Wednesday 30 March 1994

Township of Glanbrook Act, 1993, Bill Pr63, Mr Morrow

Mark Morrow, MPP

Nancy Smith, solicitor, Township of Glanbrook

Carl Dombek, legal counsel, Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario

Victor Veri, representative, Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario

Geri Kamenz, senior manager, Ontario Federation of Agriculture

Elbert van Donkersgoed, research director, Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario

Pat Hayes, parliamentary assistant to Minister of Municipal Affairs

Howard Lang, manager, agronomic regulations, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Township of Huron and Village of Ripley Act, 1994, Bill Pr78, Mr Elston

Murray J. Elston, MPP

Albert Ostner, solicitor, Township of Huron and Village of Ripley

Town of Bothwell Act, 1994, Bill Pr89, Mr Hope

Randy Hope, MPP

William Magee, solicitor, Town of Bothwell

City of Kingston Act, 1994, Bill Pr91, Mr Gary Wilson

Gary Wilson, MPP

Norman Jackson, city solicitor, City of Kingston

Stewart Fyfe, interested party

Irene Mooney, interested party

Joe Ferguson, interested party

Pat Good, interested party


*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

Clerk / Greffière: Grannum, Tonia

Staff / Personnel: Mifsud, Lucinda, legislative counsel

The committee met at 1005 in committee room 1.


Consideration of Bill Pr63, An Act respecting the Township of Glanbrook.

The Chair (Ms Christel Haeck): Our first order of business is Bill Pr63, An Act respecting the Township of Glanbrook. The sponsor is Mr Morrow, and your applicant is Nancy Smith.

Mr Mark Morrow (Wentworth East): The bill is Bill Pr63, An Act respecting the Township of Glanbrook. I'm very pleased to have Nancy Smith, its lawyer, here with me.

Ms Nancy Smith: Members of the committee, you'll recall that I appeared before you on December 8 of last year and spoke to this bill. I don't plan to go through the submissions I made to you then. I'll just remind you that this is a bill on behalf of the township of Glanbrook to authorize it to pass bylaws to regulate the dumping of fill within the township of Glanbrook.

You'll recall that when we met last December, there were some concerns that our bill and any bylaws passed under that bill may interfere with normal agricultural practices within the township of Glanbrook, the township being predominantly a rural municipality at the present time.

Since the bill was presented to you, there has been an amendment proposed on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food that expressly deals with this concern that any bylaw passed pursuant to this bill not interfere with normal farm practices as defined under the Farm Practices Protection Act. You should have that amendment before you. I'm not sure of the procedure, but I believe somebody will be putting that amendment forth to be added to the bill as it's presently drafted.

I also would like to remind the committee members that similar legislation has been passed by this House on behalf of other municipalities within Ontario. The township of Glanbrook has perceived a potential problem within its municipality, dealing with the dumping of fill. This is the proactive response to that potential problem.

Subject to any questions you may have or any information you need from me, those are my submissions. I believe there are some objectors here this morning.

The Chair: Thank you, Ms Smith. I believe Mr Veri is here, who was here before us in December, and another gentleman, if he would please introduce himself for Hansard. Mr Veri, would you begin, as someone who has been with us before? I assume this is Mr Dombek.

Mr Carl Dombek: Carl Dombek. Actually, if I could reverse the order, I'm representing Mr Veri on this, and I just wanted to make a couple of points.

The first point is that Mr Veri certainly supports the proposed amendment to add an exclusion for normal farm practices. As counsel for Glanbrook has stated, the area is a rural area. We are concerned that any bylaws that are passed not interfere with normal farm practices and would avoid duplication of other municipal bylaws in effect, such as obtaining building permits and so on. I could be wrong, and maybe counsel for Glanbrook could advise me, but I believe there wasn't any serious objection to that amendment being made. If that's the case, I think this committee should move the amendment and put it forward to the House.

The only other comment I'd make before Mr Veri has a couple of comments to make is that one of the concerns we have is the problem of duplication of efforts with this type of legislation. As you are aware in reading the legislation, my interpretation of it is that if a farmer wanted to put up another building such as a barn or some other outside building, he or she may be required to get permits not only under this legislation but under other building legislation such as building bylaws regarding building permits and so on.

We would like to avoid that kind of duplication, if at all possible. Certainly the farm community, which is quite regulated as it is -- and I understand you may have representations from some of the farm organizations -- would agree with that request.

Basically, those are the comments I have. Mr Veri has a few comments he would like to make, and I'd just turn it over to him.

Mr Victor Veri: Madam Chair and members of the committee, I haven't been trained in law or whatever, so I'm going to try to speak for a moment from a layman's point of view.

I agree with Carl that I support this amendment. That's basically what I instigated and that's why we're here a second time. I feel a lot more relieved with that amendment, as Mr Dombek explained to me how it would affect the rural community, the farmer who is to do something that would have been in contravention of the existing proposed private member's bill.

I just have some personal concerns, and I don't know how they all work out in the process of regulation and prohibition of this particular -- and the processing of this act, if it is passed today. I managed to pick up yesterday a private member's bill being submitted before this committee in the near future from the city of Stoney Creek. I only have one copy here. It has almost 80% plagiarized this private member's bill, so I realize this private member's bill will be a precedent-setting bill for Stoney Creek and any other municipality that may want to jump on the bandwagon and come before you and ask for the same status.

What worried me when reading the Stoney Creek private member's bill is a letter -- the most recent date on this particular file is October 15, 1993 -- that says that basically the House is distributing this bill among the interested ministries for their comments. One thing I was very concerned about. Down the road I don't know what's going to happen to the farmer, but should this farmer ever be confronted with a situation that this bill has caused to happen, there's nothing in this bill to say what this municipality can do as far as fines go.

If I just read the Stoney Creek bill, they have it very clearly spelled out in their so-called private member's bill. If I may read it in full, it's:


"A bylaw passed under subsection (1) may provide that a person who contravenes the bylaw is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of,

"(a) not more than $10,000 for the first offence;

"(b) not more than $25,000 for each subsequent offence."

That is very scary, a very high fine. I don't know what this bill is going to do when it comes to imposing fines on, say, a farmer who -- we may have overlooked the legalities of all this today, and sure enough, a farmer may be confronted with such a horrendous fine. I'm worried about that. I'm worried about how this whole bill is going to be processed in the future. It always ends up in the courts somehow, and the courts are very expensive.

I brought a solicitor in last time, Mr John Crossingham. If I read his letter to me, he's recommending that I take the stance, even though I support this amendment, that this bill should not be processed. He gave good legal arguments. I have it on Hansard. He is a municipal lawyer who deals in municipal law, and he made some very good legal arguments.

Basically, he said, in summary, that all the things the municipalities want to do now with regard to their concerns can be handled in so many other ways given to them under the Municipal Act. Even though I'm in support of all this -- and if you're determined to put this through today, I have to live with it -- I say there are going to be problems arising from this bill. I know the bill that applies to Caledon is in the courts now. Somebody has taken that private member's bill to court in Caledon. There's just no end to it.

Really, if this is what we want to do, give powers to the municipality to regulate this problem, then please let's use all the diligence we have and the powers we have and, I might say, the bureaucracy and the legal departments from Municipal Affairs to really follow this one through and put it under the Municipal Act. Then that is good for everyone. Other than that, I don't know what else to say, but thank you very much.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Veri. I do have the obligation to ask if there are any further presenters who wish to make comments on this bill. Please come forward and introduce yourself for Hansard.

Mr Geri Kamenz: Good morning. My name is Geri Kamenz. I'm representing the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. As I look around the room, I don't think I have to launch into a great explanation of who we are, so I'll go directly to the bill.

The Chair: I just ask that the other gentleman also introduce himself so we're all aware of who everyone is.

Mr Elbert van Donkersgoed: I'm the research director for the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario.

Mr Kamenz: Philosophically, the OFA supports the intent of this statute. We applaud its attempts to protect the environment from degradation through unrestricted dumping. However, notwithstanding this, we do have some concerns with the legislation the way it's presented. We're happy to see the amendment and hope that amendment is moved. It addresses some concerns we had in conversations with OMAF. We also agree that section 3 should be amended to expand exemptions to include drainage works constructed under either the farm Drainage Act or the Tile Drainage Act. We feel these amendments go a long way to addressing our concerns with the bill.

However, further to this, to avoid any misunderstanding or misinterpretation of the intent of the legislation, we would like to see included the definitions for "fill," "refuse" and "debris." Further, we'd like to see some sort of appeal process laid out in the legislation, and also we would like to see exemptions for farmers from the need for a permit for grading plans to dump fill in conjunction with construction of buildings or manure storage facilities etc. Further, we'd like to see exemptions to farmers filling low spots in their fields.

However, having said this, it seems to be another sort of hit-and-miss piece of legislation, and we would prefer to see amendments to the Municipal Act which would extend to every municipality the same power to regulate the dumping of fill.

Mr van Donkersgoed: I have nothing new to add to what you have already heard. I just want to confirm the concern of the farm community about the piecemeal approach that's being taken by a private member's bill from this township and a private member's bill from that township. It isn't possible for us, as the farm community, to adequately stay on top of that kind of development.

If it's the serious intention of the Legislature to grant powers to the municipalities to regulate dumping, in our view it's important that some sort of initiative be struck to do some good consultation in the countryside on a broad-range basis so that eventually we come to something we can live with in all corners of the province.

With the kind of piecemeal approach we're slowly building up to, it won't be long before there will be dozens of private members' bills on this subject needing to come forward. We feel there's an urgent need to step back and reflect and get something in place that we are comfortable with on our side and that the municipalities are comfortable with on their side. We're just very uncomfortable with this circumstance and with being drawn into this. Our concern is, in a sense, not that we don't want to see something happen, but that we need a little different process in terms of getting adequate input from our side for the many townships across the province.

The Chair: I'd like to turn to the parliamentary assistant, Mr Hayes, who will make some responses to your remarks. I believe, Ms Smith, you've been taking some notes to respond to some of the queries as well. First, to Mr Hayes.

Mr Pat Hayes (Essex-Kent): First of all, on your comments about changing legislation, every member here probably agrees with you -- I know I do -- that we can't continually keep having these private members' bills. As a matter of fact, the issue you speak about is being dealt with and will be dealt with under the Sewell commission. That is in the works right now, to make those kinds of changes, so that will deal with that.

Outside of that, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs does not object to this bill, as long as the amendments are carried that are being brought forward. There are four amendments to deal with your concerns.


The Chair: Ms Smith, if you'd like to answer some of the concerns that have been raised by the other presenters, and then I'm going to turn to Mr Johnson.

Ms Smith: Just a couple of points: There was a concern raised about the definition of "fill." The reason the definition of fill has not been included in this authorizing legislation is that this legislation works in conjunction with the Conservation Authorities Act, and the regulations under that act contain a very clear definition of fill. Any bylaw passed pursuant to this authority, as a matter of statutory interpretation, cannot conflict with that definition of fill. So in my view that is not a concern and, properly, a definition of fill should not be in this authorizing legislation.

There was a concern expressed about an appeal process. I refer you to section 5 of this authorizing legislation, which provides for an appeal process that must be included in any bylaw passed under this act.

There were concerns expressed with regard to exemptions for farmers. I would suggest to you that those concerns are addressed in the amendment that has been put forth today exempting regulation of "normal farm practices" as defined under that act. That definition is very broad, so farmers carrying on their business of farming are not going to be affected by a bylaw that is passed pursuant to this authority.

One final point: This is authorizing legislation. This legislation does not create regulations. Those regulations are created by bylaw at the municipal level. People affected, specifically farmers affected by any bylaw that is passed pursuant to this legislation, still have an opportunity for input at the local level, and it is my submission that that's where that input should properly take place.

Mr David Johnson (Don Mills): I need to ask somebody something, and Ms Smith may be the person, as she commented on it.

The OFA specifically has asked for an exemption for farmers from the need for permit and grading plans to dump fill in conjunction with construction of a building, manure storage facility, erosion control structure or farm pond. The amendment that's before us, that you said you felt dealt with the request of the OFA, specifies that the exemption would pertain to "the construction, improvement, alteration and maintenance of drainage works as defined in the Drainage Act or the Tile Drainage Act."

I'm just wondering if that amendment fully incorporates the concerns of the OFA, and I assume the Christian Farmers as well, for manure storage facilities, or in conjunction with the construction of a building; they might be thinking of a barn, for example. I don't know the Drainage Act or the Tile Drainage Age, I'll confess, but it doesn't seem to me that they may be covered under this amendment.

Ms Smith: Mr Johnson, you should have before you an amendment that encompasses (f) and (g), and (g) also exempts "normal farm practices" as defined in the Farm Practices Protection Act. That's the provision I'm referring to that in my view would encompass that.

Mr David Johnson: My apology. It's right here, and I overlooked it. It's your contention, then, that normal practices as defined in the Farm Practices Protection Act would include a manure storage facility, for example?

Ms Smith: That would be my interpretation. I'm not sure if you have the definition before you.

Mr David Johnson: No, I don't. I wonder if the gentleman from the OFA could comment on whether that's his understanding.

The Chair: Mr Hayes has a point of information.

Mr Hayes: We have a representative from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, and if you want the proper interpretation, I think he'll be glad to give you one.

Mr David Johnson: Could I ask that gentleman, then? You have the concerns as expressed by the OFA with regard to construction of a building, a manure storage facility, an erosion control structure, for example. Would they be incorporated under clause (g)?

Mr Howard Lang: My name is Howard Lang, with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, manager of agronomic regulations. I have the definition of "normal farm practices" before me. I will read it out.

"`Normal farm practice' means a practice that is conducted in a manner consistent with proper and accepted customs and standards as established and followed by similar agricultural operations under similar circumstances and includes the use of innovative technology used with advanced management practices."

That would be covered under the amendment.

Mr David Johnson: So a manure storage facility would be somehow covered under there, would it?

Mr Lang: Yes.

Mr David Johnson: I'll have to take your word for it. It's not obvious to me how it is, but that would be --

The Chair: There are not many of them in East York; is that what you're saying?

Mr David Johnson: No, there are not too many in East York. What about exemptions for farmers filling low areas in their fields? That would also, in your opinion, be incorporated under there?

Mr Lang: Yes. Those types of normal farm practices would be included in that exemption and covered under that exemption.

Mr David Johnson: I'd be interested in the response of the OFA, whether they now feel that satisfies. Also, it's been pointed out that section 5 does allow for an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board within 180 days. Perhaps they could address two questions: Are they satisfied with that appeal process? Are they satisfied with the explanation of normal farm practices under the Farm Practices Protection Act?

Mr Kamenz: We recognize the provision of the appeal process. However, with the OMB backlog, we're somewhat uncomfortable with it. First of all, you have to get a permit to dump the fill, and then you can enter into this long sort of arbitration period about whether it is within the intent of the legislation or permissive under the intent of the legislation. Meanwhile, your whole building project is being backed up and backed up and backed up. So we're not very comfortable with the appeal process that's laid out, and that's why we would be more comfortable with having an exemption for the need for a permit, provided that the alterations fall within the Farm Practices Protection Act. We would rather not have to go to the permit process.

Mr David Johnson: And in terms of the explanation the gentleman has given under clause (g) of the amendment that's before us, the Farm Practices Protection Act, he claims your points (iii) and (iv) on the bottom of your submission would be covered and that you would be exempted for manure storage facilities and for filling in low areas in your fields and things like that. Are you satisfied with that explanation?

Mr Kamenz: We're satisfied, but I'll again stress the point that we're not very comfortable with the idea of having to get a permit to do it.

Mr van Donkersgoed: I have a reservation about whether we should be satisfied. I need to ask Mr Lang where this definition he has read exists. Is it the one within the Farm Practices Protection Act?

Mr Lang: Yes, it is.

Mr van Donkersgoed: Then my concern is that the Farm Practices Protection Act has a very limited scope in terms of discussing normal farm practices: It discusses odour, noise and dust. That's the focus of the Farm Practices Protection Act, and from where we sit in terms of the broader scope of normal farm practices, I would not accept the definition that exists within the Farm Practices Protection Act as one that satisfies concerns we would have.

Mr Lang: We're using the definition of "normal farm practices," but we are not using it for the nuisance odour, dust and noise control. It's a definition we're looking at, rather than the specific three areas the board addresses. The definition is there defining "normal farm practices" outside of this --

Mr van Donkersgoed: If the definition itself were in a different location, I could live with it. If you put it right into this bill and didn't use the amendment referencing the Farm Practices Protection Act, I could be much more comfortable with the definition. My interpretation, from the little bit of legal reading I do, of that definition is that it is very clearly focused within the context and purposes of the Farm Practices Protection Act, and we don't use that definition elsewhere. If you were to actually put that definition itself in this bill, I could be comfortable, but I would be very concerned about legal arguments saying that the definition is very clearly limited to certain areas of concern about farm practices.


Mr Dombek: Perhaps I can be of some assistance to this committee. In a previous lifetime I was the legal director at the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. I actually drafted the Farm Practices Protection Act, with the help of legislative counsel. I think what the ministry official has said is correct. Actually, I think it's a very good reference point, because in that definition of "normal farm practice," it refers to "agricultural operations." An "agricultural operation" is defined very broadly in the Farm Practices Protection Act. If the committee has a second, I can read it to you. It says:

"`Agricultural operation' means an agricultural, aquacultural, horticultural or silvicultural operation that is carried on in the expectation of gain or reward, and includes,

"(a) the cultivation of land,

"(b) the raising of livestock, including poultry,

"(c) the raising of fur-bearing animals and game birds,

"(d) the production of agricultural crops, including mushrooms, greenhouse crops and nursery stock,

"(e) the production of eggs and milk,

"(f) the operation of agricultural machinery and equipment, including irrigation pumps,

"(g) the process necessary to prepare a farm product for distribution from the farm gate,

"(h) the application of fertilizers, conditioners and pesticides, including ground and aerial spraying, and

"(i) the storage, disposal or use of organic waste for farm purposes."

The way I would interpret the amendment in this bill and how it would operate is that if the farmer were carrying on a normal farm practice, the municipality would have to go to look at the definition of what an "agricultural operation" is in that statute. They would have to marry the two together. So before a farmer would be charged under a bylaw for grading or something along this line, they would have to make sure it was a normal farm practice.

Now, there's one caveat to all this. There is a protection from nuisance claims in the Farm Practices Protection Act, and that is very specific for nuisance claims. What the gentleman from the Christian Farmers Federation has said is absolutely correct in that regard. We have to be careful in this bylaw that we don't reference too much of the Farm Practices Protection Act, because the Farm Practices Protection Act does contain an exemption for any local land use control bylaw. That's the key element here.

I think it is appropriate, instead of redefining it again, to bring that definition into this act, if you are going to pass it, and I think that some very good points have been made about whether we should amend the Municipal Act, and then leave it at that stage. Then the municipality, in this case Glanbrook, is going to be tied into the other definitions.

Mr David Johnson: It's your suggestion that this bill, if I understand you, be redrafted such that those parts be actually included in the bill. Is that what you're suggesting?

Mr Dombek: I think it would be useful to include the definition of both "normal farm practice" and "agricultural operation" in the bill.

Mr David Johnson: Right within the bill itself, rather than referencing --

Mr Dombek: Not necessarily; you can do it by reference. I will turn it over to Cindy Mifsud, your legislative counsel, but I think she would agree with me that referencing the two would be more than adequate.

The Chair: We have a couple of other speakers, and then I will turn to Ms Mifsud. First of all we have Mr Eddy, who I know has been very anxious to say a few words.

Mr Ron Eddy (Brant-Haldimand): And waiting patiently because of the important information that's being submitted. I'm very pleased to see representatives of two of our farm organizations in Ontario present to give their views about and comments on this particular bill, realizing that there have been several passed and indeed I expect will be a number submitted before we get to Sewell -- although that may be imminent; I don't know.

I see this, and I hope everyone agrees, as a protection for agriculture, really, realizing that the township of Glanbrook has a long common boundary with the city of Hamilton and is in a large urban area -- I suppose it's between 500,000 and 1 million people -- and realizing the type of land in parts of Glanbrook, it's no doubt true that farms can be bought up pretty reasonably for the sole purpose of dumping fill. Of course, some of that, as we know, might be dumped at night, and it's not necessarily 100% earth or usable soil that's in the fill. So there are some real concerns.

I'm not surprised that the council of the township of Glanbrook is here before us today and I know there will be many others before us, because it is a great concern to municipal councils.

I'm pleased that the OFA has submitted a proposed amendment which I can support. I expect or suspect that OMAF is now on side with the intent of this particular act because I believe at our previous meeting OMAF had expressed some concerns. I don't think we knew what they were but they'd expressed concerns on this particular private bill but not on previous private bills regarding the same matter and giving the same authority to municipal councils.

I hope that's cleared up. There has been considerable time elapse since the time this was first presented, unfortunately, and I suspect, having been contacted by the mayor of the township of Glanbrook about the matter, it's a real concern for that municipality. In finishing, I see it really as a protection for agriculture because of all the things that can happen these days with the dumping of fill, whatever ingredients may be in that fill.

Mrs Ellen MacKinnon (Lambton): Perhaps what Mr Eddy has just said is partially what I wished to get clarified. I notice in the OFA letter it says that since 1985 we've been faced with eight of these private bills, and there are still two to come. I'm wondering why this hit-and-miss approach is being taken when it could be taken care of under the Municipal Act. Has anybody got an answer for that, any of the Ministry of Agriculture people?

The Chair: If I can take a stab at it, I think most of these acts are prompted by the municipalities. They're brought before us and at times the ministry has been advised and has commented on them, and I think that's actually more recently than previously, so I think the issue has come to everyone's light somewhat later in the game than maybe we would like, but it has now happened. I think the members here have to make sure that it answers the range of concerns presented by the various delegations. I'm just obviously trying to lend some order to the whole process.

Mrs MacKinnon: No way am I saying we should slough these people aside, but I'm just asking, why hasn't something been done in the Municipal Act, because I suspect -- well, 1985, we're almost 10 years. I don't understand, really. This has been very costly to municipalities, I'm sure.

Mr Hayes: We're taking steps to address that issue now. That's where we're at.

Mrs MacKinnon: That's fine. If that's being done, then I can rest in peace. I was a bit shocked about this.


Mr Ron Hansen (Lincoln): From last, I think it was, December 8 when the bill came forward, I opposed passing the bill at that time until there were some changes made. I know that a similar bill had been passed in the town of Lincoln with infilling like this, and I think at that time as it went through -- and I think Ms MacKinnon's concern is that the town of Lincoln is a largely agricultural area. The mayor, a farmer himself, and most of the ones who sit on council are farmers, so when they were taking a look at the bylaws they were drafting, they were going to look at the agricultural sector of the community.

The one thing is that as we go on, we always see improvements we can make. I would like to say that the amendments I have before me here, I think, will satisfy all parties. If we can go on and if there aren't too many more questions, we have about four or five amendments that will address everything. I will be voting in favour of this bill when these amendments are brought forward, as long as members of this committee pass the amendments.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Hansen, but first I'd like to turn it over to legal counsel.

Ms Lucinda Mifsud: What we've done is incorporate a definition which then incorporates another term, "agricultural operations," which, as Mr Dombek read, is a whole page. We tried to avoid doubling the length of the bill by just cross-referencing them. They are out of context and all they're meant to do is just incorporate that definition into the bill, not the context.

So I still think it works, but I've added on to the motion that I think everyone is satisfied, which in clause (g) will read: "Normal farm practices as defined in the Farm Practices Protection Act as carried out by agricultural operations as defined in that act." If there's any doubt as to whether the long definition of "agricultural operation" was also included, this will take away that doubt. From an interpretative point of view, I don't think it's necessary, but if it eases anyone's mind, I don't think there is any problem with it from anyone in the room whom I've consulted.

The Chair: We have a comment from the gentleman from the OFA.

Mr Kamenz: I think if you are prepared to do that, we would be far more comfortable too if reference was made to the Conservation Authorities Act as far as the definitions for "fill" and "refuse" and "debris" are concerned as well, so that there is no misinterpretation.

Ms Mifsud: I am sorry, those are policy issues that I can't really address there, and I don't know if the conservation authorities people are here. I couldn't really address what you're asking; all I'm trying to do is resolve this definition problem of the cross-reference in the Farm Practices Protection Act.

The Chair: Are there any further questions or comments?

Mr Eddy: Just to clear up the point about "debris" and "refuse," does that come under a property standards bylaw and is already covered in some way? It seems to me that the need here is to have the dumping of fill regulated, that that's the primary purpose, because other things are covered under various acts. I know the Property Standards Act is one thing. I have no problem including it if it's a safeguard and if it is needed. I think it is a pretty important issue, but perhaps the solicitor for the township of Glanbrook can respond on that particular point.

Ms Smith: Perhaps I could defer to a representative of the Ministry of the Attorney General. The definition of "fill" was included in the original draft of this bill, and it was recommended that it be removed because of the definition contained in the Conservation Authorities Act regulations. I remind the committee members that this is authorizing legislation only, so for a bylaw to be passed, the definition of "fill" in that bylaw must be in accordance with provincial law. Whether it's in this act or any other act, it's duplicating provincial law by requiring it to be included in this act, and that's why it was taken out.

Mr Eddy: I see.

The Chair: Are there any further questions or comments at this time? Are the members then ready to vote? Yes. Thank you.

Okay, if we can wait one moment, the clerk is going to quickly get copies of the new amendment to, I believe it's section 3. So we'll recess for about five minutes and then start off once we have copies of that amendment.

The committee recessed from 1045 to 1050.

The Chair: I'd like to call us back to order, and we will continue with Bill Pr63, An Act respecting the Township of Glanbrook.

Just to advise everyone, you should have before you a new amendment to section 3, and what marks it as different from the previous one is that there are obviously some handwritten notes on it. If you don't have it, please advise the clerk. You all have one, good. Are we then ready to vote?

Mr Hansen: Yes.

The Chair: Good. Shall section 1 carry?

Interjection: There's an amendment.

The Chair: You've got to be fast. Mr Hansen.

Mr Hansen: I have an amendment to clause 1(1)(g). I move that clause 1(1)(g) of the bill be amended by adding after "and" in the third line "carry out an inspection or."

The Chair: Is everyone in favour of that amendment? Agreed.

Is then everyone in favour of the clause as --

Mr Hansen: I also have an amendment to clause 1(2)(c). I move that clause 1(2)(c) of the bill be amended by adding after "out" in the second line "an inspection or."

The Chair: All in favour of that amendment? Agreed.

Mr Hansen: Those are all the amendments I have for section 1.

The Chair: Shall the amended section 1 carry? Carried.

Shall section 2 carry? Carried.

Mr Hansen: I have an amendment to section 3. I move that section 3 of the bill be amended by striking out "or" at the end of clause (d), and adding the following clauses:

"(f) the construction, improvement, alteration and maintenance of drainage works as defined in the Drainage Act or the Tile Drainage Act; or

"(g) normal farm practices as defined in the Farm Practice Protection Act as carried out by agricultural operations as defined in that act."

The Chair: Is everyone in favour of that amendment? Agreed.

Shall section 3, as amended, carry? Carried.

Shall section 4 carry? Carried.

Mr Hansen: I have an amendment to section 5. I move that section 5 of the bill be amended by adding the following subsection:


"(4) The board may, without a hearing, correct an error in a decision made under this section if the error is of a typographical, clerical or similar nature."

The Chair: Is everyone in favour of the amendment? Agreed.

Shall the section, as amended, carry? Carried.

Shall section 6 carry? Carried.

Shall section 7 carry? Carried.

Shall the preamble carry? Carried.

Shall the title carry? Carried.

Shall the bill, as amended, carry? Agreed.

Shall I report the bill to the House? Agreed.

Thank you, and thank you, Ms Smith, and to the other presenters.


Consideration of Bill Pr78, An Act respecting the Township of Huron and the Village of Ripley.

The Chair: Our next order of business relates to Bill Pr78, An Act respecting the Township of Huron and the Village of Ripley. I would ask Mr Elston, the sponsor, and Mr Albert Ostner to come forward, please. Another interesting morning in regulations and private bills.

Mr Murray J. Elston (Bruce): Actually, I rather congratulate the members of the committee for taking some time on that. That is a big issue and I think it's a fundamental one for those of us to happen to represent rural ridings. Obviously, making sure that the farmers are still able to practise is a pretty big issue up where I am. I know you don't want people taking over farm land for dumps or as places of convenience to park some of their material. I congratulate the committee, although I must admit I had a couple of other things that kind of were on the list. But let's go to the bill.

The Chair: You could always have joined in, Mr Elston.

Mr Elston: Pr78 is a pretty important issue for our area as well. As you can probably well remember, there have been reports about reducing the number of municipalities in the Bruce county area. In fact, there were a couple of sponsored discussions about that. But what has happened is that the village of Ripley and the township of Huron have come together and have concluded an agreement to amalgamate.

Mr Ostner is here as a representative of the two municipalities to make some changes that are required to the Power Corporation Act. Perhaps I'll let Mr Ostner now take the lead on explaining exactly what those changes are, although the committee members may very well have heard some of this debate before, because this is another repeat performance, in terms of principles anyway, with respect to amalgamating municipalities.

Mr Albert Ostner: Good morning, Madam Chair and members. The amalgamation agreement between the two municipalities was executed in November 1993 by the two municipalities and the county of Bruce. The Minister of Municipal Affairs has now executed the required order in council, on March 9 of this year, approving the proposed amalgamation. The effective date for the new amalgamated municipality is January 1, 1995. The regulation also establishes the Ripley Public Utilities Commission, again effective January 1, 1995.

However, before the new municipality and the new public utility can be established, special legislation is required to exempt the new amalgamated municipality from certain requirements that are presently contained in the Power Corporation Act. That act requires that if a municipality serves its inhabitants with hydro power, it must serve all of its inhabitants. At the present time, the village of Ripley has a hydro-electric system which serves all of the inhabitants of Ripley. The present township of Huron obtains its hydro from Ontario Hydro. Once these municipalities have been amalgamated, the Power Corporation Act requires that the entire area of both municipalities must be serviced by the local PUC.

The purpose of the private bill before you today is to exempt the new municipality from this particular requirement, given the costs that would be incurred in order to comply with the requirements of the Power Corporation Act. These costs would include purchasing from Ontario Hydro the required infrastructure and the further cost to expand the PUC staff and facilities to service the new area; that is, what is now presently the township of Huron. The effect of the private bill would be to allow the residents of the present village to continue to be served by the local PUC, and the residents of the present township of Huron would continue to be served by Ontario Hydro after amalgamation has taken effect.

As you're probably familiar, this House has already passed similar legislation. That was Bill Pr87, being An Act respecting the Township of Aldborough and the Village of Rodney. The circumstances in that particular case were identical to the facts of this case. In that particular case, the Legislature gave first reading to Bill Pr87 on May 31, 1993, and royal assent was granted on June 30, 1993.

Those are my submissions.


The Chair: Just by normal course of events for these sessions, I would ask if there are any objectors, any other interested parties who wish to come forward relating to this bill. Seeing none, I will first turn to Mr Eddy and then to Mr Hayes.

Mr Eddy: I'm in support of the bill. Thank you for giving the example of Rodney and Aldborough. It's also happened in many cases where police villages are dissolved within townships and the municipal electric body is continued, and should be.

This is the one question I have: I note that you're limiting the hydro service to the area of the former village of Ripley. In many cases, adjoining lands have been included at this time so indeed they can be provided with electrical service from the municipal utility. Are there either builtup or open lands that should be, or did you not look at that matter?

Mr Ostner: I was not involved in the initial discussions. However, Ms McGrath of the ministry is here and perhaps she could respond to that.

Mr Elston: Actually, if I could also indicate, the built-up area around the village of Ripley is very limited. There may be one or two houses that come right next door to the actual limits of the village. This isn't the usual situation where you have a long strip of development around the outside that is in the township. There may be one or two properties that might have been contemplated, but it represents not a large volume of property owners.

Mr Eddy: It's perhaps not a problem, because I understand that a government bill will be coming forward to allow municipal electrical authorities to expand their services to adjoining areas without serving the entire municipality in the case of a rural township. It's very much required. We have a very odd situation in the areas of the province because they cannot expand.

Mr Hansen: I'm just going to repeat what Mr Eddy has said. Just a reference to the town of Lincoln, the same situation: The boundaries expanded there to take in the small villages of Jordan and Vineland, and now the municipality is taking a look at this new bill to be passed to expand the Lincoln utility out to some of these other areas and eventually take them into the Lincoln utilities department. I'm going to support this bill because I think it's a move in the right direction. Even though you don't have the bill in place as it is right now, you can expand at the rate that you feel the municipality can.

Mr Hayes: The Ministry of Municipal Affairs supports this bill and compliments both municipalities on their efforts.

Mr Eddy: It will be a happy marriage.

Mr David Johnson: Just to make it unanimous, I'll go on record as saying that I certainly recognize the democratic wishes of the people of the township of Huron and village of Ripley as expressed through their elected representatives, and we support it.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Johnson. You're sort of taking on some of the role of Mr Ruprecht in this regard. In any case, all levity aside, I would take it from the comments that have just been made that members are ready to vote. Anybody contrary to that? No? Shall we then start our voting procedure?

Shall section 1 carry? Carried.

Shall sections 2 through 7 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.

Very good. Thank you very much, Mr Elston and Mr Ostner.

Mr Elston: I'll see if I can get you an invitation to the reception after the wedding.

Mr Hansen: Murray is House leader, and you'll note that it only took about seven or eight days to get this bill through the House.

Mr Elston: As House leader, I helped it out.


Consideration of Bill Pr89, An Act respecting the Town of Bothwell.

The Chair: Our next order of business is to call forward Mr Hope and Mr Magee, who are here on behalf of Bill Pr89, An Act respecting the Town of Bothwell. As sponsor, Mr Hope, would you like to make a few opening remarks and turn it over to the applicant?

Mr Randy R. Hope (Chatham-Kent): Thank you very much, Madam Chair, and to my colleague who is parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Pat Hayes, and who is in a neighbouring riding of mine.

I believe the bill that is being brought forward by Mr Magee is one that addresses one of the municipality's concerns of restructuring and I'm hoping that we can expedite this process so that it would be in place for the next election for the municipality. I ask for your support for Bill Pr89 and I would now turn it over to Mr Magee, the solicitor for the town of Bothwell.

Mr William Magee: Madam Chair, members of the committee, yes, I am the solicitor for the town of Bothwell. I practise in the city of Chatham. Bothwell is a town in the northeast section of Kent county. It was originally incorporated in 1867 as a town because at that time oil had been discovered in that area and there was a proposed substantial population. However, over the years the population has decreased substantially and as of 1991 the population is only 928 persons.

Unfortunately under the Municipal Act, section 30, for towns it allows only either six councillors or four councillors, together with a mayor and a reeve. Bothwell was never big enough under the county system to have a deputy reeve. So for many years, they went along with a mayor and a reeve and six councillors. But in 1990, for economy measures, they decided to reduce the number of councillors. At that time, I gave them the opinion that unfortunately they could only reduce to four without a private bill.

They went ahead and did that and obtained the consent of the Ontario Municipal Board so that they wouldn't have to have the assent of the electors. But that unfortunately then left the council with six members: a mayor, a reeve and four councillors. In the last year or so, when votes have been coming up in council, three have been voting for and three have been voting against. This is happening quite frequently, so the business of the town is not being effectively carried out.

It was with that in mind that we decided to seek a private member's bill. Notice of the application was published in the Ontario Gazette and the local newspaper in Bothwell, called the Spirit of Bothwell. No objections were received and I don't believe there is anybody here objecting to it.

By reducing it to a mayor and a reeve and three councillors, we'll then have an uneven number and I would hope then that the problem with these continuous stalemates will be eliminated.

The Ministry of the Attorney General and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs felt that the subsection of section 30 which indicates how quickly the bylaw, once it is passed by the town, is to be put into effect should be part of the private bill. There is an amendment before you to add a subsection (2).

The Chair: Mr Magee, one of our members will in fact be reading that into the record when it comes time for the vote.

Mr Magee: Yes. I have seen the amendment and I'm in complete satisfaction with it because certainly it was the intention of the town, as soon as this legislation became effective, to get the bylaw passed and to remedy the situation.


The Chair: I understand the obligation at this point is to ask if there are any other objectors or interested parties who wish to come forward and speak to this bill.

Seeing no one rushing forward to the mike, I will turn it over to Mr Hansen and then Mr Eddy for questions of the deputants.

Mr Hansen: I'm going to support this bill because I received nothing in my office, and if a municipality is upset at what's going on, I usually get a letter because we sit on this committee. Mr Hope hasn't signified to me any particular problem with this, and I think we have to pass this legislation so that with the upcoming elections in the fall the different councils throughout Ontario are prepared on the number of people who are going to be running forward, so these councils can put things in place before the next election. I think that the municipalities, especially small ones, which I represent also, have done a lot of restructuring and a lot of cost-saving compared to some of the larger ones. I'll have to commend you on that for the work that's gone into this and I'll support this bill.

Mr Eddy: I support the bill as well and compliment the council officials of the town of Bothwell coming forward to reduce the size of the council. Certainly, it's more a village size so it's appropriate to reduce it to five. I have never had the privilege of sitting on a council where there was an even number of members, but I can well think how perhaps disastrous that could be on occasion, so I compliment you.

As we know, the Municipal Act is outdated and archaic in many ways and does not give municipal councils the flexibility that they probably should have, but I hope we'll be looking at that one day, so I certainly support the bill and let's get on with it.

Mr David Johnson: I simply congratulate Mr Magee for outlining the situation, and it's been interesting to learn about the town of Bothwell, a place with quite a history, and again I respect the opinion of the elected representatives in the town of Bothwell. They are seeking to address a problem, obviously doing it with the support of their community, and I'll certainly be voting for the bill.

The Chair: Any comments?

Mrs MacKinnon: Just one little point I have always been fond of, when you drive through Bothwell, there's a sign that says the "Best Little Town in Ontario." I hope you leave that up.

Mr Magee: I'm sure they'll leave that up. That's why, even though they've reduced in size, you'd never get them to agree to stop calling themselves a town.

Mrs MacKinnon: My kids always loved that sign.

Mr Magee: Even though there are only 900 people there, they're very proud of the fact that they are a town.

Mr Hayes: The ministry has no objections, and I'd like to compliment the people there, especially the MPP for Chatham-Kent, my neighbour and the great job that he's done here today in bringing this bill forward.

The Chair: I take it from the comments that members are ready to vote.

Mr Hansen: On section 1, I have to move an amendment so after you get through the preamble, just so you don't get through this bill too quickly.

The Chair: Don't rush ahead, okay. I take your point. Shall we then begin the vote?

Shall section 1 carry?

Mr Hansen: I have an amendment to section 1.

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


"(2) A bylaw passed under subsection (1) or a bylaw repealing it shall be passed not later than 30 days before the last day for posting notice of the offices for which persons may be nominated in accordance with the Municipal Elections Act."

The Chair: Is everyone in favour with the amendment? Agreed.

Then is everyone in favour of section 1, as amended? Agreed.

Shall sections 2 and 3 carry? Carried.

Shall the preamble carry? Carried.

Shall the title carry? Carried.

Shall the bill carry? Carried.

Shall the bill, as amended, carry? Carried.

Shall I report the bill, as amended, to the House? Agreed.

Thank you very much for your time.

Mr Hope: Madam Chair, on a point of information: As we deal with the amendment to the section, when do we expect this bill to be reported to the House --

The Chair: Today.

Mr Hope: -- and when can we expect the bill, so that things will be appropriately taken on behalf of the municipality?

The Chair: Our clerk, Miss Grannum, will definitely make sure that there is a report ready and it will be read into the record today.

Mr Magee: And I can assure this committee that once this legislation is in effect, the bylaw will be passed.

The Chair: Very good. You must realize that as far as royal assent, what happens is that the committee report will be reported but royal assent may in fact come a little later. It may be prudent for Mr Hope then to talk to the House leader to see how that will be on a schedule for royal assent.


Consideration of Bill Pr91, An Act respecting the City of Kingston.

The Chair: At this point I'd like to call the delegation for Bill Pr91, An Act respecting the City of Kingston. Mr Wilson, if you would introduce the applicants, please. It might mean you have to come forward in shifts, so if I could first of all ask Mr Wilson and the applicant -- I believe that's Mr Jackson -- if you would take a spot. There are not necessarily all that many mikes right away.


The Chair: Could I ask for some order, please. So, Mr Wilson, if you would like to introduce the applicant.

Mr Gary Wilson (Kingston and The Islands): Thank you very much, Madam Chair. I note that you've saved the best for the last here, and perhaps the most interesting, but we'll let events determine that.

I would like to introduce to the committee the proponents of the act, Norman Jackson, the city solicitor, and Marion Rogers, the city clerk of Kingston. I'll turn it over to Mr Jackson so he can describe what the bill involves.

Mr Norman Jackson: What we're here to do today is to ask for your support in a proposal for downsizing in Kingston. We have with us some friends who have different perspectives on it: Mrs Mooney, Mr Fyfe and Joe Ferguson, whose company we have enjoyed at a previous Ontario Municipal Board hearing into the ward boundaries. What we're here today for, though, is for permissive legislation to allow the municipal council to reduce its numbers. We all know that's not an easy thing to do for any body, but through a difficult process, the city of Kingston council has decided to ask for legislation to downsize its numbers.

The city of Kingston is a ward type of city. It has had wards since the 1800s and wants to keep the wards. So, faced with the idea of being more efficient and trying to deal with the realities of economic considerations, the city hired a Queen's University professor, I believe a friend of Dr Fyfe, who was a part-time chief administrative officer for us, and he did a study at the same time on our government. In a very lengthy report, he reported on changes to the administration and to the council. Mr Collom's recommendations were centred on, in his opinion, the council itself showing the leadership that would be evident in the community and evident to the administration in making changes to themselves.

In the history of that process, which took over a year, the council at first was of a mind to include the question on the ballot, which would have meant that it would come into effect later, at a subsequent election, but they decided just before the end of 1993, after holding two public meetings, to proceed for this election, with the hope that we would have this in place for the 1994 election. We know that was difficult and is difficult, but we have attempted to cram a fair amount into a limited period of time, including the Ontario Municipal Board hearing which took place on the redrawn wards themselves.


We want you to know that this is not totally a downsizing. This is a compromise between our existing ward system, which included seven wards at two councillors per ward, which is 14 councillors, plus the mayor, now going to 10. We wanted to not totally downsize but to arrive at a compromise, for the benefit of those councillors and for the public. That was arrived at by Professor Collom. His suggestion was to expand the number of wards so that when we, hopefully, got the authority -- and we're asking for the authority to do it. We're not asking you to do it; we're asking for the authority for the municipal council to downsize itself.

The compromise was to create three new wards, so there would be 10, and if we obtained the permissive legislation from the province, there would be one councillor per ward, for a total of 10 councillors instead of the 14. So we're moving not from 14 to 7, to cut it in half, but we're moving from 14 to 10. That's the proposal. As you well know, time is coming nigh in terms of having that in place for this election.

We believe the decision today is whether that type of permissive legislation, to allow the council to move from two to one per ward, is appropriate. It's not a question today, we don't believe, of the type of wards we've drawn or the population levels. We want you to know that there were a number of people in attendance at the public meetings -- not a large number, from our point of view, but there were some people -- who expressed concern, and they've continued to express their concern at the Ontario Municipal Board, and they're here today. There's a difference, perhaps, in philosophy and there's perhaps a difference in who will make the decisions. We'd like to see the elected representatives have the power to make the decision, a difficult one, to downsize themselves.

We note that this is not something that's being done only in Kingston. We've paralleled our legislation on the city of Ottawa legislation, which it obtained in 1972. There are a number of other municipalities across the province, both counties and towns, that are looking for and have obtained similar legislation. We hope, with your assistance, to have this legislation in place for this election. That is our goal.

We will look at things that arise from time to time. We've been asked to do that by other objectors, but any differences in population that we've created in the wards -- which again I say is a question for the municipal board and any possible appeal from that decision to a different body -- we feel we can look at those issues. There were answers on differences in population based on population protections, based on fluctuations in students at Queen's University. We think there were appropriate answers to the differences in population levels provided, and they were accepted by the Ontario Municipal Board after a two-day hearing. A very learned decision has been rendered on that, which we have before us.

So in the process, we have come before you. We have different bylaws in place if this legislation is obtained, and we hope to have it in place for the November election.

The Chair: Before I turn to our members, I think it would be appropriate if some of the objectors had a chance to present their view. I have listed here as interested parties Mr Fyfe, Mr Ferguson and Mrs Mooney. Mr Fyfe, if you'd like to make a few comments.

Mr Stewart Fyfe: I think my submission has been circulated to the members. I have a few small changes, basically at the bottom end.

I would like to start by stating something of my qualifications. I've been involved with local government since 1950. I've been teaching at Queen's University off and on since 1948, and I'm now partially retired. My specialization is local government. I have been both a practitioner, working in Kingston city hall for a number of years, and I have been a consultant. I was the commissioner for the Waterloo regional government proposal of 1970. I have studied and acted as a consultant literally from Whitehorse to Seldom Come By, Newfoundland, and from San Francisco to Moscow, including a period as a witness before the British House of Commons private bills committee on a municipal bill. I'm also currently chairman of the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority, and I think Mr Eddy, whom I've dealt with before he was translated to this place, can speak to my qualifications.

The proposal to allow Kingston to have one council member instead of the standard two may seem a small matter to make a fuss about. It is important, however, because the form of representation is an integral part of the democratic process for ensuring representative and responsible government.

What at first seems to be a minor and local matter is before the Legislature because the matter is not necessarily minor and because the Legislature has a responsibility for the overall effectiveness of the system of local government as a matter of public policy.

The issues are complicated by being tied to the questions of council size -- the downsizing -- and ward boundaries. The explicit issue here is the number of representatives per ward, and those related issues I'll deal with later.

The principles of two or more representatives per constituency goes back to the earliest days of our political history. Ward systems were the norm in English boroughs, and this was carried over to North America. It appears in the earliest municipal legislation in Ontario.

When Kingston was incorporated as a town in 1838 there were four wards, with two council members per ward. When it became a city in 1846, a ward was added. The Baldwin Act of 1849 extended the city boundaries, added two more wards, and representation was increased to one alderman and two councillors per ward. These provisions remain basically unchanged today, except for the reduction to two members per ward in the 1960s.

One explanation given for the origins of multi-member representation is the composition of the English parliaments. From the very beginning it was two members: two knights from every shire and two burgesses from every borough. This pattern of dual-member constituencies was the rule until the late 19th century, and only finally disappeared in 1945, the last of the double-member --

The Chair: Just for the sake of time, normally we only sit until noon, and it is now almost 11:30 and we have several other members of the public who wish to make presentations. I don't really like to do this, but in the interests of everyone's time, is there some way you could provide us a précis, a synopsis of your comments which all members have before them?

Mr Fyfe: Yes. I'm sorry it was only possible to get it to them this morning.

The Chair: Is there some way you can provide us with a synopsis so that everyone else can get on? We have no problem in sitting a little bit past 12. It's just this could end up taking us -- there are others, if you could keep that in mind.


Mr Fyfe: Quite. The Canadian pattern was the same, of two-member constituencies, up until some time in the end of the last century, and the last of the two-member constituencies federally actually only disappeared in 1966, and I think provincially in BC with the last election.

The explanation for this goes back to the problem that if only one of your representatives was present -- you have the lazy member, you have the sick member, the member on holiday; and we have increasing problems of members with conflict of interest, occasions where a third of the council has not been able to vote -- you'd have only one representative. Or if the member didn't agree with you, a different party or a particular interest group or whatever, you might have difficulty finding someone to carry your case forward or represent your view, but if there are two members, you could go to someone else.

In fact, the dual members disappeared at the federal level and provincially because the party system appeared, so you had somebody else who had an incentive to act for you. And as the population grew, the constituencies just got too big, and it made sense to cut them in half.

Neither of these reasons are relevant to the city of Kingston, except perhaps for very large municipalities like the problems of Ottawa. The total population of Kingston is less than 60,000. The councillors can get to know their ward and their voters. There's never been any problem with that.

Locally, you can say that you can go outside your ward and find somebody else who'll speak for you. That may be true, and it often is, but they're in another ward. They owe their election to their ward and don't have the same incentive as they have to look after the people in their ward.

So the reduction in members does affect the whole process of democracy and how the system works. In fact, one author suggests that even at the national level, single-member districts can produce artificial constituencies which don't correspond to communities. This is to some extent borne out with the experience we had in Kingston, where it was somehow discovered that it was more difficult to preserve communities dividing the city into 10 rather than into seven wards.

No rationale had been given by the city for 10 single-member wards except that Mr Collom suggested it. Mr Collom arrived at that because he thought it would work better and it was easier to divide three geographic wards into two, to reach the total of 10, rather than to redivide seven into five. There is, I think, some onus on the city of Kingston to provide a better rationale than that for changing a system which has worked well for over a century.

The suggestion for decreasing the size of council originates with Mr Collom, who is basically a management consultant specializing in decision-making and industrial relations retained to improve the efficiency of city hall, so the report covers everything from the telephone system to the sewage plant. Five pages of his report analyse the fractious -- we do have a fractious city council, I think no one disagrees with that; not as bad as Bothwell, but there are some problems. In five pages he goes over his personal observations, interviews, the merits of at-large versus ward elections, new board boundaries, size of council, revision of the committee system -- a whole range of things.

The recommendation to reduce the size of council was then debated for several months. Council decided to put it before the electors. Then on December 5, the council changed its mind and decided to push it through; they were caught with deadlines. So we had a whole series of decisions, and I don't think the results were very well-thought-out.

We ended up with a curious business that the two smallest wards, with 13% of the electors, will elect two members of council, and the largest ward, with 16% of the population, elects one. This, I think, is a gross distortion of the representation. You have the table I prepared which sets this out.

Unfortunately, on the problems of reforming council, this question of size of council almost became a fixation with some of the members. The rush to downsize resulted in these very curious wards.

This question of effective representation goes to the very heart of our local government. The more voting rights are diluted, the more those benefiting will rationalize the merits of the status quo and the less power the disadvantaged have to remedy the situation which puts them at a disadvantage. Representation determines who has power, what issues are debated, who gets what and who pays for it.

Questions of the right to vote are central because they are the prime determinant of the composition of council and therefore what the municipality does. Size of council is also a factor in how wide is the representation and how council functions on a day-to-day basis.

Most of council's time as a collective is taken up with making decisions. However, one can stress too much the need for efficient decision-making at the cost of neglecting the representative responsibilities. Efficient decision-making holds the attraction of being easier to evaluate than the wide-ranging relationships of the elected representatives to their public.

There's a strong interest in downsizing at present. There's no doubt that the size of many public bodies is excessive and a review is a reality. The obsolescent provisions of Bothwell are very much to the point.

The danger of buzzwords, however, is they become an end in themselves and become a Procrustean solution to often complex problems. Procrustes is a character in Greek mythology who was a brigand who took his guest, tied him to a bed and made him fit by either stretching him out or cutting off his extremities. It's a way of simplifying your solutions.

There are no simple rules as to the best size of council. Certainly, there are some large councils that work well and some that have worked badly. There are some township councils which work well and some which are a disaster. Nobody asked why a system which had worked well for a long time had suddenly developed problems. It is not unusual that you have problems because the last thing one does is question one's own performance. The easiest thing is to blame the system.

The main determinants of size of council should be the size and diversity of the community. It serves the complexity and breadth of councils' responsibilities and how council organizes itself to conduct its affairs. In this the recommendations of the Camp commission are of considerable interest and refer to the Legislature and suggested that more representatives would make the Legislature function better in many ways.

The Chair: Dr Fyfe, we have three other speakers.

Mr Fyfe: I'm just about to finish. There are some of the same problems at local government of increasing demands on council members. A smaller council would not reduce the amount of constituency work. The work will have to be shared among fewer hands. Taking more time will reduce the number of citizens who can offer their services, and therefore you will have a less representative council and the people who will be left out will again be those who are most disadvantaged. Council will be poorer because it is less diverse. This is also true in logic, for as the size becomes smaller, the range of interests reflected by council's members are bound to be less.

The argument that it saves money makes me very uneasy for it sounds as if you're putting a price on democracy. It is a tiny item in a very large budget and one suspects the saving to be illusory as those who are left argue for more compensation for their increased responsibilities.

Comparison with other cities is also questionable since most of them are in regional governments where the responsibilities are much less.


The Chair: Thank you, Dr Fyfe. Mrs Mooney, if you would like to go next and Mr Ferguson.

Mrs Irene Mooney: I'm not going to read my brief. I think you all have it and I hope you've read it. It is my opinion that the proposal to increase the number of boards and decrease the number of councillors is of substantial importance to the electors and thus, therefore, the question should be put on the ballot so the electors can vote on this matter. I believe the taxpayers have to be given more consideration now than they've received in a long time and decisions should be made that will ensure that any increases in taxation, if necessary, will be minimized.

I'm a taxpayer and I've attended council meetings for 30 years as an observer, all the committee meetings, when we used to have the committees, PUC, school boards, so I know the people and I know their wishes. They wish they would leave the ward boundaries as they are and the number of aldermen as they are now.

Mr Joe Ferguson: I'd just like to request that I be permitted to read my presentation -- it's seven minutes to read -- because it was put together by residents who are opposed to downsizing council: not that they are making a firm decision that they're totally against downsizing, but reasons why they don't believe this bill should be passed at this time.

The Chair: We've got about 10 minutes, so we'll give you the seven, if you would make sure, where something can be minimized, that you do. We have at least one more speaker, and there are members of the committee who have questions as well.

Mr Hansen: Madam Chair, this committee cannot sit beyond 12 o'clock without permission of the House leaders.

The Chair: I hope Mr Ferguson will take that into consideration.

Mr Gordon Mills (Durham East): We don't make the rules.

The Chair: So you understand that there is some time pressure.

Mr Joe Ferguson: Okay, I'll try and read it quicker, maybe five minutes.

The Chair: Okay, if you'd like to hurry along then.

Mr Joe Ferguson: I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce myself and express my reasons for appearing before this committee. My name is Joe Ferguson and I am a resident of the city of Kingston. I am here to represent what I feel is a large number of residents who for one reason or another are opposed to the issue of downsizing Kingston city council.

I wish to let it not be misunderstood: Residents of Kingston are not claiming a firm position on the issue. Although there may be a large number in favour and a large number opposed, the majority of both sides do agree for a number of reasons which I will address that the city of Kingston should not proceed with downsizing until all the concerns are addressed by the way of due process.

Before I begin, I would like to acknowledge that I wouldn't have had this opportunity if it wasn't for the generosity of a few Kingston city councillors. These councillors believed in my concern with not having both sides of the issue represented and out of their own pockets they managed to collect the cost of my trip to represent the other side. I strongly believe this action to be that of concern and not politically motivated, as has been suggested, and for this I gratefully publicly thank them.

To begin my presentation, I wish to take you through the process as it proceeded from the public side. In doing this, I am merely identifying when we perceived the actual process began for the residents.

On June 15, 1993, city council adopted a motion to accept in principle our interim CAO Frank Collom's recommendation to downsize the 10 wards with one councillor per ward, to hold a public meeting and to finalize its decision on numbers and distribution of wards following the public meeting, which was held July 6. On September 7, council voted not to proceed with downsizing and ward redistribution. One week later, council decided in favour of putting both issues on the 1994 ballot for the consent of the electorate.

The Chair: I hate to interrupt, but we actually have that here, so if you could possibly leave some of that and move along. We do have the chronology of the events.

Mr Joe Ferguson: I've only got two dates left there, if I may finish.

On December 7, council approved removing the issue from the ballot, approved implementing a 10-ward system with one councillor, approved in principle new ward boundaries and to make approval subject to a public meeting, to be held as soon as possible, and to approval of the private member's bill. The meeting was held on December 16 and all but one who spoke to the issue were opposed. On December 23, city council adopted a motion to present a bylaw for three readings to authorize an application to the OMB. Finally, on January 8, a notice was placed in the Whig-Standard that objections were being requested, forcing an appeal to the OMB, which was held on the 28th.

I must stress that all the voting that took place on this issue was very close. Because city council flip-flopped on the issue, the residents of Kingston were unclear if downsizing would be proceeding until it became clear on December 23. For this reason alone, I would believe that this date would be the actual date the process began.

Being the case, the public was not consulted between December 23 and January 8. The first public meeting was held, in my opinion, for opinions and the result of that meeting was evident by council's motion of September 7. The second public meeting, in my opinion, was held to determine whether the public had reconsidered their opinion. The results of this meeting had no merit, as far as those who attended are concerned, and it has been echoed that this public meeting was largely a fiction in terms of meaningful public consultation.

This was the process which was presented to the public. I and many others are of the opinion that the public's input was not accounted for.

The residents became aware on December 23 that council was proceeding, but because of a deadline the public was not given any time in which to address the concerns. We believe a public meeting should've been held, informing the residents that city council intended to proceed with downsizing. At this meeting, we could've set up a series of meetings to deal with the concerns to make the implementation smoother by having plans in place to deal with the impacts. The only input the public had was that of the OMB hearing. I'll just skip right down here and go to the concerns.

I, as an avid follower of the political system, federal, provincial and municipal, never once have seen input jeopardized in order to meet a deadline. This government itself is dealing with this very issue and has been for a while, and I don't see the sacrificing of public consultation in order to reach the set date. If anything, I believe this government has gone well beyond targeted dates to ensure adequate input from the public.

In Kingston, we believe our input to be inadequate and sacrificed to meet the city's deadline. This statement can be supported for a number of reasons. Kingston, unlike most municipalities, is going through what we believe is a most turbulent period in our political history. The face of our council has been affected considerably, and it's very evident with the bickering among council and the close voting, which is evidence of a very split council.

Our mayor stepped down with a little more than a year remaining in her term. Her successor was selected by draw of the box because of a seven-seven tie. The new mayor left the council seat vacant for a little over a month before the vacancy was filled by once again a draw from the box because of a seven-seven tie. A storm of controversy has clouded over city council as well regarding conflict-of-interest charges on three councillors.

What those opposed are looking for is a chance to offer suggestions and ideas and discussions to reduce and eliminate the serious implications this decision brings. The process the city undertook represents the largest concern among the residents of Kingston.

With the magnitude of this issue, we feel due process was sacrificed to ensure that the city had everything in place by April 1.

The next concern evolves around the added workload of the councillor. This concern alone covers a broad range of concerns. How will this affect the availability of the councillor? If our councillor is ill or on vacation, who will represent us? There will be nine other councillors on which to call, but they will no doubt put their constituents' concerns ahead of ours and all we are doing is adding to their workload.

The availability is a very serious concern, but most councillors hold down a full-time job in order to make a living. With all the council meetings, budget meetings, in-camera meetings, public meetings, committee meetings and special meetings, when is a councillor available for the residents? Moreover, a councillor will have to juggle quite a load in order to create some family time.

Another concern is with regard to saving $50,000. In my opinion, the added workload and responsibilities would justify the request for a pay raise. Councillors I have spoken with agree. For this reason, the taxpayers will realize nowhere near the expected savings. Many councillors believe these savings will be totally exhausted.

The next concern deals with the negative impact it will have in discouraging potential candidates. In fact, the diversity will change dramatically. Unless you are financially secure, the low-income person would be discouraged because they couldn't compete with the person who has the dollars to spend on a campaign.


We ask the NDP government to defeat this bill solely to allow the residents of Kingston a reasonable time frame --

Mr Mills: What about you guys? Don't you count?

The Chair: Mr Ferguson, please continue.

Mr Joe Ferguson: -- in which to address our concerns and develop plans to alleviate the impact. We were robbed of this opportunity, and our only avenue is to appeal to the people's party for our democratic right to due process. By defeating this bill, the residents of Kingston will be assured of at least two years in which to address the concerns and adequately come up with solutions. If it is immediate savings the city wants, there are many areas to look at which would amount to more than $50,000.

As it stands right now, these plans do not include the residents. We are on the outside looking to fit in. Our voice has been silenced and it's about time city hall learned a lesson or two in cooperation.

As to the party for the people, the people are asking to be heard. I have always considered the NDP as a compassionate group of individuals who I feel display a great deal of concern for the average citizen. A great injustice has been bestowed upon the residents of Kingston and we now look for this compassion in which to right this wrong.

This issue can be compared with the government's social contract. A lot of groups were greatly affected, but at least they had a voice in the process. Our input was sacrificed to enable the city to have everything in place by April 1 so as to have downsizing in place for the 1994 elections. Now this government is being manipulated to also sacrifice time in order that the city meets its deadline. You are being forced to make a decision as quickly as possible.

The Chair: Have you got just a little bit left?

Mr Joe Ferguson: I've got one minute. You too are being robbed of the valuable time, you must realize, that a decision of this magnitude requires. We only ask your support to allow us due process. When this government asked for our support, you got it. All we ask for is an opportunity to be involved in the process that we, as residents, should be entitled to.

Myself and a number of Kingstonians have very legitimate concerns which deserve to be discussed. Only your support can make this possible. We urge you to kill the bill to give us the time we so deserve. The people's party is being called upon to fulfil its promise.

This is a very big day for Kingstonians. We strongly hope this government will not add to our political injustice by rubber-stamping this bill. The people of Kingston backed this government and only wish to be backed in return. Your approval of this bill will destroy the trust and faith we, the people, have in this government. We urge you to live up to your name and to support the very people this party stands for.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Ferguson. Mr Good, you had indicated you wanted to say a few words. I have to indicate to you there is not much time. We have five members who want to ask questions and Mr Hayes has to make his comments. So you really don't have an awful lot of time.

Mr Pat Good: Thank you very much, Madam Chairman. I'm glad that you have allotted me a few minutes.

Like previous speakers, I'd like to let you know who I am. My name is Pat Good. I'm a taxpayer in the city of Kingston. I'm a senior citizen. I've lived all of my life, with the exception of about three years, in the city of Kingston. I've been appointed to four different boards or committees or commissions by four different city councils. I have been president of the city's senior softball league and played in other leagues in various positions.

At the present time I'm serving my third term as a public utilities commissioner. I've served two years as vice-chairman. I've served two years as chairman. This May I'll be 30 years in the real estate business.

Having said that, I hope you'll agree with me that I have my finger on the pulse of the city of Kingston, to their wants, desires etc, etc.

In 1991 I appeared in front of the OMB to have the number of councillors downsized from 14 to eight. The OMB lady who came down didn't say, but I think what she meant was that this was too tough a case for her. Two or three weeks later it was reopened and two gentlemen came down. They spent the full day. They recessed on three occasions. In the final recess they took about an hour to make a decision and, unfortunately for the citizens, they did not agree with the downsizing. I think I had a very good presentation but I was an amateur in presenting it. I had a good presentation but I was a poor presenter.

With some of the comments I've heard here today, as a Kingstonian, if you were my alderman or alderwoman or councillor, I might go to you or I might go to somebody on the far side of the city if I have a complaint or a request or whatever the case may be. The boundaries are not important, because in some cities, as I understand and you would know, there aren't any boundary lines.

As for workload, I think the 14 councillors create work for each other because there are so many: 14 for 60,000 population. In my research in writing to 27 clerks in 27 cities of populations from 40,000 to 104,000, the average was 7.5 councillors or aldermen/alderwomen. So it makes sense that we do downsize to a workable number.

As for time limits, well, there's a time limit for everything. I came up by train today; I have a limit and I have to be on the train by 3 o'clock to get home. We don't take that too much into consideration.

There is the chamber of commerce, where there are over 800 members. They are in favour of downsizing. There has been a committee formed looking for councillors for the next election. A Mr Collom -- we've heard his name before -- spoke at that, about 150 people in attendance. There have been two meetings. People are interested and he asked, "Should it be downsized?" and those in favour to raise their hands. He didn't bother to ask if there was anybody who wasn't in favour, because it looked like just about everybody, if not everybody, did approve it. I am very much in favour of seeing it downsized.

The city of Kingston has a $100-million budget. The Kingston Public Utilities, with water, gas, electric and transit, on which I am serving, as I said, my third term, also has a budget of $100 million and we have four commissioners, not 14.

I know there's a time limit, so with that I'll leave it. Thank you very much.

The Chair: Thank you. I don't really like doing this, but we do have these time constraints. Mr Hayes, do you have any quick comments? Then I want to turn to the members.

Mr Hayes: Yes, very quick. Just to try to clear the air a little bit as far as the ward boundaries are concerned, that's an issue that's dealt with by the OMB and would not be dealt with in this committee. That's my understanding. But the Minister of Municipal Affairs does not object to this application because it is an enabling or permissive piece of legislation.

Mr Mills: I'll be very succinct because of the time. I'd just like to make it very clear in the beginning that this committee is not the NDP government. It's a legislative committee made up of all members, so the decision will be made by the members.

Like some of my colleagues, I've been a member of municipal council for a number of years. The council that I sat on faced the same issue. It's very passionate in some respects, but elected people have to deal with that. I'm of the opinion that people are elected, that they must have the power to make these decisions and deal with them and that when you make those decisions, you face the electorate and they decide whether the decisions that you've made on behalf of the people who have elected you are right.

I am encouraged by the fact that the Ontario Municipal Board conducted a hearing into this and I am absolutely sure that all the arguments that we've heard today -- correct me if I'm wrong -- were presented to the OMB, which listened to them. Having attended some of those hearings, that forum listens intently to all the arguments and then makes a decision. The OMB has made a decision. They've endorsed and approved a council bylaw to effect the downsizing through a change in the ward boundaries.

I'm not going to get into the argument about the cost or what it does or what it doesn't. I am convinced that the councillors should have the power to make these decisions. The OMB has endorsed it and, apart from a small amendment that I will make to the bill, given that opportunity, I will be supporting the Kingston presentation.

Mr David Johnson: Just a couple of observations: When I was first elected actually there were two aldermen per ward, and had there only been one, I probably wouldn't be here today, because I came second at that time and that was my start.

I certainly congratulate all the people who made deputations today. Municipalities work because we have people such as Mr Fyfe and Mrs Mooney and Mr Ferguson and Mr Good who contribute to their local municipalities. Many good points have been raised. But I must say that I am of the view that this issue should be decided at the local level. I am of the view that the accountability is with the people in the city of Kingston and that's where the issue should be decided and debated. All these excellent points that have been made should be made there to the Kingston council. It's my view, having served as a mayor, after having been elected as alderman and moving on to mayor -- and I might say, Mr Fyfe, that East York, my municipality, the only borough in Canada -- and thank you for the history lesson. But it was always my view that the province should keep its fingers out of local issues; the province should give authority and then the people of that municipality, along with their elected representatives, should make the decision. Unless there's some clear case of impropriety or something of that nature, then it really should be up to the local council.


So I understand that there are good points to be made. You've gone through a very unusual circumstance with the mayor stepping down. Perhaps there's a point in that, but my basic support here will be with the bill and to let the people of the city of Kingston make this decision.

Mr Hansen: I think many of the comments have been echoed already and I think it's very important, just like Mr Johnson had said, that I wouldn't want to interfere in municipal politics where if you want to run next time, just say, "If you elect me we'll put two from each ward," to see whether you could win the next election. I think that's one thing you could put on the ballot, "We're different," and I think it would show up.

The $50,000 might not be a whole lot of money, but I take a look at even the MPPs. I represent 55,000 voters, where maybe Mr Johnson and some of these other members represent over 100,000. We should have 20 more MPPs sitting here at Queen's Park. We've taken a look at the economy here in Ontario. We've had to wind up not going ahead with that right now, and representation, we're talking about 13 and 3%.

I think another thing too is that Mrs Mooney had said she had been 30 years at council. I don't know how many of you sat on council. I think it takes a while to find out exactly the workings. You can watch it, but it's a whole lot different at home, how many calls you're getting.

I was just wondering if the three of you are all together as objectors, or each individual objectors. That's sort of important also.

Mr Fyfe: Mrs Mooney and I are partners.

Mr Hansen: Okay, fine. Just to get an idea. But I think the other thing we have to take a look at is, this has been in the making for two years. This petition is two years. I don't think it's something that just happened overnight and I think it's been well thought out. I think there would have been enough comments in the Kingston Whig-Standard, I believe it is, that people have participated in it. I'm not going to stand here at Queen's Park to prohibit the city of Kingston from moving ahead in maybe what we might call newer times and changes. I'm going to be voting with an amendment to pass this piece of legislation permitting the city of Kingston to go ahead.

Mr Hugh O'Neil (Quinte): Just a short comment for Mr Mills. First of all, Mr Mills mentions that it's an all-party committee, but the NDP has a majority on the committee, so they can always carry whatever they want to do here.


Mr O'Neil: Just to clarify that; not to get political.

The Chair: Let's not get into that.

Mr O'Neil: But I think I have to agree with some of the other comments that have been made. I, as an elected member for close to 19 years, appreciate things that are brought before this committee for passage or to be turned down by certain individuals and municipalities, but I also appreciate the time that is taken by people, that if there is an objection to certain bills, they come here and make their views known.

But again, I think I have to agree with the majority members of the committee, when we see the local MPP supporting it and we see the acting mayor and we see a majority of council, that those are the people who are elected and we have to go along with their wishes. As Mr Hansen said, there is a democratic process which will be coming up very shortly for those who may disagree with the decisions that are taken.

Mr Anthony Perruzza (Downsview): Just a couple of cautions. Although I agree with some of the comments that have been made about local autonomy and how the local areas should make these decisions for themselves, I'm hesitant to believe for one minute that there's going to be a savings. My sense is that while you'll cut some councillors, you'll need an administrator to handle the workload or most of those moneys will probably be redistributed to the councillors who get re-elected, who have to do more of the work.

So in my history on municipal council, I've found -- and it's really interesting. I don't know what the population is of East York and how many councillors they have in the city of East York. I imagine they have seven or eight or nine.

Mr David Johnson: Eight.

Mr Perruzza: They have eight councillors in East York. I don't know the population, but I know that in North York I represented a ward that was probably the same size as that of East York, so essentially one councillor doing the same kind of work.

So those kinds of arguments I find a little unmanageable, and it's generally the minority that appeals to a higher decision-maker in these kinds of issues, and I think sometimes the will and the interests of the minority need to be safeguarded as well. Given that the NDP has a majority on this committee, I'm going to be voting against this bill and against what seems to be conventional wisdom here.

Mr Derek Fletcher (Guelph): There's nothing conventional about it.

The Chair: That concludes the members' comments, and we are now after 12 o'clock. I am going to raise the point: Are members prepared to vote?

Mr Fletcher: Yes.

Mr Mills: I have an amendment.

The Chair: All right. I didn't hear anything from this side. Are the members ready to vote?

Mr Fletcher: Yes, they are.

Mr O'Neil: You may have to break the tie.

The Chair: I understand that.

Mr Hansen: Mr Hayes is here.

Mr Hayes: Thank you for your acknowledgement.

The Chair: Shall section 1 carry?

Mr Mills: I have an amendment to section 1.

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


"(2) A bylaw passed under subsection (1) or a bylaw repealing it shall be passed not later than 30 days before the last day for posting notice of the offices for which persons may be nominated in accordance with the Municipal Elections Act."

I don't think that needs any explanation.

The Chair: Are all members in favour of that amendment? Anyone opposed? Okay.

Then shall section 1, as amended, carry? Carried.

Shall sections 2 and 3 carry? Is there anyone opposed?

Mr Perruzza: I'm opposed, but I'm going to vote against the bill.

The Chair: Okay. Shall the preamble carry? Carried.

Shall the title carry? Carried.

Shall the bill carry? Carried. Is there anyone opposed to the bill? Okay.

Mr Hansen: You better read out the names.

The Chair: Yes.

Mr Perruzza: Could we have a recorded vote?

The Chair: Shall the bill, as amended, carry? All those in favour?


Eddy, Fletcher, Hansen, Hayes, Johnson (Don Mills), MacKinnon, Mills, O'Neil (Quinte).

The Chair: All those opposed to the amended bill?



The Chair: Shall I report the bill to the House, as amended? Agreed.

Thank you to the presenters. I know these are heartfelt issues and you've taken a lot of your time. You've made a very good presentation today and I thank you for those efforts.

The meeting is adjourned. We'll see you next week.

The committee adjourned at 1208.