STANDING COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC ACCOUNTS
COMITÉ PERMANENT DES COMPTES PUBLICS
Wednesday 22 October 2014 Mercredi 22 octobre 2014
The committee met at 0901 in room 151.
Election of Chair
The Clerk of the Committee (Mr. William Short): Good morning, honourable members. It’s my duty to call upon you to elect a Chair. Are there any nominations? Ms. MacLeod?
Ms. Lisa MacLeod: I would love to nominate Ernie Hardeman, MPP for Oxford.
The Clerk of the Committee (Mr. William Short): Are there any further nominations? Seeing none, I declare the nominations closed and Mr. Hardeman elected Chair of the committee.
The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): Thank you very much. That’s the easiest election I’ve gone through for some time. We didn’t even have time to hear about the rules of engagement before we had it all finished. Thank you to the members.
Election of Vice-Chair
The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): My first duty is to conduct a procedure to elect the Vice-Chair. Are there any motions for a Vice-Chair?
Mr. Percy Hatfield: I’d like to nominate Ms. MacLeod.
Ms. Lisa MacLeod: Accepted.
The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): We have a motion to nominate. Any further nominations for Vice-Chair? If not, we’ll close nominations and we’ll declare Ms. MacLeod as the Vice-Chair.
Appointment of subcommittee
The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): We now have a motion to appoint a subcommittee. Mr. Rinaldi?
Mr. Lou Rinaldi: Yes. Thank you, Chair, and congratulations. I’m sure you’ll do a fine job, as usual.
The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): Thank you.
Mr. Lou Rinaldi: 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. Fraser, Ms. MacLeod and Mr. Hatfield; and
That substitution be permitted for the subcommittee.
The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): Thank you very much.
You’ve heard the motion. Any discussion? If there’s no discussion, we’ll call the question. All those in favour? Opposed? Carried.
Special Report, Auditor General: Ornge Air Ambulance and Related Services
The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): I’ve just been told by the Clerk that we have a couple of motions that we wish to put forward before we proceed with the rest of the meeting. Mr. Fraser?
Mr. John Fraser: I’d like to put forward a motion. I think the Clerk has it.
I move that the documents adopted by the Standing Committee on Public Accounts on Wednesday, April 30, 2014, as the committee’s Report on Ornge Air Ambulance and Related Services: Summary Report be re-adopted; that the report be bilingual; and that the Chair present the report to the House once the report has been printed.
The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): Just before we start the debate, we’ll have a copy of the motion passed out to everyone.
Mr. John Fraser: Okay.
The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): Everyone has a copy of the motion, so we’ll open it up to any questions or comments.
Mr. John Fraser: I’d just like to say, Mr. Chair, that it’s important that we get this report out. I know the report has been written and I realize that it does need to be printed to be tabled in the Legislature—it should be in both official languages, in keeping with what we do with all our reports—and that we get that printed in both languages and tabled as expeditiously as we possibly can. Thank you.
The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): Further discussion? Mr. Hatfield.
Mr. Percy Hatfield: Thank you, Chair. I’m new to the committee and new to the process. I’m just wondering: What is the normal time for the printing of such a report? It has been around for a while, but how long will it take to be printed and presented to the House?
The Clerk of the Committee (Mr. William Short): I won’t stop all the debate, but just a couple of things: It would take maybe three to four days, depending on the backlog at the printer, once we got everything put together. There would be a couple of other administrative things that we would have to discuss, depending on the outcome of the motion. I could give you an update on all of that once we’re finished debating the motion and depending on the outcome of the motion.
The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): I think, from the writing of the motion, obviously the vote that we’re discussing here will be the final dealings that this committee has with the report. As the Clerk mentioned, we won’t know exactly when it will be presented, but it would not be back here for further discussion or for anything else. This would direct it to be tabled when the translation was finished.
Mr. Percy Hatfield: I just didn’t know whether it was going to take months or weeks or days; that’s all.
The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): Mr. Potts?
Mr. Arthur Potts: Thank you, Mr. Chair. I’m delighted to hear Percy say that he’s new to this process. I certainly reflect that as well, and I’m trying to get up to speed. I think it’s very important that we get this document out. I’m delighted; it’s in keeping with what the Premier was saying in the House yesterday: that she wants to leave these decisions up to committees. This is the first opportunity for this committee to meet. We have carriage of this report. I think we’re doing the right thing as part of our commitment to be open and accountable.
I think it’s also very important that we know that this document has been out in the public already. This is not about getting the information out; it has been out. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been out in both official languages, and the version that was released was a version related to the last session of Parliament. This document now has to be updated related to this session of the Parliament, which is obviously very important. From my perspective, it’s important that if my name is going on this document, I’d like to see it. This will give me time to see it, and we’ll move forward with that in due course.
I’m delighted that the committee, in its first opportunity, is doing exactly what we said we’d do. It would have happened a lot earlier had we not gone through the process that, fortunately, brought me to this House.
The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): Thank you. Ms. MacLeod.
Ms. Lisa MacLeod: Thanks very much. I appreciate Mr. Fraser bringing this motion forward. In fact, I think either myself or Mr. Hatfield probably would have brought something forward as well very similar to this.
I think it’s key and important that this report is not only made public, as I guess it was during the campaign, but that it receives the full backing of this committee and is released in the Ontario Legislature, on the floor of the assembly.
I want, though, to have a commitment from Mr. Fraser that this will not be edited in any way, shape or form, that it will be the document that was adopted, as you’ve said, and that we do bring this back to committee at the very earliest to go through it and ensure that the Chair can release it as soon as possible. I just wanted clarification.
Mr. John Fraser: I don’t know. I think that it would be by the committee. I think we’re going to be briefed on this this afternoon. Would that be this afternoon, once we get through—can I ask that question? We’ll be briefed on that report?
The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): That will be later this morning after we deal with this motion.
Mr. John Fraser: Yes, so that report would not be changed. To my understanding, that would be something that would happen in the committee. It’s not a plan on this side of the table to make any changes—
Ms. Lisa MacLeod: To rewrite it.
Mr. John Fraser: Yes, to rewrite the report, or anything like that. No.
It’s really just to get the report out there, to do it in a way that’s—I know it has been released publicly. The way that we do things here is, when we do a report, we table it in the Legislature, and we print in both official languages. Let’s just get that done.
Ms. Lisa MacLeod: So to finish my comment: On behalf of the official opposition, we will support this motion. We would encourage that this be done as quickly as possible, and that it is made available to all members of the Legislative Assembly and the public. I appreciate the spirit in which the motion was delivered today.
The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): Yes. Ms. Lalonde?
Mme Marie-France Lalonde: Juste pour représenter les Franco-Ontariens ici dans la belle province de l’Ontario, je voudrais vous remercier pour votre appui pour cette motion qu’on présente aujourd’hui parce qu’il est très important que ce soit fait de la bonne façon ici en Ontario dans les deux langues officielles. Donc, merci beaucoup.
The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): Mr. Hatfield.
Mr. Percy Hatfield: Just if I could clarify, Ms. MacLeod said that the report goes out, comes back to the committee, then goes to the House. Does it indeed come back and we discuss it here or—because we’re going to talk about it later today. The original report, once it’s printed, it goes to you or to the House?
The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): What happens with the report would have to be decided after this motion is voted on.
Mr. Percy Hatfield: Okay.
The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): If this motion is not passed, all that would become irrelevant. It would follow the process that’s mentioned in the motion.
Mr. Percy Hatfield: Thank you. I’ll just very briefly say thank you for doing this. As Ms. MacLeod said, either she or myself would have suggested a similar motion because we think the timing is right for this to happen. You’ll have the support from this end of the table as well.
The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): Further comment? If there’s no further comment, then I’ll call the question.
All those in favour of the motion? All those opposed? I declare the motion carried.
As was just mentioned by the Clerk, obviously the next part of our committee hearing is the briefing from the Clerk, the Auditor General and legislative research about how the process works and so forth. We can deal with this motion as to where it goes from here in that, or, if the committee wishes, we can decide that now. It might be more beneficial for the committee to have those briefings before we deal with how we move forward with this. If that’s the committee’s wish, that’s the direction we would go.
With that, thank you all again, and we go in camera to do that—or it’s the committee’s choice. Do you want that in camera? Generally, this committee usually does that type of discussion in camera, but it’s the committee’s will.
Mr. Lou Rinaldi: Chair, just for clarification, if the next part of our meeting is to discuss how this committee’s going to work, I’m not so sure that should be a closed session. But if we’re talking about the closed session to review the report, then that part in camera. But I think for—because I’m new to this committee. I’ve never sat on this committee before.
The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): Our purpose for putting this forward in a closed session was to have the staff of the committee be able to explain the intricacies of what is before the committee, what is not before the committee. The reason for the in camera session is usually because there are times when staff is going to give part of the presentation as their opinion rather than the opinion of the committee. It’s generally considered more appropriate and a better educational process, then, if you do it in camera.
Mr. Lou Rinaldi: Yes, sure, let’s do that.
The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): Okay, so that’s the reason for it. But this committee has to make the decision on whether you want to move to do it in camera or whether you want to do it openly. We’re open for direction from the committee.
Mr. John Fraser: Let’s go in camera. That’s what we want.
The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): Okay. We have a motion to go in camera.
All those in favour? Opposed? Carried.
The committee continued in closed session at 0914 and resumed 1406.
The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): We call the committee back to order. Pursuant to the motion that was passed earlier this morning, before we went in camera, we have a number of items that we have to deal with—the report. To vote on it we need unanimous consent that the committee agrees to the following—and we’ll just put them in the list and we will vote on each one individually.
Mr. Lou Rinaldi: Should we come out of closed session?
The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): I just did, yes.
Mr. Lou Rinaldi: Okay, you did? Sorry, I didn’t hear you.
The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): Yes. When I called the committee to order, it was in open session, and that has something to do with Hansard now sitting and recording it.
The first thing is, as we dealt with it this morning, the motion to deal with this report. The question, the first one, is that the report be printed bilingually. All those in favour? Opposed? The motion is carried.
Number two: That the Chair be authorized to have the final sign-off on the report. As was mentioned by the Clerk, the front pages and a couple of other pages have to be changed. There’s nothing else in the report, I think, significantly, so we need authority for the Chair to sign off on it as a final report. All those in favour? Opposed? The motion is carried.
That the report be tabled in the House: All those in favour? Opposed? Carried.
That the Chair be authorized to present and move the report to be adopted: Any debate? All those in favour? Opposed? Carried.
That, pursuant to standing order 32(d), the committee requests a comprehensive response: Debate? All those in favour?
Mr. Percy Hatfield: Who is that response from?
The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): From the ministry.
Mr. Percy Hatfield: From the ministry.
The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): The responses in all the cases where there is a response requested in the report must be comprehensive. They must deal with all those and respond back in 120 days.
Any further debate? If not, all those in favour? Opposed? The motion is carried.
That concludes that, so the report on Ornge is in the mix to be approved and sent to the Legislature.
Mr. Lou Rinaldi: Chair?
The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): Yes.
Mr. Lou Rinaldi: Do we need to at least estimate a time frame?
The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): Which?
Mr. Arthur Potts: The response is 120 days.
Mr. Lou Rinaldi: No, I’m talking about for it to be printed and free to be presented to the House.
The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): My understanding from the Clerk is that it will be late next week.
Mr. Lou Rinaldi: Okay, thank you.
The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): Hopefully. That’s approximately. It might be an extra week, but the translation is already completed. It just needs to be reprinted.
Mr. Lou Rinaldi: Perfect. Thank you.
The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): With that, I think that concludes what we need to do in the public meeting. We have a motion to go back in camera to finish our agenda discussion. All in favour? Opposed, if any? Carried.
The committee continued in closed session at 1410.
Wednesday 22 October 2014
Election of Chair P-1
Election of Vice-Chair P-1
Appointment of subcommittee P-1
Special Report, Auditor General: Ornge Air Ambulance and Related Services P-1
STANDING COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC ACCOUNTS
Chair / Président
Mr. Ernie Hardeman (Oxford PC)
Vice-Chair / Vice-Présidente
Ms. Lisa MacLeod (Nepean–Carleton PC)
Mr. Han Dong (Trinity–Spadina L)
Mr. John Fraser (Ottawa South L)
Mr. Ernie Hardeman (Oxford PC)
Mr. Percy Hatfield (Windsor–Tecumseh ND)
Ms. Lisa MacLeod (Nepean–Carleton PC)
Ms. Harinder Malhi (Brampton–Springdale L)
Mrs. Julia Munro (York–Simcoe PC)
Mr. Arthur Potts (Beaches–East York L)
Mr. Lou Rinaldi (Northumberland–Quinte West L)
Substitutions / Membres remplaçants
Mrs. Marie-France Lalonde (Ottawa–Orléans L)
Also taking part / Autres participants et participantes
Ms. Bonnie Lysyk, Auditor General
Clerk / Greffier
Mr. William Short
Staff / Personnel
Mr. Ian Morris, research officer,
Ms. Erica Simmons, research officer,