Thursday 8 July 1993

Municipal Statute Law Amendment Act, 1993, Bill 7

Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton

Rich Denham, commissioner of environmental services

Judy Wilson, director, solid waste, environmental services department

Association of Municipal Recycling Coordinators

Linda Varangu, executive director

Karl Brown

WMI Waste Management of Canada Inc

Nancy Porteous-Koehle, director of public affairs

Robert Webb, business development manager

Recycling Council of Ontario

John Hanson, executive director

City of North York

Mel Lastman, mayor

Paul Sutherland, deputy mayor

Alan Wolfe, commissioner of public works

Milton Berger, councillor

Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy; Canadian Environmental Law Association

Anne Mitchell, executive director, CIELAP

Zen Makuch, legal counsel, CELA

Mark Winfield, director of research, CIELAP

Grocery Products Manufacturers of Canada; Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors

Arlene Lannon, Ontario regional director, CCGD

Kathryn Rowan, regional vice-president, GPMC

Ken MacAuley, director of environmental affairs, Ault Foods Ltd

County of Lanark

Cameron McEwen, waste management coordinator

Continued overleaf

Continued from overleaf


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

*Vice-Chair / Vice-Président: Daigeler, Hans (Nepean L)

Arnott, Ted (Wellington PC)

Dadamo, George (Windsor-Sandwich ND)

*Fletcher, Derek (Guelph ND)

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

*Johnson, David (Don Mills PC)

*Mammoliti, George (Yorkview ND)

Morrow, Mark (Wentworth East/-Est ND)

Sorbara, Gregory S. (York Centre L)

Wessenger, Paul (Simcoe Centre ND)

*White, Drummond (Durham Centre ND)

*In attendance / présents

Substitutions present/ Membres remplaçants présents:

Eddy, Ron (Brant-Haldimand L) for Mr Grandmaître

Fawcett, Joan M. (Northumberland L) for Mr Brown

Hayes, Pat (Essex-Kent ND) for Mr Morrow

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

North, Peter (Elgin ND) for Mr Dadamo

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

Wiseman, Jim (Durham West/-Ouest ND) for Mr Wessenger

Also taking part / Autres participants et participantes:

Arnott, Ted (Wellington PC)

Callahan, Robert V. (Brampton South/-Sud L)

Caplan, Elinor (Oriole L)

Kwinter, Monte (Wilson Heights L)

Lessard, Wayne (Windsor-Walkerville ND)

Perruzza, Anthony (Downsview ND)

Clerk / Greffier: Carrozza, Franco

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

The committee met at 1002 in committee room 2.


Consideration of Bill 7, An Act to amend certain Acts related to Municipalities concerning Waste Management / Loi modifiant certaines lois relatives aux municipalités en ce qui concerne la gestion des déchets.


The Vice-Chair (Mr Hans Daigeler): Okay, if we could get started to continue hearings on Bill 7, An Act to amend certain Acts related to Municipalities concerning Waste Management, I'd like to welcome our first delegation, from the regional municipality of Ottawa-Carleton. Seeing that I'm from there myself, it's nice to see you for a change down here in Toronto rather than back home. You are, I'm sure, familiar with the procedure. You have half an hour.

Clerk of the Committee (Mr Franco Carrozza): Twenty minutes.

The Vice-Chair: Oh, even less. Sorry, 20 minutes. I would suggest -- it's up to you -- if you can leave your comments to 10 minutes and then questions from each side of the House, if you wish to. First introduce yourself, please, for the record and then proceed with your presentation.

Mr Rich Denham: My name's Rich Denham. I'm the commissioner of environmental services for the region of Ottawa-Carleton, and with me is Ms Judy Wilson, who is the director of solid waste in the environmental services department.

The presentation that we will be making to you today is based on a report that we have taken through our policy committee at council. That policy was endorsed on June 21 of this year. We, I believe, have made a written submission. I don't know whether you have that, but if it isn't here, it is on its way, so that submission can be part of your record.

The Vice-Chair: If I can just interrupt you for a second, for those who are looking for it, it's number 18 of the exhibits. Please proceed.

Mr Denham: Our policy committee endorses this bill. We believe that it is a good piece of legislation. We believe that your staff have done an excellent bit of work and we are in support of that. It deals with the municipal responsibility for the 3Rs and we believe it deals with the entanglement dilemma faced by lower-tier municipalities having responsibility for collection and upper-tier municipalities having responsibility for disposal. As I say, we believe this bill addresses that issue quite satisfactorily.

The need for this kind of legislation has been recognized in Ottawa-Carleton for some time and in fact manifested itself in our response to the Kirby report, which was tabled back in November 1992. Mr Kirby made comments in that report; however, no recommendations regarding solid waste. At that time, regional council felt that it was important enough to include in our response to the Kirby report a recommendation regarding the issue of solid waste. Their recommendation reads as follows:

"That the region of Ottawa-Carleton be given responsibility for garbage collection and waste diversion in Ottawa-Carleton with fair compensation," and some other words associated with that recommendation, but I believe that will be here in Queen's Park in the form of our response to the Kirby report, so merely to say that we recognize that need, our council recognizes that need and Bill 7 certainly appears to fill that need.

Ms Wilson has some specific comments about a couple of issues in the bill, so I'm going to ask Ms Wilson to proceed.

Ms Judy Wilson: I would like specifically to address those things for which we are very pleased with the work that has been done by your staff and which have specifically been endorsed by a standing community of our municipal council.

It is time and quite timely for the role of area municipalities in the diversion of solid waste to have been clarified, and that has been admirably done by the legislation. It is also time to have some clarity on the ability of municipalities to deal with user fees. The enhanced inspection powers and right to enter in a landfill site selection exercise were absolutely critical, and we're very pleased to see those as well.

We're particularly happy with the provision for regional municipalities to assume waste management powers, as is our council, as demonstrated by its position on the Kirby report.

I think it's very important in the original draft of the legislation that the regional municipality's ability to plan for solid waste was affirmed. As well, and this will become a very critical point when you see where I'm going, we also are quite pleased that there has been an affirmation of the continued role of the private sector in the field of solid waste.

To those specific issues, we're very happy and we do commend the drafting of the legislation. We do, however, have some issues we'd like to speak specifically to and which we believe Ottawa-Carleton is in a better position than most municipalities in the province, and perhaps in the country, to speak on. What I want to talk a little bit about today is the very difficult issue of the interaction of the public sector and the private sector in the field of solid waste.

Ottawa-Carleton is in a unique position. We're one of the few areas where a private sector landfill and a public sector landfill with approximately the same lifespan operate together in an environment of some legislative uncertainty. It is sometimes a very difficult relationship; it is sometimes a very productive relationship. But in the end, the basic premise we come to you with is that the relationship between the private sector and the public sector can function, but it can function in certain circumstances. It's those circumstances we would like to see set forth in the legislation.

The basic premise we work from is that the infrastructure development in the field of solid waste is the regulatory responsibility of the provincial government and the municipality, so that basically the overall provision of the infrastructure is left with the municipality to deal with. That does not necessarily mean that the municipality needs to provide the capital investment, nor does it mean that the municipality needs to actually own and operate the facilities. What the municipality needs to be able to do is establish the framework for the infrastructure.

This raises our most serious concern with the proposals by the Ontario Waste Management Association, and that is, its suggestion that what have become known as permit-by-rule facilities be exempted from municipal rule review. That is the focus of the remainder of my remarks. That is a very serious proposal which will cause municipalities across this province some very serious problems.

Let me take you through the reasoning as to why exempting permit-by-rule facilities will cause municipal governments a problem. Just to remind you, the permit-by-rule facilities are those facilities that the new environmental regulations, say, operate the way the Criminal Code operates. As long as you're in compliance you're all right, if you're out of compliance then there are enforcement procedures that begin to come into place.

There is a misconception that these facilities are generally small and insignificant facilities. The one factual point I want you to keep in mind is that it is entirely possible for a municipal government to develop its waste diversion program on solely permit-by-rule facilities. That's very important when you see where I am going with the rest of my comments.


Given that the purpose of the act was to give municipalities increased powers to develop and operate comprehensive waste management programs, particularly the 3Rs, the suggested exemption of permit-by-rule facilities from municipal review will undermine virtually completely the powers over 3Rs that municipalities have.

Let me walk you through the way this happens.

Mr David Johnson (Don Mills): Are you on one of these pages?

Ms Judy Wilson: No, I'm not.

The Vice-Chair: If you want to leave some time for questions, you will have to walk through pretty fast.

Ms Judy Wilson: We have about two minutes left.

The Vice-Chair: Okay.

Ms Judy Wilson: Regional municipalities are given the mandatory responsibility for solid waste disposal. That's step number one. Number two, in order to fulfil that solid waste mandatory responsibility, they have to plan for solid waste and plan for 3Rs. That's according to the Environmental Assessment Act and other provisions. Number three, you have to produce a plan for that. Number four, if permit-by-rule facilities do not have to conform to that plan, so they are exempted from municipal review, there is little or no reason for municipal governments to engage in solid waste planning, and that's the main dilemma that we're faced with if permit-by-rule facilities are exempt.

In closing, there are some specific sections of the act on which we have some drafting suggestions. Those are in the written proposals. They relate to financing, some provisions with respect to vesting, the provision for the exclusion of area municipalities from assumption bylaws or the lack of a provision that says you can consent to some municipalities being excluded, and we also have a comment that regional bylaws for source separation should supersede local area bylaws. Those are arguments that are covered quite comprehensively in the report.

I do want to leave you, though, with the conclusion that we are generally supportive but that if the suggestion that permit-by-rule be exempted from municipal approval is carried out, I think you will have thrown the baby out with the bathwater and that does cause us some considerable concern. Thank you.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much for your presentation. We'll start with the Liberal caucus. Two minutes each.

Mr Bernard Grandmaître (Ottawa East): Two minutes? I'll cut back on my preamble, I guess. Waste management has been an issue of great interest in Ottawa-Carleton. What is Ottawa-Carleton or the individual municipalities doing right now with organic waste?

Ms Judy Wilson: There's two things. If you include leaf and yard waste, there is a comprehensive leaf and yard waste program which has separated significant amounts of leaf and yard waste from the waste stream. There are also coming on stream some pilot wet-dry separation programs. Those are not in the works yet because we have a comprehensive 3Rs plan that's just about to draw to a close.

Mr Grandmaître: So what you're telling me is you're not doing anything.

Ms Judy Wilson: We're doing a huge leaf and yard waste program. We've done the most comprehensive waste composition study probably in the country. We then look at the sections of the waste stream on which we should concentrate, and clearly leaf and yard waste is one of the cheapest and biggest to get out of the waste stream, so we're focusing on that and having a great deal of success. That is being done. It is in implementation right now.

Mr Grandmaître: Does this include restaurant wastes?

Ms Judy Wilson: No. That will be the next stage.

Mr Grandmaître: So what are you doing at the present time with restaurant wastes?

Ms Judy Wilson: For the restaurant wastes specifically, what we're doing is developing a plan for handling them onsite instead of centralized collection and examining some of those opportunities. We're very much in the 3Rs planning stage, although there are a series of what we call short-term initiatives that have been carried out as a kind of pilot program.

The Vice-Chair: Okay, one quick one.

Mr David Johnson: Getting back to the main issue, which seems to be the permit-by-rule facilities, is Laidlaw the operator of the major private facility?

Ms Judy Wilson: Yes.

Mr David Johnson: Is their concern that the municipality is able to charge fees on their facility, in terms of their tipping fee; that if you're not excluded, you're able to charge?

Ms Judy Wilson: The permit-by-rule provisions wouldn't relate to the compensation that area landfill operators would remit to the regional government. That's another part of the legislation and that's a program that's in place.

Mr David Johnson: Let me ask you to play devil's advocate here. What is their main concern, just to refresh my memory?

Ms Judy Wilson: I'm not sure specifically what they would put forth as their main concern. I think their argument is that permit-by-rule facilities were put on a fast-track legislative process and that nothing should interfere with that. I think basically that's their argument.

Mr David Johnson: Does this have anything to do with flow control?

Ms Judy Wilson: No. In fact, Ottawa-Carleton has not been a proponent of flow control.

Mr David Johnson: So you are not a proponent of flow control?

Ms Judy Wilson: No, we're not.

Mr David Johnson: I suspect it boils down to money then, doesn't it, somehow?

Ms Judy Wilson: No, I don't think it does. I think it's very much the issue of wanting to ensure that all facilities are consistent with the overall municipal plan. That's all.

Mr David Johnson: You said that if the permit-by-rule facility, whatever it was, was imposed, the private facilities would not participate. I think that's what you said in your remarks.

Ms Judy Wilson: No. They wouldn't be required to conform to a municipal plan for the community. They'd be on a different track and there'd be no way of ensuring a kind of community infrastructure development.

Mr David Johnson: Can you be more specific as to what that would mean?

Ms Judy Wilson: For example, if the community plan said, "There's no reason to transport garbage throughout our community a lot. We can have a decentralized rather than a centralized system; for example, having small composting units at restaurants," if the municipal plan says that, and permit-by-rule are exempted from complying with that plan, there's nothing to prevent any private sector operator from developing a centralized facility contrary to the municipal plan.

Mr David Tilson (Dufferin-Peel): What section is this?

Ms Judy Wilson: It's been a recent proposal from the Ontario Waste Management Association.

Mr Tilson: You're not dealing with the bill; you're dealing with a proposed amendment from the waste management association.

Mr Denham: That's correct. We are quite happy with the bill.

Ms Judy Wilson: As it is.

Mr Tilson: I guess the private enterprise people are concerned that what goes on in the private sector is different than what goes on in the municipal sector. In fact, they have come out and told us at this committee that they can do a better job than you can. Could you comment on that?

Ms Judy Wilson: I think that in some fields they've demonstrated that they can do a cheaper job than we can, and I don't argue with that. Our comment is not that the public sector should be doing all of this. We have private sector collectors in Ottawa-Carleton, and I think we're quite happy with that; private sector landfill operators, and that's going fine, with bumps along the way. What we're saying is that it actually enhances the private sector's ability and enhances the entire system if there's a plan for how the community develops and then the private sector develops within that plan.

Mr Tilson: They say this bill will put them out of business.

The Vice-Chair: We'll have to move on now. I'm sorry, but we do have a number of other presenters. Mr Wiseman from the government caucus.

Mr Jim Wiseman (Durham West): A very quick question. I'd like you to perhaps discuss for a moment, and my partner here has a question as well, why it is that you can't use site plan approval and bylaws and other mechanisms from the Municipal Act to determine and control where buildings and plants such as central composters are going to be built.

Ms Judy Wilson: You could in part. You couldn't completely, because site plan approval etc wouldn't allow you, for example, to deal with residuals, wouldn't allow you to deal with the issue I put forward, which is the centralized versus decentralized facility. You couldn't, using your site plan authority, justify turning down a site plan simply because it didn't conform with another plan they're not obliged to conform with. And to some extent you might be being cute to try to do it that way; we'd rather do it directly and up front than indirectly through the site plan approval process.

Mr Pat Hayes (Essex-Kent): If the exemption that's proposed by the Ontario Waste Management Association for the permit by rule were not included, would you still support the bill? Even knowing that we are flexible on this issue, we haven't made a decision on this as of yet.

Mr Denham: If the exemption were not included? Let's deal with the positive: If the bill goes forward as it is, we are happy.

The Vice-Chair: Have you finished, Pat?

Mr Hayes: Yes.

The Vice-Chair: Very good; we're right on time.

Thank you very much for your presentation. I guess it's not too often that we hear such supportive comments in favour of a particular piece of legislation, but it was good to hear. Thank you very much again for coming.



The Vice-Chair: The next presenter, I understand, is here from the Association of Municipal Recycling Coordinators. Will you please come forward and introduce yourself. As you know, you've got 20 minutes, and we'd like to leave some time for questions.

Ms Linda Varangu: My name is Linda Varangu, and I'm the executive director of the Association of Municipal Recycling Coordinators. Our short form is AMRC, and I'll describe what that is a little later.

My presentation this morning will deal strictly with Ontario's municipal 3R programs. The issue of waste management systems planning, including flow control, has been previously addressed by AMO in its deputation to this committee, and municipal staff are working closely with them to resolve this issue.

I have divided my presentation into three separate sections: First I will tell you what the AMRC is and why we have a particular interest in this issue.

The Vice-Chair: Can I just interrupt for one quick second? Apparently your presentation is being Xeroxed. We will be receiving something very shortly. Please proceed.

Ms Varangu: Secondly, I will give you a brief outline of some of the tools municipalities use to deliver waste reduction, reuse and recycling programs. Third, I will present some examples of specific 3R activities that municipalities are currently undertaking. All of these examples will serve to illustrate why this legislation is needed.

Firstly, who is the AMRC? The association is a not-for-profit organization incorporated back in 1991. Our members are municipal staff concerned with the implementation of waste reduction, reuse and recycling programs. Our association was formed to help municipal staff implement effective and efficient 3R programs.

We have been in existence since 1987, and have been providing our members with an opportunity to learn from each other while assisting them in the development of new and innovative ways to deliver 3R programs.

Our municipal membership totals over 100, which represents over 85% of Ontario's population. Our organization has a number of very active committees from which we produce documents and reports, and these give guidance to other municipal staff in the development of their 3R programs.

What we are really trying to encourage in Ontario when we're talking about all this 3R program stuff is resource conservation. The wise use of our resources does not come naturally for all of us and therefore some type of socially acceptable plan must be developed. What we as municipal staff have been able to offer residents and in many cases the ICI or industrial, commercial and institutional sectors across Ontario, is some kind of support to undertake 3R programs with the goal of conserving our resources.

In January 1993, the AMRC, with support from the Ministry of Environment and Energy and AMO, had developed a comprehensive survey on municipal 3R activities. This survey was sent to all municipalities in Ontario and we are currently in the process of analysing this data. The responses we have received to date show that although there are numerous standard 3R programs, such as the blue box program we're all familiar with, there is a large variation in the delivery of other 3R programs across Ontario. This point is raised so that we all realize that there is not just one standard solution across Ontario, but that we have to develop programs which make sense for local communities.

Bill 7 would give municipalities increased powers to develop and operate 3R programs. The majority of people in Ontario already have access to various 3R programs offered by their local municipality. Clarification of what waste management responsibility lies where can provide the added incentive to institute new and progressive waste diversion initiatives. For these reasons, the parts of the bill that enable municipalities to get on with the 3R programs and planning are supported by our organization.

Along with the legislative ability to develop the 3Rs programs, we cannot ignore that a particularly critical issue at this time is the financing of municipal 3Rs programs. I want to urge the province to work quickly towards helping develop a sustainable financing system that incorporates product stewardship for municipal 3Rs programs. Without a revised funding program, we cannot expect that new and innovative 3Rs programs will be developed. Even existing programs may be jeopardized. Significant effort by the provincial government, the private sector and municipal governments must be expended to resolve the financing issues as soon as possible. Otherwise, the 3Rs activities that this bill seeks to clarify may not be carried out.

I'd now like to give you some examples of the 3Rs programs and initiatives that are currently being offered by municipalities, and I'll start by describing some of the tools municipalities have been using.

When we're looking at what waste reduction really is, which is trying to encourage people to behave differently to reduce their waste, we have realized that to accomplish this we have basically three incentives, and these are: first of all, education and promotion; secondly, financial incentives; and thirdly, regulations. It's a combination of these incentives that social psychologists tell us would have the largest impact on changing people's behaviour and therefore helping us reduce or divert our waste from disposal. Municipalities should have the authority to use all these tools.

The overall goal here is the wise use of our resources, which is another way of describing the conserver society. Although we've come a long way to alerting citizens of this province to this issue, we have a long way to go before we change the behaviour that creates the wastefulness.

Now I'll give you a couple of examples under each of these three primary tools I mentioned. First, under education and promotion initiatives, I've divided those into three primary categories. These education and promotional materials that we're going to be talking about, municipalities have already begun to develop and are distributing in many cases. Written information includes news stories, newsletters, pamphlets, calendars, posters, public displays, that kind of information. Audio-visual initiatives include videos, slide shows, radio interviews, television interviews etc and direct participation interviews, which include seminars, workshops, networking forums, hotlines, demonstration sites and presentations.

The AMRC, through its promotional and education committee, is working with numerous municipal members to develop cost-effective and innovative promotional material which then can be used by any municipality, if they so chose, in the delivery of their programs. The authority to produce and distribute promotional and educational information for the purpose of encouraging the 3Rs is currently not explicit. Bill 7 would help define and clarify the roles and responsibilities of municipalities for this activity.

Secondly, I'd like to point out some of the financial incentives that are currently used by municipalities. Financial incentives have been really well responded to by the ICI sector. The ICI sector is generally more cognizant of the disposal costs it pays for because it pays for them directly, and the nature of its business is if it can reduce its waste in the course of doing its business, it will do so and therefore make a larger profit. This has been demonstrated to be effective when our landfill tipping fees have been rising over the last several years and many businesses have been starting to pay more attention to their disposal costs. They've also found that reduction, reuse and recycling helps them do that.

In the residential sector, however, only a limited number of Ontario municipalities have undertaken programs to charge the residents directly for the waste they dispose of, and these programs are known as user pay programs. User pay programs have been developed in some communities to put the onus of reducing waste directly on to the residents, who would pay directly for all or part of the waste they dispose of, and it's often by the number of garbage containers they produce. Normally, this cost is hidden from the resident. It's actually included in the overall municipal tax bill, and each property basically pays the same cost for disposal regardless of the amount of waste it produces. This concept is said to make the waste generator more aware of the waste produced, just like in the ICI sector, and the residents then develop ways in which they can reduce and reuse the waste instead of disposing of it.


Ways in which the residents can reduce waste from disposal include purchasing items with less packaging, using their backyard composters for food and yard waste, using their recycling programs, renting rather than purchasing infrequently used items etc. Residents will also need to exercise their right to choose the appropriate products, and this will require that the manufacturers make products available to the consumers that have less waste associated with their products.

I'd like to draw your attention, if you now have the report, to the back part, where we've shown a number of graphs that illustrate what communities are currently involved in user-pay programs. The two charts that I have shown include full user-pay programs. These are municipalities that are engaged in user-pay programs which charge for the full cost of disposal, and that means that for every bag or container they put out, there is a charge associated with it. There are actually seven communities. I've neglected adding one on there; it just started.

The second chart shows partial user-pay programs and there are 12 municipalities noted here. Again, there is usually a bag limit set out, and then for the rest of the bags, the resident actually has to pay for the disposal of them. There are also a number of municipalities, smaller municipalities again, that charge directly for the bags that are disposed of at the landfill site. So there are a number of communities that are already undertaking this initiative, but according to the Municipal Act, the way it is now, it's not apparently legal for them to do that.

The operators of some of these programs have shown that the user-pay programs, when they're combined with education and promotional information, actually can really impact the waste disposed of in places like Gananoque by up to 45%.

We at the AMRC are also involved in a user-pay committee, and we have a number of municipalities, and these are larger municipalities, that are involved in our committee which are exploring the implementation of user pay for their own communities. The demand for this information is increasing and, as a result, we will be producing a user-pay kit for municipalities to follow.

Thirdly, municipal regulations and bylaws are used to encourage 3Rs. Currently, there are a number of municipalities which have bylaws in place which actually require residents to use their blue box program. There is one municipality that actually has a ban on organics in its community. That means they can't throw any organics out. They have to use their backyard composter. So there are a number of these bylaws or regulations that the municipalities have begun to enforce as well, and this is the third kind of tool that the municipality has to encourage waste reduction, reuse and recycling programs.

I'll give you specific examples of waste reduction, reuse and recycling now. Bill 7 makes specific reference to the authority for municipalities to undertake these programs as part of the waste management system, but they've been doing it for years.

Reduction programs include education and promotional programs. Things that the municipalities might be promoting now would be things like photocopying on both sides, use of public transportation rather than your own vehicle, encourage proper maintenance of appliances so you have less spoilage of food and that type of thing, and use of alternative low-maintenance landscaping plants so that you don't have to throw the yard waste out in the first place.

Another program which also falls into this category includes household hazardous waste alternative programs. In this program, what we're trying to do is encourage municipalities to talk to the residents and have them use less hazardous materials as household cleaning products, for example, so that we as municipalities don't end up paying for costly disposal at our household hazardous waste facilities. This again is a reduction alternative. In some cases, municipalities have actually provided demonstration kits to their local communities so that they can actually try these non-hazardous types of cleaners out on trial.

Municipalities are also involved in reuse programs. In promoting these activities, they could be involved in simply, again, education and promotion, or they could be involved in things like community garage sales -- one particular one was known as the mother of all garage sales and it was very well participated in with the local community -- curbside scavenging for reusable materials, local waste exchange programs, encouraging litterless lunches in school programs, supporting the development of local reuse and repair centres, and encouraging the use of reusable containers for food and beverages. These activities, as I mentioned, are already ongoing.

The recycling programs that are ongoing in Ontario, most of you are pretty well familiar with, and most of the communities in Ontario that are over 5,000 in population already have some kind of curbside recycling program in place. Many rural areas have depot programs. There are also about 46 material recovery facilities already in place and these are known as MRFs. In Ontario, about 50% are currently privately operated and 50% are publicly owned and 17% of those are privately operated public facilities.

Many municipalities are already involved in the marketing of collected recyclables and some municipal staff are also involved in research and development of recycled materials. An example there would be the use of rubber tires in asphalt. Municipal staff are also involved in the design of recycling equipment. For example, we have provided help to manufacturers of backyard composters to help them improve the design of their composters. One municipality in particular has developed a contract with a local plastics manufacturer, for example, to produce improved recycling containers. They will actually obtain royalties from the sale of these.

In the marketing of products made from the processing of collected recyclables, that's a novel approach, but some municipalities are considering this well. For example, some municipalities are actually marketing glass, which they have purchased a piece of equipment for, which would grind it up and make silica pieces which they could then sell for road paint or whatever. So it's a value-added product which will enable a municipality to get a better value for the product.

In conclusion, I'd just like to point out that there are a number of activities that municipalities are already involved in, in the 3Rs. This bill would help define and clarify the roles and responsibilities of these activities in municipalities and provide the basis for planning and developing new and innovative 3Rs programs so that our society will use its resources more wisely.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much for your presentation and for the benefit of the members. We actually can be a little bit more flexible, because the next presenter has cancelled. It doesn't mean that we should take all the time for questions, but we have a little bit more time available.

Mrs Joan M. Fawcett (Northumberland): I'm interested in the user-pay fees and so on, because I would assume that most people pay a certain amount for garbage in their municipal taxes. Now they will pay the extra user fee. What, in your experience, has been the reaction of residents to this?

Ms Varangu: Actually, what has happened was that in most of these communities that have the full user-pay program, what they've done is shown the community first of all what they're paying actually in their taxes for garbage disposal. Once that is known, people then have a figure which they have of their actual waste disposal costs. That then is taken out and municipalities then issue tags or labels which the resident puts on the container or the bag, and that is worth a dollar or whatever it is in that community. Then it's actually a pay-by-waste program.

Mrs Fawcett: In other words, they're not paying both.

Ms Varangu: No.

Mrs Fawcett: So it's either one or the other.

Ms Varangu: Right.

Mrs Fawcett: Has it been well received by the residents? Do they like that idea?

Ms Varangu: I would suggest that in the communities where it started out, where the promotion and education haven't been well done, you would have a lot of negative responses to people who might think that is happening. Overall, in the communities that have been fully researched and gone back and done surveys, the community is, by and large, in support of this activity.

Mrs Fawcett: The ban of organic waste by one municipality, how are they enforcing that?

Ms Varangu: That just actually started in May. We haven't heard too much more yet on the success of that program. They started out with leaf and yard waste and then added on the organics after that. Again, they have a landfill site problem and they had to enact something, and they figured that the organics, being a major portion, were a good target. They have provided their residents with backyard composters, so that is part of the tools they have to encourage people to have an alternative. That's how they're going about that.

Mrs Fawcett: Okay.

Ms Varangu: It's a small community.

Mr Grandmaître: On partial user fees and full user fees, I want to go through this again. All municipalities at the present time are not double-taxing people -- I mean municipalities that are involved in partial or full user fees. They're not being double-taxed.

Ms Varangu: That's a good question, because I'm not sure on the details on every one of those programs. The issue in the partial user-pay programs is that there still is a service provided. That is for the disposal of three or four bags, whatever the limit is. The value of that service still has to be obtained from somewhere. What those programs are trying to do is encourage people to actually go to a set limit and to understand that they can reduce their waste, and if they go over that, they would pay more.

Mr Grandmaître: How about the full user-fee program?

Ms Varangu: The full user fee program generally runs on the premise that the tax burden that's usually placed on the resident to pay for disposal is taken out, and there is now a direct fee that's attached to disposing of your waste. So the tax part that was in there is taken out. Municipalities try and make residents aware of what they currently pay for it before they go to this user fee system.

Mr Grandmaître: Which is --

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Grandmaître.

Mr Grandmaître: Just a little one.

Ms Varangu: Depending on where you are and depending on what it is that you're dealing with.


The Vice-Chair: Before we move on to Mr Johnson, I should give you some good news. This room is supposedly air-conditioned, but apparently it's not functioning too well. After this presentation we can move next door, where apparently the system is working. So once we're finished with this round, I can ask everybody to move next door so we can cool off a little bit. Mr Johnson.

Mr David Johnson: Just an observation that the municipalities that are on full user-pay are very small municipalities, and it will be interesting. If the user-pay system is applied to a larger urban centre, I think there'll be a whole lot of resistance, frankly. So there's a huge education program to be accomplished.

Secondly, you could expand the list of the partial user-pays. For example, in East York -- and I think this is fairly common -- the municipality that I represented, you could set out eight bags and you had to pay for the 9th, 10th etc beyond that. It really depends where you draw the line. I think a lot of municipalities have probably done this in some sense but just not down to the low level that you've outlined in your report.

I guess my question is that in terms of the whole waste management area, there is a huge amount of expense. You've mentioned MRFs. I think you've mentioned composting plants. These cost tens of millions of dollars in a large urban centre. Plus the fact that the net cost of the blue box is probably somewhere around $180 or $190 a tonne. The fees that are down here, $1 a bag, $2 a bag, won't put a dent in the cost. I wonder if you have calculated what you would have to charge for a bag of garbage to fully pay through the user-pay system for all the facilities -- the MRFs, the composting plants -- and to cover the cost of the full system.

Ms Varangu: That actually goes back to the definition of full-cost accounting, and there's a lot of disagreement on what that actually includes. People are striving to define full-cost accounting. Many people have attempted that and there have always been questions about how they arrived at that kind of solution or that kind of analysis.

These programs, as you mentioned, are smaller communities, so it's perhaps easier to do that in a smaller community than you would in a larger community, which includes all this other infrastructure. The committee that we have ongoing in user-pay within the AMRC includes a number of larger municipalities, and these municipalities are in the throes of actually analysing what it would mean for their community. So we don't have those data yet but we're actually working to towards that.

Mr David Johnson: Let me just ask you one supplementary before Mr Tilson takes over.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Johnson, I think Mr Tilson wanted to ask a question too, a quick one.

Mr David Johnson: All right. Mr Tilson takes over.

The Vice-Chair: Do you want to finish?

Mr David Johnson: Well, do you put your whole submission on a user-pay, or do you think the province of Ontario should be involved in this funding? Do you think the private sector should be involved in this funding? You really didn't talk about anything other than user-pay.

Ms Varangu: I mentioned in the first part of my presentation that the critical component here is financing this whole thing, and it should be --

Mr David Johnson: Yes, but you really focused on user-pay, so can you tell us, beyond user-pay, how much you think the province should be contributing, how much the private sector etc? What sort of proportions?

Ms Varangu: I would suggest that it needs to be a product-stewardship combination with provincial and municipal governments, and this has to be worked out fairly quickly because we're running out of dollars to do this, as you know. There are a number of proposals on the table which have product-stewardship models for financing, and these are the models that we need to be further exploring to finance this system. It can't be done by one or even two of the partners; it has to be done all together.

Mr Hayes: While we're on the topic of user fees, do you view the user fees as another form of taxation, or do you look at this as another necessary tool to assist municipalities to be successful in their reduction of waste?

Ms Varangu: I actually view it as a tool, because if you go back to what I said originally, going to social psychologists and having them instruct us or help us identify what changes people's behaviour, what you pay out changes your behaviour on what you purchase. You would buy something that is cheaper if it was the same value of product. So having the sensitivity to finances, somebody would make another decision on what they might want to throw out. I view that as a tool. When applied properly and when done correctly, it doesn't have to be another form of taxation; it can be used properly as a tool.

Mr Wiseman: I know that Peterborough had a referendum in the last municipal election and turned down user fees. Now they seem to be sorry that they turned down user fees, because it's costing them more on their tax bills.

Ms Varangu: I have heard that they'd like to look at user fees again. Perhaps what wasn't done there was a really good promotion and education program. It was one of the first larger communities to really look at this and have its citizens involved in that. I think a real big education and promotion program needs to be incorporated with that. It's not just Peterborough but many municipalities are looking at this.

Mr Wiseman: How much is being spent yearly on recycling in the municipalities, the total bill? Do you have any idea?

Ms Varangu: The total bill? I don't have the answer to that, but I can help explore that for you if you like.

Mr Wiseman: The reason I ask that is it goes back to your cost accounting. My community is well aware of what it costs to have a landfill site in it. There isn't enough money in the province of Ontario to pay for the dislocation in terms of the odours, the birds, the leachate collection, disposal of the leachate and so on, that and health costs. They've had to put in air-conditioners and air purifiers in a lot of the houses. People have allergic reactions to the odours. I guess my question then is, when people do this cost accounting, are they really taking into consideration all of those costs? Because opportunity cost in economics is an important measurement.

Ms Varangu: You were describing your landfill, were you, when you were describing this?

Mr Wiseman: To allow for them, yes.

Ms Varangu: Okay. What I suggested was that in full-cost accounting, where people have attempted that, there have always been questions on how they arrived at their definition of full-cost accounting. I would agree with you. The soft components, as you were describing, whether it's an environmental benefit, a social benefit, are really hard to put a value on. What it means is that we're driving more towards these softer components which we have difficulty putting a dollar value on.

I think if it's a societal direction, we have to respond to the people who live in our communities and say: "This is worth more than it was before. It's going to cost us more to dispose of something because we're going to get a social benefit out of this." We don't have real values for that right now.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much for your presentation. We really appreciate the time you've taken to prepare your brief and to appear before the committee.

If I could ask the committee members now to take their name plates, to help the clerk, and everything else and move just next door here, we'll proceed.

The committee recessed from 1047 to 1051 and resumed meeting in committee room 1.

The Vice-Chair: The next presenter is not quite ready yet, since we're a little bit before time, but Mr Brown apparently is here and he's scheduled only for 11:40. If we can start with him, it'll give us a bit more time at the end or perhaps to recess earlier.

Mr Hayes: We should notify the other members of this. I think they're thinking we're behind schedule here.

The Vice-Chair: You mean your members?

Mr Hayes: Yes.

Mrs Fawcett: Go get them.

Mr Hayes: Thanks, boss.

The Vice-Chair: We will wait till -- I think they're here.


The Vice-Chair: We're ready, then. If you could introduce yourself, Mr Brown, you will have 20 minutes.

Mr Karl Brown: Thank you very much. I'll be brief. My name is Karl Brown. I'm the vice-president of a company called Waste Alternatives Inc, based here in Toronto. We are waste reduction consultants.

Mr Chairman and committee members, I appreciate the opportunity to present my views on Bill 7. I know you've heard from several people in the industry regarding the implications of Bill 7. I am, however, interested in outlining how this bill may affect waste generators and waste diversion and recycling programs in our province.

I speak representing my company and our clients, private businesses in the province that are committed to diverting waste. We work on a daily basis with waste generators, haulage companies, recycling centres and a host of end markets, trying to find environmentally sound, economically sustainable diversion opportunities. We firmly believe that we are not suffering a garbage crisis but instead a resource crisis in which we must find viable options to utilize these commodities we call waste.

We fully support the intention of Bill 7 as has been communicated by the office of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and the Ministry of Environment and Energy. What is required in this province is a clear definition of waste management powers and responsibilities so that adequate resources can be applied to reaching the provincial target of 50% diversion by the year 2000.

There are, however, certain concerns regarding Bill 7 as currently written: first, the inexplicit definitions of certain powers; and second, the overlapping effects with Bill 143 and the new 3Rs regulations.

Flow control: Municipalities will have the power to "provide all or any part of the waste management system in all or any defined area of the local municipality."

Although indicated verbally by the ministry that flow control was not contained in this document, wide and general power seems to be provided to municipalities. Interpretation of this power, left to individual municipalities, will undoubtedly create a flow control type of system.

The definitions of "waste" and "waste management services" provide no distinction between public or private waste generators or waste management systems. Section 208.6 indicates that municipalities can dictate how waste and recyclable materials are collected, handled and processed. No mention, however, has been made of private sector involvement.

Two levels of municipal governments will have overlapping powers to enact bylaws governing the movement of waste.

Waste diversion programs, and particularly recycling programs, are driven by market access. Unrestricted access to viable recycling markets allows efficient and effective recycling of waste. Bill 7 could allow a municipality to dictate how a material is collected and where it would be processed. As a result, access to potential recycling markets could be denied to waste generators. Municipalities could cream the valuable materials relied on by private recycling operators to be viable.

I've worked in a jurisdiction in the United States that had flow control. The result was that more time and effort was spent haggling with local politicians than was on diverting waste.

Bill 143: The intent of Bill 7 appears divergent from the intent of the recently announced 3Rs regulations. The 3Rs regulation is good legislation, but Bill 7 will undermine some of the effects of the new regulations. Municipalities may under bylaw:

-- Require separation of any class of waste at the point of collection -- already stipulated in the 3Rs regulations covering most readily recyclable materials.

-- Establish fees for any part of a waste management system -- further tax waste generators for waste management services beyond existing property taxes.

-- Exempt persons or municipalities from rules, fees and incentives -- potentially creating unfair requirements between competing businesses.

-- Require recycling operators to receive municipal or county approval to operate a waste management facility -- contrary to the recent permit-by-rule provision hoping to streamline the approval process for new facilities.

The powers stipulated in subsections 208.6(1) and (2) are important to municipal governments to undertake the collection of public waste. These powers exercised over private business, on top of already existing regulations, will stall all private investment in Ontario and make developing comprehensive waste management programs impossible. An amendment to this section to specify a municipality's public or existing responsibility will keep waste diversion programs progressing following provincial regulations.

Bill 7 could create a patchwork of municipal legislation that will make access to recycling markets even more difficult. Flow control will limit investment on new technologies and processes desperately needed in this province.

Our industry is currently confused by widely varying tip fees, resulting in the loss of valuable resources and revenue in our province. Bill 7 fails to provide clear legislative direction to ensure proper management of resources to reach the goal of 50% diversion.

We have read proposed amendments by the OWMA and the ORA and others and strongly urge you to consider them.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much for your presentation.

Mr Grandmaître: Let's go back to user fees. You call it a further tax waste generator and the presenter just before you told us that it wasn't a double tax. Can you explain your --

Mr Karl Brown: The way we interpret the bill is that a municipality could put a further tax on the requirements for specific separation or handling of waste. A lot of these taxes in municipalities are already governed under the municipal tax base, and we feel that there could be the effect of a double tax in there on waste generators trying to solve their own problems.

In my opinion, the ultimate user fee is a landfill tip fee, where you pay for the waste that you are throwing away, and that if you have a system of encouraging people who -- well, a lesser tip fee for people who recycle their waste or a penalizing tip fee for people who don't is a good way to raise revenue.

Mr Grandmaître: So you're telling me, in principle, you don't agree with partial or full user fees.

Mr Karl Brown: I'm not an expert on user fees. Some user fees I think could be very effective. I think a landfill tip fee, user fee, something to encourage waste generators to want to do these things, is necessary.

Mr Grandmaître: I've noticed most municipalities that are using partial or full user fees at the present time are mostly rural municipalities, and I'm just wondering about what our urban municipalities would think of such a program. In the Ottawa-Carleton area, Kanata is thinking of introducing a bylaw using user fees, and I'm just wondering -- I don't have all the facts. I thought you had more facts than I have at the present time on user fees. You're not an expert, I'm not an expert --

The Vice-Chair: That makes two of you.

Mr Karl Brown: Sir, I work almost primarily with private sector waste generators and not residential waste or blue box programs or things of that nature.

Mr Grandmaître: Again I'm asking for your thoughts. Don't you think a municipality that has the power right now through municipal taxes to charge for such services -- why would they choose user fees instead of increasing municipal taxes?

Mr Karl Brown: I think municipalities are afraid to do it. A user-pay system is a more equitable system.

Mr Grandmaître: Isn't that a sneaky way of raising taxes through fees?

Mr Karl Brown: If you're a business that wants to use these certain services and the business next door doesn't, should you pay an equitable tax for that service?

Mr Grandmaître: Well --

The Vice-Chair: We'll probably continue that discussion at some other time. Mr Tilson.


Mr Tilson: One of the groups that came to us previously commented on the topic of the funding of all of this business. I think it was the restaurant people who commented on the issue of double taxation. If private enterprise owned a facility, because of waste management policies the assessment on the overall tax base of a municipality, including the land that's owned by this private enterprise, would go up, and at the same time the municipality would be charging it for the whole process of waste management. Do you have any comments on that?

Mr Karl Brown: I think you lost me a little bit. What I'm talking about is the ability of people in private business to find waste diversion opportunities that are economical within their regions. I don't understand how you're referring to a tax base that is --

Mr Tilson: Well, there would be a special rate of property assessment to all rateable property, which would be in order to defray the expense of providing waste management facilities and services. At the same time, the bill would enable municipalities to impose a waste management levy on food service operators, who already pay for a waste management system through contracts with private waste management firms. That's the double taxation they're referring to and the concern they have.

Mr Karl Brown: That's right. I agree with that concern.

Mr Tilson: With respect to the flow control system, I guess you're agreeing with many of the private enterprise people who are coming through. You don't agree with the fact that there should be one waste management system, which would include private waste management arrangements, which would include existing contracts. You don't agree with that?

Mr Karl Brown: I am scared by the notion of flow control. As I mentioned, I worked in the city of Minneapolis-St Paul for several weeks implementing a recycling program there a couple of years ago for the Special Olympics program. We set up programs to separate certain kinds of waste and we identified recycling markets outside the county that were willing to participate in this program. Specifically, one of them was for organic materials, a composting facility. We could not take those organics out of that county, because these people had an incinerator that they needed to generate revenue to pay for the incineration of waste.

The Vice-Chair: Your final question.

Mr Tilson: In defence of the municipalities, they're saying that we have to have a consistent plan. How are we going to operate a consistent plan if we're going to have one plan for private enterprise and one plan for the municipalities? How is the system going to work?

Mr Karl Brown: They're looking for a guaranteed flow of material or a guaranteed supply of material or guaranteed funding. In business we have to compete, and if they want to compete with that and can run a cost-effective, efficient composting facility or incinerator, it makes economic sense and they'll attract the material.

Mr Tilson: Can two plans run side by side?

Mr Karl Brown: Sure they can.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much. Mr Wiseman.

Mr Wiseman: The thing I'm interested in is this whole question of flow control and the way you're presenting it, because I'm leaning in that direction myself. The reason is that very item you're talking about and how to maximize the efficiencies of scale; if one municipality can't do it, then maybe a collection of them can.

We've banned incineration, so we don't need to worry about that kind of nonsense happening here. What we would be looking for is economies of scale in terms of reusing and recycling the product. To do that, you need the right price, and the right price for the reuse of material in any commodity is lower than what it would cost to use a natural resource to do that.

Mr Karl Brown: That's because of those lovely subsidies that our federal government provides to certain people.

Mr Wiseman: Okay, but it still has to be lower than whatever price the natural material is coming into the market, no matter how that price is determined.

Mr Karl Brown: Lower or comparable, certainly.

Mr Wiseman: The cheapest price is nothing, to give it away; you can develop huge markets by giving product away. This is where the user fees come in, that the cost of paying is up front, that the municipality pays to eliminate its waste, and whatever organization or structure takes that waste then has total responsibility for its elimination in terms of giving it away, marketing it, making new products or whatever. Is that the kind of system you'd like to see developed?

Mr Karl Brown: I would like to see a system that I think our province is going towards with the new legislation, Bill 143 and the 3Rs regulations, of promoting waste reduction, making it easier for markets to develop. I think waste reduction is emerging on its own because of the recession we're in, for example. Recycling is developing, but needs help for markets. The movement of this material is market-driven. You have to have access to these markets, access to viable economic markets.

There are two great incentives: One is the revenue you can get from those materials, and the other is the cost avoidance of your user fee or your tip fee or whatever it is. I think that is a big stimulator for private business in this province, to say, "If I can divert it, even for nothing, if someone is willing to take it and reprocess it into something, at least I'm saving $90 or $120 per tonne at the landfill." That's enough economic incentive to make people want to do stuff. When those fees come down, we run into big trouble.

Mr Wiseman: The reason I support user fees is because I've got two composters and what I put out is about yea big for a family of five per week. My next-door neighbour, who doesn't have anything, has 8 or 10 bags and pays the same taxation I do. I think there should be some reward for avoidance, and the avoidance in this case would be to recycle, reduce and reuse and use the blue box program effectively and so on and expand it. That's one of the things I would like to see.

This permit-by-rule is a very important question, because we had people from Ottawa-Carleton present this morning who are diametrically opposed to where you stand on this one. As legislators, we need to come down on one side or the other, or we need to figure out a third alternative.

Mr Karl Brown: Say I wanted to open a wood-recycling facility, go out and buy a wood chipper. Under the permit-by-rule clause, I could do this. I could rent some land. I meet certain criteria of the EPA, no problem. Now, I would have to go to the county or the municipal government and say, "I want to do this," and they say: "No, that's part of our waste management plan. We're doing that, and you can't open your business." I don't think that's right.

The Vice-Chair: A quick question, Mr Hayes; a quick one, please.

Mr Hayes: That sounded a little extreme. However, do you support the proposed amendments from the Ontario Waste Management Association that indicate that the flow control will not be provided in the legislation?

Mr Karl Brown: I support the amendments that the OWMA has presented, yes.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much. Thank you for your presentation and taking the time to prepare it and to come here.



The Vice-Chair: I understand that the representatives of WMI Waste Management of Canada Inc are here. I think they have distributed a package for all the members. You are familiar, I think, with the system, if you could introduce yourself, please.

Ms Nancy Porteous-Koehle: I will. Just to introduce the package, it's a package you can take pieces out of, keep what you want and return the rest so I can reuse it.

Mr Grandmaître: No fees?

Ms Porteous-Koehle: No, no fee.

My name is Nancy Porteous-Koehle; I'm the director of public affairs. With me today is Bob Webb, business development manager for WMI Waste Management of Canada, and he's also the president of our Recycle Canada-Etobicoke facility.

We appear before you this morning to fervently request that this committee and members of all parties support, at the very minimum, recommendations put before you by the Ontario Waste Management Association.

But we believe that additional amendments are also necessary. Therefore, we would also like to request the following: (1) that the definition of "waste" not include industrial solid waste; (2) that the definition of "waste management system" refer only to public facilities owned by a municipality -- that's similar to OWMA's; (3) a deletion of the section giving municipalities exclusive jurisdiction over future facilities; (4) a deletion of the clause allowing municipalities to surcharge a private sector facility.

If the OWMA- and WMI-recommended amendments are passed, we could all go back to doing business as usual, and according to statements in the House by the Honourable Bud Wildman, business as usual meant that the province of Ontario achieved the 25% 1992 diversion goal without flow control. Business as usual meant that Waste Management of Canada Inc and many other companies have invested millions of dollars, created thousands of jobs, mine included, here in Ontario to address the need created by the many environmental regulations passed by the different levels of governments. These investments could be undermined by Bill 7 unless the amendments requested by OWMA, and hopefully WMI's, are adopted.

The Association of Municipalities of Ontario appeared before you to state that they should not be held accountable for the 25% and 50% diversion figures unless they have complete flow control. We would like to state that municipalities are not nor should they be held accountable for the entire waste-recyclable stream within their geographical boundaries.

We would respectfully suggest that governments should do what they do best: govern. Governments should pass legislation, put into law the regulations and then enforce -- strongly enforce. Only through strong enforcement will we achieve the 50% diversion. Only through strong enforcement will we rid our neighbourhoods of illegal transfer stations, illegal dumping, the illegal filling up of warehouses. Sadly, degradation to our environment because of these illegal activities is happening far too frequently. Illegal operations are giving all of us in the environmental service industry a bad name. They must be stopped.

WMI Waste Management of Canada Inc is a subsidiary of WMX Technologies Inc. We are a worldwide environmental service company whose stock is traded on the major stock exchanges, including Toronto's. In Ontario, we have 17 divisions delivering environmental services in many of the communities you represent. We employ over 700 Ontario residents.

Waste Management of Canada Inc has invested considerably in Ontario. The development of Recycle Canada-Etobicoke alone is a $26-million investment. We knew that in order to reach the 50% goal of the year 2000, the industrial-commercial waste generator had to do its part. This facility was built to recycle the materials banned at landfill by the municipalities and to recycle for our industrial-commercial customers the materials mandated in the government's proposed 3R regulations. We built this facility three years ago trusting in government's sincere commitment to these bans and 3R regulations. A lot of our industrial-commercial customers are already complying with these 3R regulations or gearing up for them, at considerable cost.

But what is frightening is that the municipalities are weakening their stand on recycling and the enforcement of bans at the landfill. As well, the provincial government is putting forth new 3R regulations but with no enforcement strategy. If this trend is not stopped, it will only be a matter of time before the 3R chain is just a fragile piece of tissue paper.

If all levels of government were to enact and then diligently enforce the rules and regulations that give stability and consistency and create a level playing field for all environmental service deliverers, it would send out a very positive message for future investment by the private sector.

We have seen what happens when municipalities have sole control and ultimate powers: the highest landfill tipping fees in North America right here in Ontario. Members of the committee, competition must be encouraged. Regulations should ensure a level playing field for all competitors, and strong enforcement of those regulations is a must to ensure that the residents of Ontario derive not only the greatest financial benefit but, most importantly, a healthy environmental future in all respects.

In closing, I ask for three things: amendments as requested by OWMA and WMI, enforcement of rules and regulations by all levels of government, and a level playing field to encourage future investment.

Thank you for the opportunity to appear.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you for a very concise and to-the-point presentation.

Mr Grandmaître: You don't give municipalities too much credit for the job they're trying to do.

Ms Porteous-Koehle: I don't?

Mr Grandmaître: Well, no. You're saying they shouldn't be involved, that the provincial government should take over. I can't recall everything you just said.

Ms Porteous-Koehle: No. I'm saying strong enforcement, sir, of the rules and regulations, whether they're regulations of the municipal government or whether they're regulations of the provincial government. What we're seeing at the region of Peel and at Metropolitan Toronto is a relaxation on the zero tolerance of banned materials going into the landfill.

Mr Grandmaître: But you're saying what is frightening is that municipalities are weakening their stand on recycling and the enforcement of bans at the landfill.

Ms Porteous-Koehle: Yes.

Mr Grandmaître: You'd like to see the provincial government putting forth new 3R regulations, with no enforcement strategy.

Ms Porteous-Koehle: There is no enforcement strategy on it at the moment, sir, and what is being asked of the industrial-commercial-institutional sector is to source separate, mandatory source separation. A lot of the companies are now doing that without enforcement, but our concern is that if they don't enforce the bans at the landfill and ICI customers are not forced to recycle, maybe some of them won't.

Mr Grandmaître: I do agree with you that more competition should be encouraged, because I think it's only fair that you should be able to compete and make a profit if there is a profit to be made. You're in the business to make a profit. At the present time I think some municipalities in the province of Ontario are using tipping fees as an extra way of making a dollar.

Mr Wiseman: No kidding.

Mr Grandmaître: We'll talk about Durham after. What are your thoughts on these municipalities using tipping fees to make more profits?

Mr Robert Webb: In terms of industrial-commercial customers, it's just another form of taxation. You're increasing their costs of operation. When companies like General Motors, Ford Motor Co and Chrysler compare the cost per car of producing a Tempo or Topaz in Oakville with the cost of producing a van or a similar vehicle in St Louis, where tipping fees may be only exactly what the municipal costs are or else they're dumping through a private facility, the cost -- and it is substantial -- runs around in this area about $4 to $5 a car versus something in the area of $1 a car, which may not seem like a lot of money to you, but in terms of people like Ford Motor Co or Chrysler, that is a substantial amount of money.

Mr Grandmaître: I'm just setting you up for Mr Johnson.

Mr Wiseman: It's at least $1,000 a car in Ohio.

Mr David Johnson: I know there's a great political football there, but I'm going to get back to the issues here.

Mr Tilson: Ignore Durham.

Mr David Johnson: It's easy to do, or the member anyway.

The permit-by-rule facilities that have been requested for exemption from OWMA -- you support that as well then, do you?

Ms Porteous-Koehle: Yes, we do.

Mr David Johnson: Do you have any further comments on that? You were present, I think, when --

Ms Porteous-Koehle: I was present there. If the permit-by-rule facilities are not exempted in this bill, then we're just going to put a layer of red tape in there, which I thought the government was trying to get away from. Believe it or not, even recycling facilities are a contentious issue in communities. If you put that extra level there -- I believe under the Planning Act and under the zoning bylaws, there is a lot of control for municipalities to exercise over any facility that they are questioning. I don't think you have to put it again in Bill 7. I think they should be exempted.

Mr David Johnson: Were you here when the region of Ottawa made its presentation?

Ms Porteous-Koehle: No, I wasn't here.

Mr David Johnson: The presentation they made indicated that they weren't certain that through the planning process that would hold up. Have there been any precedents?

Ms Porteous-Koehle: As far as I know -- because we sited the first one in Etobicoke, and we received great cooperation from the city of Etobicoke to get our Recycle Canada facility up and running. But at the time that we were establishing it three years ago, there wasn't any municipality in the province of Ontario whose bylaw allowed a recycling facility.

They're presently looking at their bylaws to change them to get them in the proper zoned area, but I still don't know of anyone -- I know Etobicoke's probably farther down the tube than anyone. As far as I know, Ottawa would still have control. But they know better than I; they're more intimate with the Ottawa-Carleton act.


Mr David Johnson: The second point you mentioned is enforcement of rules and regulations. You're not suggesting any more rules and regulations for enforcement to be included in here. You're just suggesting the existing ones.

Ms Porteous-Koehle: No, I'm not. I'm saying the 3R regulations are coming down.

Mr David Johnson: I suspect what's happening today is that loads of material are coming in, and I'm trying to recall back a few months ago at Metro council, and probably every load that gets dumped has a piece of cardboard or something like that in. It gets thrown in by mistake or whatever, or somebody may think it's contaminated when it isn't. Who knows? How do you deal with that? Are you really saying zero tolerance, if there's even a little piece of corrugated cardboard?

Ms Porteous-Koehle: Bob's our recycling expert.

Mr David Johnson: How do you deal with that kind of situation?

Mr Webb: A very small amount, I think, should be tolerated, and I say very small.

The Vice-Chair: Would you speak up?

Mr Webb: Okay. I think what's happening at the landfills right now is landfill employees have seen their jobs disappear over the last little while with the reduction in waste going into the landfills. Now if it's starting to reappear, they realize that if they reduce the tolerance level, the waste will disappear again. They're thinking: "If I do that, is my job gone? Let's turn a blind eye to this waste going into the facility, especially recyclables, and keep the volume up." It's basically job protection for the people on the site. It's not that the bans aren't being enforced by the administration.

Ms Porteous-Koehle: When we've gone to the municipalities, Metro and Peel, because they're the two right at the moment who do have these bylaws threatening on the horizon, we've said we'd like to sit down with them as a committee, as an industry, with generators on the panel as well and come up with the zero tolerance, that this message has to get out there in order to let people know that we want recyclables.

We're trying to get this recycling industry at least productive and make a few dollars. But we've got to get the message out, zero tolerance, and then have some sort of appeal process if something comes in, and it's not always just one piece of cardboard you will find. We want to work with them on that.

Mr Tilson: Can I ask a question?

The Vice-Chair: If it's very quick. It's difficult for Mr Tilson, I understand that.

Mr Tilson: Very quickly, Ottawa-Carleton spent almost its entire brief this morning on the issue of permit-by-rule facilities. They are concerned as to whether the system would even work. I'd like to read one brief passage from their brief for your comment.

"The misunderstanding which seems to exist is that permit-by-rule facilities are minor or insignificant. Indeed, a community's entire waste diversion infrastructure could be developed with permit-by-rule facilities.

"For example, a solid waste plan may be developed which determines that small, locally operated, industrial-commercial-institutional composting facilities are better facilities for their community. This type of facility may be more desirable because of lower transportation costs. However, if there is no means of approval for the development of such facilities, it would be possible for one or many private sector operators to establish a large centralized composting facility, contrary to the plan for the overall region and inconsistent with what has been established in the plan as the community's goals in this field."

That seems to be the major crux between the municipalities and what groups such as yours are saying. Could you comment?

Ms Porteous-Koehle: I hear what they're saying.

Mr Webb: At the same time, though, if the municipality wants composting, then what it should do is put the legislation in place to create the atmosphere for people like ourselves and other people in the waste business to build them and let us do it. We'll do it cheaper and we'll do it better for them, but I wouldn't build a composting facility in this market right now because I have no guarantee that you'll have legislation in place to support it, that we'll have the material or that it won't be just allowed back into the landfill at a rate half of what my pro forma originally was based on to build that facility.

We're in that position right now with Recycle Canada. We've built a $26-million facility that was pro forma when waste was at $150 a tonne and there were bans in place at the landfill. There are no bans in place at the landfill for all intents and purposes right now, and Metro Toronto has dropped the disposal fee to $75 a tonne so that pro forma is useless.

Mr Wiseman: I agree with you when you're commenting about Metropolitan Toronto. I've always maintained that anybody who thinks that Metro Toronto is interested in recycling had better take a look at the true motivators for Metro, and that's the financing and the dollars and the money that it makes from Keele Valley and Brock West.

The reason they dropped the dollars per tonne is to attract more waste into it. If you're doing that as your main criterion for making decisions, then you aren't interested in recycling, you're interested in making money out of landfill sites, and that brings me to this question about conflict of interest.

Is it not a conflict of interest for a municipality like Metropolitan Toronto, that is making huge dollars, hundreds of millions of dollars having a landfill, to own, operate and run a landfill site?

Ms Porteous-Koehle: I don't think we can comment on conflicts of interest, Mr Wiseman.

Mr Wiseman: You knew what the next question was then. Would it also not be a conflict of interest for anybody? You see, I get back to the presentation that Mr Brown made about the various levels of tipping fees, and that is, that's one of the areas where you can promote some recycling if it's gone through and all you have is true residue. Should there not be a really low tipping fee, an operational-cost-based tipping fee for residue as opposed to a tipping fee of, say, $150 or $180 a tonne for something that's mixed?

Ms Porteous-Koehle: One should be penalized if one tries to bring in a load that has banned materials in it, but all the municipalities have to do -- I mean, they really have flow control right there at their landfill tipping face -- is not allow banned materials into their landfill. They can get the banned materials out of there if they want to.

Mr Wiseman: I have lots of questions but I'll turn it over to Mr Hayes.

Mr Hayes: On page 3 of your report, you have indicated that you support the amendments from the Ontario Waste Management Association and that you wanted them adopted, but you also ask for four more amendments.

Ms Porteous-Koehle: I'm looking for a fairy godmother.

Mr Hayes: Okay, but what I'm asking you is -- you were part of the consultation and discussion with the Ontario Waste Management Association, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and the Ministry of Environment and Energy -- are you changing your mind on some of these things?

Ms Porteous-Koehle: No. I tried them on them too. I introduced them to them as well and they didn't like my amendments that I suggested at our committee meetings.

Mr Hayes: That's all three didn't like them?

Ms Porteous-Koehle: Yes.

Mr Hayes: Okay. I guess the other question that I have too, is really for Mr Webb. The question about municipalities charging dumping fees as a profit versus reduction, you mentioned about some of the corporations in the States, for example, that pay less to dump their waste.

Mr Webb: Right.

Mr Hayes: But at the same time, we do have other corporations -- I think Toyota is one of them here in Canada -- that maybe there was an incentive for a corporation like that to reduce waste within the facility and right at the source. I think -- I may be corrected on this -- at one time it wasted about 140 pounds -- I think I'm correct -- per vehicle and now it's reduced to seven pounds, I believe it is. Maybe some of the tipping fees give some incentive to some of the corporations rather than just the municipalities.

Mr Webb: There may be --

Mr Hayes: There may be some municipalities that are doing it for profit, but I think at the same time there is some incentive to reduce the waste at the source.

Mr Webb: I'll go back to the Ford Motor Co. The Ford Motor Co generates about 100 pounds of waste per vehicle. They then give that 100 pounds of waste to us and we recycle just in excess of 90 pounds of that waste for them on a daily basis per vehicle. That cost to them is cheaper than the cost of landfilling.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you for appearing before the committee.



The Vice-Chair: The next presenter is the Recycling Council of Ontario. I understand Mr Hanson is here, if you'd take a seat, please. I think you all have received documentation from Mr Hanson. I think you have been here, you know what the format is: 20 minutes, if you would start with your presentation. Please introduce yourself first for the record.

Mr John Hanson: Thank you, Mr Chairman and committee members for this opportunity to comment on Bill 7. My name is John Hanson and I'm the executive director of the Recycling Council of Ontario.

For your background information, the Recycling Council of Ontario is a non-profit corporation broadly representing about 800 members which include municipal governments, resource and manufacturing industries, recycling and waste management companies, environment groups, trade associations and the public.

Members of our council believe that society must minimize its impact on the environment by eliminating waste through reduction, reuse, recycling and composting. To this end, we work cooperatively with all levels of government, industry and the public to share information on developments in our field and also to promote policies and technologies which we believe will most effectively reduce waste.

In 1989, the RCO, along with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Ontario Multi-Material Recycling Inc, was recognized with an environmental award from the United Nations for its part in helping to establish Ontario's blue box program. So we have an ongoing interest in building on this success through the expansion of curbside and industrial-commercial-institutional recovery programs.

My comments today will focus on two aspects of Bill 7, the definition of "waste management system" and the financing of municipal recycling efforts.

We've reviewed the presentations of the Ontario Waste Management Association and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario regarding the public versus private sector responsibilities and flow control, and we believe that the definition of "waste management system" in section 208.1 requires amending to more clearly delineate sectoral responsibility.

The reference to private sector responsibility in section 151(e) of the Regional Municipalities Act, which allows for the provision of "services and facilities for the collection of waste from non-residential properties and residential properties containing more than five dwelling units without the consent of the regional council" is not adequate in the context of section 208.3 of the Municipal Act, which provides regional governments with the power to "provide all or any part of the waste management system in all or any defined area of the local municipality." We believe the clarification of the "waste management system" definition would resolve the ambiguity.

The RCO is sympathetic to the AMO's concern about areas of overlapping responsibilities and its argument that we cannot draw an artificial line between the two sectors. It's true that many municipalities currently provide both recycling and waste disposal services to private sector and multi-unit residential generators. In fact, given the reluctance of many building owners and managers to assume the additional expense of recycling, much of the progress in providing apartments and townhouses and small businesses with recycling can be attributed to municipal investment.

Therefore, it's very important that the definition of a "waste management system," while more clearly delineating public and private roles, be flexible enough to accommodate these current operational realities. I regret that we do not have a suggested amendment to this effect at this time. The RCO believes that dialogue on this issue should be encouraged between municipalities and the private sector.

The AMO has also argued that greater flow control powers are necessary if municipalities are to be held accountable for meeting the government's short- and long-term waste reduction targets of 25% and 50% respectively. While the RCO is supportive of these targets on a province-wide basis, we believe that each sector needs to be responsible for the waste stream in its own area of responsibility, and targets should be set for each sector which will maximize diversion from that sector, using the provincial targets as a minimum. Again, government and industry dialogue to establish these targets must be a priority.

The RCO is highly supportive of the municipal user-fee powers authorized in section 155 of the Regional Municipalities Act. Many jurisdictions in North America and Europe are successfully funding their waste management operations on a user-pay basis, and in many cases the volume and weight-based rates have resulted in increased recycling activity and the reduction in overall garbage generation.

The RCO agrees with the AMO, that paying for waste management from the property tax base does not promote consumer awareness of the costs of purchasing and disposal choices, does not encourage product stewardship or resource conservation. We also agree that user fees should not be the sole means of supporting municipal waste management activities, but that industries must assume product stewardship responsibility by internalizing waste management costs in the purchase price of the products and packages they sell into the marketplace.

We strongly disagree with those municipal politicians who advocate discontinuation of municipal recycling programs on the false premise that secondary markets for blue box materials are inadequate or that recycling programs cost too much. This is not the case. Markets are broadening and strengthening all the time and differentials in the cost of disposal and recycling are not as great as are often quoted. In some cases, recycling even costs less and concerted efforts are being made to address long-term financing issues.

In closing, we view Bill 7 as an important step to ensuring that upper-tier governments accord waste reduction and recycling the same priority as garbage collection and disposal, that financing of waste management systems will be made more explicit in the future. That concludes my comments. Thank you very much for the opportunity.

Mrs Fawcett: On page 2, when you talked about the inadequacy of the context of section 208 of the Municipal Act, I wonder if you could just expand a little more on your concerns there and why you really feel that. It was my understanding that AMO didn't really find too much of a problem with that, or maybe I misunderstood its stand.

Mr Hanson: No, and I think the problem is with the private sector which is not willing to make further investment, unless that's clarified, to limit the powers of government.

Mrs Fawcett: As it stands, then, you feel that this could create a real problem down the road in trying to carry out what the bill would say.

Mr Hanson: Yes, we do.

Mrs Fawcett: The presenters just before you really felt that the municipalities were weakening their stand on recycling. I'm just wondering if part of the problem is their own cutbacks in transfer payments coming to them, and that the municipalities are in a real financial crunch. Maybe they would like to continue the recycling but they really feel strapped because in fact -- and I know certainly around organic waste they're really worried and concerned about how they're going to deal with all of that.

Mr Hanson: Yes, we're very sympathetic to the financial constraints that municipalities have with regard to funding for many different areas. It's one of the reasons that we're so supportive of the user-pay powers authorized under these amendments.


Mrs Fawcett: Do you feel there might be an added cost, though, with administration, if they bring in full user-pay? Are we creating another level here of further costs, especially if, as one presenter suggested, they're going to remove some of the tax because now there are going to be user fees? I really wonder how that's all going to work.

Mr Hanson: In terms of implementing user fees, obviously there's a tremendous amount of public opposition, as we saw in Peterborough when Peterborough polled its citizens on whether they would accept that kind of program. It can only be done, I believe, if there's a clear understanding that it's not going to be a double tax.

A number of municipalities are now breaking out their waste management costs on the tax assessments so that if and when user fees are implemented, they can be shown as a reduction on the tax assessment. I think the public education around the implementation of user fees is very important. Certainly, there would be some administrative costs associated with this program. We believe the benefits would outweigh the costs.

Mr David Johnson: In many regards I think this is probably a very realistic and workable sort of proposal you put forward. You have suggested that each sector should be responsible for its own waste stream. What sectors do you envisage? Obviously, there's municipal. Are you talking about industrial, commercial?

Mr Hanson: Under the regulations that take effect under Bill 143 on August 1, there are nine sectors -- I guess 10 if you include municipalities -- anything from the food service industries to construction demolition companies to hospitals and institutions, schools and that sort of thing. I would suggest the breakdown would be along those same lines.

Mr David Johnson: So the municipalities would not have the responsibility for meeting the target for any of the other nine sectors then.

Mr Hanson: Right.

Mr David Johnson: You mention North America and Europe in terms of the user-pay. The question I asked earlier to another deputant was, had that deputant worked out what you would have to pay by bag, I suppose, to meet the full costs of a waste management system? Has the RCO worked out such a figure? Secondly, could you be more specific where in Europe, for example, and perhaps the United States, they've used a user-pay system in a larger urban centre?

Mr Hanson: To answer your first question first, the communities that are running user-pay programs right now generally charge somewhere in the neighbourhood of $1 per bag, and a bag of garbage can weigh anywhere from two pounds to 30 pounds depending on what's in it. So it's difficult to say on a per-container basis.

There are programs in Europe. The German programs are very widespread. Most of Germany operates on a system where you rent a standard container from your municipality and are billed for that container, so you're limited in terms of what you can put out each week. If you want extra containers, then you have to purchase those or rent them from the municipality.

Mr David Johnson: Does the revenue generated cover the cost of the waste management system as a whole? One dollar a bag wouldn't make a dent in it. It would be minimal revenue by comparison with the cost.

Mr Hanson: Actually, it does. The waste management systems in Ontario can cost anywhere from $100 to $200 per household. If you figure that a household puts out a couple of bags of garbage per week, you're generating $100 per year in those fees. But as we're saying, we don't believe user-pay should be the sole means of paying for municipal waste management services. We're strong supporters of product stewardship on behalf of industry.

Mr Wiseman: In order for the recycling to be really bought into by all the partners, it has to be profitable to them in some way. I'm a little worried that when you make flow control or you develop municipal-wide systems that everybody has to be part of, you lose out in terms of the flexibility of somebody being able to be innovative.

For example, if I were a restaurant owner, I would not want to have my options restricted to either a commercial or the region picking up my waste, because I know out there right now that there is a company that is making a stainless steel composter that would eliminate my waste at a very economic rate for me as an entrepreneur. I could buy it or I could rent it, but I could pay for it in about seven or eight months in terms of my tipping fees. I wouldn't want that option to be lost to people who are being innovative and creative.

My question to you is, how do you do that in terms of product flow control or permit-by-rule and all of these other things people are talking about? How do you maintain that kind of flexibility at the same time as making sure that we attain our goals?

Mr Hanson: I'll start by saying that I agree with you entirely. I think much of the innovation in our field has come from private sector companies. We are supportive of maintaining the current breakdown of responsibilities between the sectors, but there are all these grey areas. For example, the city of Toronto picks up glass and other materials from restaurants within it's borders, so as the amendments are written, as we interpret them, it would give municipalities the authority to keep that responsibility within their own jurisdiction. We would be concerned about that.

Mr Wiseman: But if they're creaming the best, the most saleable products, if the municipalities are doing that, what's left over in terms of, how do you market the very difficult stuff? One suggestion has been that you shouldn't market, that you should give it away to companies to use.

Mr Hanson: I think if that there are materials within the waste stream that bear an inordinately high cost to recover or dispose of, those products should be contributing their share to whoever's collecting them; the costs should be internalized into the purchase price of those products, this being the basis for product stewardship.

It's in fact consistent with what has been proposed by the Grocery Products Manufacturers of Canada, that after three years, depending on what the operational costs are for running a system, they would have differential rates for the different materials they're selling into the marketplace. That's, I think, a very unique proposal, and we're certainly supportive in principle.

If I could just come back to your comment about somebody having to make money from recycling, we look at other essential public services, like snow removal and sewage, etc, and these are not always profit-making undertakings.

Mr Wiseman: But that's the view of the municipalities with respect to recycling. They've got to make money from it or they won't do it.

Mr Hanson: Yes. I think that is the view. For that reason, we are very supportive of the government's regulations that say if you're over 5,000 population, you have to recycle this specified schedule of materials, because we view recycling as just as essential as waste collection and disposal.

Mr Hayes: Just really quickly, from your very good presentation, I gather that you are actually in favour of this bill except that you're requiring a couple of clarifications, definitions of roles and responsibilities. I think that's really what I am getting from your presentation.

Mr Hanson: Yes, but I guess I would say that's the most problematic, that the initial definition of "waste management system" is probably the most problematic aspect of the whole bill, in our estimation.

Mr Hayes: I notice you touched on the educational part, but the Association of Municipal Recycling Coordinators had in its report a fairly lengthy list of things for public education. Do you support that effort? That is something we need to encourage people to understand, I suppose, more so the need to reduce the waste.

Mr Hanson: We are very concerned about public perceptions about what is happening in Ontario. We've been very involved in the development of recycling since the late 1970s, and we're very aware of the incredible investments that are being made by the private sector. Domtar is investing $200 million in its technology to turn boxboard into writing paper. There are many, many examples of investments and markets strengthening and broadening and new material markets emerging, yet the overall perception in the public is that recycling is not working, that we are having to send materials to disposal.

I saw in the Metro Toronto business magazine that came out a quote that millions and millions of tonnes of curbside recyclable materials are going to disposal. We only picked up about half a million tonnes in Ontario last year and less than 5% of that actually went to disposal. The rest was successfully marketed. The reason there are these misperceptions is that the media like to sensationalize problems, and there have obviously been some significant problems as demand has failed to keep pace with supply. There will be, obviously, problems as new materials are added and markets are in an imbalanced situation.

We feel it's very important to provide the public with better information about what's happening, hopefully to get a little more responsible coverage from the media.

If I could just make one point about education, most people think that we are recycling in order to avoid disposal and to save landfill capacity, when in fact only about 1.4% of the waste associated with the products that we use and consume is municipal solid waste. The other 98.6% is primary resource wastes like mine tailings and slag and sludges and things, and that's the real reason that we need not just to recycle but to reduce. That's why public education is so important and it is why the municipal role in recycling is a very important link in the chain that shouldn't be broken.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much for your presentation, Mr Hanson. We will now stand recessed until --

Mr Tilson: Mr Chairman, I have two points of order I'd like to speak on. The first point of order is that in most of the committees that I've sat on, there is a rotation as to questions from the three parties. I noticed that you've been starting with the Liberals and ending with the government. I would just ask that you would consider --

The Vice-Chair: We'll rotate; that's fine with me.

Mr Tilson: Yes. The second point of order is that I didn't time it precisely, but I'm fairly certain that the government had considerably more time on that last round of questions than either the Conservatives or the Liberals. I know you're doing your best to be unbiased, but I know that both Ms Fawcett and --

Mr Mammoliti: On that point of order, Mr Chair --

The Vice-Chair: Just let Mr Tilson finish his point of order. I was a little bit flexible, I admit that, because we had a little bit more time than usual, and I may not have been quite to the second for each caucus. I admit that.

Mr Tilson: You're doing a fine job, Mr Chairman. I just ask that you'd consider that in the future.

Mr David Johnson: I think we should give Mr Tilson 10 extra minutes.

Mr Tilson: Absolutely.

Mr Hayes: I have a point, Mr Chair.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Hayes. I don't think it's a very serious point, but Mr Hayes.

Mr Hayes: Within the spirit of cooperation, I suggest that, even though you have done a terrific job on chairing this committee, we'll give Mr Tilson an extra minute this afternoon.

The Vice-Chair: We will. We will if he's here this afternoon.

Mr Tilson: Oh, yes.

The Vice-Chair: Okay, we stand adjourned until 4 o'clock.

The committee recessed from 1154 to 1603.

The Vice-Chair: Could we please begin the afternoon's proceedings, as we have a full agenda. I ask you to take your seats, please.


The Vice-Chair: The next delegation is the city of North York. The mayor is here, if you would take your seat up front, and your delegation, whoever would like to sit with you. I'm sure you're familiar with the procedure. It's 20 minutes, and normally we leave some time for questions and answers; I hope you will as well. Perhaps for the record, even though most of us of course know you, you would introduce yourself for Hansard and introduce your delegation as well.

Mr Mel Lastman: Thank you very much, Mr Chairman. My name is Mel Lastman. To my right is Paul Sutherland, deputy mayor of the city of North York; to my left is Councillor Milton Berger and our commissioner of public works, Alan Wolfe. I want to thank you very much for having us. I hope my five minutes hasn't -- it hasn't yet started; okay.

The city of North York right now is paying $85 a tonne for picking up garbage, versus $205 a tonne for the blue box. This was a program that was introduced to us. We were brought into it through Metro, it was a Metro program, and North York was the second-last of all the Metro municipalities to get on the program. For North York to take over this program is going to cost $5 million, total cost, in year one. North York will be forced to increase taxes in 1994 by $5 million, and we're quite concerned. Metro is going to save about $15 million or $20 million. Are they going to reduce their taxes by that $15 million or $20 million? I don't know, and I don't think so.

OMMRI and the province have contributed many millions of dollars to assist Metro with the blue box program. From 1986 to 1990, OMMRI gave Metro $20 million to assist it with the program; from 1990 to 1994, $45 million, of which OMMRI only ended up giving them $11.5 million. I understand that OMMRI owes Metro money now that it has not yet paid.

The province appears to be backing out of helping to pay the cost. Where they helped Metro, now it appears as if the entire cost will be dumped on the local municipality. There's no way we can afford it and we don't know if the blue box is the way to go. Curbside blue box is the most expensive way of operating. Metro has been criticized many times by the province for having a Cadillac service for day care. Well, let me tell you, if that's a Cadillac service, this is a Cadillac service too, the blue box. It's a very, very expensive way to operate.

The city of Calgary just recently had the blue box, but it switched to a city-wide depot system, bins at designated shopping centres and parking lots, and reduced its costs by 75%. Their people are very happy with it. I'm not saying we want to go that route; in fact, that's the least of any route I would even consider.

A great job has been done on selling the blue box, but we can't afford the blue box. Soon I don't think anyone will. Eighty-five per cent of the households are using the blue box right now and a lot of people feel they're making a great contribution; that's terrific and that's why people are using it. If recycling is abandoned by anybody -- and I agree that you can't abandon it, because we'll never get those people back, we'll never get them to recycle again.

Our intention is not to eliminate recycling but to find a better and less costly way of doing it. We have to come up with a viable alternative. There are ideas out there, and one of the ideas we want to explore is colour-coded bags, for example, white for newspaper, blue for plastic, pink for glass or whatever. People would put their garbage out either in their garbage cans or in their green garbage bags.

North York would also like the option of collecting blue box every two weeks and possibly still have two garbage pickups a week. Picking up garbage and recyclables at the same time may be the only way to find big savings, because right now we're sending out our garbage trucks, they pick up the garbage, then along comes a blue box truck, it picks up the blue box. It means a lot of vehicles and a lot of people, and we just can't afford it.

We're very concerned also about something that is being introduced: user fees. It's just another way of taxing, and our taxpayers are already paying a user fee by paying their taxes. The user fee is in their taxes, and we don't want to see -- our taxpayers can't afford any more new taxes. Neither can yours.

New Brunswick has a deposit refund program for glass and plastic bottles, metal cans, juice cartons and pouches, drinking boxes and foil lid cups. I don't know what the province is doing about giving incentives to companies to set up recycling. I know in the United States there's a lot of this going on. There are a lot of companies being set up to recycle. We don't have nearly enough.

For beer bottles and beer cans they have a deposit system. You can go to any park in North York, any ravine in North York, and you're not going to find beer bottles and you're not going to find beer cans, but you're going to find a lot of pop cans and liquor bottles. The province has to legislate a deposit system for the LCBO products and for pop cans, juice cartons and pouches, drink boxes and other food and beverage containers. I don't know why the province is not legislating the LCBO to put a deposit on their bottles.


Mr Chairman, members of the committee, we don't want to be pushed into using something that we can't afford, because we think we can find something better and less expensive. We feel you should give us the opportunity to find a viable alternative, because we just can't afford the blue box. We hope you won't treat us any differently than you are the other municipalities in the province of Ontario.

Let us do what's in the best interests of our taxpayers. We are the experts in garbage collection, so we'd like to have the freedom to choose what works best for our community. We shouldn't be forced to do it Metro's way if we know there is a better way. We don't need Metro dictating to us that the blue box is the only way to go. That's our biggest fear, because it completely ties our hands. We can't have Metro regulating our every move. Metro councillors are not as accountable as we are to our taxpayers.

In the past, we have had some difficulties with Metro's use of power; for example, the advance tax levy date, where the province -- previous governments; when I say "the province," I don't necessarily mean this government -- gave them the legislation that they can demand payment within 10 days. Well, they took advantage of that, and the first year, in 1992, it cost us $2.2 million to pay Metro earlier.

Today, we're forced to borrow $100 million from our reserves to cover property taxes that we have not yet received from our taxpayers. We only get 16% of the taxes; 84% has to be given to the school board and to Metro. There is no sympathy there; there's no feeling there. The local municipalities are getting into trouble because companies are going broke, in bankruptcy, and you can't do anything while they're in bankruptcy and we have to wait three years. There are area residents who don't want to pay their taxes because of MVA and a host of other things, or they can't because they haven't got work.

We just couldn't talk to Metro. We had a rough time trying to get our message across, and we couldn't: "If these things took place, how could we work together?" We found it was very difficult; it was impossible.

We found that as soon as Metro got some planning powers, it needlessly delayed -- like the bridge home development project, a huge project, that could get housing going, get development going, get jobs going in the construction industry, and they delayed that project for one year. They delayed for two years a plan to revitalize our dormant industrial areas. We're sitting with 14 million square feet of empty industrial space, and that means 20,000 jobs; it means about $15 million a year in taxes. They stalled us around for two years. We're very concerned about this, and we finally got it through two weeks ago.

I'm throwing in an extra thing here. Metro does want to take over local planning of major developments, as you know, and our official plans. Well, I'm not going to go into this. Every time they use their authority, it closes off viable options, and the same is going to hold true with the blue box program, because you're telling us how to pick it up, through Metro, telling us what to pick up and how to dispose of it.

I also have articles here from Calgary about how great their program is and how well it's working. I have here about the blue bag, how well that's working and how well it could work. There's been a study funded by the ministry, by the provincial government of Ontario, showing that there's less breakage, it recovers more glass, it's easy to store, bags can be recycled, it's easier to carry, especially for seniors. It's used right now in 30 million homes.

Here is another program in New Brunswick, how they're getting deposits on all different types of products, plastics and everything else. There's an engineering study that backs up some of the things.

There's also a letter here from the Metro commissioner of works saying that after the first five years they will test other methods, such as the bag program. It's never been done.

All we want is some freedom to be able to operate, freedom to be able to test other methods, freedom to be able to use those other methods if they work and if they work to everyone's advantage.

Thank you very much. If there are any questions, I'll be happy to answer them.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much, Mayor Lastman, for your presentation. In accordance with the wishes of the committee, we're starting a different rotation; it's the turn of the Conservatives.

Mr David Johnson: Mel, as I understand it, what the bill contemplates is the user-pay system that you commented on. It looks as if what's contemplated is that the regional municipality, in this case Metro, would charge the local municipalities by the tonne perhaps for their garbage -- I see some heads nodding at the back -- and then the local municipalities, in this case North York, could impose a user fee on the citizens of North York to foot the bill to pay the regional government and also to offset costs locally. That's perhaps how the thing would work. I think I know your sentiments, but maybe you could comment on what your view is of that sort of scheme.

Mr Lastman: The taxpayers are already paying a user fee, and this is nothing else but another means of taxation. We can't afford another means of taxation right now, David. Our taxpayers are crying. They've had enough. They can't take any more. Metro definitely, as you know, is very strong on a user fee. They will charge us, and I don't think we can charge our taxpayers a user fee today.

Mr David Johnson: I guess what's being said is that there would be a corresponding reduction in the taxes. This is the line that's being fed, that if you put in the user fee, then you would take it off the tax rate.

Mr Lastman: I have never seen a government take something off once it puts it on, any government.

Mr David Johnson: I think a lot of us would share that opinion around here.

One thing you didn't mention -- the point is made in your submission, but you didn't mention it -- is the authority of Metro to assume all the waste management responsibilities. The way the bill is structured at present is that Metro, simply by a vote, could assume every aspect of waste collection within the city of North York, including collection.

Mr Lastman: That's what I was doing here, crying to you that we're afraid of that. We're afraid that if it passes that way, we are in bad trouble. You haven't done that for any other region outside of Metro. That's why I hope you will not treat us differently. We found they're very difficult to talk to, like what they did to us. Toronto's out borrowing all kinds of money for the first time in the history of Toronto, because people aren't paying their taxes, because it has to pay the school board and Metro within 10 days whether it collects it or not.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Johnson. I'm sorry, we have to be a bit tighter with the time this afternoon. Mr Mammoliti.

Mr Mammoliti: Mel, I like the tie, by the way. I'm wondering if you can maybe give it to me on your way out.

Mr Lastman: Beg pardon?

Mr Mammoliti: I like the tie. I want it.

Mr Lastman: Thank you.

Mr Mammoliti: I've listened carefully to your statement and I too agree that we in some ways have been bullied by Metro in North York. I say "we" because I live in North York. I agree with some of the statements you've made.

From what I gather, because you didn't mention anything about any other area in the legislation, I'm assuming that you're happy with everything except perhaps an area that isn't as clear as it should be, in terms of local autonomy and giving North York the ability to make some decisions. I'd like you to be a little more specific, if possible, and tell the government right now, put it on record, where you think the changes should be in terms of any amendments to give you the authority that you would want.

Mr Lastman: I was only coming down here to speak about the blue box. Councillor Sutherland has the other areas that he will be covering.

The Vice-Chair: Perhaps I should remind everybody that there are about two minutes for each caucus, so very quickly, Councillor Sutherland, please.


Mr Paul Sutherland: Let me start with that, and then I'll come back to an overview if I can, quickly, after that.

Basically, what we'd like to see is that there be an amendment, which is at section 150 of the legislation, that Metropolitan Toronto could only assume a waste management power from the area municipalities if 50% of the councils of the area municipalities representing 50% of the population of Metropolitan Toronto agree to the assumption.

In other words, this legislation says local municipalities are responsible, except that in the case of Metropolitan Toronto, because of what I hope is an oversight, it says it can simply pass a bylaw that gives it full authority over all waste management in Metropolitan Toronto without any consultation with the local cities. We obviously think, for all the reasons the mayor just pointed out, and others, and just from a practical point of view -- you'll see from the submission from all six works commissioners from the six municipalities -- that there are technical problems with that.

What we're saying is, look, if they want to be involved in waste management and we're involved in waste management, there has to be an agreement by the majority of people in this city with Metro with that bylaw, whatever it is that it adopts. We think that with that mandate we'll get a good system that's reasonable and fair. We just feel that's very important.

Mr Mammoliti: Would you be able to put some language together for us, or have you already done that?

Mr Paul Sutherland: The amendment would simply be that. Actually, you could add a clause (c), if you want me to be even more specific, to the legislation under section 150 that basically says in the case --

Mr Mammoliti: Which section of the bill?

Mr Paul Sutherland: The section in the legislation, the Regional Municipalities Act, is section 150.

The Vice-Chair: I don't think the members of the committee have received the submission yet. You will be getting a submission from the city.

Mr Paul Sutherland: In effect, we're saying that at least three city councils representing 50% or a majority of the people living in Metropolitan Toronto would have to agree with the implementation of a waste management program. If an agreement can't be met, the legislation says that as a city we're responsible for doing it. We will do it if the legislation says that.

From the government's point of view, presumably, from this committee's point of view, you're still protected in the sense of implementing the legislation. I think that's the critical part you're interested in. How we do it is something best decided by the municipalities and Metropolitan Toronto.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much. Just to clarify, this submission that was just distributed, is this on behalf of the city as well or on behalf of the --

Mr Alan Wolfe: If I could comment, this is a submission from the commissioners of public works from the area municipalities. It represents our personal opinions. It has not been endorsed by any council, though I think it reflects what the councils have endorsed.

Mr Paul Sutherland: I do have the motion here that I could submit to you afterwards. I don't have enough copies for everybody here, but I do have the one --

The Vice-Chair: That would be appreciated. If you'd leave it with the clerk, please, it will be distributed.

We're now moving to the official opposition. I understand, since we have some visitors, Mrs Caplan would like to ask a question.

Mrs Elinor Caplan (Oriole): Actually, I don't have a question. I just want to say, as a member from the city of North York, that I think this is a very positive proposal that's been put forward by the mayor and the councillors, both Sutherland and Berger, and I see Councillor Rizzo here as well. If the government will consider favourably what is being put forward, especially given the advice of the commissioners of all six municipalities, it will make the system work better. I just want to say how hopeful I am that the government will listen to you.

Mr Milton Berger: I just want to add that we're asking not to be stepchildren of the province. That's all we are. At the present time, as the bill is written, the people in municipalities in Metro are stepchildren. You put that protection in for other regions in Ontario, saying you have to have 50% of the population, at least three of the municipalities, in agreement with the region. And by the way, they sit on the regional councils; they can debate and argue right on the councils. We are not sitting on those councils, just on the one council, so our hands are tied more so than theirs, yet the bill is reversed.

I'm hoping that the bill, whoever wrote it, was written this way by mistake, that it should have been the opposite way, because it doesn't make sense that those who sit on the regional council -- on both councils -- can argue and debate on their council and vote against it, yet those of us who sit on municipalities here in Metropolitan Toronto have no seats on Metropolitan council, except the mayors. Our hands are tied. They say, "You have no input."

We are not asking for more than you have proposed for the other municipalities in Ontario, to other regions. Give us the same right; nothing else.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much for your comments, and thank you, the delegation from North York, the mayor in particular, for your presentation. We appreciate your contribution.

Mrs Caplan: Mr Chairman, one of the things the mayor didn't do, because I know how modest he is, is to say that the city of North York has been a leader in environmental issues. I can remember from my days on North York council, the environmental committee; I know Councillor Berger particularly has been very active in that. I know they're here today because of their commitment to the environment and to these programs, and I hope the government will heed their advice.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you again for coming before the committee.

Could we please have conversations outside, because we are already behind schedule. Could we have some order, please.


The Vice-Chair: The next presenting group is the Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy and the Canadian Environmental Law Association. Are the presenters in the audience? Would you please introduce yourselves for the record.

Ms Anne Mitchell: My name is Anne Mitchell. I am the executive director of the Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy, or CIELAP as it's called. I have with me Zen Makuch, on my left, who's counsel with the Canadian Environmental Law Association and is part of the CIELAP waste management research team. I also have with me, on my right, Mark Winfield, who is CIELAP's director of research. Zen and Mark are the ones who have worked on the presentation that's going to be made to you today.

We welcome the opportunity to meet with you today. Both CIELAP and CELA have been actively involved in the development of waste management policy at all three levels of government in Canada. We've also written many papers and we've sponsored many conferences and workshops.

Our work in waste management includes A Regulatory Agenda for Solid Waste Management, which was produced for Metro Toronto, describing the use of regulation to reduce municipal solid waste; Breaking the Barriers, a study of legislative and economic barriers to industrial waste reduction and recycling; and more recently, we hosted a conference on solid waste management in Ontario called Looking Back and Looking Ahead. We brought together a research team for that project and prepared a background paper which was distributed to participants. The proceedings of the conference were also published and CIELAP prepared its own nine-point action plan for municipal solid waste diversion in Ontario.

These documents have been put together into the document Looking Back and Looking Ahead: Municipal Solid Waste Management in Ontario from the 1983 Blueprint to 50% Diversion in the Year 2000. This document and copies of it are available from the CIELAP offices. We are currently working on a background paper on product stewardship models, with the intention of developing a draft product stewardship regulation for Ontario.

As you can see, we have done extensive work in the area of waste management. We are therefore pleased to be here today and to have the opportunity to make our views known to you.

In reviewing Bill 7, we were pleased that there are a number of positive aspects. These include the power to establish, maintain and operate a waste management system, including services and facilities for the reduction, reuse and recycling of waste; second, the power to establish fees for the use of any part of a waste management system; third, the power to provide all or any part of the waste management system in a local municipality; fourth, the power to permit upper-tier municipalities to charge lower-tier municipalities for waste management services; and fifth, the power to prohibit or regulate the dumping, treatment and discharge of wastes at a waste management facility.

We know that the municipal powers provisions proposed in the bill are generally consistent with some of the recommendations that were in CIELAP's nine-point plan. We do, however, have some areas of specific concern, and I'm now going to ask my colleagues to participate in this presentation.


Mr Zen Makuch: Thank you, Anne. The fact that all of you are here today while your federal counterparts are off in parts unknown is not lost on the citizens of Ontario.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much. I hope you spread the word.

Mr Makuch: Appreciating the time of day, I'm not going to drag you through a 16-page brief word by word, so I'll try to hit the high points.

But first let me explain that what our association does is law reform exercises of the kind that are facing you, in addition to representing clients in environmental matters, and we've dealt with our fair share of landfill cases through private prosecutions and nuisance actions. Believe you me, the last thing that Ontarians need is more landfills.

It seems to me that this bill carries the modernization of waste management forward in important ways and that in particular the present government has been responsible for some fairly significant reforms in that area, and it's to be congratulated for it.

The genesis of this bill owes itself in part to discussion paper number 2, which was released some time ago and which goes perhaps a little further than the bill itself does. I'd have to admit that we would state a preference for the far-reaching approach taken in that discussion paper, and I'll explain to you in particular what measures we feel are missing from the bill which we would like to see included in clause-by-clause, but first a discussion of the controversy around waste management systems and what that will be defined as ultimately in Bill 7.

I'd call all of your attention to the fact that a small amendment to the definition itself should take place to include more than one disposal site in the definition of "waste management system." That was perhaps a small oversight of the drafters of the legislation, and you'll see what I mean by that if you refer to the brief.

On the issue of whether or not we should be using an inclusive definition of "waste management system," one which includes private waste management systems in addition to public waste management systems, we fall on the side of the municipalities. We support an inclusive definition. It seems to us that if we're going to adequately give municipalities the opportunity to implement comprehensive waste management plans, then that must require the regulation of private waste management systems as well.

On the issue of flow control, I think that the position we take is a related one. You can't have adequate flow control powers unless that inclusive definition is in place. Presently, several forms of municipal organization don't have adequate flow control, and Bill 7 allows that to take place.

One thing that's also clear is that the province is setting very ambitious targets for waste reduction and, in that regard, municipalities will be asked to toe the line, and Bill 7 does that. But if we're to achieve it, then expanded flow control powers are a way of doing that.

On the issue of tipping fees in connection with flow control matters, it seems to me that one of the better illustrations of the flow control problem is one in which tipping fees would be regulated for municipal landfills but not private landfills. If that situation were permitted to exist, then recycling materials may very well end up in private landfills which may take a competitive advantage of a lower tip fee, and that's why we need an inclusive definition of "waste management system."

One of the better examples of no flow control and what that means is the incredibly large amount of garbage that's being exported to the United States. I think that in the greater Toronto area alone last year $1.2 billion was lost as a result of exports. If we had proper flow control management, chances are that would decrease significantly.

On the issue of private versus public waste operators, it seems to me that the status quo is something that is to be encouraged, in the sense that both public and private waste companies sectors have played a valuable role and will continue to do so in the future. It's just a question of the integration of those roles in implementing Bill 7.

With respect to municipal approvals for recycling sites, we can't side with the Ontario Waste Management Association in its suggestion that municipalities not have powers of regulation concerning recycling sites. What we saw take place under the regulations to Bill 143, the Waste Management Act, was in effect a deregulation of those sites by moving from the certificate-of- approval approach to a permit-by-rule approach. We feel that represented diminished opportunities for ensuring the environmental standards that are needed at these facilities and diminished opportunities for community involvement, so to deregulate even further, as the OWMA advocates, is counterintuitive from our perspective.

Some smaller points: There is a provision in the bill that calls for an Ontario Municipal Board hearing. That's subsection 208.3(4). It allows only a 10-day notice period before an Ontario Municipal Board hearing takes place. It's not an adequate amount of time for the parties to prepare, so out of fairness to all the parties we'd suggest a 30-day rule, which is more typical of notice provisions for Ontario Municipal Board hearings.

On the issue of inspection powers, a close look at that reveals that by comparison to other provincial legislation the powers that are being given to municipal inspectors are not as comprehensive. For that reason, if you look at our brief, you'll notice that we would like to include four powers reserved for municipal inspectors in the future, some as basic as requiring the production of documents related to the purposes of the inspection. We would suggest those as amendments.

Moving on to the financial issues, one of the big concerns that we had when the Initiatives Paper was first released was that the province was without a sound financial management plan in connection with the extension of powers to municipalities over 3Rs. We still haven't seen a financial plan which encourages the integration of provincial and municipal efforts, and yet we're seeing the delegation of authorities regarding 3Rs activities to municipalities.

What we would encourage the province to do immediately is to provide some idea of how municipalities might be assisted in implementing 3Rs. One way of doing that is through the introduction of a product stewardship model, which I understand the minister is most high on and would like to see right away.

In consideration of the time, I think I'll leave it to you to review the rest of our suggestions by way of amendments. Finally, I would like to thank all of you for the opportunity to speak to these issues. I believe we can handle some questions now.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much. The government caucus, Mr Hayes, two minutes.

Mr Hayes: Two minutes? I will ask a short question then. Do you support the user fees as a means of achieving greater waste reduction -- not the means but a means?

Mr Mark Winfield: Yes.

Mr Hayes: You do? Okay. The Ontario Waste Management Association has stated that the flow control provisions will result in a loss of investment in the 3Rs infrastructure. Are you concerned that this investment will dry up? Where will government find the money?

Mr Winfield: It would depend on the way in which the municipalities chose to exercise the power. Some people have argued that, on the other hand, the opposite effect could occur, that the clarification of roles and responsibilities for the development of infrastructure which had occurred through the establishment of municipal flow control powers might actually provide a clearer framework within which investments could be made, because hopefully it would provide some sort of clearer delineation of private sector and municipal roles and then allow municipalities to make the investments they need to make and also give private sector investors an idea of where they should be putting their money.


Mr Makuch: Just to follow up on that, it seems to me that the province has a role in terms of dealing with those types of financial issues. They certainly have the regulatory power to do so. One way of achieving that is through a product stewardship model, and we're actively involved in the development of such a model.

Mr Hayes: Do I have time left?

The Vice-Chair: One quick one.

Mr Hayes: One quick one, okay. I'd like to hear your comments on GPMC, its model.

Mr Winfield: The model was very interesting and we are pleased to see that GPMC has accepted the principle of product stewardship. We have some specific concerns which will be reflected in the results of our research, which will be forthcoming shortly, in terms of the actual extent of support to municipal recycling programs which would be provided.

At the moment, what GPMC is offering is a top-up formula above the avoided costs of disposal to municipalities, minus provincial grants, minus revenue. Frankly, we think that producers should be playing a larger role in the financing of blue box system operations.

On the one hand, I think it's encouraging that GPMC has at least accepted the principle and is prepared to put something on the table, but I think we need to think through precisely how it would work in more detail.

Mr Ron Eddy (Brant-Haldimand): I thank the representatives for their presentation and their very helpful and useful suggestions. It will be very helpful to the committee, particularly the point about requiring the province to establish a financial plan showing municipalities where the province will be assisting financially. That's something the Liberal caucus has pointed out several times, the lack of it. Indeed, it's very necessary, and thank you for pointing it out.

My one question is regarding the matter at the bottom of page 4, a similar dynamic regarding the tremendous export of garbage, which has always worried me because I wondered what's happening to it. It's "over there," as someone said, but it is a concern.

Tremendous lost revenue of $1.2 billion for 1992 for the greater Toronto area. It's just astounding, isn't it? You say the lost revenue could be directly applied to construction of municipal 3R infrastructure, but it's my understanding that most tipping fees are put into reserve for replacement or additional landfill capacity. Would you like to comment on that for me?

Mr Winfield: Both the institute and CELA have made proposals regarding the use of municipal tipping fees. Our general position is that we would like to see them tied more to real costs in some sort of way so there would be some dedication of tip fee revenues to waste management operations first, but also in support of the development of the 3R infrastructure and activities as well.

The Vice-Chair: Now, Mr Tilson, and since we owe the Conservative Party one minute, you'll have three minutes.

Mr Tilson: Wonderful, Mr Chairman. A little noise will get you a long way.

This question of the absence of a sound financial plan has been raised by many, if not all, of the delegations as a major concern, as it was with the Bill 143 hearings as we went through Bill 143. We were promised a financial plan and have yet to receive one. My question is to the parliamentary assistant. Having heard this concern week after week --

The Vice-Chair: I'm sorry, but that would not be in order. If you want to address the question -- you can put it on the record, yes.

Mr Tilson: Surely I have the right, Mr Chairman, to ask the parliamentary assistant what the government's position is on when it intends to put forward a financial plan so that this committee can do its work. Are you telling me I don't have that right?

The Vice-Chair: You have the right to put the question on the record, but certainly --

Mr Tilson: He doesn't have to answer it; I know that. He probably won't, but I'm simply --

The Vice-Chair: We are in the process of receiving delegations and of getting comments from the delegations.

Mr Tilson: Let's try him; maybe he will.

Ms Mitchell: You're using up our time.

The Vice-Chair: If the delegation is willing to --

Ms Mitchell: Do we have anything to say?

The Vice-Chair: Yes, you have. Do you want to respond to this?

Mr Tilson: Mr Chairman, my question is to the parliamentary assistant.

The Vice-Chair: As I indicated, this would not be in order. We are in the process of receiving comments from presenters and from delegations and there are questions for clarification or additions from presenters.

Mr Tilson: One of the concerns I have is that there are many municipalities, particularly in rural areas that I represent that do not have, for example, the blue box program. They don't have recycling plans at all, and of course when you get into the cost of transfer stations, trucks and all the costs that it takes to put forward these things, if Bill 7 is implemented, I guess my question is the financial strain, particularly on the smaller municipalities that don't have the resources to implement some of these plans that could be mandated by the larger overall municipality, particularly in the county system where they could be put in a very difficult position. Have you canvassed that issue?

Mr Winfield: The powers in Bill 7 itself are permissive so they don't actually compel -- there are compulsive components in terms of moving responsibility upwards to the upper-tier municipalities. The actual exercise of the powers themselves, they're permissive powers. They don't actually require municipalities to exercise the powers themselves.

In terms of imposing actual new operational requirements on municipalities, I think what you would look for there are the proposed regulations under Bill 143, which would require communities with over 5,000 residents to establish blue box programs or something similar. There is a burden being imposed on municipalities there and one which -- you're quite right -- I think may be particularly difficult for small and rural municipalities to deal with. I think that comes back to the question of financial roles and responsibilities in the waste management system in terms of how that infrastructure development will be financed and where the province wants to go on that.

Mr Tilson: With the extra minute that I had earned, perhaps you could give some of your thoughts as to recommendations to the government. I have perused what you've said on the issue of finances on page 11, but could you elaborate somewhat on your thoughts on that issue?

Mr Makuch: I think that two of the issues we've raised in the paper that need to be dealt with immediately are the export issue and certainly some form of product stewardship model, because we expect that a product stewardship model will result in the development of necessary revenues to assist municipalities in implementing 3Rs programs.

On the export side, we believe it's well within the power of the province to regulate in that area by developing a certificate-of-approvals approach for haulers which specifically designates the areas to which waste should be directed. That's one easy way of closing the borders. Of course, some cooperation from the federal government would be appreciated, but these days that's hard to find.

Mr Tilson: I suspect the free trade legislation will preclude you.

Mr Makuch: We've already analysed the international trade impacts.

The Vice-Chair: I'm sorry but the time and the extra time has now expired. Thank you very much for your presentation. We know that 20 minutes is not very long, but we have your written submission and I'm sure the committee will study it carefully.

Mr Makuch: Thank you very much.


The Vice-Chair: The Grocery Products Manufacturers of Canada and the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors, if you're here, please have a seat. Perhaps you could introduce yourself, whoever will be the spokesperson, and then introduce your delegation, please.

Ms Arlene Lannon: I'm Arlene Lannon and I'm with the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors. Here today with me is Kathryn Rowan of the Grocery Products Manufacturers of Canada, Walter Kraus of Weston Foods Ltd and Ken MacAuley of Ault Foods Ltd.

On behalf of our joint industry delegation, I would like to thank this committee for the opportunity to appear here today. I would also like to thank them for the air-conditioning.

Our presentation will essentially address two areas: general comments on the intent and impact of the proposed changes to the Municipal Statute Law Amendment Act, and Kathryn, when I'm finished, will cover our industry initiative that we feel addresses many of the same issues these amendments are attempting to address.


The Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors is a national association representing approximately 80% of the $45-billion food distribution industry in Canada. CCGD represents small and large retail-wholesale companies and food chain operators employing approximately 90,000 individuals in Ontario alone.

The Grocery Products Manufacturers of Canada represent 175 manufacturers and marketers of food, beverages and other consumer products sold through retail and food service outlets. In Ontario, food and beverage processing alone contributes another 80,000 jobs to the Ontario economy.

We are generally supportive of the intent of the proposed amendments. We recognize that they bring an important balance in terms of municipal authority to the requirements imposed on municipalities by the 3Rs regulations, originally introduced in Bill 143. In particular we recognize the importance of two specific proposals within the amendments.

First, the proposal to market products from waste materials recognizes the critical importance of effective markets in offsetting costs of waste management systems. Given the existing responsibilities of municipalities in Ontario's recycling system, it makes sense for them to have the ability to market materials obtained from recycling. OMMRI, Ontario Multi-Material Recycling Inc, an organization which represents many of our industry members, will present here next week, and we are sure it will emphasize the growing markets in Ontario for these materials.

The second proposal that we support is the ability to establish user fees and incentives for waste reduction. We are going to present in a minute an industry proposal which seeks to move towards a system of true cost accounting for packaging waste materials and which supports very strongly the priority of source reduction. However, we do have a major concern, and we have heard this expressed by other industry representatives, and that is the impact of potential flow control.

Section 208.2 of the act, as in section 1 of the bill, states: "A local municipality may pass bylaws to establish, maintain and operate a waste management system." While in itself this is a positive statement, we have some concerns regarding the interpretation of the definition of "waste management system."

The "waste management system" means "facilities and services for the management of waste, including collection, removal, transfer, processing, storage, reduction, reuse, recycling and disposal of the waste."

Additionally, section 208.3 gives the municipality the power to "provide all or any part of the waste management system in all or any defined area of the local municipality."

We would be concerned if this were to be interpreted as the municipality's right to dictate which waste hauler should be contracted to transfer materials, or gave the municipality power to object to the transfer of waste from one municipality to another if it was deemed to be the most cost-effective and environmentally sound alternative by the industry involved. We would be concerned if this were to interfere with the rights of an industry to conduct its business in a competitive and environmentally sound manner.

Flow control would impact the movement of waste materials, driving up the cost of any stewardship program, as the municipality could disallow material to be processed in other jurisdictions. As an example, there is no domestic processing capability for gable-top containers at the moment. This could result in cherry-picking of what is collected and would impede the development of new markets and undermine industry attempts to implement cost-effective and environmentally sensible solutions to existing waste management problems.

Now I'll turn this presentation over to Kathryn Rowan of the GPMC to introduce the Canadian industry packaging stewardship initiative.

Ms Kathryn Rowan: One question that Bill 7 does not address is the issue of financial responsibility for the waste management system. Grocery manufacturers and distributors have developed and endorsed a proposal that was referred to in the earlier discussion that defines industry's responsibility for packaging stewardship.

We have spent the last six months seeking broader industry support for this initiative, dealing with many of the complex questions which result from such an ambitious undertaking, as well as entering into discussions with municipalities and provincial governments.

At this point, several other major industry associations have lent their support in principle to the approach, including the Retail Council of Canada, the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers, as well as a dozen other sectoral manufacturing associations. Also supporting our approach is the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.

I'd like to spend a couple of minutes covering off the basic elements of the industry initiative:

We are proposing that all brand owners pay a levy based on the weight of all final consumption packaging that they sell into the marketplace. This provides a direct incentive to reduce at source the amount of packaging that enters the market.

These industry funds would then be used to support two major initiatives: the first would be to support the creation of new markets for recoverable packaging materials and to increase their market value; the second would be to offset the cost of municipal recycling programs.

As a further incentive to increase the demand and value for recycled materials, brand-owner members will receive a rebate from their levy for using recycled content in their packaging.

We believe this system will only work if a regulation is enacted to ensure all brand owners and importers of packaged goods are included. This includes not just grocery products, but hardware, toys, pharmaceutical, alcohol, apparel and any other packaged goods sold in Ontario. What we need in Ontario is a working group to develop the appropriate regulatory framework to ensure the success of this program.

We believe this approach will significantly increase industry's financial responsibility for managing the packaging and incorporating the costs of managing this packaging into the product.

For example, we propose that in phase 1 the levy paid by brand owners will be a constant per-tonne charge. However, we're proposing that in phase 2 of the program brand owners would pay a specific levy based on the actual costs for managing the material within the system. Likewise, municipalities in the first phase will receive an average top-up payment to offset the costs of their programs. Similarly, in phase 2 the top-up payment received by municipalities would be specific to each material collected, depending on the costs of managing that product or packaging material within the system.

Additionally, municipalities will also benefit from industry's investments in creating new, high-value markets for recyclable materials because these revenues will then offset the costs of municipalities in running collection systems.

We support this approach because it's a demand-pull, market-driven strategy that provides incentives to industry members to reconsider their approach to packaging. We wholeheartedly believe that this will fundamentally revolutionize the way brand owners think about packaging and package their products.

We also support this approach because it's a comprehensive versus a single-product or single-material solution. This means that is makes sense both economically and environmentally. Multimaterial collection is proved to be the most cost-effective means of diverting waste from landfill, compared to, for instance, deposit programs.

As you can see, deposit programs tend to focus on beverage containers, which make up less than 2% of the total solid waste stream. By comparison, our approach would address all final consumption packaging, a much broader scope, about 17% of the waste stream.

At this point we have presented the model to officials within the Ministry of Environment and Energy and to several municipal representatives and other multistakeholder interests. We look forward to an opportunity to set up a process to ensure that this initiative becomes a reality in Ontario in the very near future.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much for your presentation.

Mr Eddy: The presentation's suggested approach is certainly very interesting and encouraging, in my opinion. The second-last paragraph, where you say that you've made presentations to many groups and people, including the Ministry of Environment and Energy, have you had expressions of great interest, some interest or any responses at all? What's your feeling for the interest in your very interesting approach?

Ms Rowan: Perhaps I can comment and then turn things over to Ken. Since September of last year, when we developed the principles of the model, the discussions have been significant, time consuming and multistakeholder in their characteristics. Before Christmas, we had counted up the number of groups we'd met with and governments, and there were over four dozen groups with which we'd had discussions.

Our interest was in creating a broad level of support for the model, and our discussions extended to industry groups, brand-owner groups, our key customers the retailers, who sit beside me, and as well environmental groups and governments across the country.

We've had, I think, very positive response to the initiative that industry has come forward with, and if I were to suggest one overriding bit of feedback that I've had from the meetings I've had with a variety of groups, and overwhelmingly from environmental groups and government, it has been that they've had some surprise at the initiative taken by industry. Ken, I'm not sure if you want to be more specific.


The Vice-Chair: Do you want to add to that?

Mr Ken MacAuley: Yes. I would just support Kathryn's comments that the concept, I think, has met with general approval. What occurs in different jurisdictions where there are different specific situations that need to be addressed is that the specific regulating authority may pick up on things it sees within the concept of the model as it's currently constructed, and in its current level of maturity that don't address all of the issues they would like to see addressed.

One of the interesting aspects, though, is that I think a lot of the regulators have seen the model potentially as a vehicle, as a concept which can have a broader application, and one of our challenges has been to try to keep a focus on the aspects of the waste stream that our industry actually contributes.

In general, a positive reaction, but at the same time the model is very much an evolutionary one. I've used the example that there isn't a three-ring binder in an office that has the answer to every specific situation that somebody can bring and say, "Does the model address this specific aspect?" As we broaden the exposure of the model to different groups, it's that process in and of itself that brings maturity to it.

Mr Eddy: We compliment you on your initiative to reduce, reduce, reduce.

Mr David Johnson: This is somewhat similar to a system at Metropolitan Toronto. There was actually a top-up program at Metropolitan Toronto. I don't know if you're aware of that. I think it came through the bottling industry.

Mr MacAuley: The soft drink association.

Mr David Johnson: The soft drink association, that's right. Metro is quite often at the forefront of these activities, but you may want to build on that. Actually, I thought it was an excellent idea --

Mr Wiseman: I've got something in my throat.

The Vice-Chair: Order, please.

Mr David Johnson: -- at Metro, and it seems to me it could be an excellent idea here.

You mention that a dozen other sectoral manufacturing associations have lent support, and I think that may be somewhat crucial. In terms of your industry, I can understand why you might be behind this. Could you comment on what kind of support you're getting beyond your own industry, in other sectors.

The Vice-Chair: Who would like to respond?

Ms Lannon: I'd like to say a few things. I think that generally most industries today recognize that they have a responsibility and that for those who've been keeping blinders on, they have to come off. If we don't do something, something will be done to us. It's as straightforward as that.

In response to your question, we look back at OMMRI, and there have been a lot of complaints about OMMRI with regard to the financial support or whatever with it. The biggest problem we have always felt was that although OMMRI was supposed to be a voluntary process, further to that we were to have legislation that would encourage people to join. Now, that didn't happen, and as a result a lot of people who should have been joining in OMMRI did not.

I think even in this process we find that we have people who are right on board with us, we have people who are middle of the road because they're just coming up to speed, and then we have the people who say, "Look, we're interested when there's legislation." That's why we've asked for backdrop legislation, so that everybody will be included.

Generally, I think, in speaking to other industries, everybody recognizes that something has to be done and that we would prefer it to be an industry-run initiative. That will keep the costs down, it will make sure that we are responsible for ensuring that our packaging waste is reduced and I think generally most industries feel that's appropriate at this point in time.

Mr MacAuley: Just a couple of comments to support what Arlene has said: One fact that I find interesting as we have dialogue with our industry colleagues is that, surprisingly, in Ontario there are a large number of individual industries or members of industry that, for example, have not heard of Bill 143 yet. There still is a major education process.

Another aspect really is the touchstone as people in industry approach this. The chair of our steering committee last year, Harry Elliott, the CEO of Best Foods, probably most succinctly described it. He said, "If, when one looks at a stewardship concept, in your mind the status quo is an option, then you're going to have a very great deal of difficulty in buying into something that says it's going to cost you more money." In fact, the organizations that have bought into the stewardship concept have very clearly stated that the status quo is not an option.

Mr Wayne Lessard (Windsor-Walkerville): Thank you very much for your presentation. Something that's come up in other presentations -- and earlier on this afternoon the mayor of North York, Mel Lastman, was talking about the cost of the blue box and how he can't possibly sustain any further increase in the cost of picking up recyclable materials. The information I've been provided with is that the blue box system last year cost about $80 million, and that this was split between municipalities and the province and about just over $4 million by industry. In your brief, I didn't see any examples of how this cost-sharing arrangement might vary under your model. I wonder if you could give me some idea as to what percentages you might think that would break down as.

Ms Rowan: Perhaps I can comment. One of the driving reasons why our industry stepped up to the plate and developed a stewardship model was very much because of the concerns expressed by municipalities about the cost of curbside collection. We recognized that until we addressed those concerns, we essentially didn't have any answers to present to them. That needed to be a cornerstone of the model that was presented. As you can see, it is very much an attempt to address the cost overrun concerns that municipalities have experienced.

We also took a look -- through our analysis, because it was extensive -- at the costs of comparative systems and compared systems both here and internationally and other means of waste management systems and came to the conclusion that this -- the curbside collection or blue box system -- is not only the most comprehensive but is the most cost-effective and efficient system available, mainly because it amasses a much more significant percentage of the waste stream than one might ordinarily find in other waste management systems. From that perspective, it was deemed to be the best system.

Really, the fundamental crux of this model is very much based on the notion of shared responsibility, that there have to be incentives along the way for each one of the players in the system, whether it be the municipalities, the consumer, the generator or the brand owner, to reduce and reuse. It's very much from that approach.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much for your presentation. Unfortunately, we are already 10 minutes behind schedule. Again, we thank you for coming before the committee. We have your presentation in writing and that I'm sure that if you have additional comments, any of us would be pleased to hear them from you.



The Vice-Chair: The next presenter is the county of Lanark. Mr McEwen, perhaps you'd introduce yourself, please, for the benefit of Hansard. I think you've been here so you know what the procedure is: 20 minutes.

Mr Cameron McEwen: Mr Chairman, members of the committee, my name is Cameron McEwen. I'm the waste management coordinator for the county of Lanark. It's certainly a privilege to be with you here today. I bring you greetings not only from eastern Ontario, but more specifically from Lanark county where, I can assure you, it's much hotter than it is in Metro Toronto.

Interjection: Is it smoggier?

Mr McEwen: It is.

At your discretion, I'd like to walk verbally through the brief, which you should all have a copy of before you, and follow that with any questions that may arise from the brief.

On June 4, 1993, the county requested that the government amend the Municipal Statute Law Amendment Act, 1993, hereinafter referred to as "Bill 7," in order to vest the county with similar powers to enter and inspect property for waste management purposes that municipalities will also possess under Bill 7. The grounds supporting the county's request are as follows:

On April 23, 1993, the government introduced Bill 7 with a view to amending various municipal statutes in order to expand the waste management powers available to municipalities. Specifically, Bill 7 amends the Municipal Act, the Regional Municipalities Act, 13 regional acts and the Municipal Affairs Act. However, it does not amend the County of Lanark Act, 1989, hereinafter referred to as "the county act."

The county act is special legislation which empowers the county to undertake various waste management related functions, including the following: provide facilities to certain local municipalities for the management and disposal of waste; assume the responsibility for the collection and removal of waste from a local municipality with the agreement of that local municipality; establish and operate programs in conjunction with certain municipalities for the reduction, recovery, recycling, reuse and composting of waste; and establish facilities for the conversion of waste.

Many of the waste management-related powers afforded to the county under the county act are similar to the powers proposed to be given to local municipalities under Bill 7. However, the entry and inspection powers under the county act are much more restrictive than those proposed under Bill 7, and therefore less effective.

In particular, sections 12, 13 and 14 of the county act permit a county official access to a property for obtaining information for waste management purposes only with the consent of the registered owner and occupier, or pursuant to a court order made under section 14 of the county act. Absent land owner consent, therefore, the county act requires application to a court in each instance.

In contrast, the amendments proposed under Bill 7 will afford a municipality the right to enter property in order to obtain information necessary to meet the requirements of, or obtain an approval under, any act related to a waste disposal site or waste management facility. Consent of the owner and occupier is not required. A municipality will only be forced to resort to a court under Bill 7 in circumstances where the inspector has been prevented or is likely to be prevented from entering on to the land.

As a consequence, the county requested the government to amend Bill 7 in order to correct this deficiency. The amendment sought can be effected by simply repealing sections 12, 13 and 14 of the county act and replacing those sections with sections 208.7 through 208.11 of Bill 7.

Alternatively, the deficiency noted previously in entry and inspection powers could be corrected by abandoning the county act, thereafter requiring the county to proceed under the Municipal Act. Given that the county has already proceeded to implement its waste management powers under the county act, however, it is preferable to amend Bill 7.

The county has expended approximately $2 million to date under the county act on waste management systems such as services and facilities for reduction, recycling and reuse of waste, as well as the development of a comprehensible waste management master plan process. Forcing the county to abandon the county act at this time would create unnecessary transitional problems for the county, as well as creating problems in terms of administering funds that it has already collected under the county act. Simply put, it would be more efficient to amend Bill 7.

I have also included with the brief that was circulated to you today for the committee's information a resolution passed by the corporation of the town of Smiths Falls confirming its support for the county's request that the government amend Bill 7 in order to vest the county with similar powers to enter and inspect property for waste management purposes that municipalities will possess under Bill 7.

Smiths Falls is one of two municipalities that the county had to obtain an agreement from before passing a bylaw to establish a waste management service area. The second was the corporation of the township of South Elmsley. The township of South Elmsley is no longer participating in the county waste management master plan and has not been participating since January 1, 1992.

One final point: Mr Scott Gray and Mr Satish Dhar, Municipal Affairs legal and policy branch, respectively, have informed us that the county act was not included with the regional acts to be amended by Bill 7 because the ministry considers the county act to be unique legislation. They were of the opinion, however, that both the ministry's legal and policy branches would generally support an amendment to Bill 7 in order to render the county act consistent with the approach taken in Bill 7.

Further, while the government appears willing to seek an amendment to Bill 7 on the county's behalf, Mr Dhar instructed the county that it should also make submissions to the committee to ensure that the county's concerns are adequately addressed.

That constitutes the written brief, and certainly if there are any questions related to this.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much for bringing this concern to our attention.

Mr Tilson: You've been led to believe by the government that these amendments that you've requested will take place? Is that what you've been led to believe?

Mr McEwen: That's the case.

Mr Tilson: Perhaps we'll wait for Mr Hayes to confirm that. Just one point of clarification, though: I guess my question is, with the county act and Bill 7, An Act to amend certain Acts relating to Municipalities concerning Waste Management, are there any provisions that conflict?

Mr McEwen: None that have been identified by the county's legal counsel, none that are significant, other than the restrictive access powers that we're attempting to amend.

Mr Tilson: Have you asked for an opinion from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs?

Mr McEwen: Again, Mr Satish Dhar is familiar, I believe, with the contents of what used to be called Bill Pr78, or the county of Lanark act, and I would have anticipated that prior to this verbal presentation any deficiencies would have been identified.

Mr Tilson: Have you had any concerns expressed by any of the private carriers with respect to your legislation?

Mr McEwen: None.

The Vice-Chair: Any further comments?

Mr David Johnson: I think we've clarified the county act situation fairly well, depending on the government's willingness to move, as you've indicated. Are there any other concerns? Through these debates, we've had concerns expressed with regard to flow control and with regard to financing and other issues as well. I wonder, through the county of Lanark, if you've debated any of these other questions.

Mr McEwen: The questions such as flow control and user-pay systems etc have certainly been addressed in a general fashion at the county level, and more specifically at the level of the local municipalities. I should also preface my comments by indicating the degree to which the county, as an upper-tier municipality, is involved in the field of waste management. It is twofold. As has been identified in the brief, we have been undertaking since 1987 a very extensive and very costly waste management master plan program, which is essentially a planning activity to determine where the county is going in the next 25 to 40 years.

The second component, which is equally as critical, is the county's involvement in recycling and also in promoting composting. Beyond that, the degree to which the county has had involvement directly in flow control and user-pay has been negligible to date.

Mr Hayes: Thank you for the presentation. For all the members, and for you mainly, the government is certainly willing to carry through with that amendment and your request, because it is more of a technical change that has to be made. My question to you is that once that is done, do you support the efforts of this bill, do you support this bill?

Mr McEwen: Very much so.

Mr Hayes: Any other comments about it?

Mr McEwen: I should also indicate that having served on a number of other committees related to my function at the county, other committees at the provincial level, including a committee of AMO, which reviewed the draft copy of Bill 7 in some detail, my comments were quite supportive at that time, aside from the material that I brought forward today.

Mr Hayes: Okay, very good. That wasn't a condition, but we do appreciate your support.

The Vice-Chair: The committee is glad to hear that. Any further questions from that side?

Mr Eddy: I'm pleased to hear Mr Hayes state that, because it was not clear from the letter.

Mr Hayes: Very open government.

Mr Eddy: It did state that although -- what was it? -- the ministry's legal and policy branches would generally support it, it wasn't clear that the government would, and I'm pleased to hear that. It clears it up, because indeed I think when all the other acts that are listed, all of the regions and the county of Oxford and the district of Muskoka acts, are being amended, it's the appropriate time and place to do it.

Could I just ask, at the time the County of Lanark Act was passed -- and that was a very progressive action, I must say -- was there much opposition by local constituent municipalities at that time, and has that more or less disappeared, do you feel?

The Vice-Chair: I should say that there's some county experience talking.

Mr McEwen: I was about to preface my comments by indicating that there are undoubtedly elected officials around this table who are more familiar with the original discussions of what used to be known as Bill Pr78, far more so than I. Having said that, I am very much aware and very cognizant of some deep-seated hatred, to say the least, for the original bill.

Having said that, as the county proceeds with these amendments, as I have outlined for you today, I do not anticipate that any of that original hatred related to a land owner's opposition to a county official walking on his property is in any way, shape or form going to dissipate. Without sort of throwing humour into this discussion, one of the issues that's always dealt with at the municipal level when county officials such as myself are the front line of defence, is whether or not the Ministry of Environment would be willing to issue us with Kevlar vests, since a number of us have already been shot at.

The Vice-Chair: Are you serious?

Mr McEwen: Yes. Having said that, I think it is recognized, certainly within the county of Lanark, that we had in 1989 a very progressive piece of legislation, and we now have the ability, with this committee's approval and with the approval of the Legislature, to further improve upon that original bill and finalize a very costly master plan process which is costing the taxpayers millions.

Mr Eddy: Good.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much for your presentation. I'm sure you're pleased to hear the response from the government side.

I understand that the two remaining presenters have cancelled. Unless there's any further question that you wish to bring up, we are adjourned until next Thursday, if the House is still sitting. This committee stands adjourned.

The committee adjourned at 1723.