Thursday 8 February 1996

Security of the legislative precinct

Interparliamentary and public relations

Karyn Leonard, director


Chair / Président: Arnott, Ted (Wellington PC)

Vice-Chair / Vice-Président: Hastings, John (Etobicoke-Rexdale PC)

*Arnott, Ted (Wellington PC)

*Bartolucci, Rick (Sudbury L)

*Boushy, Dave (Sarnia PC)

*Cooke, David S. (Windsor-Riverside ND)

*DeFaria, Carl (Mississauga East / -Est PC)

*Froese, Tom (St Catharines-Brock PC)

*Grimmett, Bill (Muskoka-Georgian Bay / Muskoka-Baie-Georgienne PC)

*Hastings, John (Etobicoke-Rexdale PC)

Johnson, Ron (Brantford PC)

*Miclash, Frank (Kenora L)

*Morin, Gilles E. (Carleton East / -Est L)

*O'Toole, John R. (Durham East / -Est PC)

Silipo, Tony (Dovercourt ND)

*Stewart, R. Gary (Peterborough PC)

*In attendance / présents

Substitutions present / Membres remplaçants présents:

Fox, Gary (Prince Edward-Lennox-South Hastings / Prince Edward-Lennox-Hastings Sud PC) for Mr Johnson

Pouliot, Gilles (Lake Nipigon / Lac-Nipigon ND) for Mr Silipo

Also taking part / Autres participants et participantes:

Marland, Margaret (Mississauga South / -Sud PC)

Clerk / Greffière: Freedman, Lisa

Staff / Personnel:

Sibenik, Peter, procedural research clerk, Office of the Clerk

The committee met at 1010 in room 228.


The Chair (Mr Ted Arnott): This meeting of the standing committee on the Legislative Assembly will be called to order. Our clerk, Lisa Freedman, wants to indicate some information to the committee.

Clerk of the Committee (Ms Lisa Freedman): I'd just like to go over the agenda for today and next week, because I know people are trying to plan their own schedules. This morning we're starting with Peter Sibenik, who will be reporting on our trip to Ottawa and Quebec. At 11 o'clock we have interparliamentary and press relations coming in to speak.

This afternoon was the time reserved for the PC caucus and they'll only be using probably a little bit under one hour of it. Mrs Marland and Mr O'Toole are using that time. There will also be time after that, if Peter doesn't finish with his report from Ottawa and Quebec, and we'll continue then.

Next week, the way the schedule looks is that on Monday we won't be starting until 1 o'clock. Monday afternoon we have the press gallery and we're trying for some of the people from the public. The Speaker and the Clerk want to come back and speak to us, and tentatively that's scheduled for Wednesday of next week. I may try to change it to Tuesday. We'll be report-writing or inputting into the report, so you can assume that next week on Monday we'll start at 1 and all the other days will be 10 and 2. But you'll get your official notice in your office later this afternoon.

The Chair: I want to inform members of the committee that we have a guest with us today, Neil Reimer, who is a committee clerk at the Legislative Assembly in British Columbia. It's good to have you with us, Neil.

Mr Neil Reimer: Thank you.

The Chair: I hope you enjoy our proceedings.

Now it's time to report to the full committee the subcommittee's findings of the trip that we took the last couple of days to Ottawa and Quebec. Peter has taken copious notes of what we found and worked late last night putting together a presentation. After Peter's presentation, I'm going to turn to each of the caucuses to provide their preliminary suggestions as to what happened on the trip and what this committee should be doing further to recent events. I turn it over to Peter.

Mr Peter Sibenik: I'll be speaking about the National Assembly at Quebec City first. I'll then be turning to the House of Commons security service and then going on to the Senate protective service. We had the benefit of visiting and meeting with officials from all three services.

Beginning first with l'Assemblée nationale, or the National Assembly, we were briefed by the Secrétaire-général, Pierre Duchesne, and his security staff, for the better part of the day. The organization of the security service at the Assemblée nationale is as follows:

The Speaker is statutorily responsible pursuant to the National Assembly Act for the security at the assembly. The Speaker or le Président, as he is known, guards the privileges of members and protects the independence of the assembly and provides for members' security. There was a 1994 memorandum of understanding between the Speaker and the Minister of Public Security, under which the director of security at the assembly will, under the authority of the Sûreté de Québéc, which is a police force under the jurisdiction of that particular minister, plan, direct and supervise assembly security.

A lot of the developments that have occurred, or the rationale for the level of security at the National Assembly is due to the 1984 Lortie incident. An advisory committee was struck soon afterwards and it has expert security staff on it. However, the Speaker has the final say about what that advisory committee can recommend and in fact the Speaker has been known to reject recommendations from that particular committee. The Speaker reports to the Office of the National Assembly on security as well.

The security budget is $4 million. The security personnel are as follows: There is this detachment of the Sûreté -- the Sûreté is the Quebec Police Force; I guess it's fair to say they are the counterpart of our Ontario Provincial Police -- that is under the aegis of the director of security. This director is appointed by the Speaker on the recommendation of the Secrétaire-général, who is someone who would be holding Mr DesRosiers's position here in our House, akin to the Clerk of the House.

This director of security reports to the Speaker, and the Speaker gets a full report of incidents that occur or might occur, before and afterwards, although it is only the QPF, which is associated with the ministry, that might get the fuller kind of report dealing with criminal matters.

The security detail there, under the aegis of the Quebec Police Force, is comprised of 14 plainclothes constables. They make about $50,000 a year. In addition, there are 45 QPF-supervised special constables. They are in blue uniforms, they are armed and they have powers of arrest. They make about $37,000 a year. In addition, there are 37 security guards. They are in grey uniforms, they are not armed, they are part-time and they make about $25,000 a year. So the entire staff there is approaching 100 persons.

There are a large number of entrances at the Parliament Building, at the National Assembly; in fact, there are 14 in all. However, not all are open. These various entrances or doors are numbered to reflect the differing levels of access and who can get into them. For example, when our delegation arrived, we came through door number 1, which is the largest entrance and in a previous life probably was the main public entrance, but now it is reserved for special visitors.

The public gets through door number 3. We got a dry run of what it was like to go through door number 3, which is the main public access. Basically, as soon as you come in the door there is a receptionist in the ante-room. After that, there is the scanning room. There is a scanner there; there is a metal detector; there is a hand-held security wand. It's the standard kind of airport operation, not unlike what we have upstairs adjacent to our public galleries. In this room, there are two blue-uniformed constables. They have side-arms. The side-arms are in open holsters. That was mentioned by one of the members of our delegation. We didn't really see that kind of a presence in Ottawa. That is a higher level of security, it seemed to us, than both the Senate and the House of Commons in terms of the visibility issue.

After this particular room, you pass into another room where there is the actual registration that occurs. Passes will be handed out. There are colour-coded passes. In fact, there are colour-coded passes in all the jurisdictions we visited. They could be yellow, green, blue, like that, depending upon whether you're a member, staff, press, a construction worker, something along those lines.

A public visitor cannot go unescorted to a member's office. The member's office is phoned and the individual visitor is picked up. All the tours come through door number 3. Everyone has to go through that process. I mentioned that there are other doors with other numbers. If you want to go to the library, it's door number 7. If you want to go to administration, it's another door. It's broken down on that basis. There's even a door for the delivery entrance, where there's a scanner as well. There are approximately 150,000 visitors per year to the National Assembly, and just under 100,000 enter through door number 3, the main public entrance.

Some of the details of the interior: There are magnetic locking doors to close all doors simultaneously in case that is necessary. As a result, the visitors' corridor can be sealed off from the rest of the building. So there is a way to separate what could be happening in a particular area and insulate that area from the rest of the building.


The Chair: Peter, if I could just interrupt, I want to welcome the Speaker to our discussion this morning. Good to see you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Sibenik: We visited the control room. It has some of the same kinds of features, generally the same kinds of features, that we saw in our own control room, so I won't go into any detail about that.

Turning to the issue of demonstrations, we were told that there have been some large demonstrations in the past. On one occasion, there were 15,000 people out there and there were 500 QPF officers who were held in reserve in the basement of the building on that particular day. However, we were also told that the use of this reserve force is very occasional. It's rarely needed.

We were told that the demonstrators are expected to act responsibly, that the organizations that demonstrate on the front lawn have an image to uphold and that the security force at the assembly expect them to behave. The assembly does not provide broadcast facilities. In fact, they even have to bring their own electricity, we were told, as well. So there's none of the provision of facilities that, for example, you might find at our own assembly; they bring their own sound system as well.

They provide their own security in a sense that they self-police themselves. They have their own marshals, or the security encourages them to do this kind of thing. that was the striking feature, I'd say, about the kind of demonstrations that might occur on the front lawn of the Hôtel de Parlement in Quebec City.

The QPF talks to the demonstrators beforehand and tries to elicit their cooperation. A municipal permit is required from the city police if a group wants to demonstrate out there.

Some of the other features of this particular security operation are that horses, dogs, mace and army-type fatigues are not used. We were informed that the idea is not to escalate any kind of confrontation, although there were camera pictures that we saw in the control room that were taken from a high-altitude helicopter, but I believe the idea is that this helicopter couldn't been seen or heard from the ground, so it wasn't like your kind of American cops-and-robbers show where the helicopter is swooping down low and making a big racket. It wasn't that kind of thing at all.

With respect to the committees and the committee rooms, a security officer could be sent to the committee room, but it seemed like the red phones that were just outside the committee room doors were generally satisfactory. With respect to these red phones, I believe there were 300 of them throughout the entire building. As soon as one is picked up, the control centre, the op centre, knows exactly the location of that phone, so the person doesn't have to say, "I'm calling from committee room such and such." The security already knows as soon as the phone is picked up.

There's no security in the constituency offices, but the QPF will meet with individual members to let them know what measures could be taken at those particular offices.

In conclusion, I think there's a sense that the security officers we met with were generally satisfied with the system, particularly with the presence of the QPF. They made pains to say that they were on a friendly basis with the Speaker and that they had the expertise to handle the situation there. There really wasn't any concern whether the QPF was in a position of some kind of conflict, although it was noted, as I indicated at the outset, that the QPF generally is under the aegis of the Minister of Public Security. But the point was made that the government could not order the Speaker to bring in more security. The QPF detachment at the assembly makes an independent analysis.

The special constables, and I mentioned that they were armed, do have weapons training, but they indicated that weapons were never drawn since 1984, when weapons where acquired in the wake of the Lortie incident. That basically is the National Assembly.

The Chair: Could we maybe stop at this point and see if any members have questions or clarification relative to Peter's presentation to this point.

Mr Gilles E. Morin (Carleton East): I just have one quick question. You mention that there is a close relationship between the Parliament, the security, and the demonstrators, where the demonstrators have to police themselves. I think it's an excellent idea. I think that's the way it should be done. But at the same time, were there any incidents or any occasions where demonstrators succeeded in penetrating the House, as we saw yesterday?

Mr Sibenik: I don't believe we were informed of a particular incident. They generally have things under control and they couldn't really show us a large number of incidents in which there had been a problem dealing with the storming of the front doors or something along that line. I can't recall that kind of a situation. They're able to deal with the situation outside the front doors.

The Chair: I'd just ask all members to have questions related to the specifics of Peter's presentation, because all caucus members will have an opportunity after we're finished to express their views and so forth. Mr Miclash.

Mr Frank Miclash (Kenora): You indicated that we were going to speak in rotation. Might I suggest that we do that first of all before questions, because I think a number of the points that are going to be brought up in terms of Peter's presentation may be covered by myself and Mr O'Toole as we go around. Then would it be better to have questions at the end? I don't know.

The Chair: I was thinking in terms of clarification.

Mr Gilles Pouliot (Lake Nipigon): It doesn't mean I'm right, Mr Chair, but as much as I like and respect all of our colleagues, all our friends here, not that you wish to have a long, long prelude necessarily, but there's a bit of a philosophy there. So for the sake of the flow of it, I'm quite willing to listen and I'm taking some notes.

The Chair: All right. Does that satisfy everybody?

Mr Pouliot: Otherwise, we might never finish.

The Chair: Proceed, Peter.

Mr Sibenik: Turning to the House of Commons security service, we met with General Cloutier and his senior staff at the House of Commons. Mr Cloutier indicated that the philosophy of the security service was to provide an effective but not an oppressive security service. It was important that citizens receive access to the Parliament Buildings.

Part of the difficulty that the security service is labouring under on Parliament Hill is the fact that the area is a construction zone, and will be for approximately the next 15 years. That imposes additional difficulties on the kind of approach that the security service takes to the provision of security.

The security service has five buildings that it has to provide security for. There are 83 posts at which security personnel are stationed. The main entrances are open 24 hours. The size of the security staff is as follows: There are 240 staff; 151 of them are in uniform, 35 are in the plainclothes gallery unit. The budget is something approaching or just over $10 million. Most of that is salary, we were told. There's no chargeback to the RCMP for the services that the RCMP provides on Parliament Hill, and I'll get into the role of the RCMP in a bit.

The constables on the security staff are paid $37,000 per year. The only weapons that are in the possession of the security service are on the plainclothes unit only, not on the people in blue uniforms. There is no open display of arms in the House.

Mr Pouliot: They're all at 24 Sussex.


Mr Sibenik: We were briefed on the technological developments, the current state of technology and where the security service expects to be over the course of the next three or four years. We were told about the photographic imaging that could occur for visitors and employees and about the common database that will be shared with the Senate protective service, biometrics, digital alarms. We were told about this, but I have a sense that the technology is in a state of transition, and it's in a state of constant evolution as well, it seems to me.

Heritage considerations are an issue. Members may recall when the tour was taken the other day that it seemed to have been a big issue with respect to changes in the public gallery. Well, it's also an issue at the House of Commons because there's some difficulty with the implementation of things like card swipes because it'll cause some damage to the doors, for example. We met with the Speaker, Mr Parent, and he indicated that it was difficult making alterations to the Speaker's chair because heritage considerations had to be considered as well.

Heritage also comes into play because that's where demonstrators get their permits from. The secretary of state for heritage is where permits are gotten, and permits are necessary for demonstrators. Generally they wanted about one month's notice for a demonstration. You apply one month in advance, but in the course of the meeting I believe we were told that these permits could be expedited on a few days' notice.

The service is responsible for different kinds of things in the Parliament Building and these five buildings generally. They protect the Prime Minister inside the House. So the RCMP detail that is responsible for guarding the Prime Minister hands off to the Commons security service at the front door of the Parliament Building.

Generally speaking, the RCMP is responsible for things that occur outside the building, for perimeter security and things like that, and the internal security service under Mr Cloutier's leadership is responsible for what happens inside the building. There's a high level of cooperation, however, between the service, the RCMP and the Ottawa city police. In fact, the constables there in the security service are trained by the RCMP. They have that standard, and that was seen as very significant. Basically, if there's a demonstration on the front lawn, the RCMP will deal with that and let security service know what exactly is happening. There are camera feeds that go into the control room, and those are provided by the RCMP.

We were also given a briefing by the Senate protective service. We met Serge Gourgue and he indicates to us that there are 80-person years, 75 staff in the service. It's a $3-million budget. The operational personnel work in six teams, and the subcommittee will recall that he took a great deal of pride in the way that he approached security, or the entire protective service approached the issue of security. It seems to me that it was a less regimented and more of a flattened hierarchy in the Senate protective service than it was in the House of Commons, although the heads of both security services are military men, I might add.

Again, there is a high level of cooperation with the RCMP and also with the House security service as well. For example, the Senate does all the scanning for delivery on Parliament Hill for the House and the Senate, whereas the House security service will do the mail scanning for both the House and for the Senate. So it's that kind of cooperation, and more was anticipated, certainly things like common databases between the Senate and the House of Commons security service. A joint service was considered, but ultimately rejected.

That basically is a summary of what happened in our trips to Ottawa and Quebec City.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Peter. If we're to stick to our agenda, and I'd like to, we have about 20 minutes for reports from the various caucuses. If we could divide that time equally, because we have another witness coming forward at 11 o'clock, so maybe seven minutes per caucus. If there's some time left over, we'll deal with that at the time. Mr Miclash, as the representative of the Liberal Party on the subcommittee, we turn to you for your comments.

Mr Miclash: Thank you very much, Mr Chair. Peter, you've given a very good overview of what we've seen, for sure. I have to say, the Speaker is not here, but if you're ever going to travel in committee, make sure you take the Speaker with you, because it always tends to bring on a little bit more hospitality than you do when it's a normal committee. At both the National Assembly and up in Ottawa we were well received. They opened the doors for us and showed us whatever we wanted, answered any questions that we had, and so it was a very good visit for all of us to have taken part in, to be there with them to be able to ask our questions.

Let me start with the National Assembly in Quebec. The thing that struck me the most, and Peter has referred to this, is that the minute you walk in the door, you have two officers that are visible, with side-arms. They were quite visible. Even though you went through a receptionist who was the first person you met -- I guess she was the friendly greeting -- these two other officers would you put you through the scanner and, as Peter has indicated, ensure that you had nothing with you that they wouldn't want you to take in.

Then you went into where they classified you, type of visitor, and gave you your visitor card, which is of course the normal pass that you would wear. The passes were colour coded, and it was very easy for security officers within the building to identify your purpose for being in the building, whether it was a colour code to indicate that you were with a group, a tour, whether it was colour coded to indicate that you were visiting a member's office, that was quite evident.

The advisory committee was another thing that I thought was a good idea. Peter has also touched on that, where the advisory committee was made up of not only people from within the security system within, but with police chiefs, superintendents, from outside of the actual security system as well, from the surrounding police forces: the QPP, the Ottawa police, the municipality police forces. So another good idea.

In terms of the entrance, there was one entrance that was designated as the visitor entrance. Again, very controlled in terms of visitor access. Peter talked about the various door numbers. That happened to be door number three, so that if you were a visitor going to their assembly, you would certainly have to go through door number three and go through the three processes that I indicated: the receptionist, through the scanner, and then on to receive your pass that would eventually allow you into the House. Again, I thought it was a good idea.

There was something else they showed us which was interesting, and I noticed this as soon as I got back yesterday when I happened to pick up the news. Their gate system in the front is a temporary gate system but one that is quite different than ours. It's a double gate, where you have the actual gate that goes across the front and then you have one that weaves back and forth. So I'm not sure, in terms of an incident such as yesterday, as to whether that gate would have held upright, but I think the idea of it is to ensure that if people are going to come beyond that, they would have to come over, because again it was the initial gate out front, then the other one zigged back and forth, and I think that was a feature that was interesting. Again, a temporary double fence is what I would call it.

The permanent idea, and again Peter referred to this, where each demonstration, each group that was demonstrating, would require to receive a permit from the municipal police force. Again, all of these police forces were remaining in very close contact with each other so that the folks within the QPP and the municipal police force would all know about these permits through communications between them. Therefore, once the permit was issued, they would have a fairly good idea as to whom they were going to be facing, the number of people. They would also get in touch with the group and discuss with the group some of the issues that might arise, the possibility of self-policing, which I found very interesting, and again, opening up mainly the lines of communication, not only among themselves, among the police forces, but with the group as well. So I thought that was an interesting aspect.


The idea of no dogs, no horses, no mace, was interesting as well, but Peter did mention that they did have backup within the building, in the basement, if they needed it, in case there was any kind of escalation to the confrontation. They certainly indicated that.

The sealing of portions of the building I found interesting as well. A lot of the doors were on magnetic locks, so they could seal that door from their control zone just by the use of magnetic locks, even though when they went to demonstrate it, they didn't work to the best of their ability. But it was something that you could see would be useful if a problem such as yesterday occurred in this building.

The red phone system was very similar to what we see here at Queen's Park, our white phone system. They were much more evident, of course, being red phones on the wall. I'm sure they were much more visible not only to the public but to people who may need them. When we heard about committees, people attending the committees in possible need of those, it was quite interesting to note their visibility right outside the committee room and in places where they may be needed.

In terms of the House of Commons, our visit there, I found it very interesting, the difference in operation. As Peter has indicated, the RCMP take care of all the policing outside of the actual building, yet when you come inside, you're under Mr Cloutier's direction. It's obviously a military presence in that direction. That came out a few times during our visit, that things were fairly tightly controlled. There was certainly a chain of command in terms of the security personnel, and it was quite evident as we toured through the building to see the chain of command as it worked in terms of the building.

Peter has also mentioned budget -- $4 million in Quebec to $10 million in Ottawa as compared to our $3 million here -- and it was interesting to see what they got for their money. I was waiting for a question to come up about 24 Sussex Drive, but we were too polite to ask, so we stayed away from that.

I was impressed as well with our discussions with, as I say, the chain of command and their attitude about creating a culture to do better. That was something that certainly came through a number of times in terms of always having one eye forward on what they could be doing better. They talked about having a committee among the people who were providing the security. I can't remember what they called it, but a committee that would have input into their training, input into any occurrences that happened.

Another thing they talked about too was the selection process of the people they have in the House of Commons. They indicated that their average age was, I believe, 31 or 32. It was very young. I was quite surprised at what they indicated for an average age of their security personnel.

The Chair: Mr Miclash, could I ask you to wind up your comments? Sorry to do this, but in the interests of keeping to the agenda, could you just wind up?

Mr Miclash: Again, the heavy coloured borders and ID passes stuck out. We talked a little bit about committees, and Lisa asked a number of times about what they do if they have a problem in committees. They got around one problem that we would have here by having a wireless, silent alarm, so if we had a problem here where we can't go through the window, there would be a wireless, silent alarm here.

All in all, I guess that's about it. Again, some great things that we did learn during our travels, and I'm certainly looking forward to questions.

The Chair: Thank you very much for that very thorough presentation, Mr Miclash. I want to turn to the New Democrats now. Unfortunately Mr Christopherson is unable to be here. Mr Pouliot is prepared to provide some general overview, I guess, of the New Democrats' interest in this issue.

Mr Pouliot: I listened with a great deal of intent to what has been a very accurate and "action directe" report vis-à-vis our situation, the one at l'Assemblée nationale, the self-discipline, not to mention the incident, or the lack of incident, at 24 Sussex. I think those things are best dealt with under editorials and cartoons -- mostly the second instance -- and I thank the Lord every day that our Prime Minister is married and at present living with his spouse. That has served very well. But if anything happens, well, I have to call my boss, and you're right; you can sense the chain at the chain command.

Mr Christopherson, our colleague, was our delegate on the subcommittee that attended the last few days' trip to Quebec city and Ottawa. I, too, was able to notice through the years some differences between l'Assemblée nationale and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, especially when I started with the dining room. The colours are different. In some places you eat and elsewhere you dine, and one can go on and on and on, but it came back with some recommendation, but restraint and constraints in mentality did not afford for a good forum so it was left to what we are fortunate to have.

We will differ, quite likely, in philosophy, and let me say that the incident that happened yesterday in some terms highlights the necessity to -- well, it calls for vigilance. Having said this, we have been the beneficiary, not only people who are elected. It matters none. People who work here, the general public who come here and pay us the compliment of their visit, journalists who cover the events around Queen's Park. It's been pretty good over the years.

We will wait for a draft and we will look -- I imagine the whole committee will do that -- at the options. We have a tradition in our party. We're close to some groups that wish to express either their satisfaction and, from time to time, their dissatisfaction, and come here voicing their concerns and proposals. We sponsor; we help organize. We must keep in my mind that with the New Democratic Party there is an element in it, a very positive element, which resembles a movement, a matter of solidarity. So we feel that the issuance of permits does not sit quite well with us. We feel very democratic in terms of access to the precinct.

We, too, are concerned with funds. On the one hand, you have so many dollars dedicated to security. The sentiment of the day is to prioritize. Well, people will come calling with their priorities so maybe you could be going countercurrents and this will demand more imagination from the committee. We will have to keep that in mind. It's a reality.

Having said this, the security system has to be paramount, a reality check. It's not the time to point a finger. I, for one, believe that be it circumstances from time to time, you can't predict what will happen. It goes beyond political parties, certainly, or political philosophies. I don't think it has anything to do with it, myself. You could have some subject matter such as the right of a person to abortion. You could have some animal -- and I say this with the highest of respect to everyone's opinion -- you don't know what's going to happen. You could have just as much a negative reaction on an animal bylaw than you could have on amending the Constitution. So everyone is at the mercy of everyone when it comes to that, both collectively, if you have a demonstration, and also the decision of individuals. So I keep that in mind.


Security is paramount and our party will certainly look at that. It's not an easy task. We must be able to represent people without having to worry about something else.

By the same token, the legitimacy of people to use the web, the tunnel system, to go and access the subway at University, this is a big, big complex. It's also a downtown complex.

I'll stop here because I risk entering some fields that I really don't know much what I would be talking about, but we will be vigilant and I want to see what the experts, what alternatives, what drafts they have.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Pouliot. Your caucus still has one minute. Mr Cooke, did you have something you'd want to add to that? No.

I'll turn now to Mr O'Toole for the Conservative caucus. Mr O'Toole, if you could give your ideas of what you saw and what you'd like to see done in the future.

Mr John O'Toole (Durham East): Yes, very briefly, I appreciated the opportunity for the visit and indeed, we were escorted by the Clerk and our Speaker and treated very respectfully and were given full access to anything we wanted. I think all members enjoyed it, if I could be so presumptive.

I would say the general statement, looking at the whole trip, is in every place we went, security was clearly of a very high current priority and in every jurisdiction. Clearly, there was, however, a feeling that the House or the Houses we visited were indeed the House of the people, and that came through even at Quebec. However, there were, as they described, a set of expectations of visitors, as I would in visitors coming to my home, and that seemed to come about as respect.

From that premise -- again, this is a general statement, but I was very impressed with not just the chain of command, as mentioned by Frank, but by the professional stature of both the persons we met in charge of both Quebec and in Ottawa. Both had a somewhat military background; not military in their personal presence, but in their professional approach to dealing with us as visitors, and indeed, the way they approached the training and the high level of professionalism of their career or pursuit or focus.

I would say generally what they all mentioned at great length, the QPP and the RCMP, was the standard of training. In Ottawa, even the members of the Commons force were trained, many of them at Aylmer, Ontario, and by the RCMP. I would suspect that in Quebec it was even a higher level of training. In fact, they were trained regularly in crowd control and riots and all those kinds of high-level training. But training was mentioned repeatedly, an annualized event both in the Senate group and the Commons group and in Quebec.

My overall impressions, those being said, I would say that security was visible. It was visible but not ominous. Maybe if anything, a little more ominous because of the presence of guns, which I guess in Quebec in their situation, it's a call they made. But there was really a visibility of security, for sure.

Access was controlled, no question about it. I thought it was appropriate because, in each case, there were many, many, many doors where you could come in and out. But controlled access, I think, is something fundamental. We just can't have people coming and going at every single door. Their right to come and go is not in question at all. Having some kind of identification system -- I think we're there, in many respects, now. The cards that they produced there are very similar to the digital system we use for our own identification passes.

I would guess that I'm more interested in the discussion this morning. I think we've had a very good report. But I think, to summarize, I was impressed that no one was in the building without some sort of controlled card, identification etc. It was done respectfully throughout both places, even in Ottawa. They handle a million visitors a year. Generally, if you come in and you're on a tour, they bunch them up in 50s, and you are never unattended as you go anywhere in the building, but they have limited access throughout the building as well.

In Quebec City, they can tell at a moment how many people are in the building and at the end of the day how many people have either not returned their card or how many are still in the building. I like the idea that when you go in, anyone gaining access has some descriptor; either they're visiting a member, they're a delegation at a committee or they're just a visitor on a tour. I think that's paramount to control -- not control in the sense of manipulating, but control in the sense of maintaining a certain kind of overview of what's happening in the House itself.

That's the general nature. The rest has been covered very thoroughly by Frank. Again, I want to thank the committee for allowing us to go.

The Chair: Mr Miclash, we don't have our witness. Did you have anything else you wanted to add, since I unfortunately had to cut you off sort of mid-sentence?

Mr Miclash: That's fine.

The Chair: If I could have the committee's indulgence, the Chair might like to enter into this discussion as well. I have a few points that I think we should be considering. Some of what I'm going to say is probably repetitive of what has already been said, but if I could just say what my findings were, I think we don't want to overlook the fact that this is an open building, this is the building that is owned by the people of Ontario and we want to maintain the openness to whatever extent we can. We want to think about keeping enhanced security measures as invisible as possible so as to maintain that concept of openness. It's been raised previously, but I think it's important that the security staff are well aware that we want them to be welcoming and friendly to visitors who come into the building.

I think the role of the Ontario Provincial Police needs to be looked at. As we found in Ottawa, they look after all of their own security arrangements within the building. We need to consider greater control of public access. Rather than having a number of doors open to the public, perhaps we should give consideration to allowing one door open to the public so that we can make sure we know who's coming in and what their intention is.

In light of yesterday's events, we need to examine ways to maintain the peacefulness of the demonstrations, again recognizing that people have a right to demonstrate, if they wish to do so, in the legislative precinct. We need to give consideration to having an ongoing committee which can advise the Speaker on security issues, a permanent committee established; perhaps a subcommittee of this committee would be a way to go about it.

We need to look at enhanced security for the committee rooms so that when public hearings are being held everyone's safe.

We need to look at putting call display telephones in the members' offices so that we know who is phoning us when threatening phone calls may be coming in.

Those are the things that came to my attention that I wanted to bring to the committee's attention.


The Chair: We now have Karyn Leonard here from interparliamentary and public relations. We are scheduled to hear her views. Thank you very much for coming forward, Ms Leonard. It's good to have you here.

Mrs Karyn Leonard: Good morning. I represent the interparliamentary and public relations branch here at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Interparliamentary and public relations has a diverse mandate and serves the Legislative Assembly of Ontario through a variety of programs and services.

The Legislative Building is first and foremost a Parliament. It is also a workplace, a historical site and a tourist attraction. Most areas of the assembly will be impacted in some way by the way in which security is managed and enforced. Accessibility and the message you wish to send out to those visiting the building are the questions.

As you go about this very difficult process and make decisions about accessibility and security, there are some things we would ask that you take into consideration. Over a quarter of a million visitors visit this building each year on tours, as individuals, as part of educational programs and as citizens with questions. In addition to that, we receive in excess of 50,000 telephone inquiries through our branch, on average, per year. A large majority of these visitors and telephone inquiries are your constituents and people who live in various parts of this province.


We are responsible in IPRB for the management and delivery of information, education, communication and interpretive programs which focus on the role, history and activities of Ontario's Parliament and which hopefully will increase public understanding and awareness of the Legislative Assembly. These programs welcome many groups from around this province, across Canada and indeed from around the world. These groups take an educational tour of the building that is tailored to specific needs and levels of understanding. A community exhibit program also brings representation of heritage, history and culture from across the province. Most Ontario groups are greeted by their member of provincial Parliament and a large number also attend the House while in session.

The public inquiry centre in the lobby of this building is the welcoming point for thousands of people every year. Individuals are provided with direction, information and assistance concerning all aspects of the Legislative Assembly, as well as government ministries and agencies and services that are available.

The legislative gift shop is a retail operation showcasing Ontario-made products. This shop serves the members, staff and visitors to the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Building, providing a wide range of gifts, crafts and souvenir items that reflect the history, heritage, artisanship and culture of the province.

Each year a number of delegations visiting from various parliaments are welcomed to this Legislature by the Speaker and members of the Legislature. In most cases, a tailored program is planned, developed and managed according to the needs of the visiting delegates. If access is to be limited, will there be special provisions to fast-track through various parts of the building? This is only one of the questions that you will have to look at.

All of these services operate out of the main lobby. I don't need to tell you how events such as yesterday's impact on staff working in those areas. A large number of different scenarios and personalities, though, are dealt with daily. Up to 35 buses per day have been recorded as they stop by on tours of this city and beyond. We have telephone calls and conversations regularly with tour operators who very much want to make this building a stop on the route but are discouraged by difficulties encountered in parking, dropping off visitors etc.

We also coordinate all event bookings for inside and outside the building. Events and demonstrations scheduled for the building grounds must have the written sponsorship of a member of provincial Parliament. Ticketing for the public galleries is also done in the main lobby. This is a process with varying demands by the public, depending on ongoing issues, and it is an area of concern for safety, depending on numbers.

As you know, security implemented a photo identification system for staff and contractors some time ago. We have a reservation system for school visits, booked programs, visiting parliamentarians and members' guest tours which allows for escorted and organized movement from station to station in a safe manner.

Last spring, a temporary visitor pass system was created and implemented by the branch in response to the security needs and as a temporary measure to identify a specific type of visitor to the Legislative Building. Groups and individual visitors wishing to see the building are asked to sign in and given a temporary pass allowing them access to the designated areas, which are the main floor, east and west hallways and the chamber. These areas are staffed by security and guests do wander on their own. In the designated areas, this system is only applicable to the walk-in visitor and bus groups. Many areas of the building are not generally accessed by the public without prior authorization or organized visits. The Ontario government art collection, recently reinstalled on the walls of all four floors of the main building, for instance, is not available to be seen by the general visitor.

Entry for other visitors is not structured. It is in this area that likely a great deal of work assessing situations and solutions needs to be done. People enter and exit the building through many doors during the day. These include people wishing to visit a member or the Premier, witnesses and others going to committees and those using services available in the Legislative Building as well.

Once you, as the elected members of this Legislature, determine an accessibility philosophy for the precinct, a manageable solution can be developed outlining policies and procedures. Very clear directions and guidelines that are communicated to all occupants of the legislative precinct are critical to the success of this program.

Training is also critical, not only in procedures, but also in public relations skills, as a high degree of professionalism is required at all times in order to convey the right message that you wish conveyed. The way in which people of this province are welcomed and processed through the system gives a particular impression. You must decide what you want conveyed. We play a significant role in assisting your constituents and all other visitors to this building and this province.

Over the last 20 years, I and many like me who have been in this building for that number of years have seen many changes happening around us. The way in which a member of the public is treated here is certainly a key issue. We have become increasingly concerned about the safety of members, staff and visitors to the building. We as staff are here to support your decisions and offer assistance, as required, in identifying existing problems, with suggestions and possible solutions. We sincerely appreciate the opportunity to participate in this process and offer our concerns.

The Chair: Thank you, Ms Leonard. We have 55 minutes scheduled for questions and discussion relative to Ms Leonard's presentation. I'll first turn to the Liberal caucus. Are there any questions?

Mr Rick Bartolucci (Sudbury): Karyn, thank you very much. A suggestion that was I think mentioned earlier today would be with regard to controlled access entry and introduction to the building. Would you be in favour of that type of system whereby a person is greeted, is classified, is carded and then is allowed to travel to restricted areas? Or do you believe that it is important that what is in place now remain in place?

Mrs Leonard: I feel that once you decide on the philosophy of what you want conveyed to the public, anything is possible. Attitude, training, communication: All of those issues are very key in our estimation, as the people who do operate the inquiry centre and the primary public access to the building. So yes, I can see whatever your choice is working very well, as long as all of the follow-up steps are followed very closely, and monitored.

Interjection: A discreet answer.

Mr Bartolucci: You know, it was a nice answer, but there's a message in the answer that's worth a follow-up and an appreciation for the answer. I'm going to ask you for an opinion that's unbiased, truly an unbiased opinion. You've had the experience of being here for a longer period of time than I and several of the committee members. Do you believe that permanent barriers have caused some of the anxiety with visitors as well as with staff over the course of the last little while?

Mrs Leonard: I believe that many things have changed in the last 20 years. I first came to this Legislature as a staff member, as a tour guide actually, in 1976. I believe that not only has the quality of visitor changed, the intent of the visitor changed; the people who work in this building have certainly changed over the years. But all of those things I don't feel are necessarily controlled by putting up permanent barriers. That is a personal opinion, in a very non-partisan way.

Over the years a number of things have changed: The way in which demonstrations access the building or don't access the building, how they are controlled -- all of those things, as all of you know, have changed. Locations of barriers: When I first came here barriers would be taken outside. They were not permanent installations. I'm not the one to judge whether that be correct or not correct. Sometimes perception is what people will deal with and certainly there have been many changes, for a variety of reasons, construction being one of them, the numbers of people coming to the building, the limitations of parking. All of those things have had an impact.


Mr Bartolucci: I respect your honesty so much and I appreciate it. These are points that I'll pursue later when we discuss the two areas that we visited as a subcommittee. Do you think it essential for a demonstration to be subject to a permit before it could take place, either through a municipality, through the Legislative Assembly or through a particular arm of the municipality such as the police services?

Mrs Leonard: I can only speak to what happens here, and it is only just recently that we have been charged with the responsibility of issuing the permits, if you wish, for demonstrations to take place. As I mentioned before, those demonstrations are only given permission if they are sponsored by a member. We feel that it's a better control mechanism in terms of people not all showing up at the same time. Through the operational side of things, we have been able to actually have demonstrators and demonstrations scheduled at different times of the day, and for the most part I have to say they've been extremely cooperative. If you tell them, "I'm sorry, we have a demonstration booked for 12 noon; could you possibly take 12:30, could you take 1 o'clock, could you move it into the morning?" they are usually very accommodating in that way. They do appreciate the consideration and the assistance that they receive, whether it be a sound system or whatever it is. We have thank you letters on file that tell us of that appreciation.

Mr Morin: You mentioned that people who plan to demonstrate ask for an authorization. Were you asked for authorization yesterday?

Mrs Leonard: Yes, we were.

Mr Morin: Was it sponsored by a member?

Mrs Leonard: It was sponsored by a member. I don't have the name of that member available at the moment, but I'll be glad to get it for you. I can get it very quickly, and a copy of that permit. I must say that the organizers of that particular demonstration have expressed a very deep concern about what happened.

Mr Morin: When a demonstration takes place, because I just want to know, does the member have a very close rapport with the demonstrators? Is it done in a sort of constructive way? Is there advice given by the member to the demonstrators as to how they should behave, how they should contain themselves?

Mrs Leonard: I can't answer that. I don't know the information that would be conveyed from a member's office. All we see is a copy of the letter that comes to our office indicating support for the demonstrators.

Mr Miclash: In terms of your experience in the building, would you feel a little bit safer if the person you were facing, say, in any part of the building were wearing an identification pass with, as I indicated earlier, a colour code of some sort and you had access to know that a certain colour would mean something? Would you find that employees around here would feel safer should they be faced with that?

Mrs Leonard: I feel the employees in this building would likely feel safer. It's a little bit different for us, because we are very accustomed to dealing with any number of irate people, any number of very polite, kind people who want to visit; we have such a diverse clientele. But in talking to people whom I work with who are not necessarily exposed to that every day, they would likely feel much safer, yes.

Mr David S. Cooke (Windsor-Riverside): I must say I have an aversion to the idea of classifying people, even the term "classifying people." What I'm trying to understand, not only through this committee process but other people whom I'm been talking to who work in this building, the fear that people have. How much of it is real? In other words, has it got a basis for it and how much of it is, quite frankly, because things are getting more and more hyped up around this place? I guess what I wouldn't mind your reaction to is, the breaches of security that have occurred, the so-called breaches, whatever the heck that means, haven't been as a result of individual members, that I'm aware of, coming in the building. It's been a couple of demonstrations, one in 1988 and one yesterday, that might have gotten out of control. Are you aware of a lot of individual incidents so that even though staff might feel safer if people were classified and had colour codes on, would that be addressing a real problem in your view or is that a perceived problem?

Mrs Leonard: I feel you're right in terms of numbers. There are certain events that are going to take place in and around any parliament building, in and around any government building, and those events here, I feel, have not escalated to a point that it's out of control. Again, I have to say that's a personal opinion based on the experience that we have as the public relations corps in this building.

If you're asking do I feel that we have more than what we've had before, I'm not sure we have. I have no statistics to back this up. I can give you statistics on numbers of visitors, types of visitors, where they come from, all of those, but I can't give you, for instance, security-type statistics that would indicate how many people have been stopped on the front steps. We have many, many people who come through the lobby to the front counter and who are very upset, but most situations like that can be defused if they're handled in a professional way and people feel that they're being helped.

Mr Cooke: One of the things whenever the discussion of security has come up in caucuses -- you've been here 20 years; I've been here going on 19 years -- has always been that, quite frankly, if somebody is going to threaten members, there is no security that can ever be arranged in our constituency offices. That doesn't address your concern, but for members, we've got to get real.

The demonstrations that take place, I hope that we wouldn't be getting into a position where we'd be somehow trying to regulate demonstrations, because I don't think it's possible, quite frankly. But the sponsorship is irrelevant, right? I mean, when a member sponsors a demonstration, it's a procedure you have to go through and that's about all it is. Somebody has to sign or say, "Yes, we'll sponsor that demonstration."

Mrs Leonard: It has been a policy and a procedure that we have inherited and we have adhered to because our role on behalf of the Speaker is to try to organize things so they work well rather than have mass chaos or, as we've had before, differing groups who all want the microphone at the same time. It's really been an administrative question and a way of handling it from an administrative standpoint.

Mr Cooke: I don't know how long that policy has been in place, but no one ever came to me as a new member that I can recall and said, "If you're going to sponsor a demonstration out front, you have a particular responsibility to make sure that the demonstrators are going to behave." Not that I could give that guarantee. Who could ever give that guarantee?

We were crazy enough when we were in government that I think some of our backbenchers probably went through the procedure to sponsor demonstrations that were demonstrating against our own government. People have a right to demonstrate, whether you agree with them or not, and if the procedure is that a member has to sign for that, then that's what's going to happen.

Mr Pouliot: It's the same people.


Mr Cooke: It's the same people. I have one question about the people who are visiting the building and so forth. If I recall, one of the major problems that we have would take money to resolve, and that is the redesign of the front entrance. A few years ago, we were looking at putting enough money in there that there would be an entrance that would go into the basement, especially for tours that were taking place, and there would be a reception area and then, I guess, other people visiting the building would go through the current entrance. Would I be correct in assuming that unless the dollars are available to redesign that front entrance, anything that we attempt to do in terms of controlling access is going to be a little bit haphazard since that front of the building was never designed for the hundreds of thousands of people who now visit this place?

Mrs Leonard: I think the key is likely in designating entrances for a variety of purposes. If your access point for all the public coming in is going to be the front door -- primarily now, I would have to say that 80% of the visitors to this building do come through the front door. Many staff do, but more so, you yourselves know that your own staff and yourselves will likely use another entrance because of the congestion at the front door as much as anything.

Yes, certainly redesign was discussed a couple of years ago and part of a plan, but that would solve other issues related to access to galleries for students -- the numbers of bags and packages and Walkmans and all of these parcels that somehow have to be looked after when students come into the building. At the moment, we're looking at baskets that have lids on them that will allow us to have a safe control over the number of Walkmans and personal belongings -- many computers that students actually bring in and they're not allowed to take into the House, as you know. Those are definitely logistical issues that we are trying to come to terms with without spending dollars.

The Chair: Mr Cooke, just by way of information, I think it's fair to point out that the subcommittee found in Ottawa that at least at some of the demonstrations that happen where there's a member who has sponsored the demonstration, that member's name is sent to the Speaker, as well as the party leader for that member. You can draw your own conclusion as to why that is, but it would appear to be an effort to provide some measure of accountability for what actually goes on in terms of the demonstration.

Mr Cooke: I wouldn't mind taking a look at it if there's an actual written part to that policy. Obviously I wasn't there in Ottawa or Quebec, but the difficulty that I would have would be, what would be the implication if in fact there was ever a policy put in place that those who didn't have a sponsorship couldn't demonstrate? Well, it would mean nothing, because people would still demonstrate out front and they'd be more upset. I still argue that one of the problems that we had on opening day was the fact that nobody was authorized to have a demonstration. There was nobody authorized to have a demonstration on the throne speech day, because the Sergeant at Arms said there were a number of people who had applied, and since they all couldn't be accommodated, nobody was going to be authorized, and we had a demonstration that resulted in the building being closed.

Mr Pouliot: I couldn't agree more. Again, the right to demonstrate, be it at the Washington Monument -- you know, it's a democracy. We ought to deal with it. If people cannot, for whatever reason, demonstrate democratically without endangering and while respecting everybody else's ideas, then you demonstrate by remote control. It is just as simple as that. If you don't have a venue, you will find a venue.

The sponsorship, be it the sponsorship, will you behave? You can sign all kinds of documents. It could be almost any group. It certainly can be any individuals. Be it you get a permit or a sponsor, at the end of the day when you look at the results of the exercise it's the same. I'm not aware of anyone who will sponsor, lend his name to, be associated with any group or individual who will not "behave in accordance with" the statutes. When you give a permit, who do you give the permit to? You give it to this organization, while you say to the other organization, "You won't have it"? The person with the permit will make an alliance. They'll have to live with one, whether they like it or not, because people will show.

I have some difficulties with anything that will endanger, that will jeopardize the right of people to be full democrats and to express themselves. It's costing them an arm and a leg. They're paying for all this anyway. It's their building. There's only one taxpayer. Satisfied or not, let them come to Queen's Park. I'm not going to question the quality. The quality has changed over the last 20 years. My father was here about 22 years ago and my mother was here last year. We could do a lot with that.

The Chair: Do you have a question?

Mr Pouliot: It's my time, sir. Whether I have a question or not, it's my privilege. I appreciate your courtesy, Mr Chair.

A tour bus comes in with 60 people. You see them every day. I don't know what percentage is organized tours, but a lot is. They come in from all over the world, if you were to look at the background of the people. Our eyes tell us that. People have one hour to come into the building, because after this they'll go to the Casa. They're mostly organized tours. They're not going to spend their whole day at Queen's Park. Do you deal with the bus operator or do you deal with every individual on the bus? If the bus is only here for one hour to visit Queen's Park, what do you do?

Mrs Leonard: There are many different situations. In some cases we have to deal with the tour operators. We have tried to identify who those tour operators are, whether it be the ones that are scheduled for booked programs here or the ones of those 35 to 40 that on summer mornings and late afternoons I'm sure you've had occasion to see. We're dealing with the operator in some cases. In the case of students you're dealing usually with a teacher who is bringing them here as part of the Ontario Young Travellers program or as part of the curriculum that they're studying. So you're dealing with a wide variety.

Mr Pouliot: I would like to know what is being done elsewhere, because they have the same privilege, for instance, tourists come in, we all have schools in our ridings and they come in. Almost inevitably you take a picture, say, "Bye-bye, thank you for visiting Queen's Park." There's always a time limitation, for other groups are coming in as well and you only have so many guides. They're going elsewhere; they came from someplace else.

What do you do in terms of, as asked for in the proposal, everybody gets a badge, everybody has to register? I don't know. I'm at a loss here. You only have one hour to do so. When am I going to tour the building? What kind of system can accommodate that and at what cost? That's another challenge we have. Are you offering a suggestion?

You come in and you see five buses there, and I'm listening outside there, satisfying one of my many vices. I have a cigarette -- I blame the government; I used to blame the opposition. I see people come in and they speak German and I see people come in and they speak Japanese. Then another bus comes in. Especially in spring and summer there a lot of people here. Then you see them coming out again and another bus comes in. Who has the responsibility at the individual level? Would they register, and how is that handled? I keep in mind that they have one hour only in the building.

Mrs Leonard: We feel we have a fairly good system in place to handle those groups of students and senior citizens and private groups that are coming in as a group, because those groups are pre-registered, they already have a confirmation, they know exactly what their program is. We don't really feel that those groups are a problem from our standpoint. They do receive individual passes to go into the public gallery if indeed they're returning to the House for a session in the afternoon. So there is that process where they all have an individual pass.

The groups that are coming in unannounced that are part of this dropoff point or sightseeing tour of Toronto or Ontario are now handled under this temporary visitor pass system. There is no way we can handle the numbers that come to the front of this building. They all want to see the chamber, and they all want to see it at the same time. Those are more the issues that we're trying to come to terms with while still welcoming them and making them feel that they've not been turned away at the door, if indeed that is the decision that you make.

We are a multilingual unit. We do address the concerns and the questions in a variety of languages. We try to do the best we possibly can with those people, and they are limited by wearing a pass. Only their leader wears a pass, not all the members of the group, and they do keep the groups together, because they're used to making stops like this. This is one of many stops they make in the course of a day. I'm not sure if that addresses your issue.


Mr Pouliot: Karyn, I don't know whether it's fair or not to ask you, but I don't know who else to ask at this time. We're in the chamber now and you have, if you will, not a caucuses' gallery but east-west, and then you have a public gallery. You issue passes and those passes are sponsored by the members.

Mr Morin: No.

Mr Pouliot: They're not?

Mr Morin: Only the galleries.

Mr Pouliot: Okay, thank you. Only the gallery on the side. That's why they don't applaud as much or boo as much as the other one upstairs.

It is very, very difficult, because I know which bill is coming through and I recognize some of the people, because you see them in the newspaper. They start chanting and so on and they get ejected, and I really feel bad. I'm not going to get up because I can't get the attention of the Speaker. The honourable Speaker will not recognize me on a point of order, so I cannot say I want to make a plea: "Stop, stop, stop. I've just signed your pass." You can appreciate my dilemma. In fact I go this way, "Stop it," and the Speaker will not recognize me.

Would you appreciate being asked that the people who work -- I call it protocol -- downstairs be given some guidelines by the committee and come back with a report? You're the front line. You see it more often than most people do. You work right there with your colleagues.

Mrs Leonard: We would be more than happy to participate in that process, if you would like to clearly define what issues you would like to hear from us on.

Mr Pouliot: You know what works. You can take a concept and then bring it down to the floor and say, "Yes, this will work, but we have to twist it because in the real world we might need some amendments."

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Pouliot. I have four questions here from the Conservative caucus. First Mr O'Toole, then Mr Hastings, Mr Grimmett and Mr Froese.

Mr O'Toole: I'll be brief, because I want other members here to have a chance. The first thing is, we heard repeatedly at Quebec and in Ottawa, and I'm sure you have contact with your peers in those areas, a couple of things that they -- and I really thought it was an important priority. They're mainly people like yourself. They're involved with safety. It's first in their minds, it really is, for the staff, for the members and for the visitors. They all said that in the very opening.

The next thing they all said is how important it was to be friendly, to greet, to be non-hostile. They did that in Quebec where in fact even the police were trained, and even though they were carrying side-arms, they were jovial, and not because we were there. They were specifically personality-suited to the job. They addressed and said that, in training, PR was very important. Much of what you said this morning, Karyn, is reinforcing that, the importance of being accessible in that position.

I don't think anyone in this committee would disagree with a person's right to demonstrate. I'm not speaking for everyone, but on either side, I don't think it's our right, or even something within our mandate at all, to do anything to forgo a person's ability to demonstrate. That being said, I have a specific question. Do you think that demonstrations of whatever stature should occur inside the building?

Mrs Leonard: I feel from a safety aspect, for all concerned, that demonstrations should not likely occur inside any building. Yesterday we had a prime example where we had a lot of damage in the main lobby, as I know you are aware this morning. But on the other hand, there are occasions where demonstrators who are part of the group outside those doors are brought inside by a member or by someone who is sponsoring them to discuss with them, and that's a different issue. But when it comes to what happened yesterday, then of course I can't agree with that in principle because there's destruction.

Mr O'Toole: I don't think anyone does, and all we're trying to do is be reasonable. I think that's the balance. It's difficult to print in specific language what constitutes an unacceptable demonstration. That's really the problem, which we will not solve, I don't think. Clearly, in each one, in the Canadian federal governments, there were no, period, demonstrations inside, and the same in Quebec. They all said categorically it has no place in the house of the people for a group to hold hostage, whatever their ethics or whatever their ideologies. No hostage kind of thing, because that's what it is. It's capturing the media, the people's attention. So I hear you on that one.

Do you agree that there should be limited doors available to the general public?

Mrs Leonard: Yes, I do.

Mr O'Toole: Good. That's a no-brainer, in my view. It's been done everywhere. Can it be handled? Absolutely. Certainement. I'll tell you why. They handle a million in Ottawa through one set of doors. It's a no-brainer. If you're going to be paying security people over $50,000, they'll figure it out, okay? It's being done all over the world. That question is rhetorical and has no thought basis, and I want to be very clear on that. I've seen it and it's manageable.

The idea of permits: Do you think that's something we should expect in the final protocol here, permits for demonstrations, so that someone will assume some sense of responsibility for it? In Ottawa, for example, with no permit, bye-bye. The RCMP will move your tepee or whatever it is. There are no demonstrations without a permit, period. That's the Canadian capital. What's your view on that? Not to limit it, but they must conform to some sense of respect for the rest of the community.

Mrs Leonard: I feel that is your decision as members of this assembly. What you choose to have happen onsite and how you choose to have it happen is in your hands. Demonstrations here, as I've said, the way that was chosen some time ago to manage demonstrations was to ask them to obtain permission, with sponsorship. It has worked fairly well. It's only when that demonstration that was never permitted to be inside -- permission at no time was ever given by a member or by anyone else to take place inside -- it's when something happens that none of us like to see happen that the trouble erupts and you have damage and what not.

But we've never had a situation of ever condoning or allowing, to my knowledge, demonstrators to demonstrate inside a building. I'm sure you've all been there in the lobby when things have been removed from people. We have often stacks of signs and things like that. Demonstrators are invited to come in as a guest of someone. They're not invited to come in to demonstrate.

Mr O'Toole: I'll just make one last point, and I appreciate this. This is tough, but you've got 20 years' experience at this and I respect your answer. Outside of the current government of Ontario, would you agree, whether it's Oklahoma City or the incidents in Israel or the incidents in France or wherever, that the function of demonstrating in the world has been heightened and has definitely changed? Whether it's the seals or whatever it is, there's a plethora of issues.

Would you agree, whether it's the 6 o'clock news or whatever it is, that there are more demonstrations, or at least the threat of violence or violent action, whether it's Oklahoma City or whether it's the attempt on Jean Chrétien? We don't have to look very far, and it's happening every single day -- Charlottetown. Would you agree, in 20 years, that it now has changed, that there's a fundamental change that's been made?

Mrs Leonard: I would not feel comfortable saying that something had changed because I feel that the circumstances have changed significantly. Twenty years ago we didn't have the telecommunications, we didn't have the media. We didn't have the same sorts of information highways that we have today.


Mr O'Toole: The 6 o'clock news. All-news channels.

Mrs Leonard: That definitely has changed. I would never presume to judge that anything else has necessarily changed, but certainly our information highways have changed. I've had the pleasure of working for six different administrations and seeing the changes that have taken place in everything around us, and things are changing. Nothing is the same or very few things are likely the same as they were 20 years ago.

Mr John Hastings (Etobicoke-Rexdale): Mrs Leonard, how would you rate the type of visitor today in terms of civility from 1 to 10, if you use 10 as the most excellent or the most interesting person to have dinner with down to 1, which would be probably the nastiest?

Mrs Leonard: I feel very strongly that we continue to have a very interested visitor. People don't visit legislatures if they don't want to be here. Many of us, when we travel, make the Parliament of that country or that state, wherever it happens to be, a town, that part of our reason for visiting. We make that one stop on our tourist run.

Most of the visitors, I have to say that 85%, 90% of the people who come to this building, are positive. They are pleasant people to deal with. That doesn't just include the tourists. That includes most of the citizens of this province who come, many with very, very major reasons for being here and looking for assistance. They welcome someone with a smile for them, someone who doesn't challenge them automatically as to why they're there but rather respects the fact that they've come up those front steps or they've come in one entrance or another and they need an answer or assistance or direction.

Mr Hastings: Could you supply us this afternoon the name of the member who sponsored yesterday's group?

Mrs Leonard: Certainly.

Mr Hastings: You were mentioning or Mr Cooke mentioned that at one time they were looking at having a different way visitors and tourists could enter the building besides the way we do it now, by diverting them down into the bottom floor. Are there architectural plans and/or is there a report in Ms Speakman's office -- I presume it would be there -- that the committee could get a look at as to when --

Mrs Leonard: By all means. I will pass that request along. All of those things do exist, yes, including costs.

Mr Hastings: When was that done?

Mrs Leonard: That was done as part of the master planning for the building, which has been in existence for several years now and the various stages, such as you've seen around you, and we've been a construction site off and on now for the past few years. Those things do exist.

Mr Hastings: My final question relates to the hiring of your staff. Is there any type of specific human resources personality tests, not the old Minnesota inventory personality test or whatever that thing was called, but other more updated types of personality or character or attitude, or whatever you want to call it, type of stuff that human resources in this building is using to determine the type of guide or host that is now hired compared to when you started 20 years ago, or is it still basically done on a pleasantness scale?

Mrs Leonard: It's done on a variety of bases. We do not have a formal personality analysis, such as the Myers-Briggs or anything of that nature. It certainly does not exist here as a testing mechanism. When we are hiring information officers, and that includes the summer tour guides we hire as well, it's done on an analysis of skills, knowledge, background, experience, assessment as to personal suitability.

Questions are asked concerning how an individual might handle a certain type of question and those scenarios where we want to analyse the response involve how an individual is going to handle an irate customer. How are they going to handle a teacher who's here with a group. They thought they had a confirmation and they don't have a confirmation with us, but we all have to come to terms with this.

We don't want to send people out the front door at this point. That's not our mandate. We want them to feel that they've been welcomed to the building and that somehow we have met their need to visit the building, whether we can simply go outside and take them on a tour of the statues and monuments, whether we can bring them inside, sit them down and hopefully have someone come to talk to them, whether it be their member if their member were available, or someone from staff who could give them a little bit of background.

It's a very formal type of interview process, but what we're looking for are particular skills and particular ability to analyse a customer or a client, a person with a problem and come up with what we feel is the best answer on behalf of this Legislative Assembly.

Mr Hastings: In those architectural drawings, I suppose you were involved to some extent in how it would be positioned because your staff and you would be directly affected?

Mrs Leonard: Yes.

Mr Hastings: Could you give us a rough estimate whether that new location would be directly below the main foyer?

Mrs Leonard: The plans were originally to be where the dining room is currently located. The intent was to allow accessibility for those who are not able to deal with stairs such as we have at the front of the building. It gave an option to bring people in at the front for the physically challenged, as well as the large groups that take up so much room in that main lobby and are difficult at times. It is a working environment.

I know there will be many times when you're walking the halls and you'll wonder, "Why on earth is all this noise here?" and it's because at one time we might have 1,000 students in the lobby. They're all going in different directions and they're all being managed, but a noise level of students when there are anywhere from probably 12 to 16 is very difficult to control. That was all part of the process.

The other part of the process was this whole issue of what kids today seem to carry with them in backpacks and coats and all of the issues that can arise -- security issues obviously. We have taken things like knives and dangerous objects away from kids. That's an everyday occurrence here when the House is in session. When you collect all the metal objects, you'd be amazed at what's in that basket. There has to be a way of doing that and a way of securing those belongings so that when the kids come back, they then can obtain their own things because things do go missing.

Mr Bill Grimmett (Muskoka-Georgian Bay): Ms Leonard, I wonder if you could tell us, we've heard the figure of 250,000 visitors a year. Are the numbers of visitors increasing to this place?

Mrs Leonard: The numbers have gone up and down over the years and part of the reason for that has been the construction that we had at the front of the building for some time. The numbers of people actually coming into the Toronto area, to our knowledge, has not gone down. The number of people wanting to visit this site has not gone down. At different times, the numbers we've been able to record have gone down and that, as I said, is for a variety of reasons.

If a bus driver's not familiar with the area and they don't realize they could at one time come in through the east door, they're likely to drive on by. They won't stop. For the most part our tours have not decreased. Tourism here in this building has not decreased.


Mr Grimmett: I have a particular interest and responsibility for tourism in the province and I think we should consider that as part of this whole security review because in addition to being a public place and a civic treasure, this is a genuine and very significant tourist attraction. I wonder if you could perhaps take this opportunity to give our committee some advice on what you think we should consider in trying to enhance the attraction of this property to the public. Are there certain things that you think could be done here that perhaps you don't get the opportunity to comment on because of the chain of command that exists?

For example, I just want to touch on one thing. In speaking to my colleague, I understand that in Ottawa the costumed, uniformed RCMP are not always present, but I remember from my visits there as a student everyone would rush up to get a photograph taken with the RCMP officer in dress uniform. That's just one option I'd ask you to consider.

Mrs Leonard: It would take me much longer than what time we have this morning, I'm sure, to fully answer you, but I must say that over the years we've done a number of different things to enhance tourism here. The year of our centennial was a very highly successful year. We did a lot of public programming. We had a few extra dollars to celebrate that centennial, quite frankly, that allowed us to do that. We also did a lot of cost-recovery-type programs.

Since we've had obvious reductions in different areas, we've been able to carry on with some of that. We do have costumed interpreters here in the building. If time allows and if the staff numbers and the demands allow, they do that sort of thing. They go outside; they greet. There are all kinds of ways that, yes, we probably could enhance a visitor's experience, encourage the numbers, encourage that whole area. We have a very beautiful site here in the middle of this city. Things like bus parking are a major issue. That's only just one that exists here. There are many other ones I'd be more than happy to give you at another time.

Mr Grimmett: I was thinking more, in particular, if we do choose to enhance the security arrangements, are there tourist opportunities inherent in that?

Mrs Leonard: Possibly. There is quite a history to this. At one time we had the Queen's Own Rifles, for instance, in the small boxes down at the front doors that did a rotation and a drill, basically, at one time. There were some issues. Again, I don't think time allows me to go into those this morning, but I do believe that, yes, there are lots of opportunities that could be used to work in conjunction with an enhancement in security and an enhancement in terms of how the visitor is actually welcomed to the site.

Mr Tom Froese (St Catharines-Brock): Ms Leonard, thanks for your presentation. You certainly have diplomatically answered some questions that were very tough and I appreciate that. I'll try and keep my comments brief because some of the questions have been answered already.

I'd like to go back to the demonstrations area. I think it's perceived, some of the things that have been said before, that somebody's trying to limit demonstrations, or that in this process we're looking to limit demonstrations. I don't think that's the case at all. I think everybody has a right to demonstrate, but it's how they demonstrate.

When demonstrations are being done, and in life in general, we're all accountable and responsible for what we do. I personally believe that to some degree the member has a responsibility, if they're sponsoring a demonstration, to influence -- they can't control everything, I understand that, but they have a high degree of influence when they're sponsoring a demonstration. I believe that wholeheartedly. The member can say something like: "What is your demonstration going to be? How is it going to be run?" Especially now, in what's happening, there is absolutely no reason to have what we're having now, windows smashed, damage to property. I think it's important and pressure should be put on members as far as sponsoring groups are concerned. I understand that's probably not in your realm. It's for us as members to understand that.

That being said, there needs to be a balance as well, and the member can't control it. If we change the process whereby there's controlled access to the building, how do we educate the public -- if you can just give several comments -- to say that there's a change being made and that it's still open to the public, because the fear right away is that if the legislative committee makes recommendations to the Speaker and things change all of a sudden, it's right away that we're closing up shop, and that's not the point at all. We clearly can't have happen what's been happening and something has to be done. What are some of your suggestions as far as how we educate the public is concerned? How you feel we can go about doing that?

Mrs Leonard: If I could clarify, are you speaking about the demonstrations that come or the general public who would be coming in?

Mr Froese: Both.

Mrs Leonard: I must say, to make it clear from an administration standpoint, we neither encourage nor discourage visitors or demonstrators who wish to come; we merely manage and try to assist. It's very labour-intensive and it's very critical in terms of how that is all handled, because we're working usually with a member's office, with your staff. We're working with a representative who wants to organize a demonstration, and 9.5 times out of 10 that representative is very anxious that this all work in a positive way, just as yesterday the organizers pleaded with the demonstrators to have a peaceful demonstration, getting up and saying: "This is not why we're here. We're not here to destroy."

I think you're doing everything there that you can do in more ways than one. There are some physical things that can be considered outside that likely you will want to look at when you're considering how you're going to handle this.

In terms of the visitor coming in, I firmly believe that if you make the decision that you want this building to be accessible to the public and that you want it to be a positive experience the visitor has, regardless of where that visitor comes from, regardless of why they're here, I believe, because I'm in the public relations business, that you can market those things if you communicate. It's the same as communicating an evacuation plan, for instance. If that is communicated and everyone knows ahead of time what is expected, how it's done, why certain things are done, the chances are that your problems will diminish. After a couple of times of people being told and informed, they're not going to wonder any more. We all question what we're not familiar with.

I think we can do many things that will positively increase the numbers that come to this building, the numbers that come here. We have a constant demand wanting to have exhibits, wanting to come here, wanting to participate in programs, and these are not just the free education programs that go on, these are any of the ones that we've done on a cost-recovery basis: Victorian tea and tours and birthday parties on the lawn that we did for the centennial of the building. All of those items have been highly successful items. Our gift shop is a highly successful area. We would of course like to increase revenue there, and if we decrease the numbers of people coming into the building, we can't increase the revenue.

We're very anxious to work, and I do feel it's something that can be accomplished with the right type of direction from the Legislative Assembly. The management of something like that I think will benefit all.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Ms Leonard, for your presentation. We appreciate your advice.

We're just about ready to recess for lunch. I want at this time to thank Peter for putting together his presentation. As I said, I know he worked late into the evening last night, and we appreciate also Lisa's assistance as clerk of the committee on the trip we made in the last couple of days.

Two other points I want to raise with committee members: The Chair has requested that Hansard expedite its account of this morning's proceedings so that all members of the committee will have an opportunity to review Peter's submission in writing and then we'll have a framework for better discussions next week. Lastly, I want to inform the committee members that we'll start again this afternoon at 2 o'clock; I think an earlier agenda said 1 o'clock.

The committee recessed from 1200 to 1402.

The Chair: We're resuming our discussions on the issue of security in the Legislative Assembly precinct. We have as a guest this afternoon the MPP for Mississauga South, Mrs Margaret Marland. Thank you very much, Mrs Marland, for coming in today. We look forward to your presentation.

Mrs Margaret Marland (Mississauga South): I appreciate very much the invitation to appear before the Legislative Assembly committee while you are dealing with this very important matter, because it has long been a concern of mine, the matter of security in this building and in fact the whole legislative precinct.


Mrs Marland: I realize that we have an important event going on in the room next door, so I hope you will be able to hear me over that noise.

My concern for the security measures in the legislative precinct has actually escalated in the last two years. As you may know, I've been here 11 years now.


Mr Morin: On a point of order, Mr Chairman: I don't think it's fair for our witness to have to deal with this noise. Perhaps we could wait or find out how long it will go, so that we can hear Margaret well.

The Chair: I appreciate that suggestion. Is that satisfactory to you, Mrs Marland?

Mrs Marland: I appreciate the suggestion too. Thank you.

The Chair: Why don't we recess for five minutes.

Mrs Marland: I could actually come back next week. Are you still dealing with it next week?

The Chair: Yes. We could recess for, say, five minutes to see. We might be able to resume at 2:30.

Mrs Marland: You have someone else coming at 2:30, don't you?

The Chair: We already have John O'Toole here and he's going to be expressing additional --

Mr Dave Boushy (Sarnia): We could hear him now.

The Chair: I don't know how long the pep rally's going to last.

Mrs Marland: I'm sitting concurrently on another committee that's immediately below this committee room this afternoon, so if you would like me to come back next week, I can come back next week.

The Chair: Okay, what we'll try and do is have a recess for half an hour and then, Mr O'Toole, we'll look to you to provide some of your information on behalf of the Conservative caucus, and if Mrs Marland is able to return to the committee next week, we will be able to hear from her and her point of view.

Mrs Marland: I definitely would like to fulfil the opportunity, so I'll leave it to the clerk to schedule it with my office and I'll look forward to seeing you next week.

The Chair: Thank you very much. The committee is in recess until 2:30.

The committee recessed from 1407 to 1437.

The Chair: The committee will resume yet again. We are at the point in time where the Progressive Conservative caucus has some time to express its views, concerns, ideas on the issue of security. I'd like to recognize Mr O'Toole.

Mr O'Toole: I was listening with great anticipation to hear Margaret Marland speak this afternoon, and it may steal a little bit from my reason for wanting to speak. I first want to raise the point that I had made back on December 13 with regard to a resolution that was carried to look at decorum, that the issue on a broader scale be described as decorum in the House by members. In that respect, I'm looking at proposing perhaps an amendment to the standing orders that would allow members to abstain from voting. That procedural issue is, to me, an attempt on both parts to expedite the business of the House and not to detract from any members to make statements with regard to debate. That's the primary reason I want to address it. I've heard it repeatedly from members of our caucus and before, during and after any incident that may have precipitated me moving that motion during our last committee. So that's the main issue here.

If I may continue, I did raise this at each of the parliaments or Houses that we visited in the last couple of days, and the general response I got was that members were not encouraged and not permitted to demonstrate. In fact, demonstrations in the House were pretty much curtailed. I guess demonstration takes many forms, one of those forms being a reluctance or unwillingness to participate in debate, which is totally within the standing orders and permissions.

I'm not speaking on behalf of caucus; I wouldn't be so presumptive as to do that. Margaret would have done a much better job of that than myself.

Without extending the time here, that's pretty well the only point I wanted to make. There was a resolution passed. How is the committee going to deal with that in the context of this report dealing with security?

The Chair: Do members wish to make any comments with respect to Mr O'Toole's submission?

Mr Pouliot: I simply would like to be the benefactor or the recipient of the resolution.

The Chair: Do you have any copies of it with you?

Mr O'Toole: I don't have copies with me, but I certainly would make sure that the Chair or the clerk has a copy and is able to --

The Chair: The clerk is attempting to get a copy of the resolution and we'll make copies available when possible.

Mr O'Toole: Well, I'll read it in the interim. It says:

"I move that the standing committee on the Legislative Assembly be authorized to review and report on the issue of decorum in the Legislature as well as the disciplinary powers of the Speaker. An examination of these processes both in Ontario and in other legislative precincts will be necessary.

"Furthermore, as the standing committee on the Legislative Assembly is currently reviewing other security and related issues, it may be appropriate to include this concern at the same time -- because we'll be dealing with many of the same people.

"This review by the standing committee on the Legislative Assembly will be authorized to examine, among other things:

"The authority of the Speaker to name members; use of force by the Sergeant at Arms to eject members who have contravened the standing orders, been named by the Speaker, refused to obey the Speaker and refused to leave" the House.

"Also, the current standing orders which compel members present in the Legislature to vote (for or against). This also applies to votes during a division or any other vote as called by the Speaker.

"The committee will examine other relevant standing orders: points of privilege and points of order.

"In other cases we will consider other jurisdictions.

"Furthermore, I move a motion that the standing committee on the Legislative Assembly be authorized to meet as a committee during the intersession.

"I think it's that important to react responsibly and quickly to the statements by members and the press and people watching the parliamentary channel in this province. I know I speak for other members, that this has to be checked immediately and quickly. I, for one, am not going to sit by and watch democracy completely destroyed and defaced."

It was a handwritten submission. It was done sort of self-motivated and it is a broader thing. I think it's members making statements. It even deals with the television. The particular angles of the television are such that it would perhaps mislead the public; and there is a wide audience, it's my understanding, of the parliamentary channel. I suspect if we could just move the angle out a little bit more to sort of show that there are a lot of kind of dynamics occurring in the House, it would give the people whom we are all trying to represent an opportunity to have a little broader understanding of what's going on in the Legislature itself: movement, gestures, other kinds of things that are going on in the House.

I'll conclude with those remarks.

The Chair: All right. Questions?

Mr Bartolucci: Just a comment: Certainly I appreciate that that motion was carried and at the appropriate time I believe full debate should be given to that section of what our mandate is. I would suggest, though, that at this point in time we're talking about security and safety, and so as not to take away from either decorum or security, maybe if we dealt with one of these very important items at a time it would probably be a more logical and more productive way to go. I don't think it's out of order certainly, because it's a part of the entire resolution; if it requires more time of this committee, then I suggest we give it more time. I would suggest, though, at this particular time the appropriateness of the decorum issue being brought in would probably be lessened if we were to jump from security to decorum, from safety to procedure etc. So at this point in time I would move or suggest that we certainly deal with that, as the motion says, but at an appropriate time, which would probably be later on.

The Chair: Is that a motion or a suggestion?

Mr Bartolucci: At this point in time it would be a suggestion.

The Chair: Mr Stewart, you had a comment?

Mr R. Gary Stewart (Peterborough): Yes, I did. I think that we have to look at the big picture on this, and when we talk about decorum and procedure I believe that there are members who, in the few short months I've been here, have a tendency -- and I hate to use the word -- to incite people to riot in that House. Those are very strong words, and I'm sorry, but I believe that's what it is. A perfect example was when Bill 26 was passed, and a couple before that. I think we have to look at the total picture. I appreciate what Mr Bartolucci is saying, but I believe -- sorry, I'll get it right, how I pronounce that, one of these days. If I'd looked right at him, I probably could have got it.

Mr Bartolucci: "Bartolli" is way off.

Mr Stewart: I truly believe it is the big picture. I think we have to do that, because I think security in that House is of great concern. I think security is part of the procedure and the process that we're going through. I think we've got as much right as somebody of the public or whatever of getting hurt or whatever in that House as there is out in the lobby or out in the front. I'm a great believer -- I've said it before in this room -- of process and procedure and conduct. I can't support the motion. I think we have to look at the whole picture.

Mr Froese: I think it was a suggestion, not a motion. What Rick had said is probably correct if we're going to get tied up in this issue. But there are parts of that issue that definitely affect the security. Maybe we should have a little bit more discussion. I'd like to have Mr O'Toole explain how he sees both of those items, both the security and the decorum in the House, and maybe just elaborate a little bit more on what Mr Stewart had said, how he sees both of those issues relate to each other, because they definitely do.

Along with Mr Stewart, I believe that if the members -- and this is what I had said earlier this morning. I think we, as members of the House, are going to have to put a lot more responsibility and accountability on ourselves. To what degree that is and what that balance is, I don't know either, but when we, again, sponsor demonstrations and so on, we're going to have to really think twice about what we're doing here because of the whole security issue with respect to demonstrations.

We see it in the House as well. It appears that we're controlling ourselves. We're saying, "If you as an individual member want to do whatever you want to do, who controls that?" We saw it in the House. Let's not pull any punches here. Some of the members stood up in the House and encouraged these people in the galleries to do some of the stuff they did. That was not good for security reasons, especially when we were up there and saw the slope of the gallery and how people can tumble over.

So some of the members in the House are inciting people or are encouraging people to do what they do. Now, how do we control that? It definitely has to do with security. After I said all that, I'll let Mr O'Toole address this, if he would like, and my question is primarily to him, what his opinion is about this.

Mr O'Toole: That's a very good point, to draw the relationship between the issue that we're dealing with in the broader sense, which is security, which initially creates, in my mind, the primary focus, which is demonstration, where the demonstration does evolve to a point of security both for the public, the members and staff.

The role of a member, the duty of a member eventually -- let's say it this way: There's an audience. When there's an audience -- the audience can be the people in the gallery; it can be the people watching the television; it can be the media, the press gallery -- I think a member who is using that stage, if you will, of the House is something, in the era of media, that needs to have some rules of understanding so that they do not precipitate or provoke a demonstration that would be ruled out of order.

As a member, to stand up and argue, I don't have a problem; to disagree, I don't have a problem. It's his or her duty. So to answer your question specifically, I think there is a relationship. When you get down to the final evolution of this, there's a relationship between a member's responsibilities. Being party to the demonstration or provoking outrage beyond an acceptable level, I think, certainly in the House, is out of order. Outside? Well, we all get elected in different ways. We carry different banners for whatever reason, and we have a duty to do that. But certainly in the Legislature there's no room for banners, T-shirts. Certainly for visitors; there shouldn't certainly be for members.

I'm not trying to be restrictive. I recognize that in the fullness of time we may not always be in power. We probably will be, but maybe not.



Mr O'Toole: A little humour goes a long way, Gilles. I mean that sincerely.


Mr O'Toole: Yes, no arrogance. Sorry about that. I apologize.

That's the relationship I draw between the wider media, the television imaging. That's the relationship. It provokes outrage. If something is done deliberately to provoke outrage -- provoke it -- and contribute to it, I don't think any reasonable member would agree with it.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr O'Toole. Next I have Mr Pouliot with a question or comment.

Mr Pouliot: Thank you very kindly. Yes, it's difficult, Mr O'Toole, with respect, to predict the future. Certainly the market trends for 24 hours would have most of us out of here if we were so fortunate as to be able to predict, because it would be so much good to do it that well. My colleagues here, the fine people here in terms of being the government, they thought they would be and we thought we wouldn't be, subject to change with very little notice. But the ultimate wisdom will as always prevail, and that's okay.

Two things: the subject matter that we addressed. That's what this book -- the preparation, the trip that people made to compare and to find out other jurisdictions; in this case namely Quebec and Ottawa. The subject matter, the issue, the reason why we're here: security. We're fortunate because we have Gilles Morin, who for a number of years has been nothing short of, and by all accounts, very fair. That's expected of the tenure. I think it's pretty well always there, but Gilles has gone beyond the mandate in terms of equilibrium to let the members have their say and yet to enforce the rules. The statutes are there.

The decorum in the House is a matter for standing orders, rules. Decorum, that's another thing. Good manners, that's again another thing. To make a link, whether it does exist or not -- and I know that Mr O'Toole and others perhaps are talking about other things, if you incite people who are in the gallery. But in terms of the relationship between the Speaker, the referee, and the members' ability and choice to express, be it vitriolic, most times controversial -- we have a constitutional monarchy. We do well with the adversarial system. A place where commoners come to debate, sanctioned by the rules, allowed by the rules and limited by the rules.

The style of members differs a great deal, and you will notice that. Some people are verbose, are eloquent. Their command and the extent of their vocabulary parallels the best of orators. Other people seek refuge by talking about the fascinating world of sewer and water with unprecedented passion. Other people portray sincerity. They perspire sincerity and you can see the perspiration. Other people feel that if they can sell their bailiwick, they can sell anything. People will use antonyms, will use synonyms to make their plea. Some people, I've heard, will even use phrases such as "economic cleansing." I've heard it said in the House. And some other people who are the recipients, or they feel very much involved, will say, "What is it that's being said?" and the next member will say, "Systematic and deliberate elimination of the less fortunate," or, "Marginalizing." We can go on and on. That's allowed, as long as the person there says it's allowed and as long as you say, "Whoa, there's a borderline."

What is difficult, and I take your point to be that, Mr O'Toole, and please correct me, is if someone says: "No wonder they're marching; expect more violence. I know there are people watching there." And the people who are watching, let them hear your voice at a different tone.

If it's a platform where you could use -- and I don't know; I need your help, Gilles. I don't know what I would do in a case like this if I were in your shoes, sitting on the chair and saying: "Somebody is inciting. Listen to him speak." You have a great deal of power when you say this, and if you say, Mr Speaker, I tell the people that I can't do it by myself, because if I could, I would man the barricade, and there is a demonstration tomorrow, that is the line.

But in terms of attacking the government on the policy: fair and complete game, not because we had it done to us but because that's the way it's always been here. That's why we're elected. And then we have to be very, very careful.

But you bring me to think more than I thought I would at the beginning of my remarks. I'll stop here, because many of us would fight to the last breath to save one second here the liberty, the freedom of the individual; that's why we're here. But do you have a right to pass the line and to incite? I'll have to do some more homework. You got me there -- not on the overall rule. I know very much where I stand, that if I say, "You people are this and that and that," on a matter of policies, we're out of there friends, I hope, no problem. There's a line here. Where do we restrict this to say: "Come on, you guys. I'm proud that you are here. Tell them they're a bunch of Fascists, tell them they're a bunch of bastards"? There's a big line; to me, there is.

But I'm very careful between the standing orders of the House and also the security matter elsewhere. I think we have the beginning of a basic agreement on security; the House, be careful.

Mr Grimmett: I hope Mr O'Toole will forgive me for not addressing a question to him, but I think perhaps one of the purposes of his being a witness today was to at least commence some discussion around the issue of decorum and the behaviour of the members. While Mr Bartolucci's point is well made, and we only have a week left, as I understand it, for this committee to sit and may not have time to have a proper discussion of the issue of behaviour in the House, I agree that we should use the time we have to do a good job on the security issue.

But I would be very disappointed if the committee session ends without us at least setting an agenda of how we're going to deal with behaviour, because I know that back in my riding I have had many phone calls, letters and questions at parties and in the street about behaviour. I haven't had any about security. I understand that it is an important issue here, but back in my riding the issue of behaviour in the House is very much in the minds of a lot of people. I think we have an obligation to deal with that issue. I think it is an issue that requires some action on the part of the members.

I'm one of those members who, quite frankly, have been disappointed by the aura in the chamber, which I had naïvely assumed would be in some way magnificent or in some way make me feel like I was in a place where important decisions were made, and I frankly don't feel that way. I feel more like that when I'm in this room than when I'm in the chamber. I think that can be changed, and I think we should make an effort to do that. So I would like for us at least, before we end this session, to make some decisions on how we're going to deal with behaviour.


Mr Bartolucci: Certainly, I think it's a very, very valid point. I also think it's a very, very important point. I also think it should be given the time, a good amount of time, but I don't know that we should be mixing the two at this point in time.

If I could just move away for a second, I'd like to address a concern that is very much, I think, at the root of the problem with this place: The decorum inside is the direct result of what's happening outside.

Last evening, I had an opportunity to be with several university students. There were protests, as we know, all across Canada. Let me just say, my remarks are going to be short and they're not pointed at the government at all. I'm tired of people pointing fingers at other people. It accomplishes nothing. I was with a group of university students and, as you know, there were demonstrations across Canada. We spent a good bit of the time together discussing what happened here at Queen's Park yesterday.

I've been teaching for 31 years, and constantly I've tried to teach that respect is the way one must govern themselves if they are to command respect. Yesterday, when I saw our future leaders breaking down barricades, breaking down doors, I didn't blame them. I felt sorry for them, I felt sorry for the process, but I wondered what is causing a problem that makes our future leaders, our future thinkers and our future decision-makers decide that violence is the only way to get a message across. I'm a teacher for 31 years, and I know there are people who teach at different levels, who teach at a much higher level, and certainly they must have been thinking the same thing.

Why not ask the kids? There wasn't one university student I spoke to last evening who condoned what happened, but there were a few who were taking psychology courses, and the reaction was amazing, because it's been the reaction that I've heard from members on both sides of the table. Those barricades, those permanent barricades, are a symbol to those kids. They've been a symbol to all the protestors that this place is closed to them. I firmly believe -- and I'm only listening to what these university kids, these thinkers, told me. They said, "Rick, if you take down the permanent barricades and allow us or allow protestors to be a part of the building, they won't try to destroy it."

Obviously, the permanent barricades aren't working. They are sending out a lousy signal, they're sending out an incorrect signal, and every group that comes here is turning into a group that wants to show or give their message through inappropriate behaviour, or violence, or destruction, or vandalism, all of which is wrong. I'm wondering, if we remove the permanency of the barriers, if that wouldn't send a message. I think that's the most crucial issue we should be dealing with, because I think it's the basis of many of the things that are inappropriate within the House. And I agree.

I come to this Legislature as a first-time member with very, very high, idealistic views, after sitting on a regional and city council for 11 years, thinking that it's very, very important to listen to what somebody else has to say and then to rationally make a decision. I'm wondering, if it can happen at city and regional council -- and we know what type of government, we know the level and the intensity of that government, because some of us have served -- why we can't be open to that here at this level of government. I believe the barriers to that are the permanent barriers that we see outside. It's the beginning and it's a major source of the problem.

I feel very, very sorry for those students yesterday. I feel more sorry for the message that it sends out about youth, because that is not the university students' message. University students want to give a message in a very, very real and positive way. That's no government's fault; that's no ruling party's fault. I believe that's a decision or a suggestion that we should be debating fully here for some immediate action, whether it be either carried or defeated. We should establish whether or not we want permanent barriers to this building. Thank you.

Mr Boushy: I just want to make a comment following my friend's observation. I also have the same background he does in municipal government. I recall we had a park called Jaycee Park, all fenced in and we had all kinds of problems from the neighbourhood children. They'd go in, they defy the barricades, the fences. They break bottles, they have fights. Somebody came up with an idea which we thought was pretty silly at first. They said: "Take the fences down. Make it bare so everybody could see what's happening" and we did. Believe it or not, there are no more fights in that park. Amazing. It was just a challenge. It was a challenge for the kids to go over the fence and do things. I just thought I'd mention that.

Mr Froese: I understand what you're saying. I personally think the barriers definitely have to be removed, but I think it's a little bit more than that. Us first-timers come here and maybe a lot of first-timers -- everybody should clean house when the first-timers come, because what happens is we come with a totally different approach. When you get here, you buy into the system, you buy into the political rhetoric and so on and so forth. Down home and in municipalities and stuff like that, it's really not a political ideology, it's kind of working together to make things better for the community.

Here it's totally different. You've got three different perspectives right now and that in itself changes the atmosphere here. I've grappled with this whole thing since I've come here. Personally, I know there are three different ideologies, but I'd like the process to work a little bit differently in that there's a coming together to better Ontario, rather than all three of us fighting, but that's politics, I guess.

But removing the barriers -- I agree with that. If we're just going to say removing the barriers is going to stop it, I don't think that's what you're saying, but I don't think that'll do it as well. Right now and in the past, it really doesn't matter which government you are, the people who are behind the protests -- and we saw, according to the papers, it was supposed to be a student protest and yet there were other groups involved as well. I have a problem with that. You can't change it, but I have a problem with that.

It's the people who are behind this stuff; I really question whether they're law-abiding or not when they resort to violence. Clearly, what we read in the paper and the people who were out there, the students who were there, were shocked at what had happened from some of the other students who were there. I've got to be careful not to put -- how should I say -- a wide blanket over everybody who thinks that same way. That's part of what Mr O'Toole was saying and myself as well.

There's another issue with decorum that we need to address and that's the rules of the House and abiding by the rules of the House, and we're going to get into it hopefully. But there is part of it with the security and I think it needs to be said again. The members inciting those people who are here to demonstrate or to -- my concern is that the members, when we sign or support demonstrators: "Yep, come on in here. Let's make the government of the day pay." How should I say? It looks bad on the government if we had out here what we had and yet the public at large does not understand that the government of the day doesn't control the security around here.

It's an all-three-party thing and it really burns me. Every government has had this problem -- I've followed it -- that it looks like it's the government of the day who's controlling this thing. We've discussed it here and this should get out in public that right now it's a three-party situation where we're all coming together to grapple with the security issues, so we have to deal with it. I just want to make those comments.


Mr Hastings: I guess what Mr Bartolucci has stated got me to thinking about a number of things, not just the issue of security, but the whole area of operations of this assembly in terms of decorum, in terms of the standing orders.

I too, when I came here, sort of had a little bit of an idealistic outlook, I suppose, that Parliament was sort of the rule body of society, the British parliamentary system, the traditions etc. I think, to some extent, I'll take my share of responsibility personally for some of the lack of decorum in the House itself because I've been one of the main hecklers on the government side at times.

My colleague from Muskoka, Mr Grimmett, and I used to have a bit of a joke over this when his three-year-old or five-year-old son said once, "What are those people acting like that for, daddy?" I used to kid my colleague and I remembered his comments about that particular child's outlook as to how we as adults conduct ourselves.

What I tried to do, but I think it was pretty bad in the failing of carrying it out, is not to heckle while there are school children in the public corridors upstairs and I don't think we've succeeded very well in that. I'd be the first to criticize myself at that, although I think we make a more conscious effort. I looked at the tapes, the heckling I've done is probably later in the day when we're all tired. I think we all do it because there's a certain lack which leads me to another observation.

The general quality of the debate in this assembly, in my estimation, can't hold a candle, generally speaking, to the type of debate and ideas you'll get at a regional or local government level. There's just no comparison and that includes townships, county councils, city councils. You know, there are exceptions every time to every generalization.

Look around at your colleagues and how many of us, when we ask a question or read a statement in the House, we basically can't do it without alluding to the actual words on the page. If you'd had a videotape back 30 or 40 years ago when Bob Nixon's father was Premier, I guess, during the Second World War, or George Drew, the first Conservative Premier, I'd lay you a dollar to a doughnut that the general level of debate, if you could compare two videotape productions of those two eras, then and today, I'm pretty sure you'd see some major and enormous differences in the way in which people can debate without having to always read everything.

You can see it even in the House of Commons in Ottawa, which is supposedly the senior level of government in terms of being able to do that. I think M. Morin would probably agree on that statement because he's got a lot more experience having come from that level in terms of public service, in terms of how you compare those things, which brings me back to the idea that I think this committee needs to take a comprehensive examination of its standing orders to see if we can be a little more creative in how they could lead to better decorum in individual behaviour and collectively. You're never going to remove or abolish heckling completely --

The Chair: Do you want to move that today?

Mr Hastings: -- but I think if you look at some of the US state legislatures or maybe some of the other parliamentary systems, there is a penalty when you get to a certain level of lack of decorum on a specific and responsible individual basis. I'm not sure. It's something that needs to be examined in terms of the standing orders.

I think also, Mr Chairman, if you want to open up this building, I would allude back to whether we ought to be looking at encouraging model parliaments using the chamber. Maybe the U of T has a model parliament, or Western. I don't know if every university, but I think probably at least 50% of them have, and whether we ought to be looking at our standing orders in allowing them at specific times of the year like the Christmas break to use this place, like the House of Commons in Ottawa and Queen's University. I think that needs to be explored if you want to have a way of opening it up.

I'm not so sure I agree with my colleague opposite completely that the removal of the barriers will automatically send out the right message that this place is open to everybody, because I was in education, too, and it seems to me to some extent there is an attitude in public education or among some small minority of young people, an attitude that you are not very cool if you have any respect towards private property. Like there seems to be a mindset that says you can destroy private property or public property because it is meaningless, you can't attach a human right to it, and I think the statement by the young lady, whoever it was yesterday who decided to add a little decorative art to those two plaques that are near the interparliamentary entrance into Ms Leonard's office is a good example of the cost. So I think maybe we ought to be looking at some specific and positive ways of trying to create a better House, a more positive House. I'm not sure we'll always be successful, but we need to make an effort, and that's something this committee could play a valuable role in, with the assistance and guidance of the Speaker, I would assume, Mr Chairman.

The Chair: Mr O'Toole, did you have any concluding comment, since you initiated the discussion?

Mr O'Toole: Yes. I appreciate the wide-ranging debate. It's too bad it wasn't about the decorum issue specifically -- more about barriers.

But I go back to the point, and I think we're all trying to get to the same point. I concur with Mr Bartolucci with respect to the barriers. I really think that they represent an obstacle, a symbol. They are in themselves provoking. But I'm going to keep on track to wrap up.

I recognize first the issue of time and that there's an absolute requirement for this committee to be seen as being proactive and responsible dealing with the incident of yesterday and of recent times, so I think we have a serious responsibility that I do not want to deflect from.

I think also, with the permission of the Chair, perhaps we should consider treating them a little bit separately, but that is not to back away from it. I will not acquiesce that the resolution that we've made is going to be just dispensed with.

I want to go back on one small point. I think we're only just beginning to see the Alvin Toffler image of the third wave of media. Technically it's here, and that's what causes people's demonstrations. It probably started in 1970 with the Kent State event when students just, through media and hype, got out of control and there were students killed. It, from that time, has progressed and today students aren't noticed unless they're on the front page or the 6 o'clock news, and to do that, there's always a group that is beyond the realm of normal politics.

I agree with your statements. I work with students continuously and recognize that students, both externally here -- there are two or three who ruin it for everyone else. In fact, this morning on the news, they denounced the actions of the students, but there it goes to the comment made by my friend Mr Hastings who said that the students that come into the chamber -- I'm embarrassed technically. Most of them leave wondering what the hell is going on in here. Like theoretically, they come in and we're doing our theatrical thing, the orchestrated period, which is what it is, a very theatrical kind of thing that's going on, playing to the media, members doing things that afterwards they kind of dismiss as trivial or it was just theatre, it was a piece of drama, and I sense that's going on. That's the television, that's the media thing, and that's what the decorum issue has to agree.


If a member is inflaming action, I want the camera to move back and see what's going on. We're all accountable for that action. I don't want the camera to go blank. I want them to turn it on and see the people inciting or taking part in an unusual escalation of a demonstration. Do you understand? Like, some members sit back and we get accused, or you -- Gilles, you have the most decorum of almost anyone. You sit there and do your duty and speak with dignity and all -- I'm not trying to be artificial -- and many members do, and we're all being tarred with the same political paint, a bunch of wackos.

Mr Stewart: Jackasses is a good word for it.

Mr O'Toole: Mr Stewart has said "jackasses." Another friend of mine, Mr Fox, is having a donkey barbecue, jackass, whatever. I'm going to wrap up here, through the Chair, but he's not listening.

The Chair: He is.

Mr O'Toole: He is listening. The point I'm trying to wrap up is that the two items are inextricably linked.

Interjection: No.

Mr O'Toole: They are, because the ultimate objective is for them to get into the media event, to get through the doors and up into the chamber. That's the hallowed place of decision-making, that's the action and that's our power. Our power is to clip on to the 6 o'clock news or to the news bite afterwards, or to pull an outrageous event in the House and the press is right there scrumming afterwards, saying, "Way to go, Peter X, or Malcolm X," whatever. "Way to go for pulling that fiasco inside the House." Do you understand what I'm saying? So it's linked to this media event, and the rules must address that responsibility of members in provoking an unsecured situation. I'm not certain how that should happen but I'm certain it should happen, and I don't think it can be separated.

I have one last point here I just made to myself. The members' ability to vote should be quite simple. You can say, yes, no, or I'm not interested. That will solve a lot of the problems for the moment. It will create others, I'm sure, which I in this chess game of time haven't figured out, but they will, for every change creates an opportunity for somebody to dissent. But it is a chess game and ultimately, whether members agree or not -- I wouldn't like to be imprudent in the decision-making process, but I will say this: The government of the day is responsible, ultimately, whether it's us or whether it's you or whoever it is. At the moment we are the government. People generally have some reluctance to endorse everything we're doing. The majority of it they do, I think, but at the one hand, the demonstration thing of a few dissenting are getting all the attention and all the media, in my view.

Let's widen the range. Let's see it on television. Let's see just how much debate really is happening, how much real interest is happening. Outside, I think they should have permits etc and have the right to dissent in their own fashion, without violence. I've gone on enough and appreciate you listening to me ad nauseam.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr O'Toole, for your extensive contribution to this issue today. I have been informed that Mr Bartolucci wishes to raise an issue at this time, before we conclude the meeting.

Mr Bartolucci: Mr Chair, I'd like to for a second just say how much I concur with Mr Hastings's comments. I believe it is imperative, and this is why maybe we will want to reassign what the gallery looks like, so that the children get a high-profile place. I believe we send out a very, very wrong message when children view what some groups have seen. Again I go back to my roots because they are my roots. As a teacher I can't condone that, clearly.

So, I guess I too am very cognizant of the gallery. I think we're wrong for doing that. Our actions should be appropriate to everyone, but clearly maybe there has to be a whole new mindset. But I do concur with Mr Hastings's comment by and large and I thank him for it.

I have a motion here, duly moved and seconded:

Whereas the committee believes that the permanent barriers erected at the front of the building are inappropriate, be it resolved that the committee recommends to the Speaker that these be removed as part of the recommendations to be made to the Speaker regarding a new initiative regarding safety in and out of the House.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Bartolucci. I was just going to suggest in response, given the fact that the committee has not yet concluded its discussions, would you want to defer the full discussion of that motion at this time until next week?

Mr Bartolucci: Certainly, Mr Chair. If you feel, as the Chair, that this would be a motion better deferred, I would concur.

Mr Pouliot: Could I speak to the motion?

The Chair: No. We just decided that we're going to defer the discussion.

Do any other members of the committee have any issues they would like to raise at this time?

Mr Hastings: A comment I'd like to raise regarding the decorum issue Mr O'Toole has focused on more than some of us -- the question or query about the impact of television on us as legislators. I'm wondering whether this committee ought to look at -- and I only pose it as a possibility rather than just automatically rejecting it -- how would we behave if the TV cameras were turned off for a week, or for two days, say? Not on the budget debate or vital items. I'm just wondering what would happen.

Mr Miclash: My viewers would go nuts.

Mr Hastings: I'm just wondering if it would change the dynamics slightly.

The Chair: Thank you very much. Mr Grimmett, do you have another issue you'd like to raise at this time?

Mr Grimmett: Before we leave today, if we could perhaps get an idea of how we're going to deal with the whole program next week. There were a number of things that I sent you a memo about that I thought -- this was prior to the group going away -- perhaps we should be focusing on. I just say this so that perhaps we could have a small discussion about how we deal with next week.

I thought we would be examining the role of the Speaker, the Sergeant at Arms, the OPP and the OGPS, determine not only what the chain of command is supposed to be, but also what it in fact is. We've heard enough to know that perhaps they're not the same.

I think it's important that we provide the OPP with an opportunity to speak to the committee further and generally discuss possible models of security delivery.

I take it that we're probably going to be reviewing an enforced use of identification by all members and all staff employees, whether members are recorded, and whether spouses will get special identifiers; reducing the number of public and employee-member entrances to better staff the main entrances and permit closer inspection of visitors; ensure that all security and police staff get what I call "Dale Carnegie" lessons, and ensure that enforcement is the same at all entrances; improve communication with employees to ensure that all inhabitants of the precinct get input on security reforms. I've adopted on here also Mr Bartolucci's point, "Ask the Speaker to consider removing the barriers which have been, at best, ineffective."

I just wonder if that's the general drift of how we're going to deal with next week, or whether there are some other things in mind.

The Chair: Yes. By way of answer, I'd like to give you what I understand our schedule to be next week. We will have the press gallery in next Monday at 1 o'clock when the committee resumes its discussions. We still have Mrs Marland. We hope to have her presentation that afternoon as well. I believe the clerk is trying to set up a couple of other people who may, in fact, come in to represent the public interest.

We're about to extend an invitation to Thomas O'Grady, who is the head of the OPP, to get hopefully his viewpoint on Tuesday.

Wednesday, we have the Speaker and the Clerk scheduled to come back in to give the committee further suggestions and advice after they've had an opportunity to conclude what happened yesterday and what they think should be done.

Thursday, we have to decide what we're going to do as a committee. We have several options I suppose, but hopefully concluding these discussions in a constructive way, putting forward the ideas of the committee.

Mr Miclash: So on Thursday you're suggesting that we finalize the report.

The Chair: I'm suggesting that we've been authorized by the House leaders to have three weeks of discussions, and Thursday we're done in that time frame.

Mr Miclash: So where is it here that we get the draft report and the actual report that we're going to finalize and submit?

The Chair: I guess it's not determined what we're going to do on Thursday. That I would see as an option. We could work towards a report. We could work towards a motion that we provide advice to the Speaker that in the opinion of the committee certain things should happen. That's still to be decided by the committee.


Mr Miclash: Somewhere here I'm missing something. Are we not to come up with a draft report and then a final report, and present the final report after Thursday? Is that not the actual routine that we're going towards?

The Chair: Would you like to speak to that, Lisa?

Clerk of the Committee: We discussed it for a couple of moments in the subcommittee. We were asked to advise the Speaker on security, so this may take a different form than normal reports that are presented to the House. In terms of our advice to the Speaker, that can take any form the committee chooses. That could be a report, that could be verbal advice to the Speaker, that could be a motion to the Speaker. It's totally up to the committee.

We're authorized to sit three weeks during this recess. We're not forced to be finished by Thursday. If the committee decides on Thursday, for example, they all agree that we just do a motion to the Speaker and we agree on a motion, our work may indeed be finished. If we decide that no, it's going to be something more extensive, there would be a couple of options: We could ask for additional sitting time from the three House leaders or we could continue in our normal time when the House comes back. We're not forced to finish this, although our allotment of sitting time ends Thursday,

Mr Morin: One suggestion I made when Mr Hastings replaced you, Mr Chairman, was that, instead of submitting a final report, we submit an interim report. Let me assure you again that some of your colleagues will totally object to the recommendations we make. I know from our side there are people who will object. Perhaps also from Gilles's side people will object.

This is a very serious matter. You can expect other demonstrations. We know on February 22 there is a threat of a strike. You can expect demonstrations here. There are all kinds of bodies, all kinds of organizations that will be confronting Queen's Park. We can expect that. I think the most serious matter at the moment is security.

I don't reject what you're saying. We're sitting the whole year, and on procedures I agree with you. Procedures evolve. It changes constantly. It changes with the society, like security changes with the society, and because the issues that you raise, Mr O'Toole, are valid, let's look at it, because it's your right to voice your opinion on your concern.

I had the same concern when I came in 1985. It looked like a real circus. It really did. I was there when television was brought in. I opposed television. I opposed it, because the attitude of the members changed completely. Completely. They were in front of a camera. But when you ask about giving a total overview of the House, you'd be embarrassed sometimes by seeing some of your own colleagues falling asleep or chewing gum or eating peanuts or doing all kinds of other things they shouldn't do. Look at the report that was submitted on television.

But to come back to the interim report, give a chance to the members to give you feedback. Discuss it with them, because it affects them all, so that we can come back and come out with a very strong report. We'll have the advice of the OPP, we'll have the advice of the Speaker, we'll have the advice of all kinds of people who are concerned. We present what we heard, we make our own recommendations: "This is the package we suggest. Tell us your feelings."

Let's not rush into it, because it's a serious matter. It affects us all. I think the point that you raise, Mr O'Toole, that we can discuss openly here and without heckling -- I only wish people would behave the same way in the House, let me assure you, and I don't understand why people don't. One comes to the question of discipline.

Mr Pouliot: Well, let me tell you -- oh.

Mr Morin: Just a minute, please, Gilles. One comes to the question of discipline. You know, we have to police ourselves too. I think it's the responsibility of the whip. I know I had some colleagues beside me at one point who were heckling. I told them: "Give a chance to the individual to talk. Give him a chance to voice his opinion. That is his right." We have to self-police ourselves too. We have to set an example. I think, as an old member, Gilles, others, Frank, have to set an example. Show the others how they should conduct themselves, individually and without denying the right of voicing their opinion.

Gilles said it so nicely a minute ago: Some people have a way with words. They can tell you in the simplest way but you understand their message very quickly. It's like an artist with a paintbrush. You know exactly what he means, what he draws. Some people have the talent to say that succinctly, without insulting. They'll tell you, excuse the expression, to go to hell and you say, "Yes, I will," because they said it in a nice way. Then there are others who come at it in a violent way, and of course you react. That is human reaction. I think there is discipline not only in the procedures -- we should review some of the procedures, but we should review also the way we conduct ourselves.

Let me give you an invitation. As Deputy Speakers, we have the responsibility of conducting mock debates with the young pages. Just come and take a look. When they debate, it is a spitting image of what happens in the House. I let them debate and I say: "Stop. This is what you see in the House but this is not the way you'll conduct yourselves with me. You will debate properly." What do children do? They imitate. They imitate some of the good members, they imitate some of the bad members, and they do it so well. Kids are mimics. Kids are just like parrots.

So let's look at ourselves. Let's ask for support for our members, from our colleagues. Then let's give the proper advice to the Speaker, because I know he needs our help and it is our responsibility also to protect him or her. When you talk about inciting people, demonstrating, it is in the book, it is in the procedures: You should not incite violence; you should not incite the ire of your colleagues. It's there. But it's up to us, it's up to the House leaders, it's up to the whips to control their teams, as you do in a football game. The coach is there. You say, "Don't go too far." Let's not rush into it.

Let's come back on the question of procedures and let's discuss it intelligently, objectively and without getting angry, without getting upset, because we won't achieve anything. Don't forget, Mr Chairman, you're here on a temporary basis, I'm here on a temporary basis. I'm there at the whim of my electors. I always recall the story of the individual who was elected in 1971, 1975, 1980. In 1985 he said, "With the full support of my constituents, I resign." Don't take it for granted. You're there today; tomorrow it's going to be our turn or their turn. But at the same time we have to set an example to the rest of the public that says we're dealing with serious matters.

I don't want to make a sermon; it's not a speech, but it's just experience that you gather as you're here. What's so fun to be here, what's so exciting, there's always a surprise. It's vibrant. You've got to accept it that way.

The Chair: I've got four or five more members who have indicated to me they're interested in speaking to this. Of course, the point that Mr Miclash made that we haven't determined exactly how we're going to proceed, recognizing that, do members still wish to voice some --

Mr Froese: I'd like to speak to that.

The Chair: First I have Mr Stewart.

Mr Stewart: Yes, just a couple of things. I appreciate that the group has been away, but I asked on Monday if there was a possibility of getting a layout of the number of doors in this building. Is that a possibility? Could we get that either tomorrow or Monday? If we're going to make an interim proposal, could we get that? I know we have a floor plan of the Whitney Block. I have difficulty because of the quality of photocopy finding out where the doors are, if there was a possibility of that.

Just one comment to Mr Morin. I certainly believe that yes, we have to set by example, and I believe that, Gilles, very much. The unfortunate part of setting by example is it does not seem to have worked very well in the past. Yes, we have to be responsible, but I do think we have to have some rules. When I hear people being warned five and six and seven times to be quiet and to show a little decorum, I have a little difficulty with that.

We have to have some rules that are flexible, but we'll never stop this type of conduct unless we have some rules and we stick to them, and if people do not like those rules, then please leave the House until you can abide by them. We're talking about government here; we're talking about trying to get this province going and keep it going. We act -- and I will include myself in that, because I sit in that House -- like a bunch of children, and the people of this province are getting badly shortchanged. That's why I go back to saying we should be looking at the total picture. As I say, it's great to set by example, but we have to do it with some rules as well.


The Chair: Mr Grimmett's next. Did you wish to answer?

Mr Grimmett: I just want to deal with the practical issue of how we get this draft report put together. I'm not sticking anything in stone, but perhaps on Tuesday, if Mr O'Grady is the only speaker or guest, we could put our heads together and try to come up with some kind of interim consensus, direct the staff to prepare an interim report, and then we could look at that on Thursday and make some changes to it on Thursday.

The Chair: In light of what the Speaker and the Clerk have introduced.

Mr Grimmett: At least at the end of Thursday we'll have the makings of an interim report that we can take back to our parties. Is that the idea?

The Chair: I appreciate that constructive suggestion. Is that satisfactory to all members of the committee? Thank you very much, Mr Grimmett. We'll try to accommodate that request. I have Mr Bartolucci next.

Mr Bartolucci: Let me support the comments Mr Morin was making. I want something better than we've had in the past and what we have presently. I would suggest that no one should be shortchanged on the decorum issue or the safety issue. If it's going to be a draft we're going to submit first, that's fine. If it's going to be two drafts, that's fine. If it's going to be three drafts, that's fine. But the final submission has to be well thought out, clearly communicated, with openings for opportunities for others to input.

If that means this has to go on in regular committee, that's fine. We should not be in a rush to come up with a better process and to come up with something that's better. I would suggest the draft idea is an excellent idea. One, two, three drafts, it makes no difference. We have to make recommendations based on input and also based on reality of execution as well as, I guess, ideology. I would suggest that we be in no rush to make the report, to clearly debate all the issues fully, until this committee, individually and collectively, is very, very satisfied that all issues have been fully debated.

Mr Froese: I don't disagree with that at all, and all the comments that have been made. I'm not suggesting here we put a time line on it, but there has to be a time line somewhere, because we could go on forever.

This issue has been discussed for years and years and years and years, and unless we say to ourselves, "By such-and-such a date, we've got to come up with a consensus somewhere" -- I'm not saying we'll do that today. I'm saying there's got to be a cutoff period where we say, "Look, we're going to hash this thing to death."

We can meet for three weeks here and still not come to any conclusion. I'm glad the suggestion from Mr Grimmett has come about, because at least there are some time lines. We must put a time line on it somewhere down the road. We can't deal with this forever.

Mr Pouliot: This book here talks about security. The agenda reflects the issue that is to be debated at present by this committee. We bring in some supplementaries -- decorum, that children and others are watching on television, the right or not to be informed -- and we tie in, I think by convenience, what goes out there.

In the short time I've been here, I've had a chance to go, because of circumstances, from being the third party in 1985, then the opposition, the government, and back to being the third party. Then we talked about the good tradition. Well, let me bring you to the House of Commons, for some to motherland, the British House of Commons. Oh yes, there is a fine example of decorum and good manners. Go to the House of Parliament in Taiwan for those, go to Singapore, but don't forget on the way back to stop again in Europe, because it needs visiting twice, and go to la Chambre nationale in France, go to Italy. Then when you come back here, start visiting the provinces. You should have done that first.

Every time there is a new Speaker, bar none, we are reminded by way of letters that we need more decorum in the House and "I will enforce good manners." Everyone who is running for the position -- because it's an elected office, it helps to be of the same political affiliation, of course, but that's another story. Since they are elected by the assembly at large they always spin the same thing, "I'm going to have more decorum and good manners and no interruption." Our House leaders tell us that. The party bosses, if you wish, our party leaders like to have relatively good order, unless they are the ones who are interrupting. I guess that's different. There's a pecking order here.

Everybody gets treated the same. Have you noticed when I ask a question as a backbencher that the Speaker seems to allow Mr Rae or Mrs McLeod more time, even though they're supplementary to my lead? But everybody gets treated the same, other subject matters. The rules are arranged for the House leaders. You push, you do this, you omnibus this, you get criticized, it depends where you're at. You can have all the rules you wish. There's always another rabbit in the hat. The trick is you cannot throw everybody out. It sounds good. It's the second time and you're a big name and you throw people out.

Mr Stewart: Interesting topic.

Mr Pouliot: No, no, one second. I'm sorry, but Parliament does not work like that. For every letter that you get about me heckling, if you ever get one, I will show you five I got about -- oh, I'll stop it here -- Turnbull.

Mr Stewart: Eddie Sargent.

Mr Pouliot: Well, Eddie Sargent, 25 years, never learned the rules, Stockwell etc, those people.

Mr Miclash: Wilson.

Mr Pouliot: Wilson etc. I know you're not imputing motives on anybody else.

The thing is, in concluding, security is what you're here to debate. If you want to debate about decorum and then throw in good manners and all the good deeds out there, talk to the Speaker, talk to your House leader, tell them to use their influence on the members of their respective caucuses. Charity begins at home. I know I for one, who seldom heckle unless I'm provoked, will start really looking inside tonight as to which way I can better my performance by being quieter. But that's for tomorrow, Mr Arnott, and I thank you.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Pouliot.

Just to remind committee members that we will resume again on Monday at 1 o'clock when we'll have the representatives from the press gallery here. I also want to remind members of the committee -- they may have already had a chance to look at this -- but we've acknowledged receipt of a letter from the Premier and would ask all committee members to give it all due consideration in the context of our discussions.

The committee adjourned at 1549.