Wednesday 16 November 1994

Berean Baptist Church of Collingwood Act, 1994, Bill Pr138, Mr Jim Wilson

Jim Wilson, MPP

Lloyd Adams, member, Berean Baptist Church of Collingwood

Rev Tim Luchon, pastor, Berean Baptist Church of Collingwood

Monpre Iron Mines Limited Act, 1994, Bill Pr118, Mr Murphy

Tim Murphy, MPP

Georges Dubé, counsel to William Paterson, director, Monpre Iron Mines Limited

York St. Peter's Evangelistic Organization Act, 1994, Bill Pr121, Mrs Caplan

Ron Eddy, MPP

Rev Eric Squire, bishop and president, York St Peter's Evangelistic Organization

Community Network of Child Care Programs (Willowdale) Act, 1994, Bill Pr133, Mrs Caplan

Ron Eddy, MPP

Nancy Collyer, solicitor, Community Network of Child Care Programs (Willowdale)

Brampton Bramalea Christian Fellowship Act, 1994, Bill Pr130, Mr Callahan

Ron Eddy, MPP

Douglas Tannahill, solicitor, Brampton Bramalea Christian Fellowship

Peace Bridge Area United Fund Inc. Act, 1994, Bill Pr136, Mr Hansen

Ron Hansen, MPP

Wayne Redekop, solicitor, Peace Bridge Area United Fund Inc.

Peter Collee, board member, Peace Bridge Area United Fund Inc.

Delta Chi Beta Early Childhood Centre (Windsor) Inc. Act, 1994, Bill Pr128, Mr Dadamo

Ron Hansen, MPP

Cheryl Sprague, executive director, Delta Chi Beta Early Childhood Centre (Windsor) Inc.

Mel Lewis, president, Delta Chi Beta Early Childhood Centre (Windsor) Inc.


*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)

Hodgson, Chris (Victoria-Haliburton PC)

Jordan, Leo (Lanark-Renfrew PC)

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

*O'Neil, Hugh P. (Quinte L)

*Perruzza, Anthony (Downsview ND)

*Ruprecht, Tony (Parkdale L)

*In attendance / présents

Substitutions present / Membres remplaçants présents:

Jamison, Norm (Norfolk ND) for Mrs MacKinnon

Also taking part / Autres participants et participantes:

Ministry of Municipal Affairs:

Hayes, Pat, parliamentary assistant to the minister

Skinner, Ron, manager, taxation policy

Riley, Mike, legal counsel, Ministry of Education and Training

Clerk / Greffière: Grannum, Tonia

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

The committee met at 1006 in committee room 1.


Consideration of Bill Pr138, An Act to revive Berean Baptist Church of Collingwood.

The Chair (Ms Christel Haeck): I would like to advise all members that the revised agenda for today is on the yellow sheet. We have had a couple of additions since the agenda was distributed last week.

Our first order of business is to deal with Bill Pr138. I welcome Mr Wilson as the sponsor. Feel free to introduce your applicants and say any opening remarks at this time.

Mr Jim Wilson (Simcoe West): I'm pleased to have with me this morning Tim Luchon, who is the pastor of Berean Baptist Church of Collingwood, and also Mr Lloyd Adams, who is a member of the congregation. I'd just point out to members that this is a growing congregation in the town of Collingwood, and it's a congregation we're very proud of. I will ask Mr Adams to explain how the incorporation inadvertently did not retain its status and would ask, in advance, members to support this request.

Mr Lloyd Adams: First of all, we just found out within the last year that it had been cancelled when Pastor Luchon came just a year ago. We got checking out the status of the church and found out that the charter was cancelled, and it was due to the fact that I guess about 10 years ago we had a pastor leaving and a pastor come in and there was a change of address on a particular street.

There were two homes in that same street and one pastor left and the other moved into a house and he moved from that house to another house on Beech Street, and somehow in the shuffle what we were supposed to be doing wasn't carried out. That's basically what has happened.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Adams. Would the other applicant like to make any remarks at this point?

Rev Tim Luchon: Only that when we first searched it out and we looked through it, we knew we had to take care of it right away. We tried to decipher exactly how the notice was lost. The only way we could figure out is the mail shuffle, and by the time we'd found out, it had already been cancelled. We didn't even know it had been cancelled. The address, I guess, would have been the same, and at that time, when we did find out, they were going through a change. So the timing has been very bad on the whole thing.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Luchon. I would like to ask if there is anyone at this point who has any objections to this, that's a formality, and I don't see anyone. Parliamentary assistant, Mr Hayes, do you have any comments at this point?

Mr Pat Hayes (Essex-Kent): No, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs does not have any objections to this revised act, or revival.

The Chair: I saw Mr Hansen had his hand up. Did you wish to make any remarks at this point?

Mr Ron Hansen (Lincoln): We've had quite a few charitable groups coming forward over the last four years and, I believe, before that, and I would take it that the minister was the only full-time paid person at the church, that everybody else were volunteers, volunteer secretary, volunteer president of the church council and elders and everything else, and I think this is an ongoing problem that I can see.

As the minister changed, with a new minister coming in and, as you said, the two residences -- there were two different addresses -- and it was sent to the other residence, the other minister had left, maybe it was forwarded to him and he never bothered replying.

You're not the only organization that's coming forward. I think it's been a big problem and I know the government supports you on the reviving of your charter here.

Mr Adams: Thank you very much.

The Chair: Any further questions or comments at this point? Seeing none, I will ask the members if they are ready to vote? Agreed?

All those in favour of Bill -- we're out of practice, we haven't done this for a few months. There is a cheat sheet and I'm going to use it.

Mr Hansen: Don't pass Mr Murphy's bill because he was supposed to be up first.

The Chair: I'm going to use it now. All members are ready, including the Chair.

Shall section 1 of Bill Pr138 carry? Carried.

Shall section 2 carry? Carried.

Shall section 3 carry? Carried.

Shall the preamble carry? Carried.

Shall the title carry? Carried.

Shall the bill carry? Carried.

Shall I report the bill to the House? Agreed.

Mr Ron Eddy (Brant-Haldimand): I move that the committee recommend that the fees and the actual cost of printing at all stages and in the annual statutes be remitted on Bill Pr138, An Act to revive Berean Baptist Church of Collingwood.

The Chair: All members have heard that motion. All those in favour, please indicate. Agreed? None opposed. Gentlemen, you have your revival of your corporation.

Mr Adams: Thank you.

Mr Jim Wilson: Thank you. I miss being on this committee; it's the most efficient committee we have.

Mr Eddy: At times.


Consideration of Bill Pr118, An Act to revive Monpre Iron Mines Limited.

The Chair: I'd like to call Bill Pr118 next.

Mr Tim Murphy (St George-St David): I'm nervous. The toughest critics are in my own party.

The Chair: Well, we usually know that, Mr Murphy, so we have to ask you to be concise and precise, and I know that your members will let you know if you're not.

Mr Murphy: That's the biggest challenge.

The Chair: At this point, if you would like to introduce the applicant, and again if you have any opening remarks at this point, please feel free to make them.

Mr Murphy: Yes. I'd like to introduce Mr Georges Dubé, counsel to Mr Paterson, who is making the application to revive Monpre Iron Mines Limited, and I would like to, before I turn it over, ask the committee to pass this bill if they would.

The Chair: Mr Dubé, please feel free to make your remarks at this time.

Mr Georges Dubé: The applicant, William Paterson, was a director of the company, just to give you an idea of who the applicant is. He currently retains shares in the company. The company is a mine prospecting and exploration enterprise which, on March 14, 1983, was dissolved as a result of an inadvertent failure to pay taxes or filing fees under the Corporations Tax Act.

At the time of the dissolution, the corporation owned properties in the province of Ontario, and continues to do so, and that is the reason why the applicant wishes to revive the company. It is my understanding that the corporation has paid all its back taxes and has received the required consents from the various ministries and also that the publication of the notice has been complied with.

The Chair: I would like to at this point ask if there are any other presenters you would wish to come forward at this time. Seeing none, I would ask the parliamentary assistant if he has any remarks on behalf of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.

Mr Hayes: The Ministry of Municipal Affairs does not object to private Bill Pr118.

Mr Tony Ruprecht (Parkdale): The reason why I think this should have very speedy passage is because Mr Murphy looked at this in detail and I know that once he's done that then there should be no problem.

The Chair: You're saying he was precise and concise and move it on. Is that it?

Mr Ruprecht: Very precise.

Mr Murphy: I'm not going to say anything. I don't want to spoil a good thing.

The Chair: Are members ready to vote on Bill 118? Agreed.

Shall sections 1 through 3 carry? Carried.

Shall the preamble carry? Carried.

Shall the title carry? Carried.

Shall the bill carry? Carried.

Shall I report the bill to the House? Agreed.

You have your revival, Mr Murphy and Mr Dubé.

Mr Murphy: Thank you very much, Madam Chair, and thank you committee. I appreciate it.


Consideration of Bill Pr121, An Act to revive York St Peter's Evangelistic Organization.

The Chair: The next order of business is Bill Pr121.

Mr Eddy: It's my privilege, on behalf of Elinor Caplan, MPP, to introduce Rev Eric Donald Squire, Sr, bishop and president of York St Peter's Evangelistic Organization, who will speak to the bill, and we would ask your consideration of same. Eric, would you speak to the bill.

Rev Eric Squire: Thank you very much. We are here on behalf of York St Peter's Evangelistic Organization. It was inadvertent that our charter was cancelled. We realized this after we endeavoured to make out receipts for income tax but questioned whether or not it would be acceptable by the Department of National Revenue and Taxation and they required a status report.

Because, inadvertently, they failed to file, referring to the persons who would look after matters of business to do with reporting and filing with the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations, they failed to do their responsible duties as such, and we came to realize we were non-existent, as it were, when we were incorporated better than 26 years ago. Finally, we decided to go the route of a private bill.

Here we are now endeavouring to pick up the pieces and to carry on as we have been doing but in a legal sense. Seemingly we were operating without the blessings of the powers that be that govern and look into these matters.

I think we have fulfilled most of the requirements, if not all, and I am endeavouring to have the people looking after this do their duties in such a manner as to never have a repeat of whatever has happened, or where it went wrong. We can't really put a finger on who did what or didn't do what, but I do know one thing. I am going to be very mindful of seeing to it that things are done properly and kept in order so that this will never again occur.


It is rather unfortunate, when it comes to the church, that this should take place, but we do have to abide by the rules and the regulations that govern matters of charity or religion or, if you wish, the matters of business pertaining to a corporation.

I'm hopeful that this will be a sufficient explanation because there's none other that I can give other than things turn sour like credit and the only way to rectify this is to face the problem and get some assistance, and I think you're here to assist us. We do appreciate that.

The Chair: Thank you, Rev Squire. I'm quite sure if there are any questions, the members will ask them in a moment after I refer this issue to the parliamentary assistant.

Mr Hayes: Anybody else first.

The Chair: You're right. Thank you. Are there other interested parties who wish to come forward at this time? Seeing none, Mr Parliamentary Assistant.

Mr Hayes: The Ministry of Municipal Affairs does not object to Bill Pr121.

The Chair: Are there any questions on behalf of the members?

Mr Hansen: I would say the government will support and recommend that we pass this bill so they can get on with the work that they have.

The Chair: Any other questions or comments? Are members then ready to vote on Bill Pr121? Agreed.

Shall sections 1 through 3 carry? Carried.

Shall the preamble carry? Carried.

Shall the title carry? Carried.

Shall the bill carry? Carried.

Shall I report the bill to the House? Agreed. Mr O'Neil.

Mr Hugh O'Neil (Quinte): Madam Chair, I move that the committee recommend that the fees and the actual cost of printing at all stages and in the annual statutes be remitted on Bill Pr121, An Act to revive York St Peter's Evangelistic Organization.

The Chair: All members have heard the motion. All those in favour please signify. Any opposed? None. It's unanimous. Rev Squire, all things are in order.

Mr Squire: God bless you and thank you very, very kindly. All of you, thank you.


Consideration of Bill Pr133, An Act to revive Community Network of Child Care Programs (Willowdale).

The Chair: I would ask Mr Eddy to continue in his task and represent Bill Pr133.

Mr Eddy: It's my pleasure on behalf of Elinor Caplan, MPP, to introduce Nancy Collyer, solicitor with Lewis and Collyer, who will present and speak to Bill Pr133.

Ms Nancy Collyer: Thank you very much. I'm here today for this group, appearing on behalf of the applicants. This corporation was incorporated in 1985 and two years later dissolved, but this did not come to the attention of the volunteer board until six years later, and I'm unable to find a reason for that I'm afraid.

This group provides support services to community-based child care organizations and receives funding from the Ministry of Community and Social Services. The group has continued its efforts throughout and the group has made other filings in the meantime and it only recently came to their attention.

The Chair: At this point I would ask if there are any other interested parties who wish to come forward on this matter. Seeing none, I would ask Mr Hayes, on behalf of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, to provide any additional information.

Mr Hayes: The Ministry of Municipal Affairs does not object to this application.

Mr Hansen: Reading the last page from the Ministry of Revenue, the subject here states, "Proposed private bills -- Ottawa Jewish Home for the Aged, 1993, and Brampton Bramalea Christian Fellowship Act." Can somebody give me a clarification on that last page from the Ministry of Revenue? Are we just reviving the Brampton Bramalea Christian Fellowship Act, 1993, or are we doing both in one bill?

The Chair: I'm sorry. I've got actually something else appended to mine.

Mr Hansen: I know there was a mistake, that a bill that I'm presenting --

The Chair: If you'll just give us a moment, we'll take a look at these.


Mr Hansen: Okay. I'll ask that question next time.

The Chair: Your basic question has been answered then?

Mr Hansen: I just want --

The Chair: Just give us another few minutes.

Just for the interest of all members, there is an appendix. The Ministry of Finance has provided a letter to members. It's dated in July of this year, and it indicates as the second paragraph:

"Being non-share capital companies, Peace Bridge Area United Fund Inc and Community Network of Child Care Programs (Willowdale) are exempt from corporations tax. As a result, this ministry has no objection to the revival of these companies by private bills."

That's signed by the associate deputy minister.

I know that the people who are sitting here from the Peace Bridge Area United Fund have just heaved a great sigh of relief, and obviously your organization is included in that exemption that they've provided, and they have no objections as well. From what Mr Hayes has provided us, I don't believe here are any other problems related to this.

At this point, are the members ready to vote?

Shall sections 1 through 3 carry? Carried.

Shall the preamble carry? Carried.

Shall the title carry? Carried.

Shall the bill carry? Carried.

Shall I report the Bill to the House? Agreed.

We have completed it. You have your revival. Thank you very much.

Mr Hansen: Do we have a windup?

The Chair: No. There are no additional motions at this point.

Mr Hansen: Could I just ask a question? The thing is that you brought out the point from the Ministry of Finance, and I find it very confusing now to wind up having two subjects on one letter exempting two different groups, because we have had in the past where one group hasn't showed up, has cancelled and come the following week. So when you're reading these bills and you're reading through, to me it's a little confusing. Each bill that comes forward should have a letter from the Ministry of Finance, not two included on one. I think it's a little bit confusing. This is something new that's just happened.

The Chair: We could definitely present that request to the ministry.

Mr Hansen: Yes, because it should be included with that bill, not with other bills being associated with it.


Consideration of Bill Pr130, An Act to revive Brampton Bramalea Christian Fellowship.

The Chair: At this point I would ask Mr Eddy to continue his efforts here, and I would call Bill Pr130. If you would then, Mr Eddy, introduce the applicant.

Mr Eddy: It's my privilege to introduce Douglas Tannahill, solicitor, who will present and speak to Bill Pr130.

Mr Douglas Tannahill: Notwithstanding that Bob Callahan couldn't be here today, I have his assurance that he's supporting us for this revival. This is an application for revival of a local church in Brampton. It has a congregation of about 250 members and was incorporated in 1980. It appears that in 1986 it was dissolved for failure to file pursuant to the Corporations Information Act.


What it appears has happened is that in 1986 the local pastor of the church, who was the incorporating pastor -- he's still a pastor of the church -- moved residences. The special notice didn't get to him and the reminder notices didn't get to him. Some five years later, when the church was doing a refinancing program to do some building, it came to their attention through a routine search that the church had been dissolved.

We are before you today asking for revival and hoping that you will forgive this inadvertence on our part.

The Chair: I would at this point ask if there are any other interested parties who would wish to come forward at this time. Seeing none, I would ask the parliamentary assistant to provide any additional information.

Mr Hayes: The Ministry of Municipal Affairs does not object to this bill.

Mr Hansen: I haven't got a question, but I think that this is similar to Bill Pr138, which Mr Wilson brought forward, and the other bills that've come forward by Mr Eddy. He's done a great job today. He has passed more bills in this committee today than he ever has in the House. I have to congratulate you on that, Mr Eddy. The government will support this bill.

The Chair: We were just trying to deal with a housekeeping matter, so I'm sorry that I was distracted.

Mr Hansen: You've got two ears.

The Chair: I know. It's one of the interesting facts that I do try to give my full concentration to the person to whom I'm speaking.

I would say at this point we have reached that point in our agenda where I ask the members, are they ready to vote?

Shall sections 1 through 3 carry? Carried.

Shall the preamble carry? Carried.

Shall the title carry? Carried.

Shall the bill carry? Carried.

Shall I report the bill to the House? Agreed.

Mr O'Neil: I move that the committee recommend that the fees and the actual cost of printing at all stages and in the annual statutes be remitted on Bill Pr130, An Act to revive Brampton Bramalea Christian Fellowship.

The Chair: I believe all members have heard the motion. All those in favour? Any opposed?

Mr O'Neil: We'd also be remiss if we didn't -- pardon me, I shouldn't interrupt in the middle.

The Chair: There are none opposed, so I would advise you, Mr Tannahill, that Bill Pr130 is passed and you also have that additional motion. Before we excuse our presenter --

Mr O'Neil: I was going to say I don't know where this committee would ever be without the great assistance of Mr Eddy.

The Chair: He is doing wonderful double duty and we have to thank him for his efforts this morning.


Consideration of Bill Pr136, An Act to revive Peace Bridge Area United Fund Inc.

The Chair: At this point I would like to call Bill Pr136.

Mr Hansen: I'm not sitting in Mr Eddy's seat. He was sitting to the right of me there. I'm more left than what he is. I have the Peace Bridge Area United Fund Inc Act, 1994, and would call this similar -- and I hope my colleagues will support this bill -- to the ones that Mr Eddy has put forward. It is a charitable organization.

We have Mr Wayne Redekop, the solicitor representing the Peace Bridge Area United Fund Inc. Act, and we have Mr Collee also from Fort Erie. I think Ridgeway's part of Fort Erie, but it's a smaller community. I know Mr Redekop has his office there. I'm actually representing the honourable minister Shirley Coppen from Niagara South since she's in cabinet today.

I'm going to hand it over to Mr Redekop here.

The Chair: For those of us who live in the peninsula, we do know where Ridgeway is. Some of us have even worked there.

Mr Hansen: I just want the other members here to recognize that area also.

The Chair: Hello, Wayne, and please continue your remarks.

Mr Wayne Redekop: The Peace Bridge Area United Fund Inc was first incorporated in 1965 by letters patent and operated under those letters patent until 1979 when notices were sent out by the ministry requiring the united fund to file appropriate information documentation. There was a failure at that time and, as a result of the failure, the letters patent were cancelled in 1979.

At that particular time, and from around the mid-1970s until approximately the mid-1980s, the united fund had continued to operate, but there was a great deal of disorganization within the particular association and there was a failure of presumably material at the provincial level to be filed. However, there were continuing reports filed with Revenue Canada as to the financial activities of the united fund.

About 1985-86 a new group of individuals became involved in the United Way in Fort Erie and matters began to progress to the current state and about three years ago there was a move to change the name from Peace Bridge Area United Fund Inc to the United Way of Greater Fort Erie in so far as regional government had expanded the boundaries of Fort Erie to include some smaller villages and part of Bertie township.

In the fall of 1991 it became apparent that in fact the letters patent had been cancelled and so efforts were made at that time to initially incorporate a new charitable organization, but it finally came down to the fact that it would be appropriate for this corporation to be revived and then from that stage can continue forward.

As I mentioned, all returns have been filed with Revenue Canada so that there's been no lack of reporting in so far as the financial activity of the organization since its inception, but there has been a failure of reporting at the provincial level.

At the present time the United Way in Fort Erie provides funding assistance to 12 local organizations, such as the YMCA, the Head Injury Association of Fort Erie, the local Red Cross, the community outreach program and several others, and it is a viable organization. It does have a vibrant group of volunteer board members and one paid employee.

We are requesting that the letters patent be revived so that the organization can continue in a proper legal fashion.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Redekop. Any additional comments by Mr Collee at this point?

Mr Peter Collee: I just want to state that we are a volunteer board. We have several volunteers as our campaign people. All our moneys stay in the community and go back out to the agencies and with the one paid person we feel it's a most efficient way to do it and to provide funding for several groups. I think that we have to continue on in the community, but we want to do things legally and make sure everything is done right.

As Wayne mentioned, the reason for changing the name to the United Way of Greater Fort Erie is because of the regional government expanding the boundaries, and we want to make places like Ridgeway a part of what we're doing and the small community of Stevensville that I live in as part of the community and part of Fort Erie in general. This is one reason we want to make the name change and we want to continue on as a charitable organization.

The Chair: Thank you. At this point I have to ask if there are any other interested parties who wish to come forward at this time. Seeing none, I would turn to the parliamentary assistant Mr Hayes for any additional comments.

Mr Hayes: The Ministry of Municipal Affairs does not object to this, especially with the convincing argument that Mr Hansen brought forward to this committee today.

The Chair: Mr Hansen is known for being very persuasive. At this point, I would ask if members are ready to vote on Bill Pr136. Agreed.

Shall sections 1 through 3 carry? Carried.

Shall the preamble carry? Carried.

Shall the title carry? Carried.

Shall the bill carry? Carried.

Shall I report the bill to the House? Agreed.

Mr Norm Jamison (Norfolk): I would like to put forward a motion on this bill. I move that the committee recommend that the fees and the actual cost of printing at all stage and in the annual statutes be remitted on Bill Pr136, An Act to revive Peace Bridge Area United Fund Inc.

The Chair: All members have heard that motion. All those in favour, please signify. Any opposed? That's unanimous.

Peace Bridge Area United Fund, you have your revival. Thank you very much for coming and have a safe trip back to our part of the world.

Mr Redekop: I will take glad tidings.



Consideration of Bill Pr128, An Act respecting the Delta Chi Beta Early Childhood Centre (Windsor) Inc.

The Chair: At this point I would like to call forward Bill Pr128.


The Chair: Excuse me, some order please. I would like to call representatives forward.

Mr Hansen: Madam Chair, since I see my colleague is at another committee meeting, is it all right if I sit in for him at this point so we can carry on with the business of the committee?

The Chair: Certainly, Mr Hansen. I thank you for doing that.

Mr Hansen: I have to excuse myself, Madam Chair, that I have not met the delegation that's before the committee, but I would like to welcome them to the committee and I will represent you as your representative from your area, even though I don't live there. I don't know how else to put it, since George is busy at other functions.

I'd appreciate it if you would introduce yourself to the committee and present your bill. For the purposes of Hansard, if you can give your name and your position, you may carry on. I'm used to doing that as Chair; I shouldn't be saying that. The Chairman should be saying this.

The Chair: Actually, I know that the lady before us is Ms Sprague and you're the executive director. Please continue, as Mr Hansen has given you some help and direction. The floor is yours.

Ms Cheryl Sprague: Good morning. I appreciate this opportunity to speak to you today.

Delta Chi Beta is an early childhood non-profit charitable corporation founded in 1986. We offer child care services for children from infants through to school age, including special-needs children. We are the only child care centre in Windsor that is open 24 hours and we also offer an arts and culture program with the cooperation of the University of Windsor drama and education department.

For eight years we did not qualify for tax exemption, as we leased our facility. However, with our Jobs Ontario grant of $1.2 million to build a new and expanded child care centre, we now qualify for tax exemption. In determining the revenue and operating expenditures, it is necessary that municipal tax exemption be obtained in order to maintain the most economical user fees.

Child care centres that are non-profit in Windsor are either located in public or separate schools and religious institutions and do not pay municipal taxes or they are operated by the city of Windsor and St Clair College, which is our community college. and they also do not pay taxes. We understand the school board is opposed to this bill. However, we feel it is a very strong conflict of interest for the public school board to oppose this tax exemption when the public schools have 13 non-profit child care centres operating in their schools that do not pay taxes, and only one of those schools, I might add, offers an infant program.

The city of Windsor did an in-depth study on our proposal and determined that in exempting our taxes, this would only put us on the same level of playing field with all other non-profit operators in our community. We are here today to ask you to pass our bill for tax exemption for those same reasons.

The Chair: I would ask the gentleman who is sitting at your right if he has any additional comments and if he would also introduce himself for the purposes of Hansard.

Mr Mel Lewis: Thank you, Madam Chair. My name is Mel Lewis. I'm the president of Delta Chi Beta. I have been associated with Delta Chi Beta from the date that we started. We were one of the first non-profit corporations in the city of Windsor in the day care business.

For eight years we have paid a heavy lease price which included municipal and school taxes, and it was very difficult to maintain our school over the last eight years. The people involved, the eight board directors and the staff, did a lot of fund-raising over these years to maintain a very high quality day care centre. For these reasons we would like the bill to be passed.

One very large area in day care is in infant care. Infant care is the most labour-intense part of day care, and in the city of Windsor there are only six operators that offer infant care. As Cheryl was saying, in the public school board system they have 13 day cares but they only offer infant care in one and that's because it's so labour-intense. We offer full-service day care from infants right to school age. Special-needs children: Our new building has a lift for the special-needs children. For these reasons we would like our bill passed in order to keep our per diem rates as low as we can.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Lewis. At this point I'm required to ask if there are any other interested parties who wish to come before the committee.


The Chair: Okay, we have, and I think some members may have seen in their package that there is a letter appended, a handwritten letter from a Mr Rondot, and the other objector in this is the Board of Education for the City of Windsor, for which you also have one, if not two, letters indicating their concerns. At this point I would -- yes, Mr Jamison.

Mr Jamison: I'm not sure if it's time yet, but I wanted to ask the ministry some questions.

The Chair: Very good. I'll put you on the list. I will first turn to Mr Hayes and ask him on behalf of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and possibly some of the others who had communicated with him to pass on their information.

Mr Hayes: The Minister of Municipal Affairs cannot support the centre's request for private legislation since it does not meet all of the ministry's criteria, and particularly the school board approval. The ministries of Education and Finance have also written to state objections to the bill.

It also should be noted that this bill would represent the first such tax exemption for a day care centre and might lead to increased demand for similar organizations and it certainly could, in the opinion of the ministry and other ministries, create a precedent which could affect government policies at all levels.

Also, I have to refer to the letter from the Minister of Municipal Affairs, which was written November 14 to Ms Cheryl Sprague, the executive director. In the letter it states that they do meet certain criteria, except when you go to the second page, number 5 and number 6.

It said, "If the bill provides for an exemption for upper-tier and school board purposes, those bodies must approve of the exemption." Then, "The exemption should apply to property taxes only and not to other charges such as local improvement rates." So the ministry does object to this.


The Chair: Just a moment, Mr Eddy. We have someone on the list before you. Mr Jamison actually put his hand up very quickly, so I will turn to Mr Jamison and then you'll be next.

Mr Jamison: I understand that the recommendation from the ministry is based on setting a precedent of a sort here, and I'd like the parliamentary assistant through your staff to explain what potential ramifications there would be in passing this bill.

Mr Hayes: I will refer that.

Mr Ron Skinner: My name is Ron Skinner, with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs. There have been a number of private bills considered by the committee and approved by the Legislature that grant tax exemptions. They have been for cultural and recreational organizations and not for day care organizations such as this.


This then would represent a precedent for the first such organization, and I dare say there are many more such organizations that would seek similar consideration for a tax exemption. In that sense, the ministry would be upset to see that precedent established. We know these are not always well received by the municipal sector, and what happens in one municipality can put pressure on another municipality to grant similar status to their organizations.

Of course, day care facilities are in some degree competing with one another, and to the extent that one would receive a tax exemption and others not, that would introduce the notion of an unlevel playing field in that industry and in that business. Also, as public funding is sometimes provided for day cares, it would introduce yet another complication in terms of the funding available for day care. On those grounds, we would not like to see such a precedent established.

We are particularly concerned here as well about the accountability issue, which is to say, the school board does not support the exemption, and in our minds, the municipality, the city of Windsor, should not make a decision as to the school taxes. It's not its money.

Mr Eddy: The question I had concerned the letter from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, item 4, which states, "The exemption should be granted through a municipal bylaw as opposed to being exempted directly by the bill." That's I guess because the municipality has statutory authority to indeed exempt an organization from municipal taxes. That's in the Municipal Act, isn't it?

Mr Skinner: No. These bills grant that authority to the municipality. Otherwise, these properties are not exempt.

Mr Eddy: I see. So if we pass this bill, it would then be up to the municipal council and the school board to decide whether it be exempted or not as a further step. Is that the way it works?

Mr Skinner: That is the process, and as you said, sir, the municipality and the school board. In this instance the school board has no say in the matter; it's just the municipality, which is a problem for us. We don't feel the municipality should be making the decision about the school taxes.

Mr Eddy: I see. If the bill is passed, then that would --

Mr Skinner: There should be provision for some concurrence by the school board and/or the county if there was a county, but there is not.

Mr Eddy: Yes. An upper tier, right. Okay, thank you.

Mr Hansen: I don't know whether Mr Hayes can answer this. I don't know whether he was the parliamentary assistant at that time, but Mr George Dadamo came before this committee with the Windsor arena, which was going to be built by the private sector and leased back to the city for I believe it was 33 years. We gave authorization to the city of Windsor to exempt that arena for taxes. As I heard the statement to the point, for recreational purposes, they could become exempt. The thing is, this is a building that was built by the private sector and then reverts back to the community of Windsor in 33 years.

I know the importance of early child care, which has been fought for by working people for years, that they have proper care for their children. The provinces have had to pick up the ball where the federal government hasn't in the past years. I know a grant of $1.2 million went to this agency, but it seems like what we're doing is giving it with one hand and taking it back in the other. But I realize that the school board operates a board in the city of Windsor which is sort of independent, in a sense, at arm's length from the provincial government here, and I know the negotiations would go on with the city of Windsor and the school board.

At this point I have a very difficult way of deciding this morning. I'm not to the point to say I'm going to say with passion I'm going to vote to pass this bill, but I would be at a point that I could say at this time, if the parties are in agreement, if it comes to a point that it's going to be turned down, that we put it on the shelf and let it sit there. Can you, as parliamentary assistant, give me any background on this situation? I know it was a long question.

Mr Hayes: In answer to your first question, no, I wasn't parliamentary assistant to Municipal Affairs. To get the proper answer, I suppose I'd better turn it over to staff as to the difference between what was done for the arena and how it affects this.

Mr Hansen: If Mr Mills has a good memory, I think he was sitting in the chair at that time.

The Chair: I would suspect he does, but at this point I think we'll turn again to Mr Skinner. He may be able to provide us some insight into the matter.

Mr Skinner: The bill for the Windsor arena which you referred to was, I guess, a first effort at an innovative financing approach or an innovative method of financing in providing infrastructure in the municipality. There a private entrepreneur was moving to work with the municipality to build the facility instead of having the municipality build it itself, and it would operate it for a period and then the facility would revert back to the municipality.

In essence what it was doing was replacing the municipality as the constructor and operator of that facility, and in that arrangement the municipality then conferred the tax exemption that it would have had had the municipality done it itself, to that operator. Since that time, those types of approaches have been enacted in general legislation under, I believe it was, Bill 40 -- section 210.1, I'm advised by counsel.

So that has been moved from sort of a pilot project in respect of that Windsor arena to general legislation now, to enable all municipalities to make arrangements with the private sector for the provision of municipal-type facilities. This is not a municipality-type facility. This is a day care.

Mr Hansen: Is there any tax on the casino down there?

Mr Skinner: I don't know if the casino is owned by the province or rented by the province. That would change the tax angle.

Mr O'Neil: I guess the only thing I sort of wonder is, this bill had first reading on June 22nd, 1994, and we had these letters from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs dated November 14 and from the board the 11th and 7th. These people have come in all the way from Windsor. Has this been explained to them, to express the objections that they have and save them a trip coming in, or what's sort of happened there?

Mr Hayes: I will refer that to staff, because I don't know the answer to that.

Mr Skinner: I can't give you a list of dates, sir, but staff have been in touch with this organization, with Ms Sprague, throughout this period. Our objections have been cited and known and there have been some telephone calls back and forth. I appreciate that the dates of these letters -- when we knew what the situation was, that concurrence with the school board would not be forthcoming, that's why these letters were prepared just before the committee. But the organization was aware of our position well before today.

The Chair: Ms Sprague, did you have any additional comments to make at this time?

Ms Sprague: Yes, I did. I just want to make a comment about Mr Skinner's comment about being concerned about a level playing field. Presently we are not on a level playing field. We are the only non-profit charitable child care centre in Windsor, with, I believe, the exception of one other one, that have to pay taxes. All the rest of them do not pay taxes, so we are not on the level playing field.


I also want to make a comment based on what Mr Hansen said, that the Ontario government so generously gave us this grant to build a new and expanded child care centre. However, we cannot manage the property taxes that have been assessed on this building. So, you know, in a way, as Mr Hansen said, you give to us but then you take back.

Mr O'Neil: Where does the discrepancy come in between the other groups that aren't paying and you having to? Where are they located?

Ms Sprague: They are located in the school boards, in the public schools, in the separate schools, in religious institutions. The municipality operates five child care centres and the community college, St Clair College, operates a child care centre. All of the centres do not pay taxes.

Mr O'Neil: I guess my next question would be, and maybe to staff or to yourself, in building the centre, did you not have some idea that you wouldn't be tax-free?

Mr Lewis: We applied to the city four or five years ago for tax exemption, and at that time they told us the only way we could get tax exemption was if we owned the building. So, once we received the grant from Jobs Ontario, we assumed that because we own the building now we qualify for tax exemption, and that's when we started the private bill. We did not anticipate the school board objecting to it and we could not afford to hire a lawyer, being non-profit, so we were doing it ourselves to save the expense.

All we did was follow the lead of a non-profit corporation in Windsor that received tax exemption last year. I followed their lead and all their paperwork. I notified the school board, as they said in their compendium they notified the school board, and that's what we did. We assumed that that would be accepted from the city of Windsor, granting the exemption subject to the private member's bill.

We did not really think we had to go to the school board and go to the trustees and ask their permission. We assumed that once we owned the property we would have tax exemption, from the previous conversations I'd had with the city of Windsor four or five years ago. We were snowed under a little bit financially, so we were looking for ways out. Because none of the other child care centres pay taxes, I went to the city and said, "Is there some way we can do this?" They said, "No, not unless you own the property, and if you own the property, you can apply for a private member's bill."

Mr O'Neil: Could I ask you, going on with my question --

The Chair: Yes, but be mindful that there is at least one other person who wants to ask a question.

Mr O'Neil: Okay, sorry. The question would be, has the building been completed, what's the value of the building, and is the ownership of the building now in the non-profit organization?

Mr Lewis: The building is in the process of being built. It's about 55% complete right now. The anticipated taxes are $26,000 a year.

Mr O'Neil: Could the building be turned over to the board of education or to the city and let them run it? Therefore, it would be tax-free like the other child care organization.

Mr Lewis: I don't think so. I don't know. The $1.2 million that Jobs Ontario granted us for it, we had to sign with the provincial government that this is their building. They have a mortgage on it for $1.2 million and it's a non-repayable mortgage, I think. Is that the term?

Ms Sprague: It's not a mortgage, no; it's a grant. But if the building is to transfer title, it reverts back to the province.

Mr Lewis: Yes, it reverts back to the province. When we talk about the day care centres in the public school board, the public school boards do not operate the day care centres themselves. They lease the space to non-profit day care centre operators. They don't run it themselves.

The Chair: At this point we have Mr Mills as a questioner. He hasn't had his chance yet. So, Mr Mills?

Mr Gordon Mills (Durham East): I have a great deal of empathy with what you're telling me this morning, but nevertheless I also understand the way the system works and I know that I like to think that elected officials are consulted about things.

You have a school board that has been elected by the population at large, I believe, and somehow my understanding is that the city council has sort of usurped its authority as a school board and said, "Well, we really don't care what you say, we're going to do this."

That troubles me because I think all levels of elected officials are accountable to the people that elect them, and I feel very strange about supporting something whereby one level of an elected authority is being seemingly bypassed and ignored and someone else is doing something without them.

Unless I hear something different, I have a great deal of problems listening to the ministry people about the precedent that is being set. Are we opening the doors to have all kinds of people come forward, the impact on municipalities, unlike Windsor who perhaps couldn't afford a nickel? All these things concern me. Unless I hear something gravely different, I'm of the position that I can't support this.

Mr Anthony Perruzza (Downsview): I agree with a lot of the comments that my colleague has just made; however, I can also understand the situation that the centre is in. I'm inclined to favour an option that says that at some point this group is permitted to come back before us, because I'm not quite sure that they've actually explored all of the venues that are essentially at their disposal to be able to work out some agreement, as Mr O'Neil has suggested, either with the municipality or with the school board in order for them to qualify for some kind of exemption. It would seem to me that a $26,000 property tax bill annually for a day care operation is an onerous thing. I don't know how they'd be able to survive.

I don't have their financial picture situated in front of me, but I would be inclined to favour an option that was a middle-of-the-road option and that said they would be given some time to try to work this out, and if they can't try to work it out at some point, they'd have the possibility to come back before us again to have a look at this.

The Chair: Is that a formal motion, Mr Perruzza?

Mr Perruzza: Well, Madam Chair, I'd really look for direction from you. I could, I suspect, put a motion of deferral or just simply table the bill before us and say they have two or three or four months, or however much time they require, to go and try to work it out in some amicable way with the other parties possibly involved and, at that point, if they haven't been able to do that, be able to come back here so that we can at least take a serious look at maintaining and trying to sustain an operation which will provide a good benefit for the entire community in the Windsor area.

It would also give some of the Windsor members -- Mr Dadamo certainly; not that Mr Hansen isn't doing an excellent job in sponsoring the bill this morning -- but certainly Mr Dadamo and possibly some of the other representatives from the Windsor area, to have a look at this and try to work with the group to work out their dilemma. If that's what you --

The Chair: I would prefer a motion. I think it's easier for all of us if you would do that.

Mr Perruzza: I would simply move deferral of this for that to happen. I don't want to put a date on it per se but just say in the motion that when the group requests to bring their bill forward that the clerk do whatever she can to ensure that it's brought forward at the earliest possible time after they formally request to do that.

The Chair: I've been informed by the clerk that we have to vote on that motion.

Mr Eddy: May I speak to the motion?

The Chair: Mr Eddy, you were on the list, so please.

Mr Eddy: I appreciate the motion because it's very much in my thinking. I do support the application in that having heard the reasons for it and the comparison, it's important as legislators that we do as much as possible support a level playing field. I see that this is not under the present circumstances.


I have a real problem with the board of education having non-profit organizations operating their day cares or the facilities they provide for day care facilities within their schools, which are not taxable, then saying to another non-profit organization, which owns its building, which has been financed through Jobs Ontario -- a great project by the sound of it and has created jobs, but unfortunately perhaps this particular problem wasn't anticipated or investigated.

So I really have a problem with the board when it appears to me that it's a very similar and like operation, doing exactly the same thing, operated in the same way, operated by a non-profit organization as I guess you would term the school board as well. I agree very much with the motion. I strongly support it. Thank you for presenting it.

Mr Hansen: There's sort of a question I'd like to ask legal counsel.

The Chair: Only on the motion.

Mr Hansen: It has to do with the motion. I want just to clarify on how I'm going to vote on this. I need to know if the -- and there's been a municipal election. We might see new faces on the school board; I don't know; I'm not from Windsor. They could have different ideas, because this was written on the seventh day of the month and we had an election a week later, this last Monday, and we have some new faces.

But the other thing too for clarification on this motion, could not the day care centre, the Delta Chi Beta wind up talking to the school board of paying your school tax of $26,000 and request a refund back from the school board, but yet they've paid it? It would be up to the school board to decide it. Or would that have to be a Pr bill?

The Chair: Is this a question to Mr Skinner?

Mr Hansen: To legal staff, whoever's got the biggest hat on there.

The Chair: Please then introduce yourself for the purposes of Hansard.

Mr Mike Riley: My name is Mike Riley. I'm a counsel at the Ministry of Education and Training. In response to that question, I believe it would require legislation. There's no authority of which I'm aware at this time to take such action or that type of approach. It could be done in the bill.

The Chair: Okay. At this point I'm going to ask Mr Riley to vacate that warm spot for Mr Hayes, because it's now Mr Hayes's turn to ask a question or make a comment, and then Mr O'Neil.

Mr Hayes: Just on Mr Perruzza's motion, he did indicate that we could look at different avenues. Of course, as I indicated earlier, it's important that all levels of government that are affected be in agreement with these exemptions.

One of the questions I wanted to ask was, the city is in favour of exempting you from the property taxes, but have you ever gone to the city, because they can do it. They can give you a grant to the equivalency of that amount of money. That's my understanding. That's another avenue also.

Mr O'Neil: Who can give the grant?

Mr Hayes: The municipality can.

The Chair: The question is to Ms Sprague.

Mr Hayes: That's another avenue I'm suggesting, that's all, or asking whether you have done that.

Ms Sprague: You're asking me if we have approached the municipality for a grant for the taxes? When we went in front of city council, that was discussed among the councillors but it didn't go very far, because the councillors said it would be an annual request and it would be difficult to forecast budgeting and planning within the non-profit corporation. So it didn't continue. It was discussed among councillors, and they approved the full tax exemption.

Mr O'Neil: You know, we have a problem here and I don't know where the blame lies, but the thing is, whether it lies with the non-profit organization or lies with Jobs Ontario or with the discussions that have taken place with the council or with the board of education, it's like, you've got a building going up that's worth -- how much again?

Ms Sprague: The building is worth $600,000, but the whole project is $1.2 million.

Mr O'Neil: So you have a $1.2 million project where a lot of this thing doesn't seem to have been ironed out or clarified before approval was given for a Jobs Ontario grant, and it's placed your organization in some sort of a quandary as to what do you do. I believe you're going to have to go back and review this thing with Jobs Ontario, with the board of education, with municipal people and with yourselves to see just how you'll handle the problem you have, because it could be a major problem.

Mr Jamison: This is rather perplexing, because certainly when we're talking about a level playing field for a not-for-profit child care, it presents a problem that really rests, as has been described, with the municipality. But getting through all of this, really it's very important and I think it's very crucial for a facility of that nature and of that size to be able to provide the service to the community at the most reasonable cost. Certainly being non-profit, it's important to understand that that's the way you're set up to deliver your service.

It doesn't get away from the issues at this point that really stand in the way of you proceeding in that light. The issue really, I think, and most members here have agreed, does rest back in the municipal board of education end of things, and I believe that, as Mr Perruzza has indicated, we should try to find an avenue to have that issue resolved back at that end or a further attempt to do so.

Quite frankly, if I were to have to vote on this particular bill today, because of the consequences, the ramifications that don't relate directly to your particular dilemma at this point, those consequences could be rather significant overall to municipalities and school boards in similar but not like situations, not same situations.

I would like to indicate that I would be supportive of trying to further resolve this issue to meet the criteria of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs by sending this issue back to have another thorough look at whether or not there is an avenue to find a successful conclusion to this.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Jamison. Mr Hayes, to wrap up?

Mr Hayes: Yes. All I wanted to do is I wouldn't want people going out of here with the wrong impression because of Mr O'Neil's comments about Jobs Ontario, because Jobs Ontario is a very successful program and Jobs Ontario doesn't go --

Mr O'Neil: My comments weren't --

Mr Hayes: Excuse me, Madam Chair --

The Chair: No, no, no.

Mr Hayes: Jobs Ontario does not, when they give funding to the private sector or the public sector, whatever, they don't go in and decide whether that municipality or whether one of the ministries should exempt them from paying taxes. I just wanted to make that very clear.

Mr O'Neil: Madam Chair, can I just make clarification on that?

The Chair: Briefly, Mr O'Neil, very briefly.

Mr O'Neil: My comments weren't meant to be political. This group has a problem and I think Jobs Ontario may have to come in to part of the solution to try and help them get a solution on this, but they weren't meant to be political.

The Chair: Thank you. Ms Sprague, we'd like to then move to the motion after your comments.

Ms Sprague: I just want to make one further comment about Mr Jamison's comment about the fallout of what could happen in other municipalities, I guess in terms of tax revenues. You have to remember when you're considering this that to qualify for a private member's bill you must own your own building. Non-profit, as you can see, we can't come up with $26,000 to pay our taxes so non-profit child care centres would never generate enough revenue to build their own child care centre, so we must only get this money from the province in lieu of a grant.

Now unless Jobs Ontario is going to be dishing out a whole lot more money over the next little while for other child care buildings to be developed, then that's not going to have a big, large ramification on other municipalities in this province. We do agree to defer this.

The Chair: At this moment we have the motion before us made by Mr Perruzza that Bill Pr128 be deferred until a later date. The members have obviously had some good discussion.

All those in favour, please indicate. There are obviously none opposed. At this point since everyone who was here raised their hand in favour, therefore the motion is carried.

The motion to defer is carried, so I hope that we will see you in the not-too-distant future when you've had a chance to work with the different stakeholders to bring this to some good resolution.

Mr Perruzza: Madam Chair, I just want to get into the record and into Hansard my view that if this does come back, and for the school board and for the municipalities who are going to be contacted, as a government member I would support a bill that keeps the day care functional and being able to provide that service locally, so that they're very clear on that. Thank you.

The Chair: The Hansard will obviously be used by these good representatives in their discussion with the board and the municipality. At this point before members shuffle their papers to go, we have actually a couple of other pieces of business. At this point I would thank the two presenters, Mr Lewis and Ms Sprague. We will then carry on some other business which is not part of your bill at this point.

Ms Sprague: Thank you very much.

The Chair: Members, we have other business on your yellow sheet and it relates to Bill Pr96, An Act to revive the Hamilton and Region Arts Council, and Bill Pr114, An Act respecting Hamilton Community Foundation. I believe Mr Hayes has two motions to bring forward. These bills were in fact passed, but these are some additional motions to deal with their issue.

Mr Hayes: I move that the committee recommend that the fees and actual cost of printing at all stages and in the annual statutes be remitted on Bill Pr96, An Act to revive the Hamilton and Region Arts Council.

The Chair: All members have heard the motion in relation to Bill Pr96. All those in favour, please signify. Are there any opposed? None opposed. That was passed unanimously.

Mr Hayes: I move that the committee recommend that the fees and actual cost of printing at all stages and in the annual statutes be remitted on Bill Pr114, An Act respecting Hamilton Community Foundation.

The Chair: Again, all members have heard the motion. All those in favour, please signify. Any opposed? Seeing none again, passed unanimously.

I thank all members for their good comments and their time and we are hereby adjourned.

The committee adjourned at 1123.