Thursday 19 November 1992

London-Middlesex Act, 1992, Bill 75

West Nissouri Ratepayers

Crispin Colvin, representative

London and St Thomas Real Estate Board

Nancy McCann, chairperson, political action committee

Citizens Against Annexation

Caroline Murray, member

Jay Burtwistle, member

Neil McRae, member

Susan Grieve, member

Doris Bond; Tom Grieve; Douglas Stanlake

Ontario Federation of Agriculture

Roger George, president

Wendy Lenders, private citizen

Carl H. Sulliman, chief executive officer

Hugh Fletcher, private citizen

University of Western Ontario

Dr Andrew Sancton, professor of political science

Joe Swan, councillor, City of London

Thames Region Ecological Association

Sandy Levin, representative


Philip Rubinoff, representative

George Knowles, representative

The Particular Convenanted Baptist Church of Christ in Canada

J. Stewart McColl, elder


*Chair / Président: Hansen, Ron (Lincoln ND)

*Vice-Chair / Vice-Président: Sutherland, Kimble (Oxford ND)

*Caplan, Elinor (Oriole L)

*Carr, Gary (Oakville South/-Sud PC)

Christopherson, David (Hamilton Centre ND)

Jamison, Norm (Norfolk ND)

Kwinter, Monte (Wilson Heights L)

Phillips, Gerry (Scarborough-Agincourt L)

Sterling, Norman W. (Carleton PC)

Ward, Brad (Brantford ND)

Ward, Margery (Don Mills ND)

Wiseman, Jim (Durham West/-Ouest ND)

Substitutions / Membres remplaçants:

*Cooper, Mike (Kitchener-Wilmot ND) for Mr Ward

*Eddy, Ron (Brant-Haldimand L) for Mr Phillips

*Ferguson, Will, (Kitchener ND) for Mr Christopherson

*Grandmaître, Bernard (Ottawa East/-Est L) for Mr Kwinter

*Harrington, Margaret H. (Niagara Falls ND) for Mr Sutherland

*Mathyssen, Irene (Middlesex ND) for Mr Jamison

*Mills, Gordon (Durham East/-Est ND) for Mr Wiseman

*Winninger, David (London South/-Sud ND) for Ms Ward

*In attendance / présents

Also taking part / Autres participants et participantes:

Cunningham, Dianne (London North/-Nord PC)

Mills, Gordon, parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Municipal Affairs

Clerk / Greffier: Decker, Todd

Staff / Personnel: Campbell, Elaine, research officer, Legislative Research Service

The committee met at 1007 in committee room 1.


Resuming consideration of Bill 75, An Act respecting Annexations to the City of London and to certain municipalities in the County of Middlesex / Loi concernant les annexions faites à la cité de London et à certaines municipalités du comté de Middlesex.

The Chair (Mr Ron Hansen): Good morning. Welcome to the standing committee on finance and economic affairs; today, Thursday, November 19, 1992, Bill 75, An Act respecting Annexations to the City of London and to certain municipalities in the County of Middlesex. We have nine different groups coming forward today. This will be our last day of hearings.


The Chair: The first group we have coming forward is the West Nissouri Ratepayers. Would they come forward, please. Sir, would you like to identify yourself for the purposes of Hansard. We have until shortly after 10:30. After your presentation, leave some time for questions from the members of the committee, please. You may begin.

Mr Crispin Colvin: My name is Crispin Colvin, resident of West Nissouri township in the county of Middlesex.

I would ask this committee to consider the following regarding the fate of West Nissouri if Bill 75 comes into full effect. I would also ask the committee to urge the implementation of these reasonable alternative proposals.

The area of West Nissouri to be annexed represents approximately 4% of the township. The tax loss represents 40%, approximately. This raises doubts about Minister Cooke's statement that no municipality shall be hurt by this annexation. I therefore urge you, members of this committee, to heed this concern and to make the necessary adjustments, while noting that senior ministry staff have suggested that no changes will be made at this point by this committee. If this is actually the case, we are wasting both time and taxpayers' money on a charade. I trust this is not the case.

West Nissouri, under the current legislation, will be forced out of existence due to bankruptcy. The fallout of such devastation would result in the loss of community identity and spirit, job losses for municipal employees, a decline in local government efficiency, a loss of service levels, and escalation of costs due to a larger and more inefficient bureaucracy, as well as the loss of future programs, services and potential local development that can be more effectively delivered under the current municipal structure.

This demise of West Nissouri would be not unlike the loss you would feel if your riding were dissolved at the next election. The loss of representation, the services you offer and the efficient delivery of those services to your constituents would be lost.

If you allow the city of London to take over the lifeblood of West Nissouri, the airport lands and the businesses associated with it, then you will be allowing the city to remove approximately 40% of the township's tax base. This cannot be replaced within a 5-to-10-year period but would in fact require several decades of development, all on full services, as required in the township's official plan. This would require substantial funding which the municipality does not have, nor will it have under the current compensation proposals.

In order for the the township to remain viable, the airport lands and the associated businesses therein must remain as they are now, an integral and necessary part of West Nissouri. The majority of the operating capital for the township is derived from the airport lands. This has allowed the municipality to remain agricultural, with little need for commercial or residential development.

Ministry staff feel that the only problem appears to be the federal grant in lieu of taxes. This is not the case. Certainly the federal grant is important, but no less important are the revenues generated from the businesses and residential properties within the proposed annexed area. This point appears to have been lost on ministry staff.

The minister has stated that no municipality will suffer from this annexation. There is no doubt that West Nissouri will suffer: effective January 1, 1993, our township will have lost almost half of its tax base, and in return we will receive a proposed compensation package that is inadequate to fill the gap created. A further erosion of this compensation will occur when West Nissouri will be forced to pay the city for assets to which it has no just claim under the 40-year-old Cummings principle.

If annexation is to have no financial impact, compensation should reflect assessment loss and asset loss recovery. This could be done by a minister's order. If the disposition of assets and liabilities relies entirely on the Cummings principle, then West Nissouri will lose approximately 20% of all the municipality's assets. According to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, calculations for the Cummings principle is based on assessment.

Since the city of London has no interest in our physical assets, it will take a cash-in-lieu settlement. The net result will be that West Nissouri will have a loss of compensation rather than zero impact, as the minister has stated. If the minister is truly interested in having West Nissouri remain viable beyond the current five-year time frame that is proposed, then this committee, the government, the minister and his staff must look at alternative proposals.

One such proposal is shared services. Some would argue that shared services do not work. This would at best be a statement from an uninformed source. Shared services do work and in fact have been in place in West Nissouri for many years. The airport receives both sewer and water service from the city of London. Ideally, the lands surrounding the airport should be left as they are now to produce the food that you and all Ontarians require. This would further alleviate another concern brought to world attention not so very long ago.

We can all remember the tragedy of the El Al cargo plane crashing in Amsterdam. The same fate could befall a number of Canadian cities due to the proximity of businesses and residences to the airports. London is in the enviable position of being able to avoid a tragedy of this magnitude. To leave the land surrounding the airport in a state of agricultural production is a far greater and safer use of the land with less opportunity for disaster.

Such problems as noise created by the arrival and departure of aircraft is non-existent if the land were to be left in agricultural production. Once this land is developed and engulfed by a larger city with an insatiable appetite, discontent and complaints will appear that do not now exist. Noise abatement laws will be required, more emergency response and planning will be needed and the need for an airport curfew -- currently one of the airport's main attractions -- will be a requirement.

Should development be perceived as a greater need than food production, then the township of West Nissouri should be permitted to work in cooperation with the city of London to ensure proper and controlled development of airport lands within the township. This would ensure mutual respect, currently lacking under annexation. This could be accomplished, as it is now, with shared services.

The city of London had reached agreements with neighbouring municipalities prior to the appointment of an arbitrator. One of these agreements was for shared services, and one with West Nissouri in which the city indicated that it was no longer interested in any part of the municipality. Minister Cooke put West Nissouri and the airport lands on the table.

If West Nissouri must lose its tax base, then I urge the committee to encourage, through legislation, that which the city has already proposed in previous boundary negotiations: cooperative servicing. Our municipality would receive these services only on a user-pay basis. This would allow for orderly growth on full services on the airport property and adjacent lands. This would be beneficial to all. Once implemented, both the city and the township would be winners.

The city would not have the burden of paying for the full cost of servicing the lands, this in addition to the other demands that will be placed on it due to annexation, but would work in partnership with its neighbour, with the result that all would share in the rewards. The city would receive the associated spinoff benefits related to this growth. These would include an increase in population, the requirement of additional businesses to support the population and the economic and employment benefits that this would bring to London.

The township of West Nissouri would have no need to develop, and the erosion of valuable agricultural land would be offset. West Nissouri would be able to maintain its rural character without compromising the county, the city or the township. In fact, many associated businesses may well locate within the city, to add further to the city's economic growth.

All of this could be accomplished without bankrupting a neighbouring municipality that has been a part of and contributed to the success of the county and the province since 1851. This would involve only a minor amendment to Bill 75, removing the 4% of West Nissouri land and in so doing reinstating the 40% tax base. This is in keeping with what Minister Cooke has already stated. The township of West Nissouri should suffer no loss of land or assessment. In short, West Nissouri lands should be removed from Bill 75.

Failure to implement this minor change would leave this committee, if one aspect of your mandate is to ensure that no municipality suffer, only one alternative: a substantial infusion of funds from an already financially troubled province.

To ensure the long-term viability, beyond the minister's five-year plan, of the township of West Nissouri, Bill 75 must include a fair compensation package. To date, this has not been offered. Compensation figures have been discussed, but no firm amounts have been presented. West Nissouri would need to have full compensation in perpetuity for loss of assessment. The township of West Nissouri would therefore require compensation equal to its 40% loss of tax base. Anything less will result in bankruptcy for the municipality or, at best, a slow financial death.

A five-year stay of execution, as proposed by the ministry, is of little value to the government and would be a disservice to and perceived as a rejection of the citizens of West Nissouri. This would be contrary to the minister's statement that no municipality shall suffer.

Should the compensation in perpetuity be unacceptable, then this committee may wish to investigate a one-time lump sum payment to West Nissouri. A figure suggested by, but not committed to, a ministry official was that of $6.5 million. That may well be a figure acceptable to the municipality to ensure its viability. However, at today's costs, this would not cover the cost of a sewage treatment plant capable of allowing for the development required to recoup the 40% loss of taxes. Perhaps this figure should be considered a starting point rather than a fixed number. Should the figure of $6.5 million appear too great, I can only wonder what value you would place on a municipality, the value of its products and the value of its citizens. Surely they have a far greater value than $6.5 million. A government that prides itself on taking care of people should surely consider this as a small yet important investment.

The township of West Nissouri deservers at least this in order to provide for its ratepayers and its employees. This cannot be perceived as anything more than just compensation. Since the government has seen fit to offer $14 million for snowmobile trails, there must be funds available to fulfil the promise of the minister that no municipality shall be hurt by this annexation. I urge the committee to allow West Nissouri to survive, to grow and to be master of our house.

Remove West Nissouri from Bill 75, as London city council unanimously agreed to do in November 1988. In fact, the opposition to this massive annexation comes from many sides. The schools boards are opposed, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture is opposed, the abutting municipalities are opposed, the county of Middlesex is opposed, Women for the Support of Agriculture is opposed, many MPPs of all parties are opposed, many groups from within the city of London are opposed, professors from the University of Western Ontario are opposed, land use planners are opposed, and many with the city of London council are opposed.

Who is in favour? Developers, builders, the real estate board, speculators and politicians who are unable to see the future.

There is a great need for preservation of our lands, our communities and our ability to be self-sustained in food production. I would hope that this committee will see the folly of this annexation, the destruction it will impose on families, communities and the province as a whole. I ask you to use good judgement, reason and common sense.

To allow an annexation of this magnitude is dangerous for Ontario and a regressive step. It is not productive but is counterproductive. It does not allow for survival but only for takeover. As a government which prides itself on care for those who are bypassed in society, which speaks for those who have no voice and for those whom no others will represent, I urge you to follow the doctrines set out by Douglas and Woodsworth.


Do that which is philosophically, morally and consciously correct. Allow West Nissouri to survive, whether through a substantial compensation package or through the withdrawal of West Nissouri from the legislation. Failure to implement either of these solutions will mean that this government is no different from any of its predecessors or indeed that which is in power in Ottawa. Let us show the province and the nation that all governments are not tarred with the same brush. It is time to be decisive, strong and to represent those whom it professed to represent when in opposition.

Allow West Nissouri to be the master of our house. Allow the voice of West Nissouri to be heard and not extinguished. Remove West Nissouri from Bill 75.

The Chair: Okay, I guess we're ready to take some questions.

Mr Ron Eddy (Brant-Haldimand): Mr Colvin, thank you for your very thoughtful presentation. I must say it's very thoughtful and indeed thought-provoking. Your alternatives are welcome and should be considered. I hope they will be considered.

I agree with your viewpoint that this is detrimental and disastrous to the township of West Nissouri, especially when it's brought about by a Minister of Municipal Affairs who, from my view, should be speaking for all municipalities, not giving everything to some and skewering others. That's most unfortunate.

Do you know any reason, any advantages to Crumlin airport -- it's now London Airport of course -- being annexed into the city? Is there any advantage, given that there are full city services now, urban services? I understand they were granted by permission of the council of West Nissouri, but are there any advantages that you see to having the airport that adjoins the city annexed to the city?

Mr Colvin: None whatsoever. The airport serves the region. The airport is federal property. The airport has been something that belongs to everybody. It belongs to everybody in the county; indeed it belongs to everybody in the province and the country. There is no sane reason to make it part of one municipality over another.

Mr Eddy: The township of West Nissouri cannot tax the airport, but there is a federal tax grant in lieu to the township. I suppose if it goes into the city, then the city would get that. I'd like you to comment on that. That, I imagine, will be continued. You said the services are presently being paid for to the airport by whom?

Mr Colvin: The federal government has the arrangement in terms of servicing with the city, but the grant in lieu covers approximately the deficit of London's new indoor swimming pool. To them it's a very small amount of money; to us it is our very lifeblood.

But it's not just the grant in lieu, and this is what the ministry, I think, has failed to realize. The grant in lieu is part of the cash that we require to operate our municipality, but the associated businesses that are located on that property also provide business tax to the municipality, which is also a substantial portion of our funding. It is both.

Mr Eddy: You mentioned that the Minister of Municipal Affairs had put West Nissouri back on the table. I appreciated knowing about that. I think what happened initially is that the city of London council passed a bylaw to annex the airport, subsequently withdrew that bylaw and said, "Not at this time," or something. Do you know why Mr Cooke made that decision? Did the council or the township of West Nissouri have any input into that decision in any way at any time?

Mr Colvin: The minister put it back on the table without our knowledge, without council's knowledge, as far as I know. Why? Lord knows. The city of London removed it with the proviso that it may wish to discuss with West Nissouri annexing lands at the airport at a future date. In our presentation to arbitrator John Brant we made it quite clear that we were prepared to discuss with the city whether the airport should be put back on the table.

We were prepared to negotiate with the city one on one, and the minister has subsequently said: "No, West Nissouri, you don't have that right, you don't have that voice. We're taking that away from you. It's back on the table because I say so." We haven't had the opportunity to really fight for our airport.

The Chair: Okay, we have to go on.

Mr Gary Carr (Oakville South): I appreciate your presentation and the thoroughness with which you did it. In it you seem to be talking about the financial package as a big part of it. I know at the very end you say to remove West Nissouri from the bill, but in it you seem to be talking about the compensation. I was getting the feeling, and this may be wrong, that if you got the right type of compensation, you would then be pleased with it. That isn't your understanding. You want to be removed from this bill, regardless of what the compensation is. Is that correct?

Mr Colvin: To be pleased with the annexation would be the furthest thing from my mind. Our first choice, anybody's first choice, would be to leave us alone, because we were initially left alone. If we absolutely must, if there is no alternative in the minister's eyes but to strangle our municipality by taking away our financial lifeline, then the only alternative is a substantial package in perpetuity to make us viable.

He keeps saying, "You will be viable," but his vision of viability and my vision of viability are substantially different. His vision of viability is five years; mine is life. It's like saying: "You have cancer, but you'll be okay. You'll live for five years." But in five years you're dead, and that is what the municipality is facing right now.

Mr Carr: You're actually getting a double whammy, if you will. You get the one hit by being included, and when they do include you the compensation package -- the minister isn't here, but his parliamentary assistant is. I'd be pleased if the parliamentary assistant would, on behalf of the minister, want to speak on why the minister put West Nissouri back on the table. They haven't had an answer. You don't get a chance to speak to the minister, but you've got the second in charge. I'd be pleased if the parliamentary assistant would like to answer that.

Mr Gordon Mills (Durham East): I'd just like to talk about what the minister said and what was in the minister's mind. I'm not in his mind and I wasn't there when that was discussed. There's been a statement made that they're not going to be compensated for the loss of airport and industrial assessment. I'd just like to say that the airport revenues are of course a federal grant.

The ministry staff met the steering committee last Tuesday. West Nissouri will be compensated for loss of grants and commercial and business assessment from the airport for five years. The precise amount of this compensation is still being determined, because we need to know. You will get, sir, compensation based on 1992 grants and assessments. At the moment we don't have the full 1992 grants and assessments to work out that package, but that package is coming. It's a fact.

Mr Carr: I would be prepared to give my time up to Mr Colvin to reply in a statement and see if in fact this jibes with what you've been hearing. How would you like to comment?

Mr Colvin: Thank you. I'd be delighted to respond to that. The loss of grant, as Mr Mills has said, will be covered for five years. Again, Mr Mills, if your constituents were told that they were no longer going to have a representative in five years' time, your constituents would be very upset, and rightly so, as our constituents are.

The amount is yet to be determined. We've been asking for clarification from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs at the steering committee level, at the council level and at the level of our clerk and treasurer since approximately May, when these hearings started, to determine how the compensation was going to be paid, what the basis of the figures was.

We've been told, "We're using the 1989 assessment rolls," and then, "We're using the 1991 assessment rolls." Now we're being told that it's the 1992 assessment rolls and the package is coming. I'm sorry to sound flippant, sir, but Christmas is coming too, and it will be here before the package is determined.

We haven't really got a lot of faith, because we haven't been told or given anything that we can take to the bank, that we can take to the residents.

The Chair: Okay, Ms Mathyssen.

Mr Carr: Any more time?

The Chair: No.


Mrs Irene Mathyssen (Middlesex): I have a number of questions. First, West Nissouri employees are concerned about job loss. Has there been any accommodation made for West Nissouri employees, and what problems do you see there?

Second, let's say that the Tooth Fairy brings you this great big bundle of money so that West Nissouri could continue and you have to develop to make up the tax base that is lost. Where will you develop? Do you have enough industrial-commercial developable land in your current official plan to make up that tax base, or are you going to find you're going to have to broaden development on to land that is currently agricultural? I'd like to know how coservicing works. You said it does work. I'd like you to explain how coservicing works.

The last question: You said that if the airport lands remain in West Nissouri, you can ensure that those lands will remain agricultural, so the noise and the disaster precaution is there. How do you know that land won't remain agricultural if London has airport lands?

Mr Colvin: Perhaps I'll start with the last question first. London has said that it wants the airport lands precisely for the reason of development, so it's not interested in keeping the airport lands or any of the lands around there agricultural. In fact, what's within the city boundaries now has a number of for-sale signs -- some of it's sold -- and they're all advertising it as good industrial land. So their intent to keep it agricultural, if they say that, is dubious at best.

To go back to question number one, the job loss question, we made our employees redundant in June, I believe it was, as per the technical committee's work plan. We have followed the guidelines as the municipality set out by the technical committee, by the steering committee. Now we have the ministry staff and the city of London acting in collusion, saying, "We don't want to give West Nissouri employees offers of employment because it would make you a non-viable community."

Well, we're a non-viable community as it stands now. If we have compensation for only five years, we'd become non-viable in five years. That is hardly any kind of security for an employee but in fact a major source of insecurity and stress. There is no reason our employees couldn't be given job offers, none whatsoever.

In terms of development, if we got a lump sum and the Tooth Fairy came, we have some developable land that has been designated for a growth area, particularly around Thorndale. In terms of recouping 40% of our assessment loss, we probably -- I'm guessing at this -- would think that we would have to expand the amount of developable land that we would have to develop, therefore taking more land out of production.

West Nissouri has always been a rural municipality. We've been able to afford to do this because we've had the funding from the federal properties, from the airport lands. Once that is stopped, we would have to perform like everyone else: We're going to have to start paving over good land and reducing the number of farms, hence making Ontario probably no longer self-sufficient in food production.

In regard to coservicing -- the way I look at it anyway and perhaps it's simplistic -- I'll use the analogy of Hydro. We all pay Ontario Hydro for our utilities, for the electricity in our buildings, for the electricity in our homes and on our farms. We don't pay for the easements and we don't pay as individuals for the hydro lines going down the road, but we do pay through collective taxation and it's done for the good of all.

This can be the same type of program in coservicing. The township could pay on a user basis. We don't have the staff or the equipment to put in sewage pipelines. We would have to contract out, if we had that kind of funding. But we would pay based on what we're using. We would have to set up reserve funds so that we could set aside moneys for servicing, upgrading and maintenance of any sewage and water facilities that would be required. It can be done on a cooperative basis instead of what's good for the big guy is good for the big guy and the rest of you can go to the devil, because that, as it stands, is the way it is operating.

Mrs Mathyssen: Okay.

The Chair: Mr Mills, you have some closing comments?

Mr Mills: Just a quick comment, and thank you, Mr Colvin. I'd just like to point out that the reason 1992 was chosen as the year for the assessment was because the ministry feels that is the best year for you to be assessed, for it to be worked through.

Mr Colvin: May I respond to that, sir, just quickly?

The Chair: Okay, a quick response.

Mr Colvin: I agree that perhaps 1992 would be the best year; that may well be. But unfortunately, what will happen is the bill will be passed long before the assessment rolls are done and at that point, when we find the flaws in the ministry calculations, as we will, then it's too late to do anything about it, because what'll happen is they're going to hide under the fact that: "Well, I'm sorry, it's law. We have to live with it."

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Colvin, for appearing before the committee.


The Chair: The next group to come forward is the London and St Thomas Real Estate Board. I'd like to welcome you before the standing committee on finance and economic affairs and on Bill 75. The clerk will hand out your brief and if you wouldn't mind introducing yourself for the purposes of Hansard and this committee, you may begin.

Ms Nancy McCann: Good morning. My name is Nancy McCann and I'm the chairperson of the political action committee of the London and St Thomas Real Estate Board. As a representative of the board, I speak for some 1,450 real estate professionals and it is as their representative and on their behalf that I speak to you today.

Realtors don't just sell houses, commercial property or industrial property, they sell cities. As long as London is a great place to live and work and raise families, as long as it is affordable and safe and well serviced, it is easy to sell. Why? Because people want to stay and people and companies and industries want to leave other cities so they can move to it.

If, on the other hand, London should become a bad place to live and work and raise families, if available housing within the city limits should become overpriced while services in outlying suburbs prove inadequate and environmentally unsafe, then it becomes no longer nearly so easy to sell London and naturally we, as realtors, don't want to see that happen.

In the early 19th century, London proper was bounded on the south and the west by the two branches of the Thames and by Queen's Avenue on the north and Wellington Street on the west. Not so long ago, Wortley Road was the hub of Wortley Village rather than the pleasant street in the old south that it is now. The reality is that London has been doing nothing but growing for the last 150 years. In fact, before the 1960 annexation, the new office of the London and St Thomas Real Estate Board on Commissioners Road would have fallen outside the city limits of London.

Growth is not bad. What's more, growth is inevitable. What is bad is not planning intelligently for that inevitable growth and that, in our opinion, is more than bad, it's irresponsible and, because unintelligent planning will adversely affect the quality of lives of everyone living and working in the area, it's also culpable.

Annexation is good for London and for the townships it proposes to annex. Annexation is good for London because it will keep the supply of affordable, well-serviced homes ample. Right now, London is very affordable compared to the rest of Ontario. In fact there are 12 other centres in Ontario where the average house price is higher, sometimes considerably higher, than our average house price.

What happens if annexation is not implemented and growth is constrained? Probably house prices will go up. You might think that would be good for realtors -- the more expensive the house, the higher the commission -- but realtors are not interested in short-term gain, we're in it for the long term.

We want as many citizens as possible to own homes and we want them eventually to get to a point where they can own their dream homes. That can happen for a number of people in London in 1992. That will continue to be able to happen for a fair number of people in London in 2015, if annexation is implemented. Where it doesn't happen is in cities like Toronto, where the average house costs $234,313. Our average house price in London for 1991 was $134,545. That's $100,000 less.

What happened? Well, approximately three to four years ago, London realtors were selling many homes to Torontonians fleeing the city. That was before the market adjusted. Now there are a lot of unhappy Torontonians in houses which are worth in excess of $300,000, at least on paper, which no one is buying. We would hate to see that happen in London.

As for the townships London proposes to annex, annexation can be good for them too. Unless they plan to pack themselves up lock, stock and barrel and move on down the road a piece, they're going to absorb London's inevitable growth. That's not really a question. Those new people who are going to be moving into London and hopefully those new businesses and companies that are going to be starting up or relocating here are going to need to have land somewhere, whether it be in the suburbs and industrial parks, inside the city limits or outside.

What is at issue is how well those suburbs and industrial parks are going to be serviced, and it's our opinion that the more intensified development advocated at the provincial level is more likely to occur within city boundaries with controlled planning and has traditionally resulted in the townships. This is the real crux of the matter: Which municipality has an adequate tax base to furnish the infrastructure necessary to accommodate our inevitable growth? The answer has been, and it remains, London and only London.



Ms McCann: I'm going to cite the by now infamous case of South Winds, a residential development which falls within the city limits of Westminster and outside the present city limits of London. Unfortunately, the septic system and lot size provided for the development was just not adequate and, as a result, residents have sewage bubbling in their backyards. Let me tell you, besides being environmentally undesirable, sewage bubbling in the backyard does not make for much of a selling point for any home.

That impacts negatively on our area in two ways: It discourages development and the boost to the economy that development brings, and it also increases the likelihood of environmental problems. Clearly, if the services available are inadequate to deal effectively with things like waste, development is not going to be environmentally sound.

As for the fears of the citizens of Westminster that their taxes will be higher if annexation is implemented, I understand that they're currently spending twice what they're paying in taxes for sewage disposal and, to date, Westminster has no police department and only a part-time fire department. When they take on the financial burden of policing and safeguarding against fire, their taxes will increase.


The Chair: Excuse me, there are going to be all points of view here, but everybody has a chance to put his point of view across, so I wouldn't like the laughter and the heckling to go on.

Ms McCann: A number of members of our association come from and do business in the townships in question and that's why the real estate board didn't jump on the bandwagon the first time the annexation issue was brought up. Because of our members' very divergent interests, we've had to think long and hard about this issue.

We understand that the separate townships want to maintain their individual character, identity and tax base. We understand their desire to retain autonomy over their affairs. However, it is not as if these townships plan to remain rural havens. The Shasta plan, submitted by the city of Westminster, projects a higher population density for that township than the one projected for the city of London. Clearly, the authors of that plan don't envision Westminster as the Mayberry of Canada.

A fact that seems to have escaped a lot of people is that much of the farm land that people are concerned about preserving as farm land has already been bought up by developers. The fact that it is still farm land is due to the freeze placed upon development, not because it hasn't been wrestled from the possession of beleaguered farmers. The minute that the freeze is lifted, annexation or no annexation, that farm land is going to disappear. What is at issue is whether the development that's going to take place on that farm land is going to be adequately serviced or whether South Winds is going to serve as the paradigm for all development outside the city limits.

Let me recap some of the points we feel are important on this issue.

Long-term planning and intensified controlled development are necessary. The city is the only tax base capable of providing the necessary infrastructure for this future growth. Boundaries, as they are now proposed, provide for watershed planning, proper sewage treatment and waste disposal and long-term controlled planning, making it environmentally sound.

From the fiscal responsibility standpoint, a one-tier municipal government system would be less costly to administer than a two-tier regional system and should streamline the approval process for development land, thereby reducing the cost of the same to the end user. It is fiscally responsible to make the boundary adjustments such that annexation need not be repeated in a 10- to 15-year time frame.

We all want economic recovery, London and the townships alike. We all want the prosperity that will come on the heels of that economic recovery, and growth will give us both economic recovery and prosperity.

We also want a high quality of life and that necessitates planned growth. Annexation will give us planned growth. For that reason, the London and St Thomas Real Estate Board, in the best interests of the community its members service, supports the annexation of enough land to provide for our city's commercial, industrial and residential growth over the next 20 to 30 years. Let's do it once and for all and let's do it as expeditiously as possible.

The Chair: Thank you.

We'll go on to the third party. Questions?

Mrs Dianne Cunningham (London North): First of all, thanks for coming and presenting your point of view. It's true, as the Chairman said, that there are many divergent points of view on this, but I think the one consistency through the whole thing has been the process itself, where -- I think rightfully so -- most have been concerned about that with regard to the appointing of the arbitrator.

I think, more consistently, one of the arguments against annexation -- I don't think there are as many who would say no annexation at all -- has been the process and the size of the annexation. I'm just wondering if your group had commented on that at all.

Ms McCann: Only so far as my last comment, in that the boundaries as they are laid out now do provide for the watershed planning which is going to be an important issue for the future. It allows for the landfill site to be within the administrative boundaries of municipality. Also from the standpoint of providing for long-term planning, the boundaries as they're laid out now would allow us to plan for 20 to 30 years, as opposed to 10 to 15 years.

The Chair: Any more questions?

Mrs Mathyssen: I noted in your brief that you said this annexation will allow for the dream of Londoners to acquire their single-family homes. Recently the province has embarked upon a program, a plan of intensification, because we reckoned that we can't afford to sprawl out any further. The costs of urban sprawls are beyond our capability now. What is your board's position on the changes to the Planning Act that would allow accessory apartments and granny flats and the intensification that we need to utilize underutilized services within cities like the city of London?

Ms McCann: The board's position on granny flats and allowing for the implementation of an apartment in each home? They are not in opposition to more intensified development as such. In my statement, first of all, I did not state single-family homes, just that people would hopefully be able to own their own homes. That may be, to some persons, a condominium or a town house; it doesn't have to be a single-family home. Home ownership comes in different forms.

From the standpoint of the granny flat issue, they have stood behind the fact that they feel it is better to have the zoning bylaws addressed at the municipal level on a per community basis, that it's not necessarily the best for all communities to have dictated from a provincial level an overall program in that regard. They feel that the individual municipalities are better able to determine what their needs are in terms of zoning.

Mrs Mathyssen: Do you happen to know what the currently available growth potential is in terms of the city of London now? It seems to me that during the annexation hearings we heard that there was right now, in the city of London, room for 4,500 units. Is that correct, or is that figure high or low?

Ms McCann: I can't indicate that. Are you saying for single-family serviced lots? Is that what you're quoting?

Mrs Mathyssen: Units, yes. Additional units.

Ms McCann: So single-family as opposed to town house or condominium units? I assume that would be far too low for that. It must have been a quote for single-family units if that's the number. I do not have that number at my fingertips, I can tell you.

Mrs Mathyssen: So there is room for more than 4,500 units?

Ms McCann: I don't know that. I can't comment on that. I don't know what the room that is left is. It depends on what stage of development you're speaking of, if you talking about a subdivision draft plan or if you're talking about current serviced lots or current subdivisions that are under construction. I don't have the number.


Mrs Mathyssen: Could we get that from the ministry? I think that must be available somewhere. I'd like to see that figure again, just to be able to determine whether or not my recollections are accurate.

Ms McCann: I believe LDI would have probably given that number in their presentation.

Mrs Cunningham: The London Development Institute put those numbers before this committee about a month ago.

Mrs Mathyssen: Okay. My recollections go back to the arbitrator's hearing. I would appreciate having that, just to refresh my memory.

Ms McCann: I believe, relative to a time standpoint, they felt it was approximately three to five years' worth of development, depending on what --

Mrs Mathyssen: How intense it was?

Ms McCann: How fast the markets will be. It might be longer in today's terms.

Mrs Mathyssen: Or the densities? Yes, okay.

Mr David Winninger (London South): You mentioned in your paper, Ms McCann, the emphasis that your real estate board places on planned growth. I think that everyone would agree, no matter where the municipal boundaries fall, that we need better planned growth than we've experienced in the past. I was wondering whether your real estate board has struck some kind of committee that is looking at ecosystem planning for the future rather than just the present?

Ms McCann: We have not. It would be an issue we could address in the future. I know most people who are involved in the development industry are aware that the type of eco planning issue you're speaking of is going to be very important, and obviously very important to the new draft plan of London, and it will take some time to facilitate that we are going to be involved and being called on to give input in that regard. I expect that we will be considering that, but there's nothing formally in place at this time.

The Chair: We're going to go to Mr Grandmaître. If you want to get a glass of water, it's going to be a long question and you might need a drink.

Mr Bernard Grandmaître (Ottawa East): No, it's going to be a short question, a short question and to the point.

Ms McCann: I'm here only in lieu of our president.

Mr Grandmaître: You've been in real estate for a good number of years. You've been a member of the board --

Ms McCann: Personally, I've been a member of the board for 16 years, and that's the duration of my real estate career.

Mr Grandmaître: Tell us about the pressure on the board for more commercial and industrial land.

Ms McCann: Commercial and industrial land has always been seen as what will provide the growth for --

Mr Grandmaître: No, no. I'm not asking you this. I know this. I'm asking you, what's the pressure on your board right now for more, to create more commercial and industrial land. That's why the annexation is taking place.

Ms McCann: To create more industrial land?

Mr Grandmaître: Yes. What's the pressure on the board right now? Have you got a list of potential customers waiting for these lands to be rezoned?

Ms McCann: I personally do not, because the area I primarily am involved with is residential. I do not personally sell in the commercial market.

Mr Grandmaître: But you're a member of the board, though.

Ms McCann: Yes, I am.

Mr Grandmaître: And you don't know what the pressures are on that board?

Ms McCann: Not in terms of specific numbers. I can't give you that.

Mr Grandmaître: Do you think that tripling the size of London would answer all those commercial and industrial calls?

Ms McCann: Certainly I assume that that was taken into consideration when they were looking at the boundary levels that they were requesting.

Mr Grandmaître: Did you think that the 1988 proposal wasn't adequate enough?

Ms McCann: In terms of how long it takes to go through the official planning process and the types of other things that have to be considered now, relative to such things as I've mentioned here before --

Mr Grandmaître: Yes, it usually takes two or three years to go before council, the OMB zoning changes, official plan amendments and so on and so forth, but you're looking at tripling the size of London.

Ms McCann: But after you go through that, then you have to go back and redo official draft plans for the city. It's not just the case of going through annexation. It's what we're going to be faced with now in the city of London, of redoing an official draft plan that will take a great deal of time to complete before --

Mr Grandmaître: I realize this.

Ms McCann: -- anyone can actually go ahead and do any development.

Mr Grandmaître: One last question, Mr Chair, before I pass on to --

The Chair: You still have time.

Mr Grandmaître: Good. What role did you play in the last official plan of London?

Ms McCann: I personally?

Mr Grandmaître: No, I'm talking about the board.

Ms McCann: The board did a presentation, but I don't know how big a role that was. We had members who were consulted in the last official draft plan.

Mr Grandmaître: Don't you have a committee responsible for --

Ms McCann: No.

Mr Grandmaître: You don't.

Ms McCann: No, it would be part of existing committees or a subcommittee, but we don't have, at this point in time, an official draft plan committee.

Mr Eddy: Thank you for your invigorating presentation -- I enjoyed it -- and thank you particularly for bringing out the fact that London is the only municipality in the area that has the tax base to develop all this wonderful agricultural land, because we've been led to believe up to this time that it would be the developers who would pay for it. I'm pleased to hear you acknowledge and admit that it's the taxpayer, which is of course the taxpayers of the city of London. I appreciate that clarification.

I have three short questions. One, do you agree that the municipalities around London should have access to the provincial Lake Huron pipeline, the same as the city of London has? Secondly, you represent St Thomas as well. Would you agree that Yarmouth township or some other township should be added to St Thomas because it's getting near being filled and will want land for development and expansion? Thirdly, do you agree with the very restrictive agricultural designation and zoning that are going to be placed on 90% or a very large percentage of the Westminster lands when they go into the city of London? So it's the right to water for others, the St Thomas growth and, thirdly, the restrictive agricultural designation which won't allow it to be developed.

Ms McCann: The right-to-water issue is not one that I have studied, nor do I feel that I can comment on it.

Mr Eddy: But it is a provincial pipeline. You're aware of that.

Ms McCann: Yes.

Mr Eddy: Thank you. We'll leave that one.

Ms McCann: As far as the restrictive zoning for agricultural land is concerned, I think that's a part of the intensified development process, whereby you don't let things sprawl ahead of where they need to be, so from that standpoint I think that's environmentally sound.

Mr Eddy: But it's there for at a time when it's needed it'll become developed.

Ms McCann: It will be controlled.

Mr Eddy: I see, okay. What about St Thomas expansion? Which township would you select to add to St Thomas?

Ms McCann: Not being a resident of St Thomas --

Mr Eddy: But your board is the London and St Thomas Real Estate Board.

Ms McCann: Yes. I can't speak for the board, because it has not given me a position on this --

Mr Eddy: Do you see the same solution for another expanding city, a township adjoining?

Ms McCann: Yes.

Mr Eddy: Thank you.

The Chair: I'd like to thank you, Ms McCann, for appearing before this committee.



The Chair: The next group we have, and everyone has in front of them its brief, is Citizens Against Annexation. Carolyn Murray, would you come forward, please, and your associates. Could you introduce yourself to the committee, and for the purposes of Hansard also.

Ms Carolyn Murray: If I could take that opportunity to introduce myself, I'm Carolyn Murray. With me are Jay Burtwistle, Susan Grieve and Neil McRae. I will introduce them more fully during my presentation.

The Chair: Okay, fine.

Ms Murray: Thank you for giving us the opportunity to speak to you today. Citizens Against Annexation represents a broad cross-section of people from the town of Westminster, the rural areas, towns and villages in Middlesex, as well as supporters from the city of London. Because we are the people who live in the affected area and are experiencing the stress, the disbelief and the uncertainty of our future, we offer a different perspective to this issue. We have no vested interest other than stewardship of the land, and we do not stand to profit from the passing of Bill 75.

Mr Gosnell stated two weeks ago that this London-Middlesex annexation issue is one of urbanization. We submit that it is more complex than drawing lines on a map and deciding that a larger municipality can be given the right by the province of Ontario to invade a smaller municipality, dismiss its democratically elected council and leave the citizens disenfranchised with a collaborator as our representative.

In any other part of the world, this scenario would not be tolerated. Individuals and groups across this province are shaking their heads in disbelief that such a move to create a city 80% the size of Toronto, with all its problems, is actually being contemplated.

It's frightening to us as rational, intelligent and hard-working citizens of this province that a 175-year-old municipality, which asserted its right to self-determination, could be obliterated by another municipality with a grudge, under the guise of good planning. We are not going to read the brief you have before you. Instead, I will highlight the main areas we have addressed. In it, we have given you a brief outline of the history of the London-Middlesex negotiations. We've also outlined myths and misinformation about the following areas: servicing, planning, justification of the large annexation and survival of Middlesex county. We have presented alternative solutions that are available. We have also listed our specific concerns with the legislation, Bill 75. Lastly, we have asked eight questions which we'll address later in our presentation today.

If I could just summarize our concerns, we are concerned about the size of the area to be annexed and the resulting loss of Westminster as a municipality. We'd like to emphasize at this time that we do not consider this an amalgamation, a word that's been slipping in lately, I notice. This is an annexation.

We are concerned about the buffer zone. There's no need for it; London already objects to every proposal for development in the fringe area.

We are concerned about the disenfranchisement of citizens of Westminster, London township, West Nissouri, Delaware township and North Dorchester. We are concerned about the escalating costs and unknown future costs. This Bill 75 is not the least-cost solution, as was the original provincial interest that was designated when Mr Brant was appointed as the arbitrator. We're also concerned, along this point, that the city and other developers keep talking about the revenue that will be coming from development in the annexed areas that will cover the cost of the annexation. We submit that there will be no revenue until this recession is over, and we're not sure when that's going to to be. To say that annexation will provide revenue, will stimulate development, is patently untrue and cannot be proved.

We are concerned about the threat to the agricultural industry and the community.

On November 5, the last time we were together, you were told about a petition that was circulated in May 1992 in the town of Westminster. You were not told that the people circulating this petition deliberately misled people about which petition they were signing by using the statement at the top, "Annexation is not our choice." Previous to this petition being circulated, the original petition opposing the Brant report and Bill 75 was circulated. People not seeing the two petitions together thought they were one and the same. Therefore, we sincerely question the validity of the 1,335-signature petition that you were told about last time we met. This is another example of deception that has been proliferated through this whole issue.

However, we want to point out that there are on record here at Queen's Park 5,600 names on petitions opposing the Brant report and Bill 75. Almost 1,000 of these signatures belong to London residents. We know that all MPPs have received many letters and phone calls clearly illustrating opposition to Bill 75. In addition, many city and county residents helped to pay for our large advertisement in the London Free Press recently. I have a copy of that here, if anybody is interested in looking at it. Clearly, these people believe that government should be by the people, for the people. Most recently, we have been circulating a one-page statement to groups in Middlesex and London and asking for their endorsement of a reduced annexation. I have copies of this for the committee.

The Chair: You can give copies to the clerk after and you could make copies to give to all members of the committee.

Ms Murray: Okay. I would just simply read the statement and highlight some of the groups who have endorsed it. The heading is "Annexation: A Local Solution."

"The London annexation act, Bill 75, is a provincially imposed solution to a local problem. For many reasons a local solution was not possible until just recently. There now exists a local government consensus drafted by a coalition of concerned urban and rural councillors, agricultural groups, and others with expertise in municipal affairs. This local consensus addresses all of the local concerns, but reduces the size of the annexation to 24,000 acres, which is the amount unanimously approved by London city council in 1988. Only direct interference from the province of Ontario by the minister of the day prohibited an accord being reached on this proposal.

"This consensus represents a local solution to a local problem and still allows much room for growth by the city, and an opportunity for cooperation on planning issues, environmental issues and servicing, yet allows the rural areas to maintain their integrity and identity.

"We, the undersigned, do lend our support to this local government consensus on the London-Middlesex annexation issue."

In the short time that we've been working on this, which is less than two weeks, we've been able to get endorsements from 25 local and provincial organizations, including the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, the Middlesex Federation of Agriculture, the three Middlesex county teachers' union groups and associations, the Thames Region Ecological Association, and the list goes on. We are currently circulating this statement and it's presently before executives of other church, labour and community groups, so further endorsements are forthcoming and will be forwarded.

We have been gratified by the solidarity of groups across Middlesex on this issue. We just also want to relay that we have been made aware that there are members of city council who are concerned about the size of the annexation, the escalating costs of compensation and servicing and the social and economic impact of the transformation of a small, tightly managed city of London into an unwieldy, financially strapped megacity.

The sad fact is, however, that although London councillors and citizens are thinking these things, nobody is acting. We think that there are several reasons for this: (1) is the ever-present apathy, (2) is ignorance of the real impact of Bill 75 and (3) is fear that the whole deck of cards, that is, Bill 75, will fall down if a change is suggested at this time. That's why we feel it's absolutely imperative that this committee and the province of Ontario act now to reduce the size of annexation and pave the way for implementation of long-term land use policies as are outlined in the Sewell commission report that will be coming forward next year.

At the beginning of our presentation, I did indicate that we represent a broad cross-section of people and I'd like to introduce those people now. Mr Jay Burtwistle is a young fifth-generation farmer in Westminster, Neil McRae is a 41-year resident of the village of Lambeth and Susan Grieve is a teacher and partner in the Westminster dairy farm. If there's time, I would also like to read excerpts from a submission by Mr Craig Connell, who's a dairy farmer in Delaware township, and a letter from a grade 9 student at Regina Mundi High School. Jay Burtwistle.


Mr Jay Burtwistle: Thank you, Carolyn. As Carolyn has said, my name is Jay Burtwistle and I'm a farmer in the community of Temple in the town of Westminster. I am representative of the fifth generation of my family to be farming in Temple, and there are many other farming families in the surrounding areas that share similar heritages.

More significant than the heritage alone is the ethic of stewardship of the land and its resources. This ethic comes from a will to care for the resources of the earth which sustain life. The land has provided for previous generations of my family, and so we care for the land in hope that it will, through our work, provide for future generations of Burtwistles as well.

Does this mean that I and other farmers expect the rest of the world to leave us alone and work around us while we preserve our heritage? Certainly not. Since 1850, Canadian generations of my family have changed with the area and contributed to progress along the way. The first generations saw the planks laid on the Talbot Road, past lot 53 on the north branch of the Talbot Road. Today's generations, my parents and myself operate the farm now, live and work at what is municipally known was 6787 Colonel Talbot Road. This road is better known to long-distance travellers as Highway 4. It has four lanes and is intersected by the 401.

With so many changes taking place over the years, we are quite aware of the potential for future development as commercial or industrial land. What is important to me is that I can work with a municipal council that appreciates agricultural issues in good land use planning as well as in fair treatment of its constituents.

The town of Westminster has had enviable success in developing as a municipality with a rural and urban mix. Not only is the town home to commercial, industrial and residential developments, but it also appreciates agricultural concerns. It is a place I can proudly call home town.

I have seen nothing in London's history or in London's recent empty promises that leads me to believe that London will adequately protect agricultural lands within its boundaries. Urban development is more lucrative than agricultural development. Urban centres, which tend to value tax dollars more than agricultural resources, find it easiest to spread development on to cheaper land on the city's fringe while the downtown core deteriorates to whatever extent the province allows.

Bill 75 does not have the ability to foresee what developer-driven London's council can do to manoeuvre and pressure farmers from the land. London council's attitude cannot be changed by legislation.

I and my family intend to be stewards of our land, whether it be agricultural or not. However, a rough transition from agriculture to other uses would adversely affect our ability to take part in other developments which may be needed on our prime farm land in the future. A smooth transition can better be directed by a municipality which recognizes agricultural issues.

Committee members, I urge you to take a close look at the adverse effect this bill would have upon Middlesex county's ability to survive, London's ability to maintain services to such a large city, Westminster's right to continue the challenging work that we have started and the farmers' abilities to make productive use of Canada's best agricultural land and care for the resources that we owe so much to.

In conclusion, I would like to quote from a daily planner that I use. A man named Frank A. Clark is quoted as having said: "We find comfort among those who agree with us, growth among those who don't." I don't know Frank A. Clark but I find simple wisdom in his words. I believe that my home town of Westminster has been following a course which recognizes this same principle and I would urge you to consider these things carefully.

Mr Neil McRae: Good morning. I am Neil McRae. I appreciate the opportunity to speak before you to express my concerns about Bill 75 and the possibility of Westminster being swallowed by the city of London. I moved to this area in 1951 because of my job. At that time we had a conscious decision to make as to where to live. We chose the village of Lambeth.

We made that choice for a number of reasons. Our background and upbringing was in rural communities. Lambeth gave us the chance to remain a part of a small community. We were just beginning to raise a family and we chose Lambeth for the children, for that close-knit sense of community they would be part of. Those children are grown now and I have been a resident of Lambeth for 41 years. Throughout the years I have been part of many organizations and societies that are part and parcel of what makes Lambeth what it is and what makes Westminster what it is.

Make no mistake. London is lovely city with much to offer and a fine place to live, if they have made the choice to live there. I did not make that choice 41 years ago and I do not want that choice taken away from me now. If you pass Bill 75 and Westminster disappears and Lambeth becomes part of London, I might be living in the same house on the same street but I will no longer be living in a rural community of my own choosing. I will be living in a large urban city that I did not choose to be part of.

As Canadians, we have the right to make certain choices, we have many freedoms. One of those freedoms should include the right to choose where we reside and the type of community we are part of. Bill 75 takes away the freedom of choice.

Ms Susan Grieve: You've been inundated with facts and figures and arguments over the last months of hearings. In spite of all this information, there are some basic questions that, as committee members, you must ask and you must have answers for. You have asked people many questions and we are going to pose some questions to you. We hope that you will have the answers to these questions before you can consider voting on this piece of legislation.

In our original brief that we outlined we had eight questions, and I'll read them very quickly:

(1) In real terms what will the cost of this annexation be and where will the money come from to pay for this?

(2) In real terms what costs does London face to replace, repair and maintain current levels of service?

(3) What happens to Middlesex county when the 10 years of compensation are over?

(4) How can Bill 75 be democratic when it is quite obviously opposed by the majority of the citizens in the area it affects?

(5) Why did David Cooke, after saying this would be the model for all future annexations, then write a letter in defence to 834 mayors of Ontario saying this was a unique situation and would not be repeated? This was not unique. It was mishandled and this letter was an admission that the process was flawed.

(6) How can you justify an annexation of 64,000 acres when the city's proposal to the arbitrator in March 1992 stated 12,000 acres were needed to sustain growth to the year 2026? The current local government consensus proposal offers 24,000 acres, twice as much as London admitted to needing for the next 35 years. By their own admission in March, this is developer driven and any economic gain for the area will be in their pockets.

(7) Why is Bill 75 being rushed through by January 1, 1993, prior to the report from the Sewell commission and in the face of such concern and opposition?

(8) Finally, and perhaps most importantly, as politicians you must remember the recent referendum which was a clear message that the citizens of Canada are unhappy with their governments. Governments are not listening to the people and the NDP is illustrating this disregard. Ask yourself: Have you really heard what the ordinary grass-roots people of London and Middlesex are saying or have you heard only other politicians, developers and speculators who have a vested interest?

We believe those eight questions must be answered in your own minds before you can make a decision with respect to this legislation.

The defence against changing this legislation that's been used by both the city of London and by ministry personnel is the question of time. We hear that it's too late, we've gone too far. I ask you, why is it too late and what is it too late for? Is it ever too late for rational thought? Is it ever too late for fairness and good decision-making? Is it ever too late to right a wrong?


Bill 75 is wrong. It's wrong economically, it is wrong democratically, agriculturally and morally. To proceed with this because the Ministry of Municipal Affairs perceives that it is too late illustrates a serious flaw in our democratic process. If a piece of legislation is clearly flawed before it is passed, and the people have been vocal in their opposition and an alternative solution exists, what is to be gained by pushing it through? When have so many wrongs ever made a right?

Wouldn't it be far better to admit we have a problem and mend it now rather than to have to pay dearly for it later? January 1 is not etched in stone. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs is clinging to that date for fear that if substantial changes are made, someone might have to admit he made a mistake, that we have a problem.

It is not too late for this committee to give us back our belief in the democratic process. You committee members are elected by the people, and you alone have the power to make changes and you alone are responsible for what will happen. It is not too late to send a message to rural Ontario that we matter, that what we do is important and that as rural municipalities we should not have to continually fight to justify our very existence.

Instead of viewing this as a no-win situation, view it as an opportunity to set a positive precedent for the future. Show the other 41 areas facing annexation that the people's wishes count, that cities must be accountable and cooperative with their neighbours and that developers can't dictate provincial policy, as they do with so many city councils. Show those areas and show us that a local solution is much preferred to a provincially imposed one. You have all the ingredients to resolve this in a way that will allow growth, cooperation and will show the people that you're listening.

In trying to find the right words to conclude with, I realized that throughout the hearings that I've been a party to, we've heard about dollars and cents, tax increases, boundary lines, servicing capabilities -- and the list goes on. But the element that's missing, the most important element of all, is that of the people and what we are feeling. So I would like to end on a personal note, but a note that I know is shared by my friends at this table and by many of the people sitting at the back of this room.

We feel like we've been teetering on a fence for the last eight months, not entirely sure which way we're going to topple. I truly wonder if you have a sense of what this has done to us, how all-consuming this has been for the last eight months. We have felt incredible frustration and anger, and as we grow closer to the prospect of seeing our community wiped off the face of the map, we now feel deep sadness. The people who support this bill, for whatever their reasons, because they will profit or who believe that life really won't change a great deal, those people will never understand these feelings. To them it's all just lines on a map; it has never been people.

When I moved to Westminster 11 years ago from a neighbouring rural township, I moved to a township that was vibrant and thriving. I watched as that township evolved into a town and 6,000 of us gathered to celebrate, I watched as we struggled to stand up to our Goliath neighbour, and I watch now as we stand poised to lose that battle. If you pass this legislation as is, the greatest sadness is not where the boundaries fall or what will happen to the landfill site or the greed; the sadness lies in what you'll do to a community. The sadness is in the abstract things that are going to disappear for ever.

Gone will be the days of walking into the town office and chatting with Wende at the front desk or talking with the administrator, Doug, about a problem. Gone will be the days of driving down the road to have a chat about a drain with your councillor over a cup of coffee at the kitchen table. Gone will be the small-town sense of community pride, a community that pre-dates London. Gone will be the opportunity to flag down Cliff, the road superintendent, and complain about the snowplowing or the potholes. Gone will be the days when your council, your road crew and your volunteer firemen knew every nook and cranny of every side road and, probably, who owned the land for the last 100 years.

And gone will be the spirit of what made Westminster, the spirit of the families of six or seven generations -- the Weldons, the Crinklaws, the Murrays, the Beatties, the Grieves, the Laidlaws -- the spirit of the Glanworth Recreation Association, the spirit of Mrs Burtwistle's Tempo News, the spirit of the volunteer firemen who give so freely and unselfishly of their time. How terribly sad that these human values are always secondary to the almighty dollar. The cost of this annexation is dear indeed.

No matter what this committee does, you can't take away what Westminster was, but if you pass Bill 75 in its present form, you will take away all of what Westminster could be from our young farmers and from our children. We ask that you don't. Let us keep our rich heritage, our rich tradition and our promising future.


The Chair: Okay, Ron, you can applaud. Being a rural member myself, I hear you loud and clear, but I can't make a comment.

I'll go one question each. We're down to that unless the other group wants to give up time, and I don't think they want to. Irene, one question, not three questions in one question. Ask the most important question you want to ask.

Mrs Mathyssen: I guess the most important question is in terms of the agricultural land in the rural communities, so I'll address it to Jay. You said that your fear was the issues that confront you every day as a rural resident and not being able to communicate those issues to a city council and get remedy for them. What kind of issues are we talking about, and how do you see yourself in terms of the kind of representation you will receive from an urban council in the city of London?

Mr Burtwistle: We're talking about quite a range of issues. One specific issue that comes to mind is that an urban council will cater more to urban people, and a lot of those urban people have dogs. I, for example, am a farmer who raises sheep. Anybody who has had contact with rural issues probably knows that sheep and dogs do not mix well. Currently, in rural areas there are laws in place that compensate farmers for damage to sheep or livestock by marauding dogs. These are issues which can be subject to some alteration by a council on minor points, and just the attitude of the council towards problems such as these would put a lot of pressure on the farmer.

Mr Eddy: Just one short question. I must compliment you for your very strong feeling and your presentation this morning, one that I agree with in so many ways. I take it from the presentations that were made that you really have a strong feeling that there's no place for small-town or rural Ontario in this government's agenda. Do you feel that, or do you disagree with that? It's just a yes/no, because there's a good question over there.

Ms Murray: I'll put it this way: If Bill 75 is passed, that feeling would be confirmed.

The Chair: Okay. We'll go on to the third party.

Mrs Cunningham: This gives me my opportunity to ask a question that we've been asking all along. With regard to the brief you presented earlier, the backup notes, where you talk about the alternative solutions, I've always said to representatives of any of the counties who have come in -- because I share the view on the large annexation in that I don't support it -- that the only way you get things done in this job is to get the support of the municipal councils and come up with an alternative to the government. It's the only way to get it done.

I'm aware that there may be amendments put forward, but the key question from the minister will be, do you have the support of the county and the city? You said here that you've got some alternative solutions. That was my key question in August when we had the hearings, all last spring. Are you any further ahead? Have you got a plan you can put forward where you've got the cooperation of the elected officials?


Ms Grieve: One of the problems we have faced is the inability to have this brought before London city council. An attempt was made, and it did not get further than the board of control. The other problem we've faced is that many of the members of London city council had only been given a certain amount of information, and the information that perhaps is the most pertinent, that might affect their view of this matter, they are not aware of, for whatever reasons, and we have found an unwillingness to discuss it. Carolyn touched on the fact that we sense there's a fear that if they don't take the 64,000 acres, the whole house of cards is going to come tumbling down and they'll get zero.

We believe that if they could be made to see that there is a compromise where they will get something, that there will be growth and the entire area can grow economically, and if they were assured that they would have that opportunity for growth, there are many members of city council who would be very willing to look at a smaller annexation.

Mrs Cunningham: As a result of that response, I don't think it would be fair to not ask a supplementary. We did get a letter, as you know -- you have it before you -- with regard to the town of Westminster. Is the town of Westminster on record as supporting the position that you wanted to put before the city of London?

Ms Grieve: Yes.

Ms Murray: Yes.

Mrs Cunningham: I just wanted it on the record.

I'm not asking a question; I'm just going to say something to you, Mr Chairman. I think the point has been made about this fear, and I think it's the government's responsibility to address that, not the members of this committee. Obviously, it's something that's coming from the government.

Mr Eddy: On a point of information: I just want to ask a question of anyone who would know. Is the city of London the only municipality left in Ontario with a board of control?


The Chair: Maybe we can get back to you on that. I don't know. I don't live in London, and I'm glad I'm not there right now.

Mrs Mathyssen: The answer is yes. It's the only city in the world with a board of control.

The Chair: Mr Mills has a few comments to make.

Mr Mills: I'd just like to make a comment. I heard you very clearly about the character of your community, that Joe won't be there with his snowplow, and I'd like to leave you with a thought: The communities are changed by official plans and not by boundaries. That's the key to the matter.

The Chair: Thank you for appearing before the committee this morning.


The Chair: Next, we have Doris Bond and Mr Tom Grieve. I'd like to welcome you to the committee. You may begin. If the bells ring, we'll have to go to the House for a vote. That's why I've been pushing everybody to get through.

Mr Eddy: We'll come back.

The Chair: Well, it depends on how far we get. If we get to five after, it depends.

Can you identify yourselves for Hansard? Do you have three parties here or just two speaking?

Ms Doris Bond: Three. My name is Doris Bond and I am a councillor with the town of Westminster. With me is Reeve Tom Grieve, and also the administrator of the town, Douglas Stanlake.

We are here as private citizens but we are speaking in support of the resolution passed by Westminster council on October 28 endorsing the 1988 proposal of the city of London as the preferred solution for boundary adjustment. I would like to say that a certified copy of this resolution will be in your hands later this afternoon in response to this letter you have received on your desk this morning. This letter was not authorized by the full council; it was sent individually, personally, by the mayor.

I'll go on with our presentation.

To quote a well-known provincial politician:

"I have tried to approach my tasks keeping three things in mind: (1) The role and authority of local governments must be recognized and respected; (2) The provincial government has a responsibility to help ensure that municipalities have the tools they need to plan their futures; (3) If governments at all levels are going to overcome the challenges facing us in the 1990s, we must work together as partners."

Bill 75 violates these three principles, as local governments and the public have been manipulated by ministry staff. Local councils have been abused and demeaned. The financial tools to help build for the future have been stripped from the rural community of Middlesex. Bill 75 has divided communities and friends, creating hostility, not partnerships and understanding.

The provincial politician I quoted was the Honourable David Cooke in the initial edition of this magazine, Community. Now I wonder how this same person can endorse Bill 75. The NDP government, rather than aiding those who are threatened, will, through Bill 75, crush the vulnerable and weaken the already weak. This is not my idea of partnerships. Ontario is more than large urban centres. Small towns and rural communities also play a significant role in this province.

Although it is tempting, we are not going to take this time to bash the government, but rather speak in support of an alternative that will be best for all involved.

The basis for a better solution is found in the 1988 proposal made by the city, which the parties involved were denied the opportunity to discuss. Copies of that proposal have already been filed with this committee. This map illustrates the differences, showing the 1988 proposal as a basis for a preferred solution, and Bill 75. The green outline is Bill 75; the pink outline is the 1988 proposal.

Middlesex-London is outlined on this map as well. The communities involved have a population of 367,000 and 150,000 households. Four provincial ridings are involved and three are currently held by the government.

Westminster has had an official plan since 1974 and land use controls for 25 years. The new official plan approved in 1986 received compliments from the OMB for its comprehensive and innovative approach to land use planning. Westminster is the only municipality in the county to employ full-time professional planners. Westminster is 55,000 acres in size, and nearly 85% is designated agricultural, 2.5% is designated residential-commercial and 3.5% is designated industrial. Westminster has a total population of 6,300 people. The existing urban area of Lambeth has a population of 3,200. It has a full municipal water supply and over one third of the households are on sanitary sewers.

There are contradictions in Bill 75. The bill directs the county and the city to plan jointly, but then Minister Cooke says that joint planning will not work and this is the reason for the massive annexation. Which policy is Mr Cooke following? Or is there a policy? Partnerships are built through cooperation, not confiscation.

Mr Tom Grieve: Westminster might not be a large urban centre, but we do have servicing plans in place. We are a municipality that has no debt other than a small amount that our PUC has incurred. Our debt capacity is approaching $7 million and our financial approach has been to service our debt. We pay as we go. Property owners only pay for the services received, and for some time we've had area rating bylaws in effect.

In planning for long-term services, Westminster has worked in partnership with the development industry and prepared a master servicing study, which we have here for you to look at today. This is based on watershed planning. This is the first kind of study that was completed in Ontario under the environmental assessment process. We also have done a development charge study and we have passed a bylaw. We have a copy of this study for you today too.

We have maps today showing our sewage and water services. Right now, Westminster has two sewage treatment plants. We have one in Lambeth, called the Hamlyn plant, which handles approximately 200 homes and is capable of doubling in size. We have another plant, called the Digman plant, which services land in the Wellington Road area, and it can be increased to five times its current size. We have approval from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment to expand the collection area to provide sewage treatment to our industrial area.

London has advised us that if it annexes Westminster, it will use exactly the plans that we've developed to service the land that's presently in Westminster. We have the financial resources to do this, so what's the advantage of being annexed? How does this create economic renewal, if the same number of jobs are being created no matter which municipality calls the contract?

When we look at water, we have the water services that we have in place with the PUC on this map also. They're presently centred in the Lambeth area, which is the light blue line, and they extend north on Wonderland Road and east on Highway 2. The dark blue line is the present city water line that goes through parts of Westminster, and the dotted line in the centre part of Westminster is the new Lake Erie pipeline that is going to be constructed in 1993-94, which has capacity to bring to the London area 10 million gallons a day.

With city water lines on town roads, doesn't it make sense that we should use those instead of installing a second line? That's where joint services seem to make sense and save money. If you think about it, many of these water lines were financed with provincial money. We're provincial taxpayers too and we financed the Lake Huron line. We also helped to finance the Lake Erie line.

The city currently has a policy: To connect to city water, you have to agree to be annexed. The point being made here is that small communities also plan. We have the capability to look to the future and we use the tools available to us, just like large urban centres.


We have another map, talking about joint services. In the 1988 proposal the city made, it talked about joint services as a low-cost solution. They must have believed it was the only way to do it. We believe that fair agreements do work.

It's interesting to note that in David Cooke's own riding of Windsor-Riverside, joint service agreements are established between the city of Windsor and the communities of Tecumseh and St Clair Beach. These agreements have been in force for over 30 years. Also, there are agreements between Windsor and Sandwich South township that have been in place for over 25 years, and these are the green sheets that are attached to the back of our presentation.

When you talk about joint service agreements, there are three principles: There's got to be full cost recovery for the supplier, only those receiving services pay and there are financing agreements between municipalities and the development industry by front-end financing agreements and development charges.

When we make up joint service agreements for water, it's quite simple. The supplier charges for the water consumed and the user or the purchaser charges the end user for the water plus the cost of the debt on the water line.

Sewage agreements are very similar. The difference is that additional upfront money is required. This process allows for a major plant to be financed and built over several decades.

In the London area, already there are several joint service agreements that work and they all seem to benefit everyone. Even John Brant, in his report, stated that the minister should allow joint servicing. Since 1960, the city of London has entered into over a dozen joint service agreements for landfill, for roads, for sewage treatment and for water supply. In fact, we've been billing the city of London for 30 years for sewage treatment because we're treating some of its sewage.

The city of London's water supply is based on a joint service agreement with the province of Ontario. Is this committee being told that joint service agreements don't work, when the province has them with its own municipalities?

The province intervened and said no to joint service agreements. In these uncertain economic times, I think we have to do everything we can to work with our neighbours to get the services to the people. That's what really counts.

Ms Bond: Minister Cooke said Bill 75 will aid in the economic recovery for the area. We question this statement based on recent facts.

Bill 75 will take in excess of $35 million out of taxpayers' pockets over the next 10 years, with no change in service. This compensation tax does not generate more jobs. This added tax could force some businesses to the break point.

How do you create economic recovery by taking existing shopping centres, manufacturing plants, residential units and farms from one jurisdiction and putting them in another? Massive annexation will not create jobs. Most likely, jobs will be lost.

Bill 75 is pushing London over its threshold for several services, which will increase the cost to implement Bill 75.

Bill 75 is an imposed solution, not a negotiated partnership that could meet local needs at reasonable cost. Further, it is to be implemented without a full costing report.

It is our understanding that London city council has yet to accept Bill 75 by resolution. They've only accepted in principle the Brant report, which identified far less cost to the city.

The three local NDP members and Dianne Cunningham are going to be blamed for the high costs of Bill 75, because the province refused to accept a lower-cost alternative suggested by the city in 1988. Tory mayor Tom Gosnell has already set the stage and he has a real scapegoat if Bill 75 is passed: "The NDP government forced this solution on us."

Only in the last 30 days have financial impact reports become known that address even ballpark implementation costs. Compensation payments to the county of Middlesex and area municipalities have grown because of the severe financial impact of Bill 75 due to the loss of assessment from the county and its municipalities, principally the loss of the assessment base of Westminster. The province has been asked to date to pay $7.5 million in grants for compensation to the city of London. Why should the province have to subsidize the costs of this annexation? It appears the city is not in a position of being able to afford the costs of Bill 75. Why else would they ask for money, and why would Mr Cooke agree to such payments? Who gains if it costs taxpayers millions of dollars, regardless of which level of government pays?

Estimated costs of Bill 75 now have ranged from $35 million to $50 million to $75 million. No one ever believed Mayor Tom Gosnell that this annexation would not cost city residents a dime, but can the city and the province really afford the costs now emerging?

A major impact of Bill 75 is future education costs, which the minister refuses to address and defers to a later date. It is irresponsible to proceed without knowing how much Bill 75 will cost in the short and the long term. Even that famous recent report of the Financial Times warns of the potential risks of a large annexation.

To finance the increased demand for capital spending as a result of Bill 75, city council approved, on November 16, 1992, reviewing development charges, increasing the city's debt and increasing water rates and taxes. All this means extra costs, an increase in fees for service and increases in property taxes. Small business and fixed-income home owners certainly do not need more taxes.

Bill 75 certainly has a pocketbook impact and has had an impact on the community like no other piece of legislation in the lifetime of many people. Bill 75 will cost people a way of life they enjoy and an entire disruption in community. It does not acknowledge how a massive annexation will affect people in their own community.

Mr Grieve: When we think of a solution, we have to remember the 1990 terms of reference, and the terms of reference were for a local solution. The solution had as its goals being the best form of government for the area, which meant the economic, environmental, cultural and social needs of the citizens of the area, and all municipalities, including the county, are to be based on areas of common interest, effective and efficient services, financial viability, accessibility and accountability. This committee must embrace these same terms of reference if a solution has any credibility in the eyes of the public.

There are a few other weaknesses in Bill 75 I'm going to point out. One would be that it creates a greater service level difference between the rural resident and the urban resident. As the county would lose assessment, it would have to cut costs, and one of the first things that would be cut is soft services. The library system would probably be cut and recreation programs would be cut.

Increases for higher service delivery charges: Eventually the volunteer fire department would be replaced by a full-time department. This would increase costs from four to five times.

It would be a very costly solution requiring provincial financial aid, and we know how tight the province is for money. It has all the appearances to be an economic damper and not a stimulator.

If we're going to look at another solution, we should consider the financial impact of the 1988 proposal on Westminster. We estimate that the compensation package to the county would be reduced by 50%. There should be no need for provincial grants to the city. We do realize, however, that Westminster taxes would rise slightly due to the police service improvements, assuming a three-year phase-in, and this would probably be about a 5% to 6% increase over three years.

The 1988 proposal has some positive points that should be considered. One of the points I think we should consider is that right in the proposal it says, and I quote from what the city wrote:

"We do not wish to push Westminster out of existence. It keeps municipal units financially strong. It reduces financial impact on non-productive taxes, and think how much more benefit it would bring to the region if we could spend the money on hard services instead of on compensation. It provides a reasonable amount of land for the city to expand on and it has broad public support."


In summary, we would like to suggest to the committee some of the following:

-- Advise Mr Cooke that with the financial impact figures now available, Bill 75 is too costly and has too great a financial impact on the county of Middlesex, and the province of Ontario cannot afford to provide funds to subsidize this cost.

-- Due to the costs of Bill 75, there will be a major tax increase for all taxpayers, which is unjustified, and the annexation should be downsized.

-- The committee should consider these principles for the 1988 proposal that are based on lower costs, and they would be: up to about 20,000 acres of vacant land annexed to the city for future growth and development, accept joint servicing as an effective way to address environmental concerns, and leave viable economic communities like Westminster and the county of Middlesex alone.

-- Incorporate into the legislation direction that the city and neighbouring municipalities enter into agreements for water supply and sewage treatment by June 1993.

-- Incorporate into the legislation direction that the town of Westminster and the township of Delaware negotiate an amalgamation agreement by December 31, 1993.

-- Continue the provincial policy of no fringe development until full municipal services are available.

-- Direct the ministry staff, the city of London, the county and the municipalities to complete a full financial impact analysis of the costs of implementing the 1988 proposal to establish a fair compensation package.

-- Recommend that the effective date of this would be on December 31, 1994.

I made a few comments of my own last night and I want to say that, because this is basically our last kick at the cat, as I call it, the last time we have a chance to say anything about the boundary issues or Bill 75.

You'll notice we have one more map up here behind Doug. I want you to look at that, because that's basically a map of southern Ontario, and this is a province that elected all of you to where you are today. We're paying your salaries.

When this process started, as it was stated earlier, it was going to be a model process for others to follow, but as it floundered, it was changed, and it was intended to solve a unique situation.

On this map of southern Ontario, you'll notice that down in the southwestern part there's a yellow section. That includes all of London and Middlesex county; that's how big they are. If you get close to it, it looks like a pretty big area, but the farther away you are, it's smaller. Maybe that's the problem. I'm in the centre of that and it's a big issue to me, but to some of you who maybe live in Ottawa or Mississauga or wherever some may come from, it's just another small issue.

But, you know, a lot of people are watching what's going to happen in London-Middlesex, and a lot of people are wondering what's going to happen to Bill 75 and a lot of questions are being asked.

If you'll notice on that map, there are a lot of little red dots. Every dot indicates where there's another boundary issue before the Ministry of Municipal Affairs. They are all involved in the boundary negotiation act; there are over 40 applications before the ministry.

There are a few other dots on there indicating municipalities that have contacted us which are in a very similar situation of being close to a large urban centre, and they fear for their existence.

The boundaries of the counties are also outlined, because it's not just the individual municipality that's involved; it involves the whole county. There's a lot of the area of this province that is involved in boundary issues, and they're watching to see what happens here.

I sometimes wonder where the government gets the ideas for naming the bills it passes. I wonder why this is Bill 75. I've come to the conclusion that it's probably because it's going to cost $75 million. And I wonder what some of these other annexation issues are that are going to be dictated by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs. What bill numbers are they going to be? Bill 40 or Bill 90 or Bill 103?

There's a big question being asked across this province, and they want to know: Is this NDP government going to allow the Ministry of Municipal Affairs to do to them what it's just done to Westminster?

It's not for me to tell you what to do, and it's not for Ben Veel, and it's not for Tom Gosnell, and it's not for Don Taylor, and its not for Mary Newman, and it's not for Linda Duchek or Brian Riddell.

It's your responsibility, and your responsibility isn't any different, really, than mine as an elected official in Westminster. We have all kinds of contentious and controversial issues before us, and on one side we have our staff advising us and doing background research on what we should do, and on the other side we have the business community and the public telling us what they want.

But who's in the middle? It's the elected official. And whose responsibility is it? It's the elected official's. Who has the final say? It's the elected official. It's up to Irene Mathyssen and it's up to David Winninger and it's up to Ron Hansen and to Gordon Mills, and it's Ron Eddy and it's Gary Carr and the rest who aren't here right now. That's whose responsibility it is.

Whatever decision is made on Bill 75, it will go to create part of the legacy of Bob Rae's NDP government. Is that legacy going to be of a government that listened to the people, heard what they said and directed the bureaucracy in the way they thought the people wanted them to go, or is it going to be a government that listened to the people and didn't really hear what they said and just followed the way the bureaucracy thought things should go?

If I were in your shoes, I know what kind of legacy I would leave for the future. Doris started our presentation with a quote from David Cooke. I want to quote another elected official in Ontario: "Good government doesn't just happen. It takes good people working together to create good government."

The Chair: Thank you. It looks like we'll have about one question apiece, starting off with Mr Eddy.

Mr Eddy: Thank you for your presentation and thank you for the lesson. It's a good lesson and it's one that elected people need from time to time, and I'm pleased to be one of the recipients of it.

I don't really have a question, except that I'd like a clarification from the ministry; two in fact, but perhaps I'd better ask that later. I'd like the Chair to clarify the procedure, because it's been stated in at least one of the presentations, and maybe more, that people have been told and some of the presenters have been told that there's no possible way this can be changed. If that is the case, this is a travesty, to hear people make presentations with good, well-thought-out alternatives in order to help the entire situation, all of us.

The only question I'd have is, do all of you believe that there is an alternative that could be worked out and be acceptable to the area, that would give the city, shall we say, most of what it needs according to its own studies and be acceptable to most of the parties or all the parties?

Mr Grieve: I think all of the parties are willing to settle on something other than Bill 75. The county made a counterproposal to the city last July, and we just found out two weeks ago that city council never even saw that counterproposal. It got to the board of control and it stopped. But we are willing, and I think the people are willing to look for another solution.

The Chair: Mr Eddy, we've got to carry on. I can say one thing: amendments that your party has would be welcome, if we could, before we meet again so we can study them, and the same thing with Mr Carr. I believe Irene's tabling some amendments or a plan --

Mr Eddy: We beg the NDP majority government --

The Chair: It's just that I haven't heard yet that everything was in stone the way you were indicating through the Chair.

Mr Eddy: I don't think it is.

The Chair: There's still an open mind. I'd like to carry on with Mr Carr.

Mr Carr: Thank you very much for your presentation. As I was looking at the finances and how well you've done there, I was thinking that what we should do is throw this government out and bring you in to run it.

Mr Grieve: No thanks.

Mr Carr: It may be frustrating for you on this issue, but I want to tell you, it's frustrating for us, because the way this has been mismanaged is the same way the education system is being mismanaged, the health care system is being mismanaged, the whole economy of this province is being mismanaged. The frustration that you feel on this issue is what I feel every day on every issue as I talk to different people. There is this tremendous amount of frustration out there on numerous issues, and what goes to the heart of this is the way it's been done, a total lack of management.

My question is along the same lines as Ron's. If we have an acceptable solution there, the 1988 proposal, why do you think the minister, and ultimately this government, won't go ahead with it? Why won't they put something in place that everybody can agree on? Why is he not going with it?

Mr Grieve: I guess you'd have to maybe admit that you made a mistake, and that's all I'm going to say.

The Chair: I'm going to have to move on to Ms Mathyssen.

Mrs Mathyssen: I have a question that probably would require some lengthy thought, and by virtue of that --

The Chair: You're going to be cut off by the bell, I can tell you, so if you don't get going --

Mrs Mathyssen: No, you're not going to cut me off, Ron.

Basically, you indicated in your brief that Bill 75 violates the terms of reference set out by the province for the arbitrator. Could you give us a sense of how you feel Bill 75 violates the terms of reference it's supposed to uphold?

Ms Bond: Actually, I believe it's the terms of reference that were given to Westminster and London in 1990, not the ones given to the arbitrator. They were different terms of reference.

Mrs Mathyssen: I see.

Ms Bond: That's where a lot of the problem was. Westminster followed the terms of reference given to it in 1990.

Mrs Mathyssen: Early in 1990? By the previous government?

Mr Grieve: That's the terms of reference that I believe Minister Sweeney set out, and that's what we've worked through. We went through the fact-finding, then we had the terms of reference and then we went to the negotiation session where Mr Taylor was the chief negotiator. When no resolution was reached, the thing all fell apart, and then by that time Minister Cooke came in last January and went to the arbitration process and then gave John Brant a set of terms of reference that were completely different from the 1990 set. The problems haven't changed; they just changed the terms of reference.

Ms Bond: One main reason that Bill 75 violates the terms of reference is that it's not the least costly solution for the government; it's more costly than the other alternative solutions.

The Chair: I'm going to have to go to Mr Mills.

Mr Mills: Just a quick comment. There's a lot of emphasis spoken of the 1988 proposal, and I just remind you, as you probably know, that that was turned down by the previous Liberal government as well.

The Chair: Our time has expired. The bell's going any second now, so I'd like to thank you for coming before this committee.

This committee will be recessed until 3:30 this afternoon.

The committee recessed at 1203.


The committee resumed at 1628.

The Chair: We'll resume the hearings on Bill 75, An Act respecting Annexations to the City of London and to certain municipalities in the County of Middlesex.

Mr Eddy: On the matter of time, I understand the House leaders conferred regarding additional time and that we are allowed to sit after 6 some time, are we? So I would ask for unanimous consent for the full 50 minutes for the town of Westminster.

The Chair: The full what?

Mr Eddy: The 50 minutes. How long did they speak for? I think their presentation was --

The Chair: Which one are you talking about here?

Mr Eddy: The last delegation we had, were they complete? Did they have their full time?

The Chair: Yes, they did.

Mr Eddy: They were full. Okay.

The Chair: Yes, they did. But we've got a problem right now in that the one to go on at 4:30, Mr Roger George, has a meeting with Elmer Buchanan. I know we're an hour behind. Is there any group out there that could do a switch with time to let them go on? It's unforeseen that we're here at 4:30, not 3:30, because of a vote in the House. We didn't know when we set up the agenda last week, so if you can just bear with us. Could you wind up just switching there? Okay, fine.

Could we have Wendy Lenders and Hugh Fletcher and Mr Roger George and who else is in the delegation there.

Mr Eddy: Mr Chair, while they're coming forward, I'd like to move for unanimous consent for the town of Westminster, which I believe spoke the last day we had hearings and I believe had 10 minutes of its full allotment. I would move that --

The Chair: I don't believe -- I haven't got my records here, but --

Mr Eddy: Okay, I'll check it out and get back to you.

The Chair: -- I can take a look at Hansard. We can tell about the time in there.

Mr Eddy: Yes, okay.

The Chair: I don't think I would ever cut anybody short at 10 minutes for a presentation.

Mr Grandmaître: Well, we don't know about that.

The Chair: Maybe you only had 10 minutes for questions there, Mr Eddy.

Mr Eddy: No, Mr Chair, it's not the questions. We can skip them. It's the presentations that I'm concerned about. Honestly.

The Chair: I know. We've been trying to be fair to every group here.



The Chair: Okay, if you would identify yourself before you start. We have until 5 o'clock. You may begin.

Mr Roger George: Thank you, Mr Chairman. I'm Roger George, the president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. I have with me Carl Sulliman, the chief executive officer of the OFA. Miss Wendy Lenders from Middlesex and Mr Hugh Fletcher from Middlesex will also be making presentations before the OFA ones. So I think, Mr Chairman, we want to start off with Wendy, if you would, please.

Ms Wendy Lenders: My name's Wendy Lenders. The county and the city have been chastised for not finding a local solution. I will admit I was somewhat disappointed in my local government and the county, but I'm not any more. I found out when I was here on October 29 that we did have a solution with approval on both sides. It was the province that put the kibosh on our local solution.

Now the province is to pass sentence of life in the city of London on many of the area rural people for a crime they did not commit. The province has a vision that London will experience rapid growth in the next 20 to 30 years. I wonder if this vision is similar to the one that Governor Simcoe had when he saw London as the capital of Canada. London would have made a lovely capital, but this did not come to be. I'm sure there are other centres in southwestern Ontario that would like just a piece of the action.

You are the standing committee on finance and economic affairs, but this is a land use planning issue. The purpose of this bill is to alter the boundaries of the city of London to increase the land base within the city's jurisdiction to meet the city's planning and development needs. If this sounds one-sided, that's because it is.

The size of the annexation has not been justified. The buffer zone has been put in place to keep annexation number 2 lands virgin of urban development. The idea of preserving farm land within the city limits, though the intention is good, will not work. You cannot legislate attitude. You are moving the farm land from urban shadow to farm land in transition. Farm land best protected in the province? I don't think so. My farm land is better protected than these lands.

This process and this bill are inconsistent with the Sewell commission mandate and the ministry's growth and settlement policy guidelines. I'm not against annexation, but the 1988 proposal, or boundaries similar to it, would be more appropriate. This would be a local solution and it meets the requirements set out in Mr Brant's terms of reference, except for the airport.

The city is already responsible for the servicing of the airport. Justification has not been shown as to why the airport should be in the city. This airport serves more than just the city or our county; it serves our neighbouring counties as well. I notice that Transport Canada is not on the list at the back of the Brant report. This is a list of people consulted.

This annexation proposed in Bill 75 purges the county. I don't want the city's blood money; I want fair compensation for a fair annexation.

I will supply you each with a copy of my letter I sent to Mr Brant during his hearings. I feel it would be worthwhile to this committee to have access to all presentations and submissions made to Mr Brant. You can see for yourself whether the people were listened to or not. The location and the allotment of time for these committee hearings have severely curtailed public involvement.

I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have, but before I do, I'd just like to make one suggestion. If Ontario is truly going to reform planning and development in this province, may I suggest that a committee be formed to deal with land use planning affairs and to hear issues such as these in the future.

Mr Carl Sulliman: My name is Carl Sulliman. I'm chief executive officer of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture.

Needless to say, the nomenclature itself will indicate to you what side of the fence we're on in this issue: the farmers'. We could spend a considerable lot of time here on technical details, but we're a farm organization. We're here representing farmers and we're speaking to elected political leaders in this province, and the political optics don't look good.

There are just two or three very quick points that I want to make to those of you who are elected men and women to the Legislative Assembly of the province of Ontario. One is the incomprehensible land grab that the city is doing in terms of its size and magnitude and the amount of planning breathing space that this is going to allow for it. We in the Ontario Federation of Agriculture only wish, this very day in November 1992, when 95% of the corn crop in this province is still sitting in the fields, that we could plan for next week, much less planning for 120 years for some city in southwestern Ontario. Frankly, the issue here is, how come every time we've got an urban problem there's a rural solution thrown up? Whether it's annexation or waste dump sites, it's just time and time again.

It's the inconsistency in process. The honourable minister, with whom we've met several times -- and other representations have been made to him -- promises integrity in the process. The integrity is not preserved and protected. We leap-frog over some of his own rules and regulations. We've got other annexation applications before the minister and we are dreadfully anxious about the implications and the precedents that this particular issue sets for the balance of Ontario. Simultaneously, you have the Sewell commission running around the province. We don't yet know what the results of that are and the implications for farmers and irreplaceable prime farm land in this great province of Ontario. Those are issues that we're not particularly pleased with.

Then there's the question that each one of you would be well versed in: political representation. Once you're gobbled up into a large urban centre like this, we know already that because of the demographics of the electorate out there, the rural population, farmers represent less than 3% of the population. You grab some of the finest farm land and the farm families who are on that farm land in a place like southwestern Ontario and you've just now consumed them into yet another larger urban centre. I ask you, with a planning curve that allows you anywhere from 80 to 120 years, what is the future of that farm land and how can it possibly be justified in 1992?

These are just some of the key points. I don't want to talk a long time, because Roger and I are here to respond, along with Hugh and Wendy, to questions that the men and women of the House may have on this issue. We're very grateful to the delegation that deferred time to us and appreciative of the opportunity to come before you, Mr Chairman.

Mr Hugh Fletcher: In September I presented on behalf of the Middlesex Federation of Agriculture to the minister's presentation in London. Our stand, from the federation's point of view, has not changed since that time. You have a handout with you that includes that presentation. I have given up some of my time to the OFA, which has not, up until now, had the chance to appear before this committee in an open hearing.

At a time when politicians lack credibility, the decision comes down to this committee as to what type of government we have. Do we have good government? Do we have responsible government? Do we have good and responsible government? I must say there are some cruel and unusual jokes out there. I heard one yesterday. What is the definition of politics? It's a two-syllable word, the first half being "poli," meaning many, and the second half being "tics," and we all know that's uncontrollable jerks. That's a nasty one.

Mr Grandmaître: But you're right.

Mr Fletcher: That's it. That is where we are looking at. Until something is done, until we see results from these hearings, from the meetings we had with Mr Brant in the first place, from the meetings we had with the minister, then is it all a charade?

The top page of the handout that I've sent around or that you should have is a letter to the former warden dated October 19 from Dave Cooke. In the third paragraph it says, "While I am aware that some are seeking a substantial modification of the boundaries submitted by John Brant, I am not prepared to entertain any changes in boundaries that are not minor adjustments."

The question to this committee is, who is running things here? Is it this committee that makes changes?


Mr Carr: To some degree.

Mr Fletcher: To some degree? Is it the government? Is it one minister and his staff running things? That is the question for this committee.

All along, throughout this, Mr Cooke has touted the efficiencies of the city of London and its planning ability. It is now one year ago September that the city hall staff told the city of London that it needed to drastically increase its development fees. Last week it came back before council; it just came back before council. They're going to think about it.

This is a city too that is also now saying, "We'll have to look at services that are being provided for the annexed areas." Not "We will continue and upgrade services provided to the annexed area," but "We will have to consider what services we think they need."

In the presentations made to Mr John Brant, the London Transit Commission manager made a presentation to him at 9 o'clock in the evening. He lives in White Hills, a subdivision approximately 20 years old. He couldn't make it home by public transportation because the last bus leaving for downtown to his subdivision left at 8:30. Transportation services don't really exist in that city.

The city council, this summer, has decided it should build a three-lane bridge on a four-lane major north-south artery. But we must remember, this is a city that has two expressways, both of them less than a kilometre in length, not connected at any point to either of them and they just go from A to B, here and there. There are no major studies I have seen or heard that they have major transportation policies, and this is a city that you, by going with Bill 75, will make the 10th-largest city in Canada. This is also, by doing that, increasing the land use. They are taking more land for annexation than land that was used for annexation purposes from 1981 to 1986. It is just ludicrous.

In regard to agriculture, if this goes through, there needs to be a strong agricultural committee. It has been suggested that an advisory committee be created. An advisory committee to a city council that builds a three-lane bridge on a four-lane highway isn't going to do much good. If they won't listen to their city hall staff for at least a year, why should they listen to an advisory committee on agriculture, of all things, within a city which is dedicated to development?

Earlier today you listened to the London and St Thomas Real Estate Board. Mr Eddy asked the question, if St Thomas wanted to enlarge, what township should it take? He was suggesting Yarmouth; I believe it's to the south of St Thomas. Am I right?

Mr Eddy: I think it's mostly to the north. Yes, I think between London and --

Mr Fletcher: Between London and St Thomas?

Mr Eddy: St Thomas, yes.

Mr Fletcher: That would be a foolhardy thing to do, because you have to realize, with this annexation as it is, there are only three blocks separating London and St Thomas. All of a sudden St Thomas would be a prime candidate for annexation by London. It seems foolhardy to have such a large, large annexation unless you can justify it, and I do not think, at this time, for these costs, it can be done.

Mr George: In conclusion, a very short statement: Earlier this year my vice-president, Jack Wilkinson, travelled along with Carl Sulliman, our chief executive officer, to Middlesex and the city of London for a three-day consultation with the farmers affected by this process. Now we're here at the 11th hour appealing to the members of the Legislature to put some common sense back into this flawed decision on behalf of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.

What's at stake for our organization is the issue of land use, the whole integrity of the government process on annexation, as well as the preservation of farm land. Quite frankly, my organization has recently indicated to the Minister of Agriculture and Food that we're not prepared to go on with the debate on land use policy in this province and the preservation of agricultural land till this government puts some integrity back. It's not only the annexation process but the site selection process for waste management sites and so on and so forth, because you're sending some awfully, awfully strange signals to the farmers of this province.

The Chair: I guess we have some time for some questions here, and we'll start off with Mr Carr.

Mr Carr: Thank you very much for your presentation. It's nice seeing you again. I know we talked last week about the many challenges facing your organization, and there are many. I understand with the switch in time that you have a meeting with the minister this afternoon. As you know, the Ministry of Agriculture got involved in some of the other projects. I'm thinking now of the Ottawa hockey rink. They've been strangely silent on this. What are you going to tell the minister when you meet with him this afternoon regarding this bill?

Mr George: We're not meeting with the minister on this particular issue in actual fact, so I doubt very much if that issue will come up, but we will have an opportunity to discuss it with the minister in subsequent times, and we've already indicated to the Minister of Agriculture in writing basically the same things we've been telling this committee for the last 15 minutes.

Mr Carr: In terms of the importance of the Ministry of Agriculture, why do you think it's been silent up till now regarding this very important issue?

Mr Fletcher: I think the Minister of Agriculture would have to answer that question.

Mr Carr: Would the parliamentary assistant like to indicate why the Ministry of Agriculture hasn't been involved in this process at all?

Mr Fletcher: If I may answer, they seem to have this strange rule where the Ministry of Agriculture does not get involved until you have a zoning change. So in actual fact, if this is not a major shift from prime land going into the city, if it is not really declared redundant, out of use, what not, once it moves into the city, any comment the Ministry of Agriculture makes at that time, at zoning time, is just minor.

Mr Carr: Let me ask Roger this. I think I heard you say that Tyour organization doesn't want to participate if they're not going to listen to you on these issues.

Mr George: Absolutely. I made it very clear to Mr Buchanan we have not yet responded to his policy statement on food land preservation, and once again tonight, farmers across the province, at least in the regions of York and Durham and Peel, are sitting on pins and needles, waiting for another bombshell to be dropped on them in the morning by Mrs Grier on the short list for the sites for the Interim Waste Authority. It's just not good enough that this province is gobbling up farm land for these uses with scant regard to the use of prime agricultural land. We in the Ontario Federation of Agriculture are just totally dissatisfied on that whole issue.

Mr Carr: I appreciate that one, because that's an important one.

The Chair: Mr Carr, I've got to carry on. The parliamentary assistant would like to make a comment?

Mr Mills: Yes, just a brief comment. You asked about the involvement of the Minister of Agriculture. This process was before cabinet, and the minister is a member of cabinet and was in that approval process. I'd like to say that the agricultural land was felt by the cabinet to be protected sufficiently through sound planning, not by the boundaries. So that's the decision.


Mr Grandmaître: Mr Chair, can I reply on this one? How come the Minister of Ag and Food gets involved in official plans, when the official plans are being circulated to three, four, five, six, seven or eight ministries and Ag and Food is the most severe ministry when it comes to agricultural land, then how come the Ministry of Ag and Food is not involved in this troubling annexation which involves agricultural land?

Mr Mills: They will be. He will be.

Mr Grandmaître: They will be? When? After the annexation, they will be.

Mr Mills: In the approval of the official plan, Bernard.

Mr Grandmaître: In official plans, but this is much worse than an official plan; this is annexation.

Mr Mills: That's when he gets to comment.

Mr Sulliman: I guess the issue for us is that we haven't come here to finger-point at members of the executive council, at individual members of Parliament. The issue is that we come before a duly constituted committee of the Legislative Assembly of the province of Ontario saying that, for heaven's sake, this is the last chance for sober second thought on an action that we believe is not in the best interests of Ontario, much less the farming community. It just is a poor decision. It's not just the integrity question of the process; it's a bad decision.

We appeal to you as reasonable men and women elected to the Legislative Assembly to consider that as a committee and to take that back to the House with a very sincere representation on behalf of the people of Ontario. You are the last stop in this process for us, and that's what we're asking for today. We're not here to finger-point, to lay blame at anybody's doorstep. Let's take a second look, from a commonsense, farm-gate level, at a bad decision. Do it and do it now.

The Chair: When I saw you and Roger standing outside, I took it that you were here from the perspective of not only locally but provincially. I think all committee members realize that.

We go on to Ms Mathyssen.

Mrs Mathyssen: I have a question for Mr George and a question for Mr Fletcher. Mr George, this farm land, the minister has stated unequivocally, will be protected by regulation and will be the best-protected farm land in Ontario. Can the city of London, can regulation, protect this farm land?

Mr Fletcher, you were present when we discussed the rural advisory committee for that rural community, the working farms, to be annexed, that representation before the London council. It was our feeling that it should be a committee with teeth and with influence that could truly advocate. What was the response of the city of London to that directive that it be a committee that indeed had some power?

Mr George: Mrs Mathyssen, in response to whether or not the planning process can protect the farm land around London sufficiently, I throw back the question to you, has the planning process protected the farm land around Toronto over the years?

Mr Fletcher: In regard to the other half of the question, yes, I was involved with the meeting with the city of London. The city of London operates in its own weird and wonderful way, and it only accepts advisory committees if they are elected -- their standing committees are elected people -- so we could only be an advisory committee and they would just take us as that. Basically, we were told exactly where we would fit into the situation. It was not a consultation by any means. "This is how we run our show. Just because we are tripling in size, so what?" We're going to have one extra councillor, but it will be the same other 19 members of council who do, really, the dictating of things. It'll be business as usual.

Mr Grandmaître: Let's talk about the process, because every group we've met in the last five or six weeks wasn't too satisfied with the process. Yet there's a Municipal Boundary Negotiations Act in place, which wasn't satisfactory, I guess, to the minister or the ministry, who then appointed a single arbitrator, and then the minister had to send a letter of apology to every municipality in the province of Ontario saying, "Hey, this is unique," yet this is the model that will be in place for future annexation.

I want to ask you, why is the ministry or the minister -- and I'm not finger-pointing or anything --

Interjection: It sure sounds like it.

Mr Kimble Sutherland (Oxford): Obviously I need a translator.

Mr Grandmaître: Why is it that, when at first you people were looking at the possibility of a 20,000-acre annexation and now it has reached 64,000 acres, why is the government going through with this? Being an outsider, why do you think the government is going through with this? Because we don't know.

Mr George: I guess we're here to ask the same question. I don't know either.

Mr Mills: I suspect you do know.

Mr Grandmaître: I'm asking the question and they won't answer my question, so maybe you can try your luck.

The Chair: Time is running out. I think a lot of good questions have been asked. It's good to see you again, Roger and Carl. Thank you for appearing before the committee. I'm grateful that the other group was able to accommodate you. Have a good talk with the minister.

Mr Sulliman: We are very grateful, Mr Chairman.

In answer to your question, Mr Grandmaître, it's been a long time since the United Farmers of Ontario were the government, so until it comes around again --

Mr Eddy: The election of 1919.

The Chair: Thank you.

Could we have Professor Andrew Sancton, please?

Mr Eddy: Mr Chair, while we have this short interlude, could I clarify the question I had previously? It had to do with the presentation of the town of Westminster officials. They had a joint presentation with the township of Delaware. Unfortunately, the township of Delaware took most of the time and the town of Westminster only had 10 minutes. I would like to ask for unanimous consent for the town of Westminster to complete its presentation. They feel they didn't have any time.

Mr Sutherland: I understand that, Mr Eddy. My only comment would be that many groups are on here. Everyone understands that some days the House goes later. We try to accommodate as many groups as possible. Some groups have been delayed. Groups last week didn't get their full time either. We've had groups in favour and against not getting their full time. I understand we had the town of Westminster in two weeks ago in terms of making a presentation then, so there have been groups officially representing the town of Westminster given their full time to make their presentations.

Mr Eddy: I thank the member for the information. Mr Chair, the members here may be aware of the fact that the House leaders dealt with this matter and allowed us to sit a bit after 6. Are you aware of that?

The Chair: Yes. I was told that we'd be sitting till after 6. They gave us permission because we knew the vote was in the House. If we got finished earlier, it would have been done earlier.

Mr Eddy: I know some people have to get away, too.

The Chair: I hope you don't leave early, Mr Eddy.



The Chair: Would you please identify yourself for the purposes of Hansard. I would like to welcome you here to the standing committee on finance and economics.

Dr Andrew Sancton: Thank you, Mr Chairman. My name is Andrew Sancton. I'm a resident of the city of London. I'm employed by the University of Western Ontario, where I teach in the political science department, and my specialty is local government. I'm accompanied today by Councillor Joe Swan of the city of London, a former student of mine and also my ward councillor. I ask that he be allowed to use a few minutes of my time, because there are some aspects of this on which he's better qualified to speak than I am.

You have, I believe, my written brief that was sent before you decided on the extra day of hearings -- I very much appreciate the fact that the committee decided to have another day of hearings -- and I think you should now also have a copy of the notes I have for myself today, so in fact there are two documents you have available to you.

I want to make three major points and two minor ones. The first is the lack of research that has been done on this large annexation. The second is the lack of support for the large annexation. The third has to do with joint servicing agreements. These are all issues which have been talked about considerably today since I've been here.

I have two minor points that haven't been talked about at all today, concerning the city/county liaison committee and social planning. If it looks like we have time I might just slip those in, but if I don't have time, they are in front of you in writing.

The first major point is this: I believe we are in this mess, and I think it is a mess, because the previous Minister of Municipal Affairs, Mr Sweeney, decided that London's 1988 proposals were not sufficiently comprehensive. I searched in vain for evidence or research that supports this position. There were no public hearings prior to this conclusion being arrived at and no comprehensive research was commissioned.

The closest approximation to anything like evidence is found in a December 1989 study for the ministry's fact-finder done by Huron-Middlesex Engineering which concerned hard services. Like all such documents in the boundary negotiations process, it was never made officially public, to my knowledge; one tracks it down with some difficulty.

That particular study says -- and I'm only quoting this because we're trying to find some real research that's been done here and it's hard to find it -- "The best option for Westminster's sewage is a new large treatment plant south of Lambeth that would discharge the sewage directly into the Thames River or into Lake Erie." But it says, "We can't look at this because it would cost too much, it's not a serious proposal," and no further study was done.

The report goes on to say: "A preferred option is the collection and pumping of virtually all town raw sewage into the city of London for treatment by their facility. Although this option may not be politically feasible, it is technically, financially and environmentally sound. If some form of negotiation and agreement are to result, this option should be investigated further."

I might be wrong, of course, but I see Minister Sweeney's intervention as an attempt to make this option politically feasible, but without allowing for joint servicing agreements. Of course, I want to talk more about joint servicing in a few minutes.

What was the result of Mr Sweeney's intervention? Westminster then proposed regional government, which was also later ruled out -- I think quite rightly in the circumstance -- and London proposed something much larger. I really think this is the dynamic that was happening here. The minister said, "We've got to have a more comprehensive solution." London said, "You want comprehensive, we'll give you comprehensive." And they just sat down and drew the lines larger on the map, not really expecting in their wildest hopes that this would actually come to pass. That is what is so astonishing about this whole process, and it leads me to my second major point.

No one, and I repeat, no one I know of wants an annexation this large. As a political scientist, this is an absolutely fascinating process. We seem to be lurching towards a conclusion that no interest wants and so -- it was a question that was asked before by Mr Grandmaître -- one has to wonder.

Westminster and Middlesex are now willing to accept the original proposal that launched this whole process. This is not an obscure proposal, in 1988. This is the proposal that the city started the process with. Westminster and the county are ready to accept it.

I submit that most, if not all, city politicians would be thrilled to have the 1988 proposals as the final solution. The big question is, why won't they say so, except for a very few, one of whom is sitting beside me today? The answer -- it's already been stated earlier today -- is that they do not want this whole thing to unravel. They fear that if they don't get such a large annexation, they're not going to get anything at all. I think the same logic explains the position of the London Chamber of Commerce, the real estate board that you heard from today and probably many developers who hold land closer in to London. They support the large annexation because they're afraid they're not going to get even a smaller annexation.

If in fact the two alternatives are what's in Bill 75 and no annexation, I will tell you that I support the city's position. I've many friends in Westminster and they probably hate to hear me say that, but that's my position. London needs more land for growth. I support that position. But it is absolutely ludicrous to say that there are only two alternatives. There is a vast range of alternatives in between, including the city's original 1988 proposal, which, I repeat, has now got the support of the county and the town of Westminster as well.

On the subject of how things look from the city's perspective on this issue and other related issues that he wants to raise, I'll turn the floor over to Councillor Swan.

Mr Joe Swan: I was elected in 1988 to represent approximately 30,000 residents, covering much of the same area as the representative for London North, Ms Cunningham. Through this whole process, it seems to me, one event continues to lead to the next event, which seems to make the first event -- it makes it look worse and worse as we go further and further into the process.

I remember when I was first elected in 1988 that the development industry had pushed hard for approximately 15,000 acres of land, because the city was in need of both industrial and housing land. Being somewhat sceptical of the development industry's claims about how much shortage there was, I had difficulty even accepting the 15,000 acres. The municipality's position was: "In order to ensure that we get 15,000, we'd better aim for around 22,000. That would be a firm negotiating position, and that way, if we have to take a setback, at least we're going to cover off what the development industry is telling us."

From that decision, Professor Sancton is correct that the minister, Mr Sweeney, sent the direction down that in fact it wasn't large enough. So the proposal came back, "Well, where do we go from here?" The next thing that's reasonable is, "Perhaps we'll take over certain aspects of the assessment area around the town of Westminster." That wasn't good enough. The next answer to it was, "Well, I guess we have to take over the town." I want to tell the committee that it was even considered at one time that we should take over the county. That was a proposal that was discussed by our council. I mean, the logic and the rationale just began to build and build, and I think Professor Sancton is 100% correct in saying that the municipality and the council members I deal with do not want the kind of annexation that is being proposed today.

It's interesting that you did receive a report from three members of our city council. It's interesting that it's the first time I, as a council member, have seen it. It's interesting that it's the first time I, as a council member, have seen the figures in here. It leads to the question, how did we get here?

I have to tell you that the boundary negotiations process is not the best process. You'll recall that the old process used to have an OMB hearing, in which there was full public disclosure, in which the meetings went on for some time, with diverse interest groups. The boundary negotiations process is a very closed one. There's a very controlled information flow, where you have three or four people on a boundary negotiations team that controls the information.

I have to tell you that, in my view, as a full council this has not had full deliberation. I have been there since 1988 and spent less than 20 hours of council time talking about the future of London for the 21st century. I have to say to this committee that the fundamental issue is, can you slow this process down?

I could sit and go through amendment by amendment and perhaps try to work a few numbers or figures or so on, but really, and I say to the the Chairman, the question for the committee is not to go through with your amendments next week, piece by piece. The question is to go back to the minister and say that we think that this significant amount of land is flawed. I honestly believe, in my heart of hearts, not from being a "politic," that our municipal council, around a rational table looking at a smaller annexation that ensures controlled growth, you will receive that consent.

My final point on this particular aspect is that London was just recognized by the Financial Times as being the best-managed city in the country, and for that we can be very proud. But let me tell you how we got there. It was through very controlled growth. It sure was knowing where every nickel went before you jumped into it. I can tell you right now that financial projections for this annexation are simply scary. You will also know that the city is now back to the province asking for money, over $7 million, looking for the province to bail it out. So when we say that the city can afford it, that the city has an unlimited tax assessment base in order to pay for this, it's clearly wrong; it's not the case.

I may leave it just there. I had wanted to perhaps talk a bit about the board of control, but we'll leave it for now.


Dr Sancton: My last major point has to do with the question of joint servicing, or one municipality providing services to another municipality.

It seems to me, when you strip away all of these issues involved in this, that the issue of joint servicing becomes absolutely crucial to the whole debate. It's very important to realize that a key part of the city's strategy in its 1988 proposal was to propose joint servicing to the town of Westminster. What happened is that the city said, "We want X amount of land within our own boundaries, primarily for industrial development, and as part of the tradeoff for that, we will give up our long-standing opposition to providing services on a user-pay basis to adjoining municipalities."

So the city changed its policy on joint servicing to try to ease this annexation along. At the time, as somebody who wasn't involved in the process at all, I thought: "What a good strategy this is. This makes a lot of sense. There is the makings of a deal here."

Then, we see from the public documents, the public records and from everything I've heard since then, that it was the Ministry of Municipal Affairs that said this joint servicing agreement simply was not acceptable to its point of view. This, to me, is the great mystery of it. I simply do not understand. It makes no sense. As municipal services become more and more complex, it is the only way they will be able to be provided efficiently without constant structural reorganization, and surely we don't want that in Ontario or anywhere else.

One of the great ironies, of course -- it's been mentioned before -- is that John Brant himself, the arbitrator, recognized that joint servicing was the solution for the northern part of the city.

Are municipalities to be determined by pipelines and engineers, or are they to be determined by recognizing communities of people and giving them the right to govern themselves? Even the engineers don't believe that municipal boundaries must follow their pipes. I want to say in passing that still less should school system boundaries follow the pipes. I notice we have the chair of the Middlesex County Board of Education with us today, who has very legitimate concerns about what all this is doing to the school system in the area.

I don't like to engage in Ministry of Municipal Affairs bashing or bureaucrat bashing or anything else because -- I was going to say some of my best friends are Municipal Affairs bureaucrats, and that happens to be true. But it seems to me that only the Ministry of Municipal Affairs has this peculiar hangup, and it is not one that's shared by ministries of municipal affairs or urban affairs or community affairs in other provinces.

The conventional view outside Ontario is that joint servicing arrangements are part of the solution, not part of the problem. Where's the evidence that joint servicing agreements don't work? And if they're not perfect, do we know that their effects are worse than what's envisioned by Bill 75? And what would their effectiveness be if the ministry invested as much effort in promoting, monitoring and improving the effectiveness of joint service agreements as it does in trying to manipulate boundaries all the time? As I said in my original written brief, why do we have a municipal boundaries branch and not a joint servicing agreements branch within the Ministry of Municipal Affairs?

I do have these couple of other minor points, one concerning section 51, which provides for a joint city-county committee. I think I know why that provision is in there. It's because arbitrator Brant said there should be such a committee. The key point is that arbitrator Brant recommended that that committee have real authority to manage certain functions. Section 51 does not say that. I submit that section 51 is pure window dressing so that it looks like the legislation is following the Brant committee report. Since it's just window dressing I think it can go.

The second minor point is that section 57 says London "shall prepare and adopt a plan for the delivery of social services" for the same period as the new official plan. That is not what arbitrator Brant recommended. He recommended that social planning actually be part of the official plan, not that it be a parallel process. The minister saw fit not to include that in the legislation, another departure from the recommendations he said he was going to implement.

This is the irony here, of course. He's sticking to implementing the Brant boundaries without implementing the Brant package. There's so much focus on the boundaries that I think we forget that the process has now gone far beyond; it's quite a different set of proposals than what Brant originally recommended.

There's a kind of semantic debate about whether it should be social planning or planning for social services. The point I think is that the city of London council has no interest in social planning. It hasn't come to you and said, "We want to do social planning and we're glad to get this."

I believe that municipalities should be more involved in social planning. That, incidentally, is one of the reasons why I'm opposed to the principle of disentanglement, but this section, as it's written now, is worse than useless. Again, it is window dressing. If this committee doesn't think that the municipal council of London should take control over what the Ministry of Community and Social Services does concerning social services in London, then I think you should scrap the section altogether.

My conclusion is this. I make my living studying, teaching and writing about politics. I know how unusual it would be for a legislative committee to stop or slow down a majority government's bill at this stage in the process. That is exactly what I am pleading with you to do. As other people have said, this is bad public policy. It has not been thought through. It undermines our fundamental ideas about the purposes of local government. We can do better, much better.

You've heard from others that the process has gone too far now to change, but you know -- I don't have to remind you -- that we are talking about proposed sections of proposed legislation. Surely we are here to determine whether this process should go ahead.

So please do what needs to be done to legislate a much smaller annexation combined with joint servicing in Westminster. Please legislate what London asked for in 1988. I believe that's what local people want. I believe that's a better solution financially. You'll be responding to deeply felt local concerns if you do that. You'll be defending the local government in this province. I believe that if there was ever a time for a legislative committee to show some real independence on an issue, this is it.

I don't know if Joe wants to say more about how he thinks the process might go from here.

Mr Swan: Just quickly, I suppose people may be wondering why I'm diverging so much from the current city position. It is simply because the original position in 1988 was a well-thought-out one, a well-documented one, a reasonable approach to the annexation. It took in enough industrial land and enough residential land to last us to the year 2026. It is a reasonable one. It is one that is now supported by both the county and the town of Westminster. It is the local solution that we've been looking for.

When I think about the preservation of the county and the town, I'd go back to an OMB hearing in 1961 that talked about the last annexation. The rationale they used for amalgamating the areas of Byron and a few others into the municipality was based on a community of interest.

It said that the existing three areas had a community of interest because they were in a urban environment. When we look at this particular annexation today, we are not talking about two similar units. We are not talking about two communities of the same interest; we're talking about very diverse interests. We are talking about townships that have different needs, different interests, different problems from the rural and the urban context.

I think that is an important principle we cannot lose. We cannot assume, through this legislation that's setting a precedent, that every other rural area, any time some service problems happen, gets amalgamated with an urban centre. That is just not good public policy.

I'd be remiss if I didn't read this, quickly, if I could, Mr Chairman, because my council board of control members are expecting it, so I wouldn't want to let them down.

"In determining whether or not [the board of control] makes a difference for a municipality, two factors should be considered. First, if the board of control is an important feature of a municipality's governance, one would have to question why the province does not appear to display much confidence in a board of control system."

I'm going to read quickly: "Eight of 11 boards of control were abolished by the province, with six of those eight boards of control being abolished by the province without a specific request to do so. The province has never refused a request of the municipality to either abolish an existing board or dispense with the need to establish one.


In 7 of 11 cases where the province restructured the local governance of a particular region of the province, including Metropolitan Toronto, Durham, Haldimand-Norfolk, Halton, Peel, Sudbury and Waterloo, it has specifically prohibited the establishment of boards of control and, in so doing, the province also dissolved the existing board of control in the city of Sudbury and in the city of Oshawa.

The last point: The province has prohibited all upper-tier regional municipalities from establishing a board of control, notwithstanding the fact of their larger budget, a higher level of debt and a volume of contracts that would far exceed those in the municipality.

Quite clearly, in order for our board of control to be eliminated, we need a two-thirds vote of council, and when you're sitting with five members who are very unlikely to vote for themselves, it just takes one or two and they hold the vote. They have done that in the past and I would expect they will be able to maintain that in the future.

The question to this committee is clause 5(b); it should have no reference to board of control and it should be eliminated.

The Chair: Okay. We'll go to Irene.

Mrs Mathyssen: I have a question for Professor Sancton and one for Mr Swan.

Professor Sancton, in your presentation you talked about the dislocations that boundary adjustments create. Could you briefly describe some of the dislocations that this adjustment will create? I know you're not as expert as Mrs McIlmoyle about the educational disruptions, but perhaps you could touch on those.

Mr Swan, you mentioned that there hadn't been a great deal of discussion within city council about Bill 75. I wonder if you could comment on what you see down the road in terms of the effects the current bill will have on the city of London, any detrimental effects, any problems that you can foresee.

Dr Sancton: On the first point, the dislocations, I think there have been other people here today who have testified to that far more eloquently than I can. I think particularly of Susan Grieve and some of the other people who live in those areas.

On a more technical level -- again, I'm by no means an expert on this -- we get into these issues of communications -- police and fire communications, for example -- where the city's communications systems were designed for a city of a particular size and now all of a sudden it's tripled, so you get into huge expenses associated with that; the existence of volunteer fire people in Westminster and the fact that that whole way of life would be dislocated, and of course it's going to cost more to have full-time fire people doing it.

On the school front, it really does seem mind-boggling that this whole process could somehow have gone along with the school boards sitting out there as very partial players, being chastised by arbitrator Brant for not doing all the research, as though annexation was going to happen, yet they weren't involved in the process to start with. Every time I read about it or hear about it or talk to any of the school people about it, I'm just appalled at the situation they're in. As a parent of young children, I can imagine how awful it would feel to be out there, not knowing how this whole system is going to affect the busing of your children from one place to another. It's just an awful mess.

The Chair: Mr Eddy, one question.

Mr Eddy: It's interesting, the comment on board of control. Most of them have been abolished. I believe it was Paul Hickey, who did a study on local government, who said the board of control system is designed to keep information from the members of a council. But we won't dwell on that.

The question I had was in regard to the city's presentation. You have a copy of the city's presentation. Was that at this committee?

Mr Swan: Actually, I found it on the --

Mr Eddy: I believe you've said this is the first time you've seen it.

Mr Swan: That's correct.

Mr Eddy: And it's the position of city council? Mr Chair, I submit, in my experience the only way you can have a presentation representing the view of the council is to have a certified copy of a document adopted and passed by a council. I rest my case. I think it's terrible.

I want to ask about a lack of research on annexations, your position that indeed an impact study should have been done in this case and why, as in all other annexations. Would you comment on that?

Mr Swan: Again, I went back and did my homework on the 1961 annexation. There were significant studies done to ensure that the cost and the feasibility of annexation were well thought out, well prepared and we clearly understood the implications on the tax base.

In this particular case, it's just a giant leap of faith. They just think economic growth is going to happen, and what's interesting, as someone mentioned before, is that we now have detrimental effects. We now have to look at our development charges bylaw, which you can expect either to double or triple, which will be a disincentive to economic development.

You can look at tax increases. I notice in this report it's 2.7%. Recent numbers are certainly going to take that up close to the 4% or 5% at a minimum, plus cost of inflation. Before long, we're looking at double-digit tax increases, and I quite clearly know what the answer's going to be at our council. Who did this? The NDP.

Mrs Cunningham: I very much appreciate the presentation we've just heard and certainly share the views of Professor Sancton in this regard, because it has been a point of frustration, the size of the annexation.

I have a question for either of the presenters or the ministry. In discussing this alternative earlier today with the government, I was advised that there is a financial -- how should I put it? -- responsibility on behalf of the government if in fact it was to view this as -- I'm now talking about the alternative that you're wanting the committee to look at, or to recommend to the government to look at, because we can't look at it.

Andy, you know how things work around here. Unless the majority of members say this is worthy of further review, it doesn't work because the numbers wouldn't lend themselves to that, no matter what.

So I have to say, is there in fact, to your knowledge, a responsibility on behalf of the municipalities if in fact they were to go with the recommendation that you've put before us, and Westminster and Middlesex agreeing to this new plan? Is it not the case that the government of Ontario would have to subsidize those municipalities with grants in order for them to retain the services, given the loss of revenues from taxpayers? Is that not the case? If you can't answer it, we'll ask the government.

Mr Swan: If I might, Andy, I understand that under Bill 75, in fact, compensation payments have now reached over $30 million.

Mrs Cunningham: No, I'm talking about ongoing grants to the municipalities in order for them to retain the services they now have and advance, as any other municipality would in the next decade, if in fact that was put forward as an alternative.

Dr Sancton: This is obviously a complex technical subject. Let's put the most extreme case of joint servicing arrangements, which would be if the city of London were to provide water and sewer services for most of the residential area of Westminster.

Mrs Cunningham: Of the smaller annexation, which would be their responsibility.

Dr Sancton: Yes. One way of doing it would be for the residents of those areas to pay the cost of water and sewer directly in their bills to the city of London. Exactly how the accounting would work I don't know. That's the most extreme form. If it were done in that way, on a user-pay basis, it simply would not be a financial burden on those municipalities. There are, of course, different ways of doing it that might work out differently.

The Chair: Okay, I'm going to have to go to the PA here. He's got a few comments.

Mr Mills: A couple of comments, Mr Chair. The position of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs in so far as joint servicing is concerned is that we feel that it's not good long-term planning, for two reasons. One, we feel that the people should have a vote for the government that provides their critical and basic services and, two, we feel that it encourages continued fringe development, which, regardless of the user-pay for hard services, does result in increased use of the host city's soft services by users who aren't paying for them.

Dr Sancton: On the first point, life is more complicated than the ministry's views on that. It's simply more complicated and we live with those complications every day.

On the second point, the ministry has promised us that it's going to stop fringe development it doesn't want. This is the whole point of Bill 75. If indeed it can do it for Bill 75, on that basis it can surely do it with Westminster and some other places receiving such services on a user-pay basis.

The Chair: I'm going to have to cut it off because somebody's going to say I let you stay on longer than someone else. Thanks for appearing before the committee.

Mr Swan: Thank you for the time.


The Chair: Could I have the Thames Region Ecological Association come forward?

Mr Will Ferguson (Kitchener): Mr Chairman, while those folks are sitting down, could I just ask something? The member for Middlesex asked a question on the 4,500-unit figure for housing supply. Now, the answer that came back is --

Mrs Mathyssen: Gobbledegook?

Mr Ferguson: Well, somewhat nebulous.

The Chair: I didn't get the answer myself.

Mr Ferguson: Let me put this question: How many hectares are registered for development in the city of London, and is the 4,500 figure correct or not? It doesn't serve this committee any purpose at all to talk about the number of years' supply, given the density of lots, as well as whether or not they comply with the policy statement. I mean, who cares if they comply with the policy statement? How many units are they building in an average year, are being developed in London, and how long would the 4,500 units be expected to last? Are they building 500 units a year?

The Chair: Okay, we've got that down.


The Chair: We've got 15 minutes and there's another group that's coming on for 15, I believe, that was shared in that half-hour. So if you wouldn't mind, identify yourself for the purposes of Hansard and this committee, and you may begin.

Mr Sandy Levin: My name is Sandy Levin and I represent the Thames Region Ecological Association.

Thank you for the opportunity to appear. However, we are dismayed to see the ministry's proposed amendment to the section 29 of the bill, which will limit the requirement of a new official plan to just the annexed areas. For a number of reasons, it is important that London have an official plan for the entire city with clearly stated environmental protection.

For example, the current official plan does not have a policy for developing setbacks from atop a bank, nor a policy on significant ravines. Work was commenced on these policies in 1991. Drafts were prepared and sent back to the planning department for review late in 1991, and there they sat until recently brought to the attention of the planning committee by the local field naturalists. The planning committee voted to defer further consideration of these policies until the new year.

Voting at committee for the deferral was the deputy mayor, who told this committee on November 5 -- and you can refer to page F-184 of Hansard -- that "London has an appropriate policy provide for the protection of natural features" such as ravines and steep slopes.

Also during the November 5 hearings, the mayor avoided answering Mr Winninger's question as to whether or not there will be development in the annexed areas until there has been a very real inventory of environmentally sensitive areas and agricultural lands that need to be preserved and protected. See pages F-189 and F-190.

We conclude that these actions and statements, plus the desire of the city and the stated position of the London Development Institute, on page 193 of Hansard, to reduce the number of items included in section 30 of the bill mean the city is reluctant to do more to protect the natural environment. Therefore, we conclude that London needs revisions to its existing official plan spelled out in either regulation or legislation.

Furthermore, although the ministry quite correctly points out that London's 1991 official plan has been approved by the minister, it ignores the point that work leading up to the plan is now nearly five years old. Even the city's planning department agrees. In its May 1992 draft document entitled The New Official Plan: An Approach, the planning department states that the process of preparing the existing OP was based on a city with constrained boundaries. On page 7 of this document the planning department states that its desire to develop "a comprehensive, strategic and open approach to planning for growth and development would involve the identification of natural limiting factors to growth and then develop a system to provide for growth that does not exceed those limiting factors."

The planning department went on to say, "Such work would include identifying agricultural lands beyond any proposed service area, and the issue now is the appropriate development pattern within the expanded city."

Therefore, we urge you to defeat the ministry's proposed amendment and substitute the following, based on the most recent draft from the Sewell commission:

"The city will update its existing official plan by including statements of goals, objectives and policies on, but not limited to, the following:

"Hazard lands such as land subject to flooding, erosion or instability;

"Natural features and systems such as wetlands, recharge areas, ravines, river valleys, stream belts, floodplains, corridors, woodlots, wildlife and fish habitat, and classes 1, 2 and 3 agricultural land and specialty crop lands."

We are also concerned that the much-heralded protection of farm land announced by the minister and contained in the fourth draft of the provincial planning policy statement being prepared by the Sewell commission will come to naught because of the ministry's proposed amendments to 32(2). It is not clear what official plan amendments the minister will approve in the three years prior to the adoption of the new official plan set out in section 29.

We also feel that the legislation appears to allow the rezoning of land in the areas to be annexed, including agricultural land, to commence and be approved prior to the adoption of the new official plan. Subsection 12(3) suggests to us that any land that comes into the city as agricultural but is at that time the subject of a rezoning application, won't be allowed to be rezoned. At a bare minimum we ask that this section or the accompanying regulations to the act clarify the requirements and conditions for the redesignation of lands designated primarily for agricultural and open space uses in an official plan to other uses.

It is clear the province wishes to promote and encourage economic development in the greater London area. While we agree development will take place, we differ with the province's view that traditional manufacturing will continue to locate in southwestern Ontario. We feel London's comparative advantage is in medical research and financial services, neither of which is land-intensive. Therefore, we have opposed this annexation.

We had hoped to see more environmental protection in this bill. We have real concerns as to the city's commitment to sustainable development and the environment. After all, London was the last city of its size to institute a blue box recycling program, which still does not take rigid plastics, London still does not collect recyclables from most high-density developments, and the majority of yard waste continues to go to landfill because there isn't a municipal composting program.

Mr Cooke's June 18 statement on annexation promised protection for the natural environment. However, we're still searching for the word "environment" in the bill. The frequent references to the environment during these hearings have been in relation to sewage. To us, the environment is more than just sewage. We hope it is more to you as well.

The Chair: We'll start off with Mr Eddy.

Mr Eddy: Thank you very much for your presentation. I appreciate your expressed concerns about the environment. Does the present city have environmental problems at the present time, and what are they that you would see?

Mr Levin: It depends. What do we call environmental problems? We're not talking about sewage now, right?

Mr Eddy: One of the things that's always concerned me is -- I've talked to people near the Greenway sewage treatment plant, for instance, and others. I agree with you about the new areas. The bulldozing and creating environmental problems by ignoring the environment is very serious in most developing municipalities, but I'm wondering about the present city itself and things that you would see about it that should maybe be improved first.

Mr Levin: A transit system that has recently cut 71,000 service hours. They can't presently service a subdivision that's going up now called Hunt Club Estates that's within the current city boundaries; Lord knows how they're going to service the rest of the area.

Secondly, continued encroachment on identifying natural areas, including Sifton Bog, which is a class 1 wetland; and the current bulldozing and development of the north part of the Thames River valley, which was the subject of an OMB hearing in which one of the last natural areas along that stretch of waterway is going to house 15,000 people.


Mrs Cunningham: Thank you, Mr Levin. I've heard you on a couple of occasions and it's always refreshing. You're talking about what you want included by section 29 in the official plan. You want that in the act -- or do you want it in the regs?

Mr Levin: We'd prefer it in legislation; we would accept it in regulation.

Mrs Cunningham: I suppose there aren't very many municipalities that would be directed in this regard to this extent via legislation or regs as to what they ought to have in their official plans. Is that correct?

Mr Levin: As I understand it, that would be correct.

Mrs Cunningham: That doesn't mean to say we can't start somewhere though, does it?

Mr Levin: I agree.

Mrs Cunningham: With regard to your comments about London and the medical services or the reputation we have with regard to the medical research we're all so proud of, you did say there wasn't a great deal of additional land use in that regard.

Mr Levin: They're not as land-intensive as, say, major manufacturing, which I think ultimately is the desire of this city to attract.

Mrs Cunningham: I agree with you in that regard, except that the new Siebens-Drake goals would be to do a lot of agricultural research, and in fact they are using lands now. They're looking at pesticides and I think they'll be looking at a whole lot more. I was involved in that and I hope they will need a lot of land, because I think the research itself is extremely important. I, of course, would like to see it in London and Middlesex. That's just for your information.

The Chair: I've got to go on to Mr Winninger.

Mrs Cunningham: Finally, I just think that the request for environmental --

The Chair: Mr Winninger.

Mr Winninger: I'm sure you won't dodge my question. At the time the minister held hearings in London last September, he invited you to become part of an ad hoc process to assist the transition committee with the identification and treatment of environmentally sensitive areas, because that was one of your key thrusts last September. I wonder if that process has unfolded in a positive manner.

Mr Levin: The point they're at is that there is a task force on government restructuring and it has made a proposal for two advisory committees on the environment, one to have input on the official plan of a technical nature, and another, more of a citizens' group to advise on general environmental issues. I haven't participated in that process yet. I'm going to a meeting of the Thames Region Ecological Association to look at the draft that was prepared by the city and then the city will again look at the draft. I'm attending a meeting on November 26 with members of that task force. I think it's still been city-directed rather than a consensual meeting, but it is moving along.

The Chair: I've got to cut you off because we've got another group coming on. I'd like to thank you for appearing before the group here today.

Ms Mathyssen: Mr Chair, while the group is coming on, can I put something on the record here? It's actually the answer to my earlier question and I'd like it on the record.

My question was with regard to how many housing units were available. According to a city of London water study report done by Dillon, there are 32,000 housing units already approved, waiting to be built. The zoning has been approved. As of November 5, London built between 2,500 and 2,700 units per year. So by my calculations, there are over 10 years of available units there.

The Chair: Thank you.


The Chair: The next group is Cleangreen. For the purposes of Hansard and the committee members, if you wouldn't mind identifying yourselves, and you may begin. We have 15 minutes in total.

Mr Philip Rubinoff: My name is Philip Rubinoff. What we wish to address to you today are (1) London's proposed dissolution of the entire town of Westminster, (2) 25,000 acres of A-1 farm land, (3) London's W12A landfill enterprise, and (4) their relationships to Bill 75.

Mr George Knowles: My name is George Knowles of Westminster. In 1981, the city of London's most powerful unelected post, the administrator, structured, organized, manipulated and managed the whole process. He was the sole architect of the annexation drive, and power was the reward.

On April 1, 1992, the Brant report was released. Westminster was to be annihilated and the elected municipal government abolished. Despite section 29 of the Municipal Act, one person appointed, not elected, would represent all the people -- a person who ignored the people and instead wants to give away the finances, health, security, cleanliness, comfort and ornament of the municipality; a person who publicly announced that the Minister of Municipal Affairs was his boss, not the people who had originally elected him.

Also, the city's landfill site would be expanded to become a regional dump in Ontario, with tipping fees for financial resources.

Fact: Only from May 1989 to late 1991 did any meetings take place between Westminster and London. Finally, 11 years in the making by the architect, this report is now referred to as a done deal.

On June 18, 1992, Bill 75 was released by the Honourable Dave Cooke, Minister of Municipal Affairs, implementing the Brant solutions, leaving out only the London landfill site until after January 1, 1993. At this time, London would have full control of Westminster and its 25,000 acres.

Why would London want to annex a facility located so far beyond the Westminster industrial lands it claims are needed for employment and economic opportunities?

Mr Rubinoff: Two reasons:

Total control: London wants control to (1) keep costs low, (2) operate flexibly to serve large industrial and commercial operations, and (3) ensure little opposition, if any, from citizens' groups.

Financial: A regional waste disposal site is a potential cash cow, $30 million to $50 million annually, presuming a business operation with full user-pay, enough to finance London's annexation.

In 1991, landfill disposal sites in North America listed on stock exchanges from $26 to $49 per share. Incidentally, new car sales in 1991 were $80 billion. In 1991, $120 billion was made on residential garbage alone. In 1992 and after, this dollar total on residential waste will increase by 10% each year for the next 10 years. After January 1, 1993, what's keeping this landfill enterprise from becoming part of the billion-dollar cash cow business in North America?

I now quote from a June 8, 1992, letter from London's Mayor Gosnell to the Honourable Dave Cooke, Minister of Municipal Affairs. "It has been and will continue to be a prime concern of London city council to include the W12A landfill site as part of London."

What is wrong with annexing a facility so far out?

Mr Knowles: (1) It makes the annexation needlessly large in that the town of Westminster loses so much land that its economic viability is destroyed, and all must be taken -- the end of a town -- to satisfy a senseless power grab.

(2) The needlessly large annexation brings unstoppable urban pressures on agricultural land.

Let's not kid ourselves. Large urban centres have the financial and political clout to overcome land use regulations. Current Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food policies are reactive, not proactive. Now 25,000 acres of A-1 farm land will be lost here.

An example of London's record in stewardship of the land: London, in May and June, 1992, purchased 225 acres of land adjacent to the existing W12A disposal site. What did it do wrong? It violated the guidelines for the new official plan for the expanded city of London. Reference, item D: "Preserving specialty crop land and directing growth to lower-quality lands."

Economics chosen over the best farm land. Land was purchased before, and not conditional to, approvals. It's the cart-before-the-horse story. This makes environmental assessments and land use planning policies virtually useless.

With London's vast expropriating powers, pre-purchase makes no sense. London did not even make a simple land purchase without letting speculators flip land deals. London paid $1,430,000 for 225 acres. Speculators made a 53% profit on the three deals, a total of $764,900, creating inflated land values from $2,500 per acre to double and triple and up to $9,200 per acre over a wide area. So much for affordable farm land: more speculators, developers and trucking operations to systematically destroy 25,000 acres of agricultural land and turn its vitality into a wasteland.


Mr Rubinoff: London's record in dealing with Westminster: Only in 1990, when litigation was initiated, did London stop dumping toxic fly ash in W12A. We are now left facing a virtual time bomb: over 8,000 tons of toxic fly ash in 35 acres alone in cell 4 of the dump. We have discovered, through our own investigations, that the management of the dump has been continually breaking its agreement with Westminster by allowing in wastes from outside its designated area. The ICI wastes brought in are in large volumes of known contaminants and toxic materials. We have a long list of violations, either due to lack of professional management or corruption, in the form of certain people being paid off to look the other way. Why? Because there's big money in tipping fees and contamination waste.

Again quoting from Mayor Gosnell's letter of June 8, 1992, keeping in mind what I've just said: "The city, through the development of this excellent facility, has shown sensitivity to the surrounding properties as well as long-term environment planning on an issue that is causing grave concern in most other municipalities in Ontario." Ladies and gentlemen, that's a lot of garbage. London's done nothing about the problems arising in and around W12A in Westminster.

Mr Knowles: What has London done for the rural areas of Westminster?

(1) Stolen our water until in 1990 contamination set in on London's PUC wells north of the W12A site;

(2) There is contamination and toxic waste buried in productive farm land areas;

(3) We have documented proof that the wells of the neighbouring properties are badly contaminated. As the dump continues to operate as is, the problems will surely worsen. The contamination is spreading through leachate into the two ground aquifers on which we all depend for our water in Westminster and the areas beyond.

"W12A meeting, October 17, 1991:

"Mr Peter Huras from the Ministry of the Environment stressed the sensitive nature of these well site problems and the fact they have been handled on an individual basis. It is his hope that this will not become a political issue during the upcoming municipal elections" held the following month, in November 1991. Why was this kept from the public?

Mr Rubinoff: Speaking for many residents of Westminster, with the kind of operation W12A has, we don't want the dump expanded, at least until it is in the hands of proper management and the problems addressed and corrected entirely. We are attaching a number of lists compiled by our colleague, Mr Eugene Morrison, who happens to live across the road from W12A. Mr Morrison has firsthand experience in these matters. Our list includes design philosophy, current problems, short-term and long-term recommendations needed, and legislation for landfill waste disposal operations in Westminster. "We are the garbage capital of Ontario." No to this annexation farce. Let's restore democracy.

Mr Knowles: Start by doing an impact study now with the local government consensus and the resolution passed by the town of Westminster on October 28, 1992, by rolling back to the 1988 annexation proposal. As the booklet stated, "Let's Grow Together," Gosnell and Co. Be honest, place everything on the table: all the acreage needed, all on joint services, all user-pay services, all costs and finances. Further, take two years for this impact study. Then in 1994, at the next municipal election, let the voters decide their future, not the architect, the developers or the wheeler-dealer speculators.

Mr Rubinoff: We thank you for your time. In closing, I ask you as elected representatives to read, study and discuss in depth all submissions before you. Make your decision on what is morally right. Don't follow the party line when it's the wrong line. Amend Bill 75 to make it a free, democratic bill of legislation in the province of Ontario.

Mr Knowles: Finally, in closing, to the Chair and the standing committee as a whole, re the subject of Bill 75, we thank our member of the provincial Parliament, Irene Mathyssen, Middlesex, and we stand beside Irene 100% about an annexation that will be done without a study of the impact on the lives of citizens of Westminster and the county of Middlesex on January 1, 1993. I thank you, ladies and gentlemen.

The Chair: Thank you. You used 15 minutes for your presentation; we maybe have 15 seconds. There's one question I'd like to ask. What kind of toxic ash is at the dump, the fly ash, what kind?

Mr Rubinoff: That's the fly ash from the hospital, Victoria Hospital, Westminster campus.

Mrs Mathyssen: Mr Chairman, there's a serious problem here. What these gentlemen have basically said is that the certificate of approval for that waste site has been violated. That is a serious accusation, and we need to know what kind of proof there is, because they're talking about a criminal activity.

The Chair: Okay. If we could get some copies of that for all members of the committee.

Mr Knowles: We've left the clerk 25 copies of the speeches, and we also left him one copy of the document section and we asked him to print the rest up for you, gentlemen and ladies.

The Chair: As long as we get one copy, the clerk can make the other copies. Thank you for appearing before this committee.

Mr Ferguson: Mr Chair, just while the next delegation is sitting down, the previous delegation, Councillor Swan, mentioned that when the city of London made its presentation, in fact it could be more appropriately described as Mayor Gosnell's presentation as well as Controller Hopcroft's. I think it would be important for the committee to know whether or not that presentation has in fact been endorsed by London city council.

The Chair: Good point.



The Chair: We have Elder Stewart McColl, our next presenter. Would you identify the group you're representing also, because I think there were a couple of groups that possibly you're here representing; is that not correct?

Mr J. Stewart McColl: Permit me first, Mr Hansen, on behalf of our church members, to thank you for getting the time extended for these hearings and for allowing us to speak to your committee concerning Bill 75. When I left here three weeks ago, I think it was on Thursday night, Thursday at noon we were left with two half-days, essentially, for all the presentations we wanted to make in Middlesex county. I said that was a travesty of justice. You said to write a letter. I wrote a letter, which you received; I went home and I made two phone calls the next morning, one to my clerk and one to the Citizens Against Annexation, and they in turn took up that work, and the next time I came back you had four pages of phone calls and letters petitioning for this day. I want to thank you for getting this day. I want to suggest also that next time you face a problem like that, you just ask me and I'll ask them and they'll be glad to help, because we'll get another day. I appreciate your integrity, sir, because you did that with sincerity, as we did with sincerity, and I thank you for it.

The Chair: I can tell you that my mailbox has been full for quite a few months from letters from Middlesex.

Mr McColl: I'm sure. This submission is from the Particular Covenanted Baptist Church of Christ in Canada, an independent church which was established in the wilderness of Canada west in 1818 by Scottish immigrants who were squeezed off their land by the Highland land clearances and by religious persecution.

This submission is given by yours truly, Elder J. Stewart McColl, who is a fully ordained minister of God and pastor of this church. serving its four meeting places, two of which are in Middlesex county. I farm along with my ministry to help support our income, because we do not believe in a salaried ministry. Rather, we believe that Christ's pattern on the mount, whereby he called his disciples from every walk of life to both live and labour among his people, is still just as relevant today as it was 2,000 years ago.

I'm going to skip parts of this as we go, because I haven't time in the half-hour to present it all.

To begin with, permit me to inform you, on behalf of our church communities, that we are not "campers," we are not dissidents, we are not pedlars and we're certainly not parasites away out there in no man's land. Moreover, although we hope to be counted among "the remnant according to the election of grace," we hope never to be counted remnants of the county of Middlesex. Neither do we wish to be called residents of the greater London area. Note my point: Rather, we are residents of Middlesex county in general and a specific constituent municipality in particular. There are 22 of them in Middlesex county -- note 22 -- each one a community of people which is economically viable and socially vibrant in its own right. By the grace of God, we wish to inform you that that's the way we want it to remain: 22 viable communities.

We wish to address Bill 75 candidly but without any malice or prejudice from the five following points of view: our reaction to the autocratic process; our response to the muzzling process so that the Minister of Agriculture is not allowed to speak on these issues and so on; our examination of the notorious statute, Bill 75; our proposal for a peaceful and plausible escape from this notoriety, and our vision for turning error into a blessing, if the Ontario government and the city of London are willing.

Before we begin, we wish to point out that we have come as friends of Middlesex county, the province of Ontario and our beloved Canada, willing to admonish both the Ontario government and the city of London, in love for the good of all.

I'm going to leave A and B. Those matters have been dealt with, they're on record and if the Ontario government and the city of London are both willing to be reasonable in this proposal and make reasonable modifications, we'll let bygones be bygones. So let's get at this bill.

This Bill 75 -- and I'm going to ask it beginning and end -- should not go anyplace until there is a full environmental study and a full financial study, because I'd like to know the impact of this bill, when Middlesex county has 24% of its manufacturing jobs in the agrifood industry, and I'd like to know its impact on rural demolition and I'd like to know its impact on the sewage disposal systems, which I'll bring out later in the form of a map, and on the natural environment.

First of all, let it be known that we doubt whether 75 is the creature of a shrewd politician such as the Honourable David Cooke or, for that matter, his parliamentary assistant, Mr Gordon Mills, because neither one of these gentleman has shown that much familiarity with its details. In two days in London, we watched Mr Cooke, and he always had his coaches with him, and we have seen the same here with Mr Mills.

Rather, we believe this is a bill that's been designed by the civil servants. My question has to be, and the question our people are asking is, who is running this government? Is it the New Democratic Party and the Ontario government or is it the civil service? Not only the civil service in Toronto, but is it partly the civil service in London? I leave that question for you, because that's a serious question.

First, Bill 75 is explosive because it's founded on the concept of Mr Brant's report that the need of a municipality pre-empts its existence. Think of that for a moment. Once a smaller municipality shows any need to service, it means a local neighbouring municipality which is stronger and has more money and is more powerful can take it over. That's the meaning of that concept.

That's bringing into the municipal world the dog-eat-dog takeover syndrome of the transnational companies. That's what has set this whole municipal world on fire right across Ontario, because every municipality today is watching what's going to happen with Westminster, Delaware and London township etc when they live beside a giant like London.

Second, this bill is legally deficient. It doesn't even define what a municipality is. I compare it with Bill 35. There is no definition in this Bill 75 of what a municipality is. What is it? It's defined in the Municipal Act -- I dug out my old one and I had to dust it off -- from away back in the 1940s: "`municipality' means a locality the inhabitants of which are incorporated." If you go through the municipality definitions, it says city, town etc are bodies corporate.

If you examine this bill, there's no indication that people count. It's simply dealing with lands and portions and areas all the way through it. The body corporate of each community is ignored. In other words, Bill 75 is treating each municipality as if it were no more than a piece of dirt.

Also, the judgement of the judicial review does note the meaning of a municipality in identifying the parties involved in the review. It still places the emphasis upon the lands being transferred from Middlesex county to London, without recognizing the upheaval the issue is causing among the people. Likewise, the editorial board of the London Free Press equates the issue as no more than the gain or loss of surrounding territory. The people don't count.

Bill 75 is also legally deficient because, in failing to realize what a municipality is, it fails to understand what is really involved in an annexation. As a result, Bill 75 treats this annexation as a simple boundary adjustment or a boundary change rather than the dissolution or mutilation of a community of people as a body corporate. In reality, this annexation causes the complete societal upheaval of an entire community and the partial upheaval of four other communities.

The dissolution of the town of Westminster and its local boards means that the body corporate, ie, the people of Westminster along with their respective lands, will be totally fragmented, some going to London, some going to Delaware township, some to North Dorchester and some to Belmont in another county. Verily, the body corporate of the town of Westminster will be drawn and quartered and literally cast to the four winds. Because this will be done against the express will of the people, we believe it to be a gross violation of human rights.

A lady the other day in this corner said Westminster will still be there, and that's not true. Westminster will be gone and it will be drawn and quartered to the four winds and never appear again because this bill is simply treating annexation as land with no relation to people.

Bill 75 is incomplete and misleading in so far as its name is concerned because it doesn't state on the outside that an entire town, along with its boards, is being dissolved, that the public utilities commission in the city of London is being dissolved, that it's annexing land even to another county and that it's actually appointing someone to an elected office. The name of the bill itself is misleading. How can that be passed in this House when the name of that bill does not describe what's happening in its contents?

Bill 75 is embarrassingly ignorant of the truth that boundaries are one of the main pillars of a civilized society that establish the basis upon which the ownership or possession of property can be determined, that draw lines of demarcation for instilling a respect for each other's property, that set limits to safeguard an invasion of privacy, that provide hallmarks to help ensure peaceful living and so on.


By arbitrarily moving and adjusting boundaries throughout the municipalities without the benefit of a local set of mutual agreements, Bill 75 amounts to a denial of the private ownership of property, a disrespect for the property of others, an actual invasion of privacy and a definite disturbance of the peace.

Moreover, since all levels of government treat line fences in rural areas, lot lines in urban centres, provincial boundaries, national boundaries and continental boundaries as inviolable without the mutual consent of the affected parties, whereas the Ontario government is treating our municipal boundaries as lines of demarcation subject to its arbitrary disposition, Bill 75 is discriminatory.

If this happened in a city, at 70 Tetherwood Boulevard where Mr Gosnell lives, the riot squad would be brought out. I want to ask you why in rural areas we have to have an Ontario government come in, not by mutual consent but by an arbitrator who listens to 1,000 presentations -- I think I am about the 1,039th presentation that's been made and I've listened to all the others except one hour -- and he doesn't hear, and the Minister of Municipal Affairs scuttles the boundary negotiations act, which was designed so that no municipal boundary would be moved without mutual consent. Why is it that rural people are being discriminated against where you wouldn't tolerate it two days in the cities? Mr Winninger wouldn't tolerate it. Mrs Mathyssen wouldn't tolerate it. Why should we have to tolerate it?

Bill 75 is agriculturally hostile -- and I'll give you four or five reasons; this is very brief -- because the minister's terms of reference have already donated 64,220 acres of agricultural farm land to urban use. I'm going to ask you ladies and gentlemen -- we live in a province where apparently a few months ago a minister sat with a pen, or the civil service did on his behalf, and said in one line, "Take all the farm land and rural character of the area needed and give it to urbanization" -- what kind of land are we living in when one man has that power? I want you to think of that. I'm here as a minister of God. In 44 years of public life, I have never before witnessed such harassment of rural people as I have experienced in this treatment.

The city of London has put out a book recently, London 200. What does it mean? It means 200 years of urbanization. What does that mean? It means 200 years of rural demolition. You can't play one side of the record without the other, and all we've heard in these presentations coming from the real estate people and from the London city people is that this is a great venture into urbanization. Yes, it is. But in the farm land between here and Windsor, and you have over 90% of class 1 land that's in Ontario in this triangle from Barrie to Toronto to Windsor, there's competition between agriculture and urban development.

A few years ago, when corn was $4 a bushel and soybeans were $12 to $14, every single pasture farm in the country was plowed up and tiled and developed around the villages. You can't have urbanization without rural demolition and you have to balance one against the other or you put everything out of proportion.

London has been in the business, rightly so, of urbanization. We hold that not against them, but every time you do it, you have rural demolition. If I were to take you to the city of London and down the streets, I could pick out the old farm houses. They're still there. Where's the land? It's gone. When you give 64,220 more acres of land to the city of London, it won't go tomorrow or in two years, but it's gone because it's given to the city to purposely plan how it's going to urbanize it.

I want you to think of the things that are happening in this bill. Once the 10-year and the five-year hammers, as I call them, or gavels come down so that these 500 acres of farm land are now redesignated for urban, three things at least will take place. The farm rebates are going to be cut off, which is punitive. Second, it'll move and it's justly balanced in here because instead of rural hydro it'll be a hydro-electric power commission of London, higher rates. The farmer can't afford them. Third, the city's bylaws will take over so there's no more vehicular traffic in that area and no more spreading of farm manure etc. So those farmers are forced off that land just like my ancestors were in the 1700s in Scotland by the sheep grazers who came in; they were shoved back on to 10 and 15 acres of land and they were gone.

Don't tell me this is a way of protecting farm land. There's nobody out there in the rural areas who will ever accept that. It's nonsense, and what it does to the speaker is cast a reflection on his or her own integrity. Rural people will not accept that, because it's just not true.

The purpose of annexation, as the Mathyssen proposal showed -- and Mayor Gosnell spoke to that proposal, and he spoke openly so it's declared that the city plans to urbanize all the land, when he said that the "Mathyssen proposal would defeat London's purpose for annexation, greatly reducing land available for its industrial growth." They have every intention eventually of urbanizing it all.

In effect, then, those who are declaring that this bill will protect the farm land better than any other municipality in the province are simply bringing a reproach upon their own integrity, because in reality Bill 75 is shooting Canada in the stomach and at the same time shooting Ontario's agricultural industry -- second only to the automobile industry -- in the foot. I treat it as anti-Canadian. Securing the land for urban use, yes, but protecting the land for agricultural use, nonsense.

Bill 75 is environmentally hostile, and I'll give you three reasons -- we've heard one -- and I'm going to ask the question to support their presentation. Why has the landfill site in Westminster not been closed down because of violations of the licence? I attended a meeting at Glanworth and it's all on video tape so it's documented. I heard the manager of that landfill site and also the superintendent admit to the violations of that licence.

There's supposed to be a net behind a truck when it comes and dumps papers. It's not there. The berms are supposed to be seeded. They're not all seeded. I heard that night evidence from firsthand witnesses that there's raw sewage being put in that landfill site, and there are trucks from Toronto and trucks from Windsor and from all over Ontario going in there, seven days a week on some occasions, that violate the licence. I wonder, do we have a Ministry of Environment in this province?

I'm going to have you look at something. Look at this. What a waste of paper in that. Four lines on that whole page, and we're talking about a government that represents people. They stand up in the Legislature and they say, "We're environmentally sound."

I want to come to my last point which I'll get to. It's the river. Nobody's talked about the river and that's the key to this whole annexation. I question whether we do have an environmental policy and, if we do, whether it's enforced or not.

Bill 75 is democratically hostile because not only is the compensation from 1993 to 2003 to the county and townships of Delaware, London North, Dorchester and West Nissouri left totally in the minister's hands, but the suburban roads payments now are left totally to the minister's discretion. They're not any longer in dollars and cents.

What they talk about, $35 million, we don't know. That's hearsay. There has been nothing come out in the form of the bill or the regulation to assure that the suburban roads amount will be one mill. In fact, if you read that amendment carefully, it says it could be one mill and then the next line says it could be another portion of a mill, according to the minister's regulation.

Let me say something clearly: Look at that bill. Between what's in that bill and what's yet to come -- because there's nothing in here about police, there's nothing in here about fire protection, there's nothing in here about health services, there's nothing in here about the landfill site. If you count up everything that's in there and add on the others which will come by ministerial regulation or ministerial order, you'll get 23 or 24 whole sets of minister's regulations to run a city. I've never heard of it before. You're not going to like what I'm saying, but I'm telling you the truth. I'll tell you what our people are going to say about that: "They've set up a new socialist republic of London." That's what's being done.


Bill 75 is flagrantly discriminatory, is full of it, because the job security of municipal employees has been guaranteed while the job security of dislocated farmers -- and what about the agriculturally related employees? They haven't even been thought of. What about those?

Some properties in the city will have firefighting equipment that's on full services with hydrants, and the others will be served by a limited water supply.

Some children will be able to have farm animal pets and others won't. A few weeks ago in London, a little child had a duck, and they gave the family so many days to get rid of the duck. It was written up in the London Free Press. And if that didn't take place, you know what was happening? There'd be a court injunction, to get rid of a duck. These stewards of the land, the city urbanites that have been in urbanization for 200 years, are going to be the stewards of the farm land. Come on, ladies and gentlemen and Mr Hansen. Let's talk fairness. It's an affront to human welfare.

In the bill that was designed by Mr Eakins for Sarnia amalgamation, all of the services are listed in that bill -- police, fire protection, health services -- so when the bill was passed, those people have assurance in writing that, "This is what we have in law."

What does this do when it's passed? There's a string of government regulations or ministerial regulations and ministerial orders coming, and we don't know what they're going to be. This notorious statute is a repudiation of the Baldwin act of 1849. I almost bought a shroud today to hang on that picture.

This is one of the saddest periods this province has gone through since the days of the Family Compact that my forebears had to live through when they came here from Scotland. They had a Legislative Assembly that had seven as an executive council and 16 appointed, or whatever it was, and they wouldn't listen to anything they said.

If we've gone through a thousand of these and, as Mr Gare has already said, 90% to 95% of them from rural areas are saying this is a massive annexation, why do we still have to come here and say the same things over again, and apparently no listening?

I suggest to you, Mr Hansen and committee, that once you put that law into effect, you're subject to the Canadian Charter of Rights. You're not now, but you are as soon as you pass that bill on January 1. Your charter says that it applies to all legislative assemblies. Your charter says that anyone whose rights or freedoms are guaranteed by the charter and have been infringed upon has access to a court. The charter says every individual is equal before and under the law. See Mr Michael Smithers's comment in Municipal World in 1992. It also says everyone has the right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment, which I wrote in this book.

I've had unanimous endorsements from the county council, I've had endorsements from school boards, from people across the province. Mr Mills was reported as saying in Hansard that it was dreadful. Sure it's dreadful, because as the county board of education said, it surely describes the frustrations and the experiences of our county people. That's why it's dreadful, because it's dreadful to us, because it's the truth.

Bill 75, if enacted into law as it is, we believe will prove to be an intolerable millstone not only around the necks of the Middlesex county residents but also around the necks of the Ontario government and the city of London as well. It will bring us into financial ruin, and I'll show you why in a moment.

I'm going to skip some.

On the back of that chart there is a picture of the Thames River watershed. I don't know whether you gentlemen and ladies are acquainted with that book or not, but you're wondering and you're asking today, why is there such a hurry for this to be passed? I'll tell you why, because the truth is not coming out about this annexation; it's never been on the table.

This report was done over the early period of the 1970s and probably since 1975. I'm sure, Mr Eddy, you're familiar with it. Every square inch of ground and all of that watershed of the Thames River was laid out on that basin. That watershed starts away up from Mitchell and Stratford and St Marys on the north branch, and it drains on the south branch, Woodstock and Ingersoll etc, etc. It comes down through London, picks up the effluent later on, even from the little village of Glencoe, Chatham, Tilbury and so on. How many people today? Approximately 450,000 people in that watershed.

Back in the 1970s the Ontario government, in both ministries, said that London was then at the crossroads as far as sewage and effluent are concerned, and they've got two choices. You can go with a sewage pipeline to Lake Erie, 66 inches in diameter and 14,400 feet from near west of the Greenway pollution plant and out to the watershed, you get it up over the hill with a pumping station, it will gravity flow with a reverse siphon over Kettle Creek, and west of Port Stanley the plan was to build a huge sewage plant. The costs given in this book are, for that solution, something like $108 million, back in those days, if it were done in the middle 1980s.

The second alternative was to build a tertiary plant, state-of-the-art plants which would rate the effluent almost like drinking water and are double the cost of an ordinary plant. In studies of the whole river, the drain on the oxygen content to dissolve down the effluent was reached as a climax, and if one of those two alternatives were not followed, you would have difficulty.

Mr Sulliman today mentioned corn. I came up here last night, where two days before -- I'll tell you where some of the corn is.

The Chair: Mr McColl, we've got until 6:30, so could you sum it up? Some members have left who had questions they gave me to ask you, but we won't have any time for any questions. Some who left have -- some have a train; I think Mr Winninger's got a train, and I know some of the others had to leave because of transportation.

Mr McColl: I'll wind up in two minutes, okay?

The Chair: Okay. I don't want to take any more of your time. Go right ahead.

Mr McColl: I'd be glad to stay here till 9 o'clock. I wonder why you're so anxious to go when this is such a serious problem. I take that back; I don't mean any --

The Chair: I am directed by the House leaders, and it was unanimous there to stay till 6:30.

Mr McColl: May I make one other observation?

The Chair: Okay.

Mr McColl: There was another part of this. There were two other dams to be built in this watershed. One was the Glengowan, and the other one was the Thamesford dam. Why were they to be built? The dams such as Fanshawe and Wildwood basically give lakes, and they're basically recreational. But if you have a dry summer, like we had for two years, and you've got all this effluent down, and now you want to build a Toronto on the Thames and put another 400,000 or 500,000 on, you've got to have either a sewage pipeline or you have the other alternative, and still you've got to have a couple of more dams to flush that river. That's what they were intended for.

Now Mr Eddy, sorry.

The Chair: I'm sorry. I've got to say that it's 6:30. We did extend the sitting time to make sure everybody was accommodated, and we didn't cut down on the times --

Mrs Elinor Caplan (Oriole): Mr Chairman, I realize it is 6:30. Could I suggest, regarding the questions asked by the members before they left, that if you place them on the record, perhaps the deputant could communicate to the committee in writing and we could then receive his answers in that way.

The Chair: I know Gary Carr had -- he didn't drop it here, but he had some.

Mrs Caplan: I see. Well, perhaps if there are questions from committee members, they could place them and the deputant could respond in writing, if anyone would like to.

The Chair: Okay, fine.

Mrs Mathyssen: I would like to table an alternative proposal from the township of Delaware for the consideration of the committee. They couldn't be here today but wanted this proposal to be part of our deliberations.

The Chair: Mr McColl, I'd like to thank you for appearing before this committee. I can tell you, in your presentation there were a lot of points you brought out that hadn't been presented earlier, so you've done your homework and you've done a lot of research in this paper, and this committee appreciates your input.

Mr McColl: Please read my book. May I have one sentence? I just ask you this, as a minister; it's on page 13. I didn't even get into our solution, but it's lined up there. Why rule by force, creating so much hardship and destruction, when a peaceful solution beneficial to all can be achieved through the counsel of many? I beg my God to touch your hearts, and I say that in sincerity. May God bless you to consider those rural people, who are God-fearing people. They're here. They mean no harm to anybody. They're willing to give a reasonable annexation to London, and I must commend them for their composure under very, very strange circumstances. But if not, Mr Hansen, your government will have to stand accountable, and maybe especially one man.

That's all I wish to say. I'll be glad to respond in writing.

The Chair: Thank you. Mr Eddy, will your party have the amendments in, say Monday or Tuesday, so that the ministry can look them over?

Mr Eddy: The ministry wants to look over the amendments we would present at the meeting?

The Chair: Yes.

Mr Eddy: I wonder what guarantee we'll have -- when you say "look them over," I don't want them looked over; I want them considered. I want an assurance --

The Chair: Let me use another term. Your know, it's late in the day --

Mr Eddy: I've got all night; my time is yours.

The Chair: I'm asking for a request, if you would, at that time. We're going to be getting the results of all the hearings from Elaine, the research officer, possibly Monday or Tuesday in our offices, but it would be nice if, ahead of time -- but if you don't want to --

Mr Eddy: I'm willing to submit proposed amendments for serious consideration.

The Chair: Maybe I didn't use the right terms. I'm sorry, but I think it's a lot fairer to everyone concerned. Okay?

Mr Eddy: Mr Chair, there is one other thing. We talked about unanimous consent when Mr Sutherland was here. It was actually to hear the balance of the town of Westminster's presentation, because, as I said, they were joint with the township of Delaware either a week ago or at some time in the past. I'd just like to know that they had the opportunity to present in writing their full presentation even though we can't hear it now, I guess. I'd hoped they could have a bit more time, because they are the municipality scheduled for annihilation.

The Chair: Mr Eddy, there were some groups that were on longer than they should have been and some shorter, and it gets to the point, as the Chair --

Mr Eddy: I don't have a problem, because we've condensed it --

The Chair: -- it's very difficult to wind up scheduling so that people had their full 30. Some had 25 and said, "We didn't get our full time." I've done the best I can as Chair. Since Mr Sutherland isn't here and it wasn't unanimous, I believe, I think we'll have to leave it at that.

Mr Eddy: I agree it's been very difficult and I sympathize with you as Chair of this particular committee, but I must say, we've compressed into a very few hours what was to have been three weeks of committee hearings in the city of London. If the honourable minister had brought forth second reading in the House, as was agreed to by the House leaders back in June --

Mrs Caplan: He's absolutely right.

The Chair: Before it came to this committee. We had to deal with the subject here.

I'd like to call an adjournment to the committee for the day.

The committee adjourned at 1835.