Thursday 30 January 1992

Rent Control Act 1991, Bill 121 / Loi de 1991 sur le contrôle des loyers, projet de loi 121


Chair / Président(e): Brown, Michael A. (Algoma-Manitoulin L)

Acting Chair / Président(e) suppléant(e): Morin, Gilles E. (Carleton East/-Est L)

Vice-Chair / Vice-Président(e): McClelland, Carman (Brampton North/-Nord L)

Abel, Donald (Wentworth North/-Nord ND)

Bisson, Gilles (Cochrane South/-Sud ND)

Harrington, Margaret H. (Niagara Falls ND)

Mammoliti, George (Yorkview ND)

Marchese, Rosario (Fort York ND)

Marland, Margaret (Mississauga South/-Sud PC)

O'Neill, Yvonne (Ottawa-Rideau L)

Poole, Dianne (Eglinton L)

Turnbull, David (York Mills PC)

Winninger, David (London South/-Sud NDP)

Substitution(s) / Membre(s) remplaçant(s):

Gigantes, Evelyn (Ottawa Centre/-Centre ND) for Ms Harrington

Jackson, Cameron (Burlington South/-Sud PC) for Mr Turnbull

Lessard, Wayne (Windsor-Walkerville ND) for Mr Winninger

Malkowski, Gary (York East/-Est ND) for Mr Marchese

Morin, Gilles E. (Carleton East/-Est L) for Mr McClelland

Owens, Stephen (Scarborough Centre/-Centre ND) for Mr Bisson

Clerk / Greffier: Deller, Deborah

Staff / Personnel: Baldwin, Elizabeth, Legislative Counsel

The committee met at 1010 in committee room 1.


Resuming consideration of Bill 121, An Act to revise the Law related to Residential Rent Regulation / Projet de loi 121, Loi révisant les lois relatives à la réglementation des loyers d'habitation.

The Chair: The standing committee on general government will come to order. The business of the committee is to review Bill 121 clause by clause. At the conclusion of yesterday's sitting we were discussing an amendment by Mrs Poole to sections 89.1 through 89.14.

Ms Harrington: Briefly, I wanted to let you know about some of the results from last spring's consultations. This is a one-page press release with some statistics of the mailbacks. About a million of the little householders were sent out, asking the tenants and landlords -- any interested person across Ontario -- to give us ideas as to how rent control should be handled in about five or six key areas. A substantial number of course were returned and the results were tabulated. The question here is, "Deciding rent disputes: Who decides what the rent should be? (a) Modify current system; (b) Two levels of hearings; (c) One hearing system." Out of the total returned, 32% said modify the current system, 10% said two levels of hearings and 48% said one hearing system. I just wanted to put that on the record.

Ms Poole: I thank the parliamentary assistant for sharing that information with us. Unfortunately it does not have a lot of relevance. The previous board was called the hearings board. That was the appeals board. Most educated tenants, in their minds, would connect hearings with appeals. So to them the fact that you had only one hearings board would mean that you had an appeals board. Other tenants who are not as familiar with the legislation would think this had nothing to do with appeal. The word "appeal" is not even mentioned in there. Many tenants would not be aware exactly what the modified current system is.

I have something that perhaps would be a little more specific to the issue. Elinor Caplan, in the second week of December 1991, which, as you know, was just a month ago, sent out 15,000 flyers on Bill 121 to tenants in her riding. She asked a series of questions concerning automatic hearings, appeal and capital reserve funds for new buildings. All of these indicated that they were important issues to tenants. I specifically refer you to the question, "Should the Liberal caucus support rent legislation that does not provide adequate appeal for rent review orders?" There were 119 replies: 109 answered no, which is 91.59%; 7% answered yes, which is 5.8%. We have also done this in another riding but have not yet tabulated the responses since they are still coming in, but from this quite limited instance the vast majority of tenants were convinced that adequate appeal was a necessary part of the process.

I would make one other point, about the Labour Relations Board, which Mr Abel referred to yesterday. If we had only one body and if it was at arm's length, independently appointed and separated from both the bureaucracy and the political arm of the ministry, then I would find it far less problematic to have only that one level. But the problem is that if the one level you have is appointed by the ministry, they are ministry civil servants, policy direction comes from the ministry office and the minister's office and it is fully dominated by the ministry as far as policy and direction are concerned, then I think that is a very different case from an independent tribunal. Ontario is noted for the quality of our independent tribunals and how strong they are, and if that had been the government's alternative, to separate the one level from the Ministry of Housing, then it would be far less problematic in my mind.

When it comes right down to it, when we talk about appeals we are talking about a democratic right to make sure justice has been carried out. We have not yet finally determined what sort of hearing process there will be. That is still under discussion. I think the ministry will have something to say to that later today, because we have stood down that section. But I do reflect the concern of many tenants and landlords in this province that we have eliminated the right of appeal through a government body with the only remedy, in fairly exceptional circumstances, being a very costly and time-consuming process through the courts. As much as I appreciate the parliamentary assistant bringing her facts from that survey to our attention, I think the bottom line is that if you talk to tenants and tell them what this is about and what it means not to have that right of appeal, you will find that they are very strongly in support of retaining an appeal board.

The Chair: Further questions or comments to Mrs Poole's amendment to sections 89.1 through 89.14? Shall Mrs Poole's amendment --

Ms Poole: Mr Chair, I would like a recorded vote.

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

Ayes -- 4

Jackson, Morin, O'Neill, Y., Poole.

Nays -- 6

Abel, Harrington, Lessard, Malkowski, Mammoliti, Owens.

Ms Poole: On a point of order, Mr Chair: I believe Mr Abel had his hand up immediately when we did, so perhaps he meant to vote in favour of this. I would just like that clarification.

Mr Abel: No, absolutely not.

The Chair: I believe the clerk called the roll.

Mr Abel: I was just so excited about voting against it.

Section 90:

The Chair: Questions, comments or amendments to section 90?

Mr Jackson: I referenced this section yesterday briefly. I have some concerns. Perhaps legal counsel could make it abundantly clear, but a point at law has very little to do with the application, on the face of it. It has to do with whether the process was followed in accordance with the act. This would not deal, for example, with the fact that there was a dispute over whether the roof needed repair. It would deal with whether the rent officer acted in accordance with the law or broke some other law in the process of processing the application. I would like that clarified, either from legal counsel or --

Ms Baldwin: I think I can speak to that. You are sort of right: it would not deal with the question of fact. It would not deal with the determination of whether the roof leaked. It would not be a question of whether the rent officer broke the law. It would be a question of whether the law was properly interpreted.

Mr Jackson: That is correct, so my concern here is that when we did not have an appeal process in the first instance, this is always the most convenient clause on appeals you can pull off a shelf to throw in so that you can say, "Oh, we do have an appeal system." But it really is a meaningless appeal since, when you go out and find a lawyer and he explains it to you, you realize that you have to have really caught the rent officer having broken the law and not challenged the decision or the conclusions the rent officer came to.

For this legislation to suggest that this is some sort of meaningful appeal for tenants, it really is not. Since tenants lack the resources to extend the process into the courts, and this has been generally the rule in this province, then this really becomes a clause that is a benefit to landlords if they wish to choose to pursue it. But certainly tenants are quite incapacitated from having this clause have any real effect.


Ms Poole: I do not wish to belabour the point, because Mr Jackson has quite well articulated the current concerns of the opposition in this regard.

Mr Jackson: Both oppositions.

Ms Poole: Both opposition parties. I am sorry, Mr Jackson. When I say "opposition," I usually refer to all of us on this side of the table.

I just wish to state for the record that the Liberal caucus will not be supporting section 90, because we do not feel this is adequate appeal for tenants or landlords.

Mr Jackson: Could I please have a clarification? Since this obviously is a matter that then goes into the civil courts, all expenses of the ministry are borne by the ministry then, if there is no request for costs to be borne by the applicant and not by the ministry?

Ms Harrington: Is that a question?

Mr Jackson: It certainly was.

Ms Parrish: I am sorry, I am not quite sure. Usually the costs are awarded sort of in the clause, as you know, based on who won the case, but it is quite common that the courts will decide, because there was a novel matter of law being debated or whatever, that notwithstanding costs will not be awarded to the crown. I do not know if that is what you mean.

Mr Jackson: Do you have sufficient lawyers in your quiver to wander into a courtroom and protect these civil servants? That is another way of putting it. Costs are one thing, but then you have the presence of legal counsel accompanying a rent officer and/or a property standards officer from a differing jurisdiction, or whoever is being subpoenaed. They will need legal protection, and I assume the province will be picking up all the liabilities for property standards officers who are under there. That is all embodied in the concept of dragging people into court under an appeal.

Ms Parrish: If people take an application, they take an application against the government and not these individual people, and the province has lawyers who take these cases. Sometimes it is our own seconded legal staff, some of whom you have met, and some cases are handled by people in the Ministry of the Attorney General, the civil area, because the cases involve issues of jurisdiction or whatever and they are specialists in that area. So it is both.

Mr Jackson: And on the point of the liability of these subcontracted property standards officers from neighbouring jurisdictions, do we assume all their liabilities in that regard?

Ms Parrish: It is governed by the Proceedings Against the Crown Act, which deals with liability and so on. As you know, the usual standard is if you are pursuing your duties and powers and so on, then you are protected. If, for example, you are taking bribes or something, you may have a problem, but if you are pursuing your duty under a statute, you have the protections of the Proceedings Against the Crown Act.

Section 90 agreed to.

Sections 91 to 93, inclusive, agreed to.

Section 93.1, as amended, agreed to. Section 94 agreed to.

Section 95:

The Chair: Questions, comments or amendments? Shall section 95 carry? Carried.

Ms Poole: Mr Chair, I think Mr Jackson had a comment.

The Chair: I am sorry, Mr Jackson. I got ahead of you.

Mr Jackson: That is okay, Mr Chairman. We are all wanting to get as much done today as possible. This rent registry is a matter which time did not allow us to get into in much detail because we were here to talk to wizards yesterday, but I have put on record that I asked the minister for a status report on the rent registry. This is an important issue and I would like to get a current update on that before I am prepared -- quite frankly, I have heard a lot about delay and I still understand the rent registry is not ready. To the extent that this legislation is tied to the rent registry in a sense, I would like to find out just how far along staff at the Ministry of Housing have gotten the rent registry, because I certainly want that on record. I do not want any more accusations of delay if in fact part of the problem is that the rent registry is not fully functional. Can I get some status report on that?

Ms Harrington: I will ask when that will be ready for you.

Ms Parrish: We did table a number of pieces of information. On January 22 we tabled a letter to Mr Brown talking about the number of buildings that are registered, and we indicated at that time that we have information on 60,603 buildings; 697,741 units are in those buildings. Then we broke down the seven-and-up buildings, because I believe that was an issue Mrs Marland was interested in.

For the complexes of seven or more units, our rent registrar indicated to us that the compliance rate is about 99.6%. This is a very large proportion of the larger buildings. Registry is still proceeding for the registration of the smaller buildings and there is a phase-in system under this.

Mr Jackson: Okay, I can read the letter. I was more concerned about when we, as members of the Legislature, were sold on the rent registry in 1986 -- and this is an incredibly expensive government operation. If we isolate this, you will find that the costs of this have been running -- and several ministers of Housing are on record as explaining how expensive this has been. What I want to know very quickly and briefly is in what form -- and I do not wish to challenge the numbers you have shared with us; I accept those. I want to know access points for tenants and landlords. It is my understanding that landlords have access to the registry for purposes of purchasing the building, to verify the legal rents so that they do not get caught being told one thing and buying something else.

When we were sold the concept of the rent registry under the previous legislation, we were sold on the rent registry because it became a registry for tenants to check. Again, I am still aware that when a tenant phones a regional office, he or she does not have access to that rent registry. That is the point at which I want to determine to what extent my tenants have access to that registry today or in the near future, because I know my landlords have access to it to the extent that the building in question is in the registry.


Ms Parrish: Those are very important questions, and I am afraid I am going to have to undertake to get back to you. I am surprised to find out that tenants cannot do that. I know that in the central office, if you phone and ask, you can get an answer. Maybe it is not spread across the province.

Mr Jackson: My reference is to the southwestern office in Hamilton and not the Toronto office.

Ms Parrish: I am not the rent registrar and --

Mr Jackson: No, that is fine.

Ms Parrish: -- I guess I do not know. I can only undertake to get back to the committee, and then I will copy it to you as well, since the committee will not be sitting next week.

Mr Jackson: If I might get a copy of that letter, I have misplaced the one that was circulated, since I was not on committee that day.

Ms Parrish: I have a copy right here.

Mr Jackson: Thank you.

Mrs Marland: Mr Chairman, I wish to apologize to the committee for being late this morning. I was delayed by a television interview because of a mechanical problem at the station.

I want to comment on this section we are dealing with now, but I also want to state for the record that had I been here for the Liberal motion to sections 89.1 to 89.14 regarding the appeal board, I would have been voting in the affirmative for the amendment.

Ms Poole: Thank you.

Mrs Marland: My thoughts are in yesterday's Hansard in terms of my support for that motion, and I am sorry I missed the vote this morning.

However, I am interested just to very briefly ask a question about section 95.1.

The Chair: We are discussing section 95.

Mrs Marland: Section 95.1?

The Chair: No, 95; I will call 95.1. Mr Jackson had a concern about 95, actually, after the vote was taken, and I permitted him to place that concern.

Mrs Marland: Thank you. I will wait.

The Chair: Mrs Poole, did you wish to speak to 95?

Ms Poole: I was just surprised by Mr Jackson's comments that tenants did not have access to the registry information, because that certainly has not been my experience. Obviously I am only dealing with the central office, which handles Metro Toronto inquiries. As far as the rent registry is concerned, from all the information I have had it is up and operating and it is fully accessible to tenants to determine the maximum legal rent for their units and any other information, and there has been no attempt to deny tenants the right to this information. I know the ministry has undertaken to check this, and perhaps it is different in various areas. If this is the case, that in certain areas of the province tenants are not receiving access, I hope the ministry will act very quickly to remedy it, because it certainly is not fair when in certain areas of the province tenants do have that right and that protection and in other areas they do not. But to the best of my knowledge and belief I have not heard of cases where tenants have been denied that access.

Mr Jackson: I just forgot to clarify -- I would not wish Mrs Poole to get the impression, since I know all other members of the committee did not get the impression, that in any way tenants are being denied access. That implies motive or intent. If Mrs Poole is familiar with my questions in the House over the last three years she will know that they have focused in the area of the technical complications with this software and the hardware associated with this, and the verification and the lack of personnel. My questions to Housing ministers Sweeney, Curling and Ho_ek are a matter of record.

So I did not and I am sure Mrs Poole did not intend to imply that in any way there was a covert or overt attempt to deny it. I was simply referring to the inability to have the information in order to transmit it. That is all I have said. Just so that is clear.

Ms Poole: Perhaps it would help if there were a clarification that there are two different ways tenants can be notified of their maximum legal rent. One is through written form and the other is orally over the telephone -- dare I say it? -- when they phone down to get confirmation of their maximum legal rent.

When Mr Jackson made his comments, I was of the understanding he was referring to the fact that tenants could not get this information in either form. I know there were difficulties with the written form. In fact, the ministry a number of years ago began sending out this form to tenants identifying their maximum legal rent. They ran into all sorts of technical problems where the occupancy had changed and difficulties with the form, so partway through the process they withdrew the effort to notify tenants in writing. But to the best of my knowledge and belief, tenants have had access orally.

Again, I would appreciate receiving confirmation from the ministry whether in all areas of the province tenants have had the right to receive that information, if not in writing, at least by telephone. I know the ministry may not be able to provide it at this given moment, but some time during the course of the day I think that would be helpful to us.

Ms Harrington: We thank both opposition parties for their concern about this. We do share your concern that this operate well for everyone.

Mr Mammoliti: On a point of information, Mr Chair: I was just trying to figure out the system here.

I am just wondering --

The Chair: You are concerned about the process.

Mr Mammoliti: I am just wondering whether my name was documented in the last vote.

The Chair: I could ask that the clerk reread the call of the recorded vote, if that would be helpful to you.

Mr Mammoliti: No, I am just wondering, because my hand did not go up, if it was documented.

The Chair: The only thing I can do, Mr Mammoliti, is ask the clerk to call out the names that were involved in that vote.

Mr Mammoliti: Yes, if you do not mind.

The Chair: If you would just like to call the recorded vote for Mr Mammoliti's information.

Clerk of the Committee: The question being put on Ms Poole's motion, it was lost on the following division:

Ayes -- 4

Jackson, Morin, O'Neill, Y., Poole.

Nays -- 6

Abel, Harrington, Lessard, Malkowski, Mammoliti, Owens.

Mr Mammoliti: Okay, I was just wondering --

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Mammoliti.

Mrs Marland: Mr Chairman, it is correct that on a recorded vote we do not have an option of abstaining, is it not?

The Chair: Everyone who is in the committee room at the table must vote.

Mr Mammoliti: So everybody who is in the room must vote.

The Chair: Correct.

Ms Poole: At the table. At the table, or in the room?

Clerk of the Committee: At the table.

The Chair: At the table.

Section 95 agreed to.

The Chair: Questions, comments or amendments to section 95.1, which is a government motion as printed? Mrs Marland is the first on my list.

Mrs Marland: A government amendment as printed. Paragraph 95.1(3)4 -- are you dealing just with 95.1(1), or can we talk about everything in the amendment?

The Chair: I was dealing with the entire section. If the committee wishes, we can deal with each one as we go through.

Mrs Marland: No, I am happy to deal with the entire amendment, which includes all the sections under 95.1. I am addressing subsection (3), paragraph 4, "The number of bedrooms and the suite number or other means of identification for each rental unit to which sections..." etc.

Madam parliamentary assistant, there are examples where if you are dealing with registering rent, it is important, if you are going to talk about the number of bedrooms -- it has been proven, unfortunately, that maybe we should talk about the number of bathrooms as well. A rather infamous case which is being reviewed right now is the argument in favour of a rent increase, an argument based solely on additional bathrooms being made. I think that if a rent is registered on a unit and the unit is described by the number of bedrooms and then the argument is made to increase the rent because the unit has been substantially changed by the addition of bathrooms, it may be very important in this section to include bathrooms.


Ms Harrington: I had not thought of that, but certainly you never know what changes might be suitable in the future. Would you like to comment on whether that could be vamped up?

Ms Parrish: These units, of course, are all units that get the five-year exemption, so we do not control their rents during the period at all. All we are trying to do is to identify that a building has five two-bedroom and one three-bedroom and two penthouses and so on, so that when they come out of the system we have kept track of them. The purpose of the bedrooms is really just a method of identification. If people want to put in bathrooms, I guess it is another way of identifying that this is the unit that was exempt and is now coming in. Anyway, during this five-year period, all we do is register them. We do not control their rent increases at all. Then they come into the system at their actual rent at the end of the five-year period. I do not know if that answers your question.

The other thing is that landlords are always concerned that they have to tell us lots of stuff. All we are really trying to do is to identify the building in some way, so I do not know whether it is necessary. I guess there is no harm to it, except that landlords might feel, "There sure is a lot of stuff we have to give them."

Mrs Marland: This is talking about "every landlord of a new residential complex," and this is the point. Can a residential complex be less than six units?

Ms Parrish: Yes.

Mrs Marland: That is what I thought. So if I give you an example of a residential complex with four units and, to comply with this section, it is now described as a "new residential complex" --

Ms Parrish: That is right. It has never been rented in the past and it has never been lived in in the past. That is what a new complex is.

Mrs Marland: Right. But if it is being registered today, Colleen, and that complex is changed down the road to justify that we now have a new complex, new rental units, I think if you are registering it for the sake of the rent, you should also register it for -- you are looking for a description of the unit and you are registering the rent. I think in fairness it is better to say "bedrooms and bathrooms." I do not think adding the bathrooms is a very big deal, but it is if you start to argue in the future, as a landlord, that this is not the same unit. Substantially changing a unit is very relevant, but if you are registering it as two bedrooms and it is changed to three bedrooms or down to one bedroom, what the rent is is relevant to what the accommodation is.

Ms Parrish: I just would point out that under section 95.1 you do not register the rent at all. Because we do not control rents during the five-year period, we do not register the rents. We do not know what rent they charge. It is only at the end of the five-year period. If they want to reconfigure this during the five-year period, they certainly can. But I agree with you; it is really a question for the committee as to whether it would be appropriate to ask them to register this information. For a five-year period it makes no difference to the rent, because the rents are not controlled. When they come out of the system they come into the regular system in which conversions and reconfiguration are dealt with under this section. During this five-year period all we are trying to do is to identify the units. But it is really a question as to the comfort level of the committee; I cannot say.

Mrs Marland: It may not be as important now as five years from now. Personally, because it is the very argument that is being used in a situation currently being challenged by a tenant, in which the defence of the landlord is around the number of bathrooms, I just think it is an opportunity to have it on record.

Ms Poole: While I appreciate the fact that Mrs Marland brought this forward and I can understand why she is concerned, since there is a contentious case right now in that regard, basically when you are looking at rental accommodation the number of bedrooms becomes extremely important. However, if you start adding things like the number of bathrooms, you probably also have to start adding things like whether there is a dining room, whether there is an en suite, whether there is a kitchen, whether there are two kitchens, whether there is a separate living room, and this type of information. It could get extremely complex. I would assume that in any hearing where they are looking at a rent increase there could be evidence produced which would show that there was one bathroom at one stage and there were two bathrooms at another stage, and that it could be done through evidence as opposed to having to retain it actually in the legislation.

Motion agreed to.

Section 96:

The Chair: Are there questions or comments to subsection 96(1)? Shall subsection 96(1) carry? Carried.

Subsection 96(2): Questions or comments? Shall subsection 96(2) carry? Carried.

We have a Liberal amendment to subsection 96(3).

Ms Poole moves that clause 96(3)(a) of the bill be struck out and the following substituted:

"(a) a tenant of a rental unit in the residential complex requests the registrar to do so and in the circumstances, it would be reasonable to do so; or"

Ms Poole: This subsection relates to the fact that the registrar may require a landlord to register notwithstanding the fact that he has less than three units, and it prescribes the particular circumstances. When the legislation was first introduced I asked the ministry specifically what type of cases this would cover, where a tenant could successfully apply to have his unit registered. They said they felt it would be used in circumstances where the landlord had a history of asking for illegal rent increases or where there had been problems in the past, so it was this type of special circumstances.

The way this is phrased right now, it would be automatic if a tenant requests that it be registered, even if there is no rationale for doing so. I think what would happen is you would have a patchwork quilt where a number were registered and a number were not, under four units, without any rationale for why it would occur. What we have done is to give the registrar two choices: if the tenant asks for it and it is reasonable, or if in the opinion of the registrar in the circumstances it would be reasonable. So it does not necessarily have to be a tenant request, but in both cases it would have to be reasonable to do so. I do not know; this may be just a minor slip and the ministry may have intended it to be in this form, but certainly if it is to have the effect that the ministry policy people originally told me, I do not think it would do so in the current form.

Ms Harrington: We have discussed this with the minister. It is a fairly small difference between the wordings we are talking about here. We have come to the conclusion that the registrar does have discretionary power on whether to require a landlord of a complex in the one to three units to register when a tenant of a unit requests it. We believe that what we have put down does cover any situation where the tenant requests it or it would be reasonable to do so.


Ms Poole: If it is the case, as I originally stated, that it was only particular circumstances in which a tenant's request would be accepted, then what would be the harm in adding "and in the circumstances it would be reasonable to do so"? All it does is give direction to the registrar that it would not have to be an automatic thing. Just because it is permissive, where it says "the registrar may" do this, does not mean that without direction the registrar would not automatically do it.

The intent should be that it be done where it is reasonable. If there is absolutely no rationale whatsoever for registering the unit, then why would the registrar do it? If that is the case, then what is the harm in including those words?

Ms Parrish: Perhaps I might speak to this from my understanding of the minister's view. The long-term goal of the registration system is to register all units. That is why, for example, we register anybody who asks for an above-guideline increase.

The reason we do not do a sort of holus-bolus registration of one to three units is the cost, inconvenience, the difficulty of communicating to the landlord-and-tenant community, the desire to be cost-effective and so on. But the long-term goal is to register everything so that tenants will know when they want to rent someplace what the rents are and landlords will know what they are entitled to charge. This will also facilitate the sale of properties and so on.

The thought was that if people want to have their unit registered, there is no reasonable situation to deny it. It is always reasonable to register. It is not negative to register. We simply register what people are entitled to charge under the law in any event. It is really a sort of recording. The view of the minister is that it is always reasonable, if people want to have a registration, to comply with that registration request.

The Chair: Further questions or comments on Mrs Poole's amendment.

Ms Poole: It is clear the ministry is not going to accept it. It is also clear there has been a revisitation of the purpose of this section since it was originally introduced under a different minister. I am not happy about it but I will leave the debate right here.

Motion negatived.

The Chair: Shall subsection 96(3) carry? All in favour? Opposed? Carried.

Shall subsection 96(4) carry? Carried.

Shall subsections 96(5) and 96(6) carry? Carried.

Section 96, as amended, agreed to. Sections 97 to 100, inclusive, agreed to.

Section 101:

Ms Poole: This is just a grammatical point, but in the last line of section 101 should it be "becoming the landlord"? I do not feel strongly about this. I just thought it read kind of funnily.

Ms Harrington: I am looking for a suggestion that we could use something other than the word "landlord" within the next few years.

Ms Poole: I would certainly wholeheartedly support that since the word "landlord" comes from the medieval times. I was just wondering whether there should be an adjective there.

Section 101 agreed to.

Section 102 to 104, inclusive, as amended, agreed to.


Section 105:

Ms Poole: I want to briefly speak to section 105. Under this particular section, if there is a reassessment under the Assessment Act which results in a decrease in municipal taxes, then the registrar may decrease the maximum rent in accordance with it. But I do not believe there is any provision in the act that would provide for an increase in assessment due to a reassessment under the Assessment Act.

This is going to be an extremely significant section if market value passes. In Metro Toronto for instance, it would affect a large number of tenants. Under this section, the tenants who live in areas where the reassessment would lower their assessment would benefit, but in all fairness, in instances where the landlord is forced to pay a larger assessment because of the reassessment, why is there no provision to automatically increase the maximum rent in those cases? It is most unjust that in this particular case the ministry has chosen to reflect only one side of the assessment issue.

Ms Harrington: If the taxes go up that significantly it would be an extraordinary operating cost and would be allowed to be reflected in the rents. Is that not in the same vein?

Ms Poole: It would be reflected in the guideline increase; however, not necessarily to the full effect of the tax increase. For instance, in areas where a landlord has already gone for capital repairs in that particular year after which the building is assessed, the landlord could not even go for extraordinary operating increases. There are certainly situations in which this is the case. In fact, it is also the case for decreasing the maximum rent if the assessment lowers; tenants are allowed to go for an extraordinary operating decrease.

So that is not really an argument, because again you have only presented one half of the picture. In all sense of fairness and equity I do not believe that is right.

Ms Harrington: You are giving one specific instance when you feel the landlord could not get the pass-through or rent increases for an increase in municipal taxes when he has already gone for capital.

Ms Poole: That is right.

Ms Harrington: I understand that. Eventually it will be reflected in the building operating costs to some extent as well.

Ms Poole: Part of it is reflected in the guideline, but there is a limit, a cap of 3% for extraordinary operating increases. In instances where there is a very large reassessment -- and in cases in Metro Toronto we are looking at significant reassessment; in fact the city of Toronto issued a report about three or four years ago by Dr Enid Slack, who was commissioned to do a study on the impact of market value assessment on tenants. It was deemed to be a very serious negative impact. As a city of Toronto member, I am quite familiar with this issue and am very concerned by it. The Federation of Metro Tenants' Associations is very clearly on the record as being opposed to market value assessment because of the significant impact it would have on the rents.

With this legislation you have placed a cap of 3% above the guideline. You have also said that if a landlord goes for capital repairs, the landlord could then not claim the extraordinary operating, or else the landlord has a choice, if you want to put it in other terms. First of all the cap would prohibit the landlord from realizing the full amount of the increase, and second, in some instances the landlord would not receive any of the increase.

The argument I put to you once again is that under the legislation it is the same four decreases. Tenants can still have an application for an extraordinary operating cost decrease. The situations are identical except that in one you will offer a remedy to decreasing the maximum rent and in the other you will not offer a remedy to increase the maximum rent.

Ms Harrington: I think what you are saying is that if people are applying for a decrease there is no cap involved, but when they are going the other way we are putting the cap on.

Ms Poole: There is that, plus right here it says very clearly in the act that automatically the registrar may decrease the maximum rent if there is a reassessment under the Assessment Act. I have not yet heard a justification why there is not a parallel section saying the registrar may increase the maximum rent if there is a reassessment under the Assessment Act that applies and results in an increase.

Ms Harrington: What I understand is that we are allowing both ways only, as you have pointed out -- if the landlord has already got that extra pass-through with capital then he is not able to get both, and the fact that we have imposed a cap. I think we all understand why that is there. It is a very important part of this legislation. You are trying to show that there is a balance in both directions and to some extent there is, but you have also pointed out that it is not a full balance in both directions. Maybe I could ask staff to try to ensure that my view is the way it is.

Ms Poole: Just before Ms Parrish answers I would add one further thing. She might correct me if I am mistaken in my interpretation, but I look at this section and to me this appears to be automatic, that there need not be an application, that the registrar has the authority to calculate the decrease, notify the landlord and send out the notices without any application. If this is the case, I wonder why you do not then do it on the other side of the equation.

Ms Parrish: I think the explanation Ms Harrington has given is an accurate one. I do not think it would be appropriate for me to engage in the debate about the merits or otherwise of market value assessment. I simply comment that my understanding is that the purpose of this section is to recognize that when there is a reassessment the landlord knows it. They know they have been reassessed up or down, but tenants frequently do not know this. There are many more tenants than landlords, and if they all made individual applications where you had a market value assessment we would be flooded with thousands of applications. This is largely intended to be a facilitative mechanism in order to deal with what could be a very large number of applications in a fairly quick way.

In the case of landlords, they know and have the ability to apply within the rules. As well, I understand that for some municipalities the inability to ensure that cost savings associated with downward market value reassessments for rental properties are not passed on to tenants is a barrier to their acceptance of market value assessment and that if this mechanism were in place they would be more receptive, because they would be able to be assured that the tenants would benefit from any downward assessments. That is my understanding. I understand your points as well, but this is the explanation I can give you as to the rationale behind this section.

Ms Poole: Ms Parrish has just given me a second reason for voting against it: first of all the matter of equity, but second, I could not support in any way, shape or form anything that would assist market value assessment being passed in Metro Toronto, not to say that I am reluctant to have property tax reform; just not that particular kind.

Mr Chair, I think I have made my points quite clearly. I find the argument, "Landlords know about it and there are not very many of them so let them eat cake, basically let them apply," a fairly inadequate one vis-à-vis the equity argument. Certainly I can say we will not be supporting this amendment.

Section 105, as amended, agreed to.


The Chair: Section 105.1, as reprinted. Questions, comments?

Mrs Marland: Mr Chairman, is section 105.1 the simplest way this can be worded? That is a horrific piece of wording.

The Chair: By the rules I cannot.

Mrs Marland: It is absolutely incredible to read through that and realize that they actually have 11 lines of print with one comma. That is very difficult for people to --

The Chair: Legislative counsel would be pleased to respond to you, Mrs Marland.

Ms Baldwin: I could fix this subsection by making it into two subsections. The first subsection, if you follow along, would read:

"If the maximum rent for a rental unit includes a capital component, the registrar shall give the landlord and the tenant of the rental unit written notice that the maximum rent will be decreased by the amount of the capital component."

Then there would be a new subsection that would say:

"The registrar shall give that written notice at least six months before the date on which that capital component is to be deducted from the maximum rent as set out in the most recent order or notice of carry forward that refers to the capital component."

Mrs Marland: I think that would help. I just think it is too horrific the way it stands. The content is pretty horrific anyway, but the way it is presented is dreadful. I think if we could do that, Mr Chairman, it would make it a little easier, even for the lawyers who are going to have to be hired by the property owners to interpret this bill for them.

Ms Harrington: I think you make a good point, Mrs Marland: that one sentence with that number of complications would be better served by breaking it up. We would agree to your request.

The Chair: As a matter of procedure, then, I think we have agreement. Will we stand this down while counsel drafts the appropriate amendment to take into account what she has just said? Can I have unanimous consent to stand this down pending the drafting of the amendment? Agreed.

Section 105.2?

Ms Harrington: Mr Chair, the government has an amendment. This section is with regard to the costs no longer borne and when they are taken out. I would like to read it.

I move that section 105.2 of the bill, as reprinted to show the amendments proposed by the minister, be struck out and the following substituted:

"Reduction of maximum rent

"105.2(1) If the maximum rent for a rental unit includes a capital component, the registrar shall decrease the maximum rent for the rental unit by the amount of the capital component.


"(2) The effective date of the decrease shall be the date for the decrease set out in the most recent order or notice of carry forward that refers to that capital component."

Mrs Marland: Excuse me, Margaret, that is not what is printed here.

The Chair: What is the date of that amendment?

Ms Poole: I believe it is January 14.

The Chair: It is in your package of January 14.

Mrs Marland: I have the January 14 package. We have not used that for a while.

Ms Harrington: Just to explain that, the change clarifies when the rent decrease takes effect, namely the date provided for on the order, not when the registrar calculates the rent decrease for the costs no longer borne to come out of the rent.

Ms Poole: Mr Chair, the Liberal caucus will be supporting this provision since we have supported for a number of years the inclusion of costs no longer borne provisions in the legislation.

The Chair: Thank you. Further questions, comments to Ms Harrington's amendment to section 105.2?

Mrs Marland: Well, good luck.

Motion agreed to.

Section 106 to 108, inclusive, agreed to.

Section 109:

The Chair: Mrs Poole moves that clause 109(a) of the bill be struck out and the following substituted:

"(a) where the circumstances warrant, commence or cause to be commenced proceedings if the minister has reasonable and probable grounds to believe that a person has failed to comply with this act or an order made under it; and -- "

The Chair: An explanation, Mrs Poole?


Ms Poole: We are now getting into the sections where a director may have inspectors go in and investigate cases, in the ministry's words, "of an alleged failure to comply with this act." We are quite concerned about the wording used here. If you look at the original section 109 as proposed by the ministry, it reads "in respect of an alleged failure to comply with this act or an order made under it." What this means is that if an allegation is made, even if there is absolutely no substantiation whatsoever, no supporting evidence, no reasonable grounds, notwithstanding that, "The minister shall, where the circumstances warrant, commence or cause to be commenced proceedings in respect of an alleged failure."

We would be far more comfortable if there were a more reasonable test than "alleged." Our feeling is that "reasonable and probable grounds" is not a particularly onerous test to meet. It does give the director and the minister discretion, which the ministry I am sure would be quite pleased with. It seems to me that any time you say you are not willing to put in that there be a reasonable test, then you are denying a basic tenet of democracy, which is that there should be some element of proof.

We are not saying that they need a solid, ironclad case that there has been non-compliance with the act; we are just saying to let there be reasonable and probable grounds and that there be some evidence provided that there has been a breach of the act. I do not think it is an unreasonable amendment. I would not say I am optimistic, but I am at the very least wishful that the ministry would consider adopting it.

Ms Harrington: The ministry has looked at this. Obviously we have wanted to change it from the previous legislation. I do not recall exactly how it was worded there. We feel that reasonable grounds are needed, say, for a charge or for a search warrant, but in this case, to investigate, it should be a little broader than that. Could you comment, Ms Parrish?

Ms Parrish: We have done a lot of work on the area of ensuring that the provisions of the act, including search and seizure, warrantless entry and so on, comply with the charter and with the current case law in this area. The point I am making is that there are times when it is appropriate to require reasonable and probable grounds to be the test; for example, in section 114 where it has to be reasonable and probable grounds and the information has to be given under oath. Here what you have essentially is simply information which leads you to inquire further. You may then decide that you have obtained reasonable and probable grounds, and at that stage you have to obtain a warrant under oath and you give the grounds. But this is just the triggering stage.

You may recall, for example, in an earlier amendment which we had been discussing and I think is now stood down, that you put forward another proposal that said that where the rent officer directed an inspector to look into a possible case of false and misleading information -- you did not say at that time they had to have reasonable and probable grounds. What you said was that they should look into it, and when they look into it, if they have reasonable and probable grounds, they might very well get a search warrant to obtain the material that might have been misleading or to obtain some other further action or to lay a charge under the statute.

But at the first stage all you are really doing is saying, "Start the investigation," which, if it is a truly off-the-wall allegation, could be resolved by a few phone calls. As you get further into the investigation there comes a time when it is appropriate to have the standard of reasonable and probable grounds, oaths, search warrants and all the protections. At this stage we do not think it is appropriate and you would have difficulty in passing the test. It would prevent any investigations from proceeding down the road where you could look into the issues.

Ms Poole: I personally do not feel that the two situations are all that analogous. Is that the right word, "analogous"?

Ms Parrish: Analogous, yes, comparative.

Ms Poole: When trying to compare the two situations, in the former one that Ms Parrish mentions the rent officer is in a hearing and obviously evidence is produced on which the director or the rent officer makes this determination. Under these particular circumstances it just says "an alleged failure" without any type of evidence to be produced or any indication that there is merit to it. While I can understand that you obviously want a strong test when you get to search warrants and matters in that regard, it seemed to me that during the hearings portion of that there was a lot of dispute about the search warrant section and how easily investigations into a landlord's records could be done and how far it would go and these types of questions. It seems to me that this is just a reasonable protection to put in which would not prohibit a reasonable allegation from proceeding.

Ms Harrington: I do like the word "reasonable" as much as you do --

Ms Poole: But not here.

Ms Harrington: -- but we have decided that the words "alleged failure" are what we want in the section.

Ms Poole: I do not think the parliamentary assistant can say it much plainer than that, so I have a feeling I am going to be wasting my breath and the committee's time. I think we may as well proceed.

Mrs Marland: There probably would have been a time in the past few years where a section in any bill pertaining to any matter in this province, a section that was worded the way this is, would have been compared to Russia or communist bloc countries which have lived under a regime where government was almighty, had all the power and whatever it wanted to do was within that power and the rights of individuals, the opportunities of individuals were considered. However, the people who live in the new countries that were part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics now perhaps live under a better democratic governance than do the people of Ontario with this kind of legislation.


The Chair: Order.

Mrs Marland: It is always interesting that when you make comments that suggest what is going on in Ontario today the government members have to start interjections, because they know as well as I do what this socialist government is doing in Ontario.

Mr Owens: What about Brian Mulroney in Ottawa?


Mrs Marland: That is the other line we always get, the other interjection.

Mr Owens: That democratic Prime Minister of ours. That is what you see with a Tory government.

Mrs Marland: They cannot accept any criticism of what is going on in Ontario today. This section demonstrates it better than any. The comments we always receive from the government members are about what is going on in some other jurisdiction. What we are debating here is what is going on in Ontario today. If you have ever read anything --

Mr Owens: We did not bring up Russia, and the Ukraine is not part of Ontario.

The Chair: Order. Mrs Marland has the floor.

Mr Owens: You should read your atlas.

Mrs Marland: If you have ever read anything that was comparative to what used to go on in those communist bloc countries where people did not have an opportunity to exercise their freedom and rights under a democratic government -- now, fortunately for those people, they have that.

Mr Mammoliti: You did a wonderful job for 43 years.

The Chair: Mr Mammoliti.

Mr Abel: Well, he's right for a change.

Mr Mammoliti: She is comparing us to communism.

Mr Owens: Where's Hugh Segal when you need him?

Mrs Marland: At the same time that those countries, fortunately for those people, are making progress towards freedom and democracy, this particular section is putting Ontario back into a governance that ignores the rights of individuals. Here we are talking about a section dealing with something that is alleged and not something that may be reasonable, may have probable grounds. No, we are dealing with a section that refers to allegations, and allegations that deal with a very significant part of this act. In other words, where there has been alleged failure to comply with any part of this act, this section comes into force based on allegations alone.

If we ever thought we would see this kind of legislation in Ontario -- I guess, worse, it is going to be a while before the Ontario people get to realize what this Bob Rae socialist government is about. If anybody who has to comply with this act has, based on allegations, failed to comply, then the mighty power of the Bob Rae socialist regime will fall on his head.

The Liberal motion is very reasonable. The Liberal motion is not saying that if they are not in compliance with the act they should not be penalized; it is simply saying, with respect to an alleged failure, why do we not make sure it is not just alleged? Why do we not say, as Ms Poole has said in the Liberal amendment, that it has to be reasonable and probable grounds? No, they want to say if something is alleged. There is not anywhere in the world where people who live in modern democratic countries are guilty by allegation. If it is alleged that you have failed to comply with this act, how can you be guilty by an allegation? According to the Bob Rae socialist regime, that is fine with it.

This section is not acceptable in the printed wording of this bill. We will be asking for a recorded vote on this Liberal amendment and ultimately on the government section 109 as it is printed. I cannot believe that either tenants or landlords would be treated the way this section is worded under this powerful, uncaring, undemocratic approach.

Mr Jackson: I have a quick question to legal counsel who are present. Can they direct us to any other clause in any other legislation which speaks to this issue of "alleged"? It comes to the point of where there is a false accusation. This basically can hide the accuser, whereas if it simply flows from the ministry then the ministry at all times is responsible to move on the basis of their investigations.

This is a point of law and not a point of legislation. Under this legislation one can simply respond to an allegation and cause an action. Those are two very significant, different points of law. I have two questions there. Perhaps legal counsel can enlighten the committee.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I think Colleen is prepared to answer that.

Ms Parrish: Perhaps it would be helpful if I read aloud from the provision in the RRRA. It says, "The minister shall investigate cases of alleged failure to comply with an order made under this act or to comply otherwise with the provisions of this act and, where the circumstances warrant, commence or cause to be commenced proceedings in respect of the alleged failure to comply." These provisions do exist in another statute, they exist in the current statute. I think there may be some concern that when you use the word "proceeding" we mean criminal proceeding or quasi-criminal proceeding. The proceeding that may be generated could very well be an application to determine the maximum rent, for example, where there is some sort of dispute about what it is or what it is not.

The problem with this is that every investigation has a starting point. If you want to do something intrusive and later on we have things like search warrants or charging, then yes, you have to have reasonable and probable grounds. What Mrs Poole's amendment says is that before you even make a phone call, before you even make some reasonable inquiry you must have reasonable and probable grounds to believe that the person has done the thing you are inquiring into.

Mrs Marland: That is right.

Ms Parrish: What we want to say and what clause 109(a) says as currently printed is that you start your investigation in a neutral way. You do not assume anybody has done anything, you simply do an investigation or start your proceeding, such as a hearing, to determine maximum rent or whatever. Later on, when you have reasonable and probable grounds to believe that there may be an offence under section 114, under oath you must obtain a search warrant. If you charge somebody you must have the grounds to charge them. At the very beginning, under clause 109(a), where you start out you must not assume anybody has done anything contrary to the act. You must conduct a neutral investigation.

I certainly agree it is a very important protection in our law that you have reasonable and probable grounds before you commence any action which is intrusive. Subsequent sections in the act provide for that. However, at this stage it is equally important that any action taken is neutral and makes no assumption that anyone has disobeyed the law or done anything wrong.

Mr Jackson: I do not challenge the efficacy of everything I just heard, I just challenge that this wording is deficient in reflecting what was just said. My point is simply that when the RRRA section was read to me reference was made to the kinds -- I am addressing counsel; I will just be patient if I may.

Ms Parrish: I am sorry.

Mr Jackson: No, do not apologize. I do want to respond to you and your comments and I have no problem waiting. When you read to this committee the clause from the RRRA you referenced the concept of an investigation. That is my whole point.


Hon Ms Gigantes: It says "proceedings."

Mr Jackson: Then perhaps you could read the section again. I heard the concept of an investigation. You spoke at length about an investigation and starting from a neutral position. That is my point. Mrs Poole, in her clause, is suggesting that "reasonable and probable grounds" covers it. I understand what that means legally; that you have to have established that test in a court of law in order to proceed.

Section 109 does not include those assurances, it provides those assumptions. It simply says, "You can proceed on the basis of an allegation." I listened to you and you said to me that this is what would happen, but I carefully examined the language and I see a deficiency. I would like to see some of the wording that was contained in the RRRA if we are going to maintain the word "alleged."

I believe Mrs Poole's approach would work, and therefore it enhances section 109 because it says there must be "reasonable and probable grounds." I am not challenging the right to proceed where there is not compliance or where it is alleged that there has not been. I simply want to make sure the language is that we do not proceed unless there is a proper investigation.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I believe it is the word "proceeding" which implies to the non-legal mind a court proceeding, a police proceeding or a charge proceeding. In this context it means, and has been used to mean in the RRRA, which we can re-read to you, to begin the activity of finding out whether there might be reasonable and probable grounds. It means to initiate what you would call an investigation, and it means nothing more than that. It does not mean laying a charge. It means beginning to gather, on an allegation, some information which can lead to the decision about what shall take place under the terms of the legislation.

I think it might be helpful if we provided Mr Jackson right now with a copy of the RRRA, but it does say, Mr Jackson, "commence or cause to be commenced proceedings in respect of the alleged failure to comply." It says, "investigate cases of alleged failure to comply...and, where the circumstances warrant, commence or cause to be commenced proceedings in respect of the alleged failure to comply."

Mr Jackson: My limited legal brain tells me, Minister, by having investigation and then the concept of proceedings, that the two are separate in the original RRRA. I am simply saying I cannot understand your objection to having the concept of the investigation --

Hon Ms Gigantes: We do not have any objection to the concept of the investigation. What we do have objection to is the proposal, through this amendment, that reasonable and probable grounds must be established before an investigation can commence.

Mr Jackson, as a practical matter of course, what happens is that either a tenant or a landlord can call the local ministry office and say, "On this and that matter, I believe this and that to be the case." This may be an allegation that there has not been compliance with the legislation. In such a case, the ministry needs authority to commence to find out whether this allegation will generate reasonable and probable grounds to think there has been non-compliance.

It may be that the wording does not convey that properly, but certainly that process is entirely different from what is being suggested by the proposed amendment, which suggests that no activity can take place on any matter until somehow, spontaneously, deus ex machina, the minister has reasonable and probable grounds to believe there has been a non-compliance.

Mr Jackson: I simply asked if we could clarify that to commence an investigation or proceedings in respect of an alleged failure -- I am comfortable that we have the concept of an investigation in the old legislation. We are silent on the word "investigation" in this legislation. "Proceedings" is not as clear, and if the draftspersons in the previous legislation felt "investigation" -- I am not challenging what the minister is telling me. I will just go back to what I have been asking for the third time: that we somehow get across the concept of an investigation that will be undertaken. That would satisfy my needs.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Mr Chair, could I ask Colleen to speak to that matter too? I think we are dealing with a different approach in the drafting structure here which may, if we discuss it, help clear up the questions around this particular clause.

Ms Parrish: Under the RRRA all the powers were vested in the minister and then the minister delegated. Under this statute, certain powers are vested in the minister and certain are vested directly in the director or registrar. For example, subsection 110(3) is where you get this investigation. So it is all here, it is just in different places. It is the same concept as it was in the old subsection 11(b). It is just divided in two places.

Mr Jackson: The minister directs the director?

Ms Parrish: No, the director has the duty under the statute to investigate. The minister does not investigate. The minister may be commencing or causing to commence proceedings, which might be proceedings in the courts, proceedings under the statute, or a prosecution. If there is a prosecution, of course you must have reasonable and probable grounds to lay an information, because that is what is required by the Provincial Offences Act.

Mr Jackson: You would have been better off not to respond. What you have just said to me is that section 109 deals with the minister's power to proceed with proceedings, which you just described as court action. I am not challenging that an investigation will occur, I am just listening carefully to what you just said. You just said that the director will do the investigation, not the minister, but now the word "proceeding" in that clause deals with, on the basis of probable grounds -- that he will proceed with a court action.

Hon Ms Gigantes: No, that is under subsection 110(3).

Mr Jackson: That was said to me, but now Ms Parrish just reiterated those points I thought were how I was interpreting section 109. I do not think the minister should proceed with an action unless she has reasonable and probable grounds, and that flows from 110 where the director has done his or her investigation, is that not correct?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Let me ask you this, Mr Jackson. Suppose the minister sits in an office and receives a letter, and the letter --

Mr Jackson: You are asking me a hypothetical when you will not answer hypotheticals? I will attempt it, but I just wonder.

The Chair: Let the minister reply.

Hon Ms Gigantes: This is not just hypothetical. This has, in fact, happened in the past. The minister receives a letter or the minister passes somebody on the street who hands the minister a letter -- this happened long before we came to government -- and the letter says, "I believe that in this rental unit this and that has happened, and it is not in compliance with Bill 121." What does the minister do? The minister has to have some authority under the legislation to do something, and what 109 says is, "The minister can commence or cause to be commenced proceedings in respect of an alleged failure." There is nothing that says the minister shall, without investigation -- I read that to say this information shall be received as an allegation and treated as an allegation, and whatever action the minister wishes to take to make sure something is done to respond to this allegation within the framework of the legislation should be done by the minister. The minister should not drop this allegation in a waste-basket. The minister should deal with it.

Mr Jackson: No one said that.


Hon Ms Gigantes: Okay, but then when we get to section 110 the minister is required to appoint a director, and under subsection 110(3) the director is required to investigate cases of alleged failure.

Mr Jackson: Precisely.

Hon Ms Gigantes: It is not the minister who is doing the investigation; it is not the minister who is taking the action in whatever proceeding goes on because of the information or the allegation that has been brought to the minister. This is a clause, as I read it and as we tried to have Ms Parrish elucidate it for all our benefit, that causes the minister to respond. It places an obligation on the minister. Clause (b) places an obligation on the minister to try and provide programs that are going to encourage people to get their benefits and obligations under this act and the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Mr Jackson: I still challenge Ms Parrish's statement that reasonable and probable grounds would be required in order to proceed with the case.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Do you want the minister to investigate? Do you want to say here, "The minister shall investigate"? That is not what you want.

Mr Jackson: No.

Hon Ms Gigantes: You want a public servant to investigate.

Mr Jackson: What section 109 says simply is that the minister stands in the shoes of the ministry. I understand that. We are dealing with one and the same here, first of all. It is not just a letter passed to you; it is a telephone call to the ministry saying, "I think there's a breach here," and that is an allegation. What it says here is that all these will be investigated, period, end of sentence. They will then be directed to your director, who does not have the test of probable grounds. It simply says he shall investigate all or any cases of alleged failure to comply.

Hon Ms Gigantes: That is before --

Mr Jackson: Mrs Poole is only indicating that "reasonable and probable grounds" will allow us to overcome the frivolity of it in the event that there is.

Hon Ms Gigantes: No. What we get under subsection 110(3), if I might, Mr Chair, is direction to the director about how to treat his or her obligations under the act. It describes the duties. Then we get to the active part of dealing with an allegation, where a reasonable and probable ground has been established -- we are at section 114, if I could direct members' attention to that -- where there are all kinds of constraints and obligations and evidentiary tests and reasonable and probable requirements for the pursuit of an allegation, in other words, to take action under the legislation which would determine whether there had been compliance or non-compliance. Everything up to section 114 leads to the active section 114, which may be irrelevant, because in a lot of cases the activities which begin when a minister takes responsibility under section 109 and delegates authority under section 110 and so forth may show --

Mr Jackson: That is fine. Minister, I am reading section 114, where it says "reasonable and probable grounds" from the justice of the peace. I am satisfied that section is now covered.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Yes. In fact, we may not even ever get to section 114. What you are dealing with through those sections is a staged description of the obligations first of the ministry and then of the director and so on.

Mrs Marland: Mr Chairman, it is really hard, actually impossible, to understand why the minister is agreeable to "reasonable and probable grounds" being in section 114 and yet she would not support the Liberal amendment to clause 109(a), which is simply asking to use the same words, albeit I realize very clearly where it is at. But it still makes sense to say "reasonable and probable grounds."

You are the people who are going to have to answer to the people of this province why you think allegations should have enough power and enough justice in them that you would proceed with an allegation. If you think you have the people power to execute and run around after every allegation of a failure to comply with this act, then you obviously are going to need an awful lot more money than $14 billion in a deficit, because you are setting yourself up to leave this allegation.

The argument Ms Parrish gives us that it is already in the wording in previous acts carries no weight with me. I was not in favour of that act in the first place either, recognizing that it was the Liberal government legislation. I am glad Ms Poole sees the light to make this amendment and improve on the wording of their act. You have an opportunity to clean up something here and improve it. The fact that your argument is, "It's in the RRRA" or "It's in Bill 51," may be your answer and your clarification, but for me it is no argument to continue the farce. It is a farce that an allegation can carry as much weight as it can in section 109.

Mr Jackson: I would call the question, Mr Chairman.

The Chair: Mr Jackson has asked that the question be now put. All in favour of Mr Jackson's motion to put the question will indicate. Those opposed? The question will now be put.

Mrs Marland: A recorded vote, please.

The Chair: A recorded vote.

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

Ayes -- 3

Jackson, Marland, Poole.

Nays -- 5

Abel, Gigantes, Malkowski, Mammoliti, Owens.

The Chair: Questions, comments on section 109, as printed?


The Chair: I have just been informed that we apparently have a procedural problem, Mr Jackson. The procedural problem is that when you ask that the question now be put, it goes to the original section.


The Chair: I guess what I am saying is that we are going to try it again.

Mr Jackson: Mr Chairman, Mr Mammoliti used the word "lie." Could I ask this gentleman just exactly what he is referring to?

Mr Mammoliti: I said I lied, Mr Chair.

Mr Jackson: That I could believe.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Jackson. Could I have unanimous consent and we will take that vote again? I think it was confusing to all members. Certainly it was to the Chair. We will take the vote on section 109 again. Now, to be clear, we are voting on section 109 as printed.

The committee divided on section 109, which was agreed to on the following vote:

Ayes -- 5

Abel, Gigantes, Malkowski, Mammoliti, Owens.

Nays -- 3

Jackson, Marland, Poole.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Mr Chair, could I make a tiny comment? I understand the concerns around this process and it is the kind of concern that I very much appreciate. Let me ask members who have worried about this to think of section 109 in these terms. It is passed now, but still, would we want the minister, whoever that minister is, under this legislation to be going around trying to establish reasonable and probable grounds? Is that what we want the Minister of Housing to be doing? I think not. I think we want that to be done by public servants whose function is to carry out this act in a --

Mr Jackson: Mr Chairman, is the commentary in order?

Hon Ms Gigantes: I hoped it would be helpful.

Mrs Marland: Oh, come on.

The Chair: Obviously some members of the committee are not feeling it is too helpful.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Okay. I apologize, Mr Chair.

Mr Jackson: Mr Chairman, I only wish to say to the minister that as I said earlier, in that clause that does not confine it to the minister this is the ministry as well. That is where the confusion was lying. Let's leave it. The section has been passed.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Fine.

Mr Jackson: I think the minister would be well advised to leave well enough alone and proceed.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I was mistaken in thinking I could be helpful.

Mr Jackson: There is enough on the public record on this section. I am anxious to get this bill completed by day's end. Thank you.

Mrs Marland: We all understand what it means by "the minister." She is not being very helpful in suggesting that in section 109 the reference to the minister is any different than any other section where it refers to the minister. We know it is the minister's staff.

The Chair: Thank you, Mrs Marland. The committee will adjourn and reconvene at 2 o'clock.

The committee recessed at 1203.


The committee resumed at 1406.

The Chair: The standing committee on general government will come to order. I would ask unanimous consent to stand down section 110 until the Liberal critic arrives.

Agreed to.

Section 111:

The Chair: Questions, comments on section 111? Shall section 111 carry?

Mrs Marland: Section 111 is saying the director has the power, right? "The director has exclusive jurisdiction respecting any matter or thing in respect of which a power, authority or discretion is conferred upon the director." Is the director the superwizard, then?

Hon Ms Gigantes: If that question was directed at me, I would have to say that we do not have a definition of wizard or superwizard attached to this legislation, so Ms Marland, who seems to be the expert in this designation, might wish to tell us her opinion.

Mrs Marland: In a serious question, then, the director is the person who would have jurisdiction over the rent officer?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Yes.

The Chair: Shall section 111 carry? Carried.

Section 111 agreed to.

Section 112:

The Chair: Questions, comments, amendments to section 112?

Mrs Marland: Section 112, which reads, "The director may appoint inspectors for the purposes of this act," leads me to ask the minister if she would agree that, when those inspectors are employed by other, full-time employers, there would be an obligation on the part of the Ministry of Housing to inform the full-time employers that they are using their staff on a part-time basis?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Following receipt of very considered advice on this policy question, I think what I will do is say to Mrs Marland that I will take this question seriously under advisement and consider the question of whether we should make a procedural guideline of this nature. I think the issue she raises is one which is important to consider. I will seek further advice on it. It seems quite a reasonable suggestion to me at this point.

Mrs Marland: Thank you for the answer, Minister. I think what is important here is that in the letter from Ms Parrish on January 28 that I discussed earlier this week, it does say that the inspector will not be assigned to inspect in the municipality in which he holds a permanent position or in a municipality in which he lives.

But, you see, the problem is -- it may not have been a problem in the past, maybe because of the numbers that have been employed, but there are two things here that I think are very significant. One is that these inspectors may be able to do the inspection, as it says in the letter, on weekends or during evening hours or when they are on vacation from their full-time jobs. But if they are called to give evidence at a hearing and the hearing is at a time that would put them in conflict with their full-time job, then I think you have an obligation to inform their full-time employer that you have contracted them with Ministry of Housing funds paying them to do that job. If they are giving evidence at a hearing away from where they live and where they normally work, it could involve quite a lot of time away from their full-time job.

I think it is terribly important that this whole area is investigated, and I would ask that the minister could report back to the committee with her decision, since the question was raised at this committee, so that we can know what the outcome of this question is since I raised it. I do have a concern about the public purse paying one person in two different areas. There are people in this province who are on retirement pensions from government jobs and they can only receive their full pension if they -- there are conditions under which they may violate their full-time pension. One of those conditions is accepting other kinds of work or other employment. Whether it is just or unjust, the fact remains that there are rules for current employees of the government. I do not want to spend any more time on it, but I think this whole question is very relevant and we do need the answer on it. I think I made the point.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I would be glad, having given consideration to this question, to report back to the committee.

Mr Mammoliti: Sorry, I did not hear what the minister said.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I would be glad, once I have given consideration to this question on whether we should have guidelines along the lines suggested by Mrs Marland, to report back to this committee.

Mr Mammoliti: If you do not mind, I would just like to give you my view on it for one quick second. To a degree, I would agree in a sense with Mrs Marland, but I do not agree that it should be put into legislation. I think maybe we should be looking in terms of policy and that sort of thing later on if it poses a problem.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Precisely. I think that is why Mrs Marland feels that this would be an appropriate action too. The consideration will be whether we should have administrative guidelines which would involve this notification.

Mrs Marland: I was not asking for it to be put in the legislation.

The Chair: Shall section 112 carry?

Section 112 agreed to.

The Chair: We will revert to section 110, subsection 110(1). There is a Liberal motion.

Ms Poole moves that subsection 110(1) of the bill be struck out and the following substituted:


"(1) The minister shall appoint a person to be the director of rent regulation.


"(1.1) The director shall be an employee of the Ministry of Housing."

An explanation, Mrs Poole?

Ms Poole: I do have an explanation, as it turns out. The way subsection 110(1) is worded, it says, "The minister shall appoint an employee of the ministry to be the director of rent control." The first and main point to our motion is the fact that an employee of the ministry would have to be in that position before he could be appointed the director of rent control. We believe the ministry should have the prerogative to appoint from outside the ministry if it so desired.

For instance, if somebody was not already an employee of the ministry, he could still be made the director under this section. Furthermore, we have subsection 110(1.1) which would state that the director shall be an employee of the Ministry of Housing. So once the director is appointed, he is an employee of the Ministry of Housing.

Ms Parrish: Strictly speaking, from a purely technical viewpoint, I do not actually think your amendment makes any difference. Normally what happens is that when you employ somebody from outside, first of all you employ them under the Public Service Act and then you give them their order in council, appointing them through a statutory provision. On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with your drafting if it gives you a greater sense of confidence or whatever.

Of course, we like the title "director of rent control." This is the Rent Control Act and we do have a rent control system. So on the issue of the employees, the drafting is harmless, although it is not necessary. All this is trying to say is that this should be a civil service position and these people should be appointed under the Public Service Act. There is nothing in the current drafting of section 110 that prevents that. As I said, we like the title "director of rent control."

Mrs Marland: On a point of order, Mr Chairman: Ms Parrish said this is the Rent Control Act. It is actually the rent regulation act. That is why the wording in the Liberal motion is actually more correct.

Ms Parrish: Section 130 says "The short title of this act is the Rent Control Act, 1991," which I understand will now be 1992.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Can I make a suggestion? I understand from what Colleen Parrish has just told us that it would not make any difference in which order we either hired into the public service or designated as director of whatever. That matter does not seem to cause a problem in the amendment. However, the question of the title will be debated, along with other amendments to follow here.

Could I suggest that we go ahead and deal with the substantive issue of what the legislation does and what it is called therefore in section 130, and then revert back to this item. I have no objection to the amendment as long as it is consistent with our decision under section 130 where the government view is known.

The Chair: I am a little confused. Are you suggesting we stand this section down or are you suggesting that we reopen it?

Hon Ms Gigantes: I am suggesting that we stand it down until we deal with the amendment to section 130, which will then determine how we should be dealing with the title contained in this amendment. I have no objection if the Liberal critic still wishes to place the amendment as long as we can get the title of the director in this case to be consistent with the decision around section 130.

The Chair: We have a request to stand this section down.

Ms Poole: I am not sure that section 130 is indeed all that relevant to this particular amendment. The title of the bill is "Bill 121, An Act to revise the Law related to Residential Rent Regulation." What section 130 does is give a short title of the act, and it is the short title we are proposing to amend. If the minister is opposed to section 130 being amended and the short title was still the Rent Control Act, subsection 110(1) could still be the "director of rent regulation" because of the long title of the bill.

Hon Ms Gigantes: That is fine. I am prepared to deal with it now.


The Chair: I took it from Ms Poole's comments that we did not have unanimous consent.

Ms Baldwin: The long title of the act is "An Act to revise the Law related to Residential Rent Regulation," because the present law refers to rent regulation. The short title of the act will be the title of the act once the act is in the statutes. The rest of the bill as it stands now refers to rent control, not rent regulation. So in terms of consistency in the statute, it would be a mistake to have "rent regulation" here and "rent control" everywhere else.

Ms Poole: Mr Chair, we will agree to stand down this section.

The Chair: Do we have unanimous consent to stand down subsection 110(1)? Agreed.

Subsection 110(2), Mrs Marland.

Mrs Marland: I just have one procedural question. Referring back to my question about the stood-down amendments to subsections 20(8) and 22(3), I understand now there has been a suggestion between our staff and ministry staff that we deal with the intent in those stood-down sections that they be dealt with in committee of the whole. I just want to ask if that is the correct understanding of the ministry staff as well.

Ms Parrish: We have no dispute as to the policy. We seem to have had some struggle in trying to develop drafting that people find sufficiently clear. There is one thing, though. Although you have raised a very legitimate issue, after discussion with staff, including Ms Dalziel, who has been very helpful to us, we now think the fix is in section 125 and not subsections 20(8) and 22(3).

Mrs Marland: You actually clarified that earlier this week when you referred to section 125, but is it now the proposal of the ministry that we deal with it in committee of the whole House?

Ms Parrish: Yes, because we have had some difficulty trying to get the drafting done, but we are in agreement on policy.

Mrs Marland: And you are in agreement to deal with it in committee of the whole House.

Ms Parrish: It is our intention to deal with it in committee of the whole House by introducing an amendment to section 125 that hopefully everyone is satisfied with.

The Chair: Just so members understand, we have quite a number of sections that have been stood down. My intention is to go through the bill as it is numbered. We will then go back and start to do the clauses that have been stood down one by one in order. It is just so we have a general agreement about how we are going to do this.

Any questions or comments on subsection 110(2)?

Mrs Marland: Where it says, "The director may in writing delegate any power" etc, could the minister tell us what that means? Is that a memo form of writing between the director and that staff person to whom the delegation is directed?

Hon Ms Gigantes: What the clause means, as I read it, is that the delegation must occur in writing. It does not specify the form.

Mrs Marland: Is the delegation a matter of public record when that takes place?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Yes, it would be.

Mrs Marland: Thank you, that is the answer.

The Chair: Shall subsection 110(2) carry? Carried.

Subsection 110(3), Ms Poole.

Mrs Marland: Just to reiterate the concern about the wording "investigate cases of alleged failure" --

The Chair: Mrs Marland, the Liberals have an amendment to this. Perhaps we could deal with the amendment first.

Mrs Marland: Certainly.

The Chair: Ms Poole moves that clause 110(3)(a) of the bill be struck out and the following substituted:

"(a) investigate cases where he or she has reasonable grounds to believe a person has failed to comply with this act or an order made under it;"

An explanation, please?

Ms Poole: The phrase "reasonable grounds" is very similar to the one which we had in section 109. In that case it dealt with the minister and in this specific case before us right now we are referring to the duties of the director. Again, we feel that if there are going to be situations where there has been an allegation, before proceeding the director should have at least some reasonable grounds to believe that there is a failure to comply. I will not reiterate the arguments that were made under the first section, because we are under some time constraint today and I believe the same comments for section 109 apply to section 110. I hope the minister will reconsider and put a test of reason into this section.

Hon Ms Gigantes: If I could, Mr Chair, as we indicated in discussion of section 109, there is a progression of activity which an allegation should generate. We feel that any allegation should create a response. In order to generate a response we would expect those upon whom the responsibility falls to take some action. In this case we have called that action an investigation. This does not imply that any judgement has been made on the allegation; it is simply an initiation of activity in response to the allegation. We want each allegation to generate a response. This is how we get the generation of a response under way.

When we get to section 114, we will find all the tests of a due process, reasonability and probability that we expect and desire in movement beyond investigation into activity that indicates we think there in fact may have been a failure to comply. But this is at the very preliminary stage. We do not want the director, at this stage, to have to establish reasonable or probable grounds, either one. It is the duty of the director to investigate under section 110.

Ms Poole: I have a question for the minister: What happens in cases where an investigation has been caused and it is ascertained by the inspector that there are no reasonable grounds for proceeding? What happens to the records in that regard?

I am somewhat concerned that in the case of an allegation where you are causing an investigation, even though it proves to be ungrounded, at some later date somebody will use that against the party in question and say, "On three occasions the Ministry of Housing has had to send inspectors to the premises," which makes it sound as though this person in fact were guilty of something. But if the allegation were groundless or, what is worse, frivolous or vexatious, simply to cause grief to a certain party, whether it be for a grudge or because somebody is a little unbalanced or for whatever reason, I am concerned that these records would be there and could be used by some party against him when in fact there has been no wrongdoing and no grounds for any investigation or actions to be taken against that party.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I am sure that members of the committee will be familiar with the provisions of the freedom of information and protection of privacy legislation. I certainly have become exceedingly clear in my own mind about provisions of this kind because of my own unfortunate entanglement around matters that were governed by protection of privacy. The protection of the parties in any such situation would come from freedom of information and protection of privacy.


Ms Poole: Although I certainly agree with the minister that there is that protection from the ministry's side, it was the minister herself who mentioned the other day that tenants in the building would be most likely to know if there were an inspection, and I said yes, that is sometimes true and sometimes not true. But even the tenants' awareness of four or five inspections in a row might lead people to use that information when there was no substantiation for the inspector to go out to begin with.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I would put it to the member that, first, allegations which generated four or five inspections without a base would be unlikely, because once a director has been asked to send out an inspector and the allegation has been shown to be without base and the director has therefore made a decision not to use subsequent sections in the legislation in order to enforce compliance, then the inspector would not look warmly upon future allegations. That one can expect.

Second, if we had four or five allegations without base I think the provisions dealing with vexatious -- what is it we call it? -- and frivolous allegations would apply. So I do think there are those practical and legal protections around the concerns she is raising here.

Ms Poole: Just for a point of clarification, I am of course aware of the section regarding applications which deal with "frivolous and vexatious." Is there some section that would also deal with allegations that are frivolous and vexatious causing taxpayers' moneys to be spent?

Ms Parrish: I think if you read the section it says that you must "investigate cases of alleged failure." There is nothing in this section that says you must send out an investigator in every case. Clearly these are matters of discretion. People who enforce statutes have to exercise that discretion and sometimes it is difficult. If you get a very wild and unlikely allegation, the investigation may simply be a phone call to inquire and nothing further may happen. There is no requirement in this section to send out an investigator.

Bear in mind that there are provisions when you do send out an investigator, for example, because these are people's homes, that if you want to enter the premises without consent, you require a warrant. So you would have to have reasonable and probable grounds. You would have to swear it before a justice of the peace before you effected entry. It is not likely that you would have a lot of investigators running around without any good reason.

These are matters of discretion. There are usually procedures that people have to ensure (a) that they are fulfilling their obligation to investigate real issues that may be coming out and not ignoring people simply because perhaps they are not very articulate or their English is not good, but are really looking at real issues; (b) that they are not, on the other hand, abusing their authority and causing undue embarrassment and anguish to people who have done nothing wrong.

Hon Ms Gigantes: If I could add to that, if the member looks at section 124, while we do not use the "vexatious and frivolous" terminology, certainly there is an understanding out of 124, in my mind, that a director who is dealing with a person consistently making allegations which are baseless might well be lectured about the potential use of section 124.

Mrs Marland: I want to place on the record what I started to say before the amendment was placed. I do support it, for the same reasons and concerns that I had in section 109.

The Chair: Thank you, Mrs Marland. Shall Mrs Poole's amendment to clause 110(3)(a) carry? All in favour? Opposed?

Motion negatived.

The Chair: Now to subsection 110(3): Questions or comments?

Mrs Marland: Clause 110(3)(c) is "ensure that prescribed maintenance standards are being complied with." As this is stated as a responsibility of the director, could the minister tell us what the prescribed maintenance standards are or will be?

Hon Ms Gigantes: I will ask Colleen Parrish to provide us with full information here.

Ms Parrish: There is a provincial maintenance standard which is now prescribed under the RRRA. We expect that initially, in any event, it will be very similar to that. The standards board has recently reviewed the standard and has some minor changes that it is proposing to that standard. I am sure the ministry will be looking at that before it finalizes the standard.

Mrs Marland: You are saying these are the maintenance standards as prescribed in the RRRA.

Ms Parrish: Similar to them, yes.

Ms Poole: I had a question following Mrs Marland's question. Now that the standards board has been abolished, who in future would review standards and make those changes?

Ms Parrish: I think we have had an extensive process of public consultation on this statute. We intend to have consultation on the regulations in future. It is quite likely we will continue to have public consultation on the appropriateness of certain standards, in particular with the Ontario Association of Property Standards Officers, with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and with other landlord and tenant organizations.

Hon Ms Gigantes: The short answer is that the ministry will be responsible.

Ms Poole: Of course the standards board is of the ministry as well, and I was wondering what particular part of the ministry. Obviously it is what you would call the rent control branch and what I would call the rent review branch that would have to do this in future since there is no standards board to continue this fine work.

Hon Ms Gigantes: That is correct.

Ms Poole: Let the record show the minister agrees that there is no longer a standards board to continue its fine work. I am sure the standards board people will be very pleased with that accolade.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Let the record show I am laughing.

The Chair: Shall subsection 110(3) carry? Carried.


Section 113:

The Chair: Questions or comments to subsection 113(1)? Shall subsection 113(1) carry? Carried.

Mrs Poole, you have an amendment to subsections 113(2) through (8)? I am sorry, that is the government amendment, but you have one to 113(2).

Hon Ms Gigantes: Where are we at?

The Chair: We are at subsection 113(2).

Hon Ms Gigantes: Okay, thank you. As printed.

The Chair: You do not need to place yours, because it is as printed, I believe. Ms Poole needs to place hers because it is a Liberal motion.

Mrs Marland: Which one are we going to speak to first?

The Chair: The government one, because it is as printed, is placed in the legislation. She need not move hers, so Mrs Poole can move hers and we will speak to the amendment first.

Ms Poole moves that subsection 113(2) of the bill be amended by striking out "in the case of an alleged failure to comply with" in the third and fourth lines and substituting "if he or she has reasonable grounds to believe a person has failed to comply with."

Hon Ms Gigantes: This is not the right one.

The Chair: Is this perhaps the original legislation, Mrs Poole?

Ms Poole: You are actually quite right. This was tabled by the Liberal caucus before or at the same time this particular government motion was tabled, so that the words to which our amendment apply have been withdrawn, I believe, and changed in the government amendment.

The Chair: So you withdraw your motion?

Ms Poole: I would withdraw my amendment, but I did have a question on --

The Chair: We will speak to the other clauses.

Mrs Poole has withdrawn her amendment. I see no reason, then, not to deal with the entire remaining section together.

Mrs Marland: I have comments on section 113.

The Chair: We will certainly permit comments, but we do not have particular amendments to the other subsections, so I think we can deal with it as a full section.

Mrs Marland: Subsection 113(2) is one of the worst sections of this bill in terms of the rights of individuals in Ontario today.

Ms Poole: On a point of order, Mr Chairman: Mine was not going to be a comment. It was going to ask a question of the ministry because I think this section has undergone some changes since it was originally proposed, and some of the most contentious parts have been changed. I was just going to ask, when it was my turn, if the ministry could review the changes it made so we are perhaps not speaking to what originally was proposed as opposed to what it is now.

Mrs Marland: I am speaking to what is printed.

The Chair: Thank you, Mrs Poole. Mrs Marland has the floor and you may put those questions when it is --

Mrs Marland: Have there been any changes since this was printed?

Hon Ms Gigantes: No, but there is, as you will note, quite a revision represented by what is printed.

The Chair: Would you prefer an explanation of it?

Mrs Marland: No, I would like to deal with what is printed in front of me, because this is what I have concern with. It says in the printed amendment to subsection 113(3) that "An inspector exercising a power for a purpose under subsection (2)" -- and maybe in fairness I should read that. Subsection 113(2): "An inspector may exercise any of the powers set out in subsection (3) if he or she does so between the hours of 7 am and 9 pm" -- no wonder Mr Mammoliti is yawning, if it was 7 am and they knocked on his door.

Mr Mammoliti: I yawned while you spoke.

The Chair: Mr Mammoliti.

Mrs Marland: -- "having first given reasonable prior notice and if the power is being exercised,

"(a) to determine whether this act applies to a residential complex or a rental unit in it;

"(b) to inspect premises to determine whether a landlord has complied with a prescribed maintenance standard;

"(c) to determine whether a residential complex has been adequately maintained;

"(d) to determine whether the work giving rise to a capital expenditure has been completed;

"(e) to determine whether services and facilities have been discontinued or reduced."

Obviously all of these under subsection 113(2), clauses (a) to (e), are self-explanatory, and if the property owner is having some capital work done and consequently has taken on a capital expenditure, it would be fair to make those inspections.

I am wondering, under subsection 113(2), why it is necessary to have such long hours of inspection, from 7 am to 9 pm. That is not a normal business day. Maybe I will let you answer that and then I will go on to subsection 113(3), which is where the questions are that I am very concerned about.

Ms Parrish: First of all, in the RRRA, there is no limitation at all on the time in which you can do this, and we felt it was appropriate to put a time in. The reason we chose this, I guess, is simply the fact that we may be responding to a complaint by a tenant who is working and who may wish us to visit in the evening or over the dinner hour or first thing in the morning.

It may be that this complaint or this problem that is occurring is of a time-limited nature. Maybe it is noise or some other problem, some maintenance danger or something which is occurring at certain times of the day. The reason we have time is, first, to restrict periods of inspection -- which is not, in theory, a restriction under the current statute -- and also to recognize that we are dealing with people who may have full-time jobs during the day. We try to give reasonable service.

Mrs Marland: I recognize that, but this does not say Monday to Friday. Is it any day of the week? It does not specify what days.

Hon Ms Gigantes: "Having first given reasonable prior notice."

Mrs Marland: I understand that, but if I give you reasonable prior notice that I want to come into your place at 7 am on Sunday morning, does that mean that is okay?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Well, it might be debated, certainly by me.

Mrs Marland: I am asking a serious question, Minister.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I am treating it seriously. You do not have to give your consent.

Mrs Marland: It does not say that you have to give your consent here.

Hon Ms Gigantes: No.

Mrs Marland: It says, "having first given reasonable prior notice." It does not say, "and consent having been granted." So if you give me reasonable prior notice that you want to come in other than reasonable business hours in a work week --


Hon Ms Gigantes: If consent were not granted, other procedures would perhaps be necessary.

Mrs Marland: Why do we not be a little more reasonable here and specify either reasonable business hours or a six-day week or something? I think 7 am to 9 pm any day of the week, which is what it says, is unreasonable because it is wide open.

Hon Ms Gigantes: But if you as the inspector got in touch with me and said that you were coming at 7 am on Sunday morning and I said, "No way, José," then you as the inspector would say, "I could make myself available another time and we could discuss that." Then if you were trying to please me and gain access for my benefit, we would mutually arrange a time. If it were a question of I did not want you in the unit -- perhaps I am the landlord and perhaps that would be the case and I did not want you -- then in order for you to be able to enter the premises without my having given consent, other processes would be involved.

Mrs Marland: This is the document people are going to be going by. They are not going to be able to dig out Hansard and find out what your answer to my question is. I think what we have to deal with is what this says, and what this says is very wide open.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Look at subsection 113(8). We are talking about a process which starts off with everybody not at dagger's edge. We are talking about a process where there is a reasonable kind of framework. People discuss what is reasonable within that framework, what is mutually acceptable. Then if there is a problem, we could get to, for example, subsection (8), subsection (9), subsection (10). This all flows. This is not that we all draw pistols as soon as we get to subsection (2), right? There is a progression here which I think is orderly and reasonable and in which there are legal protections appropriate to the different situations.

Mrs Marland: It is interesting that you direct me to subsection (8), because it says there "at any time and without giving prior notice."

Ms Parrish: Only if there is consent, and if there is no consent you must have a search warrant to enter a dwelling place.

Mrs Marland: What I am suggesting is that to have it 7 am to 9 pm, seven days a week, which is the only way subsection 113(2) can be read, seems ridiculous to me. If you are saying "given reasonable prior notice and consent is received," then say it. It does not say that either here.

Hon Ms Gigantes: What we do is assume everything is reasonable until, as the subsequent subsections describe them, difficulties arise. We assume that things are going to go well unless there are difficulties. We begin to contemplate those difficulties in the later subsections of section 113, and I think if they are read as a whole they will provide the securities of process Ms Marland is quite reasonably asking for.

I also bring to the attention of committee members that Colleen Parrish has reminded me that the Provincial Offences Act calls for entry of this kind to fall between 6 am and 9 pm.

Mrs Marland: At this point we are not talking about provincial offences, are we?

Hon Ms Gigantes: No, but I am comparing the hours which you find difficult to contemplate. It may be, for the benefit of all parties, wonderful to think about 7:30, for example, in the morning or 8:30 at night. Everybody may be very happy about this. This legislation permits it and encourages discussion within those hours.

Mrs Marland: I am more concerned about the fact that it does not specify days. If it is Monday to Friday, I can see why it has to be 7 until 9, if people are working, but it does not have anything to do with days. I care about the intrusion, for any reason, on the tenants who, if they are given what is called reasonable notice -- this act says 7 until 9, seven days a week -- are obviously not in a position to know they can argue against that.

Under subsection 113(3) we get into some really grave rights of this inspector. It says here:

"An inspector exercising a power for a purpose under subsection (2)" -- the section I have just read, as a matter of fact -- "may,

"(a) enter any place;

"(b require the production of and inspect any records or other things that may be relevant to the inspection;

"(c) inquire into any matters that may be relevant to the inspection; and

"(d) take any photographs that may be relevant to the inspection."

This is search and seizure. That is what this is about. Although I understand that the provisions in this section are similar to those in Bill 51, as far as I am concerned, that does not make them any more acceptable. In fact, they extend Bill 51's powers beyond the investigating of compliance with maintenance standards and orders only. As well, under Bill 51 the powers of entry, search and seizure were limited to the consent of the landlord or landlord employee. Unless the consent was given, the inspector was limited to an external visual inspection only. There was no mechanism to enforce entry.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Mr Chair, I wonder if I could ask if Colleen Parrish could help us with an understanding on this question of comparison.

Ms Parrish: Under the RRRA the powers were actually wider than they are under this statute and less defined. If they could not get consent, they would get a warrant under the Provincial Offences Act. What we have done is take the search warrant provisions and put them directly into this statute, for two reasons. One is to make them all work together and the other is to deal with one technical problem.

Under the Provincial Offences Act you can always search and seize. The problem you have is that when you are inspecting for a provincial standard, what you may be inspecting for is the fact that there is no heat or water pressure, and you cannot seize those things. What we wanted to do was clarify that you could get a search warrant to inspect a condition, such as cockroach infestation, no heat or no water pressure. Otherwise they would obtain a warrant under the Provincial Offences Act. We have simply brought forward those warrant provisions. In fact, in a number of respects this system is somewhat more constrained than the powers under the RRRA, because the case law has evolved over the last few years in the area of provincial search-and-seizure powers.

Mrs Marland: Section 114 deals with search warrants. We are dealing with section 113, which gives all this power to an inspector without a search warrant.


Hon Ms Gigantes: I draw the member's attention to subsections 113(8), (9) and (10), particularly (9): "without the occupier's consent the inspector is not permitted to exercise that power without the authority of a search warrant." We then go on, in section 114, to lay out the further process which must be followed where there is not consent and where a search warrant, as required under section 113 in certain extreme circumstances, would be required.

They all relate and interrelate. They are ascending powers reflecting the ascending possibilities of difficulty around a particular inspection. Section 113 and the constraints under it relate directly to portions of section 114 which prescribe the exact kinds of mechanisms and processes to be used where there is a complete breakdown of communication and agreement about what shall happen.

Mrs Marland: All this can happen to a property owner on the basis of an allegation, on the basis of an alleged non-compliance with this act. All of this starts rolling into motion and this train starts going down the track. In the other sections we tried to get a better word than "alleged." We said "with reasonable and probable grounds," which you would not accept, so we are back to allegations. On the basis of allegations, you can go into anybody's place at any time and seize anything -- that is what this says -- albeit, as you have now explained, with a search warrant, but the fact is that on the basis of an allegation you have this much power. You can go into any place of business or property, you can go into any residence, you can go to any location.

Mr Owens: I just want to know, for the edification of myself and perhaps other members, the process one has to go through in order to obtain a search warrant. They do not just hand those things out like candy, I understand.

Mrs Marland: We all know how you get a search warrant. You take information to a justice of the peace.

Mr Owens: At 7 o'clock in the morning, where are you going to find one?

Mr Jackson: You will not find one in Halton, because they have been removed, but you will find one in Toronto. They are available.

Mrs Marland: Excuse me, a justice of the peace is always available, 24 hours a day. How else do the police execute their warrants?

Mr Owens: But you also have to provide evidence.

Mrs Marland: I am telling you that justices of the peace do not limit their hours of availability to business hours. Whatever it is that the police need a justice of the peace for, they can get one 24 hours a day. The way this Ministry of Housing police is going, it will be just -- of course the availability of a JP is not the problem.

I understand that under Bill 51 the inspection of documents was also limited to documents on the public record unless the landlord gave permission to examine documents in his office or elsewhere. Is that so?

Ms Parrish: No, it is not so. Under the RRRA, as under this statute, there was the ability to have a search warrant. The rule for a search warrant, which is set out in section 114, is that you must go before a justice of the peace who must be satisfied by information under oath that there are reasonable and probable grounds to believe that there is an offence and that exercising the powers under the search warrant, or the search-and-seizure warrant, will afford evidence as to the commission of the offence.

That is the same under Bill 51, except that those provisions were in the Provincial Offences Act and incorporated into that statute by reference. We have incorporated these provisions directly into this statute in order to make a distinction between a warrant which will give you the right to search and seize and a warrant which will give you only the right to search.

Mrs Marland: So you are saying that under Bill 51 the inspection of documents was not limited?

Ms Parrish: If you are prepared to get a search warrant. There are cases when you are not prepared to do so because you do not have reasonable and probable grounds which you are prepared to give under oath.

Mrs Marland: Under Bill 51? That is your answer?

Ms Parrish: That is correct, under the Provincial Offences Act, if you are willing to give that oath. It is often the case that there are practical limitations to looking at documents because staff are not in the situation where they can say under oath that they have reasonable and probable grounds to believe that an offence was committed. In such cases, as in the current act, they may have some restrictions.

Mrs Marland: With the authorization of a search warrant in this bill we are really going to allow inspectors to enter landlords' premises to do all of these things, remove records or other things that may be relevant to the inspection. Do you not think that clearly illustrates, in the opinion of your Ontario socialist government, that landlords are really going to be treated like criminals? Is the assumption there that this kind of power is necessary? I am not asking Ms Parrish that. I am asking the minister that.

Hon Ms Gigantes: No, Mrs Marland, I do not agree with you on that point. The situations which will call forth to the limit the processes described in sections 113 and 114 will be rare; they have been in the past under Bill 51, and they will continue to be in the future. We know that. We want to make sure that when those very rare cases arise, all due processes, as spelled out in the interconnected sections of sections 113 and 114, are there to protect all parties. That includes the landlord.

Certainly I do not contemplate a situation either where there will be many requests of justices of the peace under section 114 to provide a search warrant along the lines described in these sections. Nor do I contemplate that justices of the peace in Ontario would cavalierly or without due consideration grant search warrants in such cases. I think that justices of the peace will take into account the very matters you are raising, and will look very carefully at the grounds being presented when the application for the search warrant is made, to suspect that there are reasonable and probable grounds that the act is being disregarded and compliance is not taking place.

Mrs Marland: With this bill the government is making the landlord's actions, such as failing to obey a work order, failure to file a statement of rent information within the time required, no matter what kind of reasonable, valid reason there might be for that, or interfering with a tenant's right to organize, or increasing or attempting to increase rent charged in contravention of the act -- it makes all these things, with the kind of power that sections 113 and 114 describe, criminal offences far beyond their significance.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Oh, no, those matters you have raised are not criminal offences under this act. They certainly are, in some cases, matters which would cause the administration of the rent review to prevent rent increases, perhaps to even lower the level of rent, but we are not talking, in the majority of the items you have talked about, Mrs Marland, of anything that carries criminal --


Mrs Marland: Okay. If they are not criminal offences, then why are we giving these kinds of powers under sections 113 and 114 that are the same powers as the police use? When the police want to go after a criminal who may or may not have committed a criminal offence, they have the power to get a search warrant. What we are asking is, are these violations so significant that you have to have the same powers as the police in treating potential criminals, especially as we know now from the previous sections that they may only be allegations?

You can go all through sections 113 and 114 and you pass on this information to the poor justice of the peace and say: "Look, this landlord is potentially violating all of these things. He may have violated a work order. He is not giving us some information that we need, and we need the power to go wherever he is and take whatever he has." I mean, this is incredible for 1992 in Ontario. It is unbelievable that that much power is going to happen as a result of this bill.

The other aspect I think is interesting is that where section 113 defines the powers of these inspectors I have just been speaking about, the power accorded to these individuals is considerable and could be very well abused if the inspectors do not have the proper training and/or are biased. Now, about these inspectors, are you going to give your part-time, weekend evening inspectors whom you second from other full-time jobs paid by taxpayers the same power as well? How do you know what kind of training those people will have if they are part-time employees and full-time employees of other government bodies like municipalities? How can you be sure that these powers under section 113, and then subsequently through a search warrant under section 114, are not going to be abused?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Mr Chair, if I might. The people who would be called upon to perform the role of inspector and to whom sections 113 and 114 would apply are people who are quite used to operating within a legal framework very much of the nature described here.

It is the case that municipal inspectors are operating with very much the same kinds of rules and regulations. In some cases the municipal acts through which they would be carrying out their full-time duties will have even greater powers than those described here. They will be people who will be quite used to doing most of their work without ever having to move, for example, to the level of subsection 113(8). It will be in the very rare circumstance in their normal work that they would use powers following from subsections 113(8), 113(9), 113(10) and then being disciplined within those powers by the subsections in section 114.

I would also, if I could, Mr Chair, in terms of understanding and having a sense of perspective about what we are talking about here, ask Colleen Parrish if she could give us her appreciation of how sections 113 and 114 would compare with legislation which the people we will be calling upon to act as inspectors are quite familiar with.

Ms Parrish: The municipal inspectors who are making inspections under the Planning Act or the Municipal Act or the corporate act, if they have a Corporate act -- the city of Toronto has its own statute -- when they exercise their powers and prosecute for maintenance standards under their authority they use the Provincial Offences Act. So they use the same sort of approach as we do.

Our powers are actually more circumscribed and more defined. The only real difference is, as I said, this distinction that we have had to make between search and just looking, and search and seizure. But these are the same authorities that are vested under the Provincial Offences Act, and apply to either statute. People who do this do receive training and will continue to receive training in the future as to the appropriate techniques of investigation, that are not inappropriately intrusive and that obey the law of Ontario and are not challengeable under the charter or any other way.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Mr Chair, if I could also add to that. Mrs Marland was concerned that inspectors using powers under section 113 could take anything, could seize anything, and so on. In fact, if we look at subsection 113(3) and see what the inspector may take or inspect, we are talking always, in each subsection, of items or things or facts relevant to the inspection. If they are relevant to the inspection, then the inspector is required to give a receipt for any records or things which are being taken and under subsection 113(5), the inspector is obligated to promptly return any such records or things, unless they are being held as evidence obviously, therefore related directly to the purpose of the inspection, and also subject to the limitation that they have to be returned, unless copies cannot be made.

So I think that what we are talking about here is a much more -- what can I say? -- civilized process than one Mrs Marland apparently fears. I do believe there has been a great deal of attention and thought given to spelling out as precisely as possible the staged level involved in an easy inspection as opposed to a difficult inspection, the powers related to each of the stages and, finally, the requirement that when there is no consent given that there are very strict procedures involved in getting a search warrant, which again are limited under section 114 as to time. You cannot even use the search warrant unless you are using it between 7 am and 9 pm.

This is a fairly elaborate -- actually, I will take back the word "fairly" -- it is an elaborate and I think fair description of a process which I think Mrs Marland will find, in its application, as this legislation is implemented and administered throughout the province, will be used with minimum harshness.

A lot of thought has been given to this section, and I really think that no more powers are being proposed than are absolutely minimum for each and every potential level of difficulty involved in an inspection. In the end, we have to decide whether we want to be able to make a determination through an inspection of whether materials exist, situations exist, circumstances exist which are relative to a non-compliance situation under the bill. If we are going to have inspectors to help us make sure the bill is being implemented as all of us would wish it to be, ie, effectively, then we need a carefully graded, carefully graduated system of powers which can be provided to those inspectors. At each step, those powers are constrained within this bill, which I feel is more useful to those people who will be involved in its application than looking at Bill 51 and being told to go to the Provincial Offences Act to understand what the processes should be.


Mrs Marland: I just find this whole section quite depressing. For the most part, landlords are business people who make an investment and through the investment of their personal funds provide housing for people. For the most part, landlords are good people. For the most part, ministers and members of parliament are good people. No question, there are always exceptions, but for the most part that is the case.

Yet here we have a piece of legislation that is so powerful that it presupposes that this kind of power is necessary. Even if some poor little soul -- and to tell you the truth, when I am talking about the landlords, the property owners, I am not envisioning the large corporations. I am envisioning the 140,000 small landlords in this province who own less-than-seven-unit buildings. That is the person I am picturing when I picture the person I am most concerned about, because it is that little landlord who cannot afford the high-priced lawyers to interpret this enormous act. That is the little guy who, on the basis of an allegation by one of his tenants, may be launched into this whole process.

It may well be that little guy who even grants permission. Maybe he says, "Sure, come in," and does not understand what powers the inspector is exercising. He does not understand any of that stuff. But on that basis, they are even given permission to come into his home, his office, his place of business, any premises. This act says in effect, "Enter any place and take anything."

The minister has just said, "relevant to the inspection," and who do you think makes that judgement? Only the inspector. The inspector makes the judgement when he goes in this man's little basement office or his den and starts rummaging through his desk looking for stuff, like the state police.

Mr Mammoliti: On a point of order, Mr Chair: Are we becoming a little repetitive here? I think we are, and if so, I would ask you to rule.

The Chair: Mrs Marland has taken a significant amount of time on what I think she believes to be a significant and important point. I am sure she is concluding her remarks within the next while.

Mrs Marland: I am gravely concerned about this section and that is why I am spending the time on it. When that inspector, in his opinion, starts to look for any records or other things and take photographs or -- I mean, there is not anything that he cannot do "relevant to the inspection." When you know it is the inspector who is doing this, that it is in his judgement whether it is relevant to the inspection, what if he goes through this man's desk for four or five hours and does not find anything and there is nothing there that is "relevant to the inspection"? That, I suggest, is against that man's basic rights, and I really wonder how these two sections sit as far as the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is concerned.

This person is not a criminal. He has not been found guilty. He has not even been charged. That is the interesting point. Something has been alleged, and on the basis of an allegation all of this stuff can happen to him or to her, and on that basis of allegation, not on the basis of a charge, all of this flows into place. It is totally wrong to treat property owners in this way, and I think it is like going into the Third World War.

Who are against these people, who are simply businessmen and women in this province? I do not think the action fits the problem that has been alleged. If it does, then what we are looking at is something where there is more than an allegation, and I think it is an indignity to the property owners that these inspectors, based on their own judgement, have all this power.

The Chair: Mrs Poole?

Ms Poole: The reason I was going to suggest that the ministry give a précis of the changes made from the act as originally printed is that there were a number of concerns expressed about the original sections.

One concern was the fact that it did not spell out exactly what the powers of the inspectors were, so there was concern that they would go beyond what they were mandated to do. The government has dealt with that in this section.

The second concern that was expressed was the fact that it did not state in the legislation that only documents relevant to the inspection could be seized and inspected, so there was concern about people's diaries and things like that. I think that has been rectified by the government in this section.

Third, there was a concern that when documents were seized that the owner's interests would be prejudiced because he could not have access to the documents and carry on his business, so they have provided accessibility to the documents, and as soon as the minister is finished with the documents then they are to be returned to the owner.

The fourth area which was given as an area of concern was whether it was clear that the consent of the occupier of a dwelling place would have to obtained before search and seizure. That has been clarified.

The fifth one was that the occupier be given the right to refuse consent and be given notice that they have this right. That is included.

The final one was that tenants have complained that the inspector could not have access to the common areas because that was not included. This has been clarified.

The only area I am still not completely satisfied with is the fact that landlords do not have the same rights as the occupier of a dwelling place as far as having to give their consent to certain hours or else there has to be a search warrant, but I must say that substantially many of the concerns I had with the original section have been answered by the ministry in a fairly sensitive way. Mrs Marland has spoken quite eloquently about her concerns with the section. Mr Chair, I am concerned if we continue to debate this matter much longer that we will not be able to complete the bill today, so I will end my comments at that.


The committee divided on whether section 113 should stand as part of the bill as reprinted, which was agreed to on the following vote:

Ayes -- 7

Abel, Gigantes, Lessard, Mammoliti, Morin, Owens, Poole.

Nays -- 2

Jackson, Marland.

Section 114, as amended, agreed to.

Section 115 agreed to.

The Chair: Ms Poole, you have a motion for section 115.1.

Ms Poole: Yes, Mr Chairman. I would like to say just before we place the amendment that although we did give debate to the standards board issue, I did not previously place a motion in that regard, therefore it was not officially on the record. I do not intend to debate this section, but I am going to put section 115.1 on the record and ask for a recorded vote.

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

"115.1(1) The Residential Rental Standards Board is continued under the name Residential Rental Standards Board in English and Conseil des normes de location résidentielle in French."

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

Ayes -- 4

Jackson, Marland, Morin, Poole.

Nays -- 6

Abel, Gigantes, Lessard, Mammoliti, Martin, Owens.

The Chair: We have already done section 116.

Sections 117 to 119, inclusive, agreed to.

The Chair: Sections 119.1 to 119.14. Ms Poole.

Ms Poole: Since we did have a motion concerning the rent appeals board yesterday, which failed, I regretfully am withdrawing this amendment.

The Chair: You are not placing it, in other words.

Ms Poole: That would be correct.

Section 120:

The Chair: Questions or comments to section 120?

Mrs Marland: I would like to know what is meant by "the right to organize." Does that mean anywhere on the private property of the property owner? It just says "the right to organize or participate in an organization." It does not talk about location, so would they have the right to organize on private property?

Mr Jackson: Other than the residence.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Mr Chair, this section does not speak to locale. All property rights that exist would continue. The right of a group of tenants to get together in the apartment of one of the tenants, which of course is not the tenant's apartment but rented from the landlord, would exist. Any of the rights of the landlords to property which was -- do you know what I am going to do? I am going to confess that I do not know how to answer this properly and ask Colleen Parrish if she could apply her mind to it.

Ms Parrish: There is nothing on this that would require, for example, that a landlord would have to have tenant organizing meetings in his home. All it is saying here is that if it is the private property of the landlord, then it is still the private property of the landlord. This does not overcome the normal rules around property, trespassing and so on. However, it may very well be that the party room in a residential building is not the private property of the landlord because the tenants are entitled to have access to that area under their lease. The landlord could not, for example, prohibit tenants from having an organizing meeting in the party room as long as they met all the usual rules, whatever their rules are for using the party room. However, there is certainly nothing in here that would require the landlord to entertain tenants in his own home or in his private areas.

Hon Ms Gigantes: That is so helpful. Thank you.

The Chair: Further questions or comments to section 120?

Section 120 agreed to.

Section 121 agreed to.


Section 122:

The Chair: Questions or comments to section 122? Mr Jackson.

Mr Jackson: Very briefly, is there a current set of rules guiding rent officers in this area? I know there are varying applications of this kind of clause in terms of who has access to material and at what cost. Is there a standard? It is a general question: Is there a standard for this across the province that if I want the whole order I have to pay 10 cents a sheet, or do we charge a basic $10 if you are a tenant and $50 if you are the landlord? It is just a general question, because I have been able to acquire them free and I have had to pay.

Ms Parrish: If you prescribe fees in Ontario you are required to go through a cabinet committee -- it used to be Management Board; I believe it is now treasury board -- and there are internal procedures that relate to how fees are set. The basic rule is cost recovery. We do not do this to make a profit. It is basically to recover the costs. When you come forward you are required to just say how much staff time and blah blah.

The general rule is that unless there is a specific provision in your statute that allows you to charge differential fees, you cannot do so. I think there are provisions in some statutes that allow you to waive fees, but I do not believe we have that in our statute.

Mr Jackson: Just very quickly here, I understand the intent of this is that they may charge fees.

Ms Parrish: If they are prescribed by regulation; only if we have a regulation.

Mr Jackson: Yes, and they will be. I just want to know if it is the minister's intention to prescribe those uniformly or if are they going to be discretionary.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Oh, dear, I do not know, because I do not know if that would depend on the cost of production in any given centre. I will have to check into that.

Mr Jackson: I just hope we are applying it evenly. That is my only point.

Hon Ms Gigantes: It certainly would be my intent to try to make sure that it is as evenly applied as possible and that the price to the people who would like to get copies will be as low as possible.

The Chair: Further questions or comments on section 122? Shall section 122 carry?

Section 122 agreed to.

Section 123 agreed to.

Section 124:

The Chair: We have a government amendment.

Ms Gigantes moves that subsection 124(1) of the bill, as reprinted to show the amendments proposed by the minister, be amended by adding the following clause:

"(b.1) charges or collects or attempts to charge or collect rent in contravention of section 19."

The Chair: An explanation, minister?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Yes, Mr Chair. Section 19 is the section which directs us to the maximum legal rent. This amendment will change because section 19 prohibits the landlord from collecting rent that exceeds the guideline until an order has been made.

Under Bill 51 and the way we had originally drafted Bill 121, it was possible for a landlord, without insisting on charging the new rent which he or she was proposing, to collect it and still be more or less assumed to be in compliance with the legislation. We are saying now that landlords may not collect the proposed rent until that proposed rent has been approved by an order.

The Chair: Further questions, comments or amendments to clause 124(1)(b.1)? Shall Ms Gigantes's amendment to subsection 124(1) carry? Carried.

Motion agreed to.

The Chair: Shall section 124, as amended, carry?

Section 124, as amended, agreed to.

Section 125:

The Chair: Questions, comments or amendments to section 125?

Hon Ms Gigantes: I am afraid so, Mr Chair.

Mr Jackson: They scare you too, do they?

The Chair: Ms Gigantes moves that subsection 125(1) of the bill, as reprinted to show the amendments proposed by the minister, be amended by adding the following paragraph:

"3.2 providing that under certain circumstances an amount other than the rent actually charged shall be used in the place of the rent actually charged for the purposes of subsections 10(7) and (9) and paragraph 5 of subsection 97(1), prescribing those circumstances and prescribing rules for determining that amount."

Hon Ms Gigantes: The reason for this amendment is that it is a regulation-making authority, so we can calculate the maximum rent based on factors other than the rent which is actually being charged for the purposes of subsections 10(7) and (9) and paragraph 5 of subsection 97(1). I am going to call upon Colleen Parrish to help us with this one, because it is not one I am prepared to try to explain in English.

Ms Parrish: The reason you need this regulation-making authority is largely to deal with very unusual kinds of cases, for example, where you have something that used to be a suites hotel and then you have to say: "What was the actual rent? Was it the monthly rent, the weekly rent, the daily rent?" At various stages they may have done all these things. When you bring in the building you may have this very sort of odd rental history. It is to deal with these very unusual, anomalous situations and devise other rules for those rare occasions where this does happen.

The Acting Chair (Mr Morin): Shall Ms Gigantes's motion carry?

Motion agreed to.

The Chair: Shall section 125, as amended, carry?

Section 125, as amended, agreed to.

Ms Poole: The Liberals have an amendment to paragraph 125(1)6.1. I have just been checking the reference for this. It appears that it refers to the energy conservation amendment we had proposed earlier and which was defeated, so I will withdraw paragraph 125(1)6.1. I am not withdrawing it; I am not placing it.


Sections 126 to 129, inclusive, agreed to.

Section 130:

The Acting Chair (Mr Morin): Questions or comments on section 130?

Ms Poole moves that section 130 of the bill be struck out and the following substituted:

"130. The short title of this act is the Rent Review Act, 1991."

Do you have any comments?

Ms Poole: Although this amendment speaks for itself, I am not going to let it; I would like to speak to it as well. It has become obvious from the wording of this what our intent is. This is not a rent control act; this is a very complex, convoluted, difficult-to-understand piece of legislation which puts more bureaucracy in place, which tenants and landlords are going to have even more difficulty understanding and which certainly is not rent control. In order to name it rent control, what has this government done? This government has removed some sections on economic and financial loss, put on a cap and then says it is rent control.

Any time you have a system where a landlord has an ability to go to the government body for increases above a set guideline amount in several different categories, and when a government body is responsible for reviewing and approving those increases, then it has to be rent review. What this government promised in the election was one rent increase per year geared to inflation and nothing else, no extra bonuses to landlords for capital or financing. I even have the words memorized by now. That was the rent control promise by this government and that is not what this legislation delivered.

The tenants of this province were deluded into thinking they would get rent control as promised by the government. They failed to do so. They betrayed the tenants who believed those promises and voted for them in the election on that basis. So, I cannot see how in any way, shape or form this government can claim that it is rent control. Setting a cap, particularly a cap of 9% in this given year, to me does not rent control make. I would urge this government in future, when it is making promises --

Mr Abel: The Liberals talk about promises? Give me a break.

The Acting Chair (Mr Morin): Order.

Mr Abel: I was provoked.

Ms Poole: -- such as providing a real system of rent control in this province that they also ensure (a) that their promise is workable, and (b) that their promise is balanced and can be put into effect.


The Acting Chair (Mr Morin): Order. Everything was going so well for a while. Let's keep it that way.

Ms Poole: Mr Chair, it must be Thursday afternoon. The government members just cannot seem to sit still or stay quiet.

Having made those comments -- and I am sure Mrs Marland and Mr Jackson might have an addendum to add -- I think what they have provided is not what they promised and in fact not what they are selling it as right now. The first statement I will be making to my tenants is, "This is not rent control; this is rent review."

Mrs Marland: I do have some comments to make. I must tell you that I am not going to support this amendment, because in fact I use the same arguments for calling it the Rent Control Act. I think this piece of legislation gives more control to this government than any piece of legislation I have been a party to for hearings and clause-by-clause deliberation in the seven years I have been down here. I have never seen anything as draconian as this legislation. I have never seen anything that represented the "taking the elephant gun to kill the fly" theory like Bill 121.

It certainly is a piece of legislation that gives the Bob Rae socialist government all kinds of powers, all kinds of controls and unheard-of, intrusive and invasive powers within one individual. We have two people in here who individually have tremendous power: the rent officer and the inspector on whom the rent officer will come to depend when the rent officer does not know enough about a situation to give an informed opinion and has to call in the inspector, paid or otherwise, to make a deliberation.

There are all kinds of control in Bill 121 but there is no protection. Is it not interesting? As far as I am concerned, under this bill neither the interests of the tenants nor the landlords are served, but it sure is a bill that controls their rights. The rights of individuals, whether they own property or rent property in this province, are not enhanced; they are regressed by Bill 121, in my opinion.

Mr Jackson: I simply would like to agree with both of the preceding speakers.

Mr Owens: You are covering all the bases.

Mr Jackson: No, I honestly believe that had the government brought in its initial vision of a single increase once a year, that legitimately could have been classed as rent control. What we do have is a moving off of that position. To my knowledge, those provinces that still have a form of rent regulation shy away from the word "control." I am not familiar if there is a province that actually calls it rent control.

The reason I say that is because all provinces are increasing the number of opportunities for pass-through. The only two provinces that are not, I believe, are maybe Newfoundland -- I am not sure -- but clearly Ontario is going in that direction. The other provinces are moving in the direction of increasing pass-throughs. Therefore their adherence to the concept of rent control would be a bit of a mockery. Calling this rent control would be a mockery, since it will allow for multiple increases. I do not mean each unit will have multiple increases; I mean there will be a multiplicity of different increased rates for various apartments across the province.


I think the government is entitled to call it whatever it wants and it will do that. I believe really the true wizards of rent control will not necessarily be the inspectors or the review officers, but rather those wordsmiths in the public relations department and the Ministry of Housing which are going to have their hands full convincing tenants that they have given them what they promised them in the last provincial election.

Mr Owens: It probably will not come as any surprise that I am going to disagree with the three previous speakers in that this bill does not provide a good level of rent control for tenants in this province. I think what we have done is we have removed clauses that have in the past, under previous legislation, provided ample profits for landlords at the expense of tenants in that maintenance was not done and services were withdrawn. We have closed those loopholes.

It is funny that Ms Poole in her comments epitomized the Liberal philosophy. When they are in opposition they talk like New Democrats, but when they are in government they govern like Tories.

I fully believe the rights of tenants have been enhanced. Enshrining words like "neglect" and making them a provable entity in order to have enforcement is a major step forward for tenants in this province. As I said at the beginning, I do not think it is going to be any surprise that I am not going to support the Liberal amendment.

I think this bill, like all pieces of legislation, no matter which government passes them, is not 110% perfect, but we are putting in a system that I feel is workable. I know the minister is going to continue to monitor the situation, along with her staff. As changes are needed, those changes will be made.

Ms Poole: I have taken the comments of both Mrs Marland and Mr Jackson very much to heart; there is much in what they have said that I totally agree with, so I am proposing a friendly amendment to them. If it is acceptable, I will formally make that amendment. That would be that the short title of this act is entitled the Socialist Interventionist and Broken Promises Act. If that would be acceptable to my --


Ms Poole: I will formally withdraw my amendment at this time and introduce the new amendment.

The Acting Chair (Mr Morin): Ms Poole moves that the short title of this act is the Socialist Interventionist and Broken Promises Act.

Hon Ms Gigantes: That is tempting, that one.

The Acting Chair (Mr Morin): Mr Mammoliti.

Mrs Marland: One final fairy story, right?

Mr Mammoliti: If you recall in the Chicken Little story, I believe the wolf took the chicken and the rooster and ate them all up at the end in a cave. I would compare that cave to perhaps a building that existed prior to this piece of legislation being implemented, and perhaps that wolf to some of the landlords I know out there and how the poor chicken and her friends got gobbled up. Perhaps it is time to find a new story; you are right, Mrs Marland. Maybe I will do that.

I am not going to support this amendment for a couple of reasons. I disagree with you wholeheartedly, Mrs Poole, in that you defined -- this I do agree with, by the way -- rent review. You just defined rent review. You just admitted that you made a mistake and that your piece of legislation, Bill 51, was unclear. You defined it, in so many words, as a big waste. I agree with you there.

Ms Poole: On a point of order, Mr Chair: My comments have been totally misrepresented by the member for Yorkview and bear no resemblance to any fact or truth.

The Acting Chair (Mr Morin): Mr Mammoliti, please continue.

Mr Mammoliti: Where I disagree with you is where this is a broken promise. A number of tenants in my riding have been waiting for our piece of legislation to go through. I am hoping it will go through as quickly as possible. I am happy we have moved fairly quickly over the past few days. I am looking forward to the spring session. You will be happy, as will I, that we will at that time be at the stage when tenants can refer to a piece of legislation they can be comfortable with.

It may not be perfect -- I have said this from day one -- and there may even be a couple of clauses I may not agree with in this piece of legislation, but I believe we have taken a stance as a government. I believe the people out there, the tenants out there have wanted some leadership and I think we have provided that leadership through Bill 121. For those reasons, I will not be supporting this amendment.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Hurry up, George. We still have lots to do.

Mr Mammoliti: We do have lots to do. Mrs Marland's remarks speak for themselves. I am not going to stoop as low as Mrs Marland and her colleague beside her. They have insulted continuously, and I do take some offence at that.

Mr Jackson: Who have we insulted?

The Acting Chair (Mr Morin): Order.

Mr Mammoliti: It is not worth attacking. I will leave it at that. We should continue.

Mr Jackson: I would like to know to whom he is referring. That is a blanket statement. I have the right to ask that the question be answered.

The Acting Chair (Mr Morin): This not a point of order. Are you through, Mr Mammoliti?

Mr Mammoliti: I am through, yes.

Mr Jackson: An allegation was made. Are you going to gloss over that?

The Acting Chair (Mr Morin): Mrs Marland.

Mrs Marland: I have some concern with Mr Mammoliti's comments that we have been insulting. Perhaps when he has an opportunity, he would like to identify. We certainly have enough volumes here of Hansard that can record whether that is the case.

Although the critic for the official opposition, the member for Eglinton, is sincere in her amendment, I think we all very much understand the frustration behind her amendment, which otherwise might be perceived as being a little facetious in its wording. The concern I have expressed all the way through this legislation is because of the lack of opportunity for the ordinary person on the street to ever be able to know what his rights are, whether he owns or rents property. It is a travesty to be saying one thing publicly -- in other words, that you are protecting tenants -- when really you are not, or to be suggesting that you are treating property owners fairly when really you are not.


The concern I have is that this piece of legislation, as I said a few moments ago, is not in the best interests of the future of this province in any way at all. The way it is executed is the part I think has the gravest concern for all of us who understand what it means when you give power to one individual.

In earlier days my comments referring to a rent officer as a wizard were also facetious, but actually it is an apt reference, because whatever that rent officer says is final. There are no comparable statutes where that much power is given to one individual in this province, and that one individual's judgement is without recourse to appeal and may involve thousands and millions of dollars to injured parties as a result of the decision, on either side: tenants who still are faced with an increase in their rent because of his decision or property owners who are faced with a decrease in rent because of his decision. They have nowhere to go with that decision, no recourse of appeal whatsoever. I think that is one of the gravest concerns, combined with this right of search and seizure based on allegations only, not based on charges, not based on probable grounds, not based on reasonable grounds but based on allegations only.

As far as I am concerned, it does not really matter what this bill is called. This bill is going to go through. I am sure the Bob Rae socialist government is going to proclaim it as soon as it can when the House reconvenes, and it will be on the shoulders of every government member who votes in favour of this bill. Fortunately, it is not going to be on my shoulders or on the shoulders of my party, because we do not believe this represents justice and fairness and equal opportunity to the people who own or rent property in Ontario today. Call it what you want, the repercussions and results from this bill being proclaimed will speak for themselves against socialism in Ontario today.

Hon Ms Gigantes: On a point of order, Mr Chair: May I ask what we are discussing?

The Acting Chair (Mr Morin): The motion was brought in by Ms Poole: "The short title of the act is the Rent Review Act, 1991."

Hon Ms Gigantes: But I understood she had withdrawn that.

Ms Poole: That is right. I put in another amendment, which the clerk was copying.

The Acting Chair (Mr Morin): "The short title of this act is the Socialist Intervention and Broken Promises Act, 1991."

Sometimes the Chairman has to be discreet. The next person is Mr Owens.

Mr Owens: In the interest of returning back to the business of the people of this province, I am not going to comment on the rather facetious amendment that the member, the person who claims to care about tenants in this province, has put in to rename this act.

Mr Jackson: Is that actually in order? Would that be your ruling? Should not the name at least reasonably flow from the main title? Is there no guidance in this regard or can the government just call it anything it wants?

The Acting Chair (Mr Morin): I am in your hands, let me tell you.

Mr Jackson: The clerk is about to whisper in your ear.

The Acting Chair (Mr Morin): Let me tell you this: It is 4:15 and it is Friday. If you want to spend as much time until 6 o'clock, feel free to do so.

Mrs Marland: I think it is Thursday.

The Acting Chair (Mr Morin): I do not know. Some amendments to me are not done in good taste, in any case, but if this is what you want to debate, you are free to do so.

Mr Jackson: I asked you if it was in order and the clerk was about to advise you. Some of those words are in order but surely "socialist" is not in order.

The Acting Chair (Mr Morin): When it was introduced by Mrs Poole, nobody disagreed with it, the debate went on and it continued on.

Mr Abel: I would like to call the question.

The Acting Chair (Mr Morin): Mr Owens, are you through?

Mr Owens: Absolutely.

Motion negatived.

Section 130 agreed to.

The Acting Chair (Mr Morin): There were some motions that were stood down and these are the ones we will deal with now. The first one was brought in by Mrs Marland, section 18.1.

The Chair: Mrs Marland moves that the bill be amended by adding the following section:


"18.1 The landlord may base an application on a request to apportion the rents charged in the residential complex in order to achieve equalization of rents for similar rental units within the residential complex."

I am predisposed to rule this out of order because the question was decided in section 22.2. Before I rule, I will give you the opportunity to explain to the Chair why this is significantly different from the motion we have already dealt with.

Mrs Marland: I believe the amendment I have just moved speaks for itself. If there is obviously no support for it, there is no point in making any further comment.

The Chair: Why is this different from the amendment dealing with equalization we have already dealt with that I believe was placed by Ms Poole? If you can demonstrate to me that there is a significant difference between the two, I will be pleased to have us continue.

Mr Jackson: If I might be of assistance to my colleague, the Liberal motion as I understand it made reference to a cap, which is a more substantive inhibitor, whereas this upholds the principle of equalization, something which tenants requested fairly consistently when it was not in concurrent pieces of rent review or control legislation in this province since 1975. This feature is not like the Liberal one which had this major cap feature.

The Chair: Mrs Marland, I believe your amendment is in order. There is a significant difference between the two.

Mrs Marland: Although I am not at all optimistic at this point that the socialist government members of the committee are going to support this, even though it flows directly into dealing fairly with everyone who is a tenant in a residential complex, obviously when you are talking about equalization of rents for a similar rental unit within the same residential complex, it makes eminent common sense that if you want to be fair to everybody you would support this amendment. If you do not want to be fair to everybody and treat tenants equally, then you do not support it. I am at the point where I do not anticipate the support of the government members for this. If they choose to represent all their constituents fairly and equally, they will support it.

The Chair: Thank you. Further questions and comments on Mrs Marland's amendment, section 18.1. Ms Poole.


Ms Poole: I do not want to belabour this; it has already been debated in another form. I just want to signify that the Liberal caucus will support the equalization motion by the Conservatives.

The Chair: Thank you, Ms Poole. Further questions or comments. Mr Jackson.

Mr Jackson: If the minister could briefly indicate, are there no grounds on which a tenant can address the inequality of similar units before a rent review officer? There is no other opportunity.

Hon Ms Gigantes: That is correct.

Mr Jackson: Then I very deeply regret that, having heard from tenants since 1975 about the need for that to occur; for the record.

The Chair: Further questions or comments to Mrs Marland's amendment, section 18.1.

Mrs Marland: I would like a recorded vote.

The Chair: A recorded vote has been requested.

All in favour of Mrs Marland's amendment, section 18.1.

The committee divided on Mrs Marland's motion, which was negatived on the following vote:

Ayes -- 3

Jackson, Marland, Poole.

Nays -- 5

Abel, Gigantes, Lessard, Martin, Owens.

Section 20:

The Chair: We will then move to subsection 20(8), which was stood down. I understand there is an agreement that the Conservative amendment Mrs Marland was to place will be dealt with in committee of the whole.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I think the agreement is that we would pass subsection 20(8) as it is printed in the legislation and deal with Mrs Marland's concern in section 125, so we would proceed with it.

Mrs Marland: I received agreement earlier this afternoon from the minister that the concerns I was addressing in those two amendments will be dealt in committee of the whole House under section 125.

The Chair: Thank you, Mrs Marland. Do we have any further discussion on subsection 20(8)? Shall subsection 20(8), as amended, carry? Carried.

Section 20, as amended, agreed to.

Section 22:

The Chair: Have we done subsection 22(3)? Subsection 22(3) has been stood down.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I believe that, again, the issue which has generated Mrs Marland's concern on the PC motion is, by agreement, to be addressed in committee of the whole through a proposed change to section 125. Therefore, I suggest we deal with the section as printed, and we are agreed to changing section 125 at a later stage.

The Chair: Questions or comments to subsection 22(3)? Shall subsection 22(3), as amended, carry? Carried.

The Chair: Subsection 22(3.1).

Ms Poole: Is that as reprinted in the --

The Chair: As reprinted in the bill.

Shall subsection 22(3.1), as amended, carry? Carried.

Mrs Marland: Mr Chairman, I have a question relevant to a question I raised yesterday about the lists of participants at the public hearing. It is not relevant to the section we are dealing with, but since we are going over everything -- I asked if we could have the lists of the names and associations of those people. I wondered if Ms Parrish could indicate when we might get those lists. Would it be before the committee of the whole?

Ms Parrish: Certainly. I am hoping next week, Mrs Marland, but staff have been busy trying to get all these things organized for today, so we did not get a chance to start last night.

Mrs Marland: That is fine. Thank you.

The Chair: Subsection 22(4): questions or comments? Shall subsection 22(4) carry? Carried.

Ms Poole: Mr Chair, why was this one stood down?

Hon Ms Gigantes: It was the same --

Ms Poole: As section 125?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Right.

Ms Poole: Okay, that is fine.

The Chair: Subsection 22(5): There is a government amendment to this subsection.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Mr Chair, if you will just give us a moment here. Do we deal with this through section 125, too? No?

The Chair: There is an amendment to the amendment here?

Hon Ms Gigantes: I will move the government motion.

The Chair: Hon Ms Gigantes moves that subsection 22(5) of the bill, as reprinted to show the amendments proposed by the minister, be struck out and the following substituted:


"(5) The part of the guideline allocated to capital expenditures shall not be included in determining the maximum rents under clause (3)(c) for any of the rental units in the residential complex if the amount carried forward relates to a capital expenditure originally claimed under section 15 or 16.


"(5.1) The part of the guideline allocated to capital expenditures shall not be included in determining the maximum rent under clause (3)(c) for a rental unit in a residential complex if subsection (5) does not apply and if the amount carried forward relates to a capital expenditure claimed under section 17."

Explanation, please.

Hon Ms Gigantes: What we are doing here is providing that there is a parallel process to subsections 20(3) and 20(4) that makes sure the 2% in the guideline which is for capital is not included in the calculation of the maximum rent if there is an order for an above-guideline increase for capital that is in a carry-forward allowance.

There is an exception related to section 17 in which the 2% in the guideline allocated to capital would not be included in the determination of the maximum for only the affected units. It is quite a technical amendment, Mr Chair, and what it does is indicate that the 2% within the guideline for capital, in the case of a carry-forward -- no, help me here.

Ms Parrish: What it says is that when you bring in a building, you must bring in all the two per cents in all of the rents and then you say, "What is the capital that you are doing in the building?" You look at the cost and all the two per cents in the rents and allocate those capital repairs to the units throughout the building, because some units may be getting more benefit than other units. We establish as the basic rule that you must bring in the two per cents related to all the rents in the building and add the capital allowance, and then we create an exception in the case where you are only doing an en suite repair, because it does not seem appropriate to bring in the rents of all these other folks when you are having an en suite repair which only you benefit from and which may or may not be necessary.


Ms Poole: I have a question for the minister.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I knew it.

Ms Poole: Is this the simpler, easier-to-understand, transparent legislation tenants are going to really revel in because it is absolutely clear to them what each of these sections mean? Is this the kind of section you were referring to?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Absolutely.

Ms Poole: That is what I was afraid of.

Hon Ms Gigantes: We have never claimed the legal language involved in describing the concepts we are putting into legislative effect in Bill 121 was simple, but the concepts involved are simple, easy to comprehend and very effective from the tenants' point of view.

Ms Poole: I must just be a little slow, Minister, because even when Ms Parrish explained what the legalese meant, I was not quite sure at the end of the day I knew what it meant. So we will just leave it at that.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I think if you had your own apartment before you as an example and watched subsections 22(5) and (5.1) being applied to it, you would feel very satisfied that what was happening was clear and fair.

Ms Poole: I think what I would understand, Minister, is at the end of the day I would be paying slightly less rent because of it, but I would not pretend to think it was clear or understandable. Maybe tenants would be satisfied from the first vantage point, but not necessarily the latter. Anyway, I think we should proceed.

The Chair: Thank you. Further questions and comments on Ms Gigantes's amendment to subsection 22(5)? Shall Ms Gigantes's amendment to subsection 22(5) carry? Carried.

Shall section 22, as amended, carry?

Section 22, as amended, agreed to.

Section 26:

The Chair: Section 26, which was stood down for some reason --

Interjection: Because Mrs Marland was not here to move an amendment to it.

The Chair: Mr Jackson, you have an amendment.

Mr Jackson: Yes. I have to locate it, Mr Chairman, with your indulgence.

The Chair: Mr Jackson moves that section 26 of the bill be struck out and the following amendment substituted:

"26. The tenant may base an application on any discontinuance or reduction in the services and facilities provided in respect of the rental unit or of the whole residential complex to the extent only that such services and facilities have previously been incorporated into the rent structure."

Mr Jackson, an explanation.

Mr Jackson: I think it is self-explanatory, in the interests of time.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I think if I simply said it was redundant in our view, that would be the simplest, clearest explanation of our position.

Mr Jackson: Is it therefore clear in the minister's mind that services the landlord provided at his own expense and which for economic reasons could not continue would result in a diminution of rent adjustment or that they would therefore not be considered? I think what it says is that all withdrawal of services had to have been previously part of the services offered and therefore part of the calculation.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I think we are getting now into contention about what makes up a service, as included in the rent.

Mr Jackson: No, I am asking you to explain clearly what you mean by "redundant."

Hon Ms Gigantes: I mean redundant in the sense that the service was included in the rent. If it is removed the amount will no longer be allowed within the rent.

Ms Poole: Mr Chair, if I could be helpful, with Mr Jackson's permission maybe I could give you an example of what I think Mr Jackson means. If a tenant is paying $400 in rent and the landlord puts a new swimming pool into the building and following that swimming pool being put in the rent is still $400 and does not go up because the swimming pool went in, and the following year the landlord withdraws the service and does not maintain the swimming pool -- he closes it down because he cannot afford all the maintenance to it -- but the cost of it was never incorporated into the rent or included in the rent at the time the rent was set, then he does not feel it would be fair that the landlord would be penalized by taking an amount out of the rent as compensation when no part of the rent ever included the cost of it to begin with. I do not know if that makes it clear. That is my understanding.

Hon Ms Gigantes: No, it does not. It is such an unlikely situation.

Mr Jackson: I will give you a more likely situation, to do with the provision of day care services. When I was chairman of the housing authority in this province we actively moved to enhance access to day care services, but economic times being as they were, since I have left the authority I witnessed that we have had to remove them. The issue here on day care would be: "I have easy access because it is available on my site. It is not a bonus. It is not part of my rent package. It is separate and distinct."

Your government may wish to encourage these kinds of non-profit day care centres in residential units. In fact, we have negotiated some upsizing of densities in Toronto as a condition of getting these kinds of things in, but they are separate and distinct from the rent.

At the moment that the centre closes, the tenant could make a reasonable and cogent argument that services that were available to him have been removed, but they were never included in the rent so he does not have a case. Because your legislation is unclear and does not specifically say that, the service that is no longer available onsite is now no longer available and therefore should be adjusted. I know all the cases of why an adjustment should occur. I support that, because I fought those before a review board and won.

I simply want to ensure that we do not compromise certain issues of fairness simply because the landlord, for whatever reason -- a social conscience, or a ramp that he puts in for a disabled person -- does not increase the rents as a result of that but when the disabled person leaves the ramp is gone. Now does the tenant have the case: "I enjoyed walking the ramp. It was easier for me than the steps and therefore I should have my rent reduced?"

I could go on, but I will not take a lot of time. I am not satisfied with the minister's answer that it is redundant. If she wishes to state clearly for the record that she does not care about this issue, then we will drop it. If she shares some of the concerns I have raised, then I ask that we deal with it.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I feel none of your concerns because I do not think there would be a difficulty in any of those cases. It is not that I do not care; I do not believe there would be a difficulty.

Mr Jackson: Then I ask you again, Minister, what section says that? That is all.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Perhaps Ms Parrish could speak to our experience on matters of this type.

Ms Parrish: Of course there is always a guess initially as to what services and facilities are provided, but they have to be provided with respect to the rental unit and the whole residential complex and they must be provided by the landlord. If it is somebody else who is providing this service and it was in the building and then it is withdrawn, it has nothing to do with the landlord. With respect, the problem you really are having is what is a service and facility with respect to the residential complex, which is a decision of fact to be made by a rent officer. Adding whether or not it has been previously incorporated into the rent structure does not resolve that problem.

Hon Ms Gigantes: That is right.


Ms Parrish: All it does is add another thing to worry about, which is, "How can I tell if something has been incorporated in the rent structure?" For example, it may be true that the rent has not gone up from year to year. It may also be the case that market conditions are such that you would have expected the rent to go down. But the rent did not go down, because the tenants wanted to stay because of this amenity.

With respect, I do not think that adding this thing about whether it was previously incorporated deals with the problem you have identified, which is, what is a service or facility provided in respect to the rental unit? But in any event, that is a determination of fact to be made by the rent officer based on the evidence at the hearing.

Mr Jackson: Not to belabour the point, what our amendment deals with is that it will force an immediate decision as to whether or not it has been part of the calculation of the rent. If it was not, then a case would not be allowed to continue on that basis.

Hon Ms Gigantes: That would be the first matter to be determined.

Mr Jackson: Perhaps, but there are other examples: A landlord does not provide a health club onsite. He sublets because a portion of his real estate is a commercial unit, so the tenants get a 25% discount. Now all of a sudden the health club is gone. That represented an opportunity that was restricted to the tenants which now is no longer there. Its basis is an inducement, but if your test at law is simply whether or not it was a service provided by the landlord, I see it as fraught with difficulty. I use the health club as a classic because I know that has occurred.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I think that the redefinition, which is what you are attempting to introduce --

Mr Jackson: No.

Hon Ms Gigantes: -- amounts to nothing more than a statement once again that what is to be considered is what was in the rent, what was represented by the rent in terms of a service. Again, as Ms Parrish has indicated, I do not think it is going to be helpful. If you were the rent officer, this would be the first thing that would come to your mind as a question in the case: Was this a service provided by the landlord for which the tenant paid in part through the rent or part of the rent of which?

Mr Jackson: When we have time I would love to debate the legal points on inducement to rent that caused a contract. There are implications here. It is set out that if it did not form part of the rent, then it was not included. I would argue, on my client's behalf, that it was an inducement to locate there, and now that I have lost that inducement --

Hon Ms Gigantes: That is a separate matter.

Mr Jackson: I know, but the legislation does not clearly say it can be exempt, that is all. You leave it to the wizards' definition; that is fine by me.

Motion negatived.

Section 26 agreed to.

Section 28:

The Chair: I believe there is an amendment to be placed.

Mrs Marland moves that subsection 28(1) of the bill, as reprinted to show the amendments proposed by the minister, be amended by substituting the following:

"28(1) On an application under section 23, a rent officer may, according to the prescribed rules:

"(a) order that the amount of rent charged for the rental unit be increased by an amount less than guideline; or

"(b) order that the amount of rent charged for the rental unit be reduced by a specified amount for a specified period of time; or

"(c) order that no increase is to be made in the maximum rent."

Mrs Marland: This amendment is consistent with the philosophy that the fate of maximum rents should not be so tenuous as to be automatically or systematically, systemically --

Mr Jackson: Systemically?

Mrs Marland: Yes, systemically. It is either a typo or I am mispronouncing it.

Mr Jackson: It is typed as "systemic," but --

Mrs Marland: It is typed as "systemic," but I think the intent is that it would read "systematically" -- automatically or systematically. It is rather redundant either way.

Mr Jackson: It is only an explanation. It does not always have to be clear.

Mrs Marland: I am sorry it is typed that way, Mr Chairman. Anyway, reduced below a reasonable sum. Rather than reductions, increases should be checked or held in line until the status of the change in service or operation costs, which resulted in the tenant's application, changes.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I read the amendment which has been proposed here as an amendment which would have the effect of preventing a situation in which the rent officer could lower the maximum rent by an order; clear and simple. That is not acceptable to the government. It is our position that under this legislation, and given certain conditions which are set out in this legislation, it is possible that there will be cases where the rent officer will lower the maximum rent.

Motion negatived.

The Chair: Shall subsection 28(1) carry? Carried.

Shall subsection 28(2.1) carry? Carried.

Shall subsections 28(3), (4) and (5) carry? Carried.

Section 28, as amended, agreed to.

Section 29:

Mrs Marland: I move that subsection 29(2) of the bill be amended by adding the following clause:

"(ba) if a proposed expenditure is in respect of the residential complex, to determine if 75% of the tenants who would be affected by the application have consented to it;"

The Chair: Mrs Marland, I would accept some arguments about this being in order, as we have decided in some previous sections about this issue; was it 17?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Subsection 17(1).

Ms Poole: I may be incorrect, but my vague recollection of why we stood down section 29 was because in (2) I had queried whether we should not be saying "written findings" instead of just "findings," and that we were going to talk about it in the procedural sections. I am not sure if that is accurate, but I thought we already dealt with Mrs Marland's amendment.

Hon Ms Gigantes: We did, under 17(1).

The Chair: Let's just take a moment and we will check this.

I am told by staff that Mrs Marland's amendment has not been debated. However, it has been dealt with, unless Mrs Marland can provide me with some reason to understand that it is significantly different than what the committee has already decided.


Mrs Marland: I think under 29 it is dealing with a different matter. Certainly the percentage is the same, but I think it is dealing with a different matter than is addressed under section 17. For that reason, I think it should stand as an amendment to section 29, albeit the percentage is the same and albeit I am attempting to insert another clause for democracy in 1992 in Ontario. Just because it was defeated under another section does not mean that with a different association we cannot try again under section 29.

The Chair: Mrs Marland, I am going to have to rule that it is not in order and that the decision made in subsection 17(1) directly affects this section. We will then deal with section 29. Any questions or comments to section 29? Mrs Poole.

Ms Poole: At this stage I do not quite know what we have passed and what we have not.

The Chair: I am trying to be helpful, Mrs Poole.

Ms Poole: But I recall asking about written findings and I recall we agreed it would be dealt with in the procedural section. I just wondered if I could have confirmation. My belief is, in the procedural section it does say "written reasons". Have we stood down the section as to whether written reasons would automatically be provided or whether it would stay as it was originally, that it would be at the request?

Ms Parrish: We amended the section to provide that there would be written reasons in every case.

Ms Poole: I am happy, Mr Chair.

The Chair: Further discussion of section 29? Shall section 29 carry?

Section 29 agreed to.

Section 39:

Hon Ms Gigantes: I believe the government motion had been moved and that we had set the --

The Chair: The staff tells me that is not correct.

Hon Ms Gigantes: It has not? Good grief. All right, let's go.

The Chair: Ms Gigantes moves that subsection 39(1) of the bill, as reprinted to show the amendments proposed by the minister, be amended by striking out "or" at the end of clause (a) and by adding the following clause:

"(a.1) he or she receives a decision on an appeal of a work order that is the subject of the order prohibiting a rent increase and the decision quashes, rescinds or varies the work order; or"

An explanation, Minister?

Hon Ms Gigantes: We are expanding the conditions which allow the director to rescind an order prohibiting a rent increase so that where a work order is the subject of an appeal, an appeal decision that quashes the work order will cause the withdrawal of the prohibition order, which therefore would never take effect, and when the work order is varied on appeal, the prohibition order would be rescinded and reissued with a new effective date.

Ms Poole: This section was stood down because I had raised a concern that had been expressed by the Tenant Advocacy Group about the term "or varies the work order." What might happen is, where there was a very minor variance in the work order, it would result in the rent increase not being prohibited and not actually end up with the result the ministry and the parties involved really wanted.

There has been an agreement with ministry staff that they are going to try to rework this. We will pass it in its present form right now and it will be reintroduced in committee of the whole House if we can get a more acceptable wording for it.

Hon Ms Gigantes: That would be fine.

The Chair: So I am to understand what?

Ms Poole: We pass it.

Hon Ms Gigantes: We will pass the amendments which are being proposed by the government to these sections and we will work on this particular matter to see if there is a way of phrasing our section so that a minor variance would not inhibit the process that we are looking for.

The Chair: Shall Ms Gigantes amendment to subsection 39(1) carry? Carried.

Motion agreed to.

The Chair: Ms Gigantes moves that clause 39(1)(b) of the bill, as reprinted to show the amendments proposed by the minister, be struck out and the following substituted:

"(b) he or she is satisfied within thirty days after the day the order prohibiting the rent increase is issued that there is a clerical error in it and that if the order is not rescinded a person will be unfairly prejudiced because of the clerical error."

Hon Ms Gigantes: I think that amendment is pretty straightforward.

The Chair: Shall Ms Gigantes amendment to clause 39(1)(b) carry? Carried.

Motion agreed to.

The Chair: Ms Gigantes moves that subsection 39(2) of the bill, as reprinted to show the amendments proposed by the minister, be struck out and the following substituted:


"(2) The director may issue a new order under section 38 if,

"(a) he or she rescinds an order because of a clerical error or because the work order was varied on appeal; and

"(b) the period for compliance with the work order has expired."

Hon Ms Gigantes: Again, I believe the amendment to be pretty self-evident.

The Chair: Questions or comments? Shall Ms Gigantes' amendment to subsection 39(2) carry? Carried.

Motion agreed to.

Section 39, as amended, agreed to.


Section 45:

The Chair: Subsection 45(1), the Liberal amendment. Mrs Poole.

Ms Poole: The Liberal amendment was placed in hopes of solving a problem from a London business person, Mr Riopelle, who wanted to establish carports over exterior parking spaces. I have had long discussions with the ministry as to the appropriate remedy for Mr Riopelle. It does not appear that we can accommodate Mr Riopelle's concern within this legislation as a separate charge.

There does appear to be an option for Mr Riopelle to have a third-party agreement directly with the other tenants and merely get the landlord's permission to install where the tenants have requested it. It would appear under the circumstances that might be his most viable option. I will withdraw our amendment.

The Chair: Further questions or comments to section 45?

Section 45, as amended, agreed to.

Section 52:

The Chair: Ms Poole had moved an amendment to section 52.

Hon Ms Gigantes: We had agreed to set this aside while we all thought more deeply on this question. I propose to Ms Poole, if it would suit her, that we consider the question of prescribing the kinds of documents we would insist be produced in relation to a particular application within regulations. I would be happy to consult with her on that.

Ms Poole: That is certainly satisfactory with me. I believe it says in the government amendment to section 52 that the applicant shall file with the application the prescribed material, so there would have to be no further amendment. I thank the minister for that consideration.

The Chair: Are you withdrawing your amendment, Mrs Poole?

Ms Poole: Yes, I will withdraw the amendment.

The Chair: We are then dealing with the government amendment to section 52 which has been placed. Questions or comments?

Section 52, as amended, agreed to.

Section 56:

The Chair: Ms Gigantes moves that clause 56(d) of the bill, as reprinted to show the amendments proposed by the minister, be struck out and the following substituted:

"(d) of the right of the parties to request a hearing, a pre-hearing conference or administrative review, as the case may be, as set out in sections 59 through 59.3."

Hon Ms Gigantes: I believe that will meet most of the concerns that have been raised around the question of hearings and whether hearings would take place on those matters that are likely to cause most interest in hearings.

The Chair: Questions or comments?

Mr Owens: Just a quick thank you to the minister and the minister's staff for coming up with this compromise. It clearly addresses the issues I expressed earlier this week on the rights of tenants with respect to hearings.

The Chair: Further questions and comments?

Ms Poole: I have discussed possible amendments to the hearings section but I have not seen the amendments. Is there a series of amendments?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Yes, there are.

Ms Poole: This is one of the --

Ms Parrish: Yes, there are amendments to this section, section 59, and section 59.1, 59.2, 59.3 and 60(1).

Ms Poole: I was just concerned that this did not address my own concerns but I see that there is lots of paper to come.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I very much regret that I have to leave because I have made commitments that I will not be able to meet unless I get on an airplane at 6 o'clock, and that involves my leaving now.

Ms Poole: I would just like to express the appreciation, on behalf of the committee members, for the minister's very vigilant attendance at these committee hearings. She has certainly made her time available to us and we deeply appreciate it.

Hon Ms Gigantes: The feeling is mutual.

The Chair: Shall Ms Gigantes's amendment to clause 56(d) carry? Carried.

Motion agreed to.

The Chair: Clauses 56(e) and (f): questions or comments?

Ms Poole: I would withdraw the Liberal amendment to clauses 56(d) and (e).

The Chair: Thank you. I think you already did clause 56(d), did you not? Shall clauses 56(e) and (f) carry? Carried.

Shall section 56, as amended, carry?

Section 56, as amended, agreed to.

Section 59:

Ms Poole: While the government's committee whip is getting his notes organized for this, I just wanted to thank the minister and the ministry for their efforts in this behalf. There was a lot of concern expressed at committee hearings about the fact that there was no automatic right to a hearing and whether this might be problematic.

The ministry has proposed these sections knowing they have been drafted very hastily and might have to be amended in committee of the whole. I think it is on that understanding that we are passing them, and then we will all have sufficient time to study them in greater depth before we get to committee of the whole House.

The Chair: Mr Abel moves that section 59 of the bill, as reprinted to show the amendments proposed by the minister, be struck out and the following substituted:


"59(1) This section applies to all applications under section 13 or 23 that involve more than one rental unit and that are based in whole or in part,

"(a) in the case of an application under section 13, on a capital expenditure as set out in section 15, 16 or 17; or

"(b) in the case of an application under section 23, on inadequate maintenance or repair or a discontinuance or reduction in services and facilities, as set out in section 25 or 26.

"Hearing to be held

"(2) A hearing shall be held unless all of the parties to the application request that the proceeding be determined by administrative review in accordance with this section.

"Request for administrative review

"(3) An applicant who wants a proceeding to be determined by administrative review shall request administrative review in the application.


"(4) Any other party to a proceeding may, by written notice to the chief rent officer given 30 days after the date of the acknowledgement notice is issued, request that the proceeding be determined by administrative review.


"(5) A rent officer may extend the time for any party to request administrative review at any time before a notice of hearing is issued.


"59.1(1) This section applies to all applications to which section 59 does not apply.

"Administrative review to apply

"(2) An administrative review shall be held unless a party requests a hearing as set out in this section.

"Request for hearing

"(3) An applicant who wants a hearing to be held shall request the hearing in the application.


"(4) Any other party to a proceeding may, by written notice to the chief rent officer given not later than 30 days after the date the acknowledgement notice is issued, request that a hearing be held in respect of the application.


"(5) A rent officer may extend the time for any party to request a hearing at any time before a notice of administrative review is issued.

"Deemed waiver

"(6) A party to a proceeding who does not request a hearing as provided in this section shall be deemed to have waived the right to a hearing.

"Administrative review directed

(5) A rent officer may extend the time for any party to request a hearing at any time before a notice of administrative review is issued.


"Deemed waiver

"(6) A party to a proceeding who does not request a hearing as provided in this section shall be deemed to have waived the right to a hearing.

"Administrative review directed

"59.2(1) The chief rent officer may direct that a proceeding described in subsection 59(1) that was to be determined by a hearing be determined by administrative review if all of the parties consent in writing to the proceeding being determined by administrative review and their consents are filed with the chief rent officer.

"Administrative review directed

"(2) The chief rent officer may direct that a proceeding described in subsection 59.1(1) that was to be determined by a hearing be determined by administrative review if,

"(a) a party who requested a hearing withdraws the request by written notice filed with the chief rent officer before the notice of hearing is issued; and

"(b) all other parties consent in writing to the proceeding being determined by administrative review and their consents are filed with the chief rent officer.


"(3) If the chief rent officer directs under this section that a proceeding be determined by administrative review, he or she shall give the parties the notice required by section 62 and shall set out in the notice reasonable time periods for presenting evidence, making submissions and replying.

"Adding parties

"59.3(1) If a party is added to a proceeding and section 59 would have applied to the proceeding if the added party had been a party at the time the application was made, a hearing shall be held unless all of the parties including the added party requests administrative review before the later of,

"(a) 30 days after the party is added; and

"(b) time required under section 59.


"(2) If, as a result of subsection (1), a proceeding that was to be determined by administrative review is to be determined by holding a hearing, the chief rent officer shall notify the parties of that fact and shall give them the notice required by section 76.


"59.4(1) A hearing shall be held in respect of an application if,

"(a) section 59 applies to the application and not all of the parties have requested administrative review;

"(b) section 59.1 applies to the application and any party has requested a hearing in accordance with that section; or

"(c) the chief rent officer believes a hearing should be held.


"(2) If a hearing is held, the procedural rules set out in sections 76 to 82 shall apply."

Questions or comments? Shall Mr Abel's amendment to section 59 carry? Carried.

Motion agreed to.

The Chair: Shall section 59, as amended, carry?

Section 59, as amended, agreed to.

Section 60:

The Chair: Mr Abel moves that subsection 60(1) of the bill, as reprinted to show the amendments proposed by the minister, be struck out and the following substituted:

"Request for pre-hearing conference

"60(1) A party to a proceeding that is to be determined by holding a hearing may request a pre-hearing conference at any time before the notice of hearing is issued."

Questions or comments? Shall Mr Abel's amendment to subsection 60(1) carry? Carried.

Motion agreed to.

The Chair: Shall subsections 60(2) and 60(3) carry? Carried.

Shall section 60, as amended, carry?

Ms Poole: Mr Chair, I withdraw the Liberal motion to subsection 60(1).

The Chair: It was not moved. Thank you.

Section 60, as amended, agreed to.

Section 72:

The Chair: Questions or comments on section 72?

Ms Parrish: Members may recall that these sections were stood down because there was a discussion about whether these items were preliminary orders or whether they were procedural orders and whether they should be called preliminary orders. We have done some research into this and we are still of the view that they should be called preliminary orders because some of the items which are dealt with in the orders -- for example, the substitution of parties -- are not procedural, they are substantive. However, they are preliminary in the sense that they must be dealt with before the substantive issues -- for example, what the rent increase is -- should be dealt with.

The Chair: Further questions or comments? Shall section 72 carry?

Section 72 agreed to.

Section 73 agreed to.

Section 76:

The Chair: Questions or comments to section 76? There was some rumour about an amendment.

Ms Poole: Mr Chair, I will withdraw the Liberal amendment to subsection 76(1).

The Chair: Ms Poole is not going to move the Liberal amendment to subsection 76(1). Shall section 76 carry?

Section 76 agreed to.

Section 83:

The Chair: Ms Poole moves that section 83 of the bill, as reprinted to show the amendments proposed by the minister, be struck out and the following substituted:

"Frivolous or vexatious proceeding

"83(1) A rent officer shall discontinue a proceeding if, in his or her opinion, the matter is trivial, frivolous or vexatious or has not been initiated in good faith.


"(2) A rent officer may require an inspector to investigate the conduct of a proceeding if he or she has reason to believe that a party may have filed documents that the party knew or ought to have known contained false or misleading information.


"(3) A rent officer may discontinue a proceeding if he or she finds that the applicant filed documents that the applicant knew or ought to have known contained false or misleading information.


"(4) A rent officer shall not consider a document filed by a party other than the applicant if he or she finds that the party knew or ought to have known that the document contained false or misleading information."

Ms Poole: Mr Chair, I again thank the government for its consideration of our amendment. It has been adapted and re-amended to conform to its request.

The Chair: Thank you. Questions or comments? Shall Ms Poole's amendment to section 83 carry?

Motion agreed to.

Section 83, as amended, agreed to.


Section 105.1:

The Chair: Moving on to section 105.1, Mrs Marland has an amendment.

Mrs Marland: This is one that you are going to want to support.

The Chair: Mrs Marland moves that subsection 105.1(1) of the bill, as reprinted to show the amendments proposed by the minister, be struck out and the following substituted:

"Notice re reduction

"105.1(1) If the maximum rent for a rental unit includes a capital component, the registrar shall give the landlord and the tenant of the rental unit written notice that the maximum rent will be decreased by the amount of the capital component.

"(2) The registrar shall give the written notice at least six months before the date on which that capital component is to be deducted from the maximum rent as set out in the most recent order or notice of carry forward that refers to the capital component."

That of course is self-explanatory. Shall Mrs Marland's amendment to subsection 105.1(1) carry? Carried.

Motion agreed to.

Ms Poole: On a point of order, Mr Chairman: Does Mrs Marland realize she just proposed an amendment which supports costs no longer borne?

The Chair: That was helpful.

Mrs Marland: I will say in response to Ms Poole that at least the poor souls can now understand it.

The Chair: Shall subsection 105.1(2) carry? Carried.

Section 105.1, as amended, agreed to.

The Chair: A Liberal amendment has been moved to subsection 110(1).

Ms Poole: Mr Chair, we stood down this amendment until such time as section 130 had been dealt with. Since section 130 was defeated, we will withdraw subsection 110(1).

The Chair: Thank you, Ms Poole. Subsection 110(1), questions or comments? Shall subsection 110(1) carry? Carried.

Mrs Marland: I think it is fair to place on the record that my moving of subsection 105.1(1) was something I did, not related to the content and the reference, but rather to the fact that I take some pride in having an amendment by the government reworded so that the public can have easier access to at least understanding it, no matter what provisions it refers to.

The Chair: Thank you, Mrs Marland.

Clerk of the Committee: Do you want to go back to section 1 now?

The Chair: Are you sure everything else is done? All right.

Section 1:

Ms Poole: Mr Chair, since the Liberal amendment to section 130 failed, I am withdrawing several amendments to section 1. I withdraw the first one, which strikes out "rent control" and replaces it with "rent review." I withdraw where "director" means "the director of rent regulation appointed under section 110." I withdraw the one where "board" means the "Rent Review Appeals Board," since that section also failed.

The Chair: Thank you, Ms Poole. Are there further questions, comments or amendments to section 1?

Ms Poole moves that subsection 1(1) be amended by adding the following definition:

"`eligible capital expenditure' means a capital expenditure that is eligible under section 15;"

Ms Poole: Mr Chair, may I request a matter of clarification from Ms Parrish? Are the words "eligible capital expenditure" used in the act at present time?

Ms Parrish: My recollection, and I would have to just check this, is that this relates to amendments you proposed that would reduce the guideline by 1% rather than the full 2% plus 3% justification in the act. I think it is similar to your other ones where the substantive provision was not passed. I do not think this definition means anything anymore.

Ms Poole: Mr Chair, I concur with Ms Parrish and that was my understanding. I just want to ensure that "eligible capital expenditure" did not appear elsewhere in the act. I will withdraw that amendment.

Ms Parrish: It does appear in subsection 15(1).

Ms Poole: Would this just clarify what "eligible" means, that it is "eligible" under section 15 with the list of necessary repairs?

Ms Parrish: I honestly do not think so. We use the term "eligible capital expenditure" and then we say it is "eligible if," so in essence we define it in subsection 15(2). This is something I could talk about with Betsy and if it is an improvement to understanding the bill we could fix it in clause-by-clause review.

Ms Poole: Thank you. On that understanding I will withdraw it, then.

I withdraw the Liberal motion which I tabled concerning the standards board, since that amendment failed.

The Chair: Thank you. Further questions, comments or amendments to section 1. Mrs Marland, do you have an amendment to subsection 1(1)?

Mrs Marland: Yes.

The Chair: Mrs Marland moves that the definition of "rental unit" in subsection 1(1) of the bill be struck out and the following substituted:

"`rental unit' means any living accommodation that is used or intended for use as rented residential premises but does not include a site for a mobile home, a site on which there is a single-family dwelling that is a permanent structure or a room in a boarding house or a lodging house;"

Mrs Marland: I think this is a very important amendment because it exempts sites for mobile homes and certain land leases and rooms and boarding and lodging homes from this act. I think we would be in a lot of trouble if we extended the control of this act over those areas including boarding and lodging houses.

Ms Poole: It is the Liberal caucus position that there should be separate legislation for mobile home parks, since they engender a number of very different and diverse issues that cannot be dealt with under the Rent Control Act.


Mrs Marland: If there are no other comments, maybe I should ask a question: If this amendment fails, can Bill 121 be extended to cover mobile homes, certain land leases, boarding houses and rooming houses?

Ms Parrish: Mobile home parks and boarding homes are now covered by rent regulation, and it is my understanding that it is the policy of the government that this should continue. Mobile home parks should be covered by rent control as they were by rent review. Boarding homes, many of whose residents are very vulnerable, are in particular need of the protections of this statute. To provide otherwise would be inconsistent with the protection against eviction which is provided in the Landlord and Tenant Act which is extended to mobile home parks and to residents of boarding and lodging homes.

Mrs Marland: This amendment is referring to a site for a mobile home, so it is actually referring to property.

Ms Parrish: The drafting is very similar to that in the RRRA as was amended by Bill 4. Usually that is all that is leased. People own the unit and lease the land. That is the only leasable thing in many cases, not in all cases but in most cases. The RRRA applies to these communities and it also applies to boarding and lodging homes. The Landlord and Tenant Act applies to those kinds of structures as well.

Mrs Marland: This is a pretty important matter that we are unfortunately dealing with at the midnight hour, because this government and previous governments have encouraged the use of auxiliary apartments to single-family homes, for example, auxiliary buildings on a single-family lot. They have also encouraged basement apartments in single-family homes and frankly, I see those opportunities as being quite realistic if they are in an owner-occupied building. If a single-family home is owner-occupied and he chooses to make a basement apartment available, it is a way of providing additional housing.

I wonder if Ms Parrish can tell us whether a basement apartment would qualify as a room under the boarding and lodging home description. Is a rooming house a certain number of rooms which have to be sublet in order for it to be called a rooming house or a lodging home?

Ms Parrish: No. There is no particular number of rooms. This is the same provision that is in the Landlord and Tenant Act and both acts exclude from their coverage the situation where you may be rooming with someone, with a family for example, and sharing the accommodation with them. If I have someone in my house and so on then that is excluded from the act. But if I have a boarding home then it is rental accommodation like any other rental accommodation and these persons have the same legal protections under the law of Ontario as persons who live in condominiums or rental apartments in large high-rises.

Mrs Marland: But in the exact example that I gave you, a single-family home with a basement apartment, does this act cover that basement apartment?

Ms Parrish: Yes, and so does the RRRA and so does the Landlord and Tenant Act and they both have for some time.

Mrs Marland: The fact that they have historically is something I must admit I was not aware of, but I think it is a disincentive to people to provide that additional housing by providing basement apartments, because if your leasing a basement apartment can now be controlled by this act -- which is what you are saying?

Ms Parrish: Yes, as it is covered by the current act as well.

Mrs Marland: Boy, I think there are a lot of people who do not know that and I think they would think twice about getting into that situation if they are subject to the power and control of this act in terms of the rent they charge to one other party who might share a basement apartment in their house.

The Chair: Further questions and comments on Mrs Marland's amendment to subsection 1(1)? Shall Mrs Marland's amendment to subsection 1(1) carry? All in favour? Opposed?

Motion negatived.

Section 1, as amended, agreed to. Title agreed to.

The Chair: Shall the bill as amended carry? All in favour? Opposed? The bill, as amended, will carry. Shall I report the bill, as amended, to the House?

Mrs Marland: Can we have a recorded vote, Mr Chairman?

The Chair: On the question I just placed?

Mrs Marland: Yes, if you do not mind.

The Chair: Shall I report the bill, as amended, to the House?

Ms Poole: No, I think it is the previous question.

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

Mrs Marland: No.

Ms Poole: No.

Interjection: Yes.

The Chair: I have had a request for a recorded vote.

Interjection: We voted already.

Mrs Marland: Oh, we have done this before.

The Chair: The request is a little late, but I think in the spirit of cooperation we can record that.

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

Ayes -- 4

Abel, Lessard, Mammoliti, Owens.

Nays -- 2

Marland, Poole.

The Chair: Shall I report the bill, as amended, to the House?

Bill, as amended, ordered to be reported.

Ms Poole: Mr Chair, on a point of order: I would like to very much thank a number of people on this committee. I would like to thank Hansard for its very speedy service and all it has done to be helpful to the committee. I would like to thank our legal counsel, Betsy Baldwin, for her invaluable legal advice, notwithstanding the fact that sometimes she told the government members why they should not vote for my amendment. I would like to thank Colleen Parrish, whose intelligence and knowledgeable attitude towards this bill was truly impressive. In particular I would like to thank our clerk, Deb Deller, and our Chair, Mike Brown, who I think have had supreme patience and forbearance in dealing with a very difficult and complex subject, and a very difficult and oftentimes fractious committee, with humour and with good grace. I thank all those members who have been here on the rent control bill for one year and two months. I do not know how we stood it.

Mrs Marland: I have not been on this legislation for one year and two months; it just seems that way.


Mrs Marland: But I must say that I do heartily endorse the comments of the member for Eglinton about the staff involvement in these proceedings. All the staff Ms Poole identified have been exceptional. In my experience down here, I think their service, frankly, has been quite remarkable and I too have appreciated it very much.

Mr Owens: As our whip is overcome with emotion on completing this piece of legislation, I would like to associate myself with the remarks of the Liberal critic and especially thank those at the head table for their sage advice and good humour and those great Smarties and other treats.

The Chair: Before I adjourn, I would also like to thank the staff for getting us through what I believe is one of the more difficult pieces of legislation, both from a legislative point of view and frankly, from, a partisan political point of view, as members have had great differences in their approaches to this piece of legislation. I would like to thank the members, because on the whole I think we survived this, and that is remarkable in and of itself. I will therefore adjourn the committee. I have some comments to make following that.

The committee adjourned at 1743.