Thursday 28 February 1991

Residential Rent Regulation Amendment Act, 1990, Bill 4



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)


Dadamo, George (Windsor-Sandwich NDP) for Mr Mammoliti

Lessard, Wayne (Windsor-Walkerville NDP) for Mr Duignan

Mahoney, Steven W. (Mississauga West L) for Mrs Y. O'Neill

Poole, Dianne (Eglinton L) for Mr Scott

Ward, Margery (Don Mills NDP) for Mr Bisson

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

Clerk: Deller, Deborah


Baldwin, Elizabeth, Legislative Counsel

Hunter, Leith, Legislative Counsel

Richmond, Jerry, Research Officer, Legislative Research Service

The committee met at 1015 in room 228.


Resuming consideration of Bill 4, An Act to amend the Residential Rent Regulation Act, 1986.

Section 8:

The Chair: The committee is continuing its clause-by-clause review of Bill 4, An Act to amend the Residential Rent Regulation Act, 1986. Yesterday when the committee adjourned we were debating an amendment by Ms Poole to section 8 of the bill, section 100tb of the act. During that particular time in the afternoon Mr Drainville had the floor and it was agreed by the committee that when the committee commenced this morning Mr Drainville would be allowed to finish his comments, so we are going to continue with the debate on Ms Poole's amendment and I recognize Mr Drainville.

Mr Drainville: I am glad to have had the evening to have rested and prepared myself for my remarks today.

As I was saying yesterday, this talk of economic eviction is an interesting line being put forward by the opposition parties. They do a great deal of speaking about the needs of tenants.

Mr Mahoney: Good thing somebody does.

Mr Drainville: We had a comment made by the opposition members as to the wonderful legislation that had been put forth by the previous government in terms of Bill 51 and other companion pieces of legislation. What we have seen in terms of this very issue of economic eviction, for all the vaunted comments about the wonderful pieces of legislation in the past, was that indeed that policy was a total and absolute disaster. In 1985, for instance, that government announced its assured housing program. In five years of governing, the waiting list for assisted housing doubled from 22,000 to 42,000 households.

Ms Poole: On a point of order, Mr Chair: On numerous occasions Mr Mammoliti said on a point of order that the member was not on the topic. I think we have been quite tolerant of what Mr Drainville was saying yesterday, but I would ask you to keep his comments to economic eviction.

The Chair: If committee members will recall, yesterday I informed Mr Mammoliti that I believe the committee should have wide-ranging discussion on the issues put forward in Bill 4. At that time I also asked members, during the course of their argument, when they are concluding their argument, to try to relate what they had to say to Bill 4. I am going to stand by my ruling of yesterday and I am going to ask Mr Drainville to continue.

Mr Drainville: Thank you, Mr Chair. I can take as many points of order as the honourable members wish to make, because we know the game that they are trying to play, and that is to stall the clause-by-clause which we are going through; and it matters not a whit because the truth will out, and that is precisely what I am getting to at this point.

As I was saying before I was interrupted, in 1985 the Liberal government announced its assured housing program, and then in its five years of governing, I repeat, the waiting list for assisted housing doubled from 22,000 to 42,000 households.

Mr Brown: How many units were created?

Mr Drainville: Over 330,000 tenant families were hit with increases above the guidelines, and there was no great increase in private rental construction during that same period of time. The average house prices in Ontario more than doubled, because that government would not bring in a speculation tax.

Now let me say that in terms of --

Mr Tilson: On a point of order, Mr Chair: I am sorry. I happen to agree with what Mr Drainville is saying, you know. I do happen to agree with him.

Mr Brown: That is dangerous.

Ms Poole: So much for the coalition.

Mr Tilson: However, I am here to debate economic eviction. What the last government did I happen to agree with Mr Drainville on, but we are here to debate Bill 4, we are here to debate Mrs Poole's amendment on economic eviction. I have not heard that word mentioned once.

Mr Drainville: I mentioned it three times.

Mr Tilson: I would respectfully submit that the chair should rule Mr Drainville out of order and let us continue the debate on economic eviction.

Mr Drainville: Somewhere we have lost it, Steve. It is hard to support.

Ms Poole: With respect to Mr Tilson's point of order, I wholeheartedly concur. I can tell Mr Drainville that the minister asked me yesterday if we were going to be able to complete clause-by-clause today, and I said we were going to try very hard and it was my estimation we could. I can also put Mr Drainville on notice that if he continues in this line, I can guarantee we will not, because I can give three hours of argument to every five minutes of argument that you advance as to what is right and wrong.

Mr Drainville: Which you did yesterday.

Ms Poole: On this point, Mr Drainville, you are absolutely wrong. The debate has been quite limited on it.

The Chair: I appreciate the point of order raised by Mr Tilson and the comments that are being made by the members. I want to caution all members again that latitude is necessary to debate a piece of legislation. I think that is an agreed-upon fact. But at the same time, it is necessary for members to relate what they have to say to Bill 4, and particularly to the section or the amendment to a particular section we are discussing. I am asking for the co-operation of all members. Mr Drainville, please continue.

Mr Drainville: Thank you, Mr Chair. Just in continuation of that point, I have to say that it reminds me very much of the comment that was made by an English economist one time, Walter Bagehot, who said: "One of the greatest pains in human nature is the pain of a new idea." Certainly we have seen that in terms of some of the comments that have been made by the opposition over the last couple of days.

I would like to say that in terms of economic eviction and Bill 4, what we have attempted to do is to provide in Bill 4 a way of dealing with economic eviction in the short term so that in the long term our legislation will deal with this issue.

I do want to say in my final remarks that the reality of the last couple of days has been stalling after stalling after stalling technique on the part of the people on the committee. There have to be some decisions made and the decisions that need to be made have to do with the fact that if they want us to be able to continue with the consultation paper at any point, then we are going to have to finish clause-by-clause. If the opposition does not want an opportunity to look at that document, then they need only just continue to push the kinds of questions which have been repetitive, which have been inflammatory -- if I read to you some of the quotes I took yesterday from members of the committee, it would indicate the point. The people of Ontario will say, "What's happening here?" They saw it on TV yesterday. I wish we were on camera again today to see the repetitiveness and some of the inconsequential remarks that have been made, and the inflammatory remarks. I rest my case at that point.

Mr Mahoney: I will try not to be sucked into the inflammatory rhetoric that Reverend Drainville has -- he seems to have a burr in his saddle this morning. I do not know quite what the problem is.

Mr Tilson: He probably did not sleep well last night.

Mr Mahoney: The realities are that we are dealing with an amendment, and to the parliamentary assistant, who might want to pass this on to the minister: I have really had enough of being lectured by (a) new members and (b) government members who are sanctimonious in their appraisal of the job that an opposition has to do.

As you will recall, Mr Chair, in our capacity as government we sat through many, many meetings and hearings with opposition members who are now your cabinet members, filibustering -- one for 17 hours, I might add, in the Legislature -- and yet we respect the fact that he had a job to do as an opposition member. And you, sir, and your colleagues should respect the fact that not only do we have a job to do, we have a duty. That duty is to hold you and your government accountable when pieces of legislation such as this come before us. You have no business, no business whatsoever, preaching to us about what we should or should not do. And I say that, with due respect, you might want to talk to some of your caucus leaders as to what your role on a standing committee in the Legislature might be. It is not to monitor, and it is not to criticize the opposition, who are simply trying to put forth alternative points of view, alternative points of view in this case in the issue that we are dealing with regarding economic eviction.

Mr Abel: On a point of order, Mr Chair: Not once has Mr Mahoney addressed the motion that is before us --

Mr Mahoney: What was I just starting to do?

Mr Abel: So far all we got was a sermon on what we should and should not do.

Mr Tilson: It was a preamble.

Mr Abel: I would ask that we stick to the motion that is before us.

Ms Poole: Speak to your own member.

The Chair: Mr Mahoney, please continue.

Mr Mahoney: Mr Chairman, once again I take exception. We sit here and listen to a diatribe by this man's colleague telling us how to do the job.

Mr Drainville: You should have been here yesterday instead of walking out.

Mr Mahoney: Whether I should have been here or not is irrelevant to this issue, and I take damn strong exception to some rookie coming in here telling us how we should behave as members of the opposition. I wish, Mr Chairman, that if you will not, maybe the parliamentary assistant or the minister would admonish these people and tell them that we have got a job to do and we are damn well going to do it, regardless of what they say. I do not need to be told by Mr Abel or Mr Drainville or anybody else on that side how I will do my job, nor do my colleagues.

With regard to the issue --

The Chair: Could I just say to the committee that maybe now the committee realizes why as chairperson I believe it is important to give members the opportunity to have wide-ranging discussion. That gives members the chance to say things in their own particular way and to relate it back to Bill 4. As chairman, I do not think we would be doing an appropriate job if every time a member wanted to relate a separate issue to a certain section it would be disallowed. As a matter of fact, I do not think that is actually parliamentary, as far as I know.

So I just want to say to all members, we are going to have full and complete debate in this committee, and I just ask all members again, as you are making your points, somehow during the course of your debate to relate the matter back to the section or to Bill 4 or to what we are talking about.

Mr Mahoney, you can continue.

Mr Mahoney: Mr Chairman, I would ask also that you consider the continual frivolous points of order that you will note if you look back over the Hansard of this committee. Very seldom have you ruled in favour of any of them being indeed points of order. What really they are is simply attempts on the part of the backbenchers on the government side to disrupt the flow of the opposition criticism.

I understand that they have difficulty when we talk about economic eviction -- you will notice that I wove that in there, Mr Chair, for your concern -- or whatever issue it is. I understand that the members are sensitive. I went through it. I understand how difficult it is to sit there and be told that you must agree with this government bill because it is your role and it is caucus discipline. I went through it in many bills. And I recognize that whether it is economic eviction or whatever, or whether it is the retroactivity, it is difficult to sit there and watch people break down in tears right in front of you and say: "Well, too bad. We're just going to steamroller ahead with this." I understand that, and I understand the frustration and the constant interruptions by members of the government backbench. I was there for three years. It is not a lot of fun, because you have no input into the decisions whatsoever. I know you do not and you know you do not. I am not even sure the minister does at times. I think it all comes out of the corner office of this pink palace that we habitate.

So I would like us to deal with the issues very much, and I would like you to perhaps have a discussion with the caucus leader or the whip of this particular committee on the government side as to whether or not items are points of order and to recognize the role, the very legitimate role that I was reminded of constantly by this Housing minister and other people when they were in opposition, that we must perform if we are to do our job. If we are going to sit here like lackeys, like these fellows have to because of caucus solidarity, then we are not going to be doing our job on behalf of the people and they are going to be pretty upset with us, and justifiably so. Parliamentary tradition calls for the government to be criticized. Suck it up and take it, guys. It is no fun, but it is reality.

With regard to economic eviction --

Mr Abel: Finally.


Mr Mahoney: I may go on at even greater length if the government members would like to see filibustering. I am going to tell you, Peter Kormos will be in second place in a heck of a hurry. We can go for days -- days -- and I will just keep on referring back to economic eviction wherever I think the Chairman is losing his patience. I can have lots of fun with this if you guys want to play that game, and it will be you that stalls this bill, not the opposition, and it will be you that the minister talks to and says: "Why did you do that to those guys on economic eviction? Why did you do that? Why didn't you shut your mouth? Why don't you do what you're told?"

With regard to economic eviction, this bill was --

Mr Dadamo: On a point of order, Mr Chairperson: Are we through with this tongue-lashing? Are we going to get to business?

Mr Mahoney: Well, you could start it up again, George.

Mr Dadamo: I am not concerned about a filibuster coming from Mr Mahoney, and I guess we get lecturing enough from you in the Legislature, but let's get down to business. We are wasting time. You have called us backbenchers, you have called us all sorts of names this morning. Let's get down to why we are here, and stop insulting us and stop insulting everybody else in this room. I suggest you knock it off.

Mr Mahoney: Is that a point of order, Mr Chairman?

The Chair: It is pretty close.

Mr Mahoney: Well, Mr Chairman, I am delighted to get down to business, but I do not think I am insulting everybody in this room, because I am not going to sit here when we are dealing with an economic eviction motion, or whatever we are dealing with, and be lectured by any of these people. They have no business doing that to opposition members and I, for one, will not take it, and I think that I can safely say that I speak for all the opposition members here in saying that.

Now with regard to the issue of economic eviction, I find it curious -- Ms Poole's quote the other day was "passing strange" -- that this government, with its stated protectionist attitudes, supposedly, towards tenants, even though Bill 4 we understand does nothing to protect the tenants other than a cap on the increase they are dealing with -- and we have attempted to come in with some amendments that indeed would protect tenants. We have heard all the tears about economic eviction, and yet, wherever we went in the province, we kept asking people, "Can you give us some examples of economic eviction?" The only one in all of the hearings that I attended -- and I guess I missed Windsor and maybe a couple here, but I believe I was at all of the rest of them -- the only place that I recall someone answering that she indeed had an example of economic eviction was one of the deputants before the committee who said she was an example of economic eviction and gave us the story.

We all accept the fact that there will be hardship cases and economic eviction cases. We understand that and we think it is extremely important, and the government members I am sure would agree that it is extremely important, that where economic eviction situations occur, something should be done to help those people, whether it is capping the rent or whether it is helping the individuals or reviewing their situation or correcting an injustice perhaps by a landlord. I agree that something like that should be done.

If this government really means what it says with regard to Bill 4 and with regard to the issue of economic eviction, I find it hard to understand why it would not accept an amendment like this that really says that the minister shall, within 30 days of being asked to do so by a tenant, put them in a priority position on a waiting list. I do not find that so radical.

Here we have a waiting list, but we all know that if you look down that waiting list, in many cases the people on that waiting list do have accommodation. They are struggling through somehow, in many cases, not all. Some of them are in hotels or motels or whatever, and obviously they have to be given serious priority. But there are many situations where a person could be put on a priority waiting list of the Ontario Housing Corp.

In fact, something that we instituted in Peel was joining the waiting lists of the non-profit corporation of the regional municipality with the Ontario Housing Corp in creating one -- I guess you could call it, it is a positive description for a negative situation -- superlist or a super waiting list of the two corporations both in a position to provide housing units.

Now, why would the government be afraid to have the minister simply put that person on the waiting list if, in the opinion of the minister, that person has indeed experienced the economic eviction that we have had thrown around so much as examples and justification for Bill 4? I find it very strange that they would do that.

Then the third part of it, that within 30 days you will make reasonable effort -- we got into a battle the other day about what "forthwith" means. Well, what does "reasonable effort" mean? I think it is pretty obvious what it means, that he will make reasonable effort, best efforts, whatever you want, to ensure that tenant is given priority on the waiting list for co-op housing if there is any, for other non-profit or regional housing. You can work with the regions wherever you happen to be. There are some excellent non-profit corporations. I was president of Peel Non-Profit Housing for a year and on the board for nine years, and it is one of the finest housing companies in the land. There are others. In Ottawa there is an exceptional one. There is a very good operation right here in Metro Toronto. There are a number of them. In fact, we have even helped our government and our members actually start up some other non-profit housing corporations around the province by involving Peel Non-Profit with the individuals in the communities that wanted to do it. We used to sit and listen to great criticism of the housing policy of the government -- which you will suffer through as well during upcoming years, I am sure -- by members who did not even have non-profit housing corporations in their own ridings or in their own communities. We had an awful lot of hypocrisy in that area, but it is improving.

Under this amendment, the minister has all kinds of options. There are co-ops; I think half of the new government caucus probably at one time or another have been involved in a co-op, either in helping to start one or in perhaps living in one or in some way being involved in assisting co-ops to start up. Maybe I am even low at that. It probably is substantially higher than half So we have got co-op housing, we have got non-profit housing, we have got Ontario Housing. They are there. We are not asking you to create some new bureaucracy. The waiting lists are there. We are not asking you to create some new system that would cost the taxpayers millions of dollars and require more bureaucracy and staff and everything else.

We are simply asking you that if indeed you are telling the people of this province the truth when you say that there are people being evicted due to economic circumstances all over the province -- I mean, I have heard those statements -- if indeed that is true, this is an opportunity for you to help solve the problem. It is not magic; it is a sensible solution put forward by this caucus, by my critic, Ms Poole, that even goes with enough latitude to say that "if in the opinion of the minister, a tenant has experienced economic eviction." We are not asking for the minister to be put in a position where some arbitrary group or a tenants' group or somebody can come forward and say, "Minister, you must do this." We are giving him some discretion.

We heard yesterday or the day before that discretion is very necessary in legislation of this nature, and we are giving him that discretion. In both of these instances if, in the opinion of the minister, the tenant has experienced economic eviction, he will either give the tenant priority on the waiting list of Ontario Housing or ensure that the tenant is given priority on the waiting list of co-op housing and any other non-profit, rent-geared-to-income housing other than Ontario Housing. So he has got it covered both ways.

I would seriously think, in closing my remarks to this really very well-thought-out and excellent amendment, I would say that this is an opportunity for these folks to put their money where their mouth is. They do not even need to put their money; this will not cost anything. They can simply put their actions forward, their best foot forward and say, "We really do mean it when we say we're doing this to protect tenants," and admit that in Bill 4 there is nothing that protects tenants beyond a cap. This, under the economic eviction amendment, would clearly put forward a positive step. I would think that these folks would want to do that. I would think that if I represented a riding and I was a member of this caucus, I would want to go back to my people and say: "We listened on Bill 4. We made some changes. We made some changes that we were very pleased with, that the minister agreed to yesterday. Even though the cap amount was a little lower than we would have liked, it was very reasonable and there was some listening."


Why now would you not listen to something that costs nothing, that is clearly in the interest of the tenants, that clearly addresses the problem that these people have been telling us is one of the major reasons for the implementation of Bill 4? I will find it extremely curious if these MPPs on this committee do not find their way clear to support this particular amendment, but probably a lot more important than whether or not I find it curious, I think the people of Ontario and the people in the tenants' movement are going to find it extremely curious.

Ms Poole: The Liberal caucus put forward this motion on economic eviction because we felt that there was a need, first of all, to clarify what economic eviction is and, second, to put a progressive, constructive step forward to deal with it. Every government member during the last four weeks asked questions of witnesses about economic eviction. The questions came up time and time again, so obviously you consider it a priority as well. We have placed this motion in two separate sections, one which deals with Ontario Housing Corp and one which deals with other types of non-profit and co-operatives, simply to give government members the option of voting for one and not the other. It is not only reasonable, it is also extremely practical and very doable for the minister to give people priority on the Ontario Housing Corp list. That is something that is right within his power, to establish that priority. The other one is a more difficult situation, and that is why we used the term "make reasonable effort." There is no use in telling the minister that he must do something which he cannot enforce. That is why we did put it in two sections.

But to hear accusations that we have put this forward in an attempt to stall is ludicrous. If you look at the record of any contentious piece of legislation, to get it through in less than six days is unheard of. This is the ordinary course of events. In fact, in many cases with a bill such as Bill 4 which has established wide-ranging controversy on both sides, six days, I think, is a most reasonable time within which to complete clause-by-clause.

Mr Drainville's assertion that Bill 51 was the cause of economic eviction for tenants is just ludicrous and it just does not hold up. Look at the facts. The average rent increase across the province last year was 5.8%, across the entire province. In areas like Ottawa it was less than 4%, below the rate of inflation. Does this sound like it has been disastrous? I am the last one to claim Bill 51 was a perfect piece of legislation. It was, as you know, cobbled together by landlords and tenants who for the first time in Ontario history came together in a wide-ranging consultation process and reached an agreement that this was something they could live with, and that this was something that they felt, if it was given time, could work.

Do not forget that because of the long consultation process and other factors, it was really 1987 before things started to get on stream with Bill 51. In a three-year process there was an enormous backlog created, primarily because virtually every unit in Ontario was brought under rent review under Bill 51, so it was difficult to see where the problems were. There were problems cropping up, but what was difficult was to say, "Is this happening because of the backlog?" Certainly some of the cases of economic eviction were not because the tenants could not afford the rent increase; it was because they could not afford to pay the retroactive amount owing after two years waiting for a rent review order. That was a problem created by the backlog. So it was not that the Minister of Housing was unwilling to act to amend Bill 51 -- it was his intention to do so in this term -- but one thing for sure is that we wanted the backlog cleared first so that we could clearly see where the problems lay.

The assertion that we have stalled, I cannot believe that he is saying that. If I had wanted to stall, and if the Conservatives had wanted to stall this bill, I could have gone on every day for hours about what our government had done to protect tenants. I would have talked about the Rental Housing Protection Act; I would have talked about responsible pet legislation, amendments of the Planning Act, guidelines relating to the provision of affordable housing; I would have talked about the Homes Now program, agreements with municipalities such as Ottawa and Toronto; I would have talked about agreements with churches to provide; I would have talked about the fact that under our government we ended up in a state where we were providing more non-profit housing than all other provinces combined; I would have talked about the luxury renovation regulations. I could go on and on, but I am not going to because we are here to look at Bill 4 and ways in which we can improve it, ways in which we can recommend it back to the House. And we feel this economic eviction motion is one way in which it could be improved and which you could be proud of taking back to your constituents.

There is not a lot more to say. I have no intention of stalling this bill and stalling this clause-by-clause, and I am very glad that Mr Drainville did curtail his comments, so I am going to leave my comments at that.

Mr Tilson: I had not planned on making any further comments with respect to this amendment, which the Conservative Party is supporting. I will say, though, that I do resent the comments made by Mr Drainville with respect to the opposition parties' stalling tactics with respect to amendments. This particular amendment is an effort to try and resolve a very serious problem that has been raised from these hearings. The NDP has not provided any solution to the problem of economic eviction. They are the ones who emphasized this problem during the hearings. They asked question after question after question with respect to economic eviction, and they have done nothing to respond to the members of the public who have come to us with their concerns, the thousands of tenants whose quality of life is being destroyed as a result of this legislation.

I think that Mr Drainville is trying to muffle the opposition. This opposition -- the Liberal opposition, the Progressive Conservative opposition -- has every right in this world to make amendments and I resent the fact that he is suggesting that we cannot make amendments to this bill.

The Chair: Any further discussion on Mrs Poole's amendment?

Ms Poole: Mr Chair, I would call the question.

Mr Mahoney: Recorded vote.

The Chair: A recorded vote.

The committee divided on Ms Poole's motion, which was negatived on the following vote:


Brown, Mahoney, Poole, Tilson.


Abel, Dadamo, Drainville, Harrington, Lessard, Ward, M.

Ms Poole: I have one other amendment to propose on economic eviction, which I would ask the clerk if she could distribute at this time.

The Chair: Thank you. As the amendment is being distributed, I would ask Mrs Poole to --

Ms Harrington: Mr Chair?

The Chair: I am sorry.

Ms Harrington: Could I comment? Because we have not had a chance to look at this amendment, could we stand it down until, say, after lunch? We would like to be able to discuss it.

The Chair: Mrs Poole?

Ms Poole: Mr Chair, I would propose that we debate this section now, and then if the government wishes to have a 20-minute time frame with which to discuss this -- there is no certainty we will even be here after lunch. I believe there are only two other major sections to discuss. One is the conditional orders and the second is the mobile homes. These two were stood down.


Mr Mahoney: Unless the government wants to stall.

Ms Poole: Unless the government wants to stall. I would propose that we debate this now and I would be quite amenable if the government members then wished 20 minutes to decide on how they would like to vote on it.

Mr Tilson: The opposition is ready to terminate.

The Chair: Why do you not move your amendment, Mrs Poole, and we will see where the debate takes us and whether or not we need the --

Ms Harrington: I believe it has been the practice in the past that if an amendment has not been given to the committee with a little prior notice to have a look at it, it is common practice to stand it down until we finish the ones that we are already looking at. So, Mr Chair, I would ask that this be the case, that we continue with the business that I know the opposition wants to get finished and then we certainly would be most willing to look at this.

Ms Poole: The Chair is consulting with the clerk, so maybe what I will do is read it on the record and then the Chair can give his ruling as to whether it will be tabled.

I move that section 8 of the bill be amended by adding the following section to the act:

"100tc(1) In this section, `economic eviction' in respect of a tenant occurs when the tenant is forced to discontinue a residential tenancy because of a rent increase that the tenant cannot reasonably afford to pay.

"(2) If, in the opinion of the Minister, a tenant has experienced economic eviction, the Minister shall, within 60 days of being asked to do so by the tenant, provide the tenant with a comparable rental unit at a price the tenant can afford."

The Chair: The Chair would just like a moment, please. I am going to adjourn the committee for five minutes.

The committee recessed at 1054.


The Chair: The Chair is going to proceed to explain the ruling I am going to make in regard to Mrs Poole's amendment. Mrs Poole has moved an amendment to section 8 of the bill. Her amendment is section 110tc of the act. There was a request made earlier in the committee that this amendment be stood down until 2 pm this afternoon. We have checked the standing orders, and we have also checked for precedents, which we really did not have a long time for, but to the best of our ability we have concluded the following:

The legislation must be dealt with in proper sequence. Therefore, to stand down Mrs Poole's amendment and move to another section, we would have to have the unanimous consent of the committee. If there is unanimous consent in the committee to stand down Mrs Poole's amendment until 2 pm this afternoon, that is a decision that is made by the committee and the Chair will honour that decision. If there is not unanimous consent in the committee, then the Chair will rule that we must deal with Mrs Poole's amendment at the present time. During the course of dealing with Mrs Poole's amendment and prior to the vote on Mrs Poole's amendment, the committee or a committee member may ask for 20 minutes before the vote is taken to discuss strategy or to discuss thoughts on the particular amendment.

That is the Chair's ruling.

Ms Harrington: I understand, then, that it is not a rule that any amendment that comes forward that has not been given prior notice cannot be dealt with. What I would ask of the committee is that it is common courtesy that an amendment have adequate notice to the committee, and if it does not, if the amendment is very immediate, such as this one, it is common courtesy that we set it aside until we deal with the other matters on our plate and we would be happy to come back to it.

Ms Poole: I would just say in response to Mrs Harrington's comment that until this morning we had not made the definite decision that we would propose this amendment, because we very much wanted to see what the vote was going to be on our previous amendment on economic eviction, which we had felt was a very reasonable thing that the minister could have accomplished and which would have assisted tenants who were facing economic eviction. So I apologize for not giving longer notice of this, but I do not see that it is a matter which constitutes any further delay. I would propose we just debate the motion and get on with it.

The Chair: The Chair does not see unanimous consent to delay or set aside or stand down Mrs Poole's amendment. Therefore, I am going to ask Mrs Poole to continue her debate, to read her amendment for all concerned, or have you --

Ms Poole: Yes, Mr Chair, while you were talking to the clerk I did read it into the record.

The Chair: You did? I am sorry. All right, then, Mrs Poole, you have an opportunity to explain your amendment.

Ms Poole: During the course of debate on Bill 4, economic eviction has come up on numerous occasions. However, there has never been any indication by anybody as to who should bear the responsibility for economic eviction. Should it be the individual, should it be the landlord, should it be the government? Basically, that is what I want to debate with this particular amendment. If the government is saying that it is 100% the burden of the individual to deal with his or her economic eviction, let it now say so. If they feel that it is the landlord's responsibility to deal with a tenant's economic eviction, let them say that as well. But if they wish to say that the government shares a responsibility and onus, a burden, a duty, whatever word you wish to use, for trying to assist tenants who have been economically evicted, then I would like to hear that as well.

One of the things that has most concerned me about the Bill 4 hearings is that they have escalated tensions between landlords and tenants to an unbearable level. Unfortunately, I think it was needlessly so. For instance, we had the Fair Rental Policy Organization of Ontario which last fall had provided a proposal to the minister that the private sector would provide 20,000 units for the government to use for subsidy, which, as all members know, would be an extremely cost-effective way of dealing with subsidizing people who could not afford to live in their units and their homes. Instead of costing approximately $2,000 in subsidy, as it does now for a new non-profit or co-operative, it would have cost in the vicinity of anywhere from $100 to $300 or $400 per tenant who was subsidized, so it was very cost-effective. Unfortunately, because of Bill 4, FRPO has now indicated that it intends to withdraw that offer and that it will not be providing that opportunity for subsidized housing at a very low rate.


So we are now back to the state where we have to make a decision: Whose responsibility is it to deal with economic eviction? Bill 4 will partially help with economic eviction, and I will say that quite candidly. It will help those tenants who are facing exorbitant rent increases. It will create other problems for other tenants. It will help some tenants with economic eviction, but it will not help all tenants. In fact, it will not help most tenants who live in fear of economic eviction. Not because their rents are unreasonable and not because of rent increases, but simply that too much of their income is being paid towards housing.

That is where I would like the debate, and certainly our caucus intends to focus on this particular motion. I do not hold out much hope of its being supported by the government. If you would not support our previous amendment, which did not go nearly as far, it would be, as Mr Cureatz used to say, passing strange if you did so with this, but it does provide the opportunity that the Chair has referred to, of members being able to voice their opinion, and in this case I would like to ask the question of all members, where is that responsibility going to lie?

If it is with private enterprise or if it is a co-operative effort between private enterprise and government, tell us, and also tell us what you are going to do to foster that co-operation. The sledgehammer effect that you have used on Bill 4 is certainly not going to help any kind of co-operation between landlords and tenants. So tell us how you are going to do it.

Mr Tilson: I have a question for Mrs Poole with respect to subsection 2. I supported the first amendment because I agree with the general principle of dealing with the issue of economic eviction, but I guess the question is at what cost. If there is no co-operative housing available or if there is no non-profit housing available or if there is simply no housing available, no public enterprise housing available, my fear is, what does this mean? This says, "The minister shall...provide the tenant with a comparable rental unit." Our party is always concerned, of course, with the general cost to the taxpayer. Does this mean that if none of those situations existed, the government would be obliged, for example, to put someone into a hotel? I am looking particularly at the immigrants, the problems with the immigrants, problems that are being caused particularly in some of the larger regions. There are problems with housing in those areas because of that issue. What does that mean? What is the obligation of the government with respect to subsection 2?

The Chair: I interpreted it to mean that probably a direct payment from the government to the person in the unit would be the easiest. That is the way I interpret it, but maybe Mrs Poole could help us.

Ms Poole: That is correct, Mr Chair, and that would be how I would interpret it. Mr Tilson has raised two very valid points, one being the cost, the other being the implementation. Cost is a very valid concern, which is why I have said that in addition to providing new non-profit and new co-operative housing, it is also wise that we engage private enterprise in a co-operative partnership in making available units in existing buildings. Obviously it would have to be a direct payment and probably the most expeditious way, as the Chair has said, would be to provide sufficient funds for the tenant to stay in that particular unit. I guess it would take one step further than what has been done with the social assistance reform, whereby the true cost of shelter was recognized by the previous Liberal government to provide that kind of assistance. This would take it one step further, to the working poor or to those people who, for whatever reason, would either not qualify or not desire to be on social assistance.

Mr Tilson: Mr Chair, I thank you for that answer. Our party has suggested a form of subsidies to assist the poor and that appears to be the type of answer that Mrs Poole has given. The difficulty I have is I do not know what that means. Obviously there has to be some sort of policy developed, whether in guidelines, specifically -- obviously there is so much money that the government would have to assist the poor, and I am getting back to the comments that were perhaps made by Mr Thom. It is just that I am concerned with subsection 2, that it may be a little too open-ended.

Mrs Poole has answered the question and I support her intent. However, unless there is some sort of clarification, I may be forced to vote against subsection 2 because I am reluctant in providing an open-ended policy with respect to subsidies. I believe there should be subsidies, but I think that whole concept of policies needs to be pursued by whatever government so that it is clear as to specifically what assistance would be given the poor. I do not know whether Mrs Poole can help me with that, but unless she can, I am going to be forced to vote against subsection 2.

The Chair: Hopefully during the debate on this amendment there will be an opportunity to directly answer your questions, either now or as we hear from other members. Are there any other members who wish to speak?

Mr Brown: I think this is an important amendment in that, as Ms Poole has already said, it really comes right to the point of this entire discussion on Bill 4. It really comes right to who is responsible. Is it the government, is it private enterprise, or is it a combination of both? Is there to be a partnership of co-operation developed between the two important elements in our society, government and private enterprise, to solve what is a significant problem in this province?

But in saying that, I think we should also come back to what is economic eviction, and we have some difficulty coming to a definition of that. Certainly, economic eviction can occur when rents go up too high. That is one form of economic eviction. Another form of economic eviction is not having a job, losing your job, being unemployed and therefore being unable to pay a rent that you were previously well able to afford, or maybe not to be able to make your mortgage payment on your house and to have to sell your house at times in this market at a loss. That creates great problems. Economic eviction, at least in my view, does not occur solely when rents go up; it can occur for other reasons. The committee needs to be concerned about this problem and concerned about how we house the people who are unemployed.

I am not suggesting for one moment that this government is responsible in total for unemployment in this province. We know we are in a recession, we know that federal policies are probably not necessarily to our liking, we know the world is having a problem, we know that there is a war that is just being concluded, and those things all impact on us. But economic eviction is a broad policy. What I think we are trying to define here by this amendment is who has responsibility. I have heard phrases like, "For the greater good, we are going to do Bill 4." I have heard the government say this is going to protect people from economic eviction. We are a little sceptical over here about whether it really will or it will not.

We have even heard that housing should be put in the Charter of Rights, that it should be enshrined in Canada's Constitution. I am certain that someone who is at our sister committee, the select committee on Ontario in Confederation, has probably said that. He has probably gone down there and said: "Look, housing is a right. It should be enshrined in the Constitution."

That means to me, if that is what happened, that it is a societal responsibility, a decision that we as people in Canada have made. We have decided that it is a right, but that also, to me, means that it is an obligation of the society to provide.

What we are trying to determine with this amendment is, whose responsibility is it? Is it the private investor by himself? Is it one small sector of investment in this province that is responsible for this?


We do not do that in any other sector that I can think of. We do not say to the automobile companies and the people who invest in them, "It's your responsibility to provide cars for everyone." We do not do that. I grant you this is a different issue, but nevertheless we cannot say to one sector of society, "It's totally your responsibility."

So what we are trying to do here is say: "Yes, it's a societal responsibility. We think that society has to be responsible for this. We do think it's a right, and we think this government has to assume that right. We cannot just have it on the shoulders of private enterprise." On the other hand, certainly private enterprise has a role and we would like to see that defined.

So I will be supporting Mrs Poole's amendment because I think it clarifies an important policy area. I think it clarifies the fact that this society, we people in Ontario, are concerned with people who do not have homes, who are evicted from their homes because of rental increases that are beyond their means.

But we are also concerned with those who have lost their jobs. We are concerned because we know that Bill 4 will be responsible for a large number of people being unemployed. We have heard them. We have had them come before this committee. We have heard the contractors who have lost contracts. It is not airy-fairy stuff. They have been right here, sometimes with the contract in their hand, sometimes with the company and the union together making the presentation saying: "Look, we've lost this contract. We're unemployed. I can't afford any rent. I just lost my job." That is what they have said to us. So Bill 4 affects people and causes economic eviction, or at least conceivably does, by making people unemployed who would otherwise be gainfully employed.

I just ask the committee to consider this, and consider whose responsibility, because I think this amendment more than anything else is trying to spell out who has responsibility. If it is an obligation of our society, if it should be put in the Charter of Rights, if it is for the common good, why will government not accept the responsibility, because government represents the society?

So I am happy to support this amendment and I would urge the government to take whatever time it needs to come to that conclusion. I think it is most necessary if we are to be the kind of society that I think all members in this room wish us to be.

The Chair: Any further discussion?

Ms Poole: Just before we call the question, Mr Chair, I wondered if Mrs Harrington would like to make any comment, particularly in relationship to my question, which is, where does the responsibility lie? And if it is to be a co-operative partnership, how is the government going to foster that?

Ms Harrington: Certainly a very big question, a very good question. We appreciate the intent of the motion to say that housing really is a right; and I think that is something, if it has not been stated before, certainly over the course of the last four weeks in our hearings -- and as Mr Brown has said, in the Constitution committee as well -- that has become a common phrase and that we have to now look at very seriously and see, how do we address it. How do we enshrine this as a right? The various options that have been put forward are appreciated.

I would certainly like to tell you that before Christmas our local group of co-op housing people had a Christmas party and I was presented with a magic wand. This was my duty, then, to enshrine that housing was available in Ontario.

So I do have my magic wand, but beyond that, I will tell you that it is going to be extremely difficult to carry this out and we are looking for the help of all of you, as members of the Legislature, and of course all the people who have come before us in the last little while.

All I can end with and tell you very sincerely is that personally, myself, being with the Ministry of Housing, if there is nothing else I can do, I hope very much over the course of this next few months and the rest of this year that somehow we can get a genuine process in place in this province that really addresses the concerns of housing -- as you say, the partnership between government and the private sector -- to really look at the rental situation in this province and then when we finish that, over the course of the next four years, look at more than just the rental part of this, but housing overall in this province. And certainly, as you have mentioned before, there is no legislation that is perfect, but we are certainly going to give it a very good, honest try, with your help. So thank you for addressing this question.

The Chair: Mr Tilson, did you get your questions answered during the course --

Mr Tilson: Yes.

The Chair: Okay. Seeing no further members really wanting to debate this section, all in favour of Mrs Poole's amendment?

Ms Poole: Mr Mahoney would have voted for it.

The Chair: And Mr Mahoney would have voted for it. All contrary?

Motion negatived.

The Chair: Is it the wish of the committee that section 100t be carried in its entirety? All in favour? Carried.

Okay 100u.

Ms Poole: Originally yesterday we had tabled the conditional orders provisions; it was supposed to go first thing this morning. I know we were in the middle of the economic eviction amendment so that we did not discuss it first thing. I wondered if it would be the consensus of the committee to deal with this. I believe this is one of the last contentious parts of the bill and the rest should flow quite smoothly.

The Chair: Okay, just give us a second here to get organized.

Ms Poole: The other point I would like to make with reference to that is that one of the amendments does refer to section 12, which follows 100t, so that if we were to want to continue with the balance of the bill and then go back to the rest after, which I would not recommend, but we could, then I would ask that section 12 be stood down.

The Chair: Okay, we are just trying to get ourselves organized as to all the other sections that were stood down.

Ms Poole: Just for the information of the committee, I would mention that if we are going to discuss this now or at any time it will be necessary to reopen 100b of the act, subsection 7(1) of the bill and section 8 of the bill, subsection 100o(5). Legislative counsel has indicated that to have the amendments which the government and our party have agreed to we would have to reopen those sections of the bill.

The Chair: As all members know, we need unanimous consent to reopen a section of the bill that has already been carried. Mrs Poole wants to deal with section 100b of the act. Do we have unanimous consent for that? Seeing unanimous consent, Mrs Poole, you can carry on.

Ms Poole moves that section 100b of the act, as set out in section 8 of the bill, be amended by striking out "subsection (2)" in the first line of subsection (1) and substituting "subsections (2) and (2a)" and by adding the following subsection:

"(2a) This part does not apply to a rent increase proposed in an application made under section 74 before 31 January 1991 if the application seeks relief in respect of a conditional order made under subsection 89(2) that was made before 29 November 1990."


Ms Poole: The purpose of this particular amendment is to exempt the conditional orders from Bill 4 and to put them back in Part VI of the act. Then the following three amendments will address things such as the cap and the date that this would be proclaimed.

The Chair: Any comments on Mrs Poole's amendment?

Mr Tilson: Just so I do understand, the purpose of this is to put all conditional orders back into the legislation? Is that the intent?

Ms Poole: I think legislative counsel has a comment.

Ms Baldwin: As I understood the instructions yesterday when Mrs Poole laid them down for me and the minister nodded in agreement, they wanted to cover the 18 applications that had been filed. That included the 16 that had been filed before 29 November and two others. I spoke with people in the ministry to determine the base of the filing of those other two applications. I am informed that the last one was filed on 30 January. That is why you see the date 31 January in it. So the effect of this is to take all of those applications made under section 74 before 31 January, which is the 18th, if the application sought relief in respect of a conditional order that had been made before the 29 November 1990.

Mr Tilson: So the answer to that is yes, all conditional orders that have been made will therefore not be voided by this?

Ms Baldwin: No, the answer to that is no, all conditional orders that have been made and upon which applications have been made before 31 January 1991 for the final order.

Ms Poole: Maybe it would help if I clarified that the ministry had originally discussed with me having 28 November as the cutoff date for applications for work that had been done pursuant to a conditional order. I had expressed concern about any potential conditional orders that were out there where they had actually completed the work but not had an opportunity to file by 28 November. The ministry came up with an additional two to add to the 16 that had filed prior to 28 November and it is my understanding that this now covers all conditional orders where the application has been made on or previous to 31 January 1991. So to the best of the ministry's knowledge, these are the only applications where work has been done and they have applied to rent review.

Mr Tilson: My concern is therefore that there are still situations where work has been done. I do not have the draft communication in front of me, but I do recall there was at least one where work was done based on the representations from the ministry that a conditional order would be granted. Now I gather that this would not cover that person and the work has actually been done.

If the government is prepared to support this motion, that is fine, but I submit it needs to go much further. I do not think this type of amendment goes far enough. Again, it is getting back to the comments made by the minister yesterday and I guess it will be dealt with in a further amendment.

Ms Poole: In response to that, I do concur with Mr Tilson. There is obviously the possibility that there might be some conditional orders out there where they have not made application as of this day of February, but I go back to the premise that you try to protect as many people as possible and we are not aware of any instances where they would not be covered under this amendment.

I guess I would have to take the same position as I did on the retroactivity, when our Liberal amendment provided that any capital work that was done on or prior to 28 November 1990 would not be subject to Bill 4. We realize that there were landlords that were halfway through or partially through and then went ahead and completed the work, and they would not have been fully reimbursed by our amendment, but I would submit that this is an identical situation where it is difficult to ensure that every single person is caught. We have tried to catch as many who have actually completed the work and expended the money.

The minister had expressed a reservation about having it apply to a conditional order where money had not been expended, where the work had not been done or in fact even begun, and I did tell him that I would support him in providing only that conditional orders where the work had been done would be covered. So I share Mr Tilson's concern, but I think that the compromise the minister has asked for is a reasonable one and covers all known cases of which we are aware. It may be the best we can do.

Mr Tilson: It is difficult for me to oppose this, because certainly it goes a long way and I certainly support the intent of it. The difficulty is of course that the minister has directed the Ministry of Housing to tell people, when they make applications of any sort under the existing legislation, "Don't bother, because Bill 4 is going to be law." We have had many people come to this hearing telling us that they were told, "Don't bother," and some of them did not bother, because they had concluded that Bill 4 was going to be law.

So the difficulty I have is that the minister has caused irreparable damage in situations like this, and again I fear that this amendment does not go far enough. So although I support the general intent of it -- I mean, it is certainly far better than what was there, but it does not quite go far enough. And it too is discriminatory to a degree, because there have been admissions by Ms Poole and by the legislative counsel that there are people who indeed will be caught as a result of their having either received conditional orders or the potential of receiving conditional orders. I am not in favour of discrimination, and in light of that, I feel we have no choice but to oppose the amendment.

Ms Poole: Mr Chair, if I could just on a point of order correct one thing that Mr Tilson said --

The Chair: It is not a point of order, but you will have an opportunity to make a correction.

Ms Poole: Then in my next speech, Mr Chair -- you asked for it; the point of order would have been much briefer -- the point I wish to make is that neither legislative counsel nor myself admitted that there were other cases where it did not catch them. What we said was there potentially might be but we were not aware of any cases. This may well catch everybody. We do not know. All we can do is act to the best of our knowledge and belief, and hopefully this will cover everybody who has done the work, but it is probably the best we can do.

So I apologize, Mr Tilson, but while I can understand your concern and it is a very valid point, I do not see how we could make this amendment so that it will be acceptable to the government and acceptable to you. I am hoping that on balance, when you take a look at it, although it may not be a perfect instrument, you could see your way fit to supporting the intent and the relief that it will provide for those who have been disadvantaged by the fact their conditional orders have not been allowed under Bill 4.

The Chair: Any further debate on this amendment? Seeing none, all in favour of Ms Poole's amendment? Opposed?

Motion agreed to.

The Chair: All in favour of section 100b, as amended? Opposed? Carried.

Now we need unanimous consent to reopen section 7. I see unanimous consent.


Section 7:

Ms Poole: I appreciate this is very difficult for the government. They are not used to voting for my amendments, so I will endeavour to prompt them somewhat.

The Chair: Let's not spoil it now.

Ms Poole moves that section 7 of the bill be amended by renumbering it as subsection 7(2), and by adding the following subsection:

"7(1) Section 83 of the act is amended by adding the following subsections:

"(3a) If the effective date of the first rent increase in the residential complex applied for is on or after 1 October 1990,

"(a) the minister shall not order a rent increase for any rental unit, including a rent increase attributable to equalization, that is greater than 15% of the maximum rent for that rental unit; and

"(b) despite section 90, the minister shall not order a maximum rent for a rental unit greater than that proposed on the application.

"(3b) On 1 January 1993 subsection (3a) is repealed."

Mr Mahoney: What does that mean? Two years?

Ms Poole: Yes, it puts it into the same force and effect as the rest of Bill 4, so it would be that date --

Mr Mahoney: Moratorium?

Ms Poole: Yes, it would be 1 January 1993 or until such time as the minister brings in long-term legislation.

This amendment would provide the 15% cap that was suggested by the government as an equitable compromise. When it mentions equalization, that would only refer to equalization that was part of a conditional order. It would not refer to equalization in the terms that it is found in the balance of Bill 4. So this just provides that the minister can order a rent increase greater than the statutory guideline, up to a limit of 15% of the maximum rent, and clause (3a)(b) provides the same condition about maximum rent being charged that makes it coherent with the rest of the act.

The Chair: Discussion on the amendment?

Mr Mahoney: Just a question of clarification: Should that read, "On or before 1 January," if the new legislation is prepared in short order or as quickly as the government has indicated it would like to prepare it?

Ms Poole: No, because if the effective date of the first rent increase in the building is on or prior to 1 October, they are not caught by the moratorium to begin with. It would mean their application had been 90 days previous to 1 October. We only wanted to catch those conditional orders that are caught by the moratorium.

The Chair: Just to inform the committee of events as they take place, if we continue at the rate that we are going, there is an outside possibility that we will finish this morning. So at 12 o'clock I am going to ask the committee members for unanimous consent to extend the hearings by half an hour for this morning. That might be more favourable to the members if we are moving along at this rate, rather than coming back at 2 or 2:15 this afternoon for 20 minutes or 30 minutes, so I just ask all members to keep that in mind.

Mr Tilson: I have a question with respect to the amendment. It gets back to the issue I raised at the previous amendment, that I believe, as a result of the delegations that appeared before this committee, that there are a number of landlords who were told by the ministry officials, under the direction of the Minister of Housing: "Don't bother. Bill 4 is the law. Don't bother making your application." My concern with this type of amendment is, what about all those people who did not bother, as some did? I do not know how many there are, whether there are a lot or whether there are a few, but I am satisfied as a result of comments that were made that there were some. Assuming that is correct, is it fair then that those people who were discouraged by the NDP government from proceeding with their applications, if the government supports this amendment, which Mr Cooke has directed his people to do, those people will in fact be caught and there will be yet further discrimination?

So my question to anyone -- I suppose the mover of the motion, Mrs Poole -- is whether there should be some sort of time allowed for those people who were discouraged from making their applications to indeed apply, specifically if work has been done under the understanding that a conditional order would be granted.

Ms Poole: Since Mr Tilson invited my response to that, I say that I have no problem with the principle of that, of allowing a certain period for anybody who has already had a conditional order to submit his application. If Mr Tilson wanted to make an amendment, I am not sure this is the appropriate place because this actually does not deal with the applications. I think the appropriate place would have been in the last amendment, which we have already passed. I do not know.

The ministry might have some difficulty with this. They did mention they wanted a cutoff date, and I have no objection in principle, but I would assume it would depend on them, whether they feel that the amendment I have proposed, my first amendment, is their bottom line or whether they would actually go further than that.

Ms Harrington: I will just comment that we have passed the appropriate section already with regard to applications, so it would not be appropriate in this subsection.

Mr Tilson: In light of that, I certainly do not intend to support this amendment. Anyway, just to emphasize my comments yesterday, I think it is terribly discriminatory for some unearthly reason, and this is a deal that has been cooked up. We had no part of this, we were not invited to participate in this with the minister and that is fine. For whatever reason, the minister chose not to invite our party to participate.

I will say that by the very fact that there will be a number of people who will not be caught by this legislation, it is clearly discriminatory. It is almost like Saddam Hussein saying, "If there are 100 people drowning, we're going to save 15% of them and the heck with the rest of them." That is what you call discrimination. And we do have landlords in this province drowning as a result of this mother of bills, and this is the first of the mother of bills. This is the start to the socialistic plan to take over housing. Clearly this legislation will be the start of the housing industry to become a public utility. It is the mother of bills and we will be opposing it.

I will say that we will not be in favour of this amendment because it is terribly discriminatory. I think the very fact that the minister has acknowledged that he goofed in not allowing conditional orders, I think that is a move, and hopefully he will reconsider the entire bill, but both Mr Turnbull and I will be opposing this amendment because of its discriminatory factor.


Mr Mahoney: I want to first of all correct some impression that perhaps Mr Tilson has left on the table, that there was any kind of a cooked deal -- no reference to the minister, of course. The reality is that we and our critics have an obligation as opposition to attempt to get our amendments and our ideas put forward, and what Ms Poole has done is very aggressively gone after the minister to get him to agree to her amendment, and that is quite appropriate. That is not doing a deal; that is simply working the process and doing the job as a critic. I want to congratulate her for getting the minister to see the light on at least the fundamental principle here.

Having said that, I have a problem with the 15%.1 am going to vote for this, but I think it is unfortunate that an arbitrary figure was just pulled out of the air. Mr Cooke gave quite an eloquent speech yesterday. He got a little teary-eyed and talked about the seniors who were going to jump off the balconies of the building in his riding, and it was my suggestion that if those balconies do not get repaired they will fall off, they will not have to jump. He started to go on about how he has a conscience. I want to just tell you a little story. Actually, someone had told me that he did not have a conscience and we had a bet going. We bet $100 and apparently now I am only able to collect $15 on that bet. So he does have a conscience; it is only 15% of what it should be in reality, and I unfortunately cannot take the whole bacon home on it.

It is arbitrary. There are people who are going to be lost, but I guess half a loaf is better than no loaf.

Mr Turnbull: It is 15% of a loaf.

Mr Mahoney: The fact is 15% of a loaf is better than no loaf in this situation too, and let's not talk about loafing. But the fact is that there are people who are going to be damaged notwithstanding the fact that the Liberal critic in this case has succeeded in getting the government to recognize that it was wrong, that it was discriminatory. In fact, what this whole amendment recognizes is that the nature of Bill 4 being retroactive is so repugnant that even this minister had to recognize that there were cases. And it may be there was a certain legal requirement for that to take place as well.


Mr Mahoney: Do not worry, I will not talk us out of the amendment. But the fact is that there are people who are here this morning who are going to be badly hurt, but not as badly hurt as they would have been hurt if they did not have this amendment. So I think all credit belongs to our Liberal Party critic for getting this amendment through and I congratulate her for a job well done.

The Chair: It sounds like it is the mother of all amendments.

Mr Mahoney: We better be careful with this, you know.

The Chair: I know. I am just trying to have some levity.

Mr Mahoney: There are some mothers around.

Ms Poole: First of all, Mr Mahoney, thank you very much for your kind comments. I think it is probably one of the most positive things you have said about me in the last four years.

Mr Mahoney: And do not count on it coming back again.

Ms Poole: The first and last thing.

Mr Mahoney: That was enough.

Ms Poole: I guess I go back to the fact that when one is a member sometimes what you engage in is damage control. It is not the best of all possible worlds and sometimes you accept something which might be less than what you had wanted. I stated my personal preference yesterday, that if there was to be a cap, it be higher than this so that the bulk of the people who acted under conditional orders would receive 100% relief. My understanding is that if the cap had been between 20% and 25%, while it would not relieve all of those situations, it would have relieved the vast proportion of them and it would certainly provide more support and more relief to those who will not receive a great deal of support out of 15%. They have mortgages which they will not be able to refinance even with a 15% increase.

I do wish that there was some way in which we could have accommodated people to a greater extent with this. I could have submitted an amendment for 25%, but there comes a point where you say: "This is pointless. Nothing's going to be gained." The minister has been good enough to at least recognize a compromise, and so while Mr Tilson does have a valid point, I would say that if we save 15% from drowning it is better than standing on the shores and letting all 100 people drown. So this may be the best we can do.

Mr Mahoney: It's really a Patriot missile, isn't it?

Mr Tilson: It's a Scud.

Mr Mahoney: No, it's a Patriot missile taking out a Scud.

The Chair: Any further debate on the amendment? Seeing none, all in favour of Mrs Poole's amendment? All opposed?

Motion agreed to.

Section 7, as amended, agreed to.

Section 8:

The Chair: Moving right along, we need unanimous consent to reopen section 100o. I see unanimous consent.

Ms Poole moves that subsection 100o(5) of the bill, as set out in section 8 of the bill, be struck out and the following substituted:

"(5) For the purposes of subsection (1), the minister shall determine the total rent increase that is justified and apportion the total rent increase under subsections 100f(2) to (6).

"(5a) Despite subsection (1), if in an order rendered void under section 100n the minister has allowed an amount in respect of a capital expenditure that was the subject of an order under subsection 89(2) made before 29 November 1990, the minister shall make a new order that,

"(a) subject to clause (c), adopts the findings made in the void order;

"(b) apportions the total rent increase amongst the rental units in the residential complex in accordance with section 82 and subsections 83(1) to (3);

"(c) subject to clause (d), provides that the rent increase for each rental unit, including the rent increase attributable to equalization, shall be the lesser of the rent increase allowed in the void order for that rental unit and 15% of the maximum rent for that rental unit; and

"(d) does not order a maximum rent for a rental unit greater than that proposed on the application."

Ms Poole: I will be eternally grateful if the minister ever does succeed in simplifying the legislation for rent review because I am sure all members are saying, "What does this mean?" Legislative counsel has informed me that this carries through the same policy for redoing the voided orders in section 100o that we spent a great deal of time debating yesterday. What it does say is that they do not have to go back to scratch and have a new application, that they will take the sections of the applications that are not void and proceed to process them without the applicants having to do it anew. It just brings it into compliance with 100o, which we have already passed.

Is that right, legislative counsel? More or less?

The Chair: Being 12 o'clock, I need unanimous consent from the committee to carry on. Seeing unanimous consent, please continue our debate.

Ms Poole: Those are my comments, unless anybody has any comments or questions.

The Chair: Any discussion on Mrs Poole's amendment?

Ms Harrington: I just want to thank legislative counsel for doing all of this overnight. Thank you.

The Chair: Any further discussion? Seeing none, all in favour of Mrs Poole's amendment? All opposed?

Motion agreed to.

The Chair: Shall section 100o, as amended, carry? Carried.

Ms Poole: Mr Chair, the next section of the bill that would refer to conditional orders is section 12, which we have not reached. I would suggest that perhaps it is timely, if we have unanimous consent, that we deal with section 12 now so that we can dispense with the conditional orders entirely.


The Chair: Yes, we need unanimous consent. It is granted? Okay, Mrs Poole.

Section 12:

Ms Poole: I would suggest that we only address subsection 12(1), and then the balance of 12, which does not relate to the conditional orders, we might deal with as we come to it in sequence.

The Chair: All right, that is understood.

Ms Poole moves that subsection 12(1) of the bill be amended by striking out "except sections 1 and 7" in the first line and substituting "except section 1 and subsection 7(2)."

Ms Poole: Forget my earlier comment, Mr Chair.

The Chair: That is all right.

Ms Poole further moves that subsection 12(3) of the bill be amended by striking out "Section 7" at the beginning and substituting "Subsection 7(2)."

So we are dealing with 12(1) and (3), right?

Ms Poole: Yes, we are dealing with 12(1) and (3), and legislative counsel has told me that this is to fix --

The Chair: I think at this point, on the advice of the clerk, we should do all of 12.

Ms Poole: Okay.

The Chair: Because what are we going to do with subsection 12(2)? Let's just discount what we had agreed upon two minutes earlier. Let's just deal with all of 12. It will help us keep things in order.

Ms Poole: So would you prefer to deal with (1) and (3) amendments first and then deal with subsection 12(2)?

The Chair: Why do we not just do subsections (1), (2) and (3)?

Ms Poole: Subsection 12(1), I have no idea what this means, but I act under good faith on the advice of legislative counsel that this is necessary to fix the commencement date of this portion of the bill. If legislative counsel wants to elaborate, that is fine, but maybe we could all take them on good faith that this is necessary.

The Chair: Any debate on Ms Poole's amendment to subsections 12(1) and (3)? Seeing none, all in favour?

Motion agreed to.

The Chair: Shall section 12, as amended, carry?

Section 12, as amended, agreed to.

Section 8:

The Chair: We have to go back to section 100n. Shall subsections 100n(1) to (9), inclusive, carry?

We are just getting some last-minute advice here. Just give the Chair a second. We understand that there are a couple of amendments, government amendments, to be dealt with --

Ms Harrington: Section 8 of the bill, section 100n of the act, I move that section 100n of the act, as set out in section 8 of the bill, be amended by adding the following subsection:

"(4a) Any order made by the Divisional Court on an appeal from an order referred to in subsection (2), (3) or (4) shall be deemed to be void."

The reason for this amendment is that it clarifies that orders of the Divisional Court which result from an appeal of a minister or a board order which is voided by the act are also rendered void.

The Chair: We are just double-checking the wording on that amendment. Give us a moment, please. I am going to ask the parliamentary secretary to reread her amendment. It is just a small matter of doing the amendments in order, and I ask the parliamentary secretary to place the amendment at this time.

Ms Harrington: Section 8 of the bill, subsection 100n(1) of the act, I move that subsection 100n(1) of the act, as set out in section 8 of the bill, be struck out and the following substituted:

"(1) This section applies to an order made by the minister, the board or a court under Part VI, even if made before the 1st day of October, 1990."

This amendment is made to change an incorrect reference to "this act" to "part VI" instead.

The Chair: Thank you. Any discussion on this amendment?

Mr Tilson: What court orders are we rendering void? There must be some examples, Colleen.


Mr Tilson: I mean specifically -- there is a Divisional Court order, obviously. What does it say?

Ms Parrish: Actually, I am not aware of any Divisional Court orders that are there.

Mr Tilson: Why do we have them in there?

Ms Parrish: Well, because of the following circumstances: Whether or not you agree with the policy, and I understand that you do not, you would not want to have a situation where the administrative order was rendered void and any appeal under the hearings board was rendered void, but then you could go to the Divisional Court and have the whole thing rectified. So I have to say that I am not aware of any Divisional Court hearing that we are actually striking down. It is only that the potential is there and in order to make the policy work you would have to follow it all the way up the chain. I understand you do not agree with the policy, but that is the legal reason for the section. But I am not aware of any Divisional Court orders that affect any orders caught by Bill 4. There are, of course, as you know, administrative orders.

Mr Tilson: When the limitation period has expired, do you appeal to the Divisional Court?

Ms Parrish: No.

Mr Tilson: No?

Ms Parrish: I do not think so, sir. Not to my knowledge, no.

Mr Tilson: Thank you.

The Chair: You are satisfied, Mr Tilson?

Mr Tilson: Yes.

The Chair: Thank you. Any further discussion on the government amendment? I am sorry, legislative counsel has some advice for us.

Ms Baldwin: Christina Sokulsky from the ministry has just pointed out to me that as a result of the motions that were just passed by Ms Poole, it would be appropriate to make a slight change to this motion. I want to read it out to the committee and ask if I can get committee concurrence to have the motion amended accordingly, assuming that that is all right with the parliamentary assistant. Do you mind if I read that out?

The Chair: I think we have concurrence.

Ms Baldwin: I would like it to reread as follows, "This section applies to an order made by the minister, the board or a court under part VI, other than an order to which subsection 83(3a) applies, even if made before 1 October 1990."

The Chair: Can you repeat that, please?

Ms Baldwin: Yes. This would involve inserting, after "part VI," "other than an order to which subsection 83(3a) applies." The reason for this is that we have just provided that some of these conditional orders will be dealt with in part VI and we want to make sure that they are not voided under this provision.

The Chair: Okay, does the committee understand the change that is being suggested by legislative counsel? After the words "under part VI," we need to insert, "other than an order to which subsection 83(3a) applies." Any discussion on that? All in favour of the amendment?

Motion agreed to.

The Chair: I believe we have another government amendment.

Ms Harrington: Yes, Mr Chair.


The Chair: Ms Harrington moves that section 100n of the act, as set out in section 8 of the bill, be amended by adding the following subsection:

"(41) Any order made by the Divisional Court on an appeal from an order referred to in subsection (2), (3) or (4) shall be deemed to be void."

Ms Harrington: This amendment clarifies that orders of the Divisional Court which result from the appeal of a minister or board order which is voided by the act are also rendered void.

The Chair: Any discussion on the amendment? All in favour of the amendment? Opposed?

Motion agreed to.

The Chair: Shall section 100n, as amended, carry? Carried.

Section 1:

The Chair: We had stood down section 1 of the bill. Any discussion on section 1 of the bill?

Mr Tilson: Subsection (1) or the whole section? I had tabled an amendment to subsection 1(2) of the bill, the mobile home issue.

The Chair: Shall subsection 1(1) carry? Carried. Shall subsection 1(2) carry?

Mr Tilson: Mr Chair, I tabled an amendment to subsection 1(2) of the bill. I would move that subsection 1(2) of the bill be struck out.

I realize that may be out of order. Is it simply a matter of voting against it?

The Chair: Yes.

Mr Tilson: So the motion would be out of order?

The Chair: Yes.

Mr Tilson: Then I would like to speak against the amendment, Mr Chair, if you will give me an opportunity.

The Chair: Please go ahead.

Mr Tilson: I do not know whether you are asking for a clarification on the subsection first, or are we bypassing all that?

The Chair: No, we are not bypassing it at all.

Ms Harrington: Shall I read that first?

The Chair: Please.

Ms Harrington: This is a technical amendment that clarifies that the Residential Rent Regulation Act of 1986 covers both mobile homes and/or single-family dwellings in land-leased communities and mobile home parks where the site is rented and the unit or structure is owned by the tenant of the site. The act also applies to situations where both site and structure or unit are rented. Because this section is a matter of clarification of the original policy intent, it is retroactive to 1 January 1987, subsection 2(2), with the exception of court decisions that have been made before 29 November 1990. Thus the Divisional Court decision made on this issue in Cartwright v Jutasi will not be overturned.

Just as further clarification, these types of dwellings, as far back as 1975, have always been part of this rent review and rent control and it is the intention to include these dwellings to continue the status quo.

Mr Tilson: I will try to be brief, because I think the committee discussed briefly this subsection several days ago. Our party's position I suppose stems from representations that were made to the committee specifically in the minister's home riding of Windsor. Obviously it is designed to circumvent the Divisional Court decision of Cartwright v Jutasi, which stated that rent controls do not apply to these types of homes. The green paper has stated that mobile home sites and land lease arrangements are under interministerial review. The minister has stated that in due course he feels this should be under separate legislation. I would concur with that and I feel that at this particular point this should be outside this legislation.

The difficulty I have with this legislation is that I think that the mobile home is quite different than the residential apartment or the basement apartment or the rental of a house. These mobile homes are generally owned by the tenant, in which case they rent the plot of land from the land owner, and if there are difficulties between the landlord and the tenant, it really is as a result perhaps of Bill 4 or other legislation similar to it. It is most difficult for the tenant to move on. Ultimately the tenant has the ability to move out of the residential apartment building, but he or she does not with this type of unit. And of course it is very expensive for them to move. There are only a limited number of mobile home parks where their units can be placed, and I really feel that it is most inappropriate for this type of legislation to be in Bill 4.

We have all received submissions and correspondence. I will not go on from the remarks that I have made previously to the committee, but I would like to just read sections of a letter that some of us have received. It was a letter to myself, of which a copy went to Mr Nixon, Mr Harris and Mrs Poole, and it is a letter from Martingrove Village in Waterloo in which they speak in opposition to this specific subsection. It talks about requirements of renovating facilities that are within the trailer park to meet municipal and other government standards:

"Subject to certain conditions, which would lead to the required replacement of the existing hydro, water and septic sanitary system, these existing systems are approximately 30 years old and are recognized by me, as well as the municipal and other government authorities, as being very much in need of replacement. Engineering reports initiated by me confirm the need for replacement arises out of normal wear and tear.

"My inability to finance this essential capital expenditure may well result in the public health authorities" -- and in this case the regional municipality of Waterloo -- "issuing an order that the mobile home park be closed. The result of such an order would be to displace in excess of 200 people currently occupying the 78 homes on sites rented from me, many of whom are senior citizens. It should be noted that the existing mobile home park qualifies as affordable housing within ministry guidelines.

"The proposed new water, hydro and septic systems are designed to serve the existing park as well as the new expansion. When a water treatment system is added under this design to bring the system up to current MOE standards, MOE will require replacement of the existing distribution system, and these costs cannot be managed without appropriate increases in rent.

"Current rents average $181 per month, which include $50 per month for taxes and about $40 per month for maintenance. This rental is far below rental rents and provides for no more than a break-even point for me. Certainly there is no capacity in me to provide for the extraordinary capital expenditures of replacing existing services without an increase in rent."

The point of this letter and other submissions that we heard in Windsor -- similar representations, because this is not a novel submission, it was made to us on several occasions -- is that the mobile home site on rented land is a matter that should be out of this legislation. I think that the government is quite correct in studying this matter, as has been indicated to us, and it is under interministerial review, but if this legislation is passed, if Bill 4 is passed, there are going to be communities -- and that is what these are, communities -- that are going to be put in a very difficult situation, and there is no confirmation that they will be closed, but there is a possibility that this one might be closed, specifically if major improvements are required.

So I would ask the members of the committee to consider those comments and not support this subsection; in fact, the subsection should be deleted from the bill.


The Chair: Any further comments on subsection 1(2)? Mrs Poole.

Ms Poole: Yes, Mr Chair. I do intend to be brief. Mr Tilson has outlined a number of the concerns with mobile homes, may I say, from two vantage points. One is the plight of mobile home owner tenants who feel that they have no options because they just cannot pick up and move if the rents become excessive, and they have outlined specific problems that they have had; for instance, if the mobile park home owner was building a new recreation centre and they would have to pay a portion of that as part of their rent for the land. There seemed to be a lot of friction in this regard.

On the other side of the coin, from the mobile park owner side of it, we did hear a number of representations which showed that they are really in a number of cases in dire straits. One presentation brought to our attention the area of municipal taxes, for instance. Currently, from what this presenter said, municipal taxes are levied to the mobile park owner for not only the land but also for the mobile home units that are on it, and then that park owner would have to go to each of the tenants on site and get their portion back to pay the taxes, and the sad thing about it is that if one of those tenants did happen to move without paying those taxes, it is the mobile park owner who is liable and in fact who could be stuck with paying the taxes on the building portion.

So there are obviously a number of issues -- and those are just the tip of the iceberg -- that make mobile homes very different than other renters under the RRRA and under Bill 4.

I do not believe that the government is going to support any type of motion to have separate legislation for it, apart from Bill 4. But I would very strongly recommend that they look at it as an option in the long term, that mobile homes, with their very diverse set of problems, should be dealt with in separate legislation which can recognize those problems and deal with them.

In the interim it is very difficult and I wish that very quickly legislation could be brought in that would provide protection on both sides, but it is probably not feasible.

The Chair: Any further discussion?

Mr Tilson: Just a point of order, and it is my inexperience on these committees, I suppose, that I am asking this question. I would like a recorded vote, but it does not appear that there is a motion; how does that work?

The Chair: Yes, shall subsection 1(2) carry? We can have a recorded vote.

Mr Tilson: Okay, I would like a recorded vote.

The Chair: Any further discussion?

The committee divided on subsection 1(2), which was agreed to on the following vote:


Abel, Dadamo, Drainville, Harrington, Lessard, Ward, M.


Brown, Mahoney, Poole, Tilson.

Ms Poole: It sure is very difficult. This is the first time, I think, we have had a recorded vote when it was not my amendment.

Section 1 agreed to.

Section 8:

The Chair: Mrs Poole had tabled an amendment on 21 February in regard to clause 100e(2)(g) of the act.

Ms Poole: Yes. I believe this was my amendment that dealt with conditional orders, and I would withdraw that at this time. It is not appropriate that we debate it since we have dealt with the matter in another section.

The Chair: Shall the section, as amended, carry? Carried.

Section 8, as amended, agreed to.

The Chair: We need unanimous consent to deal with a government motion for section 6a of the bill. Do we have unanimous consent?

Agreed to.

Ms Harrington: Thank you.

Ms Poole: My, you are quick, Mr Chair. But yes, there is unanimous consent.

The Chair: Ms Harrington moves that the bill be amended by adding the following section:

"6a. Section 39 of the act is repealed and the following substituted:

"39. Members of the board shall hold office during pleasure."

Ms Harrington: The reason for the amendment is this will permit civil servants to be appointed as hearings board members. This will allow the board to better meet its workload in order to speedily resolve outstanding applications. It will also provide greater flexibility in appointments. Currently, only the vice-chair of the board can be a civil servant.

The Chair: Any debate on Mrs Harrington's amendment?

Ms Poole: My understanding from conversations which, I think, a representative from Mr Cooke's office had with both Mr Tilson and me on this particular issue, is that the board is very desirous of clearing up any backlog prior to any long-term legislation coming into place. The backlog actually has not been created by the board per se but by the fact there has been a backlog at rent review, which is reflected in a backlog at the appeals board.

It is a difficult amendment in that the intent, I think, is very desirable. We certainly want to make sure that applications are speedily resolved. There appear to be a few problematic areas about having civil servants appointed as hearings board members, and I am hoping that the ministry can perhaps correct these through a training process.

One is that rent review administrators, which I would presuppose would be the type of civil servants you would refer to who would be appointed to the board, are necessarily reliant on the operations manual in conducting their reviews. They have a different range of experience than members of the hearings board, and the hearings board, as you know, is quasi-judicial, so it reflects a degree of independence from the government. So there are two very different attitudes, two very different philosophies, as to how a rent review administrator would deal with a problem and how a hearings board member would deal with a problem.

But I will support the government in this motion, notwithstanding my reservations, simply because it appears to be the only alternative to cleaning up any backlog. There was an alternative, or a corresponding proposal, I might say, that was looked at to change the number on the panel, or the option of choosing three on a panel instead of one, but that was much more problematic, and I would think this is a better way to deal with it.

So my only comment, Mrs Harrington, is I hope that the ministry will take specific efforts to make sure that whomever they appoint, they do emphasize the independence of the board, the quasi-judicial nature, the fact that hearings are held de novo, and that they will have a great deal of discretion. In other words, I hope we are not going to appoint people who have been used to, and have minds used to working within a very rigid context.


Mr Mahoney: You should inform the members of the NDP caucus of that.

Ms Poole: Behave yourself. We are almost through.

So I will support this amendment, but I would ask the ministry to take that into consideration.

The Chair: Any further debate on this?

Mr Tilson: Yes. There is no question that as a result of the threat of Bill 4 there are fewer applications to the board. I would assume that is the fact. Can anyone answer that? No one can answer that.

Mr Mahoney: Fewer things to apply for.

Mr Tilson: Yes. Presumably there is less activity, and because there is less activity, surely the list is getting shorter as opposed to longer.

I am just averse to hiring more bureaucrats, quite frankly. I mean, that was one of the concerns of the New Democratic Party during the election. If you have people there to serve the function and the list is getting shorter, why are we doing this? That is a question to anyone.

Ms Parrish: I would like to respond by saying that the hearings board experiences quite a lag in the process, because of course it only deals with orders that then come out of the administrative system and then go on. So there are a fairly significant number of cases that they still have; plus they still have -- I forget -- the 130,000 units that are not caught by Bill 4 that will go through the administrative system. About 20% of those will go to appeal. So they probably have workloads to keep them going for the next, I do not know, two years before they would start to experience any diminution in their workload as a result of Bill 4, and that is because of the timing lag between administrative decisions and hearings board hearings.

Mr Tilson: But the list is in fact stopped. It is not getting larger. It is either getting smaller or it stays the same as a result of Bill 4. I cannot believe there are more applications. I mean, there cannot be. Why would there be if the government is saying, "Do not apply"?

Ms Parrish: The applications to the board are coming from all the hearings and all the decisions that have been made before Bill 4 comes into effect.

Mr Tilson: Yes, but that has stopped now.

Ms Parrish: Well, it has not stopped, because they still think people can apply for it and are applying. There will be a diminution over time, you are quite right, but it will take a long time for that to impact the board.

Mr Tilson: The second question I have is, will it cost the taxpayer more money as a result of this, and if so, what will it cost?

Ms Harrington: Not having any figures offhand, I asked staff, and apparently no.

Mr Tilson: No cost factor.

Ms Harrington: That is correct.

Mr Tilson: Well, is that --

Ms Harrington: I would also like to --

Mr Tilson: -- an answer from the hip or did you actually have facts that there would be no cost factor? Do you know or are you guessing?

Ms Parrish: If the board hires a person to be a hearings board member, obviously it has to pay him a salary. The question you are asking is really, is there likely to be a salary differential as a result of hiring the civil servant as opposed to hiring anybody else, and I cannot think of a reason why that would be the case. I suppose it could happen.

We have not forecast for any increase. I should note that the vice-chairman is already a civil servant. I suppose I can think of scenarios where you have somebody with a very large vested pension or whatever, but you can hire anybody. All this is really saying is, instead of paying your salary to person X, you are paying the same salary to person Y. You are just increasing your ability to recruit by having a wider pool of potential applicants.

Mr Tilson: Will there be a decrease in civil servants or will it stay the same? Will you hire civil servants to replace those who are moving on?

The Chair: You are referring to the board?

Mr Tilson: Yes.

The Chair: Which is a quasi-judicial board which has traditionally appointed people from outside.

Mr Tilson: Yes, I am. There are more bodies coming from somewhere.

The Chair: I just want to make sure you were referring to the board specifically.

Mr Tilson: Yes.

Ms Parrish: I do not know what the board will do because, of course, we do not control its hiring process. All this does is give them the option of hiring a person who is a civil servant. Right now the only person whom they can hire who is a civil servant is the vice-chairperson, and any other member cannot be a civil servant; they exclude themselves from recruiting those persons. Whether or not that will mean they will hire any civil servants, I do not know. They might, but we do not control their hiring process.

Mr Tilson: I am terribly afraid this is more mushrooming bureaucracy. I really am because, with all due respect to you, the answer simply has not dealt with that and we just do not have the facts before us. I have no idea what this is all going to cost. Maybe it will not cost that much. I do not know whether we are going to be hiring more people to replace the people who are moving on. I do not know any of those things. How are these people appointed? How is that going to be dealt with? Is it going to be Premier Bob's friends or where are they going to come from?

Ms Parrish: I do not think I can answer that question. Technically, they are appointed by orders in council.

The Chair: I would assume that if they were civil servants they would probably be seconded from different departments and ministries. I do not think we will be seeing civil servants quitting their civil service jobs to be appointed to this board; I think they will be seconded. I could be wrong. Maybe the government can help us.

Ms Harrington: I am sorry, I could not say.

Ms Parrish: That is certainly an option, that you would second somebody from somewhere within the government. Then when they had completed dealing with the backlog at the hearings board, they would return to some other employment in the government, or perhaps they retire. They could be individuals who are nearing retirement age and are not willing to take an appointment with the board because they would have to give up their pension rights and therefore they may not wish to be in the position where they have to make such a significant personal sacrifice.

Mr Tilson: This committee that has been appointed to appoint committees -- I do not know what it is called; I sat on it one day and left.

The Chair: You were impressed?

Mr Tilson: No, I was not, quite frankly. I do not know what it is called. Obviously, it was a flippant remark and I meant it like that, but I do not know what the name of the committee is. Do you know the committee I am speaking of?

The Chair: Yes.

Mr Tilson: Would these people come under that committee before they get appointed? Where do they come from? I am following through on Mrs Poole's comments. I would like to be reasonably satisfied that these people will be independent. They will be making quasi-judicial decisions. My question is to anyone.

The Chair: If I could be helpful, and I certainly do not want to speak for the government, but the way I read this is that this amendment, this section of the bill, will allow civil servants to be appointed as hearings board members. Now, in order to be a civil servant in the true sense of the word you must be in the employ of the government, with all of the responsibilities a civil servant has at the time. Then from that group of individuals these people will be chosen by some method devised internally by the government to sit on the hearings board. That is different from what has been the practice, as was described by Mrs Poole, where people were appointed as hearings boards officers from outside the government. It is different, and your questions reflect that difference, so unless I am incorrect in what I have stated --

Mr Tilson: Well, Mr Chair, I do appreciate the concern of the government in trying to cut down on the waiting lists. I do appreciate that, but I do not believe it is the answer, I really do not. It would appear that it may cost more. The public must perceive that justice will be done, and the public, the way this has been phrased, cannot be satisfied that these individuals will be independent enough to make those decisions. In light of that, I will not be supporting the amendment.

The Chair: Any further discussion?


Ms Harrington: Just a short comment. You are right, Mr Tilson, that this committee of the government is the process through which these appointments will go. Second, Mrs Poole mentioned a training process. Yes, these people will have a training process to go through.

The Chair: That is fine. Any further discussion? Shall the amendment carry?

Motion agreed to.

Section 6, as amended, agreed to.

The Chair: We have, I believe, two more government amendments.

Section 9:

The Chair: Ms Harrington moves that subsection 118(1) of the act, as set out in section 9 of the bill, be amended by adding the following paragraphs:

"35e. prescribing, for the purposes of part VI-A, the method of determining maximum rent;

"35f. prescribing, for the purposes of section 100g, the manner in which the minister shall determine the reduction of the rent increase;"

Ms Harrington: This amendment sets out specific regulation-making powers to prescribe the method of determining maximum rent and determining the reduction of a rent increase on an application under 100g.

The Chair: Any discussion on paragraph 35e?

Ms Poole: Briefly, I support the amendment of the government and I am particularly delighted to see that there are going to be criteria established via regulations to deal with rent reductions. I think that under section 100g this will be helpful for all concerned, tenants, landlords and ministry officials.

The Chair: Any further discussion? Shall the amendment carry?

Motion agreed to.

The Chair: Ms Harrington moves that subsection 9(1) of the bill be amended by adding the following paragraph to section 118 of the act:

"35g prescribing criteria that the minister may consider in determining the real substance of transactions and activities and the good faith of participants under subsection 100e(8)."

Any discussion?

Mr Tilson: I would like to look at it before --

The Chair: Let's get a copy for Mr Tilson.

Ms Harrington: This amendment creates the regulation-making authority to set out criteria that could be used in making decisions under subsection 100e(8). Subsection 100e(8) provides discretion to the minister in determining a justified rent increase, to determine the real substance of transactions and activities and the good faith of the participants in those transactions. This amendment was discussed in relation to subsection 100e(8).

The Chair: Any discussion on the amendment? Shall the amendment carry?

Motion agreed to.

The Chair: Shall subsection 9(1), as amended, carry? Carried. Shall subsection 9(2) carry? Carried.

Legislative counsel has an opinion to offer to us.

Ms Baldwin: With regard to subsection 3, I would ask the committee's unanimous consent to change the reference to paragraph 35d in subsection 3 to paragraph 35g, since we have just added these extra three paragraphs.

The Chair: Do we have unanimous consent? We have unanimous consent. Shall subsection 9(3) carry, as amended? Carried.

Section 9, as amended, agreed to.

The Chair: Just a second. I am just trying to give the clerk time to make notes as we are going along here.

Section 10:

The Chair: Do you want the explanation for section 10?

Ms Poole: If the parliamentary assistant does not have a specific explanation, I would just ask if my impression is correct that the intent of section 10 is to say that as of 1 January 1993 this act will be null and void unless, obviously, the minister introduces his long-term legislation in the meantime, in which case it would be voided sooner, and that this section merely refers to the sections in the bill that would be voided with that. As long as that explanation is correct, then --

The Chair: Shall section 10, in its entirety, carry?

Section 10 agreed to.

Section 11:

The Chair: Moving on to section 11, would you like to make any comments on section 11?

Ms Harrington: This section provides that the RRRA will not affect the rights acquired under a court order before 29 November 1990 with respect to the definition of a rental unit. For example, the Divisional Court decision in Cartwright v Jutasi, which ruled that the rented site on which a permanent single-family home was situated was exempt from the RRRA, will not be affected by the RRRA amendment for the parties to that decision, as the decision came before 29 November 1990.

The Chair: Any discussion?

Mr Tilson: At least this is one section that is not retroactive.

The Chair: All right. Shall section 11 carry?

Section 11 agreed to.

Section 13 agreed to.

Title agreed to.

The Chair: Shall the bill, as amended, carry?

Ms Poole: Mr Chair, could we please have a recorded vote on that?

The Chair: A recorded vote has been requested. All in favour?

The committee divided on whether the bill, as amended, should be agreed to, which was agreed to on the following vote:


Abel, Dadamo, Drainville, Harrington, Lessard, Ward, M.


Brown, Mahoney, Poole, Tilson.

Mr Mahoney: Are you going to announce the result of that vote, Mr Chair?

The Chair: The vote indicated that the bill carried.

Mr Mahoney: I see.

The Chair: Sorry, Mr Mahoney.

Mr Mahoney: Was it close?

The Chair: Well, it was about six to four, I think.

Bill, as amended, ordered to be reported.

Ms Harrington: Thank you very much. You did a wonderful job.

The Chair: Thank you.

Ms Poole: Just on a point of order, the fact that the government members voted down virtually all of my amendments, except two which did not go to the heart and soul of the act, does that mean they did not like my amendments?

The Chair: It may be, but that is not a point of order.

Mr Mahoney: It does not mean they do not like you, though, Dianne.

The Chair: The committee is adjourned.

The committee adjourned at 1250.