Wednesday 26 June 1991

Royal Conservatory of Music Act, 1991, Bill Pr70

Township of Chandos Act, 1991, Bill Pr77

Town of Oakville Act, 1991, Bill Pr80



Chair: Hansen, Ron (Lincoln NDP)

Vice-Chair: O'Connor, Larry (Durham-York NDP)

Abel, Donald (Wentworth North NDP)

Ferguson, Will (Kitchener NDP)

Fletcher, Derek (Guelph NDP)

Jordan, Leo (Lanark-Renfrew PC)

MacKinnon, Ellen (Lambton NDP)

Miclash, Frank (Kenora L)

Ruprecht, Tony (Parkdale L)

Sola, John (Mississauga East L)

Sutherland, Kimble (Oxford NDP)

Wilson, Jim (Simcoe West PC)

Substitution: Gigantes, Evelyn (Ottawa Centre NDP) for Mr Abel

Clerk: Decker, Todd


Hopkins, Laura, Legislative Counsel

Mifsud, Lucinda, Legislative Counsel

The committee met at 1012 in committee room 1.


Consideration of Bill Pr70, An Act respecting The Royal Conservatory of Music.

The Chair: Good morning. We will start with Bill Pr70, An Act respecting the Royal Conservatory of Music. Would you please identify the sponsor and witness.

Mr Silipo: My name is Tony Silipo, MPP for Dovercourt. I am pleased to be the sponsor of this bill. With me at the table is Robin Fraser, a solicitor from Fraser and Beatty, representing the Royal Conservatory of Music. There are other people in the room who can be called upon if need be to answer any of the questions.

This bill creates the Royal Conservatory of Music and, in effect, creates it as a separate entity. It is now part of the University of Toronto and for some years there have been discussions ongoing between the Royal Conservatory of Music and the University of Toronto with the objective of severing the conservatory and recreating it as a separate institution because in the past it was separate from the university.

The bill that is before you is the conclusion of many years of discussion and negotiations that have gone on between the various parties and represents an agreement reached by the various parties: the university, the royal conservatory and the faculty associations. So there has been a great deal of discussion, a great deal of coming together on the various points and issues raised in the bill.

What the bill does is transfer the property that now vests in the University of Toronto dealing with the Royal Conservatory of Music to the Royal Conservatory of Music, sets it up as an independent body and continues all of the rights that the royal conservatory now enjoys as part of the university under the Conservatory as a separate entity.

I know there have been a number of problems that have had to be worked out in going through this process, and our sense is that most of those have been dealt with. I know there are a couple of issues over which there may still be some concern, and I note that the city of Toronto is here this morning as an objector on, I gather, one or possibly two of the areas. I believe two amendments have been distributed to members of the committee which have been put together through Mr Fraser and the conservatory and we hope to address those concerns.

The first deals with concerns under section 49 of the Planning Act. As I understand it, the issue there is that the process under the Planning Act has not been followed in this case. It is our view that this is a situation where it is not appropriate or useful for the process in that sense to be followed, because all that is happening, as I mentioned earlier, is that the property and all of the rights that vest with it are being transferred from the university to the conservatory.

There are no additional rights that are being gained by the conservatory in that sense. Certainly there has never been any intention that they gain any additional rights that they could exercise against parties in subsequent transactions in the future. In fact, the amendment that is proposed applying to section 15 of the bill would, in our view, clarify the possible ambiguity that they might gain any additional rights. On that issue, hopefully that question is addressed.

Similarly, on the second issue in section 18 of the act there is an amendment we can speak to as well if that still remains a concern. I do not know if Mr Fraser wants to add anything to what I have said, but those would be my comments, and I would appreciate the opportunity to speak again later, following the presentation from the city of Toronto.

Mr Fraser: I have not much to add to what Mr Silipo has told you, except to say that on the section 49 aspect there are at least two rights that are set out in that very complicated schedule which may not happen within two years. Under the Planning Act, if a right is not transferred within two years, then any consent of the committee of adjustment is void, so that is one major reason why the process does not work in this case.

The other thing I would like to mention is that the city in no way is denied any of its rights over this property. The zoning bylaw is intact. It is a heritage building, and so they have absolute effective control over this piece of property after it is severed.

The Chair: Mr Ferguson, any comments?

Mr Ferguson: I do not have any comments at this point. I think I would like to hear from the city of Toronto first.

The Chair: Can we hear from the city of Toronto on this, as an objector? Would you please identify yourself for Hansard.

Ms Foran: My name is Pat Foran. I am the deputy city solicitor for the city of Toronto, and I am here today to put forward the position of the council of the city of Toronto in respect to this bill.

When council first heard this application in April 1991, it came as somewhat of a shock to find that the Royal Conservatory of Music and the University of Toronto were, under the guise of special legislation, asking the Legislature to circumvent two very important pieces of general legislation which apply to every other person and corporation in this province, other than the higher levels of government of course.

Surely if this is the case -- and the application, as you have heard, involves an attempt to circumvent section 49 of the Planning Act and the whole of the Expropriations Act -- city council should have been made aware and consulted right from the start. Surely the notice of intention to apply for this legislation should have put the city on notice that these two pieces of legislation were being circumvented. But in the notice that was published there is no mention, other than that the application involved the separation from the University of Toronto of the conservatory and McMaster Hall, of the Planning Act or the Expropriations Act. It was only by inadvertence that we discovered the true nature of the draft bill and notified the council.

The council at that time asked that your committee not deal with it until such time as we were able to understand what was in the bill and what the ramifications were.


At its meeting held on 17 and 18 June, council again dealt with the matter, and I think you have before you a certified copy of what council did at that time. In effect, council asked me to come forward and object to sections 15 and 18 and request that these two sections not be enacted. Council also asked us to come forward and deal with clause 8(g) of the schedule, which relates to a city sewer located on part of the property to be retained by the university and part of the property to be transferred to the conservatory.

I shall deal with section 15 first. Section 15 says that section 49 "does not apply with respect to a transfer of ownership of McMaster Hall from the university to the conservatory or with respect to the rights established by the schedule to this act."

As members of the committee are aware, section 49 of the Planning Act provides in part that no person shall convey land that is not within a registered plan of subdivision. If such person owns abutting land, either the land is put into a plan of subdivision or you get the consent of the appropriate authority. In the case of land situate in the city of Toronto, the appropriate authority to give such consent is the committee of adjustment.

This provision applies to every person in the province, other than the government of Ontario and other municipal levels of government. I have been unable to find a precedent for the Legislature to step in and wipe out the applicability of this section. This could start a whole new trend. If someone in the province does not like how severances are dealt with in the local municipality, then he can come to the Legislature and get it waived.

In the case of Bill Pr70, it is not a question of conveyancing or real estate. If it was just a question of real estate or conveyancing, it could be dealt with in the act. But here is the basic question of who has the ultimate responsibility for land use planning in this city.

What section 49 of the Planning Act does is allow the municipality and interested inhabitants the opportunity to examine the planning issues involved in a specific severance. I am sure most members of your committee are very aware of the importance which local municipalities and committees of adjustment and the public in general give to section 49 and what an outrage there would be in your local municipality if a major corporate land owner decided to circumvent the section by getting the blessing of the Legislature.

This is why city council is opposed to section 15 of the bill. The bill itself contains a very complex schedule, which certainly gives the university the right to sell all or part of the lands to a third party and requires the university to redevelop the lands. Otherwise part of the lands reverts back to the university.

The conservatory has a right to redevelop the lands, and if you look at what redevelopment means, it means new construction "above or below grade, at least 25,000 square feet of building on the property or any part thereof," but if the redevelopment is on the east wing of the existing building, then you only count the new construction above 27,000 square feet. We are not talking about the building as it exists today; we are talking about the right to redevelop that building.

If one looks at the survey or reference plan referred to in the schedule, certainly it looks to city staff as if a tremendous redevelopment with multi-below-grade levels may be envisaged. Clearly the sale of air rights or other use of air rights is envisaged, but we really do not know.

This is the problem: We do not know what is planned. No one has told city council. That is why city council wants to have section 49 apply. It will give the city and the citizens of this city the opportunity to see now what is happening. Maybe they will not be opposed to it. We do not know, because we just do not know what is being planned there.

If the Legislature enacts a provision such as section 15, then the opportunity for public participation is gone for ever, because clearly, once the section is enacted, section 49 will never apply to the lands until we get another private bill.

It is easy to say: "Why is the city concerned? The future owner is the conservatory. Nothing is going to change." But I have already told you that the conservatory can sell all or part of the land. Certainly there is major redevelopment permitted, if you read the schedule. A third and fourth and fifth party can get involved and can also rely on the provision to get around section 49.

Why should the conservatory and the university receive this special privilege? Should the conservatory and the university not have to comply with the law of the province in the same way as any other individual or corporate citizen of Ontario? Why the secrecy, that this did not show up in the notice of application? Why was not the city, the municipality most affected, consulted? I just do not know and neither does the council.

What I do know is that city council wants the opportunity to see what is proposed. What is involved in underground redevelopment? What is involved in the air rights? The city council does not accept the applicants' statement in the compendium that section 49 is not appropriate or workable in this instance.

A lot of people in this province, when faced with having to comply with section 49 of the Planning Act, would like to be able to say it is not appropriate or it is not workable. They may say that, but then they sit down and find out a way to make it work. They do not just run to the Legislature and get it waived. We all have to comply with that section.

In the city of Toronto an application to get the consent of the committee of adjustment takes about three months. If the applicants had at least attempted in the last seven or eight years to get that consent, or even if they had, since city council raised its first objection in April, attempted to get that consent, we would at least know how the committee would have dealt with it and council would know what is being planned. But to come before the Legislature without even attempting to go to the committee of adjustment, on the sole basis that the section is inappropriate or unworkable, surely is an abuse and one which this committee should not condone.

I hear this morning about the two-year limitation and I think there would be ways to deal with that. For example, if the applicants were to go to the committee of adjustment and get approval to enter into the agreement that is set out in the schedule, then the council might well agree that section 49 would not apply in respect of transfers between the university and the conservatory, simply because it would have had an opportunity to see what is happening.

The problem is that no attempt has been made to go to the committee of adjustment. No one has come to the city of Toronto and said: "This is what is involved and this will be the result," or, "This is what is contemplated." No, they came to the Legislature and said that section 49 was not appropriate or workable. There are many people in this province who feel the same way, but they have to comply. For all of these reasons, on behalf of the city of Toronto I respectfully request that section 15 be struck out.

We also have an objection with respect to section 18. As you know, section 18 of the act says that McMaster Hall is exempt from the Expropriations Act and "no power to expropriate property conferred after this act comes into force" can give anybody the right to expropriate McMaster Hall or any part "unless the act conferring the power states that it is to prevail over the Royal Conservatory of Music Act, 1991."

The staff at the city, in particular the commissioner of city property, has taken a firm position and advised council that McMaster Hall should not be exempt from expropriation proceedings under the provisions of the Expropriations Act. The rationale the commissioner has put forward is that unless the owners are the government of Ontario or a crown corporation, McMaster Hall should be given no greater privilege or rights than any other organization located within the province. That right does not include an exemption from expropriation.

If section 18 were allowed to stand it would set a precedent and permit other similar organizations to apply for exemptions from expropriations. City council's main concern is that the exemption for expropriation in the proposed act is not restricted to the period of time when the lands are owned by the university or by the conservatory, but only extends to while the university retains any rights under the schedule. If you read the schedule, it is very difficult to determine how long those rights remain. There is agreement for extension of the period of time. It is a very confusing schedule if you have not been involved in the negotiation of it.


There is another concern. Subsection 18(2) says that if you have the power to expropriate later on, the act conferring such power must state specifically that it prevails over Bill Pr70. I am not quite sure how the courts would interpret that, but it looks to me that if the city were ever to get back power to expropriate anything dealing with McMaster Hall, then presumably the city would have to come back here and get another special act. That seems like a lot of extra work involved. We really feel that subsections 18(1) and (2) should be deleted. It is just not legally acceptable to the city.

There has been an argument raised that since the university lands are not subject to expropriation, why should McMaster Hall be? Again, as I have explained, the very essence of the schedule to Bill Pr70 is that there is a great probability that McMaster Hall as we know it today will not remain totally in the ownership of the conservatory. Air rights can be sold. Subsurface rights can be sold. There are redevelopment rights to be established. Clearly at some time there will be other parties involved. Why should the city's expropriating powers be taken away by private act? Should not the conservatory and its successors in title be on the same footing as any other land owner in Ontario in so far as expropriating powers are concerned?

I am quite sure that in your own local municipalities throughout the province there are a lot of individuals and corporations who would like to get out of any threat of expropriation by a municipality. What if each one of them decided: "We don't like the Expropriations Act. We don't want our municipality to expropriate us." Can they all come down to the Legislature and get an exemption the same way as this bill? We feel it is setting a bad precedent. It is bad for the city and it is bad for the province. It gives the impression that if you do not like the powers of a municipality, then you get a special act so those powers do not apply to you or your land. "Let the rest of the people in the province comply with them, but not me." This is simply a bad precedent. It is bad for the city and bad for the province in general. On behalf of city council, I request that it be struck out.

The third point is the easements set out in the schedule. They relate to a city sewer located partly on the land owned by the university that will be retained by the university and partly on the land that will be conveyed to the conservatory. Council would like to have the schedule amended to reflect that the sewers are in fact under the jurisdiction of the city, to provide for their future maintenance, repair and replacement and to provide for agreements between the university, the conservatory and successors in title to the university and conservatory.

Basically what city council is trying to achieve here is to protect a public utility. This is important to the city. The public sewer is a major sewer that runs across the land. The city has an obligation to the general public to ensure that this public asset is properly described in the bill and that its future use, maintenance, repair and replacement are ensured. For that reason, city council respectfully requests that the schedule to the act be so amended.

In conclusion, I request on behalf of the council of the city of Toronto that your committee not approve sections 15 and 18 of Bill Pr70 and that the schedule be amended to comply with the request from city council in respect of the city sewer.

Mr Ferguson: I have a couple of questions of Ms Foran. You were speaking about Toronto's position concerning an exemption from expropriation. Is that the council's position or is that the staff's position?

Ms Foran: That is the council's position.

Mr Ferguson: Essentially what we are talking about here is the transfer of McMaster Hall to the Royal Conservatory of Music. Would you be able to advise the committee what the zoning would be on the land McMaster Hall is situated on?

Ms Foran: No, I am not able to advise you.

Mr Ferguson: I assume it is institutional.

Ms Foran: I would not guess at this stage. I did not get around to checking. I do not think you gave us very much notice on this bill.

Mr Silipo: I just want to say in response to Ms Foran's presentation that certainly I, as the sponsor of this bill, do not have any particular difference of opinion with what she said in principle. I would certainly be one who supports very strongly the need for processes under the Planning Act and the Expropriations Act to be followed. I think the two amendments that are suggested, one, under section 15, dealing with the Planning Act and two, under section 18, dealing with the expropriations issue, hopefully clarify any ambiguity there might be.

Essentially the point I want to make is that with this bill the conservatory is not gaining any rights that the university does not now have. In other words, we are not creating any additional rights that would be vesting in the conservatory by way of this act. Any development that might be planned by the conservatory in the future would certainly be subject to all of the processes, all of the bylaws and all of the guidelines that anybody would need to follow in the city of Toronto.

In that context, I am not sure whether the issue of the city knowing or not knowing what is planned -- I do not know what is planned, if anything is planned. I think the issue is that the process would have to be followed. I think the amendment proposed under section 15 would make that clearer, because it is my understanding that the conservatory could not sell any or part of the land by purview of this bill being enacted and that all of the processes would have to be followed if that were to happen.

I cannot comment with respect to the notice provisions and the city not being involved in this, because I of course have not been involved in this going back that far.

On the other issue of expropriation, I think the point that was made was that the city's expropriation rights should not be taken away by a private act. My understanding is that this would not happen, that in fact the bill merely continues an exemption to expropriations which now vests in the University of Toronto and would be carried forward under the entity of the new body, the Royal Conservatory of Music.

There are not any new rights being created through this legislation. There is simply a continuation of existing rights vesting in a different body than exists now.

I invite Mr Fraser to amplify on those and perhaps to also address the third issue, the easements, which I do not have any comments on.

Mr Fraser: I would like to emphasize to this committee that the reference to redevelopment in that schedule in no way gives the conservatory the right to redevelop. All it says is that if the conservatory does not redevelop by the year 2010, then the university can get part of the property back. No rights are created. It does not say we have the right to redevelop. The conservatory will have to comply with a city site plan control approval and all of the present zoning bylaws that affect the property. There is no right to redevelop. I must emphasize that.

In regard to the third point about the city easement, this was something we were not aware of. As I have indicated to Ms Foran, subsequent to the passing of the act the conservatory would be perfectly agreeable to entering into an agreement -- in fact, we would commit ourselves to entering into an agreement -- with the city giving it the right to repair and replace its easement. We have no problem with that whatsoever, but we just were not aware of exactly what that easement was at the time we drafted the schedule.


Ms Gigantes: Could I ask the witness for the city to point out the sections in the schedule which, to her mind, indicate that the right to develop is inherent in section 15?

Ms Foran: If you start and you look at section 10 -- "If the conservatory has not previously sold all the property" -- that does not come right out and say the conservatory can sell, but it says, "If you don't sell, here's the penalty." I have some difficulty saying that does not create some kind of impetus for the conservatory to sell the land. Otherwise it reverts.

Ms Gigantes: I did not ask about sale. I was asking about the redevelopment.

Ms Foran: Then you go right on to section 11. Again, if you look at the schedule, it is a very difficult agreement. I do not pretend to be an expert on it at one day's notice of this hearing. It is very difficult to say, but if you look at section 11, it states, "For the purpose of section 10 `redevelop' shall mean newly construct, whether above or below grade." As I pointed out to you, if you look at the reference plan, it is one of these strata plans that shows a lot of something going on under grade. Otherwise you do not go and have a survey done of all the land underneath your project.

It involves "at least 25,000 square feet of building on the property" -- and that is newly constructed -- "or any part thereof, whether in addition to or in substitution for all or part of the existing building provided that if all or any part of such new construction is on the site of the present east wing of the existing building only that area beyond 27,000 square feet" is counted. It is a major redevelopment.

Ms Gigantes: I understand that the proponents of the bill are reading the section to mean that what is being transferred here is a redevelopment right, in so far as the university can transfer it, that touches on these matters.

Ms Foran: That is right. It is a right to develop.

Ms Gigantes: What the proponents are telling us is that there is nothing in this transfer of land that inhibits development of this nature within the transfer agreement. If we establish that, then the proponents go on to tell us that what this section is dealing with is something quite different from the regime of approvals which would have to be followed by either the conservatory or those property owners to whom the conservatory had conveyed property.

Ms Foran: Is that directed to me?

Ms Gigantes: Do you understand what I am saying?

Ms Foran: I think we are quibbling on words.

Ms Gigantes: No, I do not think we are quibbling on words.

Ms Foran: Maybe I am wrong.

Ms Gigantes: I am asking you if you can read section 11 that way.

Ms Foran: No, what I am reading in section 11 is that the university is conveying certain lands to the conservatory. It is not inhibiting, as you say, any rights of the conservatory to redevelop.

Ms Gigantes: In the conveyance.

Ms Foran: That is right. In fact, it is saying: "Here's your impetus to redevelop. If you don't redevelop, we will take back some of the land."

Ms Gigantes: Yes, but the university might transfer land and say, "You can do everything but A, B, and C." Instead, what they have said is, "You can do everything including A, B, and C."

Ms Foran: That is right.

Ms Gigantes: That right is something we are transferring with the transfer of the land, but it does not necessarily imply the second step, which you are indicating to us city council is concerned about, whether city council's planning regulations will then apply subsequently.

Ms Foran: I did not get involved in zoning. I did not get involved in any other permission such as development review or anything like that. At this point, the council is not concerned about that. It will look at that issue of course. The issue here is that in any other case of a severance of this nature, council would know what it is facing. Here there is no indication of exactly what is planned.

Ms Gigantes: I have one further question, if I might, Mr Chair -- really two questions. How is it that you can come before us and tell us what council is concerned about and at the same time tell us that you do not even know how the land is zoned? I do not understand. How many times has this been before council?

Ms Foran: It first came before council when we discovered it, some time in April. The bill had been advertised approximately 14 months before. The purpose of having a notice published once a week for four successive weeks in the Ontario Gazette and in the local newspaper is to advise people who might be interested. In this case, if you examine the notice, clearly there was no indication of anything other than the transfer of land and the preservation of the aesthetics. There was no indication that council would have known. Certainly if the council had known or if the notice had alerted staff or anyone to advise council that we had better look into this --

Ms Gigantes: I understand there was a problem there.

Ms Foran: That was the real problem. I think the other thing is that, as you know, there was some indication that the bill would be coming up today but it was only yesterday that the hearing was set. It is very difficult to come down with a whole stack of staff on one day's notice.

Ms Gigantes: How much consideration did council give this? Was there a recommendation from staff which was simply rubber-stamped or was there discussion?

Ms Foran: I could not say offhand. I do not know.

Ms Gigantes: Can you tell me, in your view, how long it would take if we said, for example, we wanted to postpone a decision on this bill until the city of Toronto was satisfied in fact that there was no interference in the regular planning process intended or indeed flowing from this bill? How long would it take, in your estimation?

Ms Foran: I could not hazard a guess on that, because a lot would depend on what information came forward from the conservatory: what the real plans were, how difficult a severance might be, what kind of resolution we could come up with to answer this objection. It is very difficult to estimate.

Ms Gigantes: If there were some attempt by city staff to review the situation to estimate how long it would take, for example, to find out whether it was a simple matter or to find out whether it was going to take another year and a half, how long would it take for the city staff and council to go through the process of assessing how long it might take?

Mr O'Connor: Fourteen months so far.

Ms Gigantes: No, I do not think that --

Mr O'Connor: From the notice.

Ms Foran: No, that is not fair. I think what would have to happen is we would have to have the staff go in and examine the process and examine the zoning. I really hesitate to say. We are faced with summer vacation of council and things and that. It may be six or eight weeks, or two or three months. I cannot force council to do anything.

Ms Gigantes: Yes, but it is not a question of council. Council presumably would then ask staff to review the situation. Three months?

Ms Foran: I am sure it could be accomplished in three months if the information were forthcoming from the applicants.

Ms Gigantes: You mean a complete review in three months?

Ms Foran: No, I think the only issue that council is concerned with at this time is whether it should object to the exemption from section 49 of the Planning Act. Council was not at this time looking at the zoning issues, the official planner, the development review or anything like that. There is nothing before it to indicate that there is a problem in that respect. It is just a basic lack of information. I think when we first went forward to the council in April we did not have a first reading bill or even a bill that had been submitted to the clerk. We just had a draft. This is the kind of sketchy information we have been working on.

The Chair: Mr Silipo, I think you have some clarification here.

Mr Silipo: I just wanted to add -- it might help in the information that Ms Gigantes was seeking -- that my understanding is that when this issue went before city council there was no discussion or debate at the council, that there was in fact an approval or a rubber-stamping, to use that phrase, of the staff recommendation.

The other thing is that there are no plans for redevelopment envisaged now or in the future, but certainly if those plans were to develop, I think, as has been stated, the understanding would be that of course it would be subject to all the processes that exist and that the conservatory would feel it would follow.


Mr J. Wilson: Perhaps we could defer this. I only got it yesterday myself. It is long, complicated reading. I sat on the board of governors of the University of Toronto some years ago and I recall some sketches of redevelopment at that time and certainly some discussion surrounding redevelopment of Varsity Arena and the lands and the royal conservatory. That was a wish list that may have died subsequently, but I would like the time to go over this.

I would also like the time to speak with ministry officials about this bill. It is quite a bit lengthier than we normally get and certainly more complicated than most bills that have appeared before this committee, so we should defer. I think Ms Gigantes was trying to solicit from the solicitor a time frame. It would be helpful if the parties could agree on a time frame when we could bring it back to committee.

Mr Ferguson: Mr Chair, before you accept that motion, I would first like to know what that does to the applicant. Is time a factor here? Prior to that motion being moved, my question to the applicant is quite simply, what is the real purpose? We know you want to transfer land, but I think the committee would be interested in knowing why you want to undertake that.

Mr Fraser: The question was why we would like to undertake this now?

Mr Ferguson: Yes, why transfer the land? Why do you want to transfer McMaster Hall to the royal conservatory?

Mr Fraser: McMaster Hall has been, for 25 years or so, the home of the conservatory. It is the head office and it is the largest piece of property occupied by the conservatory. It is essential to the conservatory that the property devolve to it; otherwise it is left with no building and a landless situation. There have been suggestions in the past that some lease arrangement be entered into, etc, but all that has finally been resolved into the university and the conservatory agreeing on the transfer of that property.

The reason it is terribly important to the conservatory to have this matter proceeded with after five years or so of negotiation is that the conservatory right now is in limbo. Agreement has been reached and was reached some time ago by the governing council for the University of Toronto to separate. The faculty association is in agreement, everybody is in agreement and the conservatory just has to get on with its life. It has a lot of reorganization to do as a separate entity, and a delay, as far as I can see, would accomplish no useful purpose and would be very costly and hurtful to the conservatory.

Mr Silipo: If I could add to that, the other concern I would have is that if this is going to be deferred, my respectful request is that the committee should be quite clear about why it is deferring it and what it is deferring for, because I think it would not be useful to leave a lot of ambiguity as to why the deferral. If what is left from the city is an objection about the process not having been followed as it sees it, I think that is one issue, and we have not heard.

It would be useful, for example, for the committee to know if the amendments that have been proposed by the conservatory address the substantive issues the city is objecting to. If the answer to that is yes, then I think the committee could and should proceed with dealing with this bill and hopefully approving this bill today, because I am not sure, if the substantive issues are dealt with, that simply sending people back through the process just for the sake of going through the process, as important as that is, really fulfils any useful need, when in fact there are no new rights being created here that do not exist now.

Mr J. Wilson: I would not mind at all hearing the response from the city solicitor on that question, to deal with the amendments, but there are other questions that come up. For instance, I do not know what the precedent is in taking an affiliated body of the university, giving it now separate status, separating it out from the university, yet retaining all the rights of a university. I have no idea what the precedent is on that. In fact, I have no idea what I am voting on in the schedule. I will be perfectly honest about it, and I bet most of the members in this room do not. We only got the thing yesterday and we have a right and responsibility as legislators to understand the legislation before us. There has been too much rubber-stamping around here in years past, and I do not think the public will stand for it any more. I would certainly be amenable to hearing the solicitor's response on the amendments, but I still would like to defer this for at least one meeting, so we have an opportunity to go through it.

Mr Ferguson: We are not coming back next week.

Mr J. Wilson: That is right, September. I certainly do not mean any harm to the conservatory, but I have some personal background on this. I recall some discussions years ago and I would like some time anyway to make some calls and to investigate the matter further. If it is going to do irreparable harm to the conservatory and you can prove that to us today, I would be certainly willing to back down on my motion, but grudgingly.

Mr Silipo: I do not want to push this too hard, but we do not have the luxury of being able to come next week, as Mr Ferguson has pointed out.

Mr J. Wilson: No, but an important bill comes to us the day before recess; a historic bill in fact, because we are dealing with historic institutions.

Mr Silipo: We could argue that the bill has been before the House for a little bit of time. I agree it has not been a long time, but it was introduced a few weeks back at least.

Mr J. Wilson: Yes, but there are dozens of bills on there and we do not know which ones the government is going to call forward until the day before.

Mr Silipo: I appreciate what you are saying. I am not trying to argue with that. I just go back to a comment I made at the beginning, that certainly my understanding is that all the parties involved in this are in complete agreement with what is in the bill and, in effect, it has come forward as a result of extensive discussions with all the parties that have any interest or any stake at all in this. On that basis, I would feel quite sure in assuring Mr Wilson that if he were to go back and make his phone calls, he would get those kinds of answers.

Mr Ferguson: I am not in favour of deferring the matter. We are not going to defer the matter so Mr Wilson has the luxury of sitting down and reading the matter over again. The fact of the matter is we got it yesterday; it should have been read by today, however cramped your time is. We are all stretched for time. That is a reality of political life around here. If we deferred everything until everybody had enough time to get everything done, quite frankly, not a lot would get accomplished around this place, so perhaps we should have that question if we going to deal with that motion, whether or not to defer it.

If we are going to defer it, I would suggest we would defer it with some specific instruction, not defer it so people have time to raise their comfort levels on the entire issue. People should have had an opportunity to do that by now. But if we are going to defer, I suggest we should make them go through the process and go back to the city of Toronto so that everybody feels good about the decision. I am not particularly in favour of that move. I think the issue is not as complex as some people would like people to believe.

I would assume the zoning on this land is institutional. If the university today walked into the city of Toronto and asked for a building permit, there is no way the city of Toronto could refuse issuing that building permit. With the transfer of this land from one body to another, if that body at a later date decided to get a building permit to expand the facility for whatever reason, assuming again as institutional zoning, then it would be granted that building permit to expand its facility. I really think that is a red herring that people throw into the argument. The section of the act, I want to suggest to you, applies normally to plans of subdivision where somebody wants to sever a parcel of land. This clearly is not the case. We are not talking about a residential subdivision, for which this portion of the act was intended originally to apply.


The Chair: Okay, in any event, perhaps we can deal with the question. Ms Gigantes.

Ms Gigantes: I think Mr Ferguson's comments are very much to the point, and if we are going to ask that the matter be deferred, we should say what we want it deferred for. For my part, I would like it deferred for an explanation of why section 15 is required. I have great difficulty logically understanding why, in the conveyance of a piece of land, it is necessary to spell out that section 49 of the Planning Act not apply.

There is a deliberate request in this legislation that we ignore section 49 of the Planning Act. I do not understand why and, because we have not had it explained to us and the city has said it would like to know why, even though the whole process creates a whole other layer of confusion in my mind, I think we should have a better understanding before we act. At least, I feel I want a better understanding.

Mr Sutherland: I would like hear from the city solicitor in response to Mr Silipo's comments about whether the amendments deal with the substantive issues.

Ms Foran: Mr Chairman, I take my instructions from the council and I would have to take those amendments back to the council and ask if they meet the city council's concern. There are certainly some very good aspects to the amendments and I would look at them very carefully and explain them to the council.

The other thing I want to point out is that I am not objecting to the process in so far as the notice is concerned. What I am doing is using the notice provision to explain why council did not hear about it sooner or to explain why staff did not hear about it sooner. I think if we had known about it or if we had had more time to work it out, we would not have reached this impasse here today, but I am not objecting to the notice as such.

Mr Silipo: I am just trying to see how to say this. My understanding, Mr Chair, is that in fact these amendments were placed before the city solicitor. The city solicitor chose or decided not to take them to council and in the report to council dealt essentially with the question of process not having been followed. I am not talking here about Ms Foran. That is the information I am given. There are other people who were involved in the process who could speak to that issue if that is something that is of concern to the committee, but I am not sure if that helps.

The Chair: Would you like to comment?

Ms Foran: Yes. That is just not so. City council dealt with this matter on Monday 16 June, I believe, and on Tuesday 17 June the solicitor for the conservatory met with me. The council had already dealt with it. It was the last meeting of the council. They were not going to reopen it.

It is totally wrong to put on the record that the city solicitor did not take these amendments to council. The matter had already been dealt with by council. It would have involved a complex reopening of the item. The motions were not worked out. I believe I got the motions in some kind of draft form earlier this week, and council is not meeting this week. They met last week. They only meet every three weeks. It is not like the Legislature where you meet every day. They meet every three weeks, so there is no way I could get them back to the council until its next meeting, 8 July or something like that. But if that is the case, I would take them back.

As I say, they do go a long way to meeting the two objections we had. Certainly the undertaking given here today by the conservatory in respect of the easement would have to be brought back to the council, but it does show at least that there has been some serious move to satisfy what council had.

Mr Silipo: Mr Chair, Mr Fraser wanted to address the issue and the question raised by Ms Gigantes, if you would allow that.

The Chair: Yes, okay. Mr Fraser.

Mr Fraser: The issue you raise, Ms Gigantes, is why we cannot go through the section 49 process. One reason is that section 49 has a two-year cap on it, and if we have approval now, that does not address at least two of the rights in the schedule, which may fall in later. There is an easement that could fall in later. If the city redevelops the arena, then an easement can be moved, and that could happen way in the future. Another thing of course is the right of reverter, which could happen up to the year 2010.

The other thing, though, is that there is nothing in this transfer that has any planning aspect to it. That very complicated schedule, each easement of which and each word of which has been debated for at least the last two years, creates rights that are absolutely essential to this bill.

The University of Toronto would not agree to the conservatory being granted McMaster Hall if there is a change in that, so in effect what we would be doing is passing a bill subject to the committee of adjustment's coming along later and saying, "We don't agree with how you're dividing these assets." It is just not workable, in my opinion. Just to emphasize again, the city loses no other control over that piece of property; it is there.

Mr Silipo: Mr Chair, if I could just add one other thing, just picking up on what Mr Fraser said, the deferral does not necessarily make the issue go away as far as this committee's responsibility is concerned, because in effect, if this were to go through the committee of adjustment process and, let's say for the sake of argument, it says that for whatever reasons it does not agree with any part of this transfer that is going on, the issue could easily be back before this committee in terms of dealing with it. While the committee might have more information, it still would not have the issue resolved for it.

The Chair: Mr Wilson, your motion?

Mr J. Wilson: Being a good alumnus of the University of Toronto and now being converted to have faith in the two parties that have negotiated the agreement, I withdraw my motion for deferment.

Mr Miclash: I suggest we put the question.

The Chair: Mr O'Connor moves that section 15 of the act be amended by adding the following subsection:

"(2) The exemption given under subsection (1) does not apply to the transfer of an interest in part or all of McMaster Hall from the conservatory to any other person, other than the university, or to any subsequent transaction made by that person or that person's successors in respect of the interest transferred."

Motion agreed to.


The Chair: Mr O'Connor moves that section 18 of the act be amended by adding the following subsection:

"(3) The exemption given under this section extends only to the interests held by the conservatory or the university in McMaster Hall and not to the interests held by any other person."

Motion agreed to.

Sections 1 to 14, inclusive, agreed to.

Section 15, as amended, agreed to.

Sections 16 and 17 agreed to.

Section 18, as amended, agreed to.

Sections 19 to 22, inclusive, agreed to.

Schedule agreed to.

Preamble agreed to.

Bill ordered to be reported.


Consideration of Bill Pr 77, An Act respecting The Corporation of the Township of Chandos.

The Chair: We will call Bill Pr77, An Act respecting The Corporation of the Township of Chandos. For Hansard, would the sponsor and witness please identify themselves to the committee?

Mr Drainville: It is a pleasure for me to be here before this committee and to be the sponsor of the bill you have before you. My name is Dennis Drainville, member for Victoria-Haliburton, and I would like to introduce the reeve of Chandos township, Neil Rogers, and beside him Dorothy Walke, the clerk-treasurer of Chandos township.

This is an area township which is not in my own riding, but because it is in the riding of a minister of the crown I have been asked to bring this bill to this committee.

I would like to make a couple of very brief comments. As you know, in many situations like this where things are not in our own ridings, we do not have the same kind of background and knowledge, so I am going to defer in a moment to Mr Rogers to ask him to fill in for the committee, but I would like to make a couple of points.

The first is that the two requests for money that are being made of this committee in terms of the movement of this money or the allowing of this money to be used by the township are to go to firefighting and environmental study.

Chandos township is a very small township, with about 500 permanent residents and approximately 3,500 people in the summer. The tax base of the township naturally, under those circumstances, is extremely small. The two areas they wish to spend this money in are absolutely essential to the future of the township. They have expressed themselves on this publicly.

The Chandos Lake Property Association executive has indicated its support of this, and I think it would probably be helpful, certainly to the people of Chandos township and to the council that has voted in favour of this, for this committee to approve this bill.

On that note, Mr Chair, I would like to pass it over to Neil Rogers, the reeve of Chandos township.

Mr Rogers: Thank you, Mr Chairman, and thank you, Mr Drainville, for the presentation. I would just like to reiterate what Mr Drainville has said. We are a small municipality. We are unique perhaps in one respect: within the municipality we have no major commercial centre, no major village. We do have a hamlet of one small general store with a gas pump.

We regard ourselves as a very progressive municipality. I think we have a number of firsts. On 1 July 1988, we were the first rural municipality with four dumps, if I may use that term, four waste sites to institute a recycling program with the help of the Ontario government through the Ministry of Natural Resources. We are part of Peterborough county and were also, I think, partly responsible for encouraging Peterborough county to get on line on a recycling program, which is now under way.

More recently, we passed what I believe is the first bylaw in Ontario restricting the removal of trees from the 66 feet of shoreline road allowance. We had this bill in preparation when the ministry came along last year, and because Chandos Lake is a prime trout lake -- it is a very deep lake, up to 150 feet deep in its deepest places -- the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Natural Resources are very jealous of the ecology of that lake and had imposed some restrictions on that. When we showed them our bill, which was really just ready for council to approve, they took it and studied it and endorsed it. Indeed, we feel it is a model bylaw. So without belabouring the point, we feel we are a progressive municipality.

One of the other points Mr Drainville addressed was the issue of fire protection. In 1985, we had the fire service adviser, Bill Wilson, do a study of the township. He operates out of Peterborough and works, or did at that time, for the Solicitor General's department in the matter of the fire marshal's office. The recommendation of that study was that we start our own fire department. He had one concern, and that was whether we would have enough volunteers in a small municipality to staff the department.

Three years ago this coming February, we had a meeting of residents and we indeed found that we had adequate people. We had 40 people indicate they would be prepared to serve. We have since that time established a fire department. We have four units, and incidentally, Mr Wilson's study indicated that the cost in 1985 would perhaps be $300,000. We now have four units in operation, including a brand-new, multipurpose, four-wheel-drive, rapid response vehicle, equipped both for firefighting and for rescue, including the jaws of life. We have a fully trained group, fully integrated into the Peterborough county mutual aid system, so we are pretty happy about the progress we have made.

We are primarily a recreational township; indeed page 2 of our official plan points that out that the main reason or purpose in Chandos township is recreation. I guess the other thing is, the moneys in this account come from severance of lots, waterfront lots, by way of a lot levy and cash in lieu, and also from the sale of the 66-foot shoreline road allowance.

Relative to the size of our municipality, that funding is considerably in excess of what some other municipalities would have. Municipalities certainly are very diverse, Mr Chairman, and we are basically bush country.

I do have some things here that I could show the committee, if that is appropriate or if the committee would like to see them. Indeed I have a short video of the nature of our township, if that would be helpful to the committee. But in any event, the nature of our community is recreational. Our main business is tourism, cottagers, and as a result of that, we are asking that some of the money, which in our view is in excess of what we need for recreational purposes -- we do have a small community centre and some of the money has been spent for that for playground equipment, etc. Rather than belabour the point, if anyone would like to see them I do have some visuals about the nature of our community. We are asking for that money for the two purposes, as Mr Drainville has outlined.


The Chair: I will leave it up to the committee.

Mr Ferguson: The Chair has been there. I will take his word for it.

Mr Miclash: Is the objector present? Will we be hearing from the objector?

The Chair: Yes, we will.

Mr Sutherland: I did not want to see the video. I just wanted to get a better sense -- my geography of eastern Ontario is very poor and I noticed in the letter it says Bancroft Times. I am just trying to get a better picture of where the township of Chandos really is.

Mr Rogers: We are about 90 kilometres northeast of the city of Peterborough, halfway between the city of Peterborough and the village of Bancroft.

Mr Sutherland: So in beautiful country, no doubt.

Mr Ferguson: I have a short question. Is there anybody here from the Ministry of the Environment or the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations?

The Chair: No. Mrs Carlos, would you please come forward as an objector?

Mrs Carlos: My name is Patricia Carlos. I want to thank you for allowing me to be heard today in respect to the decision by the council of the municipality of Chandos to divert funding from the restricted 66-foot right-of-way fund for protecting for parks and recreation under the Municipal Act. This division of funds is a serious matter and indeed affects many facets of the government. The question is, how critical is the need for the diversion of this funding to (a) a lake capacity study, (b) the building of a firehall?

Before I get into this, I would like to address some inaccuracies in the compendium that was supplied by the Chandos municipality. If you will look at the second page, third paragraph, in addition to the three small marinas and the general store, there is another marina located on Highway 504, rental cottages with the mini-golf course, a nine-hole golf course, a trailer campground, a Christian camp, what was a lodge now selling time-sharing and other rental cottages, not to mention numerous small businesses like plumbing, carpentry, road construction and professional people like writers and artists. There are farms and there are small cottage industry craftsmen who work out of the community and sell their wares at various fairs. So there is an amount of economic progress being made in the township.

In the fourth paragraph, it appears the needs of permanent residents has been omitted. Families with children attend schools, play hockey and figure-skate in the adjacent township facilities. As for the seasonal residents, it is true that out of the 775 members in the lake association, each member represents one family. I would not be far off to say that the regatta, which is prepared yearly by the lake association, attracts about 300 people, the corner wiener roast about 150 people -- and this includes whole families -- and they have a small sailing club on Chandos Lake. These facilities have not been expanded to other areas through the years. I agree that seasonal residents have limited time for other affiliations and family and friends.

I had previously stated my reasons for opposition to this bill. They were due to a lack of consideration for other recreational facilities, such as hiking and biking trails or snowmobile trails and a tennis court. This fund could also be used to offset the cost of maintaining our community centre. The rental fee is constantly going up in this community centre. To people living in Toronto $70 does not seem a lot today, but it definitely is to the people who live in that community. This can be reduced from the funding in that fund. These facilities are used for yearly family gatherings.

As well, I would like to address the position of the firehall, which would be redundant upon restructuring but is being looked at again. This is one thing I objected to, the positioning of the firehall. Just recently, the fire marshal's office has been engaged in doing the studying on this.

I would like to do a little bit of history here. In 1974, the past reeve, Bill Domm, appeared to be active in supporting an arena in Burleigh-Anstruther. In the 1975 Chandos yearbook, Mr Domm says: "It is my intention in 1975 and 1976 to explore other ways of making more recreational facilities available to the young people of Chandos township. Our township is literally void of facilities and something must be done to remedy the situation." Obviously, grants were found that resulted in the building of the Burleigh-Anstruther arena and community centre.

Three years ago, when our present council came on, Chandos township opted out of financial support for this same arena. The restricted parks and recreation fund has increased from $68,949 in 1989 to $124,546 in 1990, largely due to the increase in fees and the tremendous push in sales that year and no doubt due to the lack of a support fund for this particular arena, which the children enjoy.

When Chandos township started a fire department in 1989, our council overspent and we experienced a deficit of $82,000 plus. In 1990, municipal taxes increased by 51% in order to recover the shortfall and pay for capital purchases of such things as computers and fire equipment. Obviously, this increase in taxes did not affect seasonal residents, who are in a socioeconomic level of $60,000 to $100,000. There are some millionaires as well. But the 352 -- and today I heard 500 mentioned -- permanent residents, working people with families and retired people, are feeling the impact.

One of my thoughts on this was that if we do restructure somewhere down the road, the original positioning of the firehall was going to be redundant, and that was one of my big problems.

However, even if restructuring were to take place in the next five to 10 years, a firehall, strategically placed in an eastern location, is a necessary evil in Chandos. Since we have seen no costing for a two-bay firehall as yet, we can only assume at this time that it would go anywhere between $70,000 and $100,000.

Chandos council is not a barebones council. We have computers, sophisticated phone systems, a fax machine and a laser printer. We have 1,310 home owners and we have expensive fire protection equipment.

We probably will afford a most modern and up-to-date facility for a firehall. If a firehall is built without the $85,000 funding, it will create additional hardships to taxpayers. The cost of this is not included in the present budget. It is election year, is it not? Therefore, I shall agree to the use of the money for the building of the firehall only, and only if it is strategically placed.

As for the lake capacity study, this needs to be shelved. The lake capacity study is to cost us $27,500. We cannot afford it. A bylaw made by the township council can require a developer or a citizen to have an individual lake capacity study done should the council deem it necessary. Let this be so.


Mr Sutherland: I want to ask a couple of questions to both parties here, but first to Mrs Carlos. You mentioned that you thought in the compendium attached that the number of permanent residents was understated and the activities understated. It seem to me, though, that if there are more people there, there is more justification for having some type of fire service.

In terms of your other question, you mentioned there was not a tennis court and that might be one option that could deal with the reserve fund in terms of balancing off a community's needs with having some recreational facilities and then enhancing those recreational facilities versus having fire protection. I was wondering if you could comment on those two issues.

Mrs Carlos: I am sorry. Could you repeat the question?

Mr Sutherland: You have indicated that they have understated the number of activities and people and businesses in the community.

Mrs Carlos: That is true.

Mr Sutherland: So if there is more there than what they have stated, does that not lead you to believe there is an even greater need for this fire protection? Number two, in your comments you indicated that while there are certain recreational facilities, there could be a need to enhance them. How do you reconcile enhancing recreational facilities with the provision of basic fire service?

Mrs Carlos: The basic fire service is fine. I do not object to the $85,000 towards the firehall because that is something that needs to be done. We have fire equipment; it needs to be housed. There is $125,000 sitting in that account, probably more by now. I agree with freezing it and using it for the firehall and the rest of it to be towards enhanced recreational facilities. As I said too, we have an arena that has not been supported by this township but is being used by members of the community. I do not know what our costs were in the past to support that arena, but obviously the buildup of the funds has occurred because of lack of supporting it. I am not objecting to the fact that we have $85,000 to be put towards a firehall. What I am saying is that the lake capacity study needs to be shelved because indeed the firehall may run up to $100,000. The lake capacity would then be another $27,000 and we are now into figures that we have not accounted for in our budget this year and therefore will have to be pushed on to another situation next year.

Mr Sutherland: I have just one more, back to the officials from the township. Could you give us some indication of what the regular maintenance budget and upkeep budget would be for the community centre, and does that come out of the general budget fund or out of this reserve fund?

Mr Rogers: My understanding is that the legislation does not permit the use of that fund for that specific purpose. It is for capital primarily. The actual amount budgeted -- it is a very small community centre. It was a one-room schoolhouse that was added on -- Dorothy, was it 15 or 20 years ago?

Ms Walke: It is not that long ago. About 10.

Mr Rogers: Ten years ago. Ten to 15 years ago there was an addition put on. That was done because of the nature of the community in Glen Alda. It was one of the original communities that dates well back and many of the local residents had used the school as a meeting centre and so on. The council of the day did enhance that facility. We put in playground equipment. I think we spent $13,000, and I believe that was in 1990. Some of that came from grant money from the province. The rest came out of the fund. So there has been money taken from the fund for repair of the community centre, which is a legitimate use of the fund moneys. What is the actual amount of the budget, Dorothy?

Ms Walke: It would be around $5,000 yearly.

Mr Rogers: That is a net figure. I think we run between $13,000 and $15,000 a year, if my memory serves me correctly, and I think there is a net deficit of about $5,000.

Mr Sutherland: Great. That helps. Thank you.

Mr Ferguson: First of all, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs has no objection to the bill. Just as a friendly reminder, Mr Chair, we are not here to debate the municipality's budget or the municipality's past decisions. The municipality will be held accountable to the electorate for that. We are here to debate and decide upon the propriety of the bill as it relates to the municipality and whether or not we think the municipality is responsible enough to administer the funds that have been suggested today.

Mr Miclash: Mr Chair, might I ask that we call the question, please?

Sections 1 to 3, inclusive, agreed to.

Preamble agreed to.

Bill ordered to be reported.

The Chair: Thank you for attending.


Consideration of Bill Pr82, An Act respecting the Town of Oakville.

The Chair: Mr Carr, would you please introduce yourself as sponsor and the witnesses for Hansard.

Mr Carr: My name is Gary Carr, MPP for Oakville South, and with me today I have the town solicitor on my far left, Douglas Gates, and the assistant town solicitor, Beatrice Howell. Mr Gates will explain a little bit about the bill.

Mr Gates: This bill is to extend and assist Oakville in protecting its heritage, in particular heritage buildings. The effect of the bill is to allow and extend the protection provided by the Ontario Heritage Act. It will not allow the demolition of a previously designated building until there are some very definite plans and approvals in place for something to take its place.

The bill is identical to the bill that the town of Markham succeeded in having passed by the Legislature, either late in 1990 or early in 1991, and similar to one passed previously. I think it was eventually a government-sponsored bill for the city of London. We welcome the opportunity of supporting this bill before you today and hope you will give us every consideration.

Mr O'Connor: Thank you for coming today. I believe there was an objector to this. I am just wondering if they had received notice to come as a witness today.

Mr Gates: My understanding in speaking to Mr Decker was that there had been no objector.

Mr O'Connor: None at all?

Mr Gates: No.

Mr O'Connor: Had the notice then been put out to the community?

Mr Gates: The notice has been published in accordance with the requirements four consecutive times in the local newspaper. The last date of the notice occurred on 14 June, and it is completely in accordance with the rules, as I understand them, for private bills.

Mr O'Connor: So the particular developer is aware of this.

Mr Gates: This protection will extend to more than one property, but there is one particular property that is of concern at the moment in Oakville. The actual bill has been handed by myself to the spouse of the owner. That occurred earlier in June.

Mr Sutherland: If I can just pick up on that, did the developer know that the bill was being addressed today here before this committee?


Mr Gates: No, sir. We made every effort to try to advise them yesterday of its coming forward today. The owner, so far as I am aware, has not written the clerk in accordance with the advertising. As I say, the advertising is over by some 10 days and the owner was definitely aware of the legislation.

Mr Ferguson: The Ministry of Municipal Affairs does not have any difficulty in supporting this bill. As you know, we supported bills previous to this. But given the history of this and given that it is as a result of a potential action by a specific developer, one of the main concerns is that the developer is not aware this meeting is taking place today, despite what the legislation says about giving public notice. I think you are well aware, sir, that people read that and know their interests may not be affected at all and are not aware.

You have until 18 October. I know the clock is running, but this committee will be meeting before 18 October and we can ensure that we meet, perhaps the first week the House comes back. I move that we defer this matter and that we ask the clerk to be in touch with the municipality so that this individual -- we have to appear to be fair here -- can at least appear before the committee if he or she so desires.

If you have been advertising for four weeks, it would appear, I think, to any reasonably minded individual that the city has not made reasonable attempts to contact the person by stating to this committee, "We tried to get hold of him yesterday," when the hearing is today. Although I certainly support it in principle, I think we have to appear to go beyond the balance of fairness in dealing with the matter. In any event, you do have until 18 October. Is that correct?

Mr Gates: Yes, we do. Perhaps I might be permitted to respond. The advertising first appeared in the Oakville paper on 14 May. I personally handed the draft of the legislation to the spouse. It is a numbered company that owns it. A lady is the president and her spouse, with whom we have been negotiating, is the person I handed the legislation to on 12 June.

We in Oakville are really concerned about this particular property. I would say it is the most significant property in Oakville that is not in public hands. It was built about 1850 and it is not a private residence; it is a commercial property. We have done studies on the property and the municipality would very much like to purchase the property. To purchase the property for the municipality would be about $1.5 million, which represents a tax increase to the residents of about 5% in a given year. We really find that we need to plan somewhat in advance to take on such a large obligation as that.

There is no animosity between us and the owner at the present moment. We are discussing the issues with the owner with a view to trying to resolve things, but we are very concerned that when the House comes back in the fall the priorities may be slightly different. If they are just slightly different or the act does not get proclaimed, then we are very concerned that this protection will not follow.

Mr Ferguson: I have just been given some further information and I understand that in fact notice was delivered back in May and that the developer at that time could have objected to the clerk. We have received nothing at this point, so I am not going to move any deferral. I will be supporting the bill.

Mr Miclash: I have to agree with that too. If the proponents have gone through all the red tape so far and the notices have been put forth, and as you say, he has personally delivered the notice, I see no problem in going forth with this today. I would like to call the vote at this time, if nobody else has any comments.

Sections 1 to 10, inclusive, agreed to.

Preamble agreed to.

Bill ordered to be reported.

The Chair: Thank you for attending. Meeting dismissed.

The committee adjourned at 1146.