Wednesday 4 November 1992

Eilpro Holdings Inc. Act, 1992, Bill Pr49

Gregory Farano, solicitor

City of Ottawa Act, 1992, Bill Pr19

Douglas R. Wallace, solicitor

City of Burlington Act, 1992, Bill Pr3

Walter Mulkewich, mayor of Burlington

Gordon Grechulk, deputy city solicitor, Burlington

Michael Fenn, city manager, Burlington

Anne Wingfield, chairman, Burlington Hydro-Electric Commission

M. Virginia MacLean, solicitor, Canadian Tire Corp Ltd

Craig Cumming, senior director, Canadian Tire Corp Ltd

Gary Goodman, executive director of planning, Burlington

Diana Dewar, manager, municipal planning policy, Ministry of Municipal Affairs

Jeff Levitt, solicitor, Ministry of Housing


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

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

Dadamo, George (Windsor-Sandwich 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)

Substitutions / Membres remplaçants:

*Fletcher, Derek (Guelph ND) for Mr Dadamo

*Perruzza, Anthony (Downsview ND) for Mr Sutherland

Also taking part / Autres participants et participantes:

Jackson, Cameron (Burlington South/-Sud PC)

*In attendance / présents

Clerk /Greffière: Freedman, Lisa

Staff / Personnel: Mifsud, Lucinda, legislative counsel

The committee met at 1005 in committee room 1.

The Chair (Mr Drummond White): I'd like to call this meeting of the standing committee on regulations and private bills to order.


Consideration of Bill Pr49, An Act to revive Eilpro Holdings Inc.

The Chair: First on our agenda is Bill Pr49, An Act to revive Eilpro Holdings Inc; Mr Mammoliti sponsoring.

Mr George Mammoliti (Yorkview): In front of the committee today we have what I believe is good news in terms of reviving another business. To me, what that means is jobs, Mr Chair, and Eilpro Holdings will provide 10 to 15 jobs from what I can gather, and for me that's good news. For me, that means that 10 to 15 more people will be employed.

For that reason, I'd ask the committee to consider agreeing with the lawyer who's present with me today. It's Gregory Farano, who's representing Eilpro, and I'll be giving the floor to him in a second, but I can't stress how important this jobs factor is to me as a member. You know that we're having tough times and I believe that this company will help us -- to a degree of course, but good news.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Mammoliti. Mr Farano.

Mr Gregory Farano: Mr Chairman, I'm the solicitor for Eilpro Holdings and I'm here today to represent the company in its attempt to revive itself.

As you can see on the face of the bill, the company's charter was cancelled in July 1985 for failure to file a return under the Corporations Tax Act. That failure was as a result of inadvertence. The corporation commenced revival proceedings some time thereafter and the principal of the corporation, Sam Fuda, went through a series of personal troubles, which resulted in a delay in the revival proceedings. He has since recommenced the proceedings and found that he was beyond the five-year limitation period for filing articles of revival -- a fairly simple procedure -- with the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations. Hence our appearing before you today and being faced with the alternative of reviving the company through a private bill.

Again I'd like to stress that the cancellation and subsequent attempts to revive the corporation and breaking those attempts off were as a result of inadvertence or personal troubles on the part of the principal of the corporation. Some business has been transacted in the intervening period by the corporation and it's intended that, subject to its being revived, those business transactions will continue.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Farano. I understand that there's a letter that the committee members have received. Is there an objector present? Any other interested party? Any questions of Mr Farano or Mr Mammoliti? Mr Mills?

Mr Gordon Mills (Durham East): I have no objections, Mr Chair.

The Chair: No objections from the parliamentary assistant. Are we then ready for a vote?

Shall sections 1 through 3 carry? Carried.

Shall the preamble carry? Carried.

Shall the bill carry? Carried.

Shall I report the bill to the House? Agreed.

Mr Mammoliti: I'm familiar with the process, but just for Mr Farano and I guess to enlighten him in terms of the process, what happens after today's date and how quickly will it get to the House, that sort of thing?

The Chair: Typically it will be reported to the House this afternoon and royal proclamation at some point in the near future.

Clerk of the Committee (Ms Lisa Freedman): And second and third reading.

The Chair: Second and third reading, yes.

Mr Mammoliti: Yes, okay. Thank you.

Mr Farano: Thank you very much.


Consideration of Bill Pr19, An Act respecting the City of Ottawa.

The Chair: Mr Sola, on behalf of Mr Chiarelli, is presenting Bill Pr19, An Act respecting the City of Ottawa.

Mr John Sola (Mississauga East): Thank you, Mr Chair. It seems I'm assuming my regular duties as a pinch-hitter here, this time on behalf of my colleague Bob Chiarelli.

I'd like to present for your consideration Bill Pr19, An Act respecting the City of Ottawa, which I understand is a bill to enable the corporation of the city of Ottawa to regulate street vendors. Seeing as how I'm not too familiar with the bill, I will pass the microphone over to Mr Douglas Wallace, the acting solicitor for the city of Ottawa.

Mr Douglas Wallace: Thank you, Mr Chair and members of the committee. It's hard to imagine how anybody would want to be out in the street selling today, whether it be in Ottawa or Toronto, but however that may be, the fact is that in the city of Ottawa we do have a lot of street vendors. We have some 500 street vendors in the city of Ottawa, including two broad classes of refreshment vehicles and merchandising. That's compared to here in Toronto, you have some 335, I understand, in the city, with more than twice the population. I'm not sure, as I say, why street vending is so popular in Ottawa, but it is.

We've generally done a good job of licensing and regulating the street vendors. Things have run fairly smoothly and are improving all the time. The one remaining problem that we have, and which this bill before you is meant to address, is the problem that we cannot determine designated spots on sidewalks for designated specific vendors. The result is that vendors tend to gravitate to the most popular areas of the city, the most profitable areas of the city, so that although we can control the total number, we can't say how many can be in any one location.

This causes two main problems. The first problem is that we get involved in territorial disputes because certain spots are noted to be the most popular spots and everybody wants to be there, so there are disputes among vendors. The second main problem that creates is restriction in the flow of pedestrian and vehicle traffic if you get too many vendors at one spot.

This bill is designed to deal with both of those problems by allowing the city to pass a bylaw setting up a licensing scheme that you would purchase your licence or permit to vend in a particular location. The details of how that location is determined and for how long the licence will be valid and whether there's a rotation between licensees are to be dealt with in the bylaw.

It also allows two other notable features in the bill. It allows fees to be set according to the location and it allows vehicles to be removed if they are vending in other than the spot that was designated for them.

These solutions have been tried and used successfully in Toronto pursuant to its private legislation. We have discussed the matter with Toronto at some length and its legislation appears to be working. We're following the same solution. Members of the committee who are more familiar with Toronto than I am may have noticed on the sidewalks little, yellow L-shaped markings for designated spots. That we can't do under the existing legislation but would be able to do under the proposed legislation.

The legislation generally has had a fair amount of public participation, input, and is generally supported by both the merchants who are affected by vendors outside their establishments and by the vendors themselves.

I have with me today Martha Boyle, who is the operating head of the branch that would be dealing with the bylaw. If the members of the committee have any questions, either I or Mrs Boyle would be happy to address them.

The Chair: Do the committee members have any questions?

Mr Sola: I notice that we've received a letter which is not really in opposition but is offering a couple of amendments, and I wonder whether we could get some word as to whether these amendments are acceptable or not.

Mr Wallace: As you point out, the association from which the letter comes is generally in support of the legislation. They have raised several concerns in their letter dealing with the process of determining who's going to get what permit and for what period of time, and whether the permits, for example, will be transferable. All of these matters can be addressed in the bylaw that the city would pass pursuant to the legislation, and I do not believe the legislation precludes any of those objections being taken into account in the bylaw.

The Chair: Any further questions? We have, as noted, several letters that committee members will see appended to the act. Are there any interested parties here present? Are there any interested parties present here? No. Mr Parliamentary Assistant.

Mr Mills: We are recommending that no objections be made to the proposals, providing amendments are approved to answer the ministry's concern to define highway, jurisdictions, confining the enforcement to peace officers and enforcement on regional roads in the region that passes the bylaw. We have five amendments that will deal with those issues.

The Chair: Are there any amendments forthcoming?

Mrs Ellen MacKinnon (Lambton): I move that subsection 4(1) of the bill be amended by striking out "person" in the first line --

The Chair: Excuse me. Are there any amendments to section 1?

Mrs MacKinnon: I've got an amendment here for clauses 1(a) and 1(b).

The Chair: Start with 1(a), please.

Mrs MacKinnon: Sorry, nobody told me.

I move that clause 1(a) of the bill be struck out and the following substituted:

"(a) designating all or any part of a highway under the jurisdiction of the corporation, including the sidewalk portion, as a removal zone."

By way of explanation, this is to clarify that the bill will apply to all parts of roads, including the sidewalk.

The Chair: Any discussion on that amendment? No? Hearing none --

Mr Ron Hansen (Lincoln): Mr Chair, I have a hard time hearing when you get away from the mike, and I think some of the other members here. All it is, is just a big blur of mumble, mumble, so we have a hard time --

Mr Jim Wilson (Simcoe West): We're lucky he's on the same planet.

Mr Hansen: Pull your mike down there so we can hear you, please.

The Chair: I read the same amendment Mrs MacKinnon read a few moments ago, but --

Interjection: Yes, but the other stuff you were saying.


The Chair: Are there any questions on the amendment, or would you like it read again, Mr Hansen?

Mr Hansen: No, that's fine. I was just clarifying. We didn't hear what you were saying.

The Chair: Are there any further questions or comments? Hearing none, are we ready for a vote on this amendment?

Shall the amendment to clause 1(a) carry?

Interjections: Carried.

The Chair: Thank you. Mrs MacKinnon.

Mrs MacKinnon: I move that clause 1(b) of the bill be amended by adding after "highways" in the second line "under its jurisdiction."

The explanation is the same as the previous one regarding the highways under the city's jurisdiction.

The Chair: Any objections, Mr Hansen?

Mr Hansen: No, there are no objections there, Mr Chair.

The Chair: Any further discussion? Are we ready for a vote on clause 1(b)?

Shall the amendment to clause 1(b) carry?

Interjections: Carried.

The Chair: Thank you. Any amendments to section 2?

Mrs MacKinnon: No, there aren't.

The Chair: Shall section 1, as amended, carry?

Interjections: Carried.

The Chair: Shall section 2 carry?

Interjections: Carried.

The Chair: Are there any amendments to section 3?

Mrs MacKinnon: Mr Chair, I have an amendment to clause 3(4)(b).

I move that clause 3(4)(b) be amended by striking out "public highways" at the end and substituting "any highway to which this act applies."

The explanation for this is that this is a concern of our Ministry of Transportation. That bill only applied to roads under the jurisdiction of the city of Ottawa.

The Chair: Any discussion, Mr Hansen?

Mr Hansen: No, Mr Chair.

The Chair: Any further questions? Are we ready for a vote on section 3?

Shall the amendment to section 3 carry?

Interjections: Carried.

The Chair: Shall section 3, as amended, carry?

Interjections: Carried.

The Chair: Thank you. Are there any amendments to section 4?

Mrs MacKinnon: Section 4.1: I move that the bill be amended by adding the following section. This is fairly lengthy. I'm sorry. I didn't get the right paper.

Subsection 4(1): I move that subsection 4(1) of the bill be amended by striking out "person" in the first line and substituting "peace officer."

This responds to concerns of the Solicitor General that only peace officers will be able to enforce the provisions of the bylaws passed under this bill, instead of any person.

The Chair: Any questions on this one, Mr --

Mr Derek Fletcher (Guelph): Fletcher.

The Chair: Fletcher, yes.

Mr Jim Wilson: I don't think he's on this planet Earth.

Mr Fletcher: I don't think he is, Jim. I really don't think he is.

I was just wondering -- "person" as opposed to "peace officer." In the city of Ottawa -- I guess I'll put this to you -- do you have bylaw officers? Are they peace officers or bylaw officers or --

Mr Wallace: Yes, we have municipal law enforcement officers who are classified as peace officers.

Mr Fletcher: They're not with the police department in your area, or are they?

Mr Wallace: They're appointed by the municipality, but they act as peace officers.

Mr Fletcher: Strictly in the enforcement of bylaws.

Mr Wallace: Yes.

Mr Fletcher: Okay; thank you.

The Chair: Any further discussion, Mr Hansen?

Mr Hansen: Well, just the same question there, because I always took a peace officer as most likely a municipal officer or a police officer. So, okay. It's clear.

The Chair: Fine. Further questions, comments? Shall the amendment to subsection 4(1) carry?

Interjections: Carried.

The Chair: Thank you. Shall section 4, as amended, carry?

Interjections: Carried.

The Chair: Thank you. We have a section, I believe, Mrs MacKinnon.

Mrs MacKinnon: Yes. This is section 4.1.

I move that the bill be amended by adding the following section:

"Regional roads

"4.1(1) A bylaw passed under this act may apply to any highway established as a regional road within the regional road system established by the regional municipality of Ottawa-Carleton as if the regional council had passed the bylaw.

"Approval required

"(2) A bylaw passed under this act with respect to a highway under the jurisdiction of the regional municipality does not come into effect until it is approved by regional council by bylaw.


"(3) This section is repealed on the fifth anniversary of the day this act receives royal assent unless repealed earlier by any general or special act."

The explanation for this is to allow the provisions of the act to apply to the regional roads with approval of the region.

The Chair: Mrs MacKinnon moves --

Mr Sola: Dispense.

The Chair: Thank you.

Mr Hansen: Let him read it.

The Chair: Would you like to read it, Mr Hansen?

Mr Hansen: I heard every word so you wouldn't have to read it over again.

The Chair: Good. I'm glad you were paying attention, Mr Hansen.

Mr Hansen: We turned our names around so you can address us properly, Mr Chair.

The Chair: Any further questions? Are we ready for a vote on the amendment, the additional section 4.1?

Shall section 4.1 carry?

Interjections: Carried.

The Chair: Thank you. Are we ready for a vote on 5 and 6? Shall sections 5 and 6 carry?

Interjections: Carried.

The Chair: Shall the preamble carry?

Interjections: Carried.

The Chair: Shall the bill carry?

Interjections: Carried.

The Chair: Shall I report the bill to the House?

Interjections: Agreed.

The Chair: We have one further bill this morning, the bill Ms Sullivan is presenting, but prior to introducing that, with your indulgence, Ms Sullivan, I suggest we take a five-minute break so that we could be sure all parties interested are present.

The committee recessed at 1029 and resumed at 1037.


Consideration of Bill Pr3, An Act respecting the City of Burlington.

The Chair: Can we reconvene now, please? We're now dealing with Bill Pr3, an act respecting the city of Burlington, Ms Sullivan presenting or sponsoring.

Mrs Barbara Sullivan (Halton Centre): I'm pleased to introduce you to Mayor Walter Mulkewich of the city of Burlington, who will introduce the remainder of the delegation and speak to the bill which is before you.

Mr Walter Mulkewich: Thank you very much, Ms Sullivan. It's certainly a pleasure to be here to introduce this bill, An Act respecting the City of Burlington, which is a bill that deals with three different, unrelated matters: one with the parking area, one with an area dealing with site plan control, and thirdly, an area dealing with the election of members of the Hydro commission.

I have with me staff people who will speak to the purpose of the bill and to the details of the bill, and I'd like to introduce them, Mr Chair, with your permission. Mr Gordon Grechulk is our deputy solicitor, who will speak to all the three sections. Mr Michael Fenn, city manager, will be available to speak and answer questions. Mr Gary Goodman, the executive director of planning and development, will also be available. With us as well, if there are questions, in the back row, is Mr Kirkpatrick, the manager of parking and downtown operations for the city of Burlington.

Having said all of that, I would like to turn over the proceedings to our deputy solicitor, Mr Gordon Grechulk, who will take you through the bill and explain it for you.

Mr Gordon Grechulk: Thank you, your worship. What I propose to do is go through each section very quickly and then Mr Fenn, Mr Goodman and myself will answer any questions that the committee may have on any of the sections.

With respect to section 1, the section is not a new section. We have a Town of Burlington Act enacted in the 1968-69 Statutes of Ontario, which is very similar legislation to what is before you today. What we are trying to do with respect to that older legislation is update it and improve that legislation to give the city more flexibility to deal with parking in Burlington's downtown, as well as to give more assistance to the downtown merchants to a greater extent than what is presently contained in the older legislation.

With respect to section 2, I'd like to just get into a bit of history on the reason and purpose for section 2. To the best of my knowledge, the city of Burlington was the first municipality in Ontario to legally have site plan control by virtue of its legislation in the Town of Burlington Act, 1971. I would like to emphasize that when that proposed legislation was being introduced back in the early 1970s, there were a number of ministries, as well as other parties, that were opposed to that legislation. However, it was carried by the standing committee at that time and became law. Shortly thereafter, it was recognized by municipalities and other parties throughout Ontario as one of the most advanced pieces of planning legislation in the province of Ontario.

Subsequently, the government itself at that time, in 1973, saw the benefit of site plan legislation and introduced site plan legislation on a limited scale, and that legislation is now contained within section 41 of the Planning Act.

We feel the existing section 2, as drafted, will complement our existing site plan procedure, which has been developed over a number of years, and again show that Burlington is a leader in planning urban environments in the province of Ontario.

Section 3 again is not new legislation. Similar public, not private, legislation was passed in 1979 by virtue of the Regional Municipality of Halton Act, with respect to hydro-electric services. In that legislation, there was provision for municipalities to pass bylaws electing commissioners by wards. The difficulty we're facing is that in that 1979 legislation, there was a window or a limitation period when such a bylaw could be passed by a municipality; the period when such a bylaw could be passed was from June 22, 1979, to July 1, 1980, approximately one year. Unfortunately, Burlington never passed a bylaw during that period. However, reflecting on the legislation, we now think there are some positive aspects to such legislation, to electing representatives by wards.

Mr Chairman, that is a quick overview of the three sections.

The Chair: Thank you very much. We have, as you pointed out, sections dealing with somewhat different issues. I understand that there are some parties present who are interested in this bill. Before we bring forth those interested parties, are there questions of the applicant or the sponsor?

Mr Ron Eddy (Brant-Haldimand): While I appreciate the attendance of the officials from the city of Burlington to give us the explanations, and I must congratulate the city of Burlington for being the forerunner in the site plan control legislation process used by everyone, the question I have really is regarding the hydro-electric services act and the commission.

I note with interest the London-Middlesex bill, giving the city of London authority to have an appointed hydro commission of three persons. I just wondered if the representation would want to include that in the bill to have more flexibility, if at some time the council wished to appoint a commission rather than have an elected commission. I think it's an internal municipal matter to be decided by the individual municipal councils; I have no problem with going either way. I realize the amendment is to meet a particular problem, but I just wondered if more flexibility might be an advantage.

Mr Grechulk: Mr Chairman, I would ask Mr Fenn, our city manager, to resond.

Mr Michael Fenn: I appreciate the member's suggestion. For the information of the committee, that option was contained in the original draft of the bill. The members of the hydro commission expressed reservations about it, and the standing committee of city council that has responsibility for this recommended that that element of the bill be withdrawn. They did, however, feel, in view of the area of Burlington and the diversity of the community, that the option of electing by ward should be available to a future council.

The Chair: Further comment?

Mr Cameron Jackson (Burlington South): One of the concerns I might have with section 3 is the notion that the clause enables council to move in one direction but not necessarily to move back if, in the judgement of council, the process of electing by city-wide election becomes the preferred option.

I wish to add to those comments that both in the mayor's and my political lifetime we have sat on committees that have dealt with this issue, and we have been confronted with the unpleasant task of dividing up wards and not having the appropriate number of electable people required for the number of wards which the city is bound to establish for entirely different reasons. That got into a very offensive practice of offloading two wards to one elected person and one ward to another person, which meant they were representing twice as many people, in general terms.

My fear, and one of the reasons I personally am having difficulty with section 3, and so are people who have been elected across town, or people who have to be elected and conform to municipal wards such as trustees and others. They have concerns, because it's easy to get into these but it's very difficult to get out of them. My concern is that the wording of this engages something but doesn't disengage something at the option of council.

I'd prefer some comment or response to that.

Mr Fenn: If I can respond to those two points, the first is that the legislation is modelled on the general legislation that was available, so the issue of going back to the original arrangement was not countenanced when we originally drafted the legislation. We were endeavouring to model it on the general legislation that was originally passed.

With respect to the ward issue, there are currently five members of the hydro commission, four of them elected, one, the mayor, ex officio. We have eight wards in the city of Burlington. We have combinations of wards in the separate school board and situations like that, so it's doable. I wouldn't suggest that we're inflexible on it. There may be some arrangements that might be made to modify the wording of the legislation, but I would leave that to Mr Grechulk.

Mr Grechulk: If I could add to that, we certainly have no objection if some provision was built into the section that we also have the authority to repeal the bylaw if the council so wishes. I had assumed, pursuant to legislation, that if we have the authority to enact the bylaw, we also have the authority to repeal the bylaw. If that is unclear, we certainly have no objection to that amendment being put into the section.

Mr Jackson: My understanding would be that this enabling legislation allows you to move in one direction. It does not speak to the issue of converting back, which is why you're before us. You're in a position where you can't make the changes. That would be my legal interpretation of it, and I would therefore want to see section 3 amended or perhaps even lifted at this time and worked on.

Let me just suggest to you, Mr Chairman, and I'll be very brief, that this is a substantive move in any given community and should be widely consulted on, not just with the PUC but also with the public generally, who are the stakeholders ultimately. That may not have necessarily occurred to get us to this point, but certainly could occur if we had a perhaps better worded amendment that allowed council to move back to a system, in the event, seven or eight years from now, that we now have nine wards in the city of Burlington and have four PUCs.

And it has occurred within the lifetime of the mayor's and my elected experience, so we're speaking from experience. Today it will fit, tomorrow it may not, and I want to make sure my council doesn't have to specifically run back here to get out of the situation.

The Chair: Indeed.

Mr Jim Wilson: Perhaps it would be appropriate to ask legislative counsel their legal opinion of this section 3 in terms of repealing such a bylaw.

Ms Lucinda Mifsud: If they repeal it, will it revert back to a general election?

Mr Jim Wilson: Is it necessary to have specific wording in section 3 to allow repeal of the bylaw?

Ms Mifsud: I think it would be safer, yes.

Mr Jim Wilson: Would legislative counsel undertake to draft some wording?

Ms Mifsud: I'm working on a motion right at this moment. I'll need about five minutes. If you wish to move the motion, I'll give it. I'd like the Ministry of Municipal Affairs to take a look at it, and the applicant also, if you want to stand it down for a couple of minutes.


Mr Jim Wilson: That's agreed, Mr Chair. My preference then would be to move to section 2 and to perhaps hear from the objectors regarding section 2, and reserve the right to come back to the mayor and the city officials after we've heard that presentation.

The Chair: I think that makes a great deal of sense and follows exactly the regular practice. I'm wondering if it would be all right for the applicants to step aside so we can hear from -- yes, Mr Ruprecht?

Mr Tony Ruprecht (Parkdale): Supplementary to this, I didn't hear any objection to this from the city officials at all. They'd certainly be in favour of that, is that correct?

Mr Grechulk: Mr Chairman, my comment was that if there was an amendment to authorize the municipality to repeal the bylaw, we have no objection to that.

Mr Ruprecht: Oh, you said if there was an amendment.

Mr Grechulk: Yes.

The Chair: I'm sure that legislative counsel and Municipal Affairs and the mayor and counsel will take a look at that amendment and see if it is satisfactory.

Mr Mills: Mr Chair, I think we have some folks here who should be heard to talk to this amendment before we go ahead with it, from the Hydro, their deputation. I think it would be rather unfair to go ahead and do this without the comments from those folks.

Mr Ruprecht: I'm sure that the objectors from Hydro would also have the opportunity of consulting with regards to that amendment. Can we do that before it's brought back?

Mr Hansen: We really should hear from the objectors first.

Mr Jim Wilson: When I made that suggestion, I forgot about the Hydro representation, so we should hear from them first.

The Chair: My only concern is that we seem to have two balls up in the air at the same moment.

Mr Jim Wilson: Except we're dealing with section 3, so let's get it out of the way.

The Chair: There are a number of people with concerns in regard to the bill. I would suggest that we hear first from Virginia MacLean, representing Canadian Tire, before we move back to the Hydro issue.

Mr Jim Wilson: Mr Chairman, we're dealing with section 3. Legislative counsel needs to hear from hydro so we can get that amendment written up, so let's deal what we're dealing with and then go to another issue, which is section 2. It only makes sense.

The Chair: Mr Wilson, we're not dealing with section 3 specifically until we get to clause-by-clause. The reason I had suggested that we allow legislative counsel to confer with the interested parties here was so that there would be sufficient time, so that both the objectors and the applicant are aware of what's in the amendment. If you wish to adjourn, we can do so and come back.

Mr Hansen: Mr Chair, I agree with Jim that we should be listening to 3 so the legislative counsel can hear some of the objections. To go on to another area -- well, I think they should be able to hear what the objectors are saying, and then it might be a better amendment for all parties concerned. So I agree and I think the government side agrees that we hear the objectors first. I don't think there's any opposition from any committee member here.

Mr Jim Wilson: Just on that point, there may not actually be objectors to section 3, but the hydro-electric people may want to comment on it and I think we should just hear that.

Mr Ruprecht: Just to make it unanimous, Mr Chair, I would agree as well. Let's just do that and get on with it.

The Chair: If you'd like to, we can then hear from Hydro. My only concern is that all the parties be aware of the intent of the amendment.

Mr Hansen: Mr Chair, can you not take direction from this committee?

The Chair: Legislative counsel would like to speak to all parties, and I would suggest that prior to hearing from Hydro, we allow legislative counsel to do that. I would suggest that we adjourn for five minutes, please.

The committee recessed at 1056 and resumed at 1105.

The Chair: I'd like to call this meeting back to order. As we were discussing at length section 3 of the bill, I'm wondering if we could have the interested parties in regards to Burlington Hydro come forth. Could you identify yourselves?

Ms Anne Wingfield: Yes, Mr Chairman. My name's Anne Wingfield and I'm chairman of Burlington Hydro. Our legal counsel here is Tony Maddalena from the firm of Evans, Philp in Hamilton, and our general manager, Mr Donald Kelly.

Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to address this bill. I'd just like to read you two quick sentences to start off with.

Hydro-electric distribution within the municipality area of Burlington is accomplished by means of an interconnected grid. Generally, system additions benefit the grid as a whole, and the location of particular components is dictated by technical optimization and not by geographical considerations. Service standards are established on a system-wide basis.

It is the opinion of the Burlington Hydro-Electric Commission that election by general vote is the preferred method of representation. The commission is opposed to vesting the right of change in this process with city council.

I would just like to make a couple of comments regarding my statement. Burlington Hydro is one of about 312 municipalities in Ontario, and of all the municipalities -- barring a few who are appointed, maybe five -- only one has election by ward system. There are communities far, far larger than Burlington that have city-wide election. Take the city of North York, for instance.

The system works. I have run in three elections. We have had no scarcity of officials seeking office for Burlington Hydro. We have had between 12 and 20 citizens running for office in our committee for the four elected positions.

One concern would be that if you went by a ward system, maybe the people wouldn't maintain the same interest, because our mandate would be different. When I get calls from people regarding Hydro matters, I would certainly not want to say: "I don't represent your ward. You'll have to phone another commissioner." I don't think that's Hydro's mandate.

In the presentation by the city, they mentioned the positive aspects of having a ward system, but I don't know any positive aspects. I wouldn't mind hearing something about that.

I'm open to answer any questions. My last comment would be, "It's not broken; don't fix it." The system's been working well and I feel that it should be left as is.

The Chair: Thank you, Ms Wingfield. Any questions?

Mr Ruprecht: You're making some very interesting comments, Ms Wingfield. I'm just wondering, as you mentioned the other municipalities, do you know of any municipality yourself? Have you heard anything in terms of --

Ms Wingfield: Milton is the only one that does it by ward system, and has for many years. They're the only one, except maybe in the Kitchener area. With regional government they combine, say, maybe North Dumfries and another community, so they have to even out, so they have to have representation from the two areas. But Milton is the only one I'm familiar with that goes by ward system.

Mr Ruprecht: And you've never heard of a problem across Ontario in any of the municipalities?

Ms Wingfield: No, none, and I'm very active in the Municipal Electrical Association -- I am now a member of their board -- and I am not aware of any.

Mr Ruprecht: I was very interested in what MPP Jackson had to say earlier, that there could be a lack of officials running and that they would have to offload occasionally. As you have been familiar with the municipal systems across Ontario, did you run across this before, or have you heard about the Burlington experience?

Ms Wingfield: I'm sorry. This man was smacking on the table, and it just detracted from my hearing of what you were saying.

Mr Ruprecht: Maybe I didn't speak loud enough. Mr Jackson had mentioned earlier -- and normally he makes a great deal of sense, and when I listen to him --

Mr Mills: Normally.

Mr Ruprecht: Yes, normally. When I listen to him, I'm somewhat swayed by his logical arguments. Being familiar with the municipal systems across Ontario, have you heard about the Burlington experience before, that they were sometimes forced to offload and could not get a sufficient number of people representing certain wards? Had you heard about that experience before?

Ms Wingfield: I haven't personally. I know there were hard feelings when the ward system provincially was changed, but what you've mentioned, no, I can't honestly say I've --

Mr Ruprecht: Did you hear Mr Jackson's comments earlier?

Ms Wingfield: Yes, I did. No, I can't honestly say that.


Mr Leo Jordan (Lanark-Renfrew): My question is to the parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Municipal Affairs. It's my understanding that the government is moving towards an appointed board for Hydro. I was wondering if you might clarify it for the committee. Is that as we interpret it to be, that in the future that is the objective of the government, that Hydro boards will appointed by municipal council and be an arm of council? Would you please clarify that for us at this time?

Mr Mills: In this particular instance here, Municipal Affairs is supportive of election on the ward system for a number of reasons. One reason uppermost is that it's greater accountability. It's less cost to candidates, and I think we understand that: If you're running for public utilities in a city, the cost is detrimental to a number of people even submitting their names because it's such a horrendous cost.

Ward representation rather than city-wide allows many more people to participate in running. It affords greater democracy. It offers fewer barriers, as I said, to participation. In answer to your question, I suppose it's not unusual that the Ministry of Municipal Affairs has at this moment five or six requests to go to the ward system of election as opposed to city-wide. So it's consistent with the way things are going.

I don't want to get into the discussion about the London annexation, which is unique. I guess that's what you're leading into. Also, I would like to say that Municipal Affairs has no objection to any amendment being put in to allow the city to revert back to an election at large whenever. So we're supportive of it.

Perhaps this is a good time. I have a letter that I should read into the record from Ontario Hydro and Lawrence E. Leonoff, vice-president, general counsel and secretary. This letter is directed to Mr Edward Ciemiega, QC, director of the legal branch, Ministry of Energy.

"Re The City of Burlington Act, 1992: We have received a second draft of the above-noted act, a copy of which is attached. It addresses our concerns raised in my letter to you of June 25, 1991, and is acceptable to Ontario Hydro."

I've read that into the record, and that would indicate the approval of Ontario Hydro to this section.

Mr Anthony Perruzza (Downsview): I'm rather interested by some of the comments that have been made by Ms Wingfield. I come from the city of North York, and for me, the issue of accountability has always been very important. I've watched, over the years, the North York hydro commission elections and how these poor fellows are forced to run across the city and expend so much money putting up all those signs all over the city. At the end of the day, it seems to me that it's the ABCs, the first on the ballot, who generally garner most of the votes, without any information on the candidates. They don't circulate flyers or things of that nature, because you can understand, with so many households in the city of North York, that the costs would simply be horrendous in terms of running for the election. I would question whether that kind of process was open to the people who were interested in serving on the board.

As a citizen and as a ratepayer, you sit there and you're forced to make a decision with no information on the candidates, more often than not. There's generally 10, 11, 12, 13 people who run for three positions, and you're just forced to make the decision based on signs on the street and people's names. I think if you check the history of North York elections, you'll find that the people with the letters A like Anderson and B for Better and so on are the people who generally win the elections because they happen to be the first names on the ballot.

Ms Wingfield: I'm a Wingfield, and I won.

Mr Perruzza: You know what? It's surprising, but it's the people at the top and the people at the bottom of the alphabet who have the best chances, because what happens is, you either stop at the first name and say, "I'm going to vote for Mr A," or you read through all of them and say, "I know none of them, so I'm going to vote for Mr X," because now you're at the bottom of the list. Generally, that's the way it happens. It's really regrettable that that is the case, because most North Yorkers, when you ask them who their Hydro representatives are, they don't even know they elected Hydro representatives. I wanted to know if you had any comments to make to that.

Ms Wingfield: I don't like to draw this procedure, but if you lived in Burlington, you'd know me and you'd have one of my pamphlets at your door. I think it's up to the individual who is casting the ballot to find out the history of the candidates who are running. I wouldn't want to go in to tick off a name on a ballot. I feel you should probably ask some questions, phone up Hydro. My name is certainly very visible in the community, as are the other commissioners'. It's sent out on notices with our Hydro bills and, judging from the calls I get, people certainly know how to get hold of you if they have a problem. As far as running city-wide, it's fun, it's fun. I'll tell you, you lose weight when you're knocking on doors city-wide as opposed to a ward system. I enjoy it and I think it's the fairest way for a Hydro commissioner to go. As far as the cost is concerned, I draw up a budget and stick within my budget. I elect not to put up signs. We have public forums where people can come and ask the commissioners questions, so there are other avenues available to you if you really want to find out.

The main thing is that people just want to be able to turn that light switch on and get hydro, and that's what Burlington Hydro does: provides good service.

Mr Perruzza: I'm pleased to hear some of the things you've had to say. It would appear that you're one of the very few exceptions because again, in the North York case, the contact that the ratepayers and the citizens of the city have with their elected Hydro -- I have to tell you, I'm an MPP, I've been a councillor in the city, I was a trustee in the city of North York, so I've been around for quite some time, and I can name you one of the Hydro commissioners here today, but I can't name the other two. I don't know whether Better got back on the commission or got off the commission, but I can't tell you who the third commissioner is. I can tell you that Carl Anderson is there, because obviously I've had some dealings with him. Coming from North York, having been an elected official in the city of North York for a number of years, I can't name -- and I'm ashamed to say this -- the other two elected Hydro commissioners. I can name you one and that's a real shame, and if I can't do it, I'd hate to take a survey in my riding or across the city on the representatives of the commission --

Ms Wingfield: You leave me your business card and I'll get North York Hydro to send you the names.

Mr Perruzza: Please do, because I think that's an important thing for me to know, absolutely. Any process whereby you give the ratepayers a little more control and a little more familiarity with their elected representatives and the people who are going to make decisions that are going to impact on their lives, I have no hesitation in supporting that kind of process.


Mr Hansen: I just wanted to find out: Every municipality has different bylaws, but if I were living in ward 1, could I run in ward 4, or would I have to run in the ward I'm in in Burlington?

Mr Mulkewich: You can run in any ward.

Mr Hansen: Okay. That's good. I just want to come back to electing four members to the board across Burlington. In Thorold, just west of me, the whole council is elected, the whole area, and what happens is that the cost of running is quite high. It seems to me that the people who are picked are in the highly populated area of Thorold; the outlying members, if they run, have little chance of ever getting elected because few people know them in the centre core of Thorold. I do have some problems of running completely all the way around, and I'd like to see a ward system, but I think that should be left up to the municipality on the layout. Some municipalities are more compact than others, some of them have rural areas in them also. I just wanted to bring those points across. There's a plus or minus on every side of the story.

Mrs Sullivan: Mr Chairman, without intending to cut anybody off who wants to participate further in the dialogue on this issue, legislative counsel has distributed a motion which looks as if it will provide the flexibility to deal with the issues that have been put before us, both by council and by the objectors, the hydro-electric commission of Burlington. If we could move our attention to the proposed amendment, not yet moved, that may well assist in terms of dealing with this particular section of the bill so that we can move on to other sections of the bill, which will also certainly create some dialogue.

The Chair: There is a minor technicality. I believe everyone has a copy of the amendment. We can't move it until we get to clause-by-clause. However, as we have it before us, we can certainly discuss it.

Mr Jackson: Mr Chairman, on the motion which my colleague will be pleased to move when you determine it's the appropriate time, in discussions with legislative counsel, we'd like to note the following changes that are before members with their bylaw in the section 3, reading midpoint, "The council of the city of Burlington may provide by bylaw, passed at least one year before a municipal election," and further that in subsection (a) "The members of the Burlington Hydro-Electric Commission, other than the mayor, shall be elected at large" -- insert the words "at large" -- "by a general vote of the elections of the city. Those are two changes I've suggested to counsel, which she concurs further clarify and protects the -- because it's not completely understood that all the electors of Burlington elect everybody. Section 1, in my view, was deficient in determining that it was across town. Counsel concurs with that suggestion, and my colleague Mr Jordan will be pleased, when you call upon him, to move it. I just wish to clarify for the committee that that wording may perhaps be a final draft acceptable to most parties.

The Chair: That's very helpful, thank you. I believe those points have been noted.

Anything further on section 3? Are there other parties interested in section 3 of this bill? Then thank you very much, Ms Wingfield.

Mr Perruzza: Mr Chairman, could we hear back from the applicant on the changes?

The Chair: Yes.

Can we then hear from Mr Cumming and Ms MacLean, please? Ms MacLean is with Cassels, Brock and Blackwell, and Mr Cumming is a senior director of Canadian Tire.

Ms Virginia MacLean: Thank you for hearing us. Mr Chairman, I think you have before you a further letter prepared today outlining our concerns with respect to section 2 of the city of Burlington bill.

Our specific concerns as they relate to the Canadian Tire corporation stem from the fact that Canadian Tire is a large retailer, as you all know, right across Ontario. The amendment that is being sought, section 2 specifically, in a sense is an amendment to an existing section of the general legislation.

Under the Planning Act currently, municipalities, in reviewing the site plans and drawings for site plan approval, do not have the right to approve the colour, texture and type of materials that are being used. In other words, their powers have been specifically limited by the Legislature so that they cannot have that kind of approval.

The city of Burlington is now asking for something that no other municipality in Ontario has. Our major concern is not only what could happen in Burlington, but that this could become the tip of the iceberg and result in general legislation. Mr Chairman, if that is the process, we think it should go that way so that ample opportunity is given to everyone who may be affected to input.

With respect to this particular section, Canadian Tire has its own materials and its own colour scheme, which is part of its corporate image. If municipalities are given the power to determine what that façade should be, they could be interfering directly with Canadian Tire's ability to display its corporate image.

Furthermore, the process, as I understand it -- I worked for municipalities for a number of years -- is that the staff of the municipality are the people who make the determination as to whether or not something complies with the site plan requirements. So what you are doing is giving to staff the subjective power to make a determination as to what is appropriate in terms of building materials and colour schemes. In our opinion, this is not appropriate, and for this reason we're asking that this section not go forward.

Mr Cumming is with me, and if you have any questions relating to Canadian Tire and its corporate image, he'd be pleased to answer them.

Mr Craig Cumming: Canadian Tire's policy has always been that, with respect to its corporate image, it is subject to negotiation with municipalities. I think most people who have been representatives in municipalities are in agreement that, while we like to be distinctive, we also like to meld in with the rest of the surroundings. We like to be able to negotiate with municipalities with respect to how we fit within a specific area, and we'd like that to remain.

The Chair: Thank you. Any questions for Ms MacLean or Mr Cumming?

Mr Perruzza: I understand some of the difficulties associated with this particular section and I can understand why the ministry would have some difficulty with it at this time, but to go back to a comment you made about regulating colour and exterior building materials and that kind of thing, do you think that is really an inappropriate thing for municipalities to be doing, to try to preserve the cultural heritage of the towns and cities across Ontario?

Ms MacLean: Mr Perruzza, if you're speaking from a philosophical standpoint, I would suggest that this was addressed when the Planning Act came out, and that kind of control was deliberately excluded. At some point in time it was determined that the municipality shouldn't have that kind of detailed control, basically because it's subjective, and one member of planning staff may have a different opinion from the other.


Mr Perruzza: Do you know of any other examples across North America where municipalities have that kind of control?

Ms MacLean: I'm not familiar with planning across North America, so I can't answer that question.

Mr Perruzza: Have you ever been to Quebec City?

Ms MacLean: Yes, I have.

Mr Perruzza: The older part of Quebec City? Could you imagine a Canadian Tire, with its flashy red all over it, in the centre of Quebec City or on the hilltop in Quebec City?

Ms MacLean: I think Mr Cumming can answer it. They do have one in Quebec City.

Mr Cumming: We have seven stores in Quebec City.

Mr Perruzza: Yes, I know, but have you been to the older parts of Quebec City, the hilltop and just below the hilltop?

Mr Cumming: Absolutely. Several times, yes.

Mr Perruzza: This is something I hope would come back to us at some point, because it's certainly something that I'd be interested in. I don't think it would take away in any way from private corporate interests to construct and use the kinds of materials they want to, still giving local municipalities some control to be able to shape the look of the towns and cities and to preserve some of the heritage areas. To me, this is not something that's foreign or should be alien, and it's something I would support in the future. Mr Mills can take that back to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and hopefully draft something.

Mr Mills: Listen to what I have to say.

Mr Perruzza: Good.

The Chair: I'm looking forward to that.

But first we have the opportunity of hearing from Mr Fletcher and then Mr Jackson.

Mr Fletcher: I'm addressing my question more to the mayor, and the part "no persons shall undertake any developments." Is that new development that this bylaw would have jurisdiction over or existing development?

Mr Mulkewich: My understanding is that it's all development. Is that correct? The planning director may wish to speak to that, but I understand it's all development.

Mr Gary Goodman: It would apply to anything that a site plan approval --

The Chair: Just a minute. Speak into the mike for Hansard.

Mr Goodman: It would apply to any application for site plan approval, but in the most part it would apply to new buildings.

Mr Fletcher: What if a grandfather clause, development after the year 1991, 1992 or something -- would that be --

Mr Goodman: New development.

Mr Fletcher: New development. That's what I'm looking at because existing businesses are already there. If they were to tear down their store and build a new store, they would have to go through the process.

Mr Goodman: It's been suggested I state my name. I'm Gary Goodman. I'm the executive director of planning and development with the city of Burlington. Certainly the intention behind this request is to have a little more balance in our negotiations with people building new buildings.

I could imagine a situation where someone was substantially changing an existing building where we might like to have that debate as well. It has never come up that I can recall, so if in order to get this type of legislation available to us we had it limited to new projects, I think that would be a reasonable start.

Ms MacLean: The term "development' is defined in the Planning Act, section 41, so that if they're going to deal with it, it has to fall within that definition. It talks about substantially increasing the size or useability, so it includes not only new development but any additions to an existing development.

Mr Fletcher: That's why I was looking at a grandfather clause.

Mr Jackson: I may have missed some of the dialogue, but I may not have with respect to raising the concerns in section 2. I know that the Burlington Chamber of Commerce has expressed concern about this section, and for several reasons.

Most of the genesis of this clause comes from an incident which occurred on Fairview Street in our community, where the owner of a building redid the façade of the building in a bright yellow colour of aluminum siding, and it had the visual image of being something like a sign. This was in response to what some have referred to as perhaps the most restrictive sign bylaw in the province, which our community has, and some have argued for or against that point.

But the chamber has argued that perhaps using this clause is too large a tool or too much control on the part of the city to deal with these matters. It has been argued, for example, that the chamber works very hard at getting local materials. Our steel industry is desperate in Hamilton and we very much are trying to use steel, with its very inexpensive price and its high labour content, in building construction. This allows municipalities to say: "No, that's not a consideration. We're most interested in this or that type of construction."

When Mr Goodman, who I've worked with for years, says it gives more balance, in fact it gives absolutely more control, and this becomes a negotiating tool. "You give us more square footage, you give us more parking dedication and we'll allow you to have the colour you wish." That is the reality of what goes on in this province, whether we want to admit it or not.

Members will vote on this the way they wish, but they must realize this is a major intrusion and a major jump forward in terms of giving site plan approval more power.

The final example in my community -- and I'll share it with you because my friends in the NDP will be very interested in this -- is that this can be used as a tool to frustrate social housing developments, because they're included in this. It's easy to say, "Okay, we'll punish Canadian Tire; they're easy to punish because they're big business," but the fact of the matter is that we're also looking at residential units and social development units. There is currently a controversy in the community of Burlington, and it centres around this. There is an attempt to frustrate the project by driving the requirements for the external façade --

Mr Perruzza: Point of order.

The Chair: Mr Perruzza.

Mr Perruzza: Mr Jackson is crystal ball gazing. I think Mr Mills has some very valuable information for all of the committee.

The Chair: Please proceed, Mr Jackson.

Mr Jackson: In conclusion, there is a serious effort to drive the unit costs beyond the threshold that's established by the provincial Ministry of Housing, which can frustrate a project to the point that it can't succeed. It can be used as a tool to respond to public pressures that a certain housing development shouldn't go in that neighbourhood.

I really feel that something as substantive as this, coming to us without a lot of legal explanation, is risky, and I at least have on record the concerns from the chamber of commerce and from certain social housing groups which are concerned about councils being able to frustrate a project in this fashion. I put them on the record, and I appreciate the Chair's and Mr Perruzza's indulgence. But it's not crystal ball gazing; these are incidents that are occurring currently in the community of Burlington. I'd rather talk about Quebec City too.

The Chair: Gentlemen, excuse me. We have comments now from the parliamentary assistant.

Mr Mills: I'd like to state the position of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs. We feel that it's premature to support private legislation for one city on an issue with general application in advance of the ongoing review by the Sewell commission. Secondly, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, and Housing, feel that this proposal, as currently drafted, has potential for abuse in the absence of specific design criteria. Thirdly, the proposal, as Mr Jackson has already pointed out, has cost implications for affordable housing.

Having said that, at the appropriate time we're going to move a motion, but in the interim, to help people understand this more fully, I have two staff people with me: Diana Dewar, a manager in the policy branch of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, and Jeff Levitt, who's a solicitor with the Ministry of Housing. I ask, Mr Chairman, that the opportunity be given for these two staff members to make comment to help the committee come to grips with this issue.


Ms Diana Dewar: It's already been pointed out that section 41 of the Planning Act excludes architectural detail from site plan control and that this bill would essentially exempt the city of Burlington from the existing statutory limitations of the Planning Act.

The Sewell commission is currently reviewing the planning process and is looking at this matter specifically. The commission is recommending that site plan control should not be expanded to include colour, texture, type of materials, windows or architectural detail. The commission is currently consulting publicly on this issue and the commission's consultation would be the appropriate forum for dealing with this issue for all municipalities rather than specifically for one municipality.

The site plan provisions of the existing act specifically exclude architectural design as it was recognized that building aesthetics involved subjective judgements and that it would be difficult for officials and the Ontario Municipal Board to make these judgements.

Mr Jeff Levitt: The comments I have are from the point of view of the Building Code Act and the building code administered by the Ministry of Housing. The Building Code Act authorizes the building code regulation which sets a province-wide set of construction standards, including standards for construction materials. In fact, the purpose of enacting the Building Code Act in 1974 was to replace the then existing municipal building codes with one provincial set of standards with a uniform set of safety and construction requirements.

Section 2 of the Burlington bill in effect seeks to set local construction standards in respect of construction materials outside the ambit of the building code, which is in effect a return to a local variation of a municipal building code which weakens the province-wide principle of uniformity in construction standards and materials. The problem with section 2 dealing with a construction matter comes up with a very possible conflict with section 27 of the Building Code Act, which states that the Building Code Act and the building code supersede municipal bylaws in respect of construction or demolition of buildings.

An additional problem with the local control over construction material deals with the fact that, as I understand it, site plans are generally dealt with by the clerk's department or planning department and site plan matters appealable to the Ontario Municipal Board. Neither of these have technical expertise in the construction aspects in terms of relating the types of material used in the construction to their fire safety and other construction requirements of the building code, thereby indicating that it's not an appropriate place to deal with what is essentially a construction matter.

Finally, I would like to reinforce the point that there are no limits on the discretion in terms of the types of material. Quite clearly, the type of material used can affect the cost of a building and thereby be used for, again, exclusionary purposes, which could have an impact on affordability of housing or the cost and delivery of social and non-profit housing.

The Chair: Mr Parliamentary Assistant, further comments?

Mr Mills: I'd just like to make a correction that I am not recommending a motion be moved on this section, but rather that the committee as a whole vote against it.

The Chair: Any questions for the parliamentary assistant?

Mr Eddy: I believe what you're pointing out, or what the legal people are pointing out, is that this amendment would supersede the Ontario Building Code and I don't believe that to be true. If that's the case, it can easily be protected and included.

I disagree with some of the views, having had some experience. It was mentioned by another member about a bright red barn. How would you like a nice red barn situated on a hill in the middle of a completely natural and rural scene? I've had that experience. There is need. I'm amazed at the distrust of municipal councils that are elected by the people. Usually municipal councillors, especially if they wish to be re-elected, listen to the people who want to talk to them. Maybe that's the concern here, that they will listen.

I think there's a great need for protection in many of the areas and especially the older areas. I don't have the same concern for new development in new areas. I have concern about the possibility of things going into the older areas and what should be designated, perhaps, as heritage areas. Quebec City was mentioned, so there is need for protection.

I also want to disagree with the parliamentary assistant and those who have said we can't have special legislation on these things, because the history of municipal government in Ontario will show that we indeed had to have special legislation or there would have been no progress in municipal legislation, or very little, in Ontario. It's the leaders who show us the way in many cases. Perhaps there needs to be some change in the wording, and I hope we have the opportunity to have a response from the city of Burlington officials; I had asked for that before.

The Chair: I believe there should be. Mr Hansen and Mr Perruzza, we are close to the noon hour. I'm sure you will be cognizant of that.

Mr Hansen: I would say that this is a very important piece of legislation. I don't agree completely with Mr Eddy. I have to side with Canadian Tire. Just to take an instance -- it's not a building, but if I were to run in an election in Burlington and they didn't allow me to put up green signs and I had to put up blue signs, I would be quite offended. I think it comes down to the corporate image there also: The sign going up, Canadian Tire, has its certain colours -- I didn't say red.

I think it's getting to the point that it would change the identity of a lot of corporations on the colours they use: inside the store they can use it, but outside, no, they can't. I think people will dictate, in that if a gaudy building were put up, the people in the community would object and boycott the store if it didn't fit in. The other thing is that we have to take a look at the heritage issue. If it's going into a particular area, if the town has designated that particular block a heritage block, they would have to conform to the heritage building.

I don't see that there's a problem there, but I do have a problem with this particular clause. When it comes time to vote on it, I feel the other members of the government also will be voting it down.

Mr Perruzza: I have a question for Mr Mills. I understand that a provision like this is being looked at right now or being studied by a commission, to look at making it a uniform policy across the province of Ontario.

Mr Mills: You're right, Mr Perruzza. It is under study.

Mr Perruzza: That clears up a lot in my mind in terms of whether I'd be able to support this, in an isolated individual case or as something that should be a provincial standard and should be more province-wide.

I have to tell you, I agree with Mr Eddy. I understand that he has eons of years of municipal experience and can appreciate the kinds of frustrations that our municipal counterparts have to undergo.

To expand a little on what Mr Hansen has said, you go through some of these little towns where they've been successful in preserving the heritage and the façades of the buildings, and the developers and the good corporate interests out there have acceded to municipal wishes, because, quite frankly, it only helps them out if they create the ambiance and the façades that attract people and attract tourists and make it a pleasant place to visit and spend money and so on and so forth. In no way does it detract from corporate. I'll move the motion to strike section 2 from this bill, to delete it from the bill. You don't want a motion to delete it from the bill? Can we have a clarification from Mr Mills, please?

Mr Mills: I'd just like to say a couple of things. The Municipal Affairs position at this time is that it is premature in advance of the ongoing review by the Sewell commission. When you look at the Sewell commission, they're saying, "Councils should be encouraged to develop, with full public consultation, design guidelines for appropriate parts of the municipality and include such guidelines in the municipal plan." Also, "Site plan approvals should not be expanded to include colour, texture, type of materials, window or architectural design." I'm saying to you today that we feel that this is premature in advance of the ongoing review by the Sewell commission.


Mr Perruzza: Mr Chairman, in light of that, I guess when we go through the clause-by-clause and get to section 2, I'll be voting against section 2 in this bill.

If I can make one last comment, something Mr Jackson said upset me. We're not against big business. I'm certainly not against big business or any corporate interests. I resent that kind of political, partisan shot.

The Chair: Are there further comments on sections 1, 2 or 3?

Mrs Sullivan: I believe there was a request for officials from the city to once again speak to section 2 of the bill.

The Chair: We're dealing now with section 2. I would suggest at this point that, in addition to section 2, if you would like to make any closing statements before we vote, please do so.

Mr Grechulk: Perhaps I can very quickly touch on Mr Jackson's concern, which is also a concern raised by Ms MacLean in her letter, dealing with corporate colours. Specifically, we have dealt with that issue with our site planning process. As a matter of fact, we have the building here that Mr Jackson referred to, if any members would like to see a picture of it.

In that case, the developers came in with basically a square yellow box. We asked them to work with us in terms of redesigning the texture and colour of that building. They had some reservations about doing so, for the very reason of corporate colours, but they did. We managed to preserve their corporate colours and design a new building that looked very user-friendly. As a matter of fact, this company used this building subsequently as a model for many of their subsequent buildings that they built in other municipalities.

With respect to Ms Dewar's comment about the Ontario Municipal Board having difficulty in making judgements on this issue, that precisely is what the OMB is there to do, to make judgements when there's an issue of contention between the parties. One criterion that certainly can be looked at, as Mr Perruzza said, is the surrounding urban environment; I'm sure the OMB would use that as a criterion to look at site plan appeals.

With respect to Mr Levitt's comment about this being outside the ambit of the code, I disagree. As you can see from the proposed bill, we have made section 2 subject to the Building Code Act. We've done that for two reasons. There was a concern raised by the ministry when we were processing the bill. They wanted to make sure that any materials would be within the scope of the code, and that's the reason for section 2 being subject to the code.

It is not in conflict with section 20 of the Building Code Act, as Mr Levitt indicated, because in that section there is no bylaw being passed. The authority for implementing the site plan control over colour and texture is by virtue of the private bill, no bylaw. So there is no conflict with section 27 of the code.

One final comment with respect to affordable housing. Perhaps I can let Mr Goodman answer that question. We certainly have a document which many of the members might have read about, Future Focus, which is our strategic plan in Burlington. In that plan we certainly hold as a priority non-profit housing, and to try to stifle any kind of non-profit housing through site plan control is certainly unthinkable and contrary to our Future Focus document. Perhaps I can just take one minute to let Mr Goodman comment on that.

Mr Goodman: A very brief comment. Lest there be any misjudgement about the comment by Mr Jackson, that controversy he referred to is one in the community, but at the staff and council level. As Mr Grechulk has said, it really would be unthinkable to use site plan measures to attempt to prevent affordable housing from being developed.

We have a really solid track record for a municipality, especially a suburban municipality. We have worked with all the co-op groups, the non-profit groups, and we have a number of fine projects developed. We have at times considered the materials and what not, but it has never become an issue. All those projects have been built in the 1980s and 1990s and continue to be built. If council wished in any way to thwart affordable housing, which it does not -- we have really got a solid track record in this area -- council has more fundamental avenues available to it.

Mr Mulkewich: Could I just sum up on behalf of the city of Burlington, very briefly, by saying that I think the staff has presented the position very well. I smiled through a lot of this, because the debate has happened in the city of Burlington council previous to this and is therefore reminiscent of it. I do want to say that council has approved these positions. We ask for your support and we are in agreement with the amendment that is here.

The Chair: As will be forthcoming when we get to clause-by-clause. Thank you very much.

Any further comments or questions? Are we then ready to discuss the clauses?

Mr Perruzza: One brief little comment. In section 3, we're going to entertain an amendment, but we haven't heard comments from the city on it.

Mr Mulkewich: We just did. We're in agreement with the amendment.

Mr Fletcher: On section 3, I just need some clarification on what Mr Jackson was saying, that this can only happen one year before the municipal election.

The Chair: Perhaps we can get to that when we get to section 3 in clause-by-clause.

Mr Fletcher: I just want to make sure that I know what I'm doing here. I want to make sure that what's going on is going on.

Mr Jackson: Do you want me to clarify that while we're waiting?

The Chair: I think we should wait until the clause-by-clause. Are we ready to discuss the clauses? Good.

Are we entertaining any amendments to section 1? No.

Shall section 1 carry? Carried.

Are there any amendments to section 2? All those in favour of section 2? All opposed to section 2? Defeated.

Are there amendments to section 3?

Mr Jordan: I move that section 3 of the bill be struck out and the following substituted:

"Despite section 9 of the Regional Municipality of Halton Act, the council of the city of Burlington may provide by bylaw, passed at least one year before a general municipal election, that

"(a) the members of the Burlington Hydro-Electric Commission, other than the mayor, shall be elected at large by a general vote of the electors of the city; or

"(b) the members shall be elected by the wards described in the bylaw."

The Chair: And I'm sure members are cognizant of the changes to the amendment as it was circulated.

Mr Eddy: Is counsel in agreement with the additional two changes proposed?

Ms Mifsud: Yes. I think it clarified the intent.

The Chair: Further discussion? Are we ready then for a vote on the amendment? Shall the amendment to section 3 carry? Carried.

Shall section 3, as amended, carry? Carried.

Is there any discussion on sections 4 through 6? Shall sections 4 through 6 carry? Carried.

Shall the preamble carry? Carried.

Shall the bill carry? Carried.

Shall I report the bill to the House? Agreed.

Thank you. We are adjourned.

The committee adjourned at 1200.