SV022 - Mon 23 Nov 2015 / Lun 23 nov 2015



Monday 23 November 2015 Lundi 23 novembre 2015

Strategy on sexual violence and harassment

The committee met at 1417 in committee room 1, following a closed session.

Strategy on sexual violence and harassment

The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): The Select Committee on Sexual Violence and Harassment will now come to order.

Members, welcome to what is our final meeting of this committee. We are here today to review and vote on our final report. You have before you the final draft report and I now have some questions to put before you.

Shall the draft report be adopted? All those in favour? Thank you. The motion is passed.

Shall the final report be translated and printed? All those in favour? And passed.

Upon receipt of the printed report, shall the Chair present the committee’s report to the House with the motion that the recommendations contained in the report be adopted? All those in favour? And the report is passed.

Any other comments from any of our committee members?

I would like to say to our Clerk, Katch Koch, and our previous Clerk, William Short, thank you very much for guiding us through this process and thank you for your dedication.

To our research officers, Carrie Hull and Erin Fowler, you started this journey with us. You’ve been with us every step of the way and we are so grateful for your expertise and your patience. Thank you very much.

Any other members? Sylvia Jones.

Ms. Sylvia Jones: I would just like to echo your comments, Chair. Select committee processes, by their very nature—trying to come to consensus when we all represent different political spectrums is in itself a challenge, and the fact that we’ve come this far with a great number of recommendations speaks to the ability to compromise on issues that are not easily resolved. So I want to thank everybody for putting their effort into making this report come together today.

The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): Thank you, MPP Jones. MPP McGarry.

Mrs. Kathryn McGarry: I also want to thank the Clerks, the research assistants and really all the team members. We’ve had some committee members come and go during this process.

I also echo MPP Jones’s comments that this has been an incredible journey for all of us. We have heard some very difficult and emotional stories at the podium here, and it speaks to all of the committee members’ and the staff’s commitment to making this process move forward. From where I sit, I think the deputants were treated very warmly and very kindly by this committee. It’s not easy to hear some of these things.

I myself just want to say that it has been an incredible journey for me as well, and I really commend all committee members for coming to make such a report that we’re all proud to put our names behind. I’ve very much appreciated being part of this process and feel that we’ve got some great understanding with all committee members around the table.

The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): MPP Scott?

Ms. Laurie Scott: It’s been a year since we started to drive the whole concept of a select committee. I think that all the committee members came willingly, so I want to thank them, because, as was mentioned by MPP McGarry, it’s not an easy topic. It was brave of the individuals and the associations, in a lot of parts, that they came forward and that we could come together, unanimously, to deliver this report and the recommendations.

Echoing what the Chair had said already, we had lots of travel time together and got to know each other a lot more. I’d like to thank the researchers and the two Clerks that we’ve had. It was hard to coordinate everything. So, nine months later, since we started the hearings, here we are—a collective, big thank you and I hope that many of the recommendations are brought forward into legislation.

The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): MPP Sattler?

Ms. Peggy Sattler: I also want to extend my appreciation to the researchers and the Clerks. I think there may have been three Clerks. I think we started with Trevor, didn’t we?

So, thanks to all for your efforts with this project. I felt extraordinarily privileged, as a representative of the NDP caucus, to participate in this committee. I know that my caucus colleagues who either filled in here at Queen’s Park or who attended the travelling hearings really felt huge value in being able to play a part in this committee.

The travelling part of our committee really emphasized for me the value of going out on the road to hear from people. All of the presentations that we heard were powerful and impactful, but when we travelled, we were able to hear from people who would have never, ever been able to come to Queen’s Park. Their stories, I think, really made an incredible impact on all of us. I think that that demonstrated the importance of enabling committees to travel when you need to hear from Ontarians on serious issues, like sexual violence and harassment.

The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): MPP McMahon?

Ms. Eleanor McMahon: I want to echo so many of the comments from my colleagues, but I want to thank you, Madam Chair, for your careful and deliberate adjudication of our proceedings. As someone who joined you as new in this place, I can’t imagine having done a job as well as you have in keeping us together, in keeping us on time, and in really finding a way to channel your particular passion for these issues through your work. So, I want to thank you.

I’d like to thank our researchers and our Clerks, as others have done. I want to thank my colleagues on the other side of the House for their patience and their mentorship because, as a newly elected MPP when I started this role, I wasn’t quite sure how to navigate some of the processes and the issues. Ms. Jones, who has been on a couple of select committees, has been enormously helpful. All of you and your particular passions for the subject matter have really been a pleasure to watch.

Again, as people have watched us navigate this very difficult and sensitive area, I think we’re at our best when we’re working together, and that’s exactly what we did. Like MPP Sattler said, I’m feeling very privileged to sit here and to have worked with all of you and gotten to know you better. That’s been just a tremendous experience for me.

When Kevin Flynn, who I asked about select committees, told me about his committee and what a game-changing and career-changing time that was for him, I can now say that this has been the same for me. So, thank you to my colleagues in our caucus, but to all of you, as well: Thank you for being so terrific and so dedicated and passionate.

The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): Thank you very much, MPP McMahon, and thank you for your kind words of support.

MPP Dong?

Mr. Han Dong: First of all, I would like to thank you for being an excellent Chair, leading the way on this very important initiative. I must share with the committee how much I appreciated the opportunity to be part of this larger movement. Whether it’s the action plan by the government or this select committee, we are participating in a larger movement to address this social issue. I must say that I’ve learned so much in the past year while travelling or here in Toronto. Whether it’s workplaces or universities and colleges—I was truly moved by the amount of evidence coming forward citing that this is an issue that must be dealt with.

As a parent of two young kids hopefully heading into post-secondary education, I feel very satisfied that I can tell them that their dad actually was part of the change or the action and I really worked towards bettering the circumstances for them.

Thank you very much to all committee members for giving me this opportunity to participate.

The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): Thank you, MPP Dong.

Final words from MPP Malhi.

Ms. Harinder Malhi: I think I’m going to echo all of your sentiments and say thank you. This has been very helpful, especially in my role as parliamentary assistant to women’s issues. I’ve had a lot more opportunities to learn from all of you. Thank you for all of your help and your support. Travelling was a lot of fun. It was something different, something new.

Thank you to our researchers. You worked so hard to turn things over so quickly for us. It has been a really great experience and I think there’s lots to take away from it.

Thank you, Chair, for being a great Chair and keeping us on time, and of course, Katch. Thank you to everybody. I really do feel that it’s been really good experience for me and there are many things I can take away from this as we work on different things in our ministry.

The Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): Thank you, MPP Malhi.

I want to express my gratefulness to all of you for your endurance, your passion and your co-operation on this all-party committee. It has been an honour and a privilege to serve with you on the Select Committee on Sexual Violence and Harassment. Like you, I look forward to the outcome of this committee.

Thank you very much. We now stand adjourned.

The committee adjourned at 1428.


Monday 23 November 2015

Strategy on sexual violence and harassment SV-571


Chair / Présidente

Ms. Daiene Vernile (Kitchener Centre / Kitchener-Centre L)

Vice-Chair / Vice-Présidente

Ms. Laurie Scott (Haliburton–Kawartha Lakes–Brock PC)

Mr. Han Dong (Trinity–Spadina L)

Ms. Sylvia Jones (Dufferin–Caledon PC)

Mrs. Marie-France Lalonde (Ottawa–Orléans L)

Ms. Harinder Malhi (Brampton–Springdale L)

Mrs. Kathryn McGarry (Cambridge L)

Ms. Eleanor McMahon (Burlington L)

Mr. Taras Natyshak (Essex ND)

Ms. Peggy Sattler (London West ND)

Ms. Laurie Scott (Haliburton–Kawartha Lakes–Brock PC)

Ms. Daiene Vernile (Kitchener Centre / Kitchener-Centre L)

Substitutions / Membres remplaçants

Mrs. Cristina Martins (Davenport L)

Clerk / Greffier

Mr. Katch Koch

Staff / Personnel

Ms. Erin Fowler, research officer,
Research Services

Ms. Carrie Hull, research officer,
Research Services