Thursday 29 July 1993

Subcommittee report


*Chair / Président: Johnson, Paul R. (Prince Edward-Lennox-South Hastings/

Prince Edward-Lennox-Hastings-Sud ND)

Vice-Chair / Vice-Président: Wiseman, Jim (Durham West/-Ouest ND)

Caplan, Elinor (Oriole L)

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

Cousens, W. Donald (Markham PC)

*Lessard, Wayne (Windsor-Walkerville ND)

Jamison, Norm (Norfolk ND)

*Kwinter, Monte (Wilson Heights L)

Mathyssen, Irene (Middlesex ND)

*North, Peter (Elgin ND)

Phillips, Gerry (Scarborough-Agincourt L)

*Sutherland, Kimble (Oxford ND)

*In attendance / présents

Substitutions present / Membres remplaçants présents:

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

Duignan, Noel (Halton North/-Nord ND) for Mr Wiseman

Martin, Tony (Sault Ste Marie ND) for Mrs Mathyssen

McClelland, Carman (Brampton North/-Nord L) for Mr Phillips

Clerk / Greffière: Grannum, Tonia

Staff / Personnel: Luski, Lorraine, research officer, Legislative Research Service

The committee met at 1008 in committee room 1.


The Chair (Mr Paul R. Johnson): The standing committee on finance and economic affairs will come to order. I would like to start this morning by reading into the Hansard the report of the subcommittee:

"Your subcommittee met on Wednesday 28 July 1993 and recommends the following with respect to Bill 8, Ontario Casino Corporation Act, 1993:

"(1) The committee will begin hearings the week of 16 August 1993 in Windsor, Ontario. It was further agreed that:

"(a) The afternoon of 16 August 1993 the minister and officials from the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations be invited to brief the committee. Public hearings will be held in Windsor for the remainder of the week.

"(b) The week commencing 23 August 1993 public hearings will be held in Toronto, at Queen's Park.

"(c) The week commencing 30 August 1993 the committee will conduct public hearings in Sault Ste Marie, Ottawa and Niagara Falls, subject to travel arrangements.

"(d) Clause-by-clause consideration of the bill will commence 7 September 1993.

"(2) The clerk of the committee shall send a letter of invitation to appear before the committee to the host city/town/corporation the committee will be travelling to.

"(3) The clerk of the committee shall place an advertisement in all daily newspapers the first week of August 1993 inviting the public to participate in public hearings on Bill 8, Ontario Casino Corporation Act, 1993.

"(4) Scheduling will be done on a first come, first scheduled basis. All others will be placed on a waiting list and invited to submit in writing.

"(5) All witnesses will be given half-hour time slots for their presentations.

"(6) The researcher will prepare as complete a summary of recommendations as possible.

"(7) Pursuant to the standing orders, all members of the Legislative Assembly will have an opportunity to participate in the public hearings.

"(8) The Chair is authorized to approve any minor details which have been overlooked."

Mr Gary Carr (Oakville South): I have a question regarding the subcommittee. As you know, I sit on it and I wasn't there, so maybe I could get some clarification.

In speaking with Ernie Eves who was there, there was also some talk about having the people who are receiving the bids come in, and I wondered where that was at. I think the government was going to go back and speak to the House leader.

The Chair: Mr Duignan was going to look into that particular issue and get back to the committee.

Mr Carr: He's still looking?

Mr Noel Duignan (Halton North): I raised that particular point with the ministry yesterday. We're still looking into the legality of it right now. I spoke briefly to Carman yesterday and to Ernie Eves. As soon as I have some information, I will be getting back to both Carman and Ernie Eves on that.

Mr Carr: I'll move the adoption of the report.

Mr Duignan: Just a minor amendment or whatever to that: The Coopers and Lybrand report will be released within the next week to 10 days. I have a recommendation to the committee that we set time aside in the Toronto public hearings for a briefing by Coopers and Lybrand on the report and have an opportunity for the members to ask questions of Coopers and Lybrand.

Mr Carman McClelland (Brampton North): Just one point: Will the report be released prior to that for an opportunity to review it? Do you know offhand, Noel?

Mr Duignan: The report will be released within the next two weeks, prior to the start of the public hearings.

Mr McClelland: My question is, will the briefing with the authors of the report, the representatives from Coopers and Lybrand, be concurrent with the release of it, or will we have an opportunity to review it somewhat ahead of time? Do you know offhand?

Mr Duignan: I don't know offhand.

Mr McClelland: Okay, thanks.

Mr Tony Martin (Sault Ste Marie): Can we be more specific on part (c) of (1)? When are you going to be in Sault Ste Marie, for example?

Mr McClelland: You don't have an interest in that, do you?

Mr Carr: Whatever day you're there, we'll be there.

The Chair: We have a report before the committee right now and we have an amendment to the report, but I also want to bring to the attention of the full committee that, although we have a report of the subcommittee, this may be amended by the fact that we are only authorized one week of travel. That compounds the report of the committee, because you will note that within that report there is more than one week of travel.

We will have to ask for permission or authorization from the Speaker if we choose to continue with the report of the subcommittee as it is. The consequence of that, of course, will be that we will have a budget shortfall in the fall and that may preclude us from any further travel with regard to this year.

Mr Duignan: Mr Chair, it doesn't stop the committee from submitting a further request or amendment to the budget to the Board of Internal Economy for the winter sittings.

Just a point of clarification on number (7), "All members of the Legislative Assembly will have an opportunity to participate in the public hearings": I understand that maybe members who are not regular members of this committee will be participating. Do they get to ask questions only after all the regular members of the committee have had an opportunity to ask questions?

The Chair: That is something that will have to be decided among the committee. I was going to undertake, as the Chair of the committee, to meet and talk with at least one interested participant of the Legislative Assembly and see if we couldn't agree to some format that would be acceptable to the committee and to that participant.

Mr Duignan: May I suggest that this particular item be taken up at the subcommittee?

The Chair: I think it's clear that the standing order says they have the opportunity, but what we have yet to determine is simply how that will be arranged within the committee. Number (7), as it stands, is quite all right. It's just that we have to determine how we fit in anyone from the Legislative Assembly who wants to deal with this committee and this bill.

Mr Duignan: As you may be aware, each participant has a half-hour to make a presentation and they may or may not choose to leave time for the members of this committee to ask questions. Therefore, if they only leave five minutes for the members of the committee to ask questions, the division of time would be less than two minutes per each side of this committee.

The Chair: I understand that, and that's why if I could have a chance to speak with one participant -- I'll be very frank and say the member for Victoria-Haliburton, who plans to participate fully in the proceedings that we're undertaking -- if I can have an opportunity to speak with him and then talk with the committee, maybe we can come to some agreement as to what we think is fair and equitable from all perspectives.

Mr Duignan: I leave it in your good hands, Mr Chair.

Mr George Dadamo (Windsor-Sandwich): I don't know if this is the right time to do this, and it may be trivial, but on (1)(c), the week commencing August 30, August 30 would land us in Sault Ste Marie and August 31 is a Tuesday. Is that week not festivities for Labour Day? Some of us may be getting invited to Labour Day parades.

Mr Martin: Some of us may not.

Mr Dadamo: For those of us getting invited to Labour Day parades.

The Chair: We didn't actually discuss that in the subcommittee. I think if it's that important for any individual member of the committee to attend a Labour Day parade, then it may be the type of circumstance they would have a sub on.

Labour Day is officially on September 6. Is that what I heard? Okay. The committee won't be meeting on September 6 so that shouldn't be a problem, Mr Dadamo.

We have two amendments to the subcommittee report. The second amendment was that the Coopers and Lybrand report be presented at --

Mr Duignan: That Coopers and Lybrand be invited to this committee to give a briefing on its report.

The Chair: Okay. Is everyone clear on the amendment? All in favour? Carried. The first amendment was --

Mr Duignan: There was only one amendment.

The Chair: There was only one amendment? I stand corrected. The one and only amendment is carried then.

It has been moved by Mr Carr that the report of the subcommittee, as amended, be accepted. All in favour? Opposed? Carried.

Mr Martin: I'd like to know when we will know for absolutely certain about the travel arrangements, because some of us may have had plans to inform people in our communities about the fact that the committee may be coming. We don't want to do that and then have to turn around and say: "Oops, we're sorry. It ain't going to happen." When can we know for sure?

The Chair: I'll ask the clerk to give you some specifics on that.

Clerk of the Committee (Ms Tonia Grannum): Now that the subcommittee report is adopted, I can start the travel arrangements. As soon as I know, I'll let all the members of the committee know. I'll give you the itinerary and give you the dates. It's determined on whether we can get travel connections and arrangements to the different locations.

Mr Martin: Okay. You'll let us know ASAP.

Clerk of the Committee: As soon as possible.

The Chair: We're assuming we're going to get authorization for the extra travel as well.

Mr Duignan: I don't believe there'll be any problems.

Just a quick comment on the ads in the newspaper: I thought they were being put in next week for Windsor.

Clerk of the Committee: The week of August 1.

Mr Duignan: That's next week, isn't it?

Clerk of the Committee: Yes.

Mr Duignan: So it is.


The Chair: There are a couple of other issues that I have to raise with the committee. One is witness fees. Is it the committee's wish that witnesses be compensated in some way for attending if they request it?

Mr Martin: That's a good idea, I think, in light of this being a democratic process and wanting people to come in and speak from all over the province. We're not going everywhere in the province, so those who can't afford to come should be offered some assistance in trying to get there to present. I think that's a good idea.

The Chair: Any other comments?

Mr Monte Kwinter (Wilson Heights): I would oppose witness fees. I think that it sets a precedent. It lends itself to all kinds of potential for problems.

It would seem to me that the tradition of committees that have been travelling around the province, as far as I know -- I stand to be corrected if there was a precedent for witnesses, but it would seem to me that those people who are interested in appearing -- and I don't want to put a negative cast on this thing. We're talking about a 30-minute presentation, and if there's anybody who thinks that their 30 minutes is going to be of any great significance, then they haven't been at committee hearings.

This is a pro forma exercise to give people a chance to present their views, and it would seem to me that given the fact that it's on a first come, first served basis -- historically sometimes these committee meetings get packed by interest groups which make sure that their people are there, and to be paying for the honour of having that done to us I think is unconscionable. I'd oppose it.

Mr McClelland: I couldn't have said it better myself.

Mr Carr: The only thing I was going to point out is that I think it's been done in the past when we've had meetings only in Toronto and only on a selected, real-need basis, looking individually.

The only thing I would point out is that it looks like we are going to all corners of the province. We're going to the northeast and the southwest a little bit, I guess -- Niagara Falls -- so it isn't as if there would be a tremendous amount. I would agree with Monte. I don't think the expense of driving in would be so great that it would preclude a lot of people.

I don't think we should be engaging in this at a time when we're trying to keep the expenses down. Obviously any written briefs could still be accepted from people who, for whatever reason, don't have enough money. As we know, they can be just as effective as an oral presentation.

Mr Martin: Maybe this is another example of those of us who come from northern Ontario being somewhat more sensitive to the great difficulty and expense in travelling to participate in the process of government.

Yes, it looks like we're going to Sault Ste Marie. From the boundary of Manitoba to Sault Ste Marie covers a lot of territory. The possibility is that people up there feel that they may be impacted by decisions this government may make around this issue, and it's a long way and it's an expensive proposition for some folks.

If we really believe, and I do, that this is a valuable exercise we go through, that it's a chance for us to get out there with a piece of legislation and hear what the folks who live in our communities and who will be impacted ultimately by decisions we make think about it, then if in the odd circumstance somebody really wants to come and can't because they can't afford to, I don't think it's really fair.

Being from a part of the province that's a long way away from the Golden Horseshoe, I have felt over the years a real disincentive and barrier to my full participation in what happens down here. Actually, it becomes a negative thing in that a lot of people simply lose interest in the matters of government because they aren't able to participate in this way. That would be one more reason for me to support it, as I said, in the odd instance.

I have to say that on a number of occasions in my last two and a half to three years here, I have encouraged some people from the north to appear at committee and have been able to get them some assistance to come. They have come and have made a valuable contribution, and I think we should be continuing that precedent. In my experience, it hasn't been abused. It's been used by people who really felt they had something to offer and genuinely couldn't come otherwise.

Mr Duignan: First of all, it's not precedent-setting. I've sat on committees where we've actually paid for people to appear as witnesses in front of committees.

The reason we're going to Windsor, Niagara Falls, the Sault and Ottawa is to give an opportunity for those people in those various regions to appear in front of this committee. The only problem with Sault Ste Marie is that most people don't consider it in the north. Thunder Bay and Kenora are a long way away from the Sault. Maybe we could look at those groups interested in appearing from Kenora and Thunder Bay and help some of those people with assistance to get to Sault Ste Marie.

Certainly, eastern Ontario is within driving distance of Ottawa; the near north is within driving distance of the Sault; and the Golden Horseshoe, Niagara Falls and southwestern Ontario to Windsor. Maybe we should just look a little favourably on some of those communities in the north, certainly those which are in excess of 400 miles from Sault Ste Marie.

Mr Kwinter: If I could add another practical comment, under the structure of our committees, each deputant, each presenter, is given a half-hour to make their case. They are told by the Chairman, usually, that they have a half-hour and that they can use the time, but they're encouraged to leave some time for questions and answers. It is quite possible, sometimes quite usual, that people will come in and read prepared remarks for a half-hour, and at the end of that half-hour, we say, "Thank you very much; your time is up," and there's no time for questions.

It would seem to me that we could be in a situation where we are in fact paying people to come in and read their presentation when they could just as easily have sent the presentation to the same effect.

As a result, it seems to me that in a time of constraint and a time when we are trying to take a look at the money that is being spent, I don't see a very compelling reason to be paying people to come to make these representations. If they can come, that's great, and if they can't, they have the ability to send their comments and they would be included in a report and would have basically the same effect.

Mr Dadamo: I don't want to belabour the point, but Mr Kwinter, I really believe you're right on. I believe there's going to come a time when people will be of the mindset in this province that we can no longer afford to have them travel in from all corners of the province to be making submissions. I think we're slowly getting there. In times of cutbacks, when we're taking cutbacks and they're taking cutbacks, I think they will understand that it's an expensive proposition and that we can no longer afford to do so. If they can't come in to do the 15- or 20-minute presentation, I'm sure they can also submit it by mail and understand that whether you do it in person or do it in document form, it carries equal weight. I think I would support Mr Kwinter.

Mr Peter North (Elgin): I wanted to ask a question on the report basically, not on this particular issue but on another issue. Can I do that?

Mr Duignan: Let's deal with this issue first.

The Chair: I'll come back to you, Mr North, if we can just conclude with this issue.

Mr Martin: I understand where Mr Kwinter and others are coming from. I would be disturbed too if it became an issue of us spending piles and piles of money to bring people in.

Is there any way some process could be set up -- I also sat on a committee where people were able to phone in and we were able to ask questions of them. The technology was there; it was actually quite amazing, the clarity of the voice, and the interaction was good. We have a lot of things in the north now, such as Contact North, where we do education in that way. It may be something, given that we're dealing with this question, that we might want to consider looking at. I don't think it's that difficult to tap a phone line into the intercom system we're using and to give an opportunity for questions to be asked. I would suggest that's maybe something we might want to look at if we're interested in hearing from people and if we're also interested in cutting down on the cost of doing this.

The other thing, Mr Chair, is that I assumed this kind of thing was for some reason or other automatic, that somehow this was covered under some standing order, because every time I phoned in the past to get some people on to committee, where they couldn't afford to come down, I was able to make it happen.


The Chair: It's a decision of the committee. Sometimes the committee agrees that witnesses will be reimbursed for their travel to the particular venue, and sometimes they make other arrangements, such as allowing the Chair or the Chair and the subcommittee to determine whether the circumstances are extenuating enough to reimburse prospective participants for their travel. It's not in the standing orders that witnesses automatically get reimbursed.

I want to go just a little further with regard to your suggestion that we have a phone-in show or a phone-in opportunity. In a sense, I guess that could preclude any travel, if we were going to have an opportunity like that. I just wanted to raise that point. If were going to have a phone-in show, we could probably do it entirely from this room, or a room that had the facilities to do that.

Mr Martin: In some instances maybe never even leave Queen's Park, and that does a disservice to those in the hinterland who want to participate in this process.

The Chair: Yes.

Mr McClelland: I offer this in a glib way: Maybe Ross Perot's electronic town hall meeting might be initiated by Mr Martin, in the final analysis.

Just by way of reflection, and not to belabour the point, I think there have been circumstances where a committee, because of the technical nature of a piece of legislation or particular circumstances, invites particular groups and in so doing offers some reimbursement of reasonable travel expenses, particularly if it's not-for-profit organizations and so forth.

I think what we're discussing here, though, raises another issue. Perhaps, Mr Johnson, in your capacity as Chair, you could talk to other chairpersons or perhaps suggest that there might be some general policy, because it seems to me that every time we've gone for a bill, we tend to go through the same kind of discussion. Quite frankly, I think it leaves you and other committee members and staff in a difficult position, because there's an ebb and flow to it, depending on the circumstances at the time, the particular mood in the province. I think Mr Dadamo makes a good point: There's a mood right now that's very sensitive in terms of expenditures.

The other thing is that I understand there has always been provision for extraordinary circumstances. I'm not trying to be coy about this; this is on the record, so I'll just be candid, and I spoke to my friend Mr North about it. You get into the difficulty, it seems to me, when you say we're going to pay travel expenses, of determining who is eligible and who is not. That creates a problem and almost becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, if you will.

That's why I think that if, in a general sense, we established policy, then you don't have to flag it. I say this with due respect to the people who may read this on the record; I don't think people sit around and read Hansard late at night, but if you hear what I'm saying, I think you create a situation where you say expenses and you have x number of people: How do you make that determination?

In your capacity as Chair, you could perhaps broach the subject with the appropriate people, perhaps the House leaders ultimately, and the Board of Internal Economy, to set a policy for extraordinary circumstances when people make a request, so you're not caught in that sort of catch-22 of saying, "Hey, we have expenses but we really don't want to encourage it." It really puts everybody in a no-win situation. I'll just leave that with you for your consideration.

The Chair: Mr McClelland, I appreciate your remarks. That's something beyond the role of this Chair and this committee, but I agree with you that it is something that maybe should be looked at very seriously by a group, whether it's --

Mr McClelland: With respect, I think in your capacity as Chair you could just write a letter and say: "It's come up again. Here is yet another circumstance. Perhaps we could develop some policy down the road."

The Chair: Right. But in the meantime we have to deal with this issue currently. I know there have been many ways this has been handled in the past. It's been suggested that witnesses receive compensation; it's been suggested that they don't. Sometimes the committee agrees with that; sometimes it becomes a contentious issue. There are other opportunities where, as I said before, the Chair or the Chair and the subcommittee can look at requests to see whether the circumstances are extraordinary, extenuating, and then grant that request.

I'd like to think that at this point in time, because there is no order that suggests witnesses be compensated for their travel to the committee, we don't advertise that it's an option but that if a request is made, we deal with the request as it becomes necessary.

Mr McClelland: On an individual basis.

Mr Duignan: Call the question.

The Chair: I'll call the question before the committee. Shall witnesses be compensated for their expenses to travel?

Clerk of the Committee: Upon request.

The Chair: Upon request?


The Chair: Well, let me put it to the committee this way, then. Basically, the question is: Shall witnesses be reimbursed for their expenses?

Mr Martin: That's a whole different question.

The Chair: Yes, it is, but I'm going to ask more questions. I want to ask that one first.

Mr Dadamo: That's the initial question. The initial question should be: Should they be reimbursed for their travels to come before us? That's question A. But if you tag on an amendment as to special cases and stuff like that --

The Chair: Yes, I was going to do that, Mr Dadamo.

Mr Dadamo: -- it certainly won't take long for the word to get out that, "Hey, they'll pay if you ask." That's not what we're dealing with here.

The Chair: Yes, it's a complex issue. Then I would suggest -- and it's only a suggestion; I'm in the hands of the committee -- that given the scope of debate we've had so far, we certainly not advertise that compensation's available and not agree to any kind of compensation; however, should a request come from any potential participant, that the Chair and the subcommittee deal with that request.

Mr McClelland: To bring it back?

The Chair: Do we want to have a committee meeting, Mr McClelland?

Mr Martin: That would be acceptable to me.

The Chair: The question I'll ask is: Shall the Chair and the subcommittee be authorized to consider reimbursing, for their travel, witnesses with extraordinary and extenuating financial circumstances and expenses? Is that agreed? I might add that the subcommittee may not think it's appropriate.

Mr Duignan: Agreed, Mr Chair.

The Chair: Is it agreed? Agreed. Thank you very much, committee members.

We have one more issue I would like to raise; that is, does the committee want or wish --

Mr Duignan: Peter wants to raise something.

The Chair: That's right: two more issues. Let's go with Mr North first.

Mr North: I don't know how to place this question. I guess the easiest way is just to ask. When the subcommittee had its discussions, given the circumstances of this particular issue where it pertains to the native community, was any consideration given to having a meeting of some description in a native community?

Mr Duignan: It was felt that if we chose a particular first nations community to go to, it could be perceived within that community that we were giving preference to that particular community over other communities. They will have the right to come in and make a presentation to the committee, whether it's in the Sault or Windsor or Niagara Falls or Ottawa. The subcommittee could choose to set aside some time, for example, in the Sault to strictly hear just submissions from the first nations community.

The Chair: Certainly, given the range of venues that we've established, all peoples of the province of Ontario have an opportunity to travel and participate if they choose to, and they can certainly send in written submissions as well. I know that at these venues there are first nations aboriginal reservations, as they're often referred to. Homes of aboriginal peoples are close to these venues, and if they choose to attend then they will be under no more nor less difficulties than anyone else who chooses to attend.

Mr North: The reason I asked this question is because everyone who sits on this committee and everyone who has been familiar with a native community at all understands that there appears to be a position with native people that I would be interested in hearing, either from the Chiefs of Ontario or from someone. I think their feeling is that this committee will not be making a decision for them, and I would be curious to hear what decisions they're planning on making where it pertains to this particular issue. I think if we had either asked or invited, through the Chiefs of Ontario, we could have found some kind of "neutral ground" on which to speak to them.

I know my fellow committee members probably think I shouldn't be asking these types of questions, but I'm very curious about what decisions they're planning on making and it would be interesting to hear what they have to say.

The Chair: We don't want to exclude anyone, certainly, in this process; that's clear. It would be determined by this committee, should we want to send a request to the Chiefs of Ontario or to the first nations asking them to make a presentation if they choose. I don't think that's an unreasonable request.

Mr McClelland: Far be it from me to even presume for a moment to speak on behalf of the government. Perhaps the parliamentary assistant would like to comment further and clarify. Just by way of information, I'm sure that in the technical briefing on the first day the minister will share with us in some detail what has transpired.

I want to say on the record that the minister has been very gracious, together with the project team, to brief myself and, I suspect, as well my colleague Mr Eves.

There are some very sensitive negotiations that are taking place concurrently with first nations people. My understanding is that they will be advised both directly and indirectly through the advertisement and may on their own volition choose to appear before the committee, or choose not to, inasmuch as they're making a decision about whether they want to participate in this or continue their parallel negotiations.

As you know, there are some sensitivities in terms of jurisdiction, both federally, criminal law and so forth, and constitutional issues as well. There's also some 128 bands involved, with I believe 16 spokespersons speaking on behalf of those 128 bands, so the dynamics and the complexities multiply.

In that context, I just want to reiterate what you said, Mr Johnson. I think the invitation is made both in the general sense and through the office of the parliamentary assistant specifically to those individuals.

I don't want to speak on your behalf, sir, but the information is out there, they're very much aware of what's taking place and they're making decisions, as is their right, whether or not they should participate in this or continue their own discussions separate and apart from Bill 8.

As you know, without getting into all the issues, they see that there are issues that go much beyond the scope of Bill 8 per se. In that context, I think we may be overstepping, in some senses, the jurisdictional responsibilities that we rightly have with respect to this legislation. I just leave that for your consideration.

I also want to note that I appreciate your sensitivity to it, Mr North. I think it speaks very well of your sensitivity to that issue and I commend you for that.

Mr Duignan: Carman said a lot of what I was going to say. This is a very sensitive issue. There are ongoing negotiations with the native communities, some really sensitive issues around the whole question of legalities and the Constitution. To pick a particular native community to go into could be seen as giving weight to a particular application coming from that native community, and we don't want that to happen. But they will get a general invitation, like everybody else, to appear. They know what's going on here. The negotiations are continuing, and they're at a very sensitive stage at this point.

The Chair: Mr North, any further comments?

Mr North: No, thank you.

The Chair: We have one final issue of business; that is, I want to ask the committee, do you want the ministry staff to be present throughout the hearings?

Mr Duignan: I understand it's the intent of the ministry staff to be continuously at these hearings throughout the four weeks.

The Chair: That answers that question very directly. Is there any further business anyone would like to raise at this time?

Mr McClelland: Off the record? Does this mean Monte Carlo and Reno are out?

The Chair: I think it's very clear as a result of the report, Mr McClelland, that those venues are out.

If there's no further business, then this committee stands adjourned.

The committee adjourned at 1045.