Thursday 1 December 1994

Crown Forest Sustainability Act, 1994, Bill 171, Mr Hampton / Loi de 1994 sur la durabilité des forêts

de la Couronne, projet de loi 171, M. Hampton


*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)

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

Hope, Randy R. (Chatham-Kent ND)

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:

Bisson, Gilles (Cochrane South/-Sud ND) for Mr White

Hodgson, Chris (Victoria-Haliburton PC) for Mr Dave Johnson

Murdock, Sharon (Sudbury ND) for Mr Mammoliti

Wood, Len (Cochrane North/-Nord ND) for Mr Hope

Also taking part / Autres participants et participantes:

Ministry of Natural Resources:

Cleary, Ken, manager, program development, renewable resources

Kennedy, Frank, senior coordinator, timber management

Wood, Len, parliamentary assistant to the minister

Clerk / Greffier: Carrozza, Franco

Staff / Personnel: Filion, Sibylle, legislative counsel

The committee met at 1007 in room 151.


Consideration of Bill 171, An Act to revise the Crown Timber Act to provide for the sustainability of Crown Forests in Ontario / Projet de loi 171, Loi révisant la Loi sur le bois de la Couronne en vue de prévoir la durabilité des forêts de la Couronne en Ontario.

The Vice-Chair (Mr Hans Daigeler): Good morning, everybody. Take your seats, please. The committee is continuing its clause-by-clause consideration of Bill 171.

As we adjourned last time, we called for the vote on section 63. There was a request for a 20-minute recess, which means we're now ready to vote on section 63.

All those in favour of section 63? Opposed? Carried.

Section 64.

Mr Len Wood (Cochrane North): Mr Chair, I'd like to have unanimous consent to move to section 66.

Mr Michael A. Brown (Algoma-Manitoulin): No.

The Vice-Chair: There is not unanimous consent. Any comments, concerns, questions on 64?

Mr Brown: In this section we have a concern, so we just want to ask the question. We are concerned in clause (2)(a) with the word "measure." It says, "fails to measure, count or weigh forest resources," and we're wondering exactly what the crown means by "measure."

Mr Wood: In all fairness, there are different ways of doing it and that really spells it out, whether you can measure, count or weigh forest resources in accordance with the Scaling Manual. The Scaling Manual, I'm sure, will give more detail as to how the crown makes sure that proper stumpage is collected for the resources out there that are harvested.

Mr Brown: Would, for example, "measure" include an estimation by the ministry of the amount of wood that might be on a particular unit? Could "measure" be stretched to a rough estimation? That's what I'm asking.

Mr Wood: I don't have the exact definition of "measure" there, but I know the word "measure" is used in a lot of different instances. As we walk around in ordinary life, we measure clothes to make sure they fit, measure for cooking. You want a definite interpretation or definition of the word "measure." I don't have it right at my fingertips.

Mr Brown: To be clear, you are expecting this committee to approve this clause without any indication about what the government means.

Mr Wood: No, I'm not. I'm saying it's in accordance with the Scaling Manual.

Mr Brown: But the Scaling Manual can be changed at any point.

Mr Wood: There has to be consultation and discussion.

Mr Brown: There doesn't have to be consultation; there doesn't have to be discussion.

Mr Wood: Those dialogues and discussions and consultations are taking place right now.

Mr Brown: There is no requirement in law -- because this is the law, this is the act -- for any public consultation or any kind of consideration to be given to this issue. You know that. The fact that you're doing it is commendable, but you are not required to do it.

We want to know this morning -- because this is the last opportunity, as the Chair knows, to speak to this bill, period -- what does "measure" mean?

Mr Wood: You'll have a chance to have a debate in the House on third reading on it. The measurement, as I said before, is "measure, count and weigh forest resources in accordance with the Scaling Manual," and the Scaling Manual has been put together in consultation, in partnership with the forest industry out there. I'm sure that if there's any concern, the forest industry is going to come after us and make sure there is further consultation before the final draft of the Scaling Manual is approved.

Mr Brown: I want to say first that we are operating under extraordinary circumstances this morning. We are operating under a closure motion brought forward on this bill. This is the last opportunity that the opposition has, or the public has through the opposition, to ask these questions. We have gotten non-answers to most of our questions through the last six or seven days.

Mr Bisson (Cochrane South): I disagree.

Mr Brown: I hear the member disagree, and he's proud to do that, and I'm happy he's doing it, but any reading of Hansard would find that the answers have been vague at best. They usually refer to a manual that hasn't been completely drafted, that is not finished. The parliamentary assistant at least at this point should not offend the Parliament of this place by not giving us a direct answer to what a word means, because it has huge implications.

If the crown is to collect the dues on the estimate, on an average of someone driving by that forest saying, "I think there's that much wood and that's how much we will charge and that's our measurement," either the crown is shortchanged or the people harvesting that forest are shortchanged. Somebody loses.

We want to know, and we want to know now, what "measure" means.

Mr Wood: In responding to the concerns of Mr Brown, I would take exception. We have answered all of the questions in detail, and I'm satisfied that you have received the explanations you are looking for as we've gone through clause-by-clause of Bill 171.

Mr Brown: Prove it. Tell me what "measure" means now.

Mr Wood: The definition of the word "measure" is no different from what you would find in the dictionary. Look under the word "measure" and get the definition. It's there in the dictionary, and it applies to scaling as it applies to the determination of volume. I don't know what other definition you want of the word "measure" than what I've already given you.

Mr Brown: Well, I'll ask you a less-than-hypothetical question. I'll ask you a direct question.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Hodgson, then Mr Grandmaître.

Mr Brown: I thought I still had the floor.

The Vice-Chair: You still do have the floor, but we should, in fairness, give the other members some chance.

Mr Brown: Would "measure" include, in the parliamentary assistant's view, a measurement based on an estimate?

Mr Wood: If you take the words "fails to measure, count or weigh forest resources," all the measurements are being covered there. You've singled out one word, "measure." As far as I'm concerned, it's as clear as a bell how you account for the resources out there.

Mr Brown: Could it include an estimate? I understand what "count" and "weigh" mean. I even understand what taking a ruler to a truck might mean. I'm not sure I understand what "measure" means.

Mr Wood: The Scaling Manual will have the details around the methods that are being used.

Mr Brown: But the Scaling Manual can say anything.

The Vice-Chair: Sorry, Mr Brown. We've got Mr Hodgson up.

Mr Chris Hodgson (Victoria-Haliburton): I'd like to follow up on this. This came up earlier in our proceedings. We dealt with subsection 66(1) and we had an amendment to have the Scaling Audit Reference Manual included as part of the Scaling Manual. I believe the parliamentary assistant recalls the conversation where we wanted a separate manual to deal with scaling and the scaling audit manual. It's the ministry's own guide. It meets the Canadian Standards Association's criteria.

I was wondering if you could share with me some of the workshop discussions on this Scaling Manual. Are there people out there who want to be able to count or to cruise timber as a way of measurement? I was told at the time that there is quite a split within the ministry between those who want to stick to the detail of actual scaling as approved by the scaling audit -- it's something you can audit -- and people who want to go towards more along the lines that eventually you'll just cruise an area of land and it'll be counting what should be paid to the crown. Our whole point is that counting is part of, is inside the scaling; it's not a separate way to measure in terms of paying for it.

Mr Wood: When you are referring to the word "count," there are samples that are taken --

Mr Hodgson: Okay, so inside the Scaling Audit Reference Manual. You don't see that ever deviating from the Scaling Manual? That's in there, it's in subsection 66(1), and that's going to be the procedure that's used in the future? I didn't bring it with me, Mr Wood. To help you out, I brought in the booklet the ministry produced itself, and it's according to auditing standards. We made an amendment and put that into the Scaling Manual. We didn't have a separate manual for it. And that's how this counting will take place, inside that manual?

Mr Wood: Yes. Any changes made to it would be under broad consultation with the industry, if there were any changes made to the manual.

Mr Hodgson: Are you trying to make changes today?

Mr Wood: No.

Mr Hodgson: Are they trying to be made in the foreseeable future?

Mr Wood: No.

Mr Hodgson: So they're not trying to be made right at the workshops for the final draft of the manual?

Mr Wood: I haven't sat inside the workshops, but to my knowledge those changes are not being made.

Mr Hodgson: There are people here who have. I'm sure there's somebody in the room who would be able to answer that question. If we're going to follow the Scaling Audit Reference Manual --


Mr Hodgson: We're not.

Mr Wood: As I said before, to our knowledge and to my knowledge, no, we're not making the changes, and I said "to my knowledge and to our knowledge."


Mr Hodgson: I'm new at this. The parliamentary assistant is telling me that the government's position is that that's so. Okay? We're being asked to vote on this right now and that's why it's important to me.

Mr Wood: Yes.

Mr Bernard Grandmaître (Ottawa East): Mr Chair, we can't get a definition this morning of the word "measure." The parliamentary assistant told Mr Brown that he would have an opportunity in the House on third reading to get those answers. Well, I'm asking the parliamentary assistant, if Mr Brown or myself or anybody else for that matter were to ask for a definition of "measure" on third reading, what would the answer be?

Mr Wood: I think if you check Hansard, I said there will be a debate in the House on third reading.

Mr Grandmaître: You did, I agree. But would we be given an answer?

Mr Wood: I have said on numerous occasions over the last 15 minutes that a definition of the word "measure" is in the dictionary.

Mr Grandmaître: That's the answer we would get in the House?

Mr Wood: That's the answer I would give you in the House, yes. And if you take into consideration the words "fails to measure, count or weigh forest resources in accordance with the Scaling Manual," if you look at the whole clause (a), it's all part of making sure that for the resources that are being harvested on crown land, the crown receives what it's entitled to at the time harvest is taking place.

Mr Grandmaître: So what you're telling us this morning is that your definition of "measure" would be the same on third reading. It wouldn't change. You wouldn't attempt to answer all the questions posed by Mr Brown to get a better definition of the word "measure." We would receive the same answer in the House.

Mr Wood: As the way it is spelled out in clause 64(2)(a).

Mr Grandmaître: So we're not getting an answer this morning. We won't get an answer --

Mr Wood: You've got a definite answer. I've given you a definite answer.

Mr Grandmaître: We won't get an answer on third reading. That means that clause (2)(a) is not fully answered and we will have to accept this because, as you know, this is the last day and on third reading it'll be deemed to be acceptable or accepted without real definitions or answers to our questions.

Mr Bisson: As to what Mr Brown raised about getting answers from the parliamentary assistant, I want to put on the record that I think the parliamentary assistant and the work he's been doing on this committee have been exemplary. He responded, I thought, quite well to the questions and has worked well with the industry in finding the proper compromise necessary to make this act the best and probably the most well-written act we have seen when it comes to forest management, and I'd just like to take this opportunity to say so.

Mr Wood: Thank you.

The Vice-Chair: I'm sure the parliamentary assistant appreciates that. Mr Hodgson is next, then Mr Brown.

Mr Hodgson: This is a question to the parliamentary assistant. There were some presentations when we were on the road that talked about the certification for scalers, and there's a concern that the sections of the bill on scaling of forest resources have been scaled down from the previous act. Can you comment on that? Are the regulations now complete for what qualifications you're going to have to have to get a licence to be a scaler in this province? That was a concern we heard when we were on the road. Are they the same as they were before, that to get a licence to be a scaler in the province of Ontario your regulations are the same regulations?

Mr Wood: If I understand, you mean looking at some standard course for scalers so they'd be standard throughout the province?

Mr Hodgson: Yes.

Mr Wood: I understand that is the case.

Mr Hodgson: Okay. That was just a concern we heard when we we were on committee hearings.

Mr Brown: Mr Chair, I must apologize. I left my Funk and Wagnall in my other suit. I want to know if the dictionary defines "measure" to include "estimate." You're quite happy to defend the dictionary definition. I want to know.

Interjection: There's the Oxford dictionary.

Mr Brown: We're not going to use Funk and Wagnall; we're going to use Oxford, are we? That would be a second question: Which dictionary do we want to use?

Mr Hodgson: Check out "sustainability" while you're at it.

Mr Brown: I see the ministry scrambling through the Oxford at the moment.


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

Mr Wood: Mr Brown said he forgot to bring his dictionary with him. Most of the words we use in this are explained in the dictionary as well as covered under the Scaling Manual. There will be more information there than what is in the legislation in terms of "measure, count or weigh forest resources in accordance with the Scaling Manual," and that is to make sure the province gets the proper compensation it is entitled to for that.

The Vice-Chair: Are we ready to vote on 64?

Mr Grandmaître: We're going through the dictionary to find out what "measure" really means, but when I read it in French, it says, "ne mesure pas." When you use "ne mesure pas," it doesn't mean measure.

The Vice-Chair: The Chairman shouldn't intervene, but the English says "fails to measure."

Mr Wood: There are experts out there who have the proper knowledge to do the proper translation, and I'm sure we can have it checked.

Mr Grandmaître: "Ne mesure pas" is not the same as "measure." You look up your Larousse, it doesn't mean the same thing.


The Vice-Chair: Mr Grandmaître has the floor. You're finished with your question?

Mr Grandmaître: I've asked a question and I haven't had an answer.

Mr Wood: Just briefly, because Mr Brown had asked whether "measure" could mean an estimate, you'd have to talk estimate by some standard rule, and that will be explained in the Scaling Manual.

Mr Brown: So estimates are included, I take it.

Mr Wood: There will be a standard rule that will apply.

Mr Brown: But that standard rule could include "estimate."

Mr Wood: Are you looking for a definition of the word "estimate?"

Mr Brown: No, I'm not. I know what "estimate" means. I think we have discovered that it does mean estimate, and I think that causes a great deal of difficulty for both the Finance minister of the province of Ontario and the person who is being assessed the dues on the basis of the estimate.

Mr Bisson: Just for the record, M. Grandmaître, the member for Ottawa East, made a comment in regard to section 64 of the act where the translation from French to English didn't mean the same.

I just want to point out for the record what subsection 64(2) says in English, "The minister may suspend or cancel a scaler's licence if the scaler, "(a) fails to measure, count or weigh forest resources," etc etc. If you read the French section, it basically says the same. "Ne mesure pas," means "fails to measure," and I would like the record to show that.

Mr Grandmaître: Look up Larousse and you'll get a different answer.

The Vice-Chair: Comments on 64? Are you ready to vote? All those in favour of section 64? Opposed? Carried.

Section 65.

Mr Bisson: For the parliamentary assistant, I would like to know what the word "registered" means.

Mr Wood: "Registered mail" is a pretty common reference. Any time I get a registered letter in the mail, I have to sign for it, or somebody cosigns.

The Vice-Chair: Any other questions? Ready to vote? All those in favour of section 65? Opposed? Carried.

Section 66 was voted on already; however, there is an amendment put forward by the government, and it will require unanimous consent to reopen section 66.

By the way, I should mention before I give anyone the floor that according to the motion from the House any additional amendments that haven't been submitted yet have to be given to the clerk prior to noon today. We did receive an additional amendment from the Liberal caucus, but if anyone else wishes to submit additional amendments they have to be submitted prior to noon today.

Mr Wood: Mr Chair, in all fairness, we have some people here from the Federation of Ontario Naturalists with whom we have worked in consultation and agreed that we would do everything we could to open up section 66, realizing that we needed unanimous consent to do it. Once again, I would be asking for unanimous consent to open section 66 to deal with an amendment that a number of people have brought forward. It would be very helpful in seeing that this legislation is finalized, and it will be out there for probably years and years to come, seeing as the other act was there 52 years before any major changes were made to it. I'd like to ask for unanimous consent to proceed with that.

Mr Brown: The parliamentary assistant would know that I think there needs to be a private conversation take place before he asks the question. We are very interested and presented an amendment that is also out of order, that applies to a different section, section 23, and we would like the assurance that the amendment would be considered favourably and that the committee would grant us consent on that amendment. Our decision on this one may be contingent upon his response.

Mr Wood: At this time we're dealing with section 66.

Mr Brown: No, we're dealing with section 67.

Mr Wood: We had an agreement. If you look at Hansard, a number of comments were made over the past several weeks that section 66 would be dealt with by unanimous consent, but only when we got to it in sequence. We've reached this point and we would definitely like to deal with section 66, by unanimous consent.

Mr Brown: You're not going to get it right now unless you want to have a little talk.

Mr Wood: Are you asking for a recess?

The Vice-Chair: Are we proceeding?

Mr Bisson: Just move a recess of the committee.

The Vice-Chair: According to the conventions of the committees that were explained again to us yesterday, anybody can request a recess of up to 20 minutes.

Mr Brown: Only on a vote. There's no vote here.

Mr Wood: Let's recess for seven or eight minutes.

The Vice-Chair: You're requesting a seven- or eight-minute recess? Is that agreed to by the committee? Okay, we will return at 20 to 11. This committee stands adjourned.

The committee recessed from 1034 to 1046.

The Vice-Chair: This committee is in session again. Are we ready to ask whether there's unanimous consent?

Mr Brown: I don't know.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Brown, do you wish to speak before I ask?

Mr Brown: Well, I'm not clear what the answer was.

The Vice-Chair: No answer has been given at the committee until it is asked, and I haven't asked yet.

Mr Brown: To section 23?

Mr Wood: To your question, it was no.

The Vice-Chair: Is there unanimous consent to reopen section 66?


The Vice-Chair: I hear definitely one "no," so we will move on to section 67.

Mr Bisson: I don't know if I'm in order, but I'd just like to comment on that.

The Vice-Chair: You can of course request the floor at any time.

Mr Bisson: I'm requesting the floor.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Bisson.

Mr Bisson: I just want to make sure it's well understood in the public record what's happening here. We were asking for unanimous consent to open section 66 up to deal with some of the discussions we had with the Ontario naturalists' association and others.

What Mr Brown was asking us to do within section 23, quite frankly, would have put the government in a funny spot in regard to the licences. Presently what you have is a 20-year licence that's renewable every five years, and what he was asking for was a straight 20-year licence, which would have meant you would have to go back and change regulations within the act and possibly we'd have to go back and change the manuals within the act. What we have is that every five years you go back and review the performance of the licence, and by reviewing the performance of the licence, it's an opportunity, if there's a problem, to remedy it. If we had gone to what Mr Brown suggested, we might have been able to put in the regulations that you can review the performance in five years, but you'd be stuck saying you either get a licence or you don't get a licence, which might be very contrary to the industry. For that reason, we were not able to support the amendment Mr Brown was looking for. So with regret, we were not able to open 66 unanimously. We'd hoped we could have, but that was the explanation.

Mr Hodgson: I have a question to the Chair. If the government had gone to committee of the whole, would they need unanimous consent to open up section 66?

The Vice-Chair: I'm informed that they would not have had to require unanimous consent.

Mr Hodgson: After that answer, I'd like to ask the parliamentary assistant why they didn't choose to go to committee of the whole instead of just invoking closure. If section 66 includes more public involvement in the decision-making process, why did the government choose not to go to committee of the whole with this?

Mr Wood: Our understanding was -- and, yes, I could be corrected -- that as we got to section 66 we would get unanimous consent to proceed with the necessary amendments. But as of this morning there was another amendment that came forward by the Liberal caucus that we could not agree to.

Mr Brown: I think Mr Bisson and Mr Hodgson have made good points. To be clear, we are in favour of the amendment to section 66. We have no problem with the amendment to 66. What we have is a government that has produced a closure motion, a time allocation motion, which is short-circuiting the parliamentary process. This could have been fixed by the government if it had followed the normal process that bills go through in this place. The government has chosen to bring down this closure motion, which requires the committee -- the parliamentary assistant talked about third reading debate. This motion calls for one hour of debate on third reading. Normally the time is divided equally. That means our party will have 20 minutes, the Conservatives will have 20 minutes and you will have 20 minutes, and we will get from you a flowery speech about sustainability, which you are afraid to define in the act.

We will get those wonderful words that have absolutely nothing to do with this piece of legislation in front of us. That's what we will get, and if you think we're angry, you're right. We're angry, we're upset, and the people of Ontario should be upset by the way this bill is proceeding. You expect the opposition to fix your mistakes. Well, I don't see a whole lot of cooperation. Cooperation died the day you brought down the closure motion.

I don't like the idea that you are holding us hostage to your particular agenda in the most undemocratic fashion by a most undemocratic government. There have been four closure motions in less than 20 days. We didn't sit for five weeks because -- I don't know -- you couldn't get up in the morning or whatever it was. We were quite prepared to come to work. We would have debated this bill for another 25 hours in committee under the normal procedures of this Legislature, and you're expecting us today to fix your mistakes. Well, I'm not sure that any responsible opposition would do that.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Wood, and then Mr Bisson has the floor still, but we should really move on to a section since we are in clause-by-clause consideration. We are really not discussing any section right now, since section 66 has already been passed. Mr Wood, then Mr Bisson, and then we'll move on to section 67.

Mr Wood: Thank you very much, Mr Chair. I agree that we'll be dealing with section 67.

I have listened to the lecture from Mr Brown from the Liberal caucus. The only thing I can point out is that when we decided to go out to committee, the agreement was, by all three parties, that we would be three weeks in committee and then one week of clause-by-clause. As you're aware, we've gone considerably longer that, and as a result we've moved to closure, or what we prefer to call time allocation, so we can have the democratic process of moving through clause-by-clause and bringing in the legislation for third reading. That's the only comment I have, Mr Chair.

The Vice-Chair: Point of order, Mr Brown?

Mr Brown: First of all, the parliamentary assistant isn't speaking to section 67.

Interjection: Neither are you.

Interjection: People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

The Vice-Chair: Your point of order, Mr Brown?

Mr Brown: That was my point of order. We should be dealing with section 67.

The Vice-Chair: Let's do so. Mr Bisson.

Mr Brown: The second is that there was no agreement in the House --

The Vice-Chair: I'm sorry, Mr Brown, but you don't have the floor. Mr Bisson.

Mr Bisson: Thank you very much, Mr Chair. For the record, just to clarify, I understand where the member of the opposition is coming from. He's playing the role that an opposition member must play. I think we respect that. We were in opposition long enough to understand where you're sitting and where you're coming from, some 50 years, but the reality in opposition is that we had made a decision as an opposition party at the time that we would hold up certain pieces of legislation but we wouldn't try to hold up every piece of legislation, quite frankly.

Now, we've been at this bill since last spring. We went out; we consulted through the committee process. We all, and I know Mr Brown has done this himself, have gone back and worked with individuals within industry and within the environmental movement. I have certainly done so. Mr Len Wood has done countless meetings along with the minister on this issue. We've been working. We have a fairly good agreement about where we need to go at this point with the legislation both from industry and from the naturalist side.

What's happening is that we're moving a closure motion, as you would like to call it, on this piece of legislation because the reality, Mr Brown, is that if you had the opportunity, you would hold this bill up until the end of the session so it wouldn't pass into law. We do have a right to govern; we won that right in 1990, and we're moving this legislation forward. Why? Because it's the right thing to do. This piece of legislation is long overdue, and will put in place the kinds of mechanisms we need to sustain this industry into the year 2000 and beyond. I know that's what you want in the end, Mr Brown, and I just wanted to put that on the record.

The Vice-Chair: We'll move on to section 67 now. Are there any questions, comments, amendments?

Mr Wood: I move that subsection 67(1) of the bill be amended by adding the following paragraph:

"11.1 requiring information specified by the regulations to be provided when a forest resource licence is transferred;"

The Vice-Chair: Any explanation?

Mr Wood: The intention of this section is to describe the regulatory powers related to transfer of a licence. It's an administrative change to avoid requiring a term and condition on all licences and provides for consistent application of this information as a requirement.

Mr Hodgson: Mr Chair, where is the amendment he's referring to?

Mr Wood: It's number 77.

Mr Hodgson: Are you reading amendment 79A? Is that what we're dealing with? No?

The Vice-Chair: It's to subsection 67(1). In your bundle it's number 77. Any further questions?

Interjection: All in favour?

The Vice-Chair: Just a minute. Mr Hodgson hasn't found it. Is it clear now? Are we ready? Any further comments?

All those in favour of Mr Wood's amendment? Opposed? Carried.

Do you have a further amendment, Mr Wood?

Mr Wood: I move that paragraph 18 of subsection 67(1) of the bill be amended by inserting "amendment" after "renewal" in the second line.

The Vice-Chair: As he indicated, it's the second line, since the oral reading goes first. Any comments, questions?

All those in favour? Opposed? Carried.

Further amendments, Mr Wood?

Mr Wood: I move that subsection 67(1) of the bill be amended by adding the following paragraph:

"18.1 exempting a forest resource processing facility from section 50;"

The Vice-Chair: Any questions?

Mr Grandmaître: "...processing facility from section 50." What does that mean, what relationship?

Mr Wood: Section 50 is talking about the licences that are required for a facility: "...increase the productive capacity of a facility or convert a facility to another type of facility, except in accordance with a forest resource processing facility licence...."

The Vice-Chair: Ready to vote? All those in favour of Mr Wood's amendment? Okay? Any further amendments? Seeing none, any further questions or comments?

All those in favour of section 67, as amended? Opposed? Carried.

Section 68: Any questions? All those in favour of section 68? Opposed? Carried.

Section 69: Questions, comments, amendments? Seeing none, all those in favour of section 69? Opposed? Carried.


Section 70: Any amendments? Any questions, comments? Seeing none, all those in favour of section 70? Opposed? Carried.

Section 71: Questions, comments? Seeing none, all those in favour of section 71? Opposed? Carried.

Section 72: Amendments?

Mr Wood: I move that subsection 72(2) of the bill be struck out and the following substituted:


"(2) No action or other proceeding shall be brought in respect of any loss or damage arising from,

"(a) the enactment of subsection (1);

"(b) the amendment of a forest resource licence under section 31 or 35;

"(c) the granting of a subsequent forest resource licence under section 35; or

"(d) the suspension or cancellation of a forest resource licence under section 56."

The Vice-Chair: I'm sorry, Mr Wood, but this is not what we have. Can we try again?

Mr Wood: My apologies. The other one comes next.

I move that subsection 72(1) of the bill be struck out and the following substituted:

"Sustainable forest licences

"72(1) An agreement entered into under section 6 of the Crown Timber Act and in existence immediately before this section comes into force shall be deemed to be a licence granted under section 23 of this act and the terms and conditions of the agreement shall be deemed to be the terms and conditions of the licence."

The Vice-Chair: Any questions, comments? All those in favour of Mr Wood's amendment? Opposed? Carried.

Any further amendments to section 72?

Mr Wood: I move that subsection 72(2) of the bill be struck out and the following substituted:


"(2) No action or other proceeding shall be brought in respect of any loss or damage arising from,

"(a) the enactment of subsection (1);

"(b) the amendment of a forest resource licence under section 31 or 35;

"(c) the granting of a subsequent forest resource licence under section 35; or

"(d) the suspension or cancellation of a forest resource licence under section 56."

The Vice-Chair: Any comments, questions?

Mr Brown: Yes. Why?

Mr Wood: The rationale behind this particular one is that an FMA becoming an SFL, amending a forest resource -- the motion replaces the current subsection and better protects the government against compensation claims that could possibly arise, and (a), (b), (c) and (d) have been spelled out. Our expert legal opinion indicated that the act should specifically provide the government protection from claims of compensation that might arise as a result of enactment of the bill and specific sections of the bill.

Mr Brown: I feel like a dying gasp. We'll reiterate our huge objection to the ministry refusing to define the words "loss" or "damage" as they relate to a timbering operation. I've made those arguments thousands of times before, but it seems impossible to me that you can operate in the forest without some loss or damage as you come forward, so a definition of what they may mean might be helpful to someone who is trying to operate in the forest. But as I've spent much time arguing that particular point, I will leave it at that.

The Vice-Chair: Any further comments, questions? All those in favour of Mr Wood's amendment? Opposed? Carried.

Further amendments to section 72? Seeing none, all those in favour of section 72, as amended? Opposed? Carried.

Section 73: Comments, questions? All those in favour of section 73? Opposed? Carried.

Section 74: First, are there any comments or questions, amendments? Seeing none, all those in favour of section 74? Opposed? Carried.

Section 75: Amendments, comments? All those in favour of section 75? Opposed? Carried.

Section 76: Amendments, questions?

Mr Hodgson: I have a question on 76. The master plan for Algonquin Park is going to comply with the requirements under the Crown Forest Sustainability Act. That will entail setting up a citizens' committee. Is that what's envisioned here?

Mr Wood: I missed the first part of your question.

Mr Hodgson: Under section 76, we're going to make it so the Algonquin Forestry Authority Act is subject to the Crown Forest Sustainability Act and therefore what's been going on in Algonquin Park -- there are master plans that take place and they have some public meetings and make a show of some type of consultation. But in the future, will this be under the same terms and conditions as for the citizens' committee that will draw up the five-year plan? Take a minute. I'll be asked this question.


Mr Hodgson: What's that?

Mr Bisson: I wasn't listening. I missed the last half of what you were saying.

Mr Hodgson: Under section 76.

Mr Wood: I think in your answer, it's the -- no, it's the forest management plan.

Mr Hodgson: That's what I'm asking. So the master plan process will be superseded by this new act when it comes into place?

I'll give a bit of history of this, if you want, to make it clearer. There are a lot of people in my riding who have had concerns with the process that goes on for planning the use of Algonquin Park. As I read this, "The master plan shall comply with the requirements that apply to a forest management plan under the Crown Forest Sustainability Act," and that's in subsection 76(4) of the bill, subsection 11(2.1) of the act.

Mr Wood: I think, Mr Chair, if you don't mind, and the committee accepts it, I would get Ken Cleary to give an explanation to the question.

Mr Hodgson: Yes. Practically, I want to know how it's going to work when this act is put into place.

Mr Ken Cleary: Ken Cleary, policy and program division, Natural Resources. I think there's a little bit of misunderstanding in terms of the terminology. As I understand it, the master plan speaks to all of the operations within the park. The forest management plan -- I have to be careful with my terminology here -- I think would be considered as somewhat subservient to the master plan, so it would be a subset of the master plan. It's the forest management plan that would have to be consistent with the act, and in that regard I think there would a requirement for a citizens' committee. Whether the citizens' committee would in turn speak to the overall master plan, I'm not quite clear on that point.


Mr Hodgson: That's what I have to be clear on, because we're planning this in terms of a forest ecosystem approach. It's not just dealing with timber any more and the ecosystem itself should supersede this old, outdated idea, the master plan. I thought this was the enlightened new policy for guiding crown land in the future. That's what I heard the other day at the motion on closure, again. Shouldn't the requirements of the Crown Forest Sustainability Act, with the citizens' committees and the process that's been envisioned, take precedence over top of the master plan that's been put into place? We would be concerned about Algonquin Park as an ecosystem, wouldn't we?

Mr Cleary: Yes, I believe we would. It's your choice of words, I guess, "taking precedence over."

Mr Hodgson: Well, to make it clear, who will be the guiding authority there? Will the ecosystem take precedence over the Algonquin authority or will their plans that might be economic in interest or whatever -- would they not just be a part of the citizens' group that has input into how Algonquin Park is going to be managed?

Mr Cleary: I think the master plan would speak to, for instance, the interpretive program within the park that might not relate directly to forest management. That's the only part that I'm hesitating on. Certainly the forest management plan would be consistent with the objectives within that park, which would be spelled out in the master plan, so I don't mean to imply there is any room for inconsistency.

Mr Hodgson: You know what I'm getting at, Ken. I want to know, what are the steps to deciding land use in Algonquin Park in the future under this act?

Mr Cleary: I guess what I'm saying is I'm not sure whether or not the master plan requires a local citizens' committee. Certainly the aspects of that master plan which would involve forest management planning would require a citizens' committee, and obviously there would be some overlap. Whether the citizens' committee's influence would extend into influencing the master plan, I'm simply not clear. I can certainly get an answer to that question for you.

Mr Hodgson: Okay. But in general, the process that you see that will take place around these issues will be consistent with the Crown Forest Sustainability Act.

Mr Cleary: Yes. It would have to be, yes.

Mr Hodgson: Okay, thank you.

Mr Brown: This probably isn't a substantive comment, but I think there has to be seen by the public of Ontario some irony, and maybe it's just me, but I think maybe some other people might see the irony of a government led by a person who is proud to put on a plaid shirt and get himself arrested to protect trees in the province of Ontario --

Mr Wood: This has nothing to do with the section we're on.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Brown has the floor.

Mr Brown: I'm sorry you don't find the irony in it and don't want me to talk about it, but it's led by Mr --

Mr Wood: You can talk about all you want; just deal with section 76.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Wood, Mr Brown has the floor.

Mr Brown: I think I've touched a nerve -- led by a person who is prepared to stand on a logging road, probably prepared to chain himself to a tree in order that he can now come and make amendments to permit logging in Algonquin Park. If people don't see the irony in that, I don't know.

Mr Wood: It's always been going on in the park.

Mr Brown: It always has been in Temagami also.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Brown has the floor. I guess Mr Brown is finished with his comments. Any further question or comments on section 76?

Seeing none, all those in favour of section 76? Opposed? Carried.

Section 77: Questions, comments, amendments? All those in favour of section 77? Opposed? Carried.

Section 78: All those in favour of section 78? Opposed? Carried.

Section 79: Amendments? All those in favour of section 79? Opposed? Carried.

Section 80: All those in favour? Opposed? Carried.

Section 81: Amendments, questions?

Mr Grandmaître: Mr Chair, I think we're going a little too fast. Can I go back to section 80?

The Vice-Chair: We've passed section 80. We're on section 81 right now.

Mr Grandmaître: This is very unfair.

Mr Wood: Let's vote.

The Vice-Chair: We requested, as the Chairman always does, any comments, and I'd be pleased, of course, to receive any questions or comments, but we are now on section 81.

Any questions, comments, amendments? All those in favour? Opposed? Carried.

Section 82: Questions or comments? All those in favour of section 82? Opposed? Carried.

Section 83: Comments, questions, amendments? All those in favour? Opposed? Carried.

Section 84: Comments, questions, amendments? All those in favour? Opposed? Carried.

Section 85: Mr Wood.

Mr Wood: I move that section 85 of the bill be struck out and the following substituted:


"85. This act comes into force on the first of April" --

The Vice-Chair: No, "on the first April 1."

Mr Wood: Okay -- "on the first April 1 following the day this act receives royal assent."

Thank you, Mr Chair, for assisting me with that tongue-twister.

The Vice-Chair: Any questions, comments? All those in favour of Mr Wood's amendment? Okay.

Further amendments, questions to section to 85? Mr Brown.

Mr Brown: No, not to 85.

The Vice-Chair: All those in favour of section 85? Opposed? Carried.

Shall section 85, as amended, carry? Opposed? Carried.

Section 86.

Mr Brown: I would like to ask again for unanimous consent of the committee to reopen section 23 to accommodate a Liberal amendment.

Interjections: No.

The Vice-Chair: I haven't asked the question yet. Is there unanimous consent to reopen section 23?

Mr Wood: No.

The Vice-Chair: There is not.

Mr Brown: In that event, I would like to ask the committee, in spite of the government's reaction to what we think has been a reasonable suggestion put forward by our caucus and others at this committee, that we have unanimous consent to reopen section 66.

The Vice-Chair: Is there unanimous consent to reopen section 66? Agreed.

If we open 66, we also have to open 67 because there is a consequential amendment. Is that agreed with the committee? Agreed.

We're going back to section 66, and I think Mr Wood has an amendment.

Mr Wood: I move that subsection 66(2) of the bill be struck out and the following substituted:

"Forest Management Planning Manual

"(2) The minister shall ensure that every forest management plan complies with the Forest Management Planning Manual.


"(2.1) The Forest Management Planning Manual shall contain provisions respecting,

"(a) the contents and preparation of forest management plans, forest operations prescriptions and work schedules, including public involvement and decision-making processes;

"(b) determinations of the sustainability of crown forests for the purposes of this act and the regulations in accordance with section 1.1;

"(c) the requirement that management objectives in each forest management plan be compatible with the sustainability of the crown forest; and

"(d) the requirement that indicators be identified in each forest management plan to assess the effectiveness of activities in achieving management objectives and to assess the sustainability of the crown forest.

"Same, amendments

"(2.2) An amendment to the Forest Management Planning Manual shall be subject to review and comment by the public in accordance with the regulations."


Mr Grandmaître: On (2.1)(b), why is the word "ecosystems" removed? Clause (2.1)(b), "determinations of the sustainability of crown forests for the purposes...." Why was "ecosystems" removed from clause (2.1)(b)?

Mr Wood: Removed from what? From the original --

Mr Grandmaître: From clause (2.1)(b).

Mr Wood: If I could, I would refer this to Frank Kennedy.

Mr Frank Kennedy: Frank Kennedy, with the Ministry of Natural Resources. This change was made simply to be consistent in the use of terminology within the act. The phrase "ecosystems" is contained in the definition of crown forest, which is found in subsection 2(1).

Mr Grandmaître: If the word "ecosystems" was to stay in clause (2.1)(b), it wouldn't change the real purpose of the amendment. Right? If it was to remain in clause (2.1)(b), what would it change?

Mr Kennedy: In my opinion, it would have no effect.

Mr Grandmaître: No effect on what?

Mr Kennedy: There would be no change if that word was in there.

Mr Grandmaître: No change?

Mr Kennedy: It's simply for consistency in wording, using the definition that was taken by the committee in earlier sections.

Mr Grandmaître: But you agree there would be no changes, though?

Mr Kennedy: Yes, I do.

Mr Brown: Following on my colleague's question, we, as you would remember, Mr Chair, have had very interesting discussions, and quite lengthy, revolving around the definition section of the bill, which was in part 1, and revolving around what a forest ecosystem actually was.

The Vice-Chair: I remember it well.

Mr Brown: I knew you would, Mr Chair. It was brief, but I'm sure it was etched in your memory.

This is just trying to clarify a point that was made back whenever those committee discussions took place in September. At that time, I asked the ministry if Ontario Place was a forest ecosystem and whether that is still the case and would be described that way, because my understanding of the criteria that are put forward in this bill supports the information that Ontario Place is a crown forest. As such, therefore, is Ontario Place subject to this act?

Mr Wood: I'm going to have to try to recall. I don't have a copy of Hansard here in front of me at this moment and the explanation that was given. I'm sure there was an explanation given. It's not written down as a management unit. That's consistent with the explanation that was given in more detail a few weeks ago.

Mr Brown: But a crown forest isn't required to be, of necessity, in a management unit. It's described as a unit or on crown land, ie, Ontario Place, that will or could support a forest, whether there are any trees on it or not. According to this definition, if it could support a forest, it is a forest.

Mr Wood: I'm looking at the definitions on page 3:

"`Crown forest' means a forest ecosystem or part of a forest ecosystem that is on land vested in Her Majesty in right of Ontario and under the management of the minister."

Mr Brown: Which is the case in Ontario Place.

The Vice-Chair: Any further questions?

Mr Brown: I asked this question on September 13 and haven't received --

Mr Bisson: Can I just ask a question?

The Vice-Chair: When you have the floor. You don't have it yet.

Mr Brown: I understand the answer to my question is yes.

Mr Grandmaître: Yes; that was the answer.

The Vice-Chair: Okay. So we don't have a question any more. Mr Bisson?

Mr Bisson: That clarifies it. It's okay.

The Vice-Chair: Any further questions on Mr Wood's amendment?

Mr Brown: I'm trying to think this through, because we have things happening at Ontario Place that would be subject to this act.

Mr Bisson: On a point of order, Mr Chairman: I thought we were in the process of a vote. You had called for the vote.

The Vice-Chair: Well, we're getting close to it, but it's sometimes difficult, frankly, to know exactly whether Mr Brown still wants to maintain the floor or he doesn't. It seems to me that Mr Brown indicated somewhat into the beginning of the calling of the vote. Mr Brown, do you have further comments?

Mr Brown: We've gone through this for some weeks now, and if the government just wants to vote, let them vote. We don't change their minds about anything. We asked for unanimous consent here to fix a bill they should have fixed, because we're under closure. We're the ones who permitted the government to fix its own legislation. The government wouldn't take into account any of the suggestions that the opposition made. Vote.

Mr Bisson: I just want to point out to the member opposite, Mr Brown from the Liberal Party, that there were a number of amendments --

Mr Brown: Vote, Gilles.

Mr Bisson: We will be voting in a second, but there were a number of amendments that were brought forward by the opposition parties. Specifically in this section that we're dealing with, you had amendments asking us to change the wording from "may" to "shall." We have done it. We've been listening not only to the opposition but also to members of the industry and the general public. That's what the process of the bill has done.

The Vice-Chair: Any further questions on Mr Wood's amendment?

Mr Brown: Send that out in your next newsletter.

The Vice-Chair: Are we ready to vote? All those in favour of Mr Wood's amendment? Opposed? Carried.

Any further amendments to section 66?

Shall section 66, as amended, carry? Carried.


Section 67. Unanimous consent was given earlier to reopen section 67 since there is a consequential amendment. Mr Wood.

Mr Wood: I move that subsection 67(1) of the bill be amended by adding the following paragraph:

"27.1 governing public reviews and comments referred to in subsection 66(2.2);"

The Vice-Chair: Any comments, questions?

Mr Grandmaître: What does it mean?

Mr Wood: It's fairly clear it's an amendment that was needed to make sure that there were public reviews and comments, as changes were made under subsection 66(2.2).

Mr Grandmaître: We don't have a copy of this amendment, Mr Chair.

The Vice-Chair: Number 79A?

Mr Grandmaître: Yes. Oh, 79A.

The Vice-Chair: Are we clear now?

All those in favour of Mr Wood's amendment to section 67? Opposed? Carried.

Any further amendments to section 67?

Shall section 67, as amended, carry? Opposed? Carried.

We're now going back to section 86. Mr Brown.

Ms Sharon Murdock (Sudbury): You don't like the title.

Mr Brown: Ms Murdock just made my speech: I don't like the title.

Ms Murdock: Only I said it much more succinctly.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Brown has the floor.

Mr Brown: Mr Chair, this piece of legislation is under closure, literally.

Mr Wood: It's time allocation.

Mr Brown: All right, time allocation; I'm happy with "time allocation" if that's what you want to call it. What it means is that this does not get reviewed in COW. That means committee of the whole House will not have a look at this bill, as is the normal process in this place with a bill that needed unanimous consent from the opposition to reopen.

We will have a mere one hour to speak to this upstairs. That will mean total debate in the Legislature of Ontario on a bill affecting 60,000 working people and their families in this province merits all of one hour on third reading, two hours in total in the Legislature of Ontario. It's absolutely remarkable. It affects 80% to 90% of the land mass of the province of Ontario, has over 1,000 pages of manuals and regulations, and the government is allocating one hour to speak to it. A private member's bill gets one hour. This is a major piece of legislation.

Right from the very beginning my largest problem with this piece of legislation -- and I have many problems with it -- the largest difficulty I had was the absolute arrogance, indeed hypocrisy, of deciding that any Legislature knows what forest sustainability really is. This is but the Crown Timber Act with another name; group after group after group after group after group came before this committee and said exactly that.

It is offensive; perhaps only the arrogance of somebody who chains himself to trees, who leads a government like that, could come and say to us, "This is for sustainability." It is amazing, absolutely astounding, that anybody could have that kind of absolute gall. If anything, I want to congratulate the government on its ego, because the title of this bill is absolutely offensive to any thinking person, totally without parallel in parliamentary democracy in this place.

Therefore, we will be voting against this, because this is the Crown Timber Act. It is nothing more, and it is in many ways worse than the present Crown Timber Act. It does have some improvements, but on balance I wouldn't get so excited as to say this is going to maintain forest sustainability, and I wouldn't be as presumptuous as this government in pinning a title like this to such nonsense.

Mr Bisson: This being the last opportunity to speak to the bill in regard to section 86, I just want to say this: Yes, the title is very befitting of what the bill is, because it's exactly what it is; it's a Crown Forest Sustainability Act. We have now been working for quite a few years in this province in order to get to this point.

You would know, Mr Brown, from the time that you were in government, that your government had an opportunity to move forward on similar legislation, and for whatever reasons, and I'm not going to get into the public discussion, you decided not to.

This government feels, and feels strongly, that we need to position our Ontario industry in such a way that we're able to make sure that we keep our foothold and we keep our opportunities for expansion and we keep our opportunities in regard to trade with other nations, because they're looking at us a lot more now in regard to how we manage our forests in terms of getting into those markets. This act does that. We've now been out on public hearings for over three weeks. We were supposed to do three and a half days of clause-by-clause; we're about eight days of clause-by-clause now.

We've had numerous meetings. I know you've had, Mr Brown, and Mr Hodgson has, members of the government, Mr Wood, myself and Mr Hampton, the minister, have met with industry and the environmentalists probably far more, quite frankly, than on any other bill of this type in the history of this province. I know that opposition members have done a good job of making sure that they bring their concerns forward to the industry and vice versa, that the industry brings its concerns forward to the opposition and to the government.

I think the parliamentary assistant and the minister and the staff of MNR really need to be congratulated on the work they've done with the industry to come to the kind of compromises necessary to be able to manage our forests well into the year 2000. This act does that.

I feel quite strongly and am quite proud that this government has had the courage to stand up and do what needs to be done in this act. Yes, I am represented by a Premier who stands for principles. That is something that I am quite comfortable with and quite proud of. It is much better, I would say in this parting shot, being represented by a leader who at least stands for something, as I wonder what the leader of the official opposition stands for at times.

But I would say that this is a good act, it goes in the right direction, and I would move that we vote on section 86.

Mr Wood: Just briefly, I'm pleased to see the Honourable Howard Hampton in the audience as we're getting very close to wrapping up on Bill 171.

Mr Brown: Peering out between the bushes.

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

Mr Wood: I'd just like to say that I'm pleased with the cooperation we've had getting to this point and that Bill 171 is something that everybody's going to be able to look back at and feel proud that it's going to sustain jobs in the single-industry communities and it's going to create new jobs as we move around. I'd just like to say thank you to everybody who's been involved in it, all the staff, especially our staff from MNR who have been here sitting with us all the way through.

Mr Hodgson: Seeing that this is one of the last chances I'll get to speak, I would like to thank Franco and all the staff and the Hansard people for the hospitality they've shown to myself and Gary Carr when we travelled the north, all the extra work. I'd like to thank the Chair for his leniency and patience and also the government and the senior staff of MNR.

But in particular on section 86, and that's what we're dealing with, I think it's inappropriate that it be in section 86. I believe that the intent is that this should be in the purpose section of the act. This is the reason we've gone through these hearings, to get a short-titled act so that they can put in the government members' campaign brochures and on TV ads that they've done the Crown Forest Sustainability Act. So I think it's inappropriate that it's at the end; it should be in the purpose section.

Mr Brown: As we unfortunately come to a grinding halt on this act, I would also just like to thank the ministry staff in particular for their forbearance through this rather brief experience in looking at the forests of Ontario and the jobs that they create and the opportunities they present to the people of Ontario.

I appreciate those -- I look over and see some of them sitting over there -- who have been through this process with us, and I know that, particularly in the bureaucracy, the Legislature works in very wonderful ways, even though this is rushed through. I remember them preparing manuals over weekends and doing things that are above and beyond the call of duty from their particular perspective. Of course, we appreciate that and we appreciate what the clerk and Hansard staff have done and certainly look forward to some more public hearings in northern Ontario where we will be able to take members from southern Ontario to see exactly what we're talking about when we get excited about trees.

I've had some members from all parties express appreciation for the opportunities they've had to be in northern Ontario, and I think that was important from that perspective. Particularly in some of the smaller communities we visited, I think that was a great help to members.

That doesn't take away from our views of the bill, but that certainly was an educational experience that all northerners appreciate. I know that one of the members on the government side, who isn't here today, was fond of saying that the only thing he had to do with forests was that he had a street named Driftwood in his constituency and they're now just calling it Drift.

We appreciate the opportunity we've had to do that, but on a policy note I would just ask the bureaucracy in the government to develop these regulations and manuals in the most expedient and quick manner and proclaim this bill very quickly, because it may not ever be proclaimed if there is another government in the province of Ontario, and I suspect that may be the verdict.

Ms Murdock: No, you just wish; that's your wish list.

The Vice-Chair: Are we ready to vote? Shall section 86 carry? Opposed? Carried.

Shall Bill 171, as amended, carry? Opposed? Carried.

Shall I report the bill, as amended, to the House? Agreed? Opposed? Carried.

I thank the members of the committee for making my job relatively easy. As was mentioned already, we also appreciate the work of all the staff who were involved in passing this bill and making it possible to report it to the House. So thank you very much.

This committee stands adjourned until the call of the Chair.

The committee adjourned at 1143.