, it is tough. I have been in the position. To see facts manipulated, to see only part of the story out there, to see what I might believe is half truth or incomplete or purposeful confusion is not very easy, but that does not allow me, surely, the right to go out and say, "You are about to face charges because what you are doing is very nearly criminal." That is just inappropriate, inexcusable behaviour, without even reading exhibit 112, which is Bob Rae's clarion call to a higher kind of public service.

Your government came to office committed to, if nothing else, a better level of conduct than those awful Grits who were thrown out on September 6, 1990, and I can understand how you would feel in that connection, but in my 16 1/2 years, I do not think I can ever remember another cabinet minister -- and there has been some considerable cabinet misconduct, I will tell you, on all sides -- I cannot think of a case where a cabinet minister has walked into a public place and said the things you said, for whatever good or stressed reason, in Thunder Bay on the night of December 5. I do not think there is a precedent for that and I cannot imagine that you do not see that, for a short period at least, you ought to go to the penalty box.


Hon Miss Martel: We all make judgement calls every day in what we do and how we operate around here and in private. I have made a judgement call on this particular issue, and the call I have made is that I can continue to make a very positive contribution as a Minister of Northern Development and Mines in this province.

At the end of the day, whenever we go to the polls next, I am sure, and you will know this well, people will judge accordingly. They will judge me in my riding, which is where I should be judged, and that is the call I have made.

Mr Conway: I appreciate that and, quite frankly, I would say that at the end of the day this is not your call. I would have thought that in this case, in this case especially, you would have tendered your resignation. That you, for your reasons, and you have your reasons, have not done so leaves another option, and we will talk about that in another place.

My final question, because my colleague from Kenora would like to ask a couple of questions, is, what is the public to think? What is the public to think of any minister of the crown who would do the things you did? I know you in the way the general public would not and believe me, I have a great deal of appreciation for the particular circumstances of 6:30 Thursday, December 5th, I repeat for the third time.

What does the general public make of all of that, and what do you say to people who would say, "Whew, I might like to join the participatory democracy of Shelley Martel and Bob Rae, but I'll tell you, it is not going to be without some risk, because I know of another person who for good or for ill mixed it up with this gang and did he have his pedigree read." What would you say to someone who lives in Pembroke or Windsor or Cornwall who just looks on and says, "Mm-mm, this gang are bare knuckled and I think I'll stay away because I don't know what they're going to do to me"?

Hon Miss Martel: I will answer in a way of going back to my father, whom you have referenced, as I understand it, several times in this committee and have referenced here today. I think, frankly, that my father had a fairly outstanding political career. He would be a very good model to follow. Mr Conway: Absolutely.

Hon Miss Martel: Whether you know it or not, or whether other members of this committee know it or not, on at least two occasions during the course of his political life here -- once he was served papers for libel, very early the 1970s, for comments he made publicly about a developer in Sudbury. The second time he almost was served with papers for libel was in 1984 when he made an allegation about an assistant deputy minister in the Ministry of Labour outside the House. On two quite separate occasions he made very serious allegations which were mistakes.

I think everyone around here would agree with me that in spite of that he is not remembered for those things; he is remembered for the outstanding contribution he made in this assembly and in his riding. I can tell you, Mr Conway, I hope that at the end of the day, that is how people will remember me too.

Mr Conway: Let me say, we have all made mistakes, but what I am having difficulty with is that first, as a cabinet minister, you are not just a private member any more. Elie Martel and Elmer Sopha were among the most colourful people ever to grace this Legislature. I often wonder whether either one of them could ever have functioned as cabinet ministers. I think of those wonderful things Elmer used to say and, boy, talk about eloquent lacerations. No one handed them out more often than Elmer Sopha. But I wonder whether or not he could have stood the harness of cabinet government.

The point I am making to you is that of course we have all made mistakes, and human beings that we are, we will continue to make mistakes. But the doctrine, particularly the doctrine of ministerial responsibility -- not something your father ever had to face as a private member -- if it means anything, surely means that to go out in a public place and say: "You, Dr Donahue, are up to no good. I've seen your file. Let me tell you people that what he's about is very nearly criminal and charges could very well be laid" -- if that is not, under a doctrine of ministerial responsibility by the most minimal interpretation, grounds for at least a brief period outside of cabinet, I do not know what that doctrine means, and I certainly do not know what exhibit 112 means.

Hon Miss Martel: Mr Conway, we have gone through this a couple of times, and I think I have said as clearly as I can to this group that a judgement call was made, and the people who will judge me in the end are going to be the people in my riding.

Mr Miclash: Madam Minister, you made a comment just a while ago, in answering a question of Mr Conway, that you are going to be familiar to the public in a way that you wished you were not. Can you expand on that, please?

Hon Miss Martel: I guess I would have thought it was fairly obvious, Mr Miclash. This is not my proudest moment, as I expect you have already assumed, and I will be glad when this is over, whenever it is over, so I can get back and devote my full duties to the ministry that I am trying to represent. But it is not the way that I would ever hope to achieve notoriety nor would I really wish it on anyone else.

Mr Miclash: You are responsible for the Ministry of Northern Development, and part of that ministry is the underserviced area program. Can you explain to me how that brings health care professionals into the northern part of our province?

Hon Miss Martel: It seems to me that my personal feelings towards one particular doctor cannot in any way be construed as my general feelings for health care professionals who want to come to northern Ontario. The fact of the matter is that even in the affair that has gone on I have developed and have very good relations with a number of other physicians in my community who worked with me in finding a positive resolution to this matter. So I have no doubt in my mind that I can go out and tell people that it is a very good thing to come to northern Ontario and practice medical care, that we can use instruments that we have in our ministry to entice people to come and do just that, and at the end of the day I have no doubt that there will be more people who will come and do just that.

Mr Miclash: I find that difficult; I really have a problem with that because I know that you are the minister responsible for getting these people into our areas, and for you to have -- I would have to come out and say slandered, smeared the reputation of a doctor; for this to gain the province-wide, maybe not just the province-wide but the national press that this has gained, and then for you to sit there and tell me that you do not think this is going to have any implication on drawing health care professionals into the north, I find very incredible.

One other thing I find incredible as well is that yesterday it was brought to our attention that you refer to some of the civil service, some of the people, the bureaucrats who work for us, work for me in my riding, work for you as minister, work for the Minister of Health, as rinky-dink: rinky-dinks who work out there in the field. When that was brought up, now, it was brought up in a personalized note of yours. But for you to even think that way of our civil servants, of our bureaucrats who back us up, whether we be a member of the opposition needing something from the Ministry of Health or from the Ministry of Northern Development, for you to come out and refer to them as being rinky-dinks, now, that bothered me all evening.

I think of the people back in northwestern Ontario, the people who work on the front lines. How are you going to face them when they wonder where they are in terms of your rating as a ministry official, a bureaucrat, a civil servant for this province?

Hon Miss Martel: I think I made it fairly clear to the committee yesterday that I was sorry I had used that term, and the intent of it was to ensure that we had the highest level of people in the bureaucracy dealing with this matter so that it could be resolved, because what I was terribly afraid about is that it might fall through a crack somewhere and we would not at the end of the day find a resolution to what I thought was a terribly important health care matter in my community. That was why I wanted, in terms of those conversations with Michael Decter, to be very clear that he understood how serious a matter this was.


But on the broader question again of whether or not I think people will come to northern Ontario as a result of this, I can tell you as clearly as I can right now that, yes, I think they will. I made a mistake with respect to a certain physician. I do not think that undermines in any way, shape or form my commitment to health care in northern Ontario. Over the last year that I have been here I also think that I have demonstrated that commitment in a number of the changes that we have, from the travel grant to the breast screening clinics that are going into Sudbury and Thunder Bay, to the research capacity that Dr Ho has now in terms of stem cell technology at the cancer treatment centre, to the work that I am doing now with the cancer treatment centre to expand some of its services, to the meeting I had with representatives from the health care community from Thunder Bay last week on the one-hospital concept, to a whole host of other northern medical issues that really concern me. I intend, in the time that I am here, to deal with those matters because I think they are particularly important to me and to northerners. No, I do not think that at the end of the day the comment that I made with respect to this physician is going to undermine all that work. I do not.

Mr Miclash: Again, Minister, I have to disagree with you on that aspect. But moving on to another aspect of something you indicated, I believe it was this morning, in your meeting with the ONTC, you indicated it was an 8 o'clock meeting. You realize how much grief your decision and then your reversal of the decision has caused me in the riding. I must say that just during the press reports I have taken a little bit of a blunt of that issue.

But I must go back to the issue and what you indicated, that when you walked into the meeting you were blindsided. You had met with these people three times previously. You did not have your facts straight. You had to reverse a decision that was reversed some time maybe that day, following that meeting, because of the consequences that came from that meeting.

Minister, I line that up to how you were prepared for the issues that were surrounding the whole incidents of the doctors in Sudbury. I align that to that in terms of I am surprised that you were not given more or had access to more information, more information at your fingertips when you approached this issue. As I say, I parallel both of the issues, the ONTC issue along with the issue of the Sudbury doctors. I must ask you, do you feel that you were adequately prepared for any engagement with the public in terms of the Dr Donahue issue?

The Chair: Mr Miclash, I would like to remind you your time has expired.

Hon Miss Martel: Let me say two things, if I might. I guess I take exception to your dramatizing your particular problem in your riding as being a result of my decision. I would recall for you, Mr Miclash, last December, December of 1990, when I said that I would not consider putting Dash-8 service into your community, you wrote and asked me to reconsider that decision. Then, when I made the decision that what we were going to do was to cause too much grief and it was not proper for me to continue with the Dash-8 decision, even before that, when the heat started in your riding, you wrote and you asked me to reconsider that too. So, you know, I am having some difficulty because, as the heat has changed in your community, so have your letters to me.

Now, having said that, the question about whether I think I was adequately prepared or not for meetings with the doctors, yes, I do think that I was. I had asked for and received information from the Ministry of Health with respect to those who were on the underserviced area program so I could know who in my own community would not be affected. I had asked them for the total numbers of people who would be affected so I could understand and appreciate the magnitude of the problem. There were 13 of those, and I knew nine of them, because nine of them had already approached me for help. I had asked and received from Eugene LeBlanc help with understanding what kind of solution could come, how we could use the underserviced area program in order to allow those physicians who are working in designated specialties to continue to practise and to be exempt from the cap at that point.

I think I had a lot of information. I think it came from some very good sources. It was public information and I think the efforts that I made -- I think that I was adequately prepared for what I did and I think at the end of the day we have a solution that I think came very much from my community, from a number of doctors who sat down and figured out for me and allowed me to take that information to the ministry of how we could positively resolve that problem.

The Chair: Thank you very much. Time has expired. I would like to remind members of the committee that there will be the necessity to have an in camera session, so we will, in just a moment, recess so that we can arrange that.

I would like also like to indicate that I am going to be distributing as exhibit 115 a response to an undertaking that is provided by Sharon Murdock as a result of her testimony. That is now being distributed and will be marked as exhibit 115.

Having said that -- Mr Kormos.

Mr Kormos: On a point of order, Mr Chair: Earlier this afternoon, indeed earlier today, Mr Harnick, I trust on behalf of his caucus, tabled what purported to be and certainly appeared to be a transcript, and indeed what purported and appeared to be a complete transcript, of a broadcast on MCTV Sudbury March 3rd.

Now, I am loath to even suspect Mr Harnick of purposely misleading anybody in this room, but interestingly, the transcript of that interview that I received from the Ontario News Monitoring Network reveals Mr Harnick's version to be cutely edited, not of any great significance but the omission of the observation by the interviewer that Felix Bocy, the person being interviewed, and I am quoting, "Felix Bocy has known Dr J. P. Donahue for years."

I have given the clerk a copy of what I believe is the complete transcript. I would ask that perhaps that be made an exhibit. Again, this inadvertent, erroneous transcript having been filed, I am pleased to have the opportunity to correct that.

The Chair: Mr Harnick.

Mr Harnick: I made it very clear that I received this material in an envelope today. I did not know whether it was complete or not complete. I can appreciate that Mr Kormos may not believe what I am saying, and that is his right, but I tell this committee that this is what I received. I described how I received it and I filed it as such. So Mr Kormos can have all the reservations he wants, but the Hansard will speak for itself. I indicated what it was that I was filing, and this was all that I had.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Harnick. I have listened carefully to the point brought forward by Mr Kormos. I am not certain that it is a valid point of order, but I am also not hearing any objection to the particular transcript being marked as an exhibit. Accordingly, I would like to recognize this particular Ontario News Monitoring Network transcript as exhibit 115 -- I am sorry, 116.

Having said that, I would recess this hearing for 10 minutes so that we might be able to move into an in camera session with the minister.

The committee continued in closed session at 1558.

The committee continued in open session at 1643.


The Chair: We will resume our afternoon sitting of the Legislative Assembly committee and I will now call Mr Harfield. Good afternoon, Mr Harfield.

Mr Harfield: Good afternoon.

The Chair: Mr Harfield, it has been the procedure in this committee that an oath is administered prior to questioning commencing, and I would ask the clerk to do so at this time.

Keith Harfield, sworn.

The Chair: Again, as is the custom of this committee, I will issue a warning, and that is that in the event you are asked a question that you cannot properly answer without divulging confidential information, could you or your counsel please advise the committee, and if that information cannot be provided without divulging information of a confidential nature, then the matter can be addressed in an in camera session.

Mr Harfield, if you might introduce your counsel for Hansard's purposes.

Mr Harfield: My counsel is Mr George Rust-D'Eye.

The Chair: Thank you very much. Again, how the committee works is that counsel to the committee, Ms Jackson, will commence with questioning and at the completion of that there will be a rotation from caucus to caucus. Having said that, I would invite Ms Jackson to start questioning.

Ms Jackson: Mr Harfield, I understand that you are a resident of the area near Sudbury?

Mr Harfield: Yes, Manitoulin Island.

Ms Jackson: You are a management consultant, sir?

Mr Harfield: Yes, I am.

Ms Jackson: You have your own company that operates in the area of management consultancy?

Mr Harfield: Yes, I do.

Ms Jackson: What is the name of it?

Mr Harfield: Harfield and Associates.

Ms Jackson: Mr Harfield, there has already been reference to the fact in these proceedings, sir, that you are here under Speaker's warrant. Is that correct?

Mr Harfield: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: And, I think it is fair to say, here somewhat reluctantly. Is that right?

Mr Harfield: At this time I wish to apologize for not appearing yesterday.

Ms Jackson: May I just say, Mr Harfield, I am going to ask you about yesterday specifically, but before we get into yesterday, even before yesterday there was some reluctance on your part to come to testify. Is that right?

Mr Harfield: That is true. The reason I did not want to testify is I was receiving phone calls from clients stating that I was spreading confidential information. Confidentiality is very sacred to me and, for that reason, I did not feel I should attend this hearing.

Ms Jackson: What do you think it would do to your business if you developed a reputation for breaking confidences?

Mr Harfield: Basically, it would put me out of business.

Ms Jackson: Is that why you were reluctant to testify?

Mr Harfield: Yes, it is.

Ms Jackson: Now, we know, because you were here on Monday, that you were here on Monday pursuant to the Speaker's warrant and at that time, of course, we put your evidence over to yesterday morning. You recall that?

Mr Harfield: Yes, that is true.

Ms Jackson: You were not in fact here to give evidence yesterday morning, correct?

Mr Harfield: I was admitted to the general hospital. They wanted to keep me there for observation, but I requested I had to be here for a 10 o'clock meeting.

Ms Jackson: Can we start back a little bit earlier in the day. How did you come to be at the Toronto General Hospital?

Mr Harfield: I had dinner around 10 o'clock Monday evening, and about 12 o'clock these severe pains -- pain in my stomach took place. I did not sleep at all. Finally, at 4:30 I felt my entire stomach was going to explode. I then had the front desk call a cab and went to emergency of the Toronto General Hospital at 4:30 in the morning.

Ms Jackson: Were you seen at the emergency department?

Mr Harfield: I was seen first by the nurse, then the general practitioner and then the surgeon.

Ms Jackson: What were you told about the suspected cause of your condition?

Mr Harfield: Firstly, they thought it was an appendicitis attack, and then they believed, at a later time, that it was food poisoning.

Ms Jackson: In the result, did you stay in the hospital?

Mr Harfield: No, I had requested that I be at this meeting for 10 o'clock, so they released me at 8:45.

Ms Jackson: What did you do then?

Mr Harfield: I returned to my hotel room, had a shower, shaved and was attempting to come to this meeting when I took very ill.

Ms Jackson: What happened after that?

Mr Harfield: I called my counsel and told him I would be unable to attend.

Ms Jackson: Did you pass out?

Mr Harfield: After a two-hour session in the washroom, I passed out until 3:30.

Ms Jackson: What happened then?

Mr Harfield: I again called George Rust-D'Eye and explained the situation.


Ms Jackson: At some point in the day did you again talk to the doctor you had seen at the emergency department?

Mr Harfield: Yes, at 3:30. I explained to him what was happening and he told me to stay on strictly clear fluids and take some Tylenol. He also wanted me to return, but being by myself I had no strength, so I ended up telling him I was unable to return to the hospital.

Ms Jackson: When you talked to the doctor and described what had happened to you during the day, did that assist him in deciding whether it was appendicitis or food poisoning?

Mr Harfield: From what I told him, he diagnosed it as being food poisoning.

Ms Jackson: All right. You have been good enough to obtain from that doctor a letter and your hospital record. I am advised that we are having some Xeroxing problems, so we will distribute it to the committee members shortly. Mr Chairman, could I ask that we assign it an exhibit number?

The Chair: Yes. That will be reserved as an exhibit.

Ms Jackson: It is for those reasons that you were not here yesterday?

Mr Harfield: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: Mr Harfield, I understand that you are the president of the small business association, which is a provincial organization. Is that correct? Mr Harfield: Yes. The majority of our members are in northern Ontario, but it is a provincial organization.

Ms Jackson: Can you describe briefly for the committee what the association does or what its purpose is?

Mr Harfield: The purpose is to work with government and try to improve the communication with government and small business, which seems to be a problem there. We are trying to improve that.

Ms Jackson: Is there a division within the association called the Contax Club?

Mr Harfield: Yes. There is a new club formed for that reason: to invite government people to attend and listen to small business and business people's complaints.

Ms Jackson: Did that club have a planned event in the latter part of November 1991?

Mr Harfield: Yes, November 28.

Ms Jackson: A Thursday night?

Mr Harfield: A Thursday evening.

Ms Jackson: What in general terms was the nature of that event as it was planned?

Mr Harfield: We had three guest speakers on the schedule, and I am not sure if our office contacted Dr Donahue or Dr Donahue contacted us to appear to give us some idea of what was happening with the ceiling on his billing.

Ms Jackson: In any event, there was some contact and a suggestion that Dr Donahue would come to this event and speak on matters relating to the ceiling on billing. Is that right?

Mr Harfield: Yes. That is what took place.

Ms Jackson: When the possibility that Dr Donahue would attend the meeting arose, did you do anything in respect of that?

Mr Harfield: At that time I made a few calls to different people I know in the area to analyse the situation.

Ms Jackson: When you say "to analyse the situation," what were you trying to determine, if anything?

Mr Harfield: I was trying to determine if there was an actual problem for doctors in the health care system.

Ms Jackson: In that connection, did you contact one person or a number of people?

Mr Harfield: I contacted a number of people.

Ms Jackson: Approximately how many?

Mr Harfield: Three or four.

Ms Jackson: By phone?

Mr Harfield: By phone.

Ms Jackson: Were these people in government?

Mr Harfield: Yes, they were.

Ms Jackson: I understand that it is your view that the identity of these people is a confidential matter. Is that correct?

Ms Harfield: That is correct.

Mr Kormos: Excuse me, Mr Chair, please. There has been no suggestion that this man has legitimate confidential links in the government. I do not see how, if the contacts are illegitimate ones, they can then be regarded as confidential. The man is a private entrepreneur. So far the answer suggests that he has contacts in government from whom he obtains information. I surely do not see how, not having that link to those people that is bona fide or legal, he could claim that these contacts are somehow confidential.

The Chair: Mr Kormos, this is a matter which has already been discussed in other areas. If, as has been the case in the past, a witness comes before this committee and feels that there is a matter of a private and confidential nature, in keeping with the warning provided earlier, this particular matter can be dealt with in camera and then reviewed thereafter by counsel and by the subcommittee. Ms Jackson.

Mr Kormos: Chair, one moment, please. If he had deep throats or moles in the Ministry of Health or any other part of the government, surely the public ought to know about it and surely the members of this committee ought to know about it, and not in secret.

The Chair: I understand your point, Mr Kormos. You will also recognize this is specifically a matter that has already been discussed in other areas and decided. Ms Jackson.

Ms Jackson: Can you describe for the committee, Mr Harfield, generally the kind of information that you obtained from these three or four people to whom you spoke?

Mr Harfield: I received figures that I thought very little of. They had no meaning to me.

Ms Jackson: I am sorry, you thought very little of. I did not hear what you said after that.

Mr Harfield: It meant very little to me. I had no interest in knowing someone's billing rates and billing schedule.

Ms Jackson: Are you suggesting that what they told you was his billing rates and schedule?

Mr Harfield: I am not aware that they are the correct figures.

Ms Jackson: But they gave you billing information.

Mr Harfield: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: Concerning Dr Donahue?

Mr Harfield: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Now you indicated that you were endeavouring to determine something about the sort of threshold or ceiling policy. Were you endeavouring to find out what Dr Donahue's billings were?

Mr Harfield: I have heard several different figures, and therefore I would not want to repeat any.

Ms Jackson: No. I am sorry if my question was not clear. When you made these contacts with the three or four different people, were you hoping to find out what Dr Donahue's billing numbers were?

Mr Harfield: No. I had no intention of finding that out at all.

Ms Jackson: You said you were trying to find out something about the threshold policy of the government as it related to the issue Dr Donahue proposed to bring forward. Is that correct?

Mr Harfield: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: Can you explain how it was then that you came to get billing information? Why was it that these people gave you billing information?

Mr Harfield: I appeared to be sympathetic towards the doctors and it made this one person angry, and for that reason they provided me with these figures.

Ms Jackson: Were you given any information apart from Dr Donahue's billing numbers? Were you told anything else about his practice that you can now recall? I am just asking for the type of information at the moment.

Mr Harfield: Just the types of billing that he was making.

Ms Jackson: Do you mean the types of services he was billing for?

Mr Harfield: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: All right. Having received that information, did you then tell it to anyone?

Mr Harfield: I discussed it with no one else other than Dr Donahue.

Ms Jackson: When did you discuss it with Dr Donahue?

Mr Harfield: It was after our Contax Club meeting.

Ms Jackson: So he did come to the meeting.

Mr Harfield: Yes, he did.

Ms Jackson: Had you ever met Dr Donahue before?

Mr Harfield: No.

Ms Jackson: After the meeting, how did you come to be talking to Dr Donahue?

Mr Harfield: It is designed for mingling after the meeting. Dr Donahue and I started discussing what he had said and somehow the figures came up and he denied those figures. He said they were incorrect.

Ms Jackson: All right. Was there any discussion in the context of that conversation as to whether you and he would have an ongoing business relationship?

Mr Harfield: He then suggested that possibly our firm could prepare a proposal to Premier Bob Rae, and he was to mail me the next day his facts and figures that he had prepared.


Ms Jackson: The issue of your doing that kind of work for him, was that something suggested by him or by you, or do you remember?

Mr Harfield: I do not remember. It was kind of a mutual thing.

Ms Jackson: Now I have to ask you, Mr Harfield: Dr Donahue has testified that when you reported the billing information that you had to him, that he was very shocked because it seemed to him to be accurate. Do you have any recollection at all of his suggesting that any of the numbers you gave him was accurate?

Mr Harfield: He did return a call a week or so after and he stated that those were actual figures.

Ms Jackson: I see. And in that call, did you have any other discussion about those figures or where you had got them from?

Mr Harfield: No, that was -- I told him I was not revealing the source.

Ms Jackson: Did he ask you?

Mr Harfield: Yes.

Ms Jackson: And have you ever told anyone else what information you received from these three or four people?

Mr Harfield: No, I did not.

Ms Jackson: Have you ever been contacted by anyone else, apart from my office recently, in an attempt to determine what information you received or from whom?

Mr Harfield: There was a fellow by the name of John Hinds from Ian Scott's office that called a few days later and asked what my source was.

Ms Jackson: And what did you tell him?

Mr Harfield: That I was not revealing the source.

Ms Jackson: Did you tell him what information you had received?

Mr Harfield: He had already known that.

Ms Jackson: All right. Did you speak to it to anyone else?

Mr Kormos: I am sorry. I did not hear that answer.

The Chair: Order.

Ms Jackson: Would you repeat your answer, Mr Harfield?

Mr Harfield: Ian Scott already knew that I had information on the figures.

Ms Jackson: Did he -- did you indicate to him what the number was that you had, number or numbers you had received in respect of Dr Donahue's billings?

Mr Harfield: No, I did not.

Ms Jackson: Did he indicate that he knew what the number was, or numbers were, that you had received?

Mr Harfield: I do not believe he mentioned numbers at all.

Ms Jackson: Now you have said that with respect to Mr Scott. With respect to Mr Hinds, was there any discussion between you and Mr Hinds as to specific dollar numbers of billings that you had received?

Mr Harfield: There was not.

Ms Jackson: Did you speak to Mr -- when did you speak to Mr Scott in relation to when you spoke to Mr Hinds? Was it before, after or in the same call?

Mr Harfield: The first call was Mr Hinds, and he then asked me to speak with Ian Scott, and then within an hour or two Ian Scott returned a call.

Ms Jackson: Returned the call or called you again?

Mr Harfield: Called me again.

Ms Jackson: Why was he calling you again?

Mr Harfield: He asked if I -- he was bringing it up to the House and asked if I would discuss those figures with Premier Bob Rae, or that I had received this confidential information from Premier Bob Rae.

Ms Jackson: And what did you say?

Mr Harfield: I said if the Premier wants to know, I would certainly give him that information.

Ms Jackson: Now I have pointed out to you just before this session that the question of this conversation between yourself and Mr Scott was raised in the House on Monday, December 16th. Are you able to place this call in relation to that exchange in the House? Was it the same day, the day before, shortly before or a long time before?

Mr Harfield: It was the same day.

Ms Jackson: All right. There is an indication in Mr Scott's remarks in the House that he had received a telephone call from you with respect to this matter. Did you ever initiate a call to Mr Scott?

Mr Harfield: No, I did not.

Ms Jackson: Did you ever -- do you recall ever describing the person or people from whom you received this information as "a health official"?

Mr Harfield: I do not recall ever saying it was a health official.

Ms Jackson: Would it be, in your view, given the identity of this person or these people, correct to describe them, or any one of them, as a health official?

Mr Harfield: I spoke to health officials, but I did not receive confidential information from health officials.

Ms Jackson: So the information you received on Dr Donahue's billings and the kinds of the practices he had did not come from someone you would call a health official?

Mr Harfield: No.

Ms Jackson: Apart from the disclosure of the information you received to Dr Donahue, did you ever tell anyone else what information you had received about Dr Donahue's billings?

Mr Harfield: Could you repeat that?

Ms Jackson: You have indicated that having received some specific information about Dr Donahue's billings you told Dr Donahue himself about that on November 28. Have you ever told anyone else what information you received about Dr Donahue's billings?

Mr Harfield: No, I did not.

Ms Jackson: Have you ever told anyone who you got it from?

Mr Harfield: The source?

Ms Jackson: Yes.

Mr Harfield: No way.

Ms Jackson: Well, I understand you have had some conversations with Mr Donovan, who wrote the Toronto Star article on January 26?

Mr Harfield: Yes, he did interview me.

Ms Jackson: Did you tell him any of the confidential information you had received from any of these sources?

Mr Harfield: No, I did not.

Ms Jackson: Did he tell you where he had received any of the information he has in that article? Let me ask you specifically with respect to the dollar billing numbers that are in that article, did he tell you where they came from?

Mr Harfield: No, he did not.

Ms Jackson: There is an indication in that article that there is an ongoing review, or was at the time, of Dr Donahue's practice and his billings, and some reference to the medical review committee. Did Mr Donovan tell you where, if anywhere, he got that information?

Mr Harfield: We discussed it. I am not certain.

Ms Jackson: I think the balance of my questions of Mr Harfield will have to be canvassed in camera.

The Chair: We will now start the rotation with the members of the government. It is a 20-minute time period.

Mr Christopherson: Mr Harfield, I am having some difficulty reconciling some of the things that I think Dr Donahue said and some of the testimony you have given today, so forgive me for going back over some ground. I am just trying to get it clear.

At this business contact meeting, you approached Dr Donahue, correct?

Mr Harfield: No, I did not. It may have been an office coordinator. I am not even in that office. So I do not know if he approached us or we approached him, but he wanted to be there. That is all I know.

Mr Christopherson: Let me go directly to it. Dr Donahue has given testimony that -- and I ask to stand corrected; I do not have the exact transcript in front of me -- at that meeting when you came up to him, that was the first time he had met you.

Mr Harfield: Yes, that is correct.

Mr Christopherson: That is correct as you understand it. Did you approach Dr Donahue?

Mr Harfield: I think the coordinator introduced me to him. Somehow we just kind of bumped shoulders.

Mr Christopherson: Okay, and can I ask how you got from just being introduced to someone to letting him know that you had what he considered really some of the most important personal business that he has? How did you get to that point in the conversation where suddenly you are telling him what you know about his billing?

Mr Harfield: At the time he was interested in having us prepare a business proposal for Bob Rae, and that came up very suddenly. I was not sure I wanted that. From the information I had received, I was not sure I wanted that business opportunity.

Mr Christopherson: Was there some discussion then in the initial contact that led you to believe there might be a business offer, that you would then try to get this information about Dr Donahue?

Mr Harfield: No. That information was of no interest to me at all. It was just a sudden response from this person.


Mr Christopherson: Just to save time because 20 minutes does not last long, Patricia, did Dr Donahue not give testimony that he was not trying to solicit any kind of business, or was it more that Mr Harfield was not trying to solicit from him?

Ms Jackson: I am sorry, I do not think I want to be --

Mr Christopherson: You cannot --

Ms Jackson: There are a number of remarks by Dr Donahue on this point and I do not think it would be fair for me to try to characterize them in that way.

Mr Christopherson: That is fair, thank you. Let me try it this way: You had this information on Dr Donahue when you got to this business meeting, correct?

Mr Harfield: Yes.

Mr Christopherson: Can I ask you, why did you have that information? What was the motivation that had you asking for and receiving information about Dr Donahue since you had not even met him before that meeting?

Mr Harfield: I wanted to see that it would fit into our mandate of our meeting -- his problems, his concerns -- and at that time, November 28, I was not very familiar with the $400,000 ceiling.

Mr Christopherson: So when you got to that meeting you were planning to make a business pitch to Dr Donahue, or you knew that there was already some contact that there may be a business offer in the offing?

Mr Harfield: No, I had no intentions, absolutely none.

Mr Christopherson: The problem I have is, if you did not have that ahead of time -- and I am sure there is a straightforward answer; I just cannot seem to get the right question that elicits that from you -- why then would you go out of your way, assuming that you did, to use whatever contacts you have to get that information about Dr Donahue?

Mr Harfield: I was not after that information. I was after information on the ceiling.

Mr Christopherson: When you used your contacts. And that information was just offered to you about that particular doctor --

Mr Harfield: That is correct.

Mr Christopherson: -- and about no other doctors.

Mr Harfield: No.

Mr Christopherson: And when would that be? What date?

Mr Harfield: It would be the day of November 28.

Mr Christopherson: That same day, so you made the calls in anticipation of going to this meeting and you were doing your homework.

Mr Harfield: That is right.

Mr Christopherson: We are going to talk more about that in camera, I understand. Could I ask about the article? In the article Mr Donovan uses figures and you have testified that you did not give him those figures. Can I ask you, did he say to you with certainty in his voice that these were the figures, or was he throwing out --

The Chair: Order. I think that --

Mr Christopherson: In camera stuff?

The Chair: Yes.

Mr Christopherson: All right.

The Chair: I think that asking any question dealing with the accuracy of any one particular figure may be something that may be posed in camera.

Mr Christopherson: Okay, thank you. Further then to the questions regarding Mr Scott's office, you say that you did not initiate the call to him. Do you have any reason to know why Mr Scott would stand up in the Legislature and state that "Today I received a telephone call from Keith Harfield"?

Mr Harfield: I do not know why he would make that comment. The Toronto Star investigator did actually investigate that and did find in fact that John Hinds had made the call to me.

Mr Christopherson: Now did I understand correctly when you were answering Ms Jackson's questions that it was your impression that Mr Scott already knew the dollars when he called?

Mr Harfield: I am not aware of that. We did not discuss dollars that I recall.

Mr Christopherson: Did Mr Hinds?

Mr Harfield: Not that I recall.

Mr Christopherson: So Mr Hinds called you, and what was the conversation like? He phoned you up and said, "Hello, I'm Mr Hinds from Mr Scott's office"? Is that the first contact you had ever had with Mr Scott's office?

Mr Harfield: Yes.

Mr Christopherson: Or with Mr Hinds?

Mr Harfield: Yes.

Mr Christopherson: What happened in that conversation?

Mr Harfield: He wanted to know my source. The purpose of the call was to find out my source.

Mr Christopherson: So it was a very short conversation? You just said "I'm not going to tell you" and he then said "Mr Scott wants to talk to you directly"?

Mr Harfield: Yes.

Mr Christopherson: And then Mr Scott called back about an hour later; he called you?

Mr Harfield: Yes.

Mr Christopherson: Can you tell me what happened in that conversation?

Mr Harfield: He then told me that he was going to bring this information to the Legislative Assembly.

Mr Christopherson: And again a short conversation? How long?

Mr Harfield: We discussed other topics other than Dr Donahue's case.

Mr Christopherson: Are those topics related at all to this inquiry?

Mr Harfield: No, just about tourists on Manitoulin Island.

Mr Christopherson: I see. Fine. Thank you. I believe Mr Kormos has some questions, Mr Chair.

The Chair: Mr Kormos?

Mr Kormos: When Mr Scott spoke in the Legislature he indicated that you said that the official from whom you received this information was a friend of yours. Is that an accurate description of your contact by Mr Scott in the Legislature on December 16 last year?

Mr Harfield: I do not recall that, but I would consider the person a friend.

Mr Kormos: You are a consultant. Part of what a consultant does is acquire information, right?

Mr Harfield: That is correct.

Mr Kormos: It is no big secret that consultants of all ilk have contacts all over this government and the federal government, all sorts of places. That is no secret, is it?

Mr Harfield: It is beneficial.

Mr Kormos: Yes. I mean, part of your job is cultivating those contacts and sustaining them, correct?

Mr Harfield: That is correct.

Mr Kormos: People pay you to utilize those contacts.

Mr Harfield: Yes, I would say so.

Mr Kormos: Here is a contact you described to Mr Scott as a friend of yours, correct?

Mr Harfield: Yes.

Mr Kormos: Mr Scott says you indicated to him that it was given to you by a health official. Mr Scott told the Legislature, December 16, 1991, that his information was that the information you received was obtained by you from a health official. Is that an accurate description of the person from whom you received the information?

Mr Harfield: No, it is not. There are a number of errors in that report.

Mr Kormos: But in the instance of the legislative comments on December 16, he identifies you as having received the OHIP billings of Doctor X, and that is what you received from your contact.

Mr Harfield: Yes.

Mr Kormos: And you indicate that you did not specifically ask for Dr Donahue's or any specific doctor's billing figures?

Mr Harfield: I had no intentions of getting doctors' billings. That was not the purpose of my call at all.

Mr Kormos: In your call in here -- the counsel may well intervene, because I concede I want to get as close to the edge as I can without going over the edge -- you contacted a person in the provincial Ministry of Health.

Mr Harfield: No, I did not.

Mr Kormos: You contacted a person at the local health level.

Mr Harfield: No, it was a government person. It was not in the Ministry of Health.

Mr Kormos: Okay, you are talking about a provincial government person.

Mr Harfield: Yes.

Mr Kormos: You are talking about somebody in the OHIP field or somebody outside of the OHIP field?

Mr Harfield: Someone outside of the OHIP field.

Mr Kormos: Someone whom you used to receive information on a variety of areas, not just health areas?

Mr Harfield: Yes.

Mr Kormos: Was this person civil service staff?

Mr Harfield: Yes.

Mr Kormos: And this person has been your contact for a considerable period of time, I trust, he or she being a friend.

Mr Harfield: I have not known this person that long.

Mr Kormos: How long was it before Dr Donahue called you back to confirm the accuracy of the figure you presented to him?

Mr Harfield: I would think a week or two.

Mr Kormos: And there was yet one more telephone contact from Dr Donahue, or no more?

Mr Harfield: No more.

Mr Kormos: When Dr Donahue contacted you that period of time after you presented his OHIP billings to him to confirm that they were accurate, he expressed what, concern, outrage, or an interest in your ability to get this information?

Mr Harfield: He was somewhat concerned and quite upset.

Mr Kormos: You and he discussed going to Mr Scott with this, did you not?

Mr Harfield: No, I do not believe we -- I all of a sudden received this call from John Hinds. I did not know the purpose of that.

Mr Kormos: You did not know who John Hinds was?

Mr Harfield: No.

Mr Kormos: You knew who Ian Scott was, because he was the AG and is a prominent MPP.

Mr Harfield: Yes, I did.

Mr Kormos: How long did it take you to make the link as to why it was that John Hinds from Ian Scott's office, why it was that these folks were calling you?

Mr Harfield: It did not take long.

Mr Kormos: Why? Because they indicated that Dr Donahue had contacted them?

Mr Harfield: Yes.

Mr Kormos: That was the first time you were aware that Ian Scott was going to be involved in this exchange of information?

Mr Harfield: Yes.

Mr Kormos: Did Dr Donahue deny the figure you posed to him when you finished your contacts meeting up in Sudbury?

Mr Harfield: Yes, he did deny it.

Mr Kormos: He denied it? He said that was not accurate?

Mr Harfield: That is correct.


Mr Kormos: Did he express its inaccuracy as being outrageously outlandish -- far, far beyond the scope, or sort of not quite it down to the decimal point?

Mr Harfield: He became very irate and said that those figures were totally incorrect.

Mr Kormos: Too high, too low or no comment?

Mr Harfield: No comment.

Mr Kormos: And you talked to Kevin Donovan, who did the Toronto Star article, January 26, 1992?

Mr Harfield: Yes, I did.

Mr Kormos: And in one of the final paragraphs it is, "In another instance, management consultant Keith Harfield," -- that is you?

Mr Harfield: Yes.

Mr Kormos: -- "who had been contacted by Donahue to assist him in his battle with the government," -- is that a correct description of Donahue's contact with you?

Mr Harfield: It is somewhat close.

Mr Kormos: Donahue had talked about retaining you.

Mr Harfield: At one time, yes.

Mr Kormos: Retaining your services.

Mr Harfield: Yes.

Mr Kormos: And if he denies that now, what do you say to that?

Mr Harfield: I have no proof from anyone that --

Mr Kormos: Except your word against his.

Mr Harfield: That is right.

Mr Kormos: And you say that if he denies that, he is wrong?

Mr Harfield: Yes.

Mr Kormos: -- "contacted by Donahue to assist him in his battle with the government, telephoned the person he will only describe as a `health official.'" That is a reasonably accurate description of what you did, is it not?

Mr Harfield: Well, that part of the health official, I believe, came out of the -- Ian Scott's statement.

Mr Kormos: So you are suggesting that you did not tell Mr Donovan from the Toronto Star that you had been contacted by Donahue and Donahue talked with you about you working for him as a management consultant on the health issue? You are not saying that, are you?

Mr Harfield: Repeat that please.

Mr Kormos: You told Mr Donovan from the Star about your possible professional relationship with Dr Donahue.

Mr Harfield: Yes, we discussed that.

Mr Kormos: And you discussed with Mr Donovan your telephone call with your contact, did you not?

Mr Harfield: Discussed Mr Donahue's --

Mr Kormos: No, your contact, your health contact, the one who fed you the information about Donahue's billings. You discussed that with Mr Donovan, did you not?

Mr Harfield: No, we did not discuss that.

Mr Kormos: He did not ask you about that at all?

Mr Harfield: Oh, he asked me for my source.

Mr Kormos: You confirmed it.

Mr Harfield: He asked me for my source and I did not give it to him.

Mr Kormos: Well, sure, but you indicated to him quite clearly that, yes, you indeed did call a health person or a contact and obtain health information, did you not? You confirmed that to Donovan?

Mr Harfield: Yes, that was already a foregone conclusion.

Mr Kormos: And by the time you had this interview with Donovan, Dr Donahue had already called you to confirm that the figure you had received was correct, had he not?

The Chair: I am sorry, again the question that deals with dollars and the accuracy of that -- as long as that is not -- okay?

Mr Kormos: Thanks.

By the time you had done the interview with Donovan from the Toronto Star, Donahue had already called you to confirm that the figure you presented to him, the only billing you had presented to him on what, November 28, that that figure was correct. Donahue had confirmed the accuracy of your information by the time you had done the interview with Donovan, had he not?

Mr Harfield: He had said that those figures were correct.

Mr Kormos: Yes. And you know that Donovan cites a figure for Dr Donahue's gross billings in that same article, do you not?

Mr Harfield: Yes, I do, and the Toronto Star reporter actually gave me a completely different figure.

Mr Kormos: He gave you a different figure than the one that is cited in the article?

Mr Harfield: That is right.

Mr Kormos: And you corrected him?

Mr Harfield: No, I did not.

Mr Kormos: You responded to the figure, did you not?

Mr Harfield: Where did I respond to the figure?

Mr Kormos: I am asking you. You responded to the figure, did you not?

Mr Harfield: No, I did not respond to the figure.

Mr Kormos: But you indicate that you were not about to comment on the figure that Mr Donovan had? Is that what you told the reporter?

Mr Harfield: I was not going to -- at that time, and I still am not sure of what the figure was. I have heard three different figures.

Mr Kormos: You had a figure and Donovan had a figure, did you not?

Mr Harfield: By the time I talked to Dr Donahue I had already forgotten his figure. When he told me it was incorrect, that was the end. I put it out of my mind then. I deal with figures every day. I cannot remember one figure.

Mr Kormos: My question about whether or not the figure cited in Donovan's article rings a bell, we will wait for in camera. Now, what is interesting is, in view of the fact that you as a consultant cultivate your contacts, why would you be prepared to burn your contact even with the Premier of the province of Ontario, especially one who is a friend?

Mr Harfield: He asked for the source. I would never burn my contact.

Mr Kormos: Well, what would you have provided them by way of source?

Mr Harfield: I would hope that -- as I stated earlier, confidentiality is very sacred to me and if there is a problem within the government, then I would certainly -- I trust and I respect Bob Rae and I would give Bob Rae that information only.

Mr Kormos: You would identify your source to the Premier?

Mr Harfield: If it would improve confidentiality, I would.

Mr Kormos: Notwithstanding that means you would not have the access to the information that was very much a part of your stock in trade.

Mr Harfield: Rephrase that.

Mr Kormos: Look, if you burned your source you would not have access to the person who was very much a part of your stock in trade, would you?

Mr Harfield: Well, that is the way I do business.

Mr Kormos: But there are others, I trust, who similarly provide you with information, in addition to the one who provided you with Dr Donahue's OHIP billings?

Mr Harfield: Yes, I have other sources of information.

Mr Kormos: In all sorts of places, including throughout the provincial government.

Mr Harfield: Yes.

Mr Kormos: I mean, the person who provided the OHIP billings is not the only one, is he? Or is it she?

Mr Harfield: No, there are many places you can get --

Mr Kormos: Many persons in many places.

Mr Harfield: That is correct.

Mr Kormos: And you know that these people are breaking freedom of information legislation when they are providing you with this information?

Mr Harfield: In some cases I suppose they are.

Mr Kormos: And do you know that by virtue of your requesting the information you are probably putting yourself -- you may well have received advice in this regard -- but you are putting yourself in a position where there is certainly complicity, are you not?

Mr Rust-D'Eye: Mr Chairman, I do not think that is a fair question. He did not say he asked for the information; he said he received it.

The Chair: Mr Kormos --

Mr Kormos: You contact these people -- thank you. How much more time --

The Chair: I would just like to remind you there is one minute remaining.

Mr Kormos: Have you utilized your sources since November 28 when you called upon them to get the information in preparation for dealing with Dr Donahue?

Mr Harfield: Did I reveal my sources?

Mr Kormos: Did you utilize them, use them?

Mr Harfield: Utilize my sources?

Mr Kormos: Yes, your contacts, your deep throats, your moles.

Mr Harfield: Not -- I do not do business that way.

Mr Kormos: And the contact who gave you Dr Donahue's OHIP billings, has she gotten hold of you since this whole matter has become oh so public?

Mr Harfield: No, I have not heard from that person.

Mr Kormos: Has she expressed concern either directly or indirectly to you?

Mr Harfield: No.

Mr Kormos: And have you bothered to contact her to indicate that you were prepared to burn her to the Premier?

Mr Harfield: No.

Mr Kormos: Thank you.

The Chair: That completes the questioning. No questions from the official opposition, from the third party. Mr Harnick: Just very briefly, so that I completely understand this, you had the information regarding Dr Donahue's billings, as I understand it, before you ever met Dr Donahue. Is that correct?

Mr Harfield: I had this information. I am not sure this information is even correct.

Mr Harnick: No, I am not asking you about that. You had some information that you had received from your contact about Dr Donahue's billings before you ever met Dr Donahue?

Mr Harfield: That is correct.

Mr Harnick: All right. And I gather that you got that information on November 28.

Mr Harfield: Yes.

Mr Harnick: That would be some time during the day. And on the evening of the 28th was when you had that meeting.

Mr Harfield: That is correct.

Mr Harnick: All right. And it was at the end of that meeting that you first met Dr Donahue.

Mr Harfield: Yes. Well, during the meeting.

Mr Harnick: Or during the meeting, and you had never spoken to him before.

Mr Harfield: No, I had not.

Mr Harnick: All right. Now, at any time have you ever spoken to or contacted Sharon Murdock, Shelley Martel or Floyd Laughren?

Mr Harfield: Could you rephrase that?

Mr Harnick: At any time have you ever contacted Sharon Murdock, Shelley Martel or Floyd Laughren?

Mr Harfield: I have contacted all three many times.


Mr Harnick: Did you ever contact those individuals regarding the issue of the threshold?

Mr Harfield: I believe our office contacted all three.

Mr Harnick: Did you ever convey to Sharon Murdock, Shelley Martel or Floyd Laughren the information that you received from your contact with the government when you received it -- the information that you received on November 28th?

Mr Harfield: I am not sure what you are after here. At this time I would like to point out that Shelley Martel did not, and her staff and her employees did not, give me any information.

Mr Harnick: No, I am not asking you whether they gave you any information. I am saying -- you have told me that you have spoken to Sharon Murdock, Shelley Martel and Floyd Laughren and, in fact, that you spoke to those people about the issue of the threshold. Correct?

Mr Harfield: I had over 25 calls concerning this case and I am not sure what I have discussed with them on this.

Mr Harnick: What I want to know is whether the information that you obtained from your contact on November 28 -- you were told something; you learned something about Dr Donahue. Did you ever discuss what you learned about Dr Donahue with Sharon Murdock, Shelley Martel or Floyd Laughren?

Mr Harfield: Yes. Shelley Martel's office did call me after the information was in the Legislative Assembly, and I explained the fact that I had not instigated that situation.

Mr Harnick: Did you ever, after November 28, contact Sharon Murdock, Shelley Martel or Floyd Laughren to tell them about the information that you had?

Mr Harfield: I do not recall, ever.

Mr Harnick: You are sure about that?

Mr Harfield: I do not recall ever calling them to tell them that I had this information.

Mr Harnick: All right. Did you speak with any other people who worked in the offices that they ran? I mean the offices run by Sharon Murdock, Shelley Martel and Floyd Laughren in Sudbury. Did you ever speak to anybody in those offices to tell them about the information you had about Dr Donahue?

Mr Harfield: I talk to those three offices on a regular basis and I do not believe that issue ever has come up.

Mr Harnick: You are telling us now that you have never told any of those individuals or the people that work for them about the information that you had about Dr Donahue's billings?

Mr Harfield: No, I would never release that.

Mr Harnick: All right. Did anyone from those offices ever contact you?

Mr Harfield: As I said before, the only time I was contacted was by Shelley Martel's assistant, on the same date, December 16, when Ian Scott brought it to the Legislative Assembly.

Mr Harnick: All right.

The Chair: Mr Tilson.

Mr Tilson: Just a couple of questions. You have indicated that you made three or four phone calls as a result of the possibility of Dr Donahue coming to -- Cortex, is it?

Mr Harfield: Contax.

Mr Tilson: Contax?

Mr Harfield: Are you asking me who I called?

Mr Tilson: I am asking you just to confirm what I thought you said, that you made three or four calls.

Mr Harfield: Yes, that is correct.

Mr Tilson: And these individuals provided you with information concerning Dr Donahue's billings.

Mr Harfield: No. In this case I was out to gather data on the ceiling, the OHIP ceiling issue.

Mr Tilson: Yes, but in those conversations did information concerning Dr Donahue become available through those calls?

Mr Harfield: Yes.

Mr Tilson: Yes. By one or all four?

Mr Harfield: I received information about Dr Donahue in at least two of those calls.

Mr Tilson: Three calls?

Mr Harfield: I would think only two.

Mr Tilson: Only two? And did they ever produce anything to you in writing?

Mr Harfield: No, I did not.

Mr Tilson: They were all oral conversations.

Mr Harfield: Yes.

Mr Tilson: And they all said pretty much the same information.

Mr Harfield: No, there was different information from each call.

Mr Tilson: But concerning Dr Donahue they were basically the same.

Mr Harfield: Yes.

Mr Tilson: You indicated that Dr Donahue had called you later to confirm the accuracy of the information that you had.

Mr Harfield: Yes.

Mr Tilson: Yes. And he indicated he was very upset.

Mr Harfield: Yes, he was somewhat upset that this information was released.

Mr Tilson: Can you elaborate more on what he did say to you?

Mr Harfield: He was not upset with me, he was upset with the system.

Mr Tilson: Oh, I understand that. Could you elaborate on what he did say to you?

Mr Harfield: He did state that I should reveal my source and that he would see to it that I would have to reveal my source.

Mr Tilson: Did he say anything else?

Mr Harfield: I do not recall anything else. I am sure there was, but --

Mr Tilson: Is this source from a local office in Sudbury?

Mr Harfield: Yes, it is.

Mr Tilson: Source or sources? Both sources?

Mr Harfield: It was strictly local calls.

Mr Tilson: From Sudbury.

Mr Harfield: Yes.

Mr Tilson: Thank you.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Tilson. Seeing there are no further questions, that would complete the rotation in the public session. As is evident, we are going to now be moving into an in camera session. However, I would just like to note for members of the committee that there will be distributed as exhibit 117 the report from the doctor, as was elicited by Ms Jackson during her questioning. That is distributed as exhibit 117. We will now recess for 10 minutes to then recommence in an in camera session.

The committee continued in closed session at 1738.