Monday 23 March 1992

Election of Acting Chair

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

Office for the greater Toronto area

Honourable Ruth Grier, minister responsible


Chair / Présidente: Caplan, Elinor (Oriole L)

Acting Chair / Président suppléant: Beer, Charles (York North/-Nord 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):

Beer, Charles (York North/-Nord L) for Mrs Caplan

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

Marland, Margaret (Mississauga South/-Sud PC) for Mr Stockwell

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

Ramsay, David (Timiskaming L) for Mrs Fawcett

Sorbara, Gregory S. (York Centre L) for Mr Sola

Clerk / Greffière: Mellor, Lynn

Staff / Personnel: Spakowski, Mark, legislative counsel

The committee met at 1404 in room 151.


Clerk of the Committee: As neither the Chair nor the Vice-Chair is present, it is my duty to call upon the honourable members to elect an acting Chair.

Mr McClelland: I move that Mr Charles Beer's name stand as acting Chair.

Clerk of the Committee: Any further nominations?

Mr Cousens: I move that nominations be closed. I would like to make a long speech on why we would want to give Mr Beer a tough time, but because he will be Chairman automatically, I hope to gain some goodwill here.

Mr McClelland: You need all the goodwill you can get.

Mr Cousens: I need all the goodwill I can get.

Mr O'Connor: I think Mr Cousens raised a valid point, that we welcome Mr Beer to this committee, recognize that we can close the nominations at this time and welcome him aboard.

Clerk of the Committee: There are no further nominations and I declare Mr Beer elected acting Chair.

Mr Cousens: I bet you wish it was that easy with the Liberal Party.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Thank you very much to all the members of the committee. Like you, I look forward to this week.


Resuming 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 Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Just before we begin the formal proceedings this afternoon, we will be inviting the minister to address us. As some members may be aware, there has been a change in the way in which bills are put forward. I would like to ask the legislative counsel to explain what has happened with respect to the reprinting of the bill, which you now have before you.

Mr Spakowski: The committee will be working with a bill that has been reprinted to take into account the changes in the 1990 statutory revision. The reprinted bill looks pretty much the way the former bill did, although it has a note just below the minister's name to indicate that it has been reprinted. No substantive changes have been made to the bill. As they affect this bill in particular, the changes have primarily been renumbering because the Environmental Protection Act, among others, has had renumbering within it, and also to reflect the fact that now the Environmental Protection Act is a bilingual act. So the amendments to the Environmental Protection Act are now bilingual as well. If there are any other questions, I would be happy to try to answer them.

Mr Sorbara: Is a copy of the reprinted bill available? Is it going to be handed out or has it been handed out?

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Yes, it has been, but another copy will be forthcoming.


The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): If that is all on that, I would like to welcome the minister with us today. Also, just before asking her to make her comments, is there any objection if ministry staff can come and sit at the chairs in front of us? If not, please come forward.

To review briefly the process for this afternoon and just to make sure everybody is aware of the agreement that was reached at a meeting in February, we have approximately an hour at the beginning of the afternoon. The minister has some 20 minutes for her comments. Following that each caucus will have 20 minutes to make comments and/or ask questions. Is that everybody's understanding of our first hour, after which we will go into clause-by-clause? Without further ado, Minister, welcome to the committee and please go ahead with your statement.

Hon Mrs Grier: Thank you, Mr Chair. We congratulate you on having assumed chairmanship of this committee. I am sure that, as I have, you have read all the Hansards of all the hearings that have preceded our appearance here today. I want to thank you and the members of the committee for the time and the effort that has gone into those public hearings on the Waste Management Act, Bill 143. I am sure the many people who attended the sessions here and in Kingston, Kirkland Lake, Sarnia and Sudbury appreciate the opportunity you have provided for their comments on and contribution to this legislation.

In my remarks at the start of the hearings I stressed the importance of this legislation to Ontario in both environmental and economic terms. I believe we have come to a crossroads in how we manage our wastes.

Mr Sorbara: On a point of order, Mr Chairman: I am not entirely familiar with the rules of the committee, but it is my understanding that when a minister is addressing remarks to a committee from a prepared text, generally a copy of that text is made available to the members of the committee. Am I wrong in that?

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): There is a custom in the House; I am not sure if that is always so in committee.

Mr Sorbara: I wonder if the minister has additional copies of her prepared remarks so that we might follow along with her.

Hon Mrs Grier: I think we will be distributing them shortly. Whether they have arrived, I do not know.

Mr Sorbara: They will not be of much use -- well, here they are. Look at that. Just call for it and --

Hon Mrs Grier: They were about to come.

Mr Sorbara: Just wanted to make any grammatical corrections that might appear; that is why we did not get a copy.

Mr Wiseman: On a point of order, Mr Chair: I ask that this be deducted from the Liberal caucus time.

Mr Sorbara: Do not be silly.

Mr Wiseman: You are the one being silly.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Order.

Mr Sorbara: It is just a point of order.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): I will ask the minister to begin again.


Hon Mrs Grier: I believe we have come to a crossroads in how we manage our wastes. We can continue to be the world's leading generators of waste or we can move in a new direction, towards a conserver society in which long-term economic sustainability and environmental quality go hand in hand.

From the outset I have maintained that Bill 143 contains basic principles on which we would brook no compromise, but that we were open to any positive contributions that would improve the legislation and contribute to its objectives.

The committee has heard more than 200 presentations and received about four dozen written submissions from environment groups, citizens, municipalities, labour unions, industry associations and individuals. These presenters have been playing their part to ensure this legislation is challenged, tested and improved in the best interests of the people of Ontario. All the presentations have been reviewed in detail and given serious consideration by the Ministry of the Environment and the Office for the Greater Toronto Area as well as by the members of this committee.

As the committee reviews this legislation, the government will introduce some amendments based on submissions to the committee and our consultation with a number of stakeholders. These will clarify the language and intent of the legislation in a number of sections and resolve some concerns and misunderstandings without compromising the basic intent of the legislation.

We are also prepared to listen to opposition proposals and accept them if they will improve the legislation while maintaining the environmental principles this government is committed to.

Part I of the bill gives the Interim Waste Authority the powers it needs to find suitable long-term landfill space for the regions of Durham, Peel, York and Metropolitan Toronto. The IWA is, and is deliberately described as, an interim organization. Future negotiations between the province and the GTA regional governments will determine how the landfill sites will be managed in the GTA in the long term.

A number of presenters felt we should define, in sections 1 and 2, a mandate for the IWA or specify what agency would operate the landfills. To do this would limit flexibility in our negotiations. We want to be able to respond to the positions of the regions when the time comes to discuss operating the sites.

In section 3 we intend to propose some changes to clarify and better define the expropriation powers provided to the Interim Waste Authority. In the past, legislation simply granted authority to an agency to have virtually unrestricted access to property. Sections 7 to 10 of this legislation safeguard the rights of property owners and limit those powers of access. We have also tabled amendments which clarify some other limits on powers of access, such as notice and the right to be heard during application for a warrant.

The IWA needs the power to go on to property and test soil and geological conditions to find the safest, most environmentally sound sites for landfill in an efficient manner. A number of municipalities told this committee how, without powers of access, they were unable to investigate sites properly and eliminate unsuitable locations.

Sections 12 through 16 deal with selection of landfill sites, determination of need and landfill capacity and the environmental assessment process to be followed. We have had extensive comment, before and during the hearings, on two options specifically excluded from any environmental assessment for the IWA landfills. Incineration and hauling garbage beyond the boundaries of the GTA are waste disposal measures that are inconsistent with waste reduction. They are a product of the way of life that has created garbage crises across Ontario. They are not solutions but part of the problem.

Our government has banned new facilities for incineration of municipal solid waste. We have done this on environmental grounds related directly to public health and safety and on the practical grounds that incinerators are expensive and completely incompatible with our waste reduction policies. Their voracious appetite for garbage as fuel does not complement waste reduction but competes directly with the 3Rs for reusable material. This committee has heard ample evidence from scientists and citizens about the health risks, high costs and incompatibility with the 3Rs of incinerators.

Any proposal for shipping garbage beyond the boundaries of the GTA, including the Kirkland Lake Adams mine proposal, is an "out of sight, out of mind approach" that provides no incentive for reducing wastes in this area of four million people. And with no incentive for waste reduction, the four million metric tonnes of garbage created here every year will be a constant threat to the environmental health and integrity of communities throughout the rest of the province.

We have heard enough from communities across Ontario in recent years to be assured that they want protection against being deluged by Toronto-area garbage. This prevailing sentiment was made clear in submissions at the Kingston and Sarnia hearings, as well as in many presentations made to the committee in Kirkland Lake. I am determined to provide the protection these communities clearly want and need. This section of the bill does not, as some have interpreted it, interfere with the flow of materials destined for reuse and recycling. Development of healthy markets for secondary materials is enhanced by this bill, not restricted by it.

Part III of the bill, especially section 17, deals with measures to meet the disposal capacity gap in the GTA and to ensure that, while long-term landfill sites are being assessed properly and developed, there is disposal capacity available.

The region of Durham is understandably concerned about the cost of short-term transfer facilities to deal with its wastes after Brock West landfill closes. We have given Durham time to pursue more cost-effective alternatives to the construction of a transfer station at Brock West.

In Peel we have worked closely with the region, with municipal officials and with the affected communities to resolve concerns over the extension of capacity at the Britannia Road landfill to serve the region's need for disposal while a new, long-term site is assessed. I have been personally involved in this process and have found that almost all the municipal officials and affected citizens are prepared to deal with the issues in a positive, constructive and cooperative way.

The need for a capacity extension at the Keele Valley landfill site serving York and Metropolitan Toronto is a situation that is changing on a day-to-day basis. When these hearings began I said there was some hope that an Environmental Protection Act hearing might be possible for this site.

Metropolitan Toronto, which operates the site, is proceeding with the studies that are required and is developing a community involvement program for the landfill extension. Their progress gives me even more grounds for optimism that, if an extension is required, there will be time for a hearing. We will introduce an amendment to Bill 143 to allow for a hearing. As Metropolitan Toronto suggested in its submission, the hearing could be limited in time and scope but would provide an impartial review by the Environmental Assessment Board of the environmental acceptability of the extension. If studies are completed and capacity estimates prove correct, a hearing could begin as early as next year.

Part IV of the bill deals with a series of amendments to the Environmental Protection Act which are province-wide in application.

Many municipalities interpreted portions of part IV as meaning that the provincial government wished to take over waste management responsibilities. We have tried hard to prepare amendments to clarify the wording to respect municipal authority and we thank all those municipalities for pointing out areas of concern. Municipalities have always been responsible for waste management and we have no intention of changing the situation.

In section 23 we are seeking statutory authority to establish a waste management system in emergency situations. Such a system may include haulage facilities or a waste disposal site, such as a temporary storage facility.

There are always a few situations that arise, for example the cleanup and storage of radioactive waste from the Malvern community in Scarborough or PCBs at Smithville, where municipalities may welcome direct provincial intervention for effective management of the situation. To ensure proper application of this power, we intend to amend the section to ensure that the appropriate municipal consent is sought for any direct provincial government action under this legislation.

There was some concern that the definition of "waste management systems" in section 24 might result in government interference with contractual arrangements for waste management between a municipality and private sector contractors or even between municipalities. This is not intended and we will reword the amendment to ensure that the law is clear on that point.


As I indicated at the start of the hearings, we will clarify section 26 to ensure that my accountability and the accountability of future ministers for waste management orders, known as minister's reports, is not delegated.

Other questions have been raised about section 26 by municipal representatives. They have been concerned that their careful and prudent long-term waste management planning could be devastated by an order to absorb waste from another, less fortunate community.

The government already has powers for emergency situations under section 29 of the Environmental Protection Act to intervene in municipal waste management activities. Our intent here is to establish, for the first time, some clear limits on those emergency powers. We will be amending this section to ensure that a five-year time limit applies and to provide for compensation. This should strengthen and provide some assurance for the integrity of municipal long-range waste management planning.

Clause 33(2)(j), relating to municipal financing of waste management, has been the subject of extensive municipal debate and discussion. The government has decided to delete clause 33(2)(j) from the legislation and to prepare a discussion paper on the financing of waste management, including the the 3Rs. There will be wide-ranging consultation during the paper's development and more formally when the paper is released for review. A firm, sustainable financial basis for waste management must be established based on the principles of local responsibility, full cost accounting and product stewardship.

Other changes to subsection 33(2) of the bill have been formulated following a review of the points made to the committee. For example, some groups felt the language in clauses (k) and (r) was too broad and did not specify that the regulations developed under these clauses would apply only to 3Rs facilities. This concern has been recognized and appropriate qualifying language inserted.

Similarly, some were concerned that the wording in clause 33(2)(t) would allow a minister to deem a certificate of approval to exist for a large landfill site in addition to 3Rs facilities. We will change the wording to rule out any such misinterpretation.

One major concern of the municipalities -- inefficiencies of the waste management master planning process and the environmental assessment process -- will be addressed in discussion papers that will be released very shortly. The paper on reform of municipal waste planning has been prepared in conjunction with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario. A second paper addresses the legislative reform required to provide municipalities with the powers needed to manage waste effectively and efficiently. In addition, later this year the ministry will be announcing improvements to the environmental assessment process.

Some industry representatives have challenged provisions in this legislation related to packaging and waste reduction. They point to the voluntary national packaging protocol as an effective instrument for achieving reduction goals. The ministry will ensure that the standards we use are also endorsed by the National Packaging Task Force. In fact, we are leading that task force to develop standards which will become national in scope. Just last week the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment decided to review progress on voluntary reduction of packaging waste, and then will decide whether regulations are necessary.

I am encouraged by what is being achieved voluntarily. In the industrial, commercial and institutional sectors there are a lot of organizations doing their best and showing what can be accomplished. Unfortunately, there are more of them holding back. The public is demanding action on waste reduction from both government and business.

We are consulting industry in developing the regulations that will require audits and waste reduction action plans. I am confident that we can work out an effective and fair way of achieving our objectives. This commitment to consultation extends to all the regulations needed to implement our waste reduction action plan.

Some businesses, particularly in the waste management industry, expressed concern about the lack of reference to the private sector in the bill. This government supports a strong private sector as a primary means for economic renewal. This legislation will in fact create new business opportunities for innovative 3Rs facilities and services as well as traditional waste management activities. Much of the legislation does not mention business because it anticipates no change in the current system which involves cooperation between business and governments.

Some presentations to the committee urged the government to go further in the area of waste reduction and ensuring product stewardship. In that regard we have introduced amendments to extend the authority to require deposits on products as well as packaging and containers.

Some presentations have called for further delay to this legislation. One, for example, suggested holding the bill until the ministry's initiatives paper relating to financing has been dealt with. Another would place Bill 143 on hold until our ministry and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs complete consultation on statutory authority for municipalities for waste management.

These suggestions say to do nothing until we know everything and have studied and debated it all. We will never know everything. We will always have something to resolve. But we have a job to do. We have to make a start across Ontario on reducing the waste we generate and on providing better, safer alternatives for the residual wastes for which no use can be found.

We are standing at the crossroads and we have to turn in the direction of a conserver society. Instead of standing still for further discussion, let us start our journey now. This legislation is the start of the process, not the end of it, and it is time to get on with the job, working together to resolve the problems created by our established wasteful habits. It is time to build solutions, and I thank you for the part that this committee is playing in doing just that.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Thank you very much. Under the procedures agreed to, I now call upon the Liberal caucus. Mr McClelland, you have 20 minutes for a statement and/or questions by yourself or to be shared with members of your caucus.

Mr McClelland: I should indicate at the outset that I will be using a portion of the time and my caucus colleagues will be using the remainder of the time.

Minister, we thank you for coming here today and presenting to the committee. I am a little taken aback, quite frankly, by your opening comments. I thought we would have had something a bit more specific and some reference to the amendments you are proposing in light of your news release of March 17, 1992. You say in that news release, by way of example, that valuable contributions were made from a variety of groups including municipalities, business, labour and community groups, and you were going to address those without compromising the intent of the bill.

What we have in your statement today is some reference that business can rest assured that it is welcome in this province, and that the bill or your amendments do not address the concerns raised by business because there is no problem. Having sat through these committee hearings and heard so many people bring so many specific recommendations to this committee, where is this response the government talked about in this March 17, 1992, press release?

I look at the government amendments that are proposed, and but for a couple they are housekeeping measures. They clean up a bit of language. They make things a bit more clear. They change a word here; they change a word there. They incorporate the use of French. They change a French phrase here and change a French phrase there. I suppose the ultimate insult of the amendments brought forward is contrasted with page 1 of your statement today, paragraph 3: "From the outset, I have maintained that Bill 143 contains basic principles on which we would brook no compromise."

I remind you, Minister, that in the 1990 election, in the basic principles that you as Environment critic and the now Premier ran on as you went from place to place across this province, there was among other things a statement that there would be no expansion of existing sites without a full environmental assessment. Those were basic principles that you then adhered to, that you then stated. Bill 143 flies in the face of that. You know that, and what you do in terms of your amendments is to say, "Maybe if we can, we might possibly accommodate Keele Valley in terms of something akin to an environmental assessment hearing." The question remains: Do you or do you not believe in the environmental assessment process, as you said you did before?


Another question I have to raise again at this point, Minister, is this: Throughout 1990 in the campaign and even since that time, you said that an environmental bill of rights would be the cornerstone of your environmental agenda. We now know from cabinet documents we have received that it is number 56 on your priority list, and we know why that is. We know that an environmental bill of rights would completely fly in the face of many of the provisions of Bill 143. It would fly in the face of that much-talked-about commitment to public participation in allowing people to have their say and participate in the process through an environmental assessment.

Very clearly what this bill has indicated is that it catches you out in your statement of October 1990, when you said there would be no garbage gap. My predecessor as Environment critic, Mrs Sullivan, asked you, "What are you going to do about a garbage gap?" You said, "There will be none, not to worry," and that you were going to have it under control. Then you came forward with Bill 143, which was crafted together as a Band-Aid solution to long-term problems. We heard that everywhere we went across this province.

In your statement today you have focused in and have said that you heard there were people who supported the bill and who have said it is a good bill because it has begun to deal with the problems of waste generation. Part of the bill does that, but let's look at the broader picture. Throughout the course of this hearing your parliamentary assistant has basically said this is a good bill because it outlaws incineration and it makes sure we cannot transport garbage across municipal boundaries. Bill 143 is much more than that, and it became a spin of the government members throughout the course of these hearings basically to say: "If you're against incineration, you must be for Bill 143. If you're in favour of waste reduction, it follows that you must be in favour of Bill 143."

At no time have you addressed the major concerns of people who came before the hearings, people who said: "What about our rights? What about the whole structure of environmental law as we know it in Ontario? What about environmental assessment? What about the Environmental Protection Act? What about the Ontario Municipal Board Act? What about the Municipal Act? What about all the acts that have been heretofore in place to afford public participation and the opportunity for people to have some sort of legislative framework? Today you do not come forward with any statements that revisit those basic principles you believed in.

You mention as well that Bill 143 maintains certain principles based on environmental grounds -- and I am not sitting here today speaking as a proponent of incineration. I want to make that abundantly clear, contrary to what some people have suggested throughout the course of these hearings. What I am suggesting is this: As we were having hearings on this bill and you were appearing before a court of law in Detroit, Michigan, and having questions put to you such as, "On what basis are you making your position?" you could not give them answers. You come before this committee and, other than some statements, say, "It's based on environmental grounds because we have heard evidence" -- let me remind you of the five people your caucus had an opportunity to invite here. Each caucus had an opportunity to invite five groups to present for an hour. You brought in two experts from the United States to say what a terrible thing incineration is. I am not arguing the point of incineration. What I am saying is that surely you could have found your expertise within Ontario, some expertise based on empirical data, some people who could come here and make your case based on evidence that would be supportable or else subject to challenge. You are unable to do that, Minister.

You come here and make some great statements about how we all know it is expensive and it is incompatible. It is what we have said throughout the course of these hearings: a bill crafted on ideology and not on empirical data. This is a bill based on expediency, not on environmental principles; not on environmental integrity but rather a commitment to ideology.

Quite frankly this makes a mockery of the process. I remind people that you said how happy you were to have people come here, Minister, the 200-plus deputations that appeared before the committee.

Let's remember what is going to happen at the conclusion of clause-by-clause this week. We are going to move back into the House. We are going to have three days of committee of the whole and one day of third reading, probably two and a half or three hours, the way the legislative process works. I remind you again that this came only after a lot of kicking and screaming from opposition members, Mr Cousens, myself, Mr Sorbara and others; that you wanted this legislation by December 17; that you said -- and you said it to me personally -- that garbage would be piling up on the streets of Peel, and did I want to have the burden of that responsibility on my shoulders, if you did not get this legislation by December 17. You may recall that conversation.

It is great for you to come here and say how much you appreciate the input of people. I want to see some concrete amendments brought forward that address the concerns of the business community, the concerns of ratepayers, the concerns of the people at Britannia, the concerns of municipalities that are concerned about your taking over their position in terms of waste management.

I have to tell you very candidly, Minister, that I am disappointed to date. I hope there will be more amendments forthcoming. The amendments you have here really do nothing at all to change the basic principles of the bill, which, among other things, say you have abandoned your previous commitment to public process and allowing people to have an opportunity to participate in the environmental assessment process.

I want to ask you a question that you can respond to at any time. I want to know if the current government will plan to limit or restrict the way municipalities spend their landfill operation revenue. Very recently, within the last couple of days, we have had an Environmental Assessment Board hearing coming out of Orillia. One of the recommendations of that Environmental Assessment Board hearing, recommendation 20, is being appealed to cabinet. Orillia has the concern that you and your government are going to limit or restrict the way municipalities spend their landfill operation revenues. There have been concerns expressed by AMO and other organizations throughout the debate on Bill 143 that in fact what you as the government is doing is saying that you are taking over the operation of waste management and allowing the municipalities to pay the tab, but you will direct exactly what they are going to do. I would like you to address that specific concern.

In summary, Minister, I am very disappointed that you have not dealt with the specific concerns. You said you have reviewed the material carefully. I find it incredible that you can sit here and say you have looked at it seriously, and then look at the amendments that have been brought forward, which really do virtually nothing to address the many concerns brought forward by people.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Just before going on, I will stop the clock for a few seconds. I just want to be clear. Do you want the minister to respond to your questions or do you wish your colleague to speak first?

Mr McClelland: I will let Mr Sorbara speak first.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Okay; thank you.

Mr Sorbara: I just have three or four questions. First of all, I want to ask the minister whether she is aware of a political commitment made by the member for York South, now the Premier of Ontario, during the last general election campaign at the site of the Keele Valley landfill site not to proceed, if elected, with an expansion or the opening up of a new dump facility in the absence of a full environmental assessment. Are you aware of that commitment?

Hon Mrs Grier: What is your process, Mr Chair? Do you want me to immediately respond to questions?

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Do you want her to --

Mr Sorbara: I want to get some answers.

Hon Mrs Grier: I would be glad to respond to that, Mr Chair, because there most certainly has been a concern of this member and of other members in the hearings before this committee, and I think the subject has been well canvassed. Presenters who have appeared before the committee have argued, certainly, about commitments that had been made during the election campaign and have argued about the possibility of keeping those commitments.

I certainly acknowledge that both the Premier and myself feel that for a landfill site, whether it be a new one or an extension, the Environmental Assessment Act process is the desirable way to go. However, when faced with the realities of dealing with waste management within the greater Toronto area, we have acknowledged that while we have embarked upon a long-term site search, which is part of this legislation, there is a risk, in fact, in the case of Peel -- not just a risk but a certainty -- of its being out of capacity before a long-term site is available.

Therefore, faced with the options that had been chosen by the previous government of opening up interim sites in new greenfield locations without an environmental assessment or continuing the operation of existing, well-functioning sites, we chose the option of continuing the operation of both the Britannia and the Keele Valley sites because they were already existing landfills and we knew they appeared to be functioning well. As part of our orders to Metro Toronto and to the region of Peel, we ordered them to do technical studies that would confirm that they were in fact operating well and could accommodate this extra waste.


Both municipalities have embarked on those studies, and among the amendments I have now put before the committee is an amendment to ensure that in the case of Keele Valley, given that there appears now to be time for a hearing under the Environmental Protection Act, that hearing will occur. We accepted the suggestions of Metropolitan Toronto and other presenters to the committee that to ensure a hearing, and that it be a time-limited hearing, some scoping be in part of the legislation. We have agreed to that.

I acknowledge that it would obviously have been our first preference to have a full environmental assessment, but given the crisis and the timing, that was not possible. We have attempted to do the best possible community involvement and consultation we can in the case of those two expansions, and we have made it very clear that the search for the long-term sites will be done with a full environmental assessment.

Mr Sorbara: With respect, I am looking for specific answers to specific questions from the minister and I would just ask, given the shortage of time, that she limit her answers simply to the question. We are not in a debate here. I asked, "Were you aware of the commitment?" Obviously you were aware and obviously you are acknowledging that Bill 143 is anything but a fulfilment of that commitment.

My second question is -- and if you just kept your answers brief, I would appreciate it -- would you agree with me that the underpinning of environmental legislation in the area of waste disposal is based generally on the principle that the legislation ought to provide fair hearings to groups that are affected and the process ought to result in the selection of the best possible site for waste disposal when landfill is being considered?

Hon Mrs Grier: Yes. Indeed, the Environmental Protection Act provides for public participation and provides for being sure that technically a site is as safe and as good as it can possibly be.

Mr Sorbara: Then can I ask the minister --

Hon Mrs Grier: The Environmental Assessment Act requires an examination of alternatives when looking for a new landfill site, but let me remind the member that in the Environmental Protection Act is section 29, which gives the minister emergency powers. Those emergency powers have been utilized by me in my orders that Keele Valley and Britannia be extended. In this particular legislation and in the amendments to this legislation that we have put before the House, we have in fact limited those emergency powers as they have never been limited by any of my predecessor ministers of the Environment.

Mr Sorbara: Then can I ask the minister, on what basis did she, without any hearing, without any studies, without any consultation, without talking to anyone but presumably the officials in her own ministry and her cabinet colleagues, decide that the best possible location, not for an interim site but for a permanent site, for Metropolitan Toronto's garbage is the regional municipality of York? Not the regional municipality of Peel, not the regional municipality of Durham, not any other area in the province, but the only site, the only jurisdiction, the only area, the only region that could possibly provide an acceptable site for the garbage of 2.5 million people in Metropolitan Toronto is in the region of York, and no other place in the province, notwithstanding that the provision of York bill provides no haulage outside the GTA.

You have made a decision, without talking to anyone and without doing any studies, to determine that Metro's garbage, which is really the subject of this bill -- notwithstanding all the bafflegab about the 3Rs, it has to do with where we are going to put Metropolitan Toronto's garbage. What studies did you do to determine that York region would provide a better site than Peel, which is also a neighbour with coterminous boundaries, and Durham, which is also a neighbour? How is that consistent with environmental principles about having hearings to choose the best possible site? Why did you choose York region and not Peel? Why did you not divide up Metro's garbage between Peel, Durham and York if you want to keep the garbage within the GTA? What drove you to consider York region as the only acceptable site for 2.5 million people in the municipality of Metropolitan Toronto?

Hon Mrs Grier: It is always, I suspect, tempting to rewrite history, but I remind the member than an agreement between the municipality of Metropolitan Toronto and the region of York was in place long before I became the minister, and that agreement provides --

Mr Sorbara: So it is just history. I am sorry to interrupt, but you are saying it is just history then, because that is where the garbage was pursuant to an agreement and an environmental assessment hearing and a determination that the site was acceptable, that because that is where it once went, because there was an environmental assessment done on Keele Valley, that from now on we would always only look in York region and in no other corner of the province.

I submit to you, Minister, that that is the worst kind of environmental planning, not simply for the province of Ontario but any jurisdiction in North America, and it would be completely rejected by anyone with any kind of commitment to sane, sensible environmental principles based on finding the best site and doing it through a hearing process. I ask the minister not to base her decision on history, because history was substantiated by hearings and your decision was not.

Hon Mrs Grier: The member, in the preamble to his previous question, said he just wanted direct answers. He did not allow me the courtesy of finishing my last direct answer.

Mr Sorbara: I would like to hear it now.

Hon Mrs Grier: Do you wish me to answer that question? May I perhaps complete it?

As I was indicating to the member, an agreement is in place between Metropolitan Toronto and the region of York which provides that until the year 2003 the waste from the two regions be disposed of in Keele Valley. Because of profligacy with that very precious landfill capacity, that landfill is now going to be full long before the year 2003. Any municipality, in embarking upon a landfill search, determines an area within which that search will take place. There are often agreements between municipalities and towns and outlying municipalities that they will jointly embark upon a study.

Mr Sorbara: That is simply not true.

Hon Mrs Grier: We have continued that arrangement and under the Environmental Assessment Act I can assure the member that the safest and best possible site for the disposal of waste --

Mr Sorbara: Is in York region.

Hon Mrs Grier: -- will be found. It has not been decided where that site will be. It will be in either Metropolitan Toronto or York region and it will be decided upon on the strictest environmental criteria, criteria that are more environmentally sound than any criteria used in any landfill site search throughout this province before, and I can guarantee that.

Mr Sorbara: I submit to the minister that she --

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Excuse me, I am afraid the 20 minutes for the Liberal position is up. I would now call on Mr Cousens. The Conservatives have 20 minutes.

Mr Cousens: Ontario's waste management future will be fit for little more than the scrap heap with the passing of Bill 143. I believe what the minister has done is close off all effective options to finding a solution to greater Toronto area waste and is so restricted under this bill. This minister has said no to incineration, no to communities that want to accept waste for recycling, no to municipalities trying to find a solution that meets their needs and those of the GTA. From day one, this minister has stayed with a bill that defies logic and panders to the lobbying of the ecoterrorists who are out there in this province.


Mr Cousens: You laugh. I think what has happened over the last several weeks is that the mockery has been to the people of Ontario, who have had three weeks of public hearings and as the result of that we have amendments and changes coming from this ministry that mean little, if anything.

The reality is that the problems we have with waste in this province -- there are a number of realities. One reality is that this government has said no to incineration, that you cannot burn it. This government has said no to transportation and repeats that again today. You do not even allow people who say, "Yes in my backyard". You say no to anyone outside the greater Toronto area who wants to be part of this solution to our waste problem.

The reality is that you cannot stop garbage. We will always have garbage and it continues to be with us. The reality is that you still cannot count on the 3Rs continuing to solve the problem. I think there is not a person in this room who does not believe in the 3Rs, yet we are now beginning to see grave problems with the blue box program. In a few years from now it may well be that the province and municipalities that have to provide that blue box program may be forced out of it because of costs.


So what does the minister say in the first three parts of Bill 143? She says all you can do is bury it. That is the solution to our waste, aside from the 3Rs, where they can work. So if you deal with burying our waste, you are dealing with outdated technology, you are dealing with dangerous long-term implications. Do not for a moment underestimate the problems of what we are doing at Keele Valley with the headwaters of the Don River. Let's not forget the importance of what happens with the mess that comes with this old-fashioned technology you are leaving us as a legacy. Coming down the parkway today I saw a truck carrying waste and papers flittering all over the place. The people who live near the landfill sites, commonly known as dumps, know what it is to have other people's waste filtering across their properties.

What this minister has said is, "No, I'm not prepared to look at anything other than the solution of burying." What she has decided to do and stayed with today is to inflict a landfill site of 40 million tonnes on an area that is the fastest-growing populated area in the GTA and in Canada. "Here's where we are going to have our dumps. Here's where we are going to have our landfill sites," and there has not been any movement on those issues.

I cannot tell you how angry people out there are who have come to this committee in a most responsible way seeking the ear of the government to find a solution other than what it has proposed. I saw that anger in Kirkland Lake, where there was a demonstration the likes of which I have not seen since I have been a member of this Legislature, hundreds of people there coming out talking about Ruthless Grier; they had you in ice in that town on the main square.

Anyway, I am telling you that you have proven that the New Democrats do not know how to listen and have no sense of the deep concerns and passions that people in the province have.

In the meantime, we are faced with two existing sites where you are continuing to proceed without a full environmental assessment: Keele Valley and Britannia. You allow continuation and work on those sites without a full environmental assessment in spite of the fact that your present Premier had made a commitment prior to the election of September 6 that that would never be the case.

Minister, the injustice of what you are putting upon the people of Ontario is such that we have to face up to the new reality of the New Democratic government. Your government has revoked orders on Brampton and Durham for possible sites whereby they would have available landfill sites. What is going to happen now? We do not know what sites are being considered for the greater Toronto area. Indeed, the parliamentary assistant indicated there could be one in the Metro area itself. We would like to know where they are, yet in spite of the fact that those lists of potential sites for landfill were to have been prepared, they have never been made public, not until after this bill is passed. We find that repulsive.

What this minister has done is break a promise about both Britannia and Keele Valley. We saw that in the presentations from the mayors of those communities. I have a tremendous impression of the presentations made by the mayor of Vaughan, the mayors of King City the region of York and of Mississauga; concerns about the waste of millions of dollars and hundreds of hours of time.

Here is a ministry that at one time said, "We're prepared to look at the site for Kirkland Lake." In a letter of January 22, 1991, you wrote to Chairman Tonks, "Continue to investigate the conceptual design and evaluation of the feasibility of rail haul," so they did it and now you have reversed it. I had hoped that since you changed your mind once, you could change it again, but it is obvious that even with logic, reason and impassioned pleas from people, you are very, very rigid in your views. I am disappointed that this minister has refused to listen to communities, to businesses and to opposition.

With the presentation we have had today, it makes you wonder just how you could be so strong an advocate for environmental matters in opposition and now in government have such a different view. How could you introduce a bill in isolation to the reality that is facing this whole area? It is not a win-win situation for government or people or anyone. You have closed off all effective options and incentives. You have eliminated the consideration of other options through Bill 143 and the amendments you have brought forward today.

If only it were possible to have the levels of government working together with business and the communities to develop coordinated laws, programs and policies with realistic targets to minimize costs and maximize the benefits to society.

All I would beg of this ministry is to consider all options -- source reduction, the 3Rs, incineration or energy from waste, landfilling -- and develop legislation that will provide a foundation for the future based on a full environmental assessment of what goes on and, if in fact we are wrong to consider some of these views, through a scientific approach rather than a technopeasant approach we would be in a position to understand what is going on.

My motion and the motion from our caucus as we get into consideration of this committee will be that we not proceed with third reading of Bill 143 until we begin to get some of the information we have requested, the initiative papers on the financing of waste management from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, and until we get something of the statutory authority you are going to be bringing in affecting waste management for Ontario municipalities and, further, until we get the answers to the host of questions that were raised during the hearings of this committee.

What we are doing is proceeding down a road where there is still time to stop, and there may be hope that the members of the New Democratic Party in their wisdom will allow to pass this motion that we not proceed further with Bill 143.

The member for Mississauga South has a point.

Mrs Marland: I wonder if the minister would be willing to answer the questions that have been placed to her repeatedly about the Britannia site, the questions that have been the essence of meetings between her staff and the residents of the community surrounding the Britannia site and the meetings involving the staff of the region of Peel in particular.

I also wonder if the minister would comment on the situation for the township of Muskoka Lakes, that is shipping its garbage out of its area into Parry Sound, into the McDougall site. Although there has been a resolution of the district council asking that the township of Muskoka Lakes be permitted to ship its garbage to Huntsville, Bracebridge and Gravenhurst, which have existing sites and existing capacity, apparently your advice, the advice you received from your staff, is to deny that request. As a result, the township of Muskoka Lakes is being held ransom by the operators of the McDougall site because it is the only game in town. There is an incredible increase in tipping fees for the township of Muskoka Lakes at the McDougall site.

I think this is an example of where on the one hand you said it was okay to expand Britannia without an environmental assessment or even an assessment under the Environmental Protection Act, without any assessment whatsoever, and yet here you are allowing the expansion of the McDougall site when the township of Muskoka Lakes has capacity closer to its source of garbage generation in Bracebridge, Huntsville and Gravenhurst.

I think the overall picture is what my colleague the member for Markham has expressed, the concern that there seems to be one set of rules for one area and one set of rules for another, the concern that has been expressed to you over and over about the expansion and the ongoing use of Britannia without a commitment about the time line and the final closure of that site.

The communities around the Britannia landfill site have told you they are willing to have that one-year extension, even though there has already been a one-year extension. In fact, it is two years later than the time that site was designed to close when it originally opened in 1978 with a 12-year agreement; a 12-year agreement, I might add, that not only had the signatures of the municipalities, namely, the city of Mississauga and the region of Peel, but also of the Ontario Municipal Board and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs. In that particular case we have a blatant regression of agreements signed by parties who were and still are responsible to the people in that community.

This legislation that you feel is an emergency is the only option you have because of the emergency and the crisis you are facing. On the one hand you talk about Metro being in a crisis and yet there are two years' capacity at Keele. You are not willing to exempt the township of Muskoka Lakes because you do not consider it a crisis. We have two totally conflicting situations and I just give you the township of Muskoka Lakes as an example of a contradiction. I do not know whether your staff have briefed you on that contradiction and you are able to fully comment on it today, but I think the people elected to represent that community -- the township of Muskoka Lakes -- the mayors of Gravenhurst, Huntsville and Bracebridge, are entitled to an explanation about why the Metro situation is being handled differently than theirs.

I still believe the people in the region of Peel deserve at least a commitment about when the final end closure of Britannia will take place and, in the meantime, which of the concessions they asked you for in their list of six in their ultimatum presentation made to you when you appeared in person before those people at the meeting in Mississauga -- which of those questions are you willing to comment on and deal with in the affirmative?

Hon Mrs Grier: Do I have time for a response?

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Yes, there is time.

Hon Mrs Grier: Let me respond to some of the questions the member has raised. The list of issues raised by the ratepayer groups in Peel that she refers to were raised at a meeting I had with them in my ministry, as well as at the public meeting she and I attended. My understanding is that we arrived at a consensus or agreement on four of them. The difficulty was their request for a firm date as to when Britannia will close for ever. As I explained to them, it will close as soon as we have a long-term site up, running and operating. The two are inextricably linked, so the sooner we can get a long-term site in the region of Peel to service the residents and municipalities of Peel, the sooner Britannia can close. I certainly look forward to their constructive support as we go through that very public process of finding a long-term site. I have been very impressed by their responsible and constructive approach to the issues we were faced with.

The other issue that was not resolved was the size of the site required, or the size of the expansion, I think, as well. Again, to a large degree that is dependent on variables that keep changing, one of which is the amount of waste generated and the other one how long we need to be at Britannia. Our dialogue with those ratepayer groups is ongoing and we have certainly been sharing with them all the information, as has the region of Peel, which has now embarked upon the technical studies that will allow us to know what form the lift will have to take and where on the site the lift will have to occur.

With respect to the region of Muskoka and the McDougall site, I am not up to date on the latest blow-by-blow moves of waste in that area, but I think I should say two things: First of all, I have never denied that, faced with a waste management system across this province which had no logic and was not a system, some short-term decisions have had to be made to deal with individual crises in the best possible way for each decision. Expanding Keele Valley and Britannia falls into that category, as does the decision I took a year or so ago that the city of Kingston's waste would be shipped to Ottawa. Those are short-term, near-term solutions to crises that emerge. In the long term, we want a comprehensive waste management system that focuses primarily on waste reduction, reuse and recycling, and that requires municipalities to seek long-term sites under the Environmental Assessment Act as close as possible to the source of generation.

With respect to Muskoka, the McDougall site has been a privately owned site to which the region and, I think, the towns you mentioned have taken waste for many years. It was not a very well designed site and our ministry expended at least $5 million over the last year and a half, I think --

Interjection: Just recently.

Hon Mrs Grier: -- recently in bringing that site into compliance with the kind of criteria we have for a landfill site. Therefore, it seemed perfectly reasonable for the municipalities that had been using it to continue to use it.

Mrs Marland: It is leaching.

Hon Mrs Grier: The evidence of leachate -- the up-to-date information I am not aware of, but certainly in the past it has been a problem, which was why we gave funding to make sure it was brought as close as possible to being a well-operated site.

Mrs Marland: But the McDougall site is still faced with a leachate problem and the remedy -- apparently two of the alternative sites also have a leachate problem. The point is that the remedy, the cost of the remedial measures to any of those sites, is fair when it is borne over a larger number of municipalities within the district. It is unjust and unfair at the moment to have this compulsory shipment outside their municipality which, as I said, contradicts what is going on in Metro.

Hon Mrs Grier: As I indicated to the member, in the short term we have to make the best possible decision in each particular case. We have a legacy of leaching landfill sites because they were not established under a proper environmental assessment process and because no emphasis had been put on trying to reduce the amount of waste, particularly the amount of processable waste, that goes into those sites. As we move forward into a new era and design new sites, our objective through the Environmental Assessment Act and legislation such as Bill 143 for the GTA is to avoid being in that situation again.

With respect to the rest of the province, the changes to the waste management master planning process and the ongoing discussions with municipalities will lead us to a better system in the long term and we will again have to make the best possible solutions for each short-term crisis.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): I must cut in at this point. That completes the 20 minutes for the Conservative opposition and we will now turn to clause-by-clause.

Mr Wiseman: Mr Chair, I move a 10-minute recess, please.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): A 10-minute recess. Is there any objection?

Mr Sorbara: Could we have a little explanation?

Mrs Marland: Yes, could we have a little explanation? If we ask for a recess, there is a reason. It is usually to call your members. I notice all your members are here today.

Mr Wiseman: We would like to have a moment to caucus to discuss some issues. We have just been given a notice and we would like to have the time to discuss that.

Mr Cousens: In that case, I would be pleased to support it. If they are considering that, can we make it 20? Can we make it for the rest of the day?

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): We will have a 10-minute recess. My clock -- and I should note that this is the clock I am going by and which the clerk will follow -- says 3:05, so at 3:15 we will reconvene.

The committee recessed at 1505.


The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Before we get into the clause-by-clause I would like to remind members of the committee of the agreement reached by the committee in February, and to note a few things I will be guided by as Chair as we go forward. First of all, members will recall that by order of the House we will begin to vote on all the various amendments which will have been made as of 4 o'clock this Thursday, even if we have not had an opportunity to discuss some of them. There was agreement that as of 4 o'clock we would do that. In addition, any amendments that have not been submitted to this point must be handed in by 5 o'clock on Wednesday. That was also included in the agreement set out in the House.

With respect to the clause-by-clause, I will be making a list of speakers as you indicate you wish to speak. There is no time limit; there is no particular order; members may speak more than once on any particular item. That is the procedure in dealing with clause-by-clause. There will be a meeting of the subcommittee at the end of our session today, if members wish to put forward any other approaches, but that is the normal way clause-by-clause is handled. I just wanted to set that out before we begin today, as we now proceed to clause-by-clause.

Mr Cousens: I have a motion I would like to place before the committee that I referred to in my earlier presentation.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Do you have that motion, and has it been submitted to everyone?

Mr Cousens: It has been supplied.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Mr Cousens moves that the government, given that the Ministry of the Environment has not released their promised initiatives paper on the financing of the waste management system, and that the Ministry of Municipal Affairs has not released their promised paper on statutory authority regarding waste management for Ontario municipalities, not proceed with third reading of Bill 143 until the aforementioned papers have been released for consideration and consultation with Ontario municipalities.

Is there any discussion on this?

Mr Cousens: I would like to speak to it, Mr Chairman, unless the minister is in a position to give us some idea as to when these papers are going to be brought forth.

Hon Mrs Grier: I think the issue before us is whether or not we defer the legislation. I would be happy to hear Mr Cousens's argument about that and then respond.

Mr Cousens: Over the past several months we have had an opportunity to consider waste management options for Ontario, in particular as it deals with the greater Toronto area. Through some 200 presentations that have been made to our committee, it has become very clear that there are many concerns regarding the disposal of waste.

An awful lot of what has to be done really requires leadership, which is now being assumed by the Ministry of the Environment and taken away from the municipalities. Now the ministry itself, through the Interim Waste Authority, will be the responsible body where decisions will be made.

The legislation we have before this House and before the committee has far-reaching implications. I have to comment briefly. Carman McClelland, the Liberal Environment critic, was talking today. He brought out again just the way in which this bill is taking away the rights of municipalities and regions: rights of appeal and rights to full environmental assessment on different things under the Municipal Act and the regional acts. This legislation is really draconian. It is a term we have all used on the opposite side of the table with regard to this bill.

I think a large part of the bill is based on powers the ministry is now going to impose that drastically remove rights previously enshrined in other legislation and through history in Ontario. The ministry is making these moves without consultation and without involvement and in breach of the terms of reference it gave the public before it was elected. Before Bob Rae and his government were elected on September 6, 1990, they made very clear where they stood on key environmental matters. Now that they are in power, they are able to reverse those positions and consequently give short shrift to the views other people would have.

These are the concerns that mount and mount and cause a large number of the 200 people who came in grave concern about where this government is going. I think you are seeing a malaise out there where people no longer have much trust in or respect for government at different levels. As a result we see that the government will do what it wants when it wants without regard to what was necessarily said before.

How then are we, a committee, in a position to proceed with this bill if we do not have all the facts before us? I and Margaret Marland have asked unsuccessfully for information on previous occasions. There were a number of instances in which that came through. We wanted the possible landfill sites being considered for the greater Toronto area. They were originally to be tabled before the House in December and I have not seen them yet. Mind you -- here is the surprise -- maybe they have been released and I just have not been given them.

As I said earlier to one of the minister's staff, the ministry came out with a task force report on tire recycling last week. Maybe the minister can confirm that it was. The fact of the matter is that I did not get my copy until my staff phoned the Ministry of the Environment today. The Ministry of the Environment did not have the courtesy of sending me a copy of the report of the task force on tire recycling. I had to ask for it today. The media had it before I did.

Maybe the ministry, in its own stupid wisdom, is sending out information I do not get. As critic for the Environment, I get furious at the fact that the government does not even give us the facts that are made public elsewhere; I have to find them from other sources. Who knows what this ministry has done in making announcements where landfill sites are going to be? It is utterly ludicrous and ridiculous. It is unacceptable. If you had been a Minister of the Environment critic back several years ago and you did not get information, how would you feel? You would be angry. I tell you that as your government's critic for the Environment, I do not get the information. Who knows what is going on there? You sure do not tell us. You cut us off. That is unacceptable.


Therefore, who is to know what has come out of your ministry on the selection of landfill sites? I have no sense of knowing where they are or what you are doing. It was promised that those sites would be made available back in December. We still do not know where they are. I can tell you this much: The people who live in the greater Toronto area would like to know where this government plans to place those sites.

During the standing committee meetings we have spent a considerable amount of time raising a number of questions of the ministry with regard to certain key issues. One was on January 23, when I asked the ministry to give us "a cost-benefit analysis of the bill and whether or not it shows that you are going to be making money or losing money. I want it to be proven by the numbers," I said. What I asked for is the cost justification to this bill. In order to proceed with the bill, one would want to have that economic analysis.

What we have here now is far less than an economic analysis. I really wonder where the ministry got it and when it prepared it as it relates to this whole bill we are now discussing and debating. If in fact there was some sense that it was reviewed and considered prior to the introduction of the bill, then we might have a sense that the ministry really knew what it was doing. That is why I use the term "technopeasant" when I refer to the way in which the ministry acts on some of these things. If in fact you are going to proceed with important matters, one would expect you would take at least a business approach as well and try to work out the economics of the whole thing and understand that there is some way in which you can deal not only with the environmental concerns that are absolutely imperative and that we as elected officials deal with, but also with the economic realities that go into it. Somehow or other they can work in harmony and balance together.

What has happened with the review of Bill 143 over the last number of weeks is that there is no sense that the government has ever really taken the time to look at the economic reality of it all. I saw that, and Margaret Marland, the member for Mississauga South, and I spent some time talking about when we were in Kirkland Lake. In fact, in Kirkland Lake you had a situation where people came forward and brought in a number of recommendations on how they could generate jobs within their community, how they could reactivate a railroad that was otherwise dying and how they could tie in a solution up there with the situation that we have.

Yet for some reason, in the narrow view of the ministry there is no willingness to look beyond the issue to say: "There's an economic benefit and here's the way we can handle it in a sound, realistic way. Let's not make the decision ourselves. Let's put it through for a full environmental assessment and let someone else who's got the scientific background and the thinking that goes into it see whether or not the idea is truly feasible." There was no environmental assessment. In fact, what has happened is that the ministry and the minister have decided not to proceed with it. That is an example where you look for an economic benefit and an economic analysis tied into the kinds of wishes that are being brought forward.

It was rather surprising as well, when you deal with the people in Kirkland Lake, that the people who were opposing the landfill site had been able to gain access to the ministry and the minister, but those who were involved as elected officials within the community could not gain access to Mrs Grier. Why is it that the one group that is opposed to it gains access to the ministry, and others who are elected to represent the people could not gain access to her? The minister has not even been to Kirkland Lake recently during this -- unless she has; I do not have her itinerary. The fact of the matter is that there was some concern raised at the hearings that the minister had not been present.

I am dealing with economic analysis. You cannot separate environmental thinking from economic reality. Somehow the two come together. Fundamental to them all is this building of trust as you try to work out a way in which you are going to handle the future. That is where the government is able to come forward and say: "Here are our papers. This is the look of the future and how the government is going to deal with these matters."

We have a government initiatives paper on waste management. Where is it? What does it say? What impact is it going to have? How is it going to relate to the whole concerns that are part of Bill 143? How do we, as members who are going to be voting on Bill 143, know how it interrelates? We do not have that information. We came along and asked the Ministry of Municipal Affairs what it needs for statutory authority regarding waste management of Ontario municipalities. What we are really saying is, where is it? It is not there now.

Prior to December 19 the minister said it was urgent, imperative and essential that Bill 143 pass through third reading and royal assent in the House prior to our rising. Thank goodness, the Liberals and ourselves sat back and said, "Is the world really going to cave in?" I saw the minister shaking her head earlier when Mr McClelland was talking about how essential it was. "Did you want to see garbage on the streets of Mississauga if you didn't get this passed?" There was a sense of great worry being created, and yet in our wisdom we were able to say there is far too much involved to allow this bill to be passed rapidly and quickly. When the House was sitting on December 19, we were able to convince the government at the last minute to allow three weeks of public hearings and this one week that starts now for clause-by-clause consideration of the bill.

One part of it is that at least the ministry has come forward with a number of amendments. You indicate in your press release 25 amendments. That means it was not perfect on December 19; 25 amendments since then shows that there was at least some level of listening; not as much as I hoped for, but there was at least a modicum of listening that went on in the three weeks. If we sat for nine weeks maybe we would get 75 amendments. Then we might come closer to where we really want to be.

Though my motion may be seen by some as saying, "There he is again trying to slow it down," I am saying that if we are in a position to obtain more information on the way the ministry is going to deal with this bill through other papers that can be tabled and released, it will allow consideration of the bill to be far more meaningful and it will allow us then to have more confidence in what is going to happen.

Bill 143 is one of the most important, in fact the only environmental bill that the minister has brought forward since she was made minister in October 1990. So it is important, since it is still not right and since the facts still are not on the table, for us legislators to give it a little more time. I am prepared to give it as much time as is needed to help make it the kind of legislation we really need.

We in Ontario are at a stage where it would appear that we have to be adversarial in everything we do. I have never felt less involved with the legislative process, because unfortunately it is a majority government. I say unfortunately it is a majority government. On September 6, 38% of the population of Ontario gave the New Democrats the power to become the government of Ontario. Those are the kinds of dreams politicians live on, because you never know what is going to happen in the next election. I can guarantee the New Democrats opposite that there would have been far more accommodation on this bill than has been shown so far, because in a minority government the government does not want to take a chance of alienating everyone, or the majority or a large group, and so there is a certain amount of compromise that builds in.

The amount of compromise we see in the amendments and the presentation by the ministry today is so minimal it makes a mockery of the whole process we are fighting so hard for. It is not a matter of just wanting to sit longer here in committee. I realize there are other things to be done in life than just Bill 143, but I am prepared to spend as much time as is required to see that we come up with a bill that really rationalizes, understands and finds the balance we are looking for. Since it is not there now, and since the evidence I present is that the papers we are looking for, the answers to the questions we are looking for, the whole rationale behind it is not there, can we not postpone further consideration of Bill 143 until such time at least as those papers are tabled in the Legislature and there is more debate and discussion with other municipalities?


Now I present this motion. I am appreciative that Mr Wiseman of the New Democratic Party has caucused for 10 minutes to ask that there be consideration. That was hope; the fact that you were able to take 10 minutes out to think about it really was something that was good. I hope it was enough time to get you started in the right direction, Jim, so we can step back from this bill for the time being and come back to it when all the information we have requested is made available.

Hon Mrs Grier: I made note of a couple of items Mr Cousens addressed that I think are not directly related to this amendment. Let me just apologize to him if the report of the scrap tire task force was not sent to him quickly. It ought to have been. That is a standing instruction in my ministry, and I will inquire and make sure that happens in the future.

With respect to the issuance of the long list of sites, I do want to correct the record, because I think Mr Cousens said that in December I felt it was urgent to get on with this bill and get the long list of sites out. That is indeed the case, and it is still the case. We heard from his colleague Mrs Marland the desire of people in Mississauga to know when Britannia would close. As I indicated in my response to her, Britannia can close when we move to get the long-term site operative, but the list of potential sites for new landfills cannot be completed until the legislation is adopted. Work on that list was suspended when it was decided by the Legislature we would go into hearings and have third reading of this legislation postponed until the new session.

I can assure the member that once the legislation has been passed work will begin again, and I hope the list of potential sites for long-term waste disposal will be released as soon as possible thereafter. Let me assure him that I think it is highly unlikely he will miss that release. I would suspect there will not be very many people within the GTA who will not be aware when that list comes out, and I am sure he will know about it.

The other point I want to make in respect to his comments about the number of amendments we have brought forward is to assure him that the number of amendments is in no way related to the length of the sitting of the committee but rather to the substance of the argument presented to the committee.

With respect to the motion that is before you, Mr Chair, I think we did make available to Mr Cousens a week ago the amendments put forward by the government. Bill 143, the Waste Management Act, is the first time the Legislature has had an opportunity to debate waste management. As a result, as this committee has heard in its hearings, for the first time people have come before the committee welcoming the opportunity to make presentations to a committee of the Legislature about all aspects of waste management.

As I said in my opening remarks, there was a wide range of opinions, some reflecting issues that were not addressed at all by this bill and some addressing issues about which there had been misinterpretation of the elements in this bill. This bill is not designed to be the be-all and end-all of the waste management system for Ontario. It is a very good start and there will be more coming, whether in the form of legislation, regulations or policy decisions taken by this government.

As we have both drafted the bill and dealt with proposed amendments, we have always wrestled with trying to make this bill answer all the questions that have been posed, recognizing that this bill has a very specific purpose: to deal with waste management issues within the GTA, and to put in place in section 4 those elements of waste reduction that are necessary to allow the entire province to get on with at least making a beginning of waste reduction.

The argument Mr Cousens makes that a number of people coming before the committee were concerned about the ultimate financing of the waste management system is a valid one. We heard that from the private sector, we heard it from municipalities, we heard it from individuals.

Financing of waste management is also going to be an extremely contentious issue. The whole question of flow control, which is the buzzword for who has responsibility for deciding where waste goes and thereby controlling the revenues, whether in the private or the public sector, is one which is not going to be easily resolved.

In the amendments we submitted a week ago, which I think Mr Cousens has, was one related to clause 33(2)(j) of the bill. That section reads that the EPA is amended by adding the following clause:

"(j) governing the manner in which municipalities carry out the financial management of their waste management activities, including the manner in which financial information is to be communicated to the public."

This was the clause that I think was of concern to Mr Cousens and this was one of the clauses I had indicated in my comments would be deleted, precisely because of the need to have a broader debate about the financing of the 3Rs. Therefore, the initiatives paper referred to in Mr Cousens's motion is precisely a response to that concern and a substitution for subsection 33(2).

In effect, what we have done is deleted from this bill debate on the financing, in acknowledgement of the fact that there needs to be a broader province-wide discussion. The first step in having that discussion is the consultation paper which will be released later this year. I would certainly submit that this legislation should not be deferred but in fact should be moved ahead, and that it does is not in any way preclude an open and totally unbiased debate on the financing when the initiatives paper comes forward later.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Mr Wiseman, Mrs Marland and then Mr McClelland.

Mr Wiseman: I will pass.

Mrs Marland: That is unfortunate. I was looking forward to hearing from Mr Wiseman because he represents a riding that has a tremendous controversy raging in it about landfill sites and the treatment of waste.

Mr Wiseman: I think in the near future and over the next few days, I am going to have ample opportunity to put on the record the apparent change in position of the Conservative Party and its stance on the P1 landfill site. I really do not need to do that at this time. I think the minister is answering the questions about this bill extremely well and in the future we will probably move into the debate.

I know my constituents are well informed and completely up to date on the issue of landfill and the fairness and equity of the system. They will recognize and remember that P1 was chosen under an EPA that did not go through the Legislature, did not have any legislation, had no opportunity for debate and at no time was it ever going to be considered not a landfill site. I think my constituents know where I stand on this issue and they will hear from me again in the near future.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): So you are not going to comment at this time?

Mr Wiseman: No, I will not comment at this time.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Right. I just wanted to make sure I understood.

Mrs Marland: In speaking to the motion put forth on behalf of our caucus by Mr Cousens, the member for Markham, I might say I think perhaps Mr Cousens commended the government caucus a little prematurely when he said, "Well, wasn't it great that they had 10 minutes to caucus to find out what to do about this motion." Obviously their 10-minute caucus did not bring forth any worthwhile comments because now they are not even wishing to speak, but at least now they are taking 10 minutes to caucus rather than having the little runners coming up with the notes that previously have told them what to say. Anyway, we will look forward to when they discover they have something to say and when in fact they say it.


Probably the truth is that the government members are as embarrassed as they should be about Bill 143, which is why this motion is so significant and so important. The irony about Bill 143 is that it is probably a personal irony for me, because while I was the Environment critic for three years for the PC caucus, the minister was Environment critic for the NDP caucus. During all the time that Mrs Grier and I shared the same platform and for the most part the same reaction to any number of issues the Liberal government did not deal with in terms of the environment, she and I agreed wholly. We supported each other on private resolutions and private bills to do with the environment.

I would suggest that Bill 143 is an absolute contradiction of the minister's own environmental bill of rights. If she were to try to bring forward her environmental bill of rights, which she spoke so eloquently about in the Legislature when she was in opposition, it would be a total contradiction of what is happening under Bill 143.

There is one thing I will concede to the minister. Madam Minister, there is no question you inherited a mess. After five years of the Liberal government, of inaction in the case of dealing with an escalating problem, of lack of waste management in this province, you did inherit a mess. But having said that, it then took you more than a year from when you were sworn into office to bring forward a bill.

This is the bill that is before this committee today and this bill in fact is not a solution; nor is it, I would suggest, a direction that, as the Environment opposition critic, you would have supported. I have heard you from time to time quite eloquently apologize for some parts of this bill. You are saying: "It's not perfect. It's not a perfect world. It's not what I really would have wanted given my druthers." Is that not your word, Madam Minister? I have heard you say "druthers."

Hon Mrs Grier: I am sure on occasion I have used the word "druthers," Mrs Marland.

Mrs Marland: When you say if you had your druthers, I do not know the origin of that word, to tell you the truth.

Hon Mrs Grier: It is old Anglo-Saxon.

Mrs Marland: I would think with the concerns you have had towards the environment and in particular towards the rights of individuals in the preservation of the environment, this bill must make you positively ill. When you say if you had your druthers, it is not what you would have wanted but you have been placed in this position and then with all the other conditions, you have had no choice but to bring forth this bill. I am afraid it is impossible for me to understand, having had all the high standards you had in terms of the rights of individuals, the rights of municipalities, the rights of elected people within those municipalities to represent the viewpoint of the people who elect them.

I may say, further to my colleague the member for Markham's comments about the Kirkland Lake issue, the irony was that I did not know until I visited there that it is not just something some big business operator has come up with about filling this huge open-pit mine which is a tremendous blight on the landscape. It was not some wealthy entrepreneur-developer who thought, "I can make a bit of money out of garbage"; it was actually the people in the community who wanted that process to be evaluated under an Environmental Assessment Act.

It is so significant up there that in the municipal election which took place last November -- in the midst of this bill being before the House, by the way, so it was not as though it was a municipal election a year ago or two years ago when people did not know what the issue was -- in the midst of that municipal election the people elected spokespersons for them on the municipal councils who supported going for a full environmental assessment into the use of the Adams mine site, this open pit mine, for garbage. The city, town and local hamlet councils, the elected representatives, who opposed going to a full environmental assessment hearing on that process were defeated. There were whole councils that were acclaimed and there were members of other councils who were elected on the basis that they supported at least looking at that option through a full environmental assessment, which this bill does not leave as an option.

How ironical if this government chose to ignore elected people because it thought that perhaps some elected people had ulterior motives or if in fact it might say some elected people did not speak for the people within a community. When you talk about a host community in the area of Kirkland Lake, it is not just one community. There are seven communities in that area that want this option looked at. Is it not ironical that if this government decided to disregard the municipal officials, it does not listen to the people who live in those communities who want the business, who want the jobs, the people in North Bay who want to build the railway cars, the taxpayers of this province who would like to see the Ontario Northland Railway make some money for them through the use of rail cars on that railway to Kirkland Lake, all of the tremendous boost that concept could possibly be to the economy of northern Ontario, notwithstanding that there would be a full environmental assessment first? That is all the people have asked for. They have not said, "Okay, ship us Metro's garbage." They have said, "Let us have a full environmental assessment of what would happen if we put Metro's garbage in this enormous open-face mine."

This is the same minister who in the past has fought. She fought, as a councillor for the city of Etobicoke, on a number of issues where we sat on the same committees as municipal politicians. She fought, as opposition critic for her party, for the rights of individuals to be heard, for the wishes of individuals to be carried out responsibly by their elected officials. We have a situation with Bill 143 where none of that matters. Suddenly everything that I felt she believed in, and certainly I believed in, is thrown out the window.

I just want to give members three examples of where either the minister's staff are not advising her fully or the minister's staff really do not understand what is going on. I concede that the minister does not write, or can or is expected to write, any or all of her letters. That is not the point of what it is I want to raise here. The fact is that this ministry is sending out mixed messages all around this province on the issue of waste management. Bill 143 is only going to make the whole subject more complex and more unbearable for the people who live in Ontario.


On January 31 of this year, over the signature of Ruth Grier as Minister of the Environment, a letter went to Frank Miller. This letter defies logic and is full of contradictions. I just want to give you three examples, because if this kind of thing is coming out from this ministry now without Bill 143, all I can say is we might as well throw in the towel because after Bill 143 nobody will have a clue what is going on if this kind of thing is happening today.

The minister wrote that a second approach to the problem concerning Muskoka Lakes' lack of a landfill site is to have recipient sites elsewhere in the district apply under the EAA and EPA to amend their service borders, even though the mayors said that the process would be "onerous, especially for a service border amendment."

The next thing is that the minister will not grant an exemption to allow Muskoka Lakes' garbage to go to another site within the district of Muskoka, but she writes, "Your municipality has been very successful in the areas of waste reduction, reuse and recycling which is all the more reason why waste from Mukskoka Lakes should be managed within your municipality." That is what they are asking for and she is saying two different things in the same letter in response to it.

Finally the minister writes, "In my recent correspondence to the district office, I indicated that we would be willing to consider a request for an exemption from the Environmental Assessment Act," but earlier in the same letter she said, "I am unwilling to deal with the situation under the emergency provisions of the Environmental Protection Act."

Minister, I think this letter of January 31, 1992, to Frank Miller is a letter that you personally should review or have your executive assistant review, because a letter that contains three examples of tremendous contradictions within the same letter -- in fact within the same paragraph -- only leads to further endorse the concerns that the critic for the Environment for the PC caucus has. The reason Mr Cousens has those concerns is because he knows those examples I have just given you are examples of what is going on around this entire province. Bill 143 will not be the solution.

It is not that with this motion we are looking to defer a solution. Goodness knows, we have been sitting in opposition for seven years waiting for the almighty you-know-who Minister of the Environment, whether it was Mr Bradley before for five years or Mrs Grier now for a year and a half -- we have been looking for a solution but we want something that will work, will be equitable and will not just add to the confusion and the anxiety of municipalities around this province to deal with a responsibility, by the way, that is still theirs when it comes right down to it, because although the powers are being taken away from the municipalities with Bill 143, the costs are not.

It is you and I, Mr Chairman, and the 10 million people around this province who contribute in one way or another to the cost of government who will in fact be carrying the cost of Bill 143. The sad part is that while there will be increased costs to the management of waste, there will be no increase in the solution to the problem. It is absolutely essential that this motion be supported by this committee so that we can come up with a piece of legislation that, while protecting the environment, plans for the disposal and management of waste in this province once and for all with safe parameters and guidelines.

Mr McClelland: The motion brought forward by Mr Cousens raises and touches on a number of interesting points. He is asking specifically that the bill be delayed pending the release of two initiatives papers, one being on statutory authority regarding waste management for Ontario municipalities. One of the great and repeated concerns raised by municipalities throughout the course of public hearings on Bill 143 has been touched on by Mrs Marland.

Just to recap, that is as follows: Bill 143 sets out a scheme where for the most part, notwithstanding the fact that it says it is for only the greater Toronto area, the implications are there that it could in fact touch all municipalities across the province, so every municipal government in Ontario is concerned about this. It says that the Minister of the Environment, whoever he or she may be at the time, will reserve unto himself or herself tremendous power and tremendous authority to, among other things, dictate policy that then must be implemented and carried out.

They are asking, where is the mix of legislation? How does it shake down when you have legislation that is apparently in conflict even within the scheme of the act? Bill 143 says we recognize that from time to time there will be conflict with statutory authority that exists. It recognizes that the Municipal Act may be overridden. It recognizes that the Ontario Municipal Board Act may have to be overridden. It also goes on to say if there is any other act or any other regulation that gets in the way, we want to reserve unto ourselves at the Ministry of the Environment the opportunity to override that. I think that is why municipalities are saying, "Tell us what the statutory authority regarding waste management is going to be, not only within the context of Bill 143, but all of the other acts that are not as a result synchronized or in harmony."

Indeed, the recently released Environmental Assessment Board decision with respect to Orillia raises that very question. It asks what acts are going to take precedence. Orillia has taken the position of appealing to cabinet and saying to cabinet, "We want you to override recommendation 20 in the Environmental Assessment Board decision, because it leaves the question wide open." The Environmental Assessment Board says in one of the recommendations that you can only use tipping fees on waste management operations and not on other city projects. Orillia then asks, "What is the future going to hold for us?" Indeed, it is asking that question. They are asking it for every municipality across the province. What is going to be the statutory authority, the scheme of various bodies of legislation?

Bill 143 does not stand in isolation. Bill 143 recognizes that. It recognizes it specifically, among other parts, in section 17, which sets out the number of acts that have to be deemed not to apply in order for Bill 143 to have efficacy. Therein lies a great concern for municipalities. We heard a number of municipalities -- mayors and chief executive officers and waste management people involved in committees of waste management -- saying, "Bill 143 sets out a scheme, tells us in many cases what to do, how to do it, but leaves us with the job of picking up the tab." Now we have a situation where they are picking up the tab and may even be restricted on how they spend the money they collect. That raises obvious concerns; similarly, the financing of the waste management system. They are obviously interrelated.

I understand what Mr Cousens is doing here. What he is saying, in effect, is that Bill 143 is a patchwork solution to a problem. It recognizes that there is a problem in and around the greater Toronto area, but then the implications spill over to the entire province. It leaves people wondering. There is no certainty. There is no scheme legislatively in which people can operate and make plans. It does not provide them the opportunity of doing their long-range planning and acting accordingly.

Not only that; if they try to plan, they do not even know under what scheme they are going to advance those plans. Will it be an environmental assessment process? Will it end up being a process somewhat similar to Bill 143, as is the case for the expansion of Keele and Britannia, where the minister will just say, "This is what will happen," where policies are given the weight of law, according to Bill 143, where whoever that minister is -- I say with a great deal of respect that Mrs Grier as Minister of the Environment has a track record that indicates that she is very much committed to the wellbeing of the environment. She sets that as a priority.

I have said, and I say again, that Bill 143 certainly calls that into question in many areas. We have enumerated those and doubtless they will be enumerated over the course of this clause-by-clause, but what Bill 143 does as well is to say that much is left to the whim of the minister, whoever he or she is.


I made a comment in Kirkland Lake, with no disrespect to my friend Mr Cousens, to somebody who said, "Bill 143 is great stuff because it gives the minister all kinds of authority and we like Mrs Grier as Minister of the Environment." What if, God forbid, Mr Cousens or myself should end up as minister? I do not know what I have ever done wrong that such a thing should happen.


Mr McClelland: We hear all the groans from the government, but think about it. Mr O'Connor and my friends opposite laugh about it and they groan, but therein lies one of the great weaknesses in Bill 143. It reserves unto a minister, whoever he or she may be, of whatever party may be in power at that point in time, tremendous authority to dictate policies that then must be implemented. That is not the kind of certainty that Ontario with our British parliamentary system prides itself on. One of the tasks of legislators is to write law with certainty, not to leave it open to "what ifs" and what may happen in the future or what may come to pass down the road.

I understand very much the sentiment that underlies Mr Cousens's motion. He is saying that Bill 143 adds uncertainty upon uncertainty and leaves open the prospect of municipalities depending on the goodwill and the positive products of negotiations, discussion and consultation. At the same time, though, municipalities and citizens across this province are saying, "We've heard that story before."

I will tell you something a little anecdotally that may illustrate the point. When we were in Sarnia, there was a gentleman who came to me who actually works for the Ministry of the Environment. He said: "Sometimes I have noticed on TV during the debates on Bill 143 that you appear to get angry. You shouldn't do that. Why are you upset? Is it because the government has broken its promise? Is it because this minister has done a 180 in terms of some of the commitments she made prior to the election? You didn't really expect her to keep her promises, did you?" That little exchange with that gentleman in Sarnia was sort of the kernel of what is so frustrating about this experience. It calls into question the whole integrity of each and every one of us who is involved in government.

When I was one of a number of people who met with the ratepayers in Britannia, they raised the same question. They come to a point and they say: "We are so frustrated and we have such a disregard for people in public life. It is not only because of Bill 143, but Bill 143 represents exactly the type of conduct of government that breeds the cynicism we are expressing. We have a Premier who said he was going to be different, who said that you should expect more from your government officials, that you should expect more from people, that when they give their word, you should be able to count on it."

Then those ratepayers say: "Here we go again. Time after time we believed this government would be different, and it's not. It's worse." It is worse because they held themselves up as being somehow more self-righteous and more committed to environmental integrity and a sense of people participating than any other government. Now when they get in power, they do just the opposite. That is why people are angry. That is why municipalities too are saying, "We don't know where we're going with this."

I understand the sentiment of Mr Cousens's motion. I would say that there are parts of Bill 143, particularly substantial parts of part IV, that I think are very laudable. As we travelled across this province for that one week on committee and heard people who came here, time and time again people would say, and it was again indicative today in the minister's statement, that this bill is about waste reduction, this gives the opportunity to reduce waste, and we need to have legislative authority to do that.

Yes, Bill 143 does do that, but that is not what Bill 143 is really all about. That is a part of Bill 143; it is only one part. For the people who are observing these proceedings, I want to remind them, and my colleagues here, that when we are voting and when we are talking about Bill 143, we are talking about very much more.

I come back to the opening comments that were made earlier. We are talking about basic principles, and the minister herself said she wanted to maintain the basic principles contained in Bill 143. Some of the basic principles of Bill 143 are that it overrides existing legislation, that it overrides agreements made in good faith, that it says to people, "We know best," that "I" -- whoever the minister is -- "can dictate the solutions because we have the answers, and I'm sorry we made promises before but we're not prepared to keep them." Those are some of the basic principles of Bill 143, and that is why I agree with Mr Cousens's sentiment that really it is indefensible.

In the final analysis, Bill 143 as a package cannot stand. There are aspects of it that are good; it would be foolish to suggest otherwise. But by and large it is inconsistent; it is contradictory within its own terms. It says on one hand that you cannot ship across municipal boundaries, but on the other hand we want to reserve the right to order that it will be shipped.

I have considerable reservation about supporting Mr Cousens's motion, because I do think there are parts of Bill 143, particularly parts of part IV, and I emphasize only parts -- I think there need to be a significant number of amendments within part IV. But I would reluctantly be prepared to support Mr Cousens's motion simply to emphasize the point that I think we have tried to make and that countless dozens upon dozens of people have made across this province, that Bill 143 is fundamentally bad legislation and it needs to be rethought and reworked. It is a Band-Aid solution. It is an admission of failure. It is an attempt to solve a long-term problem with a crisis management type of response. We cannot afford to do that. There is too much at stake here.

We need a comprehensive, well-thought-out solution that is integrated with municipal authorities, with municipal governments. Accordingly, since Bill 143 does not meet that test in any way, shape or form, I would reluctantly have to agree that Mr Cousens's motion makes a lot of sense. Bill 143 basically has to go back to the drawing-board and be reworked.

Ms Haeck: I wanted to take a few moments to lend some perspective to Mrs Marland's comments in relation to Kirkland Lake. I think it really behooves us to have a balanced perspective because, while Mrs Marland alluded to municipal officials coming before us and to some previous municipal officials who may or may not have been in support of the Adams mine site being defeated or elected in the November 12 municipal elections, the reality is that we did have a range of individuals who represented nine unorganized townships that surround Kirkland Lake and the two other smaller communities who felt they had a stake in the Adams mine site.

Those unorganized townships felt that Kirkland Lake in particular was running roughshod over their rights as townships, over their rights to express their viewpoints in a referendum in which they were not included. During the day we were in Kirkland Lake, they had made it quite clear that they found Kirkland Lake's position quite reprehensible in light of the fact that the rail line that would conceivably deliver these millions of tonnes of garbage does not even terminate in Kirkland Lake. They are not affected by this increased rail traffic, the noise, the garbage or anything of this sort.

The fact is that the Adams mine site is located on one of the north's largest aquifers and any pollution of that would obviously contaminate the waters far beyond strictly the Adams mine site. The people who live in those unorganized townships feel very strongly that the kinds of tactics that have been used, particularly by the Kirkland Lake municipal council, are, may I repeat, highly reprehensible and dictatorial. They do not in any way represent their view or provide them any kind of security or rights.


I think it really requires a balance, requires us here to be clear that there were two citizens' groups that came before us and that they had those views, they continue to have those views, and those discussions are going on probably as we speak. It is obviously very worthwhile for all of us as legislators to promote those kinds of discussions, but we have to promote them on both sides of the questions, which I think, from the comments that have been made so far, have been very one-sided.

Mr Cousens: I was going to make some other comments and questions, but in response to the comments made by Ms Haeck on Kirkland Lake, I would have to say that it would appear she has been to a different site than I was at.

When she points out that the Adams mine site is on one of the largest aquifers in that part of Ontario, that is something I really would begin to question. When she starts to talk about where the rail is going and the concerns, I would raise the question, "Did the ministry or someone from the government in fact ask Ontario Northland not to make a presentation with regard to the Adams mine proposal for shipment of waste out of the GTA?" Because it was rather obvious that Ontario Northland was not present at the hearings and it was told to me by sources that it had been asked not to participate.

That just raises other questions about the Adams mine. For the honourable member to say that the Adams mine -- you are talking about Boston township, is it, and some of the other townships that are particularly there; you are looking at a whole regional area that has a composite number of communities -- and that the major groupings of the people within that area have been supportive of this -- I do not think for a moment that anyone has suggested we proceed on Adams mine per se without a full environmental assessment.

Mr Sorbara: That is right. No one has ever suggested that.

Mr Cousens: Absolutely not, and I thank the member, Mr Sorbara. What a crock. Anyone that is going to come along and say that is the site -- that is the very position that God should take on it, and what we really want to do is leave options open through this bill.

Mr Sorbara: Or, to interrupt the minister, in respect of Keele Valley.

Mr Cousens: Keele Valley is very much the same, the way the minister is the one standing aside and saying this is the way it has got to be. I resent the fact that we have an honourable member who was at the same site -- in fact, there are pictures being circulated that were taken of the event which show us up there at the time -- and I do not feel I was at the same place that Ms Haeck was just talking about. The kind of presentations that I saw and what I heard lead me to believe we have more of a willing host -- it is not 100%, but there are enough people that are saying, "Let us at least be considered for it."

That is really what this bill is all about. The bill precludes future consideration as long as this government is in power and you all have your seats and I have my seat. Who knows what is going to happen 1400 days from now when the province has to come up for another election?

Mrs Marland: Bye.

Mr Cousens: There will be a chance for the people of Ontario to consider other ways of doing environmental business, and that is really the question here. Through Bill 143, you are making long-term decisions that have very short-term implications as well.

Mrs Marland: It has happened before. Ask the Petersons.

Mr Cousens: Well, Margaret, do not get them all upset. It is not feeding time yet.

There are a number of other points I wanted to raise that have to do with some of the comments the minister made, and I appreciate the fact that Mrs Grier is here this afternoon.

We have the initiatives papers that have been released; we have Initiatives Papers No 1. I would like to ask the minister what the status is of the production of future initiatives papers from your ministry and when we can expect to see them. I have been led to believe that they are ready to be released. If that is the case, would it not be possible for the ministry to release them now, through the discussions -- I can tell that my motion is not going to carry -- through the debate that we have this week, just to see what they will do to implement this legislation?

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Would you like the minister to respond to that now?

Mr Cousens: If the minister could respond, I would be most grateful.

Hon Mrs Grier: I am happy to respond to that, Mr Chair. As I indicated in my initial remarks on Mr Cousens's motion, the issue of the financing is now no longer going to be part of this legislation. I too had hoped to have those initiative papers out prior to this week's discussion of clause-by-clause. One of them is being produced by my ministry, and the other is, as I indicated earlier, a cooperative effort between Municipal Affairs and the Ministry of the Environment and a paper that was worked on with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario. One of the realities of life is that when it is interministerial, it takes longer to produce than when it is your own. We may well have them by the end of this week or early next week. It had been my hope to have them out some time in March. That was always the target date.

Mr Cousens: Could you give us some overview of just what they contain or the direction that they have, the objectives of those papers?

Hon Mrs Grier: The objective of the waste management master planning paper is to look at the waste management master planning process, which has been an ongoing frustration for municipalities because there was not in the past a clear enough sense of direction from the ministry or the ability to get on with the 3Rs initiatives in advance of having to complete the whole planning exercise and focus on the disposal site.

The waste management master planning discussion paper will talk about a more expedited approvals planning process and indicate the ministry's willingness to try to provide some consistency of advice to proponents and some consistency of personnel when dealing with municipalities as they go through the waste management master planning process.

The other one on the powers is, as I indicated again before today, much more contentious and raises the issues -- these are consultation papers; they are not conclusions -- that need to be addressed before coming to a conclusion on where the power to control the direction of waste should lie. Presently it is fragmented between the area municipalities, regional municipalities and the provincial government and the private sector. The paper will discuss various options for allowing municipalities to have some responsibility for the direction of waste that is generated within their borders.

Mr Cousens: One further question, thank you, is the possible sites that will be used for landfill to be considered in the greater Toronto area. When can we expect to have those sites released?

Hon Mrs Grier: I cannot answer that, as I again have already answered today. The process of determining the initial list of sites was suspended pending passage of Bill 143. The discussions that were held last summer with respect to the criteria for the selection of sites were very productive and led to a lot of good interaction in the communities and regions.

Our response to those consultations is being produced by the Interim Waste Authority, not by my ministry. That will be released, I hope, before we have final passage of the legislation, but again it is not related to the legislation. Once the legislation has been adopted, then the Interim Waste Authority will resume work on the selection of the first list of sites based on the conclusions and the provisions of Bill 143. How long that will take I honestly cannot answer.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Mr Cousens, would you permit a supplementary by Mr McClelland? Then I have Mr Sorbara.

Mr Cousens: Indeed.

Mr McClelland: I am just curious about that. Maybe you could help me. I have made a point from time to time -- quite frankly, to the exasperation of some members opposite -- when I would ask for the status of the site, or about various euphemisms and descriptions that were attached to the list of sites or the non-existence of such a list.

I suppose one of the things that confused me was a memorandum, which regrettably I do not have in front of me -- I suppose you will have to accept my word on the basis of that memorandum -- from your House leader. It said that if we as opposition agreed to allow Bill 143 to pass before December 19, the government would immediately agree to release the list of sites. I guess therein lies some of the confusion inasmuch as we would like to believe that list of sites existed, and your House leader went so far as to say in a memorandum that if we would be nice people and play ball, so to speak, with you, you would very kindly, as the government, allow us to see the list.


That might just, for the record, explain some of our confusion and certainly my confusion with this list that you said the work was suspended on. You see I find it very difficult to understand in my mind and to rationalize how it is that the government House leader on one hand could say, "A list exists and we will give it to you if you will cooperate," and then we would hear that there was not any list.

Hon Mrs Grier: The list did not exist, but the initial timetable for concluding preparation of a list was based on the presumption that this legislation would have been adopted -- it was introduced in October and I think it was certainly our expectation that it would have been dealt with expeditiously by the House and might well have been given third reading by the end of October, early November. The initial date for completing work on the long list was, I think, end of November, early December.

After the legislation was introduced and when the opposition made it quite plain that it wanted to have hearings on the legislation, obviously in discussions of that we said, "Well, if we don't have to have hearings, then we can get the legislation and the work can continue on the long list." When it was obvious that the opposition wanted to have hearings, we suspended the work.

Mr McClelland: Yes, but on a point of clarification, you see, the memorandum did not say work would continue. It said in fact that the list would be provided. I guess therein lies the confusion because we naïvely believed and took at face value that this list was some sort of negotiating tool or a card to be dealt.

Hon Mrs Grier: I think a great deal of midnight oil would have had to have been burnt to produce it at that point.

Mr McClelland: You will forgive us for being somewhat cynical in light of other commitments and promises that were made and broken and why we would have thought that in fact maybe the list was out there and that your fear of course was that the people in and around the greater Toronto area would rise up, as it were, if they found out that their land or land adjacent to where they happen to live was on that list. So you can understand why we were more than a little confused in light of that memorandum. Thank you for that clarification.

Hon Mrs Grier: Mr McClelland, you play fast and loose with accusations of promises made and broken and I sometimes rather resent the way in which you use that phrase. Let me make it very clear to you. Work was well under way to prepare a list of sites.

Mr McClelland: Yes, you have explained that and I appreciate that.

Hon Mrs Grier: That list might well have been completed and available for discussion with the opposition. When it became apparent that there were going to be hearings and the legislation was not in fact going to be adopted, work was suspended. Had it been necessary to complete the list in time for some date before Christmas, a great deal of extra effort would have had to have been expended. That has not been expended and work will now resume when the bill is passed. I think before you accuse people lightly of breaking promises, you might reflect on some of the promises made by your party before it became government and its actions.

Mr McClelland: I think that explanation, Minister, and I am sorry that you are getting excited about this, was simply a matter of -- I appreciate the fact that you helped explain to me my misunderstanding inasmuch as what the memo said and what you said were apparently two different things. You have explained that for me and I appreciate it and I am sorry that it got you excited this afternoon. I certainly would not want that to happen.

Hon Mrs Grier: You have yet to see me excited, Mr McClelland.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Mr Sorbara. I do not know whether this is going to continue the excitement or --

Hon Mrs Grier: It has been a long afternoon. Any excitement is welcome.

Mr Sorbara: I appreciate the opportunity to intervene at a point just after the minister attempts to give the Liberal opposition a lecture on keeping commitments made during election campaigns.

I think if you examine the commitments that were made by the Liberal Party in the election campaign of 1985, you will find those commitments completed. If you look at the commitments made by the Ontario Liberal Party government in 1987, you will find that those commitments were indeed completed during the Parliament of 1987 to 1990, and then something happened. We elected a government that made a number of commitments. If the minister wants to talk about political commitments, we will stay discussion for a moment of the political commitment dealing with environmental assessment and the establishment of new or expanded garbage sites.

We might look at the commitment, for example, to provide 60% funding for education. We might look at the commitment to develop a state-run automobile insurance program. We might look at the commitment to expand day care in the province of Ontario. We might look at the commitment to help the farming communities of Ontario. We might even look at the commitment to abide by a set of conflict-of-interest guidelines and standards in government and compare that to the actions of the ministers of the cabinet you belong to. So let us not have a lecture from the Minister of the Environment on keeping election commitments.

I would like to go to the commitment that you and your party and your Premier made in respect of the expansion of the Keele Valley landfill site. Bob Rae and the candidate for his party in 1990, in the election campaign of September 1990, stood at the edge of the Keele Valley landfill site and said to the people of the province that there would be no expansion of the Keele Valley landfill site in the absence of a full hearing under the Environmental Assessment Act. That was the commitment made.

I do not know why he made that commitment; I do not know if he believed it; I do not know if when he said that he was aware of the problems that were involved in garbage and waste disposal in the greater Toronto area, but the commitment was made. Presumably it was made on the advice of the person who is now the Minister of the Environment, because at that time she was the critic for environmental issues and had been a very strong advocate of taking every possible step to ensure that the provisions of the Environmental Assessment Act were enforced in respect of major decisions like that. So I take it that Bob Rae was acting on advice he received from the incumbent minister.

The minister herself, shortly after she was elected, made a commitment to introduce legislation early to deal with waste disposal in the greater Toronto area. She promised it and the legislation was not brought forward. Then after, I guess, almost a year, a bill was finally brought forward, Bill 143. That is the bill we are dealing with here. That bill violates every single principle of sound environmental planning and legislation that has ever been argued and debated in this province, often eloquently, by the person who is now Minister of the Environment.

But let's get to the very heart of what this legislation is all about. This legislation is about what we should do with Toronto's garbage. It does not really have anything to do with the greater Toronto area. If it were just the regional municipality of Peel, we would not have legislation before us. If it were just dealing with the garbage in the regional municipality of Durham, we would not have any legislation before us, just like we do not have legislation before us to deal with the disposal of garbage in communities of equivalent size, for example, the city of London or the city of Ottawa or the city of Kingston.

The real issue here is what to do with Toronto's garbage. After all, there is quite a bit of garbage generated by a busy population of 2.5 million people. This bill is all about where we are going to dispose of that garbage to the extent that we cannot implement the 3Rs and reduce that garbage. Everyone believes in that. We did not need this bill to implement the 3Rs. The officials will acknowledge that this could have been done by regulation and we all know that was possible.

The question is, what are we going to do with the garbage of a community of 2.5 million people? You would expect that if we really believed in sound environmental principles, we would have been driven by two considerations only. That is the scientific investigation of what disposal site would best contain that quantity of garbage: the science, the geology, the topography, and the other environmental impacts on communities, including traffic and the inevitable seagulls by the millions that will spend lots of time around dump sites like Keele Valley.

The first consideration is the science. What site is best? What site will best accommodate that much waste generated by such a large population?


The second consideration would be to make that decision not based on politics but based on the most extensive and fair hearing process a jurisdiction like Ontario could come up with because, after all, fairness in administrative decisions is the principal component driving this kind of quasi-judicial function, this function of making decisions that impact on the lives of people who live in our communities. So you would want a fair hearing process and you would want that process to consider the very best environmental science that the proponents and those who participate in the hearings could come up with.

We are looking for a site for Metro's garbage. We want a fair hearing process, and we want to examine perhaps a number of candidate sites and put those candidate sites before the board that is going to be hearing the issue and considering it. And what do we have in this bill? We have in this bill a decision made in secret by a government to select one region of the province, one regional municipality, the regional municipality of York region, and by fiat, by declaration, by decision of a minister, by decision of a cabinet, to determine without consultation, without science, without any consideration of the public impact or the suitability of candidate sites within that region, that it shall be in York region. "It shall be in York region." That is what the bill says: Metro's garbage is going to York region.

Look at what that means. I ask the minister to consider this once again. If there is a site that is scientifically and environmentally more suitable a mile north of the boundaries of York region, that site shall, by your bill, be excluded from consideration in favour of an inferior site in York region. I ask you to tell me whether you really believe that is sound environmental planning. If the site is three times as good in Simcoe county or four times as good in the area of Caledon or beyond Caledon, that site shall be rejected in favour of a site in York region.

Why? Because you do not want to keep the garbage in Metro Toronto. There are too many votes in Metro Toronto. There are no more sites available in Metro Toronto so we will put it in a bordering municipality. We will put it some place close to Toronto because that sort of keeps us within this notion that you cannot truck garbage outside of the area. You have to put it notionally in your backyard.

But the municipality of Metropolitan Toronto has three neighbouring regions on its borders: Peel, Durham and York. Presumably, good environmental principles will suggest that if you are going to keep it within that region, at least you would consider sites in all three of those municipalities, but no. There may be a site far more suitable in Durham, but that site by way of this bill is rejected in favour of a site in York region. If there is a site more suitable in either of those municipalities, they cannot be considered, just like Kirkland Lake cannot be considered.

So somewhere a decision was made, and we have yet to be able to find that out. Somewhere, whether in the ministry or in the cabinet or in the secrecy of the minister's constituency office, somebody said, "Let's send it to York region." What kind of sense does that make? Is it based on science? Was there a study done about the geology of York region?

Mr Cousens: No. It is just all Liberals and Tories up there.

Mr Sorbara: No. A part of York region is represented by my friend from Durham-York. I would hate to think, although sometimes I have my suspicions, that it was driven by politics, but what other consideration is there? Will someone please tell me who made the decision to send Metro's garbage to York region? It is no closer than Peel. It is no closer than Durham. Somehow that decision was made and that was cut into the bill. The minister thought she could take the political heat and the problem would be solved.

I want to tell the minister and the committee members that it will not be solved. Because it does not make any sense, this thing will be fought and fought and fought until a reasonable decision is made for the disposal of Metro's garbage based on the two fundamental principles: The first is that you choose the site or a variety of candidate sites that are potentially suitable based on science, and they notionally should be anywhere, not just in York region; then you have a full hearing process so a hearing board can examine scrupulously every aspect of the environmental impact of that dump on the community and on the land and on the geology and all of that --


Mr Sorbara: I did not interrupt you, my friend, so I will just ask you to let me continue.

Mr Wiseman: You are just really rewriting history.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Order, please.

Mr Sorbara: Thank you, Mr Chairman. Part of the problem with this bill, and the reason I support the motion of my friend from Markham, is that the minister has used fraudulent rationalizations in order to support her contention --

Mr Wiseman: That language is not parliamentary, Mr Chair. Using the word "fraudulent" is not parliamentary language.

Mr Sorbara: I will establish, my friend, the reason it is fraudulent. I am quoting now from the minister's own remarks --

Mr Wiseman: Regardless of what you are about to say --

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Excuse me, Mr Sorbara. I wonder if you might want just to phrase slightly differently and proceed.

Mr Sorbara: At your encouragement, Mr Chairman, I will do that: a rationalization for this bill based on a rather bizarre view of history.

I am quoting now from the minister's remarks on page 3 of her statement today: "Incineration, and hauling garbage beyond the boundaries of the GTA, are waste disposal measures which are inconsistent with waste reduction. They are a product of the way of life which has created garbage crises across Ontario. They are not solutions but rather part of the problem."

That paragraph suggests that this garbage crisis, this overabundance of garbage, this inability to handle the volume of garbage we have created in our society, is based on this habit we have of hauling garbage a long way from home. That is patent nonsense. Metro's garbage has been hauled close to home, to York region, Peel and Durham, for ever and a day. These locales have historically been the place where the garbage has gone. We have never hauled it to Kirkland Lake. We have never trucked it off to Sarnia. We have never shipped it to Sault Ste Marie. It has always gone right there, so surely the notion that we are solving the problem, that we are going to impose a reduction on the quantity of garbage we produce by changing our ways, is patent nonsense. We are not changing our ways at all. For years and years and years, Toronto's garbage has been brought to York region.

The minister has a new approach to solving this garbage crisis and in doing that she is going to reduce dramatically the amount of garbage. Do you know what she is going to do, Mr Chairman? She is going to haul it to York region. What is so different about that? That is where it has always gone. Ever since I can remember there has been a dump in the town of Vaughan, and before that the township of Vaughan, to handle Toronto's garbage.

But you see, the minister has a new way of approaching this problem. She is going to change this way of life that she says has created garbage crises -- in the plural -- across Ontario. She is going to set us on a new course. She is going to find a different way of approaching it. She is going to bring in measures that will promote reduction. She is going to haul the garbage to the very same place it has always gone, for ever and a day, in the province. Some reform. Some change.


Well, there is reform, there is change. Frankly, the dump we have there now, the Keele Valley landfill site, was approved after the most extensive of hearings, where environmental groups and the municipalities were allowed to express their view. My friend Mr Wiseman says it was not. He had better read history. There were hearings. They were not perhaps as extensive as would have been the case under the present legislation, but I had thought we had made some progress.

Mr Wiseman: -- that the interim lift was going to be on Keele Valley?

Mr Sorbara: Yes, there was going to be a hearing under the Environmental Protection Act. That was a promise we would have kept, my friend. When we said that in your community we took the political heat for it, but at least we would have been as good as our word. I took political heat in your riding, my friend, because I went there and said, "No, I do not support the notion of a full environmental assessment for Whitevale."

Mr Wiseman: I did.

Mr Sorbara: You did, and you got your political payoff, my friend, but you will find out what it is worth to you the next time around.

What we have here is a determination to send the garbage to the very same place but to do it slightly differently: We are not going to have a hearing. The original bill said: "No hearing at all. We haven't got time; this is a crisis." The minister would add every now and again, "This is a crisis created by the previous government." It is like the budgetary crisis, like every crisis the government is facing: unemployment, an incredibly high deficit, the failure of our hospitals to be able to deliver, all that stuff. It is all created by the previous government. Give me a break.

We have this problem now, so we will solve it without any hearing whatever. The minister takes a little heat, so then she brings forward amendments. "Well, we will have a hearing -- maybe. But in the middle of the hearing, if we decide it's taking too long, the director can issue a certificate approving the site for disposal of garbage." Have you ever heard of anything of that sort? Does that accord with your principles of fairness and justice? Do not give us a hearing. Do not give us a hearing if it can be cut short by the director. It is like saying you have been charged with an offence and you are going to have a fair trial, but if the prosecutor decides in the middle of the trial that he has had enough, he can enter a finding of guilt. That is an insult.

Do you not understand? I say this to the officials who drafted this. Do you not understand what an insult that is to the people of my community, to say that you will have a hearing, but in the middle of a hearing we can just cut it short and issue a certificate? Do not do that. That is degrading. It is offensive. There will not be a hearing if there is going to be a hearing under those circumstances.

Where are the groups going to get the funds to participate in this hearing, this sham of a hearing, this pseudo-hearing? You know what? The Minister of the Environment used to believe in intervenor funding. She gave great speeches in opposition about intervenor funding. We believed in it too, and we passed a bill in Parliament providing for intervenor funding. It was a bill that had a sunset provision in it. The intervenor funding bill expires in a few days, on April 1, 1992. You would think that the New Dippers, the great advocates of intervenor funding, would have an order in council or something to resurrect that little Liberal measure to provide intervenor funding. Guess what? It is dead. It is dead and gone.

I show to you, Mr Chairman, a summary of a legislative priority-setting exercise. This is a priority of the government that is a leaked document. I will be investigated now by the RCMP or the OPP or somebody for speaking from a leaked document. These are the priorities of the government for the next session of the Legislature. There are 76 pieces of legislation referred to in this document. I am not going to read numbers 1 to 75. I am going to read number 76 of 76. It has a title over it, a subheading. The subheading is "Exclude from Future Consideration" then 76, intervenor funding. "Exclude from Future Consideration." After the heading it reads, "Formalizes and possibly expands intervenor funding project." Oh heavens, we would not want to do that. "Possible impact on OMB; fiscal implications." That is bureaucratic language for "It will cost money."

If there is no intervenor funding, the little hearing, the pseudo-hearing that the minister in her amendments wants to provide for the people of Maple and the people of Vaughan and the people of York region to have a say, to do some investigation, to hire some scientists, to hire some advocates, to pay a lawyer -- they are not going to have any money. Yes, they will have a street dance and they will raise $150 or $200 and they will plead with the municipal council to put up money and the municipal council will say: "Well, the province gave us 1% and we're having a terrible time. Sorry, we don't have any money for you." The communities will be shut out.

Intervenor funding was one of the great battle cries of the NDP in opposition. If you do not provide intervenor funding, they said, then no matter what the legislation says, the hearing cannot be fair. You have to balance the power of those bringing forward the proposal and those who want to speak to the proposal. You have to balance those things. The only way you can do that is with money, intervenor funding. Intervenor funding is 76 on a list of 76 pieces of legislation for consideration this session. The subtitle proclaims it, "Exclude from Future Consideration." Well, well, well, is that not going to be an interesting pseudo-hearing?

This bill is all about what to do with Metro Toronto's garbage. The bill is a sham. It is a disgrace. The bill is a whole bunch of words and a whole bunch of parts and sections which say in short, "We have decided to dump Metro's garbage in York region and we're going to do that come hell or high water." Look at the minister's press releases and her statement: The principles of this bill are not to be changed. Look at what her assistant said in a press release reported in Now magazine. I am paraphrasing, but basically what she said is, "If you think you're going to get changes in this bill, you've got another think coming."

The committee hearings, the public hearings we had, were a sham and an insult to the people, who were simply asking that the NDP government carry on with the tradition of providing extensive public hearings in these very serious matters. That is all they were saying: You cannot cut short the hearing process, because the right to a hearing represents a fundamental principle of administrative law and administrative justice and it is not to be compromised by emergencies. You cannot say "Guilty" because you do not have enough courtroom space to have a fair trial. We do not do that.

All the groups that were here said, to summarize: "Don't do this. Yes, implement the 3Rs, of course implement the 3Rs. That isn't in dispute. You don't need a bill to do that. Don't cut short the hearing process. Don't act arbitrarily. Don't impose your will by fiat. Have a hearing and let that hearing consider the science and the impact on the community."

All this dilly-dallying and all these little amendments the minister brought forward are an insult to those who took their time and used their resources to come and speak to this committee. I do not support the reasons Mr Cousens brought forward his amendment, but I certainly do support the notion that we should defer indefinitely third reading of this bill. This bill should be abandoned and the minister, who has still time left in her mandate, should start all over again.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Mr Wiseman, you are next on the list. I note that it is very close to 5 o'clock. I am in the committee's hands. We can proceed and you can make your comments, or we can continue tomorrow if the committee wishes to conclude this particular debate today.

Mr Wiseman: How close are we?

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Three minutes.

Mr Wiseman: I will start.

I was rather intrigued by the rewriting of history put forward by the honourable member for York.

Mr Sorbara: York Centre.

Mr Wiseman: York Centre, thanks. I remember a meeting at the Ontario Science Centre in March 1988 when it was announced that P1, site 6B, a lift on Keele Valley, would all be the suggested sites, the interim sites those various communities would put forward to deal with the garbage gap, as it was then known.

I remember that meeting very well because there was little opportunity to question the Premier of the day and there was little opportunity to question the then chairman of Metro, still the chairman of Metro today, on how they decided that they were going to choose those sites. Where did they come from?

I was particularly interested in the process for the choice of P1 in north Pickering because the then Premier had previously announced that no lands would be given in the north Pickering land assembly for the siting of a landfill site for Metro and Durham, but shortly thereafter -- after a backroom meeting, I presume, because it certainly was not public and the minutes were certainly not revealed to any of the groups that asked for them -- a deal was hammered out between the Metro chairman, Alan Tonks, and the Durham chairman, Gary Herrema, and the Premier of the day.

It was decided, without bringing any legislation forward, without making any comment to any of the local groups, without consultation with any of the local councils, particularly Pickering, that the site would in fact be the P1 site on Altona Road just south of the 5th Concession. There was no move to have any legislation brought forward to move away from the Environmental Assessment Act.

Mr Sorbara: The legislation already existed. There was going to be a hearing.

Mr Wiseman: The hearing that was brought forward on that was done by caveat, fiat, by the Premier of the day without including anybody from the local community in the decision-making process.

I find it just a little galling to sit here listening to these condemnations, especially from the Tories as they rewrite their own history on this, because in effect what was happening on the suggested P1 landfill site was that it was going to be a landfill site, regardless of whether it could pass the hydrogeological tests and was a suitable site. There was no comparison. There was not site A, site B, site C, site D and P1. It was P1, on top of three aquifers at the headwaters of three creeks, the Little Rouge, Duffins and Petticoat Creek. There was no question in anybody's mind that it was going to be P1.

Mr Sorbara: On a point of order, Mr Chairman: If I might, I would like to register an objection. My friend from the region of Durham has simply misrepresented the intentions of the previous government. If I might say with all due respect, P1 as he described it --

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Order, please. I have allowed Mr Wiseman to -- if he would complete his remarks at this point, it is now 5 o'clock.

Mr Wiseman: I would like to resume the floor tomorrow.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): It is now 5 o'clock. Under the direction of the committee, we were to adjourn at 5 o'clock each day, so we will reconvene at 10 o'clock tomorrow morning in this place.

The committee adjourned at 1700.