F005 - Thu 17 Nov 2022 / Jeu 17 nov 2022



Thursday 17 November 2022 Jeudi 17 novembre 2022

Committee business


The committee met at 1500 in committee room 151.

Committee business

The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): I call this meeting of the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs to order.

On this afternoon’s agenda, we have consideration of committee business. Are there any comments, or direction? MPP Crawford.

Mr. Stephen Crawford: Hi, Chair. Good afternoon. I would like to propose that we go into closed session.

The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): Okay. We have a motion to go into closed session. Discussion?

Ms. Catherine Fife: I would like to propose that we don’t go into closed session. We’re just planning and, in a transparent way, trying to make sure that the people of Ontario know how they can be part of the Bill 36 consultation process. It’s a departure from past practices until this government got elected. It doesn’t lend itself to transparency or trust. Why not have the discussion on how we’re going to consult and engage with the public of Ontario—who we work for—in an open session?

The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): MPP Kernaghan.

Mr. Terence Kernaghan: I just want to make sure that we have on the record that the estimates were ready for consideration on September 8, and I sent a letter to this government and to all committee members on September 20, asking the government that we immediately begin consideration of the estimates. Instead, we did not begin consideration of the estimates until two months later—that’s eight weeks—while the government went into remission or went and hid during the municipal election, so the—

The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): I just want to point out, we’re debating the motion of whether we’re going into closed session or not.

Mr. Terence Kernaghan: But this is about public consultation. Traditionally, we have 15 hours to consider the estimates. All in all, we had 20 minutes to question this government on the estimates. Really, I think, when this government had months but only allowed 20 minutes, it is very concerning.

The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): I caution the member to get back to the question at hand in the debate, which is the issue of committee business, and the motion on the floor is that we go into closed session.

Further discussion on going into closed session? MPP Fife.

Ms. Catherine Fife: The government has never really given any good rationale to move into closed session. Usually, having sat at a municipal level and a school board level, the only reason you move into closed session is to discuss legal issues, staffing issues, conflict of interest issues, not scheduling issues. In camera, which is what the government is proposing, removes the conversation from the public discourse, which doesn’t build trust, and it doesn’t add to the transparency—or the “spirit of transparency,” as the finance minister said yesterday. So we’re opposed to it, as we always are.

The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): Further discussion? Are we ready to vote?

Ms. Catherine Fife: Recorded vote, please.

The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): A recorded vote has been requested. I’ll put the motion.


Byers, Crawford, Dowie, Hogarth, David Smith, Wai.


Bowman, Fife, Kernaghan.

The Chair (Mr. Ernie Hardeman): I declare the motion carried.

We have to wait to clear the room. We’ll recess.

The committee recessed at 1504 and later continued in closed session.


Chair / Président

Mr. Ernie Hardeman (Oxford PC)

Vice-Chair / Vice-Président

Mr. Terence Kernaghan (London North Centre / London-Centre-Nord ND)

Mr. Deepak Anand (Mississauga–Malton PC)

Ms. Stephanie Bowman (Don Valley West / Don Valley-Ouest L)

Ms. Bobbi Ann Brady (Haldimand–Norfolk IND)

Mr. Rick Byers (Bruce–Grey–Owen Sound PC)

Mr. Stephen Crawford (Oakville PC)

Mr. Rudy Cuzzetto (Mississauga–Lakeshore PC)

Mr. Andrew Dowie (Windsor–Tecumseh PC)

Ms. Catherine Fife (Waterloo ND)

Mr. Ernie Hardeman (Oxford PC)

Mr. Terence Kernaghan (London North Centre / London-Centre-Nord ND)

Mr. David Smith (Scarborough Centre / Scarborough-Centre PC)

Ms. Effie J. Triantafilopoulos (Oakville North–Burlington / Oakville-Nord–Burlington PC)

Substitutions / Membres remplaçants

Ms. Christine Hogarth (Etobicoke–Lakeshore PC)

Mrs. Daisy Wai (Richmond Hill PC)

Clerk / Greffier

Mr. Michael Bushara

Staff / Personnel

Ms. Heather Conklin, research officer,
Research Services