Thursday 26 November 1992

Subcommittee report



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

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

*Arnott, Ted (Wellington PC)

Ferguson, Will, (Kitchener ND)

Fletcher, Derek (Guelph ND)

Harrington, Margaret H. (Niagara Falls ND)

*Hope, Randy R. (Chatham-Kent ND)

Mammoliti, George (Yorkview ND)

*Marchese, Rosario (Fort York ND)

Murdoch, Bill (Grey PC)

Poole, Dianne (Eglinton L)

*Sola, John (Mississauga East/-Est L)

Substitutions / Membres remplaçants:

*Akande, Zanana L. (St Andrew-St Patrick ND) for Mr Mammoliti

*Grandmaître, Bernard (Ottawa East/-Est L) for Mr McClelland

*Morrow, Mark (Wentworth East/-Est ND) for Mr Ferguson

*In attendance / présents

Clerk / Greffier: Carrozza, Franco

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

The committee met at 1017 in committee room 2.


The Chair (Mr Michael A. Brown): The standing committee will come to order. The first order of business would be the adoption of the subcommittee report. I believe all members have the subcommittee report in front of you. We had a meeting a few days ago. I think this is acceptable to the members of the subcommittee. Questions or comments?

Mr Rosario Marchese (Fort York): I would recommend, if it's all right with the other members, that we advertise in the first week of January and that we meet in the third week of January for four days.

Clerk of the Committee (Mr Franco Carrozza): The dates would be January 5, 6, 7 and 8.

Mr Marchese: To do the ad in that week, the first week, and that we meet in the third week of January.

Clerk of the Committee: That would be the 19th. The problem that could happen here is that might not be enough time for the people to make calls in. That is the only one.

Mr Marchese: All right. What about the week after that?

Clerk of the Committee: That would be the 26th, 27th, 28th and 29th.

Mr Marchese: Then I would recommend that amendment to the subcommittee report.

The Chair: Further discussion on Mr Marchese's suggestion? I would just remind members that the House leaders actually will be determining the exact dates and all we are doing is requesting the dates.

It may be a more practical suggestion that we find a way, clerk, of leaving this up to the subcommittee to decide, because we could be in a situation, whether we adopt Mr Marchese's suggestion or the original suggestion, that the dates the House leaders give us are different from both those suggestions and then we're in a position where we have to determine when the advertising actually should occur.

For example, if for whatever reason they gave us a very early week in January, we would have to immediately advertise. If it is the end of March or the first week in March, we might want to advertise a little bit later. So rather than saying, "This is the date we will advertise," perhaps we should change it to give us some flexibility, given the fact that when the House leaders make the committee arrangements for the intersession, this may not be possible. Then we won't be able to get the committee together to change. So perhaps the authority of the --

Clerk of the Committee: It would be easily done if you simply say that you require a week, at the discretion of the three House leaders, and we will advertise based upon that date.

Mr Marchese: All right.

Clerk of the Committee: You would only have to rewrite number 1 and number 2 to state that you request a week and a date will be found later.

Mr Marchese: That's fine.

Mr Mark Morrow (Wentworth East): I think the easy way to get around that is to leave it up to the discretion of the Chair and the clerk for advertising purposes.

Clerk of the Committee: It's up to you if you wish to do that.

Mr Morrow: Just for advertising I'm referring to.

Mr Marchese: That's fine. It's based on the date, obviously. If the House leaders decide we can meet January 26 for those four or five days, then obviously you will decide when the ad goes out in order to be able to fit into those time frames presumably. So that's fine.

The Chair: Mr Hope.

Mr Randy R. Hope (Chatham-Kent): It's on a different topic, Mr Chair.

The Chair: Let's deal with this one first. I'm seeing a consensus here to change it. We will request one week. Hopefully, I presume -- we won't put this in the motion -- we'll be looking at the last week in January, the advertising to be determined at the call by the Chair.

Mr Marchese: That's fine.

The Chair: Is that suitable?

Mr John Sola (Mississauga East): We trust you, Mike.

The Chair: You can, now I'm not with the government any more. Mr Hope.

Mr Hope: One of the questions I have is around number 3. I'm not going to plan to be an expert on how many people are going to make presentations to the committee, but I'm looking at the time lines that you're allowing for the hearings in order for public input.

Because you've limited yourself to 15 minutes for an individual and 30 minutes for a group, I'm wondering if you would allow more flexibility, like saying 10 minutes for individuals, either 15 or 10 and either 20 or 30. Then that would govern the volume of presentations that are coming in and people who want to make presentations. That way allows the committee to be a little bit more flexible, getting more presentations in before the committee.

I'm just questioning your putting in specific times of 15 and 30 and you find out that the number is coming in and you'd like to accommodate more. If you're stuck with those numbers, then you can't move the schedules around enough to allow those individuals to come forward.

The Chair: The difficulty with that is the clerk really needs some instruction up front about how it will operate. It makes it very difficult for the clerk, as he's talking to presenters, to throw this other variable into the situation.

Mr Sola: And the presenters too.

The Chair: It could be that after being contacted by all these people, we may want to reconsider the amount of time that might be appropriate, but I think it would be unfair to the clerk at this point to give him that kind of variable. There are going to be too many variables for him to be able to talk to people wishing to make presentations to accommodate.

But I think your suggestion's valuable. If in fact we have more time to hear longer presentations or maybe we have to stay very close to the time lines, that's something we could look at at that point. But we don't know how many presentations we're going to have, so this is pretty standard in the committee.

Mr Hope: I am not an expert on the issue and it's hard for me to vote yes to 15 and 30. If I had more knowledge and understanding of what was actually out there in the public, whether it was a big public cry or not, you know, it's hard to make the judgement call on time. But if I'm going to take the direction of the subcommittee and if the subcommittee feels it's most appropriate for 15 and 30, then so be it. I just thought I'd have a better understanding.

Clerk of the Committee: Mr Hope, on the bottom in the last sentence it says that the Chair will consult with the three representatives. Usually what happens is that we set a deadline for the public to call in and make themselves known that they wish to make a presentation. I gather all of the names, groups and individuals and present them to the Chair and then he will consult with the three parties. Then they will have an idea.

For instance, if it says 100, then they will have to decide how much time, if they wish to hear all of them or do not wish to hear all of them. So it will be flexible in accordance with what we receive. For instance, if we only receive 10, then we'll hear everybody and we'll adjust the time.

Mr Hope: Okay, thank you.

Mr Marchese: I just think it's very useful for people to have a time line so that if they come at 10:20 or 10:30 they will be speaking. Otherwise, with a variable it's very confusing to the people who have to come as deputants. But as the clerk says, we can decide later, based on the number of people, to have 10 minutes and 20 minutes if that is the case. But whatever it is, I think it should be clear to the deputants.

Clerk of the Committee: To begin with it would be half an hour and 15 minutes.

Mr Marchese: Yes.

Clerk of the Committee: The other point for your consideration is to allow a specific time for the clause-by-clause of the bill. Do you wish to give it half a day or a day? I put that to you to assist us so that we know and set a time aside for the clause-by-clause.

Mr Bernard Grandmaître (Ottawa East): My only problem with the 15-minute presentation is that it doesn't leave us too much time for questions.

Clerk of the Committee: If I can assist the member on that --

Mr Grandmaître: I'm sorry. I'm late. We've talked about this before.

Clerk of the Committee: When the members of the public call the clerk, we usually give them information as to how they make their presentation. The direction we give them is that if they receive 15 minutes, we ask them to make their presentation seven minutes so that in the seven minutes remaining the members can ask questions on the brief. The groups that have half an hour we ask to have a presentation of 15 minutes and retain the 15 minutes for the members to ask clarification on their brief.

Mr Grandmaître: A seven-minute presentation? Do you think it's fair for us to ask people to displace themselves for seven minutes?

The Chair: I would just remind Mr Grandmaître that the subcommittee had decided this.

Mr Sola: And he was part of the subcommittee, I assume.

Mr Marchese: To be fair, there were two people he had left, and some other representatives spoke to the other.

Clerk of the Committee: To answer your question, Mr Grandmaître, the individuals and the groups focus much better if there is a smaller period of time and come to the point much quicker, so their presentation is to the point and exactly what they want to say. It's been working fine for --

Mr Marchese: We're following current practice.

Mr Grandmaître: Psychology. It's going to take them 20 minutes to get here by subway. Seven-minute presentations, that isn't much time.

The Chair: All right. Further discussion on the subcommittee report?

Mr Marchese: There is a question to be raised in terms of how much time we should allot for the clause-by-clause, and I'm not sure yet. We might leave that flexible for the moment to determine later, to get a sense of whether we need half a day or a whole day for clause-by-clause.

Clerk of the Committee: Yes, that is okay. But, for instance, let us assume that you have a large number of people wishing to make presentations. They could cut into your clause-by-clause. Conceivably, you might need to come back on a Friday morning. So your option would be a Thursday afternoon or a Friday morning.

Mr Marchese: So we should wait to see how many deputants are going to come.

The Chair: I think we can resolve this issue after we have more of an idea where the committee is going with the public hearings. Do we need amendments to this, or how do we handle this?

Mr Marchese: We move the main motion with the amendment that was suggested.

Clerk of the Committee: The specific dates that we would be working will be January 26 to 29 for the committee meeting and the date for the advertising would be January 5. However, the caveat would be depending on the House leaders giving us two specific dates; otherwise, the Chair will speak to the other three parties regarding the dates.

The Chair: I think we could just leave the date of advertising to the Chair's discretion.

Clerk of the Committee: Yes, okay.

The Chair: Then we don't have to be too concerned about that today. Are there any other changes?

Clerk of the Committee: No, there are no other changes: the 15 and 30 minutes and the research and the budget. That's about it.

Mr Ted Arnott (Wellington): I'm sorry. Excuse me. You've indicated that the dates that are going to be suggested by the House leaders to sit are January 26 to 29. Is that correct?

The Chair: That's to be suggested. Whether, of course, those are the dates that actually occur is another matter.

Further discussion? All in favour? Carried.


The Chair: The next issue we have to deal with is the committee's budget. I believe all members have a copy.

Clerk of the Committee: The budget was set up in your first committee in the springtime. The committee's been operating without a budget, so you're working with a deficit.

Mr Sola: Sounds familiar.

Clerk of the Committee: I must also say that none of the committees have budgets, so this is not unusual. If someone could move it.

Mr Morrow: I'll move.

The Chair: Discussion?

Mr Arnott: On page 2 of the budget, meeting room rentals, $250 times eight days. How is that paid?

Clerk of the Committee: First of all, when the budget was prepared, we were under the impression that we would be receiving Bill 75, the London bill, and we had made arrangements in London to rent a facility so that we could hear the hearings there. That's the reason why that is in here. More than likely, when this goes before the board, that will be slashed out.

Mr Marchese: Is it useful to make that change now, or does it matter?

The Chair: The other problem is that the government House leader or the House leaders in general have not indicated to this committee what legislation may be forthcoming for the intersession. It seems to me a practical matter to include this in the budget at this point. Obviously, if we don't get work that requires us to travel, then it won't need to be spent.

Clerk of the Committee: That's correct.

Mr Morrow: In my dealings as Chair of the Ombudsman, when you go before the Board of Internal Economy, they'll question it anyway and it will stay or be taken out at that time. Is that not correct?

Clerk of the Committee: That's correct. To follow up, Mr Brown, you have two weeks left of the Legislature, and in the past, last year, we received a bill the last week to review. That could happen. We could receive another bill for the interim. However, if not, it will be adjusted.

The Chair: Further questions or discussions regarding the budget? All in favour? Carried.

There will obviously be no meeting this afternoon. Seeing no further business, this committee is adjourned.

The committee adjourned at 1032.