Monday 20 January 1992

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

Ministry of the Environment; Office for the Greater Toronto Area


Chair / Présidente: Caplan, Elinor (Oriole L)

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

Cousens, W. Donald (Markham PC)

Fawcett, Joan M. (Northumberland L)

Haeck, Christel (St Catharines-Brock ND)

Hope, Randy R. (Chatham-Kent ND)

Martin, Tony (Sault Ste Marie ND)

Mathyssen, Irene (Middlesex ND)

O'Connor, Larry (Durham-York ND)

Stockwell, Chris (Etobicoke West/-Ouest PC)

Sullivan, Barbara (Halton Centre L)

Wiseman, Jim (Durham West/-Ouest ND)

Substitution(s) / Membre(s) remplaçant(s):

Carr, Gary (Oakville South/-Sud PC) for Mr Stockwell

Lessard, Wayne (Windsor-Walkerville ND) for Mr Hope

McClelland, Carman (Brampton North/-Nord L) for Mrs Sullivan

Clerk / Greffière: Mellor, Lynn

Staff / Personnel: Richmond, Jerry, Research Officer, Legislative Research Service

The committee met at 1401 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: The standing committee on social development is now in session. I see we have a quorum. I would like to welcome everyone, including the minister, Mrs Grier. The agenda for today is a presentation by the minister and the ministry. They have the whole afternoon.

As we begin these hearings, I would like to make everyone aware of the rules of procedure agreed to by the steering committee, so that we are all clear on how the Chair will be dealing with the rules. The decision was made that whatever time remains for questions following witnesses or deputations or presentations will be divided equally between the three caucuses. Unless there is a request from a specific caucus to use its block of time in total, the questions will rotate between the caucuses and I will maintain the time so that it will be equal and fair as we rotate between the caucuses.

If there are questions of the minister or the ministry, they will be considered part of the time of each caucus. It is important for all members to note that because of that last point, if you have a question you can place it on the record and the ministry can respond in writing at a later time so that you do not use up all your allotted questioning time for questions of the ministry.

Are there any other points regarding the rules that anyone would like to make?

Mr Cousens: What are the plans for this afternoon, Madam Chairman? With the minister making a statement, will there be any time at the end of that statement for comments or questions by members of the committee?

The Chair: It is my understanding that what was agreed to was that the minister would be making a presentation of between 20 and 30 minutes and that the remaining time of the first hour would be divided between the caucuses for statements or questions, whatever you wish. That time will be yours to use as you see fit. When the ministry staff have completed their presentation in the remains two hours, whatever time is again remaining will be divided equally among the caucuses for questions.

It is my view that while those are times for questions, since it is the caucus time, should you choose to speak instead of ask a question, certainly it will be your right to use your time in that way. Hopefully you will use it for the purpose of questions, but I will not rule against you if you have a long question without an interrogative. You know what I mean.

I will, however, remind all members that you cannot pose questions of other members at the committee. You can pose questions either of deputants, witnesses, presenters or of the ministry, the minister or the parliamentary assistant at any time. You can put your questions and ask that they be responded to in writing, as I said before. Similarly, it was discussed by the subcommittee and agreed that any points of order could be tabled and would be dealt with at the end of the hearing time, since it was the view of the steering committee that these meetings should be used to allow maximum time for presenters and maximum time for questioning.

It is my intention to hold firmly to those rules and to try to remain on time. There was one point: If a caucus member goes over time in one way or another, that time will be deducted from the time of the next presentation, so there is no advantage to a caucus to rag the puck or use up the time inappropriately when dealing with one presenter, because it will be deducted from the next presentation. Is that clear? All agreed?

In that case, I welcome everyone to the standing committee on social development. I am hoping that these hearings will be a productive use of everyone's time. I would like to welcome the minister, Mrs Grier, and ask her to begin her presentation now.

Hon Mrs Grier: I am pleased to be here to begin the committee's deliberations on Bill 143, the Waste Management Act. Never before has Ontario or any other province sponsored such extensive and important public debate and public hearings on waste management.

What I would like to do this afternoon is briefly outline the background of this legislation, the situation I found when I inherited responsibility as Minister of the Environment and minister responsible for the greater Toronto area, and the major factors influencing our government's waste management policies and directions.

On a province-wide basis, I found that Ontario had become the world leader in wastefulness, generating as much as 1.1 tonnes of garbage per person per year. The emphasis among the many participants in waste management was still on disposal rather than reduction. There had been some good initiatives with respect to recycling. The blue box had become an important instrument for public action on recycling. Waste management planning was in disarray. The time and resources required to find landfill sites was excessive. Finally, we were running out of landfill capacity, particularly in the GTA, leading to the need for emergency planning.

Our government initiated a comprehensive waste management strategy with three major components: an aggressive waste reduction program, improvements to waste management planning and policies, and procedures for handling short-term waste problems on an environmentally sound basis.

The principles of this approach were threefold: put the environment first, promote or conserve our society, and prevent pollution.

Within the GTA, the problems have been especially acute. The greater Toronto area is home to 40% of Ontario's population and it has been producing close to half our total garbage. Landfill capacity in the GTA has become very limited, especially in Peel, where the Britannia Road landfill site is due to close by the middle of this year.

The GTA's Solid Waste Interim Steering Committee, or SWISC as it was known, attempted to develop a coordinated approach to a solution across the GTA, but it was moving slowly and its specific plan was one this government could not support. That proposed solution was to meet the impending waste crisis with two new interim landfill sites in Brampton and Whitevale. These sites were granted exemptions under the Environmental Assessment Act. Our party in opposition had clearly stated that this was not acceptable.

On becoming minister, GTA wastes and the need for provincial waste reduction were the first issues I addressed. I decided to deal with the GTA situation with a comprehensive plan including three components: first, implement effective waste reduction; second, establish a process to find long-term landfill sites as quickly as possible, with an environmental assessment, and third, find the most environmentally sound way to deal with any short-term need for landfill capacity. Bill 143 is the foundation of that plan.

Part IV of the bill, which provides authority for the waste reduction program on a province-wide basis, will allow us to proceed with measures that will require 3Rs initiatives -- waste reduction, reuse and recycling -- in all sectors. It also lays the groundwork for actively discouraging those who would pass the buck for their wastes, environmentally or economically, either to other members of the community or to other communities.

In addition, it makes a good start on improving the procedures for establishing and developing effective 3Rs facilities, such as composting sites, and ensuring environmentally sound disposal of waste residues.


With respect to the search for long-term sites, GTA-specific sections of the legislation confirm the Interim Waste Authority is a crown agency and give it the additional powers required to establish three long-term landfill sites to serve the greater Toronto area. These include authority to conduct essential site investigations in a way that minimizes intrusion into individual privacy and a considerate approach to any expropriation that will be required.

The bill establishes the environmental assessment for the three sites that will required for long-term disposal of GTA residual wastes. It rules out waste incineration and transport of waste to communities beyond the GTA, in accordance with environmental policy decisions I announced last April. Instead, the assessments will focus on the environmentally positive options available from waste reduction, reuse and recycling, with environmentally secure landfill for residual waste remaining after effective 3Rs programs have reduced waste to a minimum.

The bill also allows funding for public participation in the early stages of environmental assessment, as well as intervention at later stages such as formal hearings. This is a pioneering approach to consultation which provides a broader range of public interests with the resources they need to identify and represent their concerns and to contribute their most valuable ideas.

In the past, as part of the SWISC program, a great deal of consideration was given to the idea of looking for landfill sites in a so-called willing host community. This approach has many problems.

To begin with, initially willing host communities may not continue to be willing hosts or to accept garbage from others as the impact of these wastes becomes evident. There are still people who clamour for the option of transporting GTA waste to a mine site near Kirkland Lake. This is nothing but a throwback to the days of out-of-sight, out-of-mind garbage dumping. It completely contradicts everything we are trying to achieve in waste reduction. There is little incentive to reduce when there is a far-off place to send garbage. Shipping garbage to someone else's community runs counter to all the principles of a conserver society.

Incinerators are ruled out not only because their voracious appetite for waste is inconsistent with the 3Rs, but also because of the environmental hazards they present. GTA communities will neither bear the exhorbitant cost of attempting to develop garbage incinerators nor face the environmental and public health risks from air pollution and the concentrated contaminants in the residual ashes that remain after burning. I am convinced that incineration of municipal waste is a deeply flawed approach to waste treatment, one which threatens our environment and our health, does not make economic sense and has no place in a sound waste management strategy.

Addressing short-term needs, the legislation provides authority to proceed as required with contingency disposal measures to fill any gap between the time current GTA landfills are full and the opening of the new long-term landfill sites. This is consistent with the strategy I announced in the Legislature last June, ruling out the interim use of new unproven sites on unbroken ground. We have provided for effective contingencies in the event the GTA runs out of landfill capacity before new sites are ready to open, so that GTA residents do not face the prospect of no place to dispose of waste.

As I said in introducing this bill for second reading, remaining disposal capacities at the Keele Valley and Brock West landfill sites now appear to be greater than we expected some months ago. A longer life for existing sites could affect the need for one or more transfer stations in Durham region and the need for extending the life of the Keele Valley landfill site.

All the information now available, however, still indicates the need for extended capacity at the Britannia Road landfill site in Peele region starting this year. I hope there will be a minimum need for extended capacity, but if we do not prepare these contingency measures, we are gambling not only with the environment but also with the economy of the GTA.

I know these contingency measures are strongly opposed in the surrounding communities, but given the options available, we have no better way available to solve the problem. Groups and individuals who oppose these interim disposal measures will be taking part in this committee's deliberations and their concerns will be taken into full account. I hope there will be continued involvement and participation from these groups and individuals as the regions proceed to implement their plans.

There will be extensive environmental studies of the best ways to proceed with the implementation of any extended capacity and to ensure continued environmental protection. In addition, any extension of site operation will continue to be monitored thoroughly. The legislation also provides for the establishment of public liaison committees for each site which can represent the concerns of the community and act as a continuing monitor and watchdog on the development of the lifts and the operation of the sites. I will welcome any suggestions we may hear to help this liaison process function more effectively in protecting the environment.

There has been and will continue to be a great deal of consultation with the regions as we work out the best ways to deal with this situation. Let me assure this committee I am open to recommendations for specific improvements to enable the legislation to reach the government's objectives more effectively.

With respect to the question of hearings regarding the extension of capacity at the Britannia Road and Keele Valley landfill sites, let me clarify our position. Unfortunately, the fact that the Britannia Road landfill site reaches capacity next June makes a hearing on the extension there impossible. The legislation does not preclude a hearing for the Keele Valley extension, and if there is time, there will be a hearing. There are, however, a number of variables influencing how much time we have.

Mr Cousens: That is shocking.

The Chair: Order. I am sorry, Mr Cousens. You are not permitted to interrupt. That time will be deducted from your presentation.

Mr Cousens: Well, that is only two seconds.

Hon Mrs Grier: The remaining capacity at Keele Valley now appears to be greater than anticipated. Unfortunately, this is due in part to the current recession, and I am sure none of us would like to predict on the basis of the economic downturn continuing. At the same time, our aggressive waste reduction program will, I hope, limit waste volume.

Still another variable is the waste currently leaving the province. I have recently been asked in meetings with officials from New York state and Indiana for assurances that Ontario will deal with its own garbage. They do not want to continue to receive it. Furthermore, shipping garbage to somebody else's community runs counter to all the principles of a conserver society.

We have reviewed our time lines carefully. It will take until September 1993 to complete the studies and prepare and submit an application to extend the life of Keele Valley. It will take until early 1994 to prepare for a hearing and until mid-1995 or later to complete the hearing, get a board decision and provide for appeals. It would then be possible for the ministry to issue the required approvals by late 1995. Construction and site preparation could take up to 12 months beyond that time, or to late 1996. Based on experience, I must add that events could extend the hearings and appeal process an additional year or more, delaying the start of the landfill extension until late 1997. As another variable, if the capacity of Britannia Road is not expanded and Peel's waste goes to Keele Valley, that would use up nine months of remaining capacity at that landfill site.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely. As everyone knows, I have a strong commitment to full participatory processes, and if there is time, there will be a hearing. My concern has been not to misrepresent the situation and to be clear about the emergency powers I can and may have to use, if necessary, to protect public safety.


When it comes to waste management across Ontario, what I have heard from all quarters has been that clear provincial leadership and direction are required. This legislation provides that leadership and direction in a comprehensive way, placing the emphasis on waste reduction and providing for safe disposal that will protect the environment and benefit the economy.

None of the waste reduction initiatives in this bill come as a surprise. They are all based on a public dialogue which has been under way for more than a year. Some had their roots in consultation on waste management that was initiated by the previous government.

In October 1990, I set out this government's waste reduction objectives: to reduce the amount of waste going to disposal by at least 25% in 1992 and 50% by the year 2000. A month later, in the Legislature, I began discussions on a conserver action plan which emphasized waste reduction as the first of the 3Rs. I also announced our intention to form a public sector agency to find landfill sites in the GTA and outlined our intentions for dealing with the GTA waste crisis.

In February 1991, I announced the waste reduction action plan, detailed many of our proposed initiatives and established the waste reduction office to begin consultation and coordinate the development of the policies and regulations required to implement this action plan. For more than a year, we have proceeded publicly and openly to develop a comprehensive program of waste reduction and waste management reform. Today we begin a series of public hearings on legislation which provides a framework to support implementation of part of this program.

Many groups and individuals have already made their views known regarding specific sections of the bill. My staff has been analysing suggested amendments as to whether they would clarify and improve the legislation. We have discussed various elements of the legislation with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and other interested parties that have requested some amendments. In response to these requests, we agree that section 19 on injurious affection should be deleted because of the concern regarding the precedent it sets. We recognize that there are existing protections for land owners. In addition, we agreed to amend section 26 of the bill to leave the minister responsible for requiring a municipality to take certain action on waste, instead of delegating that authority to a director. We will also remove the proposed emergency power in section 26 to order municipalities to assess waste management needs and prepare plans.

Because of municipalities' concerns about its long-term implications and our commitment to local responsibility, we are proposing a five-year maximum limit on any provincial order requiring a municipality to accept waste from outside its boundaries.

We are continuing to discuss other concerns raised by municipalities and others in relation to the powers of regulation provided under section 33 of the bill. Given the current fiscal situation and the focus on disentanglement of provincial and municipal powers, these discussions are critical. It is not our intention to remove municipal responsibilities, but rather to enhance them within a province-wide framework for sound waste management. With respect to the financial options, our objectives are to ensure that everyone understands the full costs related to wastes and that the costs and incentives contribute to, not undermine, our waste management goals.

The dialogue is continuing on what form other regulations will take and we are proceeding in a consultative way to develop implementation strategies. The bill's effectiveness depends on the regulations, policies and programs developed pursuant to the legislation. The Ministry of the Environment will encourage broad participation by all concerned in deciding the initiatives to be implemented and when and how they will go into effect.

We have had significant input in response to our October 1991 waste reduction paper. The concerns and comments we have received will help in developing the final form of the waste reduction regulations. There will be more initiatives papers on other issues to encourage comment in the development of future regulations.

We also intend to involve concerned people representing a wide range of interests at the front end of policy development. Currently we have four such teams with representatives from environmental, municipal, private sector and other organizations to work on Ontario's waste reduction strategy, with three more proposed. Never before has this ministry enlisted public participation on this scale.

I am increasingly confident that we will be able to meet the government's waste reduction objectives. Waste reduction efforts are already easing pressures on landfill capacity in communities across the province, and as we move towards these targets, we will see a substantial reduction in the pace at which garbage is landfilled.

Our continuing 3Rs efforts will encourage more recycling in more homes in more communities, and we can expect improved markets for recovered materials. We will have more composting of leaf and yard material at home and in municipal facilities. We will have more consistency of 3Rs programs across the province so that more people will share the benefits now enjoyed by those who live in communities that are already very waste conscious.

In addition, the bill provides a strong base for Ontario initiatives on packaging to provide provincial leadership in implementing the national packaging protocol, which calls for a voluntary 50% reduction in packaging wastes by the year 2000. The waste audit-waste reduction measures, which the bill will regulate for industries, commerce and institutions and for major users of packaging, will not only reduce substantially the generation of garbage but also lead to economic benefits.

A growing number of companies and institutions are already putting waste reduction into effect in their operations and production. They are demonstrating the benefits of saving material and energy and any costs have usually been more than offset by increased efficiency. Their competitive position has improved significantly.

For example, Bell Canada in Etobicoke has implemented a Zero Waste program. In an office of 1,000 people, which last year produced 1,800 pounds of garbage a day, they expect by July to cut total daily waste to five pounds.

Jon Grant, who is vice-chair of the Ontario Round Table on Environment and Economy as well as being the president of Quaker Oats, reports the company has reduced waste flow by 80%, leading to substantial cash savings. Jon draws a very strong line linking conservation to efficiency, productivity and increased competitiveness.

While shopping, individuals have shown their preference for environmentally responsible products, such as low-waste containers, reusable shopping bags and newspapers with recycled fibres. The stores themselves are starting to demand efficiencies in wholesale delivery, such as reusable pallets and shipping containers. Some now insist their suppliers take back containers.

There is growing interest and great potential in new industries and technologies rooted in the 3Rs. Last December, for example, Recovery Technologies Inc, an Ontario company, unveiled a new plan for recovering material from waste tires at an unprecedented level of efficiency. The operation they have developed has now been shipped to Italy, the first of many overseas sales they expect for their technology.

All of these developments certainly can be regarded as both economic and environmental advances -- win-win situations -- and this legislation strengthens our hand in encouraging these positive developments.

The intent of this legislation, and the regulations, policies and programs that flow from it, is to place Ontario well along the road to a conserver society. Last June I set out some of the key principles essential to turn a consumer society into one that conserves. These include local responsibility, true cost accounting, product stewardship, conservation and public involvement. This legislation reflects all these principles.

Local responsibility means, among other things, assuming full charge of wastes in the communities where they are generated and dealing with them effectively in the community. This is an important element of our GTA waste strategy.

As responsible individuals, we have to reduce the materials we use and waste, reuse them and make them last longer, and finally recycle as much as possible back into productive use. If some of these materials are going to harm our environment, then common sense tells us we should either stop producing them or start reusing them in the system so that they do not become a disposal problem. All the people in Ontario who now take advantage of the recycling facilities offered in their communities have taken a giant step towards personal accountability.


True cost accounting debunks the myth of cheap waste disposal by taking into account the costs involved in wasting energy and resources and in the environmental damage that results from excess consumption and careless disposal.

Product stewardship is the responsibility principle extended to industry and commerce. The initiatives paper on waste reduction, Regulatory Measures to Achieve Ontario's Waste Reduction Targets: Initiatives Paper No 1, which I released last October included proposed regulations, to be based on this bill, which will require waste audits and waste reduction action plans for major operations in the industrial, commercial and institutional sectors and for major users of packaging. This is a consistent and fair approach to guide industry, commerce and institutions in reducing the wastes they generate and impose on society at large. It shifts the emphasis in the 3Rs from recycling to reduction. The challenge is to prevent material resources from ever reaching the point where they become wastes.

Conservation is inherent in all aspects of the waste reduction measures to be authorized by this legislation. It is as simple as using the same bag over and over for shopping or as complex as a complete overhaul of a production system to use less material and energy in delivering more durable goods.

Public consultation is an essential element in making the regulations, policies and programs to be developed under this legislation both effective and fair. We intend to rely on wholehearted public participation in implementing our waste reduction strategy. Listening to the public will improve the quality of decisions and ensure that they serve our environmental needs effectively and well.

In summary, today I have reviewed the components of the bill, the process of consultation that brought us to this point, the benefits it is designed to achieve and the essential principles on which it is based. Now I look forward to the comments and contributions this committee will receive during these public hearings and I welcome the people who will be joining us. They are all doing their part to ensure that this legislation is challenged, tested and improved in the best interests of the environment and the people of this province.

Anyone who can offer sound, constructive ideas that improve the legislation so that it meets Ontario's environmental needs more effectively or in a more timely way can be assured those ideas will be welcomed and acted upon. If the legislation can be improved, I want to know how you would do it. If there are effective new directions and initiatives worth pursuing, I want to hear about them. If you can offer better ways in which we can work together to achieve our goals, I need to know them.

We in Ontario have come to a crossroads in how we manage our waste. Our choice is simple. We can continue in the direction that has made us the world's leading generators of waste or we can move in a new direction, towards a conserver society. I believe there is only one road to take. We must drastically reduce the amount of garbage we produce and we must transform the way we manage wastes. This means rejecting the quick-fix solutions that prove in the long run to be environmentally costly and economically unsound. It means giving up our out-of-sight, out-of-mind approach to garbage. Finally, it means accepting full responsibility in our homes, our workplaces, our institutions and our communities for the materials and products we use and what becomes of them.

One of the government's responsibilities is to provide the legal mechanisms necessary to bring about these changes. This is why the Waste Management Act is so important. It will enable us to establish the new rules of the road for a conserver society.

The Chair: Thank you very much for your opening comments. I would like to suggest that we have 10 minutes available for each of the caucuses, if that is agreed. Mr Cousens will begin.

Mr Cousens: I am really concerned with what the minister has said this afternoon. I believe she has created one of the most insensitive pieces of legislation that we in this sitting of the Legislature have yet had to look at. It is politically insensitive to the rights of people in all the municipalities affected by this because it puts away and puts aside the Municipal Act, the Planning Act, the conservation acts and the municipalities acts. All the history that has been built up in Ontario over the years that has given us some basis of law will now be pre-empted by Bill 143. I believe this is a tremendous step backwards which removes rights and privileges that have been enshrined in legislation for as long as we have tried to build a strong province.

This legislation is insensitive to the consultation process. This minister tabled the legislation on 24 October and wanted to have it passed by 19 December. Had it not been for the combined efforts of the Liberals and ourselves in the House, there would not be these public hearings. The fact of the matter is these hearings hopefully will cause people to think and hear and understand what you are really doing as a minister and a ministry. There is the news on page 6 of your statement where you say, "The legislation does not preclude a hearing for the Keele Valley extension, and if there is time, there will be a hearing." What a statement that is to say that you are insensitive to what the community wants to say. They may not even have a hearing is what you are saying, and yet you will be proceeding with an expansion of that site.

I believe you are insensitive as well to the Ontario public. As a ministry and within the greater Toronto area, you still have not released the potential landfill sites. These were to have been tabled at the end of November. We are now into the middle of January, and the people who would be concerned by the landfill sites that might be selected will not know where they are until after this legislation has reached another stage. Their opportunity to participate in these debates, in these hearings -- no, they are not debates; it is a one-sided statement that takes place. It is really another repressive step for all those peoples. Why have those sites not been tabled now? I thought when you were making your statement today there might be some way in which you would be serving the people of Ontario by indicating where those potential landfill sites would be, and you still have not made that public.

I believe you are insensitive to the environment. For one who has all the words, the fact of the matter is I do not see a long-term solution coming from your actions. The fact is that the crisis that is being created by the way in which you are implementing this bill and bringing forward your ideas shows a tremendous long-term insensitivity to environmental matters.

I believe you are also insensitive to business, insensitive to the extent that we now have new guidelines for waste and packaging. I have to believe there could have been some gain, an awful lot of gain, had your ministry sat down and had further consultations with industry prior to the tabling of your bill on 24 October. Now they will have a quick, catch-up program to try to make their points.

Your statement today does not provide answers to why you cannot ship garbage out of Metropolitan Toronto. You have not given the answers on why a scientific assessment cannot be given to other options that could be looked at for ways of getting rid of waste. You have not really given an answer to how we will solve the problem with the increased amount of waste that we are going to have to deal with when the US closes its doors or starts taxing it at the border. One of the reasons we have such a reduction at Keele Valley is that so much is going south right now.

You have not given us any answers on why you will not have a full environmental assessment process on Britannia or Keele or other sites. It boils down to the fact that you and your leader have broken the promise. When you were running for the election of September 6, 1990, you promised there would be a full environmental assessment. You promised there would be a full environmental assessment of Keele Valley or Britannia if anything was to be done to them. You are now saying today there may not even be hearings for those sites.

The power that is going into the hands of the Ministry of the Environment through this bill is one of the most terrible removals of democratic rights for the people of Ontario I have ever seen. I find the action that is being taken by this minister and by her ministry totally unacceptable.

As we look now, I see the inconsistencies that come through in your statement today. On the one hand you are saying you cannot ship garbage out of the greater Toronto area, yet on the other hand you are saying you will have a five-year maximum, a limit on any provincial order requiring a municipality to accept waste from outside its borders.


This is precedent-setting legislation. It sets a precedent for government intrusion into the lives of everyone in Ontario and in particular into the lives of those who are in the greater Toronto area. I find the legislation totally disrespects the history that has helped build this province to where it is today. There are other approaches to solving the environmental crisis that we have in Ontario. Indeed, if we were to look at the whole environmental assessment process, there are ways in which you could subject your view of incineration or shipping of waste to an environmental assessment process rather than come along and have principles that you have put up and for which there is no way in which we, as a public, are able to see you review or retract.

I have great fears that what will happen in the process and the development of Ontario's history now, having made this legislation what it is today, will set a precedent for legislation that your ministry may well begin to use to solve other problems in other parts of the province regarding landfill.

I go back to the day when Mr Rae was the Leader of the Opposition and was just spitting distance from Keele Valley. He said, "Yes, we'll have a full environmental assessment before anything is done on this." If a government can get elected based on lies or a misrepresentation of what it is doing, then I have to say that government is not worthy of representing the people of Ontario. Having made those points when you were trying to get elected, what, then, are you doing now, after you are elected?

The Chair: Mr Cousens, I must ask that you withdraw the word "lies." That is unparliamentary.

Mr Cousens: What do you call them, Madam Chairman?

The Chair: It is unacceptable to use that language in committee. I ask that you withdraw.

Mr Cousens: I would like to know what you would call what Mr Rae said when he was there, when he said there would be an environmental assessment and now he is taking that away. Would I say he did not know any better?

The Chair: Will you withdraw the word "lies"?

Mr Cousens: I would withdraw it and say Mr Rae probably changed his mind once he won the election.

I just worry when you start seeing the power --

The Chair: You have one minute, Mr Cousens.

Mr Cousens: I have one minute. I thank you, Madam Chairman. One minute will hardly be enough for one to make all the points one has to make, but I can assure you that the people of Ontario need to understand where it is the Ministry of the Environment wants to take us. They are taking us down the wrong road very quickly and it leads to a cliff from which there is no easy recovery.

There are other ways of solving the environmental crisis Ontario has today and they include a review of the whole environmental assessment process. If you, Madam Minister, were to allow your views to be subjected to an environmental assessment process, we might then begin to see some other options open up rather than for you to have closed off those avenues for discussion.

Mr McClelland: Minister, thank you for your opening comments today. I appreciate your taking time to be here. I want to say at the outset that I am somewhat -- I hope I do not sound too cynical -- amused at the opening comment that this is the most extensive debate that has ever been taken by a government in Ontario, bearing in mind the history. As you know full well, it was your original intention to have this legislation passed in final form and reading prior to December 13. Indeed, I hasten to remind you that this legislation was introduced during the course of the municipal elections, when attention was diverted elsewhere.

After the fact, and very unashamedly, I say, after persistent negotiations and a fight by the opposition, both the official opposition and the third party, you agreed reluctantly to public debate. I am glad it is taking place. Many people present here today and people watching are very much aware of the machinations that were undertaken to even get to this point we are at today.

I have a couple of questions I would like to put to you that you may have time to respond to. I hope you do, but certainly I am sure they will be responded to throughout the course of discussions with respect to this legislation.

It was drawn to the attention of yourself and people present that during the election of 1990, you and your Premier stated very clearly that there would be no expansion of any existing sites without an environmental assessment. It begs, then, the question, I say to you, Minister, how can we depend now on any undertaking or any statements you are making that would suggest to the people of Keele Valley that they may have a hearing?

You are saying there is a tremendous amount of time, possibly running four or five years. It has been mentioned today that one of the possible solutions is a revision of the environmental assessment process. I have to ask the question, if that is true, if the capacity is there, why not begin the process of a practical solution in terms of looking at the environmental assessment process, getting under way with a hearing so that the evaluations can be made both with respect to Keele Valley, if it is deemed necessary to expand it, which I do not accept, and alternatively to look at a new site? It seems to me that given the time lengths you have set out here with some practical solutions brought to bear on the environmental assessment process, you could surely be under way towards finding a new site.

I have to say as well with respect to Britannia, which is much more critical in terms of time, that the people there have some very interesting questions I would be interested in hearing you address. You came in. There was a process in place which you rejected out of hand. The people of that community went through a great deal of time, effort and cost in coming up with an interim solution. In excess of $8 million, probably $8.5 million or $9 million was invested in finding a solution. You walk into that community in the region of Peel and you say: "All bets are off. We're not going to proceed with the solution you have begun to search for and to put into place. I'm coming in here, basically telling you that I know what's best for you: I've looked at this and I have come to the conclusion that, as tough as it is, I know what's best. By the way, I'm going to tell you how to run the show and you are going to pay for it."

It has been said that you would not allow a basement apartment in your ward when you were on council without public participation, to make a point, so you were absolutely committed to public process in every respect of the word. Now we have a situation where you have said: "I'm sorry, I happen to know better," and I think that has to raise a question in a number of people's minds, "What can we depend on?" Promises were made in 1990. Promises were made for years in terms of public participation. Specific promises with respect to expansion of sites were made. Now those bets are off and we are starting afresh. How can the people have any assurance? All we have is your statement that you are going to proceed and I think the people will want to have some assurance.

I notice on page 7 of your statement, Minister, that you stated, "In October 1990, I set out this government's waste reduction objectives," and you set them out. At that time you also said there would be no garbage gap. My colleague, Mrs Sullivan, asked you the question: "What are you going to do? You've put a hold on the interim process. What are you going to do if you run out of sites? What are you going to do about Keele? What are you going to do about Britannia?" You stated, "There will be no garbage gap."

There is a garbage gap. Your very process of the introduction of Bill 143 is an admission of failure in terms of the process you undertook in 1990, when you said you had the answer and the solution. Bill 143 says, with respect, Minister, that you have failed in your objectives. The garbage gap is here and now you have to impose a solution, your solution, your way, and all the while the local municipalities will be responsible for the cost.


I would like to know, apart from your ideological position, apart from the position you have taken with respect to incineration or energy from waste, what kind of technological analysis did you rely on? I would ask you and your staff to table all reports, any analysis and technical documentation that you relied on in arriving at that decision to rule it out without considering it publicly and looking at an objective analysis.

I do not sit here as a proponent for incineration or for energy from waste. I sit here today as somebody who says that he wants to be objective and open-minded and look at all possible solutions to find the best possible solutions available. I suggest there is a multiplicity of solutions to be brought to a very serious problem down the road and I think we have to begin to be open-minded and look at it creatively.

I ask the minister to table all technical analyses, all reports and documentation that she relied on in arriving at that policy decision. I would also like you to table with this committee the documents, reports, analyses and technical information that were brought to you to arrive at your decision with respect to the transporting of waste, the impact it would have on communities in terms of transportation, the cost analysis, the impact in terms of environmental downsides of trucking versus rail versus shipping and the technical analysis that was brought to bear for that as well.

I am pleased, I might add, that you have indicated that section 26 has been considered by yourself and your staff and you are removing it and changing it; similarly with respect to section 29. I was going to put a question to you. I am delighted, quite frankly, to say that you are prepared to accept the responsibility for the decisions you have made and are not delegating them to your authorities as you had originally planned on doing. For that, I want to congratulate you.

I come to section 33. You said you were prepared to continue the debate and dialogue with respect to the municipalities and regulating their financial management of waste crises. Why is it that you want to get involved, as minister, in how municipalities carry out the financial management of their waste management activities?

You want to get involved in the management of that and yet you are saying to them that at the end of the day they pick up the tab. You are imposing your solutions and your policies and your view in all respects and again saying to them: "I'm sorry. You've already invested money in good faith. You've invested a tremendous amount of time and energy and now I'm going to come in and tell you what to do, and you will pay for it." I would be interested in your comments on that.

Mr Cousens made some reference to section 4. We support your waste reduction initiatives. They are laudable. But you have to be aware that there are many companies not only complying with but seeking to move ahead of the national packaging protocol based on voluntary compliance. They are concerned, and justifiably so, that the undertakings they have given in good faith to move towards those goals, and in some cases exceed them, may be put aside and that you were going to impose more stringent goals.

I think they want to know -- and I am sure we will hear this throughout the course of the debates with respect to part IV -- how you are going to reconcile the good, positive direction, in most respects, of part IV together with the national packaging protocol in a manner that does not upset the time frames and the business plans that many organizations have.

One of the other issues, and there are many, I want to touch on briefly that I am sure will come up in the course of the discussions with respect to Bill 143 over the next number of weeks is as follows: On August 13, 1990, while running in the campaign, you issued a press release that said, among other things, that only a public garbage system would protect the people and the environment of Ontario, that only a public system provides full opportunity for public participation. You went with a clear direction for a publicly run waste and garbage disposal system in the province.

The minister is well aware of the amount of work being done by the private sector, particularly with respect to the industrial, commercial and institutional management of waste, and the important role the private sector has in terms of the economies of waste management and the fact that some municipalities depend very much on a private waste management system. I would like to ask your ministry and you to give us the information you have that would reflect the costs associated with the death, if you will, of the private sector waste management companies in Ontario.

My question would simply be this: It seems clear to me that much of what is contained in Bill l43 in the underlying philosophy are your statements made prior to the election. They are consistent with some of the things you have said in your statement today. They really indicate, to me at least, and I will be interested to hear from you, that you do not see a viable role for private waste management in Ontario. What are the cost implications of that? What impact is it going to have on ratepayers in municipalities such as Metropolitan Toronto and the regions of Peel, York and Durham, if we see that eliminated? What disruption will that have? What will be the impact on the property tax base if we do away entirely with the private sector in this province?

There are many other issues that are going to come up from time to time during this debate, but I wanted to touch on those, Minister, and put you on notice for those.

I would like to know as well, how you are going to define the waste management problem? What does that mean in part IV of this bill? Are you going to ban the importation of certain products? How are you going to define a waste management problem, so that the private sector and business know what they are doing within this province?

Basically my concern, after all is said and done, is this: I think we have to come to this process, to the extent possible for any one of us, free of our biases and our predispositions, free of our ideological positions, and say: "Let's look at this objectively and analytically, and look at the empirical data that can be brought to bear on the solutions that can be presented to the waste management problems we have in this province."

I urge you to reconsider and at least open your mind, rather than take a hard-line position and say, "Certain components of possible solutions are off the table." Be realistic. Understand that we live in a time when technology is advancing at a tremendous rate, when there are solutions possible, and possibly around the corner, that we have not even thought of. I ask you to approach these with an open mind, looking at all possible solutions, so that the best environmental solutions can be brought to bear.

Mr Lessard: Minister, I want to thank you for appearing here this afternoon, but I am not going to go too far with that because I think most people would have expected you to be here on the day this committee hearing starts. They would also expect that there would be public hearings with respect to this very important bill. It is going to give a lot of people an opportunity to make submissions and to get their views known, and I know some of the people who will be appearing before us will probably be business people.

We have heard a lot of negative comments by business people in the province, saying that this really is not a conducive environment in which to set up their businesses. I was pleased this morning to see in the Globe and Mail a report that said Ontario has some definite business advantages when it comes to competing with other jurisdictions. It noted New York, Michigan and Illinois as examples, and the benefits are substantial.

I expect some business people may say that some of the initiatives put forward in this bill with respect to waste audits and reduction plans might place onerous responsibilities on them and costs that they do not think they should have to endure. I notice that in your comments you gave some examples of some businesses that have undertaken these sorts of initiatives and have turned this into a very positive business practice for them.

In my own area, I know the local landfill site has banned some types of waste from business: cardboard, pallets, tires and things like that. But there are other avenues for them to go to in Harwich township that are fairly cheap to dispose of those sorts of wastes, and in light of those types of alternatives that are available currently -- they may not continue to remain available -- are there some initiatives being undertaken as part of the introduction of this bill to encourage business generators of waste to feel that doing waste audits and reduction plans could be beneficial to their businesses? Are we doing something to encourage businesses to do this so that when the legislation comes into place, they see this as an advantage and not as a disadvantage of doing business?


The Chair: Would you like the minister to respond during your 10 minutes now or do you want to put all your questions on the table?

Mr Lessard: I would like a response after each question.

Hon Mrs Grier: Let me say that I think your points are very well taken. One of the difficulties that has been faced by municipalities across the province over the last five or six years as recycling became very much the desirable thing to do was the lack of markets for the goods that were recycled. A very important component of the waste reduction office is working with industry and business to develop markets for the products that are removed from the waste stream.

What we are finding -- and I mentioned a couple of examples in my remarks -- is that more and more businesses do not need to be told that it is very expensive to waste materials, and they are developing not only technologies but systems that enable them to reduce their own waste. Part of the impetus for that is the increased cost of disposing of it. When the tipping fees within the GTA went up, that certainly made people begin to look for cheaper ways of disposing of that material. Also, there is the demand from customers who are saying more and more: "We don't want excess packaging. We don't want you to waste." People come to us and say: "I have a blue box at home. Why can't I recycle some of those materials in my office?" So the pressures on business and industry from both increased efficiency and productivity, from increased costs and from consumer and customer pressure to get serious about recycling and reduction are very much there.

The other side of that of course is the opportunities it provides for innovative ways of doing that. We have some funding and grant programs available to help people improve the way in which they reduce their waste, so that we can become a leader not in the generation of waste but in helping other jurisdictions reduce their waste. We see it as very much a part of economic renewal in this province to get serious about it.

Let me make one more quick point. I do not see the requirement for waste audits or revised ways of separating waste as an imposition of vast numbers of months and weeks of consultants and studies on a business. The waste reduction office is there to assist in how it might be done, to set up a pilot or a prototype of what a waste reduction plan would look like. We do not see this as being a very complicated and expensive imposition on business and industry, but as meeting the needs of business and industry to reduce their waste and do more with less.

Mr Lessard: Somewhat related to these other options that might be available -- and I mentioned the one in Windsor where they can send waste to Harwich township in Kent county -- you referred in your opening remarks to the fact that there is waste generated in Ontario that is going to Buffalo. In the Windsor area, we have an incinerator located in Detroit and we are involved in litigation to try to have some emission controls placed upon it. That is not really an alternative we would like to see in Windsor, to have our waste going to Detroit to be incinerated or to be landfilled in the state of Michigan either.

You said that in your discussions with New York and Indiana, they said they do not really want to continue receiving waste from Ontario. Is this a door that you sense is going to be closing in the near future or is this something you as minister might want to close the door on by imposing something like flow control?

Hon Mrs Grier: Let me address the first part of your question first. Yes, I am very conscious of the Detroit incinerator, and as people know, the people of Windsor are very concerned about the world's largest incinerator spewing its smoke and emissions on Windsor, because that is the direction of the wind. I carried on the suit against that facility that had been begun by my predecessor, Jim Bradley. In fact, I have been subpoenaed to appear on the witness stand in Detroit next Monday to explain the policies of the province of Ontario and be a witness in that suit, so I could not agree with you more that shipping our waste to someone else's incinerator is not the solution.

That is happening in some areas, mostly in the industrial, commercial and institutional sector where, when the tipping fees in Metropolitan Toronto increased and they began to export to New York state and Indiana, the approaches I have had from both of those jurisdictions have been in response to opposition from the people in those areas saying, "We don't want Ontario waste." The governments of both New York state and Indiana are contemplating putting in place taxes on waste that comes across the border or measures to prevent that coming. So the pressure is coming from them, but obviously also on the part of municipalities here wanting some responsibility for directing where waste may go in some of the discussions we have been having with municipalities and with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario. It is not addressed in this legislation, but it is certainly an item under discussion.

The Chair: For the information of committee members, the minister will be with us until 5 o'clock today. Having completed the time for opening, I have a request from the minister for some summation and perhaps answering of some of the questions that were posed, if she wishes, and then before the ministry begins its presentation, I have some information that I would like to share with committee members regarding agenda and a few other items. We will then have the presentation from the ministry and allow time for rotational questions and discussion, if you wish, with the minister until 5 o'clock, if that is acceptable to everyone.

Hon Mrs Grier: My understanding had been that there are questions of me now, and then the ministry presentation, which is more technical, and then questions of the ministry, but I am in your hands.

The Chair: If you would like to do it that way, depending on the wish of the committee, I think we are really here to accommodate the minister's time and to use her time most productively.

Mr McClelland: Madame Chair, to the extent the minister comments on questions that were raised or whatever, I leave it to your judgement. It seems to me the minister is going to have an opportunity to respond to some of those and may in fact generate other points. Perhaps we will have a brief opportunity, and I emphasize the word "brief," on either points of clarification or any issues that might be raised as a result of the minister's comments, or addressed at least by the opposition members.

The Chair: Would you like to begin, and then we will see if there is a request for further questioning of the minister at this time?

Hon Mrs Grier: Yes. Mr McClelland raised a number of comments I would be glad to respond to.

I think it is important to be very clear that waste management is a municipal responsibility, and I accept that and I see that as continuing. It is the responsibility of the Ministry of the Environment to make sure those decisions taken by municipalities or others are taken in an environmental way and are consistent with our objectives and with existing environmental legislation. When you say we are imposing on municipalities, I think that power, that responsibility has always been there.

Mr Cousens talked about the powers in this legislation. I point out to him that section 29 of the Environmental Protection Act gives the minister power to do precisely what I have done in an emergency, which is to direct a municipality to take certain actions. The additional powers in Bill 143 are to save the municipalities of Durham, Metro and Peel from suits that could be brought to bear against them as a result of other pieces of legislation or legal agreements they have entered into, but certainly the powers available in the Environmental Protection Act as it exists now give the minister the right and the responsibility of acting in the case of an emergency.

I want to respond to your question on the Keele Valley hearing because I think it is important for people to understand the studies I have directed Metropolitan Toronto to do. Our preliminary studies indicate that Keele Valley can accommodate the amount of extra waste that is forecast without posing any harm to the environment. We have as part of my ministerial order directed Metro to undertake technical studies and to confirm that situation and to design how that waste might best be accommodated on the site, what additional leachate system is required, what the road access is and all the physical changes that would be required.

Those are the same kinds of studies Metro would have to do if it were going to have a hearing under part V of the Environmental Protection Act. I have said from the very beginning that we have been monitoring constantly all the changing factors as we go through this enterprise. The variables, as I indicated in my remarks, are essentially threefold, the rate at which we can divert waste. At the present time that rate is quite high, but some of it is because of the export that is now taking place. As I have indicated, that is an avenue that may very well be closed to us very shortly. I do not want to make decisions based on assumptions that the rate of diversion will continue. Our assumptions are that the amount of waste to 3Rs diversion will continue and will grow, and that is factored into our decisions.


The other variable is how soon a long-term site can be up and operating. At this point, our best estimate is 1997. The staff presentations will go into that. If the generation rates decline and the waste diversion rates continue to increase, then we may find that any additional capacity at Keele Valley is not required. But again, I cannot make decisions based on that because there are very variable assumptions in there. What I have done from the beginning is to say that in the event we get to the date when Keele Valley closes and we have not got the long-term site, under the existing legislation I have the power to order that to happen.

I do not want to wait until that happens to issue those instructions, so I issued my ministerial order last August. That order says, "Do the studies." When those studies are completed, and our estimates are that it will be the end of 1993 that those studies will be completed, we will be, as we have been all the time, reviewing the variables and seeing how much time is left to us. Already we have extended the time which Keele Valley will be open to a certain extent, but if Peel decides not to proceed with the studies -- Metro has agreed with the order and is proceeding with its studies. Peel has not as yet. That means that the waste from Peel would have to go to Keele and that means we lose another nine months out of Keele.

All these moving targets are out there. We are assessing them all on an ongoing basis. I have indicated from the beginning that if it were possible, we would have as much public consultation as we possibly could. Obviously, when we get to the end of 1993, when the technical studies have been completed, we will again be reviewing how much time we now have and whether we should work with Metropolitan Toronto to begin to prepare for an EPA hearing. Mr Cousens has been rightly critical of the complexities of the existing legislation. We are working on revising and proceeding with the EP process to revise the Environmental Assessment Act, Mr Cousens, but I think it is highly unlikely it will be in place in time to deal with the Keele Valley situation.

When we get to a hearing at the end of 1994, there is again no guarantee that we will complete that hearing in time before we need the capacity. I feel it is fairer and more honest to the people of the greater Toronto area to say upfront at this stage, "I have emergency powers and I have no choice but to use them." If I get to the point where I find that I do not need to use them, I can assure you that we will have as much hearing as possible.

The other issue you talked about was site 6B, the interim site that had been identified in Brampton for the situation in Peel, comparable to the site in Durham region, the P1 site known as Whitevale. I think it is very important to recognize that under the previous process, the Solid Waste Interim Steering Committee, there was a gap. That gap was going to be filled by two interim sites, Brampton and Whitevale. Those are brand-new, unbroken greenfield sites for which there has never been an Environmental Protection Act hearing. The hearing that was contemplated in Peel was to begin in January 1991. It probably would have been finished at the end of 1993 at some point. We need capacity there next June.

I had to make the choice between opening up a brand-new greenfield site without a full environmental assessment or continuing the use of an existing well-operated site, Britannia Road, which has no record of environmental problems. I had always hoped that it would not be necessary to open or extend a landfill without a full environmental assessment. As minister, it became clear that this kind of unpalatable choice faced me, and in the best interests of the environment I decided it was safer and better to continue the existing site than to open a new greenfield site without any kind of environmental process. That is why I took the decision I did.

Mr McClelland: Simply as a response to site 6B in the last portion of your response rejoinder, I would simply say that there were other options. I think you and I both know that it is much too simplistic to say it was either do site 6B with a full EA or not. There were other options available. You know that as well as I do. A full EA could have been proceeded with on a number of bases.

You just raised the issue of exportation. I wonder if you have responded to the letter, sent to you by Metro council in October 1991, asking you to ban the export of waste to the United States, a very interesting dichotomy here inasmuch as Metro is running into a problem in terms of capacity. One of the things that has bought time is the export of waste, and yet Metro was saying, "Minister, please ban the export of waste to the United States." I wonder if you have answered Metro council, what your answer was and if it is reasonable for me to speculate that the reason you are allowing the export of waste to the United States is simply to buy time for the GTA sites.

You said also on page 8 --

The Chair: Mr McClelland, you said brief questions. That is two so far.

Mr McClelland: That is two, and the other one --

The Chair: I am going to have to ask for one question at a time to the minister, two at most.

Mr McClelland: Very quickly, just as a point of information: On page 8 you said you had significant response to your October 1991 waste reduction paper. I wonder if you could be good enough to have your staff give members of this committee a summary of those responses so that we could understand the framework within which we are operating with respect to the input you have.

The Chair: Two further questions.

Hon Mrs Grier: With respect to what you are saying about there being alternatives to the interim sites in Brampton or Whitevale, I am not aware of any alternatives that would have dealt with the issue by June 1992. If there are alternatives, let's put them on the table and discuss them. I think that is what these hearings are about. Metro's request to ban export is certainly something that I have said to Metro we were looking at very carefully.

The difficulty, the issue of flow control that I think Mr Lessard raised, is assigning responsibility to the regional municipalities of the upper tier to deal with it and where garbage may go, a very controversial issue, as I think Metro found when it attempted to have some hearings into that itself. Your concern you indicated earlier about the private sector comes into play there.

I see a very real role for the private sector in continuing to run and operate a lot of the recycling facilities that exist in this province. I know there are some municipalities where the private sector still controls the disposal as well as the infrastructure. But the private sector had a number of concerns about the whole issue of flow control and the request of Metro to have some responsibility for that. Our decision, in light of concerns that have been raised about this legislation, has been that there are some aspects of it that apply province-wide and that we would not deal with that issue in this legislation.

I have been in this consultation with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and with AMO and around consultation and discussion about that issue, but for the purposes of dealing with these particular problems within the GTA, it was not felt that at this point we could include flow control in this legislation, because we had not had adequate consultation on its impact province-wide. But I can assure you that is an issue that will be addressed in the near future.

Mr Carr: I have a specific question regarding the Halton area. As you know, Halton has gone through the process of picking a site, spending many millions of dollars and a great deal of time. I guess the capacity they are depending upon, if they took only Halton's garbage, is somewhere in the neighbourhood of 15 years. The fact of the matter is that when we run into a problem, Toronto's garbage from the remaining municipalities would fill that very quickly. Notwithstanding the fact that you talk about regions looking after some of their own waste, their big concern is that their site will be selected and used as a stopgap measure before some of the other sites are picked. Do you see that happening? What can we tell the people of Halton with regard to the site?


Hon Mrs Grier: I think you can tell the people of Halton that Bill 143 gives them fairly clear assurance that this is not going to happen. I certainly recognize their concern. I have had extensive discussions with the chairman of Halton and have indicated that I do not think any municipality should have to go through the expensive process that Halton went through to look after its own needs. That community has taken responsibility for looking after its own waste, both with a very effective waste reduction program as well as finding a long-term site.

That site will be available in the fall of 1992. Quite frankly, it would have been very simple to say to Peel: "Halton will be up and running in the fall of 1992. There's an easy place to take it." I have not done that. I do not intend to do that. I am prepared to take all the criticism for having told Peel to do something that people around the Britannia site do not want to see happen, because I think Peel also has to take responsibility for its waste.

Similarly, in the sections of this legislation that deal with a long-term site search as opposed to one large site for the entire GTA, which was the previous approach -- if it had not worked it would have meant that only the Halton site was up and running, and what you suggest might well have come to pass -- I have said no, we are going to find three sites and we are going to find them within the GTA. Halton has looked after itself, so we are going to find one for Peel, one for Durham and one for York-Metro.

I am aware of your concern and of Halton's concerns and I am confident that the measures in this legislation are designed to make sure no minister ever has to do what you are suggesting.

Mr Carr: You are saying you believe the long-term sites will be up and running. I am not talking about the short term -- I know you have uplifted Britannia, which you easily could have moved to Halton -- but I am talking about the long term. Do you mean you believe the three sites will be selected and up and running before any of the other municipalities run out of space?

Hon Mrs Grier: I think you will see as we get into discussing the details of the legislation that the environmental assessment for the long-term sites is being begun with much greater clarity, direction and participation than any other long-term site search.

The difficulty with the Environmental Assessment Act and the waste management master planning process has been that it has been so open-ended. I have heard this from a lot of municipalities and I entirely agree with them. The Environmental Assessment Act requires an evaluation of all possible alternatives. What I am hearing from municipalities is, "Tell us what the provincial position is and give us the direction and the framework within which we begin that environmental assessment."

That is why in this legislation I am saying clearly up front and from the beginning that long-term transportation and incineration are not an option. You do not have to spend a year evaluating where Peel could transport to or what kind of incinerator it could build. You know very clearly that the alternatives you have to assess are disposal in a landfill and the most aggressive 3Rs you can get up and running. There will be a lot of debate at that hearing about how aggressive that 3Rs program is and therefore how large a site is required, but by giving that clear indication of the requirements and obligations on the Interim Waste Authority as it embarks on that site, we have put the Interim Waste Authority in a different position than Halton was when it began its search.

Similarly, in the documents that lay out the process under which that search will be undertaken, we have spelled out at the very beginning what the site selection criteria are. We have spent the last several months in consultation, public meetings and dialogue about what those criteria ought to be. We have said to people: "Come in at the very beginning. Don't wait until somebody identifies a site in your backyard to get involved in solving this problem. We will provide participant funding at the very beginning, not just when you get to the hearing process, in order to help you play a meaningful role in this process." If you look at those documents, you will see that the time lines are very clear, the turnaround time for my ministry is going to be better than it has been in the past and all that is going to contribute towards arriving at a decision.

Do not for a moment let me let any of you be under the misapprehension that it is going to be a popular decision. I know that when sites are identified, the Interim Waste Authority is going to take just as much criticism as anybody else who has tried to identify a long-term site, but by setting out clearly the process, the opportunities for participation and the ground rules I hope nobody ever has to go through again what Halton went through.

Mr Martin: I want to take the opportunity to thank the minister for coming today and so very articulately laying out what I think was asked of her, to put into some context the next few weeks as we listen to those who are concerned about what we do with the waste that is being produced in our society today, and for the way in which she laid out both the long-term plan and the hopes for this government as we move towards a greater conserver society and also for the clarity and the conviction re her response to the immediate crises we face.

I think we have here an example of not forgetting that our original intention is to drain the swamp and not get caught up in the alligators that are around us up to our armpits.

Hon Mrs Grier: You are not referring to the committee, I think.

Mr Martin: No. I think there is a lot of realism and confidence both in what you have presented and in the way you have presented it, without apology, and in the difficulty that will come with what we have to do and the challenge that is in front of us.

I want to focus for a minute on the whole idea of moving towards a conserver society, and ask a question that some of the communities ask that I have spoken to. As we look at the 3Rs and become more involved in that, this whole question is, is the ministry going to be willing to provide the resource that is necessary for these communities to get into the kind of technology that is going to be necessary to really do that in a way that will have a significant impact on the large amount of garbage we are producing at the moment?

Hon Mrs Grier: I think you have touched on what is certainly a very sensitive question for the municipalities which have found themselves in a system with pressure for recycling and without the resources to do it. Part of that has been that as the system was set up, only some pieces of the puzzle were put in place.

The blue box has taken off and has been extremely successful, but the basis for its funding was going to be the revenue that would be derived, for example, from aluminum soft drink cans. We hardly got it up and running before the industry changed its mind and decided it was not going to sell soft drinks in aluminum cans; it was going to go back to thin steel cans. The revenue that was anticipated from the separation of those cans was lost to the municipalities. We have been faced with some very grave dislocations in the funding of the entire system.

I was delighted that despite financial hard times, the Treasurer in last year's budget was able to enhance the funding for the 3Rs, so we were able to bring back some municipalities which had run out of the three-year operating grants, to fund and support them and work with them to help them develop some markets for their materials.

As I responded to an earlier question, as we develop markets, as the pressures from consumers for recycled materials occur and as governments begin to look at procurement, I think we then find a way of looking at the financing in a better way. By asking for recycled paper we help the financial situation, because then, as others do that, there is a market for the paper that is separated.

I think there are a whole lot of levels at which that financial situation has to be looked at in trying to draw it all together. To give some clarity, the waste reduction office is preparing another consultation paper in our series of waste reduction initiatives. I met with AMO this morning and talked to it about the need for a long-term consistent financing plan. That is very much part of the initiatives from the waste reduction office, but I do not have it to lay before this committee at this point.


The Chair: We have had one rotation through the caucuses. Is it the wish that we continue questions -- Mr Cousens has requested an additional question -- or shall we move now to the ministry's presentation?

Mr Wiseman: I think we should go to the ministry people.

Interjection: I would be happy to let Mr Cousens put his question.

The Chair: You are willing to let Mr Cousens have his questions?

Mr Wiseman: We would have to go through the rotation again, to be fair.

The Chair: If there are additional questions, we will go through a full rotation; if not, it would just be Mr Cousens.

Mr Wiseman: He can ask the question at his next time up. Perhaps we should go to the ministry.

The Chair: All right. Do you want to put your question on the record?

Mr Cousens: I was anxious that the minister give us the cost-effectiveness of the blue box program. I am wondering where the markets are for recovered materials. Does she see much happening on that? According to a recent Market Place program, the end product, plastics and glass, is being stockpiled right now. I am concerned about the future of that.

Hon Mrs Grier: We can certainly address that as part of the ministry presentation.

The Chair: Before the ministry begins its presentation -- the ministry will assume the positions at the table at the front -- there is some additional information I would like to share with the committee regarding the agenda. The agenda for the duration of the hearings has been tabled by the clerk. I believe all members have a copy of it. What I would like to point out is that not all the appointments which are in the printed agenda have been confirmed. This means the clerk has communicated with each group or individual person listed on the agenda in some manner, but at the time of the printing of the agenda not all the responses had been received.

No one calling after the cutoff date has been contacted for an appointment at this time. They have been put on a wait list, and as appointment time is available they will be contacted. The subcommittee met last Tuesday for the purpose of instructing the clerk regarding the lists of requests sent to it prior to that meeting. The instruction given to the clerk was that the agenda should be prepared on a first-come, first-served basis in regard to when people had responded to the advertisements about committee hearings. Everyone who contacted the clerk before the cutoff date of January 13 was offered an appointment. I think that is a very important point for everyone to know.

The subcommittee was notified by the clerk, who informed members that there was an overwhelming response from Kirkland Lake and that she had not been able to schedule everyone in Kirkland Lake on the date of the Kirkland Lake hearing. It was agreed by members of the subcommittee that she would continue to schedule on a first-come, first-served basis and that she would offer any of those who could not be accommodated during the time in Kirkland Lake an alternative appointment in Sudbury or at one of the other locations that were available.

Those remaining on the wait list for Kirkland Lake would be encouraged to participate and to present in Sudbury. If they did not wish to do that, it was the view of the subcommittee that they would remain on the wait list to see if a date became available and that they would also be encouraged to submit their views to the committee in written brief, videotape or cassette tape form.

The people watching these hearings should know that they can communicate with the committee at any time over the course of the hearings in writing or in the form of a videocassette or tape recording of any type. The clerk has informed me that all submissions should be in by February 14. The clerk informs me that she followed the advice given by the subcommittee and notified those people in Kirkland Lake who could not be accommodated in Kirkland Lake. None has accepted the invitation to appear. Oh, I am sorry. Only one has accepted the invitation to appear in Sudbury. All others remain on the wait list for Kirkland Lake and will be slotted in as time is available.

Mr Cousens: Did the clerk make available information to them about possible subsidies for transportation to the Sudbury location to make it easier for them?

The Chair: The question was discussed by the subcommittee, and as the member knows, there is not an overriding subsidy available for all people who wish to come to committee. That decision is made by the clerk on a need basis and on individual requests and after the fact, to show that they required that assistance. The subcommittee was made aware of this and that is the policy of the committee. Anyone requiring assistance will have to apply to the clerk. There is not an overall travel subsidy made available to anyone who just requests it. That should be pointed out. Did you want to add anything to that?

Clerk of the Committee: I have had three unofficial requests. I asked them to follow up in writing to me and I have had nothing in writing to date.

The Chair: Just for the record, would you put the process or procedure for requests that you require.

Clerk of the Committee: Anyone wishing to apply for a travel subsidy is requested to submit it in writing to the committee. At that time they should indicate that they do not have an alternative source of funds. The normal practice for committee members to follow when they are assessing the situation is that if they agree that they feel the person or group should have any assistance, normally one person from that group would be allowed travel fees only. It should be submitted with receipts to the committee after the time of their appointment. Then they would be reimbursed after that if the committee, in this case the subcommittee, approves it.

The Chair: That is the standing policy on transportation and expense for all committees. The subcommittee discussed this at length and felt that policy should be supported and maintained. The clerk was instructed to make sure everyone who made that request was aware of what the policy was and that it was in place. I hope that clarifies that situation as to the process for anyone who is on the committee or watching these proceedings.

The clerk will continue to slot in time available on a first-come, first-served basis. From time to time it may be necessary for the subcommittee to meet to resolve any issues which may arise, but I believe the scheduling has gone quite smoothly to date. I was pleased that everyone who had applied prior to the cutoff date was offered a time slot. That does not always happen at committee, so I think we can be quite pleased with that. I would like to congratulate the clerk for a job well done to date.

I would also like to introduce to the committee Jerry Richmond, who is going to be the researcher. He has already submitted to the committee a package of some of the articles members might find of interest. He is going to be doing two things for us, gathering the kinds of articles the committee will be interested in as well as preparing a summary which will be submitted to members at the appropriate time. It will be the responsibility of ministry staff to provide answers to members' questions which are placed on the record. I just wanted to point that out to all committee members at this time.

As well, all members received this package from Jerry Richmond at research. There was a request that had been made regarding available legal opinions. They are in the folder and all members of committee have received them. I ask that each member of committee ensure this is available to anyone who is substituting for you. There is only one of these made available for each member of the committee. As substitutions occur, this should be made available to any other members who will be serving on the committee if they have an interest in the legal opinions.

Are there any questions or comments from any of the committee members on the scheduling of the agenda or any of the items we have raised to date?


Mr Wiseman: According to the list, there were a number of time spots available. Have we given any thought to how we are going to deal with some of those empty spaces?

The Chair: As you know, the subcommittee discussed that matter. It was determined that the clerk would fill in the spaces that were available on a first-come, first-served basis. The other thing noted was that some people wanted to change times. By tabling the agenda, presenters who find that the time they have been given turns out to be difficult for them can contact someone else and make their arrangements to try and change their time if they can. But it is not the responsibility of the clerk to do that. She tries to accommodate everyone wherever possible. If a change or a switch is made, it is imperative that the clerk be notified and that both parties signify their agreement to that kind of change so that there is no misunderstanding.

Similarly, everyone should know that they can submit in writing or using any of the technologies available for audio or video presentation to the committee until 14 February.

Is there anything else we had? That is everything. That answers all the questions. In that case, I think it is now time to ask the ministry people to introduce themselves. Perhaps, Minister, you would like to do that, introduce your ministry officials, and they can begin their presentation.

Hon Mrs Grier: I am more than happy to do that and perhaps indicate those sections of the legislation individual people will be presenting. Jan Rush is the assistant deputy minister in the office for the greater Toronto area and will be dealing with parts I and II. Alex Giffen is the assistant director of the Toronto regional office and will be dealing with part III, which is the gap. Drew Blackwell is our assistant deputy minister in the waste reduction office and will handle all else. Leo FitzPatrick, who is the counsel from our legal services branch, is also available if there are specific legal questions that need to be answered. Jan is going to start.

Ms Rush: As the Minister indicated, I will be speaking to parts I and II of the bill. I should also add to my title that I am chair of the Interim Waste Authority. The responsibility for parts I and II rests with with the minister in her capacity as the minister responsible for the greater Toronto area and they refer to the status, powers and direction of the Interim Waste Authority.

The Interim Waste Authority was created last spring under the Business Corporations Act. We were directed to proceed to start the site search for the long term as soon as possible and the Business Corporations Act gave us the ability to very quickly, effectively, with a financially sound basis and in quite a straightforward way, begin to incorporate ourselves and start. The minister, in her capacity as minister responsible for the greater Toronto area, is the shareholder. There is a board of directors, of which I am chair. We are guided by a memorandum of understanding, and that memorandum of understanding specifies the roles of the minister, chair, board, deputy minister and general manager. Should anyone wish, that could be made available to you.

We began, under agreement, to act as a schedule 2 agency and have been doing so. The first two pieces of this legislation propose to continue the Interim Waste Authority as a business corporation and formally to confer upon it crown agency status.

The next part of part I gives to the authority the two powers it requires to execute its mandate that are not available to any other corporation without legislation, and that is the power to enter into property and the power to expropriate land. I should say that the Interim Waste Authority fully intends to negotiate with all land owners prior to using those powers, but the provision is there for those powers for the corporation.

Most of the sections in part I deal with the safeguards and the protections to property owners should those powers be necessary. I think it is important to recognize that those safeguards are quite extensive and are much greater than exist in most legislation in terms of power of entry. We will not enter into any buildings. In terms of property, this is for land and is a necessary component of doing the appropriate tests for the site search.

The second part of the legislation puts into law the decisions the government has made regarding the environmental assessment and the undertakings for the Interim Waste Authority. The Interim Waste Authority is the implementer of the mechanism for those decisions. I should point out it is not a policymaking body. It defines three undertakings for the corporation. It talks about a landfill site in each of three areas. Those search site areas are defined as Peel, Durham and York-Metro. It also defines that the landfill sites we searching for must have a capacity of at least 20 years.

The wording of the legislation then gets a bit tricky, but the point being made is that the next part of the bill requires us to look at the 3Rs as the alternative to any undertaking. That is the mechanism by which the government's ban on incineration and long-distance exports will be executed. Further on in the bill it then uses the words "incineration" and "long-distance transportation" as a double check to ensure that those cannot be considered part of the decisions of the 3Rs. That is when you will find that wording in the bill.

Another part of part II sets up the role of the Ministry of the Environment in terms of providing the waste diversion numbers. Given that the alternative for the undertakings for the environmental assessment are the 3Rs, the waste diversion numbers become extremely important in our process. Prior to the Interim Waste Authority being created, the office for waste reduction was created to begin the consultations and coordination for the Ministry of the Environment to develop its policies, programs and regulations for waste reduction.

It was clear to us that they, in achieving their objectives, were going to be dealing with diversion numbers, diversion data. In order to make it clear, we decided it would be more appropriate for the Minister of the Environment to provide those numbers to us. It would have been costly, confusing and quite an inappropriate duplication of effort to have the waste reduction office on the one hand out talking about all these numbers and consulting the people, and having the waste authority doing the same thing. That is the purpose of that part of part II.

As the minister mentioned in her opening statement, it also gives us the ability to provide participant funding. That is something we will be able to do much earlier in the site search process than has been done before. It certainly allows us to give the resources and the wherewithal for interested groups to become a key part of this exercise well ahead of intervenor funding. We are now working out the details of how we will do that.

I will stay very brief and just pass on to my colleague from the Ministry of the Environment about the gap. I should say that our scheduled project planned at the moment shows that site construction will end around late 1996, but recognizing the massive nature of these projects, our prudent planning date, if I could put it that way, is 1997.

Mr Giffen: As the minister indicated at the opening, my presentation is to explain the disposal gap and the measures provided in part III of the Waste Management Act to manage waste between now and the time the Interim Waste Authority's long-term sites are open and operational.

Of the five GTA regions, as I think we heard in the questions earlier, only Halton region has a long-term landfill site. We have heard about the undertaking from Ms Rush. We heard from Ms Rush about the undertaking of the Interim Waste Authority to establish long-term sites, one in Peel, one in Durham and one in Metro-York.

The current project schedule date for the opening of long-term sites is late in 1996. For planning purposes, we feel a more probable and realistic date for the opening of the sites is September 1997. That is the date we are using to plan for and manage the gap.


The first challenge we have facing us is to determine the quantity of waste that will need to be managed between now and when the long-term site opens. In 1991 we saw a very significant decline in waste going to Metropolitan Toronto and Peel region landfill sites.

This next chart provides information on the waste quantities. These are the residual waste quantities that went to landfill sites for Metro Toronto and Peel region over the last four years. In 1988 a little over four million tonnes of waste was landfilled at these. In 1989 we saw the quantities level off, then in 1990 we started to see a decline in waste. This decline is partly attributed to the 3Rs programs and some successes that we are seeing. Prior to 1988, the quantities of waste going to landfill were continually increasing and the prognosis was very bleak as far as future landfill life was concerned. In 1991 we saw a very dramatic decline of over 30% in waste quantities from the 1990 rate. This has had a significant effect on the forecast closure dates for landfill sites in the GTA.

The waste quantities to be disposed of in landfills are subject to a number of variables. The first one is the success of the 3Rs programs. If the municipalities and industries are successful in implementing the 3Rs programs and meeting the provincial goals for the planning period, this will significantly reduce the quantity of waste going to landfill sites. The second variable is economic conditions over the next five to seven years. Third, you heard the minister mention that export is a major consideration. It has been reported widely that there are large quantities of waste from the Metro area going to the United States. This again is another variable that, when you combine it with these, can have a real effect on what the available landfill capacity will be during the period between now and the opening of long-term sites.

The estimated closure dates that the municipalities of Metro Toronto and Peel region have been using to determine what landfill capacity is available to them have been based on a flat-lining of the 1991 levels. You recall the 1991 level is 30% below the previous year. It is this lower level that Metro Toronto and Peel region have been using in forecasting their landfill needs and what their closure dates might be at the existing sites.

In addition to the factors that affect the quantities of waste that will need to be landfilled, we also have to consider factors that affect landfill capacity itself. We know that the composition of waste will change as the 3Rs program progresses. The waste composition going into a landfill site affects the ability to compact the waste into the smallest possible space. To give an illustration, if you think of a ton of feathers and a ton of lead, the ton of feathers occupies a much larger space than a ton of lead. As the characteristics of waste change -- and this is all uncertain -- we could see our ability to compact the waste into that small volume either positively or negatively affected. It is one variable we have to contend with.

Another one is that when the waste is placed in the landfill site it is mechanically compacted into the smallest possible volume. It is basically this factor that really sets the minimum capacity for a landfill site. We know what compaction levels we can achieve in the landfill site and we know the available volume in the landfill site. That sets the minimum capacity we have available to us to get us through the gap period.

After the waste has been landfilled there continues to be settlement of the waste. The rate of settlement and the amount of settlement is uncertain. At small landfill sites it is not a significant factor, but at large landfill sites like Brock West, Keele Valley and Britannia the ongoing settlement can be significant and can result in significant improvements in the picture. It can result in more landfill capacity being available than we anticipated.

The fourth factor that can be very significant is the rate of decomposition of the waste once it has been landfilled. For example, at the Brock West landfill site, where Metro Toronto used to mix sewage sludge or codispose sewage sludge with the municipal waste, that practice provided very large quantities of moisture. This promoted a more rapid breakdown of the waste. The waste has settled and decomposed to a much denser mass than we find at Britannia or Keele Valley where sewage sludge is not accepted.

When you combine these factors at the landfill site together with the factors or the variables affecting the quantities of waste to be landfilled, we end up with a variety of guesses on what our closure dates might be for the existing sites.

This next overhead shows a chronology of Metro Toronto landfill site closure dates. I want to emphasize that I am not showing this to be used as a criticism of Metro Toronto but rather to help me illustrate to you the difficulty and uncertainty of trying to establish closure dates or the dates when the GTA landfill sites will reach capacity.

You recall I mentioned earlier that waste quantities had been continually increasing on an annual basis. It had been forecast that the Brock West landfill site would reach capacity in March 1990 -- that date has already passed -- and Keele Valley in late 1992. If you move down to April 1991, just a few years later, the revised forecast for the closure of Brock West was late 1991 and the Keele Valley landfill was late 1993. Just a matter of months later a new report came out that indicated a closure date for the Brock West site for late 1992. For Keele Valley they provided a range of dates between 1995 and 1997.

This continuing extension of the estimated closure dates for the landfill sites is a direct reflection of the increasing density of waste we are seeing in the landfill sites with time and also the dramatic decline in the quantities of waste that were produced in 1991. When you project the 1991 rates of waste landfilling through the planning period up to the opening of landfill sites, you see that we need many millions of tonnes less of capacity than if you used the 1990 rates.

The range of dates Metro Toronto set out in 1991 provide the most recent and current estimate of the closure dates for the landfill sites. The range of dates that are set out in here are based on different assumptions on settlement rates and decomposition rates for waste. They are all based on the 1991 landfilling number. In presenting this range of dates, the report that was released by Metro Toronto cautioned that changing economic conditions and the halt to export of waste to the United States, for example, would significantly reduce these dates.

This next chart, showing the closure dates for the Britannia, Brock West and Keele Valley landfill sites and the extent of the gap period or the period when we do not have landfill capacity, is based on our current best estimate of the existing available approved capacity in the three landfill sites and assumes that the quantity of waste to be managed will remain at the 1991 level. So from a waste quantity generation point of view, we are using the most optimistic scenario.


Based on those assumptions, landfill sites in the GTA will begin to close as early as June of this year when the Britannia landfill site is expected to reach capacity. In the case of the Brock West landfill site, closure is expected in the fall of 1994. Under scenario 1 for Keele Valley, the closure would be in February 1997. The scenario 1 for Keele Valley is based on 1991 rates of waste generation and the expectation that there will be continued settlement and decomposition of waste in the landfill site.

Scenario 2 for Keele Valley is based on a return to the 1990 waste quantities, which were 30% higher than 1991, and successful 3Rs programs across the GTA. It also assumes a halt to export and that there will be continued settlement and decomposition of waste in the landfill site. Under that scenario, the closure date moves back one year. We lose a year of capacity if those factors were to come into being. If, for example, the municipalities were unsuccessful in the 3Rs programs, we know from the numbers that we would have a closure date approximately another nine months earlier, perhaps in the middle of 1995.

What I am trying to illustrate here is that there are a number of variables, a number of factors that create a great deal of uncertainty of when the landfill sites might reach capacity. We know that the best estimate we can give for the opening of the long-term site is late 1997. We heard that earlier from Ms Rush. That means that based on this assessment we are faced with a gap of as little as six months, in the case of Keele Valley under scenario 1, to a gap of as much as five years in the case of the Britannia landfill site.

The strategy for dealing with the gap has three components. The first component, which we heard discussed a little earlier here this afternoon, is an extension of the Keele Valley landfill site with the addition of a lift. A minister's report was issued to Metropolitan Toronto to carry out the necessary studies and plan for the lift if it is needed. The second component is an extension at the Britannia Road landfill site with the addition of a lift at that site. Again, a minister's report was issued to the region of Peel to carry out the necessary studies and prepare and plan for an additional lift at that site.

The term "lift," I have found, since it was raised earlier this year, has been confusing to many people. I thought it would be helpful if I tried to explain to you what people in the landfill business mean when they use the technical term "lift."

Each day when the waste is received at the landfill site it is deposited on the ground to varying depths and then it is compacted throughout the day's operation with bulldozers and special equipment equipped to provide a very high density compaction of the waste. At the end of the day the waste is covered with a layer of soil and that leaves us what we call a waste cell. The next day and each day after that an adjacent cell is constructed and as times goes on these cells progress across the landfill site. Once an area of the landfill site has been finished, the operator will go up on top of the layer of cells and start another level. This layer of cells is referred to as a lift. What is being ordered at the Britannia and the Keele Valley landfill sites is the addition of a layer of waste on top of the existing waste that will add height to the landfill site.

The depth of the lift, the thickness of the lift, can vary from site to site. In the case of the Britannia landfill site, the lifts average around 4.5 metres in height. In the case of the Keele Valley landfill site, a much larger landfill site, it is a larger operation. Metro Toronto receives three to four times the quantity of waste on a daily basis that is received at the Britannia site and the average lift is 7.5 metres in height, so in essence, on average, we are talking about a 4.5-metre lift for Britannia and a 7.5-metre lift at Keele Valley.

This is a schematic; it is an oversimplication. The landfill sites are contoured. They have a changing feature to be compatible with the end-use plan for the site, and so the lift would not just be a flat layer but would follow the existing approved contours, but they would raise the elevation of the site.

The third component of the gap strategy concerns Durham region. The Keele Valley and Britannia Road landfill sites are considered to be technically and environmentally suitable for expansions with a lift. A great deal of information is available on all aspects of their operation from ongoing monitoring. They are well-operated and well-engineered sites for the appropriate environmental controls. The information and knowledge gained over many years of operating and monitoring experience indicate the increase in height of these sites with the addition of a lift will have minimal environmental impact and will meet all existing environmental standards.

The Brock West landfill site is much older than Keele Valley and Britannia. It is not as well engineered. Its clay liner is an experimental one. It was approved on that basis. There has been a previous history of odour problems from that site which are now under control. A lift at Brock West could cause problems with the liner leachate system and the gas collection system. Since an underlying principle of the gap strategy is environmental integrity, a lift was not recommended at Brock West and it is felt that site should close when it reaches its approved capacity.

Consequently, Durham region is being required to provide for transfer facilities to haul Durham's waste to Keele Valley once Brock West is closed in 1994. A transfer station is a facility where small curbside vehicles that you see out in front of your house bring their waste loads into a transfer station and that waste is transferred to larger vehicles for hauling to the landfill site. The vehicles you will see on the local streets might carry between five and six tonnes of waste. In the case of a transfer vehicle, they will carry between 20 and 30 tonnes of waste. This ensures that the local collection system is operated as efficiently as possible. Equally as important, it significantly reduces the amount of truck traffic that would go to the host community where the landfill site is located, so the construction of transfer facilities for Durham region waste that is coming to Keele Valley we consider to be very important.

The minister's reports, issued to Metro Toronto, Keele region and Durham region under Section 29 of the Environmental Protection Act, have two important components. Each of the municipalities has been required to carry out very detailed technical studies to ensure proper implementation and operation of the sites, whether they be the landfill site or a transfer facility. These studies will consider the environmental controls, such as gas and leachate monitoring and control, storm water management and groundwater monitoring. As well, these studies will look at the site operations. They will have to assess traffic, litter, noise, odour, dust, the buffer zone requirements and the after-use plan for the landfill sites.

A second and equally important component is the community involvement program. Each of the municipalities is required to carry out a very comprehensive community involvement program. They are required to establish a public liaison committee to provide for ongoing public input throughout the course of the studies and during the operation of the lifts. They are required to establish, maintain and staff a public information centre in each of the communities involved. As well, they will be expected to conduct various information sessions and public meetings throughout the course of the studies.

As far as the status of compliance with the minister's reports is concerned, in the case of Metro Toronto we heard earlier that it is proceeding with implementation of the minister's report and it is meeting all the requirements of that report.

In the case of Durham region, Durham proceeded with the minister's report as required. Their consultants' preliminary report indicated a potentially very high cost to construct a new transfer station at the Brock West landfill site. It is expected that Brock West will close in 1994. When it does, there will be a need to transfer all waste to Keele Valley until such time as a long-term site is available. The minister has indicated to Durham region that she recognizes there may be more cost-effective alternatives to constructing a new transfer station at Brock West, and Durham is being allowed time to pursue feasibility studies and report on other alternatives that might be available to Durham that might be more cost-efficient and cost-effective.


In the case of Peel region, the new council for the region of Peel is currently considering the steps it will take to address the minister's report.

In summary then, Bill 143 provides the legislative framework for implementation of the gap measures. The variables I mentioned earlier -- the successive 3Rs, future economic conditions and future export, as well as the landfill factors, the mechanical compaction, the settlement and the decomposition -- create real uncertainties. Waste quantities have a great potential for altering closure dates.

Because of the changing landfill capacity numbers and the fact that waste quantities to be managed may be changed, significantly affecting landfill closure dates, the ministry is committed to a regular review. I think the minister referred to this earlier in her opening statement. This regular review will look at the data, will need to follow the progress of the long-term site search and the expected opening dates that are being forecasted for that search, will have to continue to monitor waste quantities that are coming to landfill sites to see if they are increasing or decreasing and also, finally, will have to look at what the remaining landfill capacity is that is available to us to manage the gap period.

The minister's reports were prepared to plan for any shortfall or gap and to have the necessary technical studies completed to ensure the gap measures can be operational in time and properly implemented. It is both necessary and prudent to plan for, and be prepared for, any possible shortfall in landfill capacity.

That completes my presentation. I hope it will be helpful.

The Chair: Could you make a hard copy of the slides available so they will be part of the committee record?

Mr Giffen: Yes. We have copies.

The Chair: That is fine.

Also, there was one question that was suggested by research, Minister. In your opening comments, you announced a number of changes to the legislation. The question is, when will you be tabling the amendments? Will you be doing that prior to the hearing, or when do you intend to table those?

Hon Mrs Grier: I think our intent was prior to clause-by-clause so that we could take into account, in any amendments, the discussions and what appeared at the committee. The clauses that we are changing are just the ones that we have come to a conclusion about. They are the ones I outlined in my statement, and I think they are very clear. It is a deletion, as opposed to a change in wording, but I will make sure that a summary of that is available to members of the committee.

The Chair: I think that would be helpful, both for presenters as well as for committee members, if they could know which clauses you intend to delete or which ones you suggested for amendment. Then the actual tabling of the amendment will occur prior to clause-by-clause.

Hon Mrs Grier: Right.

The Chair: I have questions. Ms Haeck.

Hon Mrs Grier: Do you want to complete? Drew Blackwell is still going to make a presentation.

The Chair: We will allow the ministry to complete the presentation before questions.

Hon Mrs Grier: Drew is the assistant deputy minister responsible for the waste reduction office.

The Chair: As they were just getting set up, I thought we might be able to get a couple of questions in, but it looks like they are almost ready.

For the information of committee members, in the order of questioning, the way I intend to do this is to rotate through the caucuses as to who gets to question first, so Mr Cousens, even though you put your hand up before Ms Haeck, you began the last round of questioning and you will be rotating this time. This is so that there is no question about how it is going to work.

The Chair: Perhaps while we are waiting for the presentation to be set up, we could use our time productively. Ms Haeck, did you want to place your question?

Ms Haeck: Yes. The word "export" has been used several times. Mr Giffen, you made mention of the fact that the waste stream was going to be impacted upon by exports. Do you mean that it is exclusively going to the US, or when you use the word "export," are you referring to other locations in Ontario?

Mr Giffen: I was referring to the information available about the export of waste from the greater Toronto area to the United States. The various reports give numbers of a few hundred thousand tonnes. From some people, we have heard a million tonnes. The best estimates Metro Toronto has been able to provide to the ministry -- this by looking at the companies that traditionally have hauled waste to Metro Toronto, by looking at the decline in the waste quantities being handled; it is a decline in the industrial sector -- is about 500,000 tonnes a year. That is the component I was referring to. If that were to halt and that 500,000 tonnes were to come back to Keele Valley, for every three years you lose a year's capacity at Keele Valley.

Ms Haeck: You have not mentioned it here, but at some point in my checkered career someone has mentioned importation of garbage. Is any of that going into Toronto?

Mr Giffen: Currently I would be surprised if people would import waste into Toronto because of the very high tipping fees. I think the reason we are seeing waste leave the Metro area -- the reports indicated that it is of financial advantage to the generators and the waste haulers to go to the US where the tipping fees are much lower. All the numbers are indicating that there is not an importation of significant quantities of waste into Metro Toronto.

The Chair: I think we are ready with the presentation.

Mr Blackwell: I am going to touch on three points. First, I will describe briefly what part IV of the bill is about. Second, since part IV is needed to implement the waste reduction action plan, which the minister mentioned in her remarks, I will list the major initiatives included in that plan. Finally, I will address the importance to our society of the waste reduction measures that will be made possible by the passage of Bill 143.

Part IV consists entirely of amendments to the waste management provisions in the Environmental Protection Act. Consequently, unlike parts I, II and III of Bill 143, which deal only with the greater Toronto area, everything in part IV refers to the province as a whole.

The amendments address primarily part V of the EPA, which is titled "Waste Management," and part VIII, which is currently titled "Litter, Packaging and Containers." There are also some amendments to part II, "Administration," and XIV, "Miscellaneous," where these parts contain sections that refer to waste management.

The bill contains some housekeeping amendments and some updates on waste disposal powers. These are contained in the sections listed there on the slide. The primary purpose of part IV, however, is not to improve waste disposal nor to deal with housekeeping measures; the primary purpose of the bill is to expand the legal framework for waste management in Ontario.

For many years, we have been primarily concerned about making sure that our waste disposal systems are safe. We have moved from the old dump site to the modern sanitary landfill. In recent years, we have come to realize that safe disposal is not enough. We need to reduce waste and avoid the need to dispose of massive tonnages of waste every day.


This bill makes waste reduction a primary goal of waste management in Ontario. It does so in two ways. First, for waste in general, the bill provides the Ontario government with explicit authority to study, fund, require and regulate waste reduction activities by the private and public sectors. It also makes it possible to remove time-consuming approval requirements for compost and recycling facilities. These measures are found in section 23 and subsection 33(2).

The purpose of the rest of section 33 and of sections 23, 27, 28, 29 and 30 is indicated by the proposed change to the title of Part VIII of the Environmental Protection Act. That change is to "Litter, Packaging, Containers, Disposable Products and Products that Pose Waste Management Problems." At present, the Environmental Protection Act implies that disposable products are a problem because they sometimes end up as litter rather than going to a disposal facility. The changes recognize that the massive production of products and containers for immediate disposal is in itself a problem. We should not just try to get disposables into safe landfills; we should look for ways to reduce the production and use of disposables.

To understand part IV of Bill 143, it is important to know that this is enabling legislation. It does not in itself produce any regulations. It is also important to realize that Ontario is not alone in enacting such enabling legislation. The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment agreed to pass legislation in all Canadian provinces to enable each of them to regulate packaging if and when the targets contained in the national packaging protocol are not achieved by voluntary measures. Manitoba has already passed such enabling legislation; other provinces have passed pieces of it. Ontario is coming forward at this point to produce the enabling legislation that all provinces have agreed to put in place.

When we come to regulations under this legislation, some regulations are necessary just to get the data to discover how we are doing in packaging reduction. Others may be required to level the playing field and to address imports. We are committed to extensive consultation with the interested parties in the development of packaging and any other regulations.

Any such regulations form part of Ontario's waste reduction action plan to which the minister referred in her comments. To fully appreciate that plan, I think it is important to recognize the special character of the current context in Ontario.

As the minister mentioned, in the 1980s, specifically by 1988, which was the peak year that Alex just mentioned, we became the world's champion garbage producers. This was to a large degree the result of our economic history. Canada has a small population on a large land mass, and Europeans first came here to take advantage of an apparently endless supply of apparently free and abundant natural resources. We structured our industry and commerce to make lots of things quickly and replace them immediately when they start to fail.

This throw-away economy, which is not just ours but exists throughout North America, stands in contrast to our widespread and deeply felt environmental values and our strong tradition of civic cooperation.

We have the world's most wasteful economy, but we also have built already and received worldwide recognition for the most extensive source separation and collection system in the industrialized world. That system for collecting secondary materials from households, our blue box, services our households. We are not nearly so well advanced at the workplace, but we have seen some very significant private sector efforts by companies that have voluntarily undertaken waste audits and waste reduction work plans. We frequently get reports of the achievement of 60%, 80% or even over 90% waste reduction when a specific company really puts its mind to it. The minister mentioned some examples, and I believe you will be able to get copies here of a nice booklet put out by one company, which was mentioned by the minister.

These are good beginnings, but we require much more. We need a complete financial and legislative framework and cooperative, multisectoral strategies that bring the provincial government, municipalities, industries, institutions, commerce, non-government organizations and all the citizens of this province together in a sustained drive to build on our leadership in household source separation and to convert ourselves into leaders in waste reduction systems and 3Rs technologies so that we can have a sustainable and competitive economy.

That is why on February 21, 1991, the minister announced a plan composed of financial and technical systems, outreach and educational activities, the encouragement of markets and strong regulatory measures. Within this plan, we have a number of actions under way. In October, initiatives paper number one asked for comments and suggestions on regulations to strengthen our source separation system and extend it to the workplace as well as to the remaining households, to begin to make composting as important as recycling in our waste reduction habits, to progressively extend the benefits of workplace waste audits and waste reduction work plans to all sectors, to assure that packaging audits and plans for packaging waste reduction are developed by all packagers, as all sector representatives agreed they would do as part of the national packaging protocol, and to streamline the approvals for recycling and composting facilities.

Soon, in conjunction with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, we will ask for comments and suggestions on two papers that will empower municipalities to play their full role in the conversion of our waste management system to an emphasis on waste reduction. Other areas include data collection and analysis, which is increasingly important and complex. When you put all the garbage and mix it all together in the landfill, there is not too much to study except raw tonnages. When you are concerned about getting things out of garbage and back into the economy as secondary materials, you want to make sure it is clean and well segregated, and you need much more detailed data. We are working together with Environment Canada and Statistics Canada and with business associations across the province to try to make sure we can get the right sources of the right data so we can track how well we are doing, discover which programs are working well and make any corrections that are needed along the way.

Another area, of course, is public education through the media, through practical action and through involvement in the development of our new systems. This is going to be absolutely critical to our success. Especially critical is the creation of the collection, processing and industrial infrastructure that is necessary to build strong secondary materials markets. We are working with all the sectors involved to develop and implement what we call close-the-loop strategies. If you think of the arrows in the recycling symbol, they go right around. If we look at each material, we find they do not go right around completely with the same strengths for each material. There are gaps. There are some places where there are weak points in the arrows. That is what we are trying to identify and where we are trying to work with all the players to make sure we can strengthen the arrows so that there are full loops wherever possible with materials. Some of the areas we are beginning to work with in the different sectors are mentioned there on the slide, and we will move on to others as we are sure these are well attended.

In addition to this, as the minister mentioned, we are completing the preparation of options for financial systems that will help nudge our economy so that our economy itself drives us towards waste reduction by making disposal unattractive. I realize that many of you might think the price being charged for disposal in the greater Toronto area today already makes it unattractive, and that is completely the case.


The point is that this price was not arrived at through any kind of clear analysis of what the price should be or its relation to the rest of the waste management system. It may be the right price, it may have to be a little higher or a little bit lower, but we have to think about that and we have to make sure that as a consistent matter of policy, not historical accident, we have the right level of disposal fees.

We have to make composting cheap. A third of the materials that we put into our sanitary landfill sites are materials that should be decomposing. In sanitary landfill they do not decompose. The cells Mr Giffen was just describing are anaerobic and decomposition is very slow. People who go into our landfill sites are able to read newspapers that are 30 years old and sometimes pick out carrots that are 25 years old and still look edible.

This is not acceptable. We have to make sure that the material that can return into the earth does return into the earth and that we begin to develop the systems, if possible in our own backyards and close to the institutions -- if necessary, centralized systems -- to return these materials back into creating the topsoil we need to continue to produce good food in this province. To do that, we have to make sure that the composting is cheap. We cannot charge the trees for producing leaves and we should not be charging the farmers for producing food in excess.

At the same time, we have to make recycling self-sustaining. The minister mentioned some of the difficulties about this because of the dropout of aluminum. As we look at what is happening with different materials, I think there is a good indication that as the infrastructure comes into place, the demand for secondary materials increases. Over the long term, we can hope that markets will take care of a large part of this. However, it is the responsibility of those who produce and use things that need the recycling processing to make sure the full cost of recycling is paid.

If this happens, if we have this kind of system in which those are basic financial conditions, I think it will become quite clear that real, significant efforts towards source reduction and towards reuse, just not having waste at all, will be quite attractive. We will not have to use heavy-handed regulations to make that happen; it will happen because of the marketplace.

The options we are producing in this area will be the subject of very extensive public discussion and, I am sure, debate. This is a very quick glimpse at an overview of the plan's objective, simply to indicate the importance of source separation and of recognizing that organics, disposables and durable goods are very different from each other and that different strategies are needed for each of them. This is part of the kind of thinking we all have to get used to as we stop thinking that mixing all these things together and calling them all "garbage" is one constant and simple process.

Why do all this? Is it just because people do not like landfills? No. Much more important, as we have realized more and more widely since the publication of the Brundtland report, Our Common Future, is that on this planet natural resources are our capital. They are limited, not abundant. They are valuable. They are not free and not cheap, whatever the Europeans who came to this New World once thought some 200 years ago. They should be used rarely, or fully replaced whenever they are used.

This is because all waste constitutes not just environmental degradation but also economic loss. Waste reduction in Ontario is important because we have a wasteful economy, an inefficient economy. But we also have the opportunity to build on Ontario's leadership in source separation. Not many people realize that we will soon be perhaps the only jurisdiction in the industrialized world that will be able to designate recyclable materials and be quite able to assure a good, clean supply of those materials coming out of almost every household or workplace that uses them.

This is an enormous competitive advantage in the development of secondary resource industry in a sustainable economy. This advantage, if used well, will enable us to export systems and technology for waste reduction. This chart shows part of why we need to reduce our waste. The figures here vary a little bit from year to year. The Canadian figures come from 1988. We are at the top. Our only rivals in garbage production at that time were Australia and the United States.

That graph is important, and I think it needs to be put together with this one. I am sure we are all familiar with this; it is the growth of the human species. It took us quite a few thousand years to go from half a billion people to one billion people in 1750. Between 1750 and the middle of the next century, we are growing 10-fold. Most of the 10 billion people who will be here on this planet by the middle of the next century want to consume the way we do in North America. As I am sure we will be hearing loud and clear from the gathering in Rio de Janeiro later this year, if they consumed at our 1988 rate of waste generation, we would deplete the planet's resources in a very short time. The economic future of our species, if we have one, will be based on energy and resource efficiency.

Japan, because of an historic scarcity of resources, has built a 100-year plan for environmentally efficient economic development. Many countries in the European Community, including especially Germany, because of traditionally high pollution levels -- not quite that traditionally, but over the last few decades -- have been forced into adopting strict resource and energy use goals. What that means is that because of historical circumstances which we were fortunate enough not to share, these countries have already recognized that resource conservation makes economic good sense. They are reaping the benefits of that realization right now. They have realized that building a conserver society quickly will give them a current and a future economic competitive advantage for the only kind of economy that can possibly sustain a human species of 10 billion people on this planet.

Finally, the answer to why waste reduction is important is because waste reduction in Ontario, based on the development of Ontario's existing source separation, is essential for effective economic renewal.

The Chair: I think that completes the presentation by the ministry. I have a number of questioners. I am going to need direction from the committee. We have approximately 20 minutes from now until 5 o'clock. If the committee is going to want to go beyond that, we are going to need to make that decision. As we divide the time for questions among the caucuses, what I thought I might do is just do one rotation after another and see how much time is available. I would ask each of the questioners to keep the question brief and allow the ministry and the minister, if she wishes, to respond.

Mrs Fawcett: Thank you for the presentation. My question, I believe, would be to Ms Rush on the Interim Waste Authority. Of particular interest to me was the inspectors who will be designated, appointed to go around. When one considers the sweeping powers that they have or could have, enhanced by possibly inspection warrants and police backup and so on, I get a little worried about the rights of the person who owns the land, who may not particularly care that these people are coming to make their visit. I also wonder if maybe once again our farmers are going to be open game. Because, let's face it, that is where the open spaces are and the potential landfill sites might be.

I just wonder if you would comment on the qualifications of these inspectors. How does one get to be an inspector and what would be the criteria used to appoint one of these people? Just generally a little more expanded information on the inspectors.


Ms Rush: Certainly the inspectors are the responsibility of the authority, and they will be fully trained before they go out. We respect very much the power that would be granted to the corporation through this legislation. The quality of the inspectors is rather complicated, because as we proceed from the long list of sites through to the short list to the preferred site, the actual work that needs to be done changes very much. In the early parts a visual inspection can often be suitable to determine what is needed to be known about the property, whereas when we are moving from the short list to the preferred site it will be highly technical, so the capabilities of the inspectors will depend upon the circumstances we find.

What I can tell you, though, is that the authority is treating very seriously the training of these inspectors in how they will give notification of when they are going to arrive and how they will enter --

Mrs Fawcett: Have the inspectors' criteria been determined now? Do you know what qualifications --

Ms Rush: I can provide it to you later; I do not have it with me now.

Mrs Fawcett: I would appreciate that.

Ms Rush: Yes, we have done a lot of work on that.

Mrs Fawcett: I see. Thank you. Just one other quick one on the leachate collection and so on: I know this is a problem in many landfill sites today. When you were speaking about the one lift on top of the other, is all this taken into consideration? I know that engineered sites now have problems. I can think of one in my own riding where the plume is moving much faster and they cannot collect all the leachate. I am really wondering about those kinds of problems with the expansion of the sites.

Mr Giffen: I am not familiar with the site in your riding, but Keele Valley without a doubt is probably the most engineered landfill site in the world. Because of that, a great deal of attention has been spent on the site right through its design, through its approvals and during its operation.

Mrs Fawcett: Was it really designed for an addition like this?

Mr Giffen: In fact, the addition of a lift will have a net environmental benefit on the performance of the site. As you indicated yourself, it is a very complicated explanation, but the liner that underlays a site is a four-foot-thick clay liner compacted to a very low permeability, a very high density, to retard the movement of contaminants through the liner into the groundwater system. Adding height to the landfill site will add compression or a compaction density on the liner. It will make it denser and in fact it will reduce the rate at which the leachate migrates through the liner. The addition of a lift is not expected to have any negative effect on the liner system.

The Chair: Just for the information of committee members, depending upon the number of people on the list requesting questions, if it is all right with you I will use my discretion as to whether it is one question, a question supplementary or two.

Mr Cousens: I would like, if possible, to have a detailed organization chart of each of the three assistant deputy ministers, giving who is within their organizations and some of the titles that would go on within each of them. It seems to change once in a while. If that could be tabled at a future time during the course of our hearings, I would be most grateful. That is not my question.

As to the comments I make on the last presentation, I think we can all give the doxology on that one because of the need for an understanding of conservation. I am interested in the packaging protocol and whether or not the proposals in part IV of the bill here in Ontario differ in any way from proposed legislation you mentioned -- was it in Saskatchewan? -- in another province, whether or not there are any differences Ontario has outside of the agreement by ministers of the environment across Canada.

Mr Blackwell: Yes, there are differences. Some of the jurisdictions -- Manitoba was the province I referred to -- did not have in place anything at all like our Environmental Protection Act. A number of the powers that the ministers agreed to as necessary for all the provinces were already in existence in Ontario in existing parts of the EPA. So the very fact that what is being done in Ontario is amendments to an existing act -- rather than as in Manitoba, an entirely new waste minimization act for the province -- entails some significant difference. If you wish, we could get copies for you of the Manitoba act. It was passed in 1990, if I recall correctly, and it includes powers that are rather more extensive and rather more drastic than those contemplated here.

I think it is important to understand the relation of this to the national packaging protocol, to make a distinction, however, between enabling legislation and regulations. There is an agreement within the task force -- I do not know if you are aware, you probably are, that there is a National Packaging Task Force that has representation from all sectors, from all the provinces, from the many industry groups, from non-governmental organizations and from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

The task force has a subgroup which works on regulations. We participated on that subgroup as well as on the task force itself. One of the jobs assigned to the regulatory subgroup was to identify the types of regulations that may be needed. There is discussion now about which pieces of regulation ought to go in place in all cases everywhere and which ones should only go in place when it is clear that there is a particular sector which is not meeting the targets.

Just to illustrate the distinction, there is a kind of generic agreement at that point, at least among the different provinces -- I would not be able to confirm this for the task force as a whole until the end of February when the task force meets the next time and hears the report of the subgroup -- that we need some backdrop regulations so that people make the kinds of reports to Statistics Canada that are necessary to find out where we are right now. The basic information is coming in through Statistics Canada. Statistics Canada has the power to require people to report information that they have. It has no powers to require them to get the information if they do not already have it. The kind of regulation that we have included in the initiatives paper one would in effect mean that packagers in Ontario would be required to have that information through Statscan.

There have been a number of comments on the way in which that section on the packaging regulation is worded in the initiatives paper. We are prepared to make some changes to that before the regulation comes down and we have discussed at some length with our counterparts in other provinces on the regulatory subcommittee ways of making sure that the requirements for getting this particular kind of information in are coincident with what Statscan is doing, so we are not forcing people to do double reporting or to fill out one form and another form with the same information. That is the direction in which we want to go at that time.

The other kind of regulation, which is what we are supposed to have, a model regulation ready to pull out of the pocket if needed, is what happens when it is clear that there are people who are dragging their feet and just are not fulfilling their commitments. We hope that kind of regulation will never have to be used, but there is an agreement to have it ready in case it is.

Mr Cousens: On the packaging protocol that was agreed upon by ministers, I am interested in understanding more of what was agreed to by the ministers, to assess where part IV of this bill is taking us compared to what was generally defined in that packaging protocol for the rest of Canada. If there is any way in which the documentation or guidelines or discussions had summary conclusions as to what was going to be brought forward by each of the separate ministers, I would appreciate having that to give me an understanding of where this ministry is going with part IV and how it relates to that and whether or not this exceeds those guidelines in any way that could cause us competitive disadvantage in Ontario, compared to other provinces and jurisdictions.

Mr Blackwell: If the Chair is willing, I would prefer to do that through a package of materials, rather than try to answer at this time.

The Chair: That will be fine. I think it is unreasonable to expect those kinds of responses immediately. By all means, I am sure Mr Cousens would be satisfied with the written response.

Mr Cousens: I will not be able to read it all.


Mr Wiseman: My question is to Ms Rush. I would like further explanation as to what a schedule 2 agency is, how it is related to the ministry, what powers it has in terms of its decision-making process and how independent it is with regard to those decision-making processes.

Ms Rush: The legislation itself makes us a crown agency. It will be up to a determination, but it is quite clear that we would be a schedule 2 agency. A schedule 2 agency really refers to the distinction in terms of financial ability. It can be, in our terminology, an off-balance-sheet item so financially it can raise its own revenues, which we are not going to be in a position to do, but it can discreetly acquire money and have its own bank accounts so we will be distinct from the rest of the financial consolidated revenue components of the government. We get a loan from the Treasurer that is considered a line item and then we report against that loan, so financially there is a determination.

It requires that we have a board of directors and a memorandum of understanding. We are given certain flexibility in the hiring of staff and we need not hire a civil servant. Certainly at the moment we have a number of seconded civil servants, but a schedule 2 capability would allow the authority to hire non-public servants, which we have done as well on contract. In terms of both personnel and financial matters, they are really the distinguishing features of the schedule, as well as their purpose. We are not a regulatory agency; we are a business in the sense that we are pursuing a direct opportunity. The Management Board of Cabinet and secretariat have the details of each of the three schedules for crown agencies and we would be happy to provide that to you.

But the primary determinations are financial independence or financial capabilities of the organization, whether it is covered by the Public Service Act and how the personnel are treated, and then the relationships described in the memorandum of understanding and filed with Management Board to make sure that the objects and mandate of the agency, and the roles and responsibilities of all the parties are understood.

Mr Wiseman: My question is specifically with reference to the Interim Waste Authority, the draft approval document and the site selection for long-term sites, and that is with regard to the independent nature with which these sites are going to be determined. I guess what the viewing audience would like to know and what I would like to know in particular is the degree of independence from the Ministry of the Environment that the Interim Waste Authority has in that process.

Ms Rush: First of all, it is the minister responsible for the greater Toronto area who is the shareholder of the corporation, and the Ministry of the Environment, through its regulation, regulates us as any other proponent other than what is specified in the legislation that the Minister referred to in her announcements. We have a very open process. What we have done is use a lot of the proposals that were made in the first environmental assessment program involvement project process, which ultimately upon its consultation will lead to some of the amendments in the environmental assessment process. We are taking those administrative improvements and using them in how we proceed with our proponents.

The draft approvals and criteria document that we published in August set out the entire process that we would use as our proponent under environmental assessment. What we have done is laid out all the criteria for consultation first, and so those criteria are the basis on which we ran the first set of consultations which occurred in August and September. It is on that basis, after those consultations. It is that set of criteria that will be applied to find the long list. This whole process is one of openness and public consultation, and frankly, we will be very clearly scrutinized through the environmental assessment process if we have a hearing -- certainly through the hearing.

I think our independence is set in terms of our designation as a crown agency, and also in the process we have chosen to adopt by going out first and foremost with the criteria so that they are clearly understood, so that we have public consultation on them and then they are applied. Past landfills have come out with the answer and then provided the documentation of how we get there. We are not going to do that. We are going to show you how we are going to get there, get comment on it and I think that form of openness will show that we are a proponent that is certainly following all the principles of environmental assessment and that we are not subject to any undue influences.

Mr McClelland: I am not sure to whom this question should go. I will leave it to your discretion who responds.

Notwithstanding the fact that Bill 143 is confined, in this first instance, to the greater Toronto area, I think a lot of people are interested in the potential implications of waste management across the province. Can you give us some data or some numbers, if you have them available, on how many other landfill sites within the province are within one year, two years, three years, four years and five years of hitting their capacity. If we could have those numbers, I think that would be helpful.

Another comment: I can direct this directly to Mr Blackwell, but certainly anybody else who would like to can comment. We see waste as a natural resource and I think, to a large extent if not entirely, we would want to equate what we have previously called waste to a natural resource. If we are operating within a closed loop, I am wondering if you can give me any objective basis why we would treat waste as a natural resource different from other natural resources. In other words, if waste is a natural resource, and natural resources are natural resources, why would we choose to treat them differently?

Mr Blackwell: It is a very good point, and part of what I think we are doing is trying to move out of a situation in which we have -- if I could put it perhaps a little bit flippantly -- been operating in a system in which we assume each one of us has the divine right to define as waste anything we want to call waste. If I put some things in a waste-paper basket they are waste, and if I were to take them out of the waste-paper basket and put them on your desk, you would be insulted. If I did not put them on your desk via the waste-paper basket, you would not be insulted. That kind of thinking, which we have really trained ourselves in, I think is part of what we have to get away from. It involves changing the way we have structured many parts of our society: our economic systems, our thinking, our ways of relating to each other and our legal structures.

At this time, if you wish to establish a facility for receiving materials collected through the blue box, making sure they are cleanly separated and labelling them before shipping them off for remanufacture, you have to apply, under the Environmental Protection Act, to get a certificate of approval for something that would be called a waste disposal facility (recycling).

Part of what is involved in the changes we are proposing now is to give the minister the authority to deem facilities as having certificates of approval if they follow through on particular guidelines. Part of the initiatives paper, which we have been receiving quite favourable comments on -- at least on this part of it; there are some other parts that are not quite so favourable -- is an outline of the procedures and a list of guidelines of what kinds of requirements there would be for a facility to be up and operating simply to process materials. That is in the case of those materials which require further processing and sorting. If, however, the materials are simply received into an industry which is using them as raw material for manufacture, they stop being waste entirely and are not defined as waste. We are trying to move into a situation in which the fact that you put something out on the curbside does not mean it is therefore waste, but rather is part of our industrial and economic system.

I think we have to understand just how deeply this is ingrained in our legal system. I am not talking about an antediluvian period, I am talking about three years ago. If you put something on a garbage truck in the city of Toronto, it became illegal to take it off. Scavenging was illegal. If you put something in a garbage truck in downtown Toronto headed for the Commissioners Street incinerator -- I have seen this happen at the Commissioners Street incinerator. I watched as brand new toys -- one that really struck me was a Barbie doll, still in the cellophane package. A worker had set it aside from the hopper. The supervisor came by and put it in the hopper. It was illegal to do anything with that Barbie doll other than burn it. That is the extent we went to to try to make sure that waste was treated as waste. How did things become waste? Because somebody put them where there was a waste receptacle. Curbside meant waste receptacle. Part of what we are doing now is moving away from that, and that is part of what this legislation is all about.

Mr McClelland: Do we have time for another quick one?

The Chair: We really do not, Mr McClelland, it is 5 o'clock now. Perhaps the minister would like to make a comment and then we will adjourn.

Hon Mrs Grier: I thank the committee members for their attention and questions. I hope we have been able to give some flavour of the complexity of the situation as well as the degree of thought and analysis that went into the decisions and policies addressed in Bill 143. I know we will have a lot of good discussion and comments as we go over the next couple of weeks.

I want to draw your attention to the briefing book we have provided. Tab 3 is the initiatives paper Mr Blackwell referred to. If people are concerned, as I know Mr Cousens obviously was, about its compatibility with the national packaging protocol, that is the section to look at. The others are backgrounders and some facts that support the presentations we have made, so people may find that helpful in formulating questions. We will attempt to provide the committee, as we go through the process, with the documentation requested as quickly as we can.

We look forward to the results of your deliberations.

The Chair: I appreciate that. I understand from the minister that she will be here just before the clause-by-clause deliberations and that the parliamentary assistant, Mr O'Connor, will be carrying the legislation through committee.

For the information of committee members, the clerk will be presenting at the beginning of each day the new agenda with any changes in it. I would point out one change: Pollution Probe will be January 22 at 4 pm, and Work on Waste will now be on January 23 at 11 am. Those two have swapped their appointment times. If you want to note it on your agenda, you may.

I will try to point out any significant changes in the agenda in advance for committee members, if that is possible, but the agenda will be made available probably at the start of every day's hearings so you will be familiar with who will be appearing.

I want to thank all committee members today and those presenters in attendance at the committee hearings. I think we have got off to a good start and I know the ministry officials will be available throughout the hearings to answer questions committee members have, verbally as well as in writing.

The standing committee on social development now stands adjourned and we will reconvene tomorrow morning at 10 am.

Committee adjourned at 1702.