Wednesday 6 May 1992

Election of vice-chair

FaithWay Baptist College of Canada Act, 1992

Peterborough Club Act, 1992

372595 Ontario Limited Act, 1992

Borough of East York Act, 1992

Draft report, 1989 regulations


*Chair / Président: White, Drummond (Durham Centre ND)

*Vice-Chair / Vice-Présidente: MacKinnon, Ellen (Lambton ND)

*Eddy, Ron (Brant-Haldimand L)

Farnan, Mike (Cambridge ND)

*Hansen, Ron (Lincoln ND)

Jordan, W. Leo (Lanark-Renfrew PC)

*Mills, Gordon (Durham East/-Est ND)

Ruprecht, Tony (Parkdale L)

*Sola, John (Mississauga East/-Est L)

Sutherland, Kimble (Oxford ND)

*Wilson, Jim (Simcoe West/-Ouest PC)

*In attendance / présents

Clerk / Greffier: Decker, Todd

Staff / Personnel:

Klein, Susan A., legislative counsel

Fenson, Avrum, research officer, Legislative Research Service

The committee met at 1008 in committee room 1.


The Chair (Mr Drummond White): I call this meeting of the standing committee on regulations and private bills to order. The first bit of business for our committee is a small problem which arises from our last meeting. At that time, Ms Ellen MacKinnon was elected Vice-Chair of the committee. However, while she is now, through a motion of the House, a member of this committee, she was not at that time a member of the committee according to a motion of the House. In consequence, I would like to ask the committee if it concurs with the election of Ms MacKinnon as Vice-Chair.

Mr Gordon Mills (Durham East): Agreed.

The Chair: Agreed. Thank you.


Consideration of Bill Pr1, An Act respecting FaithWay Baptist College of Canada.

The Chair: We have before us our first sponsor, Mr Jim Wiseman, the member for Durham West, presenting Bill Pr1, An Act respecting the FaithWay Baptist College of Canada. Mr Wiseman, would you introduce your friend?

Mr Jim Wiseman (Durham West): This is the Reverend Baker from the FaithWay Baptist Church. Basically, this bill is to confirm the status of his college. I will leave the questions up to Mr Baker to answer from the committee. It's my pleasure to introduce him at this time. I'm afraid I have to go back upstairs to the standing committee on government agencies, so I will be leaving now if there are no questions to me on this bill.

The Chair: Do you have any particular comments on the bill prior to your absenting yourself?

Mr Wiseman: No, I think Reverend Baker will be able to answer all questions. It was my pleasure to introduce the bill to the House.

Mr Gregory Baker: We have gone through the process taking us to this part today, going through the ministries, regulations, and have gained approval from the Minister of Colleges and Universities. We feel it would be expedient for us to have the privilege of granting religious degrees to young people who are preparing for religious ministry, primarily in our religious denomination. That's why I'm here today: to answer any questions. I trust that you members will see fit to make a motion that we be allowed to go ahead with this.

The Chair: I think that's fairly straightforward. Are there any other interested parties to this bill present? Any objectors? Are there any questions from committee members in regard to the bill?

Mr Mills: Having read the recommendations from the Minister of Colleges and Universities, there's certainly nothing there that would prohibit this, so I would move that this be granted.

The Chair: We are then on clause-by-clause of this particular bill. I would presume we can move quickly.

Sections 1 to 13, inclusive, agreed to.

Preamble agreed to.

Bill ordered to be reported.

The Chair: Thank you very much, and thank you, Reverend Baker.

Mr Baker: Thank you.

The Chair: Is Mr Ruprecht here?

Mr Mills: I saw him earlier this morning. I don't know where he is now. Perhaps we could go on to the golf course.

The Chair: Seeing as Ms Carter is present, could we jump ahead in our agenda and come back to Mr Ruprecht's bill, presuming he will be back later?


Consideration of Bill Pr26, An Act to revive The Peterborough Club.

Ms Jenny Carter (Peterborough): I'd like to introduce Mr Daly, who is a lawyer from Peterborough. This bill is to revive the Peterborough Club, which I guess did not take timely action in the past that would have enabled it to renew its charter, so now this is the only way this can be done.

I'm also on the government agencies committee, so I would beg leave to be excused. I'm Jenny Carter, MPP for Peterborough. I am the sponsor of this private member's bill.

Mr James Daly: I'm acting for the Peterborough Club with respect to this application. I'm here to answer any questions anyone may have in regard to this application.

As you can see from the compendium, it was basically a matter of inadvertence that the charter of the club was dissolved because of the fact that there was a failure to make out the annual returns. It was simply a matter of inadvertence, nothing more than that. I understand the application has been circulated and there had been no objections from any side at all. If anyone has any questions, I'd be pleased to answer them.

The Chair: Before that, are there any other parties who are interested in this bill here? No? Any questions to the applicant?

Mr Ron Hansen (Lincoln): I believe this is just a little bit of housekeeping that has been left undone for a number of years.

The Chair: That's well said.

Mr Hansen: So I don't believe we have any objections on this side.

Mr John Sola (Mississauga East): I wonder if Peter Adams, the former member, is in support of this thing.

Mr Daly: I think I've seen Mr Adams at the club, and I know he enjoys being there.

Mr Sola: That's good enough for me. I wouldn't be able to look Peter Adams in the eye if I voted against this.

The Chair: Okay, then we can move on to the bill itself. Shall sections 1 through 3 carry?

Sections 1 to 3, inclusive, agreed to.

Preamble agreed to.

Bill ordered to be reported.

Mr Hansen: As the last bill, Pr1, passed so quickly, I would like to move that the fees and the actual cost of printing at all stages and in the annual statutes be remitted on Bill Pr1, An Act respecting FaithWay Baptist College of Canada.

The Chair: I think that's an excellent motion, but before we entertain that, I wonder if I could thank the applicant for taking such time to come down and meet with us.

Mr Daly: It was a matter of personal interest, and I have enjoyed it.

Mr Hansen: Sorry, Mr Chair. I thought your business was finished at that point.

The Chair: Mr Hansen moves the waiver of the fees for the FaithWay Baptist Church. Does that meet with the committee's agreement?

Fee-waiving motion agreed to.


Consideration of Bill Pr11, An Act to revive 372595 Ontario Limited.

The Chair: Mr Ruprecht is still not present? Mr Sola, would you like to sponsor this bill in Mr Ruprecht's absence?

Mr Sola: In the absence of my colleague Mr Ruprecht, I will sponsor on his behalf Bill Pr11, An Act to revive 372595 Ontario Limited. Because I am not familiar with the bill, I will turn the mike over to Mr Louis B. Lawrence to explain the situation.

Mr Louis B. Lawrence: The corporation was in fault of filing corporate tax returns and wasn't aware of that fact because the head office moved a number of times.

The Chair: So a fairly straightforward issue. Are there any other people present who have any concerns with Bill Pr11? Any questions?

Mr Mills: Pretty straightforward, Mr Chair; no questions as far as I'm concerned or the ministry. Let's go ahead and read the bill.

The Chair: Shall sections 1 through 3 carry?

Sections 1 to 3, inclusive, agreed to.

Preamble agreed to.

Bill ordered to be reported.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Lawrence and Mr Sola.

Mr Sola: I can't believe I was so successful.

The Chair: It was just your eloquence, Mr Sola.



The Chair: The members of the committee will notice that copied on the back of today's agenda is a letter from the solicitor for the applicant of Bill Pr23 requesting that Bill Pr23 be withdrawn. Is it the pleasure of the committee that I report that the bill not be reported, having been withdrawn by the applicant?

Mr Hansen: I don't have a problem there, but what is Pr23? What was it in respect of?

Clerk of the Committee (Mr Todd Decker): It's one of six bills that are before the committee from Metropolitan Toronto area municipalities regarding the dates during the year on which tax levies are remitted to Metropolitan Toronto. The current system is for them to be remitted in advance twice annually, and the six municipalities were hoping to be able to change that so they could remit monthly. The borough of East York has decided it has no interest in pursuing that application.

The Chair: So does that meet with the committee's concurrence? Agreement?

Mr Hansen: Agreed.

The Chair: Thank you.


The Chair: We now have a report on the 1989 regulations, Mr Avrum Fenson.

Mr Avrum Fenson: This draft report on the 1989 regulations was given to the committee I guess last summer and I'm here to repeat my offer to answer any questions the committee may have, so that you can then proceed to suggest amendments or proceed with tabling it if that's your desire.

I once discussed with the clerk the possibility of distributing, just for your information and for my assistance as well, copies of the correspondence I engaged in with the different ministries in the writing of this draft report. It would give you an idea of what the issues are, and your response would be of assistance to me. So if the committee's interested, Todd can give you the file of correspondence that preceded the writing of this report.

As I explained last time I spoke to the committee, the work of reviewing regulations had at one time been done by outside counsel hired by the committee, and there was a backlog which will probably be brought up to date this summer. The next draft report I'll be giving the committee will cover 1990 and 1991 regulations. Then shortly after the end of this year I'll be giving you a report on the 1992 regulations and we should be keeping fairly closely with the calendar hereafter.

So if either today or at the next meeting the committee wants to put questions to me about the draft report, I'll be glad to answer. I could, once again if the committee wishes, just review for you what the process is through which I review the regulations.

Mr Jim Wilson: Mr Chairman, through you to Mr Fenson, I think we've been over how this is done as a committee very thoroughly in the past, and I appreciate that. I note that in the report you mention that all the ministries responded to your inquiries but that there was one outstanding, regarding a violation of the guidelines. In your opinion, is there anything very serious in this report in terms of violations of guidelines that you should flag for us?

Mr Fenson: No, I don't think there are any gross violations. Some of them are technical violations of the rule against retroactive application which would be occasioned by a late filing; a regulation which states that it comes into effect on July 1 and which doesn't get to the registrar of regulation until July 3, for example.

Others were honest differences of opinion about the meaning of a word. In the past there has been the occasional ambiguity as to who the actual maker of the regulation was, because all regulations, no matter whether they're made by the minister or if they're made by cabinet, go through the cabinet regulations committee, and the documents filed with the registrar tend to be signed by the same group of people: the minister of the ministry involved, the chair of cabinet and so on. Sometimes the description of the maker is either incorrectly stated in the Ontario Gazette or actually is incorrectly stated in the documents.

Mr Jim Wilson: You raise a good question. Is it your responsibility or your department's responsibility to ensure that the notice in the Gazette is followed according to statute?

Mr Fenson: It's the responsibility of this committee to make sure that it has been properly published in the Gazette. The actual process of publication in the Gazette is handled by the office of legislative counsel, one of whom is the registrar of regulations. After the cabinet regulations committee approves the documents, the ministry then files the documents with the registrar of regulations, who is then required under the Regulations Act to cause the regulation to be published in the Gazette within 30 days. If it fails to be published in the time, it doesn't have effect against people who don't have notice of it.

Mr Sola: I notice from the figures that there seems to be an increase in the verbosity of the regulations. For instance, in 1980, 1,100 regulations took about 2,100 pages to print and in 1989 the number of regulations fell to 727 but the number of pages it took to print was almost 3,200. Is that because the ministries are not sticking to the second guideline about precision and unambiguous language or is it because of the complexity of the law?

Mr Fenson: It's really neither, because among documents which are regulations are, for example, the OHIP fee schedule and the various Ministry of Health drug schedules; these run to hundreds and hundreds of pages, so if the Ministry of Health decides to revise the OHIP fee schedule in one particular year, that alone will swell the figures. It generally reflects individual monstrous-sized regulations which turn up in the particular year.

The other large user of space in regulations are orders under the Planning Act, and sometimes if there are very large land descriptions and use descriptions they occupy long space. The building code is a regulation, the code under the Fire Marshals Act is a regulation, and if these things are redone they each alone will account for hundreds and hundreds of pages. I think that accounts for much of the variation from year to year.

Mr Sola: Do you detect an improvement in sticking to the guidelines or do you detect sort of an increase in the number of violations?

Mr Fenson: I haven't noticed a change. Generally the adherence to the guidelines is pretty commendable. The percentage is small, and I haven't noticed a radical change in the few years I have been reviewing the regulations for the committee.

The Chair: Any further questions? We have two options in front of us. We could either approve the report at this point in time or give ourselves a week or two prior to the next meeting in order to review it again, so that when we approve it we do so with sober second and third thoughts. Any thoughts on those alternatives, gentlemen and Ms MacKinnon?

Mr Sola: I'd suggest that either prior to the next sitting or after we've dealt with the next set of private members' bills that we would vote on accepting the report.

The Chair: Does that meet with concurrence?

Mr Mills: Mr Chair, as a new member here, that would be very apropos as far as I'm concerned, to give me the time to read this and digest it.

The Chair: So we will schedule a second or third discussion of this report for the end of our next meeting, which will be in two weeks, at which time there will be some five bills in front of us, one of which we have seen before.

Thank you very much, Mr Fenson. We are adjourned until two weeks from today.

The committee adjourned at 1030.