Thursday 20 December 1990




Chair: Mancini, Remo (Essex South L)

Vice-Chair: Brown, Michael A. (Algoma-Manitoulin L)

Abel, Donald (Wentworth North NDP)

Bisson, Gilles (Cochrane South NDP)

Drainville, Dennis (Victoria-Haliburton NDP)

Duignan, Noel (Halton North NDP)

Harrington, Margaret H. (Niagara Falls NDP)

Mammoliti, George (Yorkview NDP)

Murdoch, Bill (Grey PC)

O'Neill, Yvonne (Ottawa Rideau L)

Scott, Ian G. (St George-St. David L)

Turnbull, David (York Mills PC)

Substitution: Poole, Dianne (Eglinton L) for Mr Scott

Clerk: Deller, Deborah


Richmond, Jerry, Research Officer, Legislative Research Service

Yeager, Lewis, Research Officer, Legislative Research Service

The committee met at 1016 in room 151.


The Chair: I would like to call the standing committee on general government to order. We have lost a few moments' time this morning trying to get schedules and other information to the committee. I know committee members have been wanting to talk to each other before our proceedings this morning.

The first order of business is substitutions. I duly note that Dianne Poole is being substituted for Ian Scott. The form has been turned in to the clerk and myself. Any other official substitutions?

Mrs Y. O'Neill: I will be presenting some for myself, as I think I have intimated, for the month of February.

The Chair: Very good. As long as we have these forms just before or shortly after we start our work, so everyone will have the privilege of knowing who is on the committee.

Mr Turnbull: I will be presenting substitutions on our committee. Our Housing critic will be sitting.

The Chair: Make sure your whip has these forms signed. That is the only way it will be official.

I think we should get right to our business. The subcommittee met at least once, if memory serves me correctly. We worked very hard at trying to put together a schedule for the committee and trying to ensure that we cover the province in our hearings. Some of that work has gone for naught because of decisions made by the House leaders, but not all of it. I will go over the subcommittee report. If you bear with me, I can take you through what the subcommittee approved and then I can move to what the House leaders have asked us to do and have approved and then maybe we can have some discussion on it.

The report of the subcommittee is report 3. We met on Thursday 13 December to consider matters relating to hearings on Bill 4, An Act to amend the Residential Rent Regulation Act, 1986. The subcommittee decided that hearings would be held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays of the following weeks: the week of 14 January, the week of 21 January, the week of 4 February, 11 February, 18 February and the week of 4 March. That gave us six weeks of work. I think it is probably more than any other committee of the assembly is going to be sitting during winter recess, so when your constituents ask, "What are you doing now that Parliament is closed?" you will be able to tell them.

We also talked about travel. We agreed as a subcommittee that we would visit the regional centres of the province. We also left it open that if other parts of the province appeared to have substantial delegations that wanted to appear before the committee, at that time the committee would meet and decide whether we would go, say, to Kingston or other centres as need be. While we decided that we would go to Ottawa, Sudbury, Thunder Bay and Windsor and hold hearings there, it was also decided that, as needed, we may go to other communities in our province.

We also agreed as a subcommittee that witnesses would be given up to 20 minutes for presentations and there would be up to 20 minutes reserved for questions, divided equally among the three political parties. It would be up to you to decide how you would split your time accordingly.

We decided there would be advertising in all Ontario daily newspapers, in the French newspaper Le Droit, and in a cross-section of ethnic press during the first week of January. I am going to bring that to full committee, because there is a substantial cost in advertising in the ethnic press that I think the full committee should be aware of and make a decision upon.

Those basically were the items the subcommittee agreed on after a good couple of hours of negotiations and debate back and forth, and this is what the House leaders have asked us to do. They basically have given us permission to sit the weeks of 14 and 21 January, so there is no change there. However, my understanding is that we will sit the weeks of 11, 18 and 25 February; therefore, the week of 4 February there will be no hearings. They also approved that we sit the first week of March, the week commencing 4 March. The major change in our schedule is that we will not sit the week of 4 February -- I apologize to committee members who may have already made arrangements to do other things for that week based on our discussions of last week, but it was beyond my control -- and we will sit the week of the 25th. Any questions on that?

Ms Poole: I just wanted to bring up the matter of timing. The subcommittee had suggested 20 minutes for presentation time and 20 minutes for question time. I think that is quite a good plan for umbrella groups, but if we are advertising in major papers across the province I suspect we are going to have a number of individuals come forward. If it appears that we will only have perhaps one day in each of these major centres I would like to see different criteria for individuals than for umbrella groups so we could get more people before the committee, perhaps a 10-minute presentation and 10 minutes of questioning for individuals, and remain with the 20 and 20 for umbrella groups. That is just a proposal, if the committee feels that is a fair way to deal with it.

The Chair: Any discussion on that?

Mr Turnbull: I am concerned about the implications for the landlords in that respect.

The Chair: Can I backtrack for a moment? Can we agree on those weeks the House leaders have mentioned as weeks we will sit before we get to the actual time frame and other things? Can we clear that one first?

Mr Turnbull: I would like to check with the Housing critic, who is speaking in the House at the moment. Obviously, because our party has the fewest members, it is most difficult, we are always shuffling around. We would like to check with him that his timetable is suitable for those weeks. As we have just sent up a copy of this change in dates, we would like to make sure we find out. Can we get back by the close of the session this morning?

The Chair: We will try.

Mr Duignan: Can I focus some discussion on the weeks of public hearings and what those weeks will contain? Could I suggest to the committee that, for example, the weeks of 14 and 21 January and the week of 11 February be held for a week of public hearings, and that the week of 18 February would be the meeting for the clause-by-clause by this committee, and then hold briefings for the remainder of that week of 18 February on the discussion paper to be tabled by the Minister of Housing?

The Chair: Do you have a copy of that for all of us?

Mr Duignan: There will be at that time. And that the public hearings on the discussion paper be held in the weeks of 25 February and of 4 March.

The Chair: Just to give some advice to the committee, when the subcommittee met, we talked about how we would schedule our hearings. We felt we wanted to be on the road for one week and then be back in Toronto; we wanted to have the travelling portion of the committee's work done first and get it out of the way. The clerk was asked, based on the subcommittee's suggestions, to put together a schedule that reflected what the subcommittee had said. I am not sure if what you are informing us of today is consistent with that. We will try to make both ends meet if it is possible.

Mr Duignan: At that time we were not aware of the fact that the Minister of Housing would be tabling the discussion paper for discussion by this committee, which I understand is the first to happen. Basically, the government is under no obligation to table that discussion paper with this committee; it is a new departure and it gives this committee an opportunity to discuss the contents of that discussion paper and bring it to public hearings.

The Chair: We are all over the place this morning. There is nothing wrong with that, but as long as we do it in order I think we will accommodate everyone. As Chairman, I have to tell you that I feel obligated to ensure that I am able to do what the Legislature and what the minister have asked this committee to do; that is, to have full public consultation. Just for the committee's information, we already have 46 names on a list of people who wish to consult with this committee, and we have not yet advertised. I do not believe, based on past experience and based on the interest in this legislation, that you will be able to hear all the people who want to be heard, do the consultation paper, do the review of the legislation, do clause-by-clause and then have a report ready for the Legislature.

If the committee, at a certain stage, decides it is not going to hear people, that will be its decision. It will not be my decision. I was under the impression that the government wanted people to be heard on this bill. I think that is the job of a committee Chairman, to make sure people are heard, to make sure we structure our business in such a way. I want it to be very clear up front that if it is decided that some groups or individuals are not going to be heard, it will not be the decision of the Chairman.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: On that matter, I am surprised and very disappointed at this announcement this morning. Mr Abel is and was a member of the subcommittee. In fact, there were two members here and I think even Mr Duignan was here. I find it almost intolerable that at this moment we are being asked to present something new to an agenda. I do not know about the other members, but this subject is one of the highest interest that has come to the floor of this Legislature in this new session. Ads have not even gone out yet and we have 46 people. When you do not hear people, people get very angry. In fact, this week last year we were sitting at 9 o'clock at night hearing people who felt they had not been heard, an entire group of people. It was on teachers' pensions and we extended ourselves for four evenings to hear them.

We have agreed in this committee that we are not going to meet in the evenings; I do not think there is any need to, midsession. But I find this really difficult, that we had a subcommittee meeting, we had it agreed by the total committee, we have agreed to the advertising, I signed the papers the clerk presented to me with those guidelines, and now this morning I am being presented with something brand new, a discussion paper to take up a week, which confuses people, which will confuse the advertising, for sure. I am sorry if the minister and the person presenting think this is a privilege for this committee. Maybe it will be a subject for discussion another time, but right now I feel this bill has to take the weeks we set aside and agreed to. I really think the rules of order protect what we agreed to previously.

The Chair: This is going to be a matter where we have full discussion this morning, so we are going to take a list. Everyone put his or her hand up. The clerk will keep the list for me so I will not be accused of preferring anyone. Reverend --

Mr Drainville: I think Mr Turnbull had his hand up.

The Chair: I have been a sinner all week. I was going to let you go first.

Mr Turnbull: I have to concur that this is a very important subject. There are an awful lot of people who are going to want to speak to this, both the pros and the cons, and I do not think we can clip the wings of this committee and suddenly go back and reduce the amount of public discussion. This has wide-reaching implications tor this province in housing and in other economic matters. Unless we have full and free discussion of it, we are going to rue the day. We should not just suddenly bump the schedule we have already agreed to.

Mr Drainville: Let me be clear here. Besides the comments of moral outrage, let's be clear about this.


Mrs Y. O'Neill: I did not say a thing about morality.

Mr Drainville: The House leaders have spoken at length about this issue. We, the members of this committee, are not in any way trying to say this is what we want. The House leaders spoke together about the need for Bill 4 to be looked at in terms of public consultation, in terms of discussions here in the committee. Also, the Housing minister has indicated to the House leaders and they discussed -- please do talk to your House leaders about this -- the fact that we want Bill 4 to be a short reality. We do not want to see Bill 4 in place for a long time. We want to see new legislation come out. That is why we need to have discussion and presentation of that discussion paper before the public before we go into session in March. That is our aim.

We want to deal with Bill 4 immediately and then we want to move into the establishment of new legislation which is going to eventually take the place of Bill 4. That is why, when we were discussing it with the House leaders, the House leaders saw that. You must understand as well that it is the prerogative of the government. It does not have to give us the opportunity to look at new legislation that may be coming down the line. The fact that they have done this is an indication of how important the issue is for us to discuss on a long-term basis.

What we are proposing is not a usurpation of the powers of this committee but rather the opportunity for this committee to look at the long-range legislation that is going to be brought in, which is going to have a much more pervasive effect on housing policy in Ontario. That is why we are trying to clarify how we are going to deal with these two issues. There is Bill 4 and there is this consultation process we are trying to begin, looking at housing in the province.

The Chair: I should let the committee members know that one of the reasons I argued with my own people to have six weeks set aside during the winter recess was that I thought it would take at least that long to go through the public hearing process. I did not want to embarrass the committee by having allegations made in the Legislature that someone said we were going to have hearings and when the committee got to work the Chairman structured things so we did not have hearings.

I am only here to try to structure the work the best way I can for the committee so that its work will be taken seriously, but the actual and final decisions will be made by the committee. I think we should all be aware of that. I will try to do the best I can to lead the committee in such a way that we will be able to accomplish our work in as expeditious a way as possible, but I have to repeat, if the committee believes today that we are going to hear all these people, that we are going to do two weeks on the green paper, that we are going to do one week of clause-by-clause and wrap this up in a neat little package and put a bow on it and have it ready for the end of March, I just do not see it happening.

I am just advising the committee of that. I am not telling the committee anything, I am advising the committee. You as committee members will have some serious decisions to make. The decisions of the subcommittee are recommendations, and they are approved by the full committee. I will get to Mr Brown in a moment. I am sorry to hold you up, sir. We had a long discussion in the subcommittee about it being very important that the subcommittee representatives report to their respective parties the decisions of the subcommittee so that when we got to the full committee we did not have to redo the entire work of the subcommittee. I stated at that time that if I came to the conclusion that meeting as a subcommittee was just a waste of time then we would always meet as a full committee and we might as well hammer it out once in front of the entire group of members on this committee and do it that way. I have not completely lost faith in the subcommittee, but we are now redoing almost completely everything the subcommittee agreed we probably would do. With those few comments, Mr Brown.

Mr Brown: I have some real reservations about what is being suggested. I am concerned that, first, the subcommittee had come to a decision that we on this side had no idea or no way of knowing that these suggestions would be made, no matter how helpful they are. That makes it very difficult if the subcommittee meets and decides things and then at a full committee meeting, the last one that will be held during the fall session, this is news to us and very difficult for us to deal with.

We on this side are very interested in rent control as an issue, and housing policy in total, because I do not think you can see rent control without looking at total housing policy. We are very interested in what the minister has to say.

I am concerned that this committee, both our party and the third party, had presented resolutions about some other matters we thought should be considered and they were overruled by government business. The government told us through a resolution in the House, after a debate on second reading, that the business of this committee was to deal with Bill 4. That is what the government told us. There is no mention about a reference to the House, nothing about a consultation paper. In the absence of that, I do not even see why we are discussing this. It is just beyond us on this side.

Are you telling us today that your House leader or somebody up there is going to make a reference this afternoon at the last minute, after the committee has closed down, of a consultation paper coming to this committee? I do not think it is even before us. I think, in the absence of a reference from the Legislature, we should be dealing with our own business. We know the business is Bill 4 and we know that the two opposition parties have some matters that are of interest to them and, I think, to the people of Ontario. So I am quite shocked at what is going on this morning.

Ms Poole: I feel that some of the confusion that is evident this morning is because we are not acting on full information. I myself, when I saw a list earlier this week, a tentative list of what the committee schedules were going to be, noticed that there were only five weeks that they were allotting to general government at that stage. Certainly in the beginning we all believed that we were only going to be dealing with Bill 4, and since then I think there has been some discussion among House leaders and whips about allocating additional time to this committee so that we could begin to look at the green paper, the consultation paper. So I think this is part of the confusion, that the rules have changed part way through without all the players being aware of it.

What I am going to propose is that we take a 10-minute recess to each talk to our House leaders and find out why they have given us six weeks. I think it is the committee's responsibility and the committee's option to decide our own business, but it might change matters somewhat if the three House leaders and the three whips have reached a mutual consensus. I think in order for us to make a final decision, we have to find out. We have heard from Reverend Drainville that there was an agreement and I would just like to check this out so that we are operating on full information.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: Mr Chairman, I would move 15 minutes to do that rather than 10.

Mr Duignan: I would draw people's attention to the Business of the Day for today in the House. There is a standing order:

"The standing committee on general government to consider Bill 4, An Act to amend the Residential Rent Regulation Act, 1986, a discussion paper to be prepared by the Ministry of Housing dealing with long-term solutions to the rent review process in Ontario, which document shall be deemed to be referred to the committee when it is laid on the table, and matters designated pursuant to standing order 123."

That is a motion to the House today.

The Chair: That motion, with all due respect to everybody who put it together, is asking us to do Bill 4, the discussion paper and the two motions under standing order 123. Those are 12 hours each and that is 24 hours. I have to tell the committee we are not going to be able to do all this; we are going to frustrate each other for weeks on end.

Mr Mammoliti: I think Ms Poole has made a pretty good suggestion. I think if there is some confusion in regard to what the House leaders have talked about and an agreement made by them, perhaps it is in our best interests to break for 10 or 15 minutes.

The Chair: Can we keep this in mind when we are talking to our House leaders? Can we remember that there are already 46 names on a list that the clerk has told me about this morning? We have not advertised yet. We have to travel. There are going to be many, many people who wish to speak. As Chairman, I will not take these people off the list. The committee will have to do that.

When I told the House leader we needed six weeks, he said, "Well, why do you need six weeks?" I said: "Because our lists are filling up and we haven't even advertised yet. That's why. It's not because the committee doesn't have any other important business to attend to."

We will recommence at 5 after 11.

The committee recessed at 1041.


The Chair: Can I reconvene the committee for a minute while we wait for Mr Turnbull? It is imperative that we get all this resolved today. We cannot come back next Thursday to do it, so I asked that the committee return at 5 after 11. It is now past that. There is a quorum here and I will wait a few minutes longer, but shortly I will be reconvening the committee and we are going to have to start our work.

Ms Poole: I just wanted to be put on your list to speak when we do reconvene.

The Chair: There are a number of things I want to tell the committee first before we hear from everybody else, some important matters I think we should be aware of that might help the debate. So we are going to adjourn again for three or four minutes

The committee recessed at 1107.


The Chair: The committee is now reconvening. We are just returning from a 20-minute recess so that members of the committee could discuss with their House leaders and get a clearer interpretation of what they had agreed to do. Before I move on to discussion for that, there are a couple of pieces of information that I think the committee should have at its disposal.

First, I take you to the standing orders which we as a committee must follow. I take you to standing order 123(c), which reads as follows, "A report under this standing order from the subcommittee on committee business shall be deemed to be adopted and shall take precedence over all other business before the standing committee except government public bills referred to the committee."

Now this standing order, 123(c), refers to the subcommittee that had to approve the two 12-hour motions that we approved and that were eventually approved by the full committee. Those two 12-hour motions now would legally have precedence over the government's green paper or discussion paper. So while we were discussing this morning about having hearings, public and otherwise, and briefings from the ministry and clause-by-clause and then switching over to the discussion paper, as Chairman I have to advise the committee that would not be in order. What would be in order would be to move immediately to those two particular motions that were approved, and then we would go to the green paper. That poses a problem to the committee.

The other matter I want to bring to the committee's attention was forwarded to me by our research staff, just a little bit of historical data for all of us so that we have a feel for what is ahead of us. Bill 51, the Residential Rent Regulation Act, was introduced in the Ontario Legislature on 5 June 1986. Floyd Laughren was at that time Chairman of the standing committee on resources development and that is where the bill was sent. The bill was sent to that committee on 19 August 1986 and the bill was completed on 24 November 1986.

Over this three-month period the committee held 35 days of public hearings at the Legislative Building in Toronto and travelled to Kingston, Ottawa, Thunder Bay, London and Windsor. The committee heard some 182 deputations from individuals and representatives of various landlord, tenant or other organizations that appeared before the committee. The committee also received some 214 letters, briefs and other written submissions that were reviewed. When the bill was reprinted, the committee reported back to the Legislature a bill that contained some 127 approved amendments. I just point this out to the committee because I think we may have something similar before us.

Ms Harrington: A couple of points should be put on the table right at the beginning and I believe we can reach agreement on these. First of all, the government wants the very broadest public input on this issue. We all agree on this, that it is necessary and we want this. I believe the people of Ontario want their say, not specifically on Bill 4 but, more important, on the future of rent control in this province. In a long-term system that is going to be fair for our time and their time in coming out and presenting all these briefs and writing up all these briefs, it has to be something that is going to be established in this province for not just a few months.

The other thing I think we can agree on is that we do not want the length of the moratorium to be extended. The very outside was two years. We do not want that. We want it much shorter than two years and it is up to our committee to do that for the people of Ontario. We would like, if at all possible, to get this permanent legislation back to the House possibly by the end of this year.

The question you are asking me, probably, is, "How do we do that plus get the broadest consultation across this province?" What I would like to tell you is that after the next session, the consultation paper or the bill, whatever it is called -- I am not clear on all the technicalities -- will definitely be back to this committee. All through the spring and all through the summer we are going to be out there consulting on the long-term legislation. That is what we want and that is what I hope you would agree to for the people of Ontario, for their sake.

Ms Poole: As suggested, we conferred with our various House leaders. I spoke to our House leader and he confirmed that they had agreed to four weeks for the Bill 4 hearings, which included the clause-by-clause. They added an additional two weeks for the consultation on the green paper. As far as the consultation on the green paper is concerned, my understanding, and I am open for correction by any members here who have information to the contrary, is that the minister was proposing to have a number of weeks of consultation on the green paper, then to draft legislation in the next session and introduce it, and then in the summer to have a very broad consultation across the province with public hearings on the legislation for the long-term solution.

If that is the case, then I would suggest for one thing that we try to include as many public presentations for Bill 4 as possibly can be fit in, and that may well mean that we should be meeting on Mondays, it may mean that, particularly when we are travelling on the road, we will extend our hearings into the evening. Certainly every committee I have ever travelled on has done that as far as evening presentations are concerned, particularly if we are only going to be in certain communities for one day.

The Chair: I just want to interrupt for a moment. I have sat on a lot of committees over 16 years and it is not holus-bolus that we automatically sit on Mondays and in the evenings.

Ms Poole: I did not imply it was automatic.

The Chair: This particular committee has a lot of work before it and I tell the members honestly, with your other duties in the Legislature, with your duties to your constituents, with people like myself and Mr Bisson who have to travel hours to get to Queen's Park, plus get home and spend some time with our families also, which is very important, if we think that we are going to be able to do all that, sit on Mondays, sit evenings and come back ready to go at the end of March to attend the new session, I do not think we are going to last very long and I do not think it is going to work out.

Mr Duignan: On a point of order, Mr Chair: That is up to the committee to decide whether it is going to meet on Mondays or extend the sittings.

The Chair: Yes, but I also have the privilege to advise the committee and I am doing that right now. I am telling you now that I will resist motions which will have me leave my constituency on Monday, drive four hours down here, sit Monday afternoon and go home on Friday and not have time to do any of my constituency work or be with my family. I will resist that. If you as a committee feel that you should do that, well then I have no obligation but to follow your wishes. I am just trying to put before you that it is not quite that simple that we just say, "We're going to sit Mondays, we're going to sit nights and it's all going to work out."

Mr Duignan: We know that. We all have constituencies and we all have to travel as well, but we have to get on with the business of government. That is why we are here.

The Chair: Of course. That is why, before any of the committee members got anything, I asked the government for two more weeks, because I knew of the work that was before the committee.

Mr Mammoliti: There are other people on the list to speak, and if I had known we were going into this debate, I would have put myself on it as well. I suggest we get back on to the schedule of speakers.

The Chair: We will.

Ms Poole: Anyway, that was just a suggestion that we might consider meeting Monday afternoons. I can appreciate that people do have to travel and we do have constituency work, which is why I would personally be averse to meeting on Fridays, because we do have to try to keep our offices afloat and our constituents served as well and meet on the committee.

I would also like to reintroduce my suggestion that we do have more time for umbrella groups than we do for individuals so that we can fit in as many as possible.

The second suggestion would be that for the consultation stage, if we have two weeks, and again this is an option of the committee, we might consider having hearings by invitation. When we had select committee hearings on education in the past, in a couple of instances where we knew that there was no way we could begin the public consultation and do justice to it, we invited certain umbrella groups that represented the broad interests in education to attend the consultation process. Those are just a few ideas for consideration, but we obviously have a problem. I do not think any of us should want to see hearings on Bill 4 curtailed, so we are going to have to take a look at our agenda and see how we can possibly fit as much in as possible.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: Mr Chairman, I have found your remarks very helpful. I refer to the last ones first. I think you have had the longest experience here. I know that it is very tiring to travel and travel quickly throughout this province and that is what we are going to do, at least in the beginning. I also know that many of us have long ways to come and I also know that we have to have time for our constituents.

I think we have absolutely no choices; I think our choices are limited now in what we can do in that we have to abide by the rules of order of this Legislature and its committees. Those rules, particularly the rules on standing order 123, were worked over and worked over. They were not quickly determined and they were an all-party agreement. I think, as Mr Scott brought forward the other day, they are tied in with the rules of the House, opposition days and all those things. It is a very complex decision that was reached, and it was reached less than 18 months ago.


I do feel that standing order 123 matters are going to have to take precedence over the working paper. That is what the Chairman has told us, I presume from information from the clerk. I think we have to base our discussions, then, on facts. The discussion paper, I think, as I said earlier in my remarks, will likely be the work of this committee. I do know that the House leaders have agreed to this, but House leaders do have times when they have some lapses of memory of rules.

Mr Brown: Say it's not so.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: They do try to accommodate each other. That is what their job is and I think for the most part it works very well. But in this case there has obviously been some lapse of committee rules. It is a brand-new rule. As I have told everybody, this standing order 123 has only been used once in this Legislature. I am very interested in the green paper that is being produced, but I do have a great deal of difficulty with even -- and particularly with trying to get input even by invitation to a paper that will not be tabled until we are about to discuss it -- how we can advertise intelligently across the province for people or even suggest witnesses to come in when we have not seen the paper and do not know its directions.

I do know from fact that what the Chairman has told us is totally correct and a record of the number of people who are interested in the housing issue in this province. To suggest the discussion paper come here I think is in deference to our committee, but I think we have no choice but to have that done when we go back into session in March.

I have to say this from a personal point of view: I think we are all quite tired after the first five weeks. We are all fitting into new roles, those of us on this side and certainly on the other side. To not take any break, which is basically what this committee is saying -- we are going to take, I think, one or two weeks at the very most; I know my staff are creating things I should do then -- and to go back into a four-month session, where we no doubt will be asked to sit evenings, I think we should be realistic.

I would suggest that we obey the rules of order, we keep our discussion to that point and do our hearings on Bill 4. I do not even want to begin the standing order 123 subjects, but if that is what is going to be determined we should do because that is what the standing orders state, then I am certainly willing to do that. I do know that both of them are going to engender a lot of interest. I have had interviews already on our position and the subject I brought forward of cross-border shopping. This committee has a very heavy agenda. We are going to have a lot of people and it is going to mean we are going to get a lot of correspondence in our office, a lot of briefs that we are responsible for reading and likely a lot of phone calls. It is not just the case of sitting here in this room, in this protected environment.

My suggestion is that we do the four weeks of hearings and then we will have to determine whether we are going into standing order 123. I am certainly willing to listen on that. We have to fit in clause-by-clause. The discussion paper, I humbly suggest, according to the rules of order is going to have to be put to another time than this intersession.

Mr Turnbull: I have to agree to a great extent with what Mrs O'Neill has just said. Certainly all the NDP members and the two Conservative members are new to this House, so we are learning the rules as we go along. We do have other duties and we are going to have to discharge those duties. We have that duty to our constituents and we cannot let those slide under the carpet. The importance of the public hearings with respect to discussion of Bill 4 cannot be overestimated. There are going to be a lot of people who are going to wish to speak to this. Notwithstanding the fact that it is interim legislation, it still has far-reaching implications for this province, as I have said before.

It has been agreed with House leaders -- and we have confirmed now that they are in agreement -- that we will have the public hearings during the weeks of 14 January and 21 January and into 11 February and then clause-by-clause on 18 February. But it is important that we get consideration of our standing order 123. These are the important issues. Standing order 123 is something which was agreed to in the rewriting of the rules of the House. This is our opportunity for the opposition parties to get important measures before these committees, so we must ensure that they are not swept under the carpet. Clearly I am very pleased that we are going to get a look at the green paper and get a chance to consult on that. As Ms Harrington has said, this is the permanent legislation and we want to take a lot of looking at that, and certainly it will be referred back to this committee after it is introduced in the House. But this has some of the most important implications for the province and it is not just housing that we are considering, it is the way we govern this province.

An awful lot of people are watching this. It sends signals to the whole investment community, and we must not trivialize this by thinking that we can just push it through very quickly. So to the extent that we need to get standing order 123 through -- and maybe there is some give in that, but we will certainly have to start -- we can start considering the green paper before the House resumes. But it seems to me that we are going to have to sit during the House time considering the green paper and, as Mrs Harrington has said, the legislation for Bill 4 is to cover a two-year period. Therefore, there is enough time to consider this. We should allow full public discussion.

Mr Duignan: Yes, it was agreed on 6 December in relation to what the schedule would be for this committee to meet during January, February and March, and it was agreed by the House leaders that after the clause-by-clause on 18 February the discussion paper or the green paper would be reviewed for two weeks following that. I know the committee would not want to use standing order 123 for stopping the discussion paper from coming to this committee and there is a way around that particular standing order: that is unanimous consent of this committee to agree to discuss the discussion paper when we finish the clause-by-clause on Bill 4, or we can simply amend the motion before the House today.

Mr Brown: I guess I am kind of uncomfortable with what was just said in terms of, "We will do what we want." I think there is a compromise that we could be happy with here. I think that we on this side are very interested in all questions relating to housing and certainly with rent control legislation. Certainly we do not want to see this moratorium in place any longer than necessary. What if, in the interests of making things work well for everyone, we agree to have the clause-by-clause at the end of the six weeks? We give the ministry opportunity to come before us on -- I forget the date; 18 February is when it believes it will have the discussion paper. We allow them a day to make a presentation on that so it is out in the public domain. The discussions and consultations can go on. We do clause-by-clause at the end, so technically we are all debating Bill 4 and hearing consultations all through the period. In my mind, there is no rush to deal with Bill 4, because there cannot be legislation until the House comes back anyway. We are only a committee. We are hearing consultations on that and deputations about that particular bill.

I would just suggest that as a reasonable compromise that might allow you to have your consultation period. We could be sure that the green paper is presented before the committee on Bill 4. Everybody could be happy.


Mrs Y. O'Neill: On a point of information, Mr Chairman, is that correct, that we can overrule the rules of the House by unanimous consent?

The Chair: It would have to be the unanimous decision of this committee to ignore the rules.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: Is it possible to ignore rules with unanimous consent? I would certainly like a ruling from the clerk.

The Chair: Yes.

Clerk of the Committee: The most effective thing you can do is, for the 123 reports that this committee has adopted from the subcommittee, each of those reports can be amended to change the dates for consideration of those items. Then you are not contravening the standing orders. What you are doing is changing the dates so that they will be considered after you do Bill 4 and the discussion paper.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: I did not think we had dates on those.

Clerk of the Committee: We do. The first one, Mr Turnbull's, was to start 14 January. We now have a government bill which will set that aside anyway, and Mrs O'Neill's commences immediately following that.

Mr Brown: Just on that point, would that preclude those motions from coming before us in the next calendar year, if we amended the dates?

Clerk of the Committee: No.

The Chair: Or, if there was unanimous consent, we could just agree to ignore the rules.

Mr Duignan: A point of clarification on your proposal: What you are suggesting is that instead of the week of 18 February to hear clause-by-clause, we would move that back to the week of 4 March and use those two weeks in between for the public consultation on the discussion paper.

Mr Brown: What I am suggesting myself is that the green paper could be presented as part of the deputations to this committee on Bill 4, and following that, we could continue to hear people. These issues are so interrelated that I do not think there is a great deal of difficulty with them. We could continue on in that vein and it would just be a way maybe to make this committee work.

Mr Duignan: I am wondering, Mr Chairman, if we could have a recess for about five minutes so that we have a chance to discuss this.

The Chair: Let's hear from Mr Mammoliti and Mr Bisson; then we will entertain a short recess.

Mr Mammoliti: I just want to respond, first of all, to what Mr Brown said about our doing what we want, and what my colleague said. I think that is not what my colleague meant. I think what he meant was that we should be actually consulting as a committee, and I think we have proven that by bringing the consultation paper or whatever you want to call it, the green paper, to this committee. I think we want to talk and get the views of this committee. We are not, in essence, doing what we want, so I take some exception to what Mr Brown said.

I also just want to clarify that it is important for us to listen to the public -- no question, very, very important -- and I think we can agree to that. It is very important for us to be in our constituencies as well. I also want to remind everybody here that we do have the option to have somebody sit in for us. So if there are evening sessions and if we do agree to sit evenings and deal with as many public requests and suggestions, you have the option to have somebody sit in for you. That gives you time to be in your constituency and it gives you time to speak to the people you want to speak to.

Mr Bisson: I concur with our colleague here. Give us five minutes for the committee to recess and we can come back and pick up from that point.

Mr Brown: I just wanted to make a point, and I think the Chairman and I both have the same difficulty, just because we are the Chairman and Vice-Chairman. For Mr Mancini, it is four hours, at least, to get here from his constituency; mine is six and a half. The difficulty with substituting for the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman is slightly more than substituting for the other members. I am not precluding anything, but what it means to me to sit Mondays, just for an example, is that I really have to come on Sunday and I will not get out of here until Friday, so it gives me one day. Sure I can substitute, but it is a little more of a problem for the Vice-Chairman.

Mr Bisson: I want to speak on the issue, but I would like to have the five-minute recess and, when we come back, to be on the list.

Mr Turnbull: Just before we break, there is a vote in the House at 5 to 12 on a private member's thing.

The Chair: Do you need to be there?

Mr Turnbull: I need to be and then I have to represent our party at a function for the government at a quarter past 12. Are we going to be going beyond that?

The Chair: I was going to suggest to the committee that we continue to meet over the lunch hour until we reach an agreement. I do not think it will be any easier for any of us to work this afternoon.

Mr Drainville: I think we are close, actually. I do not think we are far apart.

Mr Duignan: We are not far apart.

Ms Poole: Just before we break, I think there is one other thing I would like the government members to consider, as well as opposition members. If it is not possible to complete the consultation on the green paper during the time we have been allocated during the intersession, I would propose that we extend this to the period when the House is back in session, so that may be something you would like to talk about at the same time so that you could have consensus when we come back.

The Chair: Can I offer the committee my advice before we take a five- or 10-minute recess? I only do this based on data and information that I have and based on the rules. I read into the record earlier the work that Bill 51 generated for the committee. I read into the rules how we had to abide by standing order 123. We have a good long period of time. Six weeks is a long period of time. I agree with that. We are going to have to advertise for Bill 4. If we do Bill 4, if we do the consultation paper and then if we do the 123s later on, we may need two sets of advertising.

I am trying very hard to tell the committee that I do not want this to be turned into a situation where hardly any of us know what we are doing. I want to have the work done here expeditiously and orderly for all our sakes and for the people who are going to come before us.

I am as aggressive as anybody else on the committee and I like to bite off more than I can chew sometimes too, but I am just advising the committee that the advice you are receiving from the Chairman is that I would recommend that we spend the four weeks the best way we can on Bill 4, do the two 123s and get them removed from our schedule and completed, and when the House convenes let's go right to work on the consultation paper.

I think we can handle that fairly and orderly. We will look good in doing our work. There will not be confusion. We will know how to advertise. There will not be mistakes. I think we can control that and have it done right. But I am only your Chairman. I am here to do your will, and with that we are going to convene in 10 minutes.

The committee recessed at 1139.


The Chair: We are just returning from a short recess. Discussions were to take place on how we could best handle the agenda for the six weeks of work that we have ahead of us. Is there any discussion?

Mr Bisson: What I will do is I will pass it over to Mr Duignan, basically, as the same message as I was going to give.

Mr Duignan: Basically, we want to go with what was agreed to by the House leaders because, if not, the choice of the committee to discuss the discussion paper will not happen.

The Chair: Do you have a motion?

Mr Duignan moves that report 3 of the subcommittee be amended by removing the paragraph following the heading "Dates" and substituting the following: "That the committee hold public hearings on Bill 4 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday during the weeks of 14 and 21 January and 11 February, and meet for clause-by-clause during the week of 18 February, and that following conclusion of clause-by-clause the committee then hold briefings for the remainder of the week of 18 February on the discussion paper to be tabled by the Minister of Housing, and that public hearings on the discussion paper be held in the weeks of 25 February and 4 March."

Mr Duignan: On that motion, Mr Chairman, doing it any other way would delay the moratorium by about six months and preclude this committee from being part of the discussion on the discussion paper.

Mr Turnbull: I have consulted with our House leader. We have no objection to that with the following two caveats: (I) with the understanding that the week of 18 February on our clause-by-clause hearing to the extent that we have time during that week to hear the submission by the ministry with an agreement; and (2) I would also like to make sure that there is an assurance by all members of this committee that immediately the House resits we will start without any other delay on consideration of our 123s.

The Chair: Are you placing that as an amendment to the motion or just as advice to the committee to get general agreement?

Mr Turnbull: I will place it as an amendment to the motion.

The Chair: We will have the clerk work on the amendment. While that is being done, Mr Brown.

Mr Brown: I am interested in this suggestion. Over here, we find it quite difficult to be doing business in this fashion. You are asking the committee to break the rules of the House. I guess the clerk can tell us whether we can actually do that without the consent of the House. I am not really too comfortable with the entire notion.

On the other hand, we are interested in the green paper. We are interested in the consultations. I am wondering if we can hear the number of groups in the time frame you think we can hear them in, on the moratorium or on Bill 4. I guess at this point I just have some large concerns. The politics of this is that you guys say, "Well, the opposition would not give us unanimous consent," and you beat us up because we do not want to hear about housing matters. But from our position, you are trying to take away the rights of the opposition. We have difficulty with that, too. I just put those couple of views forward for you to think about.

Ms Poole: I have several suggestions which can be put in the form of amendments, should it be desired. I would like to see the consultation document done as hearings by invitation, simply because I do not feel we could do justice to public hearings if we were to invite the public at large to participate. Second, the fact that we are so limited in the time we have means we would not be able to travel. That again would deny the public outside Toronto a chance to participate, and this certainly has been a procedure used by other committees when they have dealt with consultation documents.

Second, should we go ahead with this motion that has been proposed by the government members, I feel that if the consultation for the green paper is not completed during the time we have been allocated, I would like to have the leeway to continue it once the House is back in session. I would even be willing to limit it to a certain period, to be reasonable. But I do not feel we should cut ourselves off from completing the process if necessary, because -- do not forget -- we also have to write a report on that, and to have two weeks to have consultation, even by hearings by invitation, and to write a report is totally unrealistic. After that, I would propose that immediately the committee go to the 123s. because that is also an important part and we do not want them to be negated.

The third point I would like to make is with regard to the ad. I feel that the deadlines are too generous, particularly as we are going to have numerous presentations. To imply that people can contact the clerk for oral presentations up until 8 February and still be heard is perhaps again unrealistic. I would suggest that we tighten that time line, that people have approximately three weeks to respond --

The Chair: Could we discuss that when we get to the ads, so we do not make what we are doing even more complicated? Can we make sure that is going to be an item for discussion when we get to appropriate advertising and how much we are going to spend? There are a couple of other issues on that. I am sorry I cut you off. Is there anything further, Ms Poole?

Ms Poole: No, that is fine.

Mr B. Murdoch: My only concern was the 123s. I think David has addressed those in his amendments, so I will just let it go.

Mr Bisson: I think we have to be clear on what we are trying to do. We are trying to ensure that we do not end up in a protracted situation with regard to Bill 4. I think all members of this committee, on both sides of the House, are interested in getting to the point where we actually get to the legislation. We do not want to get into a situation where we end up prolonging the moratorium any longer than it has to be. The concerns addressed by tenants and by landlords in this province with regard to what is important for them to see in this legislation need to be taken forward. The only advice I give to the committee is, let's not put ourselves in the position where we protract the debate and the public hearings. Yes, we are interested in listening to what the people of this province have to say about rent control, but let's do that with the rent control legislation itself and let's not get into a protracted situation with regard to Bill 4.

Mr Drainville: We are just about to head into a vote upstairs in the House. Obviously, there is more discussion wanted on the issue, rather than calling for a vote immediately. Can we have some direction as to what we are going to do in terms of meeting after this vote is held?

The Chair: If the committee wishes to adjourn to get to the chamber for the vote being taken right now, we will do so. The bells will ring. How be we work until the bells ring, and then after the vote I would ask everyone to return as quickly as possible.

Mr Drainville: Let me just say a couple of very short comments. There is general agreement that we want to deal with the legislation the government is going to come in with, and what we are trying to do is facilitate that. Again, I do go back to the House leaders having discussed this; we are not trying to pressure us into going into a direction we do not want to go. We want to have broad consultation on this new legislation we want to bring forth on housing.

I too am concerned about the number of people and groups who want to make deputations to this committee on Bill 4 and will want to make deputations on the new legislation. We have discussed this among ourselves and I would hope we will be able to have an opportunity, if we need to, to sit longer hours as a committee. I know it is difficult. I too come from a great distance, four hours into the city. But we realize we have so much work to do and we cannot feel bad about that; we just have to do the best we can to try to deal with the agenda set before us. So, with the bells ringing, I will just cut my remarks short at that.

The Chair: It is a five-minute bell, so hopefully we can commence no later than 1220.

The committee recessed at 1204.


The Chair: I would like to reconvene. Before we adjourned, we were working from a list of speakers. Mrs O'Neill was next on the list.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: First, I want to say that I have difficulty when members of the government continue to talk about shortening the moratorium. It was this government that put that moratorium on and set the time line.

That being said. I have another extreme difficulty in continuing to talk about a paper that none of us is going to see until the day it is brought here. Then -- maybe I do not have enough experience, although I have been around this place in public office for quite a long time -- we are going to expect people to respond to a paper that will only be in this province for three days before we ask witnesses to come before us on the following Monday. That is a problem: I do not understand how we will find a solution to it.

I have asked the clerk to give us a breakdown of how we will ever deal with the 12-hour items. She has given me the following.

I am sorry; I did not hear the motion because I was speaking to someone at the back of the room, but I understand that at the moment there is a motion that says four weeks of Bill 4 and two weeks on the paper. If we do that and agree, as per the amendment that has been put forward by the third party, we are talking of 21 March, 28 March, 4 April, 11 April, 18 April and 27 April, and that is if nothing else comes to this committee from the House.

We are responsible for 12 ministries in this committee. It is a very heavy committee. That, to me, is somewhat unfair to those of us who are in opposition and also more than unfair to people who are interested in either of those two subject matters which have been presented by the opposition parties.

I am the only one sitting here that did the 12 hours; there has only been one experience, as I have said. When we did the food banks, we concentrated it over one week because that was only fair to the presenters. They like to hear each other and also like to hear the researchers that are brought forward.

We are going to ask people to come to Toronto over three weeks on any given subject now from across this province. In my humble opinion, this is less than efficient, less than fair and not open government. I have just told that to the NDP House leader. I certainly intend to talk to my House leader about this. I have been on committees a lot in this Legislature, and I have not yet had one bad committee experience, and every committee I sat on except the food bank one had a unanimous report. My committee experience has been very good. That is why the way we are starting on this committee is not my experience and I am finding it less than comfortable.

The Chair: Just for the benefit of the committee members, when they check their schedule -- the government House leader is in attendance, and we welcome her -- the spring break for my children is the week of 18 March. Evidently, there are two different weeks where schools have spring break. I do not intend to be here that week; I intend to be home with my children who are off school. I do not know if the assembly is going to sit that week. It will be something the House leaders and others will have to discuss in the near future.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: So now we are into May. Could we be given extra time to meet, for instance, Wednesday mornings or other days when we would not normally be meeting? As I have explained, several of us have several committees because we are smaller in numbers.

Ms Poole: I had made several suggestions to the committee before we had our recess, and I have been thinking about the matter of the 123s. I think it is extremely important that they have an opportunity to come before this committee when we are back in session. I would therefore amend my amendment when I asked that if the consultation paper hearings were not completed by the end of the session that they continue in this committee. I would like to amend that to say --

The Chair: My apologies for rudely interrupting you, but I am told by the clerk that I must require that the committee deal with the motion and the amendment first, and then we could deal with your amendment to the amendment. I am informed that that is the procedure. If you wish to inform us now about what you may be doing, I think that would be in order.

Ms Poole: Okay. I feel it would be more appropriate if the committee consider the 123s in its regular sitting time, and if we require additional time to complete our report on the consultation paper we could ask the House leaders for that additional time by this committee so that the 123s would actually take priority. I have reason to believe that the House leaders would concur if we did ask for some reasonable time to complete our report on the discussion paper. I will make that as an amendment to the amendment but I will do it at the appropriate time.

Mr Brown: Just on a point of clarification: Are we talking about the entire consultation on the green paper taking place during that two-week time frame? Is that it?

Ms Harrington: No.

Mr Brown: Okay. That is what I was trying to get at.

The Chair: I am going to ask the clerk to read the motions for us.

Clerk of the Committee: Mr Duignan moved that report 3 of the subcommittee be amended by removing the paragraph following the heading "Dates" and substituting the following:

"That the committee hold public hearings on Bill 4 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday during the weeks of 14 and 21 January and 11 February and meet for clause-by-clause during the week of 18 February, and that following conclusion of clause-by-clause the committee then hold briefings for the remainder of the week of 18 February on the discussion paper to be tabled by the Minister of Housing and that public hearings on the discussion paper be held in the weeks of 25 February and 4 March."

Mr Turnbull moved that the motion be amended by removing the words "and meet for clause-by-clause during the week of 18 February and that following conclusion of clause-by-clause the committee then hold hearings for the remainder of the week of 18 February..." and substituting therefor "upon completion of clause-by-clause during the week of February 18, the Ministry of Housing do a briefing on the discussion paper and that if the ministry is prepared to do the briefing before completion of clause-by-clause on Bill 4 during that week, that such clause-by-clause be continued into the week of 25 February to allow that briefing, and that the committee unanimously agree that the committee will consider the two standing order 123 designations immediately upon the return of the House in March."

The Chair: All in favour of the amendment? Opposed?

Mrs Y. O'Neill: I am sorry, we are having some difficulty here. We are having some difficulty particularly with the uncertainty of the 123s because there is nothing in there that says "uninterrupted" or "following concurrently" or -- I am sorry, I cannot think of the right word. "One after the other" is what I am trying to say.

The Chair: I am sorry to interrupt. The rules require that once the Chair puts the motion there be no further debate unless there is unanimous consent of the committee to have further debate. Mrs O'Neill, if you would like further debate on the motion, I would have to ask the committee for unanimous consent to do so.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: I hope I can expect that what I am saying is what is understood. I do not think that either our party or the other party would expect any different, but I am nervous at not having it in writing, and it certainly has to go back to the House leaders. I think that is what was understood. So if people can unanimously agree that what we are saying is that this takes precedence --

The Chair: Order, please. I am sorry. I want everybody to be heard as much as possible. The motion is on the floor. The Chair has called for a motion. We can only have further debate if there is unanimous consent of the committee. Are you asking for unanimous consent?

Ms Poole: I move that we have unanimous consent for a five-minute discussion, maximum, on the issue prior to returning to the vote.

The Chair: Ms Poole has moved that the committee allow five-minute discussion, maximum, on this motion before we proceed. We need unanimous consent to do so.

Agreed to.

The Chair: Mrs O'Neil, I am sorry I had to cut you off at that time.

Mr Brown: Can we get a copy of that?

The Chair: We need copies of the amendments. The clerk will work on that immediately.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: All I wanted to do was make sure that the 123 matters are dealt with immediately, which is an awful long immediately. I guess now we have to change the dates. We were supposed to put dates to these, as we did in the beginning, beginning with Mr Turnbull's motion on 28 March -- I presume that is now the new date because you said you cannot be here on the 21st, or will not be -- and mine will be appearing at the beginning of 18 April. If those are changed again, as they have been this morning, I will have to accept that. Those are the three Thursdays, unless at this moment we can agree to ask for extra time.

The Chair: That was 28 March and 18 April?

Mrs Y. O'Neill: Those would be the dates that we would begin those two requests.

The Chair: Does the full committee understand? We do not necessarily need a motion now during this particular discussion. We understand we are going to deal with the two 123s on 28 March and 18 April, as the record will show.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: If the committee decides, we could decide and ask for closer to two six-hour periods or an eight, or whatever, falling out of those two dates.

The Chair: I understand.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: We do not have to keep, but now we will have dates upon which we can --

The Chair: Commence.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: -- give people an idea. I am already, as I said, getting requests asking when we are going to deal with this matter.

The Chair: Can I also inform the committee at this time that under the rules, even though we have set these dates, if further government legislation comes to this committee, that precedes the two 12-hour motions.


The Chair: I think we should be aware of it, that is all. We should just be aware of the possibilities. I am not saying anything will happen.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: The NDP House leader has assured me that if we want extra time to deal with the 12 hours, we will be given it.

Mr Duignan: I was just about to say the same thing.


Ms Poole: I think the matter Mrs O'Neill has raised is very important, and I am glad that is on the record. But there is another point to Mr Turnbull's amendment I would like to just draw to your attention. What we have basically said is that if we find that we need more time for the clause-by-clause, we will delay briefings for the ministry. I appreciate the spirit of that.

My only problem is that if we want to line up witnesses to start appearing before us the week of 25 February, it is going to be difficult to maintain any type of flexibility. It means that we will either have to line up witnesses and tell them they may have to delay till the end of our presentation time if we need the time for other matters, or we are going to have to leave a couple of free days, in which case if we do have the clause-by-clause done and the briefings completed, we will have a couple of days wasted. That is my only concern in that we may have to make a more immediate decision. Perhaps we could leave that to the subcommittee, the steering committee, to take a look at the scheduling when it is allotted and, if necessary, make adjustments.

The Chair: Our research staff advises me that I should inform the committee that it is very, very helpful and it has always proved helpful in the past to get the briefings done first. It helps the committee, and it has worked. These are complicated matters, very, very technical. Our researcher has gone through this procedure once before under Bill 51, and his personal experience is such that I think his advice is good.

Ms Poole: Just a point of clarification. I certainly was not suggesting that we do not have the briefings.

The Chair: Before we have the --

Ms Poole: We have to have the briefings before we go into the consultation document, because they are very complex matters. I was suggesting that maintaining a flexible schedule may create its own difficulties in that if we have problems, how do we schedule the witnesses?

Mr Drainville: I take that point. I think it is a valid point, and it is one of the difficulties in all of this complexity to try to get a timetable which is going to be able to accommodate everyone on these very major issues that are before us. I just want to say that in terms of that I think there is general agreement, on our side anyway, that what we want to try to do is accommodate and get all of these issues, including the 123s, through as expeditiously as possible. Since the House leaders have agreed on that as well, as Mrs O'Neill has indicated, then I do not think there is any --

Mrs Y. O'Neill: Your House leader has; I have still got to work on mine.

Ms Poole: But since our House leader is a most reasonable man, I think we can count on that.

The Chair: Our research staff also advises that when we start Bill 4, day one should possibly be such that we may receive a minister's statement and technical explanation from the ministry's senior staff. I think it is a good suggestion, and I am going to make sure that it is arranged in that manner.

Mr Drainville: Just to end, a point of clarification. Again, it springs from the fact that I am not as acquainted as other people are about the various ways these committees work. Let us say, for instance, we have a large list now of people who want to speak to us on Bill 4; let's say that list doubled. It could; that is possible. After all these decisions have been made today, does the committee then still have the power to say, "Okay, we're going to add this day or that day," or "We're going to sit in the evenings" or "We're going to this or that"?

I realize the difficulties. Again, I come from far out of town as well, and the pressure is on all our time. But I am just saying I know, on our side, that when we have been meeting together we have expressed our need to be consulted on these issues. I just want to know where our committee is on that score.

The Chair: That is exactly the reason why I suggested to the committee earlier that we follow a different course of action, which I take that we are not going to follow. I firmly believe that there is going to come a point in time where we are going to have a substantial list. I only say this based on the experiences that I read in the record from Bill 51, and I only say this based on the fact that the clerk tells me there are 46 people on the list already and we have not even advertised. I firmly believe we are going to come to the point in time where we are not going to come close to hearing everyone but we will be running out of time. As Chairman of the committee, that puts me in a very delicate position. I have no answer for the committee. I thought I had an answer for the committee, but it was not acceptable to the full committee. I do not know what we are going to do, but we may need a motion from someone to curtail the hearings.

Mr Duignan: On a point of information. I understand there is a motion going before the House this afternoon to grant extra days, if any committee wishes, during the break I think, on agreement of the House leaders.

The Chair: We have no extra days. Where would those extra days come from?

Mr Duignan: If we want to sit, for example, in the weeks we are not sitting. We are not sitting on the week of 4 February.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: One week. There is only one week we are not sitting.

The Chair: I do not know how we could sit those extra weeks, because with all due respect to all members of the committee, once my office in Leamington receives this, they will immediately start to work on things that I should be doing in the constituency. I am sure all other offices operate the same way. There will be public events and speeches, I may hold town hall meetings. I am not sure what the office will arrange for me.

Mr Duignan: I am only saying that the motion will be today.

Ms Harrington: I would start by going back to the question that was raised by my two fellow members with regard to making sure that we are hearing from everyone. I just want to go back and say that we will be dealing with this in the spring and the summer. There are going to be many people and we do not want to cut them off.

With regard to standing order 123, I have also let my city council know that cross-border shopping will be discussed and told it that the date in January may be difficult but I believe it is something that cannot be put off for a long time. Many issues are very important. These two that have been brought forward as 123s we should be dealing with. I have people in my city who want to be part of that. I do not want to put them off that much longer either, because it is a very timely issue.

Mr Duignan: On a point of order, Mr Chairman: We had an agreement of five minutes to discuss this.

The Chair: I agree. The reason I extended it on my own volition was that the debate had come from the Liberals and I saw interest from other parties. I was trying to be fair. The five minutes has expired. We are going to get back to regular business. The clerk should be back shortly with the full printed copies of the motion and the amendment for everyone.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: Will the amendment now have these dates in it? Is that generally understood?

The Chair: We will see the document when it arrives.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: Certainly many more people than ourselves need to know this, I think it should be in writing somewhere.

The Chair: Everything has arrived. For the sake of clarity, I am going to ask that the motion be reread. I am going to ask the clerk that we go over the same ground and that the motion and the amendment be reread so that there is full clarity on what we are doing.

Mr Duignan moves that report 3 of the subcommittee be amended by removing the paragraph following the heading "Dates" and substituting the following:

"That the committee hold public hearings on Bill 4 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday during the weeks of 14 and 21 January and 11 February and meet for clause-by-clause during the week of 18 February and that, following conclusion of clause-by-clause, the committee then hold briefings for the remainder of the week of 18 February on the discussion paper to be tabled by the Ministry of Housing, and that public hearings on the discussion paper be held the weeks of 25 February and 4 March."

Mr Turnbull moves that the motion be amended by removing the words "and meet for clause-by-clause during the week of 18 February and that following conclusion of clause-by-clause the committee then hold briefings for the remainder of the week of 18 February on the discussion paper to be tabled by the Minister of Housing" and that the following be substituted therefor:

"That upon completion of clause-by-clause during the week of 18 February, the Ministry of Housing do a briefing on the discussion paper and that if the ministry is prepared to do the briefing before completion of clause-by-clause on Bill 4, such clause-by-clause be continued into the week of 25 February to allow the briefing, and that the committee agree that it will consider the two standing order 123 designations immediately upon the return of the House."


Mrs Y. O'Neill: While the clerk was out, we agreed to dates that would help us and everybody who reads this understand what we mean by that. We gave two dates to the resumption immediately upon return to the House.

The Chair: Those dates are in the record.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: Can we put them in this motion?

The Chair: Yes. If it is a friendly amendment, can we agree to insert that immediately?

Clerk of the Committee: It is my understanding then that the motion reads, "That the committee agree that it will commence consideration of the two standing order 123 designations on 28 March and 18 April respectively.

The Chair: All in favour of the amendment?

Motion agreed to.

The Chair: All in favour of the motion?

Motion, as amended, agreed to.

The Chair: Based on our discussions earlier on and the advice I have received from our research staff, I am going to ask the clerk to write to the minister, advising the minister that we would request his attendance on the first day of hearings of Bill 4 for a full explanation or whatever he wishes to say to us, and also for briefings from the ministry staff. We will follow the same procedure for the green paper or consultation paper so the committee knows that we are going to be doing this.

We have a number of other items to complete this morning.

Mr Mammoliti: On a point of privilege. Mr Chairman: If at all possible, would the clerk's office be able to compose a calendar such as this one, with dates, times and where we are going to be so that we know if we have to substitute somebody for our meeting or whatever, as quickly as possible?

The Chair: Your suggestion is noted.

I would like to move to some other parts of business. We have now completed the number one item on the subcommittee report of Thursday 13 December dealing with dates. I would now like the committee's attention to turn to the travel that the subcommittee had agreed to. For everyone's recollection, the committee decided that we would travel early in our hearings to Ottawa, Sudbury, Thunder Bay and Windsor and that the committee would also hold more hearings in other regions of the province, or cities or areas, if the committee deemed necessary. Is the full committee in agreement with the subcommittee's work in this matter?

Mr Turnbull: Just one comment on the choice of these locations: My only thought is that I wonder if it takes into account the number of people who will want to address us by area. I recognize that we can substitute other locations, or we can add other locations, but is that where the bulk of tenants are who are likely to want --

The Chair: It has been our experience that these areas named serve as regional centres for the province, and it has been our experience, rightly or wrongly, that it is easy for people in that particular region to get to Thunder Bay. We may want to add Sault Ste Marie, I do not know; we may want to add Kingston and we may want to add other areas.

Mr Duignan: I understand there will be interest coming from the Waterloo-Kitchener-Cambridge area too.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: I have had a request from London.

Mr Duignan: And London.

The Chair: I think it is fair, a two-hour travel time. I think anything more than that makes it cumbersome for whoever wishes to make a presentation.

Mr Duignan: I suggest that if we are going to hold hearings in Toronto, for example, maybe we could hold them somewhere out in the suburbs of Toronto where it is a little easier for people to come in from the London-Kitchener-Cambridge area.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: That's too expensive.

The Chair: That will be something for the committee to discuss as we go along. That is up to the committee. That would be totally up to the committee. As the Chairman, I can only give you the best advice possible.

Are we in agreement then with the subcommittee's report on travel? Thank you.

Scheduling: Ms Poole had brought to our attention her views on scheduling. We had agreed that all witnesses be given 20 minutes for their presentations and that up to 20 minutes be reserved for questions, divided equally among the three parties. Ms Poole informed us earlier in the committee meeting this morning that she has a concern about this and wishes us to consider her advice.

Ms Poole: From having sat on a number of other committees, I just find that allowing 40 minutes for individual presentations is excessively long, particularly when we may be forced to curtail the number of people we speak to.

I can understand, when there are umbrella groups that represent a large number of tenants or a large number of landlords, that they might require additional time because they are acting on behalf of many, many people. I would suggest that we have two criteria, and this again is not deviating from precedent in many cases, of having perhaps 10 minutes for individual presentations with 10 minutes of questioning time and to double that for umbrella groups.

The Chair: Any discussion on this suggestion?

Mr Duignan: It seems reasonable to me except that it is hard to divide 3 into 10 or 3 into 20. Perhaps we could have, say, 9 minutes or 12 minutes or 21 minutes or 18 minutes. That kind of keeps time fairly even between the parties.

The Chair: My view is that for all of these things we will probably run a minute or two over to accommodate everybody's particular wishes. We can do odd numbers.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: I certainly agree with you, Mr Chairman. Having chaired here, I know it is impossible to cut somebody off in the middle of a sentence, and that could also apply to witnesses in the middle of a sentence. That is what that would involve if we are talking about 3, 9 or 4.5 minutes.

There are individuals who come before committees, and I am thinking from past experience -- for instance, when we did the section on child poverty, we had somebody from McMaster University who had done extensive research. I think then that this individual, and apparently he is the authority in Ontario, if not Canada -- we have to then have that person considered as representing an umbrella group, even though he is talking to his own research.

There are other people we invited. For instance, when we did the food banks we had a person come in from the United States who gave a very good overview of much of the experience there. We may want to say that person gets half an hour.

I think when you get the list of witnesses, I definitely agree with Ms Poole. This is a good general rule but, as you have just said about the questions, there will be some exceptions and some flexibility. I do think we should stick as close as possible to our guidelines, realizing that we will have to make decisions sometimes on a daily basis regarding the time.


Mr Turnbull: Where we have somebody who is obviously well prepared and has done a lot of research, I agree that we should allow him some extra time. It is obviously important that we get to as many witnesses as possible. If we are going to be cutting it off after three weeks of discussion, it is important that we make sure we accommodate the people who wish to speak to it. But I would just comment that if we have a situation where we have multiple tenants from one building wishing to speak as individual witnesses, I think it is important that the property owner be accorded the consideration that he is speaking on behalf of a group, just in order to allow fairness. Do I make myself clear on what I am saying there'?

Mr Mammoliti: Just two points: How are we going to relay this? Are we going to do it through the ads and let them know that they get a certain amount of time to speak? Second, what are we going to do with this scenario? A group of people, an umbrella group, wants to speak. They put their name on the list. They know through an ad that you have the privilege of speaking as an individual as well, and they put everybody who belongs to that umbrella group on the list. That sort of thing may crop up and I am just trying to figure out how we would deal with that particular item if it did. How would we know as well? Those two items, then.

The Chair: I think I can answer your first question. Your first question was, how will we communicate to the presenters what their time limits are? The clerk will do that after receiving their advice that they wish to appear before us. Your second question is very difficult to deal with and I am not sure how we are going to be able to do that. I understand your concerns, they are very legitimate, but I do not know how in advance, at this stage --

Mrs Y. O'Neill: Can we not just insist that these people give their addresses? I mean, they are talking about where they live. If they all come in from the same apartment building, I think we have to ask them to have a spokesperson. That is what we had to do with education matters. We certainly did not have every teacher in the school or every parent.

The Chair: We will ask for addresses. What I will do is I will ask the clerk that, if upon receiving lists and information on who wishes to speak, it appears that there are 15 speakers from one particular address, we will then obtain more information and see if they can make their presentation as a group. The committee will be informed, of course, because it will have to be your decision as to what we are going to do on these matters, just like it is going to have to be your decision how we are going to deal with the people we are not going to be able to hear. That is going to be a problem.

Mr Drainville: My point is exactly on what has been raised by Mr Turnbull. It seems to me, again, no matter whether we stick with the list that we have or whether the list is doubled in terms of the people who want to speak to this committee, we are going to have trouble scheduling. That is just the way it is. In terms of that, I think it needs to be said that we should not have multiple people speaking from a particular dwelling. If we have one building, let us say, if they are given the opportunity to speak, they should choose who they want to speak on their behalf, and they become an individual speaking. Then also the landlord is an individual speaking about his particular thing. I think really they should be kept to 10 and 10.

It is different for the Federation of Metro Tenants' Associations. That is an umbrella group, a bona fide one, or the landlords' association of Metro Toronto, if there is such a thing, and that would be an umbrella group. But in terms of a particular dwelling, I think it would be only fair to say that you have an individual from 75 Smith Ave, and if there is a landlord from 45 Montrose, then he speaks, and they each speak for 10 minutes and 10. In that way they do get an opportunity to speak, but they speak as individuals.

Ms Poole: I think both points that have been raised are good points, but I think we can leave a lot to the discretion of the clerk, and she will certainly be calling upon the subcommittee. Some decisions which seem difficult now will become obvious as we move along and we know how many we have to slot in. The clerk does not give automatic time as soon as somebody phones up and says, "I want an appointment." She waits until she has a considerable number and she knows how tight the scheduling has to be and what she has to do. Certainly things like looking at the addresses and making sure that there are not 20 individual presentations from one building would be part of what she would automatically do.

I think we can safely leave that to the steering committee, if the clerk needs its assistance. But I think it is good that you have raised the point so that we at least have a chance to discuss it at this stage.

The Chair: Very good. Thank you. We will note that.

Mr Turnbull: Certainly I think that is a reasonable suggestion as to how to handle it. Obviously we will run also into the situation where we may have tenants who speak from various buildings, and in fact it might be one landlord who owns many buildings. If some cogent points have been brought up by the tenants, I think it is only appropriate that a landlord who owns multiple buildings should be given extra time in order to address those specific points, if in fact that is the issue. But I would be happy to defer to the chair.

The Chair: The Chair cannot make these decisions. The Chair will do the following: The Chair through the clerk will advise organizations that they have 20 and 20, and the Chair through the clerk will advise individuals that they have 10 and 10. We are not in a position to make all these judgements based on what we receive on paper. As we know, the committee can on a unanimous basis do certain things or do just about anything.

I am sure that during our many weeks of hearings all of us are going to show some flexibility. On one particular day, requests may come from any side of this committee room and it will be up to the committee members to judge for themselves on that particular occasion how generous they want to be with requests that come from committee members to extend time or to make special arrangements for certain individuals and/or groups. We will have to just do the best we can as a committee.

Mr Turnbull: In view of the extremely tight time frames that we are going to be working under and the need to hear from as many people as possible and take this into consideration, I would encourage, even though I believe it is not the custom, that in the advertisements we place we request that anybody wishing to speak to this make his submission in writing. In that way we can ensure that we have some qualitative view as to how much time we are going to give. If indeed somebody is going to be missed from the speaking sequence, then I think it should be the people who have a less than clear view as to what they are presenting.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: I think that is an ideal, but I honestly think it is unfair. I feel that there are people in this province who have not had the benefits that some of the rest of us have had. They may be tenants for the most part, but some of them may be landlords. They may be new to our country. They do not have the resources of copying machines, clerical help and fax machines that we all have. I feel very strongly that we ask people, and I would say that 90% of the people who come to Queen's Park can accommodate us, but sometimes the most poignant witnessing that I have seen here has been from those who we could not demand that of, whether that be an elderly person, a person with disabilities or a person who has not got the resources that I have just mentioned.

I think we have to be open and I do not think that we should bump people because they cannot accommodate that. As I say, whatever they say will be recorded and it will be in writing in the end, but for the most part people can accommodate. For those who cannot I think it would be, I am afraid, discrimination in my opinion.

Mr Turnbull: In view of what Mrs O'Neill has said, and I think it is a good point, I would withdraw that and suggest then that in the advertisements we encourage people to make written submissions and in that way if we do have to make any selection we can make some sort of qualitative judgement.


Mr Duignan: I was just about to make that point as well, that we encourage people, where possible, to make written submissions but we should not exclude anyone because they have not sent in a written submission.

The Chair: I would even advise the committee not to even put it in the advertisement. It just makes it longer and another obligation on who wants to come. If we are not going to require it, why put it in the advertisement anyway?

Clerk of the Committee: If this helps the committee at all, when an organization is scheduled, we tell them over the phone that it is helpful to the committee if there is a written submission provided. Sometimes they are not able to get that to the committee in advance and they bring it with them at the time they are scheduled to appear, but we usually do ask for something written. In addition, the committee may find it helpful to also ask for a summary to be included in that written submission.

Ms Poole: I was actually just going to pass on some of the information the clerk just did. My past experience has been that the clerk usually asks at the time they phone to make an appointment. She mentions the time limitations and she asks them if they have a written presentation that it be submitted in advance so that it can be distributed, but it is also the prerogative of the Chair at the time, if a last-minute written presentation appears to be an inch thick, to reiterate the time and ask them to summarize their brief instead of reading it directly into the record.

The Chair: Yes, and I will note that.

I take it that the committee has agreed with the 20 and 20, and 10 and 10 rule and it will be up to the full committee to deviate from that.

Lastly -- we are almost finished -- advertising: The subcommittee agreed that we would put ads in all Ontario daily newspapers, including Le Droit, and in a cross-section of the ethnic press during the first week of January 1991. I want to bring to the committee's attention that to put ads in all of the daily papers, as we discussed, would cost about $20,000, and to include the ethnic press would raise the cost to $70,000. It is going to be up to the committee. I would recommend against it, but it is going to be up to the committee to decide. It is an extra $50,000. It is up to you.

Any discussion?

Mrs Y. O'Neill: We said dailies and a sampling of the ethnic press. You said the $50,000 had to do with weeklies?

The Chair: No, just the ethnic press. It is $20,000 for the dailies.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: We are doing nothing about the weekly press.

The Chair: It was discussed at the subcommittee and it was agreed at the subcommittee that it might be overly expensive.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: When we talk ethnic press are we talking the francophone press?

Clerk of the Committee: Would you like me to tell you which languages are in the ethnic press? French is not; it is Le Droit only.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: Okay. Do you want to speak to the languages? Could you give us an idea of what we are speaking about?

The Chair: Arabic, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, German, Austrian, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Jewish, Korean, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Serbian, Slovak, Spanish, Ukrainian, West Indies, Caribbean, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, English, Ismaeli/English.

Mr Duignan: What about Irish?

The Chair: The Irish are not on this list.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: That is $50,000 you just read, right?

The Chair: That is $50,000 for this list.

Mr Mammoliti: On a point of information. Mr Chairman: What has been the precedent in the past? What has been done in the past?

The Chair: Both have been done in the past.

Mr Mammoliti: All of this has been done?

The Chair: Both have been done, either the dailies and/or dailies and all of this. It is up to the committee.

Mr Drainville: Just a small thing: Obviously the subcommittee talked about this and I will go with whatever the committee decides, but I want to say as a member of Parliament for an area in which very often we do not get dailies that there are places in my riding that only get weekly newspapers, that it presents a bit of a problem just in getting the information that such a thing is being -- I think that is significant, but I do not know what this committee wants to do with that. I realize that the cost factor is an important one and I do not know how to saw that off in a way that is fair to everyone concerned.

The Chair: We discussed that at the subcommittee and the problem there was we could not agree on which weeklies we would choose. For example, in my riding there are six weeklies and I could only agree to a situation where there would be ads in all six. I would not know how to choose one of the six or three of the six. It would not be fair.

Mr Drainville: For instance, I have one county which has two dailies and what I would say is they should have it in those two dailies. The other county gets all the other daily papers and what have you, so there is no problem, but one of the counties does not and it is not always easy to get information.

Mr Duignan: This was discussed at some length by the subcommittee and it was felt that the costs would be prohibitive. For example, in my riding I have six weekly newspapers as well and I think if you multiply that by 130, or fairly close to it, it would be a horrendous cost.

I did suggest that if we have an opportunity where we write columns every week in our local weekly newspapers, in one of those columns we would mention the fact that this process is ongoing and possibly get that information out that way.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: That will encourage those who do not write columns to write them.

Ms Poole: It is a difficult problem. You want to be fair and notify as many people as possible, but I think $50,000 in a time of recession and economic downturn is just out of the question.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: That is the same as our travel budget.

Ms Poole: Exactly. What I would propose is that we do limit ourselves to the dailies for the most part but that perhaps we could take a cross-section of the ethnic groups, maybe the top four or five demographically chosen ethnic groups where they have a substantial proportion, and limit ourselves to advertising there.

As far as the weeklies are concerned, I have quite a sympathy for those members who just simply do not have dailies in their areas. Do we have any kind of breakdown where they have weeklies only and no dailies available to the population base, or is that information just not available to us?

Clerk of the Committee: I would have to check with the advertising agency of record to see if it does.

Ms Poole: In an area like Windsor, which has dailies, I could not see justifying having it advertised in the weeklies. I could justify it in an area where they do not have any daily newspapers. If that breakdown is available, normally advertising in the weeklies is considerably cheaper than advertising in the Toronto Star, for instance, and it might not overwhelm our budget to include some of those weeklies.

Mr Turnbull: As has been mentioned on several occasions, this is temporary legislation and I think the people who are concerned about it are already reasonably well informed about the implications of this. I think that in a time of economic hardship we should not be spending $50,000 which quite legitimately could be used towards helping poor people rather than advertising.

This is temporary legislation. We have been told by our friends in the NDP that they hope it is going to be a lot less than two years that this is going to apply. So let's not be spending $50,000 for the ethnic press at this moment. Certainly when we get to the information which will be contained in the green paper, I think it is much more appropriate that we spend the money then.

Mr Duignan: Even if we find out that particular information, you still could end up with 60 ridings with just weeklies in there. You have anywhere from four to six weeklies in one of the ridings and you would have to make a choice of which one you would have to put an ad in. You just could not afford to put it in them all. Those ads are still going to cost a minimum of $200 each. If you multiply that by six, it is $1,200, multiplied by 60, a fair amount of money.

Mr Drainville: I am just going to withdraw. I made the objection because I just wanted to make it, because I think it needed to be made. It is not a simple matter. There are fiscal restraints involved and I am backing off. I just wanted to make that statement. I think we needed to look at that, but I will follow the committee's direction on this.

The Chair: Can I suggest that the committee advertise in all Ontario daily newspapers, including Le Droit? The cost is in the neighbourhood of $20,000.

Mr Duignan: On the ad itself?

The Chair: The same as what we showed the other day in the subcommittee.


Mr Duignan: When it says the hearings will be held in Toronto, Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Ottawa and Windsor, I wonder if you could add the words "and other areas as may be required."

Ms Poole: I actually had almost identical wording to propose. I had "and at other centres as required." I certainly do not have an objection to that.

The Chair: The only difficulty I have with that is my concern, as I expressed on several occasions this morning already, that I do not believe we are going to have enough time to do everything we want to do. Now we are raising expectations even higher by saying that we are not only going to go to Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Ottawa, Windsor, we may even go to other areas. With all due respect to the committee, people are going to look at me, as the Chairman, as to why this committee is not functioning properly. They are going to look at me as to why there are 100 people on the list who are not going to be heard.

Mr Mammoliti: Now we know who to blame.

The Chair: We do not have the time. I tried to give you the time.

Ms Poole: I can sympathize with what the Chair has said, because those are our four core centres. They are the only places I ever got to travel in the last three years. I knew the circuit quite well.

Part of the problem is sometimes, for instance, when the select committee went to Thunder Bay and Sudbury, we did not have enough presentations to fill up the date, particularly on an issue like this, which is primarily going to have quite an effect on the urban centres. I suspect you will probably get people from the north who will be basically saying: "Why do we need this province-wide legislation when we're from the north and we don't have the problems. You're foisting this on us." That will probably be the tone.

Why do we not just put something in like, "the committee will travel as may be required" and not put any centres in? Then if we find that we have 50 presentations from London and two from Sudbury, that will dictate. The other option the committee has is to say to the two people from Sudbury that it costs a lot less to pay for their travel expenses here than it does for 15 people.


The Chair: Order, please. We have to wrap this up by 1:30 because the bells will be ringing again. This is not an intrinsic point here. Can we just not adopt what the subcommittee thrashed out thoroughly?

Mrs Y. O'Neill: You have to let people know some of the thoughts we had.

Mr Duignan: You are right, if we only get two from Thunder Bay and we get 50 or 100 from London or other areas like that, we should maybe be a little flexible. But I am willing to go with the way it is right now.

Mr Bisson: Just to get on the record on one thing. I agree with the recommendations of the subcommittee, but just one point in regard to what Ms Poole was saying. I understand what she is saying, but it costs money to run a democracy and democracy means that people need to be heard. If that is in northern Ontario or southern Ontario or east or west, so be it. If it is only two people in Sudbury or three people in Thunder Bay, they deserve to be heard, and that is basically what we need to do over here.

Mr Drainville: We can bring them down.

Mr Bisson: When anybody riles me about the north, all of a sudden I just get all excited. I am sorry.

Mr Turnbull: I respect what Gilles is saying, that obviously people in the north do get annoyed at being ignored. If we find that numbers are insufficient in an area, surely it is going to be cheaper for us to fly the people down or, alternatively, arrange for videoconferencing with these people so that their views can be heard and we are not wasting government money. That would be my suggestion and that can be done within the committee by a simple decision.

The Chair: It is interesting that we are making arrangements to hear more people.

Ms Poole: I just want to reassure Mr Bisson that I was not saying we should not travel to the north. I come from Matheson; so am I going to tell people not to travel?

Mr Bisson: You are the one?

Ms Poole: I am the one. I am from Matheson.

Mr Bisson: Great, right in my riding. If you have a problem come and see me.

Ms Poole: I certainly am not going to suggest that. I am just saying that from experience we have found that on certain issues there is much less of an interest, and that whether it be from Windsor or wherever, it has been cheaper to fly them to Toronto and then to continue our committee hearings in areas of greater interest.

We would have to make that decision, probably our subcommittee would make it, once we see how many we have from each area, but it should be something the committee is aware may happen if there is not enough demand. If our committee has to hear a number of presentations or deny a number of presentations from other areas, we may have to make those hard decisions.

Mr Bisson: One of the ways that you foster interest --

Mr Duignan: Just to wrap it up, if we go with these areas on this particular discussion, we would look at going to other areas other than these just to broaden the scope around the province.

The Chair: I agree with you. We should go to other areas. I caution the committee that I doubt time will allow that.

Ms Poole: I brought up a matter earlier on which you asked me to wait. I will try to make it very brief. I would like to propose that should the committee require additional time to complete the report on the discussion paper, we go to the House leaders once the House is in session and request extra time for the committee so that this could be completed. From our discussion with the government House leader, I do not think this is a problem but I felt it should be on the record.

Second, I would recommend that hearings on the consultation paper be by invitation and that members provide a list as soon as possible to the clerk as to the umbrella groups that they feel it would be appropriate for us to invite.

The third was just that I thought the dates mentioned in the ad were too generous, that briefs should be deposited by Monday 25 February. If we are going into clause-by-clause on 18 February, it is not much help to get briefs after we have completed the clause-by-clause, and second, that I think appointments should be in to the clerk for oral presentations no later than Friday 25 January, because otherwise I think we are leading people to have expectations that if they call on 7 February, they will be able to get on and it just appears it is not going to be true.

The Chair: We have noted those suggestions.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: I would speak to those remarks.

I am having difficulty with this paper that I have not seen, nor anyone else, taking precedence in this committee. I feel we should be getting our discipline in order by saying we give it two weeks. If we are going to now say extra time then that means, in my opinion, and I hope in the opinion of this committee, that extra time comes after the two 12 hours. The two 12 hours, unless we change the schedule of this committee, are now into May.

I have heard that this committee is not the only group that is going to be asked to look at this green paper. I feel that if we devote two weeks, that is a long time for a committee to devote to anything.

Mr Duignan: I understand that, but we have agreed to a motion to do just that.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: Is this an amendment to the amendment that passed? I did not hear this amendment to the amendment.

The Chair: We agreed to --

Mr Duignan: What I mean is we have already reached agreement on the time we are going to spend.

The Chair: We agreed that the --

Mrs Y. O'Neill: You are agreeing to the dates for the 12 hours.

The Chair: Yes, it is already in the motion.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: Okay, well this is something entirely new. I have a lot of difficulty with this because we are now asking for additional time for two things and this one is not written down. I think we should, as a committee, decide right now that we give two hours to the green paper. If we want to discuss that again in April, I am willing to do that, but right now I do not think we should be even thinking about talking about extra time for the two weeks we are devoting to a paper that we have not yet seen.

Mr Duignan: I believe we have a motion on the floor that we agreed to and we should stick with that for the moment.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: Okay, that is good then.

The Chair: As chairman, I believe we have concluded all of the business.

Mr Mammoliti: On a point of privilege, Mr Chairman: I am really sorry; it is only going to take two seconds. I think the new people on the committee would like to know, as well as myself -- as you stated earlier, family time is very important. While we are travelling, I would like to ask the clerk that if possible, where possible I would like to have my family come out. I would like to know the procedure for that. Maybe the clerk's office can explain how this comes about. I do not know; I am asking. It is very important for me.

The Chair: I will ask the clerk to answer all your questions on that particular matter.

I want to say to the full committee that as far as I am concerned, we have now adopted report 3 of the subcommittee of Thursday 13 December, with some amendments. We are going to be starting our work early in January. Thank you for your co-operation and have a nice holiday.

The committee adjourned at 1331.