Wednesday April 6 1994

North Toronto Christian School (Interdenominational) Act, 1994, Bill Pr93, Mr Harnick

Charles Harnick, MPP

Simon Li, solicitor, North Toronto Christian School

Capitol Theatre and Arts Centre (Windsor) Act, 1994, Bill Pr71, Mr Dadamo

George Dadamo, MPP

Eleanor Pain, vice-president, Capitol Theatre and Arts Centre

Ed Agnew, solicitor, Capitol Theatre and Arts Centre

Eden Community House of Toronto Act, 1994, Bill Pr99, Ms Akande

Derek Fletcher, MPP

Robert Jenkins, solicitor, Eden Community House of Toronto

City of Kitchener Act, 1994, Bill Pr95, Mr Cooper

Mike Cooper, MPP

James Wallace, city solicitor, City of Kitchener


*Chair / Présidente: Haeck, Christel (St Catharines-Brock ND)

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

*Eddy, Ron (Brant-Haldimand L)

*Fletcher, Derek (Guelph ND)

*Hansen, Ron (Lincoln ND)

*Hayes, Pat (Essex-Kent ND)

*Johnson, David (Don Mills PC)

*Jordan, Leo (Lanark-Renfrew PC)

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

O'Neil, Hugh P. (Quinte L)

Perruzza, Anthony (Downsview ND)

Ruprecht, Tony (Parkdale L)

*In attendance / présents

Substitutions present/ Membres remplaçants présents:

Cooper, Mike (Kitchener-Wilmot ND) for Mr Perruzza

Also taking part / Autres participants et participantes:

Lessard, Wayne (Windsor-Walkerville ND)

Wood, Margaret, policy adviser, local government policy branch, Ministry of Municipal Affairs

Clerk / Greffière: Grannum, Tonia

Staff / Personnel: Klein, Susan A., legislative counsel

The committee met at 1008 in committee room 1.


Consideration of Bill Pr93, An Act to revive North Toronto Christian School (Interdenominational).

The Chair (Ms Christel Haeck): Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to call the regular meeting of the standing committee on regulations and private bills to order. Our first order of business is to consider Bill Pr93, An Act to revive North Toronto Christian School (Interdenominational). Charles Harnick is the sponsor. Charles, perhaps you could then introduce the applicant after you've said a few words.

Mr Charles Harnick (Willowdale): The applicant is the North Toronto Christian School. They're represented today by their solicitor, Simon Li. The application is quite simply to revive the North Toronto Christian School's charter, which lapsed in 1987, evidently for a default in filing a special notice under section 5 of the Corporations Information Act. The applicants have represented that this default was inadvertent. They've done the necessary advertising. It is merely a matter of reviving their charter that brings us here.

The Chair: Any comments from Mr Li, first of all?

Mr Simon Li: Without repeating the information already contained in the compendium of background information, I wish to make only three points in summary, if this is the appropriate time to do that.

The Chair: It is.

Mr Li: The first point is that as indicated by the honourable Mr Harnick, the default was inadvertent. Interestingly, at the initial notice filed under the Corporations Information Act, while it has not changed the head office address, it did indicate the principal place of business as 50 Page Avenue in North York, which has continued to be the principal place of business for the past 12 years. Unfortunately, legally speaking, that is not the proper head office address and notices were not sent there, including the notice of default and the notice of dissolution. When it was duly dissolved in 1987, they didn't know about it and they continue to operate to this date.

The second point is that actually the revived charter makes no prejudice to any party that we know of and I understand that we have received no objection from any party except that the public trustee indicated it wishes us to file a list of documents, which we have duly filed, and we have not received any further objection afterwards. Actually, in addition to not being of prejudice to any party, this act, I would respectfully submit, would be a benefit, a significant segment of the community.

This would be my third and last point: The school has continued to operate and has thrived from the day of its inception to this date, and it has a school of close to 500 pupils and is now up to grade 10 and will continue to expand. Everything was looking good and all the parents were happy until, of course, we heard that it was dissolved.

I respectfully request your favourable consideration of this act.

The Chair: Before I turn to Mr Hansen, I do have the obligation to ask if there are any other interested parties who wish to come forward. Seeing none, Mr Hansen.

Mr Ron Hansen (Lincoln): I'm going to support this bill to revive the North Toronto Christian School and I have no questions.

The Chair: Mr Hayes, as the parliamentary assistant, are there any concerns on the part of any ministry?

Mr Pat Hayes (Essex-Kent): Actually, we have correspondence from the Ministry of Revenue, which has no objections, and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs does not object to this bill.

The Chair: I know Mr Jordan has a motion to make, but I believe that probably would be better after the voting has taken place. Are members prepared to vote?

Interjections: Yes.

The Chair: Shall sections 1 through 3 carry? Carried.

Shall the title carry? Carried.

Shall the bill carry? Carried.

Shall I report the bill to the House? Agreed.

I'm sorry, the clerk has advised me we have missed one part, and that is, shall the preamble carry? Carried.

Mr Leo Jordan (Lanark-Renfrew): I move that the committee recommend that the fees and the actual cost of printing at all stages and in the annual statutes be remitted on Bill Pr93, An Act to revive North Toronto Christian School (Interdenominational).

The Chair: Are there any votes in opposition? Seeing none, that motion is carried.

I'd like to thank you, Mr Li, and Mr Harnick.

Mr Harnick: Thank you very much. I appreciate this.


Consideration of Bill Pr71, An Act respecting The Capitol Theatre and Arts Centre (Windsor).

The Chair: Our next order of business is Bill Pr99, but not seeing Mrs Akande at this point, let us move on to Bill Pr71, An Act respecting The Capitol Theatre and Arts Centre (Windsor). Mr Dadamo, as the sponsor, would you please introduce the applicant and if you feel like making a few opening comments, feel free to do so.

Mr George Dadamo (Windsor-Sandwich): I'll only take a half-hour.

Mr Derek Fletcher (Guelph): You'd better not.

Mr Dadamo: Thank you to the committee members. Good morning. I'd like to introduce Ed Agnew, who's president of the Capitol Theatre and Arts Centre in Windsor, and Eleanor Paine, who is the director, a couple of people we have forged a relationship and partnership with in the last couple of years. They run a centre that needs help and has needed help. The Capitol Theatre was built in 1926 and we've given assistance on a couple of occasions.

We feel it is extremely important and vital to the downtown core of the city of Windsor, with other projects that they'll work hand and hand with. We believe strongly that they'll thrive again, and they are. There's a lot of work being done. We'd like the partnership to continue and I wholeheartedly support Bill 71, 100%.

The Chair: Mr Agnew or Ms Pain, if you'd like to make any comments.

Ms Eleanor Pain: I'd just like to take a moment of your time to give you a little background on the Capitol Theatre and Arts Centre in Windsor. It was a building that was slated for demolition by its owner at the time, and a group of citizens in the community came together and have worked unceasingly for the past three years to create a viable place for the community arts groups to do their work in Windsor. With the help of the city of Windsor and the province of Ontario, we were successful in purchasing the building on September 1, 1993.

Mr Ed Agnew: Just to emphasize the support we receive from the community, the city council pledged $1.83 million to the project, the province of Ontario has committed $2.87 million and the fund-raising effort by the board of directors is at $500,000. The federal government has been asked and we're very close to receiving approval on the $2.4 million that is necessary to complete the restoration-renovation.

The pledge we made to both the province and the city was that we would operate this facility on a break-even position. I think that's very, very important these days when new facilities are opening, that they don't become a burden upon the taxpayers. We have pledged that and to date we have succeeded. Our year-end is June 30, and as at June 30 we will be in a break-even position.

However, that is not taking into account the $36,000 in municipal taxes we would normally have to pay. The council of the city of Windsor understood this as well and agreed to support our application for tax exemption.

It's a community arts centre. We're trying to involve and we are involving the entire community, from the school children up to the senior citizens to the symphony attendees. We have to keep our prices affordable. We have to keep them affordable to those people; we have to keep them affordable to the arts groups that use the facilities.

We have three theatres within this one theatre, and it's a beautiful facility. It was designed by the same architect who designed the Pantages Theatre, so you understand the quality. It would be a shame to see that demolished, and if we were not successful in maintaining this facility on a break-even position, the whole project would be in danger. So we have taken on that commitment and we will succeed on that basis. However, we do need this exemption in order for us to do that.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Agnew and Ms Pain, for your introductory remarks. I will then turn to our audience behind us. Are there any other interested parties who wish to come forward about this bill? Seeing none, I will turn to Mr Hayes and ask if there are any ministry comments you'd like to pass on.

Mr Hayes: I think due to the fact that Mr Agnew and Mrs Pain struggled to come up north from the Banana Belt in Essex county and their efforts that they have made, and of course the strong support that Mr Dadamo and Mr Lessard have made here towards the Capital Theatre, we have no objections to this bill.


The Chair: Are there any questions? I saw some from over here.

Mr Gordon Mills (Durham East): I'd just like to go on the record as being supportive of this application. I commend the city of Windsor and all the people involved with bringing theatre and arts to that fine community. I've had the chance to visit on a number of occasions. I'm very glad to hear, as a senior citizen, that maybe there's --

Interjection: Parts for you to play?

Mr Mills: No, that's going to be recognized in the admission charges.

Interjection: He's looking for a freebie.

Mr Mills: Because we're always looking for those benefits. So anyway, well done.

Mr David Johnson (Don Mills): I too congratulate the Capitol Theatre and Arts Centre in Windsor. They seem to be well received and they seem to be successful. I wish them good luck.

To me, one of the important criteria in this whole matter is the response of the city in question. Obviously, the city of Windsor is behind you and is supportive of this exemption, and supportive to the extent of giving you quite a healthy grant, too. So with that support from the local municipality, I too will support this bill.

Mr Wayne Lessard (Windsor-Walkerville): I just want to indicate my support for the project as well and indicate that Mrs Pain is actually a volunteer executive director on the board -- all the board members are volunteers as well -- and has received acclaim among her peers and had an article written about her in Chatelaine magazine as well.

I know that Gord is looking for some sort of a special break when he comes to visit and we could probably provide that. If he wants to buy his own chair there, he can do that.

The Chair: As someone who is always interested in matters heritage, I'm sad to say something that we might have been able to work on in St Catharines like this got burned down. I'm glad you're ahead of the game and showing the rest of us a very good example.

After my editorial remark, I will now turn to the members and ask if they are prepared to vote.

Hearing no objectors to that, shall sections 1 through 3 carry? Carried.

Shall the preamble carry? Carried.

Shall the title carry? Carried.

Shall the bill carry? Carried.

Shall I report the bill to the House? Agreed.

Mr Hansen: I move that the committee recommend that the fees and the actual cost of printing at all stages and in the annual statutes be remitted on Bill Pr71, An Act respecting The Capitol Theatre and Arts Centre (Windsor).

Interjections: Agreed.

The Chair: I hear a lot of "agreeds." Are there any objectors? Hearing none --

Mr Mills: Why can't we be like this in the House?

The Chair: I know. Hearing none, I would say that unanimously this committee supports your endeavour. Thank you very much for making that long trek from a very pleasant part of the country.

Mr Agnew: It was our pleasure. Thank you very much.


Consideration of Bill Pr99, An Act to revive Eden Community House of Toronto.

The Chair: Mr Fletcher, you'll be helping out on Bill Pr99, An Act to revive Eden Community House of Toronto.

Mr Fletcher: On behalf of Zanana Akande, I'd like to introduce Bill Pr99, An Act to revive Eden Community House of Toronto. With us today is Mr Robert Jenkins.

The Chair: Mr Jenkins, perhaps you'd like to make some opening remarks.

Mr Robert Jenkins: Briefly, I'd like to just indicate that the purpose of this community house is a halfway house for psychiatric patients. The corporation fell into arrears with the filing because notices were sent to the address of a director who had moved. The organization is funded by the province and it's extremely grateful for the support it receives. That support has been ongoing for a number of years. Unless there are any questions, that's all I have to say, Madam Chair.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Jenkins. I will ask if there's anyone here who has some concerns about this bill. Seeing none, I would ask Mr Hayes if there are any comments from any of the respective ministries.

Mr Hayes: No. We have a piece of correspondence here from the Ministry of Revenue. They have not objected. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs does not object to this bill.

The Chair: Are there any questions or comments?

Mr David Johnson: As in the previous application, Eden Community House is a very worthwhile cause and I would be happy to support their cause in this. I know that they do do a lot of good work, and that this is inadvertent. We're pleased to support it.

The Chair: Are there any additional questions? Seeing none, I would ask if members are ready to vote. Agreed.

Shall sections 1 through 3 carry? Carried.

Shall the preamble carry? Carried.

Shall the title carry? Carried.

Shall the bill carry? Carried.

Shall I report the bill to the House? Agreed.

Mr Hansen: I move that the committee recommend that the fees and the actual cost of printing at all stages and in the annual statutes be remitted on Bill Pr99, An Act to revive Eden Community House of Toronto.

The Chair: I have to ask if there's anyone opposed. Seeing none, unanimous consent. Thank you very much, Mr Jenkins, for your time, and thank you, Mr Fletcher. Now we have Mr Cooper.

Mr Mike Cooper (Kitchener-Wilmot): Due to the weather, I believe the solicitor from the city of Kitchener is probably delayed somewhat, so could I ask for a 15-minute recess?

The Chair: You may. I believe there are no objections at this point.


The Chair: Excuse me. Order, please.

Mr Mills: What is going to be the procedure if in 15 minutes' time elapsed, the solicitor hasn't shown? Are we going to go ahead?

The Chair: Is there anyone else here who is an applicant at this point? I would like to turn to the clerk for some advice in this regard.

Mr Mills: We have all the material, the arguments. I would think that we could use the 15 minutes to read that and then go ahead when the solicitor doesn't come.

The Chair: Let me turn to the clerk and ask because I'm not sure --


The Chair: Excuse me. There are a number of conversations here and the echoes in this room are such that it is distracting. Thank you very much to all members. Ms Grannum will give us an idea if we can move ahead without an applicant.

Clerk of the Committee (Ms Tonia Grannum): I believe we do need an applicant to go ahead.

Mr Mills: So if he doesn't show up, we're going to wait till what time?

The Chair: We may have to defer this to another day.

Mr Mills: Okay.

The Chair: We will recess, then, for 15 minutes, hoping that the applicant manages to get through the weather.

The committee recessed from 1027 to 1038.


Consideration of Bill Pr95, An Act respecting the City of Kitchener.

The Chair: Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to call us to order again. I want to say welcome to Mr Wallace. I understand the weather was a bit of a challenge.

Mr James Wallace: Yes. Thank you very much for waiting. I'm much obliged.

The Chair: The rules of doing this, I am required to turn to Mr Cooper and ask if he could, as sponsor, make a few opening comments and then turn to Mr Wallace. For the record, for Hansard, I should say that the order of business is Bill Pr95, An Act respecting the City of Kitchener.

Mr Cooper: It's my pleasure to be here to sponsor Bill Pr95, An Act respecting the City of Kitchener. Basically, what this bill is to do is to regulate the sale and storage of fireworks, a lot of regulations around the fireworks. I know this has been an issue that's been around for a number of years. A lot of people would like to see fireworks totally banned, but if we're going to have them, I think we should have some good regulations in place.

I'd like to thank the committee for its indulgence in waiting for the solicitor to show up because of the weather. I understand there are some concerns around this bill and I'm sure he's quite ready to defend the position of the city of Kitchener. So I'd like to present Mr James Wallace, the solicitor for the city of Kitchener.

Mr Wallace: Briefly, I could put the position on the bill such that the problem arose with respect to someone coming into a parking lot at the main entrance to Kitchener and setting up a semitrailer and then dispensing fireworks from that trailer. The problem we have is that we have nothing to prohibit that. Our bylaw allowed the sale of fireworks within six days prior to May 24. The person came and did get a hawker's and pedlar's licence, complied with the bylaw and so on.

Nevertheless, council was faced with protests from local businesses, one in particular, that distributed fireworks to all of the variety stores in town. There are other competing fireworks dealers of course, but this one gentleman came to council and convinced it that this was a problem because you had someone basically who was sort of skimming the cream off the top of the business for that particular time. What it did was it put at a disadvantage the people who are there all the time for the long term, the variety stores and such, who pay business tax and real property tax.

In the material that I supplied you with, and I just point out that a lot of money apparently changes hands on this, you'll see in one of the minutes of the meeting of the council of March 22, 1993, a submission was made by the gentlemen, Mr Eve, president of H. Fokes and Co. "In response to a question from Alderman Lorentz, Mr Eve advised that the fireworks operation at issue would generate approximately $100,000 over a five-day period," so there's a lot of money involved.

Basically, I guess council could see that this is, in a way, notwithstanding that the person had paid -- actually, their licence fee under the hawkers and pedlars was $350 for a five-day period. So in order to sell for six days, in accordance with the fireworks bylaw, they actually paid $700 and didn't bat an eye.

So council, and you can see the discussion in there, wished really somehow not only to charge a fee reflective of what this was doing, I think, in a way trying to be restrictive -- I make no bones about it -- $1,000 for the person who sold the fireworks possibly, as I read it, in addition to the hawkers and pedlars. So you're now talking about $1,700 for that six-day period.

Again, as you'll see in the material file, I've basically pointed out that it could be construed as prohibitive and, as I say, they didn't bat an eye about that, because that's what council in effect wants. They want to make, to a certain extent, a certain amount of protection for the local business.

In addition to that there were concerns -- I talked to the fire department about it; they are concerned about people driving in parking lots and simply unhitching a semitrailer and starting to sell fireworks. You'll notice that I asked for regulations for clearance for services, access, all that kind of thing, so in effect we'd have a site plan for it. Their concern was mainly to promote the safety of whatever is happening there.

I think a lot of municipalities are seeing now -- and this I can put forward, I think, as a general feeling -- that the downtowns and the main streets of the cities are deteriorating. I guess they see this as another encroachment on that and some way of protecting established businesses. I appreciate that there are other reasons why downtowns do deteriorate, but certainly Kitchener, by locating its new city hall right on the main street, is trying actively to regenerate the downtown. I think this is part of the climate in which this comes forward.

I just point out that they wanted to license and regulate the vendors of fireworks and charge a licence fee to the vendors, but they also want to charge a licence fee of $1,000 to the person who makes their parking lot or whatever available to the trailer. In this instance, it would have been Lulu's; the example I am using is Lulu's nightclub that had the big parking lot on King Street, Highway 8, available.

So you have that imposition of a $1,000 licence fee on the vendor and on the provider of the premises; regulations for the safe storage, handling and possession; and also the ability, if council so wishes, to prohibit the sale of fireworks absolutely within defined areas of the city. I think, in a nutshell, I've covered all the aspects of that.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Wallace. My next order of business would be to ask if there are any other interested parties who would be present, and seeing that the room is virtually empty, we'll --

Mr Hansen: I'm here.

The Chair: I'm thinking of our audience; there is no one there, so I would take it that there are no objectors. I have, at this point, two questioners; first Mr Mills and then Mr Hansen.

Mr Mills: First of all, I'd like to thank you for coming here this morning, despite the adventure to get here, and I'd also like to tell you that I have considerable empathy with what you're facing in Kitchener. In the communities that I represent, and there are several sort of semiurban centres, we're plagued with just the situation that you're talking about. Just prior to Victoria Day a huge trailer will appear on the parking lot of a garage or a service station and dispense fireworks to all the folks who are travelling to cottage country, thereby taking their livelihood from the people who pay taxes, local property taxes and business taxes.

Also, I'd like to say that this is expanding into flowers. In my area on Mother's Day, for instance, every service station seems to be selling flowers, much to the chagrin of the people who pay property taxes. Without prolonging the debate, I have empathy and I am going to support this. But I have a motion to make, Madam Chair, at the proper time on behalf of the Solicitor General, who just wants to put some amendment in there to cover the ministry's position. But other than that, I have a great deal of empathy with you.

Mr Hansen: I notice that on a motion by one of the councillors it says this special legislation would apply to all hawkers and pedlars and not to the sale of fireworks alone. So this is going to cover all sales in Kitchener. I've got some more to say, but would you mind responding to that?

Mr Wallace: With respect to that, that was the initial discussion. As in other material filed, when they finally got through it all they said, "No, let's confine it to fireworks." In other words, there was a debate, there has been concern, as echoed, about flowers before particular days, and there are other concerns.

They felt, though, that in this particular instance -- and if I can refer you to it, it was in council of April 26, 1993:

"That the city solicitor make application to the province for special legislation that would allow the city of Kitchener to license, regulate and prohibit the sale of fireworks with respect to the specific location, daily sales licences and, further, the above application also include authority to charge a fee of $1,000 for this licence to be issued to the fireworks vendor and an identical fee for the licence to the owner of the property used by the fireworks licensee."

So after all the debate was resolved, that's what it came down to. Those are my instructions.


Mr Hansen: Okay, fine, because as Mr Mills has stated with these flowers, it's a real issue in our area. The issue is that we have the largest number of greenhouses in my riding alone, yet all these flowers that are sold on the corners, which are within eyesight of these greenhouses, are coming from Quebec. So the local growers are losing out quite a bit.

I do have one concern and I think maybe I'd like to put it on the record that in our area the Lions Club sells fireworks to make money, and Christmas trees at Christmastime. So this $1,000 to the Lions Club would be quite expensive, yet I don't know if there's any way of going around the bylaw to the point that a garage would say, "It's part of my sales and I'm going to let the Lions Club with the trailer out there."

It comes to the point also that a place like the Sleep Factory brings in two large trailers with surplus mattresses and beds and sometimes other things that they normally don't sell. It's something to look into when you start passing other bylaws to expand it, because it could hurt the businessman who has a large parking lot that brings in these special sales. With the fireworks here, could you comment on that, the Lions Club and what would happen to some of these charitable non-profit organizations?

Mr Wallace: I would suggest to you that, if what is represented to council that it would make $100,000 over five days, a fee of $1,000 for the Lions Club would be peanuts for the kind of money we're talking about and probably well worth their while. If it is, as represented to council, $100,000 for five days and they're there for six days, they're making, presumably, over $100,000 in a week. That's what he alleges in the representation made by the distributor.

Mr Ron Eddy (Brant-Haldimand): I certainly support the application to pass the bill as well. I realize the problem. Could you refresh my memory on whether it is the Municipal Act that now authorizes municipalities to control fireworks? There's something that's too general.

The Chair: If you could introduce yourself for the purposes of Hansard. Nods are hard to pick up as well.

Ms Margaret Wood: Margaret Wood, Ministry of Municipal Affairs. Yes, at the present time there is some regulatory authority for municipalities in the Municipal Act that allows them to regulate fire vendors, but it's not as comprehensive as what the applicant is thinking.

Mr Eddy: Thank you. I agree with the application.

Mrs Ellen MacKinnon (Lambton): The honourable Ron Eddy took the words right out of my mouth, because I thought there was provincial -- I guess it is provincial, but it's in the Municipal Act, because I know we have that at home. If $1,000 doesn't discourage them, what in the world will? If you want $1,000 from whoever pulls the transport in, I don't think they'll even blink twice. If you want $1,000 from Lulu's or whoever, I don't think Lulu's is going to blink twice. I just wonder at that fee, if it's even steep enough. I mean that sincerely. I sympathize with what you're trying to do here, because there's also the fire hazard and the danger that's involved, in my opinion, anyway.

Mr Jordan: Just following along with what my colleague Ron Eddy has said there regarding the Municipal Act, this product has to be marketed right across the province in every community. Would it not be time for the minister to look at the Municipal Act to revise it in such a way?

Mr Fletcher: It sounds like a good idea to us.

Mr Jordan: This bill is for the city of Kitchener, but I know in my riding there are several towns that experience the same problem. It doesn't seem sensible to have each community coming before us to give local councils the authority to deal with it.

The Chair: I know Mr Hayes has taken your concerns to heart and will communicate same to the minister. Mr Hayes, on behalf of the ministry do you have any comments to make on this particular bill?

Mr Hayes: Yes, I do. The ministry certainly understands the situation the city of Kitchener is in, but there are a couple of things of course we'll be talking about in an amendment when the time comes. The thing is that, as we have done on several other bills here in the Legislature, we felt that there should be reasonable cost, administrative cost, for any licence fees, and therefore we will be presenting an amendment to this bill.

There are other concerns dealing I guess with the free enterprise system of -- like I said, I can understand where you're coming from, but at the same time I guess our concern is, are all people going to be treated equally? In other words, if someone else needs a permit or wants a permit to sell fireworks, are they going to be charged the same amount of money as you would charge this other individual? That is a concern.

So one of our amendments, when we get to that, will be that there be a maximum of a $1,000 fee. I wanted to make that comment and maybe you can respond to it, because I think it's very important.

Mr Wallace: Yes. I think council, regardless of the costs involved of administering the licence fee, wanted to be able to charge $1,000, without even talking about the cost. When they were debating this, I said to them that they must be careful, because they wanted to do it, in doing this without special legislation, because you don't want the courts to decide that what you're imposing is so high as to be prohibitory. In response to that, they said, "Well, we want $1,000," and as far as they're concerned, that was their reply, not tying it to what the administrative costs were at all. If they were a few dollars, they did not want to have their hands tied in that regard; they wanted to be able to have $1,000.

Mr Hayes: Just one question, I guess, and of course talking to the ministry staff it's a question I asked them with this bill: Let's just use the example if I own a variety store in Kitchener or wherever and I want to sell fireworks. Am I going to be treated differently than someone else who wants to sell in another location?

Mr Wallace: You won't be subject to the licence fee, because you're paying real property taxes and business taxes. Where we propose to impose this is when it's someone with a hawkers and pedlars, or, as it says -- I forget now -- the daily location special sales licence. I've got it backwards probably, but specific location daily sales licence, which our licensing supervisor administers. In other words, if somebody comes from out of town to sell fur coats or to sell leather coats or whatever, we've been doing this for years. We have been imposing this type of licence under our hawkers and pedlars provisions in the Municipal Act, and frankly quite successfully.

May I just say that municipalities are deluged with people coming wanting to be hawkers and pedlars from out of town, and it's all we can do to keep up with them and charge the licence fee. We had someone come, just as an example, and set up a truck opposite the K-W hospital on King Street and have uniforms for people to try on right on the sidewalk out in front of the hospital. Until they're chased away, this is the kind of thing that happens. So we've found this is a very, very effective way of basically protecting local people, and I think it's a legitimate concern.

I guess it depends on how you view the economic base of a community. If you decide the economic base of the community is worth preserving, then I suggest these are proper measures you can take.


I think in these circumstances, council wasn't thinking about the cost of administering the licence. They were looking at, "We want $1,000"; to be able to say, "If you want to do that, it's going to cost you $1,000," just as they have with the sale of leather coats, someone who comes in to a Holiday Inn or whatever and puts on a sale. They've been trying over the years, and I will say that when I came to Kitchener over 20 years ago, they had this in place then and it has been very effective. I highly recommend it to other municipalities, but I guess I'm prejudiced.

Mr Hansen: Getting back to something the parliamentary assistant has said, and I think I sort of brought it out earlier about Sleep Factory, what if I own a variety store? I've normally sold firecrackers in the store in previous years and I've still got them inside the store, but I bring a large trailer in beside the store. Would that wind up classifying, because I'm the owner of the store and I have purchased those firecrackers, that I would not need a permit? When you were discussing about traffic patterns, that would change a traffic pattern of going into that mall or whatever.

Mr Wallace: I'm certain we'd take the position that if it otherwise complied with city regulations such as fire and access and so on and could be accommodated on a vacant lot beside the store and everything was safe about it, that would probably be allowed without the hawker -- because it's not a hawker; it's an established business.

As an example, we have a proliferation -- I shouldn't say a proliferation; nothing like Toronto. We have all kinds of people coming to sell hot dogs and hot dog stands everywhere. So we licensed those and we've tried to keep that down to a dull roar by having as few as possible, because there again you have restaurants on the main street, one of them which sells nothing but hot dogs, as a matter of fact, that see this as competition.

Under the hawkers and pedlars licensing provisions, we've attempted to licence those and keep them. At that stage, a restaurant owner said, "Well, what are you going to do to me if I put a hot dog stand out in front of our restaurant?" We basically said, "As long as you agree with us about signing an agreement for encroaching on the sidewalk, which is immediately in front of your store, no other problem." So we don't charge them a licence fee because again the theory is that they're paying real property taxes, business taxes and they're part of an establishment. They're not here today and gone tomorrow. That's the situation.

Mr Hansen: This is the first time that I've been involved in a particular bill like this. Sometimes there are ways of getting around, where you can say it's the person who owns the store, it's their load, but really it's someone else's load of firecrackers, like on a commission basis. You know, it's covered that we don't see you coming back next year and saying, "Gee, that was a good bill we passed but we forgot to put that in."

Mr Wallace: May I just comment? We're not omniscient. What happens is very much what you say. We find that we can't protect ourselves against fraud, but we try; we do our best. We suspect a lot of things, but we can't prove some of them.

Mr Hansen: Okay. I must have a mind that thinks the other way at times, but I think you have to, sitting on committee on how things take place and it's covered.

The Chair: Mr Jordan, you look like you have your question ready.

Mr Jordan: I'd just like to ask Mr Wallace, are the surrounding municipalities in agreement with you?

Mr Wallace: Traditionally what has happened is that Kitchener, which has the larger population in the area, has had this, as I say, prior to my ever coming to the city over 21 years ago. The city of Waterloo has been much more relaxed about it and basically never bothered with hawkers and pedlars, but I understand from our superintendent of licensing that they've been in touch with our city to see what they can do because they're now having problems with some of the same things.

Mr Jordan: So they could be in here asking for the same type of legislation.

Mr Wallace: I don't know; it depends how aggressive they are. As you appreciate, they're about one third the size of Kitchener. Cambridge, I believe, has licensing that it's invoking too. I'm not too familiar with how far they've gone with it, but I do know they have licensing much more than the city of Waterloo.

Mr Jordan: I was also concerned about the parking in the rural township, just beyond the fringe. If their price is right, people will go there and buy their product. But, as you say, you can't block everything; you can only try.

The Chair: Mr Hayes has a couple more questions, Mr Wallace, so thank you for your indulgence.

Mr Hayes: I just want to make a few points. It's not just out to defeat your bill, but at the same time, when you talk about other vendors who are paying taxes and things of that nature, they're also receiving services from the municipality and I think that should be made clear.

The amendment that we have here, and like I said, I'll read it soon, when we talk about reasonable cost of administration and also you'd be able to put in the cost of enforcing the bylaw, so I think that would be very important. Like I said, the ministry will go along with this bill but we would go along with this bill only if this amendment is passed.

The Chair: Are there any further questions or comments? Seeing none, I'd like to ask the members if they are ready to vote.

Mr Mills: We're ready.

The Chair: Are you ready to vote? Very good. Mr Mills is always eager to vote.

Mr Mills: I'm always eager to get on with the process.

Mr Hansen: I have an amendment to clause 1(2)(e).

I move that clause 1(2)(e) of the bill be struck out and the following substituted:

"(e) fix the term of the licence which may vary with each licence; and

"(f) establish licence fees to cover the reasonable costs of administering and enforcing the bylaw, to a maximum of $1,000."

The Chair: Shall the amendment carry? Carried.

Mr Mills: I have another amendment.

I move that section 1 of the bill be amended by adding the following subsection:


"(4) If there is a conflict between a bylaw passed under this act and a regulation made under the Fire Marshals Act, the one that is more stringent prevails."

Mr Fletcher: I have a question. "The one that is more stringent prevails": Who determines the one that is more stringent?

Mr Hayes: I guess the courts would do it, but I think if you read any kind of act, I think the conditions that have to be met, would be pretty well spelled out. It's like a collective agreement in the workplace where you come from, Mr Fletcher, versus the Occupational Health and Safety Act, you see. If one is stronger than the other, that's the one we go by.

Mr Fletcher: Which would result in interpretation. That's why I was wondering, because "the one that is more stringent" does come under interpretation as far as I am concerned, until someone makes a decision on that interpretation.

Ms Wood: Yes. I guess the courts would ultimately determine which is more stringent, if it's not obvious.

The Chair: Are members then in favour of this amendment relating to subsection 1(4)? Any opposed? That is carried.

Shall section 1, as amended, carry? Carried.

Shall section 2 carry? Carried.

Shall section 3 carry? Carried.

Shall the preamble carry? Carried.

Shall the title carry? Carried.

Shall the bill, as amended, carry? Carried.

Shall I report the bill to the House? Agreed.

Mr Cooper: I want to make a brief comment on one of the recommendations made by Mr Jordan about this being province-wide, I would like to once again state that the city of Kitchener and the region of Waterloo are once again leading the charge in progress for the province.


The Chair: Oh, Mr Cooper, I don't think you should be this provocative. In any case, I'd like to thank Mr Wallace for giving us some food for thought and thank you for your time.

Mr Wallace: Thank you, committee.

The committee adjourned at 1111.