30th Parliament, 3rd Session

L060 - Tue 18 May 1976 / Mar 18 mai 1976

The House met at 2 p.m.


Mr. Speaker: Statements by the ministry.


Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, I’d like to take this opportunity to correct an impression which may have been left with the public and the travel industry by a story in today’s edition of the Globe and Mail.

The article reported that the travel industry compensation fund is running out of money and that there may not be enough to repay consumers if another large travel wholesaler should go bankrupt. Mr. Speaker, that statement is absolutely untrue.

The compensation fund is very healthy indeed. I have in my hand a report from National Trust, the trustee of the fund, which indicates that as of May 11, one week ago today, the assets of the fund stood at well over a half-million dollars -- $542,267.80 to be precise.

If we deduct from this amount claims which have been either paid or approved, we are left with a total of $475,262. If we further deduct the combined outstanding claims of both consumers and agents, totalling $137,410, more than one-third of a million dollars, or $337,852, remain.

Operating expenses charged to the fund up until the end of March were just in excess of $11,000, so that the bottom-line figure after all deductions is still in excess of $325,000. We are not running out of money. This is not a static figure which continues to diminish as more claims are made against the fund. It is hoped the amount will continue to grow as agents and wholesalers make their required quarterly contributions.

This fund was established under the Travel Industry Act to compensate consumers for the loss of prepaid travel funds. It’s in good financial shape and I am confident it will be able to meet any commitments levied against it in the event of further problems in the industry.

Mr. Speaker: Oral questions.


Mr. Lewis: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. A question, first, for the Minister of Labour and acting Minister of Health in her dual capacity: Is it not time perhaps for ministerial intervention at the highest level to reinstate the negotiations with the hospital workers which appear to have broken down, in order to avoid our usual eleventh-hour gasp in advance of a strike?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, negotiations are continuing with SEIU this week. They will resume again tomorrow. There is certainly a ministry presence at those negotiations, as there was last week at the negotiations with CUPE. The conciliator-mediator was present at that meeting -- in fact was responsible for getting the two parties together at that time -- and they did have some meaningful discussions. The union decided, however, at that point to break off negotiations again.

At this point we are hopeful that there may be some positive direction in the SEIU negotiations which we hope will have some beneficial effect on the other set.

Mr. Lewis: Whatever the SEIU result and assuming for a moment that the contract negotiated there, if it is negotiated, might not influence the CUPE local, what is this resistance that ministers in Ontario seem to have to enter the bargaining process themselves when the government, in effect, pays the money and when there would be terribly damaging consequences in the event of a strike which need not be necessary, because presumably it can be sorted out? Can I invite the minister to enter the negotiations?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Yes, Mr. Speaker, the hon. Leader of the Opposition may invite me to do that.

Mr. Lewis: If the minister had such an invitation from one of the parties, would she accept it?

Hon. B. Stephenson: If it was felt to be a reasonable activity which might be productive of some expectation of success, I most certainly would consider it. Yes.

Mr. Lewis: Good. Okay.


Mr. Lewis: Another question, if I may, for the acting Minister of Health: Could she indicate the nature of the committee of inquiry that has been appointed for the Lakeshore Hospital?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, two of the members have already been defined for us by the Ontario Hospital Association. The two nominees from the Ontario Medical Association have not, as yet, been named for us. The terms of reference have been drawn up and I shall make a statement as soon as the OMA nominees have been appointed.

Mr. Lewis: By way of supplementary, did the minister know when she appointed the commission that Dr. Marcilio, around whom the inquiry focuses, actually wrote a major memo as far back as September, 1973, objecting to the incarceration of children in adult wards of the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital, alerting the medical director and setting out specifics in a fashion which could avoid it in the future?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I have not seen that memo but I’m interested to hear that it’s there. I’ll explore and find if we have a copy of it.

Mr. Lewis: It is most explicit. May I ask her, has she also looked at her recent correspondence -- maybe she hasn’t had the time to see it all -- from Dr. Marcilio setting out some of the things that have occurred in that hospital over the last three or four years, and can she perhaps include those matters in the inquiry terms of reference?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I have been a part of the development of the terms of reference and I can assure the hon. Leader of the Opposition that, in fact, such items are included in a general way.


Mr. Lewis: A question, if I may, Mr. Speaker, of the Minister of Community and Social Services: Is he aware of the unhappy anomaly in the Ottawa area which has terminated a Saturday daycare programme for 14 families, with retarded children and older persons among them, who use that facility on Saturday as a relief programme sponsored by the Ottawa Association for the Mentally Retarded, and had it cancelled as a result of a technicality enforced by his ministry? Is the minister aware of the truly unhappy situation of these people?

Hon. Mr. Taylor: No, Mr. Speaker, I am not.

Mr. Lewis: May I ask him then to take a look at it? I think there is correspondence addressed to him.

Hon. Mr. Taylor: Certainly.

Mr. Nixon: Would you send them a fund-raising letter?


Mr. Lewis: May I ask the acting Minister of Health, is she aware of the situation at the Rest Haven chronic care facility in Hamilton, which alleges that it must close down, losing 32 employees and 34 chronic care patients, unless financial arrangements with the government are sorted out?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I have not heard that the Rest Haven facility was about to close down. I understood that there were to be discussions with the Ministry of Health regarding the future of that institution.

Mr. Lewis: A supplementary: Since they say, “Therefore, without prejudice, we will be forced to close Rest Haven Private Hospital on 30 days’ notice,” and the letter is dated May 14, can I ask the minister to look into it urgently?

Hon. B. Stephenson: I will.


Mr. Lewis: I want to ask the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations about one matter in respect of his opening statement. What is he going to do now that the travel industry board of trustees has said it will not accept the legislation as he has drafted it and will not accept the regulations as he intended them to be employed? Since the board, I gather, doesn’t meet until late summer and this is the height of the travel season, how will we reconcile this problem?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, it is under review in the ministry now. We weren’t aware of this decision until this morning. The board met on Friday and has not yet given me any decision in any way except through the press, and I am not inclined to accept that as a form of communication. I would rather hear from the chairman of the board or the members of the board specifically what they have decided, and we will then take action.


Mr. Lewis: All right, I will ask one question of the acting Minister of Health and sit down. Has she read Dr. Ritchie’s latest report -- he being the pathologist at the University of Toronto -- which allegedly indicates that the levels of stomach cancer induced from asbestos are twice those in the normal population? It is quite unequivocal in its recommendation that stomach cancer be a compensable matter on the Workmen’s Compensation Board, given a certain definition of exposure, and since families have been waiting for eight months, could the minister possibly get a settlement for us here in the Legislature?


Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, a question for the Minister of Labour: In view of the plans by B. F. Goodrich to currently double its polyvinyl chloride facility in Niagara Falls, and keeping in mind the discussion we had yesterday concerning the standards for vinyl chloride, can she tell us whether she is satisfied to allow Goodrich to plan an expansion in keeping with the present standards as she mentioned in the House, when, in fact, in the United States the standards are much, much more stringent and they ought to be much more stringent at any rate here in Ontario? Does it make much sense to just let them double the present capacity to obsolete standards?

An hon. member: Take a guess.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, the Ministry of Labour, under the accord, has the responsibility to monitor plans for expansion of plants to ensure that, in fact, the new plants or the expansions will allow those industries to function within the guidelines set by the Ministry of Health.

If I might, at this point, I can expand upon this answer by responding to a question which the leader of the Liberal Party had asked me on May 3 regarding this subject, because he asked for specific information concerning vinyl chloride monomers at the B. F. Goodrich and Dow plants.

The TLV for vinyl chloride in Ontario is 10 parts per million time-weighted average for an eight-hour day with an excursion limit of 25 parts per million with a minute limit. This is the guideline from the Ministry of Health data sheet on vinyl chloride, and is presently under review by the Advisory Committee on Occupational Health and Safety.


The Goodrich plant was inspected by the Ministry of Labour last on Feb. 2 of this year. Previous inspections on Nov. 25, 1975, and in May, 1974, by the Ministry of Health showed readings well below 10 parts per million. Company monitoring for the first five days of May produced the following average readings: 1.2, 2.6, 2.2, 1.8 and 1.7. The employees of this plant do have access to this information as there are a number of display monitors located throughout the premises of the plant. I am also advised that the B. F. Goodrich Co. is working toward a level of one part per million on its premises in Niagara Falls.

With respect to the Dow plant in Sarnia, inspections by the Ministry of Labour took place on June 26 and 27, 1975, Dec. 24, 1975, and March 23, 1976. In addition, the Ministry of Health investigated the company’s monitoring system on Nov. 6, 1975. On May 11, 1976, the Ministry of Health undertook tests in two areas of this plant and readings were below detectable levels, that is, below one part per million.

On the same day, the Esso plant, also in Sarnia, was inspected, and on the reactor floor readings showed two parts per million; on the steam strip floor, one part per million; and in the dryer area the levels were not detectable; that is, below one part per million. At the bagging area by the operator’s position, the reading was one part per million.

As in the Goodrich plant, the results of the company’s monitoring are available to all of the employees in these plants.

Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary: In view of what seems to be a reasonable ability of the industry to stay reasonably low in their readings, if, in fact, this is typical of the inspections and the readings the ministry has and is not just chosen because of its effect, then why will the government not accept one part per million as its limit not to be exceeded? Why does it insist on having an obsolete standard, and why is it that the union still believes that it is not permitted to inspect the records regarding the monitoring? The union still tells us this very day that it is not being given access to these records. Can the minister possibly answer those questions?

Hon. B. Stephenson: We have been informed and our inspectors tell us that the information is available to the employees within the plant.

Mr. Lewis: Supplementary: Would it be possible for the minister to table in the House the readings on the dates previous to the most recent which she indicated, to let us see the flux in the levels over the last period of time, since that would clearly influence the health of the workers in the long run?

Hon. B. Stephenson: I can find them and table them.

Mr. Gaunt: Supplementary: The minister didn’t answer with respect to tightening up the standards from 10 parts per million to one part per million. Is that under consideration or would the minister consider in any way tightening up these standards?

Hon. B. Stephenson: I said yesterday that the Ministry of Health and the Occupational Health Advisory Committee was looking at this standard-setting specifically with a view to tightening the standards.

If I may say, in response to the questions previously on this subject by both the Leader of the Opposition and the leader of the Liberal Party, there was some confusion about that standard yesterday within the House, and I added to that confusion. Perhaps I can clarify the situation for them at this point.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the United States Department of Labour has set a vinyl chloride time-weighted standard in the United States, from April 1, 1975, of one part per million. At the same time, it set a five parts per million ceiling. A delay period was allowed for levels up to 25 parts per million in companies in which employees indicated they did not wish to wear respirators. From April 1, 1976, companies must begin to implement the one and five parts per million levels.

The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists have been meeting for the past 25 or 30 years. It is well recognized in the western world as an organization devoted to the development of administrative and technical aspects of worker health protection. Its TLV list was adopted and legislated by OSHA when the latter came into being a few years ago. The TLV committee of the American conference met on April 27 and 28 of this year, reviewed the documentation on which OSHA based its decision, that is, the one part per million recommendation, and decided that additional information was required before accepting the one part per million standard. It still has this matter under consideration.

Perhaps we should look at that United States scene rather more realistically. In a telephone conversation to Washington this morning, OSHA was asked, as the delay period ended on April 1, 1976, what was the actual compliance date for the standard of one part per million in the United States. The answer was that the standard does not have a specific compliance date. Every plant in the United States must institute special engineering studies to find out what steps are necessary to be taken in an effort to meet the standards. OSHA will handle the matter on the basis of the actions which the companies are taking to comply, eventually, with that standard.

OSHA points out that it is waiting for the US Environmental Protection Agency to establish a standard regarding emissions to the environment as obviously these will affect the techniques used by the companies to control in-plant emissions.

OSHA also advised that it has indications that US companies generally are showing highs of 25 to 35 parts per million during peaks, while operating during normal periods at less than 10 parts per million.

Mr. Lewis: What does that mean?

Hon. B. Stephenson: We asked OSHA as well how long it would give the United States companies to comply with the standard of one part per million, and the answer from OSHA directly is five years or more and that some plants would never be able to achieve this standard without the use of respirators.

Mr. R. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order.

Mr. Speaker: Not just for a moment, the hon. minister has the floor.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Tens of thousands of US workers earn their livings in industries using vinyl chlorides and OSHA suggested that the US government did not wish to take arbitrary action which would mean loss of employment --

Mr. R. S. Smith: Point of order, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. minister has not yielded the floor, so the member will have to wait before raising a point of order.

Mr. Foulds: It is a point of order.

Mr. R. S. Smith: I have a point of order, Mr. Speaker. It’s obvious that this is a prepared statement which the minister should have given prior to the orders of the day.

Mr. Lewis: It is a prepared apologia, for God’s sake! It is utter nonsense.

Mr. Speaker: I assure the hon. members I am keeping track of things. The hon. minister will continue.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The US government does not wish to take arbitrary action which would mean loss of employment for these tens of thousands of workers. While the US has legislated a standard of one part per million which has not, to this date, been accepted by the TLV committee of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, US companies will be given several years to reach this level and are operating at present at levels higher than Ontario plants.

The Ministry of Health is aware of and is studying carefully the international literature on vinyl chloride. We have established a responsible position in protecting the workers in this province and the levels are being reviewed on the basis of worldwide knowledge of medical engineering and toxicology.

I might add that this morning OSHA admitted that though it has set a standard of one part per million, it really does not know how much exposure is truly hazardous.

We have 1,400 copies of the Ministry of Health’s data sheet on vinyl chloride and we will be very happy to distribute these.

Mr. Speaker: Before we continue with the question period, I really think an answer of that length probably should have been given before the orders of the day. I allowed the answer to be given because it seemed to be closely enough related to the question which was on the floor at the time, and it seemed to be appropriate because it did add to the information. I think that would be understandable. We will allow two minutes extra in the question period.

Mr. Kerrio: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Would the minister not agree, because we’re now talking of a new plant and a rather large expansion to the condition that exists in Niagara Falls, that it would be an urgent matter to set the criteria before we get into this new plant? I appreciate that in old plants it may be difficult but in this case I would ask if it is not an urgent matter to set the criteria in view of the expansion?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, that is, I think, entirely reasonable and it is my information that the company is specifically working toward a level of one part per million in its old plant and in its new plant.


Mr. S. Smith: A question to the acting Minister of Health: What penalty will the ministry enforce against Browndale for allowing children to remain in homes designated as overcrowded and unsafe by her own ministry officials, and what is the excuse for the inaction on the part of her ministry in view of a letter written in January by the director of children’s mental health services saying, among other things, “When the safety of children is seriously questioned there can be no excuse whatsoever for the interminable delays in handling this situation”?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I cannot at this point answer a question regarding a specific penalty, but I can tell the House that I shall be meeting with Mrs. Brown on Thursday to discuss this entire area.

Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary: I am pleased to hear that the minister is meeting with Mrs. Brown about various matters, but in view of obvious negligence on the part of Browndale, why has the ministry not simply done the report itself and then billed Browndale?

Hon. B. Stephenson: That’s an interesting suggestion, Mr. Speaker. I will take it under advisement.

Mr. Eakins: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Could the minister tell us how many hours the people in her staff are having to spend to sort of babysit and look after Browndale, when they should be able to look after themselves? It seems to me the people in her ministry are spending an awful lot of time having to keep them within the regulations.

Hon. B. Stephenson: I really don’t believe that anyone is babysitting Browndale within the ministry at the moment. The normal activities related to any group or association which provides service on behalf of the ministry are, of course, carried out on a regular basis.

Mr. S. Smith: I am looking forward to the audit from Browndale.


Mr. S. Smith: I would like to ask a question of -- since the Premier (Mr. Davis) is absent -- the Minister of Transportation and Communications. In view of the statements made regarding the parking facility for Spadina and so on, will the minister accede to the request of the Hamilton city council in a resolution dated April 27, for the payment of a subsidy toward the purchase of land for off-street parking development, where such development is required to improve the flow of traffic by the removal of on-street parking?

Mr. Nixon: I don’t see how they could turn that down.

Hon. Mr. Snow: I doubt very much if that will be approved. I don’t think we have officially responded to the city of Hamilton resolution as of yet.

Mr. Shore: What about London? Can you approve some for London?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Same for London.

Mr. S. Smith: As a supplementary: Does it seem reasonable to the minister that subsidies should be paid for widening various traffic arteries in order to improve the flow of traffic, which his ministry does, and yet not pay a subsidy for something which in effect widens the road which traffic can flow on, and does so by permitting the removal of on-street parking? Is it not the same principle?

Hon. Mr. Snow: No, I don’t think so at all. It is not our policy to pay subsidy for municipalities to develop off-street parking facilities. We, of course, do pay subsidy for improvements to the highway system, the arterial roads and municipal streets. And we would anticipate that if a municipality improved an arterial road, for instance, at a cost both to their own taxpayers and to the provincial Treasury, that they would so designate the parking on that street that it wouldn’t hinder the traffic.

Mr. Deans: Supplementary question to the minister: Since the minister indicates he won’t consider a subsidy for off-street parking, will he consider recalculating the subsidy for the transit system in order to get people off the streets altogether and onto buses?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: You are the mayor already.

Mr. Lewis: You would like to be back in T and C.

Hon. Mr. Snow: If the hon. member thinks that recalculating the transit subsidy will get all the cars off the streets in Hamilton, I don’t think he is on the right track at all.

I would say, Mr. Speaker, that this morning I met in my office with Chairman Mrs. A. H. Jones and representatives of the Hamilton-Wentworth traffic committee, and I believe two staff members from the city of Hamilton, to discuss the particular matter that the hon. member is concerned about; that is, a transit subsidy for the city of Hamilton.

Mr. Deans: What did the minister say?

Hon. Mr. Snow: We put certain information before them, certain calculations we have made following their submission to us. The committee were to take that back and discuss it at their full transportation committee meeting, and I expect that a further meeting will be forthcoming in the near future.

Mr. Deans: Did the minister offer them a subsidy?


Mr. S. Smith: This is a final question, again to the Minister of Transportation and Communications. Since he wishes us to get back on the track, it brings up the following question with regard to the Urban Transportation Development Corp.: Could the minister outline for us precisely what the involvement has been of McDonnell Douglas, the much-heralded involvement that his predecessor spoke of? Exactly how many dollars have they put into various schemes related to UTDC? Similarly, whatever became of the negotiations with the Alberta government regarding its possible involvement in this?


Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I don’t know whether McDonnell Douglas, in times prior to my involvement with this ministry, made any contribution or not. I do not believe that they did. It was significant; they were considered as a possible component of this development scheme. At the present time, McDonnell Douglas is not involved in any way.

As far as negotiations with the Province of Alberta are concerned, we have been having consultations with the Province of Alberta and the Province of Quebec, and I don’t know whether one would call them negotiations, consultations or frustrations, but we’ve been having some discussions with the federal government as well.

Mr. Reid: Supplementary: Can the minister indicate -- and table it in the House -- just where the $6 million went in the illegitimate son of Krauss-Maffei, on which he was going to report to the House, and will he table any documents and technical papers in relation to that $6 million that was spent in the last year?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, that money was spent by the Urban Transportation Development Corp., or at least a portion of it was spent last year. I’m sure in due course, when I receive the annual report of the corporation, we will certainly be tabling that in the House, and I’m sure we can supply any particular information that the hon. member wants.


Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, I have a question I would like to direct to the Minister of Colleges and Universities.

Mr. Ruston: Lean over and ask him! Don’t you speak to one another?

Mr. Norton: I wonder if the hon. minister could indicate what effect, if any, he anticipates there will be upon Ontario universities this year as a consequence of the rather major change in cash flow announced by the Hon. Hugh Faulkner in the transfer payments for post-secondary education to the provinces?

Mr. Nixon: That’s a setup.

Mr. Peterson: Don’t get involved --

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: You know, it is rather interesting -- I guess I shouldn’t make editorial comments, but I will -- it is rather interesting that questions of major concern to members of this party don’t seem to have the same acceptability in the relevance of this House as they do across the floor of the House, and I don’t think that’s at all fair.

Mr. Nixon: You just turned around and fed it to the nearest member.

Mr. Reid: Which one is the ventriloquist and which one is the dummy?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: The statement attributed to the minister yesterday, the Hon. Hugh Faulkner, was certainly misleading, and I have a copy of that particular press report here. I’ll read a very short bit of it.

“The Secretary of State, Hugh Faulkner, told the provincial education ministers when he first forwarded their 1976 monthly payments that went out in April, that the level of payments would be based on” --

And it goes on. That’s just not so, Mr. Speaker. The telegram that we received was very short. It read:

“An instalment in the amount of $12,570,000-odd on post-secondary education adjustment payment in advance in respect of 1976-1977 has been deposited in your account at the Bank of Montreal today. Details to follow.”

That represents the total information that we received. I’m very concerned, and I know the universities and colleges are very concerned, about what would appear to be a rather abrupt change in the method of flowing cash through on transfer payments. We are, I think, justifiably very concerned on that issue. We received a formal letter yesterday. I would like to inform the member for Kingston and the Islands, we haven’t had time yet to assess all of that. I will try to keep him and this House informed of that rather significant change, which affects every college and university in this province, and certainly this government is markedly concerned on that change.

Mr. Conway: No more sabbaticals.


Mr. Lupusella: I have a question of the Minister of Labour, Mr. Speaker. In view of the tremendous increase in the cost of living, I would like to ask the Minister of Labour whether the government intends to introduce legislation to increase the pensions of injured workers who have been awarded a permanent disability pension by the Workmen’s Compensation Board. And if the answer is no, why not?

Hon. B. Stephenson: The answer is neither no nor yes at the moment.

Mr. Lupusella: Supplementary: As the minister is aware, it seems that the Workmen’s Compensation Board has $600 million invested in Hydro bonds. How come this government isn’t willing to raise the pensions of injured workers in this province and insists on continuing to starve them?

Hon. B. Stephenson: The pensions of injured workers were raised as a result of the legislation last July. The Workmen’s Compensation Board is examining the effect of this raise of pensions from last year and will be making recommendations to us within the near future.

Mr. Bounsall: Supplementary: Is the minister therefore very clearly saying that a bill to increase the pensions in the month of June is not likely to come forward this June, as it has almost every June as far as any member of this House can remember? Is she deliberately not bringing it forward this June, the time we would expect it?

Hon. B. Stephenson: No, I’m not deliberately doing anything right at the moment. I’m awaiting the report from the Workmen’s Compensation Board.


Mr. S. Smith: Now that the Premier is in the House, Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask him a question. Since the events of this past weekend show that the only new Tory thought in this country seems to be coming from his federal leader --


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Let’s hear the question.

Mr. Reid: Let sleeping dogs lie, they say.

Mr. Nixon: You even woke up Claire Hoy.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We’re wasting time.

Mr. S. Smith: -- will the Premier accept his federal leader’s suggestion and give five-year economic forecasts to this province, which is apparently what governments are supposed to do? What is the date on which his government will issue the next five-year forecast? While we’re at it, would the Premier also accept his federal leader’s suggestion that governments should have a proper committee system, with power to subpoena and to bring matters before the public, instead of carrying on the secret form of government which presently goes on in Ottawa and in Toronto?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I’ll try to deal with those two totally related questions.

I think the first had to do with economic forecasts and the suggestion made by the leader of our national party and the next Prime Minister of Canada --

Mr. Breithaupt: Surely they weren’t both there, were they?

Mr. Reid: Five dollars on that -- even money.

Hon. Mr. Snow: I’ll take that bet.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Lewis: I would like to put in a word for Ed Broadbent.

Mr. Reid: Mr. Speaker, who is Ed Broadbent?

Hon. Mr. Davis: As I was saying, in my very carefully considered reply to this question of urgent public importance --

Mr. Bullbrook: You joker, you; you’re better than you ever were.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I recall what the Leader of the Opposition said; I think he was concerned about the economic direction of the federal government and their total lack of leadership -- now, I’m quoting him; I wouldn’t be as unkind as to say that --

Mr. S. Smith: I just asked when we could expect your five-year forecast.

Hon. Mr. Davis: As I listened carefully to his very well considered speech I think he said, isn’t it too bad that the federal government in economic terms and in leadership, inflation and all the rest of it, didn’t show the same degree of leadership and the significant economic accomplishments as the government of the Province of Ontario. I think that’s what he said, as a matter of fact.

Mr. Breithaupt: That’s what you heard; that’s not what was said.

Mr. Reid: Are you going to support your national leader this time around?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I seem to recall him holding up this government as the prime example of how government should be run in this country. I shared that point of view; I totally agreed with him.

Mr. Reid: What did he say about Alberta oil?

Mr. Ruston: What about Lougheed? Did he tell you how much to sell your oil for?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Fewer interjections, please.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I think that the material presented to the members of this House from time to time certainly gives the opposition critics ample opportunity to assess the economic situation of the province and the predictions as best we can make them for careful analysis by the House. In that respect I think we have demonstrated great leadership in this area.

Mr. S. Smith: So we are not getting one?

Hon. Mr. Davis: As for saying that we should have five-year projections of expenditures, of course we look at things more than a year at a time. There is no question about that.


Mr. S. Smith: What about the committee system?

Hon. Mr. Davis: As time goes on, we’ll share as much of this information as we can with the member for Hamilton West in the hope that he will be able to assimilate it. What was the second question?

Mr. S. Smith: The committee system.

Mr. Reid: Like hospital expenditures.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I really feel the committee system is unrelated to the first question.

Mr. Speaker: I feel it too.

Hon. Mr. Davis: As I understand the committee system here, the committees are empowered -- and the Clerk of the Legislature can correct me if I’m wrong -- to operate in a way which is and which the members have found to be relatively appropriate. I have found that from personal experience.

Mr. S. Smith: You know it is not true.

Mr. Bullbrook: By way of a supplementary, without invading the personal relationship between the Premier and Mr. Clark, did he feel that the government’s deficit was also one of the finest in Canada?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I think really what he said -- and I can’t quote him accurately -- was that in terms of the effort made by the provinces, particularly Ontario in its budget this year, the great progress we have made in the reduction of our deficit is an excellent example for the federal government to follow.

Mr. Reid: What did his wife say?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would refer the member to the text of his remarks.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.


Hon. Mr. Snow: Yesterday the hon. member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon) asked me a supplementary question regarding the Urban Transportation Development Corp. He inquired as to what portion of the $6 million was spent in West Germany on this project with Krause-Maffei. The answer that I have is that none of this money was spent with Krauss-Maffei, although some money has been spent with other corporations regarding control systems.

He also inquired as to how many engineers were in Germany regarding this project at Krauss-Maffei. The answer is none. There has been none there since July, 1975.

Mr. Speaker: I’ll allow one supplementary.

Mr. Nixon: A supplementary: When the minister announced the shutdown of the agreement with Krauss-Maffei, he made much of the fact that the facilities were going to remain available to our experimental engineers. In the event, we are not making any use of that part of the agreement at all. Is that right?

Hon. Mr. Snow: No, I didn’t say that at all. Although it’s not being used at the present time, as that portion of the testing is completed, we have made extensive use of the Krauss-Maffei test track at no cost.


Mr. MacDonald: I have a question of the Minister of Agriculture and Food with regard to Produce Processors Ltd. in Trenton and the related co-op development, which is deemed by the vegetable marketing board as designed to circumvent this year’s negotiated price of $61.25 per ton for the produce. Since the minister’s parliamentary assistant informed a meeting in Strathroy last Saturday night, I believe, that one of his ministry officials has declared: “It’s all legal but it looks pretty damned immoral,” what is the government going to do about it?

Mr. Nixon: Did he say that?

Mr. Moffatt: Control that man.

Hon. W. Newman: It’s quite obvious the hon. member didn’t know we had a marketing board, but we do have. It’s the Fruit and Vegetable Growers Marketing Board. They had negotiated a price of $61.25.

Mr. Breithaupt: The parliamentary assistant didn’t know that.

Mr. MacDonald: I mentioned that.

Hon. W. Newman: That’s the marketing board incentive at this point in time. I have also read the article and, as far as I’m concerned, the marketing board has established a price of $61.25 and that’s what the price is.

Mr. Lewis: What is the minister, a reviewing board?

Mr. Reid: Is the minister saying his parliamentary assistant didn’t know there is a marketing board?

Mr. MacDonald: By way of a supplementary, the minister has evaded my question again. Since the development of a cooperative in relationship to that plant, in which this government and the federal government put in $800,000, is deemed by the marketing board that negotiated that price to be circumventing this year’s price, what is the minister going to do about its immorality?

Hon. W. Newman: We have a marketing board with duly elected representatives and it’s up to them to deal with those matters themselves.


Mr. MacDonald: I have a final supplementary. One of the directors of that marketing board, which is going to deal with this, according to the minister, says, “I think the provincial government would be willing to bend the rules because of its financial involvement to keep the plant going.” Is the government going to bend the rules to permit the plant to keep in operation because of the money it has got in it and, at the same time, undercut the $61.25 negotiated price for this year?


Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Speaker, it’s quite obvious the hon. member doesn’t understand what I am talking about.

Mr. Foulds: Who does?


Mr. Speaker: Order, order.

Hon. W. Newman: What I’m trying to tell him is that there is a marketing board duly elected to look after these situations. I have made no reference at any time to any provincial or federal money in any particular storage facilities in eastern Ontario or in western Ontario or anywhere else.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Peterson: Supplementary: Since it is my understanding that the minister has had representations both from the eastern Ontario growers and the western Ontario growers on this particular issue, could he please tell the House what advice he is giving those people and what he is telling them to do in this circumstance?

Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Speaker, I have had representation from all across this province, from all the agricultural --

Mr. Peterson: I am not interested in how you waste your time.

Hon. W. Newman: -- let me tell the member -- is he talking about a particular company which has just written to me, I think within the last two or three days, pointing out their concerns? I have also had representation from eastern Ontario regarding the situation.

Mr. Peterson: We know that. Answer the question.

Hon. W. Newman: The marketing board is fully aware that if it wants to meet some of the commitments overseas, it has to deal with the price structure. It is up to the board to deal with this, if it wants to deal with it. It has finished its negotiations and has set a price of $61.25.

Mr. Peterson: Are you going to allow them to do that?


Mr. Spence: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. Given the statistics released by the Minister of Transportation and Communications a few days ago regarding the reduced deaths and accidents on our highways, in regard to the use of seatbelts, can the minister assure this House that he is prepared to encourage insurance companies to reduce their rates for auto insurance or at least review the recent increases in light of the statistics released by the Minister of Transportation and Communications?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, unfortunately the hon. member is not a member of the Justice estimates committee. That matter was raised in the estimates and reviewed at great length. Certainly we are prepared to take a look at the justification given by the insurance companies for their current rates. There are other factors than simply the drop in accident rates. Most of the health costs are paid by OHIP.

The collision rates are up and collision costs are up. What we did say was that the reduction in deaths and injuries would have a stabilizing effect on the rates and presumably, sooner or later, there will be a turnaround in rates; but at the moment it hasn’t been in effect long enough to have a very material influence on rate reduction.

Mr. Peterson: Why don’t you reduce life insurance rates?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Take that up in London.


Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Speaker, the member for Port Arthur (Mr. Foulds) asked me a question regarding the Madsen Mine town site and the sewage works at that site and the result of a possible mine closing in June. I haven’t all the information that I would like but I thought that as about 10 days had gone by now at least I could give him the information I have.

My information is that the sanitary wastes are collected and discharged into two septic tanks which in turn discharge into the tailings area. The septic tank sludge is pumped out twice a year and the sludge is transported to the tailings area. Generally, the system is not in good repair. As the hon. member knows, it has been operated by the company and, as a result of the mine closing, we are looking at various alternatives -- individual septic tanks or a lagoon; or some form of mechanical treatment or modifying and improving the present system in some way.

I think, as the hon. member knows, the problem is that if the mine closes who will operate and maintain the system? We need some type of a legal body, some type of a council or framework up there actually to look after the community. A meeting was held last week with representatives of Madsen, as well as TEIGA, Housing, Natural Resources and my ministry to explore solutions to the problem and to try to derive some type of legal framework for operating the community.

There have been a couple of suggestions -- to turn it into an improvement district or possibly to annex it to Red Lake. These are two of about five different suggestions. There’s another meeting this Thursday, but the point I want to make to the hon. member is that if the mine closes and the company no longer operates the system, we first have to have a structure and then we have to improve the system, because, as the hon. member says, the tailings will no longer be available for sludge.

Mr. Foulds: Supplementary: Can the minister assure this House and the people of Madsen that the ministries that he mentioned can have a co-ordinated answer by June 1, which is the deadline that the community is facing?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: We are working towards that goal.

Mr. Foulds: That’s what the Minister of Natural Resources prompted you to say.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: We’re very much aware of what is going on.


Mr. Moffatt: A question for the Minister of the Environment: In view of the fact that Eldorado Nuclear has optioned about 400 acres in the Port Granby area, at the town of Newcastle, what involvement has his ministry had with that particular firm to make sure the disposal of nuclear waste from the Port Hope area will be handled in an appropriate fashion, and hopefully will not even be used in that particular area? Secondly, is the minister aware that the permit for the use of that present site at Port Granby by Eldorado Nuclear expires on June 15?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Speaker, there is a committee set up, under the chairmanship of my deputy minister, involving the Atomic Energy Control Board, the company, the Ministry of Health, the federal Department of National Health and Welfare, Mr. Gillespie’s ministry, and my ministry. They have already had one meeting. The purpose of this committee is to find a suitable site for the waste from the Port Hope area.

This is going to be a problem because of the type of waste; naturally, no community will want to be the receiving community for this waste if it’s removed from that area. It is highly toxic, as the hon. member knows. There was apparently some consideration by the town of Newcastle on the basis that if the company builds another refinery there, it would consider taking this waste. There is no decision as to a site.

As far as the permit is concerned, it is my understanding that the company is not required to obtain our permission to establish a site.

Mr. Speaker: The question period has expired.


Presenting reports.


Introduction of bills.


Hon. Mr. Wells moved first reading of a bill intituled, An Act to amend the Education Act, 1974.

Motion agreed to; first reading of the bill.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, this bill contains a number of amendments to the Education Act. Many of them are minor amendments and housekeeping changes. However, there is a new subsection requiring boards to charge the gross fee to all pupils on student visas, except participants in certain educational exchange programmes and pupils who were enrolled prior to July 1, 1976.

There are also major sections that provide that moneys raised by local taxation for the payment of salaries and wages of teachers and other employees of a board that were not paid by reason of a strike or lockout, if not excluded from the estimates of the board in the same year, must be placed in a reserve fund and taken into account in the estimates of the following year for the purpose of reducing the board’s requirements. The Act will also provide that the municipal tax collector must send out with the tax bill a notice informing all affected taxpayers of the amount by which the board’s requirements have been reduced and its effect on their mill rate.

Mr. Speaker: Before the orders of the day, I beg to inform the House that pursuant to standing order 28, the hon. member for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy) has given me notice that he is dissatisfied with the answer given him on Thursday last by the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Handleman) concerning rent review. This matter will be debated at 10:30 this evening.

Mr. Nixon: That will be great.


Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, before the orders of the day I wish to table the answers to questions 21, 29 and 73 standing on the notice paper.

Mr. Speaker: Orders of the day.

Clerk of the House: The second order, committee of the whole House.


House in committee on Bill 60, An Act to amend the Residential Premises Rent Review Act.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Chairman, for the information of members of the House, it’s been generally agreed, for the work in committee today, that we would stack any votes and perhaps have a bell by 5:30.

Mr. Chairman: Is that agreed? That any amendments we might have which might result in a vote will be stacked and called at 5:30?


On section 1:

Mr. Cassidy: On section 1, I wonder if the minister could explain the meaning of this? Specifically does it mean that if the rent has been paid on an annual lease the increase means the renewal of the year’s lease or is it only on a monthly basis?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Chairman, it was not clear in the original Act as to whether or not the Act did apply to periodic tenancies and there has been some suggestion made that once an annual lease or a two-year lease expires the tenant is no longer protected under the Act. We simply want to make clear that a monthly tenancy is also covered under the Act. It has nothing to do with the security of tenure under the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Mr. Chairman: Could we have a little order please? It’s very difficult to hear the speakers.

Will you keep your private conversations down please?

Section 1 agreed to.

On section 2:

Mr. Cassidy: On subsection 2, I want to raise a question and ask the minister whether he’s prepared to accept an amendment -- I haven’t drafted an amendment -- because it seems to me there is a serious question involved in the matter of short leases. The minister may recall that when the Minister of Housing (Mr. Rhodes) was responsible for rent review and we had those amendments in January, we recommended during discussions held outside the Legislature that an amendment like this one be put into effect so that any rent increase would have to take hold or be in effect for a full year. That was rejected at that time by the ministry. We welcome the fact that the ministry has now changed its mind with this minister; however, the net effect of this is limited if not non-existent.


As I understand it, what happens is the following: If a landlord is increasing his rent to take effect on June 1 or July 1, that rent increase will have to be in effect for a full year. However, I don’t know if there is any retroactivity to apply to rent increases that took effect on May 1 or in previous months? I would like the minister to comment on that, because if it only applies to June and July rent increases, then effectively there are no real results -- or very limited results -- flowing from this amendment.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: It applies to any rent increase that has taken effect since the Act became effective. Which would mean that if a person had issued a short-term lease on Feb. 1, March 1 or May 1 of this year to expire at the end of July -- and presumably the increase has not gone to the rent review process -- whatever that increase was, whether it was three per cent, six per cent or eight per cent, it would still have to go before the rent review officer if the landlord contemplates another increase either on the anniversary date of that lease or on Aug. 1 of this year. So it certainly will apply to any rent increase that has taken effect since the Act became effective.

Mr. Chairman: Shall section 2 of the bill carry?

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Chairman, I would appreciate it if you could move a bit more slowly. I want to get this straight; I want to ask the minister what action he intends to take in order to inform tenants about this important new right.

The minister is saying that whether a rent increase took effect last Sept. 1 or takes effect this coming July 1, unless the landlord subsequently goes to rent review, that rent increase must last for a full 12 months. Is that correct?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Going back to the original debate, it was contemplated of course that any rent increase could be appealed by a tenant; and if the tenant did appeal the rent increase, whether it was eight per cent or less, the rent review officer, by his findings, could order it to be held for 12 months. A great deal of publicity was given to that aspect or the Act. Unfortunately, many tenants were quite prepared to accept an eight per cent increase without appeal and, as a result, were left without any protection against the subsequent increase on Aug. 1 of this year if they were given a short-term lease.

I just want to assure the hon. member and all hon. members that the intention of this section is to do what the tenants really had the power to do themselves if they had taken the action, which was to appeal the original rent increase, whether or not it went to rent review. But since they have not taken advantage of that we are putting in this section to ensure that the onus will be on the landlord to prove the need for any further rent increase.

Mr. Cassidy: Can we also have an assurance from the minister that if a landlord goes before a rent review officer on Aug. 1 for an increase of more than eight per cent, which would require him to go to rent review, and the previous rent increase was less than 12 months previous, that the rent review officer will refuse to consider that application because of the fact that it’s premature and therefore illegal?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Of course, it will not be illegal. A request for an additional rate will not be illegal, but the rent review officers will review the application and say, “In accordance with this section, you have already received a rent increase within the past 12 months, and that is effective until the 12 months is up.” We can’t stop people from going before the rent review officer and asking for additional rent and particularly if the lease has expired. They will have to go before the rent review officer to try to justify increased rent. But it is not illegal for them to go before the rent review officer.

Mr. Cassidy: Perhaps I can cite the case of a tenant whose rent was increased in the last 10 or 11 months, or maybe in the last four or five months, and whose landlord then seeks to raise his rent by eight per cent or less on Aug. 1. What steps does the minister propose to publicize this new amendment and to enforce it against landlords who might otherwise be charging illegal rent increases, effective Aug. 1?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: I don’t believe we are ready to employ an army of policemen to go around knocking on every door and asking every tenant what their rent is. I think there has to be some onus here on the tenant to report it. We will be giving it publicity as soon as these amendments become effective. We will publicize them in the way that we publicized the original Act, which was quite extensively. However, we have no way of finding out about these cases unless they are brought to our attention.

Mr. Cassidy: Just as a final comment on this particular section, I want to raise a concern. I have said before, and I say it now in the House, that rents which became illegal after the passage of the Act have continued to be charged by a number of landlords in Ottawa, to my knowledge. And it’s my understanding that this has taken place in other parts of the province as well. It is also my information that there have been no prosecutions launched by rent review officers, or even aided by rent review officers, despite the promise that that would be done and despite certain requests that have been made for that assistance from tenants.

If that has been the record in the past, then this particular amendment may not be worth the paper it’s printed upon. Because if the rent review office neither monitors what’s happening out there, nor is prepared to help tenants who try and get their landlord to desist or try and prosecute the landlord for charging an illegal rent, then the tenants are left powerless. That, of course, is unfortunately still too often the problem with the rent review process.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Chairman, I don’t know whether we are getting a preview of the late, late show, but certainly, if the hon. member has any evidence whatsoever to enable anyone to file a prosecution on an illegal action, he has a responsibility to put that evidence before the proper authorities.

To the best of my knowledge, the hon. member has never once come to either a rent review officer, or to our ministry, to say that apartment XYZ in such-and-such a building is charging a rent which is in excess of the guidelines, or is illegal because it has not been approved by a rent review officer. If he has that evidence, I would like him to come to us. We will ask him to file the information, go to court, give his evidence, and a prosecution will be raised.

Mr. Cassidy: With great respect, Mr. Chairman, I have some evidence like that --

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Don’t talk about it. Give it to us. Do something.

Mr. Cassidy: I have it from tenants who have asked me not to give it, because they feel intimidated by their landlord and they do not wish it to be brought forward. They fear that they will be hurt or evicted, or something else would happen. They have no confidence in the process that the ministry has set up in the province, and that’s why they are afraid to come forward -- that’s the situation.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: That’s the same reason people give for not giving evidence when they are hit on the head by a hood on the street. As far as I’m concerned, the system of justice will not work unless people are willing to come forward and give evidence. Allegations of that nature don’t do the system any good at all.

Mr. Cassidy: At least there is a competent and good police force in the province that is concerned about assaults on the person. The ministry, though, has specifically refrained from having any kind of effective policing action in the case of tenants who are being charged illegal rents.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: I say again to the hon. member that if he has evidence, and the people who have given him this information are willing to come forward, we will file prosecutions. We cannot win prosecutions unless we have some indication that they are going to be won. There isn’t any point in going to court unless you are going to win the case unless, of course, as the hon. member obviously wants, he wants harassment of certain people without any evidence.

Mr. Cassidy: If that’s a commitment, Mr. Chairman, then I will do everything in my power in the next week to give the minister information on people who are prepared to swear the information.

Mr. Chairman: Shall section 2 of the bill carry?

Mr. Cassidy: No. That was on section 2, Mr. Chairman?

Mr. Chairman: That’s right.

Mr. Cassidy: I have further material later on about section 2. I have raised some concerns which I think are germane to this section and to the bill. The section deals with section 5 of the Act. Perhaps I could preface my comments by reading a couple of amendments that I wish to propose.

Mr. Chairman: Can the Chair have a copy of those amendments?

Mr. Cassidy: Yes, I will just send them to you, Mr. Chairman. I apologize to the minister for not having these in particularly good order.

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Cassidy moves that section 2 of the Residential Premises Rent Review Amendment Act be amended by adding the following:

Subsection 6 of section 5 is amended by adding the words at the end, “and where a landlord files a cost-revenue statement with the rent review officer, he shall forthwith give to the tenant a copy of said cost-revenue statement.”

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Chairman, to speak to that particular amendment, I have expressed concern, privately with the minister and his staff and publicly as well, about problems that tenants have been having in the operations of the rent review Act, which are making the system appear to them to be biased and making them feel that their rights are not being respected. We’re getting these now in the form of comments from tenants who’ve been through the hearing process and just don’t feel that they got a fair deal at all.

The complaints relate to the information they’ve been getting from the rent review offices. That’s probably a matter of staff training, and I hope it’s being improved. The complaints also relate to the regulations and practices which the ministry has adopted. The manual of procedure which the rent review officers have been given is not a public document, so the tenants are finding very difficult to find out what the rules of the game are.

The complaints also relate to the information filed by the landlords, and in fact there are two or three related amendments here which affect that particular question. The act says, in section 7, which I’d like to read:

“The rent review officer may give directions for the conduct and carrying on of proceedings before him, and in so doing shall adopt the most expeditious method of determining the questions arising before him that afford to all parties to the proceedings an adequate opportunity of knowing the issues in the proceedings and of presenting material and making representation on their behalf.”

Previously, in section 5, subsection 13, it states that where the rent review officer is given notice of a hearing of an application under sub 8 of sub 12, “he shall make available to all parties to the hearing all material filed with him in connection with that application, together with any information which he requests from any party.”

The information takes two forms: One is the cost-revenue statement, a four-page document, a form which has been prepared by the rent review offices and which is a summary of the landlord’s information; and along with that there are certain appendices which have to be attached, such as the schedule of rents and so on; and then, thirdly, landlords may file with the rent review office supporting data, their books or an annual report or other material like that. In certain cases this may be hundreds of pages of material, and I think it’s fair to argue that it would be unrealistic to ask the landlord to give a 50- or 100-page document to every tenant at the time that an application is going in to raise that tenant’s rent by more than eight per cent.

On the other hand, most tenants work. Even where there’s a man and wife living in an apartment, in many cases both work, and unless the rent review officers are to adopt evening hours as a matter of course it’s awfully difficult for working people to get down to the rent review office to look over the material. That’s why this particular amendment says that a copy of the cost-revenue statement -- the specific four-page document, which is relatively easy to copy and relatively easy for the tenant to understand -- should be given to the tenant at the time that he is told the application for rent review has gone forward and the landlord is filing his statement with the rent review office.


What’s happening right now, in many cases, is simply that the tenant gets a notice of hearing; the notice of hearing tells him only that if he doesn’t appear he can’t appeal and doesn’t give him any other guidance about what’s happening down at the rent review hearing. So the tenant gets himself down there, but is not well enough informed to look into the files at the rent review office to see what material is there, or perhaps couldn’t get there because of the physical problems of getting away from work. He winds up at the hearing where the landlord and the rent review officer both have a copy of this cost-revenue statement, which is the basic document from which they work. The tenant hasn’t got a clue because he can’t even follow the information they are discussing because he doesn’t have a copy to work from. He certainly hasn’t had a chance to look at the material before.

It seems to me that in order to remove the suggestion of bias which is now firmly attached to the rent review process it is desirable that this particular amendment be adopted. Later on, I will also be moving an amendment to permit tenants reasonable access to the other material filed by landlords and the right to photocopy it. By directive from the rent review offices, the right to photocopy has not been given; it has been denied specifically to the tenants.

That has put an enormous hurdle in their way and, frankly, I think it is a denial of natural justice. Certainly it is a violation of section 5(13) of the Act which says the material shall be available; and of section 7(1) of the Act which says all parties to the proceedings should have an adequate opportunity of knowing the issues in the proceedings and of presenting material and making representations on their behalf.

What I am seeking to do with these amendments since --

Mr. Chairman: I would prefer if you would stick to comments on the specific amendment before the committee, rather than dealing with an amendment which has not yet been moved.

Mr. Cassidy: What I am seeking to do with this amendment plus other material which may be presented later is that since informal representations to the ministry have so far been unsuccessful, I think the Legislature -- I say this to the Liberal Party in particular --

Mr. Nixon: All right.

Mr. Cassidy: -- has the right to speak in order to ensure that tenants are not denied natural justice.

Mr. Shore: They are not denied; I can tell you that.

Mr. Cassidy: It is possible for the question of the application of section 7 of the Act to be tested in the courts but that is expensive and time-consuming. In the meantime many tenants may suffer through inadequate information and the whole rent review process may suffer because it gets a bad name because tenants feel they have been discriminated against.

I will send a copy of this amendment over to the minister. I hope he looks at it seriously and that he will consider accepting the amendment on behalf of the government.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Chairman, first of all, I would ask you to consider carefully whether or not this amendment is in accordance with the principle of this bill. The principle of this bill is quite clear. The principle is designed to take public housing out of the rent review process and the amendment put forward by the hon. member for Ottawa Centre is completely out of order.

I would ask you to rule on the question of whether or not it is in order before I comment on it. I certainly would hope that you would uphold my contention that this amendment is out of order and cannot be debated.

Mr. Cassidy: On a point of order, Mr. Chairman, section 2 of the bill has absolutely no application to public housing at all. The principle of the bill is that a number of amendments were desirable to the Rent Review Act.

Mr. Chairman: In section 2, the explanatory note says, “The amendment ensures that in the case of a periodic tenancy or short-term leases the increases provided for cannot be taken twice in one year unless it is justified before a rent review officer.” It seems to me that the amendment would fall within the intent of the Act inasmuch as the increase has to be justified and the amendment calls for making that justification available to the tenant. It seems to me that the amendment would be in order, subject to a challenge by the committee.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Chairman, obviously I accept your ruling. I would hope that the members of the Legislature, of this committee, would not accept this amendment. I think there is appearing -- very gradually but quite clearly -- the obvious intent of the New Democratic Party with regard to this Act.

We hear the claims that the New Democrats are very sincere in hoping that this Act will work. Obviously, the easiest way to make it fail is to undermine it; to make it completely unwieldy; to make it impossible to operate; to impose upon the government a vast bureaucracy in order to make it operate. It has operated well. The hon. member is becoming quite adept at pulling out individual cases. Out of the thousands he can probably name five, six or even 50 cases in which the process has not worked as smoothly as it might.

I have discussed this Act with literally hundreds of tenants and I want to tell this committee that only one tenant, who happens to be the vice-president of a Metro federation of tenants, has ever objected to the process, and there is no question in my mind what that federation is seeking to do. In one hearing they took seven hours of the rent review officer’s time in an attempt absolutely to destroy the process and, if that is allowed to happen, then the process will indeed break down.

We cannot accept that this kind of information, which may very well be confidential, should be published in the Globe and Mail the next morning after it is in the hands of tenant activists. I have no objection whatsoever to a tenant coming in and making himself familiar with the contents of the cost-revenue statement. That’s what it is there for. But we see no reason whatsoever why a copy of information that may very well be completely confidential should be available. The publishers would have to rely on a handwritten copy. They would have to rely on the accuracy of the tenant’s ability to copy it and to understand it.

We’re having problems in the process, and there is no question about it. It is not a smooth process. We have people who have received a very fast training course. They have the basic skills in order to handle this, but they simply cannot sit through seven- and eight-hour hearings on one unit because a group which is dedicated to the destruction of the process wants to undermine it. The best way to do that is to have the rent review officer throw up his hands in disgust and say, “I cannot deal with this matter,” which leaves the rent exactly where it was.

The purpose of the process is to permit cost increases to be passed through. The rent review officers have to have that information in their hands. They are not there to be a referee in a war, and that is the problem. A war is being created by the kinds of approaches that are being made by the member for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy) all over this province. Not only in this chamber but everywhere in this province he is going out and telling the tenant, using the words that he just used in regard to this amendment, that the process is against him and the government is against him. That’s the kind of thing that I deplore.

Mr. Philip: It is you that is against them.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: We certainly don’t want to discourage landlords from submitting their information to us. We also recognize that many of the landlords are doing this for the first time and may very well submit information that should not be divulged.

One landlord, in an effort to substantiate his claim, submitted a copy of his income tax form. The rent review officer, being inexperienced, distributed that. There is nothing in this country that is more confidential than an income tax form. I will not permit under my ministry to have that kind of information disseminated. This kind of amendment will make it far too easy to distribute that kind of information. I suggest that the tenant who wants to obtain the information can do so, and there is no need to distribute it widely among everybody who is interested in the problem.

Mr. Good: I think we discussed this point or a point very similar during the amendments when the original bill went through. As far as I am concerned and I think our party is concerned, we feel that is covered in subsection 13 of section 5 of the bill as it now stands, which states:

“Where the rent review officer has given notice of a hearing of an application under subsection 8 or 12, he shall make available to all parties to the hearing all materials filed with him in connection with that application together with any information which he requests from any party.”

Then the next section goes on to state:

“Material to be made available under subsection 13 includes any books, records or other information supporting an application or requested by the rent review officer.”

I know we dealt with this matter. I thought we debated it thoroughly.

As far as we are concerned, I think there is ample protection under that subsection so that the tenant does have access to any information that the landlord plans to use, including his financial statement, profit and loss sheet and everything else. If the landlord is going to use that as a defence, it is now available to the tenant. I don’t see what additional measures should be taken.

Mr. Renwick: I don’t quite know why the minister is so recalcitrant about a proposal such as my colleague has put forward. Let me set aside for a moment the whole question of rent review administration which will come up in the minister’s estimates in committee.

Whatever feelings the minister may have about the way in which the administration is being carried on and what he chooses to call the attacks made at the instigation of my colleague -- which, of course, I totally dismiss as having any foundation -- whatever those reasons are, the cost-revenue statement is the key to what the hearing is about. The application is not what it is about. It’s the cost-revenue statement. The manual, which we haven’t seen as yet, is obviously the directive to the rent review officer, subject to his discretion, for the purpose of determining whether or not any proposed increase in the rent is justified or not justified.

If you’re going to give any substance to the hearing before the rent review officer, surely the key document upon which the rent review officer is going to make his decision must be available to be examined by the tenants who wish to oppose the application? Otherwise the hearing is a meaningless hearing and you’re not providing the substance of what the bill was intended to provide. That was a fair hearing by both sides before the rent review officer and then the rent review officer makes his decision, subject to whatever appeal rights there may be.

The key document which determines whether or not the rent increase is I justified or not justified, or the extent to which the rent increase is justified, must be made available to the tenant or the tenant has no way in which to form the kinds of questions that he may wish to submit at the time when the hearing is held.

Everyone knows that the cost-revenue document of a significant multi-accommodation building is both an accounting document and a specialised document having to do with the kind of business operation being carried on. That doesn’t put it into a confidential class, and that doesn’t put it into the situation where the tenant must be forced, if he wants to have the information out of it, to go to the rent review office and laboriously copy it out by longhand. Surely, in all reason, we’re coming back to the very basis upon which every hearing must be held, that it must be fair and it must be done in good faith.

The rent review officer has to fairly listen to both sides, and he can’t fairly listen to both sides if the one side does not have available to it the very crucial document when it is required for the purpose of a fair hearing. Otherwise it becomes meaningless and you will only compound the sense of frustration by various tenants’ groups particularly, because after all individual tenants have really no strength or authority to fight a landlord except on a group basis. You will only frustrate those very groups who can afford to retain people to examine a cost-revenue statement for the purpose of making certain that the proper questions are asked and the proper answers are given.

As the chairman said, what we are talking about is the justification of the application by the landlord or by the tenant for a change in the rent. I simply want to say that I cannot understand this, regardless of the minister’s feelings. He and my colleague are from the same city and I’ve often thought I’d either like to have all the members from the Ottawa area to dinner or put them in a cage and see how they get along.

Mr. Breithaupt: Or both.

Mr. Renwick: Or both.

Mr. Breithaupt: Throw them a little raw meat.

Mr. Renwick: Leaving that aside, and leaving the intense feelings that are engendered by my colleague, particularly in the minister himself, leaving all those matters aside, the crucial document has got to be available and readily available. To say to me that, yes, it is available to the tenant if he will go in and laboriously take it down in longhand but it’s not available to him because it’s furnished by your ministry, simply defeats the whole proposition. There is no question about it whatsoever.


In this day and age it is not difficult to reproduce and to provide the document to the tenants. The minister fixes upon the confidentiality of the information and that it can be available to the rent review officer and to the landlord, but it can’t be available to the tenant except if he runs an obstacle course to get it.

The minister can’t have it both ways. He either has to say that it’s totally confidential, in which case there is no such thing as a fair hearing, or he’s got to say that it has to be made available, because one of the amendments -- I think it was the member for St. George (Mrs. Campbell) who particularly raised it -- says that the rent review officer’s obligation is to decide as expeditiously as possible. He can’t decide expeditiously if the tenant doesn’t have the information on which he can frame the kinds of questions that he wants.

I recall we had the same problem a very short time ago under the Pension Benefits Act. If a person who was a beneficiary of a pension arrangement filed with the Pension Commission of Ontario, he could go and make extracts from it but he couldn’t get a copy of it. And there was some difficulty about whether he could get extracts from it. We finally got an amendment through which indicated, yes, the beneficiary of a pension plan could go to the Pension Commission office and get the information about whether or not he was getting his full entitlement under the pension.

I think we have got to recognize that the very institution of rent control takes away a certain element of what would otherwise be confidentiality, but it takes it away in situations where it is well understood that the public interest -- here, the public interest is the efficient, expeditious administration of the rent review process as quite a new venture in the Province of Ontario -- requires that the confidentiality must give way to the public interest embodied in the Act which we passed and amended last fall and which we are now amending for the second time.

Despite all of the minister’s strong feelings, which he has expressed in the House, I think he has got to rethink the position of his ministry on the key position played by the cost-revenue statement, because that is the whole hinge upon which the question of justification must rest. I would ask the minister to consider his position, and I would ask my colleagues to the left in the Liberal Party to reconsider their position, in the light of my colleague’s amendment.

Mr. Shore: Mr. Chairman, I rise to speak on this particular amendment for a moment. Personally, I have no axe to grind with the members from the Ottawa area, so I guess I can speak somewhat impartially.

From day one, this has been a difficult Act to administer and to believe in. With the greatest respect, one of the reasons it may be having this difficulty probably accrues to the member from Ottawa, who is making its administration even more difficult.

Mr. Cassidy: Do you mean the minister or me?

Mr. Shore: The member for Ottawa Centre; I’m sorry.

Mr. Cassidy: You have my attention now.

Mr. Shore: In relation to his amendment, if he truly wants it to work, he’ll give it a chance to work.

I happen to be somewhat familiar with the workings of rent review up to date -- maybe not to the extent that the member for Ottawa Centre is, but I’m sufficiently knowledgeable to know that an effort is being made to try to make it work; and it’s difficult. I suggest that it can he made to work within the confines of the current Act; to add something to section 6 is going to serve no purpose whatsoever.

I strongly believe there still is a belief in the stronger effect of the information that is brought forward by the landlords, who incidentally also have to bring forward their papers and in many instances go to great expense in bringing along people to try to understand the pieces of paper that are required. I believe that the information is totally available under the current Act, and to suggest that this subsection be added is going to make this thing more difficult to administer and it’s going to serve no purpose whatsoever.

Mr. Renwick: Have you ever seen one of the statements?

Mr. Shore: I sure have.

Mr. Renwick: Did you understand it?

Mr. Shore: It was difficult for me to understand it; but whether or not you get this piece of paper, it’s still going to be difficult to understand. I suggest to you that the information is available and can be made available in the confines of the review. I would strongly urge that we defeat or not accept this amendment because all the information is totally available and all we’re doing is adding complexities to a problem which already exists to no purpose whatsoever -- except maybe to get pieces of paper out to the public, for what purpose I don’t know.

They have the opportunity of reviewing these papers under the current section and I think, with the greatest respect, it’s totally available to all concerned. Why the member for Ottawa Centre wants to go on adding to the difficulties already there, I don’t know. Surely it’s there now. Surely it can be made available and that is all we should expect.

Mr. Warner: I am wondering at this point if the minister, when considering this whole matter -- because it has been discussed for some time -- has discussed it with any of the rent review officers: if he has taken into account their frustrations?

I would like to use, as illustration of the points which have been raised by the member from Riverdale, an actual occurrence at the rent review office in Scarborough. I felt the rent review officer was putting forward quite an effort to try to determine precisely the situation which existed. He took the information which was given to him and tried to sort it out as best he could. He had sitting in front of him 50 tenants from a building of 77 units and the lawyer who was representing the owner -- not the owner, who didn’t see fit to come, though he owned only two small buildings.

Mr. Cunningham: He was probably working to make the mortgage payments on them.

Mr. Warner: The tenants did not have the information which the lawyer had. When the lawyer presented figures such as $4,000 for the replacement of light bulbs and the tenants objected strenuously, the rent review officer noted it and asked a few questions. He went through the whole process and at the end of an hour and a half had accumulated so many unanswered questions that the officer, in good faith, said, “I cannot possibly render a decision without visiting the building personally and inspecting it”.

I take it that that is the kind of job which, in many instances, he should not have to do. But he did it because he could not sort out the truth of the whole matter. I take it to be very frustrating for that rent review officer.

I also take it that had the tenants been given the information ahead of time so that they could very accurately and very well describe the situation and present facts -- they could not present facts at that point; they had to give impressions simply because they didn’t have the information ahead of time -- perhaps the rent review officer’s offer of inspecting the building would not have had to be made.

I appreciate the inspection by the officer -- I think he was doing his job admirably well -- but I think that by not accepting the proposal you have in front of you, you are providing more frustrations for that officer. I would appreciate it very much if the minister could comment on whether or not he has entered into conversations with various rent review officers and if so, what their impressions are with respect to the very proposal he has in front of him?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Chairman, I would like to respond to that.

Mr. Chairman: If we could sort of facilitate things, it seems that the debate is becoming polarized and the member for Sudbury indicated that he wanted to speak on it. Probably after that the minister could sort of summarize.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: We are in committee, Mr. Chairman, remember.

Mr. Germa: Mr. Chairman, it is quite obvious from listening to the debate thus far that the minister has not had the unfortunate experience of having to attend a rent review hearing, trying to represent certain people who are objecting to a rent increase.

A couple of weeks ago I was in that unfortunate predicament when 30 tenants requested that I try to assist them in holding back a rent increase. The cost-revenue statement, of course, is the key item being argued at the hearing.

I don’t know whether the minister has inspected one of these documents. Last year’s expenditures in one column are all the way from heating and lights, snow removal, painting, repairs to the chimney. There are this year’s expenditures -- all the various items again -- and then there’s next year’s projected expenditures. So, you have three major columns of figures adding up to thousands of dollars in some instances.

When the hearing opened, the tenants wanted the facts before them so they could better analyse and digest them. The rent review officer said, “Well, they’re available. Come and look at them.” So, here are 45 people standing in the line looking at this one document presented by the landlord.

It is no wonder to me that rent review hearings are taking up seven hours at a time. The first two hours of that particular hearing were spent allowing each and every tenant to take a look and copy down this multitude of figures in the three columns presented.

We know that this government brought the legislation in under duress; and they wrote the legislation with as many hookers in it as they possibly could to frustrate the tenant. There was a directive from this ministry which I wanted the rent review officer to make available to me while we waited. I thought that he would hand me a piece of paper, and that would be considered making it available to me. But he said: “Not so; my direction is from the ministry. To make available means that is consigned to my office, and you must come down there and peer at it.”

Suppose the same principle applied here. We can reasonably debate what we’re talking about here this afternoon because each and every one of us has a copy of the topic before us and we can, presumably with some intelligence, continue a debate. This is precisely what you don’t have when you’re in front of a rent review officer.

I’m convinced that both of these old line parties are philosophically opposed to rent review and that they are doing everything they can to frustrate the efforts of the tenant in coming to a conclusion when he receives his notice of rent increase.

I’m convinced that you have found that, by withholding the information the tenant cannot adequately deal with the proposal. All that this amendment is doing is saying to the landlord, “At the moment you give the rent review officer the cost-revenue statement, you also hand it to your tenant.” I see nothing too difficult about that.

Certainly, if this landlord thinks that the increase that he desires is important enough to occupy the time of a rent review officer, then he should also think it’s important enough to make up a few extra copies and hand it to each and every tenant concerned. I can’t understand why the third party is backing out. I guess it’s their philosophy. It’s coming to the fore that they believe in the free market economy, the market of supply and demand, which we know has not been working as far as rental accommodation is concerned.

Mr. Shore: What has that got to do with this thing right here?

Mr. Germa: And you are definitely ruining the rent review legislation. This isn’t going to take out all of the hookers that you have built into the legislation. It’s just going to remove one of the hookers that you have.

Mr. Shore: The hookers; that’s right, the hookers.

Mr. Drea: Mr. Chairman, if this was a question of facilitating the flow of information so that rent review proceedings could be expedited or handled more efficiently, then I certainly would support the amendment. Since it does exactly the opposite, naturally I oppose it.

As a matter of fact, one of the interesting suggestions that has been made is that this type of amendment actually would act as a deterrent to a fair and impartial evaluation of the accuracy and the dimensions of the material costs provided by the landlord. Mr. Chairman, if it was the intention of this government to freeze rents at the July 1975 level, then I suggest to you that would have been done.

Mr. Renwick: No, it is not; it is a review.

Mr. Drea: The rent review process is one that takes into account costs. It takes into account a number of other factors that really do affect the landlord. I suggest to you that the real purpose of this amendment is to attempt to place a restriction upon the ability of the landlord to submit as much data, and perhaps some of it will be irrelevant.

Mr. Warner: What does he have to hide?

Mr. Drea: He has nothing to hide.

Mr. Warner: Then show us the material.

Mr. Drea: No, no, this is your little game. He has nothing to hide. The tenant or the tenant’s representative can go in and can copy it down. There’s no attempt to keep these things camouflaged.

Mr. Cassidy: On a point of order, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Drea: None whatsoever.

Mr. Chairman: Do you have a point of order?

Mr. Cassidy: I’d like to read the specific amendment, because it refers to a four-page document. It adds the words, “and where a landlord files a cost-revenue statement that’s a four-page document with the rent review officer, he shall forthwith give to the tenant a copy of said cost-revenue statement.”

The member was suggesting that there might be hundreds of pages involved in the copying and that’s not the intent of the amendment, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Drea: I didn’t suggest there’d be hundreds of pages.

Mr. Chairman: The hon. member for Scarborough Centre can continue.

Mr. Drea: I never suggested for a moment there would be hundreds of pages. The whole point is that the landlord, on the basis of that, would be extremely concerned about the type of information that be filed, not because there is something wrong with it, but because it might enter very well into some other proceedings, and as the minister has suggested on more than one occasion, that it might very well wind up in public print or open to almost unrestricted public inspection. The real function of that kind of document is to submit before the rent review officer the justification, if there is any, but at least the proposed justification, for the rental increase that the landlord has asked.

If the information was not available to the tenant, then I would have some very serious concerns about it, but the information is now available.

Mr. Cassidy: Not in a practical way.

Mr. Shore: Yes, very practical.

Mr. Drea: There is nothing more practical than being able to walk into an office, ask for a file, open up the file and begin to copy it out by hand. It’s been done for --

Mr. Cassidy: For five minutes’ copying by hand?

Mr. Chairman: Order please.

Mr. Drea: It’s been done for 2,000 years, my friend. The photocopying machine has only been around for 10 or 15.

Mr. Renwick: Well, we didn’t know you had any of them.

Mr. Drea: People have been doing it that way for years.

Mr. Renwick: We knew you had the shredding machine. We didn’t think you had the copying machine.

Mr. Chairman: Order.

Mr. Drea: In the particular occupation you’re in, you’re the last one to talk about modern conveniences being used to their utmost.

Mr. Samis: Look at your occupation.

Mr. Drea: I suggest that all this amendment will do is to complicate, compound and indeed confound the rent review procedures which now, because of the experiences gained by the rent review officers, because of the experiences gained in the submission of data by landlords, and because, quite frankly, of the experience gained by tenants or tenants’ groups, are beginning to work most smoothly. I suggest to you all this amendment would do is to set everybody back to January or February of this year. It would serve no useful function. Indeed, it would serve only a disruptive function.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Chairman, first of all, I don’t know why the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) would suspect that there’s any personal animosity between me and his colleague. As a matter of fact, I’m far more fearful of the cannibalistic tendencies he displays when he says he’s going to have me for dinner. I get a little worried about that kind of an invitation.

I just wanted to point out to the member for Riverdale that the amendment which he put forward -- and I think I recall it, having been in the chair where you’re sitting now, Mr. Chairman, at the time he made that amendment, and my predecessor accepted it; an amendment to the Pension Act -- permits a member of a registered pension plan or his agent to inspect and make extracts from the plan at the offices of the commission, and that’s exactly the procedure that we’re following in this Act. Anyone may go in and make extracts or copy the whole thing. He can even ask the information officer for guidance in interpreting any aspect of it.

The member for Scarborough-Ellesmere (Mr. Warner) is going to destroy, absolutely destroy, the kind of impression that the member for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy) is trying to create, and that is that the rent review officers, because of their big business background, are dead set on destroying every evidence of tenants’ interest. The member for Scarborough-Ellesmere pointed out that the rent review officer in Scarborough felt, after hearing all of the evidence before him, that he would have to inspect the building in order to satisfy himself as to the truth of the application that was made before him. I think that’s a perfectly legitimate process and see no reason why it shouldn’t be done.

To say these things are all being argued out before a rent review officer, in my view, is a complete misunderstanding of the process. It should not be an aggressive adversary system, of us against them or me against him. But that is the way you are creating it and that’s what is happening. You are going around and saying, “The process is against you, you are the downtrodden one. The function of the rent review officer is to determine the truth -- that is his job -- to protect both sides in the hearing before him. He is not biased one way or the other. He will examine the cost-revenue statement before the hearing. He will ask the questions and he will satisfy himself. He will not permit anybody to pull the wool over his eyes.

The member for Riverdale mentioned the manual. I want to make it quite clear that the manual is to assist the rent review officer in getting to the truth. I just want to give one example of the type of content. There is nothing secret about it. We don’t want it to be known, because having it in one’s possession would enable anyone to change his statement.

Mr. Warner: It is secret.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: It is not. It has nothing to do whatsoever with the application. I can tell you what does happen and I will give you one example. In the manual, the rent review officer is given a schedule of depreciation rates. If a landlord claims a depreciation rate on a heating system, the rent review officer is not an expert in the heating systems nor should he be expected to be. He can go to the manual and determine what is in the range of depreciation rates for a steam heating system, a warm air heating system, a hot water heating system or what have you. I am mentioning one thing out of hundreds of pages.

Mr. Warner: It is not secret when you know all about it.

Mr. Shore: What about hot air?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: That is the kind of thing that a rent review officer has to have. But I don’t think the landlord should know what the guidelines are, nor do I think the tenant should know because he is going to start arguing. Those kinds of figures will be there for days and days and days.

They are guidelines for the internal use of the rent review officer. We do not feel they should be published everywhere for everyone to see so that a good accountant, like the member for London North (Mr. Shore), can go in and change the whole thing on behalf of his client. It could be done quite easily -- not by the member for London North; I said somebody like him -- because you need those kinds of skills and we will be arguing that at 10:30 tonight.

This kind of an amendment will simply add to the burden of administration. We are trying to avoid the kind of criticism that is being made of it by the member for Ottawa Centre.

Mr. Warner: I just wanted to know if the minister was going to respond to my question about having discussed this matter with the rent review officers?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: My meetings have been with the executive director and his staff of the rent review division. We have discussed all of these matters at great length. We have anticipated this kind of thing. We will probably be discussing it again at 10:30 tonight. Yes, I have met with many people in the programme.

Mr. Renwick: I have always been impressed by a rather classic statement of the obligation on anybody who has to conduct a hearing. I refer to the decision in 1911 of Lord Selbourne, speaking for the House of Lords in the unanimous decision in a case called “The Board of Education and Rice.” The Board of Education in England is a department of the ministry.

Mr. Shore: What year was that decision?

Mr. Renwick: It was in 1911 and it is still good. This government hasn’t learned it yet. It was a nice throwaway line at the end of the whole decision about what the obligation of the Board of Education when required to make a decision was all about. He threw it away and he did it very nicely. He said: “I need hardly say that the Board of Education must act bona fide and fairly listen to both sides, for that is the obligation of anyone who is called upon to decide anything.”

I want to say to the minister, if I am correct, the rent review Act calls for an analysis of the increase in the costs of the landlord for the purpose of determining whether an increase is or is not justified. If pursuant to that statutory requirement, there is a cost-revenue manual made available to the rent review officer and a 14-page guide made available to the landlord for the purpose of his compiling the information so that he can file with the rent review officer the cost-revenue statement, if all of that is done, then why is it not possible for the rent review officer to make a photostatic copy or require the landlord to file sufficient copies to make them available to the tenants who are the persons who have given notice that they are going to attend the hearing.

If you don’t do that, I can’t possibly conceive how it can be said that the rent review officer is listening fairly to both sides. I can’t conceive how that kind of financial analysis -- I say this to the member for Scarborough Centre -- can be conducted unless one has in front of him the whole of the cost-revenue statement. There is no way in which a tenant can copy out the cost-revenue statement except at laborious expense.

As my colleague has said, we are not talking about the financial statements of the landlord. We are talking about a specific kind of cost-revenue statement, of a limited number of pages, on the basis of which the question is going to be decided. I agree with the minister, my colleague agrees with the minister, that we do not want it to become an adversary system.

What is being said is that unless the hearing is not only fair and the information is available to the tenant who is opposing the application in a readily accessible form for his analysis -- not the rent review officer’s analysis -- unless that is done, I find it difficult to think that the statement made which has determined the course of hearings since 1911, whenever they have gone before the courts, could be held to be a fair hearing. Maybe it hears a certain amount of repetition; I don’t intend to repeat what I have said on another occasion but it is absolutely essential that this minister comes to grips with it.

We can deal in committee with the question about the manual itself. We can also deal in committee with the failure of the ministry to provide a guide to tenants equivalent to that which they provide for the landlord in making out his cost-revenue statement. We can deal in committee, presumably peripherally after this debate because I sense it is not going to pass at this point in time, with the question as to whether or not, if you deny the tenant everything except that one sheet of paper and require him to do everything else, you are vitiating the process of fair hearing.

You are creating a situation of frustration which will not be an adversary system. It will simply be one which won’t work and that’s what my colleague has been saying. He has been very fair in the statement which he has made publicly that in a number of areas it is working but in a number of areas it certainly isn’t working. The minister must know that as well as anybody else.

I may also say that if you are going to have any uniformity across the Province of Ontario with respect to the decisions made by the rent review officers, surely the foundations upon which those decisions are made by the rent review officers must be available in a way which can be readily understood. I know of no financial statement that is of any sense to anybody unless the person can take it, sit down and do the analyses and the backup work required either to verify or dispute the information provided by the landlord from his books and from his accounting system.

Mr. Cassidy: I want to make a couple of comments in response to the debate. Having been silent about this question for many months, I made a speech last week and I want to read the first two sentences to the minister because he has accused the NDP and me, as spokesman for the NDP, of seeking to undermine the rent review process.

Last fall there was a honeymoon period in the Legislature which yielded a rent review bill that was potentially strong, progressive and fair. The NDP played a large part in creating that bill and we hoped it would be administered in the spirit it had been legislated.

If that’s undermining the rent review bill, I would like to know what the House would think of the speeches made by the minister and other members of the government who have gone up and down the province, repeating time after time that they do not believe in rent review. They wished it had not been thrust upon them and they would resign their duties from the ministry if they were forced to continue administering rent review after August, 1977. Just who is undermining the process?


I’m afraid I can’t accept the kinds of arguments made either by the minister or by the parliamentary assistant. We’re trying to create a process which is fair to tenants and which they perceive as being fair. Right now, because of the problems they are having in getting information, they do not see that justice is being done in the process. It seems to me that the government is responsible for administering laws which are passed by this Legislature. They have just been reminded of that in a very direct way, with the divisional court judgement on the cabinet’s decision about the Doctors Hospital and the other hospitals that the intent of the Legislature was being flouted. I would suggest that the intent of section 5, sub 13 and section 7, which stated that the material would be made available and that the parties would have a reasonable opportunity to know the issues in the hearings, is being flouted by the unwillingness to either accept this amendment or to permit photocopies.

Third, I think that the minister should be aware that some rent review officers -- and praise be to them -- are permitting photocopies to be taken. Is the government now going to crack down on them and say, “Information bulletin 1-6 told you that the photocopying of material would not be allowed and the copies will not be allowed,” and, therefore, is it going to fire them from their jobs because of the fact that they’re trying to give this information to tenants?

Fourth, it was interesting to read the Globe and Mail yesterday on openness of government and the very positive response of the 1,300 delegates to the Conservative annual meeting to the report prepared by former Conservative candidate, Darwin Kealey and by Bill Nevdle who is now the chief aide to Joe Clark, both of whom were urging that government should be open and not shut and that the Conservative Party suffered by its obsessive and excessive secrecy.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: There’s no more open government in this country, and you know it.

An hon. member: What about all the unions?


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Chairman, I’m trying to say this in a persuasive and not a polarizing kind of way. I would suggest to the minister that to have these cost-revenue statements in the hands of the tenant would perform a valuable educational process, and that should be part of the aims of rent review. That is certainly the object of any court hearing. It’s the object, it seems to me, of the hearing before a rent review officer.

Many tenants, quite frankly, are not aware of the financial problems that the landlords are experiencing, and they find it difficult to understand why, in certain eases, the rent has to go up by eight per cent or 10 per cent or even by a larger sum than that. To have the cost-revenue statement before them so that they can examine it and see where their rent money goes might, in fact, far from increasing friction, help to resolve some of the friction, because the tenants would have a better understanding of the landlord’s problem.

As regards the burden of administration, which was raised by a couple of speakers on the government side, to require the landlord to give a copy of the cost-revenue statement to the tenant does not impose any burden of administration on rent review itself. If every one of the applications now before the ministry were proceeded with and there were four or five sheets of photocopying in each case, you’re talking of a cost of maybe $100,000 in all, or less than one per cent of the cost of the overall process. In fact, if photocopying costs a nickel a sheet, you’re talking maybe $50,000 or $60,000.

The effect of denying tenants information is to polarize tenants and make them frustrated and very unhappy with the way it’s going on. Far from complicating and confounding the process, it seems to me that to give this information is a means of ensuring that the tenants can participate in a reasonable and non-confrontationist way in a hearing which should be directed to finding out the facts, and not creating adversaries between landlords and tenants, but the way that the ministry is proceeding is to create adversaries.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Chairman, there has been a great deal of repetition in the debate on this. I simply want to point out once again that in the whole process there is an onus on the landlord; there is no onus on the tenant that he has to satisfy at all. There’s an onus on the landlord to satisfy the rent review officer. We make available to the tenant the information which is put before the rent review officer. Despite the polarization which is being created by this kind of debate, we do not anticipate that there is an onus on the tenant --

Mr. Cassidy: That’s balderdash, you know.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: There is a polarization being created, and it is being deliberately created. The movements are being created; they are being indoctrinated to go forward, be aggressive, be active, yell, shout, delay the hearings, and the rent review officers are being frustrated in the process.

Mr. McClellan: That’s crap.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: But there is no onus on the tenant; the onus is completely on the landlord.

Mr. Cassidy: It is?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: The onus is completely on the landlord; he has to satisfy the rent review officer, who is there protecting the public interest. The assumption made by the member for Riverdale that both sides -- the very use of the term “both sides” indicates that he accepts it as an adversary situation. We do not accept that. We say the rent review officer is there to ensure fair treatment to both sides. Now if that copy is given to the tenant, I know exactly what will happen; it will frustrate the process, because he will not understand it. He will then have to go and get counsel, who will then appear and then we will have the adversary system with a vengeance. We don’t want it, we don’t need it, and we think it is working well the way it is.

Call the question, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Shore: Question.

Mr. Cassidy: I am tempted to go on. Obviously the minister is not going to change his mind, but I will just read section 7 again:

“The rent review officer shall ensure that all parties to the proceedings have an adequate opportunity of knowing the issues in the proceedings.”

Mr. Shore: They have the opportunity now.

Mr. Cassidy: And by refusing this amendment, you are flouting the law.

Mr. Chairman: You have heard Mr. Cassidy’s amendment.

All those in favour will please say “aye.”

All those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion, the “nays” have it.

Shall we stack it?


Mr. Chairman: Mr. Cassidy indicated that he has yet another amendment.

Mr. Cassidy: This is also in relation to section 2, but in order to ensure that I am firmly in order, the amendment I am about to read relates to the reference to OHC in the bill.

I would move that section 2 of the Residential Premises Rent Review Amendment Act be amended by adding the following subsection:

(7) Section 5 of the bill is amended by adding the following subsection:

9(a) When applications have been received in respect of more than one tenant in a building or project in which rents are geared to income, and the rent review officer wishes to fix a common date for the hearing of all such applications, the rent review officer may in his discretion restrict access to the rent data for each individual unit in order to preserve the confidentiality of a tenant’s income, provided that all other material filed in accordance with this Act is disclosed in accordance with this section.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Chairman, before you receive this amendment, I want to rise on a point of order. This is completely contrary to the principle of the bill that is before us. We have already debated the question of rent-geared-to-income housing, and it has been taken out by this Legislature. It is not in the bill that is before us; this amendment would put it back in and destroy the principle of the bill, which was established on second reading.

Mr. Cassidy: On the point of order, Mr. Chairman, with great respect, we have not taken the reference to rent-geared-to-income housing out of the bill right now; it is in section 5 of this particular bill, and we have not got to that particular point in the committee stage. We have indicated we disagree with that part of the principle and we are posing an alternative as a part of our disagreement.

Mr. Sweeney: He is willing to take it out. Why pose an alternative? That doesn’t make sense.

Mr. Shore: Mike, you must stay awake at night figuring all this out.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Chairman, I would like to receive your ruling. I don’t feel there is any point in belabouring this issue any further, but again the bill that is before us is Bill 60, as passed in principle by this Legislature; it includes the elimination of rent-geared-to-income housing from the rent review process. This amendment will put it back in.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Chairman, with great respect, the minister is about to introduce an amendment which goes against the principle of the bill as adopted on second reading. The principle, according to his argument, would include the exclusion of limited-dividend, privately owned housing from the bill; now he is going to bring forward an amendment which would bring limited-dividend, privately owned housing back into rent review. If you rule this particular amendment out of order, then I am afraid that we cannot receive the minister’s amendment either.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Regarding the private limited-dividend amendment which we are going to be bringing forward, it was made quite clear prior to the vote on second reading that an amendment of that nature would be brought before us in committee, so that when the vote was taken there was a clear understanding of what we were voting on.

Mr. Cassidy: On a point of order, Mr. Chairman, with great respect. It was a nod and a wink from the minister, but the bill that was passed in principle on second reading did not have any such amendment in it,

Mr. Chairman: Subject to direction from the committee, I’m going to declare that the amendment is in order simply because it doesn’t change the principle of the bill in my opinion.

Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Chairman, I will speak in favour of the ruling. We certainly will not challenge it because it’s the best way, in our opinion, to get the amendment on to the floor so it can be discussed by the committee.

Mr. Good: I didn’t read the amendment.

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Cassidy has moved it but the Chair hasn’t read it yet. I suggest that Mr. Cassidy distribute copies of it to the spokesmen for the Liberal Party and the minister.

Mr. Cassidy moves that section 2 of the Residential Premises Rent Review Amendment Act be amended by adding the following:

(7) Section 5 of the bill is amended by adding the following subsection:

9(a) When applications have been received in respect of more than one tenant in a building or project in which rents are geared to income and the rent review officer wishes to fix a common date for the hearing of all such applications, the rent review officer may in his discretion restrict access to the rent data for each individual unit in order to preserve the confidentiality of the tenant’s income provided that all other material filed in accordance with this Act is disclosed in accordance with this section.

Mr. Shore: All of a sudden, confidentiality comes out. I didn’t know you knew what the word meant.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Chairman, I’m not sure whether we should debate the question of OHC on this particular section or else when we get to section 5 of the bill. Perhaps I could comment on what is happening with the applications for rent review in relation to rent-geared-to-income units across the province. In a number of cases, the rent review officers who have gone forward have dealt with them on a case by case basis, one tenant after another, because of their fear, legitimate fear, that the disclosure of the rental information on units to other people in the building would thereby enable people to know what the income of their neighbours happens to be.

It is actually the practice in a number of cases with which we are familiar, in the case of privately owned accommodation, that the rental schedules are not being made available in general but are being made available only one unit at a time to each particular tenant, although the other information pertaining to the building is being made available and obviously the gross rents for the entire building are being made available.

If that practice, which effectively keeps secret the rents on all other units from each tenant in a private budding, were to be applied universally in the case of OHC units then this particular amendment wouldn’t be necessary. We are putting it forward, however, in order to make it clear that we are not opposed to, and in fact would encourage, the group hearings in the case of OHC because that’s a more sensible way of proceeding, because that’s the way that the costs are assembled and because it is not our intention, in seeking to leave Ontario Housing tenants under rent review, to put a spanner in the works and to make the whole process come to a halt.

There are about 300 or 400 individual OHC projects across the province, and if handled on a group basis, quite clearly they would not impose a really onerous load on the process of rent review.

I’ll say this, Mr. Chairman, that we frankly would prefer -- as I’ve said on the second reading debate -- that OHC were not under rent review but that there was a renegotiation of the rent scale, that there was tenant participation --

Mr. Chairman: Could I remind the hon. member that I accepted the amendment on the basis that it didn’t detract from the principle of the bill, and the intent of this amendment is as stated, “restrict access to the rent data for each individual unit in order to preserve the confidentiality of the tenant’s income provided that all other material filed according to this Act is disclosed in accordance with this section.”


Mr. Cassidy: Yes.

Mr. Chairman: I didn’t allow the amendment with the intent that you could go back and regurgitate the whole bill.

The principle of the amendment, as I see it, is the discretion by the rent review officer to provide access to rent data. It was on that basis that I accepted the amendment as being in order and I’ll ask you to keep your comments to that portion of it.

Mr. Cassidy: To conclude, which I was doing, I simply say that while we believe the OHC should be left within rent review until the steps I’ve outlined on second reading are taken, we also feel that if there is any ambiguity about having group hearings and preserving confidentiality of the tenant’s income information, this amendment is intended to deal with that problem.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: I certainly don’t intend to belabour this point either because later on we’re going to be voting to take rent-geared-to-income out. It seems to me that by putting this amendment into the bill we now have before us we’re going to have two contradictions. In one case we’re providing the process to hear rent-geared-to-income rent review; in the other section we’re going to be taking it out of the process. It’s simply completely --

Mr. Cassidy: Change your mind on section 5.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: -- anomalous compared to the whole principle of the bill and we will oppose it.

Mr. Renwick: The minister is so provocative. I really didn’t want to get involved in this particular amendment.

The minister’s proposition is quite ridiculous. What he’s saying is we can’t touch the so-called section which he calls the principle of the bill -- section 5 -- because that was passed on second reading. Of course we can touch it. We can amend it in any way we want to and we can vote against it. The minister accepts that principle as well.

I’m asking the minister a very simple question. Let us assume for the moment that either your colleagues split from your party and support us or my colleagues on the left, in the Liberal Party, support us when we move to keep the rent-geared-to-income housing within the ambit of rent review. Let’s make that assumption. Don’t you think that, if that were so, this is a very reasonable amendment and a very proper one -- to keep confidential the actual rent paid by a particular tenant, as not being a relevant matter to the matters to be decided by the rent review officer?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Chairman, if my proposition is ridiculous, I think the hon. member’s assumption is even more ridiculous. We won’t deal with it.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Chairman, assuming, on its merits, and considering that the other bill hasn’t passed, we would be quite happy to defer the vote. If you will agree that it is a most meritorious amendment and if the rent-geared-to-income housing is kept within the bill, we could defer the vote on this particular amendment until the end of the debate, to see what happens with the Ontario Housing tenants. I see my friend from St. Catharines is there; it may be by divine intervention. I’m sorry. Right member; wrong constituency.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: I think the hon. member has made an excellent suggestion. Let’s get this amendment out of the way by putting it down at the end and we’ll see if it’s necessary.

Mr. Chairman: Are you ready to vote on the amendment? All those in favour of Mr. Cassidy’s amendment will please say “aye.”

All those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion the “nays” have it.

Shall we stack it?


Mr. Chairman: Before we go any further, I think it’s the obligation of the Chair to remind the House that pursuant to standing order 28(d), I beg to inform the House that the hon. member for Durham East (Mr. Moffatt) has filed the required notice that he is dissatisfied with the answer to his question given to him by the Minister of the Environment (Mr. Kerr) earlier today. This matter will be debated at 10:30 this evening.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: On a point of order. There is a prior question to be debated at 10:30. The hon. member for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy) expressed dissatisfaction with an answer I gave him and I think that should take precedence since his objection was filed first. We don’t mind being on the late, late show but we don’t want to be on the late, late, late, late, late show.

Mr. Chairman: That notice was given earlier?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Yes.

Mr. Cassidy: I have another amendment on section 2.

Mr. Chairman: Under section 2? The hon. member for Ottawa Centre.

Mr. Cassidy: Thank you. I move that section 5 of the Act as amended by section 2 of the Act is further amended by adding thereto the following subsection:

(15) The rent review officer, in his discretion or upon application of a tenant, may require a landlord to have all or any part of the cost-revenue statement, or other financial information filed by the landlord, audited by an independent accountant.

Mr. Roy: And who is to pay for that?

Mr. Cassidy: Ultimately, that comes out of the money --

Mr. Bullbrook: They make Sweden look like pikers. The tax rate would be about 95 per cent on every dollar.

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Cassidy moves that section 5 of the Act, as amended by section 2 of this Act, is further amended by adding thereto the following subsection: Fifteen?

Mr. Cassidy: Yes.

Mr. Chairman: We only have five subsections of the amendment before us.

Mr. Cassidy: In the original bill, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman: Of the bill? Section 15 of the bill?

Mr. Cassidy: Yes.

Mr. Chairman: The subsection reads:

(15) The rent review officer, in his discretion or upon application of a tenant, may require a landlord to have all or any part of the cost-revenue statement, or other financial information filed by the landlord, audited by an independent accountant.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Chairman, for clarification, did I hear you say that this is an amendment to section 15 of the bill?

Mr. Cassidy: No.

Mr. Chairman: That is what it reads here.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: There are amendments to section 5, Mr. Chairman, on which I notified you. I would assume that we’re dealing with sections in order.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Chairman, on a point of order.

Mr. Chairman: I think the amendment is out of sequence.

Mr. Renwick: No, my colleague read the amendment properly; I drafted it improperly. My colleague read the amendment that “Section 5 of the Act, as amended by section 2 of the bill, is further amended by adding thereto the following subsection 15.”

Mr. Chairman: Subsection 15, to the bill?

Mr. Renwick: No, section 2 of the bill amends section 5 of the Act. Section 5 of the Act is further amended by adding subsection 15.

Mr. Chairman: Is that understood by the committee, or shall I read it again?

Mr. Bullbrook: I would just like to ask a question. Would the hon. member for Riverdale advise us, if possible, if he’s just acting as counsel in this respect, or is he supportive of this ridiculous amendment?

Mr. Renwick: I am both acting as counsel to my friend and supporting him in all his endeavours.

Mr. Ruston: Right down the drain.

Mr. Chairman: Is there any comment? The hon. member for Ottawa Centre.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Chairman, in case the minister gets paranoid about these things, I would point out to him that there is some effort on our part of the House to see that the debate on this whole matter is concluded this afternoon. If there is any question of the delay of the overall bill, we have been waiting for about three weeks for this particular committee stage and the government has not shown any particular haste about bringing it forward.

This particular amendment is designed for those circumstances -- and they may be rare, but they have occurred -- when there have been serious questions raised about information filed by a landlord on his cost-revenue statement or his supporting information. The tenant has no direct way of establishing whether that material is accurate or not.

This permits the tenant to ask the rent review officer to get an audit statement made, or it confirms the right of the rent review officer -- which I believe exists right now -- to ask for an auditing of material filed by the landlord.

We believe that it’s an important protection in cases where landlords are dicing with the law. There have certainly been instances -- I don’t know of every case before rent review, so I don’t know whether they are frequent or whether they are just occasional -- where landlords have admitted to falsifying information before rent review, or where landlords have put forward information which the tenants have disputed and which has never been either proven or disproven but which has eventually, for various reasons, been accepted by the rent review officers for the lack of or for the want of anything better.

Perhaps I can give a final example. In the first hearing before the rent review appeal board the officer there made a rather surprising ruling. He said that since the information filed by the landlord wasn’t adequate and since the information filed before the rent review officer hadn’t been adequate either, that in the absence of anything better he would have to accept the original decision made by the rent review officer.

In those cases, it is our opinion that the rent review officer, to begin with, should be able to call for an audited statement and that if the tenants can put forward a case that the auditing is necessary, they should be able to put it to the rent review officer who should have the power to accede to their requests.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Chairman, I simply want to point out that, as regards the audit being done at the request of the tenants, I have to assume that most tenants would not ask for an audit. There probably would be a few, and assuming that there might be about 7,000 requests received at an average price of roughly $500, because that is the fee that we set on the Election Expenses Act, we are talking in terms of about $3.5 million extra to the cost, and I really don’t see why we have rent review officers.

Why don’t we just farm everything out to auditors? They can tell us how much the cost increases have been. We don’t need anybody to make a judgement decision, just ask an auditor to do an audit and say “Cost has increased by 10 per cent. You are now allowed a 10 per cent rent increase.” I think, of all the amendments that have been put before us, this is the one that indicates most clearly what the intention of the hon. member is, and that is to make it unworkable.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Chairman, I just would point out, in the first place -- I’m sorry, do you have a copy of the amendment?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Yes.

Mr. Cassidy: Okay. It says specifically that the rent review officer, in his discretion --

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Or at the request of a tenant.

Mr. Cassidy: -- or upon application of a tenant, may require a landlord etc. It doesn’t say that he must. Just to put the figures into perspective as well --

Hon. Mr. Handleman: If he didn’t, you would say they were against the tenants.

Mr. Cassidy: It is an open procedure. The rent review officer can easily say, “Look, I think that the request is frivolous, and I am sorry, I won’t grant it,” or what he may say is, “You don’t really want an audit for all of the material. What you want is an audit of a certain part of the cost-revenue statement. So, Mr. Landlord, if you can come back and prove this particular part of the cost-revenue statement, that is all that is required.”

The minister has played the game, which Mr. Rhodes has also played up and down the province, of trying to exaggerate the costs that may be entailed and thereby trying to suggest that these things are not possible. We certainly have indication that in certain eases this is the only route to take. That is why we have proposed this particular amendment. I would say that the numbers suggested by the minister are excessive. I would also put those numbers up against the estimated $3 billion a year which is paid in Ontario every year in rents.

Mr. Lawlor: Mr. Chairman, I don’t find this ridiculous at all. I admit that it would be used very rarely indeed. That’s the preservation of the discretion. The small landlord should not and would not be placed -- unless he were lying through his teeth and there was good reason to believe that -- to the expense of an audit. We all know how much that costs. It is an enormously expensive thing.

There are unquestionably circumstances in which the rent review officer sitting there knows he is being snowed, that he has only what is being presented to him by a partisan party. He may want to get some validation of that position, particularly with very large landlords, and in that particular context he ought to have at least that weapon available to him should he so require, and can call upon it.

That’s fairly innocuous actually, simply holstering the role and position, and in no way undermining but strengthening the position taken by the rent review officer.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Chairman, I just want to emphasize the point that it was intended in its language when it was drafted to be discretionary both on the initiative of the rent review officer himself and also discretionary in the rent review officer when an application was made by a tenant. It had to be redrafted to cover that point, fine.


As my colleague said, it was not designed to require everything to be audited, but there may be particular schedules or particular information which needs to have an objective look but which the rent review officer cannot undertake because he hasn’t got the facilities available to him. This is simply to say, “I’d like some further verification of this part by somebody who is independent.” And who is more independent than members of the minister’s profession?

Mr. Good: Before you have the vote, I interpret subsection 13 of section 5 to mean that the rent review officer can ask for any information he wants.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: He can do anything he wants.

Mr. Good: If the rent review officer feels he’s being snowed, as was mentioned by the member for Lakeshore, all he has to do is refuse the request and tell the landlord, “Come back with an audited statement and I might reconsider it the next time around.” I think the rent review officer does have the power to ask for an audited statement if he feels that’s pertinent to the issue.

Mr. Cassidy: Let’s make it explicit then.

Mr. Shore: Speaking personally, I know for a fact of at least one occasion when a rent review officer was not satisfied with the information presented, for whatever the reason might be, and sent the representatives of the owner back for further information; and, in fact, that’s what happened.

Mr. Renwick: That information wouldn’t include a request to have the information audited.

Mr. Breithaupt: It could.

Mr. Shore: It could.

Mr. Renwick: Then let’s make it clear.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: It should be made quite clear that the rent review officer has at his disposal any facility or source of information that he deems appropriate. He can ask for an audit on his own discretion if he wants to.

Mr. Renwick: Let’s make it clear.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: But I want to make it quite clear that if a rent review officer feels he’s being snowed, as the member for Lakeshore suggested, I have made it clear to the administrative officials that under those circumstances the rent review officer, of course, is to deny any request for a rent increase which is put before him by a landlord.

We are having reports made to us from time to time, and the hon. member for Ottawa Centre has said on at least one occasion that the rent review officer knows that he is being lied to by an applicant for a rent increase. We’re saying to our people, “If you feel that, and if you feel it strongly enough, you have the option of refusing the request that’s been put to you, either completely or to roll back any eight per cent increase that’s been brought in on an interim basis.”

I think anybody who comes before a rent review officer and tries to snow him is taking his chances, and I can commit myself, my ministry and the government to ensuring that no tenant will suffer under those circumstances.

Mr. Lawlor: I don’t want to make this a debate, but the minister referred to the fact that the rent review officer has this option if he feels he’s being snowed or on the basis of some kind of instinctual reaction or gut feeling. Surely, in a judicial process, some form of validation of confirming, fixing or certifying, which is easily available to hand, etc., can give some substance to his feeling.

Mr. Shore: Do you trust your mother-in-law?

Mr. Lawlor: He doesn’t work on sentiment; he works on the basis of figures and facts. This is precisely what we’re seeking to provide him, to give him the power and jurisdiction to require that in the odd circumstances that he has a need for that and so that he’s not working in a void.

Mr. Breithaupt: He can do it now.

Mr. Shore: You can’t audit projections.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: That’s exactly what the manual is for. If he gets a figure and he can check it against the manual, he knows he’s being snowed. He doesn’t have to have the feeling.

Mr. Renwick: He doesn’t know.

Mr. Cassidy: The manual is not accessible to us, of course, so we can’t really judge what the minister has to say. I just have to say that the Liberal Party agrees that the rent review officer should have the power to order an audit in certain circumstances. The minister seems to feel that the rent review officer has that power now.

Mr. Breithaupt: He has it now.

Mr. Cassidy: I feel very deceived by this question of photocopying, because when we said materials should be made available, the ministry went ahead and sent out a bulletin to say, “Don’t make it available through photocopying.” It seems to me that the Legislature, being agreed at this moment in time that the rent review officers should have the power to order an audit in their discretion, should put that in the legislation in order that we don’t get kiboshed through the back door. That’s what happened on the photocopying, and that’s why I would hope that this amendment is accepted.

Mr. Breithaupt: The point, of course, is not that we are agreed that he should have the power; we are agreed that in fact he does have the power now and therefore the legislation would be superfluous.

Mr. Lawlor: I doubt if he has.

Mr. Chairman: All those in favour of Mr. Cassidy’s amendment will please say “aye.”

All those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion the “nays” have it.

Shall this amendment be stacked? Agreed.

On section 3:

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Cassidy moves that section 3 of the Residential Premises Rent Review Amendment Act be amended to read as follows:

Section 7 of the said Act is amended by adding at the end of subsection 1 “and without restricting the generality of the foregoing, shall permit tenants to authorize a tenants’ association or group to represent them in hearings before the rent review officer and shall permit tenants to photocopy all material filed by the landlord with the rent review officer.”

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Chairman, again on a point of order, I would like to know under what section of the bill this amendment is being presented.

Mr. Cassidy: This is under section 3 of the bill which amends section 7 of the Act. This is a further amendment to section 7 of the Act.

Mr. Chairman: Before the Chair comments, perhaps we could receive a copy of the amendment.

Mr. Cassidy: I am sorry, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Reid: Isn’t that out of order, Mr. Chairman?

Mr. Chairman: It would seem to the Chair that this amendment would introduce a new principle of class action into the bill. It would seem to me that it really is out of order.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Chairman, perhaps I could refer to a comment made by the previous Chairman, the member for Lake Nipigon (Mr. Stokes) who accepted a comparable amendment to section 2 of the bill on the grounds that it referred to the means by which rent increases were justified before a rent review officer. That’s why this one is in order as well, I would suggest, and within the meaning of the principle of the bill.

As a matter of simple accommodation, we did indicate that we want the bill through today. We would like to have this matter debated. Rather than debate the point of order, it seems to me we could debate the amendment over the next five or 10 minutes and then move on.

Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Chairman, with respect to that, it would appear from my reading, at least of the note with respect to section 3, that the amendment as produced by the minister deals particularly where a landlord is ordered to refund excess rent collected and the tenant may set out an amount owing off against rent from month to month until paid. I fail to see how the amendment proposed by the member for Ottawa Centre relates to that particular matter, but perhaps he could explain to me how such is the case when he is now referring apparently to the matter of a tenants’ association.

Mr. Drea: I might shed some light on it. First of all, there’s a form now whereby a tenant can fill out a proxy form so that someone can represent him, which preserves the right to appeal which is required by a presence. If you don’t want to go as far as a proxy, you have every right in the world to get the tenants’ association. You can get a lawyer, you can get an accountant or you can get your MPP.

Mr. Reid: Always your friend.

Mr. Drea: I seriously question that it’s out of order, but I don’t really think we have to go that far. There’s nothing in there except another device to try and get the photocopying here, and that’s already being handled under another amendment.

Mr. Shore: Right on!

Mr. Cassidy: I’m interested in the comments of the parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations because it has been the practice in the rent review officers not to permit proxies to tenant associations but only to individuals, and that was the purpose of putting in that particular part.

I would like to suggest that the question of the tenant association coming into this particular amendment is in the Chair’s hands. The amendment is under this section but its justification and being in order is with reference to section 2 of the bill we have before us. Perhaps you would consider it in that light and in the light of the fact that the previous chairman accepted an amendment for debate which referred to sending copies to the tenants when the landlord filed a cost-revenue statement. In this particular case it is slightly different. This is a narrower principle permitting the tenants, if they get into the office of the rent review, to make photocopies which they are now barred from doing.

If that other amendment was in order then at least the second half of this amendment is in order and I think probably both halves of it are.

Mr. Chairman: In my view, I will still follow my original ruling that this is really out of order and shouldn’t be debated at this time or at this time in committee.

Mr. Cassidy: In that case, with respect to you because I understand your right to make that ruling, simply in order to have a vote on this particular principle I would ask my friends in the Liberal Party if they are prepared to consider this proposal in the amendment. Maybe we could stand the section down and have some quiet discussions and bring it back in? Are you prepared to do that?

Mr. Good: As far as debating the issue is concerned we have no objection to that but I am not prepared to rule on whether it is in order or out of order. That’s the chairman’s prerogative. If you want to know, on first reading of the amendment we are not prepared to support your amendment.

Mr. Singer: It is the chairman’s ruling.

Mr. Chairman: I have ruled it out of order.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Chairman, I will not challenge your ruling. It’s a device to sort of get a vote but it is clear from what the Liberal Party is saying that they do not believe that tenants should have the right to photocopy material filed by the landlord with the rent review officer --

Mr. Reid: On a point of order!

Mr. Chairman: Order, please.

Mr. Breithaupt: Point of order.

Mr. Cassidy: That’s also the position taken by the government, very clearly, in the information booklet which has been sent around.

Mr. Chairman: Order, please. The Chair has allowed some discussion. The hon. member for Kitchener has a point of order.

Mr. Breithaupt: On a point of order, I certainly want the record of the Legislature to show that the matter which is before the House, in our view, has been solely with respect to the refunding of excess rent and that is what the section refers to. Whether or not any member of this House has a particular point of view concerning the use of photocopying machines is hardly before the House. Therefore with respect to the point of order, I suggest the comments of the member for Ottawa Centre are quite irrelevant and, indeed, seek to tar with a certain brush members of one or another political party in the way he might see a section being interpreted but certainly not the interpretation we place on it.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Chairman, perhaps I can ask you to do this. If I reworded this amendment to --

Mr. Shore: It’s out of order.

Mr. Chairman: Order, please. The Chair has ruled that particular amendment out of order.

Mr. Cassidy: Yes. I am sorry; I accept that and now I want to move a further amendment.

Mr. Shore: It is even more out of order.

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Cassidy moves that section 3 of the Residential Premises Rent Review Amendment Act be amended to read as follows:

Section 7 of the said Act be amended by adding at the end of subsection 1 “and without restriction to the generality of the foregoing shall permit tenants to photocopy all materials filed by the landlord with the rent review officer.”

Mr. Cassidy: I am taking out the first part, Mr. Chairman. In view of the fact that the chairman previously did permit debate under section 2 with relation to sending copies to the tenants and that was deemed to be in order for the principle of the bill, I would suggest that this shrunken amendment should be in order at this time.

Mr. Chairman: Order, please. It seems to me that section 3 deals with the method of payment. It doesn’t deal with whether the particular papers are photocopied or not. I can’t see that there is any relevance to this section of the bill; I fail to see it.


Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Chairman, before you make the ruling, perhaps we could at least hear from the member for Ottawa Centre -- at whose expense would he expect this photocopying to be done?

Mr. Shore: No, let’s not hear that.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Chairman, every tenant that I have talked to has suggested that they would be quite happy to pay the costs of five or 10 cents, whatever it costs per sheet, in order to make these photocopies, if cost is an obstacle.

Mr. Shore: That is not the issue anyway.

Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Breithaupt: Perhaps the chairman would make his ruling.

Mr. Chairman: I have ruled that in my opinion it is still out of order. Is there any further discussion -- does the hon. member for Kitchener-Wilmot wish to comment on the amendment? I have ruled it out of order.

Mr. Sweeney: Yes, Mr. Chairman. I would only point that on three different occasions the former chairman’s ruling with respect to section 2 was different from yours, but section 2 is considerably different from section 3. In section 2, the former chairman ruled and accepted the amendment because it referred to a rent increase that was before the rent review officer and the issue was a very different one than that contained in section 3, which, as you have pointed out, refers to the repayment. They are two completely different issues.

Mr. Chairman: Order, please. I would draw to the attention of the hon. member that the chairman’s ruling is not debatable.

Mr. Breithaupt: It is being supported, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Chairman, on a point of order, perhaps I could just say that if the members of the Liberal Party wish to debate, or even support, this question of photocopying as a device, not to undermine you, but to get this on the table that we would support their challenging your ruling. I would hope it wouldn’t come to that.

Mr. Breithaupt: There is no challenge to the ruling, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Cassidy: There is no challenge. Okay. They don’t wish to put it to the vote.

Mr. Chairman: Is there any further discussion on section 3 or 4?

Sections 3 and 4 agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Chairman, I have a number of amendments to section 5.

On section 5:

Mr. Chairman: Hon. Mr. Handleman moves that clauses (aa) and (ab) as contained in subsection 1 of section 5 of the bill be deleted and the following substituted therefor:

(aa): situate in a building or project owned or operated by a hospital approved under the Public Hospitals Act as a public hospital, by a religious institution for a charitable use on a non-profit basis or by a non-profit educational institution for the purpose of providing accommodation for its students or staff for educational purposes.

(ab) situate in a building or project owned, operated or administered by or on behalf of the government of Canada or Ontario or a municipality including a regional district or metropolitan municipality or any agency thereof.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Copies of this have been supplied to the other two parties, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Chairman, on a point of order, would the minister consider dealing with this particular amendment as two amendments and deal with (aa) in the first instance and then deal with (ab) in the second instance?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: I have no great objections to that. I was going to explain that the amendment in (aa) is simply to include buildings or projects which are owned or operated by a hospital which were not included in the original bill, and that (ab) is to eliminate the private limited dividend which was debated at some length on second reading. We agreed with the concerns pressed by members of the opposition that there was no effective control on the rents being charged in private limited dividend, so the two amendments are different and I have no objection to dealing with them separately at all.

Mr. Chairman: Is it agreed?


Mr. Chairman: We will deal then with subsection (aa). Is there any discussion on that subsection?

Mr. Cassidy: Just very briefly, Mr. Chairman. As spokesman for the party on rent review, I would have to say that I have had no communications from either hospitals, religious institutions or non-profit educational institutions about why they should be removed from rent review. I would suggest in terms of the integrity of the process and in view of the fact that a number of places, such as the University of Ottawa in my home community, have residential premises which are rented that, in effect, they happen to be landlords functioning like private landlords although they are non-profit institutions. It seems to me the tenants of that accommodation should have the same protection of rent review as anybody else who is in a tenant-landlord relationship.

If there were enormous problems connected with it that are creating enormous difficulties for them, then I would have expected they would have come around and indicated to the opposition parties as well as to the government just what their problem is. But I suggest that the case that they are putting forward is not proven and isn’t even joined, and we would find it very difficult to support this particular amendment.

Mr. Good: I have two concerns. The first, the addition of the Public Hospitals Act brings in a new group which was not in there at first. I have a question on that. Is the residential rental accommodation operated by those institutions of a non-profit nature, and to whom is it rented? Is this accommodation rented by student nurses or interns, or what is the history on that?

Secondly, there is concern about the elimination of student housing run on a nonprofit basis by educational institutions. We made it very clear on second reading of the bill that we had a concern and that our concern would be eliminated if we had a guarantee from the directors of housing at the various institutions that the students did have a meaningful participation in the setting of the rents. We contacted several institutions and we found that this did take place.

Since then, however, we have had correspondence from other universities stating that up to now there has been no meaningful dialogue between the directors of housing, even though it be non-profit, and the students. The books are available and the statistical information and the statements of profit and loss are available because it is non-profit housing built under Ontario Student Housing Corp.

My colleague, the hon. member for Kitchener-Wilmot, will speak to this further and will perhaps make a suggestion to the minister of how we could be given assurance that this would be an agreement, mutually worked out between the housing directors of the university and his staff and the students. If the minister would answer me first about the hospital part of it, the member for Kitchener-Wilmot can deal with the other part.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Chairman, when the Act was brought in for first reading it did not contain any reference to hospitals. Subsequent to that I received from the Ontario Hospital Association a very strong request that they be included in the bill. In one of the arguments that was put forward, if I can just read from the letter signed by the executive director, Mr. Alan Hay, he said:

In its global budget the hospital residence is included as an ancillary operation. The Ministry of Health policy on ancillary operations prohibits the operation of a hospital residence at a profit or a loss. As non-profit corporations, hospital boards may not concern themselves about operating the hospital residence at a profit. However, they certainly are concerned if it threatens to show a loss.

The association urges you to consider the fact that hospitals generally provide above-average accommodation for a relatively low cost to tenants who are mostly, but not exclusively, health professionals, and the fact that operating costs would in inflationary times demand rental increases beyond rent control guidelines.

Mr. Warner: I just don’t take it that being non-profit is a substantial enough reason to have a group of housing removed from the rent review process. In fact, when we are dealing with universities it is one form of protection for students who are living away from home and have very little in the way of absolute protection, save whatever student union happens to be there on the campus and can speak on their behalf.

I submit that unless the minister can indicate to me that he has had specific requests from the Minister of Colleges and Universities (Mr. Parrott), or from OCUA, or from COU -- and I think that those last two bodies very likely have not been consulted -- that I would have say to him that the process is in fact working, and why take it away. It is working.

At McMaster University, an 11.63 per cent increase was requested and approved. Further, a request on another set of buildings for an increase of 13.2 per cent was reduced to 10.6 per cent. At the University of Guelph, 10.9 per cent was requested and received, and the rent review officer indicated he was prepared to go as high as 11.4 per cent. At Laurentian University, the residence requested 8.4 per cent and it was rolled back to eight per cent. At Glendon College, and York University, it is a 13.5 per cent increase that has been requested, and that case is still pending, but the documentation has been presented.

At Queen’s the request varied anywhere between seven per cent and nine per cent; in the married students’ residence, 13 per cent was requested, and the cases are pending, but I understand that it is expected that approval will be given. At Trent University, a 16 per cent increase was requested and granted. And to show you that the whole thing is working in some good faith: during that hearing at Trent University, complete accounting statements were submitted, and in addition, although they weren’t required to do so, Trent submitted the food costs. At Waterloo, all of the increases were within the guideline, so there was no need for the review. It wasn’t requested.

Mr. Good: They worked it out with the students.

Mr. Warner: At Lakehead no residence rent increase was announced. The point of it is that bearing all the way from zero increase to 16 per cent increase, the situation is being dealt with very nicely, and it provides a form of protection for the students.

I see absolutely no reason to remove that protection at this time, and I think you would be doing a disservice to those students. I would ask the minister, very pointedly, if he has received any submissions from those general bodies which are acknowledged to represent the university community, that is, OCUA, COU, OCUFA, or OFS. And if so, what was the content of those submissions to him with respect to having the university residences removed?

Quite frankly, I just don’t see that it is a useful exercise, and I wish the minister to reconsider the position.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: If I may I would like to respond to the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere before there is any further debate, because perhaps we can avoid repetitious debate on this. I suppose the reason why I feel just as the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere feels, that there is a need for this exemption, is simply because it is cluttering up the rent review process. There is one way of making it not work, and that is to continue to have unnecessary applications sent to the rent review officer.

There hasn’t been a single one that has not been found to be justified, because we are dealing here with public institutions that are not in the business of levying exorbitant rent increases.

Mr. Bounsall: You made your exemption.

Mr. Cassidy: They have been changed by the officers.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: However, in response to a specific question, York University wrote to me on March 25, 1976, with a copy to Mr. J. B. Macdonald, executive director of the Council of Ontario Universities, specifically requesting to be exempted. Mr. Macdonald has not responded to that in any way, he has not objected. We have a request from the Sheridan College of Applied Arts and Technology, a copy being sent to the Council of Regents -- no objection received from them. We have a letter from the vice-president of business affairs, University of Toronto, with a copy to Colleges and Universities -- response from Colleges and Universities saying “the student residence situation with which you justly take issue is one of those problems that was imposed on the legislation at the time of the original debate.” That letter was addressed to Mr. Parrott and was sent on to me with his comments.

A letter from Wilfrid Laurier University in which I acknowledged their concern and agreed that when we were amending the Act, we would make provisions for university residences to be exempted on the basis of their very strong submission. I have a letter from the University of Guelph in which they point out that they were then involved in the preparation of 4,200 individual applications, which we told them to sit on for a while, because we didn’t think they would be necessary.

I have not brought with me letters from Queen’s, Carleton, Ottawa U, and a variety of other universities; all ask for this exemption.

Mr. Warner: I wasn’t asking for administrative letters. What I asked was whether or not you had received requests from bodies such as COU, or the government’s advisory body, OCUA, because those are official bodies which are making representations on a regular basis to the ministry respecting matters which concern the Ministry of Colleges and Universities. OCUFA is the organization which represents faculty throughout the province or at best, representing students, and I asked specifically if you had received anything from them requesting that students be taken out of this legislation. You didn’t answer that, and I suspect, because there has not been a formal request from any of those four groups I named to have the residences removed.

As far as the cluttering-up is concerned, as you described it, unlike the private buildings where the owners have played funny games with rental costs throughout the building so that one-bedroom apartments throughout the building often don’t have the same fee attached to them, the universities have very well-defined costs for particular types of residences which exist on the campus. In fact, it would be rare to find more than six identifiable types of accommodation within those residence units. In most cases, you’re talking about three or four, and once the level has been established for those three or four, it will be a very simple matter to process all of those applications.

The process in no way needs to be cluttered up unless someone wants to do it. In fact, it is very much simpler to deal with than a huge highrise complex in any of the major cities. There is not really an argument, and I would ask the minister again if he could give me the statements, arguments or letters from those four official bodies that I named, and in particular, the advisory council to the Ministry of Colleges and Universities; or has he received any requests from the Minister of Colleges and Universities?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: I just read it to you.

Mr. Warner: No, no, I’m not talking about administrative letters.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: I talked to the Minister of Colleges and Universities.

Mr. Warner: Okay.

Mr. Cassidy: Did you write to yourself as well? Did you write to yourself to say do it?

Mr. Chairman: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: No. Mr. Chairman, in my response to the hon. member, I mentioned specifically that a university had written to Mr. Parrott and that Mr. Parrott had sent that letter on to me with a request that their request be accommodated. I’m doing it. I have received from most of the institutions -- their organizations are aware of these requests and have filed no objections. I have to assume they go along with their members in this request.

Mr. Warner: Oh, that’s a good assumption. All right. Now we get started. Let’s go on with the other ones. OCUA: What kind of suggestion did you formally receive from OCUA, the government’s advisory body?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: None, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Warner: All right. What happened with COU?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: They received a copy of the request and have not responded to it.

Mr. Warner: And from the Ontario Federation of Students?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: None, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Warner: And from OCUFA?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Absolutely none from OCUFA.

Mr. Warner: Okay. So you have not had formal representation from those bodies most directly affected to have the students removed from --

Hon. Mr. Handleman: The bodies most directly affected are the universities, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman: Order, please.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: The landlords are the bodies most directly affected; not OCUFA, not --

Mr. Bounsall: No.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Absolutely. Not the students?

Mr. Cassidy: That was a slip. It is the tenants who are affected. How one-sided can you get? Who pays?

Mr. Warner: All right. How about OCUA then?

Mr. Warner: It is the students who are paying for it.

Mr. Chairman: Order, please.

Mr. Sweeney: Since I last spoke to this particular section as part of the principle of the bill I have been in contact with a number of student bodies as well as some of the university administrations. I wish to move an amendment to section 5(1)(aa) of the bill but before I do so I would like to point out that it is the intent of the amendment I am more concerned about than the wording. By that I mean that if the minister or his staff would agree with the intent of my amendment and find a more preferable way to word it that, obviously, would be acceptable.

As a result of the additional information bought to my attention two points in particular are expressed as the concern of the student tenants. The first one is that as a result of the existence of the rent review legislation, they believe they have had more access to the books, if you will, than they had had previously. That is the one point.

The second point is they have some reason to believe, although no documented evidence, that in some situations costs which cannot be attributed directly to the residence itself but may be costs for other operations of the university are being lumped in with the cost of the residence. I would repeat this is not documented; it is simply a feeling, a perception, of some of the students, and I think we should at least have to speak to it.

The third point brought to my attention is that of the 15 Ontario universities, seven of them have asked for increases which are beyond the eight per cent. As has been pointed out previously, in some cases they have been given the raise asked for and in some cases it has been rolled back. The point remains that the request was in excess of the guidelines. With all of those points in mind, I would like to move the following amendment.

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Sweeney moves that section 5 of the bill be amended by adding after section 1(aa) as follows:

Provided that such a non-profit educational institution is hereby bound to prove justification to a representative group of student tenants before instituting a rent increase.

On a point of clarification for the Chair: I assume the hon. member for Kitchener-Wilmot’s amendment is to the bill as it now reads and is not an amendment to the amendment by the minister?

Mr. Sweeney: I understand that our caucus has agreed or will agree to the minister’s amendment so I would presume that my amendment is now an amendment to his amendment.

Mr. Chairman: This would be an amendment to the amendment; so we would deal first with the amendment to the amendment.

Mr. Bounsall: I would much prefer that the amendment placed by the minister in that section dealing with the non-profit educational institutions be defeated.

From the minister’s explanation of why he added hospitals, that made quite reasonable sense, and the amendment to the amendment that has just been made, saying that it referred to a group of students, does not catch nearly all of the tenants of universities in the Province of Ontario.

The University of Windsor has some 200 plus single-family dwellings which they purchased in advance of future expansion. They do not rent to all students. They do not rent to all faculty members. They rent some to the members of the community and some of those persons who are still in them.

Mr. Good: Read the amendment.

Mr. Sweeney: On a point of order, the amendment doesn’t refer to that at all. The existing amendment very clearly says: “Nonprofit educational institutions for the purpose of providing accommodation for its students or staff for educational purposes.”

Hon. Mr. Handleman: And staff.

Mr. Bounsall: Thank you for the clarification. Are you including a representative group of staff in your amendment? Because there are many of those single-family dwelling which have staff within them, not students. They should be included in your amendment to catch all of the conditions.

I will rest my remarks at that point and speak further on the minister’s amendment --

Mr. Nixon: Good idea.

Mr. Bounsall: -- when we see what happens to this particular sub-amendment. Just let me comment, however, before I take my seat, that it’s very clear what the minister’s attitude is with respect to this when he appears to take the words of the administrative side only of the university, with respect to rent control, as to who he believes represents and should he concerned with in the universities. The students and staff form a much bigger part of the universities than does any administration of those universities, and they are the ones who are involved with paying the rents.

The minister’s remarks made it very clear that he was concerned only with receiving letters from the administrations of the universities and had not had letters from any student groups or any staff groups, both of which are affected by the actual rents in accommodations at the universities in Ontario.

Mr. Cassidy: Having been accused by the third party from time to time of adopting convoluted kinds of legislative tactics, I have to say that this puts anything I’ve ever done to shame.

Mr. Shore: No, you’re still one up. You’re the champ.

Mr. Cassidy: Right now, educational institutions are subject to rent review for the student tenants and the staff tenants and that’s the same process to which everybody else in the province is subject. What is being proposed here is that the educational institutions should be bound to prove justification to a representative group of student tenants and that’s expressly what happens under rent review. I don’t see why this should be a special of technique put forward for student tenants and educational institutions, which is different from that which is applied for the rest of the province.

I would point out as well that the third party did not choose to use the procedural device open to it in order to ensure that the right of students to grant proxy to student associations, or the right of tenants to grant proxy to tenant associations, would be laid down in the law. If the member for Kitchener-Wilmot was really intent on ensuring that the purpose of this amendment could be adopted without support, he might have spoken up at that time rather than waiting until this particular amendment. I’m afraid we will not support either the sub-amendment or the minister’s amendment and if the Liberal Party wishes to see that students continue to have the right to this protection of justification of the rents in their residences, then they should support us in opposing the minister’s amendment.

Mr. Warner: I find it’s a little unfortunate -- perhaps it’s simply the timing of the thing -- that we have this in front of us right now. As the member for Ottawa Centre has most aptly pointed out the intent of this amendment to the amendment is that students be protected through the rent review process; or, shall we say, that they have some form of redress; that they have some form of protection. That is precisely what they have right now because they are included in rent review.

If the Liberal Party is concerned about protecting the rights of students with respect to rent increases, it need not introduce this amendment. It needs only to vote against the amendment put forward by the minister. That would very simply leave the students under rent control. It would provide the very thing embodied in the amendment put forward by the member for Kitchener-Wilmot. I would urge that the Liberal Party do precisely that.

Mr. Shore: I would like to hear the comments of the minister before I make my remarks.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: First of all in speaking to the amendment to the amendment, I would like to assure all members that the government would agree to some process of consultation continuing in the establishment of student residences’ rents -- including staff -- and I think that it is a weakness in the amendment. I would like to have an opportunity, if I might, to study the amendment because I am inclined to agree with the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere that if the non-profit educational institution is required to prove justification that is a rent review process which means they are going to have to submit a cost-revenue statement to the students.

I feel there has been a process of consultation in any of the institutions I am aware of. The reason, presumably, I don’t have letters from these organizations -- they have had a month in which to respond and they are not usually shy about responding to legislation which doesn’t please them -- we haven’t heard from them, and I would say that silence indicates consent. We have heard nothing whatsoever from them. They know this amendment has been here for at least a month and certainly I would expect if they had any objections to it they would have filed them. I do want to say that I agree with the mover of the amendment to the amendment that there should be a process of consultation take place in this area. As to how we could achieve that I really would prefer to be given an opportunity to consult with legislative counsel to see if we can come up with some wording which would satisfy the hon. member. If I might I will ask Mr. Chairman that any further consideration of the amendment to the amendment be deferred until we have had a chance to consult with legislative counsel on this. It is quite complicated.

Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Chairman, as my opening remarks implied it’s the intent I want to get at and I would be quite happy with the minister’s response.

Mr. Chairman: Does the committee agree to stand down the amendment to the amendment and we will give it further consideration before the bill is reported?

Mr. Good: Stand down the section.

Mr. Cassidy: The amendment will have to be stood down as well; the minister’s amendment to section (aa).

Mr. Chairman: We will stand down the amendment and the amendment to the amendment for section (aa). The amendment to section (ab) we were going to deal with as a separate amendment so I will read it again.

Hon. Mr. Handleman moves that clause (ab) be deleted and the following substituted therefor:

(ab) situate in a building or a project owned, operated or administered by or on behalf of the government of Canada or Ontario or a municipality including a regional, district or a metropolitan municipality or any agency thereof.

Is there any discussion on this amendment to section (ab)?

Mr. Cassidy: We are going to oppose section (ab). A motion to delete would be the equivalent of opposing so I just put it on the record that we are going to oppose it.

What the original Act did was to extend rent review to cover OHC and privately-operated limited dividend and municipally-operated limited dividend housing as well as municipally-operated rent-geared-to-income housing. What the minister is now proposing is that the municipally and provincially-owned rent-geared-to-income housing as well as the municipal limited-dividend housing be excluded from rent review. The original intention of the bill has been changed to the point that privately-operated limited-dividend housing, as I understand it, remains under rent review. Is that correct? The minister nods and says that that is correct.

We spoke at some length during second reading debate about the question of OHC. I would just reiterate for the purposes of this debate that the major reason the New Democratic Party feels that Ontario Housing tenants should remain under rent review is the unwillingness of the government to renegotiate a rent scale and to go together with the tenants to Ottawa to get CMHC to agree to the new rent scale, and to its failure to involve tenants in any meaningful way in the management of OHC, whether it be on the local housing authority boards, local public housing communities or the OHC board itself.

The third point we raised was also OHC’s continuous failure to open its books. I have to report very encouraging news on that front. The other day the Minister of Housing (Mr. Rhodes) brought in seven bulky documents which give a summary of the accounts for each of the OHC projects across the province. That is a very large step forward but that certainly doesn’t come close to satisfying the other two conditions we felt were very important.

I’d like to say with great interest and a certain amount of respect the leader of the Liberal Party (Mr. S. Smith) has called now for an immediate review of the rental scale for rent-geared-to-income housing and that is a change in position on the part of the Liberal Party. Earlier this month he published a letter he had written to Barney Danson, the Minister of Urban Affairs saying:

Dear Barney,

Would you please do something about the rent scale, it’s too high. We have the feeling that a maximum rent of 25 per cent of gross income is too high for the government to demand for subsidized housing.

He pointed out that upper-income families paid less than 15 per cent and middle-income families about 18 per cent of gross income in shelter costs.

These were the points which I and other members of our caucus were making on the second reading debate about a week before this particular letter was penned by the leader of the Liberal Party. We welcome his conversion but it is our feeling that the Liberal Party, in view of the stand it is now taking on OHC rent-geared-to-income scales, should agree with us and should oppose the exclusion of OHC from rent review. They should oppose it until such time as the government has renegotiated the rent scales in a meaningful way. If we have that kind of commitment and some action from the ministry, within a month we could get that problem sorted out. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen that commitment up until now.

Mr. Good: As indicated on second reading, we are well aware of the fact that rent geared to income does not fit into rental review procedures by any stretch of the imagination. The NDP knows this. They’ve said it publicly, but for some reason they want to continue the inequities and the mess that now exists trying to fit rent geared to income into rent review procedures.

The Liberal Party thought a lot about what should be done and we finally agreed that we’ve got to clear up one situation at a time. Then we took the very positive action, as indicated by the member for Ottawa Centre. We are now trying to get to the root cause of the problem which existed in the first case with OHC, that is, the agreement under schedule A which exists between OHC, the municipality and Ottawa on the rental schedule for the tenants living in OHC.

Mr. Cassidy: No, you never follow through. That is what is wrong with the Liberals.

Mr. Chairman: Order, please.

Mr. Good: As has been indicated, we won’t solve the problem here in this Legislature, but we can solve the problem of the mess which now exists where the housing authorities across the province are trying to circumvent the rent review procedure, circumvent the rent geared to income and come up with some kind of a cross-breed situation which doesn’t satisfy the Act, doesn’t satisfy the smoother operation of the Ontario Housing authorities or satisfy the tenants themselves. So we think the only way to solve the problem is to get some action by reviewing the schedule.

As indicated by the member for Ottawa Centre, our leader did write a letter to Mr. Danson, and he pointed out the problems which now exist. I think a positive action of that nature is what is required, but I see no reason why we should perpetuate the administrative mess which now exists by having rent geared to income --

Mr. Shore: And the inequities.

Mr. Good: -- under the rent review procedure.

Mr. Shore: Right on.

Mr. Good: So, we feel we’re taking a responsible position on this.

Mr. Cassidy: No, you never follow through, you know.

Mr. Good: I think it is the only position which can result --

Mr. Cassidy: That is what is wrong with the Liberals.

Mr. Chairman: Order, please.

Mr. Good: -- in any long-term solution to the problem, which we know exists. The government knows it exists -- I hope they do -- and the NDP knows it exists. The NDP has publicly said it’s not the solution to put geared-to-income housing under rent review, but it is there. We think that our action has been the only positive action of any of the two parties in trying to solve this problem.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Chairman, all of the reasons for including rent geared to income in the legislation which is now before us were debated at great length by many speakers on all sides of the House at the time of second reading. I don’t feel that any purpose would be served in going over those. Certainly, there is no question whatsoever that the question of the rent scale is in some way associated with the problem. But I said at the time of second reading, and I say it again, I’m glad to hear that our friends in the Liberal Party are taking this position that the two problems, while they’re related, are not inseparable. I think we should deal with them as problems -- and they are problems. There’s no question about it.

My colleague, the Minister of Housing, is seized of the responsibility for establishing the rent scale. I recall when I had that responsibility at one time, the difficulties that were involved in even discussing it with a variety of levels of government. It was very difficult to find all levels willing to come together on the same priority.

I should point out, Mr. Chairman, that the Province of Manitoba, which has a rent scale somewhat similar to Ontario’s in its public housing, has excluded public housing from the rent review programme which they are now bringing in. The reasons why they’re doing it are exactly the reasons that we’re taking it out at the present time.

Mr. Cassidy: They’ve also got the most progressive tax system in the country.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: You know, I don’t think that this government --

Mr. Cassidy: That’s a real difference, you know.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: -- this government can be told by the official opposition that, “If you do this, we will do that.” I think we have to deal with the question of the principle, which was debated here in second reading. It’s quite clear that, on principle, it was the wish of this Legislature that rent geared to income for municipal, provincial or federally-operated housing would be exempted from the provisions of the Act; and we would like to see that confirmed in this committee.

Mr. Chairman: Any further debate on the minister’s amendment to section (ab)?

Mr. Bounsall: I am not at all in favour, no matter how well it’s operating in our community, of removing from section (ab) the limited-dividend municipal housing. It’s operating very well in Windsor at the moment, and it always has. Their increases are not above the eight per cent, and never have been. I don’t anticipate they will be. If they do, it is because the energy costs have forced them above a particular eight per cent. They are purely non-profit and have been for years. They’re operated solely on the basis of increases in rent being due to increased taxation costs or increased costs of energy -- which we’re now seeing.

Because they have operated this way in the past, there’s no reason to believe that it will last in perpetuity. The Windsor Housing Co. may decide at some point to make a slight amount of profit for the city of Windsor for what is in effect its senior citizen housing -- all its non-profit, limited-dividend senior citizen housing.


So, on that basis, it is simply to safeguard for the future. It will be no problem for them at all now. They were not in that position in the past, nor will they be, as I see it -- even this year -- where a rent increase will have to go above eight per cent.

So I say to the minister on this section, that I see no reason for excluding from rent review the limited-dividend, non-profit, municipal housing of which I gather there are only three in the province -- Toronto, Ottawa and Windsor. It really will make no effective difference to the way the Windsor operation has been operating in the past. One can’t always guarantee that in the future the Windsor Housing Co., which operates the limited-dividend municipal housing there, will not decide that this is a source of potential tax funds and operate in such a way as to make money for themselves and therefore cause rents to go above the eight per cent. So, it is on that basis that I would hope that the limited-dividend municipal housing referred to in this section would remain untouched and remain under the original bill.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Chairman, I don’t want to be provocative, but I have never heard a case enunciated more clearly than the case put by the member for -- I keep forgetting the name of your riding --

Mr. Bounsall: Windsor-Sandwich.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Windsor-Sandwich, in which he called for controls for the sake of controls. We won’t really need them, but we might some day, therefore let’s put them in. It seems to me under those circumstances that we can control the universe because some day we might have to do it.

I think there is a clear division of philosophy here. As I say, I don’t want to be provocative, but certainly I am not in favour of having controls in case they may be needed some day.

Mr. Bounsall: Just in reply to that: if it is no bother, if they don’t go above the eight per cent, there is nothing coming before the rent review board. No one is bothered, no one gets hurt by it, and then you can leave them there and you can have them still covered and there is no process for the tenant nor the Windsor Housing Co. to go through. It is only if they go above eight per cent, or whatever is granted at any given year in the bill, that they need to go through. The tenants have always had explained to them exactly, and for what reasons, any increases that have come, and they have always been -- no one likes to pay a slight increase in rent -- but they have always been satisfied with the explanation given by the city of Windsor’s Windsor Housing Co. There will be no problem to anybody if they are covered.

It is just a safeguard for the future, I will admit that, looking at it from the point of view of a tenant in the units covered by the Windsor Housing Co. It’s a safeguard for the future. But why not, when we are dealing with a bill on rent control, build in a safeguard for the future should that be necessary? It bothers no one, neither the company nor the tenants in those senior citizen accommodations, at the moment to be left under the bill.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: I have already said on many occasions and I repeat it here that I don’t think the bill is going to be in effect in perpetuity. Certainly I have no intention of providing for what may happen in perpetuity and the hon. member forgets completely that any rent increase can be appealed by a tenant regardless of the amount of the rent increase and the potential there for cluttering up the system is quite real. If we don’t need it, let’s not have it. If we do need it, we can look at it.

Ms. Bryden: In the case of the Metro Toronto housing for senior citizens, I understand the rent review legislation was needed to prevent too large an increase or an increase that the citizens would find hard to absorb in one 12-month period. The increase may have been justified by the cost -- I think most people would agree because there hadn’t been an increase for a long time -- but to put it all in the one 12-month period was more than a lot of senior citizens could really handle without reducing their standard of living, so the legislation was beneficial in having some of those increases reconsidered.

Mr. Renwick: My colleague, the member for Ottawa Centre, myself and the leader of this party had an opportunity to meet with Chairman Godfrey of the municipality of Metropolitan Toronto and with the commissioner of social services on the question of the municipally-owned senior citizen limited-dividend accommodation. We discussed very briefly the comments made by my colleague, the member for Beaches-Woodbine (Ms. Bryden), about the problem of why we could not have them excluded from the rent review process.

We decided, because of the arguments made by my colleague, the member for Beaches-Woodbine, and because the officials of the municipality of Metropolitan Toronto indicated that they agreed with the inequity which was the result of the long-deferred increase in rent in that accommodation, that there were now some substantial increases even though some of them were below the eight per cent; a number of them were above the eight per cent. All they could say was that it was an average.

I think, to be fair to the municipality of Metropolitan Toronto, they did point out that there was a subsidy for the current year of some $322,000 but when we look at it in an overall sense, we do not see why it should be that because they happen to be in publicly-owned housing, tenants should not have the benefit of the rent review procedure. It doesn’t seem to us that it makes any sense that they should not have the benefit of the rent review procedure. We therefore felt there was no reason the limited-dividend housing should be excluded any more than we feel the rent-geared-to-income housing or any other kind of public housing project should be excluded from the rent review programme.

Simply because public housing programmes are part of the programmes of government to assist people who have difficulty finding decent housing accommodation is no reason that form of paternalism should exclude the tenants from having the protection of rent review. Therefore, we have decided that despite the procedural anomalies in which we are engaged we agree with the minister in continuing to include privately-owned limited-dividend housing under rent control. We are opposed to the exclusion of publicly-owned housing, be it limited-dividend or rent-geared-to-income, from rent review.

Despite the procedural problems of voting on this minister’s amendment to this particular provision of section 5 of the bill and despite the fact that it could be misinterpreted, I think we should be quite clear that we have opposed the exclusion of publicly-owned housing or publicly-assisted housing from the purview of the rent review Act.

Mr. Chairman: If there is no further comment on the minister’s amendment, we are dealing exclusively with that amendment to section 5 which deals with (ab).

All those in favour of the minister’s amendment will please say “aye.”

All those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion the “ayes” have it.

Mr. Cassidy: We will stack that, Mr. Chairman.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Chairman, I have another amendment to section 5.

Mr. Chairman: Hon. Mr. Handleman moves that subsection 2 of section 5 of the bill be amended by striking out “this Act” where it occurs the first time in the first line and inserting in lieu thereof “the Residential Premises Rent Review Act, 1975.”

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Chairman, we will agree to that amendment, but I had an amendment which came prior to that. Perhaps we could vote on the minister’s amendment and then go back to mine.

Mr. Chairman: Is the amendment the member moved that section 5 of the bill be amended by renumbering subsection 2 and subsection 3, and by adding thereto the following subsection?

Mr. Cassidy: No.

Mr. Chairman: I am sorry. I didn’t have a copy of that.

All those in favour of the minister’s amendment?

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Cassidy: I move that clause (d) of section 5(1) of the bill be amended to read as follows:

(d) that is a mobile home or a mobile home site situated in a mobile home park, no part of which was occupied as residential premises before Jan. 1, 1976.

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Cassidy moves that subsection (d) of section 12 1(2) -- .

Mr. Cassidy: It’s section 5(1), I’m sorry.

Mr. Chairman: I wish the hon. member would put it down in plain language so that the Chair could at least read it for the edification of the committee.

Mr. Reid: Do you realize that’s an impossibility?

Mr. Cassidy: Very briefly, because time is running very short, the present exclusion on new apartments says in 14(1) of the Act:

“This does not apply to residential premises, (c) situate in a building, no part of which was occupied as residential premises before Jan. 1, 1976.”

In consultation with our expert on mobile homes, the member for Algoma (Mr. Wildman), he pointed out that the amendment that’s proposed by the minister does not go along with the principle that has been applied to apartments in new buildings.

For the new building, it has to be the whole building which begins to be rented after January, 1976. The minister proposed that a mobile home site would be excluded if it hadn’t been occupied, even if it was in a park which had been in operation before Jan. 1, 1976. Our amendment is simply to put the mobile home situation on the same basis as the new building situation in cities. I hope it’s accepted in that light by the minister.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: There is absolutely no inconsistency here whatsoever. We are putting mobile homes on the same basis as a new subdivision where there are rental houses. If a building has not been rented, it is exempt from rent review. That’s all there is to it.

The same thing applies to a mobile home. If there was no mobile home there rented as residential premises, then it’s exempt from rent review under our amendment. I can’t understand his amendment. There is a very great inconsistency in what the hon. member suggests as an amendment to this bill.

Mr. Cassidy: I just hope that maybe the spokesman for the Liberal Party will see the light more than the minister has because the principle the minister is adopting in his proposed amendment is quite simply contrary to the way the bill works in cities. I don’t see why mobile home tenants should be treated as second-class citizens.

Mr. Good: I feel the member for Ottawa Centre has misinterpreted it. If you’re opening a new site, it’s new and separate. If you want to tie down the whole mobile home park but the owner opens, say, 15 or 20 new sites, in our view, anything that will promote additional residential accommodation in Ontario is going to be most welcome. Undoubtedly, in the new site that he opens the rent will have some bearing to the old, but I think they should be free to encourage this, because a year from now we’re going to be crying for any kind of residential accommodation. If we don’t make some little effort, such as this and others, to open new residential accommodation for rental purposes, we’re going to be in a tougher position next year even than we are now.

I would feel to prohibit new sites from being free from rental accommodation will in fact prohibit the whole matter of opening new sites within existing parks. I feel the intention in the bill, as it is printed, is better suited to the position of our party than the amendment.

Mr. Bounsall: I just wanted to be very clear here. I assume what our amendment means is that perhaps we’re going further than this. If there’s a site there that is unoccupied and hasn’t been occupied, and that is consistent with the situation of an apartment in a building which is mainly occupied, that, again, would be subject to rent review in that apartment building. That is the site on which we think rent control should apply, in this bill.


New sites which have been developed, even in connection with an old site, may have some justification as the member for Waterloo North has said. What about those sites which have been unoccupied for some time but might be right in the middle of an already developed park? When those sites become occupied they should have the same rent and therefore be subject to rent control as other occupied sites around them.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: I don’t look on a mobile home park as a horizontal highrise building; it simply isn’t. It is comparable to a subdivision. If a subdivision lot exists in the middle of a subdivision and the builder puts a building on it for rent, it is exempt from rent control. We are trying to say that mobile homes are in exactly the same position as single-family dwellings. That’s what they are. They are single-family dwellings.

Mr. Cassidy: You will twist any principle, won’t you?

Mr. Bounsall: It’s the same as that empty apartment in an occupied building.

Mr. Chairman: Any further discussion?

All those in favour of Mr. Cassidy’s amendment will please say “aye.”

All those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion, the “nays” have it.

We will stack that amendment along with the others.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Chairman, I have another amendment to section 5 of the bill.

Mr. Chairman: Hon. Mr. Handleman moves that section 5 of the bill be amended by renumbering subsection 2 as subsection 3 and by adding thereto the following subsection:

(2) Clause (c) of subsection 1 of the said section 14 is amended by inserting after “as” in the second line the word “rented.”

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Chairman, we would accept the amendment. It is a clarification. I assume it is meant to cover the case in which, say, somebody has a large house which is converted into a triplex after Jan. 1, 1976.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Or when an owner rents out a condominium unit which has not been occupied as rented residential premises prior to his moving out.

Mr. Cassidy: That is fine.

Mr. Chairman: Shall the amendment carry?

Amendment agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment to section 6 of the bill, if there are no further amendments to section 5.

Mr. Chairman: Anything prior to section 6? On section 6:

Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Chairman, section 5 is not carried because you will recall that we stood down the amendments.

Mr. Chairman: Yes, recognizing that those were stood down.

Hon. Mr. Handleman moves that the bill be amended by renumbering sections 6, 7 and 8 as 7, 8 and 9 respectively, and by adding thereto the following section:

(6) Clause (b) of subsection 1 of section 16 of the said Act is amended by inserting after “tenant” in the first line the words “or a tenant to a tenant.”

Mr. Cassidy: Earlier on, an amendment I moved was deemed not to be in order because it was not in line with the principle of the bill and I would like to ask whether this particular proposal by the minister is in order, in view of the fact that section 6 of the present bill changes the words “or to” to the words “to or to a”, and refers to a breach under the penalty section of the bill.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: The purpose of the amendment is simply to clarify that while notices are required in the rent review board process between a tenant and a landlord, and a landlord and a tenant, they are also required between tenants. In other words, tenants must notify the other tenants who are affected by the rent review officer’s decision that an appeal is being undertaken. This is simply to make sure that everybody involved in the appeal process is notified.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Chairman, on a point of order. I’m asking if you would rule as to whether the amendment is in order, because it does not seem to me to be covered by the principle of Bill 60 or by the principle of section 6 of the existing amendments that we have.

Mr. Chairman: I have read it and accepted it as being in order.

Mr. Cassidy: Okay. I will just comment. We don’t disagree with the amendment. I would just point out though, Mr. Chairman that what you are doing is, because it’s a technical amendment, allowing it even though it is not in line with the principle of the bill. I would just wish that this House from time to time would understand that certain matters can be discussed here and a certain amount of co-operation can come in, rather than constantly trying to rule a discussion on matters that are very important, as was done before.

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Chairman, I didn’t ask you to rule it out at all.

Mr. Chairman: Order please. The Chair has something to say about this. The Chair accepted two amendments on section 2 of this bill on the basis that we thought it didn’t destroy the principle of the bill and they were accepted. Then after this Chairman left the chair and it was taken over by the deputy, the hon. member for Ottawa Centre tried to confuse the situation by suggesting that what was applicable in section 2 could be transferred to section 3, and I want to advise the hon. member for Ottawa Centre that I don’t take that kind of manipulation kindly. I suggest to the hon. member that if he wants the co-operation of the committee and the co-operation of the Chairman, that he should be reasonable, not impute motives to other people, and I hope that he will take that into consideration during this committee.

Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Chairman, we will not appeal your ruling.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Chairman, I have enormous respect for your ruling, and you are perfectly right that the Chair as an entity is different from the people who occupy it. I guess my point has been made and I appreciate what you said.

Mr. Good: One short question on the amendment: This relates to subletting from a tenant to a sub-tenant; is that right?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Yes, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman: Any further comment on the amendment?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Chairman, I’m afraid I caught the last part of the question to the hon. member and I don’t want to mislead him. This is the review board process where notices are required to be served. The Act now requires that a tenant who is appealing to the board notify the landlord, and the landlord who is appealing to the board notify the tenant. But there is also a requirement that the tenants notify other tenants who are affected by the appeal, and this is for the purpose of satisfying that need.

Mr. Chairman: Any further comments? Shall the amendment carry? Carried.

Section 6, as amended, agreed to.

Mr. Chairman: Any comment or discussion on any other section of the bill?

Hon. Mr. Handleman: Mr. Chairman, as you know, we stood down one part of the bill in the hope that we would have an amendment which would be acceptable to all sides and legislative counsel is still working on that. I wonder if in view of this difficulty, we could stand the bill down and proceed with it immediately at 8 o’clock. I know the orders don’t provide for this, but I believe it could be cleaned up fairly quickly.

Mr. Chairman: Shall section 6 of the bill carry?

Mr. Cassidy: Just a moment, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Renwick: On a point of order: perhaps the House leader could advise us. Is he going to continue with this bill at 8 o’clock tonight?

Hon. Mr. Welch: That wasn’t our intention, because the general agreement was that we would have legislation until 6 and we would do the budget debate tonight, but if the House wanted to concur otherwise -- but people have committee commitments tonight and so on and everything has been predicated on that order, so I don’t think that we should automatically assume that we would go into this order at 8 o’clock.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Chairman, if I could comment for a moment on it. With the exception of one section which has been stood down because of a proposed amendment by the minister, and an amendment to the amendment proposed by the member from Kitchener-Wilmot (Mr. Sweeney), the bill is completed. It would appear to me that there is a reasonable chance at 8 o’clock that we could complete the bill this evening.

Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Chairman, we have no objection to the procedure with the voting on the bill that would come promptly at 8 o’clock. I would think that if we could commit ourselves to a vote perhaps at 8:10 or 8:15, so that members could in fact intend to be present and use the time of the House to the best advantage by then proceeding with the budget debate, that that would be quite acceptable.

Mr. Chairman: The chairman is in the hands of the committee.

Mr. Breithaupt: Perhaps we could call it 6 o’clock then.

Hon. Mr. Welch: I think if we are going to have an understanding, it should be before we adjourn for supper. I understand there is a section that has to be commented on by the legislative counsel. I’m cautioned by the fact that certain people have made commitments on the basis that we would not be doing legislation then. Could you just give me a minute to check?

Under the circumstances, it is understood the legislative counsel apparently will have his comments ready for us at 8 o’clock in connection with the section which has been stood down. Following consideration of that, if we could have an early bell, then if we have the general agreement of the House, we’ll proceed that way at 8 o’clock. As soon as we finish this bill, then we’ll resume to have the budget debate.

Mr. Chairman: Is that agreed by the committee?


The House recessed at 6 p.m.