Wednesday 5 June 1996
Application for Bill Pr40,
Steven Offer, counsel, Anderson, Sinclair
David Hornblow, president, Association of Architectural Technologists of Ontario
Virginia MacLean, counsel, Cassels Brock and Blackwell
Andrew Lundy, counsel, Brunner and Lundy
Bruce Wells, executive director, Ontario Association of Certified Engineering
Technicians and Technologists
Bob Mitchell, special assistant, Ontario Association of Certified Engineering
Technicians and Technologists
STANDING COMMITTEE ON THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY
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:
Ouellette, Jerry J. (Oshawa PC) for Mr Hastings
Also taking part / Autres participants et participantes:
Hastings, John (Etobicoke-Rexdale PC)
John Twohig, counsel, policy branch, Ministry of the Attorney General
Clerk / Greffière: Lisa Freedman
Staff / Personnel:
Susan Klein, legislative counsel
Peter Sibenik, procedural research clerk, Office of the Clerk
The committee met at 1542 in room 228.
APPLICATION FOR BILL PR40
Consideration of whether the application for Bill Pr40, An Act respecting the Association of Architectural Technologists of Ontario, should be allowed to proceed as a private bill.
The Chair (Mr Ted Arnott): I refer members of the committee to the agenda which has been handed out by our clerk. Our first item of business is to consider whether the application for Bill Pr40 should be allowed to proceed as a private bill. I ask our clerk, Ms Lisa Freedman, to explain to committee members the standing order under which we are reviewing this issue.
Clerk of the Committee (Ms Lisa Freedman): The standing order provides that any application for a private bill that does not comply with the standing orders shall be referred to the Legislative Assembly committee. This application was referred by the Clerk to the Legislative Assembly committee and in a moment legislative counsel will explain the issue.
Normally this committee looks at really technical breaches of the standing orders. For example, the standing orders require that all the applicants advertise for four weeks in the Ontario Gazette and in the local newspaper. We may have a situation where someone has only advertised for three weeks, you're getting towards the end of the session and it's very clear that the standing orders have not been complied with. This committee has the power to waive any requirement.
This situation is slightly different because you're looking at whether the actual subject matter of the private bill is the proper subject matter. I'd just like to stress that there is no right or wrong answer to this question. It's up to the committee to decide. If the committee decides it is the proper subject matter for a private bill, nobody can come back later and say, "Sorry, the committee was wrong; it's not." It's a procedural issue, not a legal issue, and it's totally up to the committee to decide.
The Chair: I'd like to recognize Ms Susan Klein, legislative counsel, at this time.
Ms Susan Klein: I believe that my memo dated June 3 to the Chair of the committee has been distributed to the members. I will be briefer in my comments today than I was in my written opinion.
The memo concluded that the application for Bill Pr40 is not the proper subject matter for a private bill, specifically because its title designation provision amends the title designation provision in the Architects Act.
The argument in support of this opinion has three points: First, private legislation should not amend public legislation. This is a basic principle of parliamentary procedure that governs private legislation in Ontario. Second, section 9 of the proposed bill does amend public legislation. The Architects Act is a public act. Under it, architects are given exclusive use of the term "architect" and any variations on the term that would lead one to believe that the person is entitled to practise architecture.
It is an offence under the public act for anyone who is not an architect to use the designations reserved for architects, with three specific exceptions. One exception is that members of the Association of Architectural Technologists of Ontario are permitted to use the terms "architectural technologist," "architectural technician" and their French equivalents without committing an offence.
Notwithstanding this dispensation, architects continue to have the right under their public act to call themselves "architectural technologist" and "architectural technician" and it is still an offence under the public act for anyone else to use these terms.
Now we have the proposed Bill Pr40 which makes it an offence for anyone who is not a member of the Association of Architectural Technologists of Ontario, including architects, to use the terms "architectural technologist," "architectural technician" and their French equivalents. This would change the designations architects are entitled to use under the Architects Act and it is in effect an amendment to the Architects Act.
My third point is that this amendment is not an insignificant matter that can be overlooked. The principles that govern private bills suggest that a minor amendment of public legislation by private legislation is not fatal to the application. One has to consider the nature and degree of the proposed amendment, but the reservation of titles is central to the overall scheme of the Architects Act and it is the very purpose of the proposed private bill. The proposed amendment is a fundamental one.
To conclude, my advice to this committee on the procedural issue before it is that the application for Bill Pr40 in its present form is not appropriate for private legislation. It could proceed as private legislation only if it were amended to exempt from its offence provision the persons who are entitled to use the designation "architect" under the Architects Act.
The Chair: I'll call forward Mr Hastings, who is the sponsor of this bill and he has with him Virginia MacLean, who is a counsel, and Mr Steve Offer as well, who is interested in putting forward recommendations to this committee.
Mr John Hastings (Etobicoke-Rexdale): I'd like to let these folks introduce themselves for everybody on the committee.
Mr Steven Offer: My name is Steven Offer and I'm a representative of the Association of Architectural Technologists of Ontario. With me is Mr David Hornblow, the president of the association, and Ms Virginia MacLean, legal counsel to the association.
We'd like to thank you today for giving us the opportunity to present our position. Our submission will be in three parts: firstly, by Mr Hornblow in providing an overview of the Association of Architectural Technologists; secondly by Ms MacLean to provide an analysis of our position; and lastly by myself as a submission. With that, Mr Chair, I would like to invite Mr Hornblow to begin.
Mr David Hornblow: As was mentioned, my name is David Hornblow. I'm the president of the Association of Architectural Technologists. The Association of Architectural Technologists is a group of men and women who share a common interest and knowledge in the art and profession of architectural technology. Members of the association who have met the standards set out by the organization are allowed to use and have used the title "architectural technologist" since 1969.
Our membership comprises building officials throughout the province of Ontario, as well as private practitioners, designers within architects' offices and in various government levels and agencies. We're also teachers, consultants, specification writers, job superintendents and project managers. The list is endless.
As an association, we touch every aspect of the construction industry. We are able to do so through our education, our work experience and our accreditation through the Association of Architectural Technologists. We started informally in 1965 and gained formal recognition in 1969 through a non-profit corporation act. By becoming a non-profit corporation, we have been self-governing and self-regulating since then.
The association started off with 126 members and has continued to grow to its present total of 1,349. Those members are represented at 10 provincial chapter levels, various college chapters, as well as a provincial council. As you can see, we have continued to grow and will continue to grow through the passing of this proposed act and other initiatives that we are currently doing and will undertake in the future.
The membership is spread throughout the province of Ontario, Canada, the United States, the Caribbean and other countries. The reason for this is our members are sought out by the public and the industry as a whole for their professionalism, their expertise, their skills, their knowledge and their ability to get the job done well.
The association is a proactive member of the construction and design industry. For example, we've included students on our council who have voting rights so that students know that they have a say in what and how the association carries on its business and how it represents them, for they are our future and the industry's future.
We have also made it mandatory for our members in private practice who hold the association's seal to carry liability assurance. We've carried it one step forward by adding a professional development program for all our accredited members.
We supported the Ontario Association of Architects in 1984 by writing a letter of support for their act. We went further by including the Ontario Association of Architects on our certification board so that there could be a better understanding of who we are and what we are.
The Association of Architectural Technologists has also created a liaison team so that both organizations could come to an understanding and meet to discuss a variety of issues that affect both organizations. My association's efforts in keeping the OAA a part of our team has gone on for 25-plus years, and we hope that it will continue, for we see the passage of our act as an integral part, an evolution of our Association of Architectural Technologists of Ontario.
With that, it brings me to my closing statement. It is imperative that you rule that the AATO Act is not out of order and that the Architects Act does not require amendment to allow my association's act to go forward to the next level. My association's legal counsel, Virginia MacLean, will discuss the legal issues, and I'm convinced that you'll see that what we are asking is not impossible, nor is it a recreation of the wheel, for it has already been done previously through the Landscape Architects Act passed in 1984. Lastly, I wish to thank the committee for its time and its future support.
Miss Virginia MacLean: You have before you a paper which we have prepared on behalf of the association and you will find in that paper some background material with respect to the AATO and also background material with respect to the progress of the proposed bill to date.
The issue before you today, as stated by legislative counsel, is whether or not section 9 of the proposed bill complies with the standing orders. We have no dispute with the position that has been advanced by the Ministry of the Attorney General and legislative counsel with respect to the fact that there is no law prohibiting explicitly a private bill from amending a public act, and we also agree that the matters to be taken into account are those which are -- the only guidance for you is found in Erskine May's Treatise on the Law, Privileges, Proceedings and Usage of Parliament.
The point at which we differ with the opinions of both the Ministry of the Attorney General and legislative counsel is whether or not there is a conflict. It's our position that section 9 of the private bill can coexist with section 46 of the Architects Act, and it neither repeals nor amends section 46. Therefore, in our submission, the provision does not apply.
We have come to this conclusion based on the following facts. First of all, in reviewing the history of what is now current section 46 of the Architects Act, we look back at Hansard and the history of Bill 122, as it was then, and at the same time Bill 123, which was the Professional Engineers Act, which were considered by the standing committee on administration of justice in 1984. At that time, as Mr Hornblow has indicated, the AATO supported the OAA and the bill. According to that report, there were a number of people from various professional and quasi-professional groups who expressed interest in the bill and the progress of the bill and they were concerned about its effect on their ability to carry on.
There is comment in Hansard that these groups could proceed by way of a private bill and it's our opinion that section 46 was never intended to give the architects the ability to use the names of any of those groups.
We say that's too broad an interpretation, and in support of that we have attached to our material two private bills that were also passed in 1984, just shortly after the amendments were made to the Architects Act. You will find in your materials An Act respecting the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects which was assented to May 29, 1984, and also the act respecting the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists. Both pieces of legislation have sections which give the various groups the rights to use a particular title, and the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects is particularly interesting because the designation that is protected is one using the word "architect" -- "landscape architect" -- which is the very word which is referred to in the section.
It's important, we submit at this point, to make the differentiation, because what we are looking at is "architectural technologist," not "architect technologist." The Legislature at that time did not put in an exemption for members of the OAA to use the term "landscape architect." They said it is perfectly all right to put in a section which is similar to the section which we are now seeking.
For that reason, we're saying that this bill, which has a section similar to that in an existing piece of legislation, which was a private bill, should proceed.
The other issue we'd like to bring to your attention is the provisions of section 46 of the Architects Act. You have to read section 46 of the Architects Act, we submit, in conjunction with the regulations that were made under that act. You will find in your materials extracts from regulation 27. Specifically, you'll find two provisions, section 40 and section 49. Section 40 restricts an architect from using a name designation or letterhead that is otherwise misleading. Section 49 prescribes as a standard of practice the requirement that every architect must use the designation "architect" or "architects" in the holder's practice of architecture.
An architect who meets the requirements of the Architects Act, in our submission, cannot use the term "architectural technologist" or "architectural technician" without an amendment to the regulations.
It's therefore our submission, based on these grounds, that we do not have a conflict. We have a term that has been used by an association since 1969 and it has been known to the public by that name since 1969. You will find, in the materials dealing with the history, the question of exemption was raised and whether or not an exemption provision should be inserted into the bill to exempt from the provisions of the designation "architects." This position was taken to the council of the AATO and they said, "No, we don't want architects using the term `architectural technologist' or `architectural technician' because we have been known in the industry and in the public since 1969 by that title and it is misleading and confusing to the public."
For those reasons it's our opinion that in this particular case the architects do not have the right to call themselves architectural technologists and technicians, and we take issue with legislative counsel on that point. Therefore, we respectfully submit that there is no contravention of the standing order with respect to section 9 of proposed Bill Pr40.
Mr Offer: I would like to conclude our presentation by indicating the following. As you will know, the overriding purpose of the proposed legislation is to permit this association to increase the knowledge, skill and proficiency of its members, to foster a high standard of quality and competence, to establish and maintain strict rules of ethical conduct for its members, to inform the public of the aims of the association, and to promote harmonious relationships.
It is clear the proposed bill is responsive to the highest degree of public accountability and responsibility to the public which they serve. This bill does not, will not and is not intended to take away any existing rights of any other group to work in any area. This bill is only designed to allow architectural technologists to demand the highest standards of their members, for which the public is the single largest beneficiary. This bill does not create any precedent of any kind.
The Ontario Association of Landscape Architects came before this Legislature and the appropriate legislative committee with a bill designed to allow them to govern their members, and it was passed. Engineering technologists came before the Ontario Legislature and, again, the appropriate legislative committee with a similar bill, and it was passed.
The Association of Architectural Technologists of Ontario does not come before you today to ask for passage of the bill; they come before you today to ask you to permit them to argue this bill at the appropriate committee by ruling that this bill before you is in order. Precedent allows this to happen. You have heard from Mr Hornblow and Miss MacLean. We respectfully request that you, based on the submissions made, allow this bill to proceed to committee.
The Chair: Do any committee members have questions of Mr Hastings, Mr Hornblow, Miss MacLean or Mr Offer at this time?
Mr John O'Toole (Durham East): Yes, if I may, just to more or less clarify. We did get a fair amount of paper on this, and I guess the question I have to ask is, the current Architects Act has an exemption where you're allowed to call yourself an "architect." That was basically agreed to in 1969 or whatever it was?
Mr Hornblow: In 1984, when the Architects Act came into being, our association gained an exemption to title to call ourselves "architectural technologists" and "architectural technicians."
Mr O'Toole: So, first of all, you got an exemption from an existing act permitting you to use the term "architect"?
Mr Hornblow: No, "architectural technologist" and "architectural technician."
Mr O'Toole: In your definition, the purity of it all is that "architect" then became somewhat diluted, whatever, to "architectural technologist" or "technician." You got to use the term, which implied some kind of knowledge, "architect," as long as it was tagged with a term defining that, ie, "technologist." That implies some lesser amount of knowledge, in my humble view. Is that really what has happened in the history? That's what I'm trying to establish.
Mr Hornblow: I would respectfully disagree with that. The association has always been known as Architectural Technologists. Even in 1965 we were known as Architectural Technologists.
Mr O'Toole: Yes, but you didn't have the association, though; you didn't have a professional association.
Mr Hornblow: In 1965, we existed; in 1965, we came to be informally existing. In 1969, we were known as the Association of Architectural Technologists, with the right to use the titles "architectural technologist" and "architectural technician."
Mr O'Toole: That was formally agreed to in 1969?
Mr Hornblow: We existed then.
Mr O'Toole: By whom?
Mr Hornblow: Between the two groups.
Mr O'Toole: Just mutually?
Mr Hornblow: Yes.
Mr O'Toole: There was no change to the act?
Mr Hornblow: Our title was included in the Architects Act; similarly, the "landscape architect" title was also included in 1984.
Mr O'Toole: I guess we're getting to the nub of it, if I may pursue. Now you want to exclude the architect from using the "technician," refined definition?
Mr Hornblow: They have never used the title "architectural technologist" or "architectural technician." They've never wanted to use those titles. We've always reserved the right to those titles. In fact, the Architects Act is very clear. It says you have to be a member of the Association of Architectural Technologists of Ontario to use those titles.
Mr O'Toole: To use the refined definition, whatever you call it?
Mr Hornblow: Not a member of both the OAA and the AATO; you have to be a member of my group.
Mr O'Toole: I guess I have one more question. Really, that's very clear they had not used -- and is it understood that they may want to now use "technologist," to be an architect and advertise themselves as a technologist without being a member of your association?
Mr Hornblow: Pardon? Sorry, I missed that.
Mr O'Toole: If there were architects who wanted to advertise themselves as architect technologists, that's what this is about technically? I don't know why they'd do that.
Mr Hornblow: Basically, we offered at the time when we were in the discussions with them about our act, we simply said, "If you wish to use the title `architectural technologist' or `architectural technician,' we would be more than happy to look at dual membership." Similarly, if we wished to use the title "architect," we would have to then apply to the architects' association.
Mr O'Toole: Okay, a final question, if I may: How many years of formal training to be an architect, and the subsequent is, how many to be a technologist?
Mr Hornblow: To the best of my knowledge, it's a five-year university degree program for an architect, followed by two years of internship with the Ontario Association of Architects. For an architectural technologist, it's a minimum of a three-year college program, followed by four years of internship, followed by a written exam on completion of their internship. At that point, if they've met all the criteria, then they can become an architectural technologist.
Mr O'Toole: Does an architect know more than or less than a technologist?
Mr Hornblow: We know equal amounts. We're equals.
Mr O'Toole: Do you charge the same fees?
Mr Hornblow: Some of our members do, some of our members don't. It's a free society in that regard.
Mr O'Toole: Okay. I'll let others ask questions.
The Chair: I have Mr Silipo next.
Mr Tony Silipo (Dovercourt): Part of my question actually has been answered in that exchange, but there is one point I just want to make sure I understood correctly. You made the argument earlier that section 9 of the proposed act can coexist with section 46 of the Architects Act. If I understood that right, it's because you're saying that in fact the term "architectural technologist" has not been used by members of the Ontario association, right?
Miss MacLean: That is correct, and also based on the fact that the regulation does not permit them to use anything but the term "architect."
Mr Silipo: Then the only members who can use "architectural technologist," as you were saying, are members of your association. They can be members of -- I'm sorry, I get the two mixed up -- the Ontario Association of Architects, but they cannot, as members of that association, use the term "architectural technologist."
Mr Hornblow: Yes.
Mr Silipo: Okay. I appreciate the fact that someone reminded us, and I think it would probably be useful for us to keep this in mind, that we're not here to debate whether we agree or not with this amendment. The broader question for me, or one of them at least, is, who in your view besides the members of the two respective associations would be interested in this issue?
Mr Hornblow: I don't think I follow the question.
Mr Silipo: Part of the argument that's made in terms of whether this should be dealt with as a private bill or a public bill is that as a private bill it gets less public scrutiny than it would as a public bill. Part of the issue for me on that level is that it's clear who's affected by the bill directly -- it's the members of the associations -- but what's the nature of the public interest as you see it in terms of members outside of the association who would be interested or affected in any way in this whole issue, in this whole discussion?
Miss MacLean: I can only speak to the response to the advertising. That's the only way we know. The only interest we have is other similar groups. We mentioned OACETT, and they have responded. The architects are interested. Apart from those groups that have an interest because of the name and the area of practice, those are the only groups that have exhibited any interest.
Mr Silipo: In terms of any other provisions that are in the bill, are there any changes contemplated with respect to governance provisions, or is this really the substantive issue, the one we're discussing here?
Miss MacLean: This is the only issue.
Mr Bill Grimmett (Muskoka-Georgian Bay): My question is going to be quite similar to those asked already, but I might be a little bit more direct. I wonder, Virginia MacLean, if you would mind commenting on this. Do you accept that section 46 of the Architects Act gives OAA members the exclusive right to use the term "architect" alone or in combination with other words? Do you accept that?
Miss MacLean: Yes, I do.
Mr Grimmett: I'm having difficulty understanding how it says that, because I'm looking at section 46 myself.
Miss MacLean: It says use the term "architect," or "architecte" in French, "as an occupational designation."
Mr Grimmett: What concerns me is the "in combination with other words." I'm having some difficulty with that. I wonder if you could comment on that.
Miss MacLean: If you look down in clause 46(2)(b):
"(i) an addition to or abbreviation of the title...." I think maybe that's where they're getting "in combination with."
Mr Grimmett: But I think that section applies to --
Miss MacLean: Then it goes on:
"(iii) a term, title, addition or description,
"that will lead to the belief" that they engaged in the practice of architecture.
Mr Grimmett: It seems to me that section prevents other people from using those designations. I don't know how it gives architects the exclusive right to use the word "architect" in combination with other words. That's where I'm having difficulty.
Miss MacLean: Yes, and I agree with that comment in that sense because that is where we have the problem and this is where we say that the only word they can use is "architect" if you read the regulation. That's the only way they can describe themselves.
Mr Grimmett: Thank you.
Mr Frank Miclash (Kenora): First of all, I'd like to just thank the group that's come before us. We've had, as has been indicated already, a good amount of materials provided and we have no problem with the fact that this should proceed as a private bill and we'll certainly be supporting that on the materials we received.
Mr R. Gary Stewart (Peterborough): Is it my understanding that an architect, if he pays the dues, can be then classed as an architectural technologist? Is that right?
Mr Hornblow: Essentially, yes. If he meets the qualifications of the architectural technologists, yes.
Mr Stewart: But he must meet the qualifications because he's had more education etc than what you require as a technologist.
Mr Hornblow: By the time an architect and an architectural technologist finish their internship and accreditation education, each equals seven years.
Mr Stewart: Can a technologist pay dues to the architectural group and use the word "architect" only?
Mr Hornblow: That's more difficult.
Mr Stewart: Why?
Mr Hornblow: The association of architects -- we are currently discussing that with them. There's another section within the Architects Act called the "prescribed class of persons" and we're currently discussing that aspect of it. So there can be dual membership on both sides. In other words, one of my members could become a member of the association of architects or vice versa -- a member of the association of architects could become. Right now, there's nothing stopping a member. In fact, we have dual members within my organization who are architects, as well as architectural technologists.
Mr Stewart: I don't wish this to be derogatory by any means, but what we're basically talking here is a turf war.
Mr Hornblow: Yes.
Mr Stewart: The final question is then, why can't your profession set the standards and control it internally rather than it having to be done by legislation?
Mr Hornblow: For that very reason. We wish to control our membership in how they're educated, how they gain their work experience and what is recognized as good work experience on a variety of issues. This act would entitle us to do so on a much wider basis.
Mr Stewart: Yes, but why can't you do that within your own profession as such? I don't know why, if you set your standards within your association, professionalism among your members, it should not adhere to those regulations that you have established on behalf of your own profession.
Mr Hornblow: In fact, my membership does hold those standards very high and does adhere to those standards. What we are looking for --
Mr Stewart: But the other guys don't?
Mr Hornblow: I wouldn't want to hesitate to even go down that path.
Mr Stewart: I guess that's where my concern is, that you've got an excellent profession, both people have.
Mr Hornblow: Yes.
Mr Stewart: Why can't you control it internally?
Mr Hornblow: In fact, that's what we wish to do.
Mr Stewart: You'd like to do it.
Mr Hornblow: We wish to control it internally.
Mr Stewart: But you feel it has to be an amendment to this to do that?
Mr Hornblow: Not an amendment. We're seeking our own act, yes.
Mr Stewart: Oh, okay. Sorry. Thank you.
Mr Ron Johnson (Brantford): I'm getting what appears to be conflicting opinions on whether or not this particular bill is in order. Is it appropriate to ask a question of legislative counsel at this time?
The Chair: Certainly.
Mr Ron Johnson: Obviously Ms MacLean is saying very clearly that they believe this is in fact in order and I'm hearing the opposite from legislative counsel. I guess what I find to be most troubling is determining whether or not -- based on the precedent set with the landscape architects, what is the difference between this proposed bill and the one that was accepted, I believe, in 1984 -- is that right, 1984? -- for the landscape architects, and why back then was that found in order and this one you're claiming is not?
Ms Klein: There's a big difference. First, the Architects Act sets up the offence provision. It says it's an offence for anybody who isn't an architect to use the term "architect" or a variation on it. Then it says it isn't an offence for the AATO to use these terms and it isn't an offence for a person to use the designation "landscape architect."
Basically, it said anybody can call themselves a landscape architect. In other words, landscape architect was not reserved for architects at all. They said: "There's no confusion. If you call yourself a landscape architect, I might confuse you with a gardener, but I will not confuse you with an architect." The way they put it in the act was to say that any person may call themselves a landscape architect. So when the landscape architects association wanted private legislation to say only we can call ourselves landscape architects, it was not a conflict. They said: "Anybody could use it. Anybody in Ontario could call themselves a landscape architect under the Architects Act." Then you got private legislation that reserved that term for the landscape architects association members. No conflict, no problem.
I can speak to the certified engineering technicians as well, if you like. In the Professional Engineers Act, the term that's reserved for the professional engineers -- and that's the public legislation -- is "professional engineer." In the private legislation that came forward, the Certified Engineering Technologists and Technicians Act, the term that is reserved for the members of that association is "certified engineering technologist" and "certified engineering technician." So a professional engineer can call himself or herself an "engineering technologist" or "engineering technician" and he or she is not committing an offence under the private legislation. The people protected by the private legislation have to call themselves "certified engineering technologist" or "certified engineering technician," and if they drop the "certified," then they may well be conflicting, but the term that's reserved for them is "certified."
There's a big difference between professional engineer and certified engineering technologist -- not a big difference and the confusion in the public eye between architect and architectural technologist, architectural technician.
Mr Ron Johnson: Can I get the same question answered by Ms MacLean as well? Would that be possible?
The Chair: Would you care to speak to this, Ms MacLean?
Mr Ron Johnson: I'm getting the difference and I've obviously got to make up my mind based on two opinions, and I'd like to hear it.
Miss MacLean: My answer to the question is that notwithstanding the sections referred to by legislative counsel say for a "person" to use the designation "landscape architect" and the exemption for the AATO member said for a "member," the legislation itself, the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects says that every member may use the designation "landscape architect" and then it goes on to reserve it to those members.
I'm having difficulty understanding the logic of it because it's our submission that it's exactly the same thing. As a matter of fact, it is amending the act from a person to allow a special group of persons to use it and takes away the right of other people to use it by the amendment. Section 10 only allows landscape architects to use that term, so I fail to understand the difference between the two. Whether the words "a person or a member" are there, it's the same thing and that's why we contend it's exactly the same situation.
Mr O'Toole: I want to focus on the real issue here, the question whether or not this is the appropriate methodology for amending an existing public act.
My own view is that the descriptions given to us of the certified engineering technologist and the landscape one -- there is a difference. Here's the way I understand it. I don't know if you can respond to this. This particular attempt for a new act actually is different than the other two, because the other one extended a privilege to the certified engineering technologists, and the problem I have with this particular one is it restricts a privilege. Okay?
Do you understand? The provision in yours would restrict a privilege from someone using that term. Okay? So it's actually in the public's interest not to reduce the privileges that already exist in the public act, and this change would reduce privileges to some group of people who have it today. In that respect, it's not in the public good or the public domain from a purely legislative perspective, not dealing with the technology and the technician and all that kind of stuff. It's purely from the point of view that I'm an architect today and I can call myself a number of things, and if this thing passes I can't call myself an architectural technician.
You're reducing the rights of the common people who can use some term today so that tomorrow, because of your private member's bill, I can't use that term. In that respect, it is in the public interest. That's why I do not think a private member's bill is the correct methodology or process to do it. It doesn't mean you can't come and do it with the architects in some other form. That's something you know more about than I. But do you understand my arguments?
Mr O'Toole: It restricts the privilege. The others extended a privilege. It restricts the current people from some -- I think I've made my point.
The Acting Chair (Mr Ron Johnson): Would anybody like to respond to that?
Mr Offer: Maybe I'll respond. I've listened carefully to the questions. I think it's firstly our position that the proposed legislation does not operate as an amendment to public legislation -- first point.
The second point we make is that, notwithstanding the argument put forward by legislative counsel, there is on a reading of the Architects Act and proceedings that have taken place in this Legislative Building in the past, precedent to allow a bill such as this to move forward to the appropriate legislative committee for argument at that venue.
The third point we make is in direct response to your question as to the restriction of rights, and there are two points to that. Firstly, there is nothing in the proposed legislation which is designed and intended or to be interpreted as restricting the rights of any individual to practise in a way that they now practise. The second point is that our position, based on the rights of usage of word and name, that the current regulation under the Architects Act does exactly what you have indicated, that we think in fairness and on balance there is a restriction right now with respect to the usage of the words "architectural technologists" by an individual practising architecture currently under the regulation of the Architects Act.
For those three points, the third of which has two subsections, we believe this bill is in order, and we would respectfully request that you consider it to be so and allow it to be forwarded to the appropriate committee for argument and discussion at that point in time.
Mr O'Toole: May I respond, just in the pure interest of making sure we're doing the fair thing? My response would be that, taking the formation and evolution of your career, your professional group from 1965, dealing with the Architects Act in 1969 where they allowed you to use the term, it was an extended privilege, if you will, from a previously established protocol in the term "architect," they allowed you to say architectural technologists, and we've moved through that process and now we're actually moving away from that process.
The thing about it technically, I know there's -- as my peer Mr Stewart said -- a bit of a turf war here. But purely, you seem to say there was an extension made in the first case, forget about the other technologists and stuff, talk about your own case; and now you're really actually reversing that same decision. When you look at purely that on its own merits, you're actually saying they cannot, without being members of your association, use a term that hitherto would have been permissible.
Mr Silipo: No, you can't use it now.
Mr Hornblow: I would disagree. You can't use it now, because it would be in violation of the regulations; as well as, just to add to it is, when you read the section --
Mr O'Toole: Can I get the counsel to answer that? Is that true, they couldn't call themselves an architectural technician?
Ms Klein: No. I disagree with that. I think an architect could use those terms.
Mr O'Toole: Yes. So your response is absolutely incorrect. Our counsel is saying, "I'm an architect, and if I want to advertise myself as an architectural technician or something to make it sound more techy in my newspaper ad, then I'd be at perfect right to do that without belonging to your association." So that's a restricted privilege. If I take the advice of our trained counsel, how can I go against that? I'm neither a lawyer nor a technologist nor an engineer. I'm actually just an MPP.
Mr Silipo: You're in better shape than most of us. Count your blessings, John.
Mr Hornblow: I'm in the same boat.
The Chair: I would remind all members of the committee, we will hear from the Ontario Association of Architects next. Are you completed with your line of questioning, Mr O'Toole?
Mr O'Toole: I think I'm satisfied that there are some definitional problems here between our counsel and your counsel as to the current privilege of an architect in their entitlements. This is about two things: process, first; entitlements is sort of a secondary issue. That's really not what we're dealing with. It's process here.
Mr Silipo: I thought I understood this, and now I don't think I do. I have to keep reminding myself that I'm not here to decide on whether I agree or not with this amendment, but it's difficult to make that decision without understanding fully what the nature of the amendment is. I expect when we hear later from the Ontario Association of Architects that we'll have the fuller picture in terms of the variety of positions on this.
But I had thought I'd understood up until this point, until we heard in that last exchange from legislative counsel, that in fact right now what we have is a regulation under the Architects Act that gives exclusive use of the term "architectural technician" and "architectural technologist" to members of the Association of Architectural Technologists of Ontario. But I think legislative counsel doesn't agree with that. I think I need to have that clarified first of all, if I could.
Ms Klein: The Architects Act makes it an offence for anyone to use the term "architect" or a variation. The Architects Act then gives exceptions to that, and it says it is not an offence for a member of the AATO to use the term "landscape architect." It doesn't say they have exclusive right to it; it says they're not committing an offence if they use those terms.
Mr Silipo: So in your view, someone who is an architect could then also use the term "architectural technologist"?
Ms Klein: Yes.
Mr Silipo: All right. I want to go back to what I think is also the broader issue, and just be clear, because in the notes that we have -- and this is where I picked this up before when I asked this earlier -- in the proposed legislation, there are also, I gather, provisions dealing with giving the AATO the right to govern and discipline its members. I just need to hear either from members of the association or from legislative counsel how that differs from what exists now. Is there no legislation that covers that right now? Are they covered in some way under the Architects Act, or what's the status of that situation, because I would have thought that's an issue we would have heard something about?
Ms Klein: Right now, the association exists. They're a corporation under the Corporations Act, and they have letters patent. They have bylaw-making powers and they can regulate their members.
We put into the private legislation a provision that they can regulate and govern their members, and we put into the private legislation the requirement that the association become a special act corporation, because the privilege that they're getting in the private legislation is the restricted designation. They are getting the right to use terms, and the private legislation makes it an offence for anyone else to use these terms. I think those are generally privately prosecuted, but they're none the less offences that are created by the private legislation.
As a result, we structure the private legislation so that -- let me backtrack a bit -- but it's private legislation and this organization is not governed by the government in any way. Once they get their private act, they walk away and they govern their members and they do whatever they want and they can prosecute people who aren't members of the association for using the term that's restricted.
I think it's some sort of governance measure that we make this body, which is now a corporation under the Corporations Act, a special act corporation. We put their objects in the private legislation. We put their bylaw-making power in the private legislation. Therefore, if they want to make changes to their powers or their objects, they have to come back to the Legislature, get another private act amending their legislation.
That's the only overseeing that the government does. As I said, they have the power now to govern and discipline their members, but we build it into the legislation because what the legislation gives them that they don't have now is a reserve title.
We do lots of private bills like this. Two were passed in 1996 so far. Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario got the exclusive right to use the title "registered graphic designer." It's not the nature of the bill that's strange. In this case it's just the fact that there's the conflict with the Architects Act, which is public.
Mr Silipo: The reason I asked that is because I wonder then where does the question get asked about whether the governance structure is appropriately dealt with that way or as it would be appropriately dealt with in a different way under a public act? That, to me, is an issue that again I haven't heard anybody comment about, and it seems to me that would be something that would go more to the nature of whether a piece of legislation should proceed as a private bill or a public bill, shouldn't it?
Ms Klein: The decision is made whether you want to govern a class of professionals by public legislation. That's usually done when in the legislation you are not just restricting the title in the public legislation, but you are restricting the area of practice. You have all the health professionals legislation, the Architects Act, the Law Society Act, Public Accountancy Act and professional engineers. These are the publicly governed professions that have exclusive rights to an area of practice. Nobody can practise medicine except a doctor. It's a corollary to that that nobody can call himself a doctor except a doctor.
This private legislation doesn't give anybody an exclusive right to an area of practice. All it gives them is a title. Architects have an exclusive area of practice.
Mr Rick Bartolucci (Sudbury): I won't belabour the point, but I really don't see the significant difference between what's been passed already in 1996, what was passed in 1984 and what their suggestion is here. We will hear obviously a differing opinion when the Ontario Association of Architects comes before us, but in making our decision, and without belabouring the substance of the bill, I think we're here to simply decide whether or not it goes to a private bill, and at that time, I believe that it's incumbent upon us to debate the substance of the bill.
I would suggest we hear from any other witnesses we have and then make the decision whether or not we want this to go to a private bill, as opposed to belabouring the technicalities of the bill -- although I do agree with Mr Silipo that there has to be some understanding. I think we've got clearly two defined positions, and we'll hear from a third and then let's make our decision. Then, when it comes before the House, we will debate the merits of it, either for or against.
The Chair: Are there any other questions or comments for this panel? Seeing none, thank you very much for your presentation.
I call forward now the counsel for the Ontario Association of Architects, Mr Andrew Lundy. Welcome to the standing committee on the Legislative Assembly.
Mr Andrew Lundy: I appreciate the opportunity of being able to address you today. I have promised to be very brief. I promise to be brief really because on the issue of whether a private bill amends the Architects Act, I agree entirely with the submissions made by the legislative counsel and I see no need to repeat that. I've also had the opportunity to review the submissions made by the Attorney General and I endorse entirely those submissions, which have been presented to you.
Let me also be perfectly clear that the Ontario Association of Architects does not wish to block the passage of a bill like this. In fact, we have made one proposal which will address the concern, a four-line proposal which we've asked to be inserted in the act and as presently drafted would address the association's concern. That proposal is set out on page 5 of the submissions of the Attorney General -- page 5 from the beginning, or page 2 if you go to the attachment pages, which is three pages in.
All that we have requested they add to the bill as presently drafted is a subsection 9(3), making it perfectly clear that subsection (2) doesn't apply to an architect or persons who are entitled to use the title "architect" under the Architects Act, because in our respectful submission, architects are entitled currently, according to the Architects Act, to call themselves architectural technologists or technicians.
In that respect, that slight amendment -- and this is just in substance; the wording doesn't have to be precise, but in substance, the idea -- would alleviate the concerns of the Ontario Association of Architects. So we're not attempting to block passage of the bill; we're requesting a four-line amendment.
As far as the issue of "landscape architect," which has been raised by some members of the committee, it's understandable, in my respectful submission to the committee, that there was no protest from the OAA at the time of the passage of those bills or from architects in general, because there would not have been a belief that the term was ever used by an architect. You've heard submissions made by my friends who appeared just prior to me that they don't believe that architects do use that, and I'm here to say that yes, architects do, and they are entitled to, and it is not, in my respectful submission, contrary to the regulations of the Architects Act for an architect to call himself or herself an architectural technologist. I simply disagree with my friends' assertions, as submitted in their paper and made to you today.
The regulation that my friend talked about does not say "architect"; it says "holder of a certificate of practice." It does not say "architect." In section 49 of the regulation, which is the last page of my friend's submission to you, where section 49 of regulation 27 -- without the entire act, it's very difficult to take you through what a holder of a certificate of practice is and how that is distinguished from a person who can use the term "architectural technologist." But note paragraph 6. It says, "Except in the case of a corporation whose name includes the word `architect'...." It doesn't say "a person."
What could happen right now is that a holder of a certificate of practice under the Architects Act would have a certificate of practice and licence to engage in the practice of architecture, and they could choose, for reasons of their own, because of a market niche or otherwise, to, in a separate business entity, use the words "architectural technician" or "architectural technologist." It would not be an offence under the act for an architect to do that. It's a corporation that they're talking about under the regulations, not an architect.
I think it's appropriate that I respond to questions, if there are any. Those are my submissions.
Mr O'Toole: I appreciate some of the clarifications in the corporate entity of the function we're talking about. I always want to keep the focus on process here, and in process it's the restrictive aspect I'm looking at. I asked the question of the previous group and I will ask pretty much a similar question. In your view, is it a more professionalized form of training in the case of an architect? Maybe this is a little bit touchy, but it's germane to the restrictive aspect.
Mr Lundy: First of all, I acknowledge that it perhaps is touchy. I also acknowledge your earlier questions when you characterized it as a turf war.
Mr O'Toole: That happens everywhere.
Mr Lundy: It's a term, but it may be that it's the root of a long carrot going down there and we might be at the root.
To answer your specific question, the training to be an architect is vigorous and rigorous. The only thing my friend didn't mention when he set it out is that there is an extensive examination. You must not only spend the five years in university and satisfy the practice requirements under the Ontario association, the Architects Act, but you also must pass intensive examinations; and they're not examinations that many people pass, I can tell you that. There are members who have satisfied the first two requirements who have written the exam five, six, seven times and can't pass, and there are an awful lot of them.
Mr O'Toole: That's really the thrust of my question. You're sort of answering the whole question. It comes to the certification. This is really germane. If I took the five years of architecture and failed the architectural certification examination, could I then write or would I be privileged to write the technician's exam?
Mr Lundy: I can't speak to that.
Mr O'Toole: That's the question. The last part of it is this: I've worked with a lot of engineers and there was always the dispute in the workplace that one guy had the seal and the other one didn't, it was that simple. I mean, whether or not he was smarter, it depended on the given day of an exam, really, and training. Can a technician do the same functions as an architect? That's the issue. Can I, regardless of what the sign on the business is, sell a service the same as the two classifications we're talking about?
Mr Lundy: The answer, in my submission, is no. By legislation, architects have exclusive jurisdiction, and only by way of exception under section 11 of the Architects Act is any member of the public entitled to build certain buildings. Engaging in the practice of architecture is a defined term under the Architects Act. Currently, very loosely, unless it's the design of a building over 600 square metres, I believe, and there are certain A, B, Cs and Ds of that exception, if the building's under 600 square metres, then anyone -- that is, you, I, an architectural technologist or an architect -- could design those buildings. But over 600 square metres, only an architect.
Mr O'Toole: You can only have the seal.
Mr Lundy: That's correct. By way of analogy -- and I acknowledge it's not particularly apt for one reason -- it's akin to paralegals suggesting that a lawyer could not call himself or herself a paralegal, if he or she should choose to, except it would be --
Mr O'Toole: Why would they?
Mr Lundy: Exactly. That question is more apt for that situation, in my respectful submission, with no disrespect meant to the paralegals, who serve a very useful function. But architects are much more likely than the analogy I've put forward to call themselves that.
Mr O'Toole: My final comment: I'm not trying to trivialize this, because I know its implications beyond the architect argument. If I'm a nurse practitioner, for example, and I'm doing many of the same things as a doctor in a specific area, does that mean I can call myself a doctor?
Mr Lundy: No, you can't obviously.
Mr O'Toole: It may be a stretch to do that, but when you look at a way to amend existing public acts by these little modifications, it could get a little dicey.
Mr Lundy: Yes, I appreciate that.
Mr Silipo: Your association doesn't have any concerns around any of the other provisions of this legislation, particularly the ones around governance and discipline?
Mr Lundy: No.
Mr Silipo: Let me ask you the same question I asked the other group, which is, besides the two associations, in your view does anybody else out there have any interest in this issue, in the general public?
Mr Lundy: Not to my knowledge.
Mr Silipo: I see some people in the audience nodding, but I don't know who they are.
Mr Lundy: OACETT, The Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists.
Mr Silipo: Are we going to be hearing from them?
The Chair: Not today.
Mr Grimmett: I'm just a country lawyer and I've never dealt with this act before in my practice, but I'm going through the submissions made by the counsel for the Legislative Assembly and also the counsel for the applicant and I'm having difficulty finding in the material I have from the Architects Act anything that gives OAA members the exclusive right to use the term "architect" in combination with other words. Is there material I don't have here that I should see? Are you basing your assertion that architects have the right to use the terms "architectural technologist" and "architectural technician" on the custom within your profession?
Mr Lundy: No. The relevant section in my submission is subsection 46(2) of the Architects Act. That provision provides that, "Every person who is not a holder of a...certificate of practice or," let's say, is not entitled to engage in the practice of architecture and who uses the title "architect," which isn't applicable, or who uses "an addition to or an abbreviation of the title `architect'...an occupational designation, or a term, title, addition or description, that will lead to the belief that the person may engage in the practice of architecture...is guilty of an offence...."
The relevant provision, in my submission, would be subclause (iii) under clause (b). Is the word "architectural" a word which when used would lead to the belief that the person is entitled to engage in the practice of architecture? Courts have held in prosecuting people who have used the word "architectural" in bylines under their name in conjunction with the use of architectural design -- prosecutions under this offence have occurred because the court has said "architectural" is "a term, title or description, that will lead to the belief that the person may engage in the practice of architecture."
That ties into the issue of landscape architecture. Will anybody really be confused that a landscape architect is an architect? I don't think so. But on "architectural technician" and "architectural technologist," it's the association's position that there will be some people who will be led to believe "that the person may engage in the practice of architecture." That's why the specific subsection (8) was created. Does that respond to your question?
Mr Grimmett: I agree with everything you just said. However, you have not shown me where in the act it says that OAA members have the exclusive right to use the term "architect" in combination with other words. You haven't convinced me. You've convinced me that people can be prosecuted for using the word "architect," and I agree that they should be, if there's a creation of confusion to the public, but you haven't convinced me that OAA members have the exclusive right to use "architect" in combination.
Mr Lundy: If I may just quickly attempt to respond to your question, subsection 11(1) of the act answers your question:
"No person shall engage in the practice of architecture or hold himself, herself or itself out as engaging in the practice of architecture unless,
"(a) the person is licensed...;
"(b) the person is the holder of a certificate of practice...; or
"(c) the person is the holder of a temporary licence under this act."
That section must be read in conjunction with the offence section that says every person who holds themselves out by using "a term, title or description, that will lead to the belief that the person may engage in the practice of architecture" is an offence. You must read section 11 in tandem with section 48, which is the offence section. Section 11 is the exclusivity section. Section 48 is the offence section.
Mr Grimmett: You still haven't convinced me. I'll just leave it with that.
Mr Ron Johnson: Very briefly, back to the point -- and I think that when we start getting into the context of the bill we're getting offtrack -- we have to decide whether or not it's in order. That's our primary goal. Is it your belief, is it safe to say that in your opinion you agree with the Attorney General, you agree with legislative counsel that this bill is out of order?
Mr Lundy: Absolutely.
The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Lundy, for your presentation.
We now have a brief presentation by counsel representing the Ministry of the Attorney General.
Mr John Twohig: My name is John Twohig. I'm counsel with the Ministry of the Attorney General. The Attorney General is the minister responsible for the Architects Act, along with several other self-governing professions. It is the position of the Attorney General, and my instructions are given to me today through his parliamentary assistant to be here to advise you, that we agree entirely with the position taken by legislative counsel.
The only issue before you today is whether you want to use this process, the private bill process, to derogate from, to take away from a right which has been given under public legislation. There may well be good public policy arguments as to why this whole area should be revamped, should be reformed, but in my submission those should take place through the public process of public legislation.
You've heard all the arguments today. There's really no point repeating them. I can tell by your questions that you appreciate the point. Erskine May, attached to our submission, provides really the only guidance we have, and it says you should not take this process lightly, that if you intend to amend public legislation, you should do it in a public process. If you're going to do it in private legislation, you'd better do it explicitly, and that's our second point. This bill does not do that either.
I really have no further submissions, unless you have questions.
The Chair: Any questions to Mr Twohig? Seeing none, thank you, Mr Twohig, for your presentation.
Are there any questions of any of the presenters?
Mr Silipo: Not of the presenters, but I did want to ask the clerk a question.
The Chair: We have representatives here from the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists, who are very interested in this bill. I just wondered if any committee members had any questions of those representatives.
Mr Silipo: Mr Chair, if it's agreeable to the committee, if the gentlemen want to say a few words on this, I think it would be useful for us to hear them.
The Chair: Okay. Welcome to the committee, gentlemen. Would you please identify yourselves for the purposes of Hansard?
Mr Bruce Wells: I'm Bruce Wells, the executive director of the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists. For obvious reasons, we go by the name OACETT. Bob Mitchell, who, as many of you know, is a previous MPP, has worked with me at OACETT for almost 10 years now, since he was defeated in the House; he is a special assistant to me who helps me with legislative matters.
OACETT is a 19,000-member association of technicians and technologists. We work under the OACETT act which this Legislature approved in 1984. We have the right to title for three designations: "certified engineering technologist," which is abbreviated CET; "applied science technologist," abbreviated AScT; and "certified technician."
We're not here to talk about the legal issues in this. We came primarily as observers. We do have some concerns with the bill. If you move it on to the next committee, we have some briefs and we will have some things to say at that point.
Let me just clarify from a legal point of view that if you graduate from Mohawk College or Algonquin College or Seneca College or Durham College, if you came out of the engineering technology programs with a diploma, you are perfectly entitled to use the term "engineering technologist" or "engineering technician." OACETT has no control over those terms.
If you have gone through the appropriate academic criteria we have; if you have handled the work experience we require, which is two years; if you have come in with the proper credentials from either professional engineers or certified engineering technologists; if you have passed our law and ethics exam; and if our registration board approves your criteria, you would get the designation "certified engineering technologist," "applied science technologist" or "certified technician."
In terms of the arguments you're dealing with today, it was brought up in terms of OACETT -- I would just make it very clear to you that we do not control the terms "engineering technician" or "engineering technologist." We do have control over "certified" with the term "technologist," and that's the key.
That's what I'd say in terms of the discussion. Certainly Mr Mitchell and I would be happy to answer any questions you might have in terms of our views on these issues, but we didn't really come to get into the legal argument. We came as observers, really.
Mr O'Toole: With all respect, I recognize the point and the struggle. You cannot call yourself, without some redefinition, an engineer.
Mr Wells: The legislation of the Professional Engineers Act defines the term "professional engineer," and it defines what can be done by a professional engineer. The legislation does not talk about the term "engineer" or "engineering," and OACETT members do not call themselves engineers; they are certified engineering technicians or certified engineering technologists. What is restricted is professional engineering, and by definition, that's a very narrow scope of the engineering field. I think your Attorney General's department has figured that it's maybe 10% of the engineering field.
Mr O'Toole: Yes, who are actually professionals.
Mr Wells: The rest of it we can do, but we cannot do professional engineering and our members don't hold out to be trained to do professional engineering. They are trained to be applied engineers, not professional engineers in the design sense.
Mr O'Toole: I don't want to belabour it, but it is peculiar, getting back to why we're talking about whether it should go forward in this forum. Let's just work on the term "professional engineer." To me, that implies you can do a range of things, and a certified engineering technologist has a more limited range of things they can do.
I suspect that public understanding, the need to delineate and have the proper clarity and terminology, is what's at issue here. Because of the age of the act, I suspect, the term "architect" has evolved to include -- and I'm sure they're very skilled people; it's not my job to decide whether they are or not. Do you understand, though? It's exactly that same. If I were an architect and today's marketing made it much more techie sounding if I said I was an architectural technologist, implying it was even more technical, I should have that privilege, I think, as an architect. But to imply I had a hierarchy of knowledge to say I was an architect when I wasn't, but was an architectural technologist -- you see, there's a difference there. It's the terms that maybe were drafted in the early 1930s, or whenever they got the act started. It's evolved and it's a problem. I understand the need.
Mr Bob Mitchell: May I, Mr Chairman, make a comment? You raise a good point. Do you have a community college in your --
Mr O'Toole: Absolutely. Durham College, one of the best in North America.
Mr Mitchell: They probably graduate architectural technologists. They probably graduate architectural technicians.
Mr O'Toole: Yes.
Mr Mitchell: What are they going to be called after this bill?
Mr O'Toole: Doesn't the current bill allow them to call themselves technologists and technicians? So what's the problem? It's who collects the dues, is the problem.
Mr Mitchell: My understanding of the AATO proposal is that no one may hold themselves out to be an architectural technologist or an architectural technician without being a member of AATO. That's my understanding of the act. Am I right?
Mr O'Toole: We seem to have gotten right back to first base here. For the clarity of counsel -- we've made this unnecessarily complicated -- under the current Architects Act, the technicians are allowed to call themselves architectural technologists and architectural technicians. If we don't do one thing, they can still do that.
Ms Klein: The members of the association can. I don't know if you can do that right on graduation from community college.
Mr O'Toole: You have to write the exam, pay the dues.
Ms Klein: You have to be a member of the association. The Architects Act allows members of the association to use those terms, yes.
Mr O'Toole: Does that answer for your sake, Bob?
Mr Wells: Let me make it very clear. We don't have any fights with the professional engineers of Ontario. We meet with them monthly; we work together; we have been asked for input on their operations. Yes, we may disagree where the boundary between professional engineering and engineering is in areas, but we're going to work that out. The purpose in our being here today is tied in as observers and to make clear to you, we do not have control over the title "engineering technician" or "engineering technologist."
Mr O'Toole: "Certified" is your difference.
Mr Wells: Yes. Now, if you want to get into a debate on where we should go in the next 10 years in this country, if you'd give me two hours I'll tell you what we should do, but I've already done that with some of your ministers this morning. That's a different issue.
Mr O'Toole: That brings us full circle, because what we really are debating, as Mr Johnson has said, is whether this is the correct forum for doing it. I do not believe it is, personally. Not in any way to insult, but process is our responsibility, and public process is what public acts are about. With no prejudice, that's my position.
Mr Mitchell: I think it's fair to say that as an association, we really do not object to AATO wanting to do their own legislation. I think it's fair to say we have absolutely no problem with that. Our problem is with the use of the term "architectural technologist" when, as I say, they graduate architectural technologists from the colleges and so on. We use the word "certified." The suggestion then is, why do they not have a definitive term for their act?
Mr O'Toole: I won't prolong it, but you're having to have another group that starts with a C now, CAATO. Do you understand what I'm saying? It's another dues membership.
Mr Dave Boushy (Sarnia): Mr Chairman, are there any more presentations?
The Chair: No, and after this we're going to have a general discussion on the issue and, hopefully, lead to a conclusion to this discussion.
Mr Boushy: After hearing all the delegations, I don't think Bill Pr40 should proceed any further. If you are ready, I'd be glad to make that motion.
The Chair: We'll get into that discussion. First of all, I want to thank very much the representatives of the certified engineering technologists and technicians.
Mr Wells: It was our privilege to come down. We hope to talk to you again on other issues.
Mr Silipo: Mr Chair, maybe you were intending to do this, but could we have the clerk explain for us and for the record what would flow from a decision by this committee that either this should proceed as a private bill or should not proceed as a private bill? I'm particularly interested in hearing what the differences would be in terms of the public's right to be involved in the discussion, which to me is primary. There's sometimes some misconception that a private bill means you do it behind closed doors, and I think we all know that's not the case. But I know that there are some distinctions between the two. I think it would be useful if we just had those explained.
The Chair: That may be very helpful to this discussion.
Clerk of the Committee: I'll answer the second question first. In order for somebody to proceed with private legislation, they must advertise for four weeks in the Ontario Gazette and in a local newspaper. This organization did do that, and the local newspaper was the Globe and Mail. In their advertisement there is a line in there that anybody who has any comments on the bill is to contact my office. We keep track of everybody who comment. For today, we did speak to all those groups and they either all appeared or were in the room today. There isn't anybody who commented, who had any interest in this bill, who is not here today.
This committee, I guess, has two options. They could either decide this is the proper subject matter for a private bill or that it is not the proper subject matter. If they decide it is the proper subject matter for a private bill, we would then prepare this bill for introduction. It would be introduced in the House. It would then be referred after first reading, as all private bills are, to the standing committee on regulations and private bills to be determined on its merits.
If this committee decides it's not the proper subject matter for a private bill, the applicant has two options: The first would be to stop right there and proceed no further; the second, to amend the draft bill so it does comply with the standing orders and is the proper subject matter, and at that point then continue to get that bill introduced.
Mr Silipo: Could it not also be introduced by a member of the Legislature under public business?
Clerk of the Committee: I suppose, not actually looking at the subject matter, but one would presume that perhaps it could be the proper subject matter for a private member's bill and go that route. I would have to doublecheck on that.
Mr Silipo: I thought that would have been the other route.
Clerk of the Committee: It could be the proper subject matter for a private member's bill. They would have to find a sponsor and it would go the normal ballot rotation.
Mr Silipo: And of course that would follow the process of first reading introduction and second reading debate, with the potential, if it passed, to be referred to a committee for debate.
Clerk of the Committee: Yes.
Mr O'Toole: I need clarification on that. That almost contradicts the whole afternoon. This is a private member's bill, is it not? Oh, it's a private bill. Pardon me.
The Chair: It's a proposed private bill. It hasn't even been introduced as a private bill in the House yet.
Mr O'Toole: I understand. I apologize.
Mr Silipo: Mr Chair, one other clarification. If it were to proceed as a private bill, if and when it got to the private bills and regulations committee, is there an automatic opportunity at that point, or is that subject to the committee's decision, to hear from all of the parties who have an interest in this subject matter and then determine it on the merits?
Clerk of the Committee: The process that happens then is that everybody who has contacted my office is contacted. While it is up to the committee, as in all committees, to decide who will be heard, it tends to be the practice of the private bills committee that anybody who requests to be heard is normally heard.
Mr Silipo: So that's where presumably the discussion about the substantive matter that we sort of got in and out of today would be able to be debated and determined.
Clerk of the Committee: Right. In the normal scheduling on private bills, for any bills that tend to have a number of interested parties we tend to try not to schedule too many bills like that at one point so that it has a fair airing at that point.
The Chair: Mr Stewart, did you have a question?
Mr Stewart: Not a question, Mr Chairman. What I was going to do was move a motion, if it would be acceptable at this point.
The Chair: I still have one of your colleagues who wants to ask a question. Would you be prepared to wait?
Mr Stewart: Absolutely.
Mr Tom Froese (St Catharines-Brock): Just for clarification, this can proceed in the path that it's going now if certain amendments were made to it to ensure that it's under the right format? It can be a private bill, continue on, if the proper amendments are made.
Clerk of the Committee: Let me just backtrack. In essence, yes, but let me backtrack to what I said right at the beginning of the meeting. There is no right or wrong answer to the question that's before you today. It's strictly a procedural question. If you decide that this bill in its current format is the proper subject matter, it can continue in its current format and be introduced. If you decide it's not, they may decide to amend it, and if they amend it, depending on how they amend it, it may at that point be the proper subject matter for a private bill and wouldn't have to come back here. But you could decide today that this bill in this form is the proper subject matter for private legislation.
Mr Ron Johnson: Following up on that, just an explanation of the way I'm going to be voting on this one. I'm satisfied that the bill is out of order and does not belong at this committee at this stage, so I will not be supporting it, but the amendment proposal is one that I would like to see followed up at a later date if in fact it does get rejected.
The Chair: Are there any further comments relating to the issue at hand before we move to a motion? I think it would be appropriate at this time to have a motion to determine whether or not this is the proper subject matter for a private bill.
Mr Stewart: Due to the fact that this can proceed to the Legislature in other ways, so that we're not putting a total stop on it by any means, I would move that the application of Bill Pr40, An Act respecting the Association of Architectural Technologists of Ontario, should not be allowed to proceed as a private bill.
The Chair: Mr Stewart has moved that the proposed Bill Pr40 is not the proper subject matter and should not be allowed to proceed as a private bill. Is there any discussion on the motion?
Mr Boushy: I second the motion.
The Chair: It doesn't require a seconder, I am advised.
Mr Silipo: I'm going to vote against that, and I want to explain why. It's not because I don't necessarily agree with what -- I think we've sort of gone all around this, and on the substance of the issue I have some concerns around whether this piece of legislation should be enacted as it's been proposed. If I were dealing with the substance of it -- and I don't sit on the committee that would deal with it if it proceeds as a private bill -- I think I would have some concerns around the bill without the proposed amendment that's been suggested.
But it's become clear to me this afternoon that this is not a piece of legislation under which there are a lot of outstanding concerns and issues. That is, it's not like there are five or six different big issues that arise out of this proposed legislation over which there would be a lot of concern by a lot of members of the public, unless of course we haven't been given the benefit of that advice.
It seems to me that while there's clearly some disagreement on one particular aspect and one important aspect, and while on that one at this point, if I had to make a decision today, I would make it not in favour of those who are proposing this legislation, on the other side I've always been and continue to be a very strong advocate that there surely have to be, in addition to the ways we have now in place, additional ways in which legislation can be looked at, considered and even passed.
When there are issues like this that are fairly focused and can be looked at within the context of all of the processes of a legislative committee, that afford all of the parties that are interested an opportunity to be heard, to make their case, and for parliamentarians to listen to them, consider the situation and make a decision, as I believe would happen in this case if this proceeded as a private bill, I am less concerned about the potential conflict in terms of the principle of public legislation not being amended by a private bill.
That principle is one that I certainly support, but I think we have to be careful about not going to such an extreme that we then say we have to be solely bound by that in a way that limits the possibility for changes. It's quite clear there are a number of things in this proposed legislation that many of the parties agree with. So it's conceivable that this bill could proceed as a private bill. That amendment that's been requested by some of the parties, made at committee, even though it may not be what the proponents want or prefer, I think wouldn't be bad process. In fact, I would argue that would be pretty good process because it's a very clearly defined issue. If there were five or six different issues, and particularly if those issues impinged in a much broader way on the public's rights and the public's interests, I think I would certainly side more with the argument that said it shouldn't proceed other than as a public bill.
In this case, as I say, I'm less concerned about that concern and that conflict because the issue over which there is disagreement is pretty clearly defined and I think a committee of our peers dealing with this issue could sort its way through it and make a decision and decide one way or the other, recommend an amended bill or not, or recommend the bill as proposed. So on that basis I would be comfortable with this proceeding as a private bill.
Mr Grimmett: I will not be supporting Mr Stewart's motion, and I want to explain why. Mr Twohig has indicated that we as parliamentarians should not be allowing a process where a private bill can be allowed to proceed and amend a public act. I have not been persuaded that this private bill would in fact amend a public act. On that basis, I'm prepared to allow the private bill to proceed. I think the public will have an opportunity to comment, so I don't see the concern about the private bill not allowing public comment either. So those are my reasons.
Mr O'Toole: I just want to clarify. I thought I heard Mr Silipo make the argument that the private bill process is not the correct way to amend a public act, and you agreed with that.
Mr Silipo: Normally, yes.
Mr O'Toole: I would suspect, that being said, that you would be voting in favour of Mr Stewart's motion.
Mr Silipo: No.
Mr O'Toole: The reason is because that is a contradiction. I'm not trying to be smart with you, but technically I'm agreeing that amending a public act, this process, is not the correct process. Forget about the issue; it's process. Those two things that you said -- you agree that this is not the correct format, and you're going to vote against the motion -- that's a contradiction. It defies all logic. I'm not criticizing you, but you are running for the leadership. Honest to goodness, I'm serious. That doesn't make any sense to me, and I'm only making a point with no prejudice involved.
Did I understand you to say that you believe that the private bill is the wrong process --
Mr Silipo: Would you like me to answer that?
Mr O'Toole: Yes.
Mr Silipo: I'd be happy to.
Mr O'Toole: I'm struggling.
Mr Silipo: I tried to make the point that normally I agree that a public act should only be amended by a public bill.
Mr O'Toole: Exactly.
Mr Silipo: I also made the point that I believe as a parliamentarian there ought to be more ways than one to deal with legislation. I made the point that particularly in a case like this, where the issue at hand is very clearly defined, where there aren't five or six different major issues to be worked out through this piece of legislation -- there is really only the one area of disagreement -- that is an area where I feel comfortable in allowing a private bill to proceed, because that issue, I believe, will get the full public airing, through the process that a private bill will go through, that would be required to satisfy the concern I would normally have in terms of how you go about amending public bills.
Mr Stewart: The reason I moved this motion was that I believe this is a legal matter, and I think we have to accept counsel of the legislative counsel as well as the Attorney General. If I thought for one moment that this type of bill would die on the table, I would probably not support my own motion, but it won't. It can then become a private member's bill. If it gets the support it can go to the public, because this will have, in my mind, an effect on other professions as well. I think the public should have that type of input and go the regular channels. That is my own explanation of why I moved it. I think we're talking a legal matter here; we're not talking other issues that may be classed as motherhood or otherwise.
The Chair: Seeing no further discussion, are the members prepared to vote on this motion?
Mr Stewart has moved that this proposed Bill Pr40, An Act respecting the Association of Architectural Technologists of Ontario, is not the proper subject matter for a private bill. All members in favour of the motion, please raise your hands. Opposed? The motion is carried.
Mr Bartolucci: They called in the troops.
Mr Silipo: Well, it was a nice try.
The Chair: We have one other item on our agenda today, and I'd like to explain to members of the committee where it came from. I had an informal discussion with the Speaker of the House yesterday relating to an issue that has been brought to his attention by a member of the Legislature, requesting that he be allowed to --
The Chair: Could I call the committee to order. There is another item on the committee's agenda today, and that is the issue of laptop computers. I'd like to inform members how that came about.
I was speaking informally with the Speaker yesterday, and it's my understanding that a member of the Legislature has made a request to him that he be allowed to use a laptop computer in the chamber. The Speaker is reserving final judgement on this issue pending the advice of this committee.
We've prepared, on very short notice -- thank you to Peter Sibenik -- a bit of information, and I think all committee members have been presented with it. I would like to initiate a discussion on this issue today if members are so inclined. If not, I suppose their option is to defer it until next week, when we may have had more time to give consideration to the issue.
Mr Miclash: Yes, I think we should maybe ask for deferral.
The Chair: Are all members in consensus that we would defer this until next week? All right; we will defer this issue till next week. Any other points of business?
Mr Bartolucci: By way of information only, is Mr Hastings a member of this committee still?
The Chair: He is indeed, but he was subbed off for the day because he was bringing forward the private bill being sponsored.
Mr Bartolucci: Had he chosen not to sub off, he could have voted on this, could he not?
The Chair: Technically, the clerk is advising me that yes, he could.
Mr Bartolucci: All right. That's amazing.
The Chair: Appropriately, he did not.
This committee stands adjourned until next Wednesday afternoon.
The committee adjourned at 1724.