STANDING COMMITTEE ON ESTIMATES
COMITÉ PERMANENT DES BUDGETS DES DÉPENSES
Tuesday 30 September 2014 Mardi 30 septembre 2014
The committee met at 0900 in room 151.
Election of Chair
The Clerk of the Committee (Mr. Katch Koch): Good morning, honourable members. Welcome to the Standing Committee on Estimates. My name is Katch Koch; I’m the Clerk of your committee.
It is my duty to call upon you to elect a Chair, and pursuant to standing order 117(b), “The Chair of the Standing Committee on Estimates shall be a member of a recognized party in opposition to the government....” Are there any nominations?
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: Clerk, I move that MPP Cindy Forster be elected as the Chair.
The Clerk of the Committee (Mr. Katch Koch): Are there further nominations? There being no further nominations, I declare the nominations closed and Ms. Forster elected Chair of the committee.
Ms. Forster, may I ask you to take the chair to preside over the election of the Vice-Chair, please?
Election of Vice-Chair
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Is there a motion for the election of the Vice-Chair?
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: Madam Chair, I move that Miss Taylor be appointed Vice-Chair.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Are there any other nominations? Mr. Balkissoon has moved that Miss Taylor be appointed Vice-Chair. Any discussion on the motion? Are the members ready to vote? All in favour? Opposed? Carried. Congratulations.
Appointment of subcommittee
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Is there a motion for the appointment of the subcommittee on committee business? Mr. Balkissoon?
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: I move that a subcommittee on committee business be appointed to meet from time to time at the call of the Chair or at the request of any member thereof, to consider and report to the committee on the business of the committee;
That the presence of all members of the subcommittee is necessary to constitute a meeting;
That the subcommittee be composed of the following members: the Chair as Chair, Mr. Balkissoon, Mr. Harris and Miss Taylor; and
That substitution be permitted on the subcommittee.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Is there discussion on the motion? Are the members ready to vote? All in favour of the motion? Opposed, if any? The motion is carried.
Order of business
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Good morning, everyone. Committee members, pursuant to the order of the House dated July 24, 2014, the House leaders of the recognized parties have submitted their selections of the estimates to be considered to the Clerk of the Committee by 5 p.m. on Friday, September 12, 2014. The committee therefore considers the estimates of the following ministries and offices:
—Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport for five hours;
—Ministry of Transportation for 10 hours;
—Ministry of Infrastructure for 10 hours;
—Ministry of Community and Social Services for five hours;
—Ministry of Energy for 7.5 hours;
—Ministry of Finance for 7.5 hours;
—Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for 15 hours;
—Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs for 7.5 hours;
—Office of Francophone Affairs for 7.5 hours;
—Ministry of Consumer Services for 15 hours.
The committee has received a request from the House leaders asking that the order of consideration of the estimates of the Ministry of Transportation and the estimates of the Ministry of Infrastructure be switched to accommodate the schedules of respective ministers. The committee will note that in normal practice, standing order 60(c) stipulates that “the estimates of the ministries and offices shall be considered in the order in which they were selected” and that only the House may change the order of consideration.
However, in this exceptional circumstance, the committee is operating under an order of the House that states that “notwithstanding standing order 60(c), the estimates of the ministries and offices shall be considered in the following order: those ministries and offices selected by the members of the party forming the official opposition, followed by those ministries and offices selected by the members of the party having the third largest membership in the House, followed by those ministries and offices selected by the members of the party forming the government.” Therefore, as long as all of the selections of the official opposition are considered prior to the selections of the third party, it is my interpretation that the committee, in making this switch, would not be in contravention of the order of the House.
As this decision affects all committee members, I would ask if there is unanimous consent to switch the order of consideration for two of the selections of the official opposition: the Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of Infrastructure. Is that agreed? Thank you.
Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Now we are going to proceed with the consideration of the estimates of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport for a total of five hours. The ministry is required to monitor the proceedings for any questions or issues that the ministry undertakes to address. I trust that the deputy minister has made arrangements to have the hearings closely monitored with respect to questions raised, so the minister can respond accordingly. If you wish, you may, at the end of your appearance, verify the questions and issues being tracked by the research officer.
Are there any questions, Minister, before we start, or any questions of any of the members of the committee?
Hon. Michael Coteau: No questions.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): I am now required to call vote 3801, which sets the review process in motion. We will begin with a statement of not more than 30 minutes by the minister, followed by statements of up to 30 minutes by the official opposition and then 30 minutes by the third party. Then the minister will have 30 minutes for a reply. The remaining time will be apportioned equally amongst the three parties.
Minister, the floor is yours.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Thank you very much and congratulations on the appointment.
Chair, members of the committee, ladies and gentlemen, it’s an honour to be here today to speak to you. As the new Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport and the minister responsible for the Pan/Parapan Am Games, I welcome this opportunity to talk to you about the important work my ministry is doing to create jobs, to drive innovation through tourism, culture and sport, and the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games.
To begin, I’d like to take a few moments to talk about Ontario’s current economic climate, to help put our initiatives and achievements into context. The province’s talented workforce is its greatest asset in attracting and sustaining economic growth. Recognizing that the 2014 Ontario budget laid out a comprehensive plan for a strong Ontario with more jobs, more opportunity and a more secure future, the budget also recognized the importance of tourism, culture and the sport sector and the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games as an economic driver. By attracting jobs and investment, they are helping us to build a stronger, more competitive economy.
My ministry has a plan to continue our support for tourism, culture and the sport sector in this province while achieving more cost-effective results for taxpayers. Ontario will help create jobs and grow the economy by investing in people, building modern infrastructure and supporting a dynamic and innovative business climate.
The Ontario government values the tourism, culture and sport sector and the role they play in driving the province’s economic and creative growth. Ontario has the right environment for business and people to succeed: jobs, investment and innovation. That’s what we need here in the province of Ontario. That’s what tourism, culture and sport and the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games are all about.
Chair, members of the committee, now I’d like to introduce to you the good work that’s being done in my ministry and tell you how tourism, culture and sport, and the games, contribute to building a prosperous Ontario, beginning with tourism.
My ministry recognizes the importance of building a strong tourism sector, one that creates jobs and strengthens the economy at home in Ontario and throughout Canada. Tourism is a key economic driver and a job creator in Ontario. It’s one of our largest international export industries and one of our largest employers, generating over $28 billion for the provincial economy and supporting over 347,000 jobs. It’s the largest employer of young people and seasonal employees.
Tourism is set to grow rapidly. Tourism in Ontario grew in 2012 compared to 2011. More than 142 million people visited our province, and tourists spent 6.2% more while here in comparison to the previous year.
By 2020, the worldwide travelling population is projected to double to 1.6 billion. To help create a stronger, more competitive tourism industry, we created 13 tourism regions. Our government has committed $40 million in annual funding to support these regions. By working together as a region, tourism partners are now benefiting from a coordinated and collaborative approach that maximizes our resources, encourages more strategic planning and investment, and results in stronger product development and marketing. For Ontario to compete on the world stage, we must continue to build on the success of this regional approach.
Our government remains committed to working closely with partners to build a stronger tourism industry here in Ontario, and we are taking a more proactive approach to attract private sector investment in new tourism products and experiences. Our Tourism Investment Strategy includes raising the profile of Ontario as a place to invest in tourism and presenting investment opportunities to potential international investors.
Ministry staff provide the expertise and assistance needed to support foreign direct investment in the tourism industry. By continuing to build partnerships between levels of government and among stakeholders, we help ensure our country’s place as an internationally renowned travel destination, with superior tourism experiences, attractions and services.
I’d like to highlight some of Ontario’s initiatives that reflect our strengths and the combined efforts of our collaboration. Ontario and Quebec, for example, have been collaborating on tourism joint ventures in areas with a natural market fit, like the US and Mexico. Co-operative arrangements and enhanced exposure to national and international markets are now bringing economic benefits to both provinces. We continue to look at a number of areas, including one that is growing in importance: the development of aboriginal tourism. We also have shared insight and information with our colleagues from Manitoba on our music strategy, which is building momentum. Ontario has worked hard with our tourism industry partners to implement these successful strategies.
Regional tourism organizations representing the 13 tourism regions that I mentioned are continuing to evolve, and result in stronger partnerships and collaboration at the local level. Our tourism investment attraction strategy continues to generate new investment leads for Ontario, and we’re seeing results. The Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada in Toronto generated approximately 350 jobs and it attracted over two million visitors in its first year of operation. The new Legoland Discovery Centre in Vaughan created an estimated 100 jobs.
We are revitalizing provincial agencies as part of our plan to grow tourism. I confirmed our government’s commitment to move forward on a vision for Ontario Place that capitalizes on the spectacular natural assets of Ontario’s waterfront; builds on the legacy of innovation, live music and engagement; and is inspired by Ontarians who share their passion, their memories and their ideas. A project of this scale and scope is a complex undertaking, and it’s important that we get it right. We are committed to getting the best, most cost-effective results for taxpayers. In keeping with the minister’s advisory panel recommendations, we will explore partnerships with a wide range of public and private partners. The construction, development and operation of the revitalized Ontario Place will generate new private sector investments, jobs and tax revenue.
We will continue to approach this project in phases, with the construction of the first phase, a new urban park and waterfront trail, which will begin this fall. The park and trail project will transform a portion of the east island previously used as a parking lot, providing public access to this section of Toronto’s waterfront for the first time in more than 40 years. That’s seven and a half acres of new green space here in the city of Toronto, with a spectacular panoramic view of the city and the lake. Through public consultation, we learned that more green space and access to waterfronts were among people’s top priorities for a new Ontario Place.
Since 2003, we have invested more than $976 million in Ontario’s tourism agencies. Our tourism agencies attract visitors, stimulate local economies and help make Ontario a premier tourism destination. Since 2005, the Fun Pass has provided increased visibility and attendance for provincial attractions. The Fun Pass provides free admission to over 1.5 million elementary-school-aged children annually.
Our government also recognizes the importance of business generated by conventions. Since 2003, we have committed over $105 million to support Ontario’s convention centres, and we’re seeing a strong return on our investment. On average, convention delegates spend more than twice as much as other visitors to Ontario. In 2011, convention delegates in Ontario generated $1.3 billion in spending.
We’re also hosting internationally renowned events, like WorldPride 2014, a huge celebration of diversity and equity; and the Honda Indy, another giant festival of road racing in downtown Toronto.
The Pan Am/Parapan Am Games of 2015 are expected to attract a quarter of a million visitors, which we know will be a strong economic catalyst and international spotlight on sports, as well as on Ontario’s culture, tourism attractions, artists, festivals and events. In connection with the games, we launched Ignite Ontario, part of our effort to engage Ontarians and bring the benefits of hosting the games to communities across this province.
Ontario’s festivals and events attract tourists, create jobs and support economic growth. Each year, they support over 22,000 jobs in Ontario and generate millions of dollars in revenue. In 2011, Ontario hosted the International Indian Film Academy’s Weekend and Awards, which showcased our province to hundreds of millions of viewers from around the world.
Ports across Ontario welcomed the 2013 Tall Ship festival and a pan-provincial event commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812, which attracted over one million visitors.
WorldPride 2014 Toronto, which I mentioned earlier, helped raise the profile of Toronto and Ontario as international tourism destinations respectful of diversity and a champion of human rights. The Ontario government provided more than $1.3 million to support Pride Toronto and WorldPride 2014 Toronto through a variety of programs.
Since 2013, our government has invested $306 million to support more than 4,800 festivals and events across Ontario through a number of tourism and cultural programs. This includes the nearly $20 million we’re investing in 2014 through Celebrate Ontario to support more than 220 festivals and events across this province.
We’re raising our international profile, securing approved destination status from China, representing a significant opportunity to boost tourism and economic activity here in our province. It allows us to market tourism experience to Chinese consumers, as well as the sale of group travel through Chinese operators. In 2012, entries from China to Ontario increased by 30% compared to those in 2011. By 2015, the number of visitors from China is expected to be at 236,000, double that of 2010.
The international spotlight will continue to be on Ontario over the next few years. In addition to Pride Toronto and the games, we will host the 2015 and 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championships.
Chair, committee members, ladies and gentlemen, our government is also working closely with our partners to build a strong cultural sector, and we’ve had great success. Culture is now one of Ontario’s fastest-growing sectors. This will help create more jobs and encourage more economic growth. The culture sector contributes more than $22.6 billion annually to Ontario’s economy. In addition, Ontario’s entertainment and creative industry supports over 300,000 jobs.
Since 2003, we’ve committed over $5.8 billion to the cultural sector, and we’re seeing results. Our strategic investments help drive innovation, create jobs and provide a better quality of life for Ontarians. We are helping to build strong, vibrant and livable communities across Ontario.
Since 2003, our government has invested billions into the cultural sector, including $241 million to the Ontario Media Development Corp. to support Ontario’s entertainment and cultural industries, over $574 million to the Ontario Arts Council to support artists and organizations across Ontario, over $1.3 billion in the Ontario Trillium Foundation to help build healthy and vibrant communities, and over $75 million to the Ontario Heritage Trust to support and protect heritage across the province. We will continue to make strategic investments in this important sector to help drive innovation, create jobs and provide a better quality of life for Ontarians.
An example of one of our successful strategic investments is the Toronto International Film Festival, which we as a government are very proud to support. It’s always an exciting time of the year when we host gifted actors, directors, producers and media from here in Canada and Ontario and from around the world. TIFF puts us on the international stage and gives us a tremendous profile here in Ontario. This year’s festival featured 390 movies, 450,000 viewers, films from 72 countries, and over 140 world premieres.
TIFF provides an incredible opportunity to profile Ontario films on the world stage—films like this year’s Maps to the Stars and October Gale. Our screen-based sector contributes $2.4 billion annually to our economy, supports more than 46,000 jobs, and ranks us alongside powerhouse industries such as New York and Los Angeles. With cutting-edge knowledge, first-rate infrastructure, diverse locations and financial incentives available through the Ontario Media Development Corp., we have the full package: an attractive, competitive destination for film and television production.
I recently attended the Premier’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts, an event we hosted at Roy Thomson Hall, and had the opportunity to meet some incredible artists. It was an honour that evening to present two awards: first, the individual Artist Award to critically acclaimed poet, novelist and performance storyteller Lee Maracle, and the Arts Organization Award to Le Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario, a company that focuses on contemporary work from playwrights and artists from Ontario and across Canada.
Ontario is home to Canada’s largest—and one of the world’s most diverse—music sector. Ontario’s music sector generates over 80% of total national revenues in regard to music. This is up 65% from 2005. In order to continue to build on this success, my ministry has launched two initiatives: the Ontario Music Fund and the Live Music Strategy.
The Ontario Music Fund was officially launched last October. It’s a three-year, $45-million grant program that will run to 2016. There are four streams of funding available through the fund, and each has its own uniqueness and its own characteristics and objectives. I’m happy to report that this year the Ontario Music Fund has received 270 applications from a diverse range of stakeholders. As you can tell, the program was highly competitive, and decision-making was challenging.
Earlier this month, I had the honour of joining Canadian rapper, record producer and record executive Kardinal Offishall to announce the first recipients of the Ontario Music Fund. We provided 108 grants to eligible recipients, music organizations and artists that produce, distribute and promote Canadian music as well as a number of other projects.
Through the fund, we are helping labels like Six Shooter Records to secure more worldwide deals and broaden their audience. We’re supporting the Canadian Independent Recording Artists’ Association’s Mentorship Program that connects emerging artists with more established ones. We’re supporting promotional activities that are designed to build an international fan base to established Ontario artists such as Divine Brown and her new 2014 album release.
This fund was developed to help support and create jobs and to position Ontario as a leading destination to record and perform music. More specifically, the Ontario Music Fund was designed to:
—increase recording and production activity here in the province;
—build strong, competitive and sustainable music companies;
—expand their capacity to develop artist exports, business skills and employment;
—increase opportunities for new and emerging Canadian artists to perform; and
—strengthen Ontario’s music ecosystem by investing in associations and partnerships.
One of the greatest achievements so far has been the way these industry players have rallied to work together to form new partnerships and to make a concerted effort to grow Ontario’s recording and live music scene. We’ve seen collaborations develop between some of the major players in live music.
Applications have now closed for year 2, and final funding decisions will be made in October. We look forward to seeing the continued benefits of this program.
You may recall that Ontario has also been working with its music partners to develop a Live Music Strategy. Live music plays a critical role in the vibrancy and success of the music industry. It’s also a key driver of tourism and regional economic growth. The live music sector generates $455 million in revenue, contributes $252 million to Canada’s annual GDP and supports over 7,000 direct and indirect jobs.
As part of our Live Music Strategy, we’ve been working with our tourism promotion agencies to actively position Ontario as a global destination for live music and music tourism. We’re doing this largely through international marketing initiatives.
We’re well under way with this strategy, and we’ve already developed a coordinated live music marketing and promotions plan through the creation of the Ontario Live Music brand and the new online resource portal ontariolivemusic.ca. We’re very proud of ontariolivemusic.ca, which was officially launched in June of this year.
The website acts as a one-window platform for consumers to visit wherever they may be around the world to discover live music offerings in communities across this great province. It’s a free bilingual service both for consumers and for those independent promoters, presenters or festivals that want to post information to promote their event. Listing information is streamed to ensure that it’s both comprehensive and up to date. Users are able to find information quickly and easily by searching for events by location, date and artist/venue. In time, the site will also include audio clips so people can sample music on the spot. We have a number of ideas for the next phase of this portal, and we’re working closely with Music Canada to explore the possibility of future development.
I’m sure that you’ll agree that underlying all of our work as a government is our goal to build strong, vibrant and livable communities here across this great province. We want our province to be a healthy, prosperous place to live, work and play. Participating in sport and recreation is vital to the health and well-being of all Ontarians because we know that building a healthier Ontario will directly contribute to positive economic and social outcomes such as improved student achievement, increased labour-force productivity and stronger supportive social networks for individuals and communities.
Since 2003, our government has increased support for amateur sport by over 167% to strengthen opportunities within our communities and support our athletes. Through programs like the Ontario Sport and Recreation Communities Fund, we are committed to providing Ontarians with access to local and provincial programs that promote healthy, active living. I had the pleasure of announcing the 2014 grants last summer at the Scadding Court Community Centre, one of this year’s recipients. This two-year funding program is designed to engage Ontarians in community sport, recreation and physical activity through high-quality initiatives. The fund has budgeted $7.2 million, and this year will assist 116 projects at the local, regional and provincial levels.
These innovative programs and services increase opportunities to participate in sport and recreation, establish physical literacy as a foundation for lifelong physical activity, and strengthen the capacity of the community sport and recreation sector. We support initiatives that offer inclusive opportunities for Ontarians, from francophones to our aboriginal communities, from children to youth to seniors, from low-income persons to people with disabilities. I’m very proud that our government is supporting initiatives like this and many others.
I’ll add that a number of community projects will also increase participation, enhance skill development and build excitement around the 2015 games. As we ramp up to the games, these projects will enable more and more Ontarians to take part in healthy living and get into the spirit of sport.
We continue to invest in the economic and health benefits of trails, through our Ontario Trails Strategy. Since 2009, our government has invested more than $77 million to support Ontario’s trails, and we’re seeing the results. Annually, trails generate $2 billion in economic activity. We continue to invest in trails through our Ontario Trails Strategy, as well as $3.5 million as part of Ontario’s legacy strategy for the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games.
Our government is also committed to promoting and protecting the health of Ontario’s young people through programs like after-school programs and Pan Am/Parapan Am Kids.
Through the after-school programs, a critical component of Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy and Ontario’s Youth Action Plan, my ministry now provides over 20,000 opportunities for children and youth to access healthy, safe after-school activities in more than 400 locations in priority neighbourhoods and across this province.
Since December 2013, we’ve brought the excitement of the 2015 games to more than 50,000 participants in the Pan Am/Parapan Am Kids Program. It provides an opportunity for kids to participate in a variety of game-related sports and para-sport activities, increases cultural understanding of Pan-American countries, encourages community celebration leading up to the 2015 games, and inspires kids to lead active, healthy lives.
Activities began at the after-school program in January 2014, continued at the Pan Am/Parapan Am Kids summer camps in July 2014, and are ramping up in the schools this fall, building on the excitement as we head into the 2015 games.
Through the 2014 budget, my ministry will also increase funding to support various aboriginal and sport-focused organizations, including the Aboriginal Sport and Wellness Council of Ontario. These funds will be used to develop a network of sport and recreation opportunities for aboriginal people living in urban, rural and remote locations across this province. Through our investments, we support over 60 sport organizations that provide opportunities for athletes, coaches and officials to participate and excel in sport. Working in partnership with the federal government, over $634 million has been invested in more than 1,100 sport and recreation infrastructure programs since 2006.
I also want to talk about the opportunity I had to tour the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario’s incredible new 23,000-square-foot facility which is located at the aquatics centre in Scarborough. It was very rewarding for me to see how our government supports more than $8 million over three years to the CSIO, the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario, in helping Ontario’s high-performance athletes and para-athletes.
Chair, members of the committee, ladies and gentlemen, it seems like now is an appropriate time for me to talk about the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games that we will be hosting next year, in 2015.
As the new minister responsible for these games, what makes me most excited about this portfolio is that it combines the strength of our work in tourism, culture and sport, and provides the best possible foundation for success. Ontario is proud to be hosting the 2015 games. Our government recognizes the importance of delivering great games for Ontario and Canada. The people’s games will be affordable, accessible, and an exceptional experience for athletes, Ontarians and visitors. The games will continue to be a catalyst for economic, social, infrastructure and athletic development. They will leave a legacy of new and improved sport and recreation facilities for generations of Ontarians to come, and the games will lead to the creation of over 26,000 jobs and help grow our economy here in the province of Ontario by $3.7 billion. In addition, the games will attract an estimated 250,000 tourists and bring 10,000 athletes and team officials here to the province of Ontario.
The Pan Am and Parapan Am Games are a unique platform to showcase Ontario’s culture and tourism attractions, artist festivals and events to a diverse international audience. We are boosting the region’s economy and improving local residents’ quality of life through investments in the athletes’ village. Last month, I had the privilege to tour the village myself. I was impressed at the size and scope and unique features that it will be able to offer. I know this will become one of Toronto’s next great neighbourhoods, and it’s exciting to see how incredible this community is. It’s taking shape, and it’s a testament to how far we’ve come since winning the bid many years ago.
The construction of the athletes’ village is on time and on budget and is over 95% complete. The revitalization of the West Don Lands, home to the athletes’ village, has been in the planning stages since the 1980s. It is now a reimagined community built up from the ground up to five to 10 years sooner than originally planned. The community will truly represent the very heart of what makes Toronto so special, where people of all ages, all walks of life, income status and abilities will have the opportunity to live, play and grow.
The community will feature a new YMCA. It will have the first-ever George Brown College residence that will be able to host 500 students; 808 units of market housing, with up to 100 units reserved for affordable ownership; and 253 units of affordable rental housing, filling—
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Excuse me, Minister. You have one minute left.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Okay.
I want to thank the committee for the opportunity to present an update of what our ministry has been doing over the last year and the many years leading up to remarkable events like the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games. It is an excellent opportunity for us to showcase Ontario. I am proud to say that within the first 48 hours we were able to sell 75,000 tickets. We’ve had 33,000 people apply to be volunteers during the games.
I’m very proud of the work that TO2015 has been able to do to date and am very proud of the work that the ministry has been able to do over the years. I’d like to thank the deputy and his staff for the incredible work they’ve been able to accomplish.
I will stop there.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Thank you, Minister.
I will move to the official opposition. Mr. Hillier?
Mr. Randy Hillier: Thank you, Minister. It sounds like you’ve had a busy summer. You’ve been named minister earlier this summer and been touring around. I’m sure you’ve spent some time reviewing the estimates, of course, that are in front of this committee today and that you’re fully briefed and fully knowledgeable on all the expenditures that your ministry undertakes on behalf of the taxpayer. That’s correct—fully briefed, fully knowledgeable?
Hon. Michael Coteau: We’ve gone through the estimates, and I’m quite confident we’ll be able to answer any question you may have.
Mr. Randy Hillier: Good. Okay.
I want to first start by saying that there were some mandate letters released earlier for all ministries—yours as well—and I just want to quote from the mandate letter.
“As we move forward with our plan to grow the economy and create jobs, we will do this through a lens of fiscal prudence.” I trust you will continue to measure the contributions of these events and festivals and ensure that all decisions relating to them are supported by sound economic analysis. That’s in your mandate; that’s an obligation and an expectation of the Premier. So can I ask the question: Have you done that economic analysis on your expenditures?
Hon. Michael Coteau: You know, during my remarks, I talked about the investments we’re making to help grow the economy—
Mr. Randy Hillier: No, no, I asked you a question: Have you made the economic analysis?
Hon. Michael Coteau: During my presentation, I talked about the investments we’ve been making in tourism and culture here in the province of Ontario to help grow the economy. We understand, through our analysis, that the investments we make into tourism and to—
Mr. Randy Hillier: No, no.
Hon. Michael Coteau: I’ll get to—
Mr. Randy Hillier: Have you made those economic analyses that are in your mandate letter? Yes or no?
Hon. Michael Coteau: Let me—
Mr. Randy Hillier: Yes or no?
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: Chair.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Mr. Hillier, can the minister answer your question?
Mr. Randy Hillier: I’d like to have an answer.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Can I answer the question?
Mr. Randy Hillier: I would like that.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Thank you for the opportunity. As I said in my remarks, we’ve been able to invest into tourism, culture and the sport sector here in the province of Ontario. We know that in 2015, we’ve made a huge investment into bringing the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games here to the province of Ontario. As I remarked, one simple example was the relationship that we’ve built with China and the fact that, within the next few years, we’ll double—
Hon. Michael Coteau: I’ll get to—
Mr. Randy Hillier: No, we’ll go on to the next question; you’re clearly evading that one. I’m looking for answers; I’m not looking for—
Hon. Michael Coteau: I’ll get to—
Mr. Randy Hillier: No, no, I’ll go on to the next question.
Hon. Michael Coteau: I’ll get to the answer. I just want to—
Mr. Randy Hillier: Clearly, you haven’t done the analysis or else you’d say yes. You haven’t done so, so we’ll move on to the next question.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Next question.
Mr. Randy Hillier: Okay. Minister, this year in your estimates, you have included $46 million for the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Are you aware that the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, in its mandate, in its statutory obligations, is to be a self-sustaining entity and not to be a drain on the taxpayers’ purse? Forty-six million dollars—
Hon. Michael Coteau: The Metro Toronto Convention Centre is one of the agencies that we have here in the province of Ontario that actually contributes in excess of $6 million back to the provincial government each year. It’s quite profitable. We take great pride in the fact that they’re able to make that type of investment and return back to taxpayers each year. I have full confidence in the board that they will continue to return money back to the province.
I’ll turn it over to the deputy to weigh in on this question.
Mr. Randy Hillier: Maybe I’ll just clarify this before you turn it over to the deputy.
Hon. Michael Coteau: No, I got your question; $46 million—
Mr. Randy Hillier: No, I think it’s important for the—you’ve said that the province receives $6 million.
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: Chair, a point of order.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Point of order.
Mr. Randy Hillier: We give them $46 million.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Mr. Hillier, there’s a point of order.
Hon. Michael Coteau: I’m going to turn it over to the—oh, sorry.
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: Chair, I hear my colleague on the other side asking a question, but I think it’s only fair that we give the ministry an opportunity to answer rather than cutting him off and trying to switch to something else. I think the minister is struggling to try and give that answer. I think, in fairness to the rest of us on the committee to hear the answer, we should allow him that opportunity.
Mr. Paul Miller: Point of order, Chair.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Point of order, Mr. Miller.
Mr. Paul Miller: I hear what Mr. Balkissoon is saying. However, as he is well aware—and he has been around long enough—when ministries report to the estimates, they have a tendency to eat up the time with irrelevant information. I concur with Mr. Hillier trying to get to the point and get an answer. That’s his right.
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: I’m just asking—
Mr. Paul Miller: That’s his right. But we don’t need to go off another distance and talk about something that has nothing to do with it and is irrelevant to what he’s asking. That’s what will happen all day. Get used to it, because that’s what happens.
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: But we have—
Mr. Randy Hillier: Chair, point of order. I’ve asked a question. It has to be incumbent on me to be the one who decides if there has been an answer provided or if there is not an answer being provided. It’s my prerogative if I ought to move on to another question.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): I’m going to be listening very carefully to the questions and to the answers. No one’s speaker will be turned on until I recognize you from here on in.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Madam Chair, can I get back to the answer to the question on the convention centre, because the way it has been positioned by the opposition is that we’ve given $46 million to the convention centre, and that’s simply not the fact. It’s a consolidation that shows up on our books—I was going to get to that. Actually, we make money off of the convention centre—$6 million per year—and the $46 million is their operation, which is consolidated on our books, so it’s not actually a transfer.
I’d like the deputy to weigh in on this just to bring clarity, in all fairness.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Mr. Hillier, are you satisfied with the answer, or would you like to move on to your next question?
Mr. Randy Hillier: I’ll move on to my next question.
Hon. Michael Coteau: And I just want to be clear to the committee members here that—
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Mr. Hillier has the floor.
Mr. Randy Hillier: Minister, are you aware that the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, in the statutory obligations, is required to produce and file an annual report each year, and that it has not—on its website, the last annual report that it has is 2011-12. In addition, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre is obligated, under the statutes, to provide expenses for its senior management, quarterly, and that no expenses appear on either the government website or the Metro Toronto Convention Centre website since 2012.
Clearly, they are not fulfilling their statutory obligations. They are an agency under your administration, and you are making decisions of transferring funds for an agency that is not fulfilling its statutory obligations.
Minister, can you explain why those annual reports do not appear and why expenses are not filed?
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Minister?
Hon. Michael Coteau: Thank you very much for the question. We work hard with our 19 agencies at the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport to ensure that all of the annual reports are submitted on time and to meet their statutory requirements. From time to time, we do have agencies that submit them late, and we go through a process to ensure that they’re accountable by making sure that they get in on time.
I’ll turn it over to the deputy to just weight in on this issue a bit.
Mr. Steven Davidson: It’s exactly as the minister described. In some cases, because the annual reports require the inclusion of audited financial statements, from time to time the agency experiences a delay with their auditor in receiving the audited financials, and so it occasionally means that the report is delayed. But as the minister said, we work hard with all the agencies to ensure that those delays are minimized, and in this case I can assure you that we’re doing that with the Toronto convention centre.
Mr. Randy Hillier: So 2011-12 is their last published annual report, where it states that they will not be a drain on the taxpayer and where they state and recognize that they have to disclose expenses, which they have not done. That’s just par for the course—
Mr. Steven Davidson: There’s one outstanding report, the 2012-13—
Mr. Steven Davidson: 2013-14; you’re right.
Mr. Randy Hillier: It’s getting a little long in the tooth. Right? I remember in 2009, when the Liberal government, after the eHealth scandals, tightened up the reporting mechanisms for expenses and we went to quarterly expenses, and not since 2012 has this Toronto convention centre published any expenses. That’s a failure, and it’s a failure of the ministry to allow this long-in-the tooth scenario to be continuing on. I question your ability to make sound business decisions under a lens of fiscal prudence if we have agencies operating outside of their statutory obligations, and we’re saying that’s just par for the course.
Mr. Steven Davidson: I would be happy to get back to you with a more specific answer about timing for these, and I’ll endeavour to do that today.
Mr. Randy Hillier: How about providing this committee with your economic analysis that justified the $46 million to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre? Can you provide the committee with the economic analysis?
Hon. Michael Coteau: I think we need to be clear here, and Chair, there have been two or three references to the fact that we’ve provided $46 million to the convention centre. It shows up on our books as a reflection of their operation. But we, as a government—it’s a consolidated amount brought onto our books—have not provided them with $46 million.
Let me be clear here: The convention centre is profitable and it returns $6 million back to the province every year, so I think we need to be clear on that point.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Mr. Hillier, does that answer your question?
Mr. Randy Hillier: No. I asked, can the minister provide the economic analysis that they’ve based their decisions on, and not some rambling. There’s $46 million on the vote in estimates. He says we get $6 million. We know that we don’t have any annual reports. We know that they don’t file any expenses.
I’d like the minister to fulfill those obligations—his mandate, the expectation of the taxpayers—to be open, to be transparent, to hold his agencies to account and provide this committee with that information. It should be a yes or no.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Deputy Minister?
Mr. Steven Davidson: If I could, Mr. Hillier—and if people have the estimates book in front of them, the figure that Mr. Hillier is referring to is on page 8, where it lists a number—
Mr. Randy Hillier: Page 4 or page 8?
Mr. Steven Davidson: Sorry, page 18, rather. The table about a quarter of the way down lists a number of the ministry’s agencies whose size meets a threshold in order that they are then consolidated, as the term is, onto the province’s books. So what these numbers reflect is not the government’s transfer to those agencies. In fact, as to the convention centre—to both convention centres, Toronto and Ottawa—they receive zero operating support from the province. This number is the total of the convention centres’ budget. It’s what they spend. We contribute nothing to this. Through a process of analysis undertaken by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, with the Ministry of Finance and the agencies, there is a determination of the consolidation figure, which is essentially their expenditures, and that is then reported in this way, as an agency consolidation.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Mr. Hillier.
Mr. Randy Hillier: We asked for the analysis. If you can provide that to the committee, it would be fine.
I want to just state that the Metro Toronto Convention Centre Corp. is an agency of this government. It falls under this minister’s jurisdiction. The real property there, the convention centre itself, is owned by Oxford Properties, which is a part of OMERS, the Ontario municipal employees’ retirement fund. So we don’t own the property, but this government has an agency that is operating it.
On the estimates there appears, under the consolidated adjustment, $46 million on page 2, and then there’s a further $6 million a little bit later on. There are no expenses filed. There are dated annual reports. We’d like to have that recognized. I’ve asked for the analysis. Hopefully, the minister can provide it. Then I’ll move on to the second part, a new question.
Once again, under your obligations, Minister, there’s another agency. It’s called the St. Lawrence Parks Commission. It as well has a mandate to not be a drain on taxpayer funds, on the taxpayers’ purse.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Sorry. Can you repeat that?
Mr. Randy Hillier: The St. Lawrence Parks Commission. They, again, have an annual report from 2011-12, but that’s the most current. Once again, they don’t show up in the expenses, either on their website or the government website. This year, there will be $8.2 million that are estimated to be transferred to St. Lawrence Parks. It has a history of receiving significant transfers from your ministry.
Minister, have you looked at this? This agency spends $11 million in wages this year and spends $3 million on services. It loses money each and every year. It has a mandate not to lose money. It has a mandate to be self-sustaining.
I’m wondering, Minister, can you provide this committee with the economic analysis that you undertook before seeking another $8 million this year in appropriations for this agency?
Hon. Michael Coteau: I’ll turn that over to the deputy.
Mr. Steven Davidson: Certainly. The St. Lawrence Parks Commission does receive, as you’ve noted, an annual operating grant from the ministry. Its mandate is twofold: It’s to balance the stewardship and operation and conservation of its heritage assets—the big ones are Fort Henry in Kingston and Upper Canada Village down in Morrisburg—with a number of commercial enterprises that help it become not fully self-sustaining, but significantly self-sustaining. The challenge for the St. Lawrence Parks Commission is always to find that balance between commercial activities which will be respectful of the integrity of the heritage assets and the cost of maintaining those heritage assets themselves—and you can imagine the conservation and restoration costs as well as the operating costs of making them open and available to the public. So they do that in some ways. Fort Henry—they’ve embarked on some—
Mr. Randy Hillier: Well, they’ve got golf courses. They’ve got all kinds of things.
Mr. Steven Davidson: Well, they have golf courses in between, but they also try to program in ways that will reach new audiences. There’s Fort Fright in Kingston that’s attracting new audiences and a Pumpkinferno festival down in Upper Canada Village that’s bringing in a fairly impressive number of tourists from Quebec. So they try to balance their programming.
Mr. Randy Hillier: But it has the mandate not to be a drain on the taxpayers’ purse.
Mr. Steven Davidson: Well, that’s—
Mr. Randy Hillier: Every year—
Mr. Steven Davidson: That’s—
Mr. Randy Hillier: No, no, that’s what is stated. That’s what’s written down. That is the obligation. Clearly, they’re not doing that. So if they can’t function to the level of their mandate, maybe their mandate needs to be altered or maybe there needs to be some professional guidance and management and expertise provided so that they can get closer to achieving that mandate.
It’s not just the St. Lawrence Parks, Minister. It’s also the Niagara Parks Commission. This year, there’s going to be a transfer of $70-some million that you’re estimating in appropriations for the Niagara Parks Commission. Once again, it has a clearly established mandate not to be a drain on the taxpayer dollar. Actually, when you look through the Niagara Parks Commission annual reports, they once were profitable. Up until about 2005 or 2006, they were a profitable entity. Since that time, they have been a drain on the taxpayers’ purse. This year, it’s $70 million. So what has happened with this Niagara Parks Commission, to go from a profitable agency of government to a drain? And what economic analysis has your ministry done on the Niagara Parks Commission, as per your mandate letter?
Hon. Michael Coteau: I think the member is a bit confused. When he’s looking at page 18 and seeing the different numbers—the $40-plus million for the convention centre, the $70 million for the Niagara Parks Commission—these are consolidated budgets that are listed here. That doesn’t necessarily mean we’re giving them $70 million.
We’re very proud of the 19 agencies that we have at the ministry. Some of them make a lot of money—the convention centre is profitable, past $6 million—and some of them have a mandate to preserve their heritage and culture in the province of Ontario, like the St. Lawrence. So it’s essential for us to find that balance and to really make sure that at the end of the day, we support our culture, we support our heritage, which brings in return.
The fact that one specific agency may not make as much as another doesn’t necessarily mean it’s unsuccessful or successful. What it means is that it’s adding to the local tourism within a region. I know that the different agencies and different parts of Ontario bring in different types of support and tourism and add to the culture.
If I can bring some people up to Science North, for example, and have them visit Sudbury, then they have the opportunity to go in to Sudbury and spend dollars as well. That’s a perfect example of one of our agencies that, 10 years ago, 75% of its operation was funded by the province of Ontario. Over the last decade they’ve transformed themselves, and now 25% comes from the province of Ontario and 75% comes from their innovation. So we’ve made huge gains.
Back to the convention centre: The fact that it’s profitable and returns money back to the provincial government—$6 million—that’s exactly what it should be doing. We’re so proud of the work that they’ve been able to do.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Mr. Hillier, does that answer your question?
Mr. Randy Hillier: No.
The Niagara Parks Commission loses money. It has a mandate, and I understand that we may want to have things paid for on the public purse. I understand that, and I understand that that is a cost. Right? However, when an agency under your direction has a mandate to not be a drain on the public purse, and where it has shown in the past that it was not—but since 2005, it has been in a losing position. It has lost money each year. I believe their last financial report was October 2013, but they’ve lost money and you’re transferring money to the Niagara Parks Commission.
Minister, you’ve got a mandate of fiscal prudence. You’ve got a mandate of sound, economic analysis before you make decisions, so explain to the committee—provide the committee—what is the economic analysis? What happened to the Niagara Parks Commission, that was once profitable and now is not?
Hon. Michael Coteau: Let’s go back to my original point. I think the member is confused. The Niagara Parks Commission does not receive any operational money from this government. The convention centre does not receive money from this government; it gives back. He’s reading the numbers wrong. If he wants a deep analysis or a financial analysis of this, we can bring up someone from behind here and provide that analysis if you’d like.
I need to be clear here that the Niagara Parks Commission does not receive operational dollars from the province of Ontario, and the St. Lawrence Parks Commission does not receive operational dollars from the province of Ontario. The St. Lawrence Parks Commission does receive a grant but they do not receive operational. The Niagara Parks Commission is drawing down from its reserve, so it’s self-sufficient. I think we need to be clear here because what you’re saying is a little bit different than what the actual reality is.
Mr. Randy Hillier: It shows up as a vote for expenditures. It shows up in the estimates as an expenditure.
Hon. Michael Coteau: And I’ve explained that clearly.
Madam Chair, I’ve done it five times now that the books he’s reading—he’s reading page 18 wrong.
Mr. Randy Hillier: Sometimes we can’t see the forest through the trees here, I guess, Minister. However, we also know that there is a standard for public accounting in this country and in this province. There are some exemptions for these agencies to meet those standards, and it’s under legislation.
It certainly appears that there is some level of either depreciation on an asset that is not owned that is then expended by the Ontario government, by the taxpayers, in the metro convention centre. I’d like to have those clear explanations and that clear economic analysis about expenses not being filed on time and with the statutory obligations—financial annual reports not being filed, not being public, not being transparent. Why do these expenditures show up in the estimates and why is there no economic analysis, as your mandate letters provide? Those are four pretty simple things. Okay?
I’ve not heard a good answer—there is no good answer—why one of your agencies does not file their expenses, where many of your agencies don’t file expenses, where many of your agencies don’t file annual reports in a timely fashion, and they certainly don’t put them in the public arena for scrutiny in any transparent fashion. These are just four that I went through and found of the very many other—you’ve got a lot of agencies. Surely, I think you can recognize this, Minister. Your ministry is, in effect, a big transfer agency: $1.6 billion are your expenses; $1.2 billion are transfers to other agencies. You’ve got 950 employees. You transfer money to other people in other agencies, and you have an obligation to uphold and ensure that it’s done in a transparent fashion, so that the taxpayer can scrutinize and examine those expenses. Annual reports that aren’t filed, expenses that aren’t shown, are not transparent, and 2012 is plenty long enough—there is no excuse.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Do you want me to provide comments—
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Excuse me. You still have three minutes.
Mr. Michael Harris: I think there were just some action items that we want to make sure they’ve got on file, or the committee does, and that’s—
Hon. Michael Coteau: Madam Chair, can I just respond to the—
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Minister, you will have 30 minutes to respond, very shortly. So I’ll turn it over to—
Mr. Michael Harris: For the record, we want to make sure that the ministry or minister follows up on the questions Mr. Hillier had on the annual reports: why they haven’t been done since 2011-12, and if they have, to table those with the committee, as well as the expenses for those respective agencies, and then, I guess, the economic analysis for the grant that the St. Lawrence Parks Commission receives, just some—
Hon. Michael Coteau: We’re prepared to provide the answers right now if the member will allow us to speak. I’m prepared to answer those questions.
I would have thought that when you have an agency that is profitable by $6 million—I thought the member would jump off his seat once he heard that, considering it’s a $6-million add to the budget, to the province.
All of our agencies have to follow the compliance within the provincial government. There are standards in place. The travel and hospitality measures that we have implemented must be followed.
We will get those annual reports. I have full confidence in all of our agencies that they will follow the rules, that they will file their annual reports. I’m quite proud of the work.
The fact that our agency the Metro Toronto Convention Centre has given us back $6 million—I would think that you’d be quite happy with those results. Remember the premise with which you started the question. You had the assumption that they actually lost $46 million—
Hon. Michael Coteau: Hold on. Madam Chair, can you please—
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): One minute.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Remember the premise you started on, that this agency was losing $46 million. So your information was wrong from the beginning, and we corrected that. Then we went even further to say that an additional $6 million came back to the province, and yet you weren’t satisfied. I would have thought that at that point you would have said, “Great work, Minister. Great work, ministry. This government is doing exactly what they should be doing.”
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Thank you, Minister.
We’ll turn it over to Mr. Miller from the third party.
Mr. Paul Miller: Here comes the other good-news bearer.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): You have 30 minutes, Mr. Miller.
Mr. Paul Miller: Get ready.
First of all, I would like to congratulate the Chair and the Vice-Chair on their appointments.
New members, this is a process that can become very agitated, so bear with us.
Minister, my biggest concern is that when you took over office from Minister Chan, at the time—for three years, as I sat in opposition, I listened to Mr. Chan tell me that everything is on budget, everything is fine, hunky-dory; that I’m just doing scare tactics, that I don’t know what I’m talking about, going on and on.
It was a week into your term that you turned around—they asked the same question—and from an honest perspective, you said, “I’m not sure it’s on budget. I can’t say yes or no.” That was refreshing for me at the time. But to hear you once again say the same thing that Minister Chan said, that everything is on time and on budget—is a fallacy. It is not on time; it is not on budget.
To give you an example, I attended the opening game at Tim Hortons Field. The toilets weren’t ready. There were no concession stands open. They had to bring beer trucks in. It was not ready, and I hear the deputy minister say today, “Well, it’s 95% ready.” It was supposed to be ready on June 16. It’s still not ready, and we’re pushing into October. My prediction, from a trades perspective, because I have three trades—when I toured it I said there’s no possible way this is going to be ready for Labour Day, and it’ll be lucky if it’s ready for November. That seems to have transpired.
What I’m saying to you is, when is the government going to be accountable and stand up to the public of Ontario and tell them it’s not on budget, it’s not on time? As you witnessed last week, an additional $74 million had to be found to put into whatever—we haven’t found out what. Trust me, Minister, before this is over, there is going to be a lot more money put into that. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. I can guarantee it.
Now you’ve had two severances of well over $300,000. How many more people are on that ticket, are on that—how would I put it—contract they signed with the ministry? That was to be for one year after, to stay for one year. It appears Mr. Troop and the other person have left with almost a million dollars. There’s more coming: bad business, bad contracts. What’s your answer to those statements?
Hon. Michael Coteau: Thank you very much for the question. I appreciate your focus on these games. I think they’re important games for Ontario, and I think, as a sport enthusiast, you share my enthusiasm towards 2015 for the Pan Am and the Parapan Am Games. Even specifically in your area, in Hamilton, the development that’s been able to be leveraged through the games and the brand new build of a new stadium in Hamilton, to me that’s an extraordinary accomplishment of this government and the people of—
Mr. Paul Miller: With respect, Minister, with respect I’d like to ask you to answer the question.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Madam Chair, can I answer the question?
Mr. Paul Miller: He’s not answering the question. The question was, Minister—
Hon. Michael Coteau: Can I answer the—
Mr. Paul Miller: The question was—
Hon. Michael Coteau: You had seven questions there. Let me get into them. So—
Mr. Paul Miller: I’m asking you a question and you did not answer it. I don’t want a tour of Tim Hortons Field.
Hon. Michael Coteau: I’ll start with the first question. You asked—
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Order.
Mr. Paul Miller: I don’t want a tour of Tim Hortons Field. The question was: Are you going to stop saying things are on time and on budget? Because they’re not.
Hon. Michael Coteau: If you’d let me answer—
Mr. Paul Miller: You’re not answering.
Hon. Michael Coteau: If you’d let me answer, the first point you made was that in my first week on the job, I said I couldn’t guarantee that everything—
Mr. Paul Miller: After three years of saying they could.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Madam Chair, I couldn’t guarantee that the games would be on budget. I couldn’t guarantee that. How could I guarantee, a week into a job, that anything would be on budget or—
Mr. Paul Miller: Minister, you’re saying today it is.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Hang on. Madam Chair—
Mr. Paul Miller: You’re saying today it is.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Order.
Mr. Paul Miller: You’re saying it’s on budget today. It’s well into more than a week.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Now let me continue. So what I said was, when I was asked by the Toronto Star, “Can you guarantee that the games will be”—I said I can’t guarantee that. I made reference to security. We know, and this has been an evolving area within the game, that it was originally slated for $113 million; it’s gone up to $239 million. This was set by the OPP, and they made an estimate. How could I guarantee the safety cost of the games when we don’t know what threat levels are out there?
Mr. Paul Miller: Minister, it’s fine—
Hon. Michael Coteau: Hang on. He asked several things.
Mr. Paul Miller: I’d like to ask another question.
Hon. Michael Coteau: No, you asked—
Mr. Paul Miller: He’s cutting me off, and I’m asking a question. He’s avoiding—
Hon. Michael Coteau: I’m cutting you off?
Mr. Paul Miller: You’re avoiding the question.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Order. Order.
Mr. Paul Miller: You keep saying things are on budget. They’re not on budget.
Hon. Michael Coteau: In addition to that, I made reference to the athletes’ village. I said it was on time and on budget. I don’t know if you’ve had an opportunity to go down—that’s what I said in my opening remarks.
Mr. Paul Miller: I don’t think it’s on time and on budget.
Hon. Michael Coteau: I don’t know how you satisfy—
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Minister, wrap up your answer. We’ll go back to Mr. Miller for—
Hon. Michael Coteau: No, I’m not finished, Chair, my—
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): You’ll have an opportunity when you get to your 30 minutes.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Okay. Thank you.
Mr. Paul Miller: Okay, moving on.
Hon. Michael Coteau: I’m glad you got all your answers—
Mr. Paul Miller: I’m glad you mentioned the security, because we were at $113 million originally. You have all these experts, like Mr. Troop, and all these people you hired who have done other games—they should know. It shouldn’t double. It’s at $238 million and climbing, and you also don’t have contracts signed with the regional police that I know of, that I’m aware of. You’ve got York regional, you’ve got Niagara regional, you’ve got Hamilton regional, you’ve got Peel regional: That’s going to be additional costs on top of what you said.
And let’s not even talk about transportation. That seems to have changed. Now we have satellite villages that you’re going to do, which is going to be more money. You’ve talked about the feel for the games, how the athletes will be all together in the village, and they would get a sense of what the games are all about. Now you’re splitting them up and putting them in little pods all over the province. They’re not going to get a feel for it.
Moving on: The estimates book was published before the September 23 technical briefing that was actually an announcement of increased funding. Where does the increased money plug into these estimates? I don’t see it.
Hon. Michael Coteau: So your question is, the $74 million in additional funding to—
Mr. Paul Miller: No; my question was, the estimates book was published before the September 23 technical briefing that was actually an announcement of increased funding. Where does that increased money plug into these estimates?
Hon. Michael Coteau: Deputy?
Mr. Steven Davidson: As you pointed out, the estimates were published before this in-year Treasury Board decision to provide the additional allocation to TO2015. The mechanics of this are that because these investments will actually flow in the next fiscal, they will be reported out through the budget and will appear in next year’s estimates in public accounts.
Mr. Paul Miller: With all respect, Minister, your website, updated on September 15, states, “Ontario has a $42-million promotion, celebration and legacy strategy to ensure everyone across the province benefits from the games.” Explain how that money has been and will be utilized if that dollar amount has been reached and if there will be a request for more money in this envelope.
Mr. Steven Davidson: Those are two different things—
Mr. Paul Miller: It’s all money.
Mr. Steven Davidson: The $42-million investment in promotion, celebration and legacy initiatives was a funding decision made by the government last year and announced last summer. I will say, though, in terms of the cost of those initiatives, that in approving the $74-million investment in TO2015, the Treasury Board required us to go back and look for internal offsets, and we did in fact find $2 million in savings out of that $42-million package.
Mr. Paul Miller: Okay, thank you.
Clearly there has been a problem, Chair, attracting corporate sponsorships, as we know—a $25-million problem. On your website, you list government partners along with the Olympic and Paralympic committees. Where are your corporate sponsors listed, along with the amount that they donated? I don’t see it.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Thank you very much for the question. I’m quite proud of the work that TO2015 has been able to accomplish by gathering sponsorship and revenue. They’ve raised over $100 million to date. Their original target was, I believe, $150 million—
Mr. Paul Miller: Apparently, we’re short.
Hon. Michael Coteau: If you compare their achievables to the last games in Mexico—they raised $40 million in Mexico through sponsorship. Half of it came from government. TO2015 has been able to raise $100-million-plus, and all of it from corporate Canada. They’ve gone way above—
Mr. Paul Miller: I hope they can raise more, Minister, because they’re going to have to have the shortfalls covered from all these extended expenditures that are happening. You’ll be lucky if you break even.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Madam Chair, please let me answer the question without the interruptions. It’s getting a bit frustrating.
Mr. Paul Miller: Oh, tell me about it. I’ve seen five years of it.
Hon. Michael Coteau: What we did was, with the $74 million, there was a holdback of $30 million—and that’s the additional $74 million we gave—to say to TO2015, “We still expect you to raise that additional $26 million in sponsorship, but in case of the event where you cannot reach that target”—the most aggressive, the highest possible target in any Pan Am Games ever in the history of the sport—“we have that amount ready to be used.”
Mr. Paul Miller: The next question is: On page 77 of the estimates book, you state, “The Pan/Parapan American Games Secretariat (P/PAGS) is responsible for overseeing and coordinating Ontario’s involvement in the games, including ensuring that the province’s games objectives are achieved. It manages and oversees the transfer payment agreement, risk mitigation, reporting and accountability relationship between the games organizing committee (TO2015) and the province.” It states that you work with Infrastructure Ontario but does not mention the other ministries or the ABCs of that. Maybe the deputy minister could explain that to me.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Before the deputy responds, I want to say how happy I am that—this secretariat has worked with many different ministries. You brought up Infrastructure Ontario. To date, Infrastructure Ontario has been responsible for saving over $50 million—under budget—in regard to builds across the province in relation to the Pan Am Games. So we are quite happy with the work they have done, the work that transportation has done, the work of infrastructure, the work that health and education have been able to do with our Pan Am/Parapan Am Kids initiative throughout the entire province, and obviously the work that we do at culture through our—
Mr. Paul Miller: Thank you, Minister.
Hon. Michael Coteau: —but I will turn it over to the deputy to—
Mr. Paul Miller: Minister, I’ve got your answer that I’m not getting.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Thank you.
Mr. Paul Miller: But let’s take the stadium, Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton. The Tiger-Cats, who were losing a million dollars a game, have to get their money back, so Mr. Young and his group have said that—first of all, the city said they weren’t involved, and now they say they are a bit. Infrastructure Ontario tells me that the managing firm—who are overseas, by the way—will pay the Tiger-Cats the losses out of their income.
You’ve held back $68 million for completion costs to the subcontractors, I believe, until some things were met. I don’t know where that stands now. I know some of the subcontractors are upset that they aren’t getting their money, and I don’t know where that stands.
The millions of dollars that the Tiger-Cats lost: They’re going to come after the government for it, Infrastructure Ontario, because if the contractor decides to leave and can’t meet his mandate—we’ve already had one contractor go under in the building of the stadium, as you know. If the big one leaves—I think he’s from Spain or somewhere, or France. If they leave and they don’t meet their mandate, what is the government going to do? Are you going to take them to international court to try and get the money? Are you going to seize any assets they have in Ontario or Canada, which I doubt that they have? How are you going to get the million dollars back to Mr. Young? He missed three or four home games that totalled about $4 million. He’s very confident—he hasn’t said much, because he knows that he’s going to get it off the government one way or the other. The city of Hamilton has said, “Well, we weren’t in on it, but maybe we were in on it for a little bit. We’re not sure. We have to talk to our lawyers.”
How could this happen, that you would allow the millions of dollars that the Tiger-Cats lose in revenue—they’ve got a contract, by the way, with the city, and the city doesn’t sign over until the stadium is completed, so it’s on your plate for the money right now. Infrastructure Ontario is who he would go after if he doesn’t get the money from the contractor.
What’s the status of that?
Hon. Michael Coteau: Well, I’m glad you brought up the Hamilton stadium. I’ll get into a few details about how it works with Infrastructure Ontario and the process they put in place to ensure we protect the taxpayers, but I think we need to keep things in perspective here. This is a $146-million piece of infrastructure that has been built in Hamilton by leveraging these games that are coming forward.
We were having a discussion before we started here. In Hamilton, the last time—well, first of all, the last time we held international gaming events here in Ontario was back in the 1930s; in fact, 1930, the Commonwealth Games. I think they were referred to as the Empire Games. That’s when they built that stadium, back in 1930. There was a gentleman named John Fitzpatrick. Do you know him, Mr. Miller?
Mr. Paul Miller: I know all the people in Hamilton.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Well, he’s been dead for quite some time—
Mr. Paul Miller: I knew him.
Hon. Michael Coteau: —but he actually was in the games back in the 1930s, and he won a silver, I believe, in the 200-yard. The reason I’m bringing up this story is that he also played for the Hamilton Tigers—I guess they weren’t called the Tiger-Cats, but the Hamilton Tigers.
Mr. Paul Miller: There were two teams, the Wildcats and the Tigers.
Hon. Michael Coteau: The beautiful thing about that is that, back in 1930, by leveraging the Commonwealth Games, the Empire Games, they were able to build this stadium. They had Hamiltonians compete. There was another gentleman by the name of Victor Pickard who won the gold in the pole vault—
Mr. Paul Miller: Chair, with all due respect, I don’t need a history lesson on Hamilton.
Hon. Michael Coteau: No, but my point is this: The stadium itself—
Mr. Paul Miller: What I want is an answer to my question.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Order, please.
Hon. Michael Coteau: The stadium itself has been built through leveraging these games, and the people of Hamilton—
Mr. Paul Miller: What has 1930 got to do with now?
Hon. Michael Coteau: That was back almost 100 years ago, so they had a stadium in Hamilton that was almost 100 years old, and we’ve been able to rebuild the stadium. They’re playing in the stadium now—
Mr. Paul Miller: You waited a long time to build it.
Hon. Michael Coteau: —almost a year before the games start, and we’re still getting complaints.
Mr. Paul Miller: You’re getting complaints, Minister, because you’re going to cost the taxpayer more money.
Hon. Michael Coteau: I want to say that I’m proud of the work that Infrastructure Ontario has done. I’m proud of the work that—
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Order.
Mr. Paul Miller: It’s not on budget. You’re going to cost the taxpayer—
Hon. Michael Coteau: I’m telling you that that stadium for Hamilton is extraordinary. It’s state-of-the-art. I know you visited the stadium and you were there at the game. Please enjoy the stadium. It’s 10 months before the actual games. Be happy.
Mr. Paul Miller: If the taxpayers in Hamilton and Ontario don’t get stuck with the bill, I’ll be happy.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Mr. Miller, question?
Mr. Paul Miller: Moving on, it appears that the secretariat is the focal point for all provincial involvement in the games, so are the transportation costs for the Pan/Parapan Am Games funded from the secretariat, the Ministry of Transportation, the TO2015 budget, or all of them?
As we know, the security costs are ballooning out of control. Where will that fit into your estimates? We don’t really know. Like you said, you can’t predict, so you don’t know the final costs. Now that we have this terrorist threat that may happen, that probably will increase the costs of protection, which is understandable. But I’ve seen no numbers on that. I’ve seen no numbers on your additional costs.
Hon. Michael Coteau: I want to make two points, one in regard to transportation; the second in regard to security costs, because those were the two points brought up.
Our original estimate was up to $90 million for transportation. It’s currently estimated at $61 million, so the $29 million that we had in that pile is part of the transfer over to the $74 million. So we’re well under budget for transportation, thanks to the great work of our Minister of Transportation.
The second point, in regard to security: I said at the technical briefing—we held three technical briefings and I was there for the third one—that I won’t put a price tag on the safety of Ontarians. If we need to protect Ontarians, this government will make sure that it works with the experts, the OPP, to ensure that Ontarians are protected. I think you would agree with me that you have full confidence in the OPP to make—
Mr. Paul Miller: I don’t have confidence in your statement. If you recall, at the London Olympics, sir, they had to bring in the militia because the contractors could not do the security properly. The metro police in London, England could not handle it. They called in the army. Are we going to call in the army?
Hon. Michael Coteau: I want to put things into perspective here. Our security costs are budgeted at $239 million. That’s a reflection of the current, up-to-date numbers and a reflection of the games.
He just brought up the Olympics. I want to put in a comparison. The Pan Am Games are much larger than the Vancouver Olympics. For the Vancouver Olympics, the security cost was almost $900 million. The security cost at the London Olympics was $1.5 billion. We’re at $239 million, which I think is pretty good, considering we—
Mr. Paul Miller: First of all, for a sports guy, you’re incorrect, because the Pan Am Games is not bigger than the Olympics.
Hon. Michael Coteau: It is bigger than the Vancouver Olympics—100% bigger. This is the largest multi-sport games in the history of this country. We will have 41 nations here, 51 different sports and—imagine this—10,000 square kilometres of actual space that has to be covered for transportation and security—
Mr. Paul Miller: When’s that happening?
Hon. Michael Coteau: Ten thousand—that’s the venues.
Here’s the thing: We made a conscious decision not to make this a Toronto event, to make this reflective—
Mr. Paul Miller: Can I move on to the next question? Thanks a lot. I’m getting a travelogue again.
Hon. Michael Coteau: I just want to include Hamilton—
Mr. Paul Miller: All right. Thanks very much.
Chair? Next question?
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Minister, will you wrap it up?
Hon. Michael Coteau: I wrapped it up.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Mr. Miller?
Mr. Paul Miller: How can you ensure that the public will know the truth—fair enough; you keep saying everything is great—and the complete cost of the games if, for example, these transportation expenditures do not have a separate line item? Are the community safety costs for the Pan/Parapan Am Games wholly from the community safety budget? Or is it some from the TO2015 budget and/or the secretariat? Are there international trade costs for the Pan/Parapan Am Games, and if there are, from where are they funded? Are there Attorney General costs or aboriginal affairs costs? If yes, follow up each of these with how much.
Hon. Michael Coteau: These are the most transparent games in the history of multi-sporting events. Usually, when you have different games around the world, they’re not transparent like the games we provided. We’ve provided three technical briefings, and every single time we’ve had an opportunity to present the numbers, we’ve done it in the most transparent way. These are the first games that are under the FIPPA rules. All salaries and expenses have been disclosed. We’ve handed over almost 200,000 documents to previous committees. We performed an audit back in 2012, and we’ve tightened up policies in regard to expenditure.
I believe that these are the most transparent games in the history of any multi-sporting event, and we’re quite proud as a government, because we have a commitment to be the most transparent government in Canada. We’re going to continue to use every possibility, like these games, to ensure that we continue on a transparent road.
Mr. Paul Miller: Thank you. Another travelogue.
Community safety has an estimated line item change connected to these games of $4 million—$692,000 for 2014-15. This is a change from 2013-14. What accounts for this change? Break down these changed costs for me, please.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Minister?
Hon. Michael Coteau: Okay. Deputy?
Mr. Steven Davidson: I’ll answer that.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Deputy Minister?
Mr. Steven Davidson: The total estimated projected cost of security remains constant at $239 million. What the change that you’ve just referenced represents is just the difference in cash flow needs from one fiscal year to another. They’re spending a different amount of money in one year than they had originally anticipated, but the overall envelope is not changing.
Mr. Paul Miller: You mentioned 239. Was that security you were talking about?
Mr. Steven Davidson: That’s the security number, yes.
Mr. Paul Miller: Okay. It’s at 239—originally 113, and 239 now. We have this additional threat that has not been dealt with completely yet. You haven’t answered me on whether you’ve signed contracts with the regional police, because that will be additional costs that were not included in your first estimate. Have you signed the contracts with—
Mr. Steven Davidson: In fact, the estimate for those contracts is included in the projected 239.
Mr. Paul Miller: In the regional police budgets and their contracts? Because you’re going to have to pay the regional police.
Mr. Steven Davidson: No, the provincial cost.
Mr. Paul Miller: I didn’t ask you that. I said: Have you signed contracts with York region, Niagara region, Hamilton regional and Peel regional? Have you signed the contracts? The OPP doesn’t have the manpower to cover those venues, and you’re going to have local police departments in there. Have you signed those? That will add to your 239.
Mr. Steven Davidson: Those contracts are being negotiated now. They’ve not been—
Mr. Paul Miller: You answered my question. They haven’t been done. Okay; that’s fine.
The OPP has over $40 million in estimate changes to Pan/Parapan 2014 from the year before. What are the total overall estimated policing costs associated with these games? I’ve asked you—you can’t answer that, because you’ve said you don’t have the contracts with the regional police, so you can’t answer that question.
We understand from recently announced changes to OPP billing to Ontario municipalities that the municipalities won’t be on the hook, according to them, for the OPP duties associated with the games, at least not directly. What assurances can municipalities expect that they won’t be left to pay for the OPP overtime staffing costs associated with the Toronto games?
Hon. Michael Coteau: I want to go back to my original point. We work with the OPP to ensure the safety of Ontarians. These games will have a massive footprint in the GTA and the Hamilton area. There is security that will be needed to ensure that people are safe, that our athletes are safe, and that we have a successful games.
I’m going to work with the minister responsible and the OPP and use their expertise as the primary guidance to ensure—
Mr. Paul Miller: But you haven’t answered the question.
Hon. Michael Coteau: —that we continue to ensure that Ontarians are—
Mr. Paul Miller: The question was: Will municipalities be on the hook for OPP overtime costs associated with the Toronto games? Will they?
Hon. Michael Coteau: I’ll let the deputy weigh in on that.
Mr. Paul Miller: Okay.
Hon. Michael Coteau: In regard to our relationship with the municipalities, the fact that we have 16 municipalities who have contributed and are involved in these games, and the fact that they’ve been able to leverage these games to build infrastructure—
Mr. Paul Miller: You’re not answering the question. You’re stickhandling.
Hon. Michael Coteau: We’ll get to—
Mr. Paul Miller: Would the deputy minister please answer that? Will the costs for overtime be associated with the municipalities?
Hon. Michael Coteau: Go through the Chair. But I’m answering the question right now.
Mr. Paul Miller: You’re not answering the question.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Let me answer the question, and then I’ll transfer it over to the deputy.
The fact is that Infrastructure Ontario has been able to work with our municipalities for cost-saving measures. We want to ensure—
Mr. Paul Miller: I’ve heard that.
Hon. Michael Coteau: —that these games are successful. We want to make sure that the security is in place that’s necessary when it comes to transportation, the moving of people at the site locations—
Mr. Paul Miller: Who’s paying for the OPP overtime?
Hon. Michael Coteau: I’ll get into that.
Mr. Paul Miller: All right. I wish you’d hurry up.
Hon. Michael Coteau: But we need to work with the OPP to ensure that people are safe. I have full confidence and full trust in the OPP to make those recommendations, to make those decisions—
Mr. Paul Miller: So no answer. Okay, let’s move on.
Hon. Michael Coteau: I will move over to the deputy now.
Mr. Paul Miller: I have another question.
Hon. Michael Coteau: The deputy can answer that.
Mr. Paul Miller: No, that’s no answer. I’m not getting an answer from either one of them, so that’s fine. We’ll move on.
Hon. Michael Coteau: The deputy was prepared to answer, if you want, Mr. Miller.
Mr. Paul Miller: The deputy is not going to answer me about the overtime.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Order.
Mr. Paul Miller: Okay. Part of these new revelations is the extra costs now being assumed for ambulances at event venues. Where there are no case studies or cost analysis done of either recent or comparable games or international events—for example, Vancouver, London, World Cup, Commonwealth, the last Pan Am Games—Pan Am 2015 hired so-called experts. Why do these experts fail in their jobs and still get golden handshakes when relieved of their duties? I’ll remind you that the money that they got in severance was also—they were supposed to stay on an extra year, and because they got fired, they left—let go—you gave them almost $1 million in goodbye money for not doing their job, not completing their mandate.
Who signs these contracts? Who was the person that set this up in the first place? Because they’ve cost the taxpayers—I don’t know how many millions more are out there with deals with other members of the executive committees that are running these games. How many more are out there that we don’t see the contracts that are going to come up all of a sudden? “Oh, we forgot; there’s another $5 million in payouts.” Answer that.
Hon. Michael Coteau: What I did was, when I was first appointed as the minister responsible for this file, I had a conversation with the chair and I expressed my concern over things, you know, the same types of concerns you have. I asked the chair if he would consider moving a motion at the board to stop any future bonus pays based on this point going forward. They agreed; they moved the motion. So I’m quite happy with that result. From this point forward, anyone—
Mr. Paul Miller: But will it stand up in court?
Hon. Michael Coteau: Anyone hired from this point forward, in their contracts, they will not receive bonuses.
Mr. Paul Miller: So you’re going to have a court case now.
Hon. Michael Coteau: No, these are contracts. For people hired—
Mr. Paul Miller: But you’re breaking the contract.
Hon. Michael Coteau: No, these are people who are hired from this point going forward, from the time I took over the ministry.
Mr. Paul Miller: How about ones that are already there, I said.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Well, I’m going to let the deputy talk a bit about that.
Mr. Paul Miller: Okay.
Hon. Michael Coteau: But I want you to realize this, that when I came into this position, I took immediate action to contact the chair to ensure that—because Ontarians are very concerned about the way in which their tax dollars are being spent.
Mr. Paul Miller: They are.
Hon. Michael Coteau: The bonus structure that they had in place, that they were hiring—and they’re hiring a lot of people as they get closer to the games, as they move from planning to operation. I’ve asked the chair to stop that practice. The board has moved the motion, passed it, and from my point as minister forward, the bonus incentive is gone from the structure.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): You have one minute to wrap up.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Would you like to just address the—
Mr. Steven Davidson: Sure.
Mr. Paul Miller: We have one minute left over? You’re going to let them wrap up. Okay.
Mr. Steven Davidson: The responsibility for recruitment, negotiating and staffing contracts for staff at TO2015 is, of course, wholly the responsibility of TO2015.
Mr. Paul Miller: Whoa, wait a minute. Right there—stop. You guys oversee TO2015. Their board decides on who—that’s why we got stuck with all these big payouts, because they made the decision and you guys didn’t do your job and oversee it. They did that on their own, and they shouldn’t be able to, because all the money is coming from the taxpayers. You can’t separate these groups and say, “Oh, TO2015, Infrastructure Ontario”—it’s all tax dollars. You guys should have been overseeing that and been in control of that.
Hon. Michael Coteau: So TO2105—I know the member is well versed in sport process and in how international games work, but we have three members on this committee. The federal government has three members.
Mr. Paul Miller: Were they sleeping?
Hon. Michael Coteau: The city, the municipalities have three members. You know, this is a joint venture. These are not just Ontario’s games; these are Canada’s games.
Mr. Paul Miller: Ah, here we go.
Hon. Michael Coteau: We’ve leveraged these games by bringing forward a bid, and we’ve secured millions, hundreds of millions of federal money to be invested in places like Hamilton and throughout Ontario. So I’m quite happy with the work that TO2015 has been able to accomplish. Thank you, Madam Chair.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Thank you, Minister. Now, Minister, you have 30 minutes’ right of reply to talk to any issues.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Is that the process? So 30 minutes to wrap up?
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): A 30-minute right of reply to address any issues.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Can you just explain the process to me at this point forward?
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): The process is, you have 30 minutes to address any issues.
Hon. Michael Coteau: And then what happens after the 30 minutes?
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Then we go to 20-minute rotations.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Okay. We’re going to go over—so the government can ask questions for 30 minutes. Right?
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): If the minister doesn’t use the 30 minutes, then that time goes back into the pot of time that’s left. Then it will get divided into 20-minute rotations between the three parties.
Hon. Michael Coteau: I was under the impression that—and correct me if I’m wrong—it went 30 and then 30, 30, and then to the government for 30 for questions. That’s the impression that I have.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): The government actually—
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Excuse me. The government actually ceded their original 30 minutes to the minister to give your opening statement. Then we moved to the 30-minute blocks of time, which was agreed to. Right? So now, if you don’t use your 30 minutes, it will go back into the pot of time, and we will go back to the official opposition, we’ll go to the third party, and then we’ll go to the government, in 20-minute blocks.
Hon. Michael Coteau: So we’re at the point where I can speak for another 30 minutes?
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Correct.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Okay. Then it will go to 20, 20?
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): It will go 20, 20, 20.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Okay.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): This is your opportunity to address any outstanding issues and questions that may have come up.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Okay. I want to talk a bit about the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games and just let you know how excited I am about 2015 and what we’ll be able to do here in the province of Ontario.
I’m going to start off with a little story. About a month ago, my wife and I were sitting down—you know, you go through the process of looking at different types of things, activities for the kids to do as September hits. I’m sure, MPP Dong, you’ve gone through the same process with your kids. We were looking through the Toronto fun calendar. My daughters take swimming, and we noticed that there was swimming being offered in Scarborough at the new aquatics centre. My wife and I signed the kids up, and it was incredible. I don’t know if you’ve had the opportunity to go to the aquatics centre, but it is a remarkable facility. I really wish I had some images to show members here, because you walk into that space and it’s just breathtaking.
The fact that we didn’t have an Olympic-sized pool that could officially be used for competition and the fact that we’re leveraging it now to have four for Ontarians—even back to the Milton velodrome, the fact that our athletes don’t have to travel to California to practise anymore. This is an incredible accomplishment for Ontario.
We signed my daughters up for the classes and it was interesting. We signed up on the computer, and it came back and they said, “Meet in lane 10,” which is pretty incredible, because usually they say, “Meet in the pool.” My wife took them yesterday to lane 10 and there were about 150 kids taking swimming lessons in the pool. It’s such an incredible pool. Mr. Miller, I’d love to take you to this pool to show you around.
Hon. Michael Coteau: You’ve got a beautiful stadium.
Mr. Paul Miller: Spread it around.
Hon. Michael Coteau: So, in the pool, they actually have a diving area. There are two separate pools. One is for diving and one is the Olympic-sized pool.
Mr. Randy Hillier: Chair, on a point of order?
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Mr. Hillier.
Mr. Randy Hillier: I know the minister loves storytelling and he’s a great storyteller; however, there is a purpose of this estimates committee. There is an obligation of this estimates committee. We are here to examine and scrutinize the estimates for the benefit of the taxpayer. Just as in question period and in debate, debate is to be relevant to the subject at hand and the purpose at hand. I would encourage the minister and the Chair that the storytelling be confined to his ministry and the estimates before this committee, and if he can’t find other things to fill up the 30 minutes that are relevant to this committee, that he abdicate that time and let it be shared with those who have an interest in meeting the obligations of this committee. Thank you.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Thank you.
So, Minister, I’m going to be listening carefully and I hope that you’ll actually bring the rest of your time back to the estimates and your ministry.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Absolutely. What I’m trying to do here is to create the best illustration possible to show you why the expenditures that we put in place for the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games are beneficial to communities, to Ontarians, and—
Mr. Paul Miller: What happened in lane 10?
Hon. Michael Coteau: He wants to know the rest of the story. Thank you so much.
My daughters got to the pool yesterday, and the pool has a retractable floor for para-athletes. It’s an incredible facility. My wife told me that my two daughters were a bit taken aback. They’ve never been to a facility like that. There were some young athletes practising their diving off of this incredible—probably, I don’t know—30-foot or 40-foot structure. My daughter said to my wife, “Can I do that?” My wife said, “Well, if you try.” She talked about one of our next-door neighbours who goes swimming and practises every day. She said, “I can do that? I can be in the Olympics one day?” This is my daughter, an eight-year-old, talking to her mother. My wife said, “Yes, you can be in the Olympics if you really work hard and you try hard. Everyone should have the opportunity to do that.”
That’s exactly what these games are doing. We are providing young children and athletes in this province and across this country—not only Ontarians—with an opportunity to go into a facility that they deserve. They can practise at the velodrome. They can go to many of these facilities and really take part in athleticism here in the province of Ontario.
I want to talk a little bit about the games and some of the accomplishments so far.
I talked about the 75,000 tickets that were requested in the first 48 hours and the 33,000 people who have offered to volunteer for these games.
The 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games is our chance to showcase Ontario’s diversity, culture and heritage to the world. The games have triggered investment in new and improved sport and recreation facilities and will serve our communities and athletes for generations to come. We’re looking forward to hosting over 10,000 athletes and team officials next summer and cheering our athletes on as they compete right here at home.
I mentioned this in my opening remarks: These games will create 26,000 new jobs. When I was at the athletes’ village, I had an opportunity to meet some good union workers who were down there working hard. I met a young man from the Hammer Heads program. I asked a young man, who was maybe in his, if he was lucky, early 20s, “How is this experience?” He said, “Imagine me having basically a bit of a footprint on this new part of Toronto.” I asked, “What were you doing before this?” He said he didn’t really have a direction. I asked, “Are you going to stay in the trades?” He said, “Of course I’m going to stay in the trades. I love it. I was just able to buy my new car.” I thought to myself, this is exactly the opportunity that’s available to these young people—26,000 new jobs, including young people, from the trades, and it will generate $3.7 billion towards our GDP.
We’ll train over 20,000 volunteers during the games, equipping them with valuable skills that they can transfer into the workforce.
I’m proud to state that these games will be the most accessible games in the history of sporting events, period, providing a barrier-free environment for residents, athletes and visitors.
We’ve always been open, honest and upfront with you. Two weeks ago, I guess, we were here to announce that we were providing an additional $74 million to the games. This is one of the issues that has been brought up today. We identified savings in the games-related costs of $45 million to date. This means that we’ve increased the overall games’ investment by $29 million. Of course, that was not an easy decision to make. Like I said before, we take taxpayers’ dollars quite seriously. We’re always looking for cost-saving measures.
When it comes to TO2015, we’ve put an entirely new management team in place. We have a new chair, a former Premier of this province, David Peterson; and of course, the new CEO, Saäd Rafi. We put them in place because we need to ensure that these games are delivered in a very successful and responsible way.
This summer, TO2015 came forward with a request for additional funding in order to finalize the operations of the games. This was the first time—and I think this is—
Mr. Paul Miller: Point of order.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Mr. Miller.
Mr. Paul Miller: It was Mr. Rafi he mentioned? Is that the same one that was with the eHealth and the Ornge thing? Is that the same one?
Hon. Michael Coteau: It’s not his opportunity to ask questions.
Mr. Paul Miller: I was just wondering—
Hon. Michael Coteau: Please don’t interrupt me. I’ve got to finish my statement here.
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: Chair, this is inappropriate.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Yes, it’s completely inappropriate.
Mr. Paul Miller: It could have been—
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Continue, Minister. You have the floor.
Hon. Michael Coteau: This summer, TO2015 came forward to ask for additional funding, as they moved from planning to operation. It’s the first time in the history of TO2015, since it was brought together over four years ago, that they’ve actually come forward to ask the government for additional funding. My officials, the deputy minister, his team—we looked at the numbers and we went through a very careful analysis. We looked at the numbers, and we were quite confident that TO2015 needed additional money in order to responsibly deliver the games. There is no question that I think that this additional fund was appropriate, and it was necessary.
We’ve always worked hard to identify savings during the games. We have informed TO2015 that this was the last time—the first and last—that they could come forward for this type of request. I’ve been on the record saying that there’s no more funding for TO2015 from this point forward. I’ve said that many, many times.
I believe that this province deserves the type of games that we can be proud of. The eyes of the world will be on us next summer, and we expect TO2015 to responsibly deliver a successful games. I’m quite happy and confident with what they’ve been able to accomplish.
At this point, I think we have—can I just take one second, Chair?
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Certainly.
Hon. Michael Coteau: There were some questions around the celebration and legacy aspect of the games. I’d like to call one of our assistant deputy ministers forward to present some information in regard to the celebration and legacy of the Pan Am Games, because it did come up a few times and I think it’ll be enlightening for all members.
Mr. Steven Davidson: I’d like to introduce Steve Harlow, who is the assistant deputy minister of the Pan/Parapan Am Secretariat responsible for partnership and legacy.
Mr. Steve Harlow: Thank you. I understand that you’d like me to speak a little bit, Minister, on behalf of what we’re doing on the legacy, promotion and celebration. Mr. Miller, I had the opportunity to meet you when we were at the Standing Committee on General Government, so some of this you may have heard a little bit before, but I’ll try to get to the material before the committee, as it relates to estimates.
One of the first things to understand about promotion, celebration and legacy is it dates back to about 2012 when the government took a look at, and made a decision—what do we want to do to achieve a legacy from the games with different communities? We engaged in a process of consultation with some stakeholders and partners to determine what the different things are that you can do to enhance the games and to give benefits beyond just the delivery of the two weeks. Obviously, the recreational infrastructure and sport infrastructure is a key one. In addition, I guess you would also have to identify the brownfield revitalization that is happening across the province, in the waterfront redevelopment with the village and at the aquatics centre in the Scarborough college campus.
The first process in 2012 was to engage the community. We also looked at what other organizing committees and other jurisdictions have done in relation to making investments that are justifiable, defensible and giving return on investment for the broader people of Ontario. We looked at Glasgow. We looked at what BC did. BC, as some of you may know, had an initiative called BC Legacies Now. One of the criticisms of that was that it was “legacies then.” It didn’t actually leave a legacy going forward for the participants. Glasgow had a very ambitious idea to create a legacy where every 15-year-old child would learn how to swim. It didn’t work. The reason it didn’t work is that it was just too ambitious; it was too wide. There was no way to force every kid to learn how to swim. London initially had a proposal to reduce the body mass index of every London person. It didn’t work. I guess people in London like to eat. But it didn’t work.
What we did is take a look at, what are the things that we realistically could do, with limited dollars, leveraging off new investments or capitalizing on existing investments that ministries were already making? One of the things that we knew was that the organizing committee was going to have to recruit, train and educate, in a sense, a volunteer labour force. We know that volunteers are critical to games delivery, so it has to be a rewarding experience, and they have to get something out of it from after the games experience. That will help motivate them. It will help give them new opportunities. They’re called difference-makers in most games because they make the difference. They work long hours; they work 10 hours. They do thankless jobs, but they are really the heart of the games.
What can we do to leverage, from a government side and a public policy objective side, with a modest net new investment, to achieve a volunteer legacy strategy? We did a couple of things.
Our colleagues at training, colleges and universities identified that volunteers tend to be in that 16-to-24 age group for games. We also want seniors; we also want other groups. But the 16-to-24, looking across most organizations, is the group that volunteers come from. Those are also university students, a number of them. Training, colleges and universities determined that they could give OSAP loan forgiveness as an incentive to encourage those people who were attending university, recognizing that if they volunteer during that year, they will get loan forgiveness. Of the 32,000 that the minister identified to date that have signed up to be volunteers, we’re told 8,000 of those have identified that they’ll be seeking OSAP forgiveness. So we’ve discovered a policy tool to achieve university students, to increase their volunteerism interests, which could be used for other things in the future and other big initiatives.
Another component of the volunteer is accessibility—some 20,000-plus volunteers will be trained on customer service standards: how to deal with people coming from jurisdictions, how to support visitors, how to support the athletes on the field. They’ll also be trained in the AODA, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, on how to treat people with disabilities, how to service people who have accessibility issues. This is the largest accessibility training initiative ever, across the province, for one single initiative. Our hope is that the feedback from this exercise—the training that they get, the new awareness that they’re provided—will then give the opportunity for us to use that product as a province and to give out to all of the other organizations that are putting on festivals and events, whether it’s TIFF, which the minister talked about, or whether it’s a Caribbean festival or the blues festival—to provide those organizations with the same training module so that more and more people can learn about accessibility and serve people with accessibility needs.
The minister spoke a bit about the CSIO, which is a facility out at Scarborough college campus. The games—and a legacy of the games is the realization of a 30-year vision of the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Canadian Paralympic Committee and sport in Ontario, that started with the original 1996 Olympic bid, to have a CSIO.
BC has a Pacific sport institute. A legacy of the Calgary games is the Calgary sport institute. A legacy of the Montreal games, notwithstanding some of the other legacies left behind, was a Quebec sports institute.
Ontario, with the largest population, does not have a sports institute to develop our high-performance athletes. We are misrepresenting on participation of population versus athletes. We’re not carrying our weight, some would say, in the high-performance community. The way you carry your weight is by investing in a high-performance sport facility.
In the estimates and in the commitments that the government made to support high-performance sport, of the $42 million, $8 million has been allocated towards the development investment of the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario, which is at the facility being built at the University of Toronto Scarborough college campus.
The amazing thing about this facility—and it is truly amazing to actually witness it; the minister is right—is it’s the first facility built anywhere in North America, again, that is fully accessible. A person can come in on their wheelchair, into their workstation, into their bodybuilding station, without leaving the wheelchair. They can move into the pool. There’s no lever; there are no rises; the pool is flatlined. The elevators are built wide enough to accommodate basketball wheelchairs. Just so you know, most wheelchairs for accessibility are built like this. Basketball wheelchairs are built like this. Elevators don’t normally build the design to accommodate. Every room, every access point, is accommodated to enable high-performance para-sport development. At that facility, we currently have a wheelchair basketball academy from across Canada. I was there last week in my sport capacity. There were 11 participants from Quebec, Alberta, BC and Saskatchewan at the new national centre for wheelchair basketball for Canada. Every week, there are people from across Canada training at this facility, and I would be so bold as to suggest that’s a legacy from the games that wouldn’t otherwise have happened.
I should also mention the brownfield revitalization that happened at this facility. This was a former landfill site at the University of Toronto Scarborough college campus. It was put into non-economic use for 40 years. The decision to build this facility here has unlocked the economic potential. As Mr. Miller was talking about economic analysis, similarly the revitalization of the waterfront and the urban revitalization that happened there has unlocked the rest of the waterfront development potential from an economic impact perspective, so future redevelopment of the lands along the port lands and waterfront.
I’d also note that one of the things we discovered in doing our analysis of jurisdictions: How do you reach the rest of Ontario? How do you connect all of Ontario so that there’s a benefit associated with the games? Again, one of the big economic opportunities we saw to give a return on the province’s investment was to complete the Trans Canada Trail across Ontario. The trail is an economic generator across the province. It’s in every community. It’s a way to connect all Ontarians to the games through a single initiative. So for an investment of about $3.5 million, the Ontario government partnered with Trans Canada Trail Canada and the municipal level, and as a result of the games and part of our promotion, celebration and legacy strategy, we now have 95% complete—with 11 kilometres to go, I’m told—in completing 250 kilometres of gaps across the Trans Canada Trail. So for the first time ever, as a result of these games, in 2015 you will be able to travel uninterrupted from Windsor to Ottawa on a single trail, and up to Huntsville as well.
Also, I saw in the mandate letter from the minister a commitment to introduce trails legislation, to make trails stronger and safer. That will equally be a contributing component of the legacy of the Pan Am Games.
Mr. Todd Smith: Chair, how much time?
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): About eight minutes.
Mr. Steve Harlow: Okay?
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Go ahead.
Mr. Steve Harlow: I would also say that of those investments I’ve talked about—$8.5 million roughly for the aquatics centre for a legacy; $3.5 million for the trail—another big investment will be an opportunity to showcase Ontario during the games. In BC, for those of you who remember the BC Olympics, all of the provinces and territories came to British Columbia and showcased themselves in a bunch of different ways. We’ve allocated a portion of the money that we’ve invested from the promotion, celebration and legacy strategy to create a celebration zone during the games. It will be free; it will be accessible to the public; it will showcase Ontario talent. As of today, six provinces have signed on to be part of the celebration zone and want to come here to Ontario and to the celebration zone during those sessions. It will be for the entirety of the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games, over the period of July and August 2015.
That’s an opportunity for Ontario tourism organizations to promote their tourism opportunities, so when tourists are coming to the celebration zone they’ll learn about where they can go see the Royal Botanical Gardens, or they can go up to Dundurn Castle, or they can go up to the north, to Sudbury, the Big Nickel—whatever places they want to go. It will also be an opportunity to support Ontario’s Live Music Strategy. We will have live music on the stage, featuring Ontario musicians and artists. We will use the opportunity, as we did in BC, to feature Ontario craft brewers and Ontario wineries. So trying to align the business objectives of the province and the promotion of tourism opportunities at the celebration zone is a big effort and represents $7 million of our $42-million legacy strategy.
The other element, if I could, that I’m particularly proud of is that I wear two hats in my portfolio. I’m the assistant deputy minister for partner engagement and legacy in the Pan Am Games. I’m also the assistant deputy minister for sport, recreation and community programs in the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. One of the initiatives that we launched as part of the promotion and celebration legacy strategy was something we called Pan Am Kids. Pan Am Kids is about a $3-million combined partnership with the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, and the organizing committee. So for the first time ever, what we did is create a physical literacy tool to enable kids to learn how to do proper physical literacy and movement. It’s movement skills. It’s learning how to properly kick, throw a ball, hop, jump, run—all the fundamental movement skills. As a result—we’ve done evaluations, so it’s not economic analysis; it’s analysis of program delivery successes—we’ve seen a 4.5% increase in physical literacy awareness of school-aged kids. That’s never happened before in any program ever developed by any ministry or any partner. We recently had an international delegation and gave them a presentation on it, and they think this is cutting-edge programming around the world in terms of what’s being developed. It was developed with PLAY Sports Canada, it was developed in partnership with the Ontario Public Health and Education Association—OPHEA. It’s the first time we’re actually having the same programming, the same curriculum, that the schoolteachers and school providers are teaching kids in schools, being taught by after-school providers in priority neighbourhoods. Those kids are learning the same skills, the same programming and the same activities.
The organizing committee is partnering with it by having activity days. They’re going into communities that want to do activity days and using those same skills for fun days and activity days. Some 20,000 kids have gone through it in our after-school programs. This fall, every high school, primary school and aboriginal school in this province has this tool and is using it, and over 400 summer camps have utilized the program this summer. It’s a very unique proposition. I think we’re also looking at how to maintain it in the longer term, in order to continue to get these results, and we are working on that.
I would offer, at a high level, that those are some of the things that I can speak to this committee on as it relates to promotion, celebration and legacy. I’m happy to expand on anything else I could.
Minister, I turn it back over to you.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Minister, you have about three minutes.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Okay. I just wanted to clarify something. There was a question around additional OPP overtime—if it was included in the $239 million. The answer is yes.
I made a statement saying that they’ve leveraged over $100 million in corporate sponsorship. I believe under 4% of it is government. I think Trillium, for example, has put in a small piece, so there is a small, small percentage. I just want to make sure that those two pieces are clear.
Are you happy with that answer—the 239?
Mr. Paul Miller: I’m never happy.
Hon. Michael Coteau: I wanted to thank the assistant deputy minister for those comments.
I just again wanted to talk a little bit about the opportunities that are brought here to Ontario through bringing forward these games. We hope that the legacy of these games, for years to come, will allow for different athletes to use the venues.
I know that—I mentioned them in my opening remarks—there are other sporting events that can now be brought into Ontario that wouldn’t be here because we didn’t have the facilities. We’re quite happy with the fact that we’ll be able to use these existing infrastructure facilities and venues to leverage more games in the future.
The fact that we’re going to have over 20,000 volunteers trained in accessibility training and different types of safety training—many different types of training—they can take that and use it in the future to assist in businesses and not-for-profits. There will also be, out of our legacy program, a volunteer database that will be created. Actually, it’s being created currently, and the volunteers will receive a certificate that they can use when they apply for positions.
There are so many things that I think are wonderful: our Pan Am/Parapan Am Kids project, so many legacy pieces, the trails—imagine, the first time in the history of this province that the trail system in this province is going to be connected from Windsor all the way to Ottawa. You can start in Windsor and make your way all the way through to Ottawa. This is a pretty extraordinary accomplishment, and it has all happened because of the fact that we have leveraged the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games.
We’re quite happy with what we’ve been able to accomplish, and I hope that every single member here has the opportunity to participate in the games next year.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Thank you, Minister.
We’ll move to the official opposition.
Mr. Todd Smith: Thank you very much, Chair, and thank you, Minister, for cheerleading over the last half-hour. I know that you’re very good at that. While there will be a legacy, there will be a positive one, and there certainly is going to be a negative legacy as well.
It’s astonishing to me, quite honestly, that members of the government side—the Liberal government—have passed on asking questions on a Pan Am Games budget that has gone from $1.4 billion to $2.5 billion. It’s amazing to me that the members of the government side have no questions on how that money is being spent.
I know that Paul Miller from the NDP has a lot of questions; I certainly do as well. If we could get quick responses to the questions, because I do have many that I would like to get through, Minister, that would be appreciated.
I just want to know, first of all: How many of the 25 venues are currently fully completed? How many of the 25 for the games?
Hon. Michael Coteau: Seven.
Mr. Todd Smith: I apologize, because I may touch on some of the areas that Mr. Miller touched on earlier.
Seven of the venues are currently completed.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Seven, and 11 will be finished by the end of this year, and 97% of capital budget—so we are well-positioned to have all of our venues ready for the games. Like I said—
Mr. Todd Smith: The stadium in Hamilton: Would that be one of the venues that you say is currently completed?
Hon. Michael Coteau: They’re using it now.
Mr. Todd Smith: But is it complete?
Hon. Michael Coteau: Well, it’s 97% complete.
Mr. Todd Smith: Would you say that stadium was on time and on budget?
Hon. Michael Coteau: Yes.
Mr. Todd Smith: You would say that stadium is on time and on budget.
Hon. Michael Coteau: I would say that, if you look at it from the games perspective. Again, let’s keep things in perspective, guys. The Tiger-Cats played in the stadium, and we’re 10 months prior to the games.
Mr. Todd Smith: But why set these targets as to when you’re going to complete the venues if you have no idea as to whether or not you can meet those goals? Why set these targets when you have no intention of actually meeting those targets? Then you say that you’re on time and on budget when clearly you’re not.
Hon. Michael Coteau: If you look at international sporting events around the world, infrastructure is usually the number one issue. I know in Brazil it was an issue, and other places.
We’re $50 million under budget in infrastructure costs. We have facilities that the opposition is complaining about that are actually in operation and that are actually hosting games—
Mr. Todd Smith: Okay. Just let me stop you right there, Minister. That’s great.
Hon. Michael Coteau: —and we’re still—
Mr. Todd Smith: Let me stop you right there, because I just—
Hon. Michael Coteau: —and we’re still many, many months prior to the games.
Mr. Todd Smith: You did say—
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Order.
Mr. Todd Smith: I’m trying to follow up.
The minister did say that the Hamilton stadium was on time and on budget. We all heard that. Right? But on July 21, when we were sitting in the Legislature, the minister said, “Six of those venues have suffered some type of delay.... The reason I gave last week” was “in regard to the weather, but we went through a very cold winter; we had an ice storm.”
Is a cold winter not something that you would account for in your time frames, considering that we are here in Ontario? Is winter something that we should be accounting for?
Hon. Michael Coteau: Let me correct my statement. The venues, in general—most of them are on time and on budget; $50 million under budget as a whole. The Hamilton stadium did suffer some delays. But guys, this is eight or nine months prior to the games and it’s operational.
Mr. Todd Smith: It’s not fully operational, Minister. There was a venue—
Hon. Michael Coteau: We can go back and forth about—
Mr. Todd Smith: The first concert was just there last weekend. Keith Urban was playing in Hamilton and they couldn’t use the entire stadium for that venue. These are having an impact on those who use that stadium. So when you sit here and say that the venues are on time and on budget, it’s not credible and it’s not believable.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Let’s go back: almost $150 million invested in Hamilton. They have a brand new stadium. We’re many months away from the actual games taking place. We rebuilt this stadium. We leveraged it for the Pan Am and the Parapan Am Games. I think we should be very proud of the fact that here we are and there are CFL games being hosted on the site several months prior to the actual games. I think that’s an accomplishment.
Mr. Todd Smith: But over budget and not on time.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Not over budget—remember, I said $50 million below budget for our infrastructure, which you guys seem to forget.
Mr. Todd Smith: Okay, let’s move on, then, Minister.
Hon. Michael Coteau: You said I am cheerleading—
Mr. Todd Smith: Let me ask you this, then, because I only have 20 minutes, Minister.
Hon. Michael Coteau: You said that I was cheerleading—
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Order.
Mr. Todd Smith: Chair, I only have 20 minutes, so I would like to ask some questions. I have many to get through, Minister.
Hon. Michael Coteau: —the points you made. So if you ask me a question—
Mr. Todd Smith: What I want to know, Minister, is—
Hon. Michael Coteau: I think I should have the opportunity to answer the question, Madam Chair.
Mr. Todd Smith: Minister, can you guarantee that the 25 venues for the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games won’t end up like a patchwork, like Tim Hortons Field has in Hamilton? Will the venues be ready in time for the games in July? That’s a simple question. We want to know, will the venues be ready for the games?
Hon. Michael Coteau: All of the venues will be ready prior to the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games; yes, 100%.
Mr. Todd Smith: You were going to have a number of test trials, testing that’s going to be done at all of these various venues. I know in the case of the velodrome, those tests have been cancelled because they know that facility isn’t going to be ready in time. This is the facility in Milton where they brought in Russian lumber from Siberia instead of using Canadian lumber. This is a venue that has had the time trials cancelled—the testing cancelled. Can you guarantee, Minister, that these venues are actually going to be tested before the games begin, or are we going to be flying by the seat of our pants like we have with TO2015 for the last several years?
Hon. Michael Coteau: I want to go back to my original statement that all of the venues will be ready for the games and we are $50 million under budget. This is a huge accomplishment for the province of Ontario—
Mr. Todd Smith: The credibility is lacking when you make that statement, Minister. The credibility is lacking when you make that statement.
You said last week, Minister—
Hon. Michael Coteau: Madam Chair, please, can I answer the questions here? I have experts in regard to testing who can weigh in on the issue, and I’d like to bring some clarity to this specific issue, but for obvious reasons, it seems as though they’re making statements and are not really concerned about the answers here. I’d like to answer the questions, so I’d like to turn it over to our deputy minister to answer the question around the testing sites, because we’ve got a great answer for you.
Mr. Han Dong: That was a good question.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Yes, it’s a legit question. I thank you for the question. Let’s turn it over to the deputy.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): It’s up to the member.
Mr. Todd Smith: I’m not interested, thank you. I’d like to move on.
Hon. Michael Coteau: You’re not interested in the answer?
Mr. Todd Smith: I have a better question.
Mr. Todd Smith: Minister, on July 21—
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Order.
Mr. Todd Smith: You know, it’s funny that the members of the government have all kinds of input now but they weren’t interested in providing any input when they had the opportunity earlier.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): The member has only 20 minutes, so it’s his opportunity to actually make statements and ask questions.
Mr. Todd Smith: So let me pass this quote along, from July 21. You said, “Our venues will be finished almost a year before the games.” Yet, in this technical briefing, just last week, on September 23, you detailed that 11 won’t be finished until the fall of 2014 and another seven venues won’t be finished until 2015.
Minister, do the completion dates that you’ve officially told members of the Legislature have any meaning or are you saying one thing and doing another?
Hon. Michael Coteau: I don’t know—is that from the Legislature?
Mr. Todd Smith: You said it.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Is that from the Legislature?
Mr. Todd Smith: July 21, yes.
Hon. Michael Coteau: I remember, I think, on that exact same day when you asked me the question, you said that no one in Ontario is going to be cheering for these games. I think you’re absolutely wrong about that. I think that people in Ontario are proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish. We stand behind our athletes. We’re building the infrastructure for the next generation of athletes and we’re proud that we’ve been able to leverage the Pan Am Games to really build on the legacy of Ontario. So people really are cheering for these games; people are proud of the Pan Am Games here in Ontario.
Mr. Todd Smith: Chair, several times today the minister has compared the Pan Am Games to the Olympic Games. There’s no comparison between the Pan Am Games and the Olympic Games. These are tier-two games that we’re having here, Minister, and the money that you are spending is overwhelming.
Hon. Michael Coteau: You go and tell those athletes in Scarborough that I saw—they are practising every day—that these are two-tier games. You should be ashamed of yourself for making—
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Order.
Mr. Todd Smith: You have no idea of meeting these budgets.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Order.
Hon. Michael Coteau: These are athletes who are going above and beyond to make sure that they represent this country so they qualify for the Olympics.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Minister, Mr. Smith has the floor.
Mr. Todd Smith: Let me move on to a different line of questioning, considering that I don’t have a whole lot of time. Minister, let’s take this back to March 17 of this year. Your predecessor, Minister Michael Chan, said in the House, “At the technical briefing last week, we were delighted to announce the TO2015 forecasted budget decrease from $1.441 billion to $1.392 billion, a savings of $49 million.” Yet nearly six months later, you announced that TO2015 would get $74 million more than was originally budgeted for. Since March, TO2015 has needed an extra $123 million more than thought. Minister, will you come clean and admit that this is a $123-million increase in the budget since March of this year?
Hon. Michael Coteau: It has been an extraordinary experience for me over the last three months—
Mr. Todd Smith: I’m sure it has.
Hon. Michael Coteau: —to take on the largest multi-sporting event in the history of this country, and to really leverage it to support our athletes.
We have details in regard to the $74 million, and the deputy would be happy to walk you through those numbers to illustrate—
Mr. Todd Smith: Okay. This is my question, then: What happened between mid-March this year and mid-July this year, when you were saying that these games were on time and on budget? Coincidentally, on the day that the Lieutenant Governor was being sworn in here, why did you choose that day to go out and announce that you were bailing out TO2015 with another $74 million? And oh, coincidentally, MaRS bailed out to the tune of $303 million that day—on a day when I know that your government probably hoped the media was distracted.
That’s almost $400 million that day that went out in bailouts. What happened between March of this year and last week that required an extra—well, let’s be honest, $123 million more?
Hon. Michael Coteau: What I can tell you is, since I took over the role as the minister responsible for this file, we’ve presented a technical briefing to the public, to the media, that allocated an additional $74 million to these games. I was quite comfortable moving forward in the direction to allocate those funds based on the information that I received from the ministry and from TO2015. We need to ensure that these games are conducted and brought forward in a very responsible way. For example, we know the $74 million contributes to volunteer training. We anticipate an additional 5,000 volunteers needed in order to carry out these games.
Mr. Todd Smith: Minister, thank you. But I want to know what happened, because the minister, your predecessor, Michael Chan, actually told the Legislature that the games were on time and on budget. Was he not telling the truth?
Hon. Michael Coteau: I can only tell you—
Mr. Todd Smith: Was Michael Chan not telling the truth?
Hon. Michael Coteau: I can only tell you, within the last three months, as the minister responsible for this file, what I’ve been able to do is to bring forward a very transparent process to explain why we needed to allocate an additional $74 million to these games, and I was very comfortable with the decision and I stood there in front of media. You’re suggesting that we’ve kind of hidden this under the rug—
Mr. Todd Smith: Yes, I am.
Hon. Michael Coteau: —well, we had a large presence of media. We had well over 50, 60 people in that room, maybe 100, present when we made the announcement. It was in every paper. It was on the radio. This was a very transparent process. I can go through the transparency measures that we’ve taken, but I was quite proud of the approach we took and the fact that we are here to support our athletes and support the next generation of athleticism in this province.
Mr. Todd Smith: Okay, thank you. Mr. Miller touched on this earlier. He talked on the announcement last week—
Hon. Michael Coteau: Pardon? Who is this?
Mr. Todd Smith: Mr. Miller, this wonderful gentleman here who was questioning you earlier.
Hon. Michael Coteau: My good friend Mr. Miller.
Mr. Todd Smith: I can introduce you later.
Last week, you announced that your projections for sponsorship have come in under budget, that you didn’t hit the targets that you expected that you would. Last week, and I’m paraphrasing here—maybe you can give me the exact quote—you said, “This is the first and final time that TO2015 is going to come to us hat in hand”—something to that effect. Right?
Hon. Michael Coteau: Yes.
Mr. Todd Smith: Close enough?
Hon. Michael Coteau: Close enough.
Mr. Todd Smith: But at the same time, you said, “But we’ve got this $30 million over here, just in case you don’t hit your budget projections for sponsorship.” So you’re setting it up to do it again.
Hon. Michael Coteau: It’s part of the $74 million. The $30 million is part of the $74 million. When I say $74 million, I’m including that $30 million.
Mr. Todd Smith: So they’re going to get another $30 million?
Hon. Michael Coteau: No. I’ve allocated $74 million to the budget, and I’ve put conditions on $30 million, saying that my expectation is that you reach these targets and if you have to access the $30 million, you need to come back and talk to us.
Mr. Todd Smith: Okay. Let’s move on. I have only a little bit of time left.
Back in mid-2011—that was prior to our election, actually; neither of us were sitting at the time—PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP did a report on the Pan Am Games. It was all about revenue, and it was a very detailed report. The report states—this is a quote from the report—“There appears to be significant risk in TO2015 being able to secure the number, level and price of sponsorships contemplated in the business plan.”
Will you admit that your government intentionally set a lofty revenue target to reduce the overall budget costs and then stuck to it, knowing over three years ago that this target was going to be unachievable, as according to this report from mid-2011.
Are you aware of this report, Minister, first of all?
Hon. Michael Coteau: Deputy?
Mr. Todd Smith: Are you aware of this report from PricewaterhouseCoopers?
Hon. Michael Coteau: I’m aware of the report, but throughout the technical briefings, we’ve always identified and acknowledged that as a potential risk. As you’re building a budget, from 2008 as a bid moving forward, you’re always—this is a working budget based on something we’ve never done in this province. We’ve never held these types of games. A lot of the numbers—the original security cost was put forward by the OPP, and obviously that has changed.
Mr. Randy Hillier: In 1930, we did.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Yes, 1930, but it wasn’t at the scale of this. These are the largest multi-sport games, and not a tier 2; I would say the third-largest multi-sport games in the world after the Asian Games and the Olympics. So let’s—
Mr. Todd Smith: Okay, let’s go back. Let’s go back to the—
Hon. Michael Coteau: Let me go—
Mr. Todd Smith: Let me go back to the PricewaterhouseCoopers report.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Let me answer the question. We’ve had—
Mr. Todd Smith: Chair, I only have a few minutes left, and I would like to get to this.
Mr. Todd Smith: No, I’m going to ask you another question; I’m moving on. Thank you, though, Minister.
On slide 142 of that PricewaterhouseCoopers report, it provides a detailed list of potential risks, ranked in order of urgency. Under high risks, the report lists that satellite villages increase costs, travel times to venues are not acceptable, and also a major shortfall in sponsorship revenues. Your government has known about these risks for a long time, and they did nothing to mitigate them. Instead, what you’ve done is actually allow TO2015 to come to you with hat in hand begging for more money, and you seem very willing to hand over more money. I want to know: How many more times is TO2015 going to be able to come to you begging for more money?
Hon. Michael Coteau: I’m going to say this again, and I’ve said it many times. TO2015 has approached me one time as the minister, and this will be the last time that they approach me. I will not allocate any additional money to TO2015, and you can quote me on that.
Mr. Todd Smith: Okay, thank you. We will, for sure.
Let’s move on here to Friday—it always happens on a Friday that the government announces that somebody else has been fired and there has been another big payout. Right? On Friday, two more executives were dismissed from TO2015 to the tune of $620,000. This comes just a couple of days, as we alluded to earlier, after the big bailout to TO2015. Do you think it’s fair for an over-budget agency to then turn around and hand out golden parachutes to games executives after you’ve just bailed out TO2015 a couple of days earlier? Does that make good sense to you?
Hon. Michael Coteau: Yeah—
Mr. Todd Smith: It does? He said yeah.
Hon. Michael Coteau: No, I didn’t say yes.
Mr. Todd Smith: No, you did say yes.
Hon. Michael Coteau: I was talking to the deputy. Okay?
Mr. Todd Smith: Okay, answer the question, please.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Let me answer the question. When I was appointed minister, I contacted the chair of TO2015, Mr. Peterson, and I asked him specifically if he would consider moving a motion to stop bonuses at TO2015 for anyone hired. They moved the motion—
Mr. Todd Smith: Okay, so let me stop you right there.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Hang on. I’m going to pass it over to the deputy, but I want to be clear—
Mr. Todd Smith: No, no. I don’t want to hear it from the deputy. I want to hear it from the minister, and this—
Hon. Michael Coteau: No, it’s not—
Mr. Todd Smith: This is my question, because you just said it. It’s a follow-up to what you just said.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Order.
Mr. Todd Smith: It certainly is. It is. It’s my right to ask you questions.
Hon. Michael Coteau: And it’s my right to ask the experts to help bring forward the information.
Mr. Todd Smith: I want to hear it from the minister responsible for the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games. Minister, despite the evidence, will you not admit that the games are both over budget and past scheduled completion dates? We’ve got 63 Pan Am executives that are scheduled to receive bonuses—it might be a couple less now, but we have over 60 Pan Am executives that are scheduled to receive bonuses up to 50% of their annual pay for delivering the games on time and on budget. Are they still on track to receive those bonuses? These 63 or 61, whatever’s left: Are they still on track to receive those bonuses despite the fact that we already know the games are over time and over budget?
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Minister, you have one minute, and then the 20 minutes are up.
Hon. Michael Coteau: I would like the deputy minister to speak to that, but before he speaks to that, I need to frame the work that TO2015 has been able to accomplish over the last few years. The fact that they have saved taxpayers $50 million through working with Infrastructure Ontario, to me, is astonishing. The fact that transportation has been able to save $29 million—astonishing. The fact that we’re building all these new venues and some of them are operational today—and we’re talking about a year before the games actually get here. So I’m very proud of the work that they’ve been able to do. I have full faith, and I’m 100% committed to ensuring that TO2015 is able to deliver these games in a responsible way and that—
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Thank you, Minister. Your time is up. We’ll move on to Mr. Miller.
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: Madam Chair, before we move on, a point of order.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Mr. Balkissoon.
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: Madam Chair, I just want to clarify procedure. If a member asks a question and the minister would like someone from his staff to answer that question, is that not the minister’s prerogative?
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Yes, it is.
Mr. Bas Balkissoon: Okay. I just wanted to make sure, because this has happened several times, and the minister is being cut off when he tries to get somebody to answer the question. I expect that we can have dialogue, but it should be a little civil.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Thank you.
Mr. Paul Miller: Thanks. Back again. Minister, it would be my understanding that, when the games initially started and we were planning for the games, the organizing committee signed contracts with all these people—“experts,” as you call them—who were going to fulfill their mandate and stay on for an extra year, I believe, to fill in any gaps or to take care of any things that had to be dealt with in the year after the games.
The organizing committee, as you have admitted, didn’t meet their targets for sponsorship, yet in 2011, the committee paid Louise Lutgens—then responsible in her job for external affairs and outreach, which I would assume was getting sponsorship and doing these types of things—$215,000 for annual compensation, and I don’t know what other writeoffs she had. Now we learn that she received another $300,000 in severance, having been let go in March, I believe.
Why did this woman, even after you’ve talked to them and said, “No more of that,” receive $300,000? She did not fill her mandate. She did not stay the extra year. She got an additional $300,000, which took her to half a million dollars or better in wages.
But the funny part about it, Minister, is that you are working hand in hand with TO2015, Infrastructure Ontario and all the other ministries. That would be a fair assumption. You said to me earlier that you had two or three people—from the feds, from you guys, from wherever—sitting on when these decisions are made. You weren’t there, but did anyone at the time think that these negotiated contracts were outrageous?
Do you know that the Premier of the province of Ontario makes $220,000 a year on a $126-billion budget? This woman got $515,000 for not completing her job, not doing enough to do her job, yet we paid her out. I want to know who the people are who sign these contracts with these people. Who authorized these contracts? Because someone had to say okay. Whether it was your predecessor or a deputy minister, someone had to work with Infrastructure Ontario.
They keep telling me that TO2015 was a separate body that made decisions on their own committee. Baloney. It’s taxpayers’ money. I don’t care how you wrap it up and put a ribbon on it; it was taxpayers’ money, badly handled.
Now you’ve said, “Okay, there will be no more of that,” but as my colleague and the member pointed out, there are still probably 60 or 70 people who signed those original contracts, which are going to cost us even more money if they do their full year or if they leave early and get compensation.
You’ve set a precedent. Just because you had a meeting with people and said, “No more”—how are you going to stop them from receiving what they did? You can’t, because they’ll sue the government in court, and they’ll get—this is not part of your estimates. This is not included in the numbers you’ve given me. That’s just one thing.
The second thing—this all revolves around costs. You’re kind of misleading us with the transportation thing. I haven’t seen any changes out there. There has been a little bit of roadwork in Toronto; I haven’t seen anything in the Hamilton area, and nothing around the other areas for roadwork or transportation set-up. I’ve seen nothing.
Now you’re telling me that there has been talk—I don’t know where, because I’m not privy to that—of satellite villages which are going to keep athletes in the areas they’re dealing with, whether it’s Hamilton, Milton or whatever. What is that going to cost, and where are you going to put them up? Are you going to put them in hotels? Universities? Where are you going to put them? Are you going to build more housing for them? What are you going to do? That is not included in here, because you don’t know the final costs of that.
That’s why they call this committee “estimates,” but estimates are just estimates. They’re not final numbers. When you sit there and tell us, “I’m not giving any more money to TO2015. That’s it. No more. You’re done. Finished,” it’s not true, because you aren’t finished with them. You’ve got all those outstanding contracts, you’ve got all the costs for transportation, and I don’t even want to touch security, because that’s going to skyrocket from the $238 million that you’ve forecast will be included. It won’t, because you haven’t signed those contracts with the regional police. So we’re nowhere near the final outcome for this.
What is your answer to all those concerns which are around money—paying people large contracts and severances? I’m sure there’s a ton of them just waiting in line to either be fired, let go or happily leave on their own with their little gift packages. What do you say to that?
Hon. Michael Coteau: Thank you, Mr. Miller. There are four parts there: first, bonuses; second, traffic; third, satellite village; and the fourth was the OPP and the overtime and municipal contracts.
I’ll start with the bonuses. I wasn’t even elected back in 2011, so I can’t tell you what happened in 2011. But what I can tell you is that a few months ago, I took the initiative to ensure that no more bonuses would be attached to contracts, moving forward.
In regard to the OPP, I did state that the overtime for OPP is all brought into the $239 million. The $239 million is our best estimate of what the security is going to cost during the games.
In regard to the traffic and the satellite village, the deputy minister will answer those questions.
Mr. Steven Davidson: On the transportation planning, which of course is being led by the Ministry of Transportation: At the March technical briefing—the second of the three—on that day, the government released the strategic transportation framework, which set out the big building blocks. Subsequent to that, what’s been happening is the Ministry of Transportation has been negotiating with local municipalities around local transportation delivery plans. The really detailed operational planning is under way and coming to conclusion now. All of the cost of that is within the $61-million current transportation budget.
Mr. Paul Miller: Okay, stop there. So what you’re telling me now is there will be no additional—you’ve included the security and everything, you’re telling me. It’s all included. So you’re telling me—I want you to state this publicly—that there’ll be no additional costs for security for the Pan Am Games, transportation for the Pan Am Games, building and residence for the athletes, and also severances? This is all taken care of? I won’t have to worry after today about all those other things?
Hon. Michael Coteau: I’ll answer that question. I’ve been very clear in regard to security costs. I’ve been very clear in regard to bonuses. I’ve answered those questions already.
Mr. Paul Miller: I’m not quite sure you answered them to my satisfaction, but you did answer something.
Once again, in your answer, in one of your comments on the four questions I asked, you told me—I believe you said it, Deputy Minister—that the regional police departments’ costs are included in the $238 million. Did you not say that? You haven’t signed contracts with them yet.
Mr. Steven Davidson: No, but the projected costs of those—
Mr. Paul Miller: Projected. Well, in my short lifetime, I’ve had estimates; I’ve had projections; I’ve had crystal balls; I’ve had all kinds of things pass by my desk. At the end of the scenario, I remember the Big O. I was old enough for the Big O in Montreal. Do you know that the Quebec people and the government of Canada, I think, paid it off this year? What year was that? 1976. So don’t sit here and tell moi that everything is on budget, everything is on target, because moi will be back to tell you that it’s not happening.
I’ll tell you right now, Hamilton alone has been a fiasco. Did you know, Minister, that they had to call the ironworkers back in to beef—I’m a tradesman. I know guys in the local. They had to come back and beef up the superstructure before the first game the Tiger-Cats played, because it wasn’t done properly. Did you know, Minister, that the cement work at the stadium had to be torn out three times because it wasn’t good enough to support? There wasn’t enough rebar in the cement to support the weight and what they call the wave action of the crowd. That wasn’t done properly. We had a fire three weeks ago in the control room of the stadium, which cost $30,000. It has been one thing after another.
As pointed out by the member—what are we now, close to October?—last weekend, we had a big Keith Urban concert. They couldn’t use the west stand because it’s not done. It’s not structurally sound. They have to do additional.
I had an engineer call me up—I won’t say who he was; he’s one of the head engineers on the project—saying that I was being negative, that I didn’t know what I was talking about. With all the years I’ve been in trades, I didn’t know? Well, guess what? That guy ate crow last week when the cement guys and the ironworkers came and told him, “Yes, that happened. Yes, Mr. Miller’s right”—blah, blah. I haven’t heard from that guy again. In fact, I can’t even get him on his cellphone.
You know what I’m trying to tell you? Experience, and going through these things for many years, and seeing the costs that can rise, so when someone sits here and tells me—for three years, Minister Chan told me everything’s on budget, everything’s fine, you’re just causing problems, you’re negative, it’s going to be great.
I’m hearing a little bit of that again today. But I did hear you say, and I gave you credit for this earlier when you said that you stood up about a week after and said you couldn’t guarantee that everything was on budget. I respected that. It was the first time I heard it in four years.
But today, unfortunately, you’re telling me the same thing he did, that everything is on budget. Baloney. You just gave another $74 million to them. And they’ll be back, Minister. They’ll be back. I’ll tell you right now—mark my words—it isn’t going to be on budget, and you’ll be lucky if you’re on time for some of them.
I believe the velodrome in Milton was supposed to be ready a few weeks ago for the guys to practise and get ready. Also, they had some contracts with local cycling people to test it and do what they had to do for the—that got cancelled. Remember? That was in the paper. That was about the same time as the Lieutenant Governor thing.
Really, all I’m asking is, tell us the truth about the costs. Never mind estimates and crystal balls. You can certainly get within $50 million of what it’s going to cost in the final outcome. It’s great to tell everybody everything’s hunky-dory, everything’s fine in Ontario, everything’s moving ahead, we’re going to be proud, and we’re going to be happy. Well, I’ll tell you what: Ask the people in Montreal how happy they were about the Big O. Remember when it caved in and all the cement came down? I remember that.
You know what? Why I said that, Minister, is because we’ve already had concrete problems in the Tim Hortons stadium. Some $147 million for that stadium, and we’ve had concrete problems, and do you know why? One of the people you had running it was a foreign company. You didn’t even use an Ontario management company.
Miss Monique Taylor: French.
Mr. Paul Miller: A French company. The guys that did the electronics and the tech guys were outbid by another foreign company from France. My local guys in Burlington and Hamilton didn’t get the contract, and they’re far better tradespeople than these guys. There was no fire in the control room when our guys did it. How many contracts were given out to foreign—an engineer told me 65% were local. Well, it wasn’t the local guys that there was a problem with.
What I’m trying to say—I’ll move on to a question here. I really wanted to get that off my chest, because I think the people have a right to know what’s really going on and how many hundreds of millions of dollars more it’s going to cost them than you’re saying.
We attempted to get a direct answer to this straightforward question from both the ministry and the committee last week, but to no avail, so I’ll ask it here.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Last week?
Mr. Paul Miller: Yes. Well, I asked something. I asked it before—
Hon. Michael Coteau: We weren’t here last week.
Mr. Paul Miller: No, but I asked someone in the ministry. Sorry, in the ministry.
What are the current positions of the 50 temporary foreign workers being used by the games? What are the current positions?
Mr. Steven Davidson: We don’t have the actual positions. We have some examples of positions. We understand—
Mr. Paul Miller: Well, I’ve got the number: 50. Pretty high-profile positions, too.
Mr. Steven Davidson: Yes, they are positions that TO2015 has recruited for, using all the federally mandated rules, with national postings, and have determined that the unique qualifications require—
Mr. Paul Miller: Unique qualifications. And there’s nothing that you’re building in Canada that our people can’t do.
How much of the games spending—in that group, how much are you spending on temporary foreign workers for the venues?
Hon. Michael Coteau: TO2015 obviously has a lot of different folks working on different things. When you put together international games, obviously you want to draw from the expertise that takes place in different regions. This is the first time since 1930 that the province of Ontario has actually put on international games. I think if we can take some of the expertise that is found internationally, bring it to Ontario and build the expertise here in Ontario so it’s transferred over to folks who can take on those tasks, it will strategically place Ontario into a place where, in the future, we’ll be able to host many different types of games, and we’ll have our expertise spread throughout the world. TO2015 follows rules that are outlined by the federal government. You know that temporary foreign workers are the purview of the federal government. They follow rules and they put in applications, so—
Mr. Paul Miller: But you’re paying them.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Well, no. The operations of TO2015 are at roughly $1.4 billion. We pay roughly one third of it. This is a commitment from the federal government, from the municipal governments, from partnerships with universities. Just to be clear that TO2015—yes, we do have influence by appointing the chair and appointing two additional members, but this is a multi-government organization.
Mr. Paul Miller: Well, Minister, with all due respect, you’re telling me about hiring people from outside of Ontario to do jobs.
Hon. Michael Coteau: We can answer—
Mr. Paul Miller: I’m moving on to another question. I’m moving on.
Mr. Paul Miller: I’m moving on. I’m moving on.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Mr. Miller, you have about two minutes left in your 20-minute rotation.
Mr. Paul Miller: Okay, I’m moving on.
To give an example, in that presentation you just gave, security contracts were awarded to an American company. This American company did not have a licence to operate in Ontario when you awarded these contracts to them. They also had problems at the Vancouver games. We had a perfectly good company in Ontario that had the wherewithal, the expertise, to handle security for the games in conjunction with the OPP, the RCMP and whoever else. There were two people left in the bidding process, one from Canada and one from the United States. The United States got it. Why?
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Minister, you have one minute to answer and then we’re moving on.
Hon. Michael Coteau: The company that you’re talking about—they have a Canadian headquarters, number one. Number two, there is a procurement process that government has put in place to ensure transparency and fairness. They applied and won that bid. The folks who are going to be working on our games, these are people in our universities, people in our colleges, people from right across Ontario. The employees who will actually be providing security for the games are Ontarians. This is providing jobs to Ontarians. It’s not like busloads of people from the States are going to be coming in to provide security. This is the equivalent of providing security to—
Mr. Paul Miller: You paid that company $14 million.
Hon. Michael Coteau: This is the equivalent of providing security at the Rogers Centre—
Mr. Paul Miller: For management, $14 million.
Hon. Michael Coteau: —or at the Hamilton stadium. We want to ensure that there is a clean process. The OPP carried out that procurement. There was a fairness commissioner involved in that to ensure that it was transparent and that the procurement process was done in a very clean way, and we’re very proud of the work that the OPP does.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Thank you, Minister. We’ll now move on to the 20-minute rotation for the government. Ms. McGarry?
Mrs. Kathryn McGarry: Thank you, Madam Chair, and congratulations on your appointment today. Madam Chair, through you to the minister, in budget 2013, the Ontario Music Fund was created, which was fairly good music to my ears, as I’ve got two young boys who are musicians at home, so my home and their high school is regularly filled with very noisy music—one is a drummer—with budding musicians.
What I’d like to know is, what is the Ontario Music Fund and what is it intended to do?
Hon. Michael Coteau: Thank you very much for the question. The Ontario Music Fund is a $45-million fund that is allocated over three years. I was so happy a few weeks ago to go to the beautiful riding of Davenport. We announced some of the recipients and the benefits of those rewards. The deputy is going to talk a bit more about it.
Over the last three months as the minister, I’ve had such a unique opportunity to go out there and actually talk to the people of Ontario about what is important to them. The development of the creative cluster plays such an important role in our economic impact here in the province of Ontario. We know that the economic impact is close to $25 billion—I think it’s $24 billion—and employs almost 350,000 people. Music is part of that cluster.
I had the opportunity to go to the Polaris awards to celebrate some of the independent and emerging artists who are here in Ontario. At the music fund announcement, I was joined by Kardinal Offishall, who is an incredible artist who grew up in the same neighbourhood I did, in Flemingdon Park in Toronto. He was able to talk about how government programs have helped musicians like himself and many other musicians become successful not only in Ontario and Canada but internationally. If you look at our talent that is here, we have an extraordinary group of individuals from all across Ontario who contribute to the music sector here in Ontario, and Ontario is responsible for 80% of the English-speaking music industry here in Canada, which I think we all should be very, very proud of.
I’d like to turn it over to the deputy to talk a little bit more about what the actual fund does and how it enables artists, producers and companies to be successful. Thank you for that question, because we’re very proud of the work that we’re doing at the ministry to support our artists in Ontario.
Mr. Steven Davidson: Thank you, Minister. So we’ve just completed the first year of the three-year lifespan for the program and we’ve just launched the second year. The program was developed in close consultation with industry—not just the music industry but also the tourism industry, because, as the minister has noted, live music is a key competitive advantage for Ontario as a tourism destination.
I’m going to ask my colleague Kevin Finnerty, who is the assistant deputy minister of culture, to talk in more detail about the program itself. There are four streams, so we’re intervening in the sector in a variety of ways to help grow both large and small. I’ll ask Kevin to explain that, as well as some of the early experience from our first year.
Mr. Kevin Finnerty: Thank you. I’m happy to speak to the Ontario Music Fund.
First and foremost, as the minister said, Ontario is home to 80% of the music industry in this country. That’s actually up from 65% just a few years ago. Seeing that opportunity, the government did launch the fund in budget 2013 and really had four key objectives.
The first is to increase music production activity in Ontario so we can build strong, competitive companies that can compete nationally and internationally.
The second goal is to strengthen the entire music ecosystem by supporting organizations, associations and initiatives that will develop artists, drive more revenue into the system and attract audiences.
A third objective is to really advance the Live Music Strategy and to increase opportunities for new and emerging Canadian artists to perform here in Ontario, because we know that live music is an incredible source of revenue for the entire sector.
And finally, we wanted to create opportunities for emerging artists and music businesses in francophone, aboriginal and other communities to be able to get their music out to the public.
To achieve these objectives, the music fund has four streams.
The first is music company development. That is support for companies with revenues above $100,000 a year. It provides direct support to Ontario-based music businesses through a business-plan-based approach. Basically, what it does is it provides incentives to companies to increase their business activities here in Ontario through investments in recording and talent and other resources. Companies eligible for this stream include domestic, independent Canadian companies as well as the foreign multinational companies: Warner, Universal and Sony.
The second key stream, which is brand new, is music futures, and that’s for companies with revenues between $35,000 and $100,000. It’s really support aimed at stimulating entrepreneurship and providing support to develop and leverage Ontario’s diversity in music. As the minister said before, Ontario has one of the most diverse music ecosystems in the world. Every genre of music is here in Ontario, and by taking advantage of that diversity we can really drive more revenue into the sector.
Live music: This stream is designed to provide support for promoters, presenters, managers and agents to expand programming that features Canadian artists. We know that live music is incredibly important and that, in fact, the main source of revenue for emerging artists and the main way they get discovered is through live performances. So the live music stream is intended to drive more Canadian performers into our live music venues.
Finally, the fourth stream is music industry development. This is assistance for industry organizations and other groups to bring forth innovative ideas to strengthen the entire music industry and to develop the support structures for the companies of the future, the companies of today and the artists of the future.
As the minister has said, recently he announced 108 winning applicants for the first round of the music fund. We are currently reviewing the applications for round two, but I would like to give you some examples of projects that have received funding under their first year because I think the examples really make this real for people.
So if I were to give you a few examples from each of the streams:
Under music industry development, the Canadian Independent Recording Artists’ Association received funding to enhance its mentorship programs. What that mentorship program does is it connects Canadian artists who are already established with an emerging artist so that they can get one-on-one advice on how to grow their business. That artist-to-artist conversation, we have found, is key to being able to help emerging artists become businesspeople and really manage their careers more appropriately. This program has been very successful. It has been held in communities across the province. Mentors for the first round include major artists like Feist, Shad, The Hidden Cameras, Dala and Hollerado.
The industry development stream also supported francophone organizations. Three francophone organizations are being supported to promote Ontario’s francophone music sector: Le Réseau Ontario des arts de la scène, l’Alliance nationale de l’industrie musicale, et l’Association des professionnels de la chanson et de la musique. They’ve been supported to do things like a market development project for major francophone organizations, initiatives to increase the profile of francophone music both in Ontario and nationally and internationally, and to do more showcasing and export development activity, so that francophone artists in Ontario get the exposure they need outside of Canada.
In music company development, some of the examples include funding to support A Tribe Called Red. You may have heard of A Tribe Called Red; it’s an Ottawa-based aboriginal group which just won a Juno Award for Breakthrough Group of the Year. Thanks to funding from the Ontario Music Fund, A Tribe Called Red was supported to actually showcase its talents at the South by Southwest festival in Austin. The South by Southwest festival is one of the most important music festivals in the world, and really a place where emerging acts go to be discovered, and hopefully go on to do more international business.
Another company that received support under music company development is called MDM Recordings. MDM Recordings is an emerging country label and recording company, and, through support from the Ontario Music Fund, it was able to expand its operations by launching several key new album releases, grow its domestic business and really tackle the international market.
Maybe one or two examples under music futures: Through music futures, the Ontario Music Fund supported Divine Brown’s 2014 album release, including recording, production, touring and showcasing activities designed to help her grow her career even more. Sunny Jam Records in Kitchener received some funding to promote Alysha Brilla’s new record, and that has worked very, very well.
In live music, several examples include the following: The Ottawa Jazz Festival received funding from the Ontario Music Fund to expand their 2014 footprint to include the Laurier Avenue Canadian Music Stage, dedicated to various genres of Canadian music. Thanks to that, 43 emerging and established Canadian artists were able to perform at the Ottawa Jazz Festival.
Supercrawl in Hamilton has evolved from a small community event to becoming a premier music festival in southern Ontario. The Ontario Music Fund supported Supercrawl’s expansion from one to two days of programming in 2013, and in 2014 the festival grew to a three-day event which is incredibly successful.
Finally, of course, there is the Live at Massey Hall series, which the Ontario Music Fund supported. That allowed emerging Canadian artists to perform at Massey Hall, in front of audiences of 2,000-plus people over a series of four concerts. Not only that, through a partnership with SiriusXM, those concerts were recorded and are now available online as 30-minute videos, so the one-time event becomes a permanent thing. Those videos enable those artists to become discovered by other audiences, both nationally and internationally.
These are just some of the examples of the great work of the Ontario Music Fund, and we look forward to continuing that work in year 2.
Mrs. Cristina Martins: Thank you, Deputy, for that information, and for providing clarification on the Ontario Music Fund. I know that my own riding of Davenport is home to many young and up-and-coming artists and musicians who will definitely be looking forward to taking advantage of this fund to help them kick-start their careers.
Deputy, can you take a minute to clarify Mr. Hillier’s original question around tourism and culture agencies’ annual reports, please?
Mr. Steven Davidson: Certainly, I’d be happy to. I apologize that I didn’t have the information on the annual reports right at my fingertips when we were discussing it earlier.
Of the 19 agencies that have an accountability relationship with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, 16 of those are required to table annual reports in the House. For the fiscal year 2011-12, 15 of the 16 are all tabled. As you noted, Mr. Hillier, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre is the one outstanding. It has been received. It’s in process and will be brought forward for tabling very shortly.
For the year 2012-13, all 16 annual reports are in progress and will be brought forward for tabling very shortly. For 2013-14, we’re in the position now of receiving them from agencies. I think we have about half in and about half still to go.
It is the issue of finalizing the Metro Toronto Convention Centre’s audited financial statements that held that one up, and we’re working closely with them to ensure that that doesn’t happen again.
You mentioned the posting of expenses. Of the 16 agencies, the only one that’s required to do that is the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Others are coming on board as a best practice to do that. But with respect to the MTCC expenses, the process is that before they’re posted, they’re reviewed by the Integrity Commissioner. The most current information I have is that expenses up to June 2014 have now been reviewed by the Integrity Commissioner and are poised to be posted. I’m careful to say this, but I’m told that the goal is that by the end of this week they should be up.
Mr. Randy Hillier: So they’ve been with her for over two years?
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Mr. Hillier, it’s not your question.
To the government: You have time for another question.
Mr. Han Dong: I’m going to ask a question about Ontario Place, because it is in the riding that I have the privilege to represent. You recently came to Trinity–Spadina and made an announcement about the government’s future plan for Ontario Place. I think in there you talk about “no condos,” which is receiving a lot of support on the street, so I just wanted to give you a little bit of feedback.
Could you tell us a bit more about the government’s plan for Ontario Place?
Hon. Michael Coteau: We’re very proud of what the legacy of Ontario Place has been in the province of Ontario. It opened, I believe, in 1973. I could be off by a year, but I believe it was 1973. All of us have a bit of a memory of Ontario Place, visiting either as parents or as young kids. We want to make sure that, as we revitalize that property, it goes back to serving the people of Ontario and visitors to Ontario. It will provide green space. It will provide a live music component. There will be a blue water park where young people can engage in activities. There will be room for festivals and different types of concerts. We anticipate that there will be interest in developing some type of cultural component to it, and also ensuring that the aboriginal heritage of the Great Lakes and of this region are reflected in the build. But we see this as an incredible opportunity to capture the spirit of Ontario Place has been about and to build it in such a way that it gives back to the people of Ontario.
I had the opportunity to meet the original architect when we made the announcement, to meet this gentleman who put so much time and effort into building this legacy and really making families have so many enjoyable hours of play and fun at this premier site. We want to make sure that legacy continues.
One of the recommendations that the advisory panel came back with was to consider putting in condos. But as you mentioned, MPP Dong, we are not going to go that route. We’re going to work with the city of Toronto and work with Ontarians and stakeholders to ensure that, at the end of the day, we build an Ontario Place that provides reward for every Ontarian to come visit.
I’m really proud of that work that we’ve been able to do, and I know it’s something that our government is very proud of.
Mr. Han Dong: Thank you.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): The government has four minutes left.
Mrs. Cristina Martins: Minister, as a mother of two very active boys who love to play soccer, my question is with regard to the after-school program. I wanted to know what we were doing to ensure that our youngest Ontarians lead active and healthy lives.
Hon. Michael Coteau: When I was the parliamentary assistant to this file a couple of years ago when I first was elected, I was invited by the Toronto District School Board to visit one of the programs called Beyond 3:30. It was an extraordinary opportunity to meet some young people who participate in these programs, not only in Toronto—in my area—but right across the province. We provide funding to different parts of Ontario for neighbourhoods that may not traditionally have the infrastructure in place to provide that type of service, rural communities and inner-city communities.
It’s part of our government’s commitment to ensuring that young people in this province have the ability to live active lifestyles. We’re so proud of the work that we’ve been able to do with this project to support that approach to working with young people. I’ve had the opportunity to visit a couple of the sites, and I can tell you that these programs really do engage young people and provide them with an opportunity to explore, to learn and to discover the value of physical literacy and nutritional literacy. We do what we can to work with parents and children to make sure that they’re both on board.
This is another success story of this government when it comes to our commitment to ensuring that young people in this province get to live an active life and are committed to carrying that throughout their life. You can see that reflected in the after-school programs. You can see that reflected in our commitment to the Pan Am Games. You can see it reflected in our trails strategy, which will link our trails right across this great province. You can see it reflected in so many different elements here—in our nutritional policies at school boards. This is a government, and a Premier, that is committed to ensuring that young people have opportunity and that there is opportunity for all. I see this as one of those projects that contribute to doing just that.
Mrs. Cristina Martins: Thank you.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): You have just one minute left on your clock.
Hon. Michael Coteau: You know what? I would like to just continue a bit here, because there is some additional information that I’d like to contribute to the discussion because I know you’re very interested in this file. We have approximately 20,000 children and youth who receive after-school programming from our ministry. We have 130 organizations that are part of this project at over 430 sites. It is delivered at schools, at YMCAs, Boys and Girls Clubs, churches and community centres. It provides healthy snacks to young people.
The young kids get to participate in at least 162 minutes of physical activity per week as part of the program, so they’re learning and they’re actually actively living. Over 80% of the program participants report increased knowledge of the importance of physical activity, healthy eating and personal health and wellness.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Thank you, Minister. We’ll turn it over to the official opposition, to Mr. Harris. Twenty minutes, last round.
Mr. Michael Harris: Thank you, Ms. Forster.
Good morning, Minister. How are you doing?
Hon. Michael Coteau: I’m good. I can keep talking about the great programs—
Mr. Michael Harris: No; save that for their next 20.
A lot of focus this morning has been on that additional $74 million that was doled out. I know I’m getting questions in my constituency, and I’m happy to be here today to ask you, directly, questions pertaining to that. I will ask you, though—you’ve claimed that the latest extension comes with $45 million in savings, making the latest actual increase only $29 million. Is that correct?
Hon. Michael Coteau: Correct.
Mr. Michael Harris: Okay. In that apparent $45 million in savings you detail in the September 20 forecast—“has seen a reduction in money for satellite villages.” I’m just referring to slide 5. It talks about the budget categories. I’m sure you have a copy of this—“increased number of satellite villages.” My question to you is, how can they claim a savings on satellite villages, and then dedicate more funding for satellite villages?
Hon. Michael Coteau: I’m going to let the deputy go into some details with those numbers, but I just want to weigh in on the issue overall when it comes to the $74 million.
Mr. Michael Harris: Well, I—okay.
Hon. Michael Coteau: You know what?
Mr. Michael Harris: Go ahead.
Hon. Michael Coteau: The deputy will go right away, yes. Go ahead.
Mr. Steven Davidson: Sure. On the satellite villages, just very simply, when we reported out at the March technical brief, at that time we hadn’t landed on a firm decision as to whether that would be a TO2015 responsibility or a provincial government responsibility, so we showed a projected pressure of $6 million at that time. Since then, in last week’s technical brief, what we reflected was the decision that has been taken, which is that this is a TO2015 responsibility, so the province is no longer showing that as a pressure against our books. Instead, the cost of that is included within the $74 million that is now being transferred to TO2015. It’s included within TO2015’s additional $74 million.
Mr. Michael Harris: In your September 23, 2014 briefing, you include additional funds for satellite villages.
Mr. Steven Davidson: We show, actually, a decrease in the provincial cost, if you’re looking at the table in that September 23rd deck. For just full transparency, where we had $6 million we just showed it as a decrease of $6 million against the province.
Mr. Michael Harris: All right. There are three satellite villages, I believe. Were they in Innisfil, Hamilton and St. Catharines? Are those new initiatives, the three?
Mr. Steven Davidson: There are actually five satellite villages being planned, and I can give you the locations.
Mr. Michael Harris: I’m just curious as to why those three in Innisfil, Hamilton and St. Catharines were never really included in the original budget.
Hon. Michael Coteau: I asked the same question around the Hamilton satellite village. The way it was explained to me is that Hamilton is exclusively going to be for soccer. They’re going to have a very high-profile sporting event there.
The original plan was to move the athletes back and forth. According to PASO, the organizing committee, and other people who are experts at delivering these types of games, to transfer athletes from Toronto to Hamilton every single day for that specific sport is not good for the athletes, so it was better for us to use the existing facilities. I think one of the ideas is to use McMaster University dormitories as the satellite, so it’s not like we’re building something from scratch. They’ll be using that facility. It’s really about accommodating the athletes and making sure that they’re not on a bus.
On one hand, we get questions around how we are going to minimize traffic; this is a perfect example of making sure that the athletes are accommodated, that we’re not adding to traffic, and that the athletes are in top condition to participate.
Mr. Michael Harris: So my question was why they were never really included in the original budget, then.
Mr. Steven Davidson: I can actually clarify. The St. Catharines one was. It was always anticipated that there would be a need for satellite villages. The St. Catharines one was specifically identified in the bid, I’m advised; the other four were not. Those have been, as the minister has described, the result of more detailed planning.
Mr. Michael Harris: For months, the TO2015 website read, “Outside the host city, athletes will also be housed in four satellite accommodations nearer their competition venues.” In addition, a December 13, 2013, Toronto Star article lists four satellite villages: in St. Catharines, Caledon, Minden and Nottawasaga.
Minister, are any of these four originally planned villages being implemented, or only the three mentioned in September 2014? But I guess you’re saying now it’s five.
Mr. Steven Davidson: With Hamilton.
Hon. Michael Coteau: The fifth with Hamilton, yes.
Mr. Michael Harris: All right. St. Catharines was in both the original set of satellite villages and in the apparently new satellite villages that require increased funding. Would you admit that this is not an increased number of satellite villages; rather just an inability to follow through on their original plans?
Hon. Michael Coteau: I brought up the fact around the Hamilton site. Is it the expectation of athletes and the 40 countries that will be visiting us to put their athletes on a bus for a couple of hours a day, or does it make sense having our athletes use the dormitories, in the Hamilton example, to actually stay there right next to where they’re playing? I think it’s common sense.
Mr. Michael Harris: Speaking of Hamilton, a July 10, 2014, CBC article details TO2015 spokesperson Teddy Katz discussing Hamilton as a possible satellite village venue, which you confirmed on September 23, of course. That same article reads, “Renting out McMaster or Mohawk … would also negate any ‘legacy’ component—a hallmark of selling the huge public cost of hosting the games.”
Minister, is the over $20 million set aside for legacy in the 2014-15 estimates solely for the city of Toronto? And really, what will the satellite village in St. Catharines leave?
Hon. Michael Coteau: The assistant deputy minister just gave a presentation on the legacy items for these games. But if you talk about legacy, there’s the volunteer component to it. We’re going to leverage these games to connect the trails across Ontario, so for the first time in the history of this province, you’ll be able to use the trail system from Windsor all the way to Ottawa. That’s part of the legacy item of these games. That’s the legacy, and it will be for all Ontarians, not just specifically Toronto.
I think it goes back to our original decision to make sure that the 60 municipalities are included. There are events, you were just saying, in St. Catharines, in Hamilton, in the Durham region. This is about highlighting and promoting the region versus Toronto, so we were very conscious in making that decision early on.
Mr. Michael Harris: All right. I know that there was a bit of discussion today on transportation. With your apparent $45 million in savings found in September 2014, you claimed a $29-million savings on transportation—
Hon. Michael Coteau: Can I just—I’m sorry; just a bit of a correction: You may be referring to the city of Toronto’s legacy project, because there’s different legacy—
Mr. Michael Harris: I guess I was curious on why you would include—is renting rooms really a legacy?
Hon. Michael Coteau: We have an Ontario legacy that’s put on by the government, and other municipalities are spending their own money to promote the games. One of the Toronto contributions is a $20-million legacy fund that the city of Toronto has established itself. I just want to be clear there.
Mr. Michael Harris: Thank you for your clarity. Back to the transportation aspect of it: You’ve claimed your apparent $45 million in savings, found in September 2014; you claim a $29-million savings on transportation. Then you turn around and state that a portion of the new $74 million is going to costs for bus and fleet vehicles based on revised estimations of sport and transportation requirements.
I guess I’m confused here on how you folks have come up with the fact that—this is not a savings if you actually have to pay more.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Transportation obviously is the responsibility of the Ministry of Transportation, but moving people around during the games—so the Ministry of Transportation will coordinate the patterns and how they affect the grid as a whole: putting in HOV lanes, making sure of the way in which traffic flows, encouraging people to stay home and maybe work from satellite locations. That type of stuff is developed through the Ministry of Transportation.
Mr. Michael Harris: Yes, I know. I understand that—
Hon. Michael Coteau: The other piece: TO2015 is responsible for moving the athletes around, so there are two different transportation pockets.
Mr. Michael Harris: Again, on your page 6 here, budget savings and offsets, it talks about reductions in anticipated games transportation and municipal services costs, and then it goes on, on page 5, details of additional requirements for games delivery, that there are additional costs for bus and fleet vehicles based on revised estimations of sport and transportation requirements. On one end, you have savings—
Hon. Michael Coteau: I’ll let the deputy weigh in on that, but like I said, one is the Ministry of Transportation, when it comes to transportation from a provincial perspective and the system, and one is transportation for moving things around: equipment and people. But the deputy would like to weigh in on this.
Mr. Steven Davidson: Yes, it’s exactly as the minister has described. The savings identified on page 6 are savings in the provincial transportation budget. We were able to deploy those savings against the $74-million grant to TO2015 to mitigate the impact on the government’s fiscal plan—
Mr. Michael Harris: There’s some creative accounting going on over there.
I guess my next question would be, what exactly are these new costs for bus and fleet vehicles? How many buses and how many fleet vehicles will you actually require?
Hon. Michael Coteau: We’re going to bring someone in to talk about these details.
Mr. Steven Davidson: Nancy Mudrinic joins us; she’s the assistant deputy minister responsible for financial oversight and risk management in the secretariat.
Mr. Michael Harris: Good morning, Nancy.
Mr. Steven Davidson: A word on the process: We, as you can imagine, have gone through, line by line, breaking down the $74-million request with TO2015. I’ll turn it over to Nancy to talk about information we’ve received from TO2015 about that specifically.
Ms. Nancy Mudrinic: The additional funding required by Toronto 2015 for their transportation amounts breaks down in a couple of categories of transportation. Some of it is for bus and fleet vehicles, based on the estimates of moving people around—
Mr. Michael Harris: What were the numbers, specifically, on how many buses and vehicles will be required?
Ms. Nancy Mudrinic: Well, the exact number of buses and vehicles—I don’t have that information here—
Mr. Michael Harris: Is there an estimate?
Ms. Nancy Mudrinic: I don’t have that information right now. I’ll have to get back to you if you want that detail.
So it includes funding for that. It also includes some funding for staff, as well, to assist in the bus and fleet vehicle operation, including cleaning of busing, managing the bus depot; things like that that were originally anticipated to be supported through volunteer assistance. But through further planning work, it was a more effective and operationally efficient way to bring on additional staff members to manage the fleet operations—setting up the fleet depot, as well, where the buses will come in and out, be stored in the evenings and managed to go out to pick up the athletes, whether it’s at the village or venues, and transport them back and forth according to the schedule for the games, as well.
Mr. Michael Harris: Sorry to interrupt, but I want to stick to the transportation piece of it. I’ve got a Toronto Star article—again, we thank the Toronto Star. In a December 13, 2013, article, Irene Kerr, then TO2015’s vice-president in charge of transportation and logistics, estimated that 375 buses and 1,000 cars would be needed to transport athletes, coaches, VIPs and the media. They knew that cost since 2013, yet they didn’t budget for it. Why not?
Ms. Nancy Mudrinic: This is their final refinement. It’s 2014, so they were planning on a certain amount, and the planning changes over the course of time, that they manage from within their budget.
As far as the last bit of operational planning, this $74-million request included refinements on operational details. They requested some additional assistance in those categories—
Mr. Michael Harris: You’ve asked for more money from the government because costs for bus and fleet vehicles, based on revised estimations of sport and transportation requirements, have increased, yet you’re not even sure how many vehicles you’re actually going to need—
Hon. Michael Coteau: Let me answer that question—
Mr. Michael Harris: —but in 2013, you did.
Hon. Michael Coteau: There are many different examples of what the $74 million—you can pick and go into specific details, and we can get you details. But I think the big picture is this: There was a shortfall in projected sponsorship revenue, which we’ve addressed in the $74 million. For example, when they were planning those bids back in 2008, when they were putting out a bid for the basketball court for non-para-sport athletes, they didn’t consider—and I would say if you’re putting a bid together, there is so much complexity. The fact that they didn’t realize that the floor for para-athletes playing basketball is a different basketball floor—
Mr. Michael Harris: I got you on that.
Hon. Michael Coteau: So there’s things like that that come up.
Mr. Michael Harris: Sure.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Security, obviously, for example—and other security costs: covering the security of equipment—
Mr. Michael Harris: I appreciate that, Minister. I want to focus on—
Hon. Michael Coteau: There are so many of these things that just continue to add on.
Mr. Michael Harris: I just want to focus on transportation, because I think the big picture for Ontarians is the fact that there’s a group of people who have been assembled, experts in the field making a lot of money, government resources being put into this. I asked a simple question about how many buses and cars are going to be needed. They obviously had an estimate to build a cost into the budget. They’re asking for more money, yet they’re not able to tell me how many actual vehicles they’re going to need. Ontarians see you asking for more money; you’re doling it out. “Where is it all going?” is the big question.
We’ll move on from that, but I do hope that you can get back to me with the actual number.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Just to be clear, you want to know how many buses are going to be at the Pan Am Games?
Mr. Michael Harris: Buses and cars.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Buses and cars. So you want to know how many buses and cars are going to be at the Pan Am Games.
Mr. Michael Harris: On December 13, 2013, your vice-president said there would be 375 buses and 1,000 cars. Based on that estimate, you’ve come back and said, “We need more money because we need more buses and cars.” So I’m assuming that number has gone up. You should have an idea—if I’m the government, and you’re asking for $74 million more because you need more buses and cars, you should be able to give that number. Obviously, it’s going to be higher than 375 and 1,000.
Hon. Michael Coteau: So do you want to talk about that, because—
Mr. Michael Harris: But just wait. The contradictions in savings and increased funding, they continue, Minister. In the latest technical briefing, you claim—
Hon. Michael Coteau: We can give you information about the transportation. We’ve got another example of how costs can change, not based on—
Mr. Michael Harris: Well, just wait. I want to get this one out, because I’ve got a few minutes left. Sorry.
Hon. Michael Coteau: But not based on—
Mr. Michael Harris: I’ve been good with you.
Hon. Michael Coteau: Yes, you have.
Mr. Michael Harris: So if you don’t mind, I want to get back here. You talk about the $45 million in savings as savings and efficiencies in the delivery of provincial promotion, celebration and legacy initiatives. Then you turn around and ask for an additional $20.5 million under revenue, marketing and ceremonies, with a portion going to “expanding the marketing and communication program to promote the games.”
How can you save money on promotions and increase spending for promotions at the same time? That’s basically on page 6; it’s right there, the second—
Hon. Michael Coteau: The additional money that’s going to promotion and broadcasting—this will be the first time in the history of the para-sport component of the Pan Am Games where they’re going to have a full broadcast of the para-sports on CBC. We’re proud in Ontario that we’ve put the same amount of resources to ensure that our para-athletes are kept at the same level as our non-para-athletes. We’re proud of that, and it will cost additional money, but we’re proud of that decision and we’ll defend that decision.
Mr. Michael Harris: There’s a third one. I only have two minutes left, and I know perhaps the media will want to follow up on some of these questions to perhaps get a clearer answer. But there is a third one.
As part of that $45 million in savings, you say “reduced provincial-games-related staffing costs.” Then you say that you’ve given TO2015 more money to help pay for staffing for areas where there are anticipated shortfalls in volunteer experience. So I’m just curious on what, really, it is. Is there a savings on staffing or are there extra costs on staffing?
Hon. Michael Coteau: The deputy will take this.
Mr. Steven Davidson: The staff savings were administrative savings that we found within the government secretariat, so staff savings on our side which are helping offset the increased investment in TO2015’s operating costs. Basically, we shrunk the operating, foot costs of the secretariat within the government.
Mr. Michael Harris: Todd, I don’t know if you had a few lingering things from before.
Mr. Todd Smith: Yes. I mean, Michael has brought up some good points.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): You have about 30 seconds.
Mr. Todd Smith: I would just wrap up by saying that I sincerely worry about some of the statements that the minister has made here today. I almost am afraid for him, because he’s painted himself into a very precarious situation. He has stated that there’s not going to be any more money spent on the Pan Am Games, at least not by his government—
Hon. Michael Coteau: What I did say was that the TO2015—
Mr. Todd Smith: —yet I think we’re seeing example after example that it is going to cost more. I’m worried about some of the statements that he’s made today.
Hon. Michael Coteau: I need to ensure that what he’s saying is reflective of what I’ve actually said. He asked me if more money would go to TO2015 for operation. I said, “Absolutely no.” I was very clear with that.
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): Thanks very much. We’re out of time, but we do have a housekeeping issue that the committee needs to deal with.
We’ve exhausted three hours and 20 minutes of the five hours that are allotted to the review of estimates of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport today. Tomorrow we will begin the meeting with the third party’s 20-minute rotation, which will leave us with just over 30 minutes for the consideration of the Ministry of Infrastructure at the end of our hour and 40 minutes.
So does the committee wish to call the Ministry of Infrastructure for roughly 30 minutes tomorrow, or would you like to start with a new ministry the following Tuesday?
The Chair (Ms. Cindy Forster): The following Tuesday, everyone? Okay. So we’re going to adjourn now until 9 a.m. on Wednesday, October 1, 2014.
The committee adjourned at 1230.
Tuesday 30 September 2014
Election of Chair E-1
Election of Vice-Chair E-1
Appointment of subcommittee E-1
Order of business E-1
Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport E-2
Hon. Michael Coteau
Mr. Steven Davidson
Mr. Steve Harlow
Mr. Kevin Finnerty
Ms. Nancy Mudrinic
STANDING COMMITTEE ON ESTIMATES
Chair / Présidente
Ms. Cindy Forster (Welland ND)
Vice-Chair / Vice-Présidente
Miss Monique Taylor (Hamilton Mountain ND)
Mr. Bas Balkissoon (Scarborough–Rouge River L)
Mr. Chris Ballard (Newmarket–Aurora L)
Mr. Grant Crack (Glengarry–Prescott–Russell L)
Mr. Han Dong (Trinity–Spadina L)
Ms. Cindy Forster (Welland ND)
Mr. Michael Harris (Kitchener–Conestoga PC)
Mr. Randy Hillier (Lanark–Frontenac–Lennox and Addington PC)
Ms. Sophie Kiwala (Kingston and the Islands / Kingston et les Îles L)
Miss Monique Taylor (Hamilton Mountain ND)
Substitutions / Membres remplaçants
Mrs. Cristina Martins (Davenport L)
Mrs. Kathryn McGarry (Cambridge L)
Mr. Paul Miller (Hamilton East–Stoney Creek / Hamilton-Est–Stoney Creek ND)
Also taking part / Autres participants et participantes
Mr. Todd Smith (Prince Edward–Hastings PC)
Clerk / Greffier
Mr. Katch Koch
Staff / Personnel
Ms. Anne Marzalik, research officer,