38th Parliament, 2nd Session



Thursday 22 June 2006 Jeudi 22 juin 2006


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(LEARNING TO AGE 18), 2006 /
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ACT, 2006 /



The House met at 1000.



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Mr. Peterson moved second reading of the following bill:

Bill 121, An Act respecting interior designers / Projet de loi 121, Loi ayant trait aux designers d'intérieur.

The Deputy Speaker (Mr. Bruce Crozier): Pursuant to standing order 96, Mr. Peterson, you have up to 10 minutes. The floor is yours.

Mr. Tim Peterson (Mississauga South): I'm very pleased to rise in the House today to begin the debate on second reading of Bill 121, an act to regulate the practice of interior design. I had the privilege of introducing this bill in the House on Tuesday, June 6, my birthday. In bringing this legislation to the House, I had the pleasure of working with members of ARIDO, the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario, who support the regulation of the practice of interior design in Ontario.

I would like to take a moment to extend a warm welcome to the members of ARIDO who have joined us today: Susan Mole, Gary Hewson, Joseph Pephipas, Victor Horobin, Caroline Pinto, Lynn McGregor, Peter Grimley, Susan Wiggins and Martin Campbell. I'd ask you to stand and be recognized.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Jeff Leal, the MPP for Peterborough, who worked with the association to develop this legislation. Thank you, Jeff, for all your hard work in making this legislation a reality.

What is an interior designer? The purpose of the Interior Designers Act, 2006, is to establish a regulatory framework for the profession of interior design in this province. I want to make sure that everyone knows what we're talking about when we refer to the practice of interior design.

Interior design is not, as some people assume, interior decorating. Interior design is a multifaceted profession in which creative and technical solutions are applied to create the interior environment. Designs must adhere to building and fire codes as well as other provincial and federal regulatory requirements and encourage the principles of environmental sustainability.

Interior design includes a scope of services performed by a professional design practitioner, qualified by means of education, experience and examination to protect and enhance the life, health, safety and welfare of the public. It plays a valuable role during the demolition or management of a renovation of a space, including the fitting out and furbishing of the building's interior space.

Unlike interior decorators, interior designers submit applications, drawings and specifications for building permits on a regular basis. Interior designers are required to possess considerable specialized knowledge of fire codes, building codes, material flammability and toxicity issues. They are trained to create barrier-free designs that ensure the ease and protection of the public, including access for the disabled. This will become increasingly important over the next several years as we find cost-effective, ease-of-use solutions for Ontario's aging population.

This legislation is about regulating a practice that significantly affects the health and safety of the public who utilize and occupy public interior spaces -- whether it's you and your staff in your office, your family out enjoying an evening meal at a restaurant or your weekly routine stop at your local bank -- public spaces that we use everyday, including corporate offices, hospitals, airports, restaurants, shopping malls and academic institutions.

Unfortunately, interior design is currently an unregulated profession in Ontario. There are no restrictions on who may practise the complexities of interior design. This puts the public at risk.

Businesses understand the value of having qualified professionals perform interior design services. They understand the efficiencies that result from having certified practitioners design their public spaces. All Ontarians should be entitled to know that the interior design professionals they choose to work with are qualified.

With the passing of this bill, only qualified practitioners will be authorized to design public interior spaces or represent themselves as interior designers. ARIDO has been working towards this end for a very long time. For more than 72 years, this association has represented the interests and profession of interior design. Their mandate has been to serve the interests of both the public and the interior design industry.

In 1984, ARIDO was given the authority to set standards and regulate its membership under An Act respecting the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario. Currently, those who choose to belong to ARIDO and use the title "interior designer" must meet education standards and internship requirements, as well as pass standardized North American examinations. Members of ARIDO are also required to carry professional and general liability insurance, adhere to a code of ethics and standards of practice, and participate in a mandatory continuing education program.

Because of ARIDO's high standards for membership, practitioners are also recognized under the Ontario Building Code Act in the definition of designers. As such, they are subject to much the same qualification requirements as architects, engineers and building officials.

However, ARIDO's efforts to protect the public can only go so far. They have no authority to either regulate non-members or impose sanctions upon those who practise without meeting the appropriate qualifications. What ARIDO requires is standards of practice embodied in an enforceable code of ethics and the means to discipline a practitioner.

This proposed legislation provides the authority to regulate individuals who practise interior design without the necessary qualifications, as well as to regulate interior design practitioners who do not adhere to professional requirements. That is why it is so important to debate and ultimately pass this legislation.


Although there is a law that protects the title of "interior designer" in Ontario, there is no protection to prevent an unqualified person from practising interior design, as long as they do not call themselves an interior designer. This is confusing to the public. It is also potentially dangerous for public safety.

By providing a legal definition of the scope of the practice, this legislation will help the consumer differentiate the responsibilities and services of each of the design professions. It will allow consumers to choose the appropriate design professional.

Consumers will benefit from this legislation, as it ensures standards of competency and continued professional development. It will provide an enforceable complaints and discipline process for consumers who require it.

Nova Scotia recognized the importance of regulating the practice of interior design. In 2003, they became the first province to regulate it. Within the United States, there are currently 26 states with this type of legislation in place.

The framework for regulation proposed in this bill is comparable to other similar regulatory professions in Ontario, such as architects and engineers. The key component is defined scope of practice for interior design. As I noted earlier, the work of the interior designer relates to changes to the interior of a building consistent with the building code. The types of buildings covered by this bill are set out in table of the Ontario building code. This bill does not affect residential and small business spaces under 6,450 square feet.

It follows the principles of the Ontario building code, which sets out specific types of buildings that already require the services of an architect or engineer for structural purposes. The legislation will only require the services of an interior designer for buildings where the services of architects and engineers are currently required. However, there is nothing in this proposed legislation that affects the rights and obligations of professional engineers under their respective legislation.

The bill provides for three categories of practitioners for interior design. The legislation will enhance public protection by providing for a clear designation to be used by qualified, regulated practitioners only. Section 4 continues the protected of the title "interior designer" by limiting it to practitioners that are qualified and registered by a ARIDO.

The proposed legislation outlines the membership and registration process for the newly authorized association. The proposed legislation also establishes a governing council, which will consist of nine to 20 certified practitioners. There will be an additional three to five lay people appointed by the Lieutenant Governor to represent the public interest. There will also be three committees created: a registration committee, a complaints committee and a discipline committee.

The council will have the power to appoint a registrar to conduct investigations and to do things which self-regulated professions are required to do to regulate a profession.

Mr. Speaker, is my time coming to end here?

The Deputy Speaker: Yes.

Mr. Peterson: In conclusion, there is a compelling case for regulating the practice of interior design in Ontario. It will ensure and enhance public safety and health, as well as consumer protection.

The Deputy Speaker: Further debate?

Mr. Joseph N. Tascona (Barrie-Simcoe-Bradford): I'm very pleased to join in the debate with respect to Bill 121. The member has brought forth a bill that certainly deserves more debate. I think that this is a bill that should go to committee, because I think it's important that we deal with all the issues and make sure we have an understanding of exactly what the impact of this bill is. This bill definitely will have impact with respect to building in this province, because it could potentially add even more to the cost of the building cycle. As we know, in terms of building the types of buildings that the member's proposing, an architect is required on those particular jobs, and also professional engineers. So with what he has put forth here under clause 2(2)(b), the bill regulates the practice of interior design but excludes most residential buildings, such as residential buildings under 600 square metres or 6,450 square feet. I'd like to hear from Mr. Peterson or from the profession as to what would justify the building type and size thresholds that were chosen. Why were they chosen at that particular size and that type of building? I think it's important for us to have a discussion on that in terms of what we are trying to deal with here.

The justification for the bill is to enhance public health and consumer protection, along with restriction of entry into interior design as a profession. However, there is no tangible evidence provided to us as legislators as to why the bill is needed to achieve these objectives. I have not seen anything in the bill specifically that increases public health and consumer protection measures. They are absent in the bill in terms of exactly how those are going to be achieved and how they are going to be specifically set out.

The statutory requirement to use an interior designer will lead to, in my opinion, increasing building costs. I haven't seen any input from the building industry with respect to this particular bill, and obviously that is going to be needed in terms of our being able to fully assess this bill objectively.

As I indicated also, the restriction on the practice of interior design -- I know my friend from Beaches-East York indicated there was a meeting with Mr. Peterson yesterday with respect to the AATO, dealing with the concern of architectural technologists about the definition of "interior design" under section 2, in terms of that particular definition infringing upon the work of architectural technologists. That's important, because the bill restricts entry into that particular profession, interior design, and I don't think we are here as legislators to cavalierly and arbitrarily pass a definition which is going to infringe on the work of other professions unless we understand why that would be done and whether there is any real public interest that it's important for that to be done.

What we are talking about here is self-regulation of a profession -- that is also part of the bill -- and in my opinion, being the critic for government services, self-regulation of a profession should be designed to protect the public as its main objective when we are dealing with this. But this bill focuses on restricting entry into the profession and mandating the use of the profession on building projects. It's very specific in terms of what it wants to do and how it's going to do that.

It's very clear that this is going to have an impact on the building trades and how we do building in this province. It's also going to have an impact with respect to dealing with the restriction of people who can enter into this profession under the guise of self-regulation but also mandating that you have to use interior design professionals along with architects and professional engineers.

That has got to be discussed in terms of what the public interest is with respect to that. I'm not going to accept saying here, "Oh, yes, it's in the public interest and it's for consumer protection," when the bill is absolutely silent with respect to those types of protections as to what it can do for the public. We need to know that. As I indicated earlier, we also need to know, and we have to assure ourselves as legislators, that this bill is in the public interest and is not going to restrict other professions in terms of the type of work they already do. We can't just allow that to happen unless there is a clear demarcation in terms of the types of skills that are going forward.

I'm sharing my time with other members of my caucus. I'm open to public hearings on this, but I want to make sure that this bill is fair, is in the public interest and that there is actually tangible evidence that it will protect the public.

Mr. Jeff Leal (Peterborough): It's indeed a pleasure for me today to make some remarks on Bill 121, An Act respecting interior designers in Ontario. I want to thank my colleague from Mississauga South for bringing forward this very important legislation. I know the member's interest in business in Ontario comes from a very distinguished family. His brother David, of course, was Premier, and his brother Jim has had an outstanding career as a federal member of Parliament. When you go back to the history of London, C.M. Peterson Electronics is a very successful manufacturer and distributor of electronics in the province of Ontario. I know Pete and Marie Peterson are very proud of their three sons, who have made a great contribution to public life here in Ontario.


This is a very important piece of legislation, and we look forward to sending it to committee for further review. If passed, Bill 121 would regulate the practice of interior design in the province of Ontario. It would regulate interior design in buildings generally used by the public, and not residences or small businesses. It will not affect the work of interior decorators, architects or engineers in the province. It will give self-regulatory status, similar to architects and engineers, to the profession of interior design. It will also designate the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario to be the regulating body, which I think is very important, and allow ARIDO to register qualified practitioners, both as individuals and businesses, and to protect the consumers, which is very important, through a complaints and discipline process that would be implemented by the umbrella body.

As parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Energy, I also believe that this legislation, in working with ARIDO, can play a big role in developing the conservation culture of the province of Ontario through both creative designs and applications. Interior design includes the development of public interior spaces ranging from corporate offices to restaurants, retail stores and shopping malls, health and long-term-care facilities, academic institutions, airports, detention centres and other public facilities here in the province.

Interior designers coordinate and collaborate with other allied design professionals who may be retained to provide consulting services, including but not limited to architects; structural, mechanical and electrical engineers; and various specialty consultants.

Interior design includes a scope of services performed by a professional design practitioner, qualified by means of education, experience and examination, to protect and enhance the health and safety of the public within public interior spaces in this great province.

An interior designer identifies, researches and creatively solves problems pertaining to the function, safety and quality of the interior environment in this province. Interior design decisions are made regarding health and safety, including the complex issues of indoor air quality, space planning, design for special-needs populations -- it certainly takes into account Bill 118, the Ontarians with Disabilities Act -- fire safety fabrics and other materials, relevant codes and standards, and product durability and quality, such as lighting, colour and other things.

Interior designers must consider and utilize proper interior materials. They are specially trained in the use of interior materials, the properties of which include flammability and toxicity, and are uniquely qualified to select interior finishes for furniture, fabrics and carpets that comply with or exceed minimum code standards.

Interior design in Ontario has evolved over the past 70 years. Ontario is one of seven provinces with title protection for interior designers. In 1999, title protection legislation in Ontario restricted the use of the title "interior designer" to those individuals who meet the qualifications set by ARIDO.

Currently, to join ARIDO, individuals must meet requirements similar to other self-regulated professions in Ontario, including seven years of combined education, supervised internship, rigorous North American examinations, mandatory continuing education and insurance coverage, and a strict code of ethics and standards of practice.

I believe it is in the public interest of Ontario that Bill 121 be passed. The province of Nova Scotia has similar legislation, and by going to committee, we'll be able to call upon other jurisdictions not only in Canada but in the United States that have brought interior design and made it a self-regulatory body. I think this is an exciting piece of legislation for the people of Ontario.

Mr. Robert W. Runciman (Leeds-Grenville): I'll ask one of my colleagues to nudge me when I use up my allotted time.

I rise to speak in support of Bill 121. I don't profess -- and I doubt anyone in the assembly would -- to be an expert in this area. But I've certainly had an opportunity to become somewhat better informed over the last period of time when I had the opportunity to sit down with representatives of the interior design organization, which is known as the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario, ARIDO. I was very impressed, not only with the individuals with whom I met, but with the scope of the work they do within their profession and the complexity of much of the work they do, looking at some of the large-scale commercial or residential buildings they're involved with, and working with the other professions, whether it's the structural or electrical engineers, the architects and others. It is complex, intricate work.

When you look at the training required to carry out those kinds of responsibilities, I think it is important that we have people representing the best interests of the consumers required to have that kind of accreditation and that kind of experience. I think it's been referenced here earlier that joining ARIDO requires four years of university training and three years of internship before you can qualify for membership currently, which is a voluntary membership, or three years of college and four years of internship. So I think the track record with respect to this organization is commendable indeed.

I know my colleague from Barrie put on the record a number of concerns. With respect to whether or not this legislation is in the public interest or provides consumer protection, I would suggest that's arguable, debatable. Looking at some elements of this legislation, I think they clearly are in the best interest of consumers in providing additional protection from the complete, in many respects, lack of protection in the current environment. We talked about competition and sort of freezing off the market. Well, I don't look at it from that perspective. I look at it in terms of protecting the individual or the family who is purchasing services and is not, in many instances, aware of just who they're retaining, what their qualifications are and the quality of work that will result from retaining that firm or individual.

At the end of the day, I think this legislation addresses that in a very effective way in making those distinctions between an interior designer and someone who calls himself an interior decorator. I think there's significant confusion amongst the public if you're looking for that kind of service. So I think that does address this. If the bill is passed and the board is established, the governing council, it will require three members of the public to sit as members of that governing council. It's going to have a complaints and discipline process as well built into the self-regulating authority. Those are initiatives which I think should be recognized as very significant steps forward in terms of consumer protection.

One of my colleagues, when we discussed this earlier, was talking about the concerns about small business and requiring small businesses, or when they are building residences -- the requirement to retain someone with this professional designation. I think that's another false concern that doesn't stand up to scrutiny when one takes a careful look at the legislation.

I know it does talk about residential structures of less than 6,450 square feet. I gather one concern, and we may hear about this if and when the bill goes to committee -- I heard a news report recently about the growth of these megahouses, these monster homes which would certainly exceed the 6,450 square feet. I'm personally offended by these monster homes coming into many of our residential areas, people trying to exhibit their new-found wealth, or whatever their reasons are.

Mr. Speaker, I've utilized my time. I want to save some for my colleague. I support this. I think it's a good step forward. If there are concerns or there's tweaking that has to occur, the committee process will address that.


Mr. Michael Prue (Beaches-East York): I rise to support Bill 121 and to commend the member for Mississauga South for having brought the bill forward. I must state at the outset that this is probably the single largest private member's bill that I have seen in my five years in this House. It runs some 22 pages. It's in intricate detail. I wondered how Mr. Peterson, the member for Mississauga South, would have found all the time and all the expertise to do this. It's obvious, though -- I found out later -- that it was prepared by the architectural technologists themselves, by a crack group of public people and lawyers and everyone else. But that's not for one second to take away from what he has tried to do here. Those who prepared the bill are to be commended as well.

The contents of the bill: It's clearly necessary, in my view, to regulate this profession, as it is so clearly necessary to regulate many, many professions in this province. As we become more technologically inclined, as professions have spinoff groups -- and quite literally all of them have; everything from dentists spinning off to denturists, doctors spinning off to nurse practitioners, architects spinning off to architectural technologists; it's happening all over the place -- we have to make sure that these groups that are not covered by regulations, that are not covered by their own schools or by their own bodies that can regulate them, have some kind of government legislation in place.

Quite clearly, this government and other governments previous to this one have done a great deal of work around this issue. There's been a slew of bills and cases. I think probably the most famous one in the last couple of years was the whole argument around whether or not certified general accountants should be licensed and have the same kind of authority as what were considered their more senior counterparts, the chartered accountants. We also had the mixture into that of the certified management accountants. It was all resolved in a bill, very similar to this one, which brought the whole thing together. It appears in large part to be working, and I know that there will be some additional tests forthcoming this year. As a matter of fact, it was even in the Toronto Star today, talking about the fallout from that bill and how it was impacting on the certified accountants' lifestyles and bills and what they were doing for a living and how CGAs and CMAs are fitting into that.

I also know that we have been lobbied in this Legislature by dentists and denturists and people who do oral hygiene around how similar types of bills can and must work, if people are to do the kind of health-related work. We have the same kinds of arguments going on, as I said, between doctors and nurse practitioners. Most recently, there's been much discussion in this Legislature from lawyers and paralegals, trying to regulate paralegals and whether or not the Law Society of Upper Canada should be the instrument by which those paralegals are regulated.

Having said that, there are some cases where I think, in our zeal to do this regulation, we have gone too far. One of those that quite clearly comes to mind is the whole issue around the building inspectors and the architects, which was passed by the previous government in the House around the building code. Today, architects are having to take courses and tests and keep up with building codes and have the same function as a building examiner. I understand this is quite onerous, particularly on architects who work alone, who have their own small office in their home or who are single proprietors and are having to write tests and study for continuing examinations, whereas in the past this was done by building code officials and by engineers. We have put them at some considerable disadvantage. I want to make sure that when we do this bill, we do it correctly so that all of the parties who may in fact be involved get it right and that we do not impinge upon any of the other groups that may be affected.

I have carefully read the bill and I believe that it strikes, in most aspects, a very good balance -- most especially section 4, which does not in any way impinge upon architects or engineers, so that they can continue to do what they do: to perform many of the functions this bill will give over to the ARIDO.

I did read some of the notes that Mr. Peterson's office -- the member from Mississauga South -- was kind enough to forward to us. They made a statement in there that groups had been consulted in great respect and were happy with it, those being the architects, the engineers, the engineering technologists and the building officials. But it also claimed that the AATO, the Association of Architectural Technologists of Ontario, had been consulted. So I was quite surprised this morning when I arrived at the office to see that there was a call on my message service. It was from a Mr. Andrew Bennett, the president of the AATO, who told me that yesterday he had an opportunity to meet with the member from Mississauga South and that the AATO in fact is very concerned about some of the provisions of this bill. They do not believe -- at least not in my discussion and my staff's discussion with him this morning -- that they have been properly consulted, and they do feel certain sections of the bill will impinge upon their freedoms and upon their work and upon their ability to do their job.

I said at the beginning that I intend to support this bill, but I am hoping that, should it pass later today and if it is sent to committee, this can be looked at. I want to make sure that in no way is this bill going to take away from the livelihood of a group that is already recognized in Ontario, that is also doing considerable good work in their relationship with the architectural community, and that in passing this bill, we are not going to do anything that is going to upset their work or the work levels they have. Having said that, I will support this, and we will, if necessary, make the necessary amendments in committee to ensure that two of the provisions they found in this particular bill are remedied.

The biggest reason I have, and all of us should have, to support the bill is that it has the potential -- not within the four walls of the bill, but it has the potential to protect consumers. Consumers need to have protection. This is a $4-billion-a-year industry, it is people spending $4 billion and expecting goods and services in return that are of a quality nature, that are properly rendered, that will meet all of the other building code laws, the architectural laws and the engineering laws of the province. And there is no law in place defining who may practise.

Prior to politics, I worked in the federal immigration department for some 20 years. I want to tell you, there was no law in place there for who could practise immigration. Anybody -- literally anybody -- could hang up a shingle outside their office and claim to be an immigration consultant. I'm sure that today anybody can hang a shingle outside their office and claim to do the kinds of work this bill is going to regulate. I remember, back in those days, all of the people who would go to an immigration consultant, thinking they were buying quality service, and getting some of the worst advice that anyone could possibly, in their entire life, get. The advice was ridiculous beyond belief. The fees charged were enormous. Immigration consultants regularly, routinely and almost universally counselled their clients to lie. This was what was happening out there because there was no regulation. Ordinary, poor people would come with the hope of trying to move to Canada, to immigrate to Canada, to stay in Canada, and were ripped off literally for hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars. The consultants themselves did far more harm than they ever did good. It took years, but that profession is now self-regulating and the cases of abuse that existed some 20 years ago are no longer happening. It became self-regulating because people looked and saw that there was a necessity for doing it.


That's why bills such as this one are absolutely important. The public needs to know, number one, who has been trained. They need to know who is licensed. More importantly, they need to know who is not licensed. If you are armed with that kind of information, then you can make a wise decision. You can make a wise decision on any type of building, you can make a wise decision on who has the experience or the credentials and you can spend your money and get the quality of result that you expect for it.

I looked through the bill and through the compendium and the notes that the member from Mississauga South sent, and it was quite clear that one province has already moved in this direction, the province of Nova Scotia. We also know that there are some 26 US states that have similar laws on the books. It's clear to me that the overwhelming bulk of interior designers are in Ontario -- it's clear. If you look at the $4-billion industry in Ontario, there are probably far more architectural -- excuse me, I keep going back to architecture -- far more interior designers practising in Ontario than probably anywhere else in Canada, maybe as many as are practising in all the rest of Canada.

We need to ensure that this profession is regulated and we need to do it for many reasons. Number one is to make sure that the people are competent. I do not want people hanging out a shingle in any classification or for any job who are not competent, especially people involved in building and building materials. So we need to know that.

We need to set minimum education standards, which this bill will do, so that you can't just simply take a course for a couple of hours and say that you know what you're doing. We need to know that people have experience and there must be a length of time for which they must practise or study or intern before they can be licensed. We need to know that there are proper examinations, so that nobody can hang out a shingle and do the work of interior design unless they have passed an examination and, in effect, have a certificate to hang on the wall. We need to legislate and look at the practice. We need to have a code of ethics so that people, if they think they have been ripped off, know what the code of ethics is, know what to expect and know whether or not their interior designer has met that.

We need to have a complaints process that is driven, so you have somewhere to go where you have someone to complain to, and we need to have a complaint department that can actually act on it, either to get the complainant's money back or, in some cases, to discipline those who have stepped outside of their profession of interior design or who have made egregious errors. We need that discipline process to be fair. We need it to be transparent. I looked through the bill and it appears that most of that is contained within the body, within the four walls of the bill.

Again, I come back to where I began. We intend to support this bill. We think the bill is overdue. We think the bill is an important bill. We do have the problem raised by Mr. Andrew Bennett, the president of the AATO, and I'm hoping that the member from Mississauga South can address that at the end, but I don't think it's insurmountable. It's certainly not enough for me to say that the bill ought not to go forward. If that can be resolved in committee, so be it. That's where I expect most of the work and any tinkering will be done. We need to hear from literally everyone who may be impacted, be they architects, engineers, technologists or building officials, to make sure that every provision of this private member's bill, which, as I said, is the largest I've ever seen before, is correct. Thank you very much.

Ms. Kathleen O. Wynne (Don Valley West): Thank you very much to the member for Mississauga South for bringing this legislation forward. I have to say, when I first encountered this issue, I was campaigning in 2003 and I arrived on the doorstep of a number of constituents -- actually a surprising number -- in Don Valley West who raised the issue with me. It's not something that I was aware of.

My children will tell you that I'm not a visual person. I have to see the colour on the wall, I have to see the fixture in place before I can imagine what it's going to look like, because I can't imagine things out of context. When I go into a lighting store, it's just all a big blur to me. I would have to rely on people in this profession for that blend of functional practicality and aesthetics, and I want to come back to that balance, because I think that's part of the maturing of the profession and the maturing of our culture. I want to make that argument.

In terms of this legislation, I'm very glad that it's come forward. The arguments have been made by the previous speakers that there are 26 jurisdictions in the United States that already have this legislation and that Nova Scotia has moved it. I think those are compelling arguments and, as the largest province in the country, we need to be looking at codifying some of the things that are, to some extent, in place for some interior designers.

I just want to lay out the framework of the legislation, because people have referred to bits of it. The purpose of this legislation is "to regulate the practice of interior design in Ontario in the public interest." There are a number of places in the legislation where I think the public interest is protected. Section 2 of the bill, for example, defines the practice of interior design and talks about the specifics of what that practice is: preparation, implementation, evaluation and review of "a design respecting the construction, demolition or management of the enlargement, alteration ... fitting out or refurbishing of the interior space of the whole or part of a building." And just as other speakers have said, we're talking about buildings that are largely public. This is public space that we're talking about.

The other thing this bill does is prohibit a person from using the designation "interior designer" or "interior design," and that's a point the member for Beaches-East York referenced. People need to know who is and who is not an interior designer. This bill would prohibit the usage of that designation unless the person is registered by the association. So it sets up a body that would make those determinations.

Section 28 of the bill continues the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario -- ARIDO -- as that body corporate responsible for governing the practice of interior design in Ontario. I think it's important there to recognize that ARIDO is already doing this in terms of their membership. What I got from my conversations with the members of that association in my constituency is that we're looking at codifying something that is already happening for a large number of people in the province. The problem is that there are people who fall outside of ARIDO who still call themselves interior designers, and we need to make it clear who is and who is not. ARIDO is already competent in doing this work, in setting standards and making sure that their work is compliant with the other statutes and the building codes and so on in the province. So we need to recognize ARIDO, I believe, as the body competent to do this work and be the regulating group, and that's what this legislation does.

Section 31 provides that the association is governed by a council and then lays out the composition of the council and how those council members would be appointed. Section 45 provides the council of the association with a broad range of regulation-making powers relating to self-governance.

I certainly take the point from all the members who have spoken that having a broader discussion about this bill in committee would be a good thing, and I think that's certainly something that the association would welcome. So I do hope that this legislation can go forward.

I want to talk just for a moment about some of the specific sections that I think deal with the public interest. Ontario's titles act -- the member for Peterborough referenced this -- restricts only the use of the title "interior designer"; it doesn't limit who can practice interior design. It's not a distinction that the general public would be aware of, but it is a distinction that's important in the practice of creating an interior space that's safe, and I think that in this case safety is the critical issue.


The other piece is that the legal recognition of the profession through the proposed act will ensure that the public can distinguish between who's qualified to undertake the full scope of interior design projects and who's not. There may be people who are qualified to do a bit of what an interior designer is trained to do, but not the full scope. I think that public interest piece is critical.

Section 2 of the bill is where the scope of practice is defined. I know the member for Barrie-Simcoe-Bradford was concerned about impingement on other professions, but I think the legislation is pretty clear about what the scope of practice is. I won't read the whole section, but just in part:

"2(1) A person practises interior design when the person,

(a) prepares, provides or implements a design respecting the construction, demolition or management of the enlargement, alteration, configuration, fitting out or furbishing of the interior space of the whole or part of a building, including without limiting the foregoing, finishes, fixed or loose furnishings" -- those are the things I can't see until they're actually there -- "equipment, fixtures and partitioning of space, and related exterior elements such as signs, finishes, glazed openings used for display purposes, the whole as may be further prescribed in the building code...."

That, for me, is a very important part of this legislation: the relationship between what the interior designers do and what the building code prescribes. It's very important that these people are experts in the building code in terms of these interior spaces.

It has been noted that the design industry contributes over $4 billion to Ontario's economy. I think increased social expectations for health and safety are really driving the need for regulation in this profession. As we build more spaces and as we're more aware of what the health and safety implications are, we need to have this regulation in place.

The last piece I want to talk about is this balance between the aesthetic and the functionality, the balance of practicality, efficiency and aesthetics. Not all of us are able to describe why a building or a particular space makes us feel a certain way. We're not all able to pull apart the different features.

Last weekend, I was fortunate enough to go to the new opera house in Toronto, and it is a fabulous building. I know I'm going to blur architecture and interior design here just for a minute, because, again, I can't pull apart the pieces, but obviously an interior designer has worked very closely with the architect in creating the space. Even though the shape of the building works beautifully and makes one feel that one is in a small space, I know that the particular materials that have been used -- the warmth of the wood, the colors on the wall -- felt like a very Canadian building to me. I don't even know if I could describe that, but there's something about the light in the building and the use of the materials that made me feel safe and at home, like it was part of who I am. That's the aesthetic. I wasn't worried about the safety; I assumed the building was safe. But for me, the aesthetics of it -- the light and the warmth and the way it all worked -- were critical.

I think the maturing of the profession reflects the maturing of our culture. We go to other countries in the world where buildings have been up for hundreds of years. We don't have that luxury in Ontario, so I think it's really important that we start building for the future, that we build our heritage now. I think it's very important that we have people who are trained in combining that aesthetic and that safety, and that's what this legislation is about. I want people who are working with our architects and engineers who understand that, and who understand how to do those things that will make us feel proud of our buildings for generations to come.

Ms. Laurie Scott (Haliburton-Victoria-Brock): I rise today to support Bill 121, An act respecting interior designers. I commend the member opposite from Mississauga South for bringing it forward, and welcome the members of the association and guests in the gallery today.

Bill 121 deals exclusively with public space, so it does not impact residential dwellings or small businesses at all. You will still be free to select an interior decorator or interior designer to renovate your family home. Interior design includes the development of public interior spaces, ranging from corporate offices to restaurants, retail stores, shopping malls, health and long-term-care facilities, academic institutions, airports, detention centres and public facilities. They are formally trained to prepare drawings and documents relative to the design of interior spaces in order to enhance and protect the health and safety of the public.

When they came to meet me in the office, they brought extensive drawings. I did not realize the extent of their education and what they did in their profession. So it was enlightening for me, and I think the time has come for them to be self-regulated, which is one of the purposes of the bill.

As a nurse and health care professional before, I can tell you that from the hospital or clinic experience, it can make a difference how inviting and comfortable the space is. It needs to be functional. Materials need to minimize the growth of bacteria, need to withstand the sanitation process and be non-allergic. These are the skills that interior designers can offer to projects, skills that enhance the well-being of our communities.

If a patient needs to be transported, you have to have the stretcher width in the hallways. We were sometimes asked for input, as nurses, from our practical experience when they were doing expansions of the hospital. Interior designers assess and anticipate all these needs and are able to draft a schematic to meet these needs. You want to have well-trained individuals responsible for designing an exit strategy in the event of a fire. They bring a knowledge base to this.

Ontario is one of seven provinces with title protection for interior designers. It was back in our government's time that we introduced title protection in, 1999, to restrict the use of the title "interior designer" to those individuals who met the qualifications of their association, which is the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario. Since that time, the profession has expanded, it's grown, and now Bill 121 will provide the interior designer community with the same self-regulatory status that exists for architects and engineers.

I was very amazed at the statistics. We have one of the highest numbers of interior designers in Canada, and are among the top 10 jurisdictions across North America. It was just an amazing statistic to me. The design industry contributes over $4 billion to Ontario's economy. The individuals who currently join ARIDO and meet the requirements are similar to the self-regulated professions in Ontario, with seven years of combined education and internship. They have a lot of qualifications behind them. I'm in full support of them self-regulating their profession.

Concerns have been brought forward by different members and that's why we're having second reading debate. We're starting to initiate some of those concerns. We're asking that it certainly be sent to committee so that all the other professions and the community can contribute to decisions to make this bill final, and hopefully bring it back for third reading with a consensus from all those interested parties.

I'm running out of time. I again commend the member for bringing this forward and the association for continuing -- I know it sometimes takes a long time, and you've been a long time trying to bring this into the Legislature, to get it right. When we see it go to committee, there will be opportunity to comment and make changes as needed. I hope all members of the Legislature will be in support of the passage of this.

The Deputy Speaker: Mr. Peterson, you have two minutes to respond.


Mr. Peterson: It's a great pleasure to wrap up. May I start on a personal note and thank the member from Peterborough for the personal notes about my parents. They are a very special influence in my life and have contributed greatly to Ontario. I always appreciate them being mentioned.

To the members from Barrie-Simcoe-Bradford, Leeds-Grenville, Don Valley West and Haliburton-Victoria-Brock, I very much appreciate their comments, and yes, we will be referring this bill to committee.

It is the desire of ARIDO to be inclusive in having all qualified people who practise here in Ontario included in it. This is not an exclusatory act; it wants to be inclusive. I must say I'm very impressed by the quality of their membership. I think the member from Beaches-East York got it best when he said, "Peterson couldn't write a bill with 26 pages himself." It's the great quality of the people here who put this bill together and made this the professional document that it is. We will refer it to committee to make sure that the best of people practising interior design are allowed to practise and that everybody is included in that practice. The strength of an organization is in the strength of its numbers and its quality, and this bill is here to assure that.

I think it's also wonderful that this organization has come forward to regulate themselves. Too often people come to government and say, "We want you to do something for us. We want you to discipline us." I see it as a much better role for organizations to come forward and say, "We are capable of managing ourselves. We are professionals. We have the ability to work with ourselves and to control an industry." As other members have pointed out, what a large and successful industry this is in Ontario.

I look forward to taking this to committee and I look forward very much to this bill passing today, and I really appreciate your support. Thank you very much.


Mr. Hoy moved second reading of the following bill:

Bill 110, An Act to proclaim Sexual Harassment Awareness Week / Projet de loi 110, Loi proclamant la Semaine de la sensibilisation au harcèlement sexuel.

The Deputy Speaker (Mr. Bruce Crozier): Pursuant to standing order 96, Mr. Hoy, you have up to 10 minutes.

Mr. Pat Hoy (Chatham-Kent Essex): In memory of Theresa Vince, I bring forward Bill 110, An Act to proclaim Sexual Harassment Awareness Week, for second reading. This bill will proclaim each first week in June as Sexual Harassment Awareness Week. The objective is to raise public awareness, foster change in societal attitudes and behaviour, and prevent another tragedy from occurring. This proclamation is in keeping with the jury recommendation at the inquest into the workplace murder of Theresa on June 2, 1996.

I'm honoured to have Theresa's family, friends and advocates here in the members' gallery today to support Bill 110. I would like to thank Jim Vince, Theresa's husband; and her daughter, Catherine Kedziora. Also with us are Michelle Schryer, executive director of the Chatham-Kent Sexual Assault Crisis Centre, and Joy Lang, community liaison officer for the Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children at the University of Western Ontario. I thank you for your support. Bill 110 also has the support of the Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Services of Halton and the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres.

I pay special tribute to the Vince family who, over the last 10 years, have never stopped advocating for changes so that other families may be spared the grief of losing a loved one in a preventable tragedy. Their strength, courage and tenacity have made the Vince family pillars in our community.

I had the honour and privilege to attend a memorial for Theresa on June 2 of this year. It marked the 10th anniversary of her death following a workplace sexual harassment. She had been sexually harassed for several years by her direct supervisor before he killed her at work. Her death shocked the entire community and exposed a serious problem that cannot be ignored any longer.

In 1991, the federal government designated December 6 as a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Provincially, no province has proclaimed a Sexual Harassment Awareness Week. If Bill 110 becomes law, Ontario will become a leader in this much overdue step to protect women against sexual harassment.

What is sexual harassment? According to the Ontario Human Rights Commission, sexual harassment means that someone is bothering you by saying or doing unwanted or unwelcome things of a sexual or gender-related nature. For example, someone who makes unwelcome sexual or gender-related remarks and gestures by touching you inappropriately, making offensive jokes or remarks about women or men, making sexual requests or suggestions, staring at you, making unwelcome comments about your body, displaying sexually offensive pictures or being verbally abusive to you because of your gender. Sexual harassment does not have to be sexual in nature. It can also mean that someone is bothering you simply because you are a man or a woman. Making stereotypes about one gender or another can be a form of sexual harassment. It is prohibited under all human rights legislation in Canada, yet it remains a major concern. The Ontario Women's Justice Network reported that 80% to 90% of Canadian women will experience sexual harassment at some point in their working lives. While sexual harassment often occurs in the workplace, it may also take place outside of a work setting. It could occur at a school, within an association, while travelling on business or a business function. It occurs in large and small organizations.

Women file significantly more sexual harassment complaints than do men, although women make up nearly half of the workforce in Ontario. Sexual harassment is a form of violence against women. More public education is required to address this problem. According to a report called Assessing Violence Against Women: A Statistical Profile, commissioned by the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Ministers Responsible for the Status of Women, "Violence against women is a serious and pervasive threat to women's health, with detrimental social and economic consequences for society."

Sexual harassment interferes with a woman's safety, her dignity and her equality. It creates long-term emotional, physical and economic consequences for women. Theresa's death will never be forgotten and is a very tragic example of the seriousness of the consequences flowing from sexual harassment. Some of the experiences I read about while researching this topic are too horrific to repeat. A study of all sexual harassment complaints filed by the Canadian Human Rights Commission over a 17-year period showed that women filing sexual harassment complaints were no longer in the job they were originally in when the harassment occurred. One of the victims writes:

"I was so messed up.... I had been in remission and now thanks to him, my health has been jeopardized. I have lost my self-respect, my confidence and trust in others. He has taken away a part of me. No one should be made to feel this way. All I ever wanted was to make something of myself, be a success. Now I have to start again."

I attended a meeting in London some years ago, where a woman gave her history into a sexual harassment case. It was truly horrific. I have never reported her account to anyone else. It is just simply horrific, and in my mind bordered very close on torture.

As stated in the 2001 federal, provincial and territorial ministers' report, Women's Economic Dependence and Security, "Sexual harassment is emotionally abusive and creates an unhealthy and unproductive atmosphere in the workplace. Besides the stress, fear of physical harm and emotional damage suffered by victims, many studies show significant work-related costs to both the victim of harassment and the employer. Many women victims of harassment will use leave time in order to avoid the situation. Other women may quit their jobs. Some will stay in the job and try to ignore the harassment, often resulting in a drop in their work productivity. Sexual harassment violations are among the most frequent complaints received by human rights agencies, and are costly for employers who fail to have effective policies or do not treat such complaints from their employees or customers and clients seriously."

With her complaints not addressed, Theresa chose to take early retirement to escape her harassment. She was just days away from retirement when she was killed.

I quote a letter from the Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Services of Halton: "A 1998 report on workplace violence by the International Labour Organization found that Canada ranks fourth out of 32 countries for the number of women assaulted in the workplace. It is well past time that the government of Ontario demonstrates, at the very minimum, an awareness of the devastation and danger of sexual harassment."

Government has a key role to play. We must recognize sexual harassment as a serious problem and work to eradicate it. We must educate and make society better, understanding that this is harmful, unacceptable and intolerable behaviour. Raising awareness will have a positive impact on reducing incidents.


According to the Workplace Harassment and Violence Report by the Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children, "While some women confront their harasser, the majority of women cope in other ways, such as avoiding the harasser, denying the experience is happening and blaming themselves." Raising awareness will provide victims of sexual harassment information about resources, support and remedies available. Attitude change is a precursor to behavioural change. Changing attitude is a stepping stone to changing the actual behaviour.

We must also set an example for younger generations. Attitudes about sexual harassment against women and girls are formed at a young age. It is important that we engage children and youth in discussions about the importance of equality and respect in all our relationships. Fostering this healthy value would create a harassment-free workplace and community.

Sexual harassment can cause serious and lasting harm and, sadly, it can lead to death. Everyone should have the right to full and equal safe participation in the workplace and in the community. This bill will help to advance women's safety and equality in the workplace as well as complement the sweeping changes our government is making to strengthening the Ontario human rights system.

Sexual harassment is an issue that transcends all party lines. We in this House have the responsibility to stand up and lend our collective voices against sexual harassment. I ask all members of the Legislature to support and pass Bill 110 into law.

The Deputy Speaker: Further debate?

Mr. Joseph N. Tascona (Barrie-Simcoe-Bradford): I am certainly pleased to join in the debate on Bill 110. Sexual harassment obviously is a serious issue. It's covered under the Human Rights Code. Sexual harassment is not confined to harassment against females. It also involves prohibiting harassment against males, people by their sexual orientation and also females, to be specific, so sexual harassment covers a broader spectrum than just females under the Human Rights Code. That's something that is significant and I think needs to be noted with respect to what the member is trying to accomplish here, fully understanding the background of the tragic situation that he's discussing here today.

I remember that probably the first leading case with respect to sexual harassment -- because the Human Rights Code evolved over the years. There was a time when it did not cover harassment; it was amended to specifically deal with harassment. There's a specific section in the Human Rights Code that defines what harassment is. Under the Human Rights Code, harassment is prohibited on any prohibited ground, be it racial, ethnic background, religious background or of a sexual nature.

I can remember a case I was working on when I was an articling student back in the early 1980s. It was a case involving Commodore Business Machines. It was a very serious case and it had a lot of coverage by the media because it was the first really high-profile case involving sexual harassment in the province. It was a case that led not only to a finding of sexual harassment but also to even further changes in the workplace to protect females from harassment.

I think the member is correct. We need to have more public awareness about what is allowed or what isn't allowed. As members of the Legislative Assembly, we have a policy. It's called Mutual Respect in Our Workplace: Maintaining a Positive Work Environment, which was implemented in February 2001. In the booklet, on page 6, it has a section starting, "Understanding Harassment." It deals with personal harassment, poisoned environments and, specifically, sexual harassment. I'll read it for the members today:

"Sexual harassment is defined as any unwelcome comment or conduct of a sexual nature that may detrimentally affect the work environment or lead to adverse job-related consequences for the victim of harassment. A person has a right to be free from:

" -- sexual harassment by an employer, co-worker or agent of an employer

" -- sexual solicitation from persons in a position of power

" -- reprisal, or threat of reprisal."

Then it goes on to say, "What Does Harassment Look Like?

"Harassing behaviour is not always easy to determine. What is deemed appropriate behaviour to one person may be seen as offensive to another. Harassment is judged subjectively, so we need to be sensitive to others' standards and reactions. If you're unsure whether your behaviour is welcome, show good judgment and refrain from making the comment or displaying the action in question.

"Some Examples of Physical Harassment:

" -- unwanted touching on any part of the body

" -- standing too close

" -- unwanted brushing against another's body

" -- physical attack.

"Some Examples of Verbal Harassment:

" -- racial or ethnic slurs or slang

" -- use of terms" -- I won't get into that too deeply here --

" -- unwelcome remarks, jokes, taunts or suggestions

" -- use of terms such as `honey', `hunk', `babe', etc.

" -- verbal abuse or threats

" -- unwelcome sexual remarks, invitations or requests.

"Some Examples of Non-Verbal Harassment:

" -- suggestive staring or leering

" -- displays of sexist, pornographic, racist material such as pin-ups, cartoons, etc.

" -- abuse of authority (e.g. discriminatory work allocation or opportunities)

" -- written abuse or threats.

"Personal and sexual harassment is unsolicited, unwanted, coercive, and one-sided. The Office of the Legislative Assembly will not tolerate harassment."

We have a procedure here that deals with maintaining respect in the workplace and a procedure to deal with that particular problem. What I think the member from Chatham-Kent Essex is correct in, with respect to dealing with this, is that we need to have measures in the workplace where a person can go forward when they feel that something is happening which they don't believe is right, that there's confidentiality and most of all that there is a procedure in place that will stop anything happening that obviously could lead to something that is not what should happen in a workplace. People should be respected. They should believe that they can go to their workplace and be treated with civility and decency and the respect that they deserve. That's part of the working relationship that we have and that we should maintain in any workplace.

Unfortunately, not every employer has a policy such as that in the province. They should. It's required by the Ontario Human Rights Code to make sure that their workplace is free from sexual harassment, racial harassment, ethnic harassment -- any type of harassment that is protected by the Human Rights Code. I think what's really important is to make sure that there's a mechanism in place that will make sure that the person who is being harassed or perceives being harassed can go forward, and there are some real sanctions and protections for that individual, and we don't face ourselves with a situation like we're discussing here today, which is not only tragic but something that should have been stopped in the workplace, had the employer had a policy in place to do that and that it worked.

I fully support the intentions of the member. I know that we'll have public hearings on this and certainly I would expect the Ontario Human Rights Commission, with their new chairperson, Barbara Hall, to appear at those hearings to make sure that the Legislative Assembly is comfortable that what's being proclaimed here can be followed in the Ontario Human Rights Commission's mandate.

We know that we have laws and everything, but we also have to make sure that there's an education process going forth that will make sure that sexual harassment or harassment of any type prohibited by the code -- that there is not only education but there also is a mechanism in place to make sure that it doesn't happen or lead to tragic consequences as we're discussing here today.

Mrs. Maria Van Bommel (Lambton-Kent-Middlesex): I'm certainly pleased to be able to join in the debate on Bill 110. Before I get into the matter of the bill itself, I actually want to commend the member for Chatham-Kent Essex for introducing this. When it's an issue that affects, as he has said, between 80% and 90% of women, you would expect that a woman would have introduced this type of bill. I find that for Mr. Hoy to do this -- I have to commend him on that.

I also want to say welcome to the family. I'm sure you're here with some very mixed feelings. It's important that this be recognized, but all the same, it brings back a lot of memories. I want to welcome you here.


The bill is intended to create a week in recognition of sexual harassment, but what it does in creating that week is also the recognition of the problem. I think until we recognize that there is a problem, we are a long way from dealing with the issue. So by having a week and creating the awareness, we are going to also start dealing with the problem and try to develop some solutions.

When we talk about 80% to 90% of women being exposed to this at some point in their lives, it's an overwhelming number, and it's a frightening number for women who have to look at their future and expect to have to deal with this at some point in their work lives or in their personal lives. I know there will be people who say, "Well, why don't you just walk away? If it's a problem where you're working, just get out of there and go on to something else." But I know from my own experience in small communities like my riding, you don't just walk away to another job. It's not that easy. First of all, there's not always alternative employment available to you. Secondly, you are going to lose the seniority you have developed over the years that you've worked there. You may end up taking a cut in pay in order to do that, and economically that may be a problem for you and your family. So to simply say, "Well, if it's a problem where you're working, just get out of the situation" -- it isn't that easy.

I look at this and I see this from the point of view of a mother and a grandmother. Even as a woman, I think, "Okay, I can deal with this. I'm strong and, if it happens, I can deal with this." I look at it in terms of my own daughters and my granddaughters and my grandsons and my son, because, as was stated, it isn't just an issue for the female gender. It goes right across, but it is predominantly female. I look at that and I think, "What can I do? How am I going to be able to protect my daughters and my children and my grandchildren from this kind of thing?" When you look at the stats that say 80% to 90%, that means my daughters and my children and my grandchildren are going to have to deal with this, and it is a very frightening situation.

In doing some research on this issue, I came across some studies, and I want to just read part of this into the record: "Some studies have shown that up 80% of girls in schools have experienced sexual harassment." That's at school already. That's very early. "A 2005 high school harassment study conducted by York University showed that up to 75% of the students had experienced harassment in a three-month period. Students reported effects which included depression, loss of self-esteem, delinquency and substance abuse."

I think to have to deal with that, to contend with that so early in life is terrible. And it's not just for the people it happens to, it's not just the victims, but there are others who are in the environment with them and who are victimized by it too. If you're there and you're watching this happening and you're feeling helpless to deal with it, you're feeling helpless to do anything that will support the individual who is being harassed, then you are victimized as well. So even if it doesn't happen directly to a person, just by being in the same environment, that environment has been poisoned for everyone there and not just for the victim.

As I said earlier, until we recognize that there's a problem, until we deal with that -- and one of the ways we can do that is by designating this week, as the member for Chatham-Kent Essex has proposed. Until we do that, we are a long way from finding solutions and dealing with ways that we can help those individuals and stop this from happening in the future.

Ms. Laurie Scott (Haliburton-Victoria-Brock): I rise today in support of Bill 110, An Act to proclaim Sexual Harassment Awareness Week, and commend the member for Chatham-Kent Essex for bringing it forward. I would like to say that it would be nice if it was not necessary to bring such a bill forward. The member who spoke before me certainly made the point that we have to make more people aware: It does exist. That is the reason for this bill. Bill 110 will heighten the awareness of Ontarians that this issue still exists in our society and that there are steps we can take to prevent an escalation of harassment.

What is sexual harassment? It's an unwelcome sexual advance, a request for sexual favours, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Whether sexual harassment is from a supervisor, coworkers or customers, it's an attempt to assert power over another person. The harassment may take place in your work setting, outside of your work setting, in your home, while you're travelling on business or at a business function.

And 80% to 90% of Canadian women will experience sexual harassment at some point in their working lives. That figure is inexcusable to me. It's a startling statistic. I'm sure it's the same to all members of the Legislature.

Society has recognized that women can be anything they desire, and we've begun to truly support those goals and ambitions, but there still remain pockets of our society that do not want to see women advance and are threatened by their success.

Many employers and human resource departments have recognized the value of raising awareness of sexual harassment in the workplace. Where at one point in time it was swept under the rug, there are now specially designed training programs that provide managers and employees with the tools, knowledge and skills they need to recognize, stop and prevent all forms of harassing behaviour.

Various companies specialize in supporting organizations and companies that are committed to preventing harassment by providing a comprehensive approach to behaviour change, using program modules tied to business realities, skill-building practice and take-away tools, so there are numerous benefits to providing harassment prevention programs.

Formal programs increase the ability to assess harassment behaviours in situations before they escalate. They support the organization's overall systems and policies and reinforce the code of conduct that already exists in many places of business. Programs build skills for receiving complaints and for participating in the investigative process where the complainant can feel comfortable and without fear of company reprisal.

Programs also assist individuals' ability to understand and communicate concerns and boundaries, and this is a very important part that A-type business people often forget. They're people who have trouble setting boundaries, who want to please their boss, but do not know where to draw the line for fear of reprisal or dismissal. If people become more adept at recognizing and establishing boundaries, you can avoid a difficult situation before it can escalate into harassment.

Harassment can be a gradual process that builds over time, and the boundaries become blurred with what is often misconstrued as friendship. The difference can be felt in the pit of your stomach, when you know that something is just not right, but you feel a loss of control or guilt at that point. I hope Bill 110 will create the awareness necessary to demonstrate that it's never too late to put the brakes on, to say, "Whoa, wait a minute here. This is not what I had in mind." That takes courage, it takes empowerment, and we need to provide awareness to make that happen.

Harassment, as I said before, is not a recent development, but openly discussing it makes us more aware. Some examples have been mentioned about stares and leers and jokes. It can escalate to name-calling, calls and whistles. It starts to get much more offensive, such as derogatory pictures and materials on display, or cornering and blocking your exit and path, standing too close to you, following you home and pressuring you for sexual activity. Should it escalate further, the individual is at risk to be a victim of sexual assault.

There are serious mental health issues that are directly linked to higher rates of work-related trauma, including violence, harassment and workplace conflict. Rod Philips, president and CEO of WarrenShepell Corp., adds that "Canadian employers cannot afford to be complacent about the sources of stress that cause and lead to toxic workplaces." Workplace homicide is the second most common cause of death in US organizations, according to figures published by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. It seems that we pay attention to workplace violence in short bursts, such as the immediate aftermath of a high-profile workplace shooting. We sit up and take notice. But we have a responsibility to be concerned with violence and abuse every day. No organization is immune, and you have to have the systems in place to detect the warning signs early on.


Bill 110 places the issue of sexual harassment in the forefront of our minds, at least for a week, and gives employers a sober second thought, with statistics that demonstrate how prevalent this issue really is, and the programs that can help make the difference. Eliminating, or at least reducing, incidents of sexual harassment not only makes good moral and legal sense; it makes good business sense. In a recent study of 144 women and 59 men, 31% of the female team members had experienced at least one sexual harassing behaviour during the previous two years. Sexual hostility has been found to be particularly damaging for team initiatives and projects, as the acts are often hostile and overtly sexual. In a team dynamic, it's not just an issue between the offender and their victim; it's now an issue that the entire team is confronted with, and is now responsible for the outcome.

My hope is that Bill 110 will generate public information that will provide the necessary tools to help groups rise to the challenge. I can bring forward my past experience as a nurse and say I've witnessed many of the physical manifestations of sexual harassment, from headaches to nausea, ulcers, sleep deprivation, eating disorders, drug and alcohol dependency, and illness.

Obviously, sexual harassment takes an emotional toll in many ways, and when it occurs on the job, can lead to loss of income, loss of job skills, reassignment, decrease in work performance, absenteeism and inability to work.

The future effects are an inability to trust others, stress-related physical problems and symptoms, loss of job recommendations, loss of career opportunities and loss of economic opportunities.

We owe it to all those people who have experienced this to highlight this. I believe Bill 110 does that and I will be supporting it.

Ms. Andrea Horwath (Hamilton East): It's my pleasure to speak today in a very supportive way on Bill 110, the bill that seeks to proclaim Sexual Harassment Awareness Week in the province of Ontario.

I want to start my comments by commending the member from Chatham-Kent Essex for bringing this bill forward. The member, I know, has worked very closely with the Chatham-Kent Sexual Assault Crisis Centre in his riding. They've done a heck of a lot of work on sexual harassment and violence against women and prevention, on recommending draft legislation, and running programs and supporting women in their community who have been victimized by male violence. I know the member works closely with them and I want to commend both him and the agency for all the work they do on behalf of women in that community.

As legislators, we owe a great debt of gratitude to all our sexual assault centres across the province. They do incredible work, most times with very limited funding. They work on the front lines, constantly trying to bring us solutions and trying to tackle problems day to day that arise in their community around violence against women.

We all know that Sexual Assault Prevention Month has been with us, has been recognized every year, every May, in the province of Ontario, since 1988 when that bill was first brought forward. The proposal to designate the first week of June as Sexual Harassment Awareness Week will be giving this issue of sexual harassment the prominence it deserves and requires in Ontario.

I believe very strongly that the issue of sexual harassment needs to stand alone as an issue that faces women and others in Ontario. Sexual harassment, as we know and as we have seen far too many times, tragically, is a bit of a gateway to other forms of sexual violence against women. It has literally cost women their lives. I know that's one of reasons the member has brought this forward, specifically, and I'll get to that a little later on.

Sexual slurs and threats, rude remarks and gestures, stalking, unwanted touching, staring -- these are the odious symptoms and signs of sexual harassment. Rape, sexual assault, forcible confinement and murder can be the result of those very symptoms if they continue and are left unchecked in our communities, in our society.

Sexual harassment is too often treated by society as merely an unpleasant nuisance or a crude party joke rather than a crime that can lead to devastating crimes against women. Sexual harassment is illegal in Ontario under the Human Rights Code and since 1991 has been the fastest growing area of complaints in Ontario.

We need a law in Ontario that covers all aspects of harassment, particularly sexual harassment, in recognition of the need to protect basic human rights and for people to be safe and free from harassment. In fact, members will know that I have my own private member's bill in that regard as well, which would bring sexual harassment and other forms of harassment into the Occupational Health and Safety Act in the province of Ontario, so that people can refuse to work in an environment, in a workplace that is poisoned by harassment. I want to thank the member from Chatham-Kent Essex, because I know that he was interested in that issue as well. The bill that I'm speaking of, Bill 45, would require employers to protect employees subject to harassment on the job, to investigate and to put an end to harassment in the workplace.

The member's bill is one that takes the lead on the issue of identifying sexual harassment and acknowledging that as a society we need to turn our eye to that problem if we're ever going to be able to eradicate it, and for women and others who are subject to harassment to have the support of the rest of us. In fact, as a woman, I can tell you, the statistics are clear: 80% of women, four out of five women, are sexually harassed at one time or another in their lives. That's probably no stranger to any women sitting in this House or, unfortunately, any young women sitting in the galleries. It's a condemnation of our society that we still allow sexual harassment to occur. So this member's bill, I think by highlighting that issue, will require us all to redouble our efforts to say that this is not tolerable, this is not appropriate and this is something we will not accept in the province of Ontario.

The passionate concern that the MPP for Chatham-Kent Essex brings to this issue is the result, of course, of his representing the community where Theresa Vince was killed at work in 1996 by her supervisor, who had been sexually harassing her at their workplace year after year, without her being able to get that issue resolved.

In fact, I'm going to take the time -- and I'm sure the member has done it as well -- to read the preamble of the bill, where he indicates, "Sexual Harassment Awareness Week is being proclaimed in memory of Theresa Vince, who was brutally murdered in Chatham by her workplace supervisor. For years, Theresa Vince was a victim of ongoing and persistent sexual harassment perpetrated by her supervisor.

"The first week of June has been chosen as Sexual Harassment Awareness Week because June 2 marks the anniversary of Theresa Vince's death. The majority of women will experience sexual harassment at some point in their working lives," and it continues to explain why the bill is necessary. The member tabled this bill for first reading in the Legislature 10 years to the day after we lost Theresa Vince as a result of a brutal escalation of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Interestingly enough, I took the opportunity to pull out some of the recommendations from the coroner's jury upon the death of Theresa Vince, when the coroner's office investigated and the jury came out with some recommendations. A number of them speak specifically to the kinds of issues that I've already mentioned:

"To employers:

" -- Consider implementation of confidential sources of emotional, psychological and psychiatric assistance such as employee assistance programs.

" -- Educate employees on recognizing indicators of excessive stress or depression.

" -- Have effective workplace harassment and discrimination policies and procedures set out for employees."

It goes on with a number of employer responsibilities or employer actions that should be taking place to prevent these kinds of tragedies in the future.

The Ontario Human Rights Commission's recommendation: "Encourage victims to come forward as the commission offers neutral investigations. The commission must investigate."

Unfortunately, with the changes to the Human Rights Commission that this government is bringing forward under Bill 107, these investigations will no longer be taking place, and that is a frightening prospect. These are some of the very issues of concern that we've been raising around the changes being brought forward to the Ontario Human Rights Commission. There will no longer be an investigative opportunity, so that the public good type of investigations like sexual harassment investigations will not be undertaken any longer. It will be up to the victim to hire a lawyer and get private investigators to do the investigation, as opposed to it coming directly from the commission. This is a tragic step backwards, in my opinion, and will have extremely negative effects on women particularly and others who are being harassed.


Also, "Develop an advertisement campaign to promote public awareness and education." I think this is exactly what the member is doing in proclaiming the week in Bill 110. He is saying that we have to bring attention, we have to promote, we have to educate and we have to let people know what sexual harassment is.

There are a number of other recommendations to the Ministry of Labour and the provincial government, such as, "Maintain and provide the Ontario Human Rights Commission with the resources it needs to carry out its mandate." Again, unfortunately, the mandate is being changed to prevent any of these investigations from coming forward.

Nonetheless, I thought it was important to acknowledge that the bill is an important piece of what we need do, but also let us not go backwards when it comes to other pieces of legislation that could negatively affect our ability to move forward in the case of eradicating sexual harassment in Ontario.

Unfortunately, the horrific stories like that of Theresa Vince continue to occur. In fact, every day I open my newspaper and see another situation where there has been a woman either sexually assaulted or sexually harassed. Usually the harassment cases don't get to the newspaper until, unfortunately, they are cases like that of Theresa Vince, where the issues have gone far too long ignored and have resulted in violent acts. In fact, just on Monday, I opened my paper to see, "Women Assaulted, Bound to Captor," a headline in the Hamilton Spectator, indicating that a woman was found covered in blood and bound to a man with a rope. She was rescued by a passing police officer after being sexually assaulted and marched nearly two kilometres through downtown Niagara Falls on Friday night. These are the kinds of things that are happening to women in our communities on a daily basis.

So there's no doubt that we have to act. We have to act with anti-harassment legislation, and we have to act with this bill that's in front of us. I'll be very proud to be here in about 15 minutes or so when we vote in favour of this bill. I support it wholeheartedly.

I have a number of other issues that I want to discuss, though, around the attitudes and the incidences of sexual violence against women. Statistics point specifically to immediate and concrete action needing to occur: yes, the education and, yes, the changes to legislation that are outstanding. Why? Many have already indicated in this debate that two out of three women experience sexual assault; 38% of sexually assaulted women were assaulted by their husbands, common-law partners or boyfriends; four out of five female undergraduates -- are you listening, young girls in the audience today? -- surveyed at a Canadian university said they had been victims of violence in dating relationship; 29% reported incidents of sexual assault; and 22% of women who have been victims never tell anyone. They suffer in silence, in degrading, dehumanizing, humiliating silence. Across Canada in 1998, 82.6% of victims in reported cases of sexual assault were women and 98% of the accused were men. Canada ranks fourth out of 32 countries for the number of women assaulted in the workplace, according to a 1998 report of the ILO, the International Labour Organization.

Interestingly enough, my local sexual assault centre has spent some time trying to work with young women and help young women address the issues of sexual harassment and sexual violence, and I laud them for doing that. It's unfortunate that these days school is not the safe place that we think it should be, particularly for young women. They are sexually harassed on a daily basis and they are sexually assaulted by boys at school. That is something that we need to change, not only for the girls but for the boys as well. They should not feel that they have to behave in that way to get attention or for any other reason. So as parents and as legislators we need to tell girls that it's not acceptable, but we also need to make sure we're telling boys that it's not acceptable behaviour either.

In terms of Sexual Harassment Awareness Week, what I would most hope is that the we would eventually be able to declare the that age of harassing and victimizing women is over, but we're very far from that, unfortunately. Sexual assault centres, as we know, are still suffering from cuts that they received several years ago. They still haven't been able to make up the cumulative effect of those cuts over the years. We need to fund those crisis centres adequately. We need to not only restore the cuts but invest in some ambitious programming of prevention, services and supports backed up by strong anti-harassment laws, by this very bill, Sexual Harassment Awareness Week. If we do some of these things, we can really have an impact on young women and young people in our communities.

There are a number of other issues that need to be indicated. People sometimes think they can label this kind of behaviour based on a certain type of person, and it's certainly not true. Men who sexually harass women come from every economic, ethnic, racial, age and social group. They can be any type of profession -- doctors, teachers, employers, co-workers, lawyers -- husbands, students, colleagues or relatives of the women they are harassing or abusing. So the people that we need to reach we need to reach through our institutions, through our places of worship, through websites, through publications, through family structures.

Interestingly enough, one of the groups of people that has come forward recently to this Legislature is a group of a young women who have put together something called the Miss G. Project. Members might recall that they've been here on a couple of occasions now. But that's one of the kinds of projects that, if we could get that moving forward -- what that does basically is require women's studies to become a course of study in high schools across the province. By bringing women's studies into the regular course of study in the high school curriculum, you're beginning to teach young people -- girls and boys -- the value of women's contributions. To this point in time, that has not been the case. Oftentimes, women's contributions historically to our cities and to our province and to our country are sidelined when it comes to the curriculum. Unfortunately, that has only been a way of continuing to minimize women and their contribution and their importance in the ongoing legislation, the ongoing creation of a caring and just society. By doing things like supporting, for example, the initiatives of the Miss G. Project women, who are saying that women's studies need to be part of the high school curriculum, we can then begin to build in some of the places where women's contributions are respected and valued, as opposed to minimized and leading to harassment.

I've run out of time; I have so many more things to say. Again, I thank the member for bringing this bill forward and I'm happy to support it.

Mrs. Carol Mitchell (Huron-Bruce): I'm very pleased to rise today to support Bill 110, An Act to proclaim Sexual Harassment Awareness Week. I too want to acknowledge the Vince family, Jim and Catherine, the courage it must take to come forward today. Congratulations. You're taking a tragedy and turning it into a positive step forward. For that, I thank you.

One of the things I want to talk about is not only the member for Chatham-Kent Essex -- the courage it takes to bring this bill forward today I believe is commendable. I also want to congratulate you, the member, for bringing it forward today. When we talk about what we can do as parliamentarians to make our communities better places to live, I believe that awareness and education bring about sustainable change within our communities, and only that will bring about change that will go into the next generations.

I come from a family of three girls and I raised two girls, so for me it can be a bit difficult when I talk about the different situations that women can find themselves in. I know that it's not only women who are affected, but I'm going to speak specifically to women, with the understanding that I know it is more than women; men are affected as well. But just the sheer numbers lend the conversation I'm going to have to speak to women alone.

I had the opportunity to go to the women's shelter in Bruce county, which also provides counselling, specifically for sexual harassment. One of the ladies decided to tell me their story. They started off by telling how they arrived at the women's shelter. They all of a sudden decided they wanted to change their mind and wanted to disagree a little bit. They started to shake; they were so upset that they wanted to change their minds or their opinion. One of the ladies sitting beside the other lady put her hand on the other one and said, "It's okay. You're allowed to say `no' here. You're safe." It's something that has stayed with me a very long time.


When you come from a family of very strong, independent women, you need to listen to the stories. We've all, as women, experienced sexual harassment. None of us standing here would be telling the whole story if we didn't say, especially in the nature of our positions, that at some time we had experienced it, but it's how we deal with it. It's the ability to come forward and to tell your story and to feel that you have the security to tell your story: That is what this will do. It provides a basis, a foundation, for education so that people know it's not acceptable behaviour. It's just not "on," as we say from my riding. That's what we have to get: that level of understanding, the level of comfort for people to come forward and to tell their stories and to know that they are very sure that that is unacceptable behaviour. That is where we need to get to, and we will get there through education, through community awareness. That is where I believe the strength is.

When we look at how much has changed from one generation to the next generation, we have so much more work to do, and we are in a position where we can make a difference in our communities by going out and giving people the opportunities. If they can't speak, if their voices aren't strong enough, we can talk for them. We can tell their stories. We can bring about a difference and we can make a difference. We can work through the bullying in our schools when we talk about how that's not acceptable. That's where it begins. We need to build a strong foundation, and the member from Chatham-Kent Essex recognizes this. He recognizes this is where we need to go. So with that, I support it.

It also is a barrier for women to move into what I would call non-traditional workplaces. Sexual harassment can be and is a barrier. What we can do to eliminate those barriers, to give the tools to all of the people of Ontario, is, I believe, the direction that we all want to go. So I want to thank the member for giving me the opportunity. I could go on for hours, but thank you very much.

Mr. Jean-Marc Lalonde (Glengarry-Prescott-Russell): I'm delighted to be able to participate in this debate. For Ontarians, this is a very important bill brought forward by our esteemed colleague, my adviser on agricultural issues, the member from Chatham-Kent Essex.

The bill is to foster change in social attitudes and behaviour surrounding sexual harassment and to prevent other tragedies from happening.

Qu'est-ce que le harcèlement sexuel ? Le harcèlement sexuel signifie que quelqu'un vous importune par des paroles ou des agissements qui vous indisposent ou par des remarques ou suggestions à connotation sexuelle ou liées à l'appartenance sexuelle -- par exemple, une personne qui vous importune en faisant des remarques ou des gestes inconvenants liés au sexe, en vous touchant de façon inappropriée, en faisant des plaisanteries ou des remarques offensantes de nature sexuelle sur les femmes ou les hommes, en faisant des propositions de rapports intimes ou en demandant des faveurs sexuelles, en vous fixant ou en faisant des commentaires inconvenants sur votre corps, en exposant des images offensantes à cause de leur nature sexuelle, ou en étant abusif envers vous en raison de votre sexe.

Sexual harassment is a form of violence against women, although it also can happen and has happened to men or between members of the same sex. It can cause death or serious and lasting harm.

Employers, contractors, professional associations, unions, and people who provide rental housing accommodations and other services have to make sure that sexual harassment does not occur on their property, in their workplace or within their facilities.

La première semaine en juin est idéale comme Semaine de la sensibilisation au harcèlement sexuel parce que le 2 juin marque l'anniversaire du décès de Theresa Vince. Nous avons avec nous dans la galerie aujourd'hui l'époux de la défunte Vince, et sa fille Catherine. Thanks for being here with us today.

Selon les statistiques, la majorité des femmes seront victimes de harcèlement sexuel au cours de leur vie professionnelle. La proclamation de la Semaine de la sensibilisation au harcèlement sexuel vise à sensibiliser davantage le public au harcèlement sexuel, à promouvoir un changement dans les attitudes et les comportements sociaux à cet égard, et à empêcher qu'une autre tragédie de ce genre ne survienne.

Chacun a le droit de participer pleinement et sur un pied d'égalité à la vie de la collectivité, et ce en toute sécurité.

We must recognize sexual harassment as a serious problem and play a role in eliminating it. To proclaim the first week in June as Sexual Harassment Awareness Week, as is proposed in this bill, is a great way to raise awareness. This is always the first step in changing attitudes. This type of bill shows the importance of private members' time to allow the MPPs to promote issues that are important and to debate bills that cross party lines. We can certainly all acknowledge the importance of sensitizing the public to the horror of sexual harassment and to its serious and sometimes deadly consequences.

The Deputy Speaker: Mr. Hoy, you have up to two minutes to respond.

Mr. Hoy: I want to thank the members who spoke on my bill this morning: the members for Barrie-Simcoe-Bradford, Lambton-Kent-Middlesex, Haliburton-Victoria-Brock, Hamilton East, Huron-Bruce, and Glengarry-Prescott-Russell. Your comments were both positive and profound.

Many of the members brought forward other statistics in relation to this issue of sexual harassment or harassment in general. It is quite true, as mentioned by other members, that the incidence of sexual harassment seems to be predominately against women. However, other members have identified that it has occurred against males. Also, persons have mentioned that it's not only the workplace. I too mentioned that. The workplace is not the only place where sexual harassment can occur. There was mention of schools. There was mention of while people are on travel. I mentioned that wherever people may gather, the possibility exists.

I see this morning as more of a discussion in terms of Bill 110 rather than a debate. What we want to do is to ensure that this serious problem is highlighted by proclaiming the first week in June as Sexual Harassment Awareness Week, to bring forward a public awareness and to foster a change in societal attitudes -- many persons spoke to that this morning -- with an admission that sexual harassment can be prevented before another tragedy occurs, and to also acknowledge that it takes place in our society.

I want to pay particular thanks to the Vince family, whom I've known over the past 10 years. They are stalwarts in regard to this issue. They're a very strong family and they're working so very hard to ensure that a tragedy such as they suffered through never occurs again here in the province of Ontario. I thank them very much.

The Deputy Speaker: The time provided for private members' public business has expired.

LOI DE 2006

The Deputy Speaker (Mr. Bruce Crozier): We'll deal first with ballot item number 45, standing in the name of Mr. Peterson.

Mr. Peterson has moved second reading of Bill 121. Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.

Mr. Tim Peterson (Mississauga South): Mr. Speaker, could I ask that this bill be referred to the standing committee on general government?

The Deputy Speaker: Shall the bill be referred to the standing committee on general government? Agreed.


The Deputy Speaker (Mr. Bruce Crozier): We shall now deal with ballot item number 46, standing in the name of Mr. Hoy.

Mr. Hoy has moved second reading of Bill 110. Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.

Mr. Pat Hoy (Chatham-Kent Essex): I would ask that this bill be referred to the standing committee on justice policy.

The Deputy Speaker: Shall the bill be referred to the standing committee on justice policy? Agreed.

All matters relating to private members' public business having been dealt with, I do now leave the chair. The House will resume at 1:30 of the clock.

The House recessed from 1200 to 1330.


The Speaker (Hon. Michael A. Brown): I beg to inform the House that I have today laid upon the table the 2005-06 annual report of the Ombudsman.



Mr. Ted Arnott (Waterloo-Wellington): The member for Halton, our critic for economic development, made an important point in this House yesterday. Drawing attention to the dramatic loss of manufacturing jobs under the watch of the McGuinty Liberal government, he issued a wake-up call that needs to be answered with action, not apathy.

On Tuesday, one of Canada's most respected independent economic think tanks, the C.D. Howe Institute, issued a damning report of the provincial government's tax policies. Their policies are costing us jobs. In comparing the total capital tax burden on business, the C.D. Howe Institute found that Ontario's taxes will soon be the highest not only in Canada, but the highest amongst 36 industrialized economies, excluding the People's Republic of China.

One of the authors of the report, Jack Mintz, was quoted as saying, "Given Ontario's size and importance to the Canadian economy, the province's lack of focus on tax competitiveness is of particular concern."

Even the chief economist of the TD Bank, Don Drummond, whom the government usually counts on to defend its economic policies, said this in response to the report: "Their whole tax structure on corporations is biased against growth."

More than a year ago now, I tabled a resolution calling upon the finance committee to develop a plan to create new jobs and protect the ones we already have. Since the start of 2005, we have lost more than 75,000 good manufacturing jobs, including 1,100 jobs at BF Goodrich in Kitchener in Waterloo-Wellington.

The Minister of Finance should acknowledge the serious competitive challenge that Ontario's manufacturers face --

The Speaker (Hon. Michael A. Brown): Thank you.


Mr. Peter Tabuns (Toronto-Danforth): Toronto Pride Week is before us again. It's a time that we celebrate diversity and reflect on the battles that still need to be won for full equality to be realized.

For example, families in my riding are discriminated against because the Vital Statistics Act does not give equal recognition to lesbian mothers. A few weeks ago, Justice Rivard ruled that the Ontario government was infringing on charter rights with this practice and gave it one year to change its ways.

But by enacting legislation that's already on the books, the McGuinty government can end government discrimination against co-mothers right now. It can proclaim the recently amended section 9 of the Vital Statistics Act that deals with certification of birth. This revised section opens the door for a regulation to be written that gives co-mothers due recognition as parents. I've filed a motion calling on the McGuinty government to do this.

There is apprehension that this government may try to appeal the Rivard decision, given that it fought the court case tooth and nail. To signify that Pride Week is more than just a photo op to them, the McGuinty government should act on the motion that I've put forward.


Mr. Mario Sergio (York West): During the month of June 2006, Germany is hosting the World Cup. It's a world soccer tournament that sees some 32 nations competing for the most coveted trophy in the sport of soccer. The World Cup is held every four years in a different part of the world. Without any doubt, soccer is indeed the greatest sport in the world.

Mr. Bruce Crozier (Essex): No, it isn't.

Mr. Sergio: Yes, it is. The host nation for the 2006 World Cup, Germany, must be extremely congratulated for putting on a wonderful sporting event.

Canada is not there this year, but I know it's getting ready to be there four years from now. The game of soccer here in Canada, and especially in our city, is alive and thriving, growing at a record pace. Hundreds of thousands of youngsters belong to one association or another. Thousands of volunteers dedicate themselves to the love of soccer as well.

This Sunday -- a first -- the Italian women's soccer team will be playing the Canadian women's soccer team in Etobicoke at Centennial Stadium, right here in our city, and next year, our city, together with other Canadian cities, will be hosting the World Youth Championship.

So to all of them, to all the sympathizers, to our city, to all the different communities, we are going to be a winner, no matter who is going to win this year's World Cup. Good luck to all of them.


Mr. Tim Hudak (Erie-Lincoln): Mr. Speaker, what if you were the Premier of Canada's largest province, and after hiding from the big issues you decided to finally show some leadership? What if, to further that, you organized a summit about the fiscal imbalance? What if nobody stayed past lunch for that conference except a few very well fed Liberal staffers? What if you kept the media waiting for over an hour because you couldn't get your act together? And what if, once you finally did show up, the media only asked you about the ongoing crisis in Caledonia?

What if the Toronto Star story centred on how, and I quote, a "defensive" Dalton McGuinty has quietly dropped his $23-billion gap slogan because that number isn't supported by the facts? What if one of your keynote speakers pointedly took issue with the Premier's $23-billion figure? And what if the Star article said, "Whatever the real number -- and Ontario officials refuse to crunch any new data on the gap -- McGuinty really, really, really doesn't want to talk about it"?

What if CP wrote a story about the fiscal imbalance and mentioned municipalities, the federal government and Stephen Harper, but failed to mention you, your summit or your fight? Well, your name would be Dalton McGuinty.

The reality is that Dalton McGuinty's weak and indecisive leadership can no longer stay hidden behind expensive taxpayer-funded summits. All those empty chairs spoke volumes that nobody's falling for that game any more.


Mr. Vic Dhillon (Brampton West-Mississauga): I rise today to speak about the McGuinty government's accomplishments in the field of education.

We are working hard to ensure that Ontario's public education system is second to none, and a strong public education system is the foundation of a strong economy. We're reducing class sizes, boosting test scores, ensuring there's labour peace in schools and helping more high school students graduate. We have hired more teachers, bought more textbooks, stopped funnelling money to private schools, and made schools safer through an anti-bullying initiative and safe school audits.

But there's more to be done. We have invested an additional $600 million in education funding, bringing the total to $17.5 billion for 2006-07. That investment is part of our plan to see 75% of 12-year-olds achieve the provincial standard in reading, writing and math, and to see 85% of high school students graduate.

The reason there's so much to be done is that the previous government treated the education of our children as a wedge issue that could win them votes at election time. They created a crisis so they could score some political points.

Our approach is different. We will continue to work with teachers and parents to make sure our students have the best education possible, which will ensure Ontario's prosperity for generations to come.



Mr. Garfield Dunlop (Simcoe North): On Tuesday, I visited the beautiful community of Caledonia, and what I heard can best be summed up from a Toronto Sun article of the other day. I'll read parts of it.

"Frightened politicians make lousy negotiators -- especially when they're representing us. Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty is apparently so freaked out by the native protesters in Caledonia, that he's now making major concessions to them -- with taxpayers' money -- without getting anything in return....

"One of the big concerns the Six Nations negotiators had was that if the disputed land was developed while they were waiting for their case to be heard, it would effectively negate their chances of keeping the land. In other words, it's reasonable to think a court would be reluctant to order the demolishing of an established subdivision years down the road, even if the natives won their case. The tendency would be to try to compensate the natives with something other than land.

"By agreeing to buy the land and hold it in trust, McGuinty has removed that concern, but apparently got nothing in return -- unless there's now a deal or understanding between the two sides we aren't being told about.

"The protestors say they'll continue to occupy the development until they win title to the land. Perhaps, sensing weakness from the province, they're upping the ante and pushing to get the entire issue settled now, rather than years from now.

"And why not? A few days ago, McGuinty said he wouldn't continue negotiations with the natives until they took down all their barricades and co-operated with an OPP investigation that led to charges against seven native protestors last weekend.

"Subsequently, the native protestors took down some of the barricades, but not the main one. And as of yesterday, only one of the seven protestors sought by police was in custody.

"And yet, here's McGuinty not only negotiating but offering a big concession. Someone should tell the Premier that there's not much point" --

The Speaker (Hon. Michael A. Brown): Thank you.


Mr. Jeff Leal (Peterborough): A strong economy is vital to the success of our province, as well as meeting the essential needs of all Ontarians. Because of the bold initiatives that the McGuinty government is taking to help build our auto manufacturing sector as well as to stimulate foreign investment and trade, Ontario has been able to experience a resurgence in this key sector. Even John Tory's good friend and golf buddy, federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, speaks of the resilience of Canadian workers in the June 13 edition of the Globe and Mail: "Canadians are able to find other comparable well paying employment if they lose their job in the manufacturing sector."

Over the past two years, Ontario's strategic auto investments have attracted close to $7 billion in new auto sector investments, and we have seen record growth in the past 12 months. Our investments have resulted in the announcement or creation of 7,000 new jobs, plus thousands more spinoffs. Since we took office in October 2003, the Ontario economy has created 290,000 net new jobs, 99% of which are full-time jobs, with an unemployment rate of 5.9%, the lowest in five years.

The McGuinty Liberals are clearly on the side of working Ontarians and understand their needs in the changing economic climate. Whereas the previous government refused to even consider that it takes more than just tax cuts to build a prosperous economy, we see that there need to be government supports in place to ensure the success of this sector of the economy.

Ultimately, we're working hard for Ontario's families, and we're on their side.


Ms. Kathleen O. Wynne (Don Valley West): Our province is enriched every day by the arrival of new Canadians eager to play a role in the beautiful mosaic of Ontario. They bring with them an impressive range of skills. They are eager to contribute to their communities and help the economy thrive. As many as 140,000 newcomers arrive in Ontario each year, and in the past two years more than half of those were university-educated. Within five years, newcomers will account for the entire net labour force growth of the province.

The McGuinty government is committed to making sure that the skills and talents of thousands of internationally trained professionals are a brain gain for Ontario, not a brain drain. This month, we took a huge step towards ensuring this with the introduction of the historic Fair Access to Regulated Professions Act. This proposed legislation, the first of its kind in Canada, will ensure that Ontario's regulated professions have admissions processes that are fair, transparent and clear. They will also be required to assess credentials more quickly.

In Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park -- two vibrant, diverse neighbourhoods in Don Valley West -- this is the single most pressing issue. The McGuinty government is on the side of newcomers who choose to make their home in Ontario. David Miller said, "Toronto is home to more new Canadians than any other city in Ontario. They've got incredible skills and experience. I'm pleased the Ontario government has taken this major step in helping newcomers put their talents to work in our city and our province."

I hope the entire House will support this legislation. It's important for Ontario and it's important for the newcomers who come here.


Mr. Brad Duguid (Scarborough Centre): Thanks to the hard work of this government, our province is heading into the summer of 2006 in better health. I couldn't have been prouder when hundreds of Ontarians joined us on the steps of the Legislature several weeks ago to celebrate the arrival of a smoke-free Ontario.

Despite the noise made by critics of our anti-smoking campaign, the McGuinty government showed great resolve, and our commitment is already reaping results. In restaurants, bars and patios, and other public spaces across the province, people are breathing easier.

With the passage of the LHINs legislation earlier this spring, we made important changes to our health care system, which will bring decision-making, planning and resource allocation back into the community, where it belongs.

The progress doesn't stop there. By passing the Transparent Drug System for Patients Act this week, we took a bold step toward ensuring that people across our province have greater access to drugs.

There can be no doubt that the McGuinty government is on the side of Ontario families when it comes to health. On behalf of my colleagues here in this Legislature on this side of the House, I'd like to wish the people of our province a happy and healthy summer. On behalf of all of us on this side of the House, Mr. Speaker, I'd like to wish you, the members of the opposition and all Ontarians a happy and safe summer.


The Speaker (Hon. Michael A. Brown): Yesterday, the member for Lanark-Carleton, Mr. Sterling, introduced Bill 132, An Act to include members of the Legislative Assembly in the public service pension plan and to make related amendments to other Acts. Upon reviewing the bill, I have determined that it would cause an expenditure of public money out of the consolidated revenue fund, contrary to standing order 56. Accordingly, I have directed that the bill not be printed and that it be deleted from the orders and notices paper.



Ms. Matthews moved first reading of the following bill:

Bill 133, An Act to amend the Education Act to provide stability for students in transition housing / Projet de loi 133, Loi modifiant la Loi sur l'éducation afin d'offrir une stabilité aux étudiants vivant dans un logement de transition.

The Speaker (Hon. Michael A. Brown): Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.

The member may wish to make a brief statement.

Ms. Deborah Matthews (London North Centre): First let me say I'm delighted to be joined today by some people from London who have never lost sight of the importance of kids, especially kids who are at risk. Kate Wiggins, Peter Jaffe, Tim Kelly and a number of others from London are here, and I'm happy they are.

I'm introducing a bill today that gives children the most important thing that they need to succeed in school: stability. This bill recognizes the vital role that schools play in the lives of children while they are in temporary, emergency housing by allowing them to stay at their original school until the end of the school year.


Mr. Ouellette moved first reading of the following bill:

Bill 134, An Act to amend the Retail Sales Tax Act / Projet de loi 134, Loi modifiant la Loi sur la taxe de vente au détail.

The Speaker (Hon. Michael A. Brown): Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.

The member may wish to make a brief statement.

Mr. Jerry J. Ouellette (Oshawa): The bill amends the Retail Sales Tax Act to repeal the tax for fuel consumption payable on the purchase of a new vehicle or a sport utility vehicle manufactured in North America and a corresponding tax credit.

This is designed to promote vehicles produced and retailed in Canada and North America. My understanding is that the savings represent up to thousands of dollars per vehicle to the purchaser, which is an incentive for the auto industry.

Also, this is an auto industry-wide recommendation. As for Ontario, it's one of the only jurisdictions that has this tax disincentive for made-in-North America vehicles.




Hon. James J. Bradley (Minister of Tourism, minister responsible for seniors, Government House Leader): I know that there's a request from the opposition benches over there for a 9(c)(i), but I'm afraid I don't have it with me tonight.

I do have another motion, however. It reads as follows:

I move that the following committees be authorized to meet during the summer adjournment in accordance with the schedule of meeting dates agreed to by the whips of the recognized parties and tabled with the Clerk of the assembly to examine and inquire into the following matters:

Standing committee on general government to consider Bill 51, An Act to amend the Planning Act and the Conservation Land Act and to make related amendments to other Acts;

Standing committee on government agencies, pursuant to its terms of reference as set out in standing order 106(e);

Standing committee on social policy to consider Bill 43, An Act to protect existing and future sources of drinking water and to make complementary and other amendments to other Acts;

Standing committee on justice policy to consider Bill 14, An Act to promote access to justice by amending or repealing various Acts and by enacting the Legislation Act, 2005, and Bill 107, An Act to amend the Human Rights Code;

Standing committee on the Legislative Assembly to consider Bill 52, An Act to amend the Education Act respecting pupil learning to the age of 18 and equivalent learning and to make complementary amendments to the Highway Traffic Act, upon its referral from the House, and for the Chair and up to three members to attend the 2006 annual meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures;

Standing committee on public accounts to attend the 27th annual conference of the Canadian Council of Public Accounts Committees; and

Standing committee on estimates to consider 2006-07 estimates of selected ministries and offices.

With the agreement of the whip of each recognized party, the time allotted for consideration by the committees may be amended; and

That the committees be authorized to release their reports during the summer adjournment by depositing a copy of any report with the Clerk of the assembly, and upon the resumption of the meetings of the House, the Chairs of such committees shall bring any such reports before the House in accordance with the standing orders.

The Speaker (Hon. Michael A. Brown): Mr. Bradley has moved the following --

Interjection: Dispense.

The Speaker: Dispense? Dispense.

Shall the motion carry? Carried.


The Speaker (Hon. Michael A. Brown): I'd like to take this opportunity to express on behalf of all the members of the Legislature a great thanks to this particular group of pages who have served us so well over the past weeks.


Ms. Monique M. Smith (Nipissing): On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: I'd like to ask members of the Legislature to join me in welcoming a former colleague of mine, Manus McMullan, who's a barrister with Atkin Chambers in London, England, and his wife, Claire Hughes, from the BBC, who are joining us today.



The Speaker (Hon. Michael A. Brown): Statements by the Ministry? The Minister of Education.

Hon. Sandra Pupatello (Minister of Education, minister responsible for women's issues): And minister responsible for women's issues.

I am pleased to rise to inform the House of a very important initiative designed to help people recognize the warning signs of woman abuse and to provide people with the tools to help both the woman being abused, at risk of abuse, as well as the abusers. The Neighbours, Friends and Families public education campaign recognizes that every individual in the community has a role to play in helping to prevent abuse against women. Understanding the warning signs is an important first step. Knowing what to do when you see the signs is absolutely critical.

The government is on the side of vulnerable women. We are giving people the information and tools they need in order to know how to help both the abused and the abusers when they suspect a woman is being abused.

Our government put together an expert panel to develop this initiative. I want to acknowledge the work of the expert panel today, some of whom are in the gallery with us, including Dr. Peter Jaffe, academic director at the Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children. Thank you, so much, Dr. Jaffe, for being here. He is a true leader in this field.

It gives me great pleasure to introduce to this House today Tim Kelly, who is a real leader in the London area. We're so pleased he's here with us. He is the chair of the Neighbours, Friends and Families expert panel. Tim, thank you so much for coming to the House today.

I want to thank all the members of the panel. You can't imagine how your work will help to change women's and children's lives. The work you do is so tremendously important, and we thank each and every one of you for your significant contribution.

I especially want to acknowledge Deb Ashbee, who was with us today at this launch. Deb Ashbee is the best friend of Sandra Schott, who was murdered by her estranged husband. Deb has joined us here in support of this initiative and to make us understand how real the work is that we do. Deb, thank you so much for coming today. It was a real privilege to have you with us at our announcement.

This campaign launch includes two English and French public service ads, English and French print materials and a website. Aboriginal-specific products are currently being developed by and for aboriginal peoples, and other products will be culturally adapted for diverse communities. A comprehensive community kit is also being developed, and organizations will be able to use the materials to provide workshops and meetings to mobilize communities to take action.

Domestic violence is complex. There are no easy answers. But we must continue to work towards a solution to a problem that affects every one of us. It's not easy to change attitudes and behaviours, but it is up to all of us -- not just the government, not just the police, not just social services, but whole communities -- to try. Women's lives depend on it.

Far too often the focus of my portfolio as minister responsible for women's issues is on the tragic incidences of abuse against women that continue to plague our province. The Neighbours, Friends and Families campaign is part of our government's comprehensive four-year, $68-million domestic violence action plan. It's designed to provide the community supports and interventions that can lead to a real reduction in violence. Today I ask my fellow MPPs to lead, to join and to embrace this campaign for all of our communities.

May I take a moment to share with you some of the print material that is available, that all of us would be interested in seeing: How can you identify and help women who are at risk of being abused? Safety planning for women who are abused. How to talk to men who are abusive. I would encourage everyone to go to the Website, neighboursfriendsandfamilies.on.ca, and please have a look at the materials. If you do suspect, if you have some information you know we need to have, there would be a 1-800 number available so people can call, discuss what it is they see, and understand from the person on the other end of the phone if it really is a situation at risk and how you can intervene safely, how you can give good, credible information to the individual who you suspect is being abused. The information that's available in all of the brochures, in all of the material, is equally available and appropriate for gay and lesbian relationships. This is for all of us. This is important. I urge you to go to neighboursfriendsandfamilies.on.ca. Join the campaign and stop the abuse.


L'hon. Madeleine Meilleur (ministre des Services sociaux et communautaires, ministre déléguée aux Affaires francophones): Chers collègues, monsieur le Président, au nom du gouvernement de l'Ontario, je suis très heureuse de souhaiter une merveilleuse Saint-Jean-Baptiste à l'ensemble de la communauté francophone de toute la province et d'ailleurs au pays, une francophonie qui vibre aux accents de la mondialisation, une francophonie dont l'espace s'agrandit pour accueillir les francophiles et les amis du fait français.

L'Ontario est fier d'adhérer aux valeurs fondamentales du Canada, soit la dualité linguistique et la diversité culturelle. Notre gouvernement reconnaît la contribution primordiale de la communauté francophone à l'essor de notre province. L'avenir de l'Ontario et celui de la francophonie sont intimement liés. C'est pourquoi le gouvernement est fier de soutenir la francophonie ontarienne par des actions concrètes. Je me permets d'en citer quelques-unes :

-- l'expansion de l'Hôpital Montfort grâce à un investissement sans précédent de 185 $ millions;

-- la nouvelle Loi sur l'Intégration du système de santé, qui reconnaît de manière explicite le droit de participation des francophones à la planification des services de santé en français, un point tournant pour l'accès aux soins de santé en français;

-- l'appui continu à l'éducation en langue française;

-- la désignation récente de Kingston, que nous célébrerons la semaine prochaine, qui devient la 25e région désignée où les francophones pourront bientôt recevoir les services du gouvernement provincial en français;

-- la signature du protocole de coopération Ontario-Québec, qui comprend un accord multisectoriel en matière d'affaires francophones d'une portée sans précédent.

En outre, cette année, à l'occasion du 20e anniversaire de la Loi sur les services en français, nous avons toutes les raisons du monde pour mettre en valeur l'apport des francophones à l'histoire de l'Ontario et à son avenir. Sous le leadership du premier ministre McGuinty, nous sommes fiers de souligner cet anniversaire par le biais d'initiatives d'envergure menées par plusieurs de nos ministères et annoncées lors de la Journée internationale de la francophonie le 20 mars dernier.

Mais pour le moment, célébrons ensemble la fête de tous les francophones de l'Ontario et de partout au pays.

Bonne Saint-Jean-Baptiste.



Ms. Laurie Scott (Haliburton-Victoria-Brock): I am pleased to rise today on behalf of the Progressive Conservative Party and our leader, John Tory, and respond to the minister's announcement regarding the province-wide campaign to help people recognize the early signs of abuse against women and suggestions on how friends and family can help those victims of domestic violence. I would also like to congratulate the leadership and expertise of the expert panel helping the minister and all Ontarians.

Addressing violence against women and girls is a non-partisan issue and we are supportive of the government's announcement today. I was pleased to see this initiative was in line with one of the recommendations put forward for by the Domestic Violence Death Review Committee annual report to the chief coroner released on Tuesday this week. The report said, "Ongoing reviews continue to reveal a need to generally heighten awareness and provide education about domestic violence."

There is, of course, still much that needs to be done and I would like to take this opportunity to bring attention to some of the other recommendations contained in the DVDRC annual report.

There is a need to have appropriate tools available to those who work with victims and perpetrators of domestic violence to better assess the potential for lethal violence in their lives, and corresponding access to appropriate services and programs.

The report also recommends that adequate resources are required to institute programs that will help ensure victim safety and reduce the perpetrator's risk.

I would also like to remind the government of the backgrounder released in November last year that, as part of this domestic violence plan, the McGuinty government would provide funding of $1 million to the transitional and housing support program, starting in April 2006, to provide additional counselling and support services to women in affordable housing. We have yet to see the announcement for this initiative.

I am proud to be part of a Conservative government that increased spending in this area by 70% since 1995 when we first took office. It was our government which introduced and passed the Domestic Violence Protection Act on December 21, 2000. We were able to increase shelter funding and allocate money to create a crisis line for assaulted women that provided 24-hour, seven-day-a-week crisis services for abused women across the province. We were also proud to provide an early intervention program for child witnesses of domestic violence to help children recover from the effects of witnessing violence in their families.


Mrs. Julia Munro (York North): I'm pleased to respond to the Minister of Community and Social Services' message.

In 1908, Pope Pius X designated John the Baptist as the patron saint of the province of Quebec, solidifying the religious significance of the holiday. Since then, Saint-Jean-Baptist Day has become a secular national holiday in Quebec, the Fête nationale.

In Ontario, the holiday is significant for Franco-Ontarians and it recognizes the important contributions that Franco-Ontarians have made to our province. The French presence in Ontario dates to the mid-17th century. Early settlements in the area include the mission of Sainte-Marie among the Hurons in Simcoe county in 1649 and Sault Ste. Marie in 1668. French-speaking Ontarians have played an important part in Ontario's government since the early days of our province. For French Canadians and Franco-Ontarians, Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day has long been a special time to celebrate their identity and heritage. It is also an occasion to reaffirm the ties of friendship and solidarity that unite people of francophone origin from coast to coast. The tradition landed in North America with the first French colonists. According to the Jesuit Relations, the first celebrations of this day in New France took place around 1638. In 1880, the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Society organized the gathering of all francophone communities across North America.

One good example of the leadership of this community is Jacques Baby. He was a politician, civil servant, militia officer and landowner in Detroit and York. In 1792, he was among the first people appointed to the executive and legislative councils of Upper Canada, this chamber's predecessor. He served in a number of other capacities, including inspector general, and was even a member of the Family Compact. Baby was a prominent landowner, owning thousands of acres throughout the province. In fact, my neighbours and I celebrated the 200th anniversary of the land grants to Baby, as we own a very, very small portion of one of those grants. He is only one of the many francophones who have made a lasting contribution to Ontario. We honour them, along with the culture and heritage of Franco-Ontarians, on Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day. Congratulations.

M. Rosario Marchese (Trinity-Spadina): À tous les Ontariens et Ontariennes qui sont liés à la langue et à la culture françaises et à tous les francophones du Canada, au nom du NPD, j'aimerais vous souhaiter une merveilleuse journée de la Saint-Jean-Baptiste, en espérant que cette journée soit remplie de merveilleux moments passés en compagnie de votre famille, vos amis et votre communauté et à célébrer notre riche culture et notre héritage, qui font de nous un endroit si unique dans le monde. Le Québec se distingue en étant le foyer principal de la langue française dans l'Amérique du Nord.

Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day is a time-honoured celebration which continues to link us to the deep roots of our history. It also serves to guide us towards a future secure with this unique and beautiful culture and language to be passed on to future generations.

Je vous encourage fortement à vous joindre aux célébrations ayant lieu dans votre communauté. Ce sont des occasions à saisir pour célébrer les remarquables et vivantes communautés francophones du Canada et leurs contributions à l'avancement de notre pays.

La Saint-Jean-Baptiste est la fête nationale des Québécoises et Québécois, mais aussi c'est une opportunité de démontrer à tous les Ontariennes et Ontariens la profondeur et la diversité de la culture francophone.

Bonne journée de la Saint-Jean-Baptiste. Happy Saint-Jean-Baptiste.


Ms. Andrea Horwath (Hamilton East): On behalf of New Democrats, I'm pleased to respond to the minister's statement today, basically a reannouncement of commitments to funds for education programs on domestic violence.

Certainly I would join with the minister and the opposition in thanking all of those people who day in and day out work on domestic violence issues in their community, particularly the people of London, who apparently set the model for this program that the minister is announcing this morning.

But I have to say that once friends and families and neighbours and communities make the initiative and get involved in these kinds of situations and ensure that the domestic violence is acknowledged and perhaps dealt with, we have to acknowledge that something else has to come after that. We have to ensure that women are able, and confident that they are able, to get the services they need when in fact these issues are reported. After a neighbour calls police, or after family or friends get involved, there has to be somebody there who is guaranteed to be able to help women in dealing with the domestic violence that they're facing. We have to make sure that the investments the domestic violence action plan claims it's going to invest over the years are the right investments, so that the $68 million that the government has committed actually does get spent in the right places. Although not even quite half of that has been invested to this point, we know that that needs to happen.

Women in violent homes, at this point, either can't get away or can't stay away. They are not able to move on with their lives. They face poverty, they face challenges with child care, and they face challenges with employment and housing. Those are the big barriers that women face.

In fact, there are many recommendations of various inquests that have still not been undertaken by this government. I think, just off the top of my mind, of the Hadley inquest, and one single issue that continues to come up: the issue of reverse onus on bail that has still not been dealt with by this government. Certainly, they have not advocated for that to happen, because they can't make that decision on their own, and I acknowledge that.

However, there's no doubt that public education is good and something that we support, but we still need to see more transitional housing in this province for women. We need to see women's organizations supported in a way that they're able to provide the services that women fleeing domestic violence need. We need to see the enforcement of peace bonds in this province. We don't want women to be waiting month after month after month to have a peace bond initiated and actually enforced in the province of Ontario.

If there was a real concern about domestic violence, we wouldn't have prominent women meeting just last Friday here in Toronto, trying to figure out ways to get political action workshops going to get this government to move on issues of domestic violence. That workshop happened just the other day, and people in the women's movement are still concerned that there's not being enough done on the domestic violence file.

In fact, we know the statistics have not changed. There have been 15 deaths of women already this year and 11 deaths of children. The domestic violence action plan is not working and needs to be ramped up so that there are no more deaths of women in the province of Ontario.

Certainly, all parties embrace the idea of education, but we ask the minister to lead and create a climate where women can be sure to leave abuse and be safe --

The Speaker (Hon. Michael A. Brown): Thank you.


The Speaker (Hon. Michael A. Brown): I would ask the House to welcome a former member to the members' west gallery, David Turnbull, who represented the people of York Mills in this Legislature in the 35th and 36th Parliaments and Don Valley West in the 37th Parliament. Welcome, Mr. Turnbull.

In the east public gallery is Gary Malkowski, who represented York East in the 35th Parliament. Welcome, Mr. Malkowski.


(LEARNING TO AGE 18), 2006 /
DE 18 ANS)

Deferred vote on the motion for second reading of Bill 52, An Act to amend the Education Act respecting pupil learning to the age of 18 and equivalent learning and to make complementary amendments to the Highway Traffic Act / Projet de loi 52, Loi modifiant la Loi sur l'éducation concernant l'apprentissage des élèves jusqu'à l'âge de 18 ans et l'apprentissage équivalent et apportant des modifications complémentaires au Code de la route.

The Speaker (Hon. Michael A. Brown): Call in the members. This will be a five-minute bell.

The division bells rang from 1413 to 1418.

The Speaker: All those in favour will please rise one at a time and be recognized by the Clerk.


Arthurs, Wayne

Balkissoon, Bas

Bentley, Christopher

Berardinetti, Lorenzo

Bountrogianni, Marie

Bradley, James J.

Broten, Laurel C.

Bryant, Michael

Cansfield, Donna H.

Caplan, David

Chambers, Mary Anne V.

Colle, Mike

Cordiano, Joseph

Crozier, Bruce

Delaney, Bob

Dhillon, Vic

Di Cocco, Caroline

Dombrowsky, Leona

Duguid, Brad

Duncan, Dwight

Flynn, Kevin Daniel

Gerretsen, John

Hoy, Pat

Kular, Kuldip

Kwinter, Monte

Lalonde, Jean-Marc

Leal, Jeff

Levac, Dave

Marsales, Judy

Matthews, Deborah

McGuinty, Dalton

McMeekin, Ted

Meilleur, Madeleine

Milloy, John

Mossop, Jennifer F.

Peters, Steve

Phillips, Gerry

Pupatello, Sandra

Qaadri, Shafiq

Ramal, Khalil

Ramsay, David

Rinaldi, Lou

Ruprecht, Tony

Sergio, Mario

Smith, Monique

Smitherman, George

Sorbara, Gregory S.

Takhar, Harinder S.

Van Bommel, Maria

Wong, Tony C.

Wynne, Kathleen O.

Zimmer, David

The Speaker: All those opposed will please rise one at a time and be recognized by the Clerk.


Arnott, Ted

Barrett, Toby

Chudleigh, Ted

Dunlop, Garfield

Hardeman, Ernie

Horwath, Andrea

Hudak, Tim

Klees, Frank

Kormos, Peter

Marchese, Rosario

Martel, Shelley

Miller, Norm

Munro, Julia

Ouellette, Jerry J.

Prue, Michael

Runciman, Robert W.

Scott, Laurie

Tabuns, Peter

Tascona, Joseph N.

Tory, John

Witmer, Elizabeth

Yakabuski, John

The Clerk of the Assembly (Mr. Claude L. DesRosiers): The ayes are 52; the nays are 22.

The Speaker: I declare the motion carried.

Shall the bill be ordered for third reading?

Hon. Sandra Pupatello (Minister of Education, minister responsible for women's issues): I'd like to order it to the standing committee on the Legislative Assembly.

The Speaker: So ordered.


Mr. Toby Barrett (Haldimand-Norfolk-Brant): On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: I'd like to introduce Stan Symons and Richard Van Maele from the Ontario Flue-Cured Tobacco Growers' Marketing Board.



Mr. John Tory (Leader of the Opposition): My question is to the Premier. Premier, we asked you day after day to come forward with the cost of your land purchase deal in Caledonia -- or the lack thereof -- and day after day you gave us the same answer. You stood up and you told the entire Legislature that the single reason for not being transparent and accountable when it came to millions of dollars of taxpayers' money being spent in Caledonia was that the landowners, the people selling the land, had requested that it remain completely secret.

Premier, can you please explain to us why the lawyer managing negotiations for the landowner, for the seller, is now saying that this is not and never has been the case? Perhaps you can explain yourself to this House.

Hon. Dalton McGuinty (Premier, Minister of Research and Innovation): I'm delighted to have the opportunity to shed a bit more light on what has been happening in this regard. In April, we hired a special adviser, Rob Chadwick, to begin negotiations for the purchase of Douglas Creek Estates. The reason we did that was to ensure that the two local brothers who have sunk virtually their whole life savings into this land do not face financial ruin because of circumstances over which they had no control.

Throughout this entire process we have respected the confidentiality of the discussions. Last week we were able to reach an agreement to purchase the land so that it is removed from the debate and placed in trust.

Today our special adviser, Rob Chadwick, was able to receive the consent of the local developers to release information about the agreement. In the context of supplementary, I'll provide that information.

Mr. Tory: The fact of the matter is, when you were here the other day you told us without qualification that it was the seller that you've talked about today -- and we all sympathize with the plight they're in, which, by the way, has been made worse and dragged out much longer because of your inaction and weak leadership.

Having said that, the owners of this land -- their lawyers have indicated publicly in the newspaper today that they have not, prior to now, asked that that information remain confidential. You're the one who said it should remain confidential.

When is this documentation going to be made available to the people of Ontario, to us and to the media? Why did you stand up in your place when it's the lawyer for the developers who said it was not their wish to have this kept confidential before today?

Hon. Mr. McGuinty: Again, to repeat, our adviser today obtained the consent of the developers to release information about the agreement. The Ontario government, on behalf of the people of Ontario, has agreed to purchase Douglas Creek Estates for the amount of $12.3 million; plus, there will be an additional amount which remains the subject of ongoing negotiations.

Again, the reason we are doing this and proceeding with the purchase of this land is because we feel it is only fair and proper that we help out a couple of local brothers who assumed responsibility to develop these lands and, through no fault of their own, were caught up in circumstances. We feel a sense of responsibility to help them out.

Mr. Tory: You certainly should feel a very big sense of responsibility for that and a lot of other things. It's just unfortunate you didn't accept the responsibility a lot earlier than is the case here.

I've reminded you and your government on a daily basis that it is not your money; it belongs to the taxpayers. The government has to be -- as you would have argued in opposition, as you even would argue in government -- open, transparent and accountable when it comes to spending millions of taxpayers' dollars, not just on the purchase of land but all of the other costs associated with this fiasco that has taken place on your watch.

I have written to the Auditor General today -- I'd ask the pages if they could bring a copy of this letter over to you -- and I've requested that he immediately review all government expenditures that have to do with this entire fiasco, including the land deal.

I would ask you, will you be fully co-operative with the Auditor General and take the initiative to work with him, starting right now, to turn over all information about all expenditures on this Caledonia matter so he can have an independent look at exactly what has gone on here with the taxpayers' money? Will you do that?

Hon. Mr. McGuinty: We would be more than pleased to co-operate with the Auditor General in any way.

Interjection: And any time.

Hon. Mr. McGuinty: And any time. But let me say that obviously I can't agree with the leader of the official opposition's ongoing characterization of developments in Caledonia. He's just not prepared to accept that we are in fact making progress, whether it's a matter of getting the barricades down or providing financial support to the community, whether it's to the municipality itself or to business persons. He doesn't like the fact that we've set up a community liaison table. He doesn't like the fact that we've set up ongoing meetings to work with the community. He doesn't like the fact that we've set up a central table, working with the federal government, so that we can bring to heel these issues, which have over 200 years of history connected with them. He doesn't like all of those things. Apparently he has some special plan of his own that he's not prepared to share with us, but it would be interesting to get that at some point, to know exactly what he would have us do at this point in time.

The Speaker (Hon. Michael A. Brown): New question.

Mr. Tim Hudak (Erie-Lincoln): A question to the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services. Today is day 115 in the crisis in Caledonia. Dalton McGuinty's weak and indecisive leadership has led to a major crisis of public confidence in our front-line Ontario Provincial Police officers. Yesterday's Toronto Star said, "There were physical assaults taking place in front of you and you can't do anything about it. The OPP is a joke in terms of Caledonia. It has tarnished our name." That's from a front-line OPP officer.

Yesterday, Premier McGuinty simply dismissed this seemingly as a fabrication. Surely, Minister, the one responsible for the Ontario Provincial Police is going to stand up in the House today and tell us you're going to look into this matter of who is giving direction to the Ontario Provincial Police and move forward with the inquiry. Stand up for our Ontario Provincial Police officers.

Hon. Monte Kwinter (Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services): For the last few weeks, I've been listening to the opposition talk about Caledonia. The only thing they have to bring to the table is the fact that someone in their organization can read the newspapers, because, I'll tell you, all of the information you get is in the newspapers and most of it is not totally correct.

But I do want to quote from one particular newspaper that you might find interesting, and that is Karl Walsh, president of the Ontario Provincial Police Association: "All the same, Walsh says he appreciated the government's hands-off approach to policing in Caledonia and says the opposition ... should stop playing politics with the standoff."

So here we have a situation, and the question the member asks is, "Who is directing the OPP?" The answer is, nobody is directing them. The OPP are independent. They make their decisions and they act --

The Speaker: Thank you, Minister. Supplementary?

Mr. Hudak: I wonder what the minister's been doing. He accuses us of playing politics. I don't know if you're playing golf, cribbage or shuffleboard, but what you're not doing, Minister, is standing up for Ontario Provincial Police and front-line officers in the Caledonia area or across the province of Ontario.


Let me remind you what's happening under your watch. As minister, you have condoned something called a no-go zone for Ontario Provincial Police. You didn't say a word when Ontario Provincial Police officers were taken out of their car, their windows smashed -- they were arrested and humiliated. And now we're seeing votes of confidence against the OPP commissioner and mockery of the OPP front-line officers because of Dalton McGuinty's weak leadership.

Minister, if you're not going to stand up for OPP officers, maybe you should consider stepping down and letting somebody else stand up for the OPP, because you certainly are not.

Hon. Mr. Kwinter: I find it interesting that the member would make those statements. I challenge him to bring forward one senior officer in the OPP, the commissioner of the OPP or anyone else who will stand up and go on the record and be critical of the way we have dealt with this situation as far as the OPP are concerned. I challenge you to do that. Come up with one name. Don't refer to unsubstantiated reports. Give me a name.

Mr. Hudak: Talk about gutless leadership. You wonder what this minister -- why aren't you talking to the front-line OPP officers? If I were the minister and I saw that article in the Star yesterday, I'd be on the move and I'd be looking into it right away.

Minister, with all due respect, you're a veteran of the Ontario Legislature, and your voice should carry weight at the cabinet table. You should be standing up and getting onside with Ontario's front-line provincial police officers. You're more interested in bowing down before the leader than doing your job as minister.

Minister, I have no choice. I have no choice because of your lack of leadership and your lack of support for Ontario Provincial Police officers: Minster, it's time for you to step down and let someone else fight for our Ontario provincial police officers.

Hon. Mr. Kwinter: I don't want to give the member a history lesson, but the history of this institution is loaded with Solicitors General who spoke to police about a matter and had to resign. You should know that. You should know that that has happened. To suggest that I should be directing the OPP, that I should be talking to OPP officers about this issue, is totally, totally irresponsible on your part and indicates that you have no idea what you're talking about.

The Speaker: New question.


The Speaker: Order. I can wait. The member for Hamilton East.


Ms. Andrea Horwath (Hamilton East): My question is for the Premier. Premier, today the Ontario Ombudsman once again spoke out against your failure to allow children and families the benefit of his independent investigative oversight of child welfare protection services in Ontario. You won't allow the Ombudsman the authority to oversee and investigate children's aid society decisions that have ripped families apart in this province. Why are you content to keep Ontario at the back the pack when virtually every other province in Canada already has independent oversight of children's aid societies?

Hon. Dalton McGuinty (Premier, Minister of Research and Innovation): I'm pleased to take the question. I think the member will know that under our -- first of all, I want to thank the Ombudsman for his report. Anybody who has paid attention to our reaction to these reports will know that we consider them very carefully and we've made significant changes as a result of his recommendations. But I think the member knows that under our new Child and Family Services Act, if someone has a complaint about a children's aid society, they can go the Child and Family Services Review Board, and the Ombudsman has jurisdiction over that particular board. So ultimately, the Ombudsman has the opportunity to comment on these kinds of issues.

Ms. Horwath: Premier, you should know full well that your alternative is merely window dressing to hide the fact that you're doing nothing for children and families who are desperate to have someone independent look into complaints involving children's aid societies. Sending them back to the CAS in the first place is simply not the answer. You voted down the amendments to the Child and Family Services Act that I made during the committee hearings on Bill 210, which would have brought child welfare, child protection and CASs under the Ombudsman's man's scope. Then you ignored Bill 88, which, again, attempted to give the Ombudsman this important measure of unbiased oversight and authority.

Why don't you do right by the vulnerable children and families of Ontario, actually have a minister that is for children and support the Ombudsman's having independent oversight of CAS decisions?

Hon. Mr. McGuinty: I just spoke of how it is that the Ombudsman ultimately does have very important influence over children's aid society matters, but I think it's also important to note some of the comments that he made in his annual report issued today:

"Co-operation from the government has been timely and strong and our office has, thankfully, never needed to resort to its formal authorities. Additionally, the government has demonstrated great openness towards accepting our recommendations and indeed deserves proper credit for acknowledging, in direct response to our reports, the need to make profound shifts in direction, whether it is in updating the screening of newborns or in fixing a broken property assessment system."

Again, we are always appreciative of the Ombudsman's advice and recommendations, and we look forward to continuing to work with him.

Ms. Horwath: You would know that the Ombudsman was still very, very significantly articulate on the fact that they need to have oversight from the Ombudsman's office on the entire MUSH sector, including children's aid societies. In fact, he said that quite loudly at his press conference earlier today.

In spite of all the dedicated efforts that people in CASs put into their jobs, the fact is that many of those places have staff that are overworked, overburdened and underresourced. Meanwhile, families are anguished in this province. I get calls from them all the time, so I'm sure that you do too; we know that the Ombudsman does, some 2,000 a year. All they want is a fair hearing and an independent investigation from the Ombudsman. But you force the Ontario Ombudsman to turn them away despite his desire to get to the bottom of their very serious concerns about possible abuse, overmedication, mistakes and wrongful judgments.

The minimal oversight that you claim exists simply does not exist, Premier. Why are you blocking families from having an independent avenue of appeal by refusing to allow the --

The Speaker (Hon. Michael A. Brown): The question has been asked.

Hon. Mr. McGuinty: I want to remind the member -- she may not be aware of this -- that the only party in this Legislature which, during the course of the past 20 years, has made cuts to Ontario's children's aid societies is the NDP. Not even the Conservatives went that far.

I do know that the Ombudsman has requested that he be given greater responsibility, greater authority, to review the MUSH sector in particular municipalities, universities, schools, hospitals, long-term care, children's aid societies and the like. I'm prepared to say this today: I'm not going to dismiss that request out of hand. I've had an opportunity to meet with the Ombudsman directly to talk about this, and we will give this very careful consideration.


Mr. Peter Tabuns (Toronto-Danforth): My question is to the Premier. This session has been Liberal letdown after failure after broken promise. The biggest disappointment is the secrecy and deception surrounding your $40-billion nuclear mega scheme.

The Speaker (Hon. Michael A. Brown): I need you to withdraw.

Mr. Tabuns: I'll withdraw and make it "mislead." Your secret exemption of the plan from a tough, effective provincial --

The Speaker: What I need is for you just to withdraw the statement, and then you can go on with your question.

Mr. Tabuns: I withdraw, Mr. Speaker. Thank you.

If your plan is so good, why don't you rescind your secret exemption and put your plan to a tough, effective provincial environmental assessment?


Hon. Dalton McGuinty (Premier, Minister of Research and Innovation): Again, the members of the NDP seem intent on creating the impression that somehow any project related to new generation in Ontario will not be made the subject of a full and thorough environmental assessment. That's just not true. There's a law that says we have to do that and we are going to do that.

What the member is actually asking us to do is to put the plan itself to a full environmental assessment. That plan is subject to review --


Hon. Mr. McGuinty: I know they may not be interested in the answer, Mr. Speaker, but I think Ontarians are.

The plan is subject to review every three years. What they're saying is put the plan itself and every succeeding review to an environmental assessment, which would consume two years of time. If we were to go that route, we'd never, ever be able to move forward on a plan that will meet our long-term energy needs. So we'll put every individual project to an environmental assessment but, no, we will not put the plan itself to an environmental assessment.

Mr. Tabuns: Premier, you've made it very clear that you think it's inconvenient to follow Ontario's environmental laws. We think that you should follow the laws to get this right so that we don't repeat the mistakes of the past.

Today, hydro ratepayers are still paying off in the range of $20 billion worth of nuclear debt because previous plants ballooned over budget, and because the plants broke down after 25 years instead of the promised 40 years.

Premier, can you stand in this House today and guarantee that the next generation of nuclear reactor investments won't stick working families with another huge debt burden?

Hon. Mr. McGuinty: I really think it's fair to say that all three parties can share in the blame for some of the fiascos that have happened in the past with respect to energy. I'm not going to say that we weren't a party to that. But I will say this: There's a couple of imperatives here. One is that we have in place a long-term plan to ensure we're meeting our energy needs over the next 20 years. Secondly, we will draw whatever lessons we possibly can from past mistakes. I'm not saying that nuclear energy in the past was perfect and that we got good value for it. But I can say that the kind of process we put in place, the kinds of negotiations that we propose to enter into, will absolutely ensure that we don't make those kinds of mistakes again.

Mr. Tabuns: It's pretty clear that we are going to get to relive this piece of history. Premier, one of the public's biggest subsidies to the nuclear industry is a liability subsidy. In the United States, if there's a nuclear accident, nuclear plant operators are liable for over $10 billion in damages. In Ontario, it's a paltry $75 million -- barely enough to cover lawyers' fees. The public will be stuck with the rest. We don't think that's fair.

Given your complete confidence in nuclear safety, will you join us to call for an end to this unfair liability limit so that nuclear plant owners and operators, not taxpayers, cover the cost of nuclear incidents or accidents?

Hon. Mr. McGuinty: To the Minister of Energy.

Hon. Dwight Duncan (Minister of Energy): I would remind the member opposite, and to credit the previous government, one of the things they did right was starting to collect that liability.

In 1990, the opportunity to do that was there, and did you do it? No. In 1991, the opportunity was there. How much did you collect? Zero. In 1992? Zero. In 1993? Zero. In 1994? Zero. In 1995? Zero. You can't run from your legacy. You can't hide from your record. We have a plan that will work with federal regulators to ensure the safety, to ensure that we get the best possible deal for Ontario ratepayers, a plan that will be subject to full environmental scrutiny and one that, unlike the NDP's, will ensure an affordable mix of safe electricity well into the future. Your plan, your ideas, sir, would lead to an unsafe, insecure, unreliable system --

The Speaker: Thank you. New question.

Mr. John Tory (Leader of the Opposition): I have a question for the Premier. I'd like stay on the same issue. The Premier is very fond of talking about how much consultation there has been leading up to the energy announcements and all the broken promises and legal skulduggery surrounding them. In fact, his much-trumpeted public hearings in 12 cities actually provided the grand total of 24 hours of consultation for 12½ million people, hardly the important debate promised by the Premier. Another day, another broken promise.

The previous PC government appointed a select committee of the Legislature to review its hydro and nuclear plan in 1997, and that committee held three months of public hearings. Would the Premier consider allowing a select committee of this House to be appointed to review the whole plan, to have public hearings, say, over a three-month period and to be committed to reporting by the end of the year? This won't slow anything down. It will slow down no process at all. It will be time-limited. Will you agree to the appointment of a select committee, and if not, why not?

Hon. Mr. McGuinty: The leader of the official opposition is quick to dismiss the efforts that we've made so far. It is true that we did in fact -- and I'm proud of this -- hold town hall meetings in 12 separate communities. Beyond that, we also received over 5,000 submissions online. So Ontarians have had a real interest in this issue. We've incorporated their advice and recommendations into our plan, which we've now submitted to the Ontario Power Authority.

If the member opposite is somehow suggesting that we're not engaging in enough consultation, then I completely disagree with him. There will be many more opportunities along the way, and at the end of the day, every single new project will become the subject of a full and thorough environmental assessment.

Mr. Tory: Of course only the Premier could get excited about 24 hours of consultation for 12½ million people. The 5,000 submissions he talks about -- part of the problem here is that none of us have ever seen any of those. Nobody has seen it. You've probably seen it, and your pals at these lapdog agencies of yours.

Since you don't like the idea of a select committee, I'll try another alternative. Would you consider asking the Environmental Commissioner, an independent appointee of this Legislature, to hold a minimum of, say, 30 days of public hearings across the province between now and the end of the year, extensive consultation over the Internet, and then ask him not to submit a report on his views on what he heard but just submit a report on what the public said, so we're just getting their input provided to this Legislature and to the government? Such an exercise, again, can take place while the regulatory process is under way, and it will allow for a semblance of real public input, not your lapdog agencies or these kinds of runaway hearings. Will you consider --

The Speaker: The question has been asked.

Hon. Mr. McGuinty: The leader of the official opposition just wants to be everybody's friend. We've made a decision. We look forward to moving ahead --


The Speaker: Premier?

Hon. Mr. McGuinty: The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario sent the Minister of the Environment a letter on June 22, and I'll quote from that. In it he says, "I am pleased to see that you have taken steps to involve the public in future decision-making on the integrated power" supply "plan. I also recognize that the Ontario government has invested considerable resources in its consultation efforts on the IPSP to this point."

We have made real concrete efforts to consult the public. This matter is going to go to the Ontario Energy Board. There will be opportunities there for the public to be consulted. Every single new project will be the subject of an environmental assessment. Again, the public will be consulted. One thing that we understand on this side of the House is that when it's time to move on, it's time to move on, and we're moving on with a power plan for the province of Ontario.


Ms. Shelley Martel (Nickel Belt): I have a question to the Minister Health. In the last election, the Liberals promised, "We will remove the arbitrary Harris-Eves limits on home care. If you require care and want it in your own home, and that care costs less than sending you to a hospital or nursing home, we will make sure you get it."

Three years later, the same arbitrary limits on home care are in place. That means that Susan and Kell Lozinski of London can't get the nursing hours they really need to continue to care for 22-year-old Matthew in their own home. Matthew has cerebral palsy, severe developmental delay, seizure disorder, respiratory distress syndrome, heart dysfunction, a tube for feeding, needs constant deep suctioning and oxygen and Ventolin therapy every three hours, followed by 20 minutes with a percussor. You don't get much more fragile than that.


She has repeatedly asked her CCAC for more registered nursing hours and has been told that what Matthew gets is the most that anyone can receive in Ontario under the limits that are in place. This family is saving the taxpayers of Ontario thousands of dollars by keeping their son at home, and Susan is driving herself into the ground doing that.

Minister, when will you keep your election promise and ensure that this family gets the home care hours they need?

Hon. George Smitherman (Minister of Health and Long-Term Care): The honourable member will know that we had seven and a half hours, I think, at estimates, and this wasn't an issue she chose to raise during that period. But we did talk at a high level about the investments we have made related to home care. There have been hundreds of millions of dollars in additional support for our community care access centres. They've expanded the number of people they support by well over 70,000 to date.

I'll take the honourable member's question about a very specific case under advisement. This is one that I don't have any information in front of me around, but I do thank the honourable member for bringing it to my attention and I assure her that I will look into it.

Ms. Martel: If I might, this matter was brought to your attention by the member from London North Centre, and she advised Susan in December 2005 that you had said you would not help this family with this situation. Yet your election promise is very clear. Your party said, and I quote again, "We will remove the arbitrary Harris-Eves limit on home care." Three years later, these same arbitrary, unfair limits on home care remain in place and punish parents like Susan who are desperately tying to keep their disabled children at home. This family has already used up a trust fund left by a family member to buy extra nursing care. With only Kell working, they don't have enough money to purchase private care.

Minister, I repeat again, this situation was brought to your attention by the member from London North Centre, and you told her there was nothing that could be done. Will you look at this situation again to ensure that you keep your election promise and this family gets the home care hours they so desperately need?

Hon. Mr. Smitherman: When we came to office as a government, we made a commitment to make investments in home care which would expand our capacity to support people, and we've made significant achievement on that basis, working in conjunction with our community care access centres.

The honourable member is raising a very particular circumstance. I don't have that information in front of me. I'll be very happy to look into it, as I've said.

We recognize, of course, that we must work hard to support those people especially who are maintaining the independence of individuals by supporting them at home. We're very grateful for the contribution that is made by families in this regard. We know their work is very challenging. It's our duty to support them as best we're able with the variety of resources that are available.

I will look very carefully at the circumstance that has been brought to my attention with a view towards seeing if there are any opportunities that we have to further provide the care to assist this family.


Mr. Ted McMeekin (Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Aldershot): My question is for the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. I know the McGuinty government has been working together with municipalities to accomplish a lot for Ontarians. Our government is building opportunity through Move Ontario, a new $1.2-billion investment in the province's public transit system, municipal roads and bridges. Our government is also delivering on our promise to provide two cents of the provincial gas tax, some $300 million, to Ontario municipalities every year, and those are just a couple of examples.

Minister, last week, the McGuinty government took another important step in strengthening our communities when you introduced Bill 130, the Municipal Statute Law Amendment Act. Can you please elaborate for all of us in the House here today on how these new provisions would empower local municipal governments and enhance local decision-making?

Hon. John Gerretsen (Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing): Let me first of all congratulate the member from Ancaster-Flamborough etc. on the excellent work he's been doing on behalf of the residents of his community by frequently talking about the needs of his community and the needs at the local municipal council.

He's quite correct that one way to strengthen Ontario is to strengthen the communities that are within Ontario. That's precisely why we are contemplating, in Bill 130, to give municipalities a greater degree of autonomy, a greater degree of power, but also a greater accountability so that they can make the right decisions for the benefit of the residents of their own communities. Bill 130 proposes legislative changes that would build on the relationship that we've built up with the municipal world over the last two and a half years, which I think has been a very positive one, which they appreciate as well.

Our government wants to ensure that Ontario municipalities have the tools, the instruments and the flexibility to effectively serve the benefit and the needs of the --

The Speaker (Hon. Michael A. Brown): Thank you. Supplementary.

Mr. McMeekin: Minister, that's just great. I know that Roger Anderson, the president of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, agrees that our government's Bill 130 is "good news for Ontario municipalities and the hundreds of communities they serve."

I know that municipalities across Ontario want to be recognized as responsible levels of government, capable of making local decisions that directly impact their communities. Our government has acknowledged and affirmed this by taking significant steps to provide greater autonomy to municipalities.

As the member for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Aldershot, the riding with the longest name because our people have the biggest hearts and hopes and dreams, I'm particularly interested in the new measures that would allow municipalities to delegate some of their powers to local community councils. Minister, could you please provide us with some more details about these delegating powers?

Hon. Mr. Gerretsen: First of all, let me apologize to the member for mispronouncing his riding name. I know from having visited there a number of times that it is one of the most dynamic parts of Ontario, and his leadership down there certainly makes it that way.

We realize as a government that there are very diverse needs in our communities clear across this province. That's why, in this bill, municipal councils will have the opportunity, if they so wish, to delegate certain decision-making powers to bodies such as local boards and community councils. The kinds of decisions that those community councils can make deal with such issues, for example, as noise bylaws, snow removal, community recreational activities, garbage pickup, and local transit routes. They're the kind of issues that the local communities and the people in those local communities are extremely interested in, and we feel those communities should have the power to basically empower those local community councils.


Mr. Frank Klees (Oak Ridges): My question is to the Attorney General. Attorney General, Rob and Lisa Manchester lost their lives and their seven-year-old daughter is orphaned -- the result of street racing. There are two people in Sunnybrook Hospital now fighting for their lives. They were crushed -- the result of street racing. Allison Hickey and Mark Radman and their families and friends want to know today why you and your government have refused to give unanimous consent to the street racing bill which would prevent the further loss of innocent lives and injury. Why are you not willing to pull together on this, to set aside any partisan issues? Why will you not, together with your government, give consent to having this bill passed before the Legislature rises and we head into the summer? Would you do that?

Hon. Michael Bryant (Attorney General): Obviously, all of our thoughts are with the Manchester family. There was just a letter in the Toronto Star on June 16 from Reverend Ronald Cote, who wrote that two weeks ago he buried his niece and her husband, Lisa and Rob Manchester. He said in this letter that it was encouraging to hear the York Regional Police had impounded the cars of two street racers and that I had had the cars destroyed on Thursday. He thought that it had been far better that they lose their expensive toys than to have other families go through the pain that their family had experienced.

There's no question, I say to the member opposite, that this issue is being dealt with in the public interest and in the memory of these victims, and we will continue to do so, continue to address the bill in that fashion, the government and the affected ministries. The Ministry of Transportation I'm sure will also want to provide you with an update on this issue in the supplementary.

Mr. Klees: Minister, you crushed two cars. Lives are being crushed in this province; lives are being lost. I was told this morning that the reason that unanimous consent is not being granted for this bill is because the Premier's office is angry with me for how I have denounced your handling of this issue. If that is the case, Minister, I will publicly express now my regret for any handling of this issue, and I will ask you to put aside any acrimony relating to this bill and let's do the right --


The Speaker (Hon. Michael A. Brown): The government House leader will come to order. I will need to warn the government House leader.

The member for Oak Ridges.


Mr. Klees: I would ask you, Minister, that in the interest of saving lives, before this House rises we set aside any acrimony related to this bill, that we come together, that we do the right thing, that we give passage to this bill in the same way we will be doing in this House later with Bill 89. It's possible to do. Can you give me one reason, sir, why you would not be willing to do this in the interest of --

The Speaker: The question has been asked.

Hon. Mr. Bryant: As I said, I'll refer the supplementary to the Minister of Transportation.

Hon. Donna H. Cansfield (Minister of Transportation): To the honourable member, street racing is illegal. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Manchester family.

As you know, the federal government is proposing new legislation, harsher penalties that will deal with street racing as well in terms of criminal offence. It would make some sense to wait until we have an idea about the impact of that particular legislation as we move forward. So what I am proposing is that I would be more than prepared to sit down with the honourable member to see how the impact of the federal legislation will work on our street racing direction, and work with you to be able to produce what's in the best interest of all the people of Ontario.


Mr. Michael Prue (Beaches-East York): My question is to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. Can you please tell this House if you support the full and equal participation of all Ontarians in the electoral process?

Hon. John Gerretsen (Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing): I'll refer that question to the minister of democratic renewal.

Hon. Marie Bountrogianni (Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, minister responsible for democratic renewal): I thank the honourable member for the question. The answer is, obviously, yes, we do.

Mr. Prue: Back to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing again: Then please tell this Legislature and members of the disabled community who are here today, why has it taken you so long to respond to Toronto's disability issues committee and their letter of April asking for amendments to the Municipal Elections Act, amendments that will ensure full access to the electoral process for all voters and candidates. How will you address the concerns brought forward by the disabled community, it now being the end of June, for full and meaningful access in time for this year's municipal elections in November?

Hon. Mrs. Bountrogianni: I'll refer it back to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

Hon. Mr. Gerretsen: Certainly any recommendation that comes forward from any group as to how the Municipal Elections Act can be changed is taken seriously. The ministry is reviewing the issue right now and we will be reporting back to this House on that at some point in time in the future.


Mr. Jeff Leal (Peterborough): My question is for the Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal. Minister Caplan, in your statement on Monday, you rose in the House and explained how the growth plan for the greater Golden Horseshoe was shaped by stakeholder collaboration and agreement. The list of co-operative interest groups included environmentalists, developers and municipalities that worked well together for the greater good. This government has once again proved its capability to lead through negotiation and teamwork by providing a plan that will benefit not only communities but the province as well. In that regard, Minister, I was curious what type of feedback you've received since the release of the growth plan for the GGH, specifically from the municipal level.

Hon. David Caplan (Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal, Deputy Government House Leader): I thank the member for the question because the growth plan is truly a remarkable achievement that we should all collectively be proud of. We've taken the first steps to protect our citizens, to promote a strong economy, to protect our environment from the ill effects of unplanned growth.

This week alone I visited the communities of Niagara, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo and Oshawa. The response, I can report to the member from Peterborough, has been overwhelming. In each and every community that I visited, they see the value in long-term planning and the enormity of the undertaking of the growth plan. The co-operation among such a wide variety of interest groups has been the result of two years of hard work to create a solid plan that would benefit everyone. Hours of consultation and negotiation were spent to ensure that everyone was afforded an opportunity to express their concerns, alternatives, directions and their dreams. The growth plan is a reflection of that input.

I want you to know that the consultation doesn't end with the release of the growth plan. We're going to continue to work with municipalities to ensure that solutions are flexible. I am impressed with the municipal leadership that's been demonstrated in communities right across --

The Speaker (Hon. Michael A. Brown): Supplementary.

Mr. Leal: Minister, I want to thank you for that comprehensive answer, and I'll work in Peterborough in my supplementary. My riding of Peterborough is expected to have a substantial amount of growth in both people and jobs. In the next 20 years, we're expected to have an increase of 20,000 people to our riding -- county and city combined. This is wonderful news, but as you mentioned before, the area's expansion has to be orderly and should be built on Peterborough's significant efforts towards heritage, transit and natural environment.

I was wondering specifically, Minister, what type of feedback you had received from Peterborough's municipal representatives. I'm excited for Peterborough's constituents, and I expect us to be well prepared for the predicted growth in our region.

Hon. Mr. Caplan: In fact, I have a response directly from the mayor of Peterborough, Sylvia Sutherland. She said, "Peterborough will benefit from the growth plan. The province's focus on revitalizing existing urban centres makes sense for the city and we look forward to working together with the province on this initiative."

The member from Peterborough would also be interested to know that Peterborough county warden, Neil Cathcart, was at the launch of the growth plan last Friday, and he offered me, in person, his encouragement and support for the growth plan and the positive effects that it will have for Peterborough county.

Peterborough county and the city are expected to have quite an increase in population, employment and jobs. That's great news, because the riding will have a sizable economic boom, with an increase of jobs and opportunities. We've begun the process to support the great people of Peterborough with the ingredients in our budget in infrastructure investment. For example, my colleague Mr. Duncan introduced Move Ontario, a key public transportation strategy --

The Speaker: Thank you.


Mr. Tim Hudak (Erie-Lincoln): Back to the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services: Let me read you some of the headlines in today's newspapers. Brantford: "There's No Law in Caledonia." London Free Press: "Caving In at Caledonia; Willing to Buy Peace At Any Price, the Province Gives Into Thugs and Sets a Dangerous Precedent." Stratford: "Residents Demand Law and Order." North Bay: "Caledonia Residents Demand Law and Order."

Clearly, Minister, under your watch, the rule of law has been suspended. The Toronto Star reports, and I gave you this quote, "There were physical assaults taking place in front of you and you couldn't do anything about it. The OPP is a joke in terms of Caledonia. It has tarnished our name," said a front-line OPP officer.

Minister, is the reason you're not acting because you think that the author, Jessica Leeder, and the Toronto Star fabricated the story? Is that why you're not acting?

Hon. Monte Kwinter (Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services): The reason I'm not acting is because I have a responsibility not to interfere with the operation of the OPP. It's too bad your seatmate isn't beside you, because he was quoted just recently when he was interviewed about an event that is taking place somewhere else in the province, and he said, "The Solicitor General should not interfere with policing in Ontario." That is a basic policy that every single Solicitor General not only does honour, but has to. Otherwise, they have no choice but to resign.

Mr. Hudak: This assembly has had weeks and weeks -- in fact, 115 days -- of excuses from Premier McGuinty; excuses from the Minister of Correctional Services. The reason you're not acting is because you want to remain wilfully deaf and blind to the crisis in Caledonia and the suspension of the rule of law.

The minister said earlier that if I gave him the name of a senior police officer who says there's something going on down there, he would then investigate. "Due to political pressures and optics involved with this, the OPP seems to be bending their own rules while sacrificing officer safety." He cites deviations from usual practices, such as telling the tactical team not to wear riot gear on the site lest they provoke a native backlash. That's from Karl Walsh, the president of the Ontario Province Police Association. Surely that fits your definition of an important police officer. Minister, hearing this, surely you'll look into the matter.

Hon. Mr. Kwinter: The member either doesn't listen or doesn't want to listen. I quoted --


Hon. Mr. Kwinter: Okay, well, let me tell you what he also said. You had your chance to speak. You had your chance --


Hon. Mr. Kwinter: I think it's important to understand -- this is what one of his colleagues said about him. He said, "We have a minister who's incapable, incompetent, in handling it, and that is Minister Hudak." Let me tell you this and let me read this to you. This is your own colleague who said that about you. Let me read this quote one more time. You quoted Karl Walsh, and Karl Walsh said, "... he appreciates the government's hands-off approach to policing in Caledonia and says the opposition should stop playing politics with the standoff." That's Karl Walsh. He said that. He said you're playing politics and that he --

The Speaker: Thank you.



Mr. Peter Tabuns (Toronto-Danforth): My question is for the Minister of Culture. Your ministry is one that has been flat-lined for a number of years. Your predecessor started a process to restructure the ministry so that there would be a separation of policy development and service delivery. There's no clear advantage to going forward with this restructuring. Will you commit to setting aside this restructuring?

Hon. Caroline Di Cocco (Minister of Culture): I would like to remind the member that we have made more than $125 million in new investments in the arts and cultural community. We have provided a further $49 million to support capital projects at the Royal Ontario Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the National Ballet School, the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Canadian Opera Company. I think that the cultural sector in this province, for the first time in a long time, has a great deal of hope because of the actions of this government.

Mr. Tabuns: I appreciate you reading out that list, Minister, but you haven't addressed the question of restructuring. Many in the cultural sphere see this restructuring as preparation for further reductions in the budget and setting the stage for contracting out of services. It will also result in the loss of in-house expertise that the ministry can ill afford to lose. Minister, will you tell this Legislature today that there will be no contracting out and no budget reductions for this ministry arising from this restructuring?

Hon. Ms. Di Cocco: I believe it's important that ministries consistently take a look at how they are doing their job, because it's important that we put in best practices, that we evaluate what we're doing, how we're doing it, so that we can be more effective, can be more efficient and can do the jobs we do better. It is not good enough that we remain constantly frozen in the past -- that we modernize and bring our business governance into the 21st century


Ms. Deborah Matthews (London North Centre): My question is to the Minister of Agriculture and Food. Minister, last week you announced the successful applicants for funding under the Ontario ethanol growth fund. I know this program holds tremendous potential for the future of Ontario's ethanol industry. Would you explain to us how last week's announcement will affect rural communities, an issue of great importance to all Ontarians, including those living in urban areas like my riding of London North Centre.

Hon. Leona Dombrowsky (Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs): It's a very good question. I'm so happy to receive it from a very hard-working member in this Legislature who, in her circles, is also known as Dr. Matthews. So thank you very much.

It does give me an opportunity to talk about the many advantages, for the people of Ontario and certainly for people in rural communities, that our ethanol growth fund announcement means. First of all, it means a cleaner environment for the people of Ontario when we burn cleaner gas. That was a commitment we made to the people before we were elected, and we're following through on that.

The second thing it means is that we are investing, in capital alone, $32.5 million. Those dollars are going to be invested in rural communities like Hensall, like Chatham, like Aylmer, like Cornwall, like Collingwood. Those communities will benefit when the companies make their investments to expand their facilities.

The third very important point is that with our ethanol growth fund we are also providing new markets for corn producers --

The Speaker (Hon. Michael A. Brown): Thank you. Supplementary?

Ms. Matthews: I know that the people of southwestern Ontario are particularly happy to hear last week's announcement. Indeed, in my community of London, our community depends in large part on the health of the rural areas that surround it. Maybe you could tell us more, please, about what last week's announcement will mean for the people of southwestern Ontario.

Hon. Mrs. Dombrowsky: I had the privilege last week of attending the Integrated Grain Processors Co-op announcement in Aylmer, which is very near the city of London. It was a $14-million allocation to help the co-operative build an ethanol plant.

Now, I want to talk about the co-operative that received these funds. This is a co-operative made up of 650 farmers from the area around the city of London. They got together, formed a co-operative and brought a proposal to the government. This co-operative will have the opportunity to determine where they purchase their corn. I would expect that, if any of those 650 farmers grow corn, they're going to indicate that that might be a very good place to buy it.

We believe it has been a very positive venture investment for the people in the communities where we have made the capital announcements. We're delighted with the initiative that has come forward from the group in Aylmer, from the farmers in that area.


Ms. Laurie Scott (Haliburton-Victoria-Brock): My question is to the Minister of the Environment. The Ontario Sewer and Watermain Construction Association is concerned with your slow pace of addressing the recommendations in the expert water panel report.

Minister, it has been four years since the passage of Bill 175, and we are almost at the one-year anniversary of the Watertight report. The fact remains that there is a gaping hole in your clean water agenda. You're not addressing the state of the pipes that bring clean water in and that take the dirty water away from our homes.

The previous Conservative government had already laid the foundation for you. All that is required is for your government to release the regulations that would bring into force the Sustainable Water and Sewage Systems Act. My question is, will you finally release these regulations today?

Hon. Laurel C. Broten (Minister of the Environment): I'm very pleased to have a chance to remind my friend opposite what our government has done to turn this province away from the legacy of Walkerton, the legacy that was left by your government.

I had the privilege this week to go to Walkerton and stand side by side with Justice O'Connor as he and I opened the new technology training centre in Walkerton. At that time, Justice O'Connor, who talked about all of the areas in water improvement that he needed to see in this province, so we could ensure that we would never in this province again have a tragedy like Walkerton, was so very pleased with what we have accomplished.

So let me spend a few minutes just now telling you about the source-to-tap protection that we are undertaking. The Clean Water Act is the first piece of that new era in water protection in the province. We have done much more --

The Speaker (Hon. Michael A. Brown): Thank you. Supplementary?

Ms. Scott: When the minister met with Justice O'Connor this week, I wonder if he asked you when you're going to implement all the recommendations that you promised you would in your Liberal campaign? You haven't done that. You're almost three years into government. It's been a year since the expert water panel report has come down.

Minister, a lot of time has passed. What have you actually accomplished? The photo ops are over. So today, when are you going to respond and implement all of Justice O'Conner's recommendations and respond to the expert water panel report?


Hon. Ms. Broten: It's a little rich to be lectured from that side of the House about how we will protect water in this province. We have increased investments on the waterfront every step of the way: $67.5 million to the science of watershed mapping and planning -- for the first time ever in this province, we will have an understanding of how much drinking water we have and how good that water is; we have increased the number of inspectors; we have increased the amount of training; and we have put in multiple barriers all along the way.

It would also be imperative to conduct a bit of research on the other side of the House. You should examine the chief drinking water inspector's recent report. He has clearly indicated that we can be proud of the safety of the drinking water of this province. Thirty-eight of 65 of Justice O'Conner recommendations have been done since October 2003, and we will implement every single --

The Speaker: Thank you. New question.


Mr. Michael Prue (Beaches-East York): My question is to the Minister of Community and Social Services. Madam Minister, I am again compelled to remind you of the case of Brian Woods from Lindsay, who suffers from heart disease and diabetes. He has bleeding holes in his feet. He is nearly blind.

Brian struggles to get by on his ODSP. He was finally awarded a special diet supplement after having the Ombudsman's office intervene. You have now cut that special diet money in half. Can you tell this House, and more importantly Brian, why you have done this? Will you reverse the decision so that he can have the food he needs to survive?

Hon. Madeleine Meilleur (Minister of Community and Social Services, minister responsible for francophone affairs): I would like to thank the member for this important question. First of all, let me tell you that the diet supplement has been reviewed and we have consulted at the request of the Ontario Medical Association. We have reviewed the process, and the Ontario Medical Association has proposed a new way of giving grants or financial assistance to those who need special diets. Now we have diagnoses where a patient needs a special diet, and those clients will receive the supplement.

This process will be reviewed this summer, with the support of the Ontario Medical Association, and if we need to have other diagnoses on the list, we will do that.



Mr. Jerry J. Ouellette (Oshawa): I have a petition to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

"Whereas the federal government collects over $5.2 billion annually in tax revenues from the sale of gasoline products; and

"Whereas the federal government, in addition, collects over $1.8 billion annually in GST revenue from the sale of gasoline products; and

"Whereas the previous federal Liberal government refused to commit additional funding for assisting road infrastructure in the province of Ontario;

"Therefore, be it resolved that we, the undersigned, respectfully petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to work with the new federal Conservative government in achieving a federal-provincial program to assist in further development of Ontario's interprovincial roads such as the Trans-Canada Highway and Highway 401."

I affix my name as I support this petition.


Ms. Shelley Martel (Nickel Belt): I have a petition that has been signed by 2,132 citizens of the city of greater Sudbury. It was sent to me by Claude Berthiaume, councillor, ward 2, in the city of greater Sudbury. These are in addition to the 10,388 signatures on the same issue I introduced in this House on May 15, 2006. The petition reads as follows:

"To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

"Whereas the citizens of the city of Greater Sudbury believe they are overtaxed and underserviced and feel like second-class citizens;

"We, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as follows:

"Direct the city of Greater Sudbury council to hold a referendum. The purpose of this referendum would be to obtain the citizens' opinion as to whether they prefer to maintain the city's new structure or return to the previous regional municipality structure.

« À l'Assemblée législative de l'Ontario :

« Alors que les citoyens de la ville du Grand Sudbury croient qu'ils payent trop de taxes, voient une diminution dans les services et ressentent que leur voix ne compte pas;

« Nous, les soussignés, pétitionnons l'Assemblée législative de l'Ontario comme suit :

« Exiger que le conseil de la ville du Grand Sudbury tienne un référendum. Le but de ce référendum est de connaître l'opinion des citoyens : savoir s'ils préfèrent conserver la présente structure de la ville ou de retourner à l'ancienne structure de la municipalité régionale. »

I agree with the petitioners. I've affixed my signature to this petition.


Mr. Tony Ruprecht (Davenport): This petition is in support of skilled immigrants, and it reads as follows:

"To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

"Whereas the McGuinty government is committed to establishing measures that will break down barriers for Ontario newcomers; and

"Whereas these measures will ensure that the 34 regulatory professions in Ontario have admissions and application practices that are fair, clear and open; and

"Whereas these measures will include the establishment of a fairness commissioner and an access centre for internationally trained individuals; and

"Whereas, through providing a fair and equitable system, newcomers will be able to apply their global experience, which will not only be beneficial to their long-term career goals but also to the Ontario economy as a whole;

"We, the undersigned, respectfully petition the Legislature of Ontario as follows:

"That all members of the House support the Fair Access to Regulated Professions Act, 2006, Bill 124, and work to ensure its prompt passage in the Ontario Legislature."

Since I agree with this petition 100%, I'm delighted to sign it.


Mr. Toby Barrett (Haldimand-Norfolk-Brant): A petition titled "We Demand Leadership in Land Dispute." This relates to Six Nations in Caledonia.

"Whereas the McGuinty government was notified of this land issue over a year ago; and

"Whereas the standoff has been ongoing since February 28, 2006; and

"Whereas there has been no leadership from senior levels of government;

"We, the undersigned, demand that the McGuinty Liberals start showing some real, consistent and timely leadership in dealing with the current standoff in Caledonia."

I agree with the sentiments and have affixed my signature, and I will be asking our page Madeleine, from my riding, to deliver this to the Clerk's desk.


Ms. Shelley Martel (Nickel Belt): I have a petition that's been sent to my colleague the member for Rainy River, and I'm pleased to present it on his behalf. It reads as follows:

"To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

"Whereas the Northwestern Ontario Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder Diagnostic Clinic has been operating as a demonstration project since December 2004 with funds received through the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care;

"Whereas this funding expires July 31, 2006;

"Whereas there is an enormous need in northwestern Ontario for regional access and accurate diagnosis of FASD;

"Whereas, without the northwestern Ontario FASD clinic, services are only accessible through a clinic in Winnipeg, Manitoba, or St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, for which there is a four-year wait;

"We, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as follows:

"Be it resolved that the provincial government commit to provide ongoing funding for the maintenance of the regional FASD diagnostic clinic, with two sites in northwestern Ontario."

The leader agrees with the petition, and I have signed my name to it as well.


Mr. Tony Ruprecht (Davenport): This petition is about the very famous dilapidated bridge on Old Weston Road and Keele Street. You've heard this petition before, but I hope you give me a chance to read it, because I keep getting hundreds of them every day.

"Whereas GO Transit is presently planning to tunnel an area just south of St. Clair Avenue West and west of Old Weston Road, making it easier for GO trains to pass a major rail crossing;

"Whereas TTC is presently planning a TTC right-of-way along all of St. Clair Avenue West, including the bottleneck caused by the dilapidated St. Clair Avenue-Old Weston Road bridge;


"Whereas this bridge (underpass) will be: (1) too narrow for the planned TTC right-of-way, since it will leave only one lane for traffic; (2) it is not safe for pedestrians (it's about 50 metres long). It's dark and slopes on both east and west sides, creating high banks for 300 metres; and (3) it creates a divide, a no man's land, between Old Weston Road and Keele Street. (This was acceptable when the area consisted entirely of slaughterhouses, but now the area has 900 new homes);

"Therefore we, the undersigned, demand that GO Transit extend the tunnel beyond St. Clair Avenue West so that trains will pass under St. Clair Avenue West, thus eliminating this eyesore of a bridge with its high banks and blank walls. Instead it will create a dynamic, revitalized community enhanced by a beautiful continuous cityscape with easy traffic flow."

Since I agree with this, I'm very happy to sign this petition.


Ms. Laurie Scott (Haliburton-Victoria-Brock): "Recommendations for the Frost Centre

"To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

"Whereas the McGuinty government announced the closure of the Leslie M. Frost Natural Resources Centre in July 2004 with no public consultation; and

"Whereas public outrage over the closure of the Frost Centre caused the government to appoint a working committee of local residents to examine options for the future of the property; and

"Whereas the working committee has completed their consultations and has prepared recommendations for the provincial government that include a procedure to follow during the request for proposals process; and

"Whereas the Frost Centre has been an important educational resource for the community, and continued use of the facility for educational purposes has widespread support;

"We, the undersigned, petition the Parliament of Ontario as follows:

"The Dalton McGuinty Liberals should retain public ownership of the Frost Centre lands and follow the recommendations of the working committee regarding the request for proposals process."

I thank all those who signed the petition, and hope the government does listen to their proposals, and hand it to the page Pardeep.


Ms. Shelley Martel (Nickel Belt): I have a petition that was given to me in Kingston on Monday morning at a rally involving children with autism. It reads as follows:

"To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

"Whereas children with autism who have reached the age of six years are no longer being discharged from their preschool autism program; and

"Whereas these children should be getting the best special education possible in the form of applied behaviour analysis (ABA) within the school system; and

"Whereas there are approximately 700 preschool children with autism across Ontario who are required to wait indefinitely for placement in the program, and there are also countless school-age children that are not receiving the support they require in the school system; and

"Whereas this situation has a negative impact on the families, extended families and friends of all of these children; and

"Whereas, as stated on the website for the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, `IBI can make a significant difference in the life of a child with autism. Its objective is to decrease the frequency of challenging behaviours, build social skills and promote language development';

"We, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to fund the treatment of IBI for all preschool children awaiting services. We also petition the Legislature of Ontario to fund an education program in the form of ABA in the school system."

I agree entirely with these families. I've affixed my signature to this.


Mr. Tony Ruprecht (Davenport): I have a petition to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, and it has to do with home care for seniors. It reads as follows:

"Whereas access to home care for seniors and persons with disabilities allows them greater independence within their own homes and the ability to limit the amount of time that they are forced to stay in hospitals and/or long-term-care facilities; and

"Whereas doctors, nurses and health care workers need to be recognized and supported for the outstanding work they do within their communities, which must translate into increased funding and resources for their efforts; and

"Whereas implementing the Caplan review will contribute to a more stringent set of guidelines for ensuring that home care and community support services are more effective and far-reaching;

"We, the undersigned, respectfully petition the Parliament of Ontario as follows:

"That the Liberal government's commitment to contribute $117.8 million to improve home care and implement the Caplan review be supported by all members of the House."

Since I agree with this petition, I am very happy to support it and sign my name to it.


Mrs. Julia Munro (York North): "To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

"Whereas, without appropriate support, people who have an intellectual disability are often unable to participate effectively in community life and are deprived of the benefits of society enjoyed by other citizens; and

"Whereas quality supports are dependent on the ability to attract and retain qualified workers; and

"Whereas the salaries of workers who provide community-based supports and services are up to 25% less than salaries paid to those doing the same work in government-operated services and other sectors;

"We, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to address, as a priority, funding to community agencies in the developmental services sector to address critical underfunding of staff salaries and ensure that people who have an intellectual disability continue to receive quality supports and services that they require in order to live meaningful lives within their community."

As I am in agreement, I affix my signature and have given it to page Nolan.


Ms. Shelley Martel (Nickel Belt): I have a petition addressed to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, and it reads as follows:

"We, the parents, taxpayers and residents of Valley East, appeal and petition the Minister of Education to review the current Rainbow District School Board proposal to build one school for French immersion students only in the community of Valley East.

"We appeal to the minister and request her assistance in working with us and the Rainbow board to find a more practical solution that better meets the needs of all Valley students. The success of all students must be the priority, balanced with fiscal responsibility.

"We believe all the children in our community deserve an equal educational experience that will encourage and promote academic excellence. We want the Rainbow District School Board to do more to address the needs of their Valley East students enrolled in the regular programs from grades JK to 8. The current proposal creates unequal educational environments and opportunities between children within the same community, administered by the same board."

I have affixed my signature to this.


Mr. Tony Ruprecht (Davenport): I have a petition addressed to the Legislature of Ontario, and it is about long-term-care homes for Portuguese seniors.

"Whereas Portuguese Canadians number 171,545 in the Toronto census metropolitan area, many of whom encounter serious barriers (language, culture and location) to accessing community and long-term-care services; and

"There are no long-term-care homes dedicated to the needs of Portuguese-Canadian seniors; and

"Camões House for the Aged and Portuguese Community Centre of Toronto is proposing a partnership with a local long-term-care provider to purchase up to 160 existing beds in the Toronto area (for a nominal fee) to develop a Portuguese-Canadian long-term-care home in Toronto. This partnership is tentative and is dependent on the approval of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care;

"We, the undersigned, petition the Legislature of Ontario as follows:

"We encourage the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, his staff, and members of the Legislature to support the Camões proposal and to make the appropriate administrative and policy changes required to develop a Portuguese-Canadian long-term-care home in Toronto."

I'm delighted that this petition came to our attention, and I support it fully.


LOI DE 2006

Mr. Bradley, on behalf of Mr. Bryant, moved third reading of the following bill:

Bill 190, An Act to promote good government by amending or repealing certain Acts and by enacting one new Act / Projet de loi 190, Loi visant à promouvoir une saine gestion publique en modifiant ou en abrogeant certaines lois et en édictant une nouvelle loi.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Joseph N. Tascona): Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.

Be it resolved that the bill do now pass and be entitled as in the motion.

Hon. James J. Bradley (Minister of Tourism, minister responsible for seniors, Government House Leader): Mr. Speaker, I believe we have unanimous consent to call orders for second and third reading of Pr bills concurrently.

The Acting Speaker: Is there unanimous consent to call Pr bills concurrently? Agreed.



Ms. Marsales moved second reading of the following bill:

Bill Pr18, An Act respecting Ronald McDonald House (Hamilton).

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Joseph N. Tascona): Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.

Ms. Marsales moved third reading of the following bill:

Bill Pr18, An Act respecting Ronald McDonald House (Hamilton).

The Acting Speaker: Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.

Be it resolved that the bill do now pass and be entitled as in the motion.


Mr. Qaadri moved second reading of the following bill:

Bill Pr19, An Act to revive Golden Dreams Home and Decor Ltd.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Joseph N. Tascona): Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.

Mr. Qaadri moved third reading of the following bill:

Bill Pr19, An Act to revive Golden Dreams Home and Decor Ltd.

The Acting Speaker: Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.

Be it resolved that the bill do now pass and be entitled as in the motion.


Mr. Levac moved second reading of the following bill:

Bill Pr25, An Act respecting The Sisters of St. Joseph of Hamilton.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Joseph N. Tascona): Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.

Mr. Levac moved third reading of the following bill:

Bill Pr25, An Act respecting The Sisters of St. Joseph of Hamilton.

The Acting Speaker: Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.

Be it resolved that the bill do now pass and be entitled as in the motion.


Mr. Zimmer moved second reading of the following bill:

Bill Pr26, An Act respecting Talpiot College.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Joseph N. Tascona): Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.

Mr. Zimmer moved third reading of the following bill:

Bill Pr26, An Act respecting Talpiot College.

The Acting Speaker: Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.

Be it resolved that the bill do now pass and be entitled as in the motion.


Mr. Mauro moved second reading of the following bill:

Bill Pr27, An Act respecting Thunder Bay International Airports Authority Inc.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Joseph N. Tascona): Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.

Mr. Mauro moved third reading of the following bill:

Bill Pr27, An Act respecting Thunder Bay International Airports Authority Inc.

The Acting Speaker: Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.

Be it resolved that the bill do now pass and be entitled as in the motion.


Hon. James J. Bradley (Minister of Tourism, minister responsible for seniors, Government House Leader): Mr. Speaker, I believe we have unanimous consent to revert to motions to move two motions without notice regarding Bill 89, Bill 120 and Bill 209.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Joseph N. Tascona): Is there consent? Agreed.


Hon. James J. Bradley (Minister of Tourism, minister responsible for seniors, Government House Leader): I move that the April 20, 2006, order of the House referring Bill 89, An Act to amend the Child and Family Services Act and the Coroners Act to better protect the children of Ontario, to the standing committee on justice policy be discharged and the bill be referred instead to the standing committee on regulations and private bills; and

That the June 8, 2006, order of the House referring Bill 120, An Act to require the Building Code and the Fire Code to provide for fire detectors, interconnected fire alarms and non-combustible fire escapes, to the standing committee on general government be discharged and the bill be referred instead to the standing committee on regulations and private bills;

That the standing committee on regulations and private bills be authorized to meet during the summer adjournment in accordance with the schedule of meeting dates agreed to by the whips of the recognized parties and tabled with the Clerk of the Assembly to examine and inquire into the following matters:

Bill 89, An Act to amend the Child and Family Services Act and the Coroners Act to better protect the children of Ontario, and Bill 120, An Act to require the Building Code and the Fire Code to provide for fire detectors, interconnected fire alarms and non-combustible fire escapes;

And with the agreement of the whip of each recognized party, the time allotted for consideration by the committee may be amended.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Joseph N. Tascona): Is the House familiar with the motion? Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.


Hon. James J. Bradley (Minister of Tourism, minister responsible for seniors, Government House Leader): I move that the December 1, 2005, order of the House referring Bill 209, An Act to amend the Highway Traffic Act with respect to the suspension of drivers' licences, to the standing committee on general government be discharged and it be ordered for third reading.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Joseph N. Tascona): Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.



Mr. Zimmer moved third reading of the following bill:

Bill 209, An Act to amend the Highway Traffic Act with respect to the suspension of drivers' licences / Projet de loi 209, Loi modifiant le Code de la route en ce qui concerne les suspensions de permis de conduire.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Joseph N. Tascona): The Chair recognizes Mr. Zimmer.

Mr. David Zimmer (Willowdale): If I may briefly speak to this bill, Bill 209 changes the law so that people who are convicted of impaired powerboat operating will lose their Ontario driver's licence. There is similar legislation in place now, for instance, dealing with snowmobiles, where someone who is convicted of the impaired operation of a snowmobile in Ontario will lose their Ontario driver's licence.

This legislation draws a connection between impaired boat operation and the value of an Ontario driver's licence. Studies have shown that people value their Ontario driver's licence, that if they feel there's a risk of losing their Ontario driver's licence if they're caught operating a boat while impaired, that will serve as a deterrent to impaired boat operation.

This will make the waterways and rivers in Ontario a safer place. This bill has broad support from boaters, from municipalities on Ontario's lakes and rivers, from the police officials who police those lakes and rivers here in Ontario.


It has broad support from the insurance industry in Ontario and in Canada. In particular, the Insurance Bureau of Canada has endorsed it. They see it as a measure that will make our lakes and rivers safer, that will prevent injury and death.

Above all, families and their loved ones support this legislation. Everyone wants themselves and their family members to enjoy the lakes and rivers of Ontario in a safe way.

The health care sector supports this legislation to the extent that it eliminates serious injuries on our lakes and rivers. This is good for the costs incurred by the Ontario health system.

Above all, in my conversations with my fellow colleagues here in this Legislature from all parties -- Conservatives, the NDP, and of course the Liberals -- this bill enjoys the full support of my colleagues.

In short, this is the right thing to do for Ontario. Ontario's rivers and lakes are a great source attracting tourism and the pleasure of Ontarians in the summer. If it makes it a safer and better place for them, it's the best thing that can happen for Ontario this summer.

Mr. Norm Miller (Parry Sound-Muskoka): It's my pleasure to speak on behalf of the PC Party on Bill 209, An Act to amend the Highway Traffic Act with respect to the suspension of drivers' licences. I consider it an honour to be able to speak to this bill. I very much support the bill, as do members of our party and as does our leader, John Tory.

I'm very pleased to have this opportunity. I know this bill has come before the House a couple of other times. I think the last time it was the former member for Muskoka, Bill Grimmett, who brought it forward -- I believe it was in 1998 -- but it has not made it all the way through the House and become law. So it is very much my hope that this afternoon it does become law.

I would like to point out the hard work of Mr. Ken Crompton, who I know has lobbied very hard with all parties to see this bill passed. He's a very determined and good lobbyer, I must admit. He called me a few times on my cellphone and met with me personally and also had friends of mine, like Blake Hutcheson, call me and make me very much aware of the bill. So I think all members are aware of how important this bill is. He does so because he very much has personal reasons, as his son Peter was killed in a tragic accident on Lake Joseph in my riding in 2003.

It's my belief that this bill will go a long way toward changing people's attitudes about drinking and boating. Over the last 30 years we've seen tremendous changes in people's attitudes in society generally toward drinking and driving an automobile. The same thing has not happened in terms of drinking and boating. I would argue that operating a boat is in fact a lot more difficult, with more changing circumstances and conditions than driving an automobile, particularly if it happens to be a weekend or if you happen to be boating at nighttime, when it could be quite dark and there are lots of variable conditions. If it happens to be daytime and it's a busy weekend, there are tubers, there are canoeists, there are sailboats, there are kids swimming, there are scuba divers, there are fishermen; there are all kinds of different things to consider. You also have the hot sun and movement of the boat, which affect your ability to operate a boat.

In fact, SMARTRISK has published information where they say, "In fact, alcohol use while boating can be more dangerous than drinking and driving a car, since the effects of alcohol are considerably more impairing on water than on land. Research has shown that marine factors such as motion, vibration, noise, sun, wind and spray all affect the operator's ability to concentrate properly." In addition, SMARTRISK was recently commissioned to conduct a research project in Simcoe county and the district of Muskoka. The research results showed that individuals who would never think of drinking and driving readily drink and boat. That's something that has to change in this province. This bill will go a long way towards making that change. I grew up on Lake Muskoka. I spent just about 50 years living on the lake, boating from a very young age. I've experienced first-hand the lake's getting busier, but also the dangers involved with boating before you throw in alcohol.

This bill just makes good sense. I know that the PC Party very much supports it. I'd like to also point out that I know there were some news articles suggesting that maybe the opposition parties were somehow not supporting this bill. We have always supported it, we continue to support it and we look forward to the passage of the bill today.

I would also like to point out that in the statistics from 1996 to 2000, 46% of the deaths on the water involved alcohol. In 2002, 43 people were killed in boating incidents. You can take roughly half of those and say they may not have been killed had this law been passed. It's going to take time to change people's ways, but this bill will help and it will make a difference, so I very much support it passing. It's also the right time of year, as a busy summer is about to start.

On that point -- just looking after self-interests -- I'd certainly encourage everyone to come and visit Parry Sound-Muskoka and enjoy that beautiful summer that's about to start. I know the member who's sponsoring this bill looks forward to getting up to his cottage on Eilean Gowan Island, I believe. I'll certainly look forward to welcoming him to Parry Sound-Muskoka.

We support this bill and look forward to it passing.

Mr. Peter Kormos (Niagara Centre): New Democrats support this bill and will be voting for it and are pleased that it will receive third reading passage this afternoon. Indeed, I recall Mr. Zimmer -- it must have been just within weeks of his being elected to this Legislature as a novice, a tyro MPP -- approached me in the lounge, because he was sitting in the rump at the time; he hadn't made it to the Premier's side of the benches. I remember in one of my first conversations with him his enthusiasm for this particular proposition. I indicated to him then that I thought it was an admirable and appropriate objective. I'm pleased that he's been able to take this bill to this stage, the third reading stage.

I have a little different take, I suppose, on the rationale for the bill. It's my view -- and I put to you it's a valid perspective -- that the reason you suspend the licence of a drunken boater is because a person who is irresponsible enough to get all drunked up and drive a boat is also irresponsible enough to get all drunked up and get behind the wheel of a car. End of story. It's not just about making the lakes or waterways safer; it's about making our roadways safer. We've still got a long way to go in terms of drunk driving and stigmatizing drunk driving.

Things have changed dramatically in the lifetime of every one of us here in this chamber, but there's obviously still far too many deaths and serious tragedies that flow from people who are inclined to get all drunked up and get behind the wheel of a motorized vehicle: a boat, a snowmobile, a car. I think the connection is very, very intimate. It's a nexus that is obvious.

In the course of this, I think we also have to commend the government House leader and Bob Runciman, the Conservative House leader -- I confess, I was there too -- because it took a lot of effort on the part of Mr. Zimmer, but also on the part of his House leader, to get the bill to this point. There was just an incredible -- just a plethora of misinformation that was being floated around and communicated. Some of it at times became irritating, because some of it actually put the bill at risk. Some of the chattering that was going on endangered the bill, when every party here wanted to see this bill succeed. There's any number of bills that we want to see succeed, but the legislative process is such that not all of those bills get to third reading. I simply make that observation.


I'll repeat again that I'm grateful to the government House leader and to Mr. Runciman, the Conservative House leader, for their work at ensuring this bill got to third reading. There's a whole lot of good private members' public business that isn't going to get to third reading. There's a whole lot of private members' public business that is important legislation that's not going to make it beyond the one hour of second reading. That's why I particularly like the proposal by Ted Arnott, a Conservative member whose resolution is on the order paper, calling for the addition of one more hour on Thursday mornings. They'll start at 9 instead of 10 so there can be three hours, three private members' public business slots, rather than the current two. I think that's an incredibly valuable proposal, and it's one that I think we should consider as seriously as we're considering Bill 209. There's good stuff that comes out of it, and I'm not talking about the fluff, because there's fluff that comes here. We see it Thursday mornings. It's fluff. I've nothing against moms or apple pies, but it's mom-and-apple-pie stuff that isn't going to effectively change the world for anybody. But there are some good proposals that come forward.

Dave Levac, Bill 3, anaphylactic shock responses in schools: private members' public business -- a good bill. I recall all the way back, oh yes, to the early 1990s when Dianne Cunningham, for whom I still have great affecttion and regard, from London introduced a bill because she had tragedy in her own life. She introduced a bill requiring bicyclists to wear helmets. Of course, that has now become the norm. We see adults riding without helmets, but it's a rare occasion when we see a kid riding a bicycle without a helmet. It's private members' public business.

I have to say I regret the manner in which private members' public business can sometimes just be a showcase for that one hour on Thursday mornings. Governments are disinclined to adopt the private members' bills of opposition members; they just are. There's an inertia. I suppose in that respect, we're fortunate that it was a government member who had this proposal. But they're disinclined to do that, and I for the life of me don't understand why. I suspect I can be as partisan as anybody in this chamber, and I understand that adversarial relationship between government and opposition, and it's a healthy one. It should be that way. It's supposed to be that way. It's important that opposition be opposition and be aggressive. But at the same time, I think there are occasions when we recognize that there are simply good ideas being put forth.

So I hope that this is a lesson, this exercise -- and it was a difficult one. It wasn't an easy one. It was a difficult exercise. As I say, from time to time, they risk being derailed just because of the nature of things. I hope this is an exercise that we all learn from in terms of understanding good legislation and paving the way for it to become law. New Democrats are pleased that our member Michael Prue's Bill 120 -- again, as a result of the work of the government House leader at House leaders' meetings -- is going to be put to committee for consideration and is going to be discharged by that committee. So it will then be ready -- assuming the committee passes it -- for third reading. It's not a phony, one-day committee hearing, where the bills are designed simply to be prepared to go off into legislative orbit, to enter Stephen Hawking's black hole, where so much good legislation and so many good resolutions end up. So we're pleased that Michael Prue, with Bill 120, is going to get due consideration.

I commend once again Mr. Zimmer for his authoring of the bill, for his stewardship of it. I thank once again House leaders for the government, Jim Bradley, and for the Conservative Party, Bob Runciman, who worked incredibly hard to make sure this bill made it to third reading. I thank Ken Crompton who, with an incredible amount of courage, has made sure that this issue is profiled, that this bill had a little better chance of surviving the black hole syndrome than it would have had, were it not for Ken Crompton's perseverance, tenacity and, as I say, his inevitable courage.

I look forward over the course of the next year and three months, give or take, to us seeing other good private members' business come to third reading, good bills from members of all three caucuses here. It makes for a better Ontario.

The Acting Speaker: Further debate?

Seeing none, Mr. Zimmer has moved third reading of Bill 209, An Act to amend the Highway Traffic Act with respect to suspension of drivers' licences. Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.

Be it resolved that the bill do now pass and be entitled as in the motion.

ACT, 2006 /

Resuming the debate adjourned on June 19, 2006, on the motion for third reading of Bill 104, An Act to establish the Greater Toronto Transportation Authority and to repeal the GO Transit Act, 2001 / Projet de loi 104, Loi visant à créer la Régie des transports du grand Toronto et à abroger la Loi de 2001 sur le Réseau GO.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Joseph N. Tascona): Further debate?

Seeing none, Ms. Cansfield has moved third reading of Bill 104, An Act to establish the Greater Toronto Transportation Authority and to repeal the GO Transit Act, 2001. Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry?

All those in favour of the bill, say "aye."

All those opposed, say "nay."

In my opinion, the ayes have it. Carried.

Be it resolved that the bill do now pass and be entitled as in the motion.

Hon. James J. Bradley (Minister of Tourism, minister responsible for seniors, Government House Leader): His honour awaits.

His Honour the Lieutenant Governor entered the chamber of the Legislative Assembly and took his seat upon the throne.



Hon. James K. Bartleman (Lieutenant Governor): Pray be seated.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Joseph N. Tascona): May it please Your Honour, the Legislative Assembly of the province has, at its present meetings thereof, passed certain bills to which, in the name and on behalf of the said Legislative Assembly, I respectfully request Your Honour's assent.

The Deputy Clerk (Ms. Deborah Deller): The following are the titles of the bills to which Your Honour's assent is prayed:

Bill 104, An Act to establish the Greater Toronto Transportation Authority and to repeal the GO Transit Act, 2001 / Projet de loi 104, Loi visant à créer la Régie des transports du grand Toronto et à abroger la Loi de 2001 sur le Réseau GO.

Bill 109, An Act to revise the law governing residential tenancies / Projet de loi 109, Loi révisant le droit régissant la location à usage d'habitation.

Bill 117, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act to provide for an Ontario home electricity payment / Projet de loi 117, Loi modifiant la Loi de l'impôt sur le revenu pour prévoir un paiement au titre des factures d'électricité résidentielle de l'Ontario.

Bill 190, An Act to promote good government by amending or repealing certain Acts and by enacting one new Act / Projet de loi 190, Loi visant à promouvoir une saine gestion publique en modifiant ou en abrogeant certaines lois et en édictant une nouvelle loi.

Bill 209, An Act to amend the Highway Traffic Act with respect to the suspension of drivers' licences / Projet de loi 209, Loi modifiant le Code de la route en ce qui concerne les suspensions de permis de conduire.

Bill Pr18, An Act respecting Ronald McDonald House (Hamilton).

Bill Pr19, An Act to revive Golden Dreams Home and Decor Ltd.

Bill Pr25, An Act respecting The Sisters of St. Joseph of Hamilton.

Bill Pr26, An Act respecting Talpiot College.

Bill Pr27, An Act respecting Thunder Bay International Airports Authority Inc.

The Clerk of the Assembly (Mr. Claude L. DesRosiers): In Her Majesty's name, His Honour the Lieutenant Governor doth assent to these bills.

Au nom de Sa Majesté, Son Honneur le lieutenant-gouverneur sanctionne ces projets de loi.

His Honour was then pleased to retire.


Mr. Vic Dhillon (Brampton West-Mississauga): On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: I'd like to introduce introduce Mr. Avtar Singh, who is the father of one of our pages, Harjot, from my riding.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Joseph N. Tascona): Orders of the day.

Hon. James J. Bradley (Minister of Tourism, minister responsible for seniors, Government House Leader): I move adjournment of the House.

The Acting Speaker: Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.

This House now stands adjourned until Monday, September 25, 2006, at 1:30 p.m. of the clock.

The House adjourned at 1615.

Continued from overleaf