Wednesday 7 May 1997
STANDING COMMITTEE ON THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY
Chair / Président: Mr Joseph N. Tascona (Simcoe Centre / -Centre PC)
Vice-Chair / Vice-Président: Mr Gary Fox (Prince Edward-Lennox-South Hastings /
Prince Edward-Lennox-Hastings-Sud PC)
Mr John R. Baird (Nepean PC)
Mr TonyClement (Brampton South / -Sud PC)
Mr AlvinCurling (Scarborough North / -Nord L)
Mr GaryFox (Prince Edward-Lennox-South Hastings /
Prince Edward-Lennox-Hastings-Sud PC)
Mr ErnieHardeman (Oxford PC)
Mr RonJohnson (Brantford PC)
Mrs MargaretMarland (Mississauga South / -Sud PC)
Mr Allan K. McLean (Simcoe East / -Est PC)
Mr Gilles E. Morin (Carleton East / -Est L)
Mrs SandraPupatello (Windsor-Sandwich L)
Mr TonySilipo (Dovercourt ND)
Mr Joseph N. Tascona (Simcoe Centre / -Centre PC)
Mr DavidTilson (Dufferin-Peel PC)
Mr BudWildman (Algoma ND)
Substitutions present /Membres remplaçants présents:
Mr RickBartolucci (Sudbury L)
Mr DaveBoushy (Sarnia PC)
Mr JohnGerretsen (Kingston and The Islands / Kingston et Les Îles L)
Clerk / Greffier: Mr Peter Sibenik
Staff / Personnel: Mr Philip Kaye, research officer, Legislative Research Service
The committee met at 1528 in committee room 1.
The Chair (Mr Joseph Tascona): It's 3:30 by the clock, so the meeting's in session.
Interjection: It's 3:32 by the clock.
The Chair: It's 3:32 by the clock. We have a quorum, so the meeting is in session.
Mrs Margaret Marland (Mississauga South): Mr Chair, I move that the question be put, the question that is on the floor.
The Chair: The question that would be put would be the vote on the motion, as amended, in its entirety?
Mrs Marland: Yes.
The Chair: My decision is that the motion is in order. The question is now, shall the question now be put, which is to vote on the motion, as amended, in its entirety? Agreed.
I put the motion: Shall the motion, as amended, carry?
Mr John R. Baird (Nepean): Could we have a recorded vote?
The Chair: Okay.
Baird, Boushy, Clement, Fox, Marland, McLean, Tilson.
The Chair: I declare the motion carried, as amended.
Mr Tony Clement (Brampton South): The next stage is apparently, Mr Chair, as was agreed to by the last subcommittee. The plan then was for the subcommittee to work with your office to proceed with the writing of a report which would then come back to this committee. I would amend that recommendation and suggest that you at least report to the House on the seven months' work which has just been completed.
The Chair: Is there a motion that you would like to put forward?
Mr Clement: I would move that we report to the House the motion, as amended, as carried by this committee, and that subsequently the subcommittee work with your office to present a report to this committee and then, subsequent to this committee's finalization of that report, to the House.
The Chair: Could you put that in writing so we have that motion.
Mr Clement: I warn you about my handwriting in advance, Mr Chair, but I'd be happy to do so.
The Chair: The motion is to report this motion, as amended, to the subcommittee and work with the office of the Chair.
Mr Clement: It's just a procedural motion. I'm not sure whether you need it in writing. It's not a substantive motion, but the procedural motion would read that I would move that you report to the House on the passage of the motion, as amended, and that subsequent to that the subcommittee would work with your office to finalize a report which would go to this committee and, upon its adoption or amendment by this committee, would then be reported to the House.
The Chair: Any debate on that?
Mr Tony Silipo (Dovercourt): First of all, I just want to understand. I think I understand what the motion is doing, but my understanding is that what we would be doing is not filing a report with the House but instead putting forward the motion that we've been debating.
The Chair: The question on the motion has already been put and it has been carried.
Mr Silipo: I'm sorry, what has been carried?
The Chair: The motion that we've been debating, Mr Clement's motion, as amended.
Mr Silipo: When did you do that?
The Chair: Closure had been moved and it was carried.
Mr Silipo: When did that happen?
The Chair: That happened once the meeting commenced. There was a motion put forth by Margaret Marland.
Mr Silipo: Can I just ask, because I came in at 3:30 -- I was told the meeting didn't start until 3:30 -- how is it possible that the committee did that?
The Chair: We were working with the clock that we are dealing with in here. It was 3:30 when we started the meeting; actually 3:32.
Mr Silipo: All right. If you could then just bear with me for a second and bring me up to date as to what in fact the committee has done, the committee has passed the motion, or is that what we're voting on now?
The Chair: I'm sorry, closure was passed and the motion, as amended, passed as well. Right now the motion on the floor is to report the motion, as amended, to the House and to work with the office of the Chair.
Mr Clement: The subcommittee would work with your office, sir, to complete the final report, which would then of course go before this committee, and ultimately to the House.
Mr Silipo: The reporting of the motion as passed by the committee to the House does not prevent the writing of the report then. Am I clear in understanding that?
Mr Clement: That is the intent of the mover.
Mr Silipo: There will still be a report?
Mr Clement: Absolutely. I just felt strongly that since seven months' work has been wrapped up today we should at least, in some form, report to the House and then subsequently, obviously, report with a fuller report. I believe I've moved that motion. It's on the floor.
Mr Silipo: Chair, I'm really just trying to understand. If the motion that's in front of us now is adopted, we would be reporting to the House the motion that the committee has passed and we would still then subsequently be working on a report that would go to the House, fleshing out the motion?
Mr Clement: That's correct, sir.
Mr Silipo: I would like to speak to that whenever --
The Chair: You can speak to it now if you want.
Mr Silipo: I have to say I feel a little bit torn about this, because I understand what the government members have done in bringing closure to this motion. I didn't realize actually you could bring closure to a motion in committee, but I guess if it's been done it means it's possible for it to be done.
I understand the actions the government members have taken, given what the representatives of the Liberal caucus have been doing on this issue. Even though I haven't agreed with the approach that the Liberal Party members have taken on this in filibustering on this issue, simply because I've never understood why they would want to filibuster on this one, but that's their prerogative, I have to say that I find it a little bit troubling that this would have been done in this way with no members from the opposition present, although I appreciate the fact that if it was 3:30 by the clock in this room and you called the committee to order, then a majority of the members can proceed with the business of the committee.
I just want to be clear on the record, Chair, that I came in on the clock that we were using in the Legislative Assembly and purposely came to be here at 3:30 when the committee meeting started. I was here earlier in fact and was told by the clerk that we weren't starting until 3:30, but that's happened.
I would just say that I regret that we have not been able to deal with this issue in the way that I feel it was appropriate to deal with it, which is to do what we were charged to do at the beginning, which was to write a report to the House indicating the views of the committee -- majority view, if that's what would have happened, and that's clearly what would have happened in this case -- and then to allow within that report, as is the normal course of events, for the opinions of the minority to be expressed.
I won't belabour this, Chair. I and my colleague Mr Wildman, as the two members from the NDP caucus on this committee, have put on the record on more than one occasion our positions, which are not just our own individual positions but those of our caucus because of the various discussions that we've had with our colleagues on this. We believe there is room for referenda to be used in a limited way, in a wise way, and we would like to see that happen.
We don't particularly feel that legislation is required in order for that to happen because we do understand that it's possible for the government, any government, to institute referenda without recourse to legislation. But if the government feels that they want to have in place legislation, then we certainly are prepared to support that, particularly because there is an area in here that I guess could only be really enacted through legislation, and we support that, which is the issue of citizen-initiated referenda.
I think I've indicated in the past our support for that general notion, particularly when the move was made to say that that initiative could not be started without the signatures of more than 10% of the citizens of Ontario. That is a sufficient threshold that we are comfortable with.
There are still a number of issues -- which is why I was asking questions earlier about the process that we would follow -- that we believe need to be addressed. We regret that the government members turned down a proposal we had made to also ensure that within the ambit of referenda that would apply province-wide there was also provision to deal with referenda as they might apply to regions of the province. We've used the megacity here in Metropolitan Toronto as a classic example of that and still don't understand the opposite views the government members have taken in saying that they are in favour in referenda overall but they're not in favour of that particular kind of referenda.
It's like the kind of difficulty I have in understanding the Liberal caucus position of saying that they wanted to see that referendum take place and the government held to its results but yet are continuing to block the enabling of referenda across the province. I find myself really in a kind of perplexing situation of looking at contradictory positions that have been taken by the two other caucuses that are sitting around this table, but that's part of the process, I guess.
We have also made it clear that there are some other concerns that we have with respect to the issue of how we protect minority rights from being done away with through referenda. I know that we were dealing in effect with that issue, or that was one of the issues that we were going to go back to, as I understand it, when we last left this discussion, because that's set out in point number 7 of Mr Clement's motion.
While that clearly says that the commission that would be looking at referenda would not allow referendum questions to proceed if the issue that's being asked is in violation of the Charter of Rights or the Ontario Human Rights Code, we were also looking to ensure that there was in the legislation when it came back, and certainly in the report going to the Legislative Assembly therefore, a clear enunciation of the fact that we wanted to see a broad definition of minority rights and that those minority rights would be protected from the use of referenda. We think those are the kinds of things that need to be balanced through the ongoing debate that happens here in the Parliament and not dealt with through referenda.
Having said that, there are a number of other more technical points that we'd made some suggestions on in the course of the earlier discussions which I hope will not be forgotten through this motion proceeding. I gather that in one of the discussions the point that we had made earlier, which was that we would be looking at this question of who would oversee the implementation of referenda, was accepted by the government members. We would be using this notion that's set out here, an independent referenda commission headed perhaps by justices of the Supreme Court, to deal with the issues of sorting out the question. But in terms of the technicalities of running the actual referenda, we would use the existing structure, which is the elections commission, if that's the correct term.
I guess the last point I'd make on this is with respect to the issue that was in item 12 of the motion, which was the question of issues other than referenda that had to do with electoral reform. What I argued at one point and would have wanted to argue again, to see whether we could get agreement around this table, was to say that that's an issue that warrants some further examination. As I understand it, that's the intent of this.
I was going to argue with what was in Mr Clement's motion about the fact that this was simply recommending that the "issues be referred back to the committee." My sense was that if as a committee we felt this was something that should be done, we should just take it on as an issue and engage in some discussions around the kind of changes that we might want to see and then report to the House in a subsequent report on those, understanding that it's the kind of issue that also would require some time for some debate and perhaps us agreeing to call in some people to provide some advice and expertise on those. I'm not sure what happens to that issue in the way in which we're proceeding.
My last concern about the way in which we are proceeding is that I hope these issues will not disappear in the attempt that's being made by the government members to get around a filibuster by the Liberal members in the committee. I think this is an issue that needs to be pursued. It's fair to say that my own thinking has evolved over the course of the discussions on this.
I'm prepared to continue to be constructive in my role -- and the role those of us from the NDP caucus play -- in arriving at some solutions and eventually at some legislation that will set out some parameters under which referenda could be set out and could be used, as well as then looking at the question of what other changes we need to make to both the electoral process as well as the whole functioning of the Parliament of Ontario to ensure that the whole process is much more democratic than what we have in place today.
Mrs Sandra Pupatello (Windsor-Sandwich): To the motion --
The Chair: Yes. There are other speakers.
Mrs Marland: Mr Chair, could you tell us who you have on the list for speakers? Am I the first one?
The Chair: Yes.
Mrs Marland: Okay. I'm going to pass. Do you have Mr Clement on?
The Chair: He's after yourself.
Mrs Marland: Okay. May I change places with Mr Clement?
The Chair: If he agrees to it.
Mr Clement: Sure.
Mrs Marland: Thank you.
Mr Clement: I just want to speak to a couple of the items that Mr Silipo has raised and put some assurances on the record. First of all, as I understand it, as I'm sure is the case, the motion which was passed by this committee was the original motion as amended by the committee. I can assure Mr Silipo that indeed some of the concerns that he has raised are encompassed in the motion as amended, which did pass. That is the case.
He had a number of suggestions which he has been advocating on behalf of his party over the past few months on this particular motion. I believe there will be ample opportunity as the subcommittee works with the office of the Chair to ensure that either -- if Mr Silipo is comfortable with the wording as proposed in the final report, that is one thing. If he is uncomfortable with it, there will be opportunities for him, on behalf of his party, to put additional wording in to represent his position in the final report. That is to say, the way I envisage this process, as was explained by your predecessor, Mr Chair, there will be an opportunity for both majority and minority opinions in this report.
All of that is reportable to the Legislative Assembly, so there's no attempt here to hide from Mr Silipo or his party's positions. There's no attempt here to shut down his party's positions. They can be incorporated as part of the final report, either by virtue of your office reviewing Hansard as to what the discussion is or in the subsequent discussion by subcommittee. Of course, this committee would have an opportunity then to review the fruits of our labours back here at committee before that final report did go to the Legislative Assembly.
With respect to his question about calling in experts, we did have a whole host of experts who have already deposed to this committee. I'm quite comfortable we've got a body of knowledge -- as well as opinion, but certainly knowledge -- on this issue that is before this committee as a result of our public hearings, which will be of great use to your office, Mr Chair, and to the subcommittee in dealing with a final report proposal, which would then of course go to this committee.
Mr Silipo: I was only on number 12, not on the referenda.
Mr Clement: I'm sorry?
Mr Silipo: I wasn't talking about referenda.
Mr Clement: Oh, you're talking about item 12. I apologize. Mr Silipo has corrected me. He was talking about item 12, which does, in my opinion, require further expert input rather than just the opinion of committee members, so I agree with him heartily on that.
There doesn't seem to be any divergence of opinion, if I could be so bold, between what Mr Silipo is suggesting and what I, on behalf of the government side, am suggesting with respect to this motion. It is simply a way to recognize what I think you probably do anyway, Mr Chair, which is to report some substantive work by this committee to the House. I think it's your prerogative to do so, regardless of whether we pass a motion or not, but I simply wanted to offer my support through a motion that you could report this matter to the House and that we could get on to phase 2 of this motion, which is to flesh it out into a final report.
The Chair: The motion, as I understand it, which is on the floor -- and I'll just read it -- is that the committee make an interim report to the House that the committee has passed Mr Clement's motion as amended and that the subcommittee work with the Chair to finalize the final report of the committee.
Mrs Marland: Mr Chair, since the matter of the time of the committee hearing has been raised, I would like to place on the record that I came in the committee room at five after 3 this afternoon and didn't leave. The standing orders provision for the commencement of committee meetings are that they will commence after routine proceedings or at 3:30, whichever is the later. This meeting commenced with a quorum at that time and I moved that the motion on the floor be put. I would move that motion again with this motion; I'm moving that the question be put.
The Chair: This is essentially a procedural motion; it's not a substantive motion. I would put the question and I would say it's in order.
Mrs Pupatello: Chair, speaking to the motion, please --
The Chair: You can't speak to a closure motion. There's no debate.
Mr John Gerretsen (Kingston and The Islands): Are you not going to allow anybody from the official opposition to say anything on the motion itself that was moved when none of us were here at the time?
Mr Baird: You were late, John.
Mrs Marland: Actually, Mr Silipo was here. The motion that's on the floor, Mr Silipo was here when it was moved.
Mr Gerretsen: I'm talking about the official opposition.
Mrs Marland: Well, if they're late, they're late.
Mr Gerretsen: Oh, I see. Okay.
Mr Rick Bartolucci (Sudbury): Mr Chair.
The Chair: Point of order?
Mr Bartolucci: Yes, a point of clarification, Mr Chair: What does past practice indicate? What is the procedure? As Mrs Marland indicated, she moved the motion before the members of the other two parties were here. What's the past practice on that? When I used to sit in this committee, that never was the case. We wouldn't vote until we had representation.
The Chair: The rules are fairly clear in terms of when the meeting starts, when there is quorum; there was. A motion in terms of closure is under the rules and we are following the rules.
Mr Bartolucci: Could I then ask the clerk what is the past practice with regard to a vote at committee?
Clerk of the Committee (Mr Peter Sibenik): In many situations the case will be that the committee proceeds when there is at least one representative from each of the parties present. However, there's no hard and fast rule that it is required to proceed in that particular matter. As the Chair has indicated, the committee can proceed when there is quorum. In the absence of quorum, a committee can still meet. If there is not sufficient quorum, a committee can proceed. However, the lack of quorum can be drawn to the attention of the committee.
Mr Bartolucci: Then I would suggest, Mr Chair, that what has happened here today is that the government members have decided that past practice is no longer of any use in setting criteria for committee meetings and --
Mrs Marland: I'd like to make a point of order.
The Chair: Yes?
Mrs Marland: First of all, is a point of order --
Mr Bartolucci: I'm asking for a point of clarification.
Mrs Marland: I'm asking, on a point of order, is a point of order accepted when a motion to call the question has been placed? That is what I need to know first of all.
Mr Gerretsen: You're doing so right now by raising that point.
Mrs Marland: I'm asking if a point of order is in order, if you're listening.
The Chair: With respect, we have a closure motion here and points of order are in order. I understood Mr Bartolucci was making a point of order. Now, if he's making a point of clarification, that's a different matter.
Mr Gerretsen: I'd like to make a point of order.
Mrs Marland: Then I would like the second point of order and my point of order is this: The clerk has said what has sometimes been the practice in committees. Whether we like it or not, I suppose I am the person in the room who has sat on committees the longest. I have arrived late at committees when only government members have been present, there has been a quorum present and a motion has been passed and there was nothing I could do about it. Unfortunately, that's the position the Liberals find themselves in at this point.
Mr Gerretsen: On a point of order, Mr Chairman: What you're saying may very well be so, but you were going to be a government that was going to be different.
Mr David Tilson (Dufferin-Peel): That's not a point of order.
Mr Gerretsen: I have been involved in the public process for 30 years and I can --
Mr Clement: Spare me.
Mr Baird: On a point of order, Mr Chair: He has not been recognized by the Chair yet. They're debating. This is not --
Mr Gerretsen: Can I state my point of order or not?
Mr Baird: State it.
The Chair: I'd like to hear it, so state your point of order. I'm listening.
Mr Gerretsen: My point of order deals with the procedure as to what's happened here. They are covered in the standing orders. It's certainly something that I should be allowed to address, because if you're saying that we're not allowed to do that after a government has in effect moved closure on a debate without someone from the official opposition being here -- I do not have the kind of experience that Mrs Marland has had, I have only been here for two years, but I know there have been many, many occasions when committees have had the courtesy -- and it may only be a courtesy or it may be tradition --
Mrs Marland: Like Peter Kormos shutting a committee down because there wasn't quorum.
The Chair: I want to just make a comment here before we get too deep in this. I have indicated to you what I did with respect to the closure motion. I have been in committees where if there isn't quorum we don't have a committee. There was quorum at the time and we started the meeting because that's when we're supposed to start the meeting. A motion came from the floor and I took that motion. I am obligated to do that. There's nothing in the rules --
Mr Gerretsen: Could I finish my point of order, Mr Chair, or not?
The Chair: Mr Gerretsen, I am explaining to you what occurred.
Mr Gerretsen: You don't even know what my point is at this stage. If you would at least allow me to finish stating what I was going to, then you can have whatever opinion or make whatever ruling --
The Chair: Mr Gerretsen, what we're dealing with here is not the closure motion that has already been passed. We want to understand that. There's a motion that was put on the floor. I've read it. There now is a closure motion. We're dealing with points of order on that and that's what I would like to hear, your point of order to this particular matter.
Mr Gerretsen: That's exactly what I want to address if you give me the opportunity to address it.
The Chair: Go ahead.
Mr Gerretsen: Number one: The original motion was made when the official opposition was not present. Number two: What would happen now is that you've got a number of speakers on your list --
The Chair: We're not dealing with that.
Mr Gerretsen: Would you let me finish? At least listen to my --
The Chair: I asked you to deal with the motion that's on the floor.
Mr Gerretsen: That's exactly what I'm dealing with.
The Chair: Everybody's present here now.
Mr Gerretsen: I am dealing with the fact that you have allowed a member to in effect have that motion called at a time when you still had people who wanted to speak to that motion, because I noted that at least Mrs Pupatello and I both wanted to speak to that motion. You have allowed a closure motion to be introduced at a time when the official opposition wasn't here, and now the members of the government have gone one step further and are saying, "We don't care whether or not you people want to address that motion."
We're now going to call for a vote after allowing -- very nicely, Mrs Marland has yielded to Mr Clement so he could get his points in and now she has taken the floor back, which is highly unusual in itself. The tradition has always been in the two years I've been here is that you get a speaker from one caucus, then another caucus and you go in rotation. Two people were allowed to speak on that side at the same time.
Mr Tilson: Mr Chair, this is debate. This isn't a debatable motion. He's calling it a point of order, but it's a debate.
Mr Gerretsen: The point of order is simply this: You have allowed two people from the same caucus to address this issue, with the second one moving closure at that point in time, which is highly unusual.
The Chair: Mr Gerretsen, I cannot stop someone from introducing a motion.
Mr Gerretsen: But you could have stopped the second person from that caucus addressing this committee without going in rotation.
The Chair: I haven't ruled on that motion, Mr Gerretsen. Mrs Marland had the floor. She put a question before the committee. We're obviously having debate on this, whether we intended it or not.
Mr Gerretsen: Mr Chair, why did you allow two people from the same caucus to address this issue in succession without going to the other caucuses first in rotation?
The Chair: Because they're in order.
Mr Clement: On a point of order, Mr Chair: I support you on the ruling. If the honourable member has a problem with the ruling, he can challenge the Chair. If he feels strongly about it, I encourage him to do so. But I happen to support your ruling and I understand that it's not a debatable motion to move that the question be put and I suggest we move on with things.
Mrs Marland: You don't go in rotation. You go by the list. That's why I asked him to say what the list was so you wouldn't accuse us.
The Chair: Are there any other further points of order on the closure motion?
Mrs Pupatello: I have a point of order, Mr Chair: May you clarify whether I will be able to speak before the vote?
The Chair: You're speaking now. You have the floor on a point of order.
Mrs Pupatello: I'd like to speak to the motion, please.
The Chair: No, you can't. Speak to the point of order.
Mrs Pupatello: I was on the list to speak right after Mrs Marland and unfortunately, because she closed the debate, I am assuming that you are then making the decision that I won't be allowed to speak. So as a point of order, I guess I need to find out when exactly I'll be able to make my --
The Chair: I'm listening to your point of order on this motion.
Mrs Pupatello: I am saying it at the moment. Maybe you could clarify for me when I'll be able to speak to this motion before the vote.
The Chair: You can speak on the point of order right now. You're asking me to make a decision without you making your point of order.
Mrs Pupatello: My point of order is that I would expect that the Chair would clarify when this member can speak to the motion before it's put to a vote.
Mrs Marland: Calling the question, Sandra, you should know by now, cuts off the debate.
The Chair: With respect to the order of speaking, we're dealing with a motion. People come on and I look. They want to be on the list, I put them on the list. We're going in the order of what the list is. Mr Clement spoke and Mrs Marland has put a motion on the floor and I'm dealing with the orderliness of the closure motion right now. Are there any other points of order?
Mrs Pupatello: Chair, could you just inform this member when I'll be able to speak to this before it goes to a vote?
Mr Gerretsen: You won't be able to.
Mrs Pupatello: I need the answer. You haven't told me yet, Chair.
The Chair: It doesn't deal with the point of order I'm dealing with now. It's not in order.
Mrs Pupatello: What point of order are you dealing with, Chair?
The Chair: Orderliness of this closure motion, that's what I'm dealing with.
Mrs Pupatello: Okay. Could you please just, as a point of privilege, inform this member when I'll be able to speak to this motion before you call for the vote?
The Chair: It's not a point of privilege. It's not in order.
Mrs Pupatello: What isn't in order, Chair?
The Chair: A point of privilege has nothing to do with what you are asking me to do here.
Mrs Pupatello: You and I crossed each other on the stairs at about 3 o'clock this afternoon. My books were already in the room.
The Chair: That has nothing to do with what we're dealing with here, Mrs Pupatello.
Mrs Pupatello: The fact is that this was purposely done, even though I left the chamber at exactly two minutes to 3:30 in order to get here, and it doesn't take me that long to go down the stairs, so this was perpetrated specifically to change the order --
Mr Baird: Point of order, Mr Chair.
The Chair: Okay, Mr Baird, you have the floor.
Mr Baird: The member for Windsor-Sandwich is impugning the motives of this; she said it was purposely done. She is engaged in a five-month filibuster. The meeting was called at 3:30 and the Liberal members weren't here; they were late. She didn't do her job properly. She was late. She was late. She did not do her job --
The Chair: I am going to call a five-minute recess.
The committee recessed from 1602 to 1609.
The Chair: I resume the session here. Is everybody here?
Mr Gerretsen: Chair, I would like to call for a 20-minute recess. I believe that's in the standing orders that the opposition can call for a recess 20 minutes before a vote.
The Chair: That's premature, Mr Gerretsen. We don't have a vote before us. I'm going to rule that the motion is in order. Shall the question now be put? If you want to ask for your recess, you can ask for it now.
Mr Gerretsen: I would like to ask for a 20-minute recess.
The Chair: Granted.
Mrs Marland: To call in the members. The motion is that he's asking for a 20-minute recess to call in the members, just so that we understand.
The Chair: Is that right, Mr Gerretsen? Is that your motion?
Mr Gerretsen: Yes, I'd like to call for a recess for 20 minutes, as provided for in the standing orders.
The Chair: It's a request for a recess to call in the members and it's 20 minutes.
Mr Gerretsen: So that the members can be here, yes.
The Chair: Yes, okay. It's granted.
Mr Baird: What time, Mr Chair?
The Chair: We would return at twenty-five to 5.
The committee recessed from 1611 to 1632.
The Chair: The meeting is now in session. Shall the question now be put? All in favour?
Mrs Marland: Of the question being put?
The Chair: Yes. All those against?
Mrs Marland: Could we have a recorded vote on the question?
The Chair: It's carried.
The motion of Mr Clement: All those in favour?
Mr Gerretsen: On a point of order.
The Chair: There's no point of order.
Mr Gerretsen: No point of order?
The Chair: We're in a vote.
Mrs Marland: Recorded vote.
The Chair: Recorded vote. On the motion, all in favour?
Mr Silipo: Could you read the motion?
The Chair: I'll read the motion: That the committee make an interim report to the House that the committee has passed Mr Clement's motion, as amended, and that the subcommittee work with the Chair to finalize the final report of the committee. That is the motion.
Baird, Boushy, Fox, Marland, McLean, Silipo, Tilson.
Bartolucci, Gerretsen, Pupatello.
The Chair: The motion is carried.
Now we still have some matters to deal with on the agenda. I'm in the committee's hands as to how they would like to deal with that. I'm looking to call a subcommittee meeting for next week some time, and we'll contact you on that, to deal with the motion that has just been passed. I'm in the committee's hands in terms of how they want to deal with the rest of the day.
Mrs Pupatello: Chair.
The Chair: Yes.
Mrs Marland: I don't have an agenda, but if there's no further business --
Mr Gerretsen: Just a minute now. You recognized Mrs Pupatello first and now you're going to Mrs Marland.
The Chair: We're not going to her. We're just passing out the agenda. Nobody has copies of it.
Mr Gerretsen: She has the floor. You've got to show a bit of impartiality, Mr Chair. That's how it normally works.
Mrs Pupatello: Chair.
The Chair: Yes. We're going to have copies. As soon as you get a copy.
Mr Gerretsen: He won't recognize you anyway.
The Chair: Yes, Ms Pupatello.
Mrs Pupatello: Thank you. I did want to have it recorded that I'm obviously very disappointed in the committee and their behaviour today. In fact, they've gone forward without any of the other parties involved in the vote.
The Chair: Mrs Pupatello, absolutely not. We're trying to deal with agenda items and I'm going to have to stop you --
Mrs Pupatello: I'm getting on to the agenda right now actually. Because of the way things have been handled, that unfortunately we've forwarded things to that subcommittee, that whole report, without ever getting any of the answers to any of the questions that were put forward in all of those discussions we have had, I think it needs to be recorded, my own disappointment in not having any of the answers afforded by this committee to us as opposition members. They have gone through holus-bolus without even the attempt --
The Chair: Mrs Pupatello, I'm going to have to be somewhat firm here. I'd like to deal with other agenda items. The motion has been read. It's very clear that we're going to be dealing with the report. The subcommittee will deal with that.
Mrs Pupatello: What point are you on?
The Chair: Who's on the subcommittee?
Clerk of the Committee: Mr Morin.
The Chair: Mr Morin is on the subcommittee for the opposition party, Mr Silipo is on for the NDP, Mr Clement for the government party and myself. We're going to prepare the report in terms of the motion.
Mrs Pupatello: I'm on your agenda, actually. I'm not talking to the motion that's already been passed.
The Chair: If everyone has a copy of the agenda, we do have some ongoing business. I'm in the committee's hands if there's something that the committee would like to deal with. What part of the agenda would you like to deal with?
Mrs Pupatello: Number 1, ongoing business: I'd like it recorded that so far and to date, since the members of the committee have been changed, there hasn't been any attempt on the government side to bring forward information that was necessary in previous matters that have come to committee. We can only hope that as we go forward on to all matters pursuant to permanent terms of reference, standing order 106(i), including administration of the House, members' services and facilities, broadcast and recording service, we would see far more cooperation from government members in attempting to actually inform and bring real information to the table in any future discussions that occur, in particular when we come back to the issue of referenda. Unfortunately, opposition members and certainly the general public of Ontario are still very much in the dark about where the government is really heading.
The Chair: Mrs Pupatello, it's just a simple matter. We can deal with the matter. If you want to make a speech, I don't think it's necessary with respect to just an agenda item. If you want to deal with number 1, we can deal with it today, if the other members want to deal with it.
Mr Silipo has asked to deal with an agenda item. Are you interested in dealing with anything from the --
Mr Silipo: I was just going to make the suggestion that, in terms of dealing with these other items, that's something we should have the subcommittee take a look at rather than us proceeding today. I think that would be a more useful way to proceed than for us to start to get into a discussion of any of these items at this point in time.
The Chair: Is that agreeable with the committee?
Mrs Marland: Yes, it is.
The Chair: Okay. If that's the case then, I would move the meeting is adjourned. Is there a motion for that? Mr Baird.
All those in favour of adjourning the meeting?
Mrs Pupatello: Recorded vote, please.
Baird, Boushy, Fox, Marland, McLean, Silipo, Tilson.
Bartolucci, Gerretsen, Pupatello.
The Chair: The motion to adjourn is carried.
The committee adjourned at 1639.