Thursday 17 June 1993

Municipal Statute Law Amendment Act, 1993, Bill 7

Ministry of Municipal Affairs

Hon Ed Philip, Minister

Paul Jones, manager, local government policy branch

Satish Dhar, senior policy adviser, local government policy branch

Bob Breeze, acting director, waste reduction office, Ministry of Environment and Energy


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:

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

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

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

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

Clerk / Greffier: Carrozza, Franco

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

The committee met at 1003 in room 228.


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): Good morning, everybody. Thank you for coming out. We are today discussing Bill 7, An Act to amend certain Acts related to Municipalities concerning Waste Management. As agreed upon, for the morning session we have representatives of the ministry with us. In the afternoon, it will be the minister himself.

We do have four representatives from the ministry here, and perhaps I will let you introduce yourselves since you will have to speak for the record anyway. Mr Jones will be making the presentation.

Mr Paul Jones: Mr Chairman, my name is Paul Jones. I'm a manager of local government policy with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs. With me here today is Bob Breeze, who's the acting director from the waste reduction office of the Ministry of Environment and Energy, and you will know from my presentation that the two ministries have worked very closely on bringing this legislation to a position where the government can introduce it and the Legislature can debate it.

Also here is Satish Dhar, a senior policy adviser with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs. Satish specializes on environmental issues, and obviously waste management is one of those issues.

Also here is Scott Gray, a solicitor with our legal branch in the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.

Mr Chairman, if you're ready, I'm ready and willing to make a presentation to the committee.

The Vice-Chair: Yes, go right ahead. Thank you.

Mr Jones: This bill, Bill 7, amends the Municipal Act, the Regional Municipalities Act, 13 regional acts, including the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Act, the County of Oxford Act and the District Municipality of Muskoka Act, as well as the Municipal Affairs Act. The purpose of this bill is to give municipalities increased powers to develop and operate comprehensive waste management programs, particularly those programs known to us as 3Rs, and those are programs to reduce, reuse and recycle.

These amendments are necessary for several reasons. First of all, the current municipal legislation is inadequate; some would say "antiquated." For instance, many municipalities do not have explicit 3Rs powers. They do not have the authority to promote and sell the products from recycling. No municipality in the province has at present the power to pass bylaws requiring waste generators, that's you and I as home owners and as business operators and the public at large, to separate our recyclables from waste at the curbside.

The current legislation is also vague. Even where legislation has granted some municipalities 3Rs powers, these powers are unclear. They are unclear as to which level of municipal government in regional municipalities is responsible for the different aspects of the 3Rs programs. This lack of clarity has led municipalities in many instances to postpone investment in 3Rs facilities until the issue of responsibility is settled.

Municipalities have also been concerned with the inadequacy and the vagueness of the existing legislation. They have petitioned the province on several occasions for expanded waste management powers. The municipalities which have in particular asked for additional waste management powers include Metropolitan Toronto, the regional municipalities of Peel, York, Haldimand-Norfolk, Hamilton-Wentworth and Sudbury, and the cities of Kingston and Peterborough, to name but a few.

In addition, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario in 1989 released two reports on municipal waste management. These reports recommended that the province of Ontario provide municipalities with additional waste management powers.

Another consideration in terms of the need for this new legislation is the 3R regulations recently issued by the Ministry of Environment and Energy. These regulations will require all municipalities with a population greater than 5,000 to establish 3Rs programs. It is imperative, therefore, that municipalities have the powers needed to implement the 3R requirements contained in provincial regulations.

I mentioned the release of two reports by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario. Subsequent to the release of these reports, a committee comprising staff from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, the Ministry of the Environment and AMO was convened. In May 1991 this committee recommended that the Ministry of Municipal Affairs issue a discussion paper on municipal waste management powers prior to the enactment of any new legislation.

In March 1992 the Ministry of Municipal Affairs issued its discussion paper entitled Municipal Waste Management Powers in Ontario. It was distributed to a wide range of stakeholders, such as municipalities, environmental groups, the private waste management industry, waste management planning committees and other interested parties, including waste generators and the public at large. In May and June 1992 the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, in conjunction with the Ministry of the Environment, conducted a public consultation program; 13 meetings were convened in 12 centres across Ontario, from Timmins to Windsor and Kenora to Ottawa. More than 550 people attended these public meetings. In addition, we received over 100 briefs or submissions on the discussion paper. We have taken the comments and concerns expressed during this consultation program into consideration in the development of Bill 7.


I would like now to highlight the provisions of the bill itself. Bill 7 provides municipalities with authority over all aspects of waste management, namely the planning of waste management systems, the collection, 3Rs programs and also disposal. The bill defines in detail the municipal 3Rs powers. It grants municipalities the authority to require separation of waste from recyclables and undertake research and development on waste management to promote and market the products of waste.

Further, it provides that higher penalties may be charged for breaching municipal waste management bylaws than are currently the case. It raises the level of penalties to those that are currently in effect for other environmental bylaw infractions, such as violations of municipal sewage bylaws.

The bill grants municipalities authority to enter on to property for the conducting of surveys and soil tests required to find a waste management site. If a municipal official is refused entry, the bill provides that he or she can apply to the courts for the right to enter. Upon completion of its site search, the municipality must restore the land to its former state and pay any damage done to the land.

No entry of buildings is permitted by this legislation. Many municipalities have complained that their current lack of entry powers often hampered them from including many eligible sites in their site search. It also slowed down their site search considerably. The inclusion of entry powers in Bill 7 is intended to rectify this situation while at the same time providing safeguards for property owners and occupiers and their rights.

Another provision of Bill 7 allows municipalities to establish user fee systems. Essentially, municipalities will be able to charge for the collection in accordance with several criteria. They may charge for collection by weight, volume or indeed type of waste. They can establish different rates for different types of property. They can also exempt persons from any of these charges.

The bill does not require municipalities to impose a user-pay regime. They can continue, as they do at present, to charge for waste management through taxes. On the other hand, they can develop a system of financing that is a mix of user-pay and taxes.

I should reiterate that all of these powers are permissive. It is up to the municipalities to decide which powers they wish to use and which they do not. The bill also adds waste management sites to the list of public utilities as defined in the Municipal Affairs Act. This change will enable assessment commissioners from the Ministry of Finance to assess waste management facilities for taxation purposes.

Taxes, or more correctly payments in lieu, will be payable to the local municipality where the waste site is located. Current legislation governing the taxation of municipal waste facilities is ambiguous. The result is that some waste management sites are assessed while others are not. The bill will correct this inconsistency.

The legislation defines the waste management powers of local and upper-tier municipalities in counties and regions. As I mentioned earlier, existing legislation is not clear on this issue, particularly so far as 3Rs are concerned.

The allocation of responsibility provided for in Bill 7 builds on the status quo.

The bill grants the regional level authority over 3Rs facilities where waste disposal is currently, that is at present, an upper-tier responsibility. These regional municipalities are required to take over responsibilities for 3Rs facilities by 1997.

In these regional municipalities a local municipality may, with the consent of its upper tier, operate 3Rs facilities provided, firstly, it operated these facilities prior to the upper tier assuming the 3Rs function and/or, secondly, the regional municipality is not providing these facilities.

In these regional municipalities, collection, including the collection of recyclables, remains at the local municipal level where it is today. The upper tier has the authority to assume the collection power from its local municipalities.

Eleven of 13 regional municipalities fall into this category.

The remaining two regional municipalities, namely Muskoka and Niagara, have collection and waste disposal powers currently at the local level. The bill provides that the responsibility for 3Rs facilities will also be at the local level. The upper tier in these two regional municipalities will be able to assume any or all of the waste management functions from their local municipalities.

In counties, the allocation of waste management authority currently is the same as in Muskoka and Niagara. Collection and waste disposal are at the local level. The bill extends 3Rs powers to the local municipalities. However, as in Niagara and Muskoka, counties will have the authority to assume any or all waste management powers from their local municipalities.

I should note that the Municipal Act was amended in 1989 to grant counties the authority to assume collection and/or disposal from local municipalities. Bill 7 builds on this by adding 3Rs to the list of services that counties can assume.

When it comes to the assumption of waste management powers by upper-tier municipalities, Bill 7 has two provisions. One applies to regional municipalities with direct elections. The other applies to regional municipalities where there are indirect elections and also to counties.

In regional municipalities where there is direct election, regional councillors, as you know, do not sit on local council. In these regional municipalities, a regional council may assume a waste management function from its local municipalities by passing a bylaw. Metropolitan Toronto and the regional municipality of Niagara would fall within this category.

In regional municipalities where there are indirect elections, regional councillors, as you know, also sit on the local council. In these regional municipalities, a regional council may assume a waste management function if a majority of the regional councillors representing a majority of local municipalities vote in favour of the assumption. Eleven of 13 regional municipalities fall within this category, and as I've noted earlier, that would be all the regional municipalities with the exception of Niagara and Metropolitan Toronto.


In counties, county councillors sit both at the local council and on county council. Like regional municipalities with indirect election, a county can assume waste management powers from its local municipalities if a majority of the county councillors representing a majority of local municipalities vote in favour of the assumption.

This is a change from the current legislation which was enacted in 1989. The current legislation requires that two thirds of county councillors representing a majority of local municipalities must vote in favour in order for a county to take over a waste management function from its local municipalities.

Members of the committee, this completes my presentation of the highlights of Bill 7. I should add that during the last few weeks we have received comments on Bill 7. The Ontario Waste Management Association has indicated that it would like the wording of the bill to be further clarified in so far as it relates to private waste management services. We have discussed this issue with the Ontario Waste Management Association. We've also discussed it with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.

Concern has also been expressed regarding the voting requirements that upper-tier municipalities must meet in order to assume waste management functions from their local municipalities.

The Minister of Municipal Affairs, the Honourable Ed Philip, will be providing the government's position on these issues in his statement to the standing committee later this afternoon.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Jones. Is there anything else any of the ministry officials want to say before we open up to the questions? Okay. If the committee agrees, perhaps we'll rotate five minutes each caucus so that we have a bit of a breakup. We could also allocate a certain amount of time, divided, that is, up to 12 o'clock, but perhaps five minutes is a better procedure to move forward, if that's agreeable. Mr Grandmaître.

Mr Bernard Grandmaître (Ottawa East): All municipalities with a population of 5,000 or more will have to establish a 3Rs program. What has been your consultation with those municipalities of 5,000 or more?

Mr Jones: Mr Chairman, if I could, the question is not directly related to Bill 7 but the introduction of the 3Rs regulations. There has been consultation by the Ministry of Environment and Energy on that, and I think it would be best if your question was answered by Bob Breeze.

The Vice-Chair: Feel free. Any of the delegates may wish to comment.

Mr Bob Breeze: The Minister of the Environment at that time, Ruth Grier, announced in February 1991 her waste reduction action plan, and in that plan she talked about regulations that would require municipalities of less than 5,000 to implement a blue box system. She tabled in the fall of that year, 1991, what was called Initiatives Paper No 1, and it was regulations to require source separation of waste. That initiatives paper was circulated around the province. We were involved in intensive consultation with municipalities and other stakeholders for almost a year before the regulations that have now been tabled by the Minister of Environment on April 29 of this year. So there was a solid year of consultation and many more months of evaluation to make sure that it met the needs of municipalities and other stakeholders.

Mr Grandmaître: Meaning that most of these municipalities were in favour of starting up such a program in their municipality.

Mr Breeze: The Association of Municipalities of Ontario came forward and thought that the regulations were reasonable. They asked for a number of changes and a number of those changes in fact have been made. So AMO came forward with their recommendations.

Mr Grandmaître: In other words, AMO represented these smaller municipalities.

Mr Breeze: There was a range of municipalities that came forward -- small municipalities, large municipalities, AMO -- and there was a range of comments, from very strong support to other ones where they wanted changes, and the regulations that have come forward have been very reflective of those requirements.

As an example, northern municipalities were concerned about time lines, northern municipalities were concerned about the costs, and the regulations have been responsive in both of those ways. In northern municipalities they have three years to implement the blue box program. For northern municipalities that are less than 15,000, they can opt for a depot system, which is far less expensive than the door-to-door collection that we have here in the south. So it was being responsive to many of those concerns that were raised.

Mr Grandmaître: What happens after three years to those municipalities that haven't responded let's say to Bill 8 or the ministry's requirements? What will happen after three years?

Mr Breeze: Our sense is that all municipalities will in fact be offering the service by that time.

Mr Grandmaître: Because of the generous grants that will be given to them?

Mr Breeze: Because of the grants and also because the public in those municipalities are calling for the blue box system. When we did our consultation, not just on Initiatives Paper No 1, but when we did it on Initiatives Paper No 2 and the Municipal Act amendment document that you've heard of today in that consultation, the public was asking: "Let's get on with these blue box requirements. We want the blue box."

Mr Grandmaître: How popular is your user-fee system? How many municipalities backed you up on that one? We only have 30 seconds.

Mr Jones: I thought it was Mr Grandmaître who only had 30 seconds.

The Vice-Chair: That's right. You can take some time, within reason.

Mr Jones: During the consultation on Bill 7, or municipal waste management powers, user fees was one of the items that was in our discussion paper. The response was generally favourable to user fees both by the public and by municipalities that responded during the consultation process.

You have to remember though that in the legislation we're providing permissive powers so that municipalities can determine if in fact it's something that can be implemented in their municipality and is workable within their municipality.

The Vice-Chair: We'll come back to the Liberal caucus later on. Mr Johnson.

Mr David Johnson (Don Mills): You've mentioned the 550 people spread across this province who attended your various consultation periods. When you consider 10 million people in the province of Ontario, it's fairly abysmal in terms of the number of people involved. Is there any common denominator in those people? Would you describe them as being reflective of the attitudes of the people of the province or would they be largely interest groups and that sort of thing?

Mr Jones: There were in fact municipalities that came out and made representation; there were people from the waste management industry; there were waste generators, associations of companies that heavily rely on waste management systems that are currently in place in the province; there was a large number of private public citizens who came out to voice their opinion as to where they thought waste management would be most responsive to their needs; there were environmental groups that were represented. I would have to say that, by and large, yes, they're representative of the people of the province of Ontario.

Mr David Johnson: And they all added up to 500 people; 550, I guess.

You mentioned in one of your responses to Mr Grandmaître about the possibility of a depot system. I wasn't sure, were you referring to general waste, a mixed-waste system or a 3R system?

Mr Breeze: A depot for the blue box system?

Mr David Johnson: For the blue box.

Mr Breeze: Right now the regulation requires that the services are matched, so if the garbage is at the curb then the blue box would have to be at the curb. One of the ways of reducing costs of the blue box is to say, for small northern municipalities, even though the garbage is at the curb, the depot can be centralized and the people would then bring it to that centralized depot.


Mr David Johnson: I was a bit curious to hear that, because any statistics that I've seen indicate that the depot system is considerably less successful than a curbside pickup, and a depot system would not meet the government's requirements in terms of waste reduction. I think it's 25% by the end of last year, 50% by the end of the century. You simply wouldn't meet those targets with the depot kind of system. I'm just wondering what's happened here in between.

Mr Breeze: There's a balance. There's a need to be responsive to costs at the same time as moving ahead to achieve the 50% goal by the year 2000.

If we look at some municipalities that are recently trying the depot along those lines, and let's take Gananoque as an example, they mixed with their depot system a user-pay component. Your garbage is at the curb, your blue box goes to the depot, but they charge for the garbage. I forget the exact numbers, but for every several bushel baskets of recyclables that you bring to the depot, you get a ticket that pays for the disposal costs. There's an economic advantage to bringing the recyclables to the depot, and what they're finding is that the recovery rates are very high. Depots can work if they're mixed with things like user fee systems.


Mr David Johnson: Who keeps track of those credits?

Mr Grandmaître: Yes.

Mr David Johnson: Listen, I'm giving the Liberal sector time here. I should get an extra minute for this.

Mr Grandmaître: Thanks, Dave.

Mr David Johnson: That was his question, anyway. Who keeps track of those credits?

Mr Breeze: I could bring details next Thursday to the committee. Perhaps one page of it outlines the Gananoque system, but as I understand it they get a ticket and that ticket is then used for the garbage that is then picked up. As for the workings, I'll get the details for you next Thursday.

Mr David Johnson: I think it would be interesting to see that, because I suspect that the takeup still would be considerably lower than a curbside program, even with the stick of a user fee system behind it. If so, is the government prepared to relax its 50% reduction figure in a case like this?

Mr Jones: I think it has to be understood that it's a provincial target of at least a 50% reduction, not an individual target for each municipality, so where municipalities, for economic reasons and because they're located in the north are entitled to have a depot system, it's still going to feed into the overall reduction that's trying to be obtained. There is a different requirement obviously in the more populated areas.

Mr David Johnson: So you would expect higher in southern Ontario, maybe 60% to us and 40% to northern Ontario?

Mr Jones: Yes.

Mr David Johnson: That will be interesting.

Flow control: One of the concerns that has come up by the private sector, I guess, and maybe others, is that this bill may contain flow control, which would direct where the garbage in a certain area -- I guess the municipality or the authority in that area would have the authority again to direct where that waste is disposed. I don't think it's contained within this bill, but other people have different opinions about it. Could you clarify from your point of view, does this bill contain flow control?

Mr Jones: It was never intended that the bill provide municipalities with flow control. The bill has been read, as I said in my presentation, and interpreted by some that it may in fact provide for flow control.

Personally, I could debate it. I think the easier thing might be to clarify it. The minister, as I said, this afternoon in his presentation is going to present the government's position as to how it's going to respond to the concern that there may be flow control.

Mr David Johnson: But it's not your objective to institute flow control.

Mr Jones: No.

Mr David Johnson: It's not your objective to have the authority to direct municipalities as to where they can dispose of their waste?

Mr Jones: Not to have flow control over the private sector; to have flow control over their own municipal waste management systems, obviously.

The Vice-Chair: I think we'll have to come back to that question if Mr Johnson would like to. The government side, Mr Wiseman.

Mr Jim Wiseman (Durham West): One of the interesting comments being made is about the cost of the blue box program. Perhaps you could take us for a walk through the various jurisdictions and how they're handling the blue box program and its costs and how that relates to a number of things: the cost of finding a landfill, the cost of operating a landfill, the cost of closing a landfill and the cost of perpetual care of a landfill, including a definition of "perpetual care."

Interjection: That's all?

Mr Wiseman: That's my five minutes.

The Vice-Chair: I don't know how your colleagues feel about this, but who would like to respond?

Mr Wiseman: That was just one question.

Mr Breeze: The issue of the cost of the blue box system has come up during second reading debate. It's come up from AMO and a number of municipalities. What we've done is roll some numbers together to give a snapshot of what it has cost a number of municipalities across the province.

If we take a look at Belleville, for example -- and Belleville is part of the centre in south Hastings -- what they have called Blue Box 2000 is one of most innovative and exemplary programs in the province. Their blue box cost net of revenues works out to $109 a tonne. Their disposal cost, and this is a contract that they have with a local contractor, is $159 a tonne. By running the blue box system, Belleville is gaining a net savings of $50 a tonne. It makes sense for Belleville.

You could take another example. Let's take Metro Toronto. These are Metro's numbers; these aren't my numbers. This was in Metro's annual report, so I'm just giving you what Metro came forward with. Blue box cost net of revenue -- and revenue is what they would sell the glass and the ferrous and the aluminum for -- is $187 a tonne, according to Metro. Provincial and OMMRI grants work out to $76 a tonne. That means the cost net of revenue and grants is $111 a tonne. When you ask Metro what it costs them to collect and dispose of garbage, what are the costs that they calculate, they calculate that out as $145 a tonne. So when we include grants -- and this is Metro's number; those aren't my numbers -- they are saving $34 a tonne. That's what Metro is saying they are saving. So, with grants, here we have a system that makes sense.

Mr Gregory S. Sorbara (York Centre): With grants.

Mr Breeze: With grants.

Mr Grandmaître: Generous grants.

Mr Wiseman: If these people are going to jump in on that, I'd like to jump in and say that those numbers don't really reflect Metro's costs, in that Metro is able to exploit the tax base of Durham and York at Keele Valley and Brock West. The total cost of running the Keele Valley site is $30 a tonne, and what Metro nets out of those municipalities in terms of the fees they have to pay then goes into a fund that then they siphon off into using for other revenue like their general revenue fund.

I would say that what you've got there from Metro are not really numbers that reflect true costs but perhaps are bookkeeping numbers. I would love to see the real numbers for Metro because the community groups in my riding which have done extensive research indicate that Metro, when it comes to garbage, is an imperialist power that is sucking a lot of money out of the outlying regions and using it for other purposes, and that therefore it doesn't really represent the true numbers.

The Vice-Chair: Did you want to respond to that further? Otherwise, we'll move on to Mr Hayes.

Mr Breeze: Please move on.

Mr Pat Hayes (Essex-Kent): I just wanted to get a clarification. Mr Johnson was talking about the consultations and emphasized only 550 people, and there were 100 who made presentations or written submissions, I believe. How well was this advertised? Was it put into the local papers and things? This is something that I know sounds like one of the consultations I had on agricultural finance. We did 12 -- I think you did one more than us -- and we thought that was quite extensive, getting out and reaching people. But was it well advertised or was it not?

Mr Jones: Yes, it was well advertised. The fact was advertised that the sessions were being held. Newspapers in the area ran ads advising that the consultation was taking place and people were invited to come out. They were given a general idea as to what it was all about. Yes, we did. We did not set out to fail in this attempt on consultation.

Mr Wiseman: I hadn't heard the rest of the answer to my question with respect to the costs of finding a landfill site, perpetual care, the closing of a landfill site and whether any of those numbers are calculated into the cost of the disposal of waste.

Mr Breeze: As I said, the number of $145 a tonne comes from Metro, and I'll have to seek clarification from Metro whether they have included in those their perpetual care costs. When you do include perpetual care costs, it really pushes those numbers up because there's monitoring that has to go on, there's ongoing surveillance that has to go on and, in some cases, remedial action. That costs money. Disposal is expensive as well.


Mr Wiseman: The Beare Road landfill site has not been closed to perpetual care. It is costing Metro a considerable sum of money to monitor that site. It's my suspicion, which has not really been clarified, that the reason they will not close it permanently is because of the horrendous costs it would entail for them to do so. It's cheaper for them to keep it open or to not close it permanently. I think that some people need to know these numbers in terms of what it really costs a community for a landfill site: leachate control, collection, disposal.

The Vice-Chair: We'll go back to the official opposition.

Mr Sorbara: Do you have any idea why the government decided to insist that Metro's garbage be dumped in York region?

The Vice-Chair: Who would like to take that on?

Mr Sorbara: Does anyone have any idea about that?

Mr Breeze: I wasn't involved. I wouldn't be in a position to comment; I'm sorry.

Mr Sorbara: Can you speculate? We've been trying to figure this out for about two and a half years.

The Vice-Chair: You don't have to speculate, but you may if you want to.


The Vice-Chair: Sorry, but Mr Sorbara has the floor.

Mr Drummond White (Durham Centre): On a point of order, Mr Chair: You were asking Ministry of Municipal Affairs people to comment upon a decision that was made by another ministry. I don't think it's appropriate.

The Vice-Chair: That is not a point of order. The members of the committee are free to ask whatever questions they'd like to. Of course, the delegation does not have to answer.

Mr Sorbara: Could you explain how this bill will impact on a region like York region or any of its constituent municipalities?

Mr Satish Dhar: At this point in time, York region has disposal powers and the local municipalities have collection powers. What this bill will do is give York region the power to process 3Rs -- in other words, to establish 3Rs facilities -- but the collection of recyclables will still remain at the local level. In a sense, what we will be doing through this bill will be clarifying the role that York region will play in an important part of waste management, which is processing of 3Rs.

My understanding is that at this point in time there's a mixture of how 3Rs facilities are done in York. One of the reasons why there is a little bit of confusion on this in many of the regions is because that aspect was not clear. This will make it much easier for York region to decide on how to organize its waste management system.

Mr Sorbara: Let me get more specific. For two and a half years, the regional municipality of York has been asking the province of Ontario and its government to give it the power and authority to establish a composting facility, and for a year and a half it was like the post office was on strike. There was just no answer. Nobody responded to the chairman's letters, notwithstanding that they had purchased a facility and were ready to put a facility into operation. Does this bill solve that problem?

Mr Dhar: Yes, it does. In fact, when I mentioned 3Rs facilities being a regional responsibility under this bill, that's exactly what it does. It gives York region the power to establish the composting facilities, which is considered one of the types of 3Rs facilities.

Mr Sorbara: Brampton has an incineration facility which has the potential, with expanded capacity, to deal with all the non-3R material in the waste stream from the entire regional municipality of Peel. What steps is the government going to take to ensure that they can never realize that and that they have to continue to dump the garbage in the ground, outhouse style?

Mr Dhar: I think that is a matter for the Ministry of Environment.

Mr Breeze: I'm sorry; I don't understand the nature of the question.

Mr Sorbara: The current government says the only thing to do with garbage is to dig a hole and dump it in the ground.

Mr Wiseman: Recycle it.

Mr Sorbara: Well, recycle it, divert from the waste stream, that's a different argument, but there will always be stuff that can't be diverted from the waste stream and that has to be disposed of. The policy of the current government of Ontario is that when you dispose of that, the only way to do it is to dig a hole and dump it in the ground.

Notwithstanding that, just by the by, the rest of the world is developing state-of-the-art incineration facilities --

Mr Wayne Lessard (Windsor-Walkerville): No such thing as state of the art.

Mr Sorbara: Do I hear a sound coming from somewhere, Mr Chair?

The Vice-Chair: Yes, there is some sound. Would you please finish your question.

Mr Sorbara: Well, notwithstanding the sort of Luddite approach of the government of Ontario, Peel has this facility, which is state of the art and which is currently being used.

My understanding is that the policy of the Ontario government is that these things shouldn't exist in the province of Ontario. I want to know whether that continues to be the policy, and if so, are you going to shut it down?

Mr Breeze: There's a regulation in place and the regulation bans the construction and establishment of new incinerators. It allows the existing incinerators, and I believe Peel is included in that list of existing incinerators to continue, with appropriate monitoring and appropriate controls.

Mr David Johnson: Maybe just picking up on that for a little bit then, the political decision has been to not consider incineration of any form. That's been the clear political direction.

Within the staff, and I guess I'd be looking at the staff of the Ministry of Environment and Energy. Is that where I should be looking? Has there been any staff input or -- what's the word I'm looking for? -- any staff direction or view on incineration? This may put you in a awkward spot, but I'm trying to separate the political direction from staff views on incineration.

Mr Breeze: In any policy that's developed, there's full staff involvement in bringing it together. Staff was involved in writing that regulation and in the discussions.

Mr David Johnson: Is it staff's view that incineration under any circumstances is undesirable, or is the staff view that there may be some form of incineration that would be worthwhile to pursue?

Mr Breeze: I'll speak on behalf of the waste reduction office; I'm the acting director, so I'll speak on that basis. The problem with incineration is not just the emissions, and that was one of the rationales for coming forward with the regulation, but that it will compete directly with our 3Rs initiatives.

It's more appropriate to take those materials that have high BTU value, say, the paper, the corrugated cardboard, and to put them back into value added product. Let's get the corrugated back into corrugated. What the incineration will do is compete against those more appropriate ways of managing those wastes.

Mr David Johnson: I guess Mr Sorbara has indicated, and I agree, that there will be waste that will not be recycled. It's true, most of us agree with that.

Mr Wiseman: Can you name some?

Mr David Johnson: It's not garbage. You may not agree with that, but there will be waste that cannot be recycled. Now, is the ministry opposed to incineration of the basic mixed waste that cannot be recycled?

Mr Breeze: The regulation is clear. It has banned all new incinerators, and that's the clear policy.

Mr David Johnson: I know that's the policy, but I'm asking, as a senior representative for the Ministry of Environment, do you personally or does your department, does staff rule out any investigation? As they've done in Europe, I might say. In Japan there are incinerators that are viewed as being very environmentally sensitive. Does the ministry rule out --


Mr David Johnson: Certainly the politicians have, and I guess you can't answer that.

Let's go back to flow control for a moment. In the bill, two thirds of the way down page 8, it gives exclusive jurisdiction to counties with regard to services and facilities for waste management. Then on the top of page 9, it gives councils the authority to designate certain services or facilities, I assume, that the waste must be directed to. It seems to me it's conceivable that could be interpreted as meaning that there would be authority here to direct private waste to certain facilities.


Mr Dhar: If I can answer the question, the first item that you referred to, which is at the bottom of page 8, gives counties the authority to, I guess, provide consent for the establishment of a disposal facility. So that is not flow control; that is control over the establishment of a disposal facility. That's an existing power. Counties have it at this point in time.

On page 9, it says that counties can designate a facility but only for participating municipalities. In other words, the local municipality in a county can be directed to send its waste, not private waste, to a designated facility that the county may establish. This is what I think Paul referred to earlier as flow control, but only for municipal waste, waste which is dealt with by the municipality, which is usually residential waste. It does not in any way imply that private or what we call IC&I waste is included in this flow control.

Mr David Johnson: All right. Well, that's been a concern.

The Vice-Chair: Sorry, Mr Johnson, your time is already up again. We will come back to you. I should indicate that we will continue until 12 unless there are no further questions; then we would finish earlier.

Mr Wiseman: I'd like to pursue the recycling aspect of this in terms of the number of jobs that are being created that would not be created if this was burned. Perhaps Mr Breeze could give us an indication of how many jobs have been created at, say, Atlantic Packaging in Whitby, given that they've had a $4-million expansion to increase the amount of paper that they can recycle.

Mr Breeze: I can't give you a specific number, but clearly there are jobs that are being created by these 3Rs regulations and not just at Atlantic Packaging. At QUNO in Thorold, at Spruce Falls, across the province, those new de-inking and paper recycling and other material recycling facilities, they create jobs.

Mr Wiseman: Perhaps you could also indicate the size of the market that will be available for a company like Domal that creates the person-hole cover sleeves and everything and what kind of jobs potential this has both in Canada and in the North American market.

Mr Breeze: The Ministry of Environment has just funded Domal. What they are making is risers above manhole covers and manhole-cover rings that stop the high maintenance cost that municipalities are faced with. As cars are continually hitting those covers, they hit the brick and the brick breaks down and has to be repaired. Domal is taking 26 passenger tire equivalents for the ring, 10 passenger tire equivalents for the riser. That significantly reduces maintenance costs to municipalities, so it's a cost saving there. That takes 36 tires out of the waste stream and puts them to a solid recycling purpose.

There's a potential here for not only use across Ontario but sales into the United States and to other provinces, and that means jobs. It means jobs at National Rubber, it means jobs at whatever facility Domal eventually sets up. We've just issued the grant to Domal to get on with that business.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much. It's rather interesting.

Mr George Mammoliti (Yorkview): I'm assuming that the four of you had some pretty extensive experience within the ministry. I would assume as well that over the last little while --


Mr Mammoliti: Mr Chair, I hear some chirping.

The Vice-Chair: I take this as a rhetorical question, but Mr Mammoliti, continue.

Mr Mammoliti: I assume as well that over the last little while municipalities have been at your doorstep and have asked for such a change.

Mr Dhar: I can speak on that. In fact, over the last few years municipalities have asked us. Paul, in his presentation, gave a list of some of the municipalities. But more than that, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario has done extensive work on municipal waste management. One of the conclusions they came to is that if the 3Rs and their initiatives for reduction, reuse and recycling were to succeed and progress further, they would need new powers. It's precisely for those reasons that this new legislation was put into effect.

As we said earlier as well, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario was involved in the initial discussions that lead to the release of the discussion paper. So municipalities have been very instrumental in this bill and have by and large welcomed it.

Mr Mammoliti: I'm assuming as well that in order to make a piece of legislation like this work, there need to be an extensive amount of people and organizations that are happy with this. Having said that, you also have to make bureaucrats happy as well, if they really want something to happen and they've been working on it for a number of years. I'm assuming that a piece of legislation like this would make not only municipalities and the public and the politicians happy but the bureaucrats as well. Yes or no would help.

The Vice-Chair: The question is, are you happy or not? Who would like to answer that question?

Mr Jones: Are we smiling? I think we're happy in that we've gone out and consulted and we truly believe that we have here a piece of legislation that serves not only the municipal interests but the greater public interest which we serve.

Mr Mammoliti: It's a good-news item, isn't it? It's something that's really good.

Mr Jones: Yes.

The Vice-Chair: Thanks very much. I would have thought you would have responded that way, but we'll move on to Mr Grandmaître.

Mr Grandmaître: Not that I want to answer Mr Mammoliti's question, but --

The Vice-Chair: Are you happy, Mr Grandmaître?

Mr Grandmaître: Well, if he's happy, I'm happy.

Mr White: Do we have that on record?

Mr Grandmaître: More consultation was needed through AMO, for the simple reason that municipalities didn't know where the ministries stood. They wanted clarification. That's why more consultation was needed. Is that right?

Mr Jones: Are you referring to the consultation when we toured the province?

Mr Grandmaître: Yes.

Mr Jones: Okay, first of all, as you know, I indicated AMO had done two discussion papers of its own on waste management. That represented the municipal position. There are a number of other positions that people have taken around this issue, whether they be generators of waste, the public industry, whether they be people who are involved in the waste management industry. All of those views had to be taken into account.

The other thing we had to do was, in our consultation we tried to represent as many options as were being considered or promoted by different interests so that everyone could get a big picture of where people stood on different issues. For example, with user fees we had a discussion in the paper about the options and the good and the bad and the pros and the cons. All the issues were done that way, so that people would be in a position to be able to know other thoughts, other people's positions, and we could then try and see if there was some consensus across the province that could be built.

Mr Grandmaître: But before that big picture was established, and I'm using your words, a lot of unilateral decisions were made by the ministries, and this is why you had to go out and clarify this.

Mr Jones: I'm sorry, by unilateral decisions --

Mr Grandmaître: I'm talking about rumours and, you know, what ministers usually don't introduce in the House but through the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, all of these great things, and then municipalities got upset because they weren't getting the real answers from the ministries concerned.

Mr Jones: I think, more to the point, municipalities were saying that if we want to achieve the 3Rs target, if we want to really have a reduction in waste, then municipalities need more powers than currently are in place in the Municipal Act. Mr Sorbara gave an example of York region asking for a particular power so that they could do composting. These are the types of things that were considered and where legislation was deemed to be necessary.

Mr Dhar: If I can add something to that, one of the things that was happening, and Mr Grandmaître is right, is that there were lots of ideas floating around the province. Some of them you might call rumours; others you might call brainwaves. There were a lot of ideas floating around. What we tried to do during the consultation process and in fact from the discussion papers was to air many of these ideas through options and try to find out where a balance could be struck. That was the reason for this consultation process.


The discussion paper was sent to a lot of people. In fact I think we sent about 15,000 copies, which included almost all the people who had interest in waste management. I think one of the things we recognized or realized during the consultation process was that this is an evolving thing. There are lots of different views. We have to hear them all and then come to some conclusions. That's what we've tried to do in this bill.

Mr Grandmaître: Tell me about northern Ontario and unorganized areas. How will they comply with Bill 7? How can they comply?

Mr Jones: Comply with Bill 7? I can speak with some experience. I used to work for the town of Kenora, which is in northern Ontario.

Mr Grandmaître: Northern enough; it's cold enough.

Mr Jones: We tend to think of it as being western, ourselves.

Mr Sorbara: It's part of western Canada. Well, it is. Kenora's part of western Canada.

Mr Jones: It's surrounded by a considerable amount of unorganized territory. Waste management there in terms of Bill 7 -- we've already heard from the town of Kenora, which said: "We studied the bill. We recognize that it gives us, in northern Ontario, what we want or what we need; that is, the ability to be able to go into unorganized territory and search for a land site for waste because we may not be able to find it within our own boundaries" --

Mr Sorbara: Why doesn't that apply to York region? Very interesting.

Mr Jones: -- "and at the same time provide an opportunity for people in unorganized territory to have some say in the decision as to the location of landfill sites through the requirement for an OMB hearing; to also provide for unorganized territory to be able to utilize a waste management site that might be managed by an organized municipality."

Mr David Johnson: Looking at the whole general area of funding, you've introduced user-pay into this bill. I guess this is one of the key concerns for a lot of the municipalities. If the question is to keep the municipalities happy and keep the bureaucrats happy, particularly in southern Ontario, the vast majority of them would be made happy -- I don't know if present company is included or not -- if we had approval to proceed with the environmental assessment at Kirkland Lake. That would make most people happy here in southern Ontario.

At any rate, the question is on user-pay. How does the government contemplate that the costs will be paid? Do they contemplate that the user-pay system will ultimately pay for the cost of the 3R program?

Mr Breeze: At present, if we look at the cost of the blue box system, it's about $80 million. The bulk of that, around 45%, is being paid by municipalities; 35% or so by the province and a smaller amount being paid by industry through what now we have in Ontario called OMMRI.

Mr David Johnson: Sorry, 45% of municipalities?

Mr Breeze: About 45% municipalities, 35% the province, I believe it's 5% or 6% OMMRI, and the rest is revenues from sales.

The government's view, as stated by the Minister of Environment and Energy when he announced the 3Rs regulations on April 29, is that there is an inequity there, that municipalities are carrying a larger part of the burden than they are in many other parts of the world and that there's a need to address it. He has indicated that he wants to redress that cost by following what he referred to, and what we've talked often in the pollution area, as polluter pays. Whoever generates the product should be responsible for the cost through its full life cycle. That's along the lines of what we see already in place, for example, in Germany, where the packagers of products are responsible for the full cost and the establishment of the infrastructure under the green dot system to do all of the recycling.

To get back to the specifics of your question, how do we envisage it being paid, certainly user-pay is part of it, but a very large part of it as well is polluter-pays. If it's packaging, the packagers should be bearing a larger part of the responsibility for the costs of that. That's how we drive reduction, it's how we drive reuse, because industry will then say there's a way out of the cost, and that's by reducing the amount of packaging: "We're out of the cost by using reusable or refillable packaging." So we see that as a very important direction.

Mr David Johnson: Okay, let's go ahead a few years. I'm going to ask you to give me the percentages that the government would target, say, two years in the future or five years in the future. How much would be paid by municipalities, how much by the province, how much through a user-pay system, how much by OMMRI, how much by the private sector?

Mr Breeze: That has to come through discussions with all of the stakeholders, municipalities --

Mr David Johnson: But the government must have some views on this. Surely the government has some thoughts on how this is going to shake out, because this is a central question to this whole thing. If you've introduced the user-pay system, surely you haven't just thrown it in there without having any views as to what component of the total cost down the road this will contribute. Let's take three years.

Mr Breeze: I can't put a specific percentage on it, other than that there needs to be a redress of that inequity and we need to work with all of the stakeholders, including industry, to talk about what is the more appropriate balance.

Mr David Johnson: The municipalities are contributing about 45% of the cost. Do you see their share going up or down? Down, I gather?

Mr Breeze: Certainly that's what we're talking about: reducing the burden on the municipal and provincial tax base.

Mr David Johnson: What about the provincial share? The provincial share is 35% at the present time. There's healthy suspicion that user-pay would be implemented to reduce the provincial share as well. Is that fair to say?

Mr Breeze: If we're moving to a polluter-pays system, where the packager, the producer of that package, is going to be paying, then you're going to see reductions in both those areas in terms of how much is being paid for the recycling system.

Mr David Johnson: Would it be the provincial government's desire to get out of paying for any of the cost, down to zero?

Mr Breeze: I can't speculate on the way it's going to look at two or three or four years down the road. It's just that there needs to be a redressing, we need to move it back to the producer. What the eventual outlook is going to be, no one could really guess at this point in time. This issue is the same in all jurisdictions as to what is going to be the appropriate balance between municipalities and how much they would pay to either the tax base or user-pay systems and how much industry should be paying. That's got to be the subject of debate and discussion.

Mr Mammoliti: Over the last little while, the mayor of North York, Mel Lastman, had made some comments both in council and in the paper about how he's thinking about getting rid of the blue box program in North York because they can't afford it.

Earlier, I'd asked you whether some municipalities have been knocking on your door. I know North York has certainly been there asking for money in the past. In my opinion -- and I'm only speculating -- he's probably going to say that this doesn't do anything for North York in terms of recycling, and the reason will probably be because we're not funding, we're not giving him anything in terms of money as a provincial government.


Where in North York could you see potential savings if North York and Mel Lastman would put their heads together and perhaps think of some very positive ways to save some money in this particular area? If Mel Lastman were here right now and he posed these questions to you, what would you recommend he do, as the mayor of North York?

The Vice-Chair: Interesting question.

Mr Breeze: It just happens that I met with North York and the commissioner of works last week on this issue and how we could work with them to reduce costs. They're looking at a study over the next couple of months that will look at alternatives to the blue box system. What they're talking about is bag systems; instead of putting it in a box, you'd put it in a bag. It has some real potential for cost savings. If I could bring forward the Etobicoke example, where we funded that truck with two compartments, with one pass instead of two passes you can pick up both the garbage and the recyclables.

I think North York and other municipalities, with the province, need to look at those kinds of options. There are significant savings there, where the public would put, as an example, two bags out, a garbage bag and a bag with the dry recyclables, the truck goes by, the garbage goes in the back, the dry recyclables in the front, and you've significantly cut operating costs.

The Vice-Chair: Sorry, Mr Mammoliti. There are two others of your caucus who would like to ask questions. Mr Wiseman, you were next, but Mr White also would like to ask a question. I'm wondering, as you've had an opportunity, whether you'd want to --

Mr Wiseman: If I let him go before me, I won't get a question. He talks too much.

The Vice-Chair: Okay, Mr Wiseman.

Mr Wiseman: Very specifically, will this bill build in the connection between the true costs of running, operating, finding and quality control of a landfill site and the disposal of waste in the municipalities? Right now it doesn't.

Mr Breeze: There's nothing specific in the bill on accounting methodologies or requirements for accounting methodologies.

Mr Wiseman: I'm not asking that. I'm asking whether, if in reality the upper-tier municipality is required to find, finance, operate and run a landfill site, this cost will somehow be connected to what the benefits would be from recycling. Would that be an outcome of this bill?

The Vice-Chair: Does anybody want to answer this?

Mr Wiseman: Maybe we could work on the answer some time.

Mr White: I'm very impressed with the quality of your flexibility in terms of the management of waste. Lots of options can be pursued in addition to a blue box. What we're looking at is recycling, not blue boxes or green cans or whatever the heck you want to call it. But what you're looking at it recycling, waste reduction, waste management. With the figures you cited before -- Mr Wiseman suggested they might be modest, and dare I say conservative -- we're talking about a saving through recycling of between $35 and $50. Why would a municipality not be eager to participate in those kinds of programs, with the flexibility and the obvious savings to them?

Mr Breeze: There are a number of municipalities that aren't running systems as efficient as the examples that have been put before you today with those numbers. They're saying they see those costs and would rather not be faced with those costs. The other, as well, is that there are many municipalities in the province that have old landfill sites that they obtained many years ago at very low cost, and they look at those low costs and they say, "This is costing us $20 or $30 a tonne," and they like those low costs.

What they're not taking into consideration is what Mr Wiseman said before. They're not taking into consideration the cost of getting up and running with those landfill sites in the future. That's the planning and the whole planning process. They're not taking into consideration the eventual costs of monitoring, surveillance, perpetual care. To back up a bit, from their perspective, when they see some $20-odd a tonne based on what they think they're paying for disposal, they see the blue box as being expensive. It only balances out when you add, as Mr Wiseman said, all of those other costs, and then it begins to look a lot more --

The Vice-Chair: Okay. Thank you very much. The Liberal caucus. Mr Sorbara.

Mr Sorbara: I just wanted to ask Mr Jones once again to repeat what he said about Kenora and the empowerment of Kenora under this bill, when it becomes law, to venture forth to the unorganized territory around Kenora to identify an environmentally appropriate disposal site.

Mr Jones: You've said basically what I said before. Yes, the legislation provides for municipalities, in fact all municipalities.

Mr Sorbara: Except the municipalities within the greater Toronto area to venture forth from their boundaries into other territory to find an environmentally suitable site for disposal, right?

Mr Jones: Correct.

Mr Sorbara: Why? Why would it be that Kenora, one of the great communities in Ontario, western Canada -- that's sort of western Canada there, although it's still in Ontario -- would be empowered to go beyond its municipal boundaries into surrounding territory to find an environmentally suitable site for waste disposal, yet the five municipalities making up the greater Toronto area are not permitted under the laws of Ontario to venture forth beyond their municipal boundaries to find an environmentally suitable site?

Why is it that Peel, York region, Metro and Durham are forced under the laws of Ontario to have to take a less suitable site, from environmental standards, if it's in its boundaries rather than a more suitable site, if a more suitable site environmentally happens to be outside the boundaries? Why do we differentiate between the powers that Kenora and every other municipality has and the municipalities in the GTA?

Mr Breeze: Our minister has stated what he has called a local disposal policy. That deals not just with the GTA; it deals across the province, where he has stated that it's more appropriate to dispose of waste close to home.

Mr Sorbara: I'm sorry to interrupt. I'm talking about the laws that govern here. I don't care what your minister's policy is or the guidelines, I'm talking about laws that govern. The laws, as you tell me about them here, permit Kenora to venture forth into unorganized territory to find an environmentally suitable site, right?

Mr Breeze: Yes. The purpose of that provision is a recognition that, for example, for separated municipalities where there is absolutely no potential for those municipalities to find a site within their boundary, to begin to look outside.

Mr Sorbara: Okay. I want to stop you right there.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Sorbara, Mr Breeze has the floor.

Mr Breeze: It isn't a carte blanche to go and look outside.

Mr Sorbara: No, I appreciate that.

Mr Breeze: It's a recognition that you are unlikely in many cases to find a site locally and so here's a provision that allows you to look outside. It doesn't mean that you have to forget about inside. So it isn't a carte blanche.

Mr Sorbara: But in the GTA, before there was any investigation as to whether or not it was possible to find a suitable site in York region, the law said, "You have to have a site in York region." Why does the law say in respect of Metro and York region, "You have to find a site there (even if there isn't an environmentally suitable site)," yet for Kenora, if there's not an appropriate site, you can venture forth? Will someone please explain the dichotomy there?

Mr Mammoliti: Point of order.

The Vice-Chair: Point of order -- better be a good one.

Mr Mammoliti: With all due respect --

Mr Sorbara: Do I hear cackling, sir?

Mr Mammoliti: With all due respect to Mr Sorbara, and I understand that this is --

The Vice-Chair: I'm sorry. What's your point of order?

Mr Mammoliti: -- a concern of his, I would suggest that perhaps this might be an appropriate question for the --

The Vice-Chair: I'm sorry. What is your point of order?

Mr Mammoliti: My point of order is that I don't believe this question should be asked to these four individuals. Perhaps it would better if he asked this question --

The Vice-Chair: I'm sorry, Mr Sorbara has the floor. He can ask the questions. I'm sorry, Mr Mammoliti, this is not a point of order, as I indicated before. The members of the committee are free to ask the questions they wish to; the delegation is not required to respond.

Mr Sorbara: I'll just reiterate my point and see if we can get an answer without an interruption from the government members.

We have one law that applies to Kenora and that's this bill, and there are many attractive things in this bill. There is another legal regime that applies to the five GTA municipalities. The problem that the people I represent have is, they don't understand why one legal regime has been superimposed on them and a different legal regime is superimposed on the people of the rest of the province. Could that be explained by you to this committee and, through this committee, to the people I represent?


Mr Jones: If we can use Kenora as the example, I think the likelihood of finding a site within the bounds of the town of Kenora is far less than the ability to find a waste disposal site within the greater Toronto area. To reiterate what Mr Breeze had said in terms of the policy, one of the considerations that has to be is to look close to home for a site. To try and go and look far afield without exploring close to home and the potential for sites in the GTA, as opposed to the potential for sites in some northern areas, just makes good sense.

Mr Sorbara: No, but I've just --

The Vice-Chair: Sorry. Thank you very much. Mr Johnson.

Mr David Johnson: I just want to finish up on the financial aspects, because I think what really concerns a lot of people in this whole issue is the financing and what the government's plans are for financing. From what I hear here today, the option of the user pay is being put forward, but there really don't seem to be any long-term plans.

If we talk about Mr Lastman, for example, and his concerns financially, I'm just trying to recall, but I think we're looking at about a $5-million 3Rs program in North York, which is today being paid by Metropolitan Toronto, the shortfall. There's a huge shortfall. The revenue doesn't pay for much in terms of the paper and the cans and the glass and that sort of thing. It's a small component of the total cost. So the waste reserve is being used -- Metropolitan Toronto's waste reserve, set up from the tippage fees, the waste being generated in Metropolitan Toronto and other regions, mostly within Metropolitan Toronto -- to pay for the large proportion of the cost. But next year the five-year agreement between North York and Metro expires and the people of North York are going to have to pick up a huge extra cost on their tax bill, and they're not going to be happy about that.

So I guess I'm wondering, when do you contemplate that the provincial government will come forward with a plan that will determine how much is going to be funded by the provincial government, how much by the private sector? The private sector is involved in this too. They're going to be part of these proceedings, and they're wondering, what is the government going to dictate to them in terms of their involvement in the funding? When is this going to get sorted out, or is there any plan? I haven't heard it here today yet.

Mr Breeze: It is clearly a priority of the waste reduction office and the ministry to address the inequity. The minister indicated in his speech to the Recycling Council of Ontario on April 29 that it was a priority and an issue that was going to be addressed up front. He indicated by August he hopes to have something forward that would begin to indicate the direction that it will be going.

There is something real already on the horizon that is an option to at least be considered by the stakeholders where the grocery products manufacturers have come forward with what they call their packaging stewardship model. They're proposing that they would go substantially beyond where the OMMRI payments currently are and that they would go beyond the one-third capital, which OMMRI is paying for, to amortize capital, plus operating costs for what municipalities are paying for the blue box system, because there's a recognition by the Grocery Products Manufacturers of Canada that that shift has to take place.

So it's not speculation; there are some real proposals on the table. Other jurisdictions have already begun to move in those directions, so there's some clear indicators on how we can begin to move, and as I've said, the minister has said he would like to have a package for initial consideration. We're shooting for August.

Mr David Johnson: I think the municipalities will be very reluctant to implement a user-pay system, which the citizens will not be very delighted about, another tax, until they find out these other components. We're starting to hear about them bit by bit. Is this the way it's going to be tackled, sort of one sector at a time -- what did you say it was, the grocery producers or whatever? -- or is there some overall plan that you're hoping will bring this together? Have you got a plan for the private sector in terms of its funding?

Mr Breeze: I've indicated the overall direction that we believe we're going in. How it's going to roll out has to be developed with all of the stakeholders. Instead of the government saying, "That's the way it's going to roll out," we need to work with packagers, the private sector and municipalities to determine what direction we're going to go in and what those splits are going to be. It's premature to say, "Here is what it's going to look like." It would be guessing.

Mr David Johnson: Again, do you anticipate that by August -- is that what I'm hearing? -- you will have sat down with all the various portions of the private sector, determined what their involvement will be and have had a report back that we could see?

Mr Breeze: It's premature to say what it will look like in August. We're in discussions with GPMC and other sectors. We're shooting to bring something forward in August that gives an indication on the direction that it will be going, but as to specifically what it's going to be, it's premature.

Mr Hayes: Just on that point of the user fees, I believe that was also recommended or welcomed by AMO, first of all. The other thing I really wanted to ask is -- maybe for the committee's understanding, what we're doing here is giving the municipalities the authority to put the cost on either taxes or user fees, or both, if they so choose.

Are you familiar with, I think it's up in Mr Grandmaître's area, Ottawa-Carleton, where there was a survey actually taken by the municipality up there, asking people if they would be willing to pay more for the 3Rs? Are you familiar with that?

Mr Jones: Yes, we understand that there was a survey conducted, a poll, if you will, and that people did indicate that they were willing to pay an additional price to be able to reduce the amount of garbage that was being sent to landfill, whether it be through reduction, reuse or recycling.

In terms of user-pay, I think it needs to be clear that this is not an additional tax that's being proposed. What's being proposed is an alternative way to be able to finance waste management systems. What you have to consider is that there are municipalities that did put a question on the ballot at the last municipal election and asked people if they were in favour of user fees. They voted it down.

But then the municipality went on an experimental basis to show what it would cost. They sent out dummy bills, if you will, to show what it would cost if the municipality charged you per bag of garbage picked up at the curb. People began to understand that they were being charged not by the wealth of their property but by how much garbage they put out and that if they really put an effort into reduction and reuse and recycling, there would be less cost to them than there may currently be through it appearing on their taxes and that there's a direct relationship between the activity of reduction and how much you pay.

"Why should I pay for my garbage," some people would say, "based on the wealth of my house? Shouldn't it be how many bags I put out? Why should I pay more on my property taxes than someone else who puts out more garbage than I do?" People are truly beginning to understand that user-pay not only allows for a reduction to occur and encourages it but it more directly relates to the actual cost of them putting garbage out at the curb.

Mr Hayes: If a municipality so chose to implement user fees, it would be an incentive for people to reduce the amount of waste in their households, for example. That's really what you're saying.


Mr Grandmaître: I'd like to stay on the cost of this program to municipalities. We've been taking for granted that AMO is on side. AMO's on side in principle. Let's be honest about this. They want to know the real cost of this program, especially to municipalities.

While we're on the subject of user fees, at the present time, municipalities, through our taxation system, are paying for garbage pickup. If municipalities, with this permissive legislation, introduced user fees, this would be an additional tax. Don't tell me it's not a tax, because we're paying taxes. Some 95% of the people in the province of Ontario are paying a garbage tax, and if you were to permit -- we are permitting -- municipalities to introduce user fees through municipal bylaw, that's an additional tax.

What AMO wants to know is: "Fine and dandy, user fees, talk about them all you want. How much is it going to cost us?" AMO still doesn't have an answer. They're waiting for this answer, because right now their approval is only in principle. When are you going to get this full approval from AMO? Tell me about your generous grants.

Mr Breeze: As Mr Jones indicated earlier, as to the user-pay system, when it's first brought forward to the public, they say this is an additional tax along the lines you have indicated, but if you can show the public, through the tax --

Mr Grandmaître: What are you doing this weekend? Do you want to come down to Ottawa and explain this to them?

Mr Breeze: If you can show the public that by switching -- it's switching, it's not on top of; the way to do it appropriately is switching from general taxation to user fees -- if they can be shown that this is a way they can reduce their taxes, reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, generally the public will go for it. They're looking for that opportunity.

It has real payback as well. It has real payback because the public won't just be taking it out of the garbage stream and putting it in the recycling stream. They'll be looking at the amount of packaging they're buying and the amount of packaging they end up paying for. They'll be looking for less packaging and buying products that have less packaging. We are therefore going to reduce the amount of waste. By reducing the amount of waste, we've won all the way around. The solution isn't recycling, and that's where user fees really coming in. It pushes the individual to go back and think about reduction, and that's the lowest cost alternative.

Mr Grandmaître: It pushes the individual to throw his garbage next door, and that's what's happening right now in Ottawa-Carleton. Supplementary, Mr Sorbara.

Mr Sorbara: I just want to point out that the former Minister of Finance, Michael Wilson, gave the very same explanation in respect of the GST this morning on the radio, that the problem really was that he didn't explain it well enough to the people and that's why it wasn't accepted.

Mr Hayes: What's your point?

Mr Sorbara: My point is that whenever governments plan on imposing a new tax, whether they call it new revenue generators or user fees, and it runs into resistance from the citizenry who after all have to pay it, the government's explanation to itself generally is: "Oh, we didn't explain it well enough. If we had made it clearer that there were great benefits here, it would have had greater public acceptance."

Frankly, that's hogwash. The problem with the taxpayers out there right now is that they are virtually bankrupt. They have no more capacity to pay additional sums, whether it be Bob Rae's surtax or Bob Rae's increase in income tax or Bob Rae's 5% tax on auto insurance or user fees for new systems of waste management. There is no more capacity to pay taxes, and you should be telling your political masters that's the reality of the province for which you work.

The Vice-Chair: I don't know whether you saw a question in there, but if you want to respond --


The Vice-Chair: Could we have some order, please.

Mr Breeze: What's important about the user-fee provision is that it is permissive. There is no imposition of this bill on the public, that it must use user fees. What we're doing is giving municipalities the broadest range of tools they can choose that are most appropriate for their residents and their municipalities. So it's permissive. It is not forcing or imposing this on --

Mr Sorbara: That's right, and in 1917, income taxes were described as temporary.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Dhar was keen to respond to this as well, and we have about half a minute left.

Mr Dhar: If I can add one more point, during our consultation process, one of the options and items that received the broadest popular support from environmental groups, municipalities, the general public, and I reiterate, the general public, was user fees.

Mr Sorbara: Trading in technicalities. I'm sorry to say that, but --

Mr Dhar: I'm repeating facts, Mr Sorbara. This is exactly what we heard and this was the one item that in fact had, as I said, broad support. Many municipalities have been pressing the province for this power.

I think one of the things to recognize is that, as Bob said earlier, it's a very broad power. Municipalities can use user fees with a mixture of taxes and user fees and apply them in such a way that they're a deterrent to higher levels of waste production.

Mr Grandmaître: On a point of order, Mr Chair: A little while ago, I asked this panel how popular user fees were with municipalities and you didn't answer my question and now you're telling me that it is very popular.

The Vice-Chair: I'm sorry, Mr Grandmaître, that's not a point of order.

Mr Sorbara: Sounds like a point of order to me.

The Vice-Chair: We'll move on to the third party. Could we have some order, please.

Mr David Johnson: Actually, I think we may have something here. You know, you charge by the bag. I think that kind of philosophy could be extended. For example, when you send children to school, you don't pay school taxes out of your property tax; you only charge by the child when he or she goes in the door. There would be so many people, the province would support that kind of concept. You don't charge for fire services; you only charge --

Mr Grandmaître: By the fire.

Mr David Johnson: -- by the fire. Sure. You don't charge for police services; it's only when the police come to your house. I think we're on to something here.

The Vice-Chair: Is that the philosophy of your party now?

Mr David Johnson: We're considering that. You know, we could extend that.

Mr Sorbara: By the shovelful.

The Vice-Chair: Could we have some order, please.


The Vice-Chair: Could we have some order. Mr Johnson has the floor and he has five minutes.

Mr David Johnson: When the people from Durham come into Metropolitan Toronto, we could charge them on the Don Valley Parkway for the full cost of the maintenance of the Don Valley Parkway, and the air pollution and other associated costs. I really think we're on to something. We could charge them for the full value of the water instead of getting it at discount rates in the region of Durham.

The Vice-Chair: Is this your question?

Mr David Johnson: I started out on flow control and I think I got the answer, but I just want to pin it down 100%. The industrial, commercial and institutional sector is not affected. This is only flow control at the municipal level. There's still some doubt, though, that this could be misinterpreted down the road. What would your views be if it was more specifically written in -- for example, on page 9, I guess, is one place where this comes up -- that this does not include the ICI sector? Is there any problem with that, since that's what you're saying at any rate?

Mr Jones: I think I've indicated that there have been some people who have interpreted that it needs to be clarified further, and that this afternoon the minister will give the response of the government.

Mr David Johnson: So we'll wait until then.

You've also indicated that the minister is going to indicate his response with regard to regional municipalities assuming total waste responsibilities. Shall I wait for that? One of my concerns is that here within Metropolitan Toronto the Metropolitan council could, by a simple vote, without any discussion with the local municipalities, assume all responsibilities of waste collection, including curbside collection, and I don't think that's right.

Is it your statement that the minister is going to address that this afternoon, or should I ask you about that? I think that needs to be addressed.

Mr Jones: Yes. I've also indicated the minister is going to speak about the voting requirements for assumption of waste management powers by the upper tier, yes.


Mr David Johnson: So I should wait and listen to him. Okay.

You say municipalities have complained abut the current lack of entry powers on to eligible sites in their site search. Here certainly in the GTA the provincial government has taken over the site search responsibility. I must admit some ignorance. I don't know what happens in the rest of the province. Do the municipalities still have the authority to search for sites in the rest of the province?

Mr Breeze: Yes, In the greater Toronto area, the Interim Waste Authority is involved in the site search, and in Bill 143 that's now the Waste Management Act, powers along these lines were given to the IWA in terms of getting on to properties. Municipalities are responsible for planning. They generally produce 25-year plans and work with us as the waste reduction office in the Ministry of Environment to develop those plans, and one of the problems they have is getting on the land and it can --

Mr David Johnson: So it's your contemplation that the municipalities would continue to have this authority outside of the GTA.

Mr Breeze: Oh, yes.

Mr David Johnson: There's no change contemplated in that.

Mr Ted Arnott (Wellington): Just getting back to the issue of user fees, I listened closely to the Liberal member talking about the level of tax toleration that has been reached and exceeded, and you're saying that user fees would be popular.


Mr Arnott: Is that not what you were saying, that user fees would be more popular and palatable?

Mr Dhar: All I can say is that during the consultation process, there was a lot of support for user fees from a broad spectrum of people.

Mr Arnott: If you wanted to make them very popular -- this is a suggestion -- if you say you're going to collect, say, $50,000 worth of user fees, cut taxes $50,000 worth in an aggregate amount and tell the people that and then you'll have popular user fees.

Mr Jones: Again, the legislation is permissive. It gives municipalities an alternative to providing for waste management to be paid through the property tax. This broadens the range of ability to be able to charge for waste management. Yes, if a municipality wanted to implement a user-pay system in its municipality, part of the education and the understanding of the public has to be that there's going to be an alternate drop in their property taxes. This is a substitute.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much. We'll move on to the government caucus now. I have Mr Wiseman, Mr Fletcher and Mr Mammoliti. It's up to you to choose.

Mr Wiseman: My question is really quite quick. It has to do with the business of garbage and the fact that people who own landfill sites or municipalities that own landfill sites and are able to decide what the tipping fees are can decide what the tipping fees are going to be, out of all relationship to what it really costs to run the facility. Having said that, where is the incentive to these municipalities to divert waste from these money-making, money-generating landfill sites and divert the waste into recycling programs?

Mr Sorbara: Profit is such --

Mr Grandmaître: Profits.

Mr Wiseman: Profit's a lovely thing, but the point I'm trying to make here is that if a municipality is responsible for running a landfill site and is making huge dollars from it, as Metro does at Keele Valley and Brock West, then where is the incentive to divert the waste from those landfill sites in a more costly but more environmentally sensitive way?

Mr Sorbara: High tipping fees --

The Vice-Chair: I'm sorry, but we don't have a discussion here.

Mr Wiseman: No, no, they make money --

The Vice-Chair: Mr Breeze, did you want to respond?

Mr Breeze: The largest incentive in the things that we've been talking about today is the 3Rs regulations themselves. They will be required to establish these systems and to put them in, so that's perhaps the largest driving force. The second is public pressure. The public are demanding that --

Mr Wiseman: Maybe the second is not to allow them to own the landfill sites, but to have some other agency do it.

Mr Derek Fletcher (Guelph): I'm looking at where we were 10, 15, 20 years ago as far as people getting rid of their waste is concerned. It was throw it out in the street and it got picked up and no one cared.

Mr Hayes: Even four years ago.

Mr Fletcher: You're right, even four years ago. As we started to progress, we started getting into blue boxes, recycling. People started thinking about composting and the whole idea of being a little more knowledgeable and a little more conscious about what's going on in the environment, and what we're doing as users is something that has really grown over the years. We've all begun to look at the people who manufacture our garbage and the people who get rid of our garbage.

I think that, as far as Bill 7 is concerned, it is another step in the process. We're heading toward a society that, again, should be receptive to this sort of bill. We are moving ahead in this respect. This is another step in the process. Of course we're not going to, because we take a snapshot now, fix every problem overnight. It does take some time and this will take time to implement. When this is implemented, we can refine it somewhere down the road. This is not the catch-all, the be-all, but it's a step in the right direction. Is that it, Bill 7?

Mr Jones: Yes, and Bill 7 -- let me explain it this way. The waste management puzzle has many pieces. One of the pieces to the puzzle is the municipal sector, and Bill 7 addresses the needs and the wants of municipalities so that they can fulfil their part of the waste management puzzle.

Mr Mammoliti: Here's something else that it does. I've been here for three years and for three years I've heard opposition members stand up in the Legislature and say: "Why isn't the government giving a little more control to the grass-roots municipalities? Why isn't the provincial government saying, `Leave a lot of your decision-making up to the municipalities'? Change the appropriate laws that would allow that to happen."

I have heard that consistently, even from Mr Sorbara, who is here today. Does this legislation permit for that and, more specifically, doesn't this legislation say if a municipality wants user fees for garbage, then the municipality will decide? Frankly, from what I'm hearing here today, they're almost blaming you as bureaucrats and already anticipating what their municipality is going to decide. To me that's unfair. Does this give them the authority to make the decisions that they have been squawking for for a long period of time? I think the answer is yes.

Mr Jones: In a word, yes.

Mr Sorbara: Who writes your material?

The Vice-Chair: He's got the easy answers whether you're happy or --

Mr Sorbara: My friend from Yorkview needs a new scriptwriter.

Mr Mammoliti: As long as you understand it, Greg.

Mr Sorbara: I want to get back to incineration and the government's virtual ban on incineration and a comment made I think by Mr Breeze earlier on about the purpose of the ban being to encourage reuse and recycling. He gave me the example of cardboard, I think, how it's better to make more cardboard out of cardboard than to have a competing incinerator hungry for that fuel to generate power. We don't have 4Rs any more, I say parenthetically. We've eliminated recovery. I think that was a foolish mistake, by the way. But be that as it may, why do we still allow people to burn firewood in Ontario?

Mr Fletcher: That's a good question. I think we should stop that.

Mr Breeze: If we look at the regulation, what it bans is the incineration of mixed solid waste. It bans the incineration of specific materials. There are exemptions. One of the exemptions --

Mr Sorbara: Wouldn't it be better to --

The Vice-Chair: Could we give Mr Breeze a chance to respond?

Mr Breeze: One of the exemptions is wood, so if a northern mill, for example, wanted to incinerate the wood that was left, they would be able to do that. There's a recognition that when you're dealing with clean wood, you're not getting the levels of contaminants that would come up a stack when you're putting plastics and a lot of other materials in there, where you will get high levels of contamination.

Mr Sorbara: You made the argument that you wanted to reuse cardboard rather than use it as a fuel. The wood logs that I put in my fireplace could be cardboard three or four times before I burned them. Based on the arguments that you made, we should be banning the burning of firewood. After all, compared to modern technologies of incineration with scrubbers and all of those facilities, the average household chimney or fire-burning cookstove is a terrible pollutant to the environment. Why do we allow that?

Mr Breeze: I'm not an air expert. What I can say, though, is that exemption for wood incineration recognized that there are large amounts of wood wastes in northern Ontario, that in fact --

Mr Sorbara: No, no, no, no. I'm talking about southern Ontario. We burn more wood in southern Ontario than we do in northern Ontario. We burn wood in fireplaces, in cookstoves, in wood furnaces. We burn a whole bunch of it. You're saying to me it's okay to burn firewood.


Mr Breeze: It's okay to burn wood in incinerators as well. That's one of the exemptions --

Mr Sorbara: But you're saying it's okay to burn firewood, but we don't want to burn cardboard, which was potentially firewood before it became cardboard.

Mr Fletcher: It's processed.

Mr Breeze: It's already processed. You've got a material that you can put right back in to produce other cardboard, produce boxes, produce other useful materials from it.

Mr Sorbara: It took 50 years to grow the trees. Why don't we make it into cardboard before we burn it, instead of allowing people to burn it in their cookstoves?

Mr Fletcher: Because when you process it, it is cardboard.

Mr Sorbara: I wouldn't hire Fletcher as your alternate, by the way.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Sorbara, any other questions? You have a minute left.

Mr Sorbara: No. I'm just waiting for an answer for that.

Mr Breeze: I'm not sure I follow the last line of questioning, I'm sorry. Perhaps you could repeat it.

Mr Sorbara: You said to me that one of the reasons for discouraging incineration is to keep products like cardboard out of incinerators as fuels so that we can encourage a market for reuse of cardboard so it can be cardboard again. I'm telling you that the cardboard, before it was cardboard, was a tree, and lots of people burn those trees, and you're saying that's okay, even in the unscrubbed chimney situations of the typical woodburning cookstove or woodburning fireplace or woodburning furnace. You can do that, but heaven help us if we burn cardboard, which is the tree having gone through one generation of use. Does that make any sense?

Mr Breeze: Well, there are two things on the table, and one is, should we be banning fireplaces in the province? I don't know if that's the proposal, to ban fireplaces. I think what we're talking about is incineration, and should we be banning incineration for wood wastes?

I think in your question I'm getting a sense that, should we not be taking that wood waste that's going into the incinerator and making it back into paper? I'm not so sure that you can. The kinds of wood wastes that are generally being dealt with are mixed woods. It's bark off of trees, it's materials like that which the exemption in the regulation is allowing to happen. I'm not sure, and I'm not an expert, that it can go back into cardboard.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much. The time has expired for the Liberal caucus. Mr Johnson. That's probably going to be the end of this morning's discussion.

Mr David Johnson: Getting back to the user-pay again, I must say I'm not totally opposed to user-pay. You have to put up a good front here, but nevertheless I can see there may be some merit in it.

I wonder if there's been any really legitimate study into the administration costs of the user-pay system, because if the municipalities have a problem with it, it's going to be, one, that it's going to be viewed as an extra tax, no question about it. You can tell them that their tax bill has gone down accordingly, but 99% of the people won't believe it. They'll just see it as an extra tax. Number two will be a real concern of administration costs; you know, extra bureaucracy and costs to the taxpayer. Have you done any legitimate study on that?

Mr Breeze: User-pay systems have been looked at. I can't quote any of the studies, but there are ways of reducing those costs. If you're going to weigh each bag and then charge it up at the truck and then roll it back out through some kind of bill, that could prove to be very expensive.

Some jurisdictions, in Germany for example, are looking at and starting to use those, so they're not beyond question, but there are ways of doing it more cheaply. For example, you offer to the public once a year, or at regular intervals in the year, a number of bags. So they simply go and they get 30 or 40 bags.

Mr David Johnson: Is that the kind of system that's in place in Seattle?

Mr Breeze: So there are no additional administration costs other than the provision of those bags. If the public generated more waste than the bags they've just been given, then they would have to go and buy those from the municipality. The municipality is only then involved in selling bags, which is a very low administrative cost.

Mr David Johnson: Okay. One other topic then. In terms of the general issue of waste management, of course, a good chunk of the waste now is going south to the United States, and Metropolitan Toronto has asked the provincial government to close off the border. I think probably the private sector was not so keen on having the border closed off, but I wonder what plans, if any, you have. I know this issue has been before the provincial government for a long time now, and there doesn't seem to be any plan coming forward.

Mr Breeze: There are about 1.3 million tonnes of waste that leave the province and go south of the border, and they're being attracted down south because of the very low tipping fees, tipping fees that, as Mr Wiseman has pointed out, don't reflect the real cost, often, down in the south at $20, $30 a ton. They're going down there because of the high cost in Metro. They used to be $150-odd a tonne, $150 to $170, and now that's gone down to $80, $90 a tonne. So it's likely with that reduction in the tipping fees by Metro Toronto that we're going to see much of those wastes returned.

Mr David Johnson: Not much, a little bit.

Mr Breeze: Control of the provincial border is not a provincial responsibility; it's a federal responsibility. Transborder movement falls under the federal government, and our minister wrote to Mr Charest, the Minister of the Environment federally, and asked him to take action to control the border.

Mr Charest wrote back about a week and a half ago and he said, first of all, they accepted that responsibility. Second, they talked about putting in place a voluntary system of control, and third, they're talking about potential amendments to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act that would provide on a legislative basis that measure of control.

We're looking to the federal government to implement such a system so that the borders can be effectively controlled.

Mr Wiseman: I have a quick question for the blue box. Why are we not including in the collection of the blue box aluminum foil, aluminum ladders, aluminum chairs and all of those things that we've been told would make the blue box a little bit more economical because aluminum has an infinite reuse.

Mr Breeze: There are two lists in the regulation. List 1 is what is mandated, and it's aluminum, glass -- that's aluminum beverage containers -- PET, ferrous and old newsprint. We have list 2 where all of those other materials you've talked about are included in the regulation, and we're encouraging municipalities to pick up, especially those where they in fact can generate additional revenues. They're required by the regulation to pick up any two.

Many municipalities will do exactly what you're proposing, pick up those where the biggest revenues are.

Mr Wiseman: That's aluminum.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much. The committee now stands adjourned, and thank you very much to the representatives of the two ministries. I thought it was a very interesting exchange this morning and, again, thank you for coming.

The committee recessed at 1157 and resumed at 1539.

The Vice-Chair: Before we start with the presentation from the minister, we have a bit of business of the committee to do. Your subcommittee met just before the opening of this meeting and reviewed the list of groups that will be contacted for hearings as time progresses. I understand the clerk has distributed the list of possible presenters, and I think Mr Mammoliti has a motion.

Mr Mammoliti: I move adoption of the subcommittee's latest report. That's the list of witnesses.

The Vice-Chair: All in favour? Opposed? Carried.

It's my pleasure to welcome the Minister of Municipal Affairs, the Honourable Ed Philip.

The minister has informed me that he does have to leave by around 5 o'clock. If that's agreeable with the committee, that gives us an hour and 20 minutes. If there are further questions, perhaps some of the ministry officials might be able to answer some of those questions.

Mr David Johnson: We can have a discussion on that if we come back a second day, I guess.

Hon Ed Philip (Minister of Municipal Affairs): That's fine. We could do that. If it looks like we're going to run over 5, I'd just like to be able to call my office and reschedule something back there, that's all.

The Vice-Chair: I would say that's reasonable and I'm sure it's agreeable to the committee. Mr Minister, if you want to make an opening statement and then, as in the morning, we'll open it up for questions from the members.

Hon Mr Philip: Fine. I don't know who may be familiar with the staff I have here, but Bill Freeman is my policy adviser; he's sitting beside me. As you know, this is in many ways much more an environmental bill than a municipal bill, and we do have staff from the Ministry of Environment and Energy. Bob Breeze is the acting director back there, waving, with the white shirt and grey suit. Scott Gray is solicitor for the legal branch of my ministry; I see he has arrived. Satish Dhar is the senior policy adviser in local government policy branch. Paul Jones is the manager of the local government policy branch in the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.

For any of the technical questions and so forth, you may feel free to direct your questions to them. By the same token, if they feel that any of my answers need elaboration, no doubt they'll want to add to what I've said. I'll try to make my remarks as brief as possible because that'll allow a maximum amount of dialogue.

In 1991, the government announced the waste reduction action plan designed to reduce the amount of waste sent to disposal facilities by at least 25% by 1992 and by at least 50% by the year 2000. The province met its 1992 target. Earlier this year the Minister of Environment and Energy announced 3Rs regulations, and these regulations are intended to help the province reach a 50% target by the year 2000.

The new regulations will save money on waste disposal, simplify approvals for recycling facilities and, ultimately, by the year 2000, reduce Ontario's garbage production by about 2 million tonnes a year. That's up to 200,000 truckloads of garbage for which we won't need any landfill space. That's vital today, as we experience dwindling waste disposal capacity.

The regulations will require blue box recycling, composting of leaf and yard material and home composting programs for municipalities with a population of more than 5,000. Large industrial, commercial and institutional waste generators will have to do waste audits and waste reduction work plans and implement recycling programs.

A large number of groups, including the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, participated in the development of these regulatory requirements. The 3Rs regulations are among the most ambitious of any jurisdiction in North America.

Although municipalities are now required to undertake the 3Rs program, and indeed a great many have been undertaking them for some time, they do not have all the full range of waste management powers that are necessary to do so. As well, several municipalities, along with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, have asked for increased powers.

What Bill 7 does is to provide all municipalities with expanded powers to develop comprehensive waste management systems, including the powers needed to engage in a wide range of 3Rs activities. It includes amendments to the Municipal Act, the Regional Municipalities Act, 13 regional acts and the Municipal Affairs Act. Let me provide some of the specifics of the enabling legislation.

Under the amendments to the Municipal Act, municipalities can establish and operate facilities for all waste management activities: collecting, reducing, reusing, recycling and waste disposal. They can charge user fees for waste collection and disposal. They will now have entry powers into potential waste management sites, such as candidate sites for landfills to conduct surveys and soil tests; these entry powers, of course, are balanced to ensure that the rights of property owners are protected. Penalties for breaching the municipal waste bylaws have also been increased, and municipalities can engage in research and development and market products made from the waste materials.

The legislation goes even further.

Even in areas where 3Rs powers already exist, they are vague and unclear about how the powers are distributed between the two tiers of municipal government in counties and regional municipalities. Bill 7 addresses this issue. It states that whatever level of government is responsible for waste disposal sites also now has the power to operate the 3R facilities.

Whatever level of government has the power to collect waste now has the power to collect recyclables. Generally, the responsibility for collection of both waste and recyclables remains with the lower tier, while processing and 3Rs facilities move to the upper tier.

Bill 7 will enable counties and regions where there is no direct election to assume collection functions, but only if a majority of the council, representing a majority of local municipalities, votes in favour. In regions with direct election, a majority vote of the regional council is required.

You've heard concerns about the process by which upper-tier municipalities can assume any or all waste management functions, and I can say this very honestly: We are quite willing to consider alternatives to the voting requirements proposed in this bill. We look forward to hearing various people's suggestions on the issue and to hearing from you if you have some other ideas of how this can be handled. We'll certainly consider if you wish to move any amendments that you feel will be more satisfactory.

The legislation also allows municipalities to charge user fees. People pay for garbage services now through property taxes, but under this legislation, municipalities would be allowed to compute and to levy what they feel are fees in a different way, but only of course if they choose to do so.

Since Bill 7 was introduced, we've had discussions with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and the Ontario Waste Management Association. As a result of those discussions, we are prepared to introduce an amendment during clause-by-clause debate that would further clarify that municipalities shall not have flow control powers.

I know there are concerns about the cost of the blue box program, and we have been asked why we are giving additional powers to municipalities when there seems to be too little money to pay for the 3Rs program. I'd like to make a few points related to the cost of the recycling programs.

First of all, the vast majority of municipalities that will be required to operate the blue box programs are in fact already doing so. Only 12 municipalities face significant costs that they aren't already paying.

Secondly, Ontarians spend about $33 per household per year on the blue box program. That's less than a dollar a week. In Durham region, for example, the net cost of the program, after the sale of recyclable materials, works out to only 15 cents per resident per week. I don't need to remind anyone about the high cost of finding new landfill sites and bringing them on stream when current sites are full. Beside that cost, the cost of recycling is a bargain.

Thirdly, in spite of the fiscal pressure that led to the government's expenditure control plan, the level of Ministry of Environment and Energy funding for blue box programs has been maintained.

Finally, the people of Ontario, I think, want their municipalities to operate recycling programs. Polls have shown people would be willing to pay a little bit more to reduce the amount of garbage that goes into their landfill sites. There's no free lunch. It's a matter of either you pay now or you pay later, and I think the people understand that. People who attended the hearings we held before drafting the legislation strongly supported these recycling programs.

Still, I'm sympathetic, empathetic, to the plight of some municipal governments. I understand that there are those who worry about the costs of the blue box programs and about funding further initiatives, and I think the private sector realizes this too. The government intends to see that we all work together to ensure that municipalities do not shoulder an unfair share of the costs of waste reduction and are not excluded from the financial rewards.


We're working with municipalities and industry to establish stronger markets for materials collected in the 3Rs program, to increase municipal revenues from these programs. There are revenues and certainly benefits to be had in doing that. Businesses are beginning to realize that garbage is not just a problem but is also a resource and that reduction, reusing and recycling make good business sense.

We are also looking at ways to apply the "polluter pays" concept to waste reduction. Those most responsible for introducing single-use disposable products and packaging into the marketplace have a parallel responsibility for the costs of diverting this material from disposal. This will ensure a fairer distribution of waste reduction costs.

Our government believes that not only is it possible to hit our target of 50% reduction in waste by the year 2000 but it's possible to do so in a way that makes good sense for the environment but also good economic sense. This bill is a vital part of our plan to make it happen.

I'd be happy to hear your comments and suggestions -- they certainly will be taken very seriously by my staff and myself -- and answer any questions, as will my staff and the staff of the Ministry of Environment.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much, Minister. With the agreement of the committee, perhaps we'll follow the same procedure as this morning, that we give to each caucus five minutes for questions and we rotate. If this is agreeable, we'll start with the official opposition.

Mr Grandmaître: Mr Minister, let's talk about user fees for a minute. Do you consider user fees as an extra tax?

Hon Mr Philip: No.

Mr Grandmaître: You don't? Can you explain this to me?

Hon Mr Philip: Yes, I think that you pay no matter how you do it. The municipality has a right to charge its costs in whatever way that is necessary, that it sees fit and that benefits its community. Whether you pay out of taxes or whether you pay out of a user fee I think is a local municipal responsibility. The one thing we do know, however, is that in some jurisdictions, such as parts of the United States, where user fees have been used, even in a discretionary way, such as we are suggesting, they are a strong motivator for people to recycle, to be more conservative in how they dispose of things. In fact, it has reduced the amount of waste. I think it's got to be a local option and local municipalities have to make that decision on their own.

Mr Grandmaître: I realize, Mr Minister, that this is enabling legislation providing municipalities with the power to charge user fees. Was it the choice of the majority of municipalities in the province of Ontario to go to user fees instead of increasing property taxes?

Hon Mr Philip: Of course I'm just the new minister and consulting with the municipalities. I don't know whether it's a majority or not, but certainly when you introduce enabling legislation, what you're aiming at is not the majority. The enabling legislation allows municipalities, or whatever body you're putting in the enabling legislation for, to adapt a system to their needs. Therefore, whether there was a majority or whether there was just a strong number of municipalities that asked for that -- and some of them did -- then the enabling legislation simply allows those who feel that it's important to use it and those who don't feel it's important not to use it. I think that's the kind of flexibility that we as a government see as necessary in our relationship to the municipalities.

We're not forcing this on anybody. If you want to use the user fees, fine, in the same way that when I introduced my community economic development proposals yesterday, we're not saying that every community has to develop the program, that every community has to have an investor program. Hopefully there will be 35 or 40 communities of interest that will decide this is a way of stimulating business. Those that decide not to do that, then that's their choice, but we have to give vehicles and some flexibility and that's why we have enabling legislation.

Mr Grandmaître: I realize it's only enabling legislation, but at the same time you're telling maybe 77% or 78% of our municipalities of over 5,000 population that they should have this program. Aren't you imposing a new tax?

Hon Mr Philip: No. They're paying for it anyway. Garbage costs municipalities money.

Mr Grandmaître: But with this additional program, this will increase the cost.

Hon Mr Philip: Why? What proof do you have of that?

Mr Grandmaître: Well, tell me otherwise, because on page 6 --

Hon Mr Philip: On the contrary then, I --

The Vice-Chair: If we could perhaps, you know -- question-and-answer type of thing.

Mr Grandmaître: Well, he's asking me questions. I thought it was the reverse.

Hon Mr Philip: When completely unfounded assertions are made, then I think I have a right as the minister to ask what the database is.

The Vice-Chair: You have a right to do it but in the proper order. Who was next here?

Mr Grandmaître: I was.

The Vice-Chair: I think Mr Grandmaître was --

Mr Grandmaître: I was trying to answer his question.

Hon Mr Philip: Mr Grandmaître I've known for a number of years and he's such a friendly fellow that I'm not going to be provocative with him. I'm just asking him to supply me with any evidence.

The Vice-Chair: One final question, Mr Grandmaître.

Mr Grandmaître: Then my final question: Mr Minister, can you refer to page 6 of your statement?

Hon Mr Philip: Page 6 of my statement. Okay.

Mr Grandmaître: Yes, the third paragraph:

"Still, I understand the plight of some municipal governments. I understand that there are those who worry about the costs of blue box programs and about funding further initiatives." This is gone. "I think the private sector realizes this too. The government intends to see that we all work together to ensure that municipalities do not shoulder an unfair share of the costs of waste reduction and are not excluded from the financial rewards."

Can you tell me about the financial rewards?

Hon Mr Philip: Yes. We have a number of financial rewards that we've worked on with different municipalities. For example, in my own municipality of Etobicoke we're just encouraging it with a new system of collecting garbage and recyclable on the same truck. That initiative, which was sponsored, I believe, by the Ministry of Environment and Energy, in fact is developing a way which is a more economically efficient way of dealing with it, will reduce its costs and we think will act as a pilot project to help other municipalities.

We have numerous incentives in terms of research that is available through the former Ministry of Industry, Trade and Technology, through the Ministry of Energy, working with municipalities at reducing pollutants, such as air pollutants in the case of transportation research projects.

We have heavily subsidized our own research institutes to develop energy-efficient and waste-reducing new products. An example of that, of course, would be the program at Ortech International in which we are putting money into finding ways of recycling pharmaceutical containers, and some municipalities are working with us. There are a number of incentives like that available both to private enterprise and to municipalities through the government.

Mr David Johnson: Maybe just to follow one step further, you're talking about grants to municipalities, I gather. When you're talking about financial rewards, you're talking about grants to municipalities to establish new technologies or new systems?

Hon Mr Philip: Yes. There's also the ability to sell the material and we've been working closely with municipalities to find new product uses and new markets. Of course, we're finding that we're being so successful in some areas, such as newspaper recycling, that we're even making a profit out of taking newspapers from the United States, recycling them here and shipping them back to the United States.

Mr David Johnson: Could you give us a few more examples of how you're working with municipalities to find new markets and to find new materials that can be recycled?

Hon Mr Philip: Yes. Bob has been working closely on that program. Bob, could you take a microphone and just go through the litany of some of the programs we were discussing earlier today?


Mr Breeze: I'm Bob Breeze, director of the waste reduction office, Ministry of Environment and Energy.

There are a number of programs we have in the Ministry of Environment, what we call the industrial waste diversion program, and we fund industry to come forward with innovative technologies that will take blue box materials and put them to new uses. One of the examples that I talked about this morning was Domal, where they take 36 tires to develop a mechanism that will reduce the maintenance costs that municipalities are incurring.

Mr David Johnson: Yes, we heard that one.

Mr Breeze: So Domal is an example.

Resource Technology Inc is another tire-crumbing facility where we invested, I believe, $1.5 million and it will recycle about 1.5 million tires per year from the economy. So markets are being developed through the industrial waste diversion program.

In addition to that, we have what we call our material utilization strategy teams. The waste reduction office chairs four separate teams. One is for construction and demolition waste, one is for paper fibre, one is compost and the other one is plastics, and we work with all of the stakeholders on developing markets and finding ways of making it happen. Some are financial, some are technical, some are simply cutting the red tape.

Mr David Johnson: Have you any estimate of the volume or the tonnage of materials that these studies would correspond to? In terms of tires, for example, you've said -- I forget -- so many numbers of tires, but is that convertible into tonnage?

Mr Breeze: It's tough to convert it directly to a tonne, but our sense is it works out to about -- we have about 400 projects. We think we're going to divert about one million tonnes.

Hon Mr Philip: I think it's safe to say, as well, that if you were to --

Mr David Johnson: A million tonnes a year?

Mr Breeze: A million tonnes a year, 10% of the --

Mr David Johnson: So what would be the makeup of the million tonnes?

Mr Breeze: It would be tires, plastics, the widest range. The 400 projects address almost all.

Mr David Johnson: Are you including the current tonnage that's in the paper, the cans, the glass that are currently picked up in that million tonnes?

Mr Breeze: The million tonnes is our estimate of what would get diverted from if we add up each of the projects that we funded. So in some cases it might; in other cases it might not.

Mr David Johnson: And that's across the province of Ontario.

Mr Breeze: Across the province.

Mr David Johnson: Okay. Just to shift to another part of that sentence, and I'll have to come back to this next time, but you said that, "The government intends to see that we all work together to ensure that municipalities do not shoulder an unfair share of the costs of waste reduction." Could you tell me what you would consider a fair share for the municipalities to shoulder?

Hon Mr Philip: I think that right now they are shouldering a large section of the costs of disposal of garbage. What we've shown is that through this program, some municipalities are actually reducing their costs of garbage disposal. As a matter of fact, if we take the figures -- Bill has them on Brockville, is it? I have some figures here I can provide you with. He actually shows that their costs of disposal are going down. For example, in Belleville, the net blue box revenue was $144 a tonne and the cost of disposal was $159 a tonne, for a savings of $15 a tonne.

In a few places the blue box program has been cheaper than disposal when the provincial grants are taken into consideration. For example, in Metropolitan Toronto the net blue box cost is $187 a tonne. With provincial grants of $76 a tonne, the net cost of revenue and grants was $111 a tonne, while the cost of disposal would have been $145 a tonne, so there is a saving there of $34 a tonne, and I could take you through different municipalities.

In those municipalities, however, where there are certain inefficiencies, the Ministry of Environment and Energy is working closely with those municipalities to find ways of increasing their efficiency and therefore bringing down the cost of their blue box programs. The more you bring it down, of course, and the more markets you find and the more research you do which develops new products, then the cost goes down with the blue box program in direct ratio to the cost of disposing in landfill sites.

Mr Hayes: I don't have a direct question for the minister; I'd just like to make a comment in regard to user fees. I was just thinking of some of the municipalities over the years that have had, and some of them still do, water lines, for example, and have set flat rates; in other words, everybody paid the same regardless of how much water they consumed. I think a good example is my own municipality, in Maidstone, where I've seen people water their grass 24 hours a day in the hot weather, and after they came along and installed water meters, you didn't see that sprinkler running very often. That's an example right there. If you want to call that user-pay, well, that is user-pay, but it also cut down on the consumption of water and actually people pay their fair share on what they use. I think this is what we're looking at here.

The other thing is that it's not the upper tier that decides on the user fee; it's the lower municipality that decides whether it uses the user fee or not.

Hon Mr Philip: I agree. The experience in private enterprise, if you want it to be analogous, is that condominiums that installed their own meter system for electricity and gas have found that the total cost has gone down substantially. That's true also of private enterprise, apartment houses, where putting in individual meters actually decreases the cost because people become more conscious of the cost.

Of course, there are members in the House, I think in all three parties, who say that maybe as a way of impressing on people the cost of medicine, it would be useful if once a year there was a computer audit that said, "This is what you ran up in OHIP fees and here's what you received for it"; that it might make people more conscious of how they use the system.

The Vice-Chair: What about meters for parliamentary speeches?

Hon Mr Philip: Well, considering who's speaking at the moment, I won't use an analogy about gas consumption or anything like that.

Mr White: Minister, this may be a question you wish to defer to one of your staff or perhaps Mr Breeze.

Hon Mr Philip: I prefer those questions.

Mr White: I'm really struck by the difference in costs per tonne on recycling. I mean, we have a range of $109 to $245; $245 is unfortunately the cost in the regional municipality in Durham. I can't understand for the life of me how it is that that program is so expensive. How can the ministries of Environment or Municipal Affairs help people understand better ways of administering these programs? It seems to be a major difficulty.

Hon Mr Philip: There is a variety of reasons why different programs cost different prices. One is that the larger the program, there are some efficiencies in size; there are some efficiencies in how far you are from a potential market, so distance plays a role; transportation costs, if you're transporting heavy materials like glass; and of course the type of collection and processing.

This is a very good opportunity for the Ministry of Environment to work with some municipalities to find ways of reducing those costs. That's why, as I said, there are experiments being promoted by the Ministry of Environment in certain municipalities, and as we find new and more efficient ways of doing it, such as the Etobicoke experiment at the moment, we'll be able to take a municipality that is high -- you mentioned Durham is at about $245 a tonne -- and help it to reduce it considerably.


Mr White: So the Ministry of Environment is actively working to help municipalities learn more efficient administration of those programs?

Hon Mr Philip: Yes. I'd ask Bob from the Ministry of Environment to give some additional information on some of that.

Mr Breeze: We have a material recycling support program where we fund up to 100% per demonstration project. On the example that Mr Philip brought forward, Etobicoke, we're paying 100% of that cost. Another municipality that would come forward with other demonstrations could be considered under that program as well. We try to carry those demonstration costs.

Hon Mr Philip: You'd better go after Durham. They cost too much.

Mrs Joan M. Fawcett (Northumberland): Minister, questions have been raised to us around the subject of organic waste and the targets being set for commercial businesses such as fast food outlets and doughnut shops and how they are to deal with their tonnes of waste. It's my understanding that now there's only one facility that will process this. It's really causing concern to these businesses, because they don't know how they're going to be able to meet the targets set out and the increased costs to them to transport this to this only one facility. Are there plans to open new facilities or to assist them in some way or relax that? This is a real concern to them, because the extreme cost is really going to cut into their already beleaguered businesses in some areas.

Hon Mr Philip: Bob, you have some updated information on what the Ministry of Environment has been doing on that. It's my understanding that there is next to no reusable products simply being stored at the moment, with a couple of exceptions of contaminated products. Bob?

Mr Breeze: I believe you're referring to the 3Rs regulations that were recently announced by the Minister of Environment. It requires that prescribed industrial, commercial and institutional establishments do two things: first, to conduct an audit and develop a work plan on how they're going to reduce their waste towards the 50% target; and the second is to source-separate prescribed materials.

In that regulation there is no requirement for any business to meet a specific target or to maximize the diversion through the waste audit and the work plan. The 50% is a provincial target and doesn't apply to one individual company. Each company will do its best towards achieving the provincial target.

As far as the source separation is concerned, there are markets for all of the materials that are identified in the regulations, whether glass, aluminum, ferrous, PET. The markets are reasonably stable and there are no stockpiles at this point in time.

Mrs Fawcett: But what about the organic waste? That was my question, around the organic waste.

Mr Breeze: The regulation for the ICI sector does not cover organic waste. They're required to separate the glass, the ferrous -- those things where we know there are markets. There is no requirement for the ICI to compost, at this point in time, the organic waste. The organic waste part of the regulation is only with respect to municipalities. There are two parts to it. The leaf and yard waste must be collected by the municipality, composted and put to a useful purpose. Second are the backyard composting programs. But ICI establishments do not have a composting requirement in the regulations.

Mr Sorbara: Mr Chairman, given that there is just a moment or two left --

The Vice-Chair: A minute and a half.

Mr Sorbara: -- I wonder if I could add this minute and a half to the next round, because I have a series of questions that can't be completed in a minute and a half.

The Vice-Chair: I think that's agreeable, if that's agreeable to his caucus members. If they want to give up their time later on, I think that's up to the caucus.


Mr David Johnson: He's going to add his on next time.

Hon Mr Philip: No, I think he wants to take some of the time that's left to Mrs Fawcett on the next rotation.

Mr Fletcher: On a point of order, Mr Chair: We'll give up our time and we'll take the last hour.

Mr Sorbara: You don't understand. I just asked if I could --

The Vice-Chair: I think it's a very reasonable request. Mr Sorbara would like, as it were, to take some of his time that will be allocated in the next round.

Hon Mr Philip: We're using up time to ask questions. Why not let Mr Sorbara's request go? It's a reasonable request.

The Vice-Chair: I would agree, yes.

Mr Sorbara: This morning, I say to the minister, a very articulate manager from his ministry, Paul Jones, in describing the impact of this bill in northern Ontario, said, for example, it would allow a municipality like Kenora to look beyond the organized territory of Kenora to the unorganized territory around Kenora to find an environmentally suitable site in which to instal a waste disposal site. I think that's reasonable and I think, if that's the impact of the bill, that is a good thing.

I wanted to ask the minister, because I don't think a manager can answer these questions of policy, why is it that that regime, that system, that permissive legislation, that legal policy once this bill is passed, is good enough for Kenora and any other community in Ontario, yet in respect of the greater Toronto area the legal regime, the law which applies to the placement of waste disposal sites, requires that the municipality must find a waste disposal site within its own municipal boundaries?

Why is it that the impact of Bill 143, which this Legislature passed almost two years ago, forces a municipality like Peel or York region or Durham to forgo a better site in terms of environmental terms, must forgo that if it's outside its boundaries, in favour of a waste disposal site that is located within the four corners of its municipal boundaries?

Hon Mr Philip: I think I'd start off by saying that first of all, the government -- and by the government I mean specifically the Ministry of Environment and Energy -- does not support the concept of municipalities siting landfill sites outside their boundaries. However, there are some circumstances, and I can think of Peterborough as being perhaps one, where the municipality has built right up to its boundaries, where there are no landfill sites within the boundaries. The provision of Bill 7 has -- let me back up a second.

What the Ministry of Environment and Energy has adopted is a local disposal policy that will ensure that the 3Rs be given full consideration during the planning and the landfill site process. Under Bill 7, it will allow municipalities to obtain lands outside the boundaries, recognizing that in some municipalities, and I gave you Peterborough as an example, there is insufficient land available for landfill siting inside their own boundaries. So we allow for those possibilities.

There is no reason to believe that in the GTA there cannot be an acceptable landfill site. We're not dealing with the situation of Peterborough or some of the smaller northern municipalities. Therefore, we recognize that the province is different in different ways and we expect that there will be a landfill site found within the GTA.

The Vice-Chair: We'll have to move on now to the third party. Of course, in the next round for the Liberals there will be two minutes less.

Mr David Johnson: I wanted to look at the financing, because that seems to be where there is some concern with regard to the future. We were told this morning that the costs right now are broken down such that -- this must be across the province; this is operating costs, I gather -- roughly 45% of the cost of waste disposal would be borne by municipalities, 35% by the province, 5% to 6% by OMMRI and the rest through sales, so perhaps it was the 3Rs. Was it the 3Rs you were referring to with those numbers? Maybe we should get that straight.

Hon Mr Philip: Maybe Bob should take the microphone. You're referring to something you discussed with him this morning?

Mr David Johnson: Bob, that was the breakdown of the 3R program?

Mr Breeze: That's referring to the blue box program.


Mr David Johnson: Okay. Municipalities are naturally interested. You said that they're bearing too much. OMMRI of course is interested, in the private sector. They're wondering how much they're going to have to bear, and of course the user-pay has been thrown into the formula as well. What sort of plan do you have in terms of sharing the costs, let's say three or five years down the road?

Hon Mr Philip: We're already sharing the costs, I think I said, in terms of finding new and more efficient ways of doing it. We're paying for research. There's research going on at our universities through our various entrepreneur research programs that I was very actively involved with as Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology.

The basic amount for the blue box is the same as it was last year. New municipalities, and there are 12 that are not part of the blue box program, that have not had anything to do with it so far, will be eligible for those moneys, as others of course go off-stream, having completed their years. We are putting more and more money into research and into processes that allow them to develop new, efficient technologies. It's not unforeseeable that in the future many of these municipalities may well be making a profit out of their garbage.

Mr David Johnson: Let's look sector by sector, then. If OMMRI is funding about 5% or 6% of the blue box program today, what would you envisage about five years from now in terms of OMMRI's participation? Would you see it about the same? Would you see OMMRI's participation maybe at 20% or what?

Hon Mr Philip: I'll refer that to Bob, because I'm not the Minister of Environment.

Mr David Johnson: I'll get the same answer I got this morning then. I was hoping for an answer up here.

Mr Grandmaître: I thought this morning it was reversed. You're on the spot again.

Mr Breeze: As the minister announced in his introductory remarks, we're moving towards a polluter pays regime where the people who produce the products, the packagers, the disposable product makers, need to bear a larger part of that burden. We're entering into discussions with those producers to find what the more equitable balance is, and it's premature to say how much is going to end up in the end.

Mr David Johnson: All right. Let's look at the municipalities again, then, since the minister is the Minister of Municipal Affairs. In terms of the municipalities, if they pay about 45% of the cost at present, and I assume you would see that going down, have you got any kind of ballpark figure? Would the municipalities be picking up about a third of the cost in the future, or what do you see?

Hon Mr Philip: We have no way of projecting that, no.

Mr David Johnson: So there's no planning whatsoever in terms of how the costs are going to be picked up. How do you expect --

Hon Mr Philip: There's planning in this sense: We know that the costs of landfill sites are going to go up substantially. This is a cost that unfortunately some municipalities haven't been able to realize, that if you don't pay now, you pay later.

The cost for dumping is not the immediate cost; it's also the cost for controlling that dump site for the next 20 or 30 years after the products have been dumped. If you add all of those costs in, what we're saying is that the cost of dealing with garbage in this way is much less and will continue to go down and have an inverse ratio to the cost of dumping.

Mr David Johnson: Let me ask about the province. The province apparently picks up about 35% of the cost at the present time. Is it your intention that through the user-pay system, moneys would be developed, and that through increasing the burden on the private sector, the province would be phased out of paying for any of the costs of the blue box system?

Hon Mr Philip: No, we haven't said that. I think that's a question you may want to ask the Minister of Environment in the House some day, or call him before the committee. Unless his parliamentary assistant wants to speak.

Mr Fletcher: On some of the things that we're talking about, on programs to encourage markets for recyclable materials, I'm going to first say that in the city of Guelph, in my riding, we're on the way to having one of the first wet-dry recycling plants constructed in the area. It's going to be for restaurants, institutions, households and everything else, to separate garbage and then have it into composting, and we've also run a pilot project on it.

As to compost that's left over, everyone was saying, "What will we do with it?" The city right now is developing markets, and I've noticed in some of the background material that the MOE has already started to encourage other companies to develop markets, and the money that's going out. How is your ministry working along to help develop the markets for recyclables?

Hon Mr Philip: Both the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade -- I still want to call it the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Technology -- and the Ministry of Environment and Energy have been working at finding new markets for products and indeed at developing new products. One of the things that we have done is that we have sponsored a number of conventions and participated in them in order to not only sell the products but also to export the technology as it's developed.

When I, as Minister of Transportation, announced the rubber crumb plant in Cambridge, I was able to pull the Hansard from 1976 in which I had given a speech showing that the Saskatchewan government at that time was using rubber crumb in the roads and that its experiments had shown it would work. Suddenly, years later, after I had given that -- it was probably the first speech in the House advocating that process -- we were able to implement it.

There are a number of strategies like that, and I'm sure the Ministry of Environment and Energy would be happy to elaborate on a few of the other projects that are going on.

Mr Fletcher: I know that once a wet-dry recycling facility is in full swing, it's going to eliminate 50% of the waste that goes into a landfill site, which is great, because we're looking for a landfill site now. The city of Guelph has been directed to look within its city boundaries and I think that's going to be an interesting proposal.

Also, once we start getting into developing markets, are we looking at international markets? This is an area of good economic growth if we get behind and start pushing and start helping industries to develop along these lines. I want to know, is there a long-term plan that your ministry is looking at to help start developing some of these?

Hon Mr Philip: We already have entered the international markets. We are actually importing newspapers now from the United States because our newspaper recycling programs have been so successful that we can't eat up all the newsprint in Canada. When I was in India, one of the major requests was for technology and the cost of our shipping recycled newsprint over there, because with their high literacy rate and their low amount of paper production themselves, they simply don't have enough newspapers for everyone who wants to buy a newspaper. There's a major market in some of the developing countries for newsprint, a market that is insatiable and in fact can't deal with it.

The only problem we do have right now, as I recall, is the sheet glass, and that is related to ups and downs in the construction industry, but that surplus is expected to be eaten up in the next two years.

Mr White: Actually, representing the riding that has the largest recycler of newspapers, Atlantic Packaging in Whitby, that's a very interesting response and I'm very pleased to hear it, but it leads into my question, which is about the issue of waste. We seem to be hearing on a regular basis about waste being exported to the United States. How would this legislation affect the export of garbage or waste to the United States of America?

Hon Mr Philip: What I can do is share with you a letter that my colleague Bud Wildman wrote to the Honourable Jean Charest, Minister of the Environment, in Ottawa. Would you like me to read the whole thing?

Mr David Johnson: We heard it before.

Mr Grandmaître: We heard it last Saturday.

Mr White: With respect, it was me who asked the question, Mr Minister.

The Vice-Chair: Could we have some order, please. Minister, if you'd table that with the clerk, I'm sure it will be distributed to the committee.

Hon Mr Philip: I'll be happy to.


Mr Sorbara: I need some more clarification on the discrepancy and the difference between the way in which GTA municipalities are dealt with under the law of Ontario, and all other municipalities, under this bill that we're considering now.

This bill allows municipalities to search wherever it is appropriate for locating an environmentally safe landfill site and, as you say, that is constrained only by a policy that the site should be as close to home as possible, not necessarily within municipal boundaries but as close to home as possible.

The law that applies to York region, if I might paraphrase it, is that it doesn't matter how difficult it is to find an environmentally safe site within municipal boundaries, you must find the site within your boundaries.

Why is it not appropriate that York region and the other four GTA regions couldn't be governed by the same policy which says, under Bill 7, you may look around for the best environmentally suitable site and the policy is, it should be as close to home as possible? Why do you treat GTA municipalities differently than you treat all other municipalities?

Hon Mr Philip: I find your comments absolutely fascinating, if not humorous. If you think that shipping to Kirkland Lake is shipping to the nearest possible site, then you don't know very much about the geography of Ontario. It's shipping garbage up to northern Ontario. Way up into northern Ontario is hardly the closest possible site.

Mr Sorbara: With respect, I'm not advocating Kirkland Lake here. What I'm saying in respect of York region is that if there is an environmentally suitable site, let's say in the municipality of Simcoe county or just beyond Lake Simcoe --

Mr Fletcher: Not in my backyard.

The Vice-Chair: Order. Mr Sorbara has the floor.

Mr Sorbara: -- or three miles beyond the border of York region, if there is a site there that is, in environmental terms, more suitable than sites that are available in York region, York region and Metro are required to forgo such a site in favour of a site within municipal boundaries. That seems to me to be inconsistent with the policies of Bill 7 and the opportunity and the flexibility that every other municipality has to search for the most appropriate site in environmental terms. Why would you make that distinction?

The Vice-Chair: Let the minister respond and that will be this round for the Liberal caucus.

Hon Mr Philip: For a couple of reasons: First of all, Bill 143 is not before us and it's not the bill that I'm dealing with and that, as the Minister of Municipal Affairs, I have responsibility for carrying, but I just don't believe in catering to the not in my backyard philosophy. That encourages pollution. That encourages people not to find solutions. That encourages people not to look at recycling.

If you can ship to Kirkland Lake, and I believe it was the policy of your party to ship to Kirkland Lake -- it was certainly the policy of the Conservative Party -- to ship hundreds of miles away --

Mr Sorbara: It's absolute nonsense.

Hon Mr Philip: -- is a way of allowing people to avoid the basic issue that we have to deal with, the garbage problem.

The Minister of Environment, both this minister and the previous Minister of the Environment, are not convinced that they cannot find a site, that a reasonable site cannot be found, and I just say to you, why not let the process, which is an independent process, work and find out whether or not a suitable site is found? To let some municipalities off the hook, not dealing with the garbage problem, that I say, quite frankly, I think is irresponsible.

Mr Sorbara: That's not an answer to my question.

Mr David Johnson: Just to clarify a little bit, still being new here, it's my understanding that it's our party's -- the Progressive Conservative Party's -- position that we would like to proceed with the environmental assessment of the Kirkland Lake site, and that's a whole lot different than just shipping it up.

I guess, since this has been raised, the Interim Waste Authority has spent somewhere between $30 million and $35 million looking for a site in southern Ontario, essentially duplicating the efforts that Metropolitan Toronto and the regions have gone through at another great cost.

The likelihood, the almost certainty, is that you won't find a site that will be acceptable in southern Ontario. There will be tremendous resistance, there will be legal lawsuits, there's going to be all kinds of problems, and we're just watching with glee as you go through this, because politically there's going to be a huge price to be paid to ramrod a site into southern Ontario. And if at the end of the day it doesn't work out, as just about everybody's predicting -- we know the Ministry of Environment and Energy is opposed to an environmental assessment at Kirkland Lake; I wonder what Municipal Affairs would say, given that Municipal Affairs has some responsibility in terms of ensuring that a vital service like that can be carried on for the municipalities in southern Ontario. I wonder if Municipal Affairs would be able to look at other alternatives such as an EA for Kirkland Lake or such as an EA for incineration.

Hon Mr Philip: The polls have shown that the people in northern Ontario, and indeed in Kirkland Lake specifically, do not approve of that policy, and we, from an environmental point of view, don't approve of the policy because we think it lets people off the hook in dealing with the real garbage problem.

So the people of Kirkland Lake don't want the garbage. We think that the optics of shipping garbage hundreds of miles away is, to us -- and forgive me, because I've read a lot of Rudyard Kipling -- but I think it's a form of neocolonialism in the south shipping their garbage to the north, and I think the whole thing, then, is just absurd.

Let's deal with the problem here. We're the ones that are consuming those products; let's find ways of recycling them, and we're being successful in finding new ways of doing it. So let's deal with our own problems in our own backyard and not ship the problem to someone else.

Mr David Johnson: Well, the referendum certainly in the last election indicated that the people of Kirkland Lake were supportive of proceeding with an environmental assessment.

Hon Mr Philip: I'm sorry; the referendum did not show that.

Mr David Johnson: Well, that's certainly the information I have.

Now, getting back to the figures you quoted --

Hon Mr Philip: No. On this, I won't let you get away with that.

Mr David Johnson: Who's got the floor?

The Vice-Chair: Mr Johnson has the floor.

Mr David Johnson: All right. Well, I'd be happy to supply it, but I think I've got the floor.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Johnson has the floor.

Mr David Johnson: The figures that were quoted: Well, look at the situation in North York. In Metropolitan Toronto it costs about $200 a tonne to collect recyclable material and the revenue generated from the material is about $20 a tonne. I think that's where you got your $180 from, roughly, that you quoted earlier in the afternoon. So there's a shortfall in terms of expense over revenue, as I understand it, of over $150 that the taxpayer is going to have to pick up now.

I wonder what steps you're taking and the Ministry of Environment and the government is taking, and what realistic steps are there that the revenue generated from the blue box material would ever come close to the cost of collecting it.

Hon Mr Philip: I think I've indicated earlier that other municipalities have shown that they are capable of doing that, and we're working with them. I think that the first step that we could take and that North York could take would be if the mayor of North York would stop yelling at the government and sit down and talk in a quiet way and deal with facts and figures rather than rhetoric we might find solutions to the way in which North York seems to have some problems in being efficient in how they run their system. I'd ask Bob maybe to comment specifically on any information he has about North York.

Mr Breeze: Just a comment on revenue. It's unlikely that revenue is going to cover all of the costs. We're going to be looking for either direct funding from industrial associations along the line of the grocery products manufacturers --

Mr David Johnson: You won't even come close.

Mr Breeze: -- who are proposing that they will provide top-up funding in addition to the revenues, and that's recognized by industry as well as municipalities.

Mr David Johnson: That's finally been said. It won't even come close.

Hon Mr Philip: May I ask what your solution is?

The Vice-Chair: Mr Johnson has the floor, please.

Mr David Johnson: When we talk about municipalities, most municipalities have recycling programs at the present time. If you look in Metropolitan Toronto, and you may pooh-pooh this, but the problem is that a city like North York is having the system funded through Metropolitan Toronto through the waste reserve.


Next year, less than one year from now, the citizens of North York are going to have on their local tax bill about a $5-million program, which is causing the mayor -- when you talk about the mayor shouting, that's why the mayor's shouting. He's going to have to find several million dollars in his tax bill next year. I wonder what you would suggest to the mayor of North York that he should do. The shortfall today is being picked up by Metro and next year it's going to have to be picked up directly by the taxpayers of North York.

Mr Mammoliti: Take some of the money out of the theatre on Yonge Street.

Hon Mr Philip: Well, there's no free lunch. He either pays for dumping, and dumping fees are increasing at a very fast rate, or he pays for recycling. I think the public is smart enough to realize that the rhetoric of Mel Lastman on this or any other issue, and the name-calling which he's been doing, is very unconstructive.

We are willing to sit down with him and work at ways in which he can improve his system and make it more efficient, but there is no free lunch. You're going to pay for it either in dumping fees or you're going to pay for it in recycling fees, and the recycling route then is clearly the way to go. We're finding that as we're developing new technologies and as we're working with the municipalities, municipalities are cutting their costs tremendously. I'd suggest that if the mayor of North York wanted to be constructive instead of grabbing a cheap headline in the newspaper, he might like to participate in some of the programs that are available in which we can do pilot projects in North York and help him to reduce his costs.

Mr Mammoliti: Ask him to sell his rings and his gold chain.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Wiseman. I'm sorry, Mr Mammoliti. Mr Wiseman, Mr White.

Mr Mammoliti: If he sells his rings and his gold chain, there is enough money.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Mammoliti. Mr Wiseman, your own colleague, has the floor.

Mr Wiseman: Since the issue of the Kirkland Lake site came up, I decided to go and get the information on the Rail Haul North. It's the economic study done by Peat Marwick Thorne and I have tried to quote it numerous times in the Legislature.

I would like to ask what could be done with $780 million divided over a 20-year period, which works out to about $39 million a year, in terms of promoting jobs in recycling in the region of Metro.

Hon Mr Philip: Quite a lot. Let me just give you an example. In terms of plastic, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Technology sponsored research with a company called Royal Plastics. We are now recycling major amounts of plastic, building plastic homes. We opened up the first -- I was there for the opening of the first unveiling, if you like, of some of their products.

We've sold 6,000 homes to Mexico. When I was in India and Pakistan, we've got major interests there. I was at a reception with some Japanese investors who say they probably have more orders than we can fill at the moment in Japan for these plastic homes. That's the kind of active, innovative creativity this government is promoting and it's developing not just a way of getting rid of our garbage through recycling but developing whole new markets.

The interesting thing is that from a point of view of -- and I don't want to be overly schmaltzy about this -- but from a point of view of world aid, it's also helping. In Pakistan there's a major problem: Only 30% of the population is literate; only 13% of women are literate. They have a major problem then in building school houses, but school houses are very expensive and they take time to erect. With the Royal Plastics home, we can put up a school house in less than a day. The Pakistan government and the Minister of Education there are very interested in some of those kinds of products we are developing that will help tremendously Third World countries help their own.

Mr Wiseman: Could I just finish this point that I wanted to make on it? The $780 million that I'm talking about is the cost of shipping 1.5 million tonnes of Metro's waste to Kirkland Lake per year for 20 years. There are other costs, huge costs, that at some point I'd like to explore because apparently the people who support the Kirkland Lake option are just not listening to the economics of it and what the impact would be. There's another $39 million for container costs. There's another $780 million, identical amount, just to build the transfer station.

Mr White: I, along with my colleague, am shocked at the cost of $2.137 billion that somehow Mr Lastman thinks he can take out of his taxpayers. But I'd also like to comment in terms of the recycling that the minister mentioned in terms of product development. I was in the Du Pont plant in my riding, which has now a history of some 25 years in my riding. A lot of the plastics they use now are not virgin plastics, as they refer to it, but are actually recycled plastics that are made into fences and substantive materials. I'm wondering, is it, to the best of your knowledge, that those materials should be used and could be brought out of the waste stream?

Hon Mr Philip: Not only can they be used, and should be used, but progressive companies like the one in our colleague Mr Wiseman's riding, General Electric, actually will argue that it's to their financial advantage to build state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly companies that will meet standards that are far higher than anything set by the present government or than they foresee any government in Ontario or Canada setting for the next 20 years and that it makes a lot of economic sense for them because it's actually a cost-efficient way of doing business, and they're showing high profits by adopting that approach.

Mr White: Indeed, I was very impressed with the company. There was absolutely no waste in that company whatsoever. It was all part of the process.

Mr Grandmaître: Mr Minister, the bill is very unclear with regard to the private sector involvement. Where do you see the private sector getting involved in waste management?

Hon Mr Philip: Well, the Ontario Waste Management Association has met with us. We've made it clear that we're going to put an amendment to the bill dealing with how it affects private enterprise and their similar concerns of their association. Maybe somebody from the Ministry of Environment might like to come further on that, or from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.

Mr Jones: As was stated by myself this morning and by the minister this afternoon, Bill 7 does a lot for maintaining the status quo in terms of the players and the way the waste management plays out in our society. The only provision that there seems to be some concern around is whether or not we have clarified clearly enough that there is no flow control for municipalities, and as the minister's indicated, the government will be bringing forward amendments to make it more clear than it is now that in fact flow control will not evolve to municipalities.

Mr Grandmaître: When you say it will make clearer, you're talking about working with the private sector, right? That was my original question. I don't know what you gave me as an answer, but my original question was, where do you see the private sector? What role do you see for the private sector?

Mr Jones: The role that the private sector has now in terms of waste management will continue under Bill 7. It's the status quo.

Mr Grandmaître: "Will continue." Can I stop you right there? Give me three guesses who said this:

"We've got to nip this privatization of waste disposal in the bud. It's a licence to print money that would have profound negative consequences on our efforts to reduce waste and clean up the environment."

Who said this, for a thousand dollars?

Hon Mr Philip: It obviously wasn't me.

Mr Grandmaître: No, it wasn't the minister; it was the Premier.

Mr Jones: In relation to Bill 7?

Mr Grandmaître: In relation to the private sector involvement in --

Hon Mr Philip: I'm sorry, if you have a political question, direct it to me; please don't direct it to the public servants.

The Vice-Chair: Yes, I think that's a fair comment. Mr Grandmaître, do you have a question for the minister?

Mr Grandmaître: Well, Mr Minister, I will keep your answer. It's a good answer, too. Now, what do you say, Mr Minister, to this kind of quote?

Hon Mr Philip: Well, I have no idea of the context in which the quote was taken. I can give you numerous quotes --

Mr Grandmaître: It was 1990, the election.

Hon Mr Philip: Let me finish, though. I'm willing to listen to your question, but let me at least finish. I can give you numerous quotes by the Premier, and even more by myself, talking about the need for coventuring with private enterprise, the need for entering partnerships with private enterprise. Indeed, if you look at the amount of funding that I as minister was able to provide to private enterprise for research and development and other advances in the first year that I was Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology, it was, I believe, 96% of what the Liberals gave in the last year, in economic good times.


Mr Grandmaître: Is that a political answer?

Mr White: That's a factual answer.

Hon Mr Philip: You ask a political question, I'll give you a political answer.

Mr Grandmaître: One more question. I agree with you that governments in the past have done quite a bit with the private sector, but now --

Hon Mr Philip: Not nearly as much as this government has.

Mr Grandmaître: Do I have the floor?

The Vice-Chair: Quickly, please, yes.

Mr Grandmaître: Now that the grants program will be eliminated, how successful --

Hon Mr Philip: What grants program?

Mr Grandmaître: I'm talking about the 3Rs.

Hon Mr Philip: They're not being eliminated.

The Vice-Chair: Sir. What was your question, please? Would you rephrase your question?

Mr Grandmaître: The municipalities at the present time --

Mr White: Why don't you ask the question?

The Vice-Chair: Could we have order, please. Mr Grandmaître, please place your question.

Mr Grandmaître: Municipalities were given an incentive to start the 3Rs program in their municipalities, right?

Hon Mr Philip: They knew that it was a three-year program.

Mr Grandmaître: Okay, it's a three-year program.

Hon Mr Philip: Yes, and they're not being eliminated.

Mr Grandmaître: This will continue?

Hon Mr Philip: The program continues and new municipalities that are coming on will in fact receive those grants. They knew when we initiated the program the length of time of the grants and they voluntarily joined in those programs. The new municipalities that are coming on stream will get the same amount of grants as those that are going off stream. So we're not eliminating grants.

Mr Grandmaître: But what I'm saying --

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much. I'm sorry. Mr Arnott.

Mr Arnott: To the minister, unfortunately, I didn't hear your whole presentation, but I had a chance to look over it here. On page 4, you talk about the change in this bill -- and I think it's an important feature of the bill -- to make it easier for upper-tier municipalities to assume the waste management responsibility from lower-tier municipalities.

I believe the legislation that's on the books right now requires a two-thirds vote of county council to have the upper tier or the county level assume responsibility from the local municipalities. What you're doing with this bill is changing that to a simple majority. I'd just like to ask you, why is that specific change necessary?

Hon Mr Philip: As you were gracious enough to say, you weren't here, and I recognize that you had other responsibilities, but what I said earlier in answer to that question was that I'm willing to entertain any suggestions on this. I hope to be consulting with you and with the municipalities, and if they have another formula which they think is more acceptable, we'll be willing to look at it.

Mr Arnott: What about leaving it the way it is?

Hon Mr Philip: That's one possibility that could be proposed, and we'll look at that as well.

Mr David Johnson: In terms of introducing this, I might say that we're very hopeful that you do find a site in southern Ontario. We're very hopeful that the Kirkland Lake site won't be required. But having sat through part of that process at Metropolitan Toronto and seeing the conviction of the people in the communities here within the GTA that they do not want a landfill site in their communities, you've got hold of a buzz saw. I really don't think it's going to be successful.

I even see in the paper today, and I'm sure you read the article, that Metropolitan Toronto doesn't think you're going to be successful and it has allocated some moneys, as an article today, to look at other sites. I think again they're probably looking primarily at the Kirkland Lake site.

At any rate, if your target is going to be met, and we hope it is, of 50% reduction in waste by the year 2000, it's the opinion of many that some very expensive facilities are going to have to be built -- material recycling facilities, for example, compost facilities -- and these are going to cost, the big ones. I don't know out in the smaller communities, but the big ones, to service large urban areas such as Metropolitan Toronto and probably many of the other large cities, are going to cost tens of millions of dollars.

Where do you see the money coming from for these facilities? Is the provincial government going to play a role in funding those facilities? Is that money going to come through the user- pay system? Where is that money going to come from?

Hon Mr Philip: I think that's an issue which the Ministry of Environment and Energy is looking at. We in the greater Toronto area, of course, are working on a series of plans of looking at the whole issue. For example, population density is one that we're going to have to deal with because that also will affect the amount of waste that you have and where it is and how you deal with it.

But as a government, we've certainly been putting money into more research and development, into joint coventuring facilities with private enterprise, and I think there are a whole series of things. You're right; there's no easy answer and there's no easy answer to the problem you raised earlier either, and that is that people don't like to have dump sites. No matter how much research you can show that this is the best possible site, nobody wants it in their own backyard.

That's tough politics, but occasionally then politicians have to make decisions based on the best information they have, and you take your lumps when that happens. A decision will be made when the process completes itself, and the Minister of Environment will be announcing it.

Mr David Johnson: There will certainly be some lumps to be taken, but we don't know exactly who they are.

Hon Mr Philip: There will be a lot of lumps to be taken in Kirkland Lake.

Mr David Johnson: It all ties together. I think until you sort of plan this out to some degree, the municipalities are not going to know what to do. The regional municipalities, I believe, are going to have authority to charge the local municipalities for the tonnage they bring in. The local municipalities are going to have the ability to charge the user-pay, maybe to offset that cost, but the regional municipalities, frankly, I think are going to be very reluctant to proceed.

I know Metropolitan Toronto -- and I've been there -- is going to be very reluctant to proceed with major facilities such as the MRFs or the compost plants until it knows how this whole funding thing is going to work, how much the province is going to kick in, so I think you're going to see a bit of a gridlock until the province lays out a financial plan for the whole waste management area, including the blue box, including the material recycling facilities and including the compost plants and all aspects of the cost of waste disposal.

Hon Mr Philip: Again this falls under the Ministry of Environment and Energy, and you may want to discuss that with him, but I think the minister recognizes that. But I can tell you from talking to the municipalities, the municipalities by and large are very excited about this program. They realize that if you don't pay for it this way, you're going to pay for it in a lot worse form in another way and that you're going to pay for it farther down the line.

Part of our problem has been that in the past there has been no plan whatsoever. What we're trying to do then is to develop a plan for population and a plan for infrastructure and a plan also for garbage disposal.

Mr Mammoliti: Earlier today, I had asked the bureaucrats a question in terms of some statements that Mel Lastman, the mayor of North York, has made in reference to affordability, over the last little while, of the blue box program. I can anticipate Mr Lastman using a property tax increase or some sort of a hike in his property taxes as an excuse to implement some sort of a program that this piece of legislation might enable him to implement. I personally would not accept any excuse for another property tax increase. You know that in North York property taxes are certainly an issue already. We don't need any more property tax increases.

If Mr Lastman had decided to come to the public and say, "Look, I want to implement this program but it's going to cost this amount of money, and for that reason I'm going to increase property taxes," what would you say to him as the Minister of Municipal Affairs? I don't think it's appropriate. What would you have to say to him?


Hon Mr Philip: I'd say to him the same thing I said to him on the radio when he was shouting the other day and calling names about the Premier, that if he's willing to come to this minister or any other minister of the cabinet and sit down and talk about constructive things that can be done, we will work with him. If he's simply going to call names and make wild accusations that cannot be substantiated in research, then he's going to have a problem. But we will get that message out to his voters.

I think one of the things that happened that I noticed was that in the years in which Michael Wilson and I were able to work together, I got more compliments from voters for saying constructive things about Michael Wilson and about how we were willing to work together than for any differences that any of us may have had with his policies about NAFTA or free trade.

I think that the public expects us to work together and not name-call, and we're willing to sit down with North York. I'm able to work with most mayors and municipalities, even though we may disagree from time to time on certain issues. I know that when I was at dinner with Alan Tonks last night we again were talking about issues that we could work together on rather than any issues that we might have a difference of opinion on. I think that's the kind of thing that gets results, and that's what the voters want us to do.

Mr Grandmaître: On a point of order, Mr Chair: The Minister of Municipal Affairs was good enough to spend an hour and a half with us today, and a few of our questions he couldn't answer. I accept this. He's not the Minister of Environment. Is it possible to have the Minister of Environment appear before this committee?

The Vice-Chair: Mr Grandmaître, I don't think it's a point of order, but if we allow the minister to leave, you may wish to raise this in front of the committee. With the permission of the committee, I'd like to thank the Minister of Municipal Affairs for appearing.

Hon Mr Philip: May I thank members of all three parties on this committee for some interesting questions. My staff and the staff of the Ministry of Environment are happy to meet with you and provide you with any additional information you need.

The Vice-Chair: Could I ask then whether you want to adjourn or did you want to continue the questions with the officials from the ministry -- I presume they would be available -- or did you want to pose your question now in terms of whether you want the Minister of Environment?

Mr Grandmaître: You ruled out my --

The Vice-Chair: It wasn't a point of order; it's a question.

Mr Grandmaître: It wasn't a point of order, and I respect the Chair, but at the same time, I'm asking the members of the government if they feel, after listening to the Minister of Municipal Affairs for an hour and a half, that some of those questions were environmental questions. I don't expect the Minister of Municipal Affairs to answer for another minister or ministry. I think it would be only reasonable to have the Minister of Environment appear before this committee for one hour.

The Vice-Chair: Does the committee want to invite the Minister of Environment?

Mr David Johnson: I think the honourable member's point is entirely accurate. I wish I'd taken a running count of the number of questions that were asked where the minister rightfully acknowledged that they didn't come within his jurisdiction and that they really involved the Minister of Environment. I think, in view of the large number of questions that fell into that category, it would be most appropriate to invite the minister.

The Vice-Chair: Perhaps for the benefit of the officials who are here from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, do the members of the committee have any further questions to the officials from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs?

Mr Fletcher: No, I don't have any more questions.

The Vice-Chair: Okay, you are certainly welcome to stay, but if you want to leave, you are free to do so.

Mr Mammoliti: I can recall a couple of meetings with the subcommittee in terms of scheduling and agreements that were made with the subcommittee, and at no time did this particular issue come up with the Ministry of Environment. If at that time the issue would have come up, perhaps we could have found some time to schedule the minister in. But at this particular time, even after today and after the meeting with the subcommittee, I don't see any spot that might be available for the Ministry of Environment.

Could I recommend at this point maybe to jot down some of the concerns you might have, perhaps write a letter from the committee or on behalf of the committee to the Minister of Environment and ask him to respond as quickly as possible to some of the concerns or questions you might have?

The Vice-Chair: It is of course understood that any member of the committee can leave questions in writing with the Chair and with the clerk. The clerk will pass on these questions to the Minister of Municipal Affairs, and he presumably will be forwarding them to someone who can answer. This privilege is always available.

Mr Grandmaître: Mr Mammoliti is trying to lead us in the right path. Maybe we should provide the Minister of Environment with a copy of Hansard and he can answer.

The Vice-Chair: I would hope the minister is reading the Hansard.

Mr Grandmaître: Also, if this is agreeable, Mr Chair, that we get a response for Monday morning, because next week we'll be meeting with groups.

The Vice-Chair: I think that would be a difficult request.

Mr Hayes: I'd just like to say that the questions that were pertaining to Bill 7 the Minister of Municipal Affairs answered quite adequately and some of the questions that were asked do not pertain to Bill 7. Therefore I don't think it's necessary for the Minister of Environment and Energy to come before this committee.

This particular Bill 7 is being carried by Mr Philip, the Minister of Municipal Affairs. I suggest that if they do have some questions, they can put them down in writing or whatever and we'll try to get some answers back to them. But some of the questions were not really pertaining to this bill, in all fairness.

The Vice-Chair: Okay. Again, just to be clear, if there are any questions, that possibility is always there to put it in writing. Mr Grandmaître and then Mr Mammoliti, and perhaps if we can then come to some conclusion, because I don't think we should discuss this till 6.

Mr Grandmaître: I'm not complaining about the answers given by the Minister of Municipal Affairs today. I'm not criticizing his answers. I don't agree with all his answers but, in fairness, he tried to answer all of our questions. I'm not saying that the minister didn't do a good job. The minister said honestly: "Hey, this is an environmental question deriving from Bill 7. This is an environmental bill driven by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, driven by the minister himself."

In all fairness, there are environmental questions attached to Bill 7, and I'm just asking a very fair question: Can the minister answer those questions by next Thursday?

Mr Mammoliti: I want to make a comment, Mr Chair.

The Vice-Chair: Just a minute. If I could make a proposal, the subcommittee which normally deals with appearances before the committee might want to take a look at this and see whether something can be arranged and also can be scheduled. I think perhaps that would be the proper place to discuss this. I just put that forward as another possibility you may want to consider. Mr Mammoliti.

Mr Mammoliti: Here we have an original suggestion that the minister come in front of the committee. I think we reached consensus in that we just don't have the time to be able to accommodate the minister here in front of the committee.

The Vice-Chair: Consensus, yes, but --

Mr Mammoliti: I think I've already seen that there's some movement in terms of trying to accommodate the concerns the member has, and certainly from this member I would like to show you some flexibility as well. You had asked very specifically a couple of minutes ago whether or not it would be possible to forward the Hansard to the minister and for the minister to respond appropriately to the areas that the minister would be responsible for responding to.

I don't have a problem with that, and if that's okay with you -- I haven't had a chance really to kick this over with my colleagues -- I really don't see anything wrong with that. With the understanding, Mr Chair, that asking this question on a Thursday at 5 o'clock and expecting it for the Monday may not be possible, so let's leave some room for flexibility.

The Vice-Chair: I think he meant next Thursday actually. I think the committee would be reasonable. Is that agreeable, Mr Grandmaître and Mr Johnson?

Mr David Johnson: I think we all admire the zeal with which the members are protecting the minister, but it could well be that the minister might wish to come, because there are a lot of questions that have come up, questions in context of the total issue. He may argue that not each and every one of them pertains exactly to some line in the bill, but in terms of the whole issue of waste management, the Kirkland Lake issue, there are just many issues that --

The Vice-Chair: To come back to the point that is being made, is it --

Mr David Johnson: I think, Mr Chairman, that this committee, in view of the questions that have come up, has some right to speak directly with the minister.

The Vice-Chair: Only at the request of the committee. I have understood that the whip for the government has made an offer to say that we should send the Hansard to the Minister of Environment and ask him to, if possible, provide a response for the next meeting of the committee, which would be next Thursday, and this was agreeable to Mr Grandmaître. Is this generally agreeable to the whole committee?

Mr Hayes: That's fine. There is no problem.

The Vice-Chair: Okay. Are there any further questions? Otherwise, I think we'll adjourn for the day.

The committee adjourned at 1712.