STANDING COMMITTEE ON REGULATIONS
AND PRIVATE BILLS
COMITÉ PERMANENT DES
RÈGLEMENTS ET DES PROJETS
DE LOI D’INTÉRÊT PRIVÉ
Wednesday 14 April 2021 Mercredi 14 avril 2021
The committee met at 0900 in committee room 1 and by video conference.
The Chair (Mr. Logan Kanapathi): Good morning, everyone. The Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills will now come to order.
We have the following members in the room: MPP John Fraser—thanks for being here—and MPP Will Bouma. The following members are participating remotely—I will ask the Clerk if there are any others. No? I’m going to confirm all the people who are joining through the virtual: MPP Vincent Ke, MPP Paul Miller, MPP Billy Pang, MPP Jeremy Roberts, MPP Dave Smith, MPP Daisy Wai, MPP Jamie West. Did I miss anyone? Thank you for joining today.
We are also joined by staff from legislative counsel, Hansard, and broadcast and recording.
Please speak slowly and clearly, and wait until I recognize you before starting to speak. Since it could take a little time for your audio and video to come up after I recognize you, please take a brief pause before beginning. As always, all comments should go through the Chair, please.
Are there any questions before we begin? No? I see none.
Wemax Real Estate Inc. Act, 2021
Consideration of the following bill:
Bill Pr47, An Act to revive Wemax Real Estate Inc.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Logan Kanapathi): There is one private bill on the agenda today which we will consider. Would someone like to move the bill, since we don’t have a sponsor? Please go ahead, MPP Jamie West.
Mr. Jamie West: I’d like to move Bill Pr47, An Act to revive Wemax Real Estate Inc.
The Chair (Mr. Logan Kanapathi): Thank you. I’ll ask the applicant, Thanakumar Subramaniam: Could you introduce yourself, please?
Mr. Thanakumar Subramaniam: I’m Thanakumar Subramaniam, and I’m one of the directors of Wemax.
The Chair (Mr. Logan Kanapathi): Thank you.
MPP Jamie West, do you have anything to say? Any comments?
Mr. Jamie West: No, Chair, I do not.
The Chair (Mr. Logan Kanapathi): I’ll ask the applicant, Thanakumar Subramaniam: Do you have any comments?
Mr. Thanakumar Subramaniam: No.
The Chair (Mr. Logan Kanapathi): I will ask the committee members—are there any comments from the government? MPP Will Bouma.
Mr. Will Bouma: Chair, though you: Mr. Subramaniam, I hope this is the only time you ever have to try to revive a company.
I was struck many years ago by the fact that in the eyes of the government, a corporation is actually a living entity; and so, when they are dissolved, in a sense they are dead. We have the unique position in this committee—which I had no idea about beforehand: We have the power to bring entities back to life in the eyes of the government.
Even though it seems like such a pro forma act in order to revive your company to do business, I noticed that there was very little information in the compendium as to how the company was dissolved, why the company was dissolved, what happened that there were still issues going on, and why you seek to revive the company. I’d like to know a little bit of the story so that I can try to make a decision as to why you want to revive the company, because without that, I would have trouble voting in favour of this.
Mr. Thanakumar Subramaniam: At the beginning, we had a similar correlated corporation, so we were told that after we decided to dissolve this one, so we did it. But at the time, I lent some money to a different company. Now they are willing to pay me, but they are going to pay me only under my company name. But I wouldn’t even have the bank account to accept payment. So I went to the ministry, and they told me I have to revive the corporation, and this is the process I have to follow to revive the corporation in order for me to collect the money.
Mr. Will Bouma: I apologize; the volume in the room is not that good. I understand that there are still monies owed to the corporation. That’s why you need to revive it. I missed the part as to why the company was dissolved then.
Mr. Thanakumar Subramaniam: We had two companies, similar companies, so we decided to close this one.
Mr. Will Bouma: Okay. And that was something that you did yourself or an accountant did for you, or it was—
Mr. Thanakumar Subramaniam: My accountant did it.
Mr. Will Bouma: If I can ask further—through you, Chair—if the intent, then, is to deal with the financial issues of this company and then to shut it back down so that all the assets have been dealt with.
Mr. Thanakumar Subramaniam: No, I’d like to keep the corporation.
Mr. Will Bouma: Okay. But you said you have two very similar companies, so you shut this one down. Why would you want to keep it going after the only issue before you has been dealt with?
Mr. Thanakumar Subramaniam: If I have to close it, I will close it again.
Mr. Will Bouma: I’m sorry, I couldn’t—
Mr. Thanakumar Subramaniam: If I have to dissolve it, I will dissolve it again.
Mr. Will Bouma: I couldn’t hear.
The Chair (Mr. Logan Kanapathi): Thanakumar, could you speak—
Mr. Thanakumar Subramaniam: In that name, there is a contract with the different companies, right? So that’s why I’d like to keep it the same company, so I can do the business in that company as well. But in the future, if there’s no longer trade or activity happening in the business, then of course, I will dissolve the corporation. Otherwise, I will keep it.
Mr. Will Bouma: If I could just finish then, Mr. Chair—the difficulty is in understanding with the technology today.
I’m in mind to defer this application for one cycle and allow Mr. Subramaniam to give us a written submission, to answer those questions that I had, before I’d be comfortable making a decision.
The Chair (Mr. Logan Kanapathi): MPP Will Bouma, why don’t you put the questions clearly to the applicant again, if you want, for the—okay. There are so many hands up.
I will start with MPP Paul Miller.
Mr. Paul Miller: I heard the explanation. I’m just a little foggy on the part where Mr. Subramaniam said that he lent money to somebody under his initial company name, and then he has to revive the name to be paid back.
I’m a little confused with that. Did you lend it personally, or did you lend it under your company’s name? Why would a real estate company lend money to someone else under their logo? And then was it privately lent to them, or through your company? I’d like an explanation on that.
Mr. Thanakumar Subramaniam: We had construction for our unit. We bought a unit, we did the construction, and then we paid the construction company, and some companies didn’t meet the work, and we are trying to collect the money from them.
Mr. Paul Miller: So a real estate company paid a construction company to do whatever they did, and then they had to pay you back because you lent them money to construct something? So are you a developer? When—
Mr. Thanakumar Subramaniam: No, no, no, it’s a real estate company. It’s a brokerage.
Mr. Paul Miller: I had a real estate licence, and I don’t remember my broker lending construction companies money. Anyway, it’s a little—
Mr. Thanakumar Subramaniam: We had an office, like a unit, and we paid several companies to finish that office. Everything was around $200,000. Some companies didn’t finish the work and they left. They still owe us money back.
The Chair (Mr. Logan Kanapathi): MPP Jamie West.
Mr. Jamie West: I want to thank MPP Bouma for his questions, because there was not a lot of information on the sheet, and it was good to have a summary.
I don’t know about deferment. I feel like this is similar to a lot of these private bills that come forward where there is an entity that has closed their corporation, they find out that they either owe money or have money owing to them that they aren’t able to receive or are unable to pay because the corporation has been dissolved, and they need to revive it.
I feel like this fits into that category. I stand to be corrected by my colleagues, but I just wanted to get that on the record.
The Chair (Mr. Logan Kanapathi): MPP Dave Smith, please go ahead.
Mr. Dave Smith: I’m more confused after the question that MPP Miller asked. Originally, Mr. Subramaniam, you said that you loaned money to a company. And then when you were asked by MPP Miller about it, you said that you paid a company to do some work, they didn’t do the work, and now they’re willing to pay you back. That’s different than loaning somebody money. So I am confused by this.
I’m going to support MPP Bouma’s request that we defer this one cycle so that you have an opportunity to give us a written submission on what has happened and why you want to revive the company. There seem to be a lot of inconsistencies with what you’re saying, and your compendium has no information whatsoever on it for us to understand what has happened and why you want to revive it.
We don’t have a problem, per se, with reviving companies; it’s part of what we do. It’s just that we need to know the reasoning behind why you want to bring your company back. I [inaudible] what MPP West said, that we bring companies back fairly often when there’s money owed to, but we don’t really have anything from you that says, “This is what has happened. Here’s where the mistakes were made. Here’s bad advice that I was given. And now I need to bring the company back so that I can recover what I should have been given originally, or I have to pay something that I need the ability to pay for.”
In this case, we have nothing on paper from you. You said that you loaned some money to someone and they want to repay you, and then you said that, no, no, it was work that you paid someone to do and they didn’t do it and now they’re going to give you the money back.
There are just too many inconsistencies right now. I would much rather have something in writing from you that says, “Here’s what actually happened, here’s the result of it, and this is why I need to bring the company back.”
The Chair (Mr. Logan Kanapathi): Are there any comments from the committee members? MPP John Fraser.
Mr. John Fraser: I’m just listening to some of the comments around the table from the members, and the questions around it and the few details—pardon me; I’ve got two masks on here—and I’m just concerned that this bill get a fair shot through things. I think there probably needs to be a more detailed explanation. That’s fair to the committee and fair to the applicant. I wouldn’t want to see the bill not make it through, because there seems to be some hesitancy here, and I’m concerned that if we take it to a vote, we might not get there. So I think what my colleague across the way suggested would be the best thing to do for the applicant and for the committee.
The Chair (Mr. Logan Kanapathi): MPP Jamie West, please go ahead.
Mr. Jamie West: I’d like to thank my colleagues for expanding on this. In hindsight, it does make sense, what they’re talking about.
What I’m asking for—I don’t know if it would be a question to the Clerk—is some guidance to help Mr. Subramaniam to be successful with this, so that he knows exactly what we’re looking for and how to spell it out. I know that MPP Smith and MPP Bouma and others have explained it—but if there is a resource that we can direct him to so that he can be successful, assuming that we defer this.
The Chair (Mr. Logan Kanapathi): MPP Will Bouma, please go ahead.
Mr. Will Bouma: Yes, through you, Mr. Chair, I will look for guidance from the Clerk. But at this point, because I would like to see Mr. Subramaniam be successful, I would make a motion that the Clerk submit the questions that were asked today to the applicant, and that the applicant provide answers to those questions in writing before the next meeting for the review of the committee, and that we defer voting on this application for one meeting cycle, or until such time as those questions are answered by the applicant, depending on the timing of that, with a view that—it’s my understanding that if we do turn down this bill, it will be very, very hard to bring back, because it would be almost impossible to make any substantive changes to the bill so that it could be reconsidered by the committee. I don’t want that to happen. I don’t know if I need a seconder for that.
The Chair (Mr. Logan Kanapathi): Thank you, MPP Will Bouma, for moving that motion.
Is there unanimous consent to defer this matter until further notice? Everybody is nodding their head. Okay. Thank you.
We will adjourn the meeting until we are given a future notice for the next meeting.
The committee adjourned at 0921.
STANDING COMMITTEE ON REGULATIONS AND PRIVATE BILLS
Chair / Président
Mr. Logan Kanapathi (Markham–Thornhill PC)
Vice-Chair / Vice-Président
Mr. John Fraser (Ottawa South / Ottawa-Sud L)
Mr. Will Bouma (Brantford–Brant PC)
Mr. John Fraser (Ottawa South / Ottawa-Sud L)
Mr. Logan Kanapathi (Markham–Thornhill PC)
Mr. Vincent Ke (Don Valley North / Don Valley-Nord PC)
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. Jeremy Roberts (Ottawa West–Nepean / Ottawa-Ouest–Nepean PC)
Mr. Dave Smith (Peterborough–Kawartha PC)
Mrs. Daisy Wai (Richmond Hill PC)
Mr. Jamie West (Sudbury ND)
Clerk / Greffier
Mr. Isaiah Thorning
Staff / Personnel
Ms. Jennifer Gold, legislative counsel