Tuesday 17 December 1991

Waste Management Act, 1991, Bill 143 / Loi de 1991 sur la gestion des déchets, projet de loi 143

Subcommittee report


Chair: Caplan, Elinor (Oriole L)

Vice-Chair: Sola, John (Mississauga East L)

Fawcett, Joan M. (Northumberland L)

Haeck, Christel (St. Catharines-Brock NDP)

Hope, Randy R. (Chatham-Kent NDP)

Malkowski, Gary (York East NDP)

Martin, Tony (Sault Ste Marie NDP)

Owens, Stephen (Scarborough Centre NDP)

Sullivan, Barbara (Halton Centre L)

Wessenger, Paul (Simcoe Centre NDP)

Wilson, Jim (Simcoe West PC)

Witmer, Elizabeth (Waterloo North PC)


Cousens, W. Donald (Markham PC) for Mr J. Wilson

Daigeler, Hans (Nepean L) for Mrs Sullivan

Mathyssen, Irene (Middlesex NDP) for Mr Malkowski

McClelland, Carman (Brampton North L) for Mr Sola

O'Connor, Larry (Durham-York NDP) for Mr Wessenger

Wiseman, Jim (Durham West NDP) for Mr Owens

Clerk: Mellor, Lynn

Staff: Drummond, Alison, Research Officer, Legislative Research Service

The committee met at 1540 in committee room 1.


Consideration of Bill 143, An Act respecting the Management of Waste in the Greater Toronto Area and to amend the Environmental Protection Act / Projet de loi 143, Loi concernant la gestion des déchets dans la région du grand Toronto et modifiant la Loi sur la protection de l'environnement.


The Chair: Are we ready to proceed? I thought we really should try to get everybody here for this meeting, because it is the first meeting of the committee. We will be dealing with the report of the subcommittee. I hope we will agree on the kinds of procedural rules and so forth that we did the last time -- everyone was clear as to how we would move forward in the future -- and be able to have those debates and agreements today.

The clerk is submitting the budget, but I think we should begin with the report of the subcommittee.

All members have the report and the subcommittee has recommended two options. Is Mr Wiseman here? You are the whip and you were going to check to see whether option 1 or option 2 was acceptable to the government.

Mr Wiseman: Our preference is for option 1.

The Chair: Government preference is option 1. Are we willing to consider option 2?

Mr Wiseman: The difficulty arises at the other end with option 2. The week of March 9 is a very difficult week for us.

The Chair: I spoke directly to your whip, because that was the discussion at the committee. It is my understanding that the House leader's office -- Mr Cooke has said there was some flexibility and willingness to permit sittings the week of the 9th and I spoke directly to your whip, Mrs Coppen, and she said she would also be flexible on the week of the 9th. I just report that to the committee, and if you have not spoken to them you might want to do so. I hoped this could be resolved in an amiable way and we could have a consensus. Is that possible, Mr Wiseman?

Mr Wiseman: Not at this time.

Mr Cousens: Madam Chairman, if we are able to have option 2, there are some benefits to it. One is that the extra time given to people to prepare their response is meaningful in that December is not a good month for preparation; we get back very early in January. The time to enrol and be accepted for presentations beginning in the week of January 13 really gives a very short period for them to prepare. I strongly support option 2 and that is the number one reason. I cannot speak for the official opposition, but some compromise on how we handle the fifth week -- and if it is not March 9 there might be another time we can do it so it might have to be abbreviated. There is a sense of willingness to try to work that through.

Mr McClelland: We will try to find whatever accommodation we can. I think Mr Cousens's points are well taken and there is no need repeating them. It is important that people be given an adequate opportunity to prepare. I should add that it is my understanding in discussion with our whip and House leader that there was, as you have stated, a willingness of the government leadership at the level of whip and House leader to have some flexibility and to consider it. I suppose that either has not been passed down or there is a difference of opinion between the whip of this committee and the other two individuals. That is fine. That can be sorted out, I am sure, in due course but I think the point is well taken.

The other thing that is very important is that option 2 affords the opportunity for the material presented before the committee to be considered over the course of a week or so. Option 1 precludes that, really. You are suggesting, in terms of option 1, that the committee, having travelled across the province and the bulk of the time being spent here in Toronto, comes back and has basically two days to review all the material, consolidate it and bring it to bear on the clause-by-clause deliberations. I think it is unreasonable to expect that. It is particularly unreasonable to expect it to happen on the heels of a week's travel.

One of the fundamental points in terms of the negotiations in the first instance when the government considered a time closure motion -- it is important to note that the House leaders negotiated this and arrived at a compromise solution. One of the key ingredients from our caucus was that there be an opportunity to review the material; that there be a time between the final submissions and the beginning of clause-by-clause. Option 2 affords that opportunity.

As Mr Cousens has said, we are prepared to look at other times that may accommodate that, but clearly option 2 suits that and meets the legitimate need of people making major presentations. Bear in mind the people doing the presentation for an hour come the first week, a good number of them. They want to do justice to it and they want to prepare adequately. It really is -- I do not want to use the word "unfair," but I think it is less than accommodating to not afford them that other week.

Mr Wiseman: I disagree with what Mr McClelland has just outlined. If we begin on January 14, 1992, we would have three weeks and then there would be a week off, February 3, which would return us on February 10 and then go to clause-by-clause on February 17. I think the week of February 3 affords us the opportunity to review at least 60% of the presentations at that point and would give us a very good sense and would allow us to carry, with our short-term memories and long-term memories, into the clause-by-clause and have this finished by February 21.

The other alternative calls upon us to drag this out over eight weeks as opposed to six. In terms of what I have already made commitments to and so on, I think doing it in the most compact form would be the most advantageous to myself to achieve the goals of understanding this bill, doing the clause-by-clause and finishing this.

Mrs Witmer: I just heard Mr Wiseman say that to accommodate his schedule we should be proceeding with option 1. I always thought it was the function of a committee, if we are going to have public hearings, to make sure that those people making a presentation have every opportunity to prepare adequately, present the information and then for all committee members as well as staff to review the information and give due consideration to all the information whether it has been presented the first week or the fourth week. I wonder, if Mr Wiseman would want to do that, if there is any opportunity for him to change his schedule.

Mr Wiseman: I would be quite able to accommodate all the information that will be presented to us within the time frame that is there. I think the presenters will also have adequate time to do that. However, I do not think this is going to be solved at this level so I suggest that maybe we leave this in the hands of the whips and the chairs and live or die by what they agree to.

The Chair: The suggestion I have as committee Chair is that from my experience it is always better if a committee can reach the accommodation and establish both the tone and the consensus for working together at its very first meeting rather than passing that off. I have shared with the committee the discussion I had with the government chief whip and the understanding I had from her around the position of the House leader. Certainly, this committee can decide not to make a decision, and that in itself is a decision. We have a report we are dealing with. What is the wish of committee members; to deal with this today or leave it to the House leaders to determine the schedule for the committee?

Mr Cousens: I think we have agreed to disagree. I say option 2. I see Mr McClelland saying option 2. I hear Mr Wiseman saying option 1, so there is no agreement.

The Chair: We are then to just refer the matter to the House leaders? All right, it is the wish of the committee that item 1 of the subcommittee's report is referred to the House leaders for determination. Agreed? Agreed.

There are some additional parts of the subcommittee report that hopefully we can reach accommodation on. The first was the suggestion -- actually it is contained in part 1, but I think it can be lifted out -- as to when the minister and her staff would make their presentations before the committee. There was one option that had the minister making her presentation with her staff before the committee on the first day of public hearings. The other option was the one where the minister and her staff would be making a presentation at the committee on the first day of clause-by-clause. Can I ask the whips of the committee whether there has been any conclusion as to how to proceed?


Mr Wiseman: Our preference, and it has been very strongly indicated to us by the minister, is that she would like to appear on the first day of hearings.

Mr McClelland: There is nothing wrong with doing things out of the ordinary. Certainly that has become customary of late, but our position remains that we want to maintain the standard that the time for the committee is for outside presenters. We are prepared to accommodate the minister at clause-by-clause, at either the beginning or conclusion of that.

The Chair: There is precedent for both within the committee. The clerk has informed me that when you are looking at parliamentary precedents, both occasions, both at the beginning of public hearings as well as the beginning of clause-by-clause, have been times used by ministers for those presentations.

Mr Cousens: I think the minister has had ample time to comment on Bill 143 in the House. She may well have a chance to reprise the presentations that come in. There will be a number of different things that we will have learned, and what may well happen if she takes her opportunity before we hear those is that she will not be able to help nurture our thinking following them. I think the time where she can have the greatest impact on all of us is after having listened to everyone else and just before we do the clause-by-clause. I think Mr McClelland makes a very good point.

Mr Martin: I wanted to make the comment that you had made, that it did not seem to me that this was so much out of the ordinary. If I remember correctly, when the Regulated Health Professions Act went through, the minister spoke to us before we took off on our journey and then we heard from the ministry afterwards. I think that in that instance the minister, for me personally anyway, set a tone that challenged us to be open to what we would hear across the province so that we might make recommendations and amendments to that legislation which reflected the fact that we had listened to the people and wanted to put in place the best piece of legislation we could put together as a committee. For me to serve on this committee, it would be in the best interest of the people of Ontario that I be given direction by the minister and the ministry at that point and perhaps even again after we come back and before we proceed with clause-by-clause. We might hear from her or her staff so that we might be as informed as absolutely possible in front of this really important question.

Mr Hope: To the members opposite who may be well familiarized with environmental issues, and for us who have not been strong activists in the environmental field, I think it is very important that the minister make presentations or opening statements to us to give us some kind of guidelines and direction on which way she sees the problem going. I know through other hearings that we have had the opportunity to readdress the minister on particular issues we have heard through the presentations that have been made to us, but I think for the setting of the stage, as we call it, and leading us into public hearings, it is most appropriate that the minister address those concerns.

Nothing against Mr Cousens or Mr McClelland. I know they are very knowledgeable about environmental issues. Some of us are more environmental in different areas, but I think it is very important for us as we reflect on the greater Toronto area, those who are not members of the greater Toronto area, that the direction and the vision the minister sees come before us before we start talking to the public so that we can do the comparison between the two.

Mr O'Connor: I think Mr McClelland and Mr Cousens raised a valid point. I think clause-by-clause is a good time for the minister to come to address us. I have to agree of course with my colleagues on this side. They raised a point on the matter of setting a tone. Maybe we can encourage the minister to come back and see us at clause-by-clause as well as at the beginning; that after we have heard some participation, as Mr McClelland has raised so eloquently, we should have the minister come back then just to hear some of what the input has been and speak to the committee again at that point in time. Perhaps he has hit a point that is worth taking note of: Invite the minister back on two occasions.

The Chair: There being no further speakers, we have the committee report, which recommends two options. I have heard a third. The first option is to have the minister on the first day of public hearings. The second is to have the minister on the first day of clause-by-clause. The third is to have the minister on both days. Shall we vote?

Mr Wiseman: What are we voting on exactly?

The Chair: We have the committee report which has the two options. You can vote on one of the two options in the committee report or the suggestion that has been made of a third option that has been put forward.

Mr Hope: You are asking for a vote on something. I think the committee has a determination through the process. If it feels it is important for the minister to return, I do not think we have to vote on that issue today. I feel it is very important that the minister come before the hearings. If during the hearing process the avenue is left open, I am sure we as a committee will have the ability to ask the minister to come forward again.

The Chair: I pointed out to the subcommittee, Mr Hope, that the minister or the parliamentary assistant sits in the chair, as you know from our previous work. As well, there are officials from the ministry here. What the committee was discussing was an invitation to the minister herself for an opportunity to address the committee and perhaps answer questions from committee members. It was the view of some that this would be most helpful at the start of public hearings. It was the view of others that it would be most helpful at the start of clause-by-clause. What we have to decide today, for the purposes of scheduling of public hearing time, is whether this committee is going to request that the minister make herself available and which of those times she is going to be requested to come to the committee.

Mr Hope: Let me be clear that what I am saying is that we choose between the two options: before or after. I am saying the option also has to be available to me, if during the hearing process I feel there is some controversy between the statements that are being given and some of the issues -- I am asking for the ability to have the minister readdress, but I am not laying it as option 1, 2 or 3. I firmly believe they ought to come to set the tone and which way we are going with the public hearings and to get a vision, but I am saying the ability, the avenue has to be also there for me as a member to ask for the minister to come back to have some questions or dialogue. I understand the parliamentary assistant is there through clause-by-clause, but I am asking for that pre-dialogue before we get into clause-by-clause.

The Chair: What I just heard, Mr Hope, is that you are speaking in favour of the third option, which is to ask the minister --

Mr Hope: That is not the third option. It is the first option with the ability --

The Chair: No, I am sorry. In the subcommittee report, option 1 was that the minister would make opening statements on the first day of public hearings. Option 2 was that the minister and staff would make opening statements on the first day of clause-by-clause consideration of the bill. Option 3 was put forward today, and that is that the minister not only make a statement on the first day of public hearings but also be available for the first day of clause-by-clause. In other words, the third option was both.

Mr Hope: Then you are reading me wrong.

Mr Wiseman: Can I try this?

The Chair: By all means.


Mr Wiseman: We will try this one, see how it flies: that the minister and staff make opening statements on the first day of public hearings and before clause-by-clause or at any other time the committee deems it useful.

The Chair: The only consideration I point out to you is that, as I said, the minister at any time can assume the chair before the committee. The minister's representative, the parliamentary assistant, will stand in her stead and ministry staff will be here throughout the entire process. Members of committee can place in writing questions they want answered by the ministry as well, so there is always that opportunity. It is not like there is not going to be anyone here. The concern is the minister's schedule. This is to accommodate her so she will know when her appearance will be required before the committee.

That is the purpose of making the determination now, to help the minister in her scheduling. I do not believe it would be helpful to her for you to ask that she be on standby at the request of the committee at any time. As members of the government caucus, you can ask that and if she is available perhaps she will come and assume the chair and do that at a time when she is available. What we are trying to decide today is whether the committee as a whole would like to ensure that the minister has time in her schedule to appear before the committee either on the first day of public hearings or on the first day of clause-by-clause or both. It is as simple as that.

Mr McClelland: I do not know. You are very patient and I will try and take a lead from that. It seems to me that we have been through this a number of times. Mr Wiseman and Mr Cousens and myself met under your leadership and we went through this a number of times. At the end of that, Mr Wiseman felt he had a particular position both with respect to the options and timing and indeed location. That may be resolved. We do not know. But it seems we are ending right back where we started. We were unable to find any accommodation at that point and we have come back here today.

There is still no consensus. We have deferred one matter to the House leaders and whips because there seems to be a difference of opinion with respect to what is available from the government side. It seems to me we are going there again. Maybe that is where the whole thing is going to have to rest.

The Chair: It seems to me that this is not an issue that can be decided or should be decided by the House leaders and would have to be decided by the committee.

Mr Martin: I hope I am not hearing from Mr McClelland by his comment about your patience -- and certainly you are a patient person and have been, in my experience, over the last number of months, having sat on committee with you. If he is suggesting we should not have this discussion then I do not think he understands the process we are into here of trying to come to some common understanding.

Mr McClelland: No, that is not what I said.

The Chair: You do not have the floor, Mr McClelland. I will put you on the list.

Mr Martin: Actually, I am enjoying this discussion and I think it is really important that we have it so that we can agree on something. When I suggested a little earlier that the minister come perhaps at the beginning and then again before clause-by-clause, I was still working that out in my mind. We have had some discussion across the floor and I think it makes a lot of sense that she be here at the beginning, as I said before, to set the tone. If there is anybody close to this issue who has looked at it from every angle it is certainly she and her staff. I would like to hear that perspective, the things she and her staff see as important for us to be paying attention to as we travel around or as we sit here and listen to the various inputs we get.

I am suggesting, though, that perhaps we might alert her to the fact that we may in fact require her at the beginning of clause-by-clause. She could, I suppose, look at her schedule accordingly and make it possible for that to happen. In an environment of trying to get the best information we can and to be consultative and hear from the minister and have her involved as much as possible in the resolution of some of these issues, maybe it would be appropriate that she be told from time to time we may need to have her here.

I understand and know what you are saying about the fact that she can be here to replace the parliamentary assistant whenever. But we are saying a little bit more strongly because I certainly see this piece of legislation is an important element of our activity as a government. In fact, we would like to think she would be ready to come and speak to us at such time as we felt it was necessary. Our whip has put it fairly simply -- another option. I would be prepared to vote on that.

The Chair: I have the list of speakers: Mrs Witmer, Mr Hope, Mr McClelland, but I point out to you, Mr Martin, that the minister could choose, if she wishes, to carry this legislation herself. She does not have to have a parliamentary assistant in her stead. You can, as a member of the government caucus, discuss that matter with her if you wish as well.

Mrs Witmer: I regret that I am going to have to leave. We have another meeting. However, I would just like to remind the people present that I was present when the subcommittee met the first day, and there was Mr Wiseman and Mr McClelland and myself. At that time, Mr Wiseman put forward a proposal and I thought there was going to be communication, compromise and consultation. However, what I see today is the same proposal. I am really concerned about that.

There does not seem to be much attempt being made at compromise. I suggest it go back to the House leaders, because it is almost impossible to end up at a position that everybody is really quite happy with.

The Chair: The only thing we can reasonably ask the House leaders to do is what we have done, which is to set the time frame for the committee meetings, the actual schedule. The time the minister is to be requested to appear before the committee I believe is a decision that should be made by the committee. I will call the question now if you would like to --

Mr Cousens: Can I move recess of the committee meeting until we can have a caucus meeting?

The Chair: You would like to recess for how long?

Mr Cousens: Until 5 o'clock.

The Chair: I have had a request for a recess until 5 o'clock to accommodate a meeting. I think that is a reasonable request. The committee will reconvene at 5 o'clock.

The committee recessed at 1607.


The Chair: We are considering the subcommittee report. Mr Wiseman, did you want to let the committee know what agreement, if any, has been reached?

Mr Wiseman: I think we have come close on the question of sitting time in the sense that --

The Chair: On the calendar?

Mr Wiseman: Yes. This would take unanimous consent and it would also take the consent of the House leaders to do this.

The Chair: What is your proposal?

Mr Wiseman: That would be that the committee would begin sitting on the 20th, follow the schedule to the 17th and that clause-by-clause could occur when the House resumes sitting in March. However, as the resolution stands, I think it would take the unanimous consent of the three party leaders to change this clause that says this committee will report on the first sitting day of the House.

Clerk of the Committee: If the committee can agree on 1, 2, 3, 4 of option 2 and they are looking for the first week back -- from the subcommittee meeting, I sent the letter. Are you looking at March 9 as the first week back?

Mr Wiseman: No. We are looking at the 23rd as the first week back.

Clerk of the Committee: Okay, because the request went in with March 9 with two options to the House leaders if the House was sitting or if the House was not sitting. So what I could do is revise that memo that went to them and say that the committee has agreed on this part of option 2 and change the request regarding March 9 I gave, and put that to the House leaders.

The Chair: If there was unanimous agreement at this committee that this be the recommendation to the House leaders and request that the time allocation motion be adjusted to permit clause-by-clause during the first week back, I think that would be a reasonable request.

Clerk of the Committee: That is looking at authorization to sit how many days of the week? This committee could sit two days a week, Mondays and Tuesdays.

Mr Wiseman: I do not know how that would be worked out, because we did not --

The Chair: The way it would work is that there would be a request of the House leaders to permit the committee to sit four days during the first week back, which would be the week of March 23, or to have three or four days for clause-by-clause debate. Perhaps to allow some flexibility, if the committee were to say unanimously that it would agree to either three or four sitting days at the discretion of the House leaders, that might --

Mr Wiseman: I think all of this is going to be at the discretion of the House leaders. It is just a suggestion of how to get past this --

The Chair: What we are looking for is a recommendation from this committee that we could say has unanimous agreement.

Mr McClelland: It seems to me that would be reasonable. I think the operative word in your own words was "permit." I think we could frame it in such a way as three or four days subject to the agreement of the House leaders and leave it with them to find the range of dates available. It is simply a matter of the amendment of a motion, which of course requires unanimous consent. That would be agreeable to all and I think it leaves it open with a range. I think our objective is to do justice to clause-by-clause. However that is achieved and whatever time frame accommodates all members is suitable to myself and I would hope to all members of this committee. That is the objective we are, hopefully, all looking towards attaining.

The Chair: To synthesize, unless anyone wants to speak to this, the proposal that the committee is now going to consider is a modification of option 2, and that is that the committee will meet for public hearings the weeks of January 20, January 27 and February 10. We will sit Mondays from 2 to 5 pm, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 am to 12:30 pm and 2 pm to 5 pm, and that the committee will travel the week of February 17. That is agreed?

When it comes to consideration of clause-by-clause, the committee unanimously requests that the House leaders permit the standing committee on social development to have clause-by-clause consideration of the bill when the House resumes and that the House leaders would allocate three or four days, as they see fit, for clause-by-clause consideration of Bill 143.

Clerk of the Committee: The original request took into consideration that if there was a speech from the throne it would be three days. If there was not, it would be four days.

The Chair: The reason we are mentioning the three days would be because of the consideration that we would not be able to sit on the day there was a throne speech. The committee feels it could complete its business of clause-by-clause in three days and that this would stay within the spirit of the time allocation motion.

Do I have that correct? Can I then just ask for all in favour? Any opposed? That is agreed unanimously by the standing committee on social development.

That is item 1 and that has to do with the calendar and it will be up to the House leaders to decide whether the committee's request is acceptable to them.

The second item we have to decide on is the one we were discussing when the committee recessed for an hour, that is, when we want to invite the minister to attend before the committee. Has there been any consensus or agreement among the whips?

Mr McClelland: My feeling is that whatever accommodates the committee and the minister. We will leave it to her discretion, whether it be at the beginning of committee or clause-by-clause.

Mr Wiseman: The minister has made it very clear that she would like to be invited at the beginning of the hearings and at the beginning of clause-by-clause.

The Chair: What I have heard is that the committee will accommodate the minister's schedule and that she is welcome to attend at the committee at her pleasure, discretion and time availability. Agreed?

Mr Wiseman: Her time available or our time?

The Chair: Hers. We have said that we will respect her scheduling, and whenever she would like to attend the committee will accommodate that. That would be January 20, which is the first day. For scheduling, as far as witnesses, do you know how much time the minister said she would like? I think you had said she wants the full morning.

Mr O'Connor: I think we are only sitting from 2 until 5 on the first day.

The Chair: We are sitting on Monday, January 20. Monday would be 2 until 5.

Mr Cousens: It is a long time. I think the clerk could well work out an arrangement. If the minister is able to go till coffee break or something like that, there might be a chance to get a few presentations in that day. Who knows?

The Chair: Could we request that the clerk discuss with the minister's office the minister's time availability, how much time the minister will require that afternoon and that if there is time to schedule additional representations on that day the clerk do so? Agreed? Agreed.

On March 23, if the minister wishes to attend what I have heard is that the committee certainly is willing to have the minister attend at her convenience. Agreed? Agreed.

Item 2, formally, on the subcommittee report.


Mr Hope: I do not agree with the subcommittee report. What I would recommend is that groups, individuals or institutions have the ability to make a 40-minute presentation and individuals have the opportunity make a 20-minute presentation, which allows the clerk the ability to govern the schedules accordingly instead of trying to pick or choose what is going to happen.

The Chair: There was general agreement at the subcommittee. Perhaps if I could be helpful, I will tell you -- all members are here who were there -- what the discussion was and then they can speak to it. You certainly can jump in if I do not accurately portray the discussion.

Each of the caucuses felt there might be certain groups that would have more to say because of the nature of their interest in the legislation. It was agreed that each caucus would submit a list of who they felt should be invited to come to the committee and have one hour, in total, for both presentation as well as questions from the committee. They wanted to allow for additional time so that the committee members would be able to ask their questions.

Mr Hope: Could I ask what you just said? You said an hour for a presentation and an hour for questioning?

The Chair: No, an hour in total for both questions as well as presentation. The committee would identify those groups by list. The clerk has received those lists from all three caucuses. We then would advertise, as we always do. There would be other groups and so forth that would be requesting time. All others would be entitled to a total, for both presentation as well as questions, of 20 minutes.

As well, the committee had said it would consider, on the very first day, which would be January 20, not January 14, empowering the subcommittee to make the determination, if there were more groups that made a request to appear before the committee than there were time slots available, as to who would appear before the committee.

Is that an accurate portrayal of the discussion?

Mr Wiseman: I think that was a fairly accurate portrayal of the discussion. I believe I mentioned at that time as well about what we do if later on we find that we have not scheduled people for an appropriate amount of time or we have people who would like to speak longer. I think this is the crux of the issue as it arises now. I am going to let the debate continue because I have made my points and I think the committee should hear what the others have to say.

Mr Cousens: I am satisfied there was a consensus at that meeting in which each of the caucuses in submitting the names or suggestions for the one hour would have up to five. I know I started off with an extended list. It would have monopolized the entire four weeks and longer, but the clerk reminded me that you had five for one hour so we gave a couple of supplementary names to assist her in finding five that would work. We accepted the fact that we would have five for one hour each and that all those others, although I still have a nice list, would be eligible for 20 minutes.

I am satisfied that if we can do that, others who would come in, whether a group or an individual, will get 20 minutes unless there is some consensus that is gained at some particular time during the meeting, which I think you alluded to, but five is my understanding of what Mr Wiseman and Mr McClelland also agreed to.

The Chair: There was an agreement that the subcommittee could meet and that there might be opportunity to add some additional time by extending the hours as appropriate.

Mr McClelland: Mr Hope, I understand where you are coming from and I want to say that at the outset. What happened was this, if I could, for the benefit of all: As Mr Cousens said, there was any number of organizations and people that each caucus felt would be appropriate to be invited. We went through a considerable discussion and we felt we had an accommodation. By way of example, I thought the appropriate time breakdown would be an hour and then a half-hour, but when we arrived at accommodation, it is an hour and then 20 minutes. I still want, and I am not going to get it, a half-hour for other people to come, but we agreed to that and said, "Okay, we'll prepare a list and submit it for that one hour."

I would like to draw to your attention as well, Mr Hope, that what happened, in the context of that discussion where we had an agreement, was that I came with a list of 29 or 30 groups, organizations and individuals, and we pared it down to five priority invitees to have that one hour. We went through that process, and I will tell you we spent considerable time and made some difficult decisions in terms of who those individuals should be.

It is important that you understand it was done in the context of what was, I think, generally accepted to be an agreement of all three parties. We also said we would establish that as the general framework within which we would operate, because it was necessary, and it was the Chair who suggested it was important that we establish a framework so we knew what the ground rules were and there was no sense of anxiety or difficulty throughout the course of this hearing process. It may be difficult enough in and of itself, so we established that.

Having established that, there was always the room, with unanimity, to change, but the essential ingredient was that we would establish the framework and go by that unless there was an all-party agreement to change it so we had a sense of knowing where we were going and so we did not get into procedural wrangling. It is very important for the turnout of the committee throughout the course of the hearings.

I want to paint it in that framework, because I think it is important that you understand, recognizing where you are coming from, the context in which this solution, if you will, to accommodate as best as we could all three parties was arrived at. It was not done easily. It was done with some give and take and a fair bit of discussion and, as I say, an accommodation by all people, as far as I can recall.

Mr O'Connor: Maybe I am missing something in the translation, but when we talk about presentations on the per-hour basis we are talking about a balanced presentation, those who are in favour and those who oppose it, which seems to give a little flexibility to the clerk's office. She usually does provide within reason.

My concern is that by limiting it to an hour just for the one week alone there are perhaps going to be groups that come forward, and we have not got where we are travelling yet. There are perhaps going to be representatives of some councils that would like to make a presentation. Limiting them right off the bat to 20 minutes, I do not think is fair. My sense would be that if we allowed 20 minutes for individuals, larger groups -- institutions, organizations and perhaps municipal councillors or whatever, people who represent a few more people than just perhaps an interest they have themselves -- be allowed double that, 40 minutes. I think that will allow for a little more balance.

Of course, we depend on the clerk's office to put in that certain amount of balance. The clerk's office tries to balance things in making sure there is equal representation, people who are opposed and for. In the committee hearings I have been through so far there seems to have been a very good balance in that way. Whether that has been a negotiated balance, I am not sure, because I was not on the subcommittee in that hearing. But it seemed there was a pretty good balance.

I think we have to be flexible, because if we start putting it in concrete and stone right now, then it is not going to work as far as being as open as we can during the process is concerned.


The Chair: Perhaps just to be helpful, in the previous experience of the standing committee on social development when we were dealing with the Regulated Health Professions Act, the decision at that time was that groups and organizations would have 20 minutes for their presentation and individuals would have 10 minutes. That was the experience of the committee. Mr Hope, Ms Haeck and Mr Martin were all on the committee, and I think the experience of the committee was that while that was a very tight time frame, it was a reasonable time frame that also allowed for the kind of discussion and questioning and so on.

Given the nature of this bill, there was a discussion at the subcommittee, and it was felt that there were some interests and organizations and groups that might require even more time than the 20 minutes which had been the time for the large groups which came before the committee earlier.

The suggestion was, as Mr Cousens said, that each of the caucuses would identify five or six they would like to invite to come for one hour so that there would be plenty of time for questioning by committee members. It was then discussed how much time for all of the others, municipalities and individuals, and because of the experience the committee had before, 20 minutes was seen as quite generous, because that had been the maximum amount of time. The subcommittee, I believe, wanted to accommodate as many people as possible to appear before the committee.

On the issue you have raised around balance, the subcommittee made the decision in its report that requests would be received on a first-come, first-served basis and that any that could not be accommodated within the time established would be considered by the subcommittee, and that the subcommittee would make those decisions.

It was also understood that the one-hour appointments would be booked for the first week, as the cutoff date -- which I am going to recommend some flexibility on to allow us to ensure that all of the available time is made available to those who want to appear before the committee -- is as late as possible because of the time of the year and how difficult it is for people; sometimes they have missed the first ad, that sort of thing, because of Christmas. It was a little complicated, but I know the subcommittee members spent a good deal of time.

No direction was given to the clerk or to the subcommittee around who was coming in on which side. You should be aware of that. The clerk would require very specific direction. I would also point out that the last time this committee met, I do not believe the clerk attempted to balance presentations, but the committee decided then, as it did now, that anyone who wanted to be heard would be heard on a first-come, first-served basis, given the time that was made available for presentations. As we were only booking until 5 o'clock, then the time from 5 to 6 was available if the subcommittee felt there were representations that should be heard before the committee; it would be the subcommittee, not the clerk, that would make those decisions.

That is just to give you all the information. Is that correct and accurate, Mr Wiseman?

Mr Wiseman: I think the way you have just described it does contain a lot of flexibility. What Mr McClelland included in terms of this committee being able to make alterations to the timetable on unanimous consent is also something that bears keeping in mind. I think that is a fairly accurate portrayal -- "fairly" in the fair sense as opposed to in the "close to" sense.

The Chair: I appreciate the definitional difference, and I think it is important. I tried to be not only fair but also accurate in the portrayal of what happened. I am trying to be helpful to all members, as I attend the subcommittee meetings; sometimes if I am able to describe, and everyone agrees that is the way it was, it will save some debate at the committee.

Mr Hope: If I start agreeing with you too much I get a little scared.

The Chair: Mr Hope, what did you say?

Mr Hope: I do not ever believe in rubber-stamping situations. That is why I am expressing my point of view here, and it may be different from what the others here think. I understand what you are trying to get at as far as the hour and the five groups. There may be experts outside of the greater Toronto area who will have to travel to this committee to be here. One of my concerns was that there might be groups outside of the Toronto area who may be the allocated hour experts.

The Chair: There is nothing to restrict the one-hour appointments to Toronto only.

Mr Hope: It says the first week. That is what you told me.

The Chair: No, what we said was that the clerk would book the first week. However, if your caucus in submitting the five or six names has a group it would like to be heard in a place we are travelling to, that request could be made and the clerk could book that accordingly. The reason for the clerk booking most of the one-hour appointments in that first week in Toronto was because of the advertising and the cutoff date being after that, and that was for all the 20-minute appointments to take place.

Mr Hope: That is why I was listening to what you were saying, and what you were saying was --

The Chair: No, you could if you wish make a request from your list of five or six to be -- the subcommittee as well can make whatever change or determination it wishes in the future.

Mr Hope: Now you are clear.

The Chair: I want to be clear.

Mr Hope: But your first comments reflected the first week of the hearings to be the hour long. I am sitting here looking at a schedule; you have somebody going halfway through a presentation and then you would have to cut him off, we would go for lunch and come back and they would finish the half-hour, because you have two and a half hours in the morning. I understand what you are saying now, and you are clear.

I do not know where the experts are, and there are a number of experts in the field. All I am thinking is that it puts an equal balance in the system, and that is what I am trying to do. If the others disagree with me, fine. It will go to a vote. I always expected that.

Mr McClelland: I am trying to be helpful. I think there will be a balance, to an extent; there will never be a perfect balance. There is some flexibility built into it. I am glad that point was clarified. The purpose of the hour in the first week was simply that it is an identified group, but the other is a yet-to-be-determined group of those people who would respond to advertising. It follows logically that they would be fit in at a later date; they may well want to come the first day if they respond quickly. I think that has been cleared up now. It is just a matter of accommodating to facilitate the organization of the clerk.

Mr Wiseman and Mr Cousens and I had a discussion. There very well may be groups or individuals we all want to hear from; there may not be, to be candid, but there may be. I do not know; I just do not know who is going come forward on this. I think the flexibility remains to accommodate them for an hour. If we agree we might even want to extend it and ask them back again or stay on a little later or start early, whatever -- that remains. As I said, it was with a view to trying to establish some frame of reference and then we know where we are going, for the most part.

Ms Haeck: Just to hark back to our wonderful Regulated Health Professions Act days, in travelling to the four centres that we did visit, we definitely adjusted our schedule to meet the demand. I think the clerk will recognize that as well, that some centres were definitely quite burgeoning, shall we say -- that is not the best way of putting it, but burgeoning with a lot of folks out there. We were working from 9 until noon and then starting sometimes right at 1 again and trying to accommodate the concerns that were being raised by those groups.

The Chair: That was discussed after the subcommittee. Again, based on the experience we had had before, it was understood -- although I think we can amend the report if you wish -- that we would be as accommodating as we could, but that those decisions would be made by the clerk based on flight times as well as by the subcommittee if an issue came up that would require some adjustment.

Ms Haeck: I think it is worth while if these issues raised here are clarified. I must admit that in my late arrival this afternoon and in looking at the printed page and having some of these discussions, how you have fleshed it out has made sure that my own concern that some people might in fact not be accommodated has been satisfied to a very large degree.


The Chair: Item 4 says: "That the committee will travel Sunday evening to the first location and each evening after that day's meeting to the next location, ensuring flexibility due to possible weather problems. The time for meetings out of town would be 10 am to 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm as required, taking into consideration the number of deputations requested and the travel arrangements."

I think that is as specific as we can be until we know what kinds of requests come in. I point out that in this report the subcommittee is empowered to make adjustments and changes.

Mr Wiseman: This is the question that came up in the subcommittee meeting and here it is again. In the first week we allocated the hours and now, in response to I think it was Christel, you said we did not have to keep all the hours in the first week.

The Chair: No, I did not say that. What I said to Mr Hope was that each of the caucuses had agreed to submit a list of five or six to which it would like to have allocated one hour in total. The understanding was that the clerk would schedule those from that list during the first week unless there was a specific request that a group be heard out of town, in which case the one hour would be allocated at the out-of-town meeting. For example, if you had a group that was based in Sarnia, the clerk would schedule it and give it its one hour in Sarnia, if that is what it wanted.

Mr Wiseman: I hate to throw this monkey wrench at you, but if the groups that are in Sarnia and Kingston, the two locations we have agreed on, are not on the list now, then what we have done effectively is say they get 20 minutes. Is that right?

The Chair: What will happen is that the subcommittee could determine, based on availability and time and agreement, to alter, because you are empowering the subcommittee to make those decisions.

Mr Wiseman: Okay. That is more flexibility than I thought was in the original agreement. That is fine.

The Chair: Satisfied?

Mr Wiseman: Absolutely.

The Chair: Do we have to vote? Is there agreement? It is all in Hansard. Everybody has said it has been fairly clear.

Mr Hope: I would just like to register that I am not in support of that.

The Chair: You want to vote? Is that what you are saying?

Mr Hope: No, I am just saying that if you do not want to, I want you to know that I do not agree with that.

The Chair: No, we are happy to vote and allow you to express yourself on the record. If you want a recorded vote, that is fine.

All those in favour of the committee report? That is item 2 with the amendment that says, "Any additional requests for one-hour appointments would be determined by the subcommittee based on time availability."

Mr Wiseman: Then obviously if no agreement was made there, it could come to the full committee. That is always understood.

The Chair: Of course, always. All in favour?

Agreed to.

The Chair: Mr Hope, you are opposed?

Mr Hope: Opposed.

The Chair: Hansard will note that.


The Chair: Yes, good. I am really glad you pointed that out. Those of us who served with Mr Hope over the course of the other hearings are very aware of what a fine member of the committee he is.

Mr Cousens: You know what it is like to be in opposition now.

The Chair: There is another matter contained in item 2 which has to do with the cutoff date. January 13 has been suggested as the cutoff date. That will be mentioned in the letters and the advertisements and so forth. I would like to recommend that we not be quite that rigid in saying only that this is the date, but that the subcommittee be empowered to consider any requests that come in after January 13 and, based on time availability, be permitted to schedule them. Agreed? Yes. Agreed.

Ms Haeck: Could I ask one question? Has the clerk, in the short time this has been open for discussion, had a sense of the volume of requests we are going to get?

Clerk of the Committee: No, I have no idea. I know how many submissions. I have not counted them, but I know how long the list is in total of the submissions by the three caucuses for the one-hour appointments and for the other letters of invitation going out. Basically what it boils down to is a letter of notification. I have no idea what the responses might be. Often you will send out letters. Some people will respond positively, some will respond negatively and some will not respond at all.

Ms Haeck: I was just curious, because knowing the volume received in our other hearings, having the deadline, at least you had some wherewithal of scheduling. Leaving things to the last minute gives me some concern.

The Chair: It will be helpful. Given the 13th, it will not be as difficult as we had first thought. If we begin on January 20, there will be some time for scheduling during that first week. As well, the first week will be taken up with the up to 18 now. I want to be clear when Hansard is recording. The expectation is there will be no more than six requests from each caucus for one-hour appointments unless that is approved by the subcommittee. That is agreed.

Mr Hope: No more than five is what we said.

The Chair: We said five or six maximum. That was the number.

Clerk of the Committee: We have a bigger list.

The Chair: We have a lot, right, but everybody else would be --

Clerk of the Committee: It will depend on the response.

The Chair: On the cutoff date, is there agreement and consent of the committee that the cutoff of the 13th be flexible inasmuch as the steering committee can consider any late requests and determine, based on time availability, if we can hear others that have requested to appear before the committee? The reason for this is that this is a very difficult time of year. People may have missed the notification. In a minute I am going to be giving you some information on the advertising.

Mr Cousens: Agreed. Do not tell us again.

The Chair: All those in favour? Any opposed? Mr Hope? That is unanimous.

Item 3, the final copy: The difficulty we had with this one was that we believed the out-of-town ads should be placed as close to the December 19 date as possible. Due to the time of the year, just before Christmas, the concern is that some people may miss that ad. The suggestion is that we place an additional ad on January 6, indicating the date of the meeting at the location and repeating the message.

Clerk of the Committee: Just for the out-of-town.

The Chair: This is just for the out-of-town locations, to readvertise on the 6th with the exact date and the location of those meetings. Agreed? Discussion?

Mr Hope: What would the radius of the advertisement be? For instance, I am using Sarnia. What would the radius of mileage from Sarnia be?

The Chair: It would be the local daily newspaper in Sarnia.

Mr Hope: So if a person living in Chatham does not receive the Sarnia paper, then he is out of luck?

The Chair: You would have to tell him. As with any travelling committee, the practice is that the advertising takes place in that community, and if you feel others have an interest, you can let them know. Members, as you know, have the opportunity to do that.

Mr Wiseman: I just think that since the Toronto dailies are distributed throughout southern Ontario, and that ad is going in, I wonder if it might not be possible to include in that ad that we will be in Sarnia, Kingston and wherever.

The Chair: The problem is that the copy was approved and had to be out yesterday for the deadline. Because the committee had not decided on the out-of-town locations, that was not possible.

Mr Wiseman: That far ahead?

The Chair: Yes, that far. If the committee decides, you could put an additional ad in the Toronto dailies in the first week of January.

Mr Wiseman: It would be awfully expensive to run a separate ad.

The Chair: We do not have that in the budget.

Clerk of the Committee: We could do that as well.

The Chair: We could do that as well and actually include that, rerun the ad, given the time of the year, if you wish.


Mr Hope: One of my concerns is local paper versus distribution. I know you are trying to be cost-efficient in this matter, but for Sarnia, for instance, the local paper may be the London Free Press, more so than the daily Sarnia Observer or whatever it is called. What I am looking for is a wide range of advertisement. It is not my responsibility, it is the government's responsibility to make sure that the advertising for public hearings is out there and open and accessible to people. Not everybody purchases a certain paper. That is why I raised the question. Everybody who is an environmentalist would care about this.

Mr O'Connor: Just as a suggestion that may help facilitate Mr Hope's concern, in the communities we travel to that have daily papers -- in the small communities I represent there is no daily newspaper. In the case of most communities, where the community newspaper comes out weekly, an ad in a weekly paper prior to our visit, rather than trying to put an ad in the dailies, would probably save an awful lot of money. It would not be cheaper than the dailies? That is incredible.

The Chair: The practice of committee, as far as advertising is concerned, is that we advertise in the major dailies in Toronto. If possible, we list the locations where we are going to be outside of Toronto. It was not possible to do that in time for the deadline. If the committee wishes, we can advertise again in the Toronto dailies. We also then, as a practice, advertise in the daily newspapers in the communities where we are going.

Further to that, I have found one of the things that some of the members have done -- can I just finish?

Mr Hope: If I may interrupt you, to save you a lot of time --

The Chair: Yes.

Mr Hope: I just raised some concerns. I know it is standard practice. Can we just move on and the advertisement will go as scheduled? I have particular concerns when it is outside Toronto. I have it on Hansard and I think we can look on.

The Chair: No, I think there are opportunities --

Mr Hope: I look at the clock and it is 6:05.

The Chair: Okay. There are opportunities as well. I know many of the local small community papers will run community news. If members will just notify those newspapers of what is going, that may help to satisfy your concern, Mr Hope. I know that is a vehicle many of the small community newspapers will do as a courtesy to members.

All in favour of the committee report? Have we agreed to advertise a second time on January 6 for the out-of-town locations, and do we want to advertise the dates of the out-of-town committees as well a second time in the Toronto dailies on January 6? The recommendation is that on January 6 we advertise a second time, both in the Toronto dailies and in the local communities where we are going to be visiting. All in favour? Any opposed? That is carried.

We have already agreed to item 4.

Item 5 is locations. Have we got consensus on locations, Mr Wiseman, from the whips?

Mr Wiseman: We have Kingston and Sarnia and we like Sudbury. I will leave it to Mr Martin to explain.

Mr Martin: We would prefer not to go to Kirkland Lake. We think that will focus the discussion too narrowly. We also have a situation where we really have a conflict of interest there. We think that Sudbury, being more central to the north, could speak more adequately for the whole of the north, how we view the waste problem in the greater Toronto area. However, not agreeing on Sudbury, certainly there are some other locations that I think would be more appropriate, as far as we from the north are concerned, than Kirkland Lake, such as, perhaps, Kapuskasing or even Ignace.

Mrs Fawcett: Could you explain what you mean by the conflict of interest for Kirkland Lake? I know what you are talking about, but why is it a conflict of interest?

Mr Martin: Certainly Kirkland Lake has presented a proposal in the past to deal with the garbage issue re the greater Toronto area and has an economic interest in having that proposal be part of the larger package, and I think going there will focus the discussion solely on that issue. In my mind, that constitutes a conflict of interest. You are not getting a broader look at the question re the perspective on this issue of those of us who live and work in the north. You are getting a very focused view of it from there, and to my mind it would not be an appropriate place to go.

Mrs Fawcett: Why do you feel everything is going to be focused in one particular area there from Kirkland Lake? There could quite well be other sides of the story come forward. Certainly we would get that side of the issue. It is not the only thing we are going to hear.

Mr Martin: I am suggesting that by going to a more central location you will certainly get that and that anybody who would travel to Kirkland Lake would certainly have no difficulty getting to Sudbury to make a presentation.

Mr Cousens: In presenting the suggestion for Kirkland Lake, I was somewhat sympathetic and did a certain amount of moving around. The government member, Mr Wiseman, was looking for Sarnia, I understood, in the first meeting, so I went along with Sarnia. I understood that someone was pushing for -- anyway, I agreed with the other two and I thought Kirkland Lake would be interesting for a number of reasons, such as the significance of it to Metro Toronto and the works department, the studies that have been put into it. The municipality has recently had a referendum on the issue of whether an environmental assessment is something that should be considered, so the community is aware of it. I think you are talking about a community that has had a lot of discussion around the subject. So as a committee we can come as well and look at the site.

That may be a conflict of interest for someone, but I have not seen the Adams site and I view it as an important opportunity while on this committee to at least look at the site and, although I am not an environmentalist who has any scientific credentials, understand why this site has been ruled out. We will have a chance to hear the views of those who are involved and part of it. The Adams site visit would be well worth while to me.

I am interested in seeing something of the rail linkages as well, because we know something about rail services coming through from the Toronto area in which you change engines in North Bay and then they take the same train on up to Kirkland Lake. There would be a sense of just seeing, "Hey, it's there." I would like to see it, whether or not it is as I have heard it to be. Seeing is believing in that sense.

As well, an awful lot of my time as critic for Bill 143 has been spent criticizing the Minister of the Environment's position that has opposed having a site chosen for landfill outside the boundaries of the greater Toronto area. The fact that this has been one of those places that has been selected and considered -- I forget the number of dollars; is it $40 million? A large number of dollars has been invested already in assessing that site. Inasmuch as it is a very important part of my concerns and my party's concerns about Bill 143, it has to do with the minister's prerogative to have a policy decision on the shipping of waste outside Metro, specifically limiting the option of Kirkland Lake, that makes Kirkland Lake a very important part of the visits.

I am prepared, as the critic from our party, or the whip or whatever I am from our caucus -- I move from position to position --

Mr Hope: You are so flexible.


Mr Cousens: I am very flexible. But I only put forward one place for the four days we would be visiting, and that was Kirkland Lake. I am prepared to be accommodating on other areas. I have very great difficulty in seeing Kirkland Lake ruled out of order, for the reasons I have just given.

The Chair: I have Mr McClelland and Mr O'Connor. Perhaps it would be helpful if we could get agreement on what we agree on and then debate that which we do not agree on. That might be a way of proceeding. Maybe we could decide we are going definitely to Kingston and Sarnia -- is that possible -- and then start to look at how many sites? No, you do not want to do it that way? Okay. You have the floor, Mr McClelland.

Mr McClelland: In response to your question, I think the point is it is difficult. Mr Cousens made his point. His last point was that he was prepared to accommodate all three other choices to obtain his one request. I think it is entirely unfair to Mr Cousens to say we will agree to all three and maintain discussion on --


The Chair: That would be helpful. You have the floor. You can speak.

Mr McClelland: I appreciate what you are saying. I just wanted to comment. Mr Martin is occupied at the present time, but it seems to me that the issue of financial investment -- potential loss, potential gain -- could and probably will be attached to any number of people in organizations and companies that may present to the committee. It is inevitable that we will run into organizations and companies that will be impacted financially, so I say respectfully that I do not find the argument about Kirkland Lake having a potential financial conflict compelling in any sense inasmuch as any number of organizations or groups may make money, lose money or have no financial investment of any kind. I just quite frankly do not find that argument compelling in any sense.

I come back to what we talked about earlier. We talked about this throughout. It seems to be a common thread that there has been accommodation on government requests for location of travel, with a simple request that one place out of the four be given to opposition parties. I do not find that extremely unreasonable.

Mr Cousens stated it very well. He is prepared to give up all three other locations for the one he thinks is important. I will not repeat what he said. I think he said it well. There are reasons to go there. I understand why the government does not want to go there. We all understand that, but I think it is in the sense of being reasonable and a bit of give and take. He has given up three for one.

Mr O'Connor: I have listened to some of the arguments. I suppose I cannot agree 100% on what I have heard from both sides. I think there has to be an element of fairness is this and there has to be some discussion among us, and come up with some sort of solution.

One thing that worries me in travelling to the north -- and we talk to our constituents we represent down here -- is the fact that Ignace was mentioned, Kapuskasing was mentioned, as well as Kirkland Lake, and we should try to accommodate them as well. There needs to be some way we can include them. I do not want to add any more days to our travelling in the north, and I know travelling up there could be difficult at that time of year anyway. I think perhaps what Mr Martin was headed towards was maybe mentioning -- I think he mentioned Sudbury as an alternative because of the travelling. Perhaps it might have been easier for people from Ignace and Kapuskasing to make it to Sudbury rather than Kirkland Lake and it might even facilitate the committee's travel a little bit.

Not totally disagreeing with what our opposition members have said, then maybe we should take a look at including -- I will just throw this out for discussion -- Sudbury as well as Kirkland Lake so we can include some of those other people from the north in our travels, so people from Kapuskasing and Ignace could be included, because Sudbury is a good location to travel in and out of and perhaps might facilitate it a little bit better. I will just put that forward as a point to be discussed.

The Chair: I see heads nodding here. What I intend to do, Mr Martin, is rotate through the caucuses. You are on the next round.

Mr Cousens: I was just thinking, maybe we could try North Bay and Kirkland Lake to give you two options in the north country. Then we have our four places.

The Chair: Mr Martin, you have the floor.

Mr Martin: Just a couple of comments so that we are not mincing words and people know where we are coming from. Certainly that was not my intention.

First of all, I think as politicians we need to be able to sort out those who come here from self-interest or who have conflict of interests, really, their own business aspirations versus the good of the people of Metro re their garbage problem and the good of the north re what it is willing to accept in the way of garbage from the south.

We in the north have been very strong about our position in this party. It was not just a decision of the minister to not ship garbage north. We told her, as people who represent most of the north in this Legislature, that we did not want Metro's garbage in northern Ontario. I think that by going to Kirkland Lake you are going to focus the discussion on that particular project and on that particular issue, and we have been very adamant about that.

If you want the perspective of northerners on this whole question of what Metro will do with its garbage, I suggest you go some place that is more central, that is going to reflect more adequately and more rationally the position of those of us who live and work and breathe and hope to live in northern Ontario for a long, long time in an environment that is unpolluted and that will provide industry for all of us. I think North Bay would present the same focusing of the discussion as Kirkland Lake would, because North Bay certainly stands to gain economically from that proposal as well. Sudbury, to my mind, presents a place where you would get a more rational, varying view of our position on this particular question.

Mr Cousens: I hear you, Mr Martin, and I guess when you talk about how caucus is involved in helping the minister come to a position -- and your caucus has been influential in persuading Mrs Grier, the Minister of the Environment, not to consider a northern option, such as Kirkland Lake, for a disposal site -- you are no different from the way we work in our caucuses in trying to make sure certain things happen. That is the normal process here.

We are into a different process at this point when the committee resolves its hearings. When you are in opposition, which you were prior to September 6, there were many occasions when you would have had a different position from the government. What we are asking for, as the legitimate opposition, is that there be an opportunity for us to have a chance to look at that site. That is the site I have referred to. As the member from our party, I have never referred to any other northern sites, because I just did not want to have the war you would get into with some of those who might be an unwilling host, not unlike what Marmora was at one time. All you had to do was mention this and they knew what you were talking about. As a member of the opposition and as critic for Environment, I am saying I have had a lot of time, and certainly in Metro Toronto there has been a great deal of money invested in that as an option.

The answer is, sure it is to give attention to a site that has been considered. But I will tell you, we all know why we are going. In fact, if I may take it a step further -- and I think you have been fair in coming back -- we would not be having these public hearings had not the opposition been strong in its will to persuade the government to have public hearings. Otherwise, one of the bills that would have been passed for third reading and royal assent by December 19 would have been Bill 143.


Quite candidly, when you had a chance for three weeks' hearings here and one week outside, it was to give opposition and yourselves a chance to present all sides of this bill. One of the key aspects of this bill, from our party's point of view, a very fundamental concern, is the decision by your Minister of the Environment and responsible for the greater Toronto area to exclude areas outside of the greater Toronto area for a landfill site. There is no area more identified in the minds of Metro and my caucus than Kirkland Lake. That is why I excluded any other place.

I am interested in going to Kingston and I am interested in going to Sarnia, and those are the names that were presented by other parties. But I am really anxious to have the chance to look at it, and I want to see the site. I want to look at it. I want to talk to the people. I want to get the feel of it. If it is a painful day for New Democrats, I happen to believe it will not be all that painful, because it turns out that in the town referendum it was 69%, so there is at least 31% within the community who think otherwise. There is always another side, so even in Kirkland Lake, knowing how this clerk of ours has a magic way of pulling things out, you are going to have both sides presented.

Come on, give us the break we are asking for as a legitimate -- or illegitimate -- third party.

The Chair: Could I suggest that there has been a proposal for a compromise put on the table by Mr O'Connor that has not been fully discussed or considered. I know you have made the presentation for North Bay.

Mr Cousens: No, I did not take any position.

The Chair: He did suggest as a compromise Sudbury and Kirkland Lake, as well as Kingston and Sarnia. You have not discussed that as an acceptable option, those four sites and whether that would satisfy your concerns.

Mr Martin: Being from the north, I would like to propose a motion. To be honest with you, looking at what has been proposed re this bill and our stance re garbage not coming to the north, I have a difficult time understanding why we are going there in the first place. But if we are going to go there, I suggest we go to communities that represent what is up there, that we have some large communities and some small communities and that we not focus the discussion on one particular project.

I put a motion that we go to Sudbury, a larger community, and that we go to Kapuskasing, a smaller community, to get their perspective on the issue of Metro and what it is trying to do with its garbage at this time.

Mr Cousens: You are making that motion?

Mr Martin: Yes, I am.

Mr Cousens: What the heck is it all about, then, Tony? I really do not see anything served, as it pertains to Bill 143, by the motion before this committee.

The Chair: We have a number of motions. We have the motions of the subcommittee; we have the recommendations that have been put forward. Could I suggest that we just start voting on them all and see if we can get a consensus for the four sites? Are we ready to do that?

Mr McClelland: No. Before we do, I will make one point. We understand what Mr Martin is saying. I think you are forgetting something, with respect, sir, that opposition has a legitimate role in the process that you and I and all members here are engaged in. As much as you may not appreciate that or want that to be the case, that is the case; if nothing else, in terms of fairness and respect for the role of opposition. You may find that hard to take, but that is the reality in this process.

Mrs Mathyssen: I am really tired --

Mr McClelland: We are all very tired, Irene. You must, at some point, accept the fact that opposition, whether you like it or not, has a role, and you have to accommodate that role, at least a little, at least occasionally.

The request put by the third party, which I support, is a very reasonable request. It is one of four for the opposition. If you as a government, and you have the power to do it with your numbers, want to say that you are not prepared to accommodate one out of four, that you are not prepared to give that much in recognition of the legitimate role of opposition, then you are saying, out of hand, I believe, that ultimately you reject the validity of an opposition member as a critic, the third party as a critic, to take issue with your philosophy, whether we agree with it or not.

We may find that we agree with you, sir, at the end of the day. But to not allow that and not allow opposition to have the forum for full open discussion with the public of this province, to me is fundamentally contrary to everything I think, at the end of the day, you believe in. I want you to consider it in that context. You are saying to the opposition, "We will not give you one out of four." I ask you how, in fairness, if nothing else, you can justify that position.

Mrs Mathyssen: I would like to point out for the record that on this side there has been some give and take, there has been some compromise, and remind the honourable member opposite that they got the dates they requested. In view of that, I would suggest that characterizing the discussion as simply one-sided is probably not fair.

The Chair: I would like to suggest that we vote, as there does not seem to be consensus.

Mr Cousens: Rather than take it to the question, is there another way we can do it? Is this committee now saying, having tried to come up with agreement on Kingston and Sarnia, and there was general consensus that we move towards that, what does it take to -- maybe we could have a recess for 15 minutes and have further discussion on this. I find this not a happy resolution.

The Chair: In the interest of seeing if you can accommodate, Mr Wiseman, Mr Cousens, Mr McClelland as the whips, would you like to take a few minutes to see if you can come up with an agreement?

Mr Wiseman: We have discussed this already. I think the compromise is that we would be prepared, as all committees are, to bring people from Kirkland Lake to Sudbury or Kapuskasing in order to discuss this as an issue. I think that fits well within the parameters of the discussion. Given that the Notre Mines headquarters in North Bay is just up the road, it would be a very central location for people to come to in Sudbury. I had the map open in subcommittee. I sensed that Sudbury or Kapuskasing, or both, would be a compromise to take into consideration. If my memory serves me right, it was more than just the Kirkland Lake area; it was that whole region. I think it would be served to go to Kapuskasing and Sudbury, so we could bring people from Kirkland Lake to discuss it.

Mr McClelland: I would want North Bay to certainly be considered. I will say this: At the end of the day, if you vote that way what you are saying is that you are giving opposition, on one hand, the right to public hearings, but on the other hand saying, "By the way, the place you want to have the public hearings we're not going to consider."

I want to be very clear, and I want this on the record. We negotiated through a very tough series of negotiations in the face of a closure motion, and fought, as Mr Cousens has said, for public hearings. You are making that a sham by saying, "We'll give you the public hearings, but we won't give it to you where you want it." It is not a light matter. To your colleague, I say it is something you have to understand, that you are setting a tone where you are saying to opposition, "We're sorry, we don't want you to participate and have your small piece of the action."

That is what it is. When you cut through all the rhetoric, you are saying, "We're giving you hearings, but you're not going to have them anywhere you want, when all is said and done," the one place the third party and the official opposition feel very strongly about.

Recognize that this is the tone you are setting for the out-of-town. I think it is absolutely unforgivable in terms of the whole process. You know full well that the negotiations for public hearings were based on the demands of opposition for those public hearings. You would not even have given them if it were not for opposition, and now you are saying to the opposition, "You're not going to have them where you want." I find that beyond belief, that you can sit there and do that without even a consideration of fairness and what is involved in that decision.


Mr Martin: That is okay. I accept your position and your arguments. You put them very eloquently. Being from the north -- I live and work up there -- I am telling you that if you want a fair assessment of this particular batch of legislation and proposals you go to Sudbury and Kapuskasing and you will get it better there than you will in Kirkland Lake. You are not listening to me or accepting my experience or view, coming from northern Ontario, on this issue, so I throw the same thing back at you. We can go back and forth on this all night, if you like, the opposition versus those of us who live in the north, and where we go and the give and take in all of that. I am saying come to the north; that is an accommodation. But I am saying that when you come up there, listen to us who live up there, who tell you that you will get a better perspective on this whole thing if you come to Sudbury and Kapuskasing.

Mr Cousens: Is there compromise, possibly? Is there a chance the government would consider Sudbury and Kirkland Lake? I will come back to it. It was on the table at one point from across the way, and it is almost within the way of doing it. I appreciate very much the twin in the same suit as mine; it looks as if we went to the same sale. Mr McClelland's comments expressed very well the concerns I have as a member of the Conservative Party. We have members from the north. I have concerns about the north. Our leader is from Nipissing. Is there a chance that there is some possibility of Kirkland Lake and Sudbury?

Mr Wiseman: I would like to address some of the comments Mr McClelland made. I do not see this as being uncompromising, in that we as a committee have compromised on the time of the committee hearings and we have compromised on a number of issues with respect to presentations and presenters. We have made a number of commitments and changes on a whole host of things in this, so if you do not get Kirkland Lake it does not imply to me that we have been totally uncompromising.

I listened to my member from the north and I take what he has to say very seriously. He is bringing a perspective to this committee which, if I ignore it, is just another time that somebody from the south has ignored the wishes and the desires of the members from the north. It is going to be a pretty difficult day for me to turn around and ignore what my member from the north says. I would say at this point, with all due respect to the arguments that have been made, that I do not think a compromise is possible, given the very passionate views the member for Sault Ste Marie holds. He has changed my mind, okay? He has changed my mind and I am going to vote the way he has requested that I vote.

Mr Cousens: Could I move that we have this referred to the House leaders and that the committee adjourn?

The Chair: I must say that I do not believe this matter is one which the House leaders would normally decide on, and that this matter can and should be decided by the committee. House leaders look after things like scheduling when committees cannot decide. They can determine what they will or will not permit on budgets, but there is no reason I can see why the House leaders should make a decision on location.

Mr McClelland: I want to say two things, if I might. First, to the comments made by Mr Martin, I accept them and I thank him for them. Again, I will simply say that if opposition wants to, in your opinion -- forgive me if I misinterpret a value judgement -- make the mistake of choosing the wrong location, surely that is a right opposition ought to have, to make that mistake, if that is what we do, given that it is the one place we wanted.

You have the numbers and ultimately you can control that, but bear in mind that is exactly what you are doing: You are dictating it. The reason I think it might be appropriate for House leaders is this, Madam Chair. This whole process was born out of response to a time allocation we were extracted from by way of negotiation through the offices of the House leaders. There was an awful lot of fuel put to that fire. It is evident that our position was that one of the things we wanted was public hearings and when we could travel, and there were some things that were understood about that. I think that Mr Cousens's motion, although unusual, is not entirely out of order.

The Chair: I have listened very carefully to the debate before the committee. I believe I have heard all of the debate and the arguments that have been put forward. I am going to rule that Mr Cousens's motion to refer to the House leaders is not one which should properly be sent to the House leaders, and that we should be voting at this time.

I am going to suggest a voting procedure which I hope will be acceptable to all the committee members, that is, that we try, if we can, to begin by voting on four sites and go through that list; rather than voting on the sites individually, to look at them as a package. Is that acceptable to all members?

Mr Cousens: No, I do not have my other caucus members here. Can we recess until I have my caucus members here?

The Chair: Twenty minutes?

Mr Cousens: That is fine.

The Chair: I have a request for a 20-minute recess. At 7 pm we will be voting.

Mr Martin: Can I suggest, out of a need I have, that if we are going to recess we recess till 7:30?

The Chair: Is there any possibility that you could come to an agreement on location between now and 7:30?

Mr McClelland: There is always a possibility.

The Chair: Then it is agreed that we will recess until 7:30? Agreed.

The committee recessed at 1839.


Mr Hope: Madam Chair, some of us are supposed to be on duty right now, and they are calling for a quorum.

Mr Wiseman: I do not see any problem with item 6.

The Chair: Agreed? Agreed.

Mr Wiseman: I do not see any problem with item 7.

Mr Cousens: No, I am not prepared to discuss any further unless there is some movement, unless you voted on item 5 while I was out.

The Chair: No, we have not. I thought we might deal with those where there is agreement.

Mr Cousens: No, I would say at this point that I would be interested in knowing where we are really going. Was there any change in discussion? Did you get anywhere?

Interjection: The motion is on the floor.

The Chair: All right, on item 5, I would suggest we take the locations alphabetically, and the first four that get a majority are agreed to by the committee. Is that agreed? Kapuskasing is the first one on the list. I am suggesting we do them in alphabetical order.

Mr Cousens: Can we put Kirkland Lake on the list as well?

The Chair: It is on the list. The ones on the list are Kapuskasing, Kingston, Kirkland Lake, North Bay, Sarnia and Sudbury.

Mr Martin: I guess I am having some -- we are going to choose the first four?

The Chair: No, what I am suggesting is that we take all of the locations that were suggested, that we vote on them in alphabetical order, and the first four that get a majority vote of the membership are the places we will go.

Mr Wiseman: Are we looking for three or are we looking for four?

The Chair: I understood we were looking for four. Am I incorrect?

Mr Wiseman: I have no problem with that.

The Chair: So we will go down them and wherever there is a majority, those will be the ones that are agreed to. Is that agreed? Ignace was suggested as well, just to add to the list. So the list, again, is Ignace, Kapuskasing, Kingston, Kirkland Lake, North Bay, Sarnia and Sudbury.

Mr Martin: With that, I would move a five-minute recess so we can decide among ourselves which four out of that we would prefer to go to.

Mr Cousens: All right, why not have a half-hour recess, then, Madam Chairman?

Interjection: No, no.

Mr Cousens: We can have a half-hour recess and consider it, because there may be a chance of some movement.

The Chair: They are ready to go. The whip has not requested a recess.

All those in favour of Ignace? There being no votes, Ignace is no longer on the list.

All those in favour of Kapuskasing? Five votes.

Mr Cousens: Is there going to be any debate?

The Chair: No; we are voting. All those in favour of Kapuskasing? Six. All those opposed?

Mr Cousens: I want to object. I very strongly oppose, and I would like to have it recorded.

The Chair: A recorded vote.

The committee divided on the question, which was agreed to on the following vote:

Ayes -- 6

Haeck, Hope, Martin, Mathyssen, O'Connor, Wiseman.

Nays -- 2

Cousens, McClelland.

The Chair: The next location is Kingston. All those in favour of Kingston, please signify. A recorded vote.

The committee divided on the question, which was agreed to on the following vote:

Ayes -- 6

Haeck, Hope, Martin, Mathyssen, O'Connor, Wiseman.

Nays -- 2

Cousens, McClelland.

The Chair: The next location is Kirkland Lake. All those in favour of Kirkland Lake? A recorded vote.

The committee divided on the question, which was negatived on the following vote:

Ayes -- 2

Cousens, McClelland.

Nays -- 6

Haeck, Hope, Martin, Mathyssen, O'Connor, Wiseman.

The Chair: The next location is North Bay. All those in favour of North Bay? A recorded vote.

The committee divided on the question, which was negatived on the following vote:

Ayes -- 2

Cousens, McClelland.

Nays -- 6

Haeck, Hope, Martin, Mathyssen, O'Connor, Wiseman.


The Chair: The next location --

Mr Hope: Madam Chair, before you continue, have there been three selected already?

The Chair: We have selected Kapuskasing and Kingston only: two locations. The next location is Sarnia. All those in favour of Sarnia. A recorded vote.

The committee divided on the question, which was agreed to on the following vote:

Ayes -- 7

Haeck, Hope, McClelland, Martin, Mathyssen, O'Connor, Wiseman.

Nays -- 1


Mr Cousens: This committee has really destroyed my sense of confidence that we are going to be capable of having worthwhile hearings. I strongly object to what has been done and the high-handed way in which the government is considering the role of the opposition.

The Chair: I call you to order. Thank you, Mr Cousens. We have one more location. We are voting on Sudbury.

The committee divided on the question, which was agreed to on the following vote:

Ayes -- 6

Haeck, Hope, Martin, Mathyssen, O'Connor, Wiseman.

Nays -- 2

Cousens, McClelland.

The Chair: We have selected Kapuskasing, Kingston, Sarnia and Sudbury as the four locations. The clerk will be advertising to ensure those communities are made aware that the committee will be visiting. Members of the committee will be notified of the dates we will be in those locations.

The next item is 6. Any discussion on item 6? This is, "When the clerk is scheduling, deputants will be informed of the time." The subcommittee has suggested that they be asked to leave about half their time for questions from the committee.

Agreed to.

The Chair: Item 7 is: "that the Chair be authorized to attend to the budgetary needs." We have a budget that has been distributed and I would suggest that we approve the budget. For the additional advertising which was discussed at the committee, there are sufficient funds in our budget already to cover that additional advertising. Mr Cousens?

Mr Cousens: It was referenced by one of the members of the governing party that transportation expenses would be paid for people from Kirkland Lake who would want to come to Sudbury or Kapuskasing. Is that included in the budget?

The Chair: It is my understanding, Mr Wiseman, that you made those comments, although that is not included in the budget. Was it your intention to pay for people?

Mr Wiseman: Not mine personally, no.

Mr Cousens: I see that the budget reflects that magnanimous gesture.

Mr Wiseman: I think it is appropriate to, within reason. All committees have the funds to bring in people who have difficulty paying to come to the hearings. In terms of doing it, I thought that was something that was there.

The Chair: No, it is not the normal practice for the committee to pay travel expenses for deputants. If requests are made, the committee can consider that, but these are usually requests in advance and decisions in advance, and there are no funds in the budget to pay for -- the clerk advises me that we have a small amount available in our current budget. The clerk has told me that the normal practice is that where a request is made by a deputant, it is a decision of the subcommittee that usually will determine whether or not that happens.

Mr Wiseman: I would be very concerned that we not have this as an uncapped amount. I would need some direction in terms of cost to travel, what the mode of transportation would be and what kinds of costs we are looking at here before we go too far out on a limb in magnanimous gestures. I would like to know what we are talking about in terms of dollars.

The Chair: Perhaps the best thing for the committee would be if I asked the clerk to explain the normal procedure, and also perhaps what funds are available within the existing budget.

Clerk of the Committee: The normal practice with committees is a request submitted to the committee, and normally if there is someone who does not belong to an association and who needs assistance in travelling, they will do it. In this case, if you are going to specify those people from Kirkland Lake, I cannot give you any figures on how much you are going to need until you indicate how many people. There could be 20 people who respond from Kirkland Lake. Are you going to give it to them all, or are you going to give it to none of them, or are you going to give it to some of them? If you are going to give it to some of them, at $600 or $700 for one, depending on the air fare, we could be looking at $6,000 or $7,000, and right now I think there is about $3,000 in the budget. I am not absolutely certain what the figure is.

Mr Cousens: Whoever said that before suggested that accommodation and transportation expenses would be paid for people who would be coming from Kirkland Lake to another location. That had to be part of the thinking of government members when they were voting on Sudbury or Kapuskasing or even Toronto.

May I suggest that the clerk include in the budget a figure not to exceed $10,000 for transportation expenses for people coming to committee meetings. In the spirit of what was said earlier, when Kirkland Lake was excluded from the list in the discussion that was held at that time, it was made very clear by a government member, who I think was the whip, that such accommodation would be made in the course of helping them defray expenses.

People who are interested in this issue may not have the funds to pay those expenses. If they cannot it would be rather sad, based on the commitment that was made earlier, that they then are not able to attend. It certainly was the spirit that was conveyed by Mr Wiseman at the time.

Mr Hope: In the spirit of what is supposed to have been done, I am going to speak -- and I do not speak for Mr Wiseman; I speak for myself. I am totally opposed to paying travel expenses for individuals to participate when we are going outside of Toronto. I can understand that if hearings were solely in Toronto, we would provide an avenue for people.

There is also an opportunity for written submissions, as I understand there is with most committees. There is still an opportunity to put forward written submissions on their concerns. If we start getting into escalated costs in not only dealing with northern Ontario, but southwestern Ontario -- you are talking Sarnia. For instance in Windsor, about which I earlier raised concerns around advertising, there is a number of landfills that Toronto likes to put its garbage in. It would be extremely costly for some of those people to get transportation to Sarnia.

I understand where Mr Cousens is trying to play the issue a bit. I am opposed to allowance of transportation costs in and around the area. It is important that people have the access through written submission and also through verbal presentations.

I would just like to air my concerns. I will be voting against it if in the budget there is to be allowance for travel expenses.

Mr Martin: It was certainly not my intention, in proposing and supporting what I thought we did in the previous motions, to provide money specifically for people from Kirkland Lake to attend these hearings; although, having said that, it has always been my feeling that people from northern Ontario who have to travel long distances, who do not get to participate in the process of government as easily as those who live close to Queen's Park and can take transit, or whatever to various forms of consultation, should be in some way assisted to do that.

If it has been the habit of the government to support people who make submissions who really cannot, and can prove they cannot afford to come here on their own, then I certainly would be for assisting people who genuinely want to attend to make a contribution. If they do not feel it is adequate to do it in writing, then I think we should be looking at ways of trying to, in the spirit of democracy, get their input and have them participate. But to focus it specifically on one community rather than people across Ontario who may have an interest in this I think would be wrong. It would not be fair.

The Chair: Are we ready for the question?


Mr Cousens: Someone opposite made a statement about assistance for people coming from Kirkland Lake. Who was it that said that? What was their intention at the time?

The Chair: You will have to check Hansard. We have no formal motion on the table right now that we can vote on regarding paying expenses. No motion was put.

Mr Wiseman: It is my understanding that Kapuskasing is about 60 miles from Kirkland Lake. The round trip would be 120 miles. If all 15 slots in Kapuskasing were taken, which I strongly --

The Chair: I am going to call order. There is no motion. Is there a motion that somebody is going to place? We have nothing to debate. There is no motion. We have the budget.

Mr Cousens: I move that expenses for people coming from Kirkland Lake who wish financial assistance, as per the suggestion made by Mr Wiseman, be covered by the committee up to a maximum dollar to be set by this committee.

We have the intent of that and then we can determine the dollar figure, so we will not get caught up in the dollar figure.

The Chair: We have a motion now that we can vote on. I think we have heard the debate. Is there anything further you want to add to that?

Ms Haeck: Just the simple comment that Mr Cousens's motion speaks only to people from Kirkland Lake.

Mr Cousens: That was the intent.

Ms Haeck: I think there is a much broader intent that we, as people representing Ontario, have to fulfil. If you only put in the proviso of Kirkland Lake, what happens to somebody in Thunder Bay, Ignace or parts of Rainy River? I really believe it is inappropriate to be that area-specific. We have a limited budget. I am not personally averse to assisting people, but it is looking at need and it is looking at anyone who applies.

The Chair: I think we have heard everything that has to be heard. Why do we not just vote on the motion that is on the floor? Are we ready for the vote?

Mr Wiseman: Except we do not have a dollar figure on this. What are we voting on exactly without the dollar figure in it?

Clerk of the Committee: Mr Cousens moved that persons requesting assistance for travel from Kirkland Lake specifically -- I do not have the exact wording, but the intent was people from Kirkland Lake requesting travel costs up to an amount to be determined by the committee. There was no dollar put on it.

The Chair: We will have the exact wording from Hansard. If this motion passes then the committee would have to debate and agree on a dollar limit to be included in the budget right after this motion passes.

All those in favour of Mr Cousens's motion? Are you requesting a recorded vote?

Mr Cousens: Yes, I am.

The committee divided on Mr Cousens's motion, which was negatived on the following vote:

Ayes -- 3

Cousens, O'Connor, McClelland.

Nays -- 4

Haeck, Martin, Mathyssen, Wiseman.

The Chair: Mr Hope, you are not voting? You abstain.

Mr Cousens: Can I make a motion that says that up to $5,000 be set aside for transportation assistance?


Mr Cousens: It is a different motion. Are you the Chair, Randolph? I am asking the Chair.

Mr Hope: I am just trying to assist the Chair. The motion is out of order. You are talking about the same allowance.

The Chair: I am going to rule that the motion is not significantly different from the motion that was previously placed. That matter has been dealt with and we will now move on to the next item of business before the committee.

Mr Cousens: May I have the floor?

The Chair: You may.

Mr Cousens: Thank you, Madam Chairman. I just want to put on the record that Mr Wiseman, in discussing this issue, led me to believe there would be financial assistance for people who want to come to the committee meeting. If my motion previously was restrictive by suggesting Kirkland Lake, I would like to suggest to the Chair another motion that would be a little more open-ended. Certainly Ms Haeck indicated that is why she voted against the motion.

Also, we had one other member who was not interested in voting on the issue possibly out of embarrassment because of the commitment he had earlier made, so he was going to try to sit on the fence and pretend that he had not said what he said. I would therefore like to make another motion that a transportation assistance fund be set up to assist people to come to the committee meeting, the figure to be determined.

The Chair: I point out to you, Mr Cousens, that there is a transportation fund in the existing budget of approximately $3,000. That is the advice of the clerk. Therefore, your motion is out of order, as we already have that in the budget.

Mr Cousens: Will that be indicated in the announcements, that financial assistance will be available to those people who need it?

The Chair: It is not the normal practice of committee. However, if anyone inquires of the committee clerk, she will let the subcommittee know and it will then determine whether or not financial assistance will be provided. That is the normal course of practice.

Mr Cousens: Inasmuch as it has been presented in such a way as assisting people outside of the key areas where these presentations would be held, I move that it be included and reference be made to transportation assistance to people coming to the committee meetings.

The Chair: I am assuming you are referring to the ads that are going to appear on January 6.

Mr Cousens moves that in the ads on January 6, reference to a transportation fund be mentioned.

Mr Hope: Do you have seconders of this motion?

The Chair: You do not need seconders.

Mr Hope: You do not need seconders? Okay, just checking the rules. I speak against it and I will be voting against it because there is already advertisement out there and it adds inequity among the people of Ontario.

There may be people in the surrounding area who may be in financial hardship and may not be able to afford to come to the hearings, whether they be in Toronto or elsewhere, and I think it is most appropriate that if we do something of this nature it is done at an earlier stage where there is a balance in the system. I will be voting against it.

Mr O'Connor: I believe that in other committees and in the standing committee on public accounts in the spring session last year, on one occasion a request was made for some assistance for somebody who had been requested to come down, and of course when she came there was some discussion within the committee as to the needs of this person and the expenses and a request was made that we assist her.

Hearing from some of my fellow committee members speaking today about making sure we address the needs of people who are making presentations, in fact we could be looking at people who would be travelling even a greater distance than the distance from Kirkland Lake to Kapuskasing.

Perhaps we should just follow the tradition and the past practice where if somebody comes before the committee and is requesting special assistance, at that time the committee deal with it. That might be the most appropriate way of dealing with it as part of the tradition that we have done in other committees that I have sat on in the past. Perhaps that is the most appropriate way of handling it in this instance as well.

The Chair: Mr Martin, you have the floor.

Mr Martin: In the spirit of my previous comments, I think it is only fair that we provide whatever assistance we can to folks who want to participate in the process. I find it interesting that it is the third party that is proposing it this time, that we actually do that and that we advertise it, in light of some of the criticism we have come under for spending of various sorts that we do in this time of great recession and restraint. But I am all for it. If you are going to have something out there that is available, then you have got to let people know that it is, and I have no problem with advertising it and letting people know. It is the fair thing to do and I will be supporting that.

The Chair: Are we ready for the vote on Mr Cousens's motion? All those in favour of Mr Cousens's motion? The motion is that the January 6 advertising include reference to a travel fund.


Mr O'Connor: Could I just make one suggestion? If it is going to go out and address the needs right across the whole hearing process, then we could have to refer this matter back to the Board of Internal Economy, because we could be looking at a substantial sum of money. I think we had better consider that in voting on this.

Mr Martin: On a point of clarification, Madam Chair: It is my understanding that it was a cap of $3,000.

The Chair: The amount that is available in the budget as of today is approximately $3,000.

Mr Martin: And the process to this point at other times was, when it is gone, it is gone?

Clerk of the Committee: No, if you are advertising generally that it is available, I do not know what criteria you are going to make to determine who will get and who will not get. There is not anything in this motion that determines one way or the other.

Mr Martin: What have you done in the past?

Clerk of the Committee: What I explained to you earlier. It was on request by people who were in particular need. It was not done for anyone who requested it; it was done, for the most part, for people who were in particular need of the funds.

Mr Martin: Would it not still apply to people, though, in particular need here? Was that your intent?

Clerk of the Committee: If you are advertising across the province, which is what this motion says, then you are going to have to establish some kind of criteria to pick and choose. You are advertising province-wide that you are going to make travel funds available. That is what this motion says.

Mr Martin: How did you determine particular need in the past?

Clerk of the Committee: Particular need was usually someone who did not belong to any organization and did not have any alternative funds available to them, but that is not what this motion says.

The Chair: Mr McClelland, you have the floor.

Mr McClelland: Briefly, I just want to recap for the record what I perceive. It is my perception of what has happened here.

The government has used its majority to rule out and to defeat the joint request of the opposition for hearings to be in a given location. In the debate on that motion it was indicated by a government member that in spirit, notwithstanding the fact that the government was going to defeat the one and only request that was put with respect to location -- the government used its majority to defeat it -- the government said, "We will accommodate," and this is my understanding, "in terms of travel allowance."

We are now debating that and it is now suddenly up for grabs whether or not it is going to in fact take place. I just wanted to recap that for the record. This government that talks about consultation and openness and willingness to listen to people used its majority to say no and now it is debating an issue of whether or not we will in fact assist people to come to the committee, having ruled out the locations.

The committee divided on Mr Cousens's motion, which was negatived on the following vote:

Ayes -- 3

Cousens, Martin, McClelland.

Nays -- 5

Haeck, Hope, Mathyssen, O'Connor, Wiseman.

The Chair: Number 6 we have already dealt with. I think we were on number 7. We have passed number 6. What I am proposing is that the budget, which has been circulated by the clerk to all members of the committee, actually be approved at this time so that it can be forwarded to the Board of Internal Economy. All those in favour of the budget as presented? Any opposed?

Mr McClelland: I would like a recorded vote.

The committee divided on the budget, which was agreed to on the following vote:

Ayes -- 6

Haeck, Hope, Martin, Mathyssen, O'Connor, Wiseman.

Nays -- 2

Cousens, McClelland.

The Chair: That will replace item 7 in the subcommittee's report.

Item 8, that the research staff acquire legal interpretations and refer them for distribution to committee members. That was the recommendation of the subcommittee. All in favour? Any opposed?

Mr Cousens: And this will be done at what time?

The Chair: That is now being acquired and it will be distributed as soon as received and the research staff can make that available to all members of the committee. All those in favour? Any opposed? That is carried.

"That research staff prepare a summary of presentations to the committee in a format corresponding to the clauses of the bill, identifying comments and recommendations." That is item 9. That was the recommendation of the subcommittee. The suggestion I would like to make is that we actually see if it is possible to have an interim report, as we did last time, and then a final report, rather than waiting and having it all at the end, if that is agreeable. I think that would be helpful for committee members. All those in favour of requesting as well an interim report? Any opposed? That is carried.

Shall we request also of research staff to try to have the summary completed on the Friday before the beginning of clause-by-clause, whenever that is to commence?


The Chair: We do not know when clause-by-clause is going to be, so if it is possible to have that at the latest by the Friday before, then I think members -- yes, Mr Wiseman?

Mr Wiseman: The whole crux of the debate around when the committee is going to sit I believe revolved around having some analysis of the clause-by-clause in considerable time prior to the studying of clause-by-clause. If it comes in the Friday before clause-by-clause --

The Chair: The way it stands is this: If the House leaders agree with the committee's request to be able to do clause-by-clause when the House returns, then we do not have a problem. If the House leaders do not agree to that request, then we have made the request of research for the Friday before. If that is not possible, it is not possible. I am just suggesting, if it is possible, that we request to have it by that time. Would you rather just leave it out? I do not want to complicate things. Why do we not just leave it out?

Mr Wiseman: Let's leave it out, with the understanding that they will do the best they can to get it to us as early as possible.

The Chair: All right, agreed that the final report come as early as possible? Agreed.

For the committee today we have a request from Mrs Fawcett. It is notice to the committee that the subcommittee has to meet. This is to the Chair and the clerk of the standing committee on social development:

"For the purposes of standing order 123, I request that the subcommittee on committee business meet to consider a report to the committee on the following matter to be designated for consideration by the committee:

"Impact of the conversion of the Ontario scholarship assistance plan as a loans and grant program to a loans-only program and an examination of alternative student funding strategies such as the Ontario scholars award and the consequences of all possible changes in areas such as accessibility and affordability to post-secondary education, and the impact of these changes on economic growth, for the time period of 12 hours."

This is received formally by the committee, with a request that the subcommittee meet to discuss the 123 request. The next possible date for the subcommittee, I believe, is --

Clerk of the Committee: It is up to the subcommittee.

The Chair: Shall we leave that to the agreement of the whips to set a date at the call of the Chair for the subcommittee to meet? Agreed.

Ms Haeck: I just have a quick point of clarification to raise. Is the budget, as we have received it --

The Chair: No, we are dealing with this first and then we can go back to that question. Let's just deal with this. It is received and it will be up to the Chair to arrange with the whips for a subcommittee meeting on this matter -- regular subcommittee or three whips? I need to know who is going to handle this. Whom should I call to find out about a subcommittee meeting? Is it Steve Owens or Jim Wiseman?


The Chair: You are going to be the whip?

Mr Martin: Yes, I am.

The Chair: All right. I will ask the clerk to be in touch with Mr Martin.

Mr McClelland: I would ask that you contact Mr Frank Miclash, please.

The Chair: Mr Miclash, and from your caucus whom do you want contacted to find out who is the whip on this?

Mr Cousens: Mrs Witmer.

The Chair: Mrs Witmer. Thank you very much. Any other items? You had a question, Ms Haeck.

Ms Haeck: Yes. I was just wondering if this was an official document appended to this whole report. Under the terms of reference on the last page, is "the standing committee on social government" the appropriate title for this committee? It is just a small point and if it was an official document I thought it might be --

The Chair: It is a typo. Thank you for pointing it out to our otherwise perfect clerk. She appreciates it.


The Chair: We have an interjection from the Minister of Natural Resources. Thank you very much, Minister, for the assistance. I do not think Hansard picked up the comment, but that is okay.

Interjection: Merry Christmas to all --

The Chair: And to all --

Mr Wiseman: A good night.

Clerk of the Committee: Subcommittee members on the morning of January 14 at 9:30; I will let you know where. Do I have everybody's fax numbers?

The Chair: As noted, the subcommittee will be meeting on the morning of January 14 to complete the scheduling. The meeting stands adjourned.

The committee adjourned at 2013.