Wednesday 25 March 1992

Waste Management Act, 1992, Bill 143 / Loi de 1992 sur la gestion des déchets, projet de loi 143


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)

Substitutions / Membres remplaçants:

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

Duignan, Noel (Halton North/-Nord ND) for Ms Haeck

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

Also taking part / Autres participants et participantes:

Honourable Ruth Grier

Drew Blackwell, assistant deputy minister

Leo B. FitzPatrick, solicitor

Jim Merritt, acting assistant deputy minister

Clerk / Greffière: Mellor, Lynn

Staff / Personnel: Spakowski, Mark, legislative counsel

The committee met at 1002 in room 151.


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): Good morning. I am glad to see the members of the committee are awake and keen and ready to get started. We have reached the end of part I of the bill and we are now at part II on waste disposal sites -- sorry; we did not pass section 11 last night.

Mr Cousens: We were into a filibuster with the New Democrats.


The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): I stand to be corrected, but I thought we had an overtime period.

Clerk of the Committee: I stand to be corrected.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): The clerk very magnanimously admits now that we did pass section 11, so we are on part II.

Mr Cousens: We learned that anyone who contravenes this has an offence under the law, so people who are on their own property can end up paying up to $5,000 because of this penal system being brought in by --

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Thank you, Mr Cousens. I would also note that the minister is with us again this morning. Welcome, Minister.

Hon Mrs Grier: Thank you.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): We are now at part II with section 12. Mr Ramsay, I see that there is a Liberal motion.

Mr Ramsay: That is right, Mr Chair. I understand that moving an amendment that deletes a complete section is out of order, but we have done that to make the point.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): I wonder if you might read that and then the Chair will rule.

Mr Ramsay: I move that part II of the bill, consisting of sections 12 to 16, be struck out.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): If you want to briefly comment, then I will have to rule on the admissibility of that.

Mr Ramsay: I do, because as you see from section 12 of the bill, this is where the government, in this bill, has arbitrarily made the decisions on where Metro's garbage is going to go. Of course this flies in the face of the municipal history of this province, where waste disposal has been a municipal responsibility. Municipalities have taken that responsibility on their own and in partnership with other municipalities.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Mr Ramsay, as you noted, I will have to move that this amendment is out of order. The points you are making can be made in terms of both the other amendments and in our discussions on the specific clause-by-clause. In the interests of moving on with our work, I would have to at this point note that particular amendment is out of order. You and others can in effect do what you would like to do with that amendment by simply voting against each clause and would then move to deal with the next two proposed amendments, one of which is being put forward by your party and one of which is being put forward by the Conservatives.

I believe it would be useful, with the concurrence of the committee, that we deal with both of these motions together in that they both relate to paragraphs 12(1)1, 2 and 3 and deal with the same area. What I am suggesting is that I would ask if you would move your amendment and Mr Cousens would move his. We would then have a discussion on the two. In terms of voting on those, we would go in the order in which we have received them, but I think that might expedite our work, if that is agreeable.

Mr Ramsay: I accept your ruling, Chairman.

Section 12:

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Seeing no disagreement, I would ask if, first of all, you would read your amendment, and then, Mr Cousens, if you would read yours, then you can both speak to those and we will get into the debate.

Mr Ramsay: I move that paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of subsection 12(1) of the bill be struck out and the following substituted:

"1. One landfill waste disposal site to be located in the regional municipality of Peel having as its primary function the disposal of waste generated in the regional municipality or in the regional municipality and the municipality of Metropolitan Toronto, over a period of at least twenty years.

"2. One landfill waste disposal site to be located in the regional municipality of Durham having as its primary function the disposal of waste generated in the regional municipality or in the regional municipality and the municipality of Metropolitan Toronto, over a period of at least twenty years.

"3. One landfill waste disposal site to be located in the regional municipality of York or the municipality of Metropolitan Toronto, or partially in both, having as its primary function the disposal of waste generated in the regional municipality or in the regional municipality and the metropolitan municipality, over a period of at least twenty years."

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): I wonder, Mr Cousens, if you would read your amendment into the record and then I will come back to Mr Ramsay to discuss his and follow on with you discussing yours.

Mr Cousens: I move that subsection 12(1) of the bill be struck out and the following substituted:


"(1) This part applies to,

"(a) landfill waste disposal sites located in any one or more of the regional or metropolitan municipalities described in subsection (1.1), the primary function of which is the disposal of waste generated in one or more of the regional or metropolitan municipalities described in that subsection over a period of at least 20 years; and

"(b) environmental assessments of landfill waste disposal sites referred to in clause (a).

"Regional and metropolitan municipalities

"(1.1) The regional and metropolitan municipalities referred to in subsection (1) are the municipality of Metropolitan Toronto, the regional municipality of Durham, the regional municipality of Peel and the regional municipality of York."


Mr Ramsay: This particular section of the bill strikes at the heart of our basic disagreement with the arbitrariness of what is being proposed here. What is being proposed here is not based on sound environmental logic and considerations but rather on ideology. What we have here is the government basically making the decisions on behalf of the municipalities in the GTA as to how garbage generated in this particular region is going to be disposed of. For the very first time, this takes that power out of the hands of the municipalities and into those of the provincial government.

More than that, in this arbitrariness, environmental considerations have not been taken into consideration, In this bill, sites are now being established in Peel, Durham and York. Consideration for that is going to take place in an arbitrary fashion that does not take into consideration where the best sites should be located environmentally. Who is to say that just inside the border of one particular municipality, by half a mile, might not be the best site for the whole region? Why is it that Metropolitan Toronto's garbage is going to be designated to York region? Why can Durham region for instance not be considered as a site if there is a site there that is environmentally sound for waste for the whole region? I think the corporation has to be free to make the best possible determination and look at all the various options that are out there for waste management. This bill does not allow that to happen and that is why we have moved these amendments today.

Mr Cousens: This does strike at the very logic or illogic or lack of logic of the bill. What has happened somewhere within the ministry is that -- a lot of things happen, but one of those is that the ministry is closing off options for consideration of possible sites for landfill. What we want to do is have as many options as possible, and the whole bill is such a restrictive one that what you really do is limit the imagination and the assessment process from coming up with the best possible solutions.

I cannot believe it, David, but I was agreeing with what you were saying. You have come a long way since you left the New Democrats.

Mr Ramsay: Absolutely.

Mr Cousens: I should not do that. Here I am in committee, just about starting to be nice and then I come back and give the jab. I do not mean to be like that, but you get like that when you are in opposition.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): The amendment, Mr Cousens.

Mr Cousens: I am getting to it.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): You are just working up to it.

Mr Cousens: I am working up to it. It is hard. You come in from the outside where you can breathe fresh air and it is a beautiful day, and you come here and it is the same stuffy atmosphere that we have had for three and a part weeks as we get on to Bill 143. I came in in such a good mood, but now I have to find it within me to start getting angry again. There are so many other things that are good in the world, and I come back here and have to start saying, "Yes, we are into Bill 143." I went for my Tylenol this morning and it was empty. I do not need a Tylenol. I give headaches rather than get them.

The problem we have is that the Ministry of the Environment is creating such a headache for the people in Ontario with the way in which it is coming forward with this bill by limiting options. The huge mistake it has made is, "We won't even look at shipping waste out of the greater Toronto area to a place like the Adams mine site." It does not have to be there. We would not have to be going through the pain of this bill if the ministry had at least said: "There is a balancing act you can play with your environmental thinking and the economic advantages of looking at other ways of doing it. There is an advantage at looking beyond just the greater Toronto area definition." The ministry has said, "No, we're going to build a Berlin wall around the GTA and close it off so that within the most valuable land in Ontario" -- I suppose there is some that is more valuable if you have a core of gold and I am sure there have to be some parts that are pretty expensive and valuable.

Mr Wiseman: Valuable for what?

Mr Cousens: For development, for recreation, for the things that go on within a metropolitan area such as we have in Toronto where the land values are exceedingly high. I mention that to Mr Wiseman because inasmuch as he lives within greater Toronto, and many of us do while we are here in the Legislature, let's at least understand that the value of that land has to be understood.

The bill, instead of saying, "There may be places other than the greater Toronto area where you can dump your garbage, where you can build a landfill site" -- when you start looking at the work that went into the preparation for Keele Valley, I am impressed with the ministry reports that described the preparations, really trying to protect the environment. We have come a long way from the old days when you just went and found a hole in the backyard and you dumped it, like the Pauzé dump up near Perkinsfield and then you have the big plume coming down in Georgian Bay.

We do not want anything like that to happen again, but we want to at least look at ways in which we can dispose of our garbage responsibly, find places where you can do it. When this bill begins by saying in part II that the waste disposal sites will be here, will be limited to within the greater Toronto area, they have made a fundamental flaw in their logic by closing off other options.

What are those options? There are many of them, such as the shipment to other sites -- is that a possibility? -- the rail haul option, which has been very well presented through our presentations and hearings. We know it is working in other parts of the world. We saw an example in Seattle where they have special rail cars and can haul the garbage from the city to some distance, even further than we would if we were to choose Kirkland Lake. There are covered cars and it is compacted. There is no reduction or diminishment of the importance of the 3Rs. It is an option that can be looked at and we have seen presentations on it. What has happened is that in spite of the excellent presentations by people who came to our committee, there is no movement by the minister to consider the rail haul option.

There is no consideration of the whole possibility of energy from waste. I have many people who say, "Incineration has got to be the answer." I happen to have listened to the presentations and I have an increasing sense of concern about incineration and the dangers that it brings and would want to make sure that before anyone ever built new energy-from-waste incinerators or any such equipment like that, we knew what we were doing, even though there are 1,900 incinerators in Japan, even though it is being used in other parts of the world. All I would ask for is this: The option of incineration, which is a dirty word anyway, is a process that can be followed and maybe there are developments that are taking place that allow it to become a consideration. The fact of the matter is that it is not part of this bill.

What is as much a problem with these motions that are now before our committee is that the ministry has said very clearly that the waste from the greater Toronto area has to be looked after within the boundaries of the greater Toronto area.

I had thought and it was rumoured -- I do not know whether Mrs Grier heard about this or not but I am glad she did not decide to do it, because it would have created another set of problems -- that she was going to expand her definition of what the greater Toronto area was to include Simcoe. That would have been interesting. It would have been as well quite a serious mistake. I want to congratulate her for not listening to the rumour. You had not heard it? I guess everybody else knew it but you.


Mr Ramsay: Maybe she started it.

Hon Mrs Grier: I presume only the people who started it heard it.

Mr Cousens: There is hope for the Minister of the Environment.

Mr Ramsay: I think it started just now. It just got started now.

Mr Cousens: No, I had heard it elsewhere.

Mr Wiseman: Start your own rumour.

Mr Cousens: Start your own rumour and then you can beat it down. "Hey, look, I won that battle." That is about the only way you are going to win battles around Queen's Park these days. I do not win any of the ones where it comes to votes because --

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Could we perhaps return to the motion?

Mr Cousens: I am going to have my time.

Mr Wiseman: Do you not have that gavel that Elinor carries around?

Interjection: How many of those Tylenols did you take this morning?

Mr Cousens: You are all going to be looking for a bottle of Tylenol before I am finished.

Mr Martin: I have some Bufferin for you.

Mr Cousens: Bufferin. I do not want to be brand-conscious so I had better be careful. There are other methods that you could use. I guess one of the methods is put your head in the sand, which is probably the method of getting rid of a headache for the New Democrats. They do not take pills of that nature.

We have a problem and that simple problem is that as we look for possible waste disposal sites, we are not going to find the government, our very experienced administrators for the government -- you do not have to look over the fence to the areas outside the greater Toronto area. I am sure you would be able to if we told you to, but since we do not tell you to, you will not do it.

All I want to do, all I think Mr Ramsay wants to do is increase those options, and you are not doing it. So we have come along and we have another one of our amendments. I happen to feel that anything I say to the New Democrats just goes nowhere. That is why I am looking around to find someone who is going to listen to me. Quite candidly, there are very few in this room who will. There might be a few. Oh, the honourable Chairman --

Mr Ramsay: He's great, isn't he?

Mr Cousens: I do not want to say he is great, but he is really good.

Here we are. I have put forward this motion, if we could look at other possible areas for a landfill site outside the greater Toronto area. Where is the logic of having the most expensive land in Canada being taken up for more dumps? I just cannot see it. I know what the cost of land was in my community back just a couple of years ago, $400 an acre at the intersection of Highway 404 and Highway 7. It is within not 10 miles or 15 kilometres that you have the Keele Valley landfill site, and that is not going to be just something you did not see any more, because now that is going to have lifts on it; you are going to be able to see it from quite a distance. It is going to be the new mountain that we have in York region. Britannia will be the same way. You are suddenly going to have another landmark, another example of our 20th century waste just very prominent in front of our nose, a very expensive place to place it.

I cannot accept the logic that by shipping the garbage outside the metropolitan area you are going to escape your responsibility for reduction, or any of the 3Rs; I really cannot see that. If we come along and have some very firm ways in which -- like Midland. They said to their community, "If you're not participating in the recycling projects, then we're going to start penalizing you." I look at my neighbourhood in Unionville and I am impressed, because I do not think there is a neighbour on our street who is not participating voluntarily in the blue box program.

Mr Ramsay: A good Liberal program.

Mr Cousens: A good Liberal program? Well, I will give you credit for that. Maybe we thought of it, though. I do not have enough background to know the exact origins of it. I know Andy Brandt likes to take a certain amount of credit for some of those things when he was Minister of the Environment. The fact of the matter is that when my colleague Mr Ramsay says "good Liberal program," when it comes to the environment it is too bad that we cannot be more non-partisan. It really does not matter whether it is a dippers' program, a Tory program or a Grit program, so that there is some way in which every one of us can say: "We are all environmentalists. We all want to come up with the solution."

The point I was starting to get on to in this presentation had to do with the fact that the recycling program can work. Just by having the dump inside or outside the greater Toronto area does not hold much logic to me, because if you have people committed to recycling and genuinely involved in it, and possibly the club of a fine or a penalty if they do not do their share in it, then let's look at that as an option. Let's look at every option in as open and balanced a way as possible so that we do not lock ourselves out of better solutions.

I do not want to say where it would go outside the greater Toronto area, and I do not think it is up to legislators to make those decisions, but it would be something where you have a full environmental assessment that would begin to allow a dialogue and consideration to be made. That process, when it is done well and correctly, unfortunately does bring out the best and worst in people. You are going to have some people say, "Not in my backyard," and others are going to say, "I'll take it"; 59% of the people up in the Kirkland Lake area said they were willing to look at that as worthy of consideration.

But we are into a bill where we are just saying no to other options. I do not think you have to be that restrictive, either as a government or as Minister of the Environment, or we as legislators. We would be in big trouble right now if we were not shipping so much waste where it is cheaper to ship it, south of the border. Maybe you should have something in here, Minister, that says: "We're going to look after all our garbage. We're not going to allow any of that waste to go over the border."

The fact of the matter is that we are probably going to see a little bit of a tax there one of these days, because the landfill site is taxed. Who will put it on? It could be the Americans, it could be us who say, "We don't want any more of that Canadian garbage coming across." That is one of the reasons Keele Valley has not filled up as quickly in the last year. A large amount of this waste has been shipped south, but it turns out that the landfill sites in New York state and in our neighbouring states in the US are also filling up, so it is going to go further and further south. Very soon the minister is going to be faced with the fact that we have had a bit of a reprieve because of the amount of garbage that has gone south of the border.

Is it not tragic that it is cheaper to get rid of your garbage by sending it several hundred miles away? And who knows what happens to it down there? Some of it ends up in incinerators, so we get it back. Some of it is buried. Some of it, who knows? I guess the problem we have is that from this government, who cares? I think we should care about it and I think we should be monitoring that more carefully.

Options: What we are doing with these amendments is saying, "Allow some options to be considered." When you make a law such as Bill 143, there it is going to be until we get rid of you, which is at least 1,400 days. I know how I will be voting in the next election. More than 38% of the people of Ontario might be looking at some other options in the next election, so at that time we will come back to this and give it a fresh number and a fresh name. I tell you, we will gut the bill, and one of the areas that we will be gutting is this section where you look for waste sites. We will open up other areas for consideration, and I will not have the sense of just putting them in Mr Wiseman's riding, Durham West.

Mr Ramsay: That is not a bad idea, though.

Mr Cousens: I do not think so.

Mr Wiseman: You guys already did that once.

Mr Cousens: I would not want to do that, but the one thing Mr Wiseman is going to have to look at --


The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Order, please. Mr Cousens has the floor.

Mr Cousens: In the existing bill there will be a waste disposal site to be located in the regional municipality of Durham, having as its primary function the disposal of waste generated in the regional municipality over a period of at least 20 years. One site to handle a 20-year capacity: Is that the way you understand that?

Hon Mrs Grier: May I respond?

Mr Cousens: Now that you are here; I was just getting some dialogue back from the minister.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): The minister is here and I just need directions from the committee that she can participate in our discussions. I am sure that is what people would like. If there are some questions, then she can answer.

Mr Cousens: For my part, by having invited the minister to respond to it, I am very pleased that Mrs Grier is here and is taking the time to attend committee. For someone as busy as she is, I appreciate it. If she is able to respond and add weight to the arguments and value to the content, then we will be honoured.

Hon Mrs Grier: Perhaps the member would like to pose his question and I will make a note, and when he is finished I can respond to all of the points he has made.

Mr Cousens: That is fine. To me the answer is self-evident: There will be one big landfill site to handle Durham's waste.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Excuse me, Mr Cousens. We are having a technical problem with the electronic Hansard. Could we briefly recess for a couple of minutes and try to correct that, if you could hold on to your thought?

Mr Cousens: You may indeed.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Thank you. We will adjourn for a couple of minutes.

The committee recessed at 1031.


The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): We will reconvene the hearing. The electronic problem has been corrected. While we have this break, could I indicate to the committee that over the lunch break another committee will be coming in and using this room because it needs the electronic facilities to carry out discussion with a witness who is not here. That is one of the reasons we have just had the difficulty. It seems that some line pumped in. I believe, Mr Cousens, your words were flooding the province in various other centres. Having corrected that, none the less there will be another committee in here.

Mr Ramsay: Did CNN pick up Mr Cousens?

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): I am not sure about CNN.

There will be another committee in here between 1:30 and 2. What I would propose, with the agreement of the committee, is that we begin our afternoon session at 2:15, which will allow for the changeover, and, given this particular delay, that we continue until 12:15. Would it be acceptable if we went to 12:15 and then we start again at 2:15? All right. With that understanding, Mr Cousens, you have the floor.

Mr Cousens: I will not start from the beginning of my remarks.

Mr Ramsay: Because you cannot remember.

Mr Cousens: I remember the points. We are dealing with Bill 143 and the selection of possible sites for the disposition of waste. The bill, as presented by the minister, the Honourable Ruth Grier, states that there would be one landfill waste disposal site located in Peel, one in Durham -- somewhere in Mr Wiseman's riding maybe -- and one in the regional municipality of York, which could be our Chairman's area. Who knows? He happens to represent part of York region and so do I.

Here you have three sites being identified to look after the greater Toronto area's waste. Those are the regional municipalities that will have to have one site each and each site has to be large enough to handle a 20-year capacity for Metro's waste. We will not get into the semantics of how much that will be if we continue to have legislation from this government that forces a deeper recession. If they bring forward the labour reform legislation, that is very possible. You might not have any garbage to go in the dumps at all, so it is not going to be a problem for anyone. The way this province is going to shut down, there will not be any need for garbage dumps because the New Democrats will drive us out of existence. It will be other areas that will need landfill sites.

My good friend Mr Wiseman rolls his eyeballs.

Mr Wiseman: Because what I hear coming out of you gives me a headache. Give me a Tylenol.

Mr Cousens: I have something for you. They are empty though. The people of Ontario are going to need something else for headaches, and that is a new government. The problem we have is that if this government goes ahead with its labour reform legislation -- I just want to take an aside that deals with garbage.

Mr Wiseman: It is out of order.

Mr Cousens: Well, you can say it is out of order.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Mr Cousens, if you could --

Mr Cousens: I will tell you how it ties it, Mr Chairman. If we end up not being able to forecast the amount of garbage, how can you forecast your 20-year amount of garbage for each municipality? Is it based on the economy being as bad as it is today or is it based on how the economy is going to be in a few years after the New Democrats, the socialist government of Bob Rae, brings in the labour reform legislation that shuts down industry in the province?

That is going to mean that you are going to need less space for garbage than you ever had before or than you ever needed before. But that is a separate speech you are going to be hearing. The speech from the throne starts on April 6 and at that time there is not any doubt that the New Democrats are going to bring forward strong labour legislation, as originally proposed by Mr Mackenzie, and we are going to be facing that. That is going to affect garbage.

First of all, it is a garbage bill in itself. But it is going to affect the amount of waste produced in this province because what is going to happen is that companies which would have been coming here and generating business, generating work and generating money through what they were doing -- as a byproduct of that, one of the unfortunate things they generate is waste. If they are not building businesses and they are not establishing businesses and they are not doing business in Ontario, then you are not going to have much need for additional landfill sites in Ontario.

How do you work out your 20-year capacity if in fact the recession we are in now gets worse and we end up in a deeper recession where there is even less investment coming back into Ontario? I pose that just as a possibility. I have no doubt in my mind now, with what I have had confirmed yesterday, that the New Democrats will proceed with their heinous labour legislation and that it is going to affect the future of our province. I will go off that subject for now. I am going to be thinking about it, though, for the rest of my time in this session because I think people in Ontario are going to be as concerned about that one as they are with this bill.

This bill affects our environment and the minister is saying no to looking at other sites: one for Peel, one for Durham, one for York, and each site large enough to handle a 20-year capacity.

You know something? We saw the Adams mine site -- we were up there a few weeks ago; there are three large holes in the ground -- which, if it passed an environmental assessment, has a capacity to handle 20 years of the greater Toronto area's garbage, and yet we are not prepared to look at it. We are only prepared to look at having sites here: one in York, one in Durham and one in Peel.

Come on. Why not open up the borders and look at other opportunities for it? Maybe there are people who actually want Metro's garbage. I will tell you this much: We do not want it in York any more. The place you are going to look at in York, one of the natural ones -- because this government is going ahead and expanding Keele Valley without a full environmental assessment, which was a promise made by Bob Rae. There he was by the site and said, "Yes, we will have a full environmental assessment." That was before he was elected on September 6, 1990. Now that you are in government you are saying: "We'll just go ahead and we'll even put a lift on. Make it higher. It's going to be bigger. We're going to expand it." I find it so ludicrous.

When you start looking at options, all you want to do is make sure you do the best for the people of Ontario. The thinking behind this part of the bill is restrictive, rather than something that expands and opens it up. All I ask for is a chance to look at other ways of doing business, so we have suggested in the amendment from the Ontario PC caucus that we will select one or more sites within the greater Toronto area for the purpose of waste disposal of at least 20 years. I like other options better, but I am saying at least it counters the government's plan to have one site in each of the three regions. That is one of the considerations we have brought forward.

The other thing we are saying is that the Environmental Assessment Board would, with the Interim Waste Authority, determine the ideal sites for the greater Toronto area garbage. Bill 143 has the notion that they are going to find the best site in each of those areas. There might be another site that is better than those three areas and we are not going to be able to look at it. It has to do with one of the things Browning-Ferris Industries said when they made their presentation to this committee. I thought they made a very valid point when they said that certain soil types are superior for landfill sites. The minister's requirement that a landfill site be situated in each of the three regions may result in sites with inferior soil, leading to excessive problems with leachates etc. There again, it means that not every place has the kind of clay you need and you have to ship it in anyway and put in that clay liner. Let's try to do the best we can for the long term.

I do not know what else to do. People wonder, first of all, what you can do in opposition. Mr Chairman, I really wonder. We had the situation on December 19 that the House was rising and the minister wanted to have this bill all passed and into law with third reading by then. That was really what was going to happen unless, with the tremendous support from the Liberals and the very strong support from the Conservatives -- Mrs Marland and all our caucus members were strongly supportive -- that we would come back for some time in the new year, consider the details of the bill, see if we could come up with other options and look at what would be a good way of solving our garbage crisis. I see it as a crisis and I think the minister has finally agreed that it is a crisis. When she first took office it took her quite a while to admit it was a crisis, but once she did she began to at least use some of the proper language.

But what do you do, when you are in opposition, to really effect change? We have had three weeks of public hearings. We have looked at all kinds of other options. None of them is being considered.

Mr O'Connor: Four weeks of public hearings.

Mr Cousens: There were three and then --

Mr O'Connor: This is the fifth.

Mr Cousens: This is the fifth? Gosh, time went so fast. It was four weeks of public hearings and a fifth for line-by-line. It is even worse, then, because there were those four weeks of public hearings, and nothing came of it except excellent presentations by a large number of municipalities, elected officials, community-minded people and a few paid hirelings from the New Democrats who came in and gave their views.

Mr Wiseman: They were not paid.

Mr Cousens: They were not paid? I did not know whether they were or not. The chap you brought in from New York who did not even know the Ontario laws: I thought he had been paid off by someone. Were his expenses paid by the New Democrats?


The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Mr Cousens, perhaps we could just stick with the motion.

Mr Cousens: I am coming back to it, Mr Chairman.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): The motives of those who come before the committee I am sure are --

Mr Cousens: I understand that it is very painful for you to have to listen to me, but I just want you to know it is more painful for me to have to live with this bill. If you have to suffer a little bit while I ramble and get rid of my feelings by at least talking about them, then that is part of the frustration of being in opposition. I have not been able to use any logic or any of the information of the excellent presentations that have come forward. I even give credit to the Liberal critic, Carman McClelland. I think there has been a sense of genuine concern to see what we can do to come up with a response to the government's proposals in Bill 143.

I have seen other instances in which the government, when there has been as much outcry, disagreement and concern, has backed off a bit, but it is not prepared to do it with Bill 143. It did it with its auto insurance but it is not prepared to do it with this. It is not going to do it with the reform of the labour legislation either, so the people in Ontario had better realize that Mr Bob Rae does not care what happens for the next 1,400 days. They are going to jam through everything they want with their ugly majority -- ugly because what they are bringing in is not for the betterment of Ontario or the environment. They do not look at all the options. Yet what can we do about it?

I am just talking about the frustration of being an opposition member, not being able to change the guidelines, the criteria influencing the Minister of the Environment. I am satisfied that the Minister of the Environment listens to some people. When we were in Kirkland Lake we understood that those people primarily had an agenda similar to that of the Minister of the Environment, not the cross-section of other people who make up the whole community. If you are going to listen to the 20% and not the 80% of the whole, then you are missing the grass-roots feeling out there. No one is ever going to be 100% happy with any law. That is true, and yet can there not be ways in which we can move towards some compromises in it, some working through so we at least develop some consensus?

In the standing committee on public accounts I sit with some members who are on this committee as well. It is an incredible experience when we have been able to go into a law dealing with helping people with drug addictions. We went on visits to treatment centres across the US and we came back. I have never before experienced such goodwill among all members of this Legislature where all three parties were working together because we agreed that there was a problem with the health of people with addictions and chemical dependencies. If only something of that spirit that was in the public accounts committee could come to an environmental issue; if only it could come to labour issues; if only there could be some way we in this Legislature would drop our partisan lines and forget, once we are elected, that we are voting as a bloc, a bunch of Conservatives, Liberals or New Democrats, and that you had the freedom to sit in committee and think and act as you want rather than always being pushed by the bullies, called the whips of each caucus. Our system today, instead of being run by elected members, is being run by each minister who runs his department and is responsible for the department, leaving no room for people in the committees to think for themselves and do what they believe. In this committee it has been especially trying, because the New Democratic members have been responding to notes being passed by staff which give them the questions and the thinking that is supposed to happen. At least, that is the way it has appeared, and who am I to say? But that is the assumption of some of us.

What we are doing and seeing in this Legislature now is the destruction of a democratic ideal. Once you are elected, it does not matter what you said before you were elected; you can do what the hell you want once you are there. Even if you said before you were elected that you were not going to do something, after you are elected you go and do it anyway.

Mrs Mathyssen: You mean like free trade?

Mr Cousens: What do you mean by that, Mathyssen? We are talking about the environment. We are talking about the promises you made. I voted for free trade and I will tell you this much: I am disappointed in every one of them.


The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Order, please. If I could ask all honourable members -- we are dealing with the two specific amendments brought by the Liberal and Conservative opposition, and perhaps, Mr Cousens, you would care to continue with your remarks on your amendment.

Mr Cousens: Thank you very much. My remarks have to do with the amendment because what I am really trying to say is that you cannot change a thing. As a responsible member who wants to be involved in the solution to the environmental crises here in the province of Ontario, I never sensed a better feeling among the opposition parties -- in fact, Margaret said this the other day -- than when Mrs Grier was Environment critic and Margaret was Environment critic for our caucus and there was a good consensus on a regular basis on major issues that dealt with environmental matters and problems. You were able to work together.

Once you become government you come along with a different set of thinking. People have a feeling that what does it matter anyway? Once you are elected you will go and do what the heck you want. I apologize for using a bad word a moment ago. If my mother is watching I am going to get a blast when I get home.

Mrs Marland: You still live with your mother?

Mr Cousens: She lives in downtown Toronto and watches this program on a regular basis. She is 90 years of age and sometimes she is not very happy with me.

Interjection: Ditto.

Mr Cousens: I know I am going to get a lecture at noonhour.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): We try to think of this as a family show, Mr Cousens, so we appreciate your --

Mr Ramsay: We are up against Mr Dressup right now.

Mr Cousens: Mr Dressup would probably be far better.

I am dealing with my disillusionment as to the effect I can have as a member in the Legislature on laws. I would like to see changes to Bill 143 and I have the highest level of frustration that within the terms of reference I am given as a member of the opposition, as an elected member representing my riding. I can tell you this and I go on record: I am prepared to drop my party stripes. I am prepared to become someone who asks what we can do that is best for the province of Ontario, and that what you say when you are in opposition you live with when you are in power, and that somehow we can work together to solve the problem. I do not see any of that working together in this committee. I do not see any of that in the response I am getting from the government on amendments we are making.

I honestly believe that the amendments we are coming up with, and the one I have just tabled, are just saying let's look for another option for another landfill site, not be exclusive to York, Durham or Peel. There may be places within the GTA or beyond where we can get rid of our waste.

I could go on a lot longer because, quite candidly, I have not even scratched the surface, but I know other members want to speak on this and we hope to at least get through this section before the end of today. So I will yield the floor.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): I have the minister, Mr Ramsay and Ms Marland on the list. Minister?

Hon Mrs Grier: Let me thank the members of the committee for giving me an opportunity to talk; I realize it is with the permission of the committee. I recognize how long the committee has been deliberating with this, and with every brief moment I am here before them, let me say to them and to the staff involved that I certainly think their patience, tolerance and restraint does them well.

I believe we are making a real contribution to improving the environment of the province by adopting this legislation and I regret very much the characterization Mr Cousens has put on the debate, the hearings and the attitude of the government and the committee. We think we have listened to what we heard and, consistent with the principles that underlie this bill, we have made constructive changes to make it better, to clarify it, to eliminate any misconceptions there might be about the intent of certain sections of the bill. As I watched some of the deliberations in this committee yesterday, I felt the same constructive kind of debate happening, and I am sorry my presence here this morning seems to have dissipated that feeling of progress.


But I do want to comment on some of the comments both Mr Cousens and Mr Ramsay have made. Mr Cousens implores us to come up with better ways or new ways of doing business. I would like to remind him that it is the old ways of doing business and the traditional way in which waste management has been managed -- or not managed -- in this province that brought us to the crisis we face, not just in the GTA but across the province as we run out of landfill capacity. There are 80 landfills that in the course of 1992 will reach their licensed capacity and will present a crisis to that particular municipality. I certainly was aware of and had expressed my concerns about the impending crisis in the greater Toronto area in opposition and long before I became the minister and recognized that crisis immediately upon taking office and moved to deal with that crisis as the first major piece of business of our government. The new way of doing business and the kind of system envisaged by Bill 143 is in fact a new and better and more environmentally sound way of dealing with waste management, a way based upon reduction, reuse and recycling and leading to greater efficiency.

As you leave this room and talk to the private sector in this province, you become more and more aware of how efficiency, competitiveness and doing better with less is very much the underlying principle of both the private sector and all the consistent policies of this government. Whether it is waste management where we are calling for efficiency and reduction, whether it is energy use, whether it is land use, the economy of this province, if it is to be renewed, requires us to find new, more progressive ways of doing things, ways that involve making better use of resources.

That is what this legislation is all about. The two sections the amendments before you at this point deal with are very much a part and an integral part of the entire legislation.

Let me remind members of the opposition of how we as a province came to the situation we are in. Historically, responsibility for dealing with waste has been that of the municipalities. That is where it is generated, that is who knows the local situation and that is where, in our opinion, that responsibility should lie.

When municipalities embark upon a waste management master plan, they often join together; two, three or more municipalities come together and define an area within which they will plan for the management of waste. Within that area agreed upon between the municipalities or the towns or the cities, they then seek a disposal site.

Within the greater Toronto area, that was what was happening over the last 10 years as each region began to look at how it could best manage its own waste. But one of those regions had been given by a previous government, and not the one that just preceded ours, very special powers -- special powers to Metropolitan Toronto to allow it to dispose of its waste anywhere in the province, not within a region that it defined, not within a municipality with which it had an agreement, but anywhere all across the province. When the members say we should look at all options, I would say we are levelling the playing field and taking away from Metro that very special power it has always had to dispose of its waste wherever it saw fit across the province.

What was happening was that these regional waste management planning processes were not getting anywhere, and I am sure the member for Mississauga South can give us at length chapter and verse of what was happening in Peel, where sites were chosen and sites were eliminated by previous ministers. The process went on and on.

So the Liberal government put together the Solid Waste Interim Steering Committee to bring together the regions and to look for a regional solution, recognizing that in the GTA there are some functions that in fact cross regional boundaries, whether it be transportation, whether it be protection of the waterfront or whether it be looking at our waste management system. SWISC was set up to look for a regional system, but SWISC was going to take advantage of Metro's powers to go beyond the GTA and piggyback on that so the GTA as a whole could look all over the province.

This committee had hearings in Kirkland Lake and heard two sides of the story in Kirkland Lake. They had meetings in Sarnia, and they certainly heard from the people in Plympton that they did not want to be the site for the GTA waste. They went to Kingston, and I do not know whether you heard from people in Marmora, from whom all of us heard in great detail when a site very similar to the Adams mine site was being considered as one of the GTA sites in the county of Hastings. What you had under the SWISC process was communities all across the province saying, "We don't want the GTA waste; look after your own waste."

The members opposite say, "Look for the best possible site all across the province," and then they acknowledge, as Mr Cousens does, there are some areas of the province where you have a kind of soil type that is better suited to waste management than in other regions.

Perhaps the inevitable conclusion of following Mr Cousens's logic would be that you have one county in this province that becomes the waste management repository for all the rest of the province. The Ontario Waste Management Corp had a province-wide search for the best possible site for a hazardous waste facility and found the kind of depth of clay it required in the county of Lincoln. We all know over the past 10 years how long and how expensive and how tedious and how costly that particular process has been, and I suspect that if we fastened on a county with the appropriate clay and said, "Okay, you're the best possible site in the whole province; you can become the garbage capital of this province," you would not have had the kind of restrained hearings this committee has had. You would not be able to get inside the doors of this Legislature for the entire population of that county being here saying, "We do not want to be the waste capital of Ontario, even though under some technical evaluation we may be the best possible site." So it is essential, as has always been the case, that you define the boundaries within which a site search will occur.

I think it is worth remembering, as members opposite say, "Put Kirkland Lake under an environmental assessment," that under the SWISC plans, Kirkland Lake had every possibility of being an interim site and therefore exempt from the Environmental Assessment Act. If you think for one minute that if it had become an interim site it would not somehow have expanded into the final site, you are dreaming, members from northern Ontario. If you think your meetings of this committee in Kirkland Lake were contentious because there were two sides there, I ask you to envisage the kind of hearings you would have had, had there been any real prospects at that point of the waste going to Kirkland Lake.

Members opposite say we should be open to rail haul. I do not know if Mr Cousens's constituents are fully aware that the starting point for the rail haul to Kirkland Lake was in the township of Vaughan, which means that if we are going to Kirkland Lake, every single garbage truck in the GTA is going to end up in Vaughan transferring its waste on to those trains to be taken to northern Ontario. I hope Mr Cousens, as he advocates the rail haul solution, has made the residents of Vaughan fully aware that this is the implication.

Mr Cousens says he does not want to be the one to say where the waste should go, but if you are having a full environmental assessment and you are looking at the entire province, some time 20 years from now, when you have finally got to the hearings board -- because that is probably what you would be looking at, when the entire provincial budget had been spent on consultants and technical studies to evaluate every piece of land across the province -- what would you be doing in the interim?

It is nonsense to suggest that you can look at the entire province. The SWISC process recognized that, so they put in that little clause of "happy host." They narrowed the municipalities within which they were looking for a site beyond the GTA to those that met the criterion of "happy host." And how did they define "happy host"? A resolution from the local council. But it happens that the township in which the Adams mine is situated is an unorganized township. There was a resolution from Kirkland Lake saying, "Put it in the Adams mine, next door in an unorganized township." There was nothing from that particular township.


What would have happened had you embarked on the environmental assessment for the Adams mine or the Marmora mine or the Plympton site and the happy council that had said, "Do it, because we see dollars coming in" -- which was, I think, a sham anyway -- had then been thrown out and another council had come in that was less happy with this proposal? Do you stop the whole thing and go back to square one?

Just think through, I ask the members of the opposition who put these amendments, the logical conclusion of what you are suggesting. That, I can assure you, is what all the staff members of the Ministry of the Environment who have sat through these hearings did between October 1, 1990, and the conclusions and the introduction of Bill 143, and not just those who were in this room but many, many more.

What we did was come down to several principles, one being that municipalities have the primary responsibility for disposing of their waste. Within the GTA, a coordinated effort had been begun by the previous government. We remain in hopes that the provincial government will not remain the guardian of the wastes of the GTA, but we recognized that if we were to change course from the SWISC proposal, we had a responsibility to undertake to provide the alternative, which is the disposal sites within the GTA. But in this bill we recognize that it is being done on a regional basis, precisely so we retain the option, when we have undergone the agony and the pain of identifying the disposal sites, of having the regions revert back to their primary responsibility, which is management and disposal and integration of the waste disposal system.

That may not be how it ends up, but that option has to be retained and that is the reason we are looking for three sites, one in Peel, primarily to serve Peel -- as Peel had been doing before previous ministers of the Environment changed their direction; we have changed it back -- one in Durham to serve primarily Durham, and one in York-Metro to continue the arrangement that is in a legal agreement between Metro and York that until the year 2003 they will jointly look after their disposal of their wastes. That is the reason Bill 143 is phrased the way it is and why the amendments that are before this committee today are not satisfactory.

I do not know what discussions the members who put these amendments have had with the other regions, but I suspect that if the region of Peel or Durham really thought these amendments were going to pass and they would be getting one third of GTA waste within their borders, they would be here to say to you, "That's not the way it ought to happen." While people talk about consultation and what is being heard and what ought to happen, I think they also have an obligation to consider what would be heard if in fact these amendments had any realistic chance of being accepted. I did not hear, as I looked through the transcripts and as I looked through the submissions to this committee, anybody in Durham or Peel saying: "Please, please, it's only fair. We want a share of the GTA waste." If the members who moved those amendments heard that, perhaps they can point it out to me in the transcript.

Let me briefly comment too on the prospect of finding within the GTA perhaps one site for all of the GTA waste, which presumably is contemplated in the remarks we heard. Is that fair? Do you think the community that is identified as being the best possible site within the GTA to take all of the GTA waste is going to be happy? Communities are not going to be happy in having waste disposal within their boundaries regardless of where it comes from, regardless of how big it is, but there is an element of equity in continuing the historic process and continuing the responsibility of regions for managing their own waste.

There are two other quick points I want to make. We heard much from the rhetoric we were being exposed to this morning about the cross-border situation and the waste that is going to the United States. I think members of the committee are aware that I have now met with representatives of the state of New York and the state of Indiana, neither of whom want Metro's waste or the GTA waste to continue going within their borders, both of whom, as we are, are seeking ways to restrict the disposal of waste within their borders to waste generated within their borders. Indiana points out that New York is in a weak situation to ask me not to let GTA waste go into New York because New York waste is going to Indiana, and there is a lot of cross-state traffic in the United States.

That is not going to go on for ever because, again, what this legislation is doing is recognizing what is happening in the world and the new reality of environmental concerns. All around North America and I think in other jurisdictions people are recognizing that we have to begin to take responsibility for the waste we create and that we cannot just ship it somewhere out of sight, out of mind, such as northern Ontario.

The reality is that if you went with the Adams mine and accepted the possibility that you could put all of Ontario's waste in northern Ontario, where do you stop? Why cannot New York go there, too, or Indiana? If you are going to deal with this issue, you have to come back to, where does the waste begin, who benefits from the creation of that waste, how are we going to reduce the amount of that waste, and then have for disposal as little as possible?

I think it is also worth remembering that as you get serious about the 3Rs, what is going to go to disposal is quite different from what now goes to disposal. If you get into a wet/dry separation system, then you are not going to have the amount of methane, you are not going to have the leachate. You are going to be looking at a different composition of what is in the disposal site. Whether that will make it easier to find locations, I do not know, but it certainly is a symbol of how the system is changing. The cross-border situation will not continue for ever.

Mr Cousens touched on the incineration matter. I know this committee has heard evidence, debate, argumentation and submissions on both sides of that issue. On one side of the room we have people who only hear those who say that incineration is safe. I suspect out there -- I know out there, because I have the submissions from certainly all of the environmental groups, and certainly in our government we listen to the technical evidence which indicates that incineration is merely passing the problem to another element. It is not dealing with the problem. It is in opposition to the 3Rs. It is a costly and risky solution to the issue.

I have made it very clear from the beginning that transportation of waste around the province and incineration of waste are two fundamental principles of our government's approach to waste management, and that what we have in Bill 143 is a new approach, a modern approach, a more efficient and effective approach relying on the 3Rs and ruling out transportation and incineration, and requiring regions and generators of waste to accept the responsibility for what they are doing, and therefore have a responsibility to try to create less waste. That is why these two sections of the bill are phrased the way they are and why the amendments that are before the committee today from both opposition parties are, in our view, unacceptable.

Mr Ramsay: Minister, we also appreciate your presence here this morning so we can have discussion. In the amendments that I brought forward this morning, we were dealing with the disposal of garbage within the GTA and how that is being proposed in this bill. I have a couple of questions; the first question you touched upon somewhat in your remarks. What are or what were the criteria which made you decide that a landfill site in Peel would primarily function as a site for the waste generated in Peel, the same with Durham, without taking the whole region?

As you have said, historically municipalities have come together and decided on a regional basis how to handle their garbage so that they would have the flexibility environmentally to select the best possible site for disposal. Why have you arbitrarily decided that instead of looking at the GTA as a whole, basically Peel is primarily for Peel waste, Durham for Durham etc, but that the Metro-York partnership is all right?

Hon Mrs Grier: I think I touched upon that in my remarks, but let me take it a step further and remind the member that the regional approach to waste, which was envisaged by your government and SWISC, was really a product of the falling apart of the individual efforts of the regions. They were not making progress, and so it was likely that we would in fact have a crisis and run out of capacity. Your Premier said, "Look, get together, we'll do it regionally, and in exchange for doing it regionally we will exempt you from the Environmental Assessment Act for two new greenfield sites, P1 and 6B." That was the kind of tradeoff the municipalities required to do it regionally, and that was entirely unacceptable to our government.

You touched on the word "primarily," and I think perhaps it is important to touch on why that is in the bill. As I have made it plain from the beginning, we would see the sites in each region being licensed to accept waste from across the GTA. That has frightened some regions because they think, "Oh, dear, if there's only one site open, then it will take the waste from the entire GTA." That is not the intent and that would not be acceptable. But there are emergencies, whether it be a work stoppage that closes down one particular site, and then locations have to be found. What happens in those situations is that regions and municipalities -- this often happens -- exchange capacity.


For example, if there was a work stoppage that prevented access to whatever the site was in Metro, then Metro might well make an agreement with Durham that however many tonnes for that short period of time had to be disposed of within Durham, that equivalent amount of capacity would be made available to Durham within the Metro site when that emergency had passed. The degree of flexibility in the certificates of approval is merely to accommodate emergencies and unforeseen circumstances. But we believe it is appropriate that the regions retain responsibility.

One of the other aspects of that is that if you were to have an effective 3Rs and waste disposal system, then we see the need for them to work in a coordinated way. It may well be, for example, that one of the regions may find that the location of the landfill site within its borders is the best possible place for a major composting site or something that enables it, as it will still have responsibility for the 3Rs, to haul the waste and separate it at one particular location, or whatever is going to happen. If you are going to have the 3Rs on a regional basis, then having your disposal sites on a regional basis leads to a more integrated system in the future as this evolves. I think what we have found over the last year and a half is that attitudes have changed and our understanding of how best to do things has changed.

The experience of the municipalities and the regions has led them to require some flexibility. Two regions are presently discussing whether they each need to have a major composting facility or whether one of them could have it to serve both regions. We want to retain the flexibility to allow those kinds of arrangements to be made by the regions that have the primary responsibility, not imposed upon them by the province or by the Interim Waste Authority.

Mr Ramsay: I would like to thank the minister for her response. You anticipated my second question. I am just wondering why then, in the definition you have given today of the primary function of the site, you do not define that in the bill to give some sense of certainty to municipalities, if that is what your intent is, so that Durham would have a sense that no, it is not going to get all of Metro's garbage. But you have said "primary" as a way to give us some flexibility, as you have just outlined. Would you not want to give that sort of certainty in the bill by defining that a little more closely?

Hon Mrs Grier: The certificate of approval for the ultimate disposal site will be the instrument by which this service area and the conditions to use will be defined. I do not think the legislation is the appropriate place to do that. "Primary" means primary. How that gets worked out will evolve as we get to the certificate of approval standard.

Mrs Marland: I am wondering what the minister's schedule is. Will you be here again tomorrow or will you be here this afternoon, or is this our only opportunity to ask you questions?

Hon Mrs Grier: I am here to deal with these particular sections this morning. Wednesday is cabinet day, so I am not in cabinet by being here. I felt it was important that I be here to have the debate on these particular amendments. I will be available if there are other amendments of principle where perhaps it is important that the committee hear my point of view, but I think, both in my remarks the first day and in my explanation of the reasons for the underlying principles of the legislation, I have said it. I do not think it is productive to say it again and again, though I recognize that has of course happened during the course of the committee's deliberations.

Mrs Marland: There has been some latitude in the discussion and your response around section 12 and I have some questions, so I am going to ask them now while you are here. I just did not know how your appearance before the committee was scheduled, so I will use this opportunity.

Hon Mrs Grier: The Chair has given me permission to speak to these two sections. The debate on these sections has ranged fairly widely and I attempted to respond to that. The Chair's latitude is great.

Mrs Marland: That is fine. I understand that.

First of all, as it pertains to this section, we are talking about sites in the GTA, and in particular, in paragraph 12(1)1, we are talking about the site in Peel. I am wondering how you reached the decision that the new site would be used for a period of at least 20 years.

Hon Mrs Grier: I think the 20-year period is the traditional one that municipalities have sought landfill disposal sites for. We all recognize that if we are really effective with reduction, it is the expectation or the hope that a site may last longer, but I think for the purposes of arriving at calculations and being able to present a case before the Environmental Assessment Board, it was important to establish a minimum, and so we have established 20 years as the minimum.

The determination of the amount that can be expected to be obtained as a result of reduction, or the amount of reduction that can be expected to be obtained, and the capacity will be the alternatives that will be debated before the board. We have to have a starting point for those calculations. Twenty years is the customary period for a landfill, and that is why we put that in as the minimum period.

Mrs Marland: The reason I am asking you that question is, as you know, that the Britannia landfill site was agreed to for a 12-year term, from 1978 to 1990. I believe all the parties to that agreement at the time were able to reach that agreement because it was a 12-year term.

Obviously we all understand how difficult it is going to be to site any of these new sites, and I am wondering why you would not have considered a more reasonable length of time, regardless of how much capacity there is or how long it takes to fill it up, from the standpoint of the actual function, the intrusion into the community, no matter where it is -- the transportation, the trucks, the noise, the dust -- no matter how well managed it is. By the way, the region of Peel site at Britannia is extremely well managed, as I know you are aware.

In trying to convince people that we all generate garbage, we are all responsible for it and we cannot leave it for everybody else to endure, that we are all part of it and share that responsibility, would it not have been easier to decide that it did not have to be at least 20 years; that if it was feasible, to establish a site for eight or 10 or 12 years -- and I use 12 as the example of Britannia -- so people could at least know there was an end?

The way the bill is written, we are talking about at least 20 years. People are going to fight till the last dog is hung against the siting of that new site because they know it is going to be there at least 20 years. I think your ministry could sell it far more realistically if it went to the community, once it is established that that soil is correct and all the other criteria for that site are established, and said, "Look, this is where the site has to be, for all of these reasons, but you can be assured that it is going to be a 10-year site," or a 12-year site, so that the people who invest in property and may have already invested in property have that parameter. Or new people moving into the area who know the site is there and operating can say, "Well, of course, it is going to be closed in five years' time or six years' time," or whatever it is. Then there will be an end to all the aspects of the intrusion of the operation of a landfill site in that community. Then everybody is equitably treated. It is not an intrusion, according to this bill, for "at least 20 years" in one part of a community.


Hon Mrs Grier: I certainly understand the argument you are making and I have heard it before. I have engaged in it as we constructed this bill.

Let me say, I certainly agree with you that the Britannia site is a very well managed one, and so is the Keele Valley. It is large and there is some blowing from it, but I have seen waste disposal sites in other jurisdictions in other parts of the province that would make your hair curl as compared to Britannia and Keele Valley. Metro and municipalities within the greater Toronto area operate sophisticated landfill sites as best they can be. I appreciate the member's recognition that it is not going to be easy to find a site, but we do have to find one.

The difficulty we had in determining what to put in the legislation -- for instance, there are two ways of defining the size of a landfill: One is a time limited one, the other is the actual capacity of the landfill. Ultimately what you are going to get down to is a certificate of approval based on the capacity, and that means based on the environmental considerations: If this is determined to be the best possible site, what amount of waste can safely be disposed of there, and what kind of systems do you have to build in, whether it be leachate or collection or whatever the technical terms are, that would accommodate a certain number of tonnes as opposed to a lifespan? We had to start somewhere, and to say "to a certain capacity" was a very open-ended way, because the debate before the Environmental Assessment Board will be precisely around what the capacity of the site ought to be.

I know there will be arguments brought to the board, but whatever site is chosen there will be some who feel that environmentally it is not appropriate and therefore does not have this X amount of capacity. There will be some who will say that if we got really serious about the 3Rs we could get down to reducing waste by 80%, 90% -- we have heard those arguments and they will be made, I am sure, at any hearing -- and therefore we want less capacity. There will be those who will be saying that the economy is going to boom and that our 3Rs are unrealistic and therefore we will want more capacity. So the provision in the bill starts from a period of at least 20 years. I would anticipate that the decision of the Environmental Assessment Board will have translated that into the ultimate capacity of the site.

I want the officials to stop me if I am saying something that is misleading or wrong, but that is my understanding of how it will come down. The 20-year period, at least, is the beginning of the debate and is the point at which the figures determining the amount of reduction that is possible will be calculated based on extrapolations of today's situation.

One of the things we have found as we have gone through this is that you are constantly dealing with moving targets. You are dealing with how much waste is being generated --

Mrs Marland: No, I understand that.

Hon Mrs Grier: You are dealing with capacity, you are dealing with reduction, and we anticipate, as the measures in part IV of the bill begin to take effect, that we will know five years from now a great deal more about our capacity to reduce than we know now. So we have to retain the flexibility to deal with that.

Mrs Marland: Yes, I understand all that. I am just saying I think it would have been more realistic if you had given that range of opportunity in the bill and said at least 10 years or maybe even at least 12 years, because then, based on the arguments you have just given about capacity, ongoing need and maybe ongoing reducing need, all of those things could still have fitted in. I am not asking you to say a maximum, I am asking you to have been a little more realistic in the latitude you could have given yourself by saying at least 10 years or at least 12 years or whatever you wanted to say. As soon as you say at least 20 years, that puts up this monumental roadblock to anybody who is looking at where it might be. I am just saying if you had put in at least 10 years, it gave that range or scope of opportunity.

Hon Mrs Grier: Let me just add one more point. It has taken us 10 years from the time in which a crisis was recognized to get to the point of moving forward to find disposal sites on a realistic timetable within the GTA and with a realistic expectation of success. So if we had 10 years in the bill, we would barely have had the first one opened when we were beginning this arduous, expensive and intensive process of finding the next ones, and as I have expectations of being minister for at least the next 15, I was hoping to avoid having to do it twice.

Mrs Marland: No, Madam Minister, that argument does not follow. I am sorry.

Hon Mrs Grier: That is why I did not make it seriously the first time around. But I think you have to look at how long it takes to do this.

Mrs Marland: The argument you have just given is that it is 10 years to take us to where we are getting now. I am dealing with where you are talking about a time period in this section of the bill. In this section of bill, it talks about the disposal of waste generated in the regional municipality over a period of at least whatever. This is talking about, "When that landfill site is established, its primary function will be..." So that little argument you just gave about how long it has taken us to get where we are does not apply here. I understand this is saying that when the site is located, its primary function will be to look after waste.

Hon Mrs Grier: No, I am sorry. The fundamental element and need for this clause is to define the project, and the project and the undertaking is a landfill with a capacity to take the waste from the region of Peel for 20 years. That may well be a different size than the landfill sought for the region of Durham for 20 years or the landfill for York-Metro for 20 years, because we will be trying to anticipate the amount of waste to be generated, the amount to be reduced, and that will be the argument before the board. So your whole undertaking is based on the calculations that flow from this section of the legislation.

Mrs Marland: I understand that, but you just said, "It has taken us 10 years to get where we are now and we still don't have a site." That is not part of this argument. This bill establishes that a site will be located, and when it is located, the function of it will be to look after the waste generated in that region for a period of at least 20 years. So what you are saying are two different issues.

Because of the time, I want to get to two other things that are particularly important. First of all, the last time I had an opportunity to ask you, Madam Minister, about the concerns about the lack of opportunity to create jobs in the region of Peel because of the freeze on the lands around the buffer, I know you had some meetings and I know there were presentations to this committee by representatives of the land owners around that buffer area. I do not know if you can listen to me and --

Hon Mrs Grier: I was just trying to be brought up to date on where those negotiations were at. Sorry.

Mrs Marland: I know the request from the land owners was to permit them to go ahead with an agreement with the ministry and the region and any other necessary parties that there would be a waiver of any claim because of the ongoing use of the Britannia landfill site. In other words, if this legal agreement could be drafted and acceptable to all parties, it meant we would be creating jobs in the construction of 5,000 units. We are talking about 5,000 building units and thousands of hours of employment for people in the construction trade. Most important, we would be creating those homes for future home owners to buy, a large percentage of which were in the category of affordable homes, which I know your Ministry of Housing is interested in getting off the ground. Have you found a solution where that is a possibility now?

Hon Mrs Grier: I think I addressed that on the first day I was here, and I am sure you will get into it again in the next part of the bill. As I indicated on Monday, we are still discussing with Peel and with the ratepayer associations and the developers what we can do with respect to the buffer, but we will not be able to do that for sure until after the technical studies that Peel has now agreed to undertake and define as to where the lift is going to go.


As you know, I asked Peel last August to undertake those studies. They only agreed to begin them, I think, in February, and so we lost several months in being able to better define the buffer. Now that those studies have begun, they will be finished, I think, early in April or May some time. Then we will be in a position to debate with the land owners. But the land owners and the residents' groups are fully apprised of what is happening and aware of those studies and the terms of reference to those studies. We share your concern and wish that we could have moved on this last August.

Mrs Marland: The other question was, I raised with you on Monday a letter you had sent to the district chairman of the district of Muskoka, Mr Frank Miller. In that letter there were major contradictions about what it was your ministry was allowing the district of Muskoka, which includes the township of Muskoka Lakes, to do. At the same time, you were not only allowing but promoting through this bill a totally different set of rules within the GTA. I wondered if since Monday -- as today is Wednesday -- you have had an opportunity to review that letter and those contradictions and to explain to the people in the district of Muskoka, and particularly in the township of Muskoka Lakes, why they were being forced to ship their garbage out of their municipality to a leaching landfill site in McDougall when they wanted to have the alternative sites that were available to them within their own township.

Hon Mrs Grier: We had some exchange about this again on Monday. I indicated to the member that I disagreed with her interpretation and that there was in fact a historical relationship between the town of Muskoka Lakes and the McDougall landfill site. I have not had an opportunity to get any more current than that, but I will attempt to get some information and get it to the member.

Mrs Marland: Thank you. I appreciate that.

The other thing that came up yesterday, which I think is really significant, Madam Minister, is that when we were talking about the Interim Waste Authority's powers and responsibilities, it came to light in response to some questions I raised that it will be the Interim Waste Authority that will be acquiring these landfill sites and paying for them.

Hon Mrs Grier: That was what I said when I established the Interim Waste Authority last November.

Mrs Marland: There has been a misunderstanding then, because when we talked about the $17 million that had been loaned by the government to the Interim Waste Authority to set up and get rolling and do its job, which was to hire consultants to find these sites in these regional municipalities within the GTA, the understanding has been within those municipalities that they are going to be billed back the cost of the work of the Interim Waste Authority. Since you are here this morning, I just want to be very clear that we are now understanding that the Interim Waste Authority is going to be given ongoing funding from the government to acquire the land, pay for it and establish these sites, and that it will not be at a cost to the regions.

Hon Mrs Grier: I think everybody has clearly understood that the Interim Waste Authority has the role, the responsibility and the funding to seek, get approval for and construct landfill sites within the GTA. That has always been the basis upon which this legislation and the policies of the ministry have been founded.

Mrs Marland: It was just hard to see how they could possibly do that with $17 million only.

Hon Mrs Grier: Representatives of the Interim Waste Authority, I am sure, can address that when you get to the specific clauses around that.

Mrs Marland: I cannot --

Hon Mrs Grier: Oh, I see. Mr Merritt is explaining to me that you are looking at this year's allocation for the Interim Waste Authority.

Mrs Marland: It was last year's when it was announced. It was $17 million.

Hon Mrs Grier: I think that like any other agency its budget and funding will be reviewed by the government on an annual basis.

Mrs Marland: So then the Interim Waste Authority is not going to bill back to the regions the cost of its work or the cost of acquiring the land to establish the new landfill sites?

Hon Mrs Grier: What happens traditionally when a landfill site is built or constructed by anybody is that the capital investment in creating the landfill site is paid for by the costs, the revenues or the tipping fees for the use of that site. Metro is now charging $150 a tonne at Keele Valley and I think its real cost of operating the site is around $20 or $30 a tonne. They are now in a profit-making situation with Keele Valley. The underlying costs and calculations that were done before establishment of the Interim Waste Authority have certainly amortized the capital costs of setting up the sites over the 20-year minimum lifespan and indicate that, as with any other capital investment, the revenues that are generated will pay back the capital and the interest. This is a businesslike proposal. This is not going to be a subsidized proposal. It may or may not be a revenue-generating proposal, but a lot of that will depend upon the future operation and the negotiations with the regions when the sites are up and running.

Mrs Marland: But under subsection 12(1), where we were talking about the establishment of these sites, I know that the understanding of the regions is not what you have just described. That is why I am encouraged to hear the answer on the establishment of these sites and the acquisition of the land. You are saying that the tipping fees pay for the cost of the land. It does in the long run, but you just do not go in and say to this land owner, "We're going to use your land for a landfill site." That property has to be bought. You are saying the IWA is going to upfront the capital cost of buying that land.

Hon Mrs Grier: That is why the IWA has an initial budget of $17 million. The Treasurer has provided that to the IWA. I have to disagree, Mrs Marland. As you can imagine, I have spent many hot and heavy hours with the regional chairs from 1 October 1990 as we evolved a program and policies for waste management within the GTA. Certainly I think they are very clear that they are not paying for this. If they thought they were, I am sure they would be here today.

Mrs Marland: They have been here and complained about the fact that under this legislation you have all the power and the regions have all the bills. You have heard them say that.

Hon Mrs Grier: I think some of the spokesmen for them have perhaps said that -- I do not mean the regional spokesmen, but certainly some of their positions have been interpreted to this committee by others in a way that could lead to misunderstandings. I think perhaps there is some fear on the part of the municipalities that as the Interim Waste Authority is going to be laying out the capital, absorbing the costs of the consultants, the hearings, the intervenor and participant funding, the Interim Waste Authority may then want to keep all the revenue. The municipalities would like us to bear all the costs of setting up the sites and probably then allow them to take the tipping fees. That is where some of the negotiations are going to have to go on, but it is very clear that by stepping in and creating the Interim Waste Authority the province has undertaken responsibility and relieved the regions of the responsibility of finding long-term disposal sites within the GTA.

We have also said to the regions that we see the revenue to be derived from disposal as being used to fund the 3Rs and recognize therefore that negotiations have to continue to go on between the regions, the ministry and the Interim Waste Authority so that we end up with a comprehensive waste management system for each of the regions within the GTA. That is my objective and my responsibility as minister and what I intend to do and why I have, as the regional chairs have made it plain, agreed to take the pain that comes with finding long-term disposal sites and put an end to the confusion, obfuscation, delays and obstruction that brought us to a crisis within the GTA.

I have devoted a great deal of time, and the government has devoted a great deal of resources, to trying to resolve these problems once and for all. I see this legislation as being a very good first step to take us there. There are still a lot of issues that will have to be negotiated with the regions. We have already had those debates. I think the regions, the IWA and the ministry are very clear as to where responsibility lies and what outstanding issues have yet to be resolved. I am confident that they understand the role of the Interim Waste Authority and are happy the Interim Waste Authority is doing it and they are not. They will be even happier when the Interim Waste Authority prepares the long list and that hits the media later on this summer.


Mrs Marland: A few minutes ago you referred to the subject of incineration. There is a reference further in the bill, albeit not in this section. In case you are not back at that point, can I just ask you whether you would be willing to add in that clause "or waste in the form of refuse-derived fuel" where there is a reference to incineration?

Hon Mrs Grier: Can you cite the specific section for me?

Mrs Marland: Yes, I can. It is clause 14(2)(a). That is, I think, the first time the reference to incineration is made.

Hon Mrs Grier: "An alternative of waste reduction or reuse or recycling if that alternative would involve incineration of waste or the transportation of waste from the primary service" --

Mrs Marland: Yes.

Hon Mrs Grier: I am sorry; what is your suggestion?

Mrs Marland: My request is that where there is a reference to incineration you make it very clear by adding "or in the form of refuse-derived fuel," because there were presenters to this committee who said that to a layperson the term "incineration" means burning. I think in the long run down the road, to save money in debating in court what "incineration" means, the bill should have the technical definition of what "incineration" is, either by a reference somewhere else in the bill -- the technical definition apparently is the oxidation and reduction of molecules by which heat and light are emitted. That apparently is the technical definition of "incineration." But where we are talking about the disposal of waste we need to add "in the form of refuse-derived fuel" as well. I am just asking, with your permission, if you could direct your staff to consider those two important aspects. Somewhere down the road there is going to be, as you well know, a question about what incineration actually is. "Incineration of municipal solid wastes" was your original statement from the ministry. But I think when we talk about municipal solid wastes, we have to also identify whether or not it is refuse-derived fuel.

Hon Mrs Grier: I certainly know of your interest in this issue. We have exchanged correspondence around this whole question, so I am interested in your suggestion. Can I ask if you have an amendment to suggest before the committee with respect to that?

Mrs Marland: No, I have not written the amendment. I am quite happy to write the amendment so that where there is a reference to incineration we all understand what that means.

Hon Mrs Grier: I think what would be very helpful is if you could draft an amendment such as you suggest and then I will ask my officials and our representatives on the committee to have a look at that. When the committee gets to that point in the bill, then we could give you an answer. I think if you could put some words on paper, that would be a start. The officials will be available to help you draft that, if you need to do that, but I certainly understand your concern and would be happy to consider it.

Mrs Marland: You also mentioned this morning --

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Excuse me, Mrs Marland. I have been trying to allow some leeway in our discussion. There are two other people who still want to speak, and given that the minister may not be able to be with us this afternoon, I want to allow them a comment. I just wonder if I might --

Mrs Marland: This is very fast.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): All right. Thank you.

Mrs Marland: When we were talking about the capacities of these sites under subsection 12(1), you mentioned this morning again about the importance of reduction -- well, any of the 3Rs. I am just wondering if you have any plans to demonstrate the commitment that you had to reduction when you were the critic and criticized Mr Bradley because he would not increase the requirement for refillable containers. Do you have any plans to increase your requirement for refillable containers, particularly with the soft drink industry?

Hon Mrs Grier: Not in this piece of legislation.

Mrs Marland: Or regulations?

Hon Mrs Grier: This legislation provides some elements with respect to packaging further on but does not specifically address soft drink containers.

Mrs Marland: But are you going to be making, through regulations, a commitment to increase the requirement for refillable containers.

Hon Mrs Grier: Certainly I think my support and commitment to maintaining the requirement that is there as a minimum is well known. I am happy to restate that. I cannot at this point indicate to the member the action we will be taking other than to assure her that my ministry has spent almost as much time on soft drink containers in the last weeks as we have on this. I have asked for a series of options to be presented to me that would include both the proposals of the Ontario Soft Drink Association and options that would work towards a deposit system, greater use of refillables or a levy system. We are examining all those options.

Mr Sola: Minister, in your statement this morning you mentioned that there was a crisis in waste management in both the GTA and the province and that among your ways of coming to a solution you were looking for efficiency and that this word "efficiency" meant better use of land and resources. I am wondering how you can achieve efficiency by choosing the highest-priced land in the province for your waste disposal sites.

Hon Mrs Grier: I have not chosen any particular piece of land for a waste disposal site. The Interim Waste Authority has established environmental criteria within which a determination will be made of appropriate environmental locations for a landfill site, but I think it is very important that we recognize that what comes first is the environment. If you look at the record of municipalities that have chosen a disposal site based solely on "This piece of land happened to be available" -- you may well be familiar with the EA decision on St Vincent and Meaford, municipalities in the Owen Sound area. The Environmental Assessment Board has made it very plain that the environmental assessment legislation, which I know you support, requires an examination of all alternatives and the best environmental site. That is what we are doing.

Mr Sola: Does Bill 143 not eliminate the options? You have put political boundaries as the number one criterion for the location of landfill sites. I am asking what political boundaries have to do with, first, efficiency and, second, environmental concerns or environmental safety. In this particular section we are dealing with, you mentioned three areas within three regions. They have nothing to do with being environmental areas. Those are political boundaries that will be forced to absorb waste disposal sites, whether there are better environmental locations elsewhere.

Hon Mrs Grier: Your colleague has put forward an amendment to this section of the bill. He and Mr Cousens have both made significant arguments around that to which I responded, I think, before you were here. But as I indicated in those remarks, historically and legally municipalities have looked for landfill sites within their own boundaries. They have sometimes made arrangements with adjacent municipalities and become involved in waste management master planning. Metro was the only municipality that had the right to look beyond its own boundaries. Many municipalities have said: "Why should Metro have that right? Let's make all municipalities equal." Essentially, that is what we have done in this legislation.


Mr Sola: You just led into the other question I was going to ask. Another priority seems to be to take away from Metro its special powers to locate its waste disposal site wherever in the province. Again, I am asking you this: What does taking away their powers to dispose of their waste wherever they can get an agreement have to do with, first, efficiency and, second, environmental safety?

Hon Mrs Grier: Again, all of my comments this morning are on the record. What you have to consider is how can we best get to an integrated waste management system that focuses on reduction and reuse, one where the responsibility remains with the municipality. Metro, in having the right to seek a site all across Ontario, has effectively generated from municipalities all across Ontario a position that Metro ought to look after its own waste.

Metro has had a historical agreement with the region of York that goes until the year 2003, whereas under the government six years ago it was looking for its own site. Then they were brought together in a regional search, and essentially what we are doing in this legislation is going back to making the regions and the municipalities responsible, even though the search is being undertaken by the Interim Waste Authority.

Mr Sola: You have touched on something that Mr Wiseman touched on yesterday. You mentioned the fact that Metro's costs are about $30 a tonne and its tipping fees are $150 a tonne. I would just like to quote a statement that Mr Wiseman made yesterday. He said, "I think I have gotten pretty far down the road where I wanted to go, and that is that there is a huge amount of money, and that is part of the problem, is it not, in terms of $12 billion of absolute dollars over the next 20 years, and the real debate, as far as Metropolitan Toronto is concerned, is who is going to control it and where it is going to go." Further on he mentions these figures, and he says the costs are such, the fees charged are such and "the rest is profit."

What I gather from his statement, and I think what I gather from your statement this morning, is that one of the primary concerns with Bill 143 is not so much the solution of a crisis in waste management as it is the elimination of the profit that Metro is making from its waste disposal site. It seems to me more an ideological approach rather than an environmental approach or a waste management approach to a solution of any problems.

Hon Mrs Grier: I guess there is a difference of opinion. I certainly think I agree with Mr Wiseman's statement. You have across this province now municipalities that do not have the revenue to put in place the kind of recycling and reuse systems they would like. Citizens are requiring municipalities to take a much greater interest in the 3Rs than they have ever had to do before, because traditionally -- and I was on a municipal council -- all you worried about was how could you get rid of the stuff. Now the ratepayers and the communities and the businesses are saying: "Help us reduce it. Help us find ways to reuse. Help us find ways to recycle."

What has happened is that the revenues to be generated by disposal have not been put back into effective waste reduction. I think what Mr Wiseman was referring to, and what you see as a result of the initiatives taken in this bill, is a comprehensive system that is going to link the two and that is going to make sure that the revenue -- and I just had this exchange with Mrs Marland -- that is derived from the sites is used to make sure that we reduce the amount of waste that has to go to the sites, not for some other purpose or not dissipated in who knows what way.

By just picking out one element of what we are trying to do, it is easy to distort the whole. That has been the way for too long; people have dealt with pieces of the problem. I think the public, the environment and certainly the approach of this government demand that we begin to look at things in a more comprehensive and integrated way.

Mr Sola: I think your approach has been wrong in that we have heard in statements before this committee from Mayor Hazel McCallion and also from councillors from Metro Toronto that the 3R program is working better than they anticipated and that their problem is not getting the 3R programs to work but getting markets for the recycled products. You would probably get more cooperation and better results from your 3R programs if you invested some money in trying to find additional markets for the recycled products than you are by trying to jack up the prices by forcing Metro and the three regions that are mentioned in this section here to use the highest-priced land in the province to dispose of their waste.

One metro councillor -- I forget what his name was -- mentioned that once everything is sorted, they store it for a while and then they still dispose of it at Keele Valley with the higher cost that it took to sort the stuff and store it. Finally, because they could not keep it any longer, they had to dump it where it would have gone originally without the sorting.

Hon Mrs Grier: I do not quite follow the logic of some of the premises of your question, but let me say that I hope you ask the municipalities, as I do, what they are doing to contribute to creating markets, because the primary way of creating markets is for us all in our procurement policies to make sure that we begin to look at the use of these resources.

I know the provincial government, under my colleague the Minister of Government Services, has begun to do that. In our ministry we do it with unbleached paper, and by our habits we all can create markets for environmentally friendly and desirable products. So that has to be very much a part of the market. I agree with you entirely that creating markets is very important. It happens in a number of ways. It happens by procurement policies of government and it happens by the kind of research and work that the waste reduction office is doing. Helping to create markets is very much a part of their mandate, and they do it by funding pilot projects and experiments, by demonstrating that in fact products that can be produced through reused materials are usable and deserve the creation of a market. It also comes from public opinion and education, and we are doing some of that too.

I was very struck, again, in another context when I met with officials of Northern Telecom who have taken a very progressive step in phasing out the use of CFCs ahead of the targets that had been set. I said to them: "Why did you do it? What was the instigation of you making this move?" It was threefold: It was the recognition that regulation would come at some point that would force them to do it, so they could get a jump on the competition by getting out there ahead and developing the technologies that would enable them to produce their product without CFCs; it was their customers, who were saying to them, "We want you to begin to develop products that do not contain CFCs"; it was also their perception as a company that their image would be better if they were able to act in an environmentally sound way.

I think we are all feeling that kind of three-pronged pressure, whether it be from our constituents or from the businesses in our communities or from our municipalities. So you cannot say there is any one way that you are going to turn the world around and make it better, but you have to be open and flexible to responding and to assisting where you see the impetus to create a market, to find an opportunity, to move Ontario's economy into the next century.

I talk to people from West Germany, and the environmental industries there are phenomenal, and it has happened because of the pressures from environmentalists. A recent survey by a Frankfurt newspaper, one of the most conservative ones, asked people in their target area, "What do you think government money should be spent on most?" Ahead of health, housing or jobs came protecting the environment. So the community pressure there is forcing industries and government to protect the environment. In Japan, the need for energy efficiency has created lean and green industries.

If Ontario does not start recognizing that waste is waste and waste is inefficient, we are going to have an even harder time getting out of this depression than we have had in the past. I see this kind of an approach to waste, the work that we are doing with industries, with institutions, the work we are doing to create markets and the kind of procurement policies we want governments and municipalities to put in place as part of an overall picture and part of a comprehensive approach to link the environment and the economy and to get us to sustainable development. If we do not start doing it in every action, in every ministry and in every function of our lives, we are going to be back 10 years ago, where obsolete economies are. That is why I think this legislation is so progressive and so deserving of support.

Mr Sola: Your words are much more reassuring than your bill. You have mentioned the word "consultation." I would suggest that perhaps you make yourself more available to opponents of your way of thinking because, as I said, when you explain your bill it is much more reassuring than when I read it. The impression I have from listening to the testimony of numerous witnesses before this committee is that everybody is scared by your bill and those who oppose the bill have not had access to you or to your office; those who have supported your bill do. So I would suggest, in order to be able to make this saleable, that you keep an open mind and hear both the proponents and the opponents.

Hon Mrs Grier: I do not know whether you were at the meeting that many of us in this room and your colleague the member for Mississauga South was at in Mississauga. I do not think any other Environment minister has gone and spent four hours on a platform in a community dealing with pieces of legislation, being questioned by the public, by the municipal representatives and by the regional representatives, all of whom came thinking they opposed the bill. In fact, half of them ended up acknowledging the good work that was being done by this bill.

I ask you to look at my schedule some time. I meet with opponents of my legislation just as much as I meet with proponents. In fact, I do not often need to listen to the supporters. The people who need to come to me are the opponents, and they have probably had far more of my time than the supporters of this legislation. The thoughts, the principles and the underlying values of this legislation are mine; blame the lawyers for the wording.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Before adjourning, could I just indicate that the clerk is circulating several government motions, in the form of amendments, that we will be dealing with later, and if I could remind all members that by 5 o'clock today all amendments must be in. So if anyone does have further amendments, they should be submitted by 5 o'clock to the clerk. We will reconvene, as I noted earlier, at 2:15. At that time, Mr Cousens is the only other speaker I have down at this point, and he will start us off this afternoon. Thank you. We are adjourned.

The committee recessed at 1213.


The committee resumed at 1417.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Okay, we are ready to begin again. I just remind everyone that we are on part II of the bill and dealing with two motions, one put forward by Mr Ramsay and one by Mr Cousens. I indicated when we broke for lunch that we would start up again with Mr Cousens, and that is a bit as we began this morning; plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

Mr Cousens: Good line. I was looking for some notes, and part of the reaction I have to some of the comments made by the Minister of the Environment has to do with some of her misunderstanding of the rail option. We have had a number of presentations, one by CN and one by CP, and then Notre Development of the Adams mine proposal had a certain amount to say on it as well, so we as a committee might have been closer to what was going on than even the minister, because how could she have ears for all that was going on?

The rail option really cannot be put down so easily where someone could even infer that because poor Vaughan, having just grieved over Keele Valley so much -- and then say, "Well, if they think they've got a problem, they're going to have one with the rail option." That is where I have to come back and suggest the presentation made by Lorna Jackson, mayor of the city of Vaughan, was rather open to the rail option, as an option only.

Let's look at it. At least from the early dialogue that had been taking place between the rail companies and the city, that became a viable alternative, viable in the sense that there are ways of getting the trucks in and out of the MacMillan yard without taking them through subdivisions and communities the way they are now. It would come off a road brought from Highway 400, as I understand it, so there is not going to be the hassle that residents are enduring right now with all these vehicles going up and down alternate routes to get to the landfill site.

No one is in love with garbage, but at least the people of Vaughan are willing to look at other options, and it does have certain natural characteristics that lend themselves to being considered as the starting point for hauling Metro and greater Toronto area garbage to the locations that might be chosen, should that include the Adams mine site.

That really begins to put just a little bit of balance to it, because I think some people are very quick to give a jab and say you are probably going to come up with the NIMBY syndrome; that is, "not in my backyard." That is not the way in which the city of Vaughan has presented this. The city of Vaughan has as much at stake in Metro's garbage as anyone right now because it has the single largest landfill site in North America within its jurisdiction. Not only is it there; it is not even owned by them or run by them, and someone is going to add to it without their having anything to say about it. At least they are involved in trying to find a solution to this problem, and that has to do with the rail-haul option.

I table those concerns. I think we could spend some time going through those considerations that have been presented, and yet I think that would be a disappointing use of time for the committee. One is tempted, because it would appear to me the committee has not given the kind of attention to those matters that I would have hoped.

Mr Chairman, I have a problem. When we cleared our desks for the noonhour teleconference, I left some materials on my table which I was going to refer to in my remarks and I am having difficulty finding them now. Unless you want to go ahead and vote on the motion, I really could pass the floor to someone until I find those notes.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Okay. Just with respect to those notes, I believe, because I watched some of the proceedings, there was somebody from your party sitting in that chair. Was it Mr Wilson? If they were on the desk, I am wondering whether maybe he --

Mr Cousens: He is a totally trustworthy person.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): He must be. The farthest thing from my mind was to suggest otherwise. In fact, your arguments may have been so compelling that he wanted to go over them. Are those remarks ones that you might be able to make with respect to another part of the bill?

Mr Cousens: Knowing how strict you are as a Chair, I might lose my chance. I will have to yield the floor temporarily.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Actually Mr McClelland has indicated he would like to speak on this part, so perhaps while he is speaking you might either find the missing papers or find the person who found them.

Mr McClelland: In my absence this morning, I understand that some very interesting discussion took place around subsection 12(1) of Bill 143 and from time to time was colourful. I am sure the description I was given of Mr Cousens's involvement this morning did not do it justice, but none the less I found it interesting to hear what transpired this morning.

I want to comment about subsection 12(1) with respect to the issue of confining a primary service area, as is contemplated by subsection 12(1) in its present form. One of the difficulties is the confusion that exists, as Mrs Marland said, in letters that have gone out in correspondence. I am glad my friend and colleague Mr Duignan is here with us this afternoon, because I want to refer to a letter that was sent September 24 that I think brings into focus some of the uncertainty and confusion that surrounds the minister's, and indeed the government's, stated position that each municipality must deal with waste generated within its own region within its own boundaries, save and except Metropolitan Toronto's, which will probably end up in York, and Kingston's, which will end up in Ottawa, at least for the time being, and except for the industrial, commercial and institutional, on the order of about a million tonnes a year, more or less, that is heading to the United States.

I think that is part of the problem that communities such as municipalities, municipal governments, the private waste management sector, and organizations such as AMO are dealing with. They are saying: "What rules apply, and how do we rationalize this? What is the justification for this primary service area designation? Are we talking about processed materials? Should they be permitted to move? We have heard some indications they are, but there is some uncertainty about that."

Let me give you and refer you to a letter of September 24, 1991, written to Mr Costea, the administrator-clerk of the corporation of the town of Halton Hills. It is a letter over the signature of Minister Ruth Grier, with a carbon copy to the Honourable Bob Rae, Premier. It is written to the administrator, as I said, and the minister states, among other things -- I refer to paragraph 4, the second sentence -- "As I have clearly stated before, municipalities are expected to manage their own waste within their own borders."

I might indicate parenthetically that this letter is in response to some queries made with respect to the proposed Acton quarry landfill environmental assessment. But here is the confusion. That was paragraph 4. In paragraph 5 we read, "The privately managed industrial, commercial, institutional waste stream would also be received at the GTA sites," ie, the long-term or temporary sites. "However, the generators of this waste would also have the option of disposing of this waste at any facility suitably approved to receive it, including, potentially, a landfill in the Acton quarry."

We have a letter in one paragraph that says: "Each municipality must deal with its own. That's our position, save and except for all the exceptions," and we do not know the rationale for that. But the very same letter in the next paragraph says, "However, the generators of this waste would also have options." You ask why people are confused.

I wonder if the parliamentary assistant can help us in response to the letter of the minister dated September 24. How are people who are looking at and contemplating the Acton quarry landfill, the proponents and those who are opposed and the corporation, which has asked the minister and the Premier to intervene and not allow a joint board hearing -- which, by the way, has been ordered by the minister -- how are they to reconcile these apparent conflicts? What will Bill 143 do to change the impact of a letter such as this? If Acton quarry goes ahead, and let's just say hypothetically it passes through an environmental assessment and is approved and the certificate of approval is forthcoming, according to this letter industrial, commercial and institutional waste would be allowed to be shipped. So are we talking household waste only? I just wonder if you could help us with that.

Mr Wiseman: On a point of order, Mr Chairman: I have two questions. Are we still dealing with paragraphs 12(1)1, 2 and 3? If we are, how does this current line of questioning relate to those questions?

Mr McClelland: I will explain it, Mr Chairman.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): I have been allowing, with this one, a certain amount of leeway in that it does deal with sites and how sites are to be determined, and I would be interested, as Mr McClelland goes on, in seeing the direct link between the Halton Hills issue and these particular motions.

Mr McClelland: Mr Chairman, let me help my friend Mr Wiseman, yourself and members of the committee as well, if I can, and I apologize for not perhaps filling in more background. I thought the relevance of this particular letter and the discussion pertaining to it would be evident on the face of the discussion.

Subsection 12(1) and the three paragraphs under subsection (1) indicate in the present form of Bill 143 a "waste disposal site to be located in the regional municipality of Peel having as its primary function the disposal of waste generated in the regional municipality over a period of at least twenty years," and so on; subsequently, with paragraph 2, the regional municipality of Durham; paragraph 3, the municipality of York or the municipality of Metro Toronto.

The amendment brought forward by the Liberal caucus, by I believe Mr Ramsay this morning, and a subsequent amendment by the Conservatives, by Mr Cousens, indicates there should be some latitude and some flexibility in terms of the boundaries. What we have here is a bill that says primarily we will be focused here. We have a letter that in one paragraph says the same thing but in the subsequent paragraph says there are exceptions.

So, Mr Wiseman, the question of the parliamentary assistant again is, to frame it in perspective, which prevails? What is the prevailing sentiment? Is it the exceptions that are the prevailing sentiment, that we will continue on an ad hoc basis, and is it within the context of ongoing exceptions that change from day to day and from region to region that municipalities, the private sector and the ICI waste stream should begin to do their long-term planning and organization for the future, or is it in the context with the stated principles of Bill 143 and the apparently conflicting previous paragraph in the letter of September 24?


Mrs Marland made arguments at some length yesterday with respect to the confusion that existed within a letter that was sent to Muskoka-Georgian Bay. I am saying that not only is it happening in Muskoka-Georgian Bay, it is happening in the greater Toronto area. It is an issue that very much affects the riding of Mr Duignan with the proposed landfill. People there are saying, "What will the nature of this landfill be?" Those who are opposed to it have questions that remain unanswered. Those who are the proponents have now received copies of a letter that says that it depends on what happens down the road, that there will be options.

What are those options? What rules prevail? What rules will be driving the waste management policy? Will it be Bill 143 or will it be the ad hoc options that come forward from time to time? That is the essence of the question.

I might add that what the amendments by Mr Ramsay and by Mr Cousens this morning say is, let's recognize the fact that there is flexibility, that the minister herself has stated within correspondence that although it is a desired goal to have municipalities deal with the waste generated within their own boundaries, there of necessity will be exceptions. To what extent are those exceptions going to prevail? It seems to me that we have conflicting messages. I am wondering if the parliamentary assistant can help us clarify that. That is the nature of my questioning, Mr Wiseman, with respect to subsection 12(1).

Mr O'Connor: The issue the member brings up now does not deal directly with the bill, although I can see some of his concerns. I think in discussions we have had previously we have heard discussions around private sector involvement, and there has always been an availability for the private sector to apply for different ways of handling waste through an EA process. That is not something that is being precluded in this bill; that is something that will remain.

What we are dealing with right here is of course the three regional sites -- the regional municipality of Durham, the York-Metro and the Peel sites -- and the Interim Waste Authority's mandate to go out and find long-term sites. That is what that process is all about. So there are two different processes and the links are kind of hard to pull together. It is hard for me to understand exactly where you are headed with this.

Mr McClelland: Let me try again then. Let me try and help you. Mr Chairman, I think it only fair that I try and respond to the parliamentary assistant. He has invited me to try and explain it, so I will explain it.

The bill sets out a framework that says there is a primary service area. A primary service area is defined by a municipality, an upper-tier government. The bill says that each upper-tier municipality primarily should deal with the waste generated within its own boundaries. We then hear that there are exceptions. There are exceptions ongoing presently. There are exceptions that may continue. We have a letter from the minister, over the minister's signature, that states that indeed the philosophy and the approach of the government is that each municipality -- I will read it again for you, Mr O'Connor.

Mr O'Connor: I do not think you need to read it.

Mr McClelland: "As I have clearly stated before, municipalities are expected to manage their own waste within their own borders." That is what subsection 12(1) says. The amendments to 12(1), as proposed by Mr Ramsay on behalf of our caucus and Mr Cousens on behalf of the Conservative caucus, say in effect, however, the generators of waste would have options. What we are saying is, in terms of the certainty of the scheme of the act, are you prepared to accept the amendment which recognizes the options that are apparently fairly wide open, that there will be significant options and significant latitude, as stated in the letter? Surely the amendments are consistent with what the minister has said in her own letter of September 24 and -- I do not have the date of the letter; I did not commit it to memory -- the one Mrs Marland referred to that was sent to Muskoka-Georgian Bay.

What we are saying, Mr O'Connor, is this: The amendments seem to me at least -- help me if I am wrong -- to recognize what the minister is saying in her own correspondence, that yes, there is a philosophy that says you will deal with it in a primary service area, but there are exceptions. We are saying that in our amendments: Let's recognize those exceptions and let's put it in the legislative framework so people know they can plan within those exceptions. If they are stated as a policy, which is referred to in the act, then let's specify it clearly and make it more expansive and say that there will be options to interchange within the greater Toronto area at large.

That is what this letter says. The industrial, commercial and institutional waste stream can go into Halton Hills. It can end up in Mr Duignan's riding. The minister has said that Mr Duignan's residents may be the happy or unhappy hosts of ICI waste from the greater Toronto area: from Durham, from Peel, from Metro and York. That is what her letter of September 24 says. We are saying, let's recognize that in the act. That is what the amendments speak to. The amendments put forward say the very same thing as the letter. Let's recognize it in the act.

Mr O'Connor: I appreciate your comments, once again. We had a terrific amount of debate and discussion this morning around the two amendments. The bill itself deals with the waste within Durham region, within the regional municipalities of York, Metro and Peel. What happens to the waste within the rest of the province will be dealt with subsequently with the discussion papers that will be forthcoming. That will give the other municipalities an opportunity to take a look at waste problems and the way they can be handled when those papers are put out, the following initiative papers.

Mr McClelland: That is the point. This letter is talking about Metro Toronto, greater Toronto area waste. That is what this letter is talking about. That is the very point. You make the point well, sir. You make the point precisely that the greater Toronto area waste, as referred to in the letter of September 24, is in question.

Mr Wiseman: On a point of order, Mr Chair: Failing having copies of this letter it becomes a little bit difficult to follow and to ascertain whether indeed this letter applies in this section. Therefore I would request that we all have copies of that letter and that we move on and deal with these motions as they are written and not as one member is attempting to fabricate a scenario around them.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): I am sure we can ask Mr McClelland to have copies provided. If the Chair may, I can see the point he is trying to raise with the parliamentary assistant and its relationship to this section. Perhaps Mr McClelland, if you would get a copy, Mr Cousens might be able to come back to the remarks, which it looks as though he has found. Would that be agreeable?

Mr Cousens: There is just so much paper that we are recycling.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): If I might, Mr McClelland?

Mr McClelland: I was just asking the clerk; I am sorry.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): If you could arrange for that, Mr Cousens, I believe you have found your remarks.

Mr Cousens: I just want you to know, never have them totally together, I can assure the honourable Chair.

We are dealing with a bill in which the Minister of the Environment is saying, "The greater Toronto area is going to look after its own landfill sites," and if you were to do it according to the way she has drafted the bill, there would be one nice site in Peel, one other for York region and one in Durham for Mr Wiseman.

Mrs Marland: P1.

Mr Cousens: We will find a site that is just great for you, and who knows, we can put a headstone there with your name on it. It will be the Wiseman dump.

Having said that, one of the issues we have been trying to raise is the other options that are open for the government to look at. I just wanted to clarify a few of the things that came out in some of the remarks made earlier by the minister that have to do with using another site, like the Adams mine site, as a possible location. I just want to touch on four different points that have come out of comments made by the minister and the New Democrats on that as they pertain to opening up that option.

I think the first point is that Kirkland Lake could never have been an interim site, because Metro Toronto, Kirkland Lake, Englehart and Larder Lake have a legal agreement that the site must operate for 20 years. So it is not something that is just going to be come and gone. It has a 20-year window of opportunity in which it could be serving the needs of the greater Toronto area, and having seen the size of those holes, I am satisfied that it is worth investigating further. That is point 1.


When the minister starts to indicate that what dollars are being spent on this agreement are a sham or outrageous, it would be only right that we remember there is a legal agreement which has guarantees of royalties built into it. There are taxes. There are research and development funds, recycling plants and an industrial development park that are all part of the agreement that would be made, if it were Toronto and the greater Toronto area, the Interim Waste Authority and the province, with the people who are responsible for the Adams mine site. So when you really start looking at the dollars, you are looking at a far greater investment and economic picture, which you would really want to have a good look at. It is just not worth saying the dollars are a sham. There is an economic series of considerations that need to be given to the Adams mine site.

The third point is that the minister has stated that all the garbage trucks in the greater Toronto area will go to Vaughan. I think it is only right to revisit the agreements that have been tentatively put together between Metro and the other parties on the Adams mine site. If the minister were to read those agreements, she would find that only 1.5 million tonnes of garbage are allowed in the agreements. Kirkland Lake cannot become the garbage capital of Ontario, because the tonnage would be limited to the legal agreements that have been drafted between Toronto and those bodies.

My fourth point has to do with cross-border shipping. I think we really have to look at what happens in different US states that at least adjoin Ontario. There is no one within those states who is restricting the movement of waste within their states to find solutions in the same way Minister Grier is trying to limit the movement of waste here in Ontario.

I really do not want to copy anyone else, but if they have found something that works, then let's at least look at it, and we should be in a position then to at least keep our options open.

I know we are not going to win this vote, but I had to at least stay on the subject. I would suggest that there is a good possibility the minister has not even read the agreements that have been drafted between Metro and the people at the Adams mine site. Maybe if she had, she would not have some of the limited thinking on it.

The other thing I want to reinforce is that the people in York have no desire to provide the total solution for the greater Toronto area's waste, but they are prepared to look at other options. One of those could well be the MacMillan yard as a shipping point for waste to another site, and if that were to be the Adams mine site, then we would have a chance to do something about it.

I also would like to clarify that I did say the Keele Valley landfill site was the largest in North America. It is the largest in Canada. There happens to be one in New York City which is even larger than ours. I guess back in 1990 it became so large it was even larger as a man-made project than the Great Wall of China. What is the name of that one, just so I have it? Drew, would you tell me what is the name of that?

Mr Blackwell: Fresh Kills.

Mr Cousens: Fresh Kills in New York City. We will all have to go and have a visit there. We can give a one-way ticket to the New Democrats and the rest of us can come back and just leave them there.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): We are indebted to you, I think, Mr Cousens, for a number of interesting observations. I found the phrase "technopeasant" you offered up earlier one I had not heard before as well, and now we know the name of the largest dump in North America.

Mr Cousens: You might win at Trivial Pursuit.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): I am in the committee's hands here. We have circulated the letter Mr McClelland referred to, and perhaps I could ask Mr McClelland: There is a further amendment proposed to subsection 12(3). Would you prefer to discuss this in our discussion under 12(1)? Should we go forward and call the vote on 12(1) and then on 12(3) you would raise that, or what --

Mr McClelland: Mr Chairman, I think I have made the point as well as I am able, albeit not perhaps as well as the point should be made, simply to draw to their attention that there appears to be some uncertainty. That uncertainty is understood, in light of the letter. I do not want to belabour the point. Maybe Mr O'Connor can shed some light on it. Unless there is some response from the New Democrats that engenders a response from me, I think the point has been made.

Mr Wiseman: I would like to make a point on this.

Mr McClelland: Then I will probably be responding to that.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Mr Wiseman, I will ask you to comment. I would just like to note that we have been on this particular section. I would like to call the vote shortly, but I do not want to stop any relevant discussion. You now have the floor.

Mr Wiseman: I would like to begin by pointing out that the letter being quoted is of September 24, 1991, which predates any indication of this legislation and is a hypothetical letter trying to outline what hypothetical cases may or may not be possible within the context of decisions.

Mr Cousens: What? Come on.

Interjection: You are embarrassing yourself, Jim.

Mr Wiseman: Therefore, in subjecting an answer --


The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Order, please. Mr Wiseman has the floor. You will have opportunity to discuss this.

Mrs Marland: You will never get to be parliamentary assistant that way, Jim.

Mr Wiseman: I am already parliamentary assistant, Margaret. I think that some of the phrases that are interesting -- I will read the entire letter now into the record so the entire viewing audience has a clear indication of the speculative nature of this letter in response to a speculative question.

"Thank you for your recent letter concerning the proposed Acton quarry landfill environmental assessment. I have also been asked by the Premier to reply on his behalf to your letter to him of the same date.

"I have noted the position of council that the proposed landfill in the Acton quarry is neither justified, required nor environmentally acceptable. As you know, the proponent of the undertaking has a different opinion. I anticipate that, in order to resolve the differing views, a hearing before the joint board will be necessary.

"You have requested that both the Premier and I meet with council to discuss the proposal. Any appeal from a board decision must be considered by cabinet, as I am sure you understand. It would, therefore, not be appropriate for either the Premier or me to compromise our positions on such an appeal by meeting with you at this time.

"You inquire about the possibility of the Acton quarry landfill being used as an interim waste disposal site by the greater Toronto area municipalities" -- that question predates the bill -- "As I have clearly stated before, municipalities are expected to manage their own waste within their own borders. For this reason, I have also decided that any shortfall in disposal capacity for GTA waste before the long-term sites are ready will be met by the expansion of the existing landfill sites under emergency powers.

"However, you should also note that should the proposal for a landfill in the Acton quarry be approved, that landfill would be free to accept waste from within the approved service area."

Mr Cousens: "Its approved." Read it correctly if you are going to.

Mr Wiseman: "Waste collected by or on behalf of the" -- I beg your pardon?

Mr Cousens: You are missing some words.

Mr Wiseman: "From within its approved service area." That is what I said.

Mr Cousens: You did not.


The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Please, order. The point has been made.

Mr Cousens: Read it properly.

Mr Wiseman: There is somebody over there who maybe should have his hearing tested.


The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): If we could just continue the reading --

Mr Wiseman: "Waste collected by or on behalf of the GTA municipalities will be disposed at either the existing or the long-term GTA sites. The privately managed industrial, commercial, institutional waste stream would also be received at the GTA sites. However, the generators of this waste would also have the option of disposing of this waste at any facility suitably approved to receive it including, potentially, a landfill in the Acton quarry."

This letter ends, "Should council require further information on the approval process or the ministry's role, please contact Mr J. Connelly of the approvals branch." Then there is a phone number and it is signed by Ruth Grier.

I think it is rather interesting that this letter speculates and in fact is very early on. What has been an ongoing correspondence between the minister and that municipality, in my view has no relevance whatsoever to the three subsections we are trying to deal with at this time and that we have been dealing with or attempting to deal with since 10 o'clock this morning. I think we know why we are not moving very far, very fast as we view the comments from the opposition members, which I consider to be silly and not very constructive in the least in getting this bill through. I guess we will be here, like, tomorrow, eh?


Mr McClelland: I just want to make a point on what Mr Wiseman raised. He is either naïve or totally unaware of how things operate at Queen's Park and particularly at the Ministry of the Environment. This letter, dated September 24 --

Mr Wiseman: I know how they operated when you were there. You just put your finger on a map and said, "We'll put a landfill site there."

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Order, please. Mr McClelland has the floor.

Mr McClelland: This letter, dated September 24, it is suggested by Mr Wiseman is not relevant because it predates Bill 143 by precisely one month from its introduction and first reading. If anybody at all who has any inkling of understanding of the legislative process does not believe that Bill 143 was not only substantially crafted, but had been through draft and redraft form, had been to management meetings at the Ministry of the Environment and been reviewed by ministers and ministerial staff countless time, had been to I do not know how many cabinet committees, full cabinet and back again for revision and back up through the cabinet process, and fully recognizing that takes months and months; to suggest that a letter dated September 24 is of no relevance because a bill was introduced by first reading on October 24 simply, and very candidly, displays that Mr Wiseman has either apparently no understanding of the legislative process or is trying to make a rather ridiculous point that the letter has no relevance. If the letter has no relevance on its substance, so be it; that will be determined in the course of time. But to make some sort of trite argument that the date of one month renders the content of the letter meaningless or not worthy of discussion, I think is at best absurd.

Having said that, Mr Wiseman has read the letter in its entirety into the record. I am not sure what impact, if any, that has on the very point I was making. The point simply stated, as I said before, is that it indicates there is uncertainty and a set of evolving ad hoc rules in an approach to waste management. I have said -- but what I said is obviously not all that important. Countless other people have said, as we have been across this province and sat in this room on committee hearings, that Bill 143 by its very nature is a Band-Aid solution. It does not deal with the problem.

Speaking on the particular amendments to subsection 12(1) put forward by both opposition parties, they recognize that there will be considerable latitude within the greater Toronto area. That is all the amendments do. They recognize the reality as indicated by the minister's letter of September 24, which was concurrent with, I say to Mr Wiseman, the drafting of Bill 143. Given that it was in fact concurrent with the drafting of Bill 143, Bill 143 can and ought to recognize the reality that waste will move within the boundaries of the greater Toronto area and not necessarily be restricted to the specific regions, as contemplated by the bill. The amendments seek to make that clear; they seek to make that point. That is why this letter is relevant in terms of the amendments put forward and on the face of it, to any objective observer, that is very self-evident. Having said that, I have nothing really to add, unless my colleagues --

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Mr Sola.

Mr Sola: Thank you, Mr Chair, but Mr McClelland made the point I was going to make about the relevance of the dates.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Okay. If we can deal with the amendments, I will deal first of all with the Liberal motion, the first of the two, and ask the question, shall the Liberal amendment to paragraphs 12(1)1, 12(1)2 and 12(1)3 carry? In favour? Opposed?

Motion negatived.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): We will then move and deal with the Conservative motion to subsection 12(1). Shall the Conservative motion carry? All in favour? Those opposed?

Motion negatived.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Shall subsection 12(1) carry? Those in favour? Opposed? Carried.

Shall subsection 12(2) carry? In favour? Comment, Mr McClelland.

Mr McClelland: I just want to indicate that subsection 12(2) sort of retroactively legitimizes the past actions, including the funding and staffing of the Interim Waste Authority. What we have had is a government move ahead, and that is fine. It has chosen, some would say, to put the cart before the horse in this instance and I understand the motivation of the government. It said it had a problem on its hands and was going to solve it in the way it determined it was going to solve it regardless of what happened.

I think it makes another point: Subsection 12(2), after the fact, legitimizes a considerable amount of work that has been done to date. Then you have to ask yourself the question, is it any wonder people are cynical about the public hearing process and the legislative process? Subsection 12(2) by its very nature states that until the passage of Bill 143, the Interim Waste Authority is acting contrary to the requirements of the Environmental Assessment Act.

I want to indicate to you and for the record that clause 6(1)(b) of the Environmental Assessment Act indicates that no subsidy or financial support for an undertaking to which the act applies shall be provided by the province until after approval for the project has been obtained. Clause 6(1)(b) can be overridden where feasibility studies have been undertaken in order to comply with the Environmental Assessment Act.

Bill 143, by the admission in the statements of the minister, adopts the principles, she would claim, of the Environmental Assessment Act. It does not comply with the Environmental Assessment Act by any stretch of the imagination. No person worth her salt would say that.

Subsection 12(2) says very clearly that we are going to legitimize, after the fact, contravention of the Environmental Assessment Act, so not only is Bill 143 going to override the Environmental Assessment Act; it is in effect adding insult to injury and saying we are legitimizing a contravention of that act by the Ministry of the Environment.

I say very clearly without hesitation on the record here today that the actions of the IWA through no fault of its own -- it is fulfilling its mandate -- in the opinion of many, myself included, have been contrary to clause 6(1)(b) of the Environmental Assessment Act. What has become clear is that the studies under way have not been undertaken for the purposes of complying with the Environmental Assessment Act. That is abundantly clear and I would defy anybody to argue otherwise.

As we vote on subsection 12(2) we recognize that in support of Bill 143, which undermines the Environmental Assessment Act, subsection 12(2) flies not only substantially in the face of the Environmental Assessment Act but contravenes and is a blatant admission that clause 6(1)(b) of the Environmental Assessment Act has been contravened.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Shall subsection 12(2) carry? All in favour? Opposed? Carried.

I have an amendment from the Conservatives, Mr Cousens, regarding subsection 12(3).


Mr Cousens: Mr Chairman, I am not going to present the amendment. I think it just gives us a chance to make sure we have paused over it before we have a quick vote. Rather than be ruled out of order, and respecting that it is the process, I will make a few remarks on section 13.

Section 13, first of all, for the sake of those who are taking this session in, asks for estimates to be prepared by the ministry, a written estimate to indicate the amount of waste that otherwise would be expected to be generated in the primary service area during a 20-year period that will not be generated because of waste reduction efforts and the amount of waste --

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Excuse me, Mr Cousens. I just want to be clear. You have withdrawn your --

Mr Cousens: But I want to speak to it, because the only thing I can do is vote against it.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Right, but just so I am clear, you are still discussing subsection 12(3)?

Mr Cousens: Yes.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): You are not discussing section 13?

Interjection: You are on the waste estimates.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): I just wanted to be clear. This may come as a shock, but I was not going to rule your amendment out of order. In fact, it is in order if you wish to discuss it.

Mr Cousens: No, I want to get on to section 13.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): You want to get on to section 13, so you are withdrawing subsection 12(3), or would you like me to put it? It is in order. I do not often get to say that.

Mr Cousens: Let me just go back. I cannot believe how good I am.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Mr Cousens moves that subsection 12(3) of the bill be struck out.

Shall the motion carry? All in favour? Those opposed?

Motion negatived.

Section 13:

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): We then move on to section 13 of the bill. Mr Cousens.

Mr Cousens: Mr Chairman, this is what I meant, that I will not test your patience, but I would like to discuss it if I may. This section of the bill, section 13 of Bill 143, will require the Minister of the Environment to do an estimate of the amount of waste that would otherwise be expected to be generated in the primary service area over a 20-year period.

I want to discuss that for a number of reasons and I alluded to one of them this morning. It has to do with how good an assessment or estimate is going to be made by this government or Minister of the Environment on the amount of waste that is going to come. We have not been able to do it with Keele Valley.

The classic case is when Keele Valley was going to be filled. We have just had a moving time frame that it was going to be filled in 1991-92, and now it is going to be 1998-99. So there is a constant change in the time it is going to take before Keele Valley is filled, just because of the changes in the economic climate and the changes in the amount of garbage that is now being shipped south of the border. Some of it is being incinerated in Detroit and other places, but none the less it has reduced the amount of need for landfill at Keele Valley, Britannia and other sites. There has been that movement of waste.

Therefore, when you start asking the minister to give estimates, you are really asking her to do something that has not been done very well in the past, and the figures we are going to expect them to come up with will probably be as useless. It is going to be especially difficult for the minister to forecast, especially if they want to be honest.

If we look out 20 years from now, if we get the labour reform legislation being considered by this government, we could well see a tremendous reduction in the amount of need for landfill. We are not going to need garbage dumps because there will not be any industry generating waste. So I would think that Mrs Grier should go and talk to our friend, Mr Mackenzie, smiling Bob, or Bob White, and ask them whether or not there is going to be any industry here in Ontario. I do not think the people in Ontario understand the battle lines that are about to be drawn here at the Ontario Legislature.

Mr Wiseman: By your federal counterparts.

Mr Cousens: I am a provincial member.

Mr Wiseman: Oh, yes, hide behind your cloak.

Mr Cousens: I do not hide behind anything. What I really want to get to is that we are about to see the battle lines formed in Ontario where the Ontario Ministry of Labour will, with its reforms to labour legislation, drive business out of Ontario and then truly Bob Rae will be Buffalo's man of the year. He already is.

Interjection: That is irrelevant.

Mr Wiseman: Thanks to Brian Mulroney.

Mr Cousens: You guys can call it irrelevant. I just say if you want to forecast the future of what is happening in Ontario, all you have to do is look at the way the New Democrats are running Ontario into the ground. You will not need big landfill sites because there will not be any place left --

Mr Wiseman: The GST, the high dollar, free trade.

Mr Cousens: Bring up other issues.

Interjection: High interest rates.

Mr Wiseman: The Tories are doing a great job in Ottawa.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Order, please. Mr Cousens has the floor. I just want to note that under section 13 there are a couple of amendments to different parts of the bill. Because of that, I am allowing Mr Cousens to speak somewhat generally about section 13, and, Mr Cousens, if perhaps you could do that. I would point out at this moment, we will have to briefly revert to section 12. We voted on all the subsections, but I neglected to have us vote on the whole. I will do that after Mr Cousens has had his opportunity to comment on section 13. Mr Cousens, you have the floor.

Mr Cousens: I appreciate it, and you are doing a fine job. I just do not know how you stand it.


Mr Cousens: He is a super guy.

Mrs Marland: Well, the good news is he has been here longer than you have.

Mr Cousens: What I am concerned with is that as we start having a Minister of the Environment with the level of incompetence that has been shown so far, it is asking an awful lot for that minister and ministry to be anything more than equally incompetent in coming up with future estimates of what the landfill site requirements are going to be. Here is a situation where who knows what is going to happen for the next 20 years.

Mrs Marland: Here comes the line.

Mr Cousens: Oh, look. Too bad the camera cannot show the special lines and coaching being given to my good friend the member for Durham-York.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Perhaps, Mr Cousens, you could continue with your line of thought. I was interested in listening to it.

Mr Cousens: You are a good guy. I am not happy, though, because what kind of estimates are we going to have if Ontario closes down.

Mrs Marland: Or what kind of estimates are they going to have without the minister's staff doing the coaching, right?

Mr Cousens: Oh, Margaret, do not get nasty. We just have to deal with the issues -- I am having a hard time getting the attention of this committee and the members -- and the issue has to do with the failure of this government to generate a climate where you are going to want to invest in this province and to generate garbage as a business. If they all close down, if the General Motors plant closes down in Oshawa, then how many jobs and how much garbage are going to be produced? Therefore there are other things that are going to go into the equation of developing an estimate of what the need is going to be.

When Larry wants to go back to his job at General Motors, it may not be there, because General Motors may have decided to go for jobs in Texas and other places. Ontario is closing down and the New Democrats do not give the same sound advice we are going to need in order to solve the problem. So when you ask the minister to develop estimates of the need for garbage and waste, it is not going to be there.


The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Order.

Mr Cousens: It is feeding time.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Mr Cousens, we have a number of requests for a recess.

Mr Cousens: No, I am not in favour of a recess, Mr Chairman. I have the floor and I would like to continue some of my points.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): I appreciate that. You want a recess for 20 minutes?

Mr Cousens: For what reason, Mr Chairman?

Mr Wiseman: I think it would serve everybody's purpose to maybe refocus their minds on this bill and get to the point, as opposed to this baiting.

Mr Cousens: I have a number of points to make and I object strongly.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): It is always in the hands of the committee. I believe, if we can focus on section 13, as I mentioned, there are a couple of further amendments which I would like to get to, and if Mr Cousens will speak directly to section 13, I would ask if perhaps you might reconsider that motion at this point.

Mr Wiseman: No, I will not reconsider it, Mr Chair.

Mrs Marland: It has to be unanimous, so why waste time?

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): I have just asked for a clarification as to whether it needs to be unanimous, that was all. I believe Mr Cousens has --

Mrs Marland: I thought they wanted to get this wonderful bill through?

Mr Wiseman: It is you guys who wanted to be out of here by 4.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): If I could simply read standing order 126(a), "Immediately after the Chair of a standing or select committee has put the question on any motion, there shall be, if requested by a member of the committee, a wait of up to 20 minutes before the vote is recorded."


Mr Wiseman: I would request a clarification of a situation that developed a little while ago when the Liberal caucus asked for an adjournment to go out and meet its leader coming in after the leadership convention. The committee had an adjournment and that was granted by the then Chair.

Mrs Marland: Pettiness looks good on you.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): I was not Chair at that time. I do not know what the circumstances were. I just believe we should try to proceed and deal with these issues. If we could take from your request simply that we want to focus on the clause at hand, perhaps we can do that and maybe not be quite as solicitous of other points of view. As we go along we can deal with this one, because we still have a lot of work to do. But it would require unanimous consent at this point to have a recess. So Mr Cousens, if you would continue.

Mr Cousens: Thank you, Mr Chairman. I want to make the point that it is impossible for the Ministry of the Environment to come out with a good estimate of what the garbage is going to be in Metropolitan Toronto, especially if the province of Ontario closes down because of other legislation that this government is going to be bringing in.

I point particularly to the failure of this ministry to be consistent in its planning. When Mrs Grier took office, she killed the Durham site of Whitevale and the Brampton proposal for short-term sites, saying they would not be necessary. Who knows now whether or not they will be necessary? It gave people a great sense of relief in certain circumstances that they would not be needed. Now they might be needed, especially since the minister has decided we will deal with Durham's garbage in Durham, Metro's garbage in York and Peel's garbage in Peel. There is quite a sense of what this ministry has done. She keeps changing the rules.

I have to congratulate you again, Mr McClelland, for digging out one of the early letters, which again proves the level of competency and the inconsistencies that are coming through the Ministry of the Environment. People look on and say, "Oh, well, there you are, you're just talking it through." It is exceedingly exasperating for us as well when we are dealing with such mistrust that we have that comes through from the ministry. So when the ministry is asked to go on record in this bill it is going to be responsible for estimates of what the garbage is going to be, the estimates are not going to be worth any more than the stuff we are putting in the landfill sites. If this section of the bill passes, I think it just further proves the level of administrative competence that does not exist within that ministry.

To me it is almost insulting, because I know what kind of numbers are going to come up. They are going to be just as useless as any of the numbers we have had in the past, and it is going to be more difficult to get those numbers, especially with the other programs the New Democrats are developing, because they are just killing the province. Who is to believe anyone any more, especially them?

Mr Wiseman: On a point of information, Mr Chair: Currently the numbers in the estimates on Brock West and Keele Valley are supplied to the ministry by Metropolitan Toronto and the works department at Metropolitan Toronto. Therefore, this section of the bill is in order to try to bring some accuracy to those numbers. Therefore, the comments the honourable member is making about the ministry being inaccurate are in fact inaccurate in themselves.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Thank you. There is technically no such thing as a point of information, but we accept the information you have brought to our attention. If I might -- and then, Mr Cousens, I will come back to you -- Mr Wiseman asked earlier about a ruling at another time by another committee regarding a recess. It was evidently something that had been agreed to by the House leaders prior to its having happened -- House leaders or whips, I am instructed by the clerk. I simply would place that on the record as a matter of information.

Now I have Mr O'Connor, Mr Cousens and Mr McClelland.

Mr O'Connor: I think it would be nice for us to get back to what we are debating. It is unfortunate when we waste the time of the committee with some arguments that do seem somewhat petty.

Mrs Marland: In your opinion.

Mr O'Connor: I have the floor, thank you. When we talk about the estimates that will be arrived at, it is not going to be an easy process. Mr Cousens raised the fact that the recession has changed numbers. There is no doubt it has. We are not about to point the finger to other levels of government that have caused and exacerbated the recession. The process that takes place now, though, is the fact that estimates have to be provided to and approved by the Environmental Assessment Board. The process for doing that will be that estimates will be provided by the office of waste reduction. I will ask Mr Drew Blackwell if he could explain what that process will be, to perhaps set aside some of the fears of Mr Cousens. I have confidence in the people who do work for the ministry. Will Mr Blackwell please respond to some of the estimates questions we have had so far.

Mr Blackwell: First of all, I would like to make the point that the area of determination of the volumes and amounts of waste that would be taken care of through waste reduction, reuse and recycling is clearly identified as part of what would be dealt with through the environmental assessment and therefore would be subject to discussion at the hearing. There would be no attempt to assume that the estimates the ministry provides would be the only potential interpretation of what could happen.

At the same time, I would like to say that the very difficult business of trying to estimate what will be waste figures is one that we as a society have begun to realize we must learn. I think I can say with some degree of confidence that there have been measures put in place by municipalities throughout the province, there are efforts under way through the different regional offices of the Ministry of the Environment and there is the development of what we are calling the waste diversion information system through the ministry and in relationship with all the municipalities of the province and the Association of Municipal Recycling Coordinators which are beginning to enable us to produce figures we are quite confident will be at least as reliable and probably better than those of any other jurisdiction within North America. This does not guarantee that we will be able to estimate with scientific precision what amount of waste will be produced. Certainly one of the goals of the office will be to try to prove our estimates wrong by achieving more reduction and reuse than we can anticipate at this time.

Having said all that, I simply want to say that although some may feel the ministry is not working competently in many areas, I believe we are working towards a degree of precision which recognizes the difference between a society in which our only way of dealing with garbage is to try to bury it and to not care what is in it -- we are beginning to move towards an understanding that we ought to be looking at our waste, understanding what is in it and recognizing those resources that can be reused.


Mr Cousens: All you are doing is confirming my own worries about the ability of the ministry to develop estimates that are going to be used to determine the capacity of landfill sites, because that is what is going to happen. What the honourable assistant deputy minister has really just said is that it is going to be tough. They will do the best job they can. They will be as scientific as possible. But I would be willing to put dollars in bet that you are not going to be too much better than anybody else has been because of the variables that are involved.

Right now we have an advantage because we are shipping it south of the border. We have another advantage in that we are not getting as much waste because we are into a deep recession. You will have another situation that may evolve, which I sincerely and honestly hope does not happen; that is, if the economy continues to fall and businesses move out of Ontario to Buffalo and other places because of the terrible policies of the New Democrats, then you will have even less garbage. You had better take that into your equation for capacities. They are putting you on a spot when you have to ask that question.

The other question for all the people in the ministry and anyone who is preparing these figures has to do with how successful we are with the 3Rs. There is a host of questions and those questions have to be determined in advance of the time you are preparing for the landfill sites.

The ministry in its great wisdom says, "We are going to have a 20-year plan for these areas and one site in each of those regions." Fine. All you have done is just close the logic down so that you are more and more limited in what you can do. Then what will happen when the ministry comes forward with its estimates, if they are as mistaken and flawed as the ones have been in the development of Keele Valley -- the estimates on Keele Valley have continued to change and will continue to change. It would have been closed down now if certain things had been going on the way they were. All I am saying is, why go and put this in? You will come along and have the best swag you can. Hopefully you are close and certainly you will try, and you will have a certain justification, but even among the scientists and the experts there will be arguments as to which is the correct number. Whether you are close by two years, three years, five years, who is to know and who is to say? It has to do with our ability to forecast.

The government is putting it in and then someone is going to make a decision based on these estimates. That decision is going to affect the size of the landfill site in Durham. Then Mr Wiseman is going to say: "Oh well, that's too big. I wish you had a smaller forecast." He will have a smaller forecast when General Motors closes down. Then they will not need to have as big a site. I hope General Motors does not close down, but I just say we have problems with the forecast. They have to do with the whole level of confidence I have, not around the bureaucrats and the public servants who are developing these figures; it is just around how these people who are in charge are going to interpret them, because it is going to be interpreted by the New Democrats over the next two or three years. An awful lot of this is going to be under way very quickly, and who knows how soon it is going to be before those numbers are required? It is starting to happen. So here it is.

I know it was said earlier when we were talking, by Mr Wiseman, that it is going to pass anyway, so why talk? That is the advantage of being in opposition. I at least want to put on the record my lack of confidence in the government coming up with estimates that are going to be worth the paper they are written on.

Mr McClelland: On a note with respect to the motion put forward by Mr Cousens, I support the motion but for perhaps different reasons than Mr Cousens. Clearly Mr Blackwell has indicated that the estimates will be subject to scrutiny through the process of environmental assessment. I think therein lies the rationale for deleting section 13 from the act. I think that in terms of the expectation, albeit not a happy expectation in my view, that Bill 143 will pass substantially in its present form, we will go ahead under the terms of this bill.

The Ministry of the Environment estimates for the 3R activity that is referred to in the act will doubtless be a useful guide in determining the need of the siting of the waste management operations. In an environmental assessment the threshold issues are need and then scope of that need. However, as stated by Mr Blackwell, those inputs and assumptions in environmental assessments are subject to considerable scrutiny, detailed scrutiny in fact, throughout the hearing process, and that changes from time to time. Because of that very fact, it seems to me that there is no need, or any justification, quite frankly, from a purely practical point of view in terms of having that put into this act legislatively. Why do you legislatively single out the 3Rs from other factors that will have to be taken into account in assessing the needs and the scope of those needs?

From a more technical point of view, it seems to me that section 13 is at best unnecessary and perhaps irrelevant in the final analysis inasmuch as, as said by Mr Blackwell and by the parliamentary assistant, it is all going go through the wash, through a process, hopefully under an environmental asssessment where all of those presumptions and assumptions will be given considerable scrutiny on an ongoing basis. Again, I simply have to ask the question, from a technical point of view is there any justification to have section 13 in the act? What need is there for it? The answer seems to be that there is no justification and there is no need. From a practical point of view, it just seems that the best thing to do is delete it and recognize the fact that it is all going to go through a process of environmental assessment.

In fact, from the government's point of view it may even be a signal that the environmental assessment process will be maintained in its present form, at least for this part of the act. The ministry is not trying to superimpose its numbers, its view of the world on the Environmental Assessment Act. As said by Mr Blackwell, it will go through the process in its full form. Again, the question remains, why bother having it?

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): I want to do a couple of things. We have two amendments still, one to come on subsection 13(1). If I can, Mrs Marland, before I come back back to you, technically we are debating section 13, but Mr Cousens's motion was out of order, so to keep us in order and allow discussion in effect to continue on some of those issues, the amendment later to subsection 13(2) still deals with the whole question of estimates.

The first one I would like to put forward then is on section 12. We need to vote on the whole of section 12.

Section 12 agreed to.

Le Président suppléant (M. Beer) : We will put the government's motion, clauses 13(1)(a) and (b), and then, Mrs Marland, we will come back to the amendment to subsection 13(2), which I believe will provide you and others with an opportunity to continue the discussion we were in. It makes it legal.

Mr Wiseman moves that the French version of clauses 13(1)(a) and (b) of the bill be struck out and the following substituted:

"a) la quantité de déchets qui, sans des mesures de réduction des déchets, serait normalement produite dans le secteur de service primaire sur une période de 20 ans, mais que l'instauration de telles mesures permettra de supprimer ;

"b) la quantité de déchets qui sera produite dans le secteur de service primaire sur une période de 20 ans, mais qu'il ne faudra pas éliminer dans celui-ci du fait de la réutilisation ou du recyclage des matières qui sont des déchets ou qui pourraient le devenir."

Je pense, pour exprimer la raison toujours de ces changements, que c'est à cause des mots qu'on emploie, et que sur cette section ça donne simplement une meilleure explication.

Mr Wiseman: I understand what you said. I think that the two references in subsection 13(1) to the amount of waste are rendered into French by "le volume." We are advised that "le volume" is more generic in French than "volume" in English and allows considerable flexibility. However, as the waste reduction office intends to carry out most of its estimations by weight, it appears prudent to change the French version from "le volume" to "la quantité," which is equally as broad a term as is used in English and is less likely to give rise to disagreement when the estimates are produced.

Mr Cousens: The problem I have is with the bill having both English and French. In going through the bill I am not able to interpret the French. I would not have been equipped or able to find this mistake, this error, this clarification that has now been made.

Mr Wiseman: "Nuance" is a better word.

Mr Cousens: Whatever it is. The concern I have is who there is on a regular basis who is able to go through these bills to ensure that what is in the French is consistent with what is in the English. Inasmuch as now all statutes and bills in the Ontario Legislature are being translated, I would have hoped that there would have been far more confidence in the system that when this was first drafted the bill would have been correct in the first place. I understand there are always going to be mistakes, but what is there to give me some satisfaction that there are not other parts of this bill or other bills -- we will deal specifically with Bill 143 -- where we are facing other hidden differences in meaning that we should be informed about?

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): I will ask the legislative counsel to comment. I might just note by way of information that when drafting legislation in both languages, there are times when certain words can express better a meaning. There is quite a process that is involved in doing that. I will ask the legislative counsel if perhaps he can explain how that is done.


Mr Spakowski: I would like to supply some information about how the French versions are prepared. They are prepared in our office. We have a considerable number of personnel skilled in translation and linguistics, lawyers who are bilingual. We do our best to ensure that the French versions of the bills are the same as the corresponding English provisions.

Mr Cousens: Just to satisfy my concern, I have not had an opportunity where I have seen this revision. I am glad it has been made, I am glad it has been found, and I think that is as it should be. What it makes me start to say is that we have found a mistake, there are probably others. I have not been able to find them. Is there any certification process that is taken by legislative counsel prior to the bill coming to the House for first reading, or during first, second or third readings, whereby legislative counsel have ascertained that the bill in both English and French is saying the same thing?

Mr Spakowski: There is no formal certification process. Both versions of the bill are before the House and before this committee and can be considered and amended, just as it was before bills were bilingual. There is no formal procedure we go through to certify any particular version.

Mr Cousens: This could become quite a problem in the courts if in fact this had not been found, and certainly the issue could develop into quite a legal dispute as to which one would be the true statement for Ontario's legal situation, could it not?

Mr Spakowski: There is a considerable body of law concerned with the interpretation of bilingual legislation. In fact, there is an entire text, although it is a small text, written on this particular problem. It has occurred in the past mostly in relation to federal legislation; for instance, the Criminal Code or the Income Tax Act has been bilingual for some time. This issue does occasionally crop up.

Mr Cousens: So there is no reason why it could not or would not crop up here in Ontario. Some very astute person saw this difference, but there are others that may not have been found. If there is not a process for doing that, then the legal entanglements that could follow from it could be a matter of concern. I table it as a matter of concern.

I do not think it is something I want to take time up for on this committee, but it points out some of the problems we are having with the French-language translation process. Certainly during the course of this session all the work we have been doing has been simultaneously translated in both English and French, and as I speak we have one person translating my comments now into French. The Hansard will come out in both English and French. When we went to Sudbury and other communities in the north country, we had both languages provided. Under Bill 8 we have that. There is a tremendous amount going on with it. If there is not some certainty that what is being done is accurate, then I have a concern.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): If I might note, to underline the point legislative counsel made, there really is a body of law in Canada that deals with the question of statutes which are in both languages and it is clearly recognized that there can be issues which may come up, but through judicial decisions that have been made, the concern, while legitimate, is one that really by and large we have always been able to take care of. That experience has obviously been more at the federal level, but I think if you look at other pieces of legislation which we have dealt with in this Legislature, as there are changes at times brought in the form of amendments to substantive parts of the bill, so have there been changes brought forward in terms of clarifying language.

I accept your point, that you raise it as something that is new and different here, and that is valid. I think the historical experience has been that through legislative counsels in the different legislatures we have been able to avoid any particular problems.

Mr Cousens: I appreciate your comments, Mr Beer. In your formal capacity as minister responsible for francophone affairs, you had personal experience with that portfolio and you would undoubtedly have had some contact with it.

This issue today has raised concerns to me which I have not seen before. I cannot put it aside lightly. I happen to believe that there will be people reading the laws of Ontario now, since we provide them in both English and French, and I want to have more satisfaction that those who are reading the French translation are reading the same intent and words that I and others will be reading in the English.

What this incident has raised is the whole spectre of wrong meanings being buried in different parts of legislation which, in the future, can come back and cause very serious problems, because over the last short time we have translated extensively. All the statutes for Ontario are now translated in both English and French. How am I or anyone else to know that they are an accurate reflection in both languages of the same point of view?

Here today I would ask, has anyone else in this committee -- Mrs Marland, you have been on committee many times. It is the first time that I have seen where there has been this clarification. I want to congratulate that person who found this change, but I also would like to make sure that it is no accident it was found and that in the future there is some certainty that both the English and the French are accurate. I had no way of knowing that the French translation on this was incorrect.

Mr Lessard: Maybe you should learn French.

Mr Cousens: I have studied French. The honourable member is suggesting that I should learn French. If that is really the answer to the situation that I am raising, that is not what I am saying.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): No, and I do not believe it is the answer.

Mr Cousens: But that is what the honourable New Democrat says, that I should go and learn French. I do not have to learn French.


Mr Cousens: Come on.

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

Mr Cousens: He said to me to go and learn French.

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

Mr Cousens: I respect the French language but I want to make sure it is right in here. He is saying to go and learn French.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Okay. Order, please. Mr Cousens, I respect the point you make. I think one of the interesting things that perhaps, as a legislative body, we might want to consider doing for those members who are interested in seeing how this process is done is having some briefings so that members have a better understanding of how legislation is drafted. I would note that there are changes such as this that were brought to other bills I was involved with earlier this year.

Mr Cousens: I am not taking this lightly.


The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): I am not saying that you are. I am simply saying that perhaps you raise a point that is a valid one in terms of how we deal with the translations of our statutes, and I am suggesting that as members we could have a better understanding of how that is done.

That being said, this particular amendment has been made to clarify the language and I would now --

Mr Cousens: I would like to stay on it for a minute, because as far as I am concerned, the reaction by the New Democratic member Mr Lessard was that I should go and learn French. If that is the way the answer is supposed to be on this -- I do not have satisfaction on this now and if that is the answer that the government is having, they all speak --


Mr Cousens: Come on. Get off it. There are a lot of people in this province who are concerned about the cost of French-language services and you come along and there is going to be English --


Mr Cousens: That is an issue.


The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Order.

Mr Cousens: Listen to me. If the cost is being wasted and you have --

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


The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Order, please. Would honourable members please come to order.

Mr Wiseman: Do not make a speech.

Mr Cousens: I will make a speech whenever I want.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Would honourable members please come to order. The amendment that is before us was to make a change in the French version of the statute and I would like to call that amendment.

Mr Cousens: Mr Chairman, I am sorry. I really am, because what we are now faced with is, who is to know what is right or what it wrong if it is in English or in French. Unless I do as Mr Lessard said, go and take French, I am not equipped to do that. I have not read the French side of this bill, and for every section of the bill there is a French side. I have not had the time to do it. How am I to know what is right or what is wrong? We now have a situation, the first time I have seen it, where there have been amendments made only to the French translation.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): But, Mr Cousens, may I --

Mr Cousens: No, I am sorry. The issue now is, who knows if the other parts of the French translation are right or wrong. I do not know. Could someone give me that satisfaction?

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Mr Cousens, as Chair of the committee, I want to underline two things: First, in other bills before this Legislature there are from time to time amendments to clarify the language, so this is not unique; and second, I believe what tells us that these are properly translated is the process through which they go. When changes or clarifications are sought, which could come from a particular member, which could come from a group perhaps presenting before a committee, those changes are made. I think that has ensured that we have.

Mr Cousens: I just asked a question.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): And it is a valid question. I understand the point you made. Whether we are English- or French-speaking, I think we want to know, whether it is the English text or the French text, that those two can be read together and mean the same thing.

Mr Cousens: That is right.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): One point that I think is useful for us as we go forward from this point is perhaps having a better understanding and looking at exactly how we draft the legislation so that we do not run into the problems which could arise perhaps either way. I think that is useful.

Mr Cousens: Is someone going to answer the question? How can I be sure that the rest of the French translation of this bill is an accurate reflection of the English? I have asked the question.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): I believe the way we do that is through the work of legislative counsel, and that has been scrutinized.

Mr Cousens: Could I have someone other than yourself? Are you prepared to say that they are both an accurate reflection of each other?

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): I am prepared to say, but I would certainly have legislative counsel speak. I just think it is a legislative process that we have and we, as legislators, can make changes to that. Legislative counsel has responded. He could respond again.

Mr Cousens: He has not answered the question I specifically asked.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): I believe he said that they do the translations in their offices to the best of their ability.

Mr Cousens: I asked a question specifically: Do both the English and the French of the rest of this bill match perfectly so that each are coincident with the same intent?

Mr Spakowski: Certainly that is what we strive for, and to the best of our ability that would be the case. I was not personally involved with the preparation of the French version, so I cannot give that guarantee. Our office can certainly make available bilingual legislative counsel who can answer any particular questions you might have on the French version.

Mr Cousens: I would like to have the question I just asked responded to. I am not expecting you to answer personally, but perhaps you could come back tomorrow with an answer from legislative counsel or someone who has looked at this with the certainty of the question. In the future that is going to be a question I will have to ask on every bill as it goes through committee because it now raises the whole question of it.

I have a second question. Who found this change which is now being called just a clarification? How did it surface?

Mr O'Connor: I think just noting there was a change made shows that we do have a good system with checks in it. I will ask Leo FitzPatrick to respond to your direct question.

Mr FitzPatrick: I confess I am the one who found the flaw.

Mr Cousens: Congratulations. Are there any others in there?

Mr FitzPatrick: The same flaw appears again a section or so later. There is another motion then.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): It is in our amendments.

We have the government motion respecting clauses 13(1)(a) and (b). Shall the motion carry? Opposed?

Motion agreed to.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): We now go on to a Liberal motion on subsection 13(2).

Mr McClelland moves that subsection 13(2) of the bill be struck out and the following substituted:

"Use of estimates, etc

"(2) In determining the required capacity of a landfill waste disposal site, the corporation shall consider,

"(a) the estimates provided by the minister under subsection (1);

"(b) estimates provided to the corporation by any person other than the minister; and

"(c) any comments, provided to the corporation by any person, on the estimates described in clause (a) or (b)."

Would you care to comment?

Mr McClelland: Yes. I think the rationale is just consistent with what we have already heard. I would be very loath to put words into the mouths of Mr O'Connor or representatives of the ministry, but it seems to me that is exactly what they said, that throughout the process what they are going to do is not be locked into. You notice there is perhaps a subtle but I think important change of wording in my amendment.

First of all let me say that we felt this section should be deleted in its entirety. But to the extent that it is going to be there, we are saying that the IWA should "consider," rather than "use." I think it allows more latitude and is in fact consistent with the process as described by representatives of the ministry and Mr O'Connor that the IWA will be subject to the normal routine of scrutiny and cross-examination. It will be a fluid, dynamic process that will change as information is brought to the process in terms of arriving at a quantitative evaluation. To make that point, the word "consider" rather than "use" I think is important.

The bill as it presently stands says that the IWA must "use" the minister's estimates. We say "consider" the minister's estimates but give the IWA the latitude to look at other information. I suppose one could argue that doubtless the minister would collate information that is out there and available, that it would then flow through the minister and that at the end of the day you are using the minister's information in any event. I anticipate that may be an argument that will be coming from the parliamentary assistant. But it seems to me that from time to time other people might come up with good ideas. Organizations might come up with good ideas. The Recycling Council of Ontario may come up with other ideas, and so it goes.

I would not want to try to itemize the various sources, because who knows where good ideas might come up, and estimates and information would be of use. So I think it is, quite simply said, too restrictive to say that the IWA must "use" the minister's. I think obviously you would want to "consider" the minister's, given the great deal of expertise that exists at the Ministry of the Environment and the information it has available and its ability to distil and collate that information. Having said that, I think we have to be realistic and understand there is a bigger world out there as well in Ontario.

That is the purpose of the amendment, to try and recognize that reality and simply to put in legislative form the sentiment I believe is important, that the IWA has to -- if in fact, as I said somewhat regrettably, they are going to proceed under Bill 143, then they should do so with a look at things beyond the Ministry of the Environment of Ontario. They should look at other people, organizations and interest groups that will have valid information and valid points of view to bring to bear on the subject in the determination of quantity.


Mrs Marland: The reason I asked to speak earlier is that this is the third day we have been sitting in clause-by-clause examination of this bill. However, it is my understanding it is the fifth week that this committee has been sitting in review of this bill through public hearings and consultation.

I think it is deplorable when any of us legislators place the public in a confirmed position of cynicism. This afternoon I heard a member of the New Democratic Party say -- the member will probably react when I repeat this, so it probably will not be necessary for me to identify the member who said it -- "The bill's going to pass anyway."

What really frustrates me is that as we are talking about this section, this amendment that is before us now or any part of this whole five-week process we have been through, let alone the inordinate amount of time it took those of us in opposition who argued in the Legislature for this public process to take place so that this new, draconian method of waste management the Bob Rae socialist government is bringing into the province could at least be partially understood by the public, for those of us who take part in this process from a sincere base, for those of us who sincerely attempt to make sure that the people in Ontario know what is going on, it is really quite a revelation to hear the member for Durham West say today, "The bill's going to pass anyway." What that says, as we sit at this moment and discuss the current motion that is before us, is that it really does not make any difference. It really does not matter, because in his own words the bill is going --

Mr Wiseman: I object to her putting words in my mouth.

Mrs Marland: The bill is going to pass anyway. Fortunately we not only have electronic Hansard today; we also have television Hansard. So for anyone who chooses to check Hansard, it is entirely possible that his off-the-record comment was picked up. It was an audible comment that this bill will pass anyway. It was an interjection over my colleague the member for Markham, who had the floor at the time the comment was made.

What it points out is that the public is totally turned off with the process of government at all levels. They are totally turned off by the cost of government at all levels. If we look at the cost of the sittings of this committee over the last five weeks in terms of ministry staff, Hansard staff, translators and legislative counsel and of course the cost of all the members to be here, we are looking at a substantial figure in dollars.

Then we hear a spokesperson for the government, an elected member of the Bob Rae socialist government, saying, "The bill's going to pass anyway." In other words, we might as well all pack up our bags and go home and not sit here and discuss any single amendment, any single change or any single improvement that within any realm of possibility might have been proposed and passed. We might as well all recognize that the whole process is just a sham.

Those who are going to be the most hurt are the people who continue to be disillusioned. What we have heard today just goes to confirm, unfortunately, that in some circumstances the public is right. That is the attitude of this current government over this bill with all its sections, including the one you wish I were addressing at this point. That is the attitude that is developed by the government, which pretends to listen when it is forced to listen. In this case they were forced to have public hearings by us in opposition, but it is all a big game with them, "Yes, we'll go out," and finally they conceded to have these public hearings. Then we hear the comment, "Well, the bill's going to pass anyway." So why bother?

I sit here thinking that if this really is the mentality today behind the socialist government that is pushing this dreadful, regressive Bill 143 through, then quite frankly I do not even feel like being part of it. All the work, all the study and all the research that has been done by the critic for our party, the Environment spokesperson for our caucus, the member for Markham, Mr Cousens -- and I respect equally the work and the research that has been done by the official opposition members -- might as well not have taken place.

I can assure you that when I sit here and speak it is not just to hear myself or to be heard; I am sitting here because I genuinely believe that as an elected representative of the Legislature in what happens to be Mississauga South -- it does not matter which riding -- I genuinely believe I have an obligation and a privilege to try to make a difference in representing the views of the people who elect me. When I am here doing that in a committed, dedicated and sincere way, as I feel all of us are at least on this side of the room, and when I hear a comment such as I heard about 35 minutes ago, I really wonder what for. What is the purpose?

I do not actually have a comment to the precise amendment that is on the floor, but I want to explain to you why I do not have a comment.

Mr Cousens: On a point of clarification of an earlier exchange, Mr Chair: Any concerns I have about the French translation and the mistake that has been found and corrected is that we have to have some confirmation that quality work is being done in everything. We are investing $1 million or thereabouts on French translation services a day and we have to make sure that the value for the dollar is there. That is the concern and the basis of the concern I raised earlier. The fact that this was found and highlighted is the issue on that issue. I want to clarify that in case someone tries to read in other things.

On the amendment before us I think the worry is that the government has not listened to the people who made presentations. That is my sense. They have not reacted with amendments that I thought they would develop.

The motion before us really says that when you are looking at estimates, in order to develop a number you can believe in let's make sure there is some way of enforcing a sharing of information that will cause not only the minister or the Interim Waste Authority but all those who are involved to somehow participate in the process. As it stands now it will be purely the minister alone who makes that decision. I would think we can have some hope that when her phone is not answered now when people call her, that at least on this issue she will have some way of formally responding to the issues that are being raised: "Look at this as extra data that you should be reviewing prior to making your recommendations."

You really should not have to have this kind of motion. It is not the kind of thing you should have to bring forward, but on the basis of the total alienation of this minister and this ministry from the rest of the world -- what this minister has done is shut herself into some kind of bunker where there is not the listening, the dialogue and the exchange that should be going on between the minister and other groups. What the minister will do is listen to certain preferred, favourite people, it would seem, and yet the elected officials in Kirkland Lake or Larder Lake or some of these others have never been able to get to her. They have not been able to gain access to the minister.


That is why this motion is before us and why at least it begins to say: "Come on, New Democrats. Before you got elected you were great at listening to everybody. Now you are great at using the word `consulting' without really doing much about it." What this will do is say that not only do you listen and consult, but you also have to take into consideration those views.

I think it is just a terrible statement of how democracy has slid under the New Democrats in Ontario, and the slide will continue unless we bring in some amendments like this that just put a halt to the stupidity that comes out of that ministry -- the stupidity of not listening, the stupidity of not trying to involve other people and thinking they have all the answers themselves. That is what happens. You cannot work in this world unless you have all parties involved.

That is the mistake in the labour legislation, where Bob Mackenzie has developed his labour reform legislation without involving business. All the recommendations involved are totally pro-labour, but there is nothing in there that takes the business component. When you talk about the Ministry of the Environment's positions, so often what it is doing is taking a certain preferred group and developing that, rather than listening to the large other constituency out there that really wants to be heard.

Mr Wiseman: I would like to clear up a couple of things. First, I did not make that comment, and therefore I really feel it is inappropriate for them to say that.

On the second thing, about the input that people have made in terms of this bill, the government has brought forward a considerable number of amendments to this bill and they are in response in a large number of ways to the people who have made presentations before this committee. They are considering other items that were brought up during the committee but not related to this bill, and a large number of people have been in touch with the waste reduction office and have put in contributions to this process. While they are not reflected directly in this bill, they need not have been directly reflected in this bill because this bill has a focus to it. Therefore, some of their concerns may not be reflected here but will be reflected in other pieces of legislation or regulations, or the concerns will be met in some other way.

In the context of consideration of the amendments, this committee has met on a regular basis and has considered all the amendments that both the Liberals and the Conservatives have put forward and has evaluated them in the context of the bill and has sought to make an understanding of what those are and whether or not they are necessary or if they apply or whether they change the focus or the direction of the bill.

Clearly, there is a different approach that we have, as opposed to what the opposition parties would like to see in terms of this bill, and this is what this is all about. So I think to say we did not listen or we do not care is not substantiated by the amount of time that we on this side have taken in evaluating the amendments, including this one, and the amount of time this committee -- in fact, some of the amendments that are in here were targeted very early by the members of this committee and have been incorporated into this bill. There has been an interchange of ideas and there have been questions from this committee to research and to the legal people, and we have made every effort to make sure the points that have been made in criticism of this bill either have been cleared up or it has been substantiated that they are unfounded.

The third thing is that if they have directly changed the intent or the philosophical bent of this bill, then we are forced to defeat them because that is not the direction we want to go.

But to say we have not spent time and we have not evaluated, we have. In fact, I think the legal staff has received more than one question or clarification from me on certain aspects of this bill. Just to say we did not care or we are just taking it at face value is incorrect, so I want to clear the record.

Thank you for the time. I know I was out of order, as were all the previous speakers.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Shall the motion on subsection 13(2) carry? All in favour? Opposed?

Motion negatived.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Shall section 13 carry? Carried. Now we move on to section 14. Mr Cousens.

Mr Cousens: You are not going to approve my motion, and I think what we will do is just talk around this before we vote on it, Mr Chairman. I just ask the question: How do you describe the environmental assessment as defined in section 14? Is that going to be a full environmental assessment, or are there any limitations to it? If there are any limitations, what are they?

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Excuse me, Mr Cousens. Could I ask if we could do the following. The motion you have moved is out of order. There is one following which is also on section 14 which is in order. Could we simply move on to that second one, and then you could place that same question.

Mr Cousens: Sure, that is fine.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Your motion is out of order. If I could ask that the Liberal motion be moved, then we can come back and deal with -- I am sorry. Just before we do that, because there was the one amendment I also need to ask if section 13, as amended, which was with the change we had agreed to, will be carried as well. I will put the question on section 13, the one we just left, as amended.

Mr Wiseman: The amendment would be the government amendment.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Yes, that is right. It was agreed to, but that amends the whole section.

Section 13, as amended, agreed to.

Section 14:

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Mr Ramsay moves that section 14 of the bill be struck out and the following substituted:

"Environmental Assessment Act

"14. The Environmental Assessment Act applies with respect to a landfill waste disposal site referred to in section 12."

Mr Ramsay: I defer to my colleague Mr Cousens, who has some questions on this.

Mr Cousens: Thank you, Mr Ramsay. It is really the same question. Just to repeat it for the sake of staff or policy developers of the government, what in section 14, as it exists before this amendment, would limit a full environmental assessment? Are there any factors in there that would limit the full EA, and what are they?

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): I am sorry, was that addressed to --

Mr Cousens: Mr O'Connor.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): I have to apologize. Mr O'Connor and I were just dealing with one of these items and I took his mind off your question. Would you mind repeating it? The Chair takes the fault.

Mr Cousens: I want to know, what in section 14 limits a full environmental assessment? The motion before us now is that there be at least a full environmental assessment for the selection of a landfill site. What in section 14, as it exists in Bill 143, limits a full EA?

Mr O'Connor: The answer to that is somewhat technical, and the process is being streamlined somewhat. Perhaps I can get Jim Merritt to answer the question a little bit better for you.


Mr Merritt: I think the minister covered this in some detail this morning, but the wording of this clause -- not the amendment but the clause in the legislation -- clearly points out that the environmental assessment is limited to all matters except the forms of the 3Rs, reuse, reduce, recycle, and the siting in the appropriate areas.

Mr Cousens: To just sort of play around it, somehow or other for the sake of those who are not close to environmental assessments, we should begin to have some clear way of saying that what we are now dealing with under Bill 143 will not be -- we should have a different name for the process, because you are really not talking about a full environmental assessment.

I know it is going to pass. Mr Wiseman has already indicated, "Why be here?" As Mrs Marland has eloquently said, "It's going to pass anyway." Notwithstanding that, maybe one of the things that could come out of it is that we would look at other ways of describing the process that is used in different bills for different situations and we would have some definition that goes out for the public at large and says: "Here's what we mean when we are talking about an environmental assessment in section 14." I think there is so much confusion over what we do in Queen's Park anyway, but that would be more helpful to them.

There is a difference between the environmental assessment that is being called for in 14 and what the motion before us would call for; it is more than just a simple change of words. As the parliamentary assistant says, there are a lot of technical differences in it. We are making it very difficult for people to understand what we are doing.

Mrs Marland: What I find interesting is that I am looking at a press release here on the letterhead of the Ministry of the Attorney General as of today's date. Is today the 25th?

Mr McClelland: All day long.

Mrs Marland: It is a press release jointly in the names of the Attorney General, the Environment minister, Ruth Grier, and the Energy minister, Brian Charlton. They are announcing that "a pilot project established to provide funding to public interest intervenors has been continued."

Is this not interesting? Here we are having the government pushing through this convoluted, very difficult piece of legislation, just confirmed by the question-and-answer exchange. We just had a very straightforward question from the member for Markham and the answer was, "Well, it's very technical, dah, dee, dah, dee, dah." On the very same day that we are having this discussion and we cannot get a straightforward answer to Mr Cousens's question, the government is deciding it is going to continue funding intervenors.

Now I must tell you that personally I am in favour of money going to fund intervenors because, in the public interest, with this kind of legislation nobody is going to be able to represent his own interests because nobody is going to be able to understand it. You would have thought that at a time when we were going through a clause-by-clause examination of the bill it might be an opportunity to clear up or make more readily understandable some of the areas that are being questioned. There is certainly an irony in what three ministries, including the Ministry of the Environment, have announced today and the fact that we are sitting here trying to clarify the process.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Just for clarification, I note that section 16 deals directly with that issue and I wonder if we might not finish with 14 and 15. Section 16 would perhaps be a more appropriate place to raise that specific concern as it does deal with participant funding.

Mrs Marland: I was not raising a concern about intervenor funding. I was just confirming the need for it because of convoluted wording in the legislation.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): I appreciate that.

Mrs Marland: But I am quite happy to abide by your recommendation, Mr Chairman.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Thank you very much.

Mr McClelland: The motion that Mr Ramsay moved, the Liberal amendment, is simply to refocus what we have said is a fundamental issue with respect to this legislation, that it is very narrow and closed-minded, quite frankly, in terms of its attempt to try and arrive at the best possible environmental solution to waste management for the greater Toronto area.

The member for Oriole, speaking not as Chair of this committee, speaking in the House on second reading of this legislation, repeatedly raised the point that Bill 143 excludes the possibility of finding the best environmental solution for waste management in the greater Toronto area. Mr Sorbara has made that point over and over again; Mr Mahoney has made that point in the House; Mr Ramsay has made it; Mr Sola has made it; PC members have made it.

Time and time again we keep coming back to that question: Why is the government not open to looking at the possibility of finding the best environmental solution? Why are we moving away from trying to solve our problems on the basis of technical information and scientific analysis? Why are we moving back into making arbitrary boundaries?

What we are doing with section 14 as it is presently worded, in the absence of the amendment, is saying there is only one alternative that can be considered and that is a single site, knowing the fact that it is excluding other options that may be more environmentally acceptable. Let me give you a case in point. Let me reverse it. Rather than say, "Should Peel's be found elsewhere?" let's just say by way of example, so I do not sound too self-serving and too parochial in terms of my outlook, that if on the border of York there is a reasonably good site but somewhere within the boundaries of Peel there is a much better site from an environmental point of view -- politically that is not a very smart thing for me to say because people -- that will probably end up in Brampton North, or quite possibly end up in Brampton North given the lay of the land, so to speak, up there.

Mrs Marland: It is their turn.

Mr McClelland: Having said that, the point that I am trying to make, Mrs Marland, is this: Surely what we ought to be doing is getting beyond these arbitrary distinctions. Have we not progressed, I ask the parliamentary assistant and members of the government, to a point where we can begin to bring to bear on the solution and possible solutions, in a multiplicity of solutions, a technical, scientific assessment?

If we cannot, the question has to be asked, what are we afraid of? Why are we afraid to allow a range of alternatives, whatever they may be, whether it be multiple sites, whether it be a variation of location of sites, whether it be -- who knows -- any combination of other solutions brought to bear on the problem? Why are we excluding them from consideration? The bill does that. The bill is regressive in that sense. I have said and I will say again that in many respects Bill 143 is anti-environmental for that very reason.

One of the basic premises of Bill 143 is that it says that we will effectively scope what we are going to do. Municipalities on the one hand are going to love that, and I am sympathetic to that. They have had so many problems. It comes back to the problem that we have said earlier: If there is a problem with the Environmental Assessment Act, if that is the wheel on the cart that is broken, let's fix that wheel. Let's fix the Environmental Assessment Act. Let's make it more efficient while maintaining the basic principles of that act, which ultimately say we will look for the best solution or solutions possible.

Section 14 in its present form does not do that. I want to talk about the words "single site" contained now in section 14, as written by the government, bearing in mind that the motion Mr Ramsay has brought forward says that we broaden the scope, that we work within the context of the Environmental Assessment Act, that we work within the context of looking at all alternatives, that we work within the context of allowing those alternatives, brought forward by a proponent, to be subjected to the utmost scrutiny and to allow the opponents as well as the proponents to make the case before an independent body, a joint board presumably, to make a determination.

What are some of the implications of "single"? Using the word "single," a single site as the only option for each region, you have to consider this, and I throw it out for consideration and ask the question: Is that concept inconsistent with the minister's restriction of the search area for the GTA regions?


If her rationale for having a single site is that if waste is disposed of in your own backyard, you are more likely to divert, recycle and be environmentally conscious, then it would seem that several sites located in Durham, several sites possibly located in Peel, possibly Brampton, would be better, several sites in York and several in Metro.

The question again is begged. Is that the better or the best environmental solution? Perhaps it is, perhaps it is not. Some would argue that it does not make any sense, that it is not a good idea. I recall I think it was Mr Jackson who was before this committee and said he felt that one of the better solutions would be to have a multiplicity of sites, that many small sites were better. It was interesting that the gentleman who came before the committee made that suggestion. What that does is beg the question, what is the best solution? Is it, as suggested by one of the deputants, multiplicity of sites? Is it one site? Is it one site within each region?

The point of the questions is that we do not know and we do not know because the minister by bringing forward this bill has said that she will predetermine what the solution is going to be, without regard to whether it is the best or a combination of better solutions.

So I ask the question, is the rationale again that "in my backyard" will make people more environmentally conscious? I doubt it very much, quite frankly. I think the kinds of things that impact people are an awareness, a sensitivity to environmental concerns, their responsibility as citizens of this province, education that takes place with our young people and our children, things that happen on a day-to-day anecdotal basis where your five- or six-year-old mentions things to you and actually calls you up on some of your lifestyle. It is very interesting to be chastised by a five-year-old for not being as diligent as you should be in terms of your recycling, but that has happened to me. It is kind of interesting. It is almost a joke now if I do not make sure that every single item goes into the blue box.

Those are the kinds of things I say with a smile on my face but those are the kinds of things that really we should be working towards, not making these silly statements that because it is dealt with in Peel, the residents of Peel are going to rise up and become environmentally conscious.

Quite frankly most of my neighbours -- and this is no disrespect to my neighbours -- when they put their blue box or put their garbage at the bottom of the driveway and it is gone on Friday mornings, do not really worry if it is in Peel or whether there is one site, 10 sites, 20 sites or, dare I say it, if it went on a rail car up to Kirkland Lake or went to Keele or went to Halton Hills. That is not their concern.

The concern that will drive people towards changing their habits and changing the way they live is a sense of commitment to the environment and for the long-term betterment of the world we live in, and the world we leave our kids. That is what this is all about.

To come up with this silly, ideological argument, "You've got to have it in your backyard because out of sight is out of mind," it is out of sight when it leaves your driveway and that is the reality. Let's live in a real world as legislators. Let's not pretend that we are doing something because we pay lipservice to this concept that we are getting on our white horse and making some great impact on the --

Mr Ramsay: Or a black horse.

Mr McClelland: Or a black horse for that matter, as my friend says, getting on our high horse and saying, "We're making some great change," and beating our chests and saying, "Aren't we wonderful," because the current government has said that everybody is going to deal with their own garbage and take a sense of satisfaction that this is going to alter behaviour. That is absurd. It will not alter behaviour. What will alter behaviour is some of the things that were brought forward with some direct impact on people's lives, whether it be financial, educational or a combination of those things. That is what is going to change people. Let's follow through on this rationale. Is having one single site in each region going to make people divert waste and be more conscious? I doubt it, realistically.

On the other hand, if the minister's rationale for a single site is that several sites in each region only create more problems -- leachate problems, dust, noise and traffic -- it seems inconsistent with the requirement that a separate site should be located in each region. Why not have a megaproject? Because then you have only one set of problems to contain.

The point of the matter is that not only is it inconsistent within the terms of the act, but the section itself is inconsistent. The section says that this is the way it is going to be. I say very, very clearly again that in that respect, I believe it is absolutely regressive in every sense. This undermines the very heart of the Environmental Assessment Act, because it says that you will only do the following. The whole concept, the whole heart of the Environmental Assessment Act, is to have a broad-ranging, creative, forward-thinking approach.

I agree, as so many other people have stated, that the Environmental Assessment Act is far from perfect, not so much in the concepts and the principles that it seeks to embody, but rather in its implementation. I think we have all agreed with that. The previous government recognized that. I say with a great deal of respect, the current government has recognized that and has proceeded with a review of the environmental assessment process and the Environmental Assessment Act.

But having said that, let's be realistic about this. If the government votes for section 14 in its present form, it is saying without any qualification: "We are prepared to curtail the application and the extent of the Environmental Assessment Act. We are scoping" -- to use a nice buzzword around the Ministry of the Environment -- "the Environmental Assessment Act."

There may be some practical reasons for doing that, but that is not the way you fix the problem. Let me come back to the old broken wheel analogy. The broken wheel is the Environmental Assessment Act in terms of the process and the application of that act. Saying, "Let's not apply the act," does not fix the act. We fix the act by fixing the act. If this glass is broken and there is a way of fixing it, you do not say, "Don't use it; that will fix it." That is absurd from a logical point of view. What you do is either you fix the product or you change it or you get a new one.

What this government is saying is, "Because it's broken, don't use it," or, "Only use one side of it," or, "Use one half of it." It is acknowledging that the Environmental Assessment Act in its present form is not working as it should. Section 14 acknowledges that. Everybody has said that. Every municipality in Ontario virtually has said that, through AMO or individually. Even private proponents have said that. The experience of Halton Hills bears that out.

So the question is, why do we not divert the energies of the Ministry of the Environment and the excellent personnel that are there and the expertise that exists there to fixing the Environmental Assessment Act? I have to ask the question: Had that endeavour been undertaken some many months ago, perhaps even at first reading at this bill, if you had really begun to come to grips with dealing with the fundamental problem, how much further would we be down the road to solving it?

Bill 143 does not solve the problem. What Bill 143 does, and particularly section 14, is acknowledge that there is a problem. Rather than acknowledging that maybe the glass is broken on one side and we have to fix it, it acknowledges that it is broken and says, "Just don't use that side; just use this part of the act," or, "Change the act," or, "Apply it only in principle, as long as the principles fit, but if the principles don't fit the scheme, then don't apply the principles."

You have to ask, what are principles all about? The fundamental concept of the Environmental Assessment Act is to be maintained. Section 14 cannot pass in its present form. If the government passes section 14 in its present form, it is a blatant admission of failure to come to terms with the problem at hand. It is an absolute admission of failure on the part of the Minister of the Environment and the government of the day to deal with the problem.

It is an admission that we cannot deal with the problem, so we are going to come up with a short-term solution. We are going to come up with a quick fix, an easy fix. I ask the government to reconsider and to allow the terms of the Environmental Assessment Act to apply in their whole, to apply the Environmental Assessment Act as it exists now or, alternatively, do what ought to be done, and that is to fix the Environmental Assessment Act.

The motion we have brought forward is simply an attempt to bring into focus once again that Bill 143 is backing away from the Environmental Assessment Act. We want to say, as the official opposition, that we embrace the principles of the Environmental Assessment Act, while acknowledging that it needs some fixing up in terms of its process and application. I would hope that the government would, inasmuch as it has already recognized that the Environmental Assessment Act needs to be cleaned up a bit -- if you will, tightened up, with some remedial action brought in terms of the process and procedures that pertain to the Environmental Assessment Act -- not take away from that acknowledgement and the good work being done on the review right now by going ahead with section 14 in its current process. I hope they would have more faith in those seeking to work with the Environmental Assessment Act to make it more efficient and more user-friendly.


Our motion asks the government, "Do you believe in the Environmental Assessment Act?" If you do, then you are going to support this motion. If you do not believe in the Environmental Assessment Act, then you are not going to support it. That will be left for the government to explain. It will be interesting to see how that will be reconciled with the statements made by the now minister while in opposition, and by the Premier when he was Leader of the Opposition, all the lipservice paid to the championing of environmental concerns and causes.

Groups all across this province will begin to realize the government is chipping away at one of the tools that has been used and which has given citizens, citizens groups and ratepayers associations the only chance to have meaningful participation above and beyond that. But it is looking backward and not forward; it is looking inward instead of outward into the tremendous resources and creativity.

One of the greatest resources we have in this province is the creativity and imagination of our community, our scientific community and the people who make up this province. Section 14 basically says to the people of Ontario, "We are not prepared to even consider, in terms of our environmental needs and waste management, the creativity, energies, knowledge and expertise that lie out there, because we think we have the best answers."

I do not think any of us in government, whoever we are, whichever party is in power, can afford to be presumptuous to that extent. We have to be open-minded. We have to be willing to be creative and look forward. I will not even begin to talk about the things that would not have happened in this world in terms of scientific involvement if people had said, "We cannot do it." People make progress by saying: "We believe we can do it. We believe we can make a change. We believe we can do things in a better way."

The people of Ontario can do things in a better way; they want to do things in a better way. They want to bring their energies, creativity and expertise to bear on finding the best environmental solutions for waste management. This government is saying, by section 14 as it now stands: "Sorry, men and women in Ontario, we do not have enough confidence in what you can bring to bear in this solution. We are going to tell you how to do it." For that reason, I think it is such a fundamentally poor drafting of legislation.

I plead again with the members of the government caucus to consider what they are doing in passing section 14 in its present form. They are saying, "Sorry, we don't really believe in the environmental assessment process." I hope they would have enough courage to say: "We believe in the process. We recognize it can be improved, but we fundamentally believe in it." I hope they seriously consider our motion as put forward.

Mr Wiseman: I was interested in the member's comments. If we were to amend it in the way the Liberal Party is asking us to do, section 14 would open up the entire province again to the site selection for Metropolitan Toronto, restore Metropolitan Toronto's right to expropriate property in those areas and then move in and have the landfill site owned, operated and run by Metropolitan Toronto. We have heard very clearly from those organizations, from the people, from the elected officials even, that they do not want Metro's garbage in southwestern Ontario. They do not want Metro's garbage in eastern Ontario, particularly Marmora and Plympton; in Essex, Kent, Sarnia, Lambton; Durham and especially Pickering do not want any more Metro garbage.

We chuckle because I was just waiting to see if people were waiting for me to use that because it is becoming a common refrain. But I do not think it is inappropriate for certain aspects of the environmental assessment to be removed.

For example, there was a time when it was considered okay and a sound way of disposing of waste to have apartment building incinerators. We no longer have apartment building incinerators. We no longer have put apartment building incinerators in the environmental assessment for review because we know it is such an unacceptable way of doing things. We used to take PCB-laced oil and spray it on the country roads to keep the dust down. We do not do that any more either, but it does not mean we go back and include that kind of process of eliminating waste in the environmental assessment.

New York City, for example, puts its waste on a barge, ships it past the Gulf Stream and dumps it. Does that mean we in Ontario should consider putting the waste on a barge and taking it out in the middle of Lake Ontario and dumping it? Of course not.

Mrs Marland: New York doesn't do that any more. You're misleading people.

Mr Wiseman: Yes, it does. It still does. We saw Philadelphia put its fly ash on a barge and on a ship. That went all over the world and nobody knows where it wound up, but do we consider putting it on a barge?

Mrs Marland: I have a park in my riding that is built on fly ash.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Mr Wiseman has the floor.

Mr Wiseman: In fact, this long-distance transportation of waste and hazardous waste has met with such disaproval internationally that at the Basel convention in Switzerland most nations except for the United States signed saying that there will not be international transportation of waste. I think it is important to recognize that as we move forward with a better understanding of what we are considering, it is appropriate to exclude from evalulation and comparison certain types of waste disposal.

I do not think the people of Ontario would want us to drag out an environmental assessment, as it was in Halton for almost 10 years and $140 million, by including in the process disposal methods that have already been determined as unacceptable. This government has decided -- and incidentally, I agree with it and I have become more convinced on the need to ban incineration and long-distance transportation as these hearings progress -- and this bill includes, that it is not appropriate to consider incineration and long-distance transportation to other communities as part of the environmental assessment process.

It has also recognized, but not entirely within this bill, that the environmental assessment process needs to be reviewed and it is carrying on the work begun by the previous Minister of the Environment with the environmental assessment program involvement project, or EAPIP. But they have continued to do this and there have been some good submissions. People, on an ongoing basis, are discussing and working on draft papers that will come out some time in the future on an environmental assessment review, but to say you should include all these other items, incineration and long-distance transportation, when you have already deemed them to be unacceptable, is simply a waste of taxpayers' money. It would also expand and lengthen the process and put into the process items that are unacceptable for a lot of people.

A lot of groups we heard said: "Don't consider it. We applaud you." We heard a large number of groups applaud us for this section of the bill as well as hearing people who did not like it, but we heard almost as many people who applauded us, especially when we went outside the Metropolitan Toronto area. We heard from large numbers of groups in southwestern Ontario who said: "We do not want Metro's garbage. We applaud you for this section of the bill. Keep it there and make them solve their own problems."

The last point I would like to make is in terms of education. Four or five years ago, when I first started into this process of garbage and landfills, I think the population was just starting to come around to the needs of the environment in this area. Some places were much further advanced, such as areas of my riding, because daily they could see the mountain grow in Pickering. But I think the public generally has gone beyond us, as politicians, in some cases to a point where they really expect us to do a lot more.


We also heard from large numbers of groups saying: "Hey, what are you doing? You know what has to be done. You know there's a time limit in terms of the window of opportunity to make an ecological difference. Stop wasting time. Let's get on with the recycling, reducing and reusing." They applauded those sections of the bill. At the same time they said there is a need in our society to conserve the raw materials and the natural resources, and we have to make sure that in the future our children do not look back at us and say, "Well, you wasted the aluminum."

We heard from Alcan, for example, that $40-million worth of aluminum was deposited in the landfill sites in the last two years alone. This has a huge implication in terms of the cost of the energy that was used in it, the loss of opportunity of recycling that material and the jobs that would have created, the competitive advantage we would have had in the international markets, had we been able to recycle that material. It costs less to recycle material, especially aluminum, than it does to make it raw. They will turn to us and say: "Why did you squander my advantage? Why did you do what you did if you burn all this waste?" We have to stop looking at it as a form of waste. We have to start saying that what we are doing is having a much better reallocation of resources.

I wandered a little from the section, I know, to the last section of the bill, but I think it is important to emphasize that this is an environmental assessment, and that the IWA will produce environmental documents. There will be an environmental board hearing and an environmental board decision. This does not abrogate the environmental assessment, it removes two items to add to a long list of items already removed from the environmental assessment process that we no longer consider. I think it is a legitimate environmental assessment process that can stand and will expedite and move forward towards a much cleaner environment for our children in the future.

Mr McClelland: In short, Mr Wiseman has said he lacks confidence in the people charged with the responsibility to make rational, intelligent decisions. People are not going to come forward, as proponents, with absurd ideas of putting garbage on barges and dumping it in Lake Ontario or whatever other kind of --

Mr Wiseman: They used to.

Mr McClelland: -- flights of fancy that he had. He is quite right: People used to do that. That is the very point we are trying to make, Mr Wiseman, that people deserve more credit than you are apparently prepared to give them. People are not going to do absurd things like that. They are going to bring forward ideas that will either be accepted or not accepted. That would be done in the normal course of events through environmental assessment under a process that most people respect, and that most parties and governments have respected, the independence of quasi-judicial bodies and bodies that administrate tribunals charged with the responsibility of making decisions as objectively as possible.

I submit that at the end of the day none of us is truly objective, but certainly most people charged with those responsibilities discharge them in a fashion that up until this point in Ontario has been excellent. People have undertaken their responsibilities as they serve on joint boards and other bodies diligently and have done so with goodwill and have applied their intellect, their expertise and their energies to coming up with solutions.

For Mr Wiseman to suggest that people are, I suppose, foolish, silly and juvenile I think is shortsighted. I believe people are capable of exercising their responsibilities in a rational, intelligent way and of writing joint board reports that are defensible, recognizing that at the end of the day there are mechanisms in place where a government of the day can influence the decisions that are being made by those boards in a legitimate fashion by enunciating policy, by, if you will, persuading people in a positive fashion. But to say ultimately that we do not have confidence in the men and women who are charged with the responsibility of making decisions through the process of a joint board hearing or an Environmental Assessment Board hearing I think is the thin edge of the wedge, quite frankly, that says we are not prepared to put confidence in people to exercise their responsibilities fully and completely and honestly without this Big Brother approach that we have to make sure they do the job right.

I think that at the end of the day, no matter how you cut it, no matter how you argue it -- if you want to argue by going back into history, so be it. Mr Wiseman can, on behalf of the government, seek to make those points by talking about examples he used about spraying PCB-laden oil on roads and so on. We are not talking about that. We are talking about looking towards the future. We are talking about opening up the scope, if I dare use that word in the context it is sometimes used in these debates, talking about opening up the horizons and allowing people's creativity in the scientific community to make advances.

There may in fact be opportunities, whether it be multiple sites or others, that are better. I do not sit here and presume to make those judgements, unlike my friends opposite, I suppose. They may argue that I lack conviction. I just do not feel, quite frankly, that I can presume to have all the answers to all the questions and all the possible solutions that may be out there. I quite candidly admit that I do not know, and I quite candidly admit that there are people who have expertise and who have the experience who are charged with the responsibility of making some of those determinations under a very thorough process, and who are better able to make those decisions.

When legislation is drafted that becomes restrictive in its nature, the very fact that it is restrictive causes me concern. I think people generally want less government in some areas. They want good, positive leadership. They do not want restrictive leadership. I believe that as the legislation is presently drafted it is restrictive in nature. It does not allow for the presumption that the best can be obtained by everybody working together and working in a positive way and working in harmony, and that is why I object to it. I say again that fundamentally it says we do not have confidence in the process, we do not have confidence in the people who are charged with the responsibility of fulfilling their responsibilities under the process.

It is obvious that the government members have been instructed to close their minds and close the door for the present and presumably for the future, for at least as long as they are in power. That is fine. They will live with that responsibility. I think it is interesting and not inconsistent with the fact that this government is saying, "We're going to be restrictive and regressive in our approach," recognizing that the rest of the world is moving in many, many positive directions and this government is saying, "Sorry, we're going to put on the brakes and we're going to hold things," and of all places to do it, in terms of the environmental front.


This is a government that I would have thought would have been more creative, would have had more confidence in the ability of the men and women in this province, would have had more confidence in the efficacy of environmental groups to make the very points Mr Wiseman makes, which for the most part I tend to agree with, but the point being that I do not think he or I are -- well, let me qualify some of the points he makes in terms of moving ahead and looking towards solutions that are defensible environmentally. But I do not have all the answers, and things do change and circumstances change. Technologies change. They advance. Sometimes you find out things you did not know before. That is the very nature of science.

What this does is say that a single site is the best solution. That is what section 14 says, that for each municipality a single site is the best solution.

I do not accept that. It may be the best solution. The best solution may be for Durham to find one site. The best solution may be for Peel to find one site. The best solution may be for York to find a site for York and for Metro. But it may not be. There may be other combinations. There may be other solutions. There may be a multiplicity of sites involved. There may a superior environmentally sound site for a waste management operation.

This section says we are not prepared to consider that. And I say, who am I, who are my friends opposite as legislators to say that we have to close our minds and be so narrow in our thinking? How is it that in 1992 we draft legislation that says that we are going to narrow our focus, that we are going to look on the small scale and not be creative and open-minded? How do you rationalize that? How do you justify supporting a document or a piece of legislation that presumes to say, "We have the answers, as legislators in the province of Ontario." All answers? There is a difference between providing leadership and saying we have the answers and we know what the best solution is.

I say again that maybe the solution that is set out in this legislation is the right answer. I am not prepared to make that assessment or that judgement at this point in time. Apparently the government members are, and so be it. But I say to the people of Ontario and I say to the Minister of the Environment through the process of this committee that I think it a sad day when people sit in their offices as legislators and say that we have the best environmental solution. I do not think I have the best environmental solution. Apparently the minister of the day thinks she has the best solution.

I say to the minister, through her colleagues here and through the parliamentary assistant and through the process of public hearings, that there may be better ideas out there. Maybe somebody has good ideas. Maybe the municipalities will come up with a combination of good ideas. Be prepared to consider them. You may not accept them at the end of the day, but consider them. Be open, be willing to not just write them off before they even have an opportunity to bring their ideas forward.

Section 14 simply says: "We're not going to listen. We've made up our minds." Apart from the specifics of the environment, think of what that says philosophically about this government. This government is saying: "We have all the answers. We know what's best." And if they know what is best in environment, maybe they think then they know what is best in all cases for other things too. That causes me a great deal of concern.

To be on point with the environment again and to bring it back in conclusion, I think we have to be open-minded, we have to be creative, we have to look to the future and we have to look to the resources, the intellect of the people of this province, the creativity, the good, positive goodwill that exists out there and the concern for the environment that people have, that they genuinely have. I think we do the people of Ontario a tremendous disservice, not only now but for many years to come, if we allow this bill to go forward in its present form.

Mr Cousens: The amendment before us could be even stronger than it is, because we would not need to have Bill 143 if we had a good environmental assessment process. If we had an environmental assessment process that had some of the legal skills of trained legal judges handling the cases, then you are going to be able to deal with some of the frivolous objections people bring forward as environmental objections. If you had someone who was going to handle that process in such a way that it was going to be speeded up and accelerated, you could handle those objections that are worthy of being dealt with, give them some extra time, but the whole process could be revised so the environmental assessment becomes something that has built into it the speed of the Supreme Court of Canada reviewing a case.

If the Supreme Court of Canada takes a case, it takes it because, first of all, it is experienced in the law. If someone comes in with something that is just going to waste time, they are kicked out. In some cases, they limit the amount of time that can be used to plead the case to 15 minutes, and if you cannot make your case in a short period of time, then you are just not allowed to continue to waste the time of the court.

If the environmental assessment process was correct and was working, it would change that and refine it. We would be in a position to say we do not need some of these laws we are now coming in with. That really is what it amounts to, but we are tripping over ourselves with all kinds of limitations being brought on by the logic of a government that suddenly has to implement policies that it just feels are important. Most of the people in Ontario do not share that view.

So where do you go? All we can do is try. The end of the day comes, and we have not got as far as I had hoped because there are just so many things yet to do. None the less, I share the intent of this. If we were to look at the Environmental Assessment Act and change it, we could do away with Bill 143 and begin to handle the environmental concerns that people have in Ontario.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): I have Mrs Mathyssen. There are just a few minutes left before 5. Do you wish to make your comments?

Mrs Mathyssen: Yes, because I can be very brief and very succinct. I would like to say very clearly that we should call this amendment what it is, and it is an attempt to undermine all the positive aspects of Bill 143 by reintroducing transportation and incineration.

I agree with Mr McClelland when he says people are rational, reasonable and concerned about the environment, and therefore they will recognize the reasons so eloquently and clearly stated by the Minister of the Environment this morning about why eliminating transportation and incineration as a possibility is so essential. Transportation is anti-3Rs, and it forces others to be responsible for the waste generated in the GTA. Incineration is also anti-3Rs, and there is significant evidence that it is environmentally unsound and poses health risks.

I can tell you that we are not going to be tempted into allowing the kind of unfairness that the opposition is purporting with this, and we are not willing to risk the health of the environment or of the people of this province.

Mr McClelland: I was just wondering if the parliamentary assistant would, I suppose in part in response to Mrs Mathyssen's position and apart from the issue of transportation and incineration, want to comment or have somebody on behalf of the government comment on why it is that one site is necessarily the best solution.

As I said before, you can try and paint it however you want. I am not necessarily speaking pro-incineration or pro-transportation; that is not the issue and I have never said that. You can play all the kinds of word games you want, and Mrs Mathyssen can keep trotting that out, and it may or may not stick, and I will live with that.

The reality of what I am asking is, what is it you are afraid of? Is it one site? Is it two sites? Why is it you believe so much that it is only one site in each region that is the best solution? Is there some rationale for it? Is there some data that you have brought to bear? Have you somehow secretly come up with some scientific information that supports only one site?

Those are the kinds of questions that are begged by section 14, because what you are saying is that you have the answer. It is not just transportation, it is not just incineration, it is the whole concept; the whole concept is that you have the answer. I guess I have to ask, how is it that you have the answer? What is it that you have done as a government that provides the answer that is the best answer?

Further to Mrs Mathyssen's comments, I would be interested in knowing at some point in the course of the hearings, either today or some time during committee of the whole or third reading, whether you would shed some light for myself and for the other members of this committee and the people of Ontario on what magic it is that has come to pass that has provided your government with all the answers all of sudden to come out with the best solution. Or alternatively, are you willing to admit that maybe you do not have the best solution and you have just come up with a solution that will work or that you think might work?

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): I realize there is a question there. It is now 5 o'clock. If the parliamentary assistant would care to give a reasonably brief answer, we could go forward with that.

Mr O'Connor: To be brief at this late hour, unfortunately the honourable member who raised that question was not here this morning to hear the minister's response, because she did talk at some length about the concern. It comes to a point where the government has to provide leadership. When the time comes and the judgement of the day takes place, the government will be judged upon its merits for seeking a solution to the problem we have before us, which is the waste management problem within the GTA. I encourage you to review Hansard, as I am sure you would anyway as the diligent critic that you are.

The Acting Chair (Mr Beer): Just one thing before we break: It now being 5 o'clock, no further amendments will be accepted by the Chair. I would also like to remind members of the committee that at 4 o'clock sharp tomorrow, whether anyone is in rhetorical flight or not, the gavel will come down, as directed by the House. We are then to begin voting on all those sections, amendments, whatever that have not been dealt with. If we happen to finish beforehand, that is fine, but those are the instructions from the House. I simply want to remind everyone that I shall have to follow those. With that being said, this committee stands adjourned until 10 o'clock tomorrow morning.

The committee adjourned at 1702.