Wednesday 17 February 1993

Insurance Statute Law Amendment Act, 1993, Bill 164


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

*Acting Chair / Président suppléant: Winninger, David (London South/-Sud 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)

Wiseman, Jim (Durham West/-Ouest ND)

*In attendance / présents

Substitutions present / Membres remplaçants présents:

Dadamo, George (Windsor-Sandwich ND) for Mr Christopherson

Daigeler, Hans (Nepean L) for Mr Phillips

Haeck, Christel (St Catharines-Brock ND) for Ms Ward

Harnick, Charles (Willowdale PC) for Mr Sterling

Johnson, Paul R. (Prince Edward-Lennox-South Hastings/Prince Edward-Lennox-Hastings-Sud ND) for Mr Christopherson

Klopp, Paul (Huron ND) for Mr Jamison

Mancini, Remo (Essex South/-Sud L) for Mrs Caplan

Mathyssen, Irene (Middlesex ND) for Mr Ward

Owens, Stephen (Scarborough Centre ND) for Mr Sutherland

Tilson, David (Dufferin-Peel PC) for Mr Carr

Winninger, David (London South/-Sud ND) for Mr Wiseman

Also taking part / Autres participants et participantes:

Owens, Stephen, parliamentary assistant to the minister responsible for automobile insurance review

Simons, Craig, legal counsel, automobile insurance review, Management Board of Cabinet

Clerk pro tem / Greffier par intérim: Carrozza, Franco

Staff / Personnel: Beecroft, Doug, legislative counsel

The committee met at 1014 in committee room 1.


Consideration of Bill 164, An Act to amend the Insurance Act and certain other Acts in respect of Automobile Insurance and other Insurance Matters / Loi modifiant la Loi sur les assurances et certaines autres lois en ce qui concerne l'assurance-automobile et d'autres questions d'assurance.

The Chair (Mr Ron Hansen): Good morning. This is day three on Bill 164, An Act to amend the Insurance Act and certain other Acts in respect of Automobile Insurance and other Insurance Matters. Mr Harnick, you have the floor from yesterday; go ahead.

Mr Charles Harnick (Willowdale): As I was saying yesterday, this is a very important debate because it's our only opportunity to debate what really are the heart and guts of this piece of legislation, and those are the regulations. The bill itself is not overly complicated. It doesn't contain a great deal of significance in terms of its content.

The Chair: Mr Harnick, I just want to cut in. We're on section 1, clauses (a) and (b), and subsection 1(2).

Mr Harnick: That's exactly what I'm talking about. Mr Chair, I want you to know that clauses 1(1)(a) and 1(1)(b) and subsection 1(2) deal with no-fault benefits schedules, they deal with statutory accident benefits schedules and all of those schedules, as I was saying yesterday, are not the heart and guts of Bill 164. What those terms refer to are the regulations that are made under the Insurance Act that deal with statutory accident benefits for accidents on or after the date this act comes into force. If I can refer you to the ministry's January 1993 revised draft regulations, that is what section 1 refers to. That's what this bill is all about.

We've heard from virtually every single witness coming before this committee saying that the 68 pages of draft regulations that are referred to in section 1, which is what we're debating right now before this committee, are what section 1 is all about. We can't really deal with this subject and debate section 1 properly unless I ask my fellow members of the committee to refer to those sections in the regulations.

I just want you to start, if you can, Mr Chairman -- I know you'll want to follow this along just to make sure that I'm on topic. What I'd ask you to do is please refer to your regulations that I know you have at your desk there and that your parliamentary assistant would have. If you'd like me to wait for a moment --

The Chair: I'm sorry. I don't have the regulations. We're talking about Bill 164 and this is --

Mr Harnick: No, this is Bill 164, section 1. I can't believe, sir, that here we are talking about accident benefits schedules, section 1 of the act, and you don't have the draft regulations in front of you.

The Chair: No, I don't have the regulations in front of me.

Mr Harnick: Well, maybe we should recess for about five minutes so you can get a copy. Otherwise, you're never going to know whether I'm on topic.

The Chair: I'm sorry, Mr Harnick. It's not part of the bill.

Mr Harnick: All right. Well, it is part of the bill.

The Chair: This is the bill here that we're talking about.

Mr Harnick: That's right, and that bill refers to "no-fault benefits schedule," "accident benefits schedule," "statutory accident benefits." All of those things -- and this is what is so fundamental to this argument -- are found in the regulations that I'm holding up. Those draft regulations are what section 1 is talking about, and those draft regulations can only be debated here under the auspices of section 1.

The Chair: On a point of order, Mr Kwinter.

Mr Monte Kwinter (Wilson Heights): Mr Chairman, I'd like to refer you to part I, subsection 1(2). When it says, "A reference to the no-fault benefits schedule under the Insurance Act in any other act or in any regulation, contract or other instrument shall be deemed to be a reference to the statutory accident benefits schedule," if we're discussing that, then certainly the regulations themselves are part of the discussion, because the act provides that it shall be part of it. So I think Mr Harnick's point is well taken.

The Chair: I'm going to go on to Mr Owens.

Mr Harnick: Do I not have the floor?

The Chair: Yes, but on that point of order.

Mr Stephen Owens (Scarborough Centre): On that point of order, for clarification purposes: Subsection 1(1) simply addresses a name change and does not address the substance of the regulations, so in terms of your comments with respect to the substance of the regulations, in this particular section they are not well placed. If we're able to move on, then perhaps your comments would be more germane to another section.

The Chair: Thank you. I've conferred with the clerk also, and I rule that you don't have a point of order there. We're talking on Bill 164. The regulations don't come in.


Mr David Tilson (Dufferin-Peel): I must confess that when you start talking about striking out "no-fault benefits schedule" and substituting in each case "statutory accident benefits schedule," for this committee to adequately understand what all that means, I think we need to look at the proposed statutory accident benefits schedule. The reason we need to look at it is to properly understand why the government is making this amendment to the definition section.

There's no question that Mr Harnick is quite right and I think he's entitled to go through the regulations if he sees fit. I don't know whether he intends to go through every last section or not, but to adequately understand the rationale as to why the government is making that change, there's no question that if you're going to change the name, then you have to look at the actual document that's going to be put forward by the government. The government has put forward a draft statutory accident benefits schedule, and as a member of this committee, I would like to look at that document, and this is the appropriate time to do it. Can you tell me where there's another place in the act that we can do that? This is the time.

The Chair: Mr Tilson, other bills have gone through the House and the regulations have followed. This isn't a new procedure being done here.

Mr Tilson: Mr Chairman, if I could just --

The Chair: Could I have the clerk intervene here.

Clerk pro tem (Mr Franco Carrozza): Mr Tilson, section 25 of the bill is the section, if you wish to discuss --

Mr Tilson: We may want to discuss it too. There's no question that the words "statutory accident benefits schedule" -- this is a definition section. This is an amendment to the definition section, and to know that, we need to look at all these regulations to determine why in the world the government's doing that. What is the real difference between "no-fault benefits schedule" and "statutory accident benefits schedule"? I haven't heard that.

Mr Harnick is quite correct I think in referring to the draft document, because obviously you can't intelligently talk about this subject unless you have a draft document before you. As Mr Harnick said, it's not the bill that's difficult to understand, it's the regulations, and here we are in section 1 talking about this "statutory accident benefits schedule."

I can tell you there have been many letters written to me, and I'm sure to every member of this committee, talking about the regulations and the concern of the regulations. I give you the example of section f, paragraph 2, subsection 1, where it talks about, "The insured shall not drive or operate or permit any other person to drive or operate the automobile unless the insured or other person is authorized by law to drive or operate it." You don't know whether that person has his license or not, whether it's a parking garage --

The Chair: Can I go on and maybe get some clarification?

Mr Tilson: But my point is, Mr Chairman, that all these issues -- we need to go through the regulations to adequately understand why the government has put forward the rationale that it has. We can't understand it unless we do.

The Chair: I'm ruling that the bill is Bill 164. The regulations are outside the bill.

Mr Owens: First of all, you have already ruled that the discussion of the substance of the regulations is out of order and that we move on.

Second, the issue with respect to the definitions Mr Tilson is asking for, words like "substitution" and "striking out," we certainly have counsel available if Mr Tilson is interested in hearing what those words mean. However, I think if Mr Tilson goes back to yesterday's Hansard, during the seven-and-a-half hours of debate on this issue, we've already undertaken that there is full and cogent explanation as to what this section means. I would suggest, Chair, that you've already ruled that discussing the substance of the regulations, which have not been tabled in the House, is out of order. Let's go back to subsection 1(1).

Mr Tilson: Mr Chairman, if I could respond to that point, the whole theory of the government is the emphasis on the regulations.

The Chair: Mr Tilson, it's not a debate on my ruling there, and if you want to hear the legal --

Mr Tilson: Mr Chairman, surely I'm entitled to comment on whether Mr Harnick is entitled to continue.

The Chair: No, you are not, Mr Tilson.

Mr Tilson: Well, I believe I am. I am.

The Chair: No.

Mr Tilson: I certainly am entitled to do that. You can't simply say, "We're not going to discuss section 1 any more." You don't have the right to do that.

The Chair: I didn't say that, Mr Tilson.

Mr Tilson: But Mr Chairman --

The Chair: You're talking about regulations.

Mr Tilson: We are talking about the statutory accident benefits schedule. What kind of nonsense is that?

The Chair: I'm sorry, but --

Mr Tilson: We have every right to talk about the regulations.

The Chair: You're debating. Mr Harnick had --

Mr Tilson: Are you telling us we have no right to talk about the regulations, the draft regulations? Is that what you're telling us?

The Chair: We're doing Bill 164 here.

Mr Tilson: I'm sorry?

The Chair: That's correct.

Mr Tilson: You're telling us we cannot talk about the regulations. Is that what you're saying?

The Chair: We're talking about Bill 164 now.

Mr Tilson: You might as well just close this whole thing down, Mr Chairman. That's what you're trying to do.

The Chair: Mr Harnick.

Mr Tilson: You're shutting us up.

The Chair: No, I'm not. Mr Harnick.

Mr Tilson: You certainly are. We're entitled to talk about the statutory accident --

The Chair: Mr Harnick. You're out of order, Mr Tilson.

Mr Owens: Let's have a 10-minute recess.

The Chair: Okay, 10-minute recess.

The committee recessed at 1026 and resumed at 1037.

The Chair: We'll resume the clause-by-clause. Mr Harnick, you have the floor.

Mr Harnick: As I was saying, what this debate is all about is statutory accident benefits, whether they're called statutory accident benefits or no-fault benefits, and I think what is very important in terms of this debate is that everybody knows what statutory accident benefits or no-fault benefits or whatever you want to call them in fact are. They are the accident benefits that are set out in the regulations, and that's the connector. That's the connecting link here. Statutory benefits are referred to in the act, Bill 164, but they're defined and set out in the regulations. The regulations are the accident benefits; they are the statutory accident benefits or the no-fault benefits. It's important that we understand what accident benefits are. That's what this debate is all about.

Accident benefits consist of definitions, activities of daily living, dependants, employment, payments for loss of income. That's what's all set out in the interpretation sections of the accident benefits schedule. They also include, in part II, income replacement benefits. That sets out issues such as entitlement to benefits, period of benefit, gross annual income, amounts of benefits, withdrawal from the workforce, benefits after age 65, responsibility to seek employment, temporary return to employment.

Then the next section of the accident benefits schedule deals with education disability benefits, weekly benefits, lump sum benefits, temporary return to education benefits. After that is completed, we go into what's described as part IV, care giver benefits. Then we go on to part V, other disability benefits. We then go on to part VI. Part VI deals with loss of earning capacity benefits: when are they payable, notice of procedures, response to notice, agreement to pay benefits, assessment if no agreement, designated assessment facilities, assessment itself, amount of the benefit, termination of other benefits, temporary supplement to benefits, mandatory review of amount of benefit, deterioration in condition, adjustment at age 65. We then, after that, go on to part VII. Part VII is the supplementary medical benefits, and part VIII is the rehabilitation benefits. Part IX is the attendant care benefits and part X is the death benefits. Part XI --

The Chair: Mr Harnick, where are you reading from?

Mr Harnick: I'm reading the --

The Chair: The bill?

Mr Harnick: Yes, the bill. It's all part of the bill.

The Chair: What section? What page is that on?

Mr Harnick: No, I'm just reading what accident benefits are.

The Chair: Can you inform the Chair what page you are on in Bill 164?

Mr Harnick: I'm not on any page of Bill 164, and you can read the remarks that --

The Chair: But we're on Bill 164.

Mr Harnick: We are on Bill 164 and this is connected directly to it. These are the damn accident benefits.

The Chair: Mr Harnick.

Mr Harnick: Yes, sir.

The Chair: Don't raise your voice to the Chair; just talk. I'm talking to you also.

Mr Harnick: Don't interrupt me.

The Chair: The thing is, is that the draft report of the regulations that you're reading from or Bill 164, which we're on, section 1, right here?

Mr Harnick: These are connected directly to Bill 164.

The Chair: But are they a draft copy and are they tabled?

Mr Harnick: You can't ask me where I'm reading from. I may be making this up out of my head. The fact of the matter is --

The Chair: The Chair wants to follow where you are. The Chair has to follow where you are reading from, if you don't mind.

Mr Harnick: I am explaining what accident benefits are.

The Chair: Reading from where, Mr Harnick?

Mr Harnick: Reading from the documents that your government produced, and they're connected directly to Bill 164.

The Chair: But we're on Bill 164.

Mr Harnick: That's exactly where --

The Chair: Mr Owens, on a point of order.

Mr Owens: I go back to the point of order that I made earlier and that you ruled on and supported my point, that in fact the discussion of the accident benefits regulation and any substance related to that regulation, that proposed regulation --

Mr Harnick: You mean we're not going to talk about substance here?

Mr Owens: Excuse me, I have the floor, sir.

The Chair: Mr Owens has the floor.

Mr Owens: The subsections under consideration at this point are subsections 1(1) and 1(2), which are merely technical issues with respect to name changes. Chair, I ask you one more time to rule the member out of order. We are not discussing the benefits under the proposed regulation.

Mr Remo Mancini (Essex South): Tell the Chair what to do. There's the Chair and the deputy Chair.

The Chair: Mr Harnick, let's talk about maybe another issue. In your former life or maybe the life you've got right now as a lawyer, do you never do a draft report for, say, settlement and the party reads it but it's not through the courts?

Mr Mancini: Why are you guys haranguing Mr Harnick when you know he's not out of order?

The Chair: I'm sorry, but he is discussing something that isn't tabled.

Mr Mancini: It is too tabled. I've got a copy of it.

Mr Tilson: I've got one too. It's been delivered to us.

Mr Harnick: The minister tabled it.

The Chair: It's a draft. Is it tabled in the House? That's what I'm asking.

Mr Harnick: The minister tabled it before this committee.


The Chair: I'm sorry, to me it hasn't been tabled. I didn't receive a copy because it's not in the House.

Mr Tilson: Every member of this committee has a copy of the regulations.

The Chair: We're on Bill 164, right here; Bill 164, Mr Harnick.

Mr Kwinter: Mr Chairman, on a point of order: I think the argument that is taking place is without merit. Under part I, subsection 1(1) or subsection 1(2), there is constant reference to the no-fault benefits schedule or the statutory accident benefits schedule, so that is certainly a topic that is under discussion.

If the member for Willowdale wants to suggest to you whatever should be in that, whether he has it on a document that's prepared by someone or whether he makes it up himself, as he said, he can discuss it and he doesn't have to, in the same way that any member of this committee does not have to, submit to the Chair a copy of the remarks that he is making. He can make them. It just happens he's reading from a text, but that text is of no consequence. I feel that he has the right to discuss anything that he wants to that deals with the no-fault benefits schedule or the projected replacement statutory accident benefits schedule, and I would like your ruling on that.

The Chair: Just a point of clarification, that the point is that the draft report is a draft and it is not tabled.

Mr Mancini: So what?

Mr Harnick: It's not a report.

The Chair: Okay, fine. But the regulations can change two years from now.

Mr Mancini: So what?

Mr Harnick: So can the act.

The Chair: But the bill doesn't necessarily have to change. That's just the point I'm trying to make, Mr Harnick. It would be nice, though, if the rest of the committee members knew where you were reading from, if you are reading from someplace else. But if you're making it up, then fine. But that's all right. Carry on.

Mr Mancini: Charles, just help him along.

The Chair: Carry on, Mr Harnick.

Mr Harnick: Just so there's no mystery to this, I am reading from the accident benefits schedule.

Mr Mancini: Who prepared that schedule, Mr Harnick?

Mr Harnick: The words of the section --

The Chair: Mr Mancini --

Mr Mancini: I'm asking him a question. I want to know who prepared the schedule.

The Chair: Mr Owens.

Mr Owens: Mr Chair, I'm going to ask one more time that you have ruled that the issue with respect to --

Mr Mancini: Stop threatening the Chair.

Mr Harnick: Point of order, please.

The Chair: Could I just get this point of order, please?

Mr Harnick: He's not entitled to make a point of order. He's here for technical purposes. He's not here to run this committee.

The Chair: He is a member of the committee.

Mr Harnick: No, he isn't.

The Chair: Yes, he is.

Mr Harnick: No, he isn't.

Mr Mancini: That's the problem. He's been trying to do your job --

The Chair: I'm sorry. He is a voting member of the committee. He has as much right for a point of order as Mr Harnick has.

Mr Owens: Mr Chair, you have ruled on the issue that discussion of the substance of the accident benefit regulation --

Mr Harnick: Where is this in the standing orders?

Mr Owens: -- as it is not part of the substance under debate; the substance of the debate --

Mr Harnick: This is not in the standing orders.

Mr Owens: -- is 164, subsections 1(1) and 1(2) --

Mr Harnick: Where is this in the standing orders?

Mr Owens: -- sir, I would respectfully request that that ruling be upheld.

Mr Harnick: He's out of order.

The Chair: He is not out of order, Mr Harnick.

Mr Harnick: As a member of this committee, I would like to know where the section that he's referring to for his point of order is under the standing orders. This committee runs on the basis of the standing orders of this Legislature. Where is the standing order that he is bringing --

Mr Mancini: There isn't any.

The Chair: There isn't any.

Mr Harnick: There isn't any. Then he's out of order.

The Chair: We're on Bill 164, section 1.

Mr Harnick: Start being the Chairman and start being impartial and stop listening to the nonsense that he keeps putting into your ear.

The Chair: Mr Harnick, would you get back to the subject?

Mr Harnick: I'm back on the subject.

The Chair: Carry on.

Mr Harnick: If you would quit interrupting me and that guy sitting beside you will stop interrupting me --

The Chair: I'm sorry --

Mr Harnick: May I carry on?

The Chair: Are you a gentleman? Carry on. Let's use different language in here.

Mr Harnick: Thank you. As I was saying before I was interrupted, subsection 1(1) reads as follows:

"The Insurance Act is amended by,

"(a) striking out `no-fault benefits' and `no-fault benefit' wherever those expressions occur and substituting in each case `statutory accident benefits' and `statutory accident benefit,' as the case may be; and

"(b) striking out `no-fault benefits schedule' wherever that expression occurs and substituting in each case `statutory accident benefits schedule.'"

Subsection (2) says, "A reference to the no-fault benefits schedule under the Insurance Act in any other act or in any regulation, contract or other instrument shall be deemed to be a reference to the statutory accident benefits schedule under the Insurance Act, and a reference to benefits under the no-fault benefits schedule shall be deemed to be a reference to statutory accident benefits under the statutory accident benefits schedule."

Mr Chair, I've only read in that subsection (2) the words "statutory accident benefits schedule" or "no-fault benefits schedule" appear four times in the eight lines that make up that section. Are you telling me that the fact that "statutory accident benefits schedule" appears there and the fact that I am referring directly to that schedule is not in order? That's positively absurd. If that's what the Chairman is saying --

The Chair: But --

Mr Harnick: I'm making my speech now. That was a rhetorical question. I really don't want --

The Chair: But that was the draft copy. You can refer to the draft but not to debate the draft.

Mr Harnick: I'm not debating the draft. I'm referring to the schedule of accident benefits --

Mr Tilson: He can refer to anything he likes.

Mr Harnick: -- just as subsection (2) says. Subsection (2) says that we're talking here about --

The Chair: I agreed with you on that, Mr Harnick. You can refer to it but not to debate the regulations.


Mr Harnick: I'm referring to it. If we go back to part XI of that accident benefits schedule, it deals with funeral benefits. Part XII deals with compensation for other pecuniary losses. It deals with expenses of visitors, dependant care expenses, housekeeping and home maintenance expenses, damage to clothing, glasses, hearing aids etc, and cost of examinations.

Part XIII deals with exclusions and part XIV deals with procedure: notice and application for benefits, initial certificate for weekly benefits, election of weekly benefits, payment of weekly benefits, stoppage in weekly benefits, payment of other benefits, interest on overdue payments, prior approval of expenses, repayments to insurer, and time limit for proceedings.

Part XV deals with responsibility to participate in rehabilitation and part XVI deals with interaction with other systems: social assistance payments, collateral benefits, workers' compensation benefits, accidents in Quebec and non-residents. Part XVII deals with indexation of weekly benefits and of monetary amounts in this regulation.

Part XVIII deals with income calculations, net weekly income, income from self-employment, pre-determined income from self-employment, income tax calculations, conversion of part-time income to full-time income, severance pay and termination pay. Part XIX deals with miscellaneous items dealing with duty to provide benefits, application despite certain provisions of the Insurance Act, company automobiles, rental automobiles, copies of regulation, registered mail, forms, the title of the act and the coming-into-force date of the act.

I've just read everything that the accident benefits schedule has to deal with.

The Chair: Correct.

Mr Harnick: If you don't think that's relevant to this debate then, to quote Mr Winninger's phrase, "You don't know what planet you're on," because the fact of the matter is that this is the heart and guts of what every consumer in this province is going to have to understand.

I've done a little research overnight because I take this job very seriously. I don't know if anybody else did any research overnight. I asked Ms Haeck and a couple of the other people on the government side to please ask Bob Rae to come and explain why he has changed. I don't know if they did that last night or not, but I went back last night and I looked at the accident benefits schedules of the accident benefits as they were before OMPP, I looked at the accident benefits schedules under OMPP and I looked at the accident benefits schedules under the proposed Bill 164 as referred to in clauses 1(1)(a) and (b) and subsection 1(2). Boy, when I see the expansion of definitions and when I see how complicated this becomes and I compare it to what consumers have had up to this time, I'm amazed.

Let me just point out to you under the definition section, we have the definition of accident. It says in the regulations here that "`accident' means an incident in which the use or operation of an automobile causes, directly or indirectly, physical, psychological or mental injury or causes damage to any -- "

The Chair: Mr Owens, on a point of order.

Mr Harnick: I hope that when he makes his point of order, he'll refer to the section under the standing orders or you will rule him out of order, as the Chairman is supposed to do.

The Chair: Mr Owens.

Mr Harnick: I'm getting a little tired of being interrupted.

Mr Owens: Well, I'm getting tired of your interruptions while I have the floor as well.

Mr Harnick: You use the rules to shut me down.

Mr Owens: Mr Chair, I refer you to section 23 of the standing orders, that a member may be called to order if the member "directs his or her speech to matters other than: (i) the question under discussion, or (ii) a motion or amendment that he or she intends to move, or (iii) a point of order."

I would suggest to you that the issue under discussion at this particular moment is subsection 1(1) and subsection 1(2) of Bill 164 and that the issues with respect to the substance of the regulation are not under discussion. I ask as a committee member that you uphold your ruling that comments with respect to the substance of the regulation are out of order and that you ask the member for Willowdale to constrain his comments to the issue that is under discussion.

The Chair: Mr Owens, your point of order is taken and I agree with you. I gave a few sentences longer --

Mr Kwinter: Mr Chair --

The Chair: Let me finish, Mr Kwinter.

Mr Kwinter: It's a point of order. How can you finish with the other member when I want to speak on the same point of order? I'm not bringing up a new point of order.

The Chair: Okay. Mr Kwinter.

Mr Harnick: We need a new Chairman here. We need a fair Chairman.

Mr Kwinter: On the same point of order, Mr Chairman: The parliamentary assistant has just quoted section 23 of the standing orders, in which it says a member must confine his remarks to the issue at hand. Surely when we're talking about changing the act to strike out "no-fault benefits" and "no-fault benefit" and to substitute "statutory accident benefits," there must be a reason. There must be a reason why the government has decided that it wants to change that wording. It isn't just capricious. It isn't: "We don't like those words. Let's put some new words in."

As a result of that, we are talking about, as stated in clause 1(1)(b), the no-fault benefits schedule. Surely if the member for Willowdale is talking about the no-fault benefits schedule, nothing could be more germane to this debate. To rule that he is not talking about what we are talking about is patently absurd. I would respectfully submit that the parliamentary assistant has no point of order and for you to rule on it saying that you sustain his point just doesn't make any sense.

The Chair: Mr Tilson.

Mr Tilson: On that same point of order, Mr Chairman: I quite agree with Mr Kwinter that we have been repeatedly asking for the rationale for this amendment. Normally, in any committee I have sat on, the parliamentary assistant comes forward and gives us the rationale for why a specific amendment is being made. We've heard no rationale. Mr Harnick is trying to speculate what in the world the government's trying to do, and it does all boil down to regulations.

You can say they're draft regulations and they haven't been tabled here or there. All we know as members of this Legislature is that every last one of the members of this committee received a draft copy of the regulations. So did the medical association people. So did the lawyers. So did the insurance industry.

How in the world did you think all these thousands of dollars that have been spent on reports -- Mercer, for example, the government's own consultant firm, has spent a great deal of time on the subject of the regulations. Every delegation that has come forward to this committee has spent a great deal of time on these regulations. Why in the world can't this committee talk about the regulations? Mr Harnick is in perfect --

The Chair: Because we're discussing Bill 164.

Mr Tilson: We are talking about clauses 1(1)(a) and 1(1)(b) and subsection 1(2), all of which deal with the statutory accident benefits schedule. Mr Harnick is in perfect order to talk about that schedule.

The Chair: Mr Tilson, I was listening to Mr Harnick. He went through what the schedule and the regulations would be, what areas were covered. I agreed and listened. He has that right to tie that in to what areas. But when he starts discussing what the regulations are --


Mr Tilson: What are you talking about, Mr Chairman? Mercer talked about them. Every association talked about them. The minister talks about them.

The Chair: Yes, but we're not discussing it here. We're doing Bill 164, section 1.

Mr Tilson: Everybody but this committee's talking about them. What kind of nonsense is this?

Mr Mancini: Mr Chairman, we agree with you that it's Bill 164 that's been referred to the committee, but if at this late stage you're going to tell any member of the committee that he is going to be limited in how he is able to refer to the draft regulations prepared by the Minister of Financial Institutions, duly distributed to all committee members, duly distributed to the industry and to all stakeholders in this matter, if you are now, at this late stage, going to say that we allowed all these deputants -- do you remember all these deputants who came before us? -- to speculate about the draft regulations, we allowed the government's consultant to report on how high automobile insurance rates would go up because of the draft regulations as they refer to statutory accident benefits etc, if we allowed all that and now, at this late stage, our last chance, our last effort to convince the government that maybe they should accept a different regime or a different schedule, you're going to prohibit us from doing that, then this whole thing has been a farce.

The first deputant who came before this committee was the deputy minister and he referred to the draft regs. He had a lot to say about the draft regs as they pertain to Bill 164. We all sat back and heard the gentleman. It went on from there. If that was the view of the parliamentary assistant, who, I maintain, has been trying to do your job through these entire hearings, unfortunately, if that was his view, at that moment in time he should have interrupted the deputy minister and said, "Look, we're here to discuss Bill 164 and we're not going to tolerate your talking about the draft regs." That's when it should have been done, if that is the way you want to do it.

But that is not how it is done, Mr Chair. It hasn't been done that way because it makes no sense to do it that way, and the only way Bill 164 can be described to us by the deputy minister and the government's consultants and the minister and the only way Bill 164 can be described to us by all of these deputants who came before us over the last two weeks, all of these people -- we don't have to refer to them by name; we know who they are. All of them came to us and went through Bill 164, describing it to us through their eyes as it relates to the draft regs. That all made good common sense.

Now, if Mr Harnick is straying from how the draft regs and the statutory accident benefits join together, then certainly you as Chair have the right to intervene and bring him back to that point. But you do not have the right, nor does the parliamentary assistant, nor does anyone else, to tell Mr Harnick that it was okay to hear from the deputy minister, the government's consultants and everybody else as to how the draft regs and Bill 164 are connected, but we're sorry, we can't hear it from him. That makes no sense, Mr Chair.

The Chair: Okay. I had let Mr Harnick carry on there. He did put where section 1 applied to the regulations.

Mr Owens: What's your ruling?

The Chair: But when he started talking about regulations on the draft, we're not here to discuss what the regulations are, the schedules. We're here to discuss Bill 164.

Mr Tilson: Did you listen to one word he said?

The Chair: Yes, and I rule. Get back, Mr Harnick, on Bill 164. Mr Harnick, you've got the floor.

Mr Harnick: No, Mr Chair. I think if anybody reads this transcript from Hansard and sees that you've made a ruling that doesn't allow us to talk about substance, the public would say: "Boy, it's absurd. We elect these people to debate issues and bills that are going to become law, that the public is going to have to deal with, and we have a Chairman of a committee and a parliamentary assistant who say, `Well, it's fine to debate as long as you don't talk about substance.'" I think that's absurd.

I also think, Mr Chair, that the reason the parliamentary assistant is concerned about dealing --

Mr Owens: On a point of order.

The Chair: Okay, we've got a point of order. Mr Owens.

Mr Harnick: Oh, he's going to interrupt me again.

Mr Owens: These remarks are not germane to subsections 1(1) or 1(2) of the legislation.

Mr Tilson: We're still on your point of order.

The Chair: There is no debate on my ruling.

Mr Tilson: Do you mean to tell me that Mr Owens can make a point of order and none of us can comment, whether we support it or whether we oppose it?

The Chair: There is no debate on my ruling.

Mr Tilson: What do you mean? Mr Owens rose on a point of order. What do you want us to do? Read Hansard back? We're speaking on Mr Owens's point of order. Mr Harnick has every right to speak on that point of order.

Mr Mancini: I move that we make Mr Winninger the parliamentary assistant for the rest of the year.

Mr Winninger: I move, Mr Chair, that Charles Harnick donate his ego to Harvard.

The Chair: Well, that's not recorded. Mr Harnick.

Mr Harnick: It's interesting that we have a parliamentary assistant who's afraid of the substance of his own bill, the bill he has to defend. The reason I don't think he wants to talk --

The Chair: Mr Harnick, it's got nothing to do -- the regulations are draft -- I don't mind your referring where it goes to the draft report, but the draft report is only a draft. We're debating Bill 164.

Mr Mancini: That's exactly what we're debating.

The Chair: Okay, carry on with Bill 164.

Mr Harnick: Just so that I understand then, are you telling me that these are not the regulations the public is going to have to deal with?

Mr Tilson: The whole thing's a mirage.

The Chair: They're draft; they haven't been tabled.

Mr Harnick: Maybe you should enlighten us, Mr Chair, and maybe the parliamentary assistant can enlighten us and maybe we can get Mr Endicott back here. I mean, are these irrelevant to the discussions on auto insurance? Is that what you're telling us?

The Chair: I'll go to legal counsel.

Interjection: That's a good idea.

Mr Harnick: Can we go out and advise all of --

The Chair: Mr Harnick.

Mr Harnick: Let me finish. You keep interrupting me and I can't ask my question.

The Chair: But you stopped and I asked someone and then you started cutting in again.

Mr Harnick: Let me at least clarify the question so he can give me an answer.

The Chair: I'm going to legal counsel for an answer.

Mr Harnick: Well, can I ask him the question before he makes the answer?

The Chair: Go ahead, Mr Harnick. You've got two questions there.

Mr Harnick: What I want to know is whether we should just forget about what we're doing here, call the rest of the week off and go and inform all the people who were witnesses to this committee that these draft regulations are now scrapped. That's what I'd like legal counsel to tell me: Are these now irrelevant? Are we throwing them in the garbage? Can we go out and tell the public --


Mr Harnick: Well, I'm asking my question.

The Chair: He's still on the first point of order.

Mr Harnick: I'm still on the first point of order.

Ms Christel Haeck (St Catharines-Brock): Point of order.

The Chair: I'd like to get to legal counsel first to respond to Mr Harnick.

Mr Harnick: I just want to know from legal counsel if these are now irrelevant and we can tell all those witnesses and all the interest groups not to worry about this stuff any more because the government's thrown it in the garbage.

The Chair: Let's get a legal opinion for Mr Harnick.

Mr Craig Simons: I find it difficult to answer that kind of question. It's not really a technical, legal question.

Mr Harnick: Well, can somebody answer that question? Maybe the parliamentary assistant can answer it.

Mr Owens: The parliamentary assistant would be glad to answer the question. As Mr Harnick is well aware -- or perhaps maybe he's not, since he hasn't been around as long as Mr Mancini or Mr Kwinter -- in terms of the witnesses, maybe Mr Harnick --

Mr Tilson: So what's your point.

The Chair: Wait a minute. Mr Owens has the floor.

Mr Owens: Maybe Mr Harnick is in the business of requiring witnesses to say certain things, but Mr Harnick should be well aware that witnesses have the option to come to committee and use their time as they see fit, and witnesses have certainly done that during these hearings.

With respect to the issue under discussion here, subsections 1(1) and 1(2) of the bill, again, as of yesterday evening we had spent seven and a half hours -- we are now close to eight hours -- debating what is simply a technical name change, nothing more and nothing less. The comments have been reiterated, and for your edification I will reiterate them one more time, that the draft regulation is simply a draft. There is nothing official about this document. It is still out in the community, including the various legal groups, various victim groups, for consultation. In terms of the issue that is at hand, at this point it's simply a name change, and that will hold true for at least the first 10 sections of the bill.

In terms of time well spent and where you would like to place your arguments, I would respectfully suggest that you have an opportunity to consult with the ministry on the accident benefits regulation. You are certainly not precluded from doing that. But in this particular instance we are discussing subsections 1(1) and 1(2) of Bill 164.

Ms Haeck: On a point of order.

The Chair: Ms Haeck, a point of order.

Ms Haeck: I find this, shall we say, carousel that we're on rather interesting, since in fact most pieces of legislation that have come before committees I have sat on have not had regulations appended. The regulations are drafted after the bill has gone through the House, so what has been presented by the ministry, from my understanding, is that it's given some sense to the public as well as to the insurance industry of what is on its mind. But the bill we are discussing is quite separate, and I must admit I think all of us would like to move off of subsection 1(1) and actually get moving.


The Chair: Mr Harnick, you have the floor again, and stay on subject, Bill 164, please.

Mr Harnick: I am no more clear now --

The Chair: Could I interrupt? Mr Mancini. I forgot him in the corner here.

Mr Harnick: You don't want to forget Mr Mancini. I know he's going to straighten this whole thing out.

Mr Mancini: Yes. We're going to make a comment on the --

Mr Harnick: He's been here longer than any of us.

Mr Mancini: I appreciate that.

I was led to believe, Mr Chair, and maybe you could correct me if I'm not right on the subject -- I asked the ministry legal counsel -- that based on earlier questions asked by Mr Harnick at the beginning of the hearings, the head of this insurance team was Mr Endicott. I wanted to ask Mr Endicott some questions about these draft regs that have come up during all these points of order so we could get some clarification here, because it seems that Mr Harnick is allowed to speak for two or three minutes and then the same point of order arises again.

Mr Harnick: Where is Mr Endicott?

Mr Mancini: We need the person who is in charge of the team to be available so that we can ask two or three specific questions which might help us to resolve this. At the rate we're going, Mr Harnick is going to speak for two or three minutes, and in my view, properly so. That's going to annoy the parliamentary assistant because the draft regs have not been liked by many people, and he's going to jump in on a point of order. That's going to cause several other points of order and we're not going to get on the record the important things that we wish to say this morning and this afternoon. So unless we're able to clarify some of these things, we are in fact, as Ms Haeck said, on a carousel.

The Chair: We'll go to Mr Owens and hope that he has someone here from the ministry, if Mr Endicott isn't here to fill in for him.

Mr Owens: Sure. We have a number of very qualified people here to answer questions on Bill 164, especially the subsections that are under debate here which, again for your reference, are 1(1) and 1(2). In terms of a specific individual --

Mr Mancini: I was led to believe he was in charge of the team.

Mr Owens: If I can finish my response to you, we have, as I say, a number of people here who can quite adequately respond to your technical questions on the bill.

One more time, the accident benefits regulation is not an issue for debate, but if you're interested in meeting with one of our ministry staff whom you want to answer or to ask questions of, we would certainly be pleased to arrange that for you.

Mr Mancini: Thank you for the offer. It doesn't in any way answer my question, but thanks for the generous offer and thanks for again telling us that we should --

Mr Owens: I think I responded quite appropriately to your question.

Mr Mancini: You responded according to what you consider your needs to be, Mr Owens. Your needs right now and the needs of your colleagues are to try to run for cover and not allow us to be --

Mr Owens: That's not appropriate.

Mr Mancini: -- in room 151 and a whole bunch of other things.

The Chair: Mr Mancini.

Mr Mancini: Our needs are to find out what exactly all this means, because there are millions of ratepayers who would like to know. That's what our needs are. You guys want to cover it up.

The Chair: Mr Mancini.

Mr Mancini: We want to make sure people understand what's going on.

The Chair: Do you want me to call the ministry staff here to answer the question?

Mr Mancini: Well, who is the top person here?

Mr Owens: My question to you, in terms of your question with respect to technical issues, is that Mr Simons has quite adequately, in my view, explained the nature of a rather technical amendment. If that explanation was not clear for members of the opposition or anybody else, for that matter, who would like Mr Simons to reclarify that amendment, then Mr Simons is quite willing to do so. In terms of clarification as to who heads the other project, it is not Mr Endicott who is the head of this particular auto insurance review; it is Blair Tully, the deputy, who appeared here --

Mr Mancini: Maybe we need Mr Tully here, then.

Mr Owens: -- and again, for the purpose of clarification, we have a number of excellent ministry staff, Mr Simons and Ms Julia Bass, an assistant deputy minister. I would say we're quite well equipped here to answer any technical questions, especially starting with subsections 1(1) and 1(2). If Mr Mancini, Mr Harnick or Mr Tilson would like, again for the purposes of clarification, to have the reasoning, perhaps we would even go further and define what "substitution" means or what "striking out" means, if that is a difficulty for these members to understand. So again, Chair, we are back into the position of requesting that we move back to the substance of the debate which is subsections 1(1) and 1(2) of Bill 164.

The Chair: Mr Harnick, you have the floor again.

Mr Harnick: I am quite pleased at the parliamentary assistant's offer. If we could have all the ministry people come and join us at the table here, then at least we'd be able to see who they are and what they do, and we'd be able to direct our questions to them. Is that reasonable, Mr Chair?

Mr Tilson: Just say yes, then you can go.

The Chair: Yes.

Mr Tilson: We're on.

Mr Harnick: Why don't they all come and join us at the table?

The Acting Chair (Mr David Winninger): You have a new Mr Chair.

Mr Harnick: Oh, we have a new Mr Chair. Nice to have a man without an ego as the Chairman.

The Acting Chair: What was your point, Mr Harnick?

Mr Harnick: The parliamentary assistant indicated we could have all the ministry staff who are here to help us out with these technical questions and maybe they should all join us at the table. Your predecessor in the Chair said yes to that.

The Acting Chair: I didn't hear him say yes. Perhaps when he's able to return we can deal with that matter anew. In the meantime, perhaps we could address our attention to section 1 of the act.

Mr Tilson: Mr Harnick had accepted the offer of the parliamentary assistant to answer, to have the various staff members he has introduced to us now come to the table. I'm sure all members of the committee would like to ask some questions, particularly Mr Harnick. I know Mr Mancini has a number of questions on these draft regulations and the meaning of them, all of which turns back to section 1. I think Mr Harnick has accepted Mr Owens's offer. The Chair, Mr Hansen, before he left, indicated that seemed quite in order and I suggest all the various staff members come to the table so we can now proceed to better understand the draft regulations.

The Acting Chair: Mr Owens, you had your hand up.

Mr Owens: Thank you, Chair. We have Mr Simons and he, as I indicated in my earlier remarks, provided quite a competent and capable answer to the questions that would arise under subsections 1(1) and 1(2) of the bill which is under consideration. The substance of the accident benefits regulation -- again the Chair has ruled -- is not in order for the purposes of discussion. For questions that may arise out of subsections 1(1) and 1(2), Mr Simons is here, and as I also indicated, Ms Julia Bass, an assistant deputy minister, is also available for questions. If there is something that was not clear in terms of a rather technical name change, changing "no-fault benefits" to "statutory accident benefits," I would respectfully request that those questions again be asked and that we move back to the substance under discussion.


The Acting Chair: Certainly it's reassuring to know that if technical questions do arise around section 1 of the bill, or any other sections which I hope we can get to this morning, there are competent technical staff available.

Mr Tilson: Mr Chairman, again I repeat what I indicated, that Mr Harnick had accepted Mr Owens's offer to have the staff come to the table because Mr Harnick has a number of technical questions dealing with subsection 1(1).

The Acting Chair: What I'm hearing is -- sorry. Have you completed your thought?

Mr Tilson: My comment is that Mr Harnick has accepted Mr Owens's offer. The Chair, Mr Hansen, has indicated that the proposal is quite in order, so I don't know why we're holding this up. Let's deal with all these questions.

The Acting Chair: I don't know either, because it's quite clear that we have technical staff here well qualified to answer technical questions.

Mr Tilson: Well, let's get them forward. We've all got a lot of questions dealing with these regulations.

The Acting Chair: Perhaps Mr Harnick could then continue, and if he chooses to put technical questions, we have competent staff here to answer them. Please continue, Mr Harnick.

Mr Harnick: Seeing as Mr Simons is here, Mr Simons, I just want you to clarify for the committee that the references to "statutory accident benefits schedule" and "no-fault benefits schedule" as they appear in section 1 of the act refer to the accident benefit schedules set out in the January 1993 revised draft regulation to be made under the Insurance Act statutory accident benefits schedule.

Mr Simons: It doesn't refer to any particular schedule; it refers really to any regulation that may be passed under the act once this act is proclaimed.

Mr Harnick: That's where I'm becoming horribly confused, because the only place I'm aware of any statutory accident benefits schedules are the schedules that exist under the draft regulations. Are there other schedules I'm not aware of?

Mr Simons: The only schedule that you have right now is the current no-fault benefits schedule.

Mr Harnick: And is that the no-fault benefits schedule that's in these draft regulations?

Mr Simons: No.

Mr Harnick: Well, where are they?

Mr Simons: What you have before you that you're referring to is a consultation draft.

Mr Harnick: No, what I want to know is, where are the no-fault benefits schedules if they're not in this draft regulation? Where are they?

Mr Simons: The only thing you have operating today is the current no-fault benefits schedule that was put in during OMPP.

Mr Harnick: Let me ask you again. In section 1, you are referring to no-fault benefits schedules or statutory accident benefits schedules. Where will these accident benefit schedules you're referring to be? Will they be in the draft regulation and will that be the governing document, or will we continue with the Ontario motorist protection plan regulations and will they be the governing document? This is pretty important.

Mr Simons: The statutory accident benefits schedule replaces for accidents after the new scheme is put into place.

Mr Mancini: Exactly. That's what we've been saying for two days.

Mr Harnick: We're contemplating then that once this bill is passed, the accident benefits schedule you're referring to will be the accident benefits schedule in this draft that was put out by the ministry in 1993. Is that right?

Mr Simons: That's not necessarily true. We don't know exactly what the final schedule is going to look like. That's a consultation draft for input.

Mr Harnick: Is this at present the only draft and the only accident benefits schedule that will go with this, Bill 164?

Mr Simons: It's a consultation draft. It's not a legal document.

Mr Harnick: Let me ask you in a more pointed way. When Bill 164 is passed, with these sections that are presently in it, if it's passed that way, will this be the draft regulation that goes with it?

Mr Simons: It's a proposed regulation. I don't know if it's the final version.

Mr Mancini: Can I ask a couple of supplementary questions?

Mr Harnick: Sure. Go ahead.

The Chair: Mr Mancini.

Mr Mancini: Mr Simons, are these the draft regulations, dated "January 1993, Automobile Insurance Review, Ministry of Financial Institutions," that your deputy minister, Mr Tully, referred to when he came before the committee?

Mr Simons: Yes.

Mr Mancini: These are the drafts your deputy minister referred to?

Mr Simons: Yes, the consultation draft.

Mr Mancini: Did your deputy minister, Mr Tully, refer to any other draft regulations other than these during his discourse to this committee?

Mr Simons: Not that I'm aware of.

Mr Mancini: Did any of these groups -- for example, James H. Cooke, barrister and solicitor, Windsor; Zurich of Canada; John Berringer from Kenora; the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce; the Ontario March of Dimes; the Organization for the Multi-Disabled; the Facility Association -- did any of those groups that appeared before the committee refer to draft regulations, other than these particular draft regulations that you identified only a moment ago?

Mr Simons: I can't answer that. I wasn't present during the committee's sessions.

Mr Mancini: You weren't present. That's why we needed -- are there other staff --

Mr Owens: Oh, come on. This is becoming an abuse.

The Chair: Mr Mancini, I was chairing at that particular time --

Mr Mancini: Okay, then maybe the Chair -- did they all refer to this draft?

The Chair: -- and they did wind up referring to items in a draft.

Mr Owens: What's the point?

The Chair: In a draft. Consultation. Draft.

Mr Mancini: The point here, Mr Chair --

Mr Owens: This is becoming an abuse of process.

Mr Mancini: No, it's not an abuse.

Mr Owens: It absolutely is.

Mr Mancini: Your performance this morning has been an abuse because you want to do the Chairman's job. Mr Chair, my point is the following, if the parliamentary assistant will allow me: The indications that we've had this morning, from legal counsel whom Mr Owens guided us to, was that the Deputy Minister of Financial Institutions referred to these regulations and only these regulations. The legal counsel further confirmed that he knows of no other regulations that the deputy minister referred to.

If that is the case, then it's obvious that Mr Harnick is doing exactly the same thing that the deputy minister did. And for Mr Owens and for anyone else to say before this committee that these may or these may not be the draft regulations is nothing but a bunch of nonsense. These are the draft regulations.

The Chair: They aren't the regulations. They're draft regulations. That's what I tried to say.

Mr Mancini: That's what I said. These are the draft regulations.

The Chair: Mr Harnick, Bill 164.

Mr Tilson: It's not law. That's why we're here.

The Chair: We're not to debate the regulations but to debate -- not to debate, but clause-by-clause.

Mr Mancini: How they connect.

The Chair: Mr Harnick did connect that the regulations, not specific, but areas -- and I let Mr Harnick go on in that area because that's what it would be covering. But when he started debating and questioning the regulations, that's when I let him have about two or three sentences, and then Mr Owens cut in on a point of order.

Mr Mancini: Which he does regularly.

The Chair: I was going to stop Mr Harnick at that time, but I was going to see if he was going to get back to Bill 164. I'm not a Chair that winds up -- I know I give a little latitude, and I was giving Mr Harnick a little latitude to see if he was coming back to 164, section 1. Mr Harnick, you have the floor.

Mr Harnick: I want to ask Mr Simons a question. He keeps talking about a consultation draft. Consultation, it seems to me, means that we're out consulting with the public about what the draft might turn out to look like. But I'm looking at a document put out by the ministry and dated January 1993 from Automobile Insurance Review, Ministry of Financial Institutions. It doesn't say anything on the front page about consultation. It says, "Revised Draft Regulation to be made under the Insurance Act, `Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule.'"

So that I don't get more confused than I already am now, is this the same statutory accident benefit schedule that's referred to in clauses 1(1)(a) and (b) and subsection 1(2)? Is this what goes with that?

The Chair: That's a draft copy.

Mr Harnick: I'm not asking you; I'm asking Mr Simons. You don't know these answers.

The Chair: Okay. Mr Simons.

Mr Simons: I believe when this draft was circulated --

Mr Harnick: Can't you just say yes or no?

Mr Simons: -- it was circulated with a press release saying it's a consultation draft. It is --

Mr Harnick: No. Read what's on the front of it now, sir. It says, "Revised Draft Regulation to be made under the Insurance Act." The big words are "to be made."


Mr Simons: But it also says "Draft."

Mr Harnick: Well, it also says "to be made under the Insurance Act" and then it says, in quotations, "Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule." This is not a trick question. All I'm asking you is, when it says "Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule" in subsection (2), is this the statutory benefits schedule that goes with this?

Mr Simons: No.

Mr Harnick: If it ain't, we should all go home because we got nothing to talk about here.

Mr Simons: It's not the final schedule; it's a draft. It's out for consultation.

Mr Harnick: Whom is it out for consultation to?

Mr Owens: Your House leader person is here; maybe she can get a substitute for you, if you'd like to leave.

Mr Harnick: Oh, shut up. What I want to know --

The Chair: Mr Harnick, you have the floor.

Mr Harnick: That's right. I have the floor, and if I feel like standing up, I'm going to stand up.

The Chair: But the thing is, Hansard's having a problem.

Mr Harnick: Are you having a problem?

The Chair: If you sit down and speak into the mike --

Mr Harnick: Are you having a problem hearing me?

The Chair: Yes.

Mr Harnick: Is the mike picking it up?

Mr Tilson: You've got to speak louder, Charles.

The Chair: Is this grandstanding?

Mr Harnick: It's grandstanding.

The Chair: Okay, go ahead.

Mr Harnick: You should call in the press.

Mr Harnick: All I want to know is a couple of things: Is the Chairman Mr Owens or is the Chairman Mr Hansen, and are there any other draft regulations that go with this as of right now or are these it? That's all. It's not a trick question. But if this isn't what goes with this, we may as well pack it in here because we're wasting our time.

Mr Simons: I thought I already answered that.

Mr Harnick: I don't know what you answered, because Mr Owens keeps interrupting, keeps confusing the issue. We just don't know what goes with what. You know, the big question here-


Mr Harnick: Just a second. I'm getting tired of being interrupted by the Bobbsey twins here.

The Chair: Mr Harnick, I don't like getting pointed at all the time.

Mr Harnick: Well, I'm pointed at by you. If you point at me, I'm going to point back. So there. You might make $10,000 more than I do for pointing, but I'm still allowed to point back.

The Chair: I haven't got a law firm, so --

Mr Harnick: I don't have a law firm either. I'm a little confused because --


The Chair: Why don't we just come down, just settle down and talk to him in a regular voice.

Mr Harnick: Mr Owens keeps telling me, when he interrupts the speeches that I'm trying to make -- constantly, because he doesn't want to deal with the issues that are going to affect the public -- that all we're talking about here is a substitution of one name for another name for a set of regulations or accident benefits to be made under the Insurance Act. We can't proceed one inch further unless you tell me whether these are the statutory accident benefits schedule that's referred to in this section. It's really simple. The answer is either yes or no.

The Chair: Mr Harnick, you keep trying to confuse it all the time. You forget to put the word "draft" in.

Mr Harnick: Draft.

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

The Chair: Mr Kwinter.

Mr Kwinter: Mr Chairman, with all due respect, you keep referring to the fact that the member for Willowdale is referring to a draft document. With all due respect, I want to bring your attention to Bill 164, which we are discussing. I have in front of me a sheaf of amendments, government motions as to how to amend this particular document. The members of the Conservative Party have submitted some. This is a draft. This is not the final document. This is a draft document that is contemplated by the government and we are here to debate, clause by clause, what changes should be made.

The Chair: Correct.

Mr Kwinter: So to rule that an intrinsic part of this document, which is the regulations, is draft and cannot be discussed, but the main body, which is also a draft, can be discussed, doesn't make any sense. With all due respect, you can rule whatever you want, but I just want to submit to you that to keep suggesting that because one document is a draft it can't be discussed and Bill 164, which is also a draft, can be discussed makes no sense.

The Chair: But what we're talking about is Bill 164, not the regulations. That's where I come back every time. I've ruled on that and I would like to get back with Mr Harnick on Bill 164.

Mr Harnick: I appreciate the input.

The Chair: He's been given enough answers on regulations, that they're draft. That is not the subject of discussion or debate on Bill 164. I don't know how many more times I can say that. I'm going to get tongue-tied after a while.

Mr Harnick: I appreciate the input of the member for Wilson Heights. It's regrettable that you haven't answered his question or dealt with what he said.

I'm going back to the section you have specifically become tongue-tied over. All I want to know from Mr Simons is a really simple question. If he can't answer it, we'd better get Mr Tully here. Are these the revised draft regulations to be made --

The Chair: Mr Harnick, let's carry on with Bill 164.

Mr Harnick: I'm asking -- you've made it --

The Chair: Bill 164.

Mr Harnick: Well, I'm dealing with Bill 164.

The Chair: You're dealing with regulations again.

Mr Harnick: No, I'm not dealing with the --

The Chair: We're dealing with Bill 164.

Mr Harnick: I'm not dealing with the regulations.

Mr Winninger: The question has been asked and answered.

Mr Harnick: It hasn't been answered. All I want to know is --

The Chair: Mr Harnick, look at the Chair.

Mr Harnick: -- are these the draft regulations that are referred to in clauses 1(1)(a) and (b) and subsection 1(2)?

The Chair: The thing is, there are going to be regulations. That happens to be a draft. I don't know how many more times we can say it.

Mr Harnick: At this very moment, are these the draft regulations that go with this bill or are there any others?

The Chair: Mr Harnick, if you didn't receive the draft -- let's say the draft had not been printed and we were going through that the regulations would be written, would you have had a problem with the bill?

Mr Harnick: The regulations are written. This is the draft. You've made Mr Simons available and I would just like him to say, "Yes, these are the draft regulations at present that go with this act." It's not a trick question. I'm not going to say, "Aha, I got you." I just want to know that this is it. It's either yes or no. There is no trick question.

The Chair: Mr Simons, would you mind answering, because sometimes retention is only 20% of what you hear.

Mr Harnick: You know what, Mr Simons --

The Chair: Mr Harnick.

Mr Harnick: Let me just interrupt for a minute. Mr Simons, if you answer that question yes or no, I promise you that when you finish your answer, I'm giving up and yielding the floor, okay? So I'm going to keep going until you answer me yes or no. But if you're prepared to say yes or no, I'm going to quit after you give me the answer because I can't take much more of this buffoonery.

Tell me, are these the draft regulations that presently go with Bill 164 or are there any others? Is this the most modern, up-to-date version that goes with this act? Are there more?

Mr Simons: It is the most modern, up-to-date version of the draft or proposed draft.

Mr Harnick: So is your answer yes?

Mr Simons: It's not the statutory benefits schedule. It is a proposed draft.

Mr Harnick: Well, it's the only one that exists right now.

Mr Simons: Right. It's been circulated --

Mr Harnick: It might be changed --

Mr Simons: It may be changed.

Mr Harnick: -- but at the moment, this act refers to that document, because we don't have any others.

Mr Simons: It's not the regulation. A regulation has to be passed under the Regulations Act.

Mr Kwinter: But this isn't the act either, is it?

Mr Tilson: This is a mirage too.

The Chair: I'm sorry.

Mr Winninger: Point of order.

Mr Tilson: Probably the whole darned committee is a mirage.

The Chair: The thing is, Mr Harnick, we've had second reading of the bill.

Mr Harnick: I give up. I'm throwing in the towel. I don't think you people have any clue what you're doing. I don't think you know where you're going. I don't know how you're ever going to get this bill completed at this stage, because you just don't know what you're up to.

The Chair: Mr Owens, you have the floor.

Mr Owens: Thank you, Chair. After close to nine and a half hours of rather interesting debate --

Mr Paul Klopp (Huron): -- you're almost at his level.

Mr Owens: Excuse me, Mr Klopp. I have the floor.

Mr Klopp: You're almost at his level.

Mr Harnick: Mr Klopp, you're interrupting your own brilliant man there. He's about to say something profound.

Mr Owens: As per section 47 of the standing orders, I move that the question now be put.

Mr Klopp: On section 1?

Mr Owens: On section 1 to --

Mr Tilson: Mr Chairman, on a point of order: I believe we're on 1, subsection (1)(a).

The Chair: On (b).


Mr Tilson: Well, we certainly haven't reached subsection (2) yet.

The Chair: We're on section 1. This is the one we've been debating.

Mr Tilson: Section 1, subsection (1). My understanding is that the question that you initially asked was with respect to subsection (1). We haven't got to subsection (2) yet.

The Chair: We've been on that for three days.

Mr Tilson: No, Mr Chairman, we haven't. We've just been dealing with subsection (1).

The Chair: We have. If you check Hansard, that's what Mr Harnick just read out.

Mr Harnick: I was jumping ahead. They told me I had a short attention span.

Mr Tilson: Mr Chairman, the question is what you put to the committee. You put to the committee, section 1, subsection (1). We have yet to go to subsection (2).

Mr Owens: I'd like to repeat the motion I made --

Mr Tilson: Well, it's out of order.

The Chair: It's out of order.

Mr Owens: What's out of order?

Mr Tilson: Your motion.

The Chair: No. I'm saying you're out of order, Mr Tilson.

Standing order 47: "A motion for closure, which may be moved without notice, until it is decided shall preclude all amendment of the main question, and shall be in the following words: `That this question be now put.' Unless it appears to the Speaker that such motion is an abuse of the standing orders of the House or an infringement of the rights of the minority, the question shall be put forthwith and decided without amendment or debate. If a motion for closure is resolved in the affirmative, the original question shall be put forthwith and decided without amendment or debate."

Mr Harnick: On a point of order, Mr Chairman: This motion only pertains --

The Chair: I'm sorry. There are no points of order on the decision.

Mr Harnick: Then I need clarification. This motion only pertains to section 1, is that correct?

The Chair: Section 1, correct.

Mr Harnick: All right. Thank you.

The Chair: Now I'll put the question: Shall section 1 carry?

Interjections: Carried.

Mr Tilson: But I don't understand what we're voting on.

The Chair: Section 1.

Mr Tilson: Part 1 of section 1?

The Chair: No, section 1, the whole section of the bill. Mr Tilson: But we haven't dealt with subsection (2) yet, Mr Chairman.

The Chair: I already ruled on it. We've already dealt with section -- we started section 1. If you read Hansard for the last three days, we're dealing with section 1. Is it agreed?

Interjections: Agreed.

Mr Hans Daigeler (Nepean): Thank you very much, Mr Chairman. I had my hand up for some time, and I would appreciate that you do listen to me before you move to the vote. So far, I've not had an opportunity to comment on the bill, and I think it is only fair that I be given an opportunity as well to speak on the motion and on the section that is before us.

The Chair: But there's no debate on this, Mr Daigeler.

Mr Daigeler: I'm not debating whether you place the vote or not. You just read from the rules of the House. They clearly indicate that the Speaker shall only put the motion if he feels that everybody had a fair opportunity to present their viewpoints. I would submit to you that I have not had an opportunity to put forward my views. In view of that position, I would urge you to at least provide me the courtesy of making remarks on section 1.

The Chair: I would say that the Liberal caucus and the Conservative caucus have had sufficient time to debate this. If you weren't given time by your whip in your caucus, that is not the fault of the Chair. There is no debate.

Mr Tilson: Mr Chairman, I have a question. Can you tell me, what was the initial issue you raised when this matter first came to the committee? My recollection of it -- if there's Hansard available -- is that you asked whether there were any questions or comments with respect to section 1, subsection (1). I don't recall you ever putting on the floor the subject of subsection (2). I don't recall you ever doing that.

The Chair: I would say that I said "section 1."

Mr Harnick: Maybe we'd better check.

Mr Tilson: I think we need to check the record, because my recollection of it is that you asked for subsection (1) of section 1.

The Chair: I said "section 1."

Mr Harnick: Can we check Hansard, please?

The Chair: Are you challenging my ruling?

Mr Tilson: I'm simply asking a question, Mr Chairman. Perhaps we could check Hansard. It would be very simple to do that.

Mr Harnick: Surely you can't deny us a look at the record. You may be right.

Mr Tilson: It's page 1 of Hansard.

Ms Haeck: Mr Chairman, we have initiated a vote, and this side has voted. The opposition has obviously decided that it doesn't want to vote, but the government caucus has voted in favour of moving the question.

The Chair: I made a call.

Mr Tilson: The opposition has not voted, and I ask for 20 minutes so that I can discuss this matter with our caucus.

The Chair: We had the vote.

Mr Tilson: We haven't had the vote.

The Chair: I called the vote.

Mr Tilson: You have not had the vote. I haven't put up my hand.

The Chair: I called the vote.

Mr Tilson: I'm sorry, sir, you have not done that.

Mr Harnick: You haven't said: "All in favour? All opposed?" Where did you say: "All in favour? All opposed?" Just because those monkeys start yelling, "Yeah, yeah, yeah."


Mr Tilson: I don't know what you're seeing over there, Mr Chairman, but we're entitled to have our 20-minute caucus.

The Chair: I'm sorry, but we've had the vote.

Mr Kwinter: You moved closure, and you said there was to be no debate. There was apparently no formal call of a vote.

Mr Owens: Shall we check Hansard?

Mr Kwinter: Yes.


The Chair: Okay, on the vote.

Mr Mancini: Why are you moving closure? Can I ask you that?

Clerk pro tem: He's not moving it. Steve Owens moved it.

Mr Mancini: Well, what's his problem?

Mr Harnick: We just want 20 minutes.

The Chair: Okay, 20 minutes for the vote.

Mr Harnick: Does that mean we now come back at 2 o'clock and we'll have 20 minutes?

The Chair: No.

Mr Harnick: We get 10 minutes now?

The Chair: You get 20 minutes now.

Mr Harnick: We get 10 minutes now.

The Chair: We'll take 20 minutes now.

Mr Mancini: There's no permission to sit past 12.

Mr Owens: No, there's a vote.

Mr Harnick: I thought we sit to 12 --

The Chair: We've got a vote. We do have permission to sit past 12.


Mr Winninger: On a point of order, Mr Chair: We're in the process of voting, and the clock doesn't stop at 12 o'clock.

The Chair: I've already ruled that, Mr Winninger.

Mr Winninger: Thank you.

The Chair: So at 10 after we'll have the vote.

Ms Haeck: On a point of order: My concern, Mr Chair, is the fact that by allowing this to dissipate the way it has -- the vote has started; this side has voted. As a result of the recess now proposed to be undertaken, does that not compromise the whole procedure of voting?

The Chair: We've got 20 minutes. We'll be back here at 10 after for the vote. We're recessed until 10 after 12 for the vote.

The committee recessed at 1149 and resumed at 1210. The Chair: After a 20-minute recess, I have ruled that the question of closure is in order. I shall now place that question, that it be put now.

Mr Tilson: Mr Chairman, a point of order.

The Chair: There are no points of order, Mr Tilson.

Mr Tilson: I'm saying there's no motion on the floor to have closure put.

The Chair: All those in favour? Mr Owens put the motion on the floor.

Mr Tilson: There's never been a motion for section 1.

The Chair: All those in favour, say yes.

Interjections: Yes.

The Chair: Opposed?

Interjections: Nay.

The Chair: Carried.

Now I shall place the question, shall section 1 carry? All those in favour, say yes.

Interjections: Yes.

Interjection: You mean we're not having a recorded vote?

The Chair: All those opposing say no.

Mr Mancini: I want a recorded vote.

The Chair: You want a recorded vote? Okay, Mr Mancini, we'll have a recorded vote.

All those in favour of the question, "Shall section 1 carry?" please raise their hands.


Dadamo, Haeck, Klopp, Mathyssen, Owens, Winninger.

The Chair: All those opposed?


Harnick, Kwinter, Mancini, Tilson.

The Chair: Carried. Section 1 carried.

This committee will recess until 2 o'clock.

The committee recessed at 1211.


The committee resumed at 1413.

The Chair: We'll resume the clause-by-clause on Bill 164, An Act to amend the Insurance Act and certain other Acts in respect of Automobile Insurance and other Insurance Matters. As we got through section 1 this morning, now we're going to deal with section 2 of the bill. Mr Owens, point of order?

Mr Owens: I guess it's not necessarily a point of order; it's more of a request that I would make of my caucus and the caucuses of the two opposition parties, that the clauses we're about to deal with, section 2, up till approximately sections 10 and 11, are mainly of a technical nature that does not necessarily warrant the kind of acrimonious debate we've experienced over the last close to three days.

Mr Tilson: I resent that.

Mr Owens: In terms of my request, I would like to suggest that I think we can move through the sections in a fairly expeditious manner. Mr Tilson has proposed an amendment with respect to section 7 and I think, Mr Tilson, you would like to have that dealt with, and I certainly would like to deal with that, today. I'm asking if we can keep our comments restricted to section 2, which we're dealing with now, and I will certainly keep my comments germane. If we can somehow get through these technical issues that will take place over the next few sections, then I think we'll come out of this probably with some good work done that we can point to.

The Chair: Section 2. Comments, Mr Mancini?

Mr Mancini: Are we supposed to respond to the parliamentary assistant?

The Chair: Oh, okay.

Mr Mancini: Are we supposed to, or can we, get on with the bill?

The Chair: You want to respond to the --

Mr Mancini: We're trying to avoid acrimonious debate. Maybe I will not respond.

The Chair: Section 2, Mr Mancini?

Mr Mancini: I want to ask the legal counsel a couple of short questions before I make my comments to make sure we're on the right track here.

The way I interpret section 2 as it deals with "class of risk exposure" and the definition of "risk" and the "risk classification system" -- as you can see, Mr Chair, I'm quoting directly from the bill. I interpret that to mean this section affects how seniors are classified and how their rates are in fact calculated, how the same thing is done for women over 25 and young males under 25. Is that correct?

Mr Simons: In the insurance act, there's a provision dealing with the review of classes of risk exposure and rates that companies planned to use in respect to different classes of automobile insurance. Now, there are regulation-making powers that permit the government currently to prescribe classes of risk exposure and in the bill we propose to change that to deal with risk classification systems. A class of risk exposure could be something that's prescribed by regulation or it could be an element, much like the kinds of things you talked about: age, driving experience, the territory you live in, the type of automobile you drive. Those would be elements of a risk classification system.

Mr Mancini: So everything I said makes up part of the rate classification system?

Mr Simons: Ultimately, and part of that could be prescribed by reg; part of that could be at the company's own discretion.

Mr Mancini: Thank you. Don't give me any more information than I request because it ends up confusing the committee members and --

Mr Tilson: It may be acrimonious

Mr Mancini: -- it may be acrimonious. I remind the Chair that the legal counsel referred to regulations three times in his answer to myself, which was appropriate, I may add, highly appropriate. It's only inappropriate when the opposition members talk about regulatory matters.

Mr Daigeler: That's what the government says.

Mr Mancini: That's what the parliamentary assistant says.

Mr Daigeler: Is that an interpretation?

Mr Tilson: On a point of order, Mr Chairman: Are we now going to get into the regulations on this subject?

The Chair: No, we're not.

Mr Tilson: We're not going to do that? How are we going to talk about it?

The Chair: You can tie it into regulations, but we're not going to talk about regulations.

Mr Tilson: So if we tie it in, we're okay.

The Chair: Yes.

Mr Tilson: I understand.

Mr Mancini: We're breaking new ground here, Mr Tilson. I can tell you from many years of experience that this committee is breaking new ground.

Mr Tilson: This is great.

Mr Mancini: Historians will be delighted with how we've handled things.

My understanding is that it's the government's intention -- my understanding is based on what the deputy minister told us who talked about regulations, I want to remind the Chairman, and what all the presenters told us who were interested in classification. My understanding is that the government wants to remove the factors I mentioned earlier, ie, age, gender and things of that nature. Is that not correct?

Mr Simons: I don't want to speak to government policy. I think it's best that the --

Mr Mancini: You can't speak to government policy?


The Chair: Mr Owens.

Mr Owens: As was set out to you in Mr Simons's earlier answer in terms of section 2, this clause is intended first of all to take some of the confusion out of the meaning of "class of risk exposure," and we introduced a term called "risk classification system." It's our view that this is currently being used by insurers and it will better reflect the manner in which insurers determine rates.

In terms of the third section, which you seem to be alluding to, the elements that will be prescribed can be done either through the legislative process -- there will be an amendment later on this bill, should we ever get that far in this committee process, to determine what may be considered, and there will be further regulations on what may not be considered.

Mr Mancini: That's not really what I asked, but I'd like to proceed with my comments.

We have heard extensive testimony before this committee about the ill effects of the government's intention to withdraw the use of age and gender in its classification system. I want to remind the committee, because I think it's helpful and I think the committee accepts the deputations of others probably in a more generous fashion than it's been accepting the deputations made by myself and Mr Kwinter, Mr Harnick and Mr Tilson -- so in order to facilitate a discussion that does not disintegrate into acrimonious allegations and political posturing, I want to concentrate not on my personal feelings, what I necessarily think is right or wrong, but I will put my views across. I'm here to buttress my views with the opinions that have been put forward by wide and diverse groups of organizations and individuals. We were unable to get answers in regard to our concerns when we were doing section 1.

It's disconcerting to no end that I have all of these deputations here that I wanted answered concerning section 1. I wanted answers to these, and we wasted the entire morning worrying about whether or not the draft regulations that were tabled by the deputy minister were in fact something that existed or didn't exist. It's beyond me, the discussion that took place this morning.

I want to know why the government is not listening to the people who came before this committee. I can accept the fact that they do not want to listen to me and they don't want to listen to the experience of Mr Kwinter. I can accept that you don't like the Ontario motorist protection plan and you want to get rid of it, no matter what disruption you cause to the industry or to the consumers or to all the stakeholders, the 7 million or 8 million Ontario drivers who have to buy insurance. I can understand that you don't want to listen to me, but maybe you might want to listen to some of them.

Since we were unable to convince the parliamentary assistant and others to respond to all these concerns that I didn't even get a chance to put on the record, let's see if we can do a little better with the concerns that some of these other groups have with regard to rate classification and what that means and what that does and how that affects real people.

Mr Chair, you were with us throughout the hearings and so was the parliamentary assistant, and I know you remember the presentation made by the Ontario Mutual Insurance Association. I'll get to every point in due course, Mr Chair.

The Chair: Mr Mancini, there was just one point as you started there: The deputy minister did not table the draft regulations. They were draft only. They weren't tabled, so I just want to correct that they haven't been tabled.

Mr Mancini: You don't want to get back to section 1, do you?

The Chair: No. You referred in section 2 -- that's why --

Mr Mancini: I said the deputy minister referred to these regulations.

The Chair: If you check Hansard, you had said "tabled."

Mr Owens: Let's move forward.

The Chair: So let's move forward, okay?

Mr Mancini: Do you want to get back to section 1?

The Chair: No. This is in section 2 that you said it.

Mr Mancini: Okay, thank you. But we can't speak about this because you've ruled. You've taken the parliamentary assistant's advice that we can't speak about what the deputy minister spoke about. It's not allowed. We cannot talk about the regulations.

Mr Tilson: You can refer but you can't speak about it.

Mr Mancini: I refer the committee to maybe something the Chair will allow us to talk about, and that's the Ontario Mutual Insurance Association, which came before our committee. For the members and my colleagues who were not with us on that particular day, they should know that there are 51 such mutuals operating in Ontario. I'm sure Mr Klopp must have some experience with these organizations. Most of them have been in operation for over 100 years, so we're hearing from people who have been in the business, particularly in the rural communities, for over 100 years. We're not hearing from some novice newcomers who may not have any experience with automobile insurance or in dealing with governments or in dealing with the consumers of automobile insurance. We're actually dealing with people who have a 100-year history to rely on.

Mr Klopp: A point of clarification: Most mutuals never really got into auto insurance except maybe in the last 20 years, maximum. Maybe some of them a little longer, but a vast majority of mutuals were only in building and wind insurance. In fact, most in my area just started in the last 10 or 15 years with auto insurance.

Mr Mancini: I'm sure part of what Mr Klopp says is correct, but I can only go by the brief.

The Chair: Mr Mancini, I have met with them also in my office, and what they were trying to do was round off the insurance so they would have the household insurance and they would have the car insurance too in their rural communities.

Mr Mancini: But do they have 100 years' experience like they say in the brief or don't they?

The Chair: They do have a 100 years' experience in the insurance business.

Mr Mancini: Thank you. I appreciate the clarification. They came before the committee and under the section about classification system, this is what they had to tell us. First of all, they acknowledged how difficult a matter it is, and they go on to say: "This is a difficult issue to deal with....In 1988, the farm mutuals made representation before government bodies studying this issue." So you guys aren't the first ones who have ever looked at this. It's not new ground you're trying to break.

Then they go on to say: "At that time we expressed our opinion that a classification system that recognizes age, sex and marital status is preferable to one that results in cross-subsidization." They go on to say: "We support the implementation of a uniform class plan that is acceptable to consumers. However, we believe any such change would only be accepted by consumers if it did not result in extensive rate dislocation."

I specifically underlined that last sentence which said, "if it does not result in extensive rate dislocation," because from the information that we received before this committee and because of information that was made available to governments prior to the election of the New Democrats and prior to the formation of this committee and prior to the introduction of Bill 164, all information made available pointed in the direction of extensive rate dislocation. Let me say that in plain English.


The Chair: Order. I can't hear Mr Mancini.

Mr Mancini: Let me say it in plain English, that if you remove age, sex and marital status, as has been indicated by the brief made to us by the mutuals, the rates are going up, right through the roof maybe. They're going way up, and we want to know why it's preferable, why the government members prefer a system that is going to drive the rates paid by senior citizens higher.

All of us know and realize that most seniors are on fixed incomes. Some have some savings put aside if they're lucky. A lot of them don't. If some do have savings put aside, if they're in that fortunate position, interest rates at the bank these days for savings accounts are not all that great. You have to go and put your money in riskier situations in order to try to obtain a higher return. I'm not sure we want to encourage our senior citizens to do that.

So I'm looking at this situation, and I'm sure Mr Klopp will agree with me when I say that the Ontario Mutual Insurance Association, the mutuals, is a pretty highly respected organization. I don't think they would come and make this presentation just for the fun of it. I don't think they'd come before this committee and before they arrive say, "You know, we've got to figure three or four things we might want to talk about, so why don't we talk about what we think might happen under the proposed new rate classification system?" I believe, and I think everybody else on this committee believes, that they gave this matter a lot of thought and research and they looked at historical data, and based on all of that -- experience, research, historical data, new calculations, the whole gamut of things -- they're quite concerned. They say very clearly that if that is what your system is going to do, then don't do it.

Now, we went through the whole hearings, and my colleagues here on my left were with me and my colleagues sitting on the other side were with me also. I can't recall what the parliamentary assistant said, but I don't remember anyone clearly saying to me and to the mutuals that came before us -- and I will not refer to the regs, because I'm afraid I might be ruled out of order: "Don't worry about this, because we're going to guarantee the senior citizens in Ontario that their rates won't go up and we're going to respect the fact that statistically they are good drivers. Seniors are good drivers. We're going to respect that fact, and we're not going to hammer you with rate increases because we think we want to eliminate age, sex and marital status from how we set automobile rates." I haven't heard anybody say that.

We weren't allowed to complete our arguments on section 1, which in my view, next to this section, is probably the most important matter of debate.

Is he giving you more advice?

The Chair: No, no.

Mr Owens: I'm asking if I'm on the speakers' list. Why don't you continue your diatribe?

Mr Mancini: Because we're worried here. The opposition members are worried, because every time the parliamentary assistant speaks, the Chair calls somebody to order.

Mr Winninger: You shouldn't be so insecure.

Mr Owens: Why don't you continue your apology for OMPP?

Mr Mancini: We're a little bit sensitive right now, because we didn't get a chance. I didn't get a chance to finish my --

The Chair: Mr Mancini, he whispered to me. He didn't interrupt you, and I was listening to you.

Mr Mancini: I know, Mr Chair, but every time he mumbles under his breath, you call somebody to order, and we're a little sensitive to that point right now.

Mr Owens: I think you're way out of line.

The Chair: I'm the Chair.

Mr Mancini: We want you to be the Chair.

The Chair: I am the Chair.

Mr Owens: You're way out of line.

Mr Mancini: We want you to be the Chair.

Mr Owens: You're way out of line.

Mr Mancini: We had to take a vote at 10 minutes after 12 to conclude a section we had not finished speaking on, which is one of the most profound sections of the act.

Mr Owens: After nine and a half hours of debate.

The Chair: I'm sorry, Mr Owens. Mr Mancini.

Mr Mancini: We have this highly regarded, long-standing organization that came before the committee and made those presentations. I have to ask myself, is the government listening? Why are we having these hearings? Why did we invite these people to make their presentation? It doesn't appear that we're in fact going to listen to them. It doesn't matter how much we cajole the government, how much we prod the government. It doesn't matter how many times we ask. We're not going to get a clear answer. There will be some answer, I assume.

But we also had the opportunity to listen to some industry people from Thunder Bay when we were up there. The president and general manager of Thunder Bay Insurance Services Ltd, Mr Baxter, came before the committee. I think you were listening along with the rest of us at that time. In the gentleman's brief, approximately page 4 at the bottom, he states, "In regard to the new classification system, at times I can fully agree that the new driver pays far above affordability in comparison with their chance to prove themselves through their driving record." The brief goes on to say, "But as many accident statistics still prove, after reviewing statistics as late as December 1992" -- I tell the government members, this gentleman was right up to date; it wasn't last year, four years ago; as late as 1992, he states -- "for our city" -- the entire city of Thunder Bay -- "new and youthful drivers still cause the majority of accidents."

I'm sorry to hear that. I'm sorry to hear that our youth are putting themselves in danger like that. Most of us in this room are parents, and if not, we have good friends who are parents. We certainly have a lot of young constituents whom we represent. I join with everyone else who feels some sort of remorse that, as this gentleman said, "Based on statistics as late as December and youthful drivers still cause the majority of accidents."

There's no road safety agency to help out there. No, none of that, but we're going to have a new classification system so we can hammer the senior citizens, though. That's our answer. Our answer's not the road safety system to protect new and youthful drivers. No, we haven't had time for that.

The gentleman goes on to say in his brief, "Rather than having cabinet devise a new classification system, would it not be better that the ministry and the industry provide rating changes that address `innocent until proven guilty.' It is also a fear that devising a new classification system may increase costs for the average driver. This may increase the possibility of more uninsured drivers due to increased costs...."

This is not idle speculation, because all of us remember when the motorcycle association organization came before us. We remember their presentation. They told the committee that at the present time maybe 6% of their members drive without insurance. If we go ahead with Bill 164 --

The Chair: I think that's incorrect. It's not their members; it's motorcycle riders.


Mr Mancini: Thank you for the correction. That's even worse. Thank you, Mr Chair. I appreciate that. The point they made, then, is even of greater significance than I had thought it to be. I thought it was just their members, but it's everybody. That's far worse.

They also told the committee that if the government proceeded, in all its wisdom, to implement Bill 164 -- and I remind the government members that this is not an opposition member talking. This is the organization that came before us. I know you don't like our ideas.

Mr Owens: But Mr Tilson made an amendment and we'd like to deal with it.

Mr Mancini: I know that and I appreciate the advice coming from the parliamentary assistant.

The Chair: Could I just talk to Hansard? Would you please not turn the mike on unless I address a member.

Mr Mancini: So now we have a situation, and the Chair dutifully corrected me and gave the committee the proper information, that this association representing motorcycle owners and riders told us that 6% of all motorcycle owners and riders do not carry insurance, principally for economic reasons.

If we go ahead with Bill 164, we're going to drive rates up -- everybody knows that -- and they told us that possibly 9% to 12% of motorcycle owners and drivers would not be carrying insurance. I'm assuming that some of those motorcycle owners and operators are older. I don't think it's just young people who ride motorcycles. I think times have changed. They're older.

Under this new rate classification system, the older riders' rates are going up; seniors' are going up. I would also assume that there are some women, maybe many women, who drive motorcycles. Is that not true, Mr Chair?

The Chair: Correct.

Mr Mancini: Thank you. I would assume that because of this classification system that we're dealing with, their rates are going to go up. I maintain to the committee that not only have we forgotten about the road safety agency, which this gentleman in his brief doesn't come right out and say anything about on this particular section, but tells us what's happening because we have none, I would maintain that not only are we driving the rates through the roof for certain segments of drivers, but we're going to be forcing people to drive around without automobile or motorcycle insurance.

I have to sit back and say: "Well, we've gone through this once before. We have personal experience in trying to do what you're trying to do, and the personal experience taught us that it wasn't a very clever thing to do. It was not the right thing to do."

You have our experience. We paid the political price for trying to do that without fully knowing the consequences. So here we are. We've done all the political work for you. We took the political consequences. We retreated when we realized how big a mistake it was, and we turn around and we're looking across the floor at a group of people who want to do it all over again. I'm saying to myself, "Why?" Do you not believe it didn't happen before? Do you not believe the farm mutuals? Do you not believe Mr Baxter, the president and general manager of the Thunder Bay Insurance Services Ltd? Do you not believe him when he tells the committee that as late as December 1992 for the city of Thunder Bay, new and youthful drivers still cause the majority of accidents?

I don't know what the government members believe. All I know is that you want to proceed with this new rate classification system, and we know what the results of that are going to be: higher automobile rates for senior citizens, more motorcycle owners and drivers on the roads without insurance, more working women who traditionally and still to this day earn less than their male counterparts, who are going to have to pay more. They're all going to have to pay more.

I refer the committee to a presentation made by Jo-Ann Menard, also from Thunder Bay. She's involved with one of the general insurance brokers in that area. She says, "Bill 164 provides for government regulations" -- can I use that word "regulations," as I'm quoting?

The Chair: You can use that word there if you're tying it in.

Mr Mancini: Thank you, Mr Chair. Yes, I'm going to try to tie it in.

The Chair: But we're not going to discuss the regulations.

Mr Mancini: No, I will not discuss these regulations that the deputy minister discussed in his presentation.

The Chair: Okay. I've even got a picture of you with him there earlier in Hamilton, remember?

Mr Mancini: Do you? Yes, it was good, actually, and my wife liked that picture.

The Chair: But they're really not real.

Mr Mancini: No.

Mr Mancini: These regulations were talked about by the deputy minister, but we cannot talk about them because we don't know whether or not they're real. We heard from legal counsel. He doesn't know either, and he's legal counsel. We heard from the parliamentary assistant. He's one step away from the minister's seat and he doesn't know if these are real either.

The Chair: That's why we don't want to discuss them too much.

Mr Mancini: No, we don't want to discuss the regs, absolutely not.

Mr Daigeler: Just tie them in, that's all.

Mr Mancini: We're just going to tie them in. If Mr Endicott ever comes back, and we're begging him to come back, maybe he could tell us about the regs, because we understand he had a hand in doing this.

But anyway, Ms Menard says: "Bill 164 provides for government regulations of risk classification. In 1987" -- the members will remember I was talking about a previous experience. I think Mr Kwinter still has a few marks on his -- or was it Mr Elston? Was it you at the time, Mr Kwinter?

Mr Winninger: Where is Murray? Are we going to hear from Murray?

Mr Mancini: "In 1987," Ms Menard says, "at that time, the Ontario Automobile Insurance Board examined" -- listen, I say to the government members; this is important stuff -- "changes to the risk classification and, after much discussion and in-depth study, the proposal was abandoned as not being economically feasible."

The government agency in charge of automobile insurance looked at the situation, discussed the situation, concluded in-depth studies and then abandoned the proposal.

"As a result of a uniform rating system, women" -- I say to Ms Haeck and Ms Mathyssen -- "in all categories, who have traditionally enjoyed better driving records, as well as mature drivers, will be required to share the cost of claims by younger and higher risk drivers -- specifically males under the age of 25."

I want to hear later on, either from Ms Haeck or Ms Mathyssen.

Mr Owens: Or the parliamentary assistant.

Mr Mancini: No, I don't want to hear from the parliamentary assistant. He confuses things.

Mr Owens: What, with facts?

Mr Mancini: The parliamentary assistant's problem is that he has one eye on being parliamentary assistant and one eye on being a Minister without Portfolio, and that in my view clouds his perception. He is no longer an objective participant because he believes, and he must have information to make him believe this, that if he gets this piece of legislation through -- it doesn't matter if it's good law or bad law -- if he does this dirty work for Minister Brian Charlton, then he'll get to be a Minister without Portfolio and join those other seven ministers without portfolio.

Mr Daigeler: I don't know what he would do then, though.

Mr Owens: So Eric Endicott and I can now dine out together on abuse stories, is that right?

Mr Daigeler: Who has the floor here?

Mr Mancini: I have no idea what you and Mr Endicott will do, whether you'll dine out together, whether you'll develop new policy together.

The Chair: Would you get back on the subject of section 2.


The Chair: I'm sorry, Mr Owens's mike isn't on. Sometimes as you get older, you start talking to yourself.

Mr Mancini: You think so?

The Chair: So that's the problem, Mr Mancini. I've had a few other members of the committee also do this.

Mr Mancini: Do you think that's why Bill 164 is so screwed up?

Mr Owens: Are you insulting senior citizens now too?

Mr Mancini: Anyway, I don't want to hear from the parliamentary assistant and I've explained why: He has a different agenda. But I want to hear from Ms Haeck, because I personally believe that she and Ms Mathyssen do not have one eye on what this committee is doing and one eye on the potential of being ministers without portfolio. I don't believe that. I've sat in other committees with both those ladies and I know differently. So I want to hear from them, and I know they have the answers or else they wouldn't be supporting it; that's obvious.

The Chair: Mr Mancini, are you giving them the floor?

Mr Mancini: No, when I'm finished; just a notation for them to make.

Mr Owens: The 1993 terminology is women, not ladies, by the way.


Mr Mancini: Mr Owens corrects me. He tells me that I should refer to Ms Haeck and Ms Mathyssen as women and not ladies. That's fine. That's not a problem. They showed no objection. I don't know why you're objecting, Mr Owens.

Mr Owens: They're stunned by your ignorance.

Mr Winninger: Why don't you talk to John Crosbie about it?

Mr Owens: This will be an interesting exchange to send to some of the women's groups.

Mr Harnick: The Four Horsewomen of the Apocalypse: I'll bet if you said something like that to Irene or Christel, they'd take it as a compliment.

Mr Owens: In your circles, you're probably right.

Mr Mancini: It's obvious the Chair can't control the parliamentary assistant, but we'll just have to speak over his constant interjections.

I want to know from Ms Mathyssen and Ms Haeck, after we've concluded our remarks and they get their opportunity to make comments on this bill, either at this stage, during these particular committee proceedings, or during committee of the whole House -- there'll be another opportunity that'll give them more time and there will be third reading debate -- specifically why they're ignoring the presentations that have been made, specifically the presentation made by Ms Menard who appeared before our committee.

I want to know why they will be voting for a bill that will raise automobile insurance rates on women, when we all know their driving records are statistically better than young males and when we all know their earning capacity is consistently less than monetary remunerations earned by men.

Ms Menard goes on to state:

"A change of this nature would also limit competition among the insurers. The present system allows a series of specialized discounts which benefits a variety of consumers, and a number of these discounts are especially beneficial to Ontario seniors. Seniors are on fixed incomes. They cannot afford the increased cost of such change."

Let's for a moment presume that Bill 164 becomes law and let's for a moment presume, Mr Chair, that section 2, which is part of the bill as it reads, also stays intact and becomes law. Let's presume that in your constituency, Ms Mathyssen's constituency and Ms Haeck's constituency there are a number of sole-support families headed by women, and in Mr Klopp's riding and Mr Johnson's riding -- they both represent many thousands of seniors. Let's presume that in all of these constituencies, all of Bill 164 has an impact on these people.

Let's presume for example that these women I'm referring to, who may be on their own trying to raise a family, maybe they're budgeted right to the penny. They've got some money set aside for a rent increase or an increase in property taxes or an increase in fuel costs or hydro, and let's say they've budgeted everything right down the line. Let's say they're paying $800 or $1,000 a year for automobile insurance and this bill is put into place. Let's say that some of the presenters who came before the committee are right and that maybe seniors' rates, like the seniors themselves said, are going to go up 45%, and maybe, as we saw in other sections of actuarial reports, rates on women will go up 25% or 30%.

So just for the sake of making everything simpler, let's say these people are facing $300 and $400 more for automobile insurance than they had anticipated. Maybe they felt, like most people in Ontario, "Well, inflation's kind of low, the local municipal council's trying to keep tax increases at 2% or 3% and everybody's trying to do the same," so they're going to budget 3% or 4% more for their automobile insurance, not 25% or 30%.

All of this takes place and transpires and they go to renew their automobile insurance, and their friendly broker says to them: "I'm sorry to have to tell you but the government, in all its wisdom" -- that means all of you people -- "even though you didn't ask for it, decided that you needed Bill 164; and not only did they decide that you needed Bill 164, they decided for you that you should pay more for it. You should pay more for this new product that you didn't ask for. So if you want to drive to work, if you want to drive your children to day care or if you want to drive to visit your grandchildren, you've got to pay $300 or $400 more."

I can imagine what the consumer will say. She will say: "Well, you know, I'm working in a small plant and we only make $8 or $9 an hour. The economy isn't that good and we're in a very competitive industry. Maybe our employer may be able to give us a raise this year or may not be able to give us a raise this year. We're going to ask." But I can tell you one thing she will say to the broker: "I know for a fact I'm not going to get 25%. I may not get $300 for the entire year and I've got a budget for rent, for utilities, for food, for children's clothing and maybe one or two of the simple things in life for my kids too, like maybe skating or tap dancing or something like that. You know, my kids deserve that too and you people are taking my money. I could put my kids in skating lessons all year for $300, and bring them a little bit of enjoyment in life. I didn't ask for Bill 164," she might say. Those are the real repercussions of what you're doing.

The senior citizen is not much different. The government of Canada is not raising the Canada pension plan and supplements to the tune of 45%, nor is any other government giving them benefits of increased value of 45%. I can just picture seniors, maybe in their 70s. They're trying to stay in their own homes. They're trying to look after themselves. They don't want to bother the children. They want to set aside $20 for their grandchildren's birthdays, for small Christmas presents, you know, what real people do, what real people strive to do if they're able to do it, what their hopes and aspirations are. Their hopes and aspirations aren't that great, but I can tell you that I think it would hurt a lot for a senior not to set aside $20 for somebody's birthday.

So we've got this great system now. You and your partners in government and all of your experts in the ministry have come up with Bill 164, so fine. Okay. You guys want to proceed, so you have to hear what the consequences are.


So the seniors go to the broker, and the friendly broker says: "How are you, sir and madam? How have you been?" "Oh, fine. We've had a tough winter. We've had to replace the furnace. We never thought we'd have to replace the furnace. We thought we could get 25 years out of it, but we only got 18."

The Chair: Mr Mancini, could you sort of stay on section 2?

Mr Mancini: Yes, these are all --

The Chair: You've got a lot of colour in this story, but --

Mr Mancini: It's not colour; it's reality, Mr Chair. It has nothing to do with colour.

Mr Owens: It's interesting too.

Mr Mancini: It has everything -- and I know the parliamentary assistant thinks it's a big joke.

The Chair: We're talking about the furnace that's breaking down, but you know --

Mr Mancini: No, no. I'm saying that the repealing and the changing of the risk classification has real-life impacts on people, and you people have to sit here and listen to what those impacts are. Everything I've said has been connected to section 2. I know he wants to make light of it. He wants to interrupt me.

The Chair: Okay, he's got a --

Mr Owens: Chair, on a point of order: I was asking the member for Windsor-Essex to continue his story as I found it quite interesting. I'm sitting here listening quite carefully to what the member is saying.

Mr Mancini: Well, we're very sensitive because of what the Chairman did earlier.

Mr Owens: In terms of your comments that I am making light of this situation, that I find these comments amusing, they are simply not true.

Mr Mancini: Okay, thank you. I appreciate that.

Mr Owens: I wish you would withdraw those from the record.

The Chair: It's not a point of order, but yesterday I told Mr Harnick to come back to some reality. He was getting off also, so just to be fair to Mr Harnick, I was just trying to --


Mr Mancini: This is reality. Go on out and meet your constituents; you'll see that this is reality. And I appreciate what the parliamentary assistant has told me and I'm sorry that I made the comments I did about him, but we're very sensitive today because of what happened this morning. I appreciate the fact that he's listening.

Mrs Irene Mathyssen (Middlesex): Why is he sensitive?

Mr Winninger: He had to vote. We voted on this section.

Mr Mancini: I didn't get a chance --

Mr Winninger: We passed a section this morning.

Mr Owens: Do you believe it?

Mr Mancini: Yes. You've got a majority. You're going to get the bill. The least you can do is listen to the concerns that we have.

Mr Winninger: You've got a captive audience.

Mr Mancini: So the seniors go visit their friendly broker, and they're middle to maybe late 70s, and he says: "Well, Bill 164 is now passed, and your automobile insurance last year" -- to use round numbers -- "was $1,000. The actuaries and others who made their case before the finance committee of the Legislature were right. Your rates are going up 45%." Let's round it off. Let's say they only get hit with 40%. That's $400.

The seniors say to the broker: "Well, you know, under normal circumstances, we probably could dig in to our savings account and pay the extra $400, but we've just replaced our furnace," or "We just had some new plumbing done," or "We just had to redo the shingles on the roof." These things happen. And they don't happen when you plan for them; they happen when you don't plan for them. You're going along and your roof leaks and you've got to call the carpenter, and he comes around, or she, and says, "You need a new roof." And you say to yourself, "Jeez, I didn't get 20 years out of it, I only got 18," or "I was lucky. I forgot how long I had that roof. I did get 20 years. But I never expected $400 more for my automobile insurance."

The senior will say, very patiently, to the broker: "Could you please tell me what extra I'm receiving for my $400 more? Am I going to get something that I can give to my family, to my grandchildren, that I can give to my spouse that maybe I can use?"

I sat through these entire hearings. I didn't hear from anybody, not from the government members, not from the parliamentary assistant, not from the group of ministry officials who worked on this special team that created this, not the deputy minister, who came in and talked about the draft regs that we can't talk about. I didn't hear from any of those people what these seniors are going to get for the privilege of paying $400 more.

They're going to get a product called Bill 164. Did they ask for the product? Well, the answer has to be no, because the United Senior Citizens of Ontario, which represents 380,000 seniors, came in and told us they didn't ask for this. But they're going to get it anyway, whether they asked for it or not. And what privilege goes along with getting this? I say to my colleagues, what privilege are they going to get along with this Bill 164? Something they didn't ask for: They're going to get the privilege of paying $400 more.

I say to myself, I think of some of my constituents who have maybe four, six or eight grandchildren; how many real birthdays could $400 look after? How much joy could seniors receive from visiting their grandchildren and making a modest gift on someone's birthday? How much joy do they receive from that? I would say quite a bit; I would say a lot. I don't know what you guys are going to say when you get your chance to speak. I don't know what you're going to say, but I would be pretty offended if I was a senior. I'm offended for them for many reasons. The principal reason is because we've tried this exercise once and it's proved to have been the wrong thing to do back then and nothing has changed to make it the right thing now. The only thing that's changed is the political party in power. That doesn't make charging seniors 45% more for changes in automobile insurance that they didn't ask for right. It doesn't make it right. That's what you're doing; you're robbing people of the little bit of joy they try to get out of their daily lives; $400 will take care of a lot of birthdays and bring a lot of joyous moments.

Where's the $400 going? It's going to the broker, then he's going to turn around and send it to some company here in Toronto and they're going to turn around -- they're going to do something else with it and the end result is male drivers who are statistically proven to cause most of the automobile accidents etc, etc, etc -- well, their rates can go down. The seniors don't have the same opportunities as the young males. The seniors can't go out and take a part-time job or things of that nature. That's the direction we're heading in and we're not happy about it, not a single bit. I want to conclude by saying that Ms Menard told the committee seniors are on fixed incomes and they cannot afford increased costs of such change. Imagine, passing on these costs to seniors and others who don't want the changes, don't get anything for the changes, and then asking them to pay more.

When we were in Ottawa we heard from others. A Mr J. Scott Kirby came before the committee and he talked about this issue. He said, and I quote, "A uniform classification system will result in higher premiums for the average driver above age 25 and it will remove specialty rating categories for individuals who qualify as a senior citizen."

Mr Kirby, the broker who has to sit across the desk or be in the office waiting for the seniors and women when they come in, doesn't want to have to tell these people they've lost whatever benefits they're receiving under the present rate classification system, because he does not want to have to look these people in the eye knowing full well he's taking money out of their pockets that they need to do other things that happen to be important in their lives.

For the life of me, I can't understand why it's your wish to do that. I have no idea why it's your wish to do that. I couldn't imagine. I might say to myself, "It's never been tried before, so it's a stab in the dark and maybe their conclusions may end up being correct," but it's not a stab in the dark. We've been on this road; we've been down this path. It's led to nowhere. We retreated when we found out what the results were going to be, what the implications were going to be, how it affects people unfairly; we retreated.

I'd like to know some time during the rest of these proceedings what Mercer, the government's New York consultants, had to say about this. I'd like to know. I don't think I got the chance to ask them when the Mercer people were here with the deputy minister. I'll tell you why, Mr Chair. Because the deputy minister spent so much time talking about these regs that we can't talk about that we didn't have a chance to talk about some of these other things.


Mr Harnick: It's not relevant.

Mr Mancini: I'm sorry?

Mr Harnick: It's not relevant.

Mr Mancini: No, it's not. We cannot talk about the regs.

Mr Harnick: Only the consumers get the regs.

Mr Mancini: We cannot talk about the regs, but I wish that we had the ability to call Mercer back and the deputy minister back and I wish we had the ability to call the top officials from the Ontario Insurance Commission before we adjourn and before we go to committee of the whole House when we return to session.

The Chair: Aren't we going to be getting this done by Thursday, this bill?

Mr Mancini: Yes, everything will be done by Thursday because you guys have the numbers. You'll push this new accident schedule scheme through that we can't talk about.

Mr Owens: It's not on the table.

Mr Mancini: You'll push that through, as it states in section 1. You'll push these regulations, these new rate classifications through. It doesn't matter that the seniors, the young women or women with families, with obligations they can't meet, will be hammered. We know you're going to go ahead.

The Chair: I was a young driver at one time and I wound up getting married to get the rate of someone over 25; I guess that was a mistake.

Mr Mancini: Mr Chairman, we know that very few things that you've gone were errors.

Mr Owens: The marriage or the --

The Chair: Marriage to get lower insurance.

Mr Mancini: We know that you've made very few mistakes. The only mistake I can recall is the one you made this morning.

Mr Harnick: Ron, how did it turn out?

The Chair: That was number one.

Mr Harnick: Not good. Was it worth the saving?

The Chair: Mr Mancini, you have the floor.

Mr Mancini: I wish we could get the Mercer people back and, as I said, the brain trust from the Ontario Insurance Commission, because I'm sure that there are people there today who were there in 1987 or 1988, before the agency was changed, and I know they could give us a review, chapter and verse, as to what happened the previous time something like this was put forward.

I'm just looking at the rates provided to us by the State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co and I'm looking at a single female, aged 21 to 24, and I'm looking under the section that says, "Examples of the effect of eliminating gender of driver as a rating factor." If you happen to live in Toronto your automobile insurance will go up 22%, even though statistically, as a group, you're proven to be good drivers. If you live in Sudbury your insurance premiums will rise 23%. If you live in Windsor -- I know my colleagues George Dadamo, Wayne Lessard, Pat Hayes and David Cooke will be very keen to know that the rates of single female drivers aged 21 to 24 will go up 23%, as is the case in Ottawa.

Mr Harnick: How about David Cooke's brother? Where does he live?

Mr Mancini: He lives in Windsor also.

Mr Harnick: Didn't we meet him?

Mr Mancini: Yes, we met him.

Mr Harnick: And did he like this bill?

Mr Mancini: No, he did not like this bill.


Mr Mancini: He didn't like me either, that's true. He said I was a career politician who did not want to give the NDP government its due legitimacy. That's what he said.

The Acting Chair: I don't want to restrict you, Mr Mancini, but could we focus on section 2 of the bill, please?


The Acting Chair: Order. Could we focus on section 2 of the bill, please? You have the floor, Mr Mancini, not Mr Harnick.

Mr Harnick: I have just a little aside there.

Mr Owens: It's tied in though, right?

Mr Harnick: Very tied in. Mr Cooke made a very good presentation.

Mr Owens: He called the member "pathetic," as I recalled.

Mr Harnick: He made a very good presentation.

Mr Mancini: Does that bring you a little bit of joy, Mr Owens?

Mr Owens: Absolutely, it does.

Mr Harnick: Unfortunately, the member wasn't the issue. Bill 164 and the regulations were the issue.

Mr Owens: But it was tied in.

The Acting Chair: Mr Mancini, proceeding with this bill brings the Chair great joy and perhaps we could move on with section 2.

Mr Mancini: I'm just amused at what brings Mr Owens great joy. He's amused that someone would comment and call me names, but he's not as amused with the effects that this bill has on seniors and single moms trying to --

Mr Owens: I'm quite pleased waiting to respond to you on your diatribe.

The Acting Chair: Perhaps we could continue and our conversations could come to a close.

Mr Mancini: You know how Mr Owens feels about the comments that I gave earlier. He considers it a diatribe. That's great, Mr Owens.

Mr Owens: I don't want to confuse you with facts.

Mr Mancini: Just a few moments ago you told the committee, when you interrupted, that you were very concerned about the points I was making --

Mr Owens: I am very concerned.

Mr Mancini: -- and you were very moved that some single moms might not be able to --

Mr Owens: That's right, and we're going to address those single moms as well.

Mr Mancini: Okay. That's great, Mr Owens.

Mr Owens: I'd also like to talk to you on a Supreme Court of Canada decision you seem to be ignoring.

The Acting Chair: Perhaps we could move on, Mr Mancini.

Mr Mancini: Mr Chair, you seem to sit there and allow the parliamentary assistant to intervene at will.

Mr Tilson: He can mutter whenever he likes.

Mr Mancini: He can mutter whenever he likes. He can tell the Chair when to have votes. He can tell everybody when we've had enough debate. He can make motions. He can run the committee. He doesn't want to be a parliamentary assistant or a minister without portfolio; he actually wants to be the Chair of the committee.

The Acting Chair: With respect, Mr Mancini, you have the floor and perhaps you could continue speaking rather than have everyone sit by in dead silence.

Mr Tilson: Try and protect the speaker.

Mr Mancini: I don't have the authority to call Mr Owens to order; you do. That's your job. So I guess, based on what Mr Owens has just said and the very aloof way he's said everything, that the United Senior Citizens of Ontario, who came before this committee on January 28, 1993 -- I guess that everything they said in their brief wasn't worth the paper it's written on. I guess, based on what Mr Owens said, because of the great benevolence of the NDP government, everything Mr Kirby said to us when we were in Ottawa is not worth the paper it's written on. I guess everything that Ms Menard said, people who've been in the business all their adult lives, I guess that's not worth the paper it's written on either.

I have to sit back and wonder why, when these people came before our committee, Mr Owens didn't make light of their comments, why he didn't have snide remarks for them, why he wasn't able to have the willpower to use words like "pathetic" and all these other things and make light of things and try to make personal insults towards people and all that kind of stuff. I can't think of a single reason why, when Mr Baxter was before the committee and he gave us this information, we didn't hear from Mr Owens.

Mr Klopp: On a point of order, Mr Chairman: What has this got to do with section 2 of this bill?

Mr Mancini: It has everything in the world to do with section 2, Mr Klopp.


Mr Klopp: As a point of maybe personal privilege, I think it doesn't. Mr Harnick started talking and Mr Owens started talking and all of a sudden we got off on another banter. I think, Mr Chair, we should get back to section 2 of the bill and forget this little pettiness that some members have.

The Acting Chair: I appreciate, Mr Klopp, that you share my concern that we focus on section 2 and proceed. You have the floor, Mr Mancini.

Mr Mancini: Everything I've said, Mr Klopp, and to you, Mr Chair, is related to the briefs. The sections of the briefs, for your edification, that I'm quoting from relate directly to section 2. If I happen to have to mention the comments, the insinuations and the out-of-line statements made by the parliamentary assistant which I cannot accept, as part of my presentation to the committee this afternoon, then you guys are all going to have to get a little bit thicker skin.

The Acting Chair: I think we have thick enough skins already and we shed them regularly, Mr Mancini.

Mr Mancini: How about some common sense, then? How about a little bit of common sense?

The Acting Chair: Please continue.

Mr Mancini: How about listening to the farm mutuals that came before us? There was no one at that time with the courage to make light of their presentation. Only when their presentation is used in our committee deliberations are the presentations made light of. No one had the courage to say anything to these people when they were before us. We've got a lot of courage now, since we're not on cable television for others to watch us, since we're all cloaked under the secrecy of committee room 1, where the only witnesses we have before us may be one or two representatives of the automobile insurance industry, a few civil servants and people attached to this committee.

The Acting Chair: To be fair, Mr Mancini, other committees have a right to broadcast time as well.

Mr Mancini: What's your problem, Mr Chair? You seem to want to make an editorial comment after every paragraph that I speak.

The Acting Chair: No, I'm quite happy to have you proceed.

Mr Mancini: Why don't you just sit in your chair and allow me to do what it is my job to do?

The Acting Chair: I thought you were addressing your comment to the Chair.

Mr Mancini: I've never sat in a committee where the Chair felt it necessary to make editorial comment in such a continuous manner towards a member while he was making his presentation.

The Acting Chair: I'm sorry, Mr Mancini. You were addressing questions to the Chair.

Mr Mancini: I'm told that I'm to address the Chair. Are you not familiar with the standing orders?

The Acting Chair: No, but you were questioning why we weren't on TV and I was providing you with an answer.

Mr Mancini: Now we're not allowed to ask rhetorical questions. Now our rhetorical questions are even up for grabs. What a sad situation. It's two years and counting down. That's the good part.

A lot of courage today; not a single one of the government members had any courage when these people were before us, nobody, not Mr Klopp, not Mr Johnson, not Ms Haeck, not Ms Mathyssen, not Mr Winninger, not a single one.

Mr Klopp: Point of order, Mr Chair.

The Acting Chair: Mr Klopp on a point of order?

Mr Klopp: I appreciate comments made by other people and whatever, but don't put my name into something that I haven't said. If I said something like that, then fine; point it out to me. But don't name me when I have not done that, sir. I'm sure you must have slipped there, but please, I want that on the record. I'm sure Mr Mancini wants to paraphrase that fact.

Mr Mancini: If Mr Klopp wasn't here when these people made their presentations, then he's duly excluded. If he was here when they made their presentations, he's duly included.

The Acting Chair: Are you satisfied, Mr Klopp?

Mr Klopp: That's as close as you're going to get from the honourable member, I'm sure.

The Chair: Thank you. Please continue.

Mr Mancini: I was at all the hearings and I know that for obvious reasons and for legitimate reasons there were substitutions. If Mr Klopp was here during some of these presentations -- and maybe he was; I thought he was -- then he's included. If he wasn't here when any of those people came, he's not included. It's that simple.

But I want to get back to what the United Senior Citizens of Ontario had to say. The first thing they told us was that they were an organization representing 1,000 senior citizens' clubs. Not one, not two, not 50, not 100, not 500; 1,000 senior citizens' clubs were represented by this organization that appeared before this committee. They estimated their membership at over 300,000 retired persons. I really remember Mr Winninger being here for that one. I remember that as clear as day. So that there's no misunderstanding, this is what they said to us, "The mandate of the organization is to better the quality of life for senior citizens of Ontario." That's what they said; that's their mandate.

They weren't here to ask the committee to do anything; they weren't here to ask the committee to spend more money; they weren't here to ask you to create new programs. They know you've spent all the money. They weren't here to do any of that. They were here because of Bill 164, your great piece of work, this wonderful piece of work that you've spent the last two years on. They came here for this reason.

They took some time and they told us about what things were like at the present time. They said, "Before getting into Bill 164 itself, we thought we should give this committee some background on the reaction of our members to the last changes in automobile insurance," OMPP, the regime that you guys don't like, that you want to change. The senior citizens told us: "Quite frankly, the reaction has been minimal. This supports our view," they went on to say, "that the current system," the one that we live under now, the one that you're determined to change, only for political reasons, as Mel Swart said, not as I said or Monte Kwinter said or as David Tilson said or as Charles Harnick said, but as Mel Swart said; you only want to change it for political reasons. The seniors said they kind of liked the system that they're living under now and that they've had, "very few complaints."

Then they went on to say a number of other important things that we have to address before we can pass Bill 164. You can pass Bill 164 on your own, but we're not going to help you pass 164 until we properly address the concerns as expressed and written and delivered by the United Senior Citizens of Ontario, who represent 1,000 senior citizens' groups. Very quickly, they broke their concerns down into seven areas: indexation, retirement at 65, compensation for people close to 65, care givers, cost, the future and possible solutions.

Because time is precious, I want to go immediately to point 3, compensation for people close to 65. I'm reminding you of this because it was a major concern of this organization. They said: "Keeping in mind our objections to the arbitrary use of age 65, we would point out that there is an apparent contradiction in Bill 164, that being that people who are injured when they are one day less than 65 and working will receive substantially less benefits than those who are one day more than 65 and working.

"For example, if a person is injured one day before they turn 65, the bill assumes that they will retire at 65, and they therefore will be entitled to $185 per week. If the same person was injured two days later, when they were one day older than 65, if they were still working, they would be entitled to full benefits which would then be scaled down over four years."

This is what they had to say about cost: "When looking at cost projections presented to us by various organizations including the government of Ontario" -- that's you guys over there, you men and women -- "and the Insurance Bureau of Canada, it has become apparent that largely due to Bill 164 our members will see automobile rates increase between 4% and 20% next year. Regardless of who is right or what the final outcome will be, rate increases of" -- listen to this now -- "4% are totally out of the question."


In their view, the United Senior Citizens say, "Let's not talk about the possibility of 45%; let's talk about 4%." They say, "That is out of the question."

"If in fact we have rate increases as high as 20%, we are sure we will go from situations where we receive very few complaints about automobile insurance to a point where this is the number one complaint from all our members."

That doesn't even take into consideration the elimination of the rate classification system to its fullest potential of driving rates straight up.

They went on to say, "Many times we hear from governments that an independent senior is a benefit to our society." All of you have said that once or twice during your political careers. "Any form of increased costs to people on fixed incomes will force some of these people to change from being independent to being dependent."

Not only will you steal from them the few pleasures of life --

Mr Winninger: "Steal" is an awfully strong word.

Mr Mancini: Yes, so is "liar." Somebody I know used that word once.

Mr Winninger: You wouldn't use it here.

Mr Mancini: I would not use it, no. I wouldn't even use it outside of here. But there are others I know who have used it.

The Chair: Mr Mancini, I'm listening. Through the Chair, please.

Mr Mancini: I just got chastised for going through the Chair just a minute ago.

The Chair: Mr Winninger does not have his mike on, so I don't recognize him.

Mr Mancini: It's not that I don't like Mr Winninger; it's just that he's not addressing the concerns that have been raised by the people who have come before our committee.

So through your generous Bill 164, which you've embraced and hugged throughout these entire hearings, not only will you be stealing from the senior citizens many of their small pleasures in life, and I mean small pleasures in life, but you'll also be taking from them -- not according to me. Don't believe me, but believe the United Senior Citizens of Ontario. Believe them. You'll be taking from them, you'll be stealing from them, their opportunity to lead independent lives.

There's another point that they made that absolutely no one has touched on in this committee, and I mean no one. That's one of the main reasons I want to raise this point now. The seniors went on to tell us during their presentation: "Many organizations" -- Mr Chair, I know you have a long history in volunteer work and I know this is going to be a particularly important point for you -- "now rely on the high number of volunteers who are seniors to see that individuals they serve get the service they need at a reasonable cost. Most of these volunteers rely on their automobiles to function."

You know, seniors are volunteers. They make contributions through volunteer service in their communities to improve the life of their communities, to make them a better place to live, things that we want to happen. They need their automobiles to do that.

They go on to say, "We have heard in the past" -- they haven't speculated. They haven't said, "We thought of" or anything like that, but that they have heard "from such people as Meals on Wheels" -- now, I've got to say that everybody is this room would think that's a pretty important program. I don't think there's anyone in this room who would in any way either purposely or inadvertently want to affect the Meals on Wheels program. The seniors tell us, "We have heard...from such people as Meals on Wheels that automobile rate increases in excess of inflation" -- which is under 2% -- "will substantially reduce the number of volunteers they have."

Some of you didn't like my scenario about the single mother and not being able to give her children a few joys in life -- you know, dancing or skating or a simple pleasure like that. We've heard what might happen to seniors if their furnaces blow up, don't work, if their roof leaks. We've heard what could happen to them. You didn't like any of my scenarios. That led to numerous interjections and to somebody saying I was pathetic. Well, I'm happy to be pathetic if "pathetic" means that I have to remind you guys and women what $400 a year means to people who don't have an extra $400. It means that the very things in life we take for granted, like a little extra on somebody's birthday or at Christmas, are being taken from someone else who doesn't have the $400. If that's being pathetic, I'm happy to be pathetic.

If being pathetic means I have to remind the committee members that seniors volunteer to do good works in the communities in which they live and that they need their automobiles to do those good works and that if their rates go through the roof they won't be able to do those good works and good programs like Meals on Wheels suffer, then I'm happy to be pathetic.

Seniors talked about the future in their brief to us. They said:

"When Bill 164 was put together with The Road Ahead: Ontario's Strategy for Automobile Insurance Reform, we found ourselves extremely concerned about the direction that's being taken with automobile insurance.

"In the past" -- and I've said this to the committee before -- "by other governments" -- meaning the government I was a part of -- "we have been faced with plans calling for uniform classification, fair rating system and the unfair use of age as a rating criteria. We note" -- they say to you, I say to the government members -- "with disappointment that this government is once again going in this direction."

The seniors went on to say, "In the past, when the net result of these changes have been determined, our members would have been faced with rate increases as high as 45%."

I want to know from anybody in this room, and I'm sure Mr Tilson would like to know from anybody in this room, what has changed from 1987 to 1993, what has changed in those intervening years. What is so different that would make the results of the elimination of age in the rate classification system have a different effect, other than the 45%?

Mr Owens: Is that a question?

Mr Mancini: I'm getting a little annoyed at the parliamentary assistant's constant interjections.

Mr Owens: On a point of order, Chair: Mr Mancini was asking a question as to what has changed between 1979 and 1993. I'm prepared, as the parliamentary assistant, to provide an answer.

Mr Mancini: Mr Chair, that's not a point of order. Mr Chair, I'm speaking through you. That is not a point of order.

The Chair: It sounded like it was a question coming up.

Mr Mancini: Mr Chair, give me a break.

The Chair: No, it sounded like a question coming --

Mr Mancini: I have been asking a whole series of questions, and when I finish I would expect that the parliamentary assistant, who deems himself worthy enough to be a minister without portfolio, will have to in some way -- he doesn't have to answer me. I want him to answer all these people. When I've given up the floor, he will have his opportunity. We all ask questions during our presentations. I've had it with his constant interjections.

The Chair: No, it sounded like a question was coming.

Mr Mancini: I plead with you, Mr Chair, to call the parliamentary assistant to order, because he has continuously interrupted my presentation this afternoon. I've tried to make my address entirely through you and through Mr Winninger and he criticized me for it.

The Chair: Okay, Mr Mancini, carry on, please. You have the floor.


Mr Mancini: And happily repeated by the parliamentary assistant.

The Chair: Their mikes aren't on. Just carry on, Mr Mancini.

Mr Mancini: Call them to order.

The Chair: Pardon?

Mr Mancini: Call them to order. You're in charge here.

The Chair: I have called them to order when they've been whispering over there too.


Mr Mancini: I've already told you, Mr Winninger, if being pathetic means all of these things that I've said --

The Chair: Mr Mancini, my name isn't Mr Winninger.

Mr Mancini: I know that.

The Chair: So talk through the Chair and get on with --

Mr Mancini: You're Mr Hansen.

The Chair: Yes -- with section 2 of the bill.

Mr Mancini: I want to know from all these colleagues I have in the Legislature what is different and what has transpired in the intervening years that would make the seniors believe that what you want to do, which is exactly the same as what we tried to do -- why your results are going to be any different.

Mr Klopp: Give us the floor; we'll tell you.

Mr Mancini: We can't talk about the regs.


Mr Tilson: You'd probably shut them down.

Mr Mancini: So that's what the seniors have said. Maybe what we should do, if the world were perfect and we had lots of time and if the committee members, if the government had the courage -- hi, Sal. I would love it for any one of you, Mr Chair, through you, of course, for any one of the government members, especially the parliamentary assistant, to invite the United Senior Citizens of Ontario to return before our committee and I would love it for the parliamentary assistant to take the seniors through this one step at a time so that, through you, Mr Chair, Mr Owens could put his job on the line and say that, "Not only will I never strive to be a minister without portfolio; I'll give up my parliamentary assistantship if your rates go up because of this change in the rate classification system." Boy, that would take some courage. That would be interesting. We'll see what courage is in the room when the parliamentary assistant gets the floor.

The seniors go on to say -- we tried to get in the other room, Sal; we couldn't -- "We see no reason why if we go down the same road," meaning the road we tried only a few short years ago, "we won't be ending up in the same place." The senior citizens quote a very distinguished source, a source probably at the same level, through you, Mr Chair, as Mr Winninger, and maybe the parliamentary assistant. The seniors quoted Albert Einstein and they said, "As Albert Einstein said" --


Mr Daigeler: He should know.

Mr Winninger: E=mc2.

Mr Mancini: And I quote, "Those who repeat the same experiment expecting different results are doomed to failure." So the seniors are relying on Albert Einstein. Whom are you men and women relying on?

Mr Tilson: Daffy Duck.

Mr Owens: The Supreme Court of Canada.

Mr Mancini: "The Supreme Court of Canada," the parliamentary assistant interjects.


Mr Mancini: Through you, Mr Chair; through you, only through you. The seniors go on, and I'm quoting: "To reiterate, it's our strong belief that Bill 164 and The Road Ahead will result in rate increases of 45%, or even higher, to our members. Once again, we are strongly stating our objections to this bill and are very concerned that these objections," and I'm quoting, these are not my words, I'm quoting, "will fall on deaf ears."

The Chair: Mr Mancini, I remember being there. You have the notes there, but the 45%, was it the lawyer who presented that?

Mr Mancini: No, it was the seniors.

The Chair: Okay. I know the lawyer was standing there; where they got their statistics, I was just wondering if you --

Mr Mancini: No, it was not the lawyer, it was the seniors.

The seniors concluded as follows, through you, to the government members, Mr Chair, "Since we can find no benefits in Bill 164 for seniors" -- and that's what I said all along, that's what I said from the very beginning, that this legislation which you have embraced and hugged all the way through these hearings and are going to pass in the not-too-distant future, provides no benefits for seniors. They didn't ask for it, they're not receiving anything in return when it's passed and all they'll get is a huge whopping great increase.

The seniors say: "Since we can find no benefits in Bill 164 for seniors in the province of Ontario and its implementation is going to result in substantial rate increases for our members, we have no choice but to strongly state to this committee" -- that's to all of you people -- "that Bill 164 is a bad deal for the seniors of Ontario."

Those aren't my words. These are the words of the leadership of the United Senior Citizens of Ontario, who represent 1,000 senior citizens' clubs and over 300,000 people. It's not just Sal Valela who got a bad deal; it's going to be all these other people too who have said clearly that this legislation is a bad deal.

There are numerous other presentations that have been made that I could be using to buttress the concerns I've shared with the committee about the elimination of gender and age in the rate classification system. I think the point has been made with these presentations. I think it's been clearly demonstrated by the people who are going to be affected what the effect will be and why they don't like that effect.

I think it's a sad day in this province when we all know we're in the fourth year of the longest and worst recession since the Great Depression, and the only thing this government seems capable of doing is introducing a piece of legislation that nobody's been calling for and that your own former colleague, Mel Swart, called nothing more than a political exercise. The only thing that concerns you and the number one thing on your agenda is to introduce a bill that will drive up the cost of living, of automobile insurance rates, to women who earn less than men and to senior citizens who are on fixed incomes.

If I were to sit down in a dark room for a week and say to myself, "What three things would I want to do if I was part of a new government in order to facilitate change and improve the lifestyle of Ontario's citizens," I can tell you that I don't think I or Mr Hans Daigeler or Mr David Tilson or anyone else on this side, and I hope not even you, Mr Chair, would come up with a scheme that the only way we can improve people's lives is to sock it to senior citizens, with all the ill effects that will cause, and to sock it to women and all the ill effects that will cause. And for what end result, I ask you? Mr Swart told you what the end result was for.

I will conclude my comments at that point for this moment, and thank you, Mr Chair, for listening.

The Chair: I had Mr Owens down for the next one.

Mr Tilson: Mr Chairman --

The Chair: I didn't see your hand up there.

Mr Tilson: Well, it's been up, Mr Chairman, I can assure you.

The Chair: Okay, I'll keep the same rotation. I didn't see your hand though, Mr Tilson. I'll put you down on the list. I'm going to go to Mr Owens and then go to you, Mr Tilson.

Mr Tilson: My hand was up a long, long time ago. Do I have to get you to sign a piece of paper?

The Chair: No. Go ahead, Mr Tilson.


Mr Tilson: I'd like to make a couple of preliminary comments before I speak to section 2 and ask some questions with respect to section 2. We are now in the process of dealing with section 2. We, of course, have to go through 54 sections in this bill as well as a number of amendments that our party and the government wish to put forward.

There's no question in my mind that the members of this committee wish more time, and we have been shut down on the subject of the regulations, which is a major part of the philosophy of this topic of auto insurance.

Certainly, now that we've heard the delegations, we have heard some of the submissions from the parliamentary assistant. Mr Mancini's requested and I'm going to request as well that we be given an opportunity to hear from the Mercer people and Mr Tully and some of his staff on a whole slew of questions, and we're simply going to need more time. We really have one more day to do all of these things and I would hope, Mr Chairman, and I know all members of the committee will agree, knowing that it's going to be physically impossible to adequately respond to all of the remaining issues, that we're going to need more time.

I understand there was some sort of vague arrangement with the House leaders, when the House adjourned at Christmastime, to set aside so many weeks for this topic. But it would seem to me it's become quite apparent that we're going to need more time to deal with the many issues.

I would ask that you take under advisement going to the House leader who, ironically, of course, is the minister responsible for auto insurance. I have a lot of trouble with that issue, which is my secondary issue. I have a great deal of trouble with the issue of the House leader who is responsible for Bill 164.

I get the impression that the government is trying to ram this through so Mr Charlton can get rid of this thing. He doesn't want to deal with all of these problems that are going to surface after this bill has passed. He wants to get it on to the next guy; he wants to get out of here. I don't even know who's going to be responsible for dealing with the myriad of complexities that are going to develop after this bill is passed. Mr Charlton doesn't care. He's gone. He's not going to be responsible.

We've asked a whole slew of questions. The parliamentary assistant has said yes, he's concerned with the issue of advocacy; he's concerned with the issue of costs; he's concerned with a whole slew of things. We need more time and we need more explanations.

That's the first preliminary that I would like you to comment on before I get into my comments with respect to section 2.

The Chair: Maybe a little better explanation. Mr Owens.

Mr Owens: Thank you, Chair. I truly appreciate the question from the member for Dufferin-Peel.

In terms of the progress that we've made to date on this bill, I can characterize it as nothing short of discouraging. We have spent approximately nine and a half hours on section 1 which, along with the 9 or 10 other sections to follow, is simply clarifications and definitions.

As you are well aware, your party has made some amendments, and as I said to you earlier, section 7 is one that we deem as being an amendment we'd like to work with you on.

In terms of requesting more time, I think our time has been set out for us as an agreement with the three House leaders. As hard as it is for some individuals to understand, when one makes an agreement, one keeps an agreement and we want to continue on with that process.

In terms of your comments with respect to the conflict that you feel exists between the minister as the person responsible for auto insurance and his second role as House leader, I can assure you that there is no conflict. As I described to you on the day of the shuffle and on at least two other occasions -- and perhaps you weren't listening, for whatever reason -- Brian Charlton, while he is the House leader, will still continue to have responsibilities for the auto insurance review. I appreciate the fact that you've referenced our concerns with respect to cost, advocacy and other issues that we want to proceed on.

I made a comment at the beginning of the afternoon proceedings that it would be nice if we could get through some of what, in our view, are merely technical issues in terms of definitions and clarifications so that we could move on to what your party and I'm sure the official opposition view as issues of substance.

In terms of the request for more time, as I indicated at the beginning of my response, I think we are going to respect the agreement that was reached between the three House leaders, and we'll see where we're at on Thursday afternoon.

Mr Tilson: I wish you well. I simply say that hopefully common sense tells me that with the amendments proposed and the fact that there are some 52 more sections to go through, and it is now 4 of the clock, as they say in this place, it's most unlikely that your wish is going to be achieved.

I think there's a great deal of work that this committee can do. There are issues that can be raised. There are a lot of unanswered questions notwithstanding, and you and I may differ on that. I think you'll agree with me on some of the things.

Mr Owens: I absolutely do. This is why I made the statement again at the beginning of the afternoon that if we could proceed through these technical changes, we in fact could get down to discussing some of those issues of substance.

Mr Tilson: I can understand you, as a member of the government, trying to make this thing move, but the difficulty, which is why we spent so long, is that members of the opposition are concerned with the overall philosophy of where Bill 164 is taking us. We're not being picky when we pick at little specific definition sections, because all of these deal with the overall philosophy as to where the legislation is going by way of regulation, which by your own admission may not even be the regulations that we will ultimately end up with.

Mr Owens: No, I didn't say that.

Mr Tilson: But we must study these things. The committee has an obligation to review these things.

Mr Owens: But the regulation is not under consideration at this point.

Mr Tilson: Mr Owens, that's why the opposition is terribly frustrated, because the bill won't work without these regulations. The government spent a great deal of time sending these draft regulations to all kinds of interest groups that have spent vast amounts of money to study them --

Mr Owens: So you're admitting that we consulted with people?

Mr Tilson: -- and determine what the cost is going to be to their company, to the innocent accident victim, to the government and to everyone else, and many of them don't even understand the regulations. I think it is unfair to suggest that it was improper for us to get into that.

I, as a member of this Legislature, have an obligation to try and understand as much as I can about this place, which I am beginning to realize more and more is next to impossible.

Mr Owens: I was just going to say, "How are you doing so far?"

Mr Tilson: But I happen to be sitting on a committee dealing with auto insurance and I happen to want to try to understand the regulations, draft regulations or proposed regulations, which must be put forward for this bill to work.

Therefore, I say that members of the opposition have every right to study these things as they will affect the bill. There's no question in my mind that as we go through this, this terrible word "regulation" is going to be referred to, because it's intermingled with the sections in the bill. We're going to need more time. There's no doubt in anybody's mind. For this committee to adequately do its work, we're going to need more time.

The House leaders have reached an agreement. The House leaders can change that. They have the ability to change that. With your recommendation as Chairman of this committee, you can go back to your House leader, who happens to be the minister responsible for this terrible piece of legislation, and say, "We need more time than the amount that's been set aside to go through clause-by-clause." I think it is your obligation and duty as Chairman of this committee to do that.


The Chair: Mr Tilson, with this particular committee, the standing committee on finance and economic affairs, next week at 2 o'clock in room 151 we have the Treasurer and his staff coming. We have the hearings for the budget.

Mr Mancini: Which room is that, Mr Chair?

The Chair: Room 151. Mr Mancini: Is that the TV room?

The Chair: Yes. Mr Mancini has allowed us his time in there, so I have to thank Mr Mancini. The point is that we are tied up, this particular committee. We don't have any time in our time frame here of the sitting. This is why the House leaders had put this time in. But there's one thing --

Mr Mancini: So there's no time to worry about these people.

The Chair: Mr Mancini, I have the floor. No, I'm not saying that, Mr Mancini. I don't worry about these people. But the staff who have drafted these regulations, if you want to talk to them outside the committee hours, that's no problem at all.

Mr Mancini: That's a big help.

The Chair: The other thing is that on Bill 75, which went through this committee just before Christmas, I believe there were 42 --

Mr Owens: Are we discussing section 2?

The Chair: No -- 42 amendments which we did in one day clause by clause. So there is the time frame that we've got of tomorrow and an hour today. I don't see a problem that we can't have this bill pass before we break tomorrow at 5 o'clock.

Mr Mancini: A Chair pro tem.

Mr Tilson: Mr Chairman, if I can say, you don't have the time to reach all these things. We are now on section 2. Now you say, "Oh, well, we're --


Mr Tilson: Mr Harnick is commenting as to the speculation that's going around this place as to when the House is going to --

Mr Mancini: June 1, Mr Tilson.

Mr Tilson: Who knows when it's going to be? My guess is, it certainly won't be in the month of March, and there's a reasonably good chance it won't be in the month of April, or at least until halfway through April. I'm speculating as well as anyone else in this place is, but I'll bet you. Even if we're not, what is to say that we can't sit when the House is sitting? Doesn't this committee sit when the House is sitting? Is that an unusual thing?

The Chair: Yes, but I think we've got other items on our plate there, Mr Tilson.

Mr Tilson: This is most important. Then you set the other thing aside and you put this down.

The Chair: The other thing is too, you know, at the rate we're going it'll take us 486 hours to complete this bill if it's like --

Mr Mancini: If it's a good bill at the end of it --

The Chair: -- section 1, and I would say that's a little outside the time frame of this particular committee.

Mr Tilson: Mr Chairman, we've got a lot of questions that need to be asked and a lot of answers that need to be given.

The Chair: This is why I have tried to keep some of the members focused on section 1 or section 2. I didn't want to get into Christmas presents and leaky roofs.


The Chair: Mr Tilson, can we continue on?

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

The Chair: Yes, Mr Mancini.

Mr Mancini: Were you making light of the economic examples?

The Chair: Well, I --

Mr Mancini: Just let me finish, Mr Chair. Were you making light of the perfectly reasonable economic challenges that many people in our society face on a day-to-day basis and the consequences and repercussions of those challenges and the effects that Bill 164 might have on those individual families? Was that what you were making fun of?

The Chair: Mr Mancini, what I had talked to you --

Mr Mancini: Were you making fun of that?

The Chair: I was not making fun of it. When you were wound up --

Mr Mancini: Why did you throw it out in such a flippant fashion?

The Chair: Mr Mancini, let me respond.

Mr Mancini: Yes, please do so.

The Chair: I let you talk.

Mr Mancini: Please do so.

The Chair: The thing is that at that particular time I said that there was a little bit of colour, and if we can get back to the subject at hand and take --

Mr Mancini: I'm talking about your last comment.

Mr Owens: Point of order, Mr Chair.

The Chair: I was talking about that because --

Mr Mancini: Why did you throw it out in such a flippant manner?

The Chair: Mr Mancini, you're very touchy today.

Mr Owens: Point of order.

Mr Mancini: No, I'm not touchy.

The Chair: I'm sorry.

Mr Mancini: If somebody can't afford to fix their roof, I don't think it's touchy at all. If seniors can't afford to give their grandchildren --

The Chair: You're taking it in a different light.

Mr Mancini: -- 10 bucks when it's one of their birthdays, I think that's a pretty sad situation. I don't think that's anything that you should make light of ever.

The Chair: Are you finished?

Mr Mancini: I would hope that you would clarify how and why you made that --

The Chair: I was trying to get down to the point of not making it as colourful as you did so we would have time to finish this bill.

Mr Mancini: Not making it as colourful as I did. I see.

The Chair: Yes. Mr Owens, point of order.

Mr Owens: Forget it. Let's move back to section 2.

The Chair: Mr Tilson.

Mr Tilson: Yes, Mr Chairman. I'm not finished and I will only put on the record that I think this committee has a great deal more work to do on this bill and I think there's an opportunity for you at the very least, as Chairman of this committee, in your capacity as Chairman of this committee, to go to the minister, also known as government House leader, and say that this committee needs more time. Notwithstanding any agreement that's been made by the three House leaders, if indeed one has been made, we need more time. We clearly need more time to deal with all of these matters.

I suppose you can rule me out of order. You can do whatever you like, but I've put it on the record --

The Chair: No, I'm not going to rule you out of order, but you have your House leaders here. Mr Owens can go to the House leader and show some direction to this committee.

Mr Tilson: Mr Chairman, I don't want the parliamentary assistant -- he interferes enough in this committee.

Mr Mancini: It's all a big joke to him anyway.

Mr Tilson: I'm simply saying you, as the Chairman of this committee -- you do have some authority, believe it or not -- can go to the House leader and say in your observation as Chair that this committee needs more time. We're on section 2 --

The Chair: I --

Mr Tilson: You're not prepared to do that?

The Chair: No, I'm not at this time. Let's carry on.

Mr Tilson: I move, Mr Chairman, that you be directed to do so by this committee.

Mr Mancini: Good motion.

Clerk pro tem: It's a motion?

Mr Mancini: It's a motion.

Clerk pro tem: Put it to the vote.


The Chair: Recorded vote? Okay. All those in favour of the motion? Do you want to read out the motion so we've got it recorded again? What's the motion?

Mr Mancini: Mr Tilson moves that the Chair ask the House leaders for more time so that we can complete our work.

The Chair: Okay. We've got a motion on the floor.

Mr Owens: Am I not entitled to speak to it?

The Chair: Discussion?

Clerk pro tem: Yes, he can speak on it.

Mr Owens: I was going to, respectfully of course as always, ask Mr Tilson to withdraw his motion and again, respectfully as always, ask the Chair to go forward to the House leader and make that request. We will certainly abide by the wishes of the House leader.

Mr Tilson: Mr Owens, I couldn't agree with you more, but the Chair has made it quite clear to me that he's not prepared to do that, so since he's not prepared to do that I'm going to insist this committee direct him to do that.

Mr Owens: I've made a request to you, Mr Tilson --

Mr Mancini: Mr Tilson has made a motion and I move the motion be now put.

The Chair: Okay.

Mr Mancini: I move a recorded vote.

Mr Paul R. Johnson (Prince Edward-Lennox-South Hastings): Point of order, Mr Chair.

The Chair: Yes, Mr Johnson.

Mr Johnson: A 20-minute recess.

The Chair: Okay. A 20-minute recess.

Mr Mancini: A waste of time for 20 minutes.

The committee recessed at 1607 and resumed at 1625.

The Chair: Okay, I know we're about two minutes early here, but I see all members present. The clerk will read out the motion, please.

Clerk pro tem: Mr Tilson moves that the Chair be directed to request of the House leader to extend the committee's hearings on Bill 164.

The Chair: A recorded vote on this one, Mr Tilson?

Mr Mancini: Yes, a recorded vote.

The Chair: Okay. All those in favour of the motion?


Daigeler, Harnick, Kwinter, Mancini, Tilson.

The Chair: All those opposed?


Haeck, Johnson, Klopp, Mathyssen, Owens, Winninger.

The Chair: The motion is defeated. Mr Tilson, you have the floor.

Mr Tilson: I spoke to one of Mr Owens's staff. I assume that the French printing problem on section 2 will be duly solved.

Mr Owens: What problem are you referring to?

Mr Tilson: I don't have a problem. I just assume that the words "risk classification" are over in the French section and the French interpretation of that is in the English section. It's not important, but it's something that --

Interjection: Is that under definitions?

Mr Tilson: It's under subsection 2(3).

Clerk pro tem: Which bill are you looking at, Mr Tilson?

Mr Tilson: Am I looking at the wrong bill?

Clerk pro tem: You could be. The new one, from my understanding, has been corrected.

Mr Tilson: Okay, that's fine. If it's corrected, that's fine. I have no problem as long as it's been corrected. That's okay.

The Chair: It's been corrected? Okay.

Mr Tilson: I have a number of questions that I'd like to put to Mr Owens in his capacity as parliamentary assistant to this project. I look at subsection 2(3) specifically. It says, "`risk classification system,' in relation to automobile insurance, means the elements used." What are the elements used?

Mr Owens: Currently, as you're aware, among other things the amount of kilometres driven, the types of car that one drives, issues with respect to age, marital status, the sex of the proposed insured and any number of issues that make up the rate system a company may choose to offer.

Mr Tilson: All right. The general intent of this definition is that you will be establishing a fairer classification system?

Mr Owens: What we're doing with section 2, Mr Tilson, is again providing some clarity to a system that already exists. Currently, under OMPP there is a regulation that allows for items not to be used and also allows for items that can be used. If I can quote under the current act, section 35 --

Interjection: Section 121.

Mr Owens: Section 121. Sorry.

Interjection: Paragraph 35.

Mr Owens: Paragraph 35: "prescribing classes of risk exposure to be used by insurers in determining the rates for each coverage and category of automobile insurance." Paragraph 36 talks about "prescribing classes of risk exposure which insurers are prohibited from using in determining the rates for each coverage and category of automobile insurance."

What we're doing with this section, as I say, is adding clarity. At some point, when I'm able to make some comments, we'll also be discussing how the Supreme Court of Canada has nodded in the direction that insurance companies should be removing those discriminatory items such as marital status and age and sex from their classification systems.

Mr Tilson: Wouldn't it be more appropriate to wait and see what the courts do than to indicate that you will be, through regulations -- and I'm going to use that word; I don't care what we say, we need to talk about it -- introducing regulations that will eliminate the rate classification based on gender and age?

Mr Owens: Sorry; I missed that last comment.

Mr Tilson: My question is, wouldn't it be more appropriate for the government to wait and see what any judicial decisions come up with before you indicate that you'll be passing regulations or laws that will essentially eliminate the rate classification based on gender and age?

Mr Owens: In terms of its application to section 2, which has the clause under discussion at this point, again, the language that is set out is meant for the purposes of clarity and to codify what is already in practice within the industry.

Mr Tilson: But we've been told that the intention of the philosophy of this legislation, of which this particular section is a definition, is that you will be eliminating the rate classification based on age and gender.

Mr Owens: We are looking at complying with a Supreme Court of Canada decision, Zurich v Bates, that if the member would allow me to read the decision written by Justice Sopinka, I think it may enlighten both he and Mr Mancini -- it's unfortunate that he's not here at this point -- but in terms of the reasoning with respect to that decision.

Mr Harnick: What decision is that?

Mr Owens: Since it's not --

Mr Harnick: What's the name of the case?

Mr Owens: -- particularly germane to --

Interjection: Zurich v Bates.

Mr Owens: -- section 2, the item under discussion, perhaps if Mr Tilson is prepared to yield the floor, then I can respond.

Mr Tilson: No, I'm not prepared to yield the floor. You're answering a question that I've put to you, Mr Owens.

The Chair: Mr Owens, just answer Mr Tilson.

Mr Owens: I believe I did.

The Chair: I thought you were going to read it out.

Mr Owens: Would Mr Tilson like me to read this? I'd certainly be prepared to do that.

Mr Tilson: Yes. I think it would be useful if you're telling us the reason for this. This is the first that this committee has heard of this decision, and I haven't read the decision. I don't know who else has, and that's fine. I don't mind admitting that I don't know things.

I will say that we have been led to believe by you and by your minister and by members of your party that the rationale behind eliminating the rate classification system for gender and age is to make it fairer. Now you're telling us that there is a Supreme Court of Canada decision that is essentially ordering the province of Ontario to do that. If that's the case, then I think it's important that this committee hear all about this case.

Mr Owens: What I did say is that the Supreme Court of Canada decision, which was published in all three major Toronto dailies --

Mr Tilson: Well, I don't read all the three Toronto major dailies. I read the papers from my riding, and if you can stop making snide remarks and inform this committee of the rationale as to why you're putting this change forward, please do so.

Mr Owens: My answer to you, sir, was to only indicate that this is a fully public decision and it's not the government that is hiding any cards up its sleeve.

The Chair: Mr Tilson, could I maybe get the clerk to make a copy so each member of the committee would have a copy of this --

Mr Tilson: Yes, thank you.

The Chair: -- so you can read it over. Maybe you'll let Mr Owens read it now and then you'll have a copy.

Mr Owens: Let me just go through this.

Mr Winninger: Do you want it in French and English?

Mr Owens: "The insurance industry" -- this is written by Justice Sopinka, and I'd certainly be prepared to have the clerk copy it. These are not my words; these are not the words of the minister.

"The insurance industry must be allowed time to determine whether it can restructure its classification system in a manner that will eliminate discrimination based on enumerated group characteristics and still reflect the disparate risks of different classes of drivers....

"It would therefore be inappropriate for this court to find a particular practice to be unreasonable when no reasonable alternative exists. While the situation as it existed in 1983 did not provide a reasonable alternative to setting premiums based on age, sex and marital status, the situation today and in the future may be quite different. The insurance industry must strive to avoid setting premiums based on enumerated grounds."

That indicates, in the view of myself and the minister and those folks who staff our legal branch, that the context of this Supreme Court decision is that at the time there were no reasonable grounds to rule directly against these particular grounds. However, in terms of looking at this issue prospectively, we are in fact providing what would be called a legislative enabling environment to address the issues the Supreme Court has raised through its decision.

It's the view of the government that a person's insurance premium should be based on issues of relevance, like driving record. That may be a new concept to the opposition, but in terms of some of the comments that were heard earlier, it's a reasonable concept that there is no relationship between whether a person happens to be married or not married as to how his or her driving is going to be conducted. I would suggest that looking at a person's conviction rate, in terms of whether it's moving violations, whether or not he or she has been charged and convicted of impaired driving, these are the kinds of issues that need to be looked at.

If we get past section 2 today, we will certainly find that there are going to be abilities for insurance companies to maintain their competitive advantages over each other as they deem possible.

So this is where we are sitting with respect to that decision, and again, in terms of the reasoning behind subsections 2(1), (2) and (3), these provide clarification for existing practices within the industry.

Mr Tilson: Thank you, Mr Chairman, through you to Mr Owens. I thank you for the summary of that decision and I look forward to reading it, because I must say that it was my understanding that the courts have upheld the current plan because it is based on a sound actuarial and statistical basis. In other words, on the issue of young male drivers, statistics show that they have a tendency to get involved in more accidents than young female drivers. It has nothing to do with civil rights or the Constitution or anything like that. There's no discrimination; it's based on statistics, on driver records.

I'm open to hear more thoughts from the government as to where it's going to be going with the philosophy of its new rate classification system, because you're going to have a lot of explanation to do. Mr Mancini has spent a great deal of time and I intend to spend some time as well reiterating the concerns of the people of this province, particularly seniors, whose rates are going to skyrocket because of your proposed legislation.

If you're saying that the Zurich and Bates decision directs the province of Ontario to change the current class plan, then I'd like to look at that, and I hope all members of the committee will, and I hope you're not generalizing and reading this specific section from a report that is not dealing with this specific issue.

Mr Owens: In fact I am not and we are certainly not -- reading a decision written by Justice Sopinka, who clearly does not have an interest in these proceedings.

Mr Tilson: I look forward to reading it.


Mr Owens: We quoted that and we will certainly provide you with a copy.

In terms of some of your other remarks, while you're directing your comments with respect to alleged rate increases around the uniform class system, I certainly hope you'll reflect on section 38, which provides for a rate dislocation management plan through the process. I was hoping we would actually get to section 38 so that we could more fully describe that for you.

Mr Tilson: I hope we do too. I think we'll need to talk about section 38 and a whole group of sections. We've really just got into this topic and we need to spend a great deal more time on it.

Mr Owens: I'd be very pleased to answer any --

Mr Tilson: I'm encouraged by your saying that you intend to spend some more time on that subject before this committee reports back to the House. I will be making some more comments, but I would hope that we would all be in a position to read the Zurich and Bates case before we vote on this particular section, because I think we'd be remiss to vote on it having now had this piece of information brought to us.

I find it most unusual that the parliamentary assistant would now tell us about this decision. He can make all the remarks he wants that it has been reported in the press. I don't deny that. I'm not even from Toronto; I'm from a riding to the northwest of Toronto, and I don't always read the Toronto media. You try to get as informed as you can, and if you're telling me that's the way it is, that's the way it is.

I do say, though, that it is unusual that you didn't bring that topic, those facts that you have now brought to us --

Mr Owens: That's --

Mr Tilson: -- if I could just finish -- a long time ago, particularly when delegation after delegation expressed the concerns about the changing of the rate classification system based on gender and age. I don't understand why you've waited until now to do that.

Mr Owens: I think, in terms of your duties in your critic area, that you haven't taken the opportunity to fully inform yourself of decisions such as Bates v Zurich Insurance Co, because it is an important case and your colleague Mr Harnick, I'm sure, has some thoughts on the case. I'm surprised that he hasn't shared those details with you.

This is not a surprise. These are issues that we have raised with respect to fairness in the system, and we simply are relying on a decision that we view as being a directive from the Supreme Court of Canada. If you want to suggest that we ignore the Supreme Court of Canada and continue on down the road of discrimination, then perhaps you'd like to move some kind of an amendment, and we will take a look at it.

Mr Tilson: I'm simply saying to Mr Owens, Mr Chairman, through you, as I indicated, that the current class plan has been based over the years on an actuarial and statistical basis, which is the very suggestion that Mr Owens is going to be talking about as to what regulation this government may be passing dealing with one's driving record. That may be a sound recommendation, that your rates are based on your record. I have no problem exploring that and I would hope this committee would spend some time, because you've got an awful lot of people around this province, particularly seniors, very worried about where you're going in this direction. I just take as a --

Mr Owens: I would agree that a senior with a good driving record should not have to pay higher premiums simply because a senior with a bad driving record happens to be within the same age category. I think if you put two seniors in a room, or a group of seniors -- if we asked the seniors who presented whether or not they should subsidize drivers with bad driving records, I think their answer would certainly be in the negative.

The Chair: Mr Daigeler has a point of information.

Mr Daigeler: With the permission of Mr Tilson, could something be clarified for me, because I'm not a lawyer. When the parliamentary assistant read the decision of the Supreme Court, it didn't seem to me, not being a lawyer, that the Supreme Court directed anything in this decision. I would just like to hear from legal counsel whether in the ministry's legal opinion the Supreme Court did in fact direct the provinces --

Mr Klopp: Excuse me, Mr Chair. Has this now gone back to the Liberals --

Mr Daigeler: Do I have the floor?

The Chair: Yes, you do. Go ahead.

Mr Daigeler: -- whether in fact this is a direction by the Supreme Court to do away with these various classifications.

The Chair: Actually, I thought you were giving us some information. Maybe Mr Tilson would agree to that request.

Mr Mancini: Mr Tilson will ask Mr Daigeler's question, I'm sure.

The Chair: Yes. Mr Tilson.

Mr Tilson: I think Mr Kwinter has a question of clarification.

The Chair: Okay. Mr Kwinter.

Mr Kwinter: It's also by way of information. The parliamentary assistant just commented on the fact that seniors would not be particularly thrilled with the idea of having to pay more money because they were seniors, if in fact they had a good driving record. I just want to reflect on what I had said yesterday in that there has to be a basic understanding of how insurance works. There is a pool of money. If you don't take it from everybody who's in that category that's the highest risk, you have to take it from someone else. So what is happening is that it doesn't change the effect that you want to be fair. You can be as fair as you want with the individual, but you have to also understand that the amount of money you forgo by not charging everybody in that category has to be apportioned to everybody else. I have no problem with the fairness, as long as there's an understanding that it will almost automatically mean everybody else will be paying more money to take care of the shortfall, and you have to understand that.

The Chair: Mr Tilson, you have the floor there. Hans had a question of legal counsel, if you want to put it through you.

Mr Tilson: I have no problem, because I think it's an important issue and, as I say, it's unfair, quite frankly, of the parliamentary assistant to take the shots that he's making when I haven't even had a chance to read the decision.

The Chair: We're getting a clean copy right now from the library and all members will have a copy.

Mr Daigeler: Could we hear from legal counsel?

Mr Tilson: Mr Daigeler, I have no problem with --

Mr Mancini: It's a great question.

The Chair: Okay, the legal --

Mr Simons: I haven't read the case recently, so it's just my best recollection.

Mr Mancini: Legal counsel hasn't read the case?

Mr Tilson: You'd better be careful. Mr Owens is going to take shots at you too. He'll say legal counsel for this committee hasn't even read this case and he has the gall to make statements that members of this committee haven't read this decision.

The Chair: Okay, Mr Simons.

Mr Simons: The Bates case dates back to the 1980s, and at the time the insurers used classification systems -- the Zurich Insurance Co used a classification system that discriminated on the basis of age, sex and marital status and that's what was at issue in the case. I think the companies were challenged by the Human Rights Commission in terms of why they used that type of class plan, and would they look at an alternative that wasn't discriminatory. I think the companies argued that they didn't have the kind of database for information to look at other ways of setting rates that wouldn't discriminate against age, sex and marital status. I think, over the time of the initial Bates case and by the time it got to the Supreme Court of Canada, the company still hadn't really developed anything.

If you look at what the decision says, it says, "Okay, this time, because you couldn't support alternatives, we will allow you to continue using them." But the court strongly suggested the industry strive to avoid setting premiums based on grounds such as age, sex and marital status. In other words, "Get a sufficient database together to establish non-discriminatory class plans."

Mr Tilson: That's quite a different statement than what Mr Owens has stated.

Mr Mancini: The court did not direct.

Mr Tilson: Quite a different statement, and I can assure you that we will be studying this case tomorrow, because Mr Owens has made some very serious allegations. I look forward to seeing whether or not they're accurate.

I'd like to read you a letter which was just simply filed. I don't know whether any of you have read it or not, but I've read it. It's very brief, and I think it expresses the concerns of individuals around this province. It was filed with this committee on February 15, it's from a Mrs Emma Goddard of Ingersoll and it's addressed to Kimble Sutherland, of all people, and the Chair of this committee, Mr Hansen.


Mr Mancini: Mr Tilson, we know Kimble, don't we?

Mr Tilson: We certainly do. "I am a senior and resident of Oxford county. I am greatly alarmed by proposals being put forward by your government concerning automobile insurance. Everything I have read, including the government studies, says the cost of insurance is going to rise if these proposals are instituted. The province has spent thousands of dollars over the last three years trying to find a workable solution to the problems facing the insurance industry.

"The current system appears to be dealing with costs and efficiency quite well, but from the moment your government took power in Ontario, you have condemned the OMPP. You haven't looked at it objectively, from my point of view. I feel your government wants to change it just so you can say you did something.

"I have heard that you intend to change the way insurance companies rate their clients; that is, not allowing them to use age, sex or marital status as criteria for rates. I have been paying for insurance for 40-plus years and have maintained a clean driving record. Being as I am retired, I also have a limited income. I emphatically denounce any changes that would require me to pay more for my coverage simply because you don't think a young man should pay so much for his. Take a look at who causes the worst accidents and the most serious accidents: young men. Why shouldn't they have to pay a considerable amount for their insurance? It is a privilege to drive a vehicle and they should be made to realize it by the sacrifice they have to make to pay for it.

"You should do better to spend all this time and taxpayers' moneys on ways to improve driver safety and safer roads. Bill 164 makes absolutely no mention of any road-safety-related programs. I have looked at the different reports concerning this matter and what is predicted for the future. Frankly, I am very disappointed with the NDP government's tunnel vision and unwillingness to consider all the facts. It appears you are only using the ones that suit your purpose. If public opinion has any influence on you, take note. Spend your time and money getting people back to work and improving things, not trying to destroy what is already going smoothly.

"In conclusion, if these changes go through as you have proposed, you can bet I won't be voting for you the next time around, no matter what."

My suspicion is that many members of this committee have received similar letters to this, expressing, particularly from seniors -- Mr Mancini has spent a great deal of time and I don't intend to repeat what he has said, because he has been very concise in his statements -- but it certainly expresses the concern, particularly of the senior citizens of this province, as to what you're doing.

Mr Mancini: Why isn't Kimble listening? That's what I want to know.

Mr Tilson: I have a couple of other questions for the parliamentary assistant. The risk classification system that you intend to propose, whether in the draft regulations, which don't really exist --

Mr Mancini: You can't talk about that.

Mr Tilson: I guess I can't, and that's why I'm going to ask this question. It would appear that this legislation is going to give you the power to establish a classification plan for automobile insurance. Isn't that rather unusual for you to do that?

Mr Owens: Through this section we are clarifying language and also codifying the existing practice within the industry. In terms of later amendments, as I indicated to you, it's my hope that we can deal with your amendments and others --

Mr Tilson: I want to know more about the risk classification system, the definition of it. I want to know what it means. I'm entitled to know that. I'm entitled to know what your plans are. It appears the cabinet's going to have the power to establish this system. My question is, isn't that unusual? Are you saying, "Yes, it's unusual," or "No, it's not unusual"? That's really all I'm asking you.

Mr Owens: In terms of cabinet's authority, again, in later amendments that issue will be dealt with. In terms of the clause under discussion at this point, subsections 2(1)(2)(3), again, we're simply moving that language be cleaned up to make it usable and to codify practices that are already in existence in the industry.

Mr Tilson: Mr Chairman, I need your assistance. We have the parliamentary assistant here to answer questions. He obviously doesn't know the answer.

Mr Mancini: He's been fudging all week.

Mr Tilson: He doesn't know the answer. I assume, because he doesn't know that answer, that there is someone in the government, some staff or someone, who would be in a position to answer these questions and other questions, because I've just started asking these questions. If that's the sort of answer that I'm going to get, "Oh, well, we'll talk about it later; it's really not relevant to talk about the risk classification system," notwithstanding that's the matter before this committee right now, what am I to do? We are now almost close to 5 of the clock. Are you prepared, as Chairman, to direct that members of the civil service who have prepared this legislation come forward to talk about the risk classification system first thing tomorrow morning?

Mr Owens: On a point of order, Chair: We have responded quite appropriately with respect to the section under debate. Whether Mr Tilson chooses to accept that as an answer is his --

Mr Mancini: You didn't give an answer. That's the problem.

Mr Owens: I'm being interrupted by Mr Mancini, who is constantly chiding me and then moaning and groaning to the Chair that he is being interrupted.

The Chair: Direct it through the Chair, Mr Owens.

Mr Owens: In terms of the question that has been asked, I've answered that question on more than one occasion. In terms of other questions you have put to me, I have answered directly or have referred them to ministry staff for further clarification.

Mr Klopp: It was pretty clear to me.

Mr Owens: In terms of the necessity for section 2, it is a matter of clarifying and codifying issues that are currently in practice within the industry.

Mr Tilson: I guess what I'm getting at is that it gets back to my comments with respect to the Zurich v Bates decision on which you have given your interpretation and legal counsel has given quite a different interpretation.

Mr Owens: I would disagree with that.

Mr Tilson: Well, that's your problem. I will say there's been no question in the past that the courts have upheld the current class plan. It has been based on statistics and it has been based on actuarial reports. Now we're going to have a plan being put forward that is going to be implemented by the cabinet when traditionally in the past it has been run and operated by the free enterprise system, namely the insurance industry, unless you're going to do another flip-flop and say you're going to have public auto insurance, God forbid.

Since you're directing the insurance industry to implement these plans, it's saying -- it has said in presentations to this committee -- that rates are going to skyrocket for seniors.

I'm simply saying it's rather unusual for a cabinet to interfere in the process and simply direct the insurance industry, which is operating these plans, to do all these things. They're showing statistics, they're showing actuarial reports, which is a heck of a lot more than you've done. In this whole legislation, I've seen some vague report by Mercer. That's really all we've seen and it doesn't mean a heck of a lot.

My question is very simple. Isn't it unusual that this legislation is going to allow cabinet to have the power to establish a classification system for automobile insurance which in the past is a system that's been used by the free enterprise system?

Mr Owens: Again, for at least the third time, this power currently exists within OMPP. We are simply clarifying and codifying existing practices.

Mr Tilson: OMPP does not eliminate the rate classifications. What are you talking about?

Mr Owens: That's not what I said.

Mr Tilson: What did you say?

Mr Owens: I said that the cabinet currently has the ability under OMPP to do just as we are doing here. I quoted to you earlier in terms of subsection 121(35) that's currently, and I say currently --


Mr Owens: Mr Mancini again is engaging in histrionics and doesn't care that Mr Valela is here to watch this show he's putting on.

I direct Mr Tilson again to subsection 121(35), which says currently, "prescribing classes of risk exposure to be used by insurers in determining the rates for each coverage and category of automobile insurance."

Subsection 121(36) says, and I hope you'll listen even more carefully this time, "prescribing classes of risk exposure which insurers are" -- it's too bad I can't boldface this word -- "prohibited from using in determining the rates for each coverage and category of automobile insurance."

As you see, Mr Tilson, we are not engaging in a new exercise. This exercise has already taken place. We are simply clarifying and codifying an existing practice within the industry.

The Chair: Mr Tilson, it being 5 o'clock, this committee will recess until 10 o'clock tomorrow morning in room 1. Mr Tilson has the floor.

Mr Mancini: You mean we're not going to room 151.

The Chair: We'll see if we can get that ruling from the Supreme Court down to the caucus offices tomorrow or early tonight. Thank you.

The committee adjourned at 1701.