STANDING COMMITTEE ON REGULATIONS
AND PRIVATE BILLS
COMITÉ PERMANENT DES
RÈGLEMENTS ET DES PROJETS
DE LOI D’INTÉRÊT PRIVÉ
Wednesday 17 October 2018 Mercredi 17 octobre 2018
The committee met at 0955 in committee room 2, following a closed session.
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): We’ll call the Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills to order.
On our agenda for this morning is a report of the subcommittee. Do we have a member who would like to read the report of the subcommittee into the record? Mr. West.
Mr. Jamie West: Your subcommittee on committee business met on Wednesday, October 3, 2018, to consider the method of proceeding on Bill 6, An Act to establish the Poet Laureate of Ontario in memory of Gord Downie, and recommends the following:
(1) That the committee begin its consideration of Bill 6 on Wednesday, October 24, 2018, at 9:30 a.m., following the consideration of other committee business.
(2) That the Chair, on behalf of the committee, invite Mr. George Elliott Clarke, former Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate, and a representative of the Ontario Arts Council to appear before the Committee on Wednesday, October 24, 2018.
(3) That Mr. Clarke be offered up to five minutes to make a presentation to the committee.
(4) That Mr. Clarke and the representative of the Ontario Arts Council be offered time to answer questions from committee members.
(5) That the research officer prepare a jurisdictional comparison of existing poet laureate regimes in Canada.
(6) That, time permitting, the committee may begin clause-by-clause consideration of Bill 6 that same day.
I move its adoption.
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): Thank you very much, Mr. West. This is a motion before the committee, so it is up for debate and possible amendments.
I see Ms. Hunter has her hand up first.
Ms. Mitzie Hunter: I think that this is, certainly, a worthwhile motion. I agree with most of it. I just wondered, on point (5), if the research officer could do that jurisdictional scan at the three levels—municipal, provincial and federal—and also if there were any notable international comparators to involve that in the scope as well.
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): Who wants to answer that—the comparison, not just provincially but federally and, potentially, internationally?
Ms. Mitzie Hunter: And municipally.
Ms. Erin Fowler: That’s fine. Do you want all municipalities or just a sample? Because it could be a lot.
Ms. Mitzie Hunter: Maybe for Ontario.
Ms. Erin Fowler: For Ontario? Yes, okay.
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): Do you want to propose an amendment, or is that discussion suitable this afternoon?
Ms. Mitzie Hunter: As long as the understanding of “in Canada” includes what I’ve just suggested, I’m fine with that.
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): Okay. I don’t believe an amendment is necessary. It looks like we’ve—
Ms. Mitzie Hunter: I just didn’t want the assumption to be that it’s a provincial comparator. I think it should be that wherever this type of program exists, we should be looking at it in the research.
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): I think that the way it’s worded provides sufficient latitude to exercise good judgment to compare whatever jurisdictions appear to be relevant.
Ms. Mitzie Hunter: Sorry, Chair. I also suggested international where relevant as well. I don’t know if that needs to be added or if that it will be automatically considered by the researcher.
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): We’d have to propose an amendment. Would you like to do that?
Ms. Mitzie Hunter: Sure. I propose that we include international comparators that are relevant to our work.
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): We’ll draft up some wording for that amendment.
Just for everybody’s understanding: The amendments, once they’re on the table, are debated first, before the main motion.
Ms. Mitzie Hunter: Sure, absolutely.
I just wondered as well, in terms of limiting the time that the poet has—
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): We have to do this one at a time.
Ms. Mitzie Hunter: Okay. I just wanted to talk about that as well.
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): Once the motion is on the table, we have to deal with that first, unless there’s a point of order.
Mr. Will Bouma: I’m just suggesting, Mr. Chair—because I think there are some other things that need to be fixed in the subcommittee report too, along with where we should be advertising the opportunity to come speak to this—that perhaps we should defeat the subcommittee report, send it back to the subcommittee to have it redone and brought back here.
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): We’ll take that as a motion as soon as we deal with the first motion.
Ms. Mitzie Hunter: I move that the words “and internationally” be added to the end of point number (5).
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): Any debate on Ms. Hunter’s amendment? Yes.
Mr. Paul Miller: I’m trying to get a handle on this. The poet laureate is a common thing in many countries. I’m not quite sure what bearing an international comparison will do to substantiate what we’re trying to achieve here. This is a pretty straightforward request.
I’m not quite sure what complications Mr. Bouma is talking about, because I haven’t heard anything negative. You have a three-party committee that brought this forward. Why weren’t your concerns addressed in the subcommittee before it got to us? What transpired between then and now?
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): Let’s speak to the amendment—
Mr. Paul Miller: I’m going through you.
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): Let’s speak to the amendment. You’ve spoken to the amendment.
Mr. Paul Miller: I don’t feel it’s necessary.
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): Okay. Mr. Pang.
Mr. Billy Pang: Do we need to second the motion before we debate?
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): No.
Any further discussion on Ms. Hunter’s amendment to the motion? All those in favour, please say “aye”—
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): Oh, raise hands.
All those against? The amendment is defeated.
Back to the main motion: Mr. Bouma.
Mr. Will Bouma: Speaking to the main motion—and again, thanks, Paul. Can we use names here, or do we have to—
Mr. Paul Miller: I don’t mind.
Mr. Will Bouma: The member from wherever you’re from—
Mr. Will Bouma: Since I’ve seen the report and I’ve been thinking about it, and because of my inexperience, I would say we probably should have done some other things, like made known where we’re going to advertise, that people are available to come to the committee and speak to this, as far as the hearings go, so that they could find out, and just a few other things that I think need to go back. So at this point, I would urge the committee to defeat our report so that it can go back to the subcommittee and be reworked.
Mr. Paul Miller: May I make a suggestion, Mr. Chairman? Mr. Bouma obviously makes a good point, but I have to say to you—no offence to anyone—I think the jurisdiction of the subcommittee should have been laid out, and all the necessary things. That’s common stuff. How many times they’re going to have people speak, when the days are set—that’s all stuff that should have been done. It’s not their fault, because they’re new, and they may not have been aware of those things that are commonly involved in a subcommittee before it comes here. So I would suggest that the Clerk of the Committee sit the subcommittee down and tell them what most likely is involved in all these presentations we do on a regular basis. The reason I say that is because now we’ve delayed something. We’ve got to go back and redo it. To me, it’s a waste of resources, a waste of time. If they had known their jurisdiction at the time, it would have helped.
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): For clarification, Mr. Hatfield was present at the subcommittee and was involved in the conversations for the—yes. And Mr. West was there, as well as—anyway, that’s who was in it, and that’s the subcommittee report that came out of it.
Mr. Paul Miller: Mr. Chairman, with all due respect, it doesn’t matter who was there, because they didn’t know the ramifications of what they suggested in that subcommittee. Now we come forward and, yes, it probably does have to be sent back because it wasn’t done properly in the first place. So we’re wasting time here.
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): Ms. Hunter.
Ms. Mitzie Hunter: The comment was that there were three parties present at the subcommittee, but there were not, to my knowledge. There were two, but you had said that there were three, so I just want to clarify that.
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): Yes, two recognized parties were at the subcommittee, as well as myself, and Mr. Hatfield had been invited to have a discussion about the bill, so that’s how the subcommittee—
Mr. Paul Miller: Point of information, Mr. Chairman?
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): Yes.
Mr. Paul Miller: I think what the member is saying—I guess it’s because of lack of party status, probably. Is that why they weren’t on the subcommittee, or are they still allowed to be on the—
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): They’re not on the subcommittee.
Mr. Paul Miller: So it’s only a two-party subcommittee.
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): That’s right, yes.
Mr. Paul Miller: There you go.
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): Mr. Harris?
Mr. Mike Harris: I just wanted to quickly mention that I think it’s very fitting that we’re discussing this today, because today is actually the one-year anniversary of Gord Downie’s passing, so I just thought that I would bring that up, and I found that a little interesting.
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): Any further discussion on Mr. Bouma’s—
Mr. Will Bouma: It’s not a motion; I was just speaking to the motion.
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): So any—yes, Mr. West?
Mr. Jamie West: I’m new to this, so for clarification, I’m not sure what other information we’re trying to find. I felt like we had a consensus in the room, with the subcommittee report, that this is sort of what we want to do. So if we’re going to send it back, we need some direction. If I go to the next subcommittee meeting, you’re going to get this page again because I don’t know what we’re looking for—I know it’s part of the learning curve. I’m comfortable the way it is; I don’t feel like there was more of an appetite at the subcommittee. I’m just looking for some direction.
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): Mr. Miller, and then Mr. Harris.
Mr. Paul Miller: With all due respect to everybody here, what you’re looking for in this report, which wasn’t done, is that you have to say how many days you’re going to have public presentations, when you’re going to do it, what day you’re going to do it and what time you’re going to do it. Are they allowed five minutes? Are they allowed 10 minutes? Are they allowed 15 minutes to speak?
That’s all standard stuff that the committee should have been made aware of as their job in the subcommittee. If you don’t know it—you can’t put it in the report if you don’t know what’s required. So I’m saying, if you were trained properly on how to run a subcommittee, then we wouldn’t be having this discussion, because it would have all been set out here.
But I do say to you that we could go forward with this if we all agree to vote on it and rectify it now, because I don’t think any unnecessary delays should be put forward on this. This is basically a non-partisan thing that, I don’t think, is a big problem here. That’s my opinion. You could vote in the committee to accept this report with an amendment saying the dates, the times and everything that’s missing on this original, instead of sending it back and delaying it for another two weeks, another waste of resources.
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): Just for clarification, before we go to Mr. Harris, the motion is on the table. It will be voted on, yea or nay, or amended. The process is, if it’s struck down, then Bill 6 would go back to the subcommittee for further discussion. That’s just a process—the bill referred is to the committee, so it stays within the docket.
Mr. Mike Harris: Mr. Chair, just for clarification, is this subcommittee report only to outline what will take place in our next meeting, or is this to outline the entire course of Bill 6 through this committee? That’s what I’m not sure about.
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): The motion is a recommendation from the subcommittee on how to dispense with Bill 6. It goes through the times and places when this committee would hear it, who would make representations to this committee and then the clause-by-clause—
Mr. Mike Harris: Okay. To me, then, in that case, this seems rather incomplete. I agree with Mr. Miller that we should take some action on that.
Mr. Paul Miller: Point of order, Mr. Chairman: You’re right; there is information that is missin. But rather than extend it for another month, we could decide now to just put in the dates that the public are allowed to come here and talk about it. We could do that right now. I don’t know why we’re sending back something because people didn’t know what you could put in this. That’s not their fault, because they’re new at it. So I don’t want to punish people and send it back by saying, “You did it wrong.” I just think we could fix it here. and I think this is an unnecessary delay.
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): Further discussion? Just for clarification, I will state that the subcommittee did consider those things—
Mr. Paul Miller: But they didn’t.
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): They made a determination.
Mr. Paul Miller: They didn’t.
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): Mr. Miller, that’s a fact. It’s not up for debate.
Mr. Paul Miller: Mr. Chairman, they didn’t make a decision and they didn’t put the information into the report.
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): There is a report in front of us as a result of that subcommittee. The discussions that were had, that’s what—if there’s no further discussion, we’ll call for the—
Mr. Paul Miller: You can’t call for a vote, Mr. Chairman, because the bottom line is, here, as you’ve explained, if you’re going to send it back to subcommittee, you’re going to have to have information of what’s missing to send back for the subcommittee to discuss, because they don’t know what they didn’t put there in the first place. You’ve got to tell them what you’re looking for—dates, times, place and all this—and you’re—
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): No, the motion is on the floor as it is written, Mr. Miller. The vote is on that. If it gets referred back to the subcommittee, then it’s up to the subcommittee to hear what was spoken in this committee and make those determinations.
Mr. Paul Miller: So it’s another delay, is that what you’re telling me? Okay—
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): Any further discussion?
All those in favour of the report on the subcommittee, please raise your hand. All those opposed? The motion is lost.
Mr. Paul Miller: So what are you going to do? What does that mean, Chair?
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): It will be referred back to the subcommittee.
We’re going to adjourn this—
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): Yes?
Mr. Toby Barrett: Just in the interests of time, I have, through the Clerk, submitted a request to the committee. Did everybody get a copy?
Interjection: The subcommittee.
Mr. Toby Barrett: Oh, I thought it went to the general committee. Just for the purposes of the committee, so that you know, I also have a private member’s bill which I had requested be referred to this committee. I am also requesting public hearings.
Mr. Paul Miller: Was it similar to this one?
Mr. Toby Barrett: No, it’s around alternate land use and services. It passed second reading. I just wanted—
The Chair (Mr. Randy Hillier): A different story.
I’m going to adjourn this meeting. We will have a subcommittee meeting if people are present for a subcommittee meeting.
The committee adjourned at 1013.
STANDING COMMITTEE ON REGULATIONS AND PRIVATE BILLS
Chair / Président
Mr. Randy Hillier (Lanark–Frontenac–Kingston PC)
Vice-Chair / Vice-Président
Mr. Kaleed Rasheed (Mississauga East–Cooksville / Mississauga-Est–Cooksville PC)
Mr. Toby Barrett (Haldimand–Norfolk PC)
Mr. Will Bouma (Brantford–Brant PC)
Mr. Mike Harris (Kitchener–Conestoga PC)
Mr. Randy Hillier (Lanark–Frontenac–Kingston PC)
Ms. Mitzie Hunter (Scarborough–Guildwood L)
Ms. Laura Mae Lindo (Kitchener Centre / Kitchener-Centre ND)
Mr. Paul Miller (Hamilton East–Stoney Creek / Hamilton-Est–Stoney Creek ND)
Mr. Billy Pang (Markham–Unionville PC)
Mr. Kaleed Rasheed (Mississauga East–Cooksville / Mississauga-Est–Cooksville PC)
Mr. Amarjot Sandhu (Brampton West / Brampton-Ouest PC)
Mr. Jamie West (Sudbury ND)
Substitutions / Membres remplaçants
Mr. Stan Cho (Willowdale PC)
Clerk / Greffier
Mr. Eric Rennie
Staff / Personnel
Ms. Erin Fowler, research officer,