Thursday 30 May 1991


Continued in camera


Chair: Callahan, Robert V. (Brampton South L)

Vice-Chair: Poole, Dianne (Eglinton L)

Bradley, James J. (St. Catharines L)

Conway, Sean G. (Renfrew North L)

Cooper, Mike (Kitchener-Wilmot NDP)

Cousens, W. Donald (Markham PC)

Haeck, Christel (St. Catharines-Brock NDP)

Hayes, Pat (Essex-Kent NDP)

Johnson, Paul R. (Prince Edward-Lennox-South Hastings NDP)

MacKinnon, Ellen (Lambton NDP)

O'Connor, Larry (Durham-York NDP)

Tilson, David (Dufferin-Peel PC)


McGuinty, Dalton (Ottawa South L) for Mr Conway

O'Neil, Hugh P. (Quinte L) for Mr Bradley

Clerk: Manikel, Tanis

Staff: McLellan, Ray, Research Officer, Legislative Research Service

The committee met at 1006 in room 228.


The Chair: We will get started while Mr McLean is up on the tube saying something. You have before you a draft of the budget we hope to put before the Board of Internal Economy. We still have not had any approval of our endeavours to look into -- I was going to say the drug trade, but that is hardly appropriate -- drug treatment in the United States and how we could perhaps benefit from their expertise.

However, we have included an amount in the budget which should be ample if we do get authority. You have a draft before you. Could I get approval of the committee to the budget? Any questions or comments, or can I assume we are all in agreement with the budget?

Mr Johnson: Do not assume anything.

Agreed to.

The Chair: We will present the budget, then, to the Board of Internal Economy.

Mr Johnson: Mr Chair, with regard to the budget, we saw the budget last time. Could you point out changes there might be?

The Chair: My recollection was that on the last occasion we had not put anything in for the proposal of our travel to see the border drug treatment centres. That is in there. The clerk tells me we have requested information from the ministry. We had not got any yet so we just put a global amount in there. We think that is ample to cover it, but we could not put a specific figure in. Other than that, the budget is the same as last.

Now with reference to the letter from Lakehead University, we have not received it. We requested it, as you recall, some time ago. We asked for it specifically to give them an opportunity to comment on certain testimony that had been before the committee. I think this should be on the record. The request was on the record, the reason for it was on the record. We have not received any reply and we have to get on with our report, so I am suggesting that we proceed assuming there is not going to be a response. It has been some time since we requested it and we have had no reply. Are there any comments or discussion from the committee in that regard?

Mr Hayes: Did we agree that we would not be going to any drug and alcohol treatment centres in Ontario? There are none listed here.

The Chair: You are back at the budget. What we are talking about at the moment is the preparation of the draft report on school board audits.

Mr Hayes: I am sorry.

The Chair: You may or may not recall -- I am not sure if you were a member of the committee at the time -- that the order of witnesses was such that we felt it only fair that there should be an opportunity to comment on the testimony of the last witness we had. We sent a letter to that particular body quite some time ago and we have not received a reply. We have to get on with our report. That is really what we are addressing now. Agreed that we proceed?

Agreed to.

The Chair: Having said that, there was a computer glitch, as I understand it. Was it with this one, Ray?

Mr McLellan: Yes, unfortunately.

The Chair: In our high-tech society, a computer took a holiday or choked on whatever it was bringing out. Has that been --

Mr McLellan: It will be out the first of the week.

The Chair: It should have been here today, but Mr McLellan spoke to me and told me about this. We were thinking of chastising him for the failure of the technological equipment; we will give him another week before he loses his head. Only kidding. Okay, that is agreed then.

Just to go back to Mr Hayes's question, you had a question that obviously relates to the budget.

Mr Hayes: If for some reason we are not able to tour any of these US drug and alcohol treatment centres, does the committee intend to go to any of the ones across the province? There is quite a variation in the different centres in the times and the different types of treatments, things of that nature. There is nothing in here dealing with Ontario.

The Chair: The clerk tells me there are a number of them, but they are within driving distance. For that reason, she has included an item called "ground transportation" at $3,500, which would allow us to visit them. We might even be able to skirt off to Buffalo at least, if we get totally refused.

I think it is important for each of us in our caucus to highlight that this is a very important issue; it is very topical, it is very current. We are going to continue to spend $500,000 to send someone to a centre which maybe we could bring here and keep all that money in Canada rather than going across borders. You might, when you are talking with your respective House leaders, encourage them, particularly those members who sit on the Board of Internal Economy, to treat us with understanding. I have never come out of the Board of Internal Economy without feeling as though I have been beaten up.

The clerk also tells me that she has not yet sent the letters to the House leaders requesting specific weeks during intersession for us to sit. She has put in for the conference in Winnipeg. Are there any specific dates, months or weeks, in which people are getting married or some important event, which they would not wish to clutter up, as it were, or can we simply leave in the clerk's able hands to request whatever we can get from the House leaders, which is usually the way it works anyway? Seeing no comment, I can assume that no one is getting married or anything important.

Mr Cooper: We are not meeting in July.

The Chair: No. Traditionally July is a period when you go back to your ridings and try to make peace for all the things you have done during the rest of the year.

Now we are going to move into closed session, so we are going to give Hansard the weekend off. Have a nice holiday.

The committee continued in camera at 1015.