Monday 7 February 1994

Residents' Rights Act, 1993, Bill 120, Ms Gigantes / Loi de 1993 modifiant des lois en ce qui

concerne les immeubles d'habitation, projet de loi 120, Mme Gigantes


Carol Salmon, counsellor

Canadian Pensioners Concerned, Ontario division

Gerda Kaegi, board member

Rexdale Community Legal Clinic

Jay Sengupta, staff solicitor

Rose Brunetta, community legal worker

Fiona Stewart

Anis Khan


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

*Acting Chair / Président suppléant: Miclash, Frank (Kenora 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:

Miclash, Frank (Kenora L) for Mr Sorbara

Mills, Gordon (Durham East/-Est ND) for Mr Morrow

Owens, Stephen (Scarborough Centre ND) for Mr Wessenger

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

Wilson, Gary, (Kingston and The Islands/Kingston et Les Iles ND) for Mr White

Also taking part / Autres participants et participantes:

Harcourt, Scott, manager, existing stock policy, housing planning and policy division, Ministry of Housing

Clerk / Greffier: Carrozza, Franco

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

The committee met at 1428 in the Humber Room, Macdonald Block, Toronto.


Consideration of Bill 120, An Act to amend certain statutes concerning residential property / Projet de loi 120, Loi modifiant certaines lois en ce qui concerne les immeubles d'habitation.

The Chair (Mr Michael A. Brown): The purpose of the committee meeting this afternoon is to deal with public deputations in regard to Bill 120.

Mr George Mammoliti (Yorkview): I understand we have a couple of individuals who want to come and the time has elapsed for the deputants --

The Chair: In regard to Bill 95.

Mr Mammoliti: My apologies. I ask that we get unanimous consent to extend the time for another week.


Mr Mammoliti: I'm sorry. This is Monday, isn't it? Extend the time limits to Sunday then, if that's okay.

The Chair: Perhaps, Mr Mammoliti, if we just had a motion that would permit those two individuals to appear.

Mr Bernard Grandmaître (Ottawa East): There are only two?

Mr Mammoliti: Cathy Stephenson and Maria Augimeri.

The Chair: Mr Mammoliti has moved that those two individuals be heard during public deputations to Bill 95. All in favour? Carried.

Now we'll get on to the purpose of this afternoon's meeting, which is to hear public deputations on Bill 120.


Miss Carol Salmon: My name is Carol Salmon and I am a counsellor at Intercede, which is the Toronto Organization for Domestic Workers' Rights. I'm going to be talking to you today about some of the concerns that our membership, who are mostly domestic workers, have regarding their live-in conditions. I'm going to start off by telling you just a little bit about our organization.

We are a community-based, non-profit organization. We provide information, counselling, advocacy and referral services to foreign domestic workers regarding their immigration status, labour conditions and human rights. We also provide them with a monthly newsletter, educational monthly meetings, support group meetings and recreational activities.

We're funded primarily by the immigrant settlement and adaption program, the Canada Employment and Immigration Commission, the Secretary of State women's program as well as Metro Toronto and the city of Toronto.

We were founded in 1979 by concerned individuals and groups to conduct research and advocacy related to domestic workers' rights. Our service unit opened up in 1984 to assist mostly those workers under Immigration's live-in care giver program.

Intercede has a membership of approximately 1,100 domestic workers. Our service unit receives more than 6,000 contacts by phone each year, and we reach about 3,000 other workers through our various meetings and activities. It is on behalf of these workers that Intercede has been working to obtain changes or improvements to their living and working conditions from the federal and provincial governments.

Intercede is pleased to be part of this consultation process, and we strongly support protection being extended to those tenants whose housing has a care component.

As you may be aware, domestic workers who enter Canada under the live-in care giver program, or LCP, are required to do two years of domestic or care giving work within a three-year period and to live in the home of their employer to be eligible to apply for permanent residence inside Canada. They are restricted to care giving for children, elderly or developmentally challenged individuals.

These domestic workers have temporary status, and unlike other immigrants whose labour is in demand, domestic workers are not allowed to enter the country as landed immigrants and they are forced to live in their employers' homes.

The combination of temporary status and mandatory live-in makes a foreign care giver extremely vulnerable to threats of deportation, excessive overtime work and other abuses. Her ability to control her worklife and private life are marginal. Not only may she be required to do the child care but also the house cleaning, meal preparation, laundry, pet care, gardening and snow shovelling.

She can be on call 24 hours a day. These long and irregular hours and insufficient rest are commonly accompanied by inadequate in-lieu-of time and unpaid overtime. Physical exhaustion, toxic products and machinery and sexual harassment are occupational hazards in her job. She suffers from isolation, loneliness, racist indignities and diminished self-esteem.

Although domestic workers may know their rights, they are often hesitant to assert them because they do not want to jeopardize their immigration status. Their stability, security and privacy are at the mercy of their employers.

A domestic worker under the LCP loses the right to choose where to live and in many cases what to eat. She cannot do much about a damp basement room if that is what is given to her, or if they put her bed in the employer's home office that contains the photocopier and computer, or if the room has inadequate ventilation or minimal heat in the winter. She also cannot insist that she have a lock and key to her own room.

A very common complaint from domestic workers is that they do not have any privacy in their rooms that they are paying to live in; they do not have locks on their doors; the children can let themselves in; the employers can enter at any time, which is a specific concern as it makes care givers extremely vulnerable to sexual abuse or harassment. Care givers have complained that employers are using their room on the weekends to service overnight guests or weekend workers.

Although it is a room that they are paying for seven days a week, they cannot invite friends over if they want to. Despite the home being their workplace as well as their home, domestic workers are not given a key to the house to facilitate freedom of access. She has to ask permission to leave the house and to give a time when she'll be back.

Some care givers often end up paying twice for room and board because they feel forced to share apartments on the weekends or just so they can get some privacy to be able to cook their own meals and socialize with friends and family.

She does not have much choice of what to eat and often has to eat according to the diet of her employer. The care giver may have to buy food just so she will have enough to eat, but even when she buys her food, the employer will still deduct her board even though she's not there on the weekends.

The LCP stipulates that employers can deduct a portion from their worker's salary for room and board. Ontario minimum wage regulations set out the maximum room and meal allowances that can be deducted. So although there are limits to the amount a care giver has to pay for a private room and for the meals, she is at the mercy of her employer to provide adequate conditions.

When a domestic worker loses her job, she automatically loses her home, which is a very important issue to take into consideration. Many of our contacts have complained that they have been terminated without notice. They are expected to leave immediately with all of their baggage. Some of them have been kicked out in the middle of the night and are just expected to find somewhere to go.

In order to find another place to live, domestic workers may have no choice but to settle for employment that may be unsafe or that they would normally consider unacceptable because they are desperate for shelter and to meet Immigration requirements.

Domestic workers are primarily women of colour in a low-income, underpaid and undervalued occupation. Because of the demand for live-in domestic labour, they are forced to live in the home of their employer while providing care-giving services. As such, domestic workers' rights regarding their living conditions in the employer's home must be protected.

Intercede strongly supports the passing of Bill 120's amendments to the Landlord and Tenant Act. The provision extending tenant protection to those tenants whose housing has a care component is of particular interest to foreign domestic workers.

Intercede recommends that domestic workers living in the home of their employer be covered under the provision extending protection as tenants whose housing has a care component; also, that domestic workers be given the right not to be arbitrarily evicted from their homes, and also to give domestic workers the right to privacy and to safe and healthy living conditions and the right to enforce these rights without fear of retaliation.

The Chair: Thank you. Questions in rotation. The official opposition, Mr Grandmaître.

Mr Grandmaître: Tell me, when you people accept employment in Canada --

Miss Salmon: You people?

Mr Grandmaître: Yes, the domestic workers.

Miss Salmon: The domestic workers, okay.

Mr Grandmaître: Do you sign a contract with the employer?

Miss Salmon: When domestic workers are getting employers, there is no contract that they have to sign.

Mr Grandmaître: So you're taking on a responsibility without knowing what your real responsibilities are.

Miss Salmon: The employment centre states that the contract is between the employer and the employment centre and that the domestic worker really has nothing to do with it. That's the position of the employment centre, which does not give out contracts any more.

Mr Grandmaître: I see. Before you accept employment with a certain employer, doesn't your association visit the home?

Miss Salmon: You may have your interview in the home. You're not necessarily shown around. You may have a separate meeting place or you may come in, but you're just sitting in the living room and being asked questions.

Mr Grandmaître: But they won't show you your living quarters?

Miss Salmon: No, not necessarily. What's primary for a domestic worker is to find a job so she can meet Immigration requirements. If a domestic worker begins asking all sorts of questions, she may be jeopardizing her ability to get that job, to get that employment.

Mr Grandmaître: Don't you think it's your right to get all the facts before you take on employment?

Miss Salmon: Certainly, but in that same sense a domestic worker who comes here on temporary status, her position is very tentative. They're not here permanently; therefore, they're willing to accept various conditions. Whatever the employer is willing to offer, they feel they have to accept it because they're only here temporarily and they depend on that employer to get their landing.


Mr Grandmaître: Can you explain to me what this temporary status is? Is it a year, two years, three years?

Miss Salmon: It's two years of live-in domestic work within a three-year period, and they're not entitled to live out until they get an open employment authorization.

Mr Grandmaître: Let's say that your employer lets you go after 12 months or 14 months. You're out on the street, you have to find employment. But you accepted this job, let's say, in Ontario, to do domestic work, right?

Miss Salmon: Right. To do domestic work, to do care giving, yes.

Mr Grandmaître: If this employer terminates or breaks this agreement, isn't there an association you can report yourself to and say --

Miss Salmon: Please keep me until I find another job?

Mr Grandmaître: Yes.

Miss Salmon: No.

Mr Grandmaître: You're on your own.

Miss Salmon: You're on your own, unless you're lucky enough to have friends who don't mind if you impose on them. But yes, you're on your own.

Mr Grandmaître: I find it very strange that they would invite you from another country to live under these conditions.

Miss Salmon: Right.

Mr Grandmaître: And I'm also questioning the fact that you accept to come to Ontario without very little conditions.

Miss Salmon: What do you mean by "without very little conditions"?

Mr Grandmaître: Well, if you're not allowed to visit your living quarters and the employer doesn't make you feel at home --

Miss Salmon: Often they do make you feel at home during the interview. It's different when you're actually living there and having to work there.

Mr Grandmaître: And you have no recourse?

Miss Salmon: No recourse regarding what?

Mr Grandmaître: Well, employment, for instance. If you say you're working five days a week, 14 hours a day or 16 hours a day, there's no limit on the number of hours that --

Miss Salmon: Right. They don't have that coverage under the Employment Standards Act that there are certain maximum hours or minimum hours that they can refuse to work.

Mr Grandmaître: It's open.

Miss Salmon: It's open.

Mr David Johnson (Don Mills): Thank you very much for the deputation. It's a different perspective than we've seen on this issue over the past three weeks now, I guess.

I wonder if you would help me, though. There's a question that comes to my mind. I may be missing something, but if a domestic worker accepts employment and lives in, let's say, a basement apartment, which I guess is fairly common, suppose the employer decides that the domestic worker is not performing satisfactorily and -- I don't know if this is the word -- fires or dehires the domestic worker.

If the domestic worker is under the protection of the Landlord and Tenant Act -- I don't think one of the criteria for eviction is being fired from a job -- how would that work out? The domestic would be, under the Landlord and Tenant Act, permitted to stay in the basement apartment.

Miss Salmon: An employer is supposed to give them notice of termination.

Mr David Johnson: Of the job.

Miss Salmon: Right.

Mr David Johnson: But if the domestic worker's covered by the Landlord and Tenant Act, the domestic worker is in fact a tenant then, and tenants cannot be evicted from an apartment unless they meet certain criteria: they don't pay their rent, for example, or they cause noise and problems or they trash the place or something like that. But losing employment is not a criterion for eviction, so the tenant would be allowed to stay in the basement apartment, even though she -- I think you would use the word "she" here primarily -- is no longer the domestic for that particular house.

Miss Salmon: There's probably going to have to be something special that's put into consideration to take a look at that issue, but for the most part domestic workers do want to move on. They don't want to stay there for an extended period of time, because they're under a deadline in the eyes of Immigration and they want to get their landed status. If they can't do it within a reasonable period of time, then they'll be rejected.

Mr David Johnson: There would have to be something, because theoretically if she had another source of income somehow, she could stay there. I guess there would have to be another arrangement.

Miss Salmon: No, because she has to live in her employer's home and she can't have another job. She can't work two jobs at the same time. She can only work with the one that's on her employment authorization.

Mr David Johnson: In most cases, would the domestic be in a self-contained unit? In other words, would it have a fridge and a stove, a bathroom and a kitchen?

Miss Salmon: That's one of the problems. They sometimes may have their own private room but, as I said, employers say that they can provide them with an adequate room, but when they get there it might just be in the basement, and yes, there may be a door, but it won't have a lock. Will they have a kitchen? No, they're expected to go upstairs to use the kitchen facilities. They may even have to go upstairs to use the bathroom.

Mr David Johnson: Under the bill as it stands today, it's my understanding that it would cover a self-contained unit, for example. So if the domestic was living in a self-contained unit with a kitchen, a bathroom, the whole works, then this bill would cover that situation. But under the situation you've described, and I just wonder if this is your understanding, where there's just a room but, let's say, no kitchen, then this bill would not cover that situation.

Miss Salmon: That's one of the problems with the situation of domestic workers. They're not covered adequately and they're expected and forced to live in the home, but they're not provided with the appropriate conditions and an ability to enforce their rights to make sure that their conditions are safe and healthy.

Mr David Johnson: Not to put words in your mouth, but you're recommending that this bill doesn't go far enough then, and should be amended to not only include basement apartments but should include rooms, I guess, where domestics live that are not in a sense basement apartments, that do not qualify as an apartment.

Miss Salmon: Self-contained.

Mr David Johnson: Is that what you're recommending?

Miss Salmon: I know there are a lot of varied situations, but domestic workers have the right to be protected in terms of their room, because they're forced to live there. Therefore their conditions should be safe and healthy and provide them with adequate conditions to live in.

Mr David Johnson: Are you recommending that all the apartments that domestics live in should be brought up to those standards, should have a kitchen?

Miss Salmon: I'm not necessarily recommending that.

Mr David Johnson: Okay. I was just trying to clarify. So you're not recommending that. All right. Let me just ask one more then. I know Mr Tilson wants to ask a question.

There has been some thought expressed that if home owners are put under too many obligations in terms of bringing units up to standards -- and standards include perhaps more exits, fire exits, for example; making sure that all the walls have fire-resistant material, the ceilings have fire-resistant material; you referred to the dampness, that this kind of thing doesn't exist -- and if the cost starts to mount -- there was one suggestion from a couple of fire chiefs that they should all be water-sprinklered, for example, in the case of a fire, at a cost of $1,500 or $2000 -- this would cause a number of these units to be closed down because they just wouldn't be economically viable.

Some people say: "That's the way it falls because, number one, they should be made safe. If that means some of them are closed, too bad." Well, they should be made safe, but I wonder if there would be any concern that, if the regulations are too tight, in fact it would actually be closing opportunities for domestics.

Miss Salmon: There's still always that demand for child care, elderly care and to look after developmentally challenged individuals, so I don't think that's going to go anywhere. Employers want the domestic workers to live in their home. Domestic workers would certainly prefer not to live in. It's because that's where the demand is.


Mr David Johnson: It's your view then, if they have to pay more to do this in the sense of the accommodation, that sort of thing, that there would be those who are prepared to pay more and there will still be the demand?

Miss Salmon: I can say they should fix things up to standard, but whether they would or not is a different story.

Mr David Tilson (Dufferin-Peel): That's probably the real issue with your comments. My observation is that if you put standards of such -- which is, as Mr Johnson says, the suggestion of almost self-contained units which may in some cases be appropriate and in others may not be appropriate, depending on the terms of employment.

There must be an awful lot of people who have the live-in domestic who simply, if they were put to that expense -- and I'm not talking about health situations; I'm talking about the types of units where they would have their own kitchens, their own facilities, the standards to meet certain building bylaws -- their job would simply be prohibitive to many individuals who request that service. They would have to do something else, which would have the end result of the domestic simply being unemployed or having nowhere to go.

Miss Salmon: I don't think the need for child care is going anywhere. I think they'll always be needed.

Mr Tilson: With respect, it may be that the individual may not be able to afford that type of child care at home because it would become so prohibitive costwise as a result of government regulations that they may be forced to go to other institutions. Do you have that fear?

Miss Salmon: My position here today is not to say that it needs to have a fridge in it and all those other things that are under the self-containment. I'm not here to say that. I won't be able to respond to that.

Mr Derek Fletcher (Guelph): Thank you for your presentation. Can you believe the stuff they're saying over there? When people come to this country, I guess they should have the same rights as almost anyone else as far as living conditions are concerned. I agree with that.

I think a lot of what you've been talking about does fall under labour, but some of the spinoffs of Bill 120 could be that, since people will be allowed to build or to construct apartments in their houses and have self-contained units, perhaps now they'll start doing it for people they bring into the country to work in their homes. I know that in some upscale neighbourhoods perhaps they're lobbying not to have this, whereas it could benefit not only themselves -- they could have the unit within their homes -- but also the people working for them. So I can see a spinoff.

Why not have building codes and fire safety codes for people who are working in their home? It makes sense. You talk about cost. What cost is it to make sure that a person can live as a human being, no matter where they are? I agree with you as far as that's concerned.

I heard about the plight of domestic workers when I was on the committee doing Bill 40. From London, Ontario, Ottawa, all over the province, the stories were heartbreaking about how people were being treated, especially when they were coming here and working for a family and the way they were being mistreated when they were in the care of that family.

I'm just wondering about the self-contained apartment. I believe that's an excellent idea. You said you don't think they need a fridge, stove. Why not? Why not a fridge, stove? Why not a separate apartment?

Miss Salmon: I wasn't prepared to be able to discuss that today, that's all. Certainly domestic workers would prefer that, and then they wouldn't have to necessarily find another place on the weekends to be able to cook their own meals. Certainly to have their own fridge and all those other amenities would be better for them, because then their employers wouldn't be able to say, "I don't like you to cook this and cook that in my home," and, "I don't like the smell." If it was in their own space, then certainly that would provide for better conditions.

Mr Fletcher: As far as the other things, such as eviction and your job being terminated, that would fall under labour legislation rather than Bill 120, but I can understand your fears. To lose your job and your home both at the same time would be devastating. I was thinking perhaps if the labour legislation was strengthened so that notification was a must, then --

Miss Salmon: They are supposed to be given notice.

Mr Fletcher: I know it's supposed to be.

Miss Salmon: Enforcement is the big problem in all areas related to domestic workers.

Mr Fletcher: But when you're a domestic worker, you're not going to rock the boat, so a lot of complaints don't go forward unless there's an organization that can get involved with them. That's something we can look at.

Mr Gary Wilson (Kingston and The Islands): Thank you, Miss Salmon, for your presentation. As my colleague has said, it's more properly under the provisions of the Labour Relations Act than the Employment Standards Act that some of these things fit. I'd just like to find out, though, in the experience of your organization have conditions changed in that time within the lobbying efforts that you've undertaken to support domestic workers?

Miss Salmon: What types of conditions are you referring to?

Mr Gary Wilson: The security of tenure, say, that they get notice, that they're not arbitrarily dismissed.

Miss Salmon: They're still continually arbitrarily dismissed.

Mr Gary Wilson: There's been no change?

Miss Salmon: No change to that. If employers want you to leave, they just tell you to leave and you leave, and you don't say anything about it.

Mr Gary Wilson: How often does that happen?

Miss Salmon: I would say often.

Mr Gary Wilson: You don't keep figures on it.

Miss Salmon: If people are contacting us, we'll check off termination, but we don't keep in-depth statistics on that. Certainly, if we had more funding and more resources, then we would be able to keep more extensive statistics, but as it is, with the kind of workload that we have and the staff that we have, it's impossible to keep as specific statistics as people would like.

The Chair: Thank you for coming today. We appreciated your presentation. You've brought a new view to the committee that we haven't heard in the last three weeks.

Before we move on to the next presentation, the Chair at least needs some help with clarification. Maybe someone from the ministry could help me understand the rights of roomers as they presently exist. Is a roomer in Ontario subject to the Landlord and Tenant Act now?

Mr Scott Harcourt: I'm Scott Harcourt from the Ministry of Housing. The situation with roomers right now where you're sharing kitchen and bathroom facilities with the owner is that you are not covered under the Landlord and Tenant Act.

The Chair: Under this bill, will you be?

Mr Harcourt: No, this bill does not change that.

The Chair: Is rent control in place?

Mr Harcourt: No, the exemption for rent control is exactly the same as the Landlord and Tenant Act in this situation. It is exempt from rent control.

Mr David Johnson: Isn't it actually true -- this is a fine point -- you can have your own washroom but the kitchen is the key thing, as long as you share a kitchen --

Mr Harcourt: Correct. I think the wording in the act is "shared kitchen and bathroom facilities." I think if you just had a shared kitchen, you would still be exempt.

Mr David Johnson: Certainly many municipalities have geared it on a kitchen.

Mr Harcourt: That is correct. You just have to meet one of those two tests and the exemption would apply.

Mr David Johnson: Particularly the kitchen.

Mr Mammoliti: "Kitchen or bathroom," isn't it?

Mr Harcourt: Yes, "kitchen or bathroom." You're right.

Mr David Johnson: Is it "or"?

Mr Mammoliti: "Kitchen or bathroom."

Mr Harcourt: Yes.

The Chair: In regard to the presentation we've just heard, domestic workers would be considered roomers under the act, and will be exempt regardless of what happens with Bill 120 and are exempt at the moment.

Mr Harcourt: That is correct.

Mr David Johnson: Unless they had a self-contained unit, which some of them may have.

The Chair: If it's a self-contained unit, it's different.

Mr Harcourt: That's correct. If they have a self-contained unit, they would be covered under the Landlord and Tenant Act and under rent control.

The Chair: Thank you, I think I have sorted it out.



Ms Gerda Kaegi: My organization, the Canadian Pensioners Concerned, is a national organization with provincial divisions. We're one of the founders of One Voice-Seniors Network, the national organization for seniors groups across Canada. We're a volunteer board elected by the membership, and I represent the board on housing issues and on the seniors advisory committee on Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp, Ontario division.

My name is Gerda Kaegi. Thank you for the opportunity to appear. I am sure that much of what I have to say will have been said before, so thank you for your patience.

We would have preferred two pieces of legislation, one dealing with care homes and the other addressing the legalization and regulation of second residential units in houses "as of right." This approach would have allowed for more comprehensive and clearly focused legislation in both instances. However, Bill 120 is a first step and we urge its speedy passage. We can then continue to advocate for essential additions to the legislation. It is better to have half a loaf than no loaf at all.

I will first address parts I, II and III of Bill 120, those sections that apply to care homes and the rights of their residents. These sections apply to proposed amendments to the Landlord and Tenant Act, the Rent Control Act, 1992, and the Rental Housing Protection Act.

We have fought for the implementation of most of the recommendations of the report of the Commission of Inquiry into Unregulated Residential Accommodation, the Lightman commission, and are pleased to see that some of those recommendations do appear to be implemented by Bill 120. I will refer to this report in my presentation.

First, we support the inclusion of residential care units under the Landlord and Tenant Act and the Rent Control Act. We have always seen these units as the home of the resident and we are pleased to see that the legislation recognizes this fact. Residents living in this form of housing will now receive the same protection as those living in other forms of rental accommodation.

Second, we are also pleased to see the narrowing of the types of accommodation that are exempt from the Landlord and Tenant Act. However, we would prefer even fewer exemptions. I give as an example social housing; we don't see why social housing should be exempted.

We should know exactly what is and is not covered by the definition of "care." There is such a wide range of services that provide assistance with the activities of daily living, from hair care to bathing to meal preparation and so on, that we believe that a clearer definition should be provided.

We are very concerned about the exclusion of meals and care services from the meaning of "rent" within the context of the Rent Control Act.

Residents of boarding homes will lose the protection we understand they now have if Bill 120 remains as it is. Residents of boarding homes currently protected by the Rent Control Act pay rent which includes both meals and accommodation. However, Bill 120 will exclude meals and care services from the meaning of rent. One could envision the situation where the meal charges could exceed the rent charges and the resident could be forced to leave his or her home for financial reasons.

Furthermore, we are afraid that owners of boarding homes will try to claim that they are "care homes," and this claim would make them exempt from the Rent Control Act's application to the cost of their meals. If this transition should occur, we will probably lose a very valuable form of moderately priced accommodation, the boarding home.

Retirement homes or care homes not previously covered by the Rent Control Act will now be covered by Bill 120. Such homes commonly provide meals and often some care for the residents. However, Bill 120 will not protect the residents from undue increases in meal or other care costs.

The required 90-day provision of notice of an increase in the charge for care services or meals, while useful, is very limited protection for the resident. Therefore, we urge that meals and mandatory care services be brought under the protection of the Rent Control Act, 1992.

If rent control is not going to be extended to cover meals and mandatory care services at this time, then we urge that a monitoring system be established to review the pricing practices in care homes.

We are pleased to see the requirement to provide an information package to new tenants prior to the signing of a tenancy agreement. We believe that such an information package must be in a prescribed standardized form and include the following: information on tenant rights under the Landlord and Tenant Act; information on tenant rights under the Rent Control Act; a list of mandatory services available, any limitations on their use and the price of each of the mandatory services; a list of optional services available, any limitations on their use and the price of each of the optional services; minimum staffing levels and qualifications of the staff; details of the emergency response system, if any; internal procedures, if any, for dealing with complaints; current charges and those of the previous two years for all services, meals and rent; and, finally, the telephone number and address of the nearest tenant advocacy centre.

These recommendations reflect some of those found in the Lightman commission recommendations and I've listed the numbers. They're not exclusively found there; some of them are our own.

We believe that section 20 of Bill 120 is flawed by excluding care homes with fewer than three residential units from the notice requirements.

There are important items that are missing from this legislation, items that were found in the recommendations of the Lightman commission and that we believe ought to be included.

The protection against conflict of interest, as recommended in the Lightman commission: That refers to people such as lawyers, people covered under the health professions legislation, who would have a conflict of interest with recommending somebody going into the care home, and I have a copy that could give you the details, if you want.

We would call for the establishment of provincial standards for care services and the creation of a provincial services review board.

We would like to see the institution of an accreditation program for all care homes.

We do not believe that these recommendations need be delayed for further consideration under the long-term care policy developments. There are vulnerable tenants who need help now.

We believe there should be a requirement for the yearly inspection of all care homes, which should include an assessment of the extent to which the building codes and care service standards are being met.

Now I'd like to turn to those aspects of Bill 120 that address the issue of the creation of secondary units as of right.

We believe that these changes will create legal, moderately priced accommodation, a cost-effective way of creating this accommodation as this housing stock is largely already built. Some of those with the greatest need are singles of all ages, the disabled, students, young families and the elderly, particularly women. These groups have proportionately lower incomes and a relatively high incidence of homelessness.

The widespread use of illegal second units has meant that the residents of those units are not protected by the Landlord and Tenant Act and are potentially subject to unfair treatment by their landlord, without any opportunity of recourse to the law. The legalization of such units will ensure that tenants will now have access to the service of tenants' associations without fear of losing their accommodation.

The legalization of second units as of right will help people on limited incomes to purchase homes or keep their homes. The rent received from these units provides a source of needed income. The retired pensioner is one of those most in need of additional income because their incomes are usually fixed.

The creation of second units as of right gives the older home owner an opportunity to have someone share the same house. This will address a number of important concerns.

There are many older, single individuals, particularly women, who become isolated and withdrawn as they age alone. A tenant in their home would be in a good position to note this and could alert family or community agencies.

Older home owners often need help with home maintenance. Having a tenant in a residential unit could lead to a sharing of these responsibilities.

Older home owners often have concerns about personal safety, especially if they are living alone. A tenant would provide an important element of security.

The legislation will provide for safe accommodation because the building codes and all pertinent safety requirements will apply to these units. Hopefully, communities will be able to avoid the tragic loss of lives through fires that have swept through illegal units. Tenants will have the right to ensure that their accommodation is safe without putting themselves at risk of being evicted from their homes. We also recognize that some units will have to be closed as they will not be able to meet the building codes and fire safety standards.

We are pleased to see the provision of strengthened right of entry for building inspectors but we believe the legislation should go even further. We do not see why there is so much protection for the home owner. If they have nothing to hide, why would they worry if an inspection is requested?

We would like to see policies and procedures in place that would facilitate the eviction of a demonstrably inappropriate tenant. However, such procedures should include safeguards against arbitrary eviction.

We are opposed in principle to the use of exclusionary zoning, such as zoning areas single-family residential, to prohibit the creation of second units. We believe such legislation has been used by municipalities to serve the interests of the middle class to the detriment of those with low to moderate incomes.

We do not accept the argument that the creation of second units as of right will lead to excessive demands for community or municipal services. In some older residential areas the creation of such units may lead to the firming up of the population base that is needed for the efficient provision of some services. We also reject the claim that second units in existing housing will be a threat to the quality of neighbourhood life. There are thousands of such units in single-family-zoned neighbourhoods today, and I lived in one of them.

The history of cities shows that there is continuous change in housing use from single-family to multifamily and back to single-family. These changes have occurred in response to the changing economic times and changing human needs.


We are strongly supportive of the move to facilitate the use of garden suites. We believe that there should be agreements established between the home owner and the municipality as to the use of the suite and, in particular, we believe that the occupancy should be guaranteed for the life or use of a designated occupant.

We support the elimination of the current right of municipalities to pass bylaws that regulate who may or may not share the occupancy of a home. Furthermore, we support Bill 120's intent to prohibit municipalities from using their regulatory powers to circumvent this legislation.

Finally, the legalization of secondary units will bring to light incomes that have never been declared, perhaps an unintended consequence but a move to end at least one element of inequity in the taxation system.

We believe that the outcome of this bill will be more and better housing options for many people in our communities, including seniors. Seniors and others in care will have somewhat greater protection from loss of their accommodation or homes. We've expressed some concerns and made recommendations for some improvements in this legislation. However, we've had to wait far too long and we urge you to give prompt passage to Bill 120. Thank you very much.

Mr David Johnson: This is a very extensive analysis of Bill 120. I think it's perhaps one of the most extensive analyses in terms of dealing with all the points that I've seen to this date. You must have a group of people who have gone through Bill 120, do you, or how does that work in your organization?

Ms Kaegi: Yes, I have consulted with a number. I should also explain I teach city politics and I teach public policy at the local government level, so I personally know quite a bit about them.

Mr David Johnson: So you were largely the author of the report, I assume.

Ms Kaegi: Yes, with consultation with other members of the board and other groups, seniors' groups across the municipality.

Mr David Johnson: Across the municipality?

Ms Kaegi: Yes, across Metro, other groups that exist within Metro.

Mr David Johnson: Oh, I'm sorry. I just noted Ontario division, so I presumed you had groups from across Ontario.

Ms Kaegi: Oh yes, we do. There are groups, other affiliates, there are other branches, there are branches that report back to us, and we have a newsletter, Viewpoint, which is a quarterly newsletter which goes out raising some of the concerns and issues we're thinking about, getting feedback from the other groups. We've had letters from people asking us to advocate, especially on the second units but also when the Lightman commission was up. We had a lot of interchange with our membership.

Mr David Johnson: So you have an executive that is composed of people from units from across Ontario. Is that the way it works?

Ms Kaegi: No. The Ontario division board is elected by the membership; those who can go to the annual meeting will elect the members of the board.

Mr David Johnson: I see. Okay.

Ms Kaegi: But there are branches across the province and in other provinces.

Mr David Johnson: Roughly how many people would have been involved in terms of putting this report together?

Ms Kaegi: I'm sorry, I don't know.

Mr David Johnson: It would depend on how you defined that, I guess.

Mr Stephen Owens (Scarborough Centre): What's the point, Dave?

Mr David Johnson: I guess we have the floor here, Mr Chairman.

The Chair: Yes, through the Chair, Mr Johnson.

Mr David Johnson: It's really nice to have the assistance from across the way there, but they're not usually too helpful.

In terms of the first part of the bill, since you do have units across the province I assume that problems pertaining to the care homes are being raised to your various members. You're very insistent and your points are very definite in terms of being under the Rent Control Act, not only the accommodation portion but the food and the care portion. I wonder if you could share with us some of the instances and some of the specific problems of that nature that have been raised with your membership.

Ms Kaegi: To go back, those issues were originally raised around the Lightman commission. We were asked on behalf of the membership to make a deputation to the Lightman commission and that is where we developed our analysis of those issues. Therefore, it wasn't very difficult to transpose that brief in fact to Bill 120 when we went through and reviewed what we had made in our presentation to the Lightman commission.

Some of the instances have been of people who moved into a residence. They had sold their home, they had got rid of their furniture, whatever, to fit the accommodation, and then they discovered that there were rent increases they hadn't expected. There were increases in costs of meals. They discovered that while they had agreed that it might be reasonable to take a certain number of meals in the dining room, when those prices also escalated, they found they couldn't afford it.

I think one of the most notorious examples was the Grenadier in Toronto; and I can't remember the name of the place but I'm sure -- I can remember one of the instances. There is a place in Windsor, I think it is, where they've had a similar problem. But we've heard in the past from people that this is not an uncommon concern for residents who have moved from their family home into a rest or retirement home and then suddenly feel themselves very, very vulnerable.

Mr David Johnson: It's a difficult thing to balance.

Ms Kaegi: Extremely.

Mr David Johnson: Your advice is certainly helpful to us. On the other hand, we're hearing, through the course of the three weeks or so, from some of the operators who say that the meal situation is one that varies from individual to individual, and the care as well. Not only does it vary from individual to individual, but over a period of time one person may have different meal requirements and different care requirements. To put that under the Rent Control Act, they're just not sure how that would work. I wonder if you could give us some advice, given changing and varying circumstances, on how you would see it being governed.

Ms Kaegi: Quite frankly, one step -- if you like, an interim step -- would be the recommendation on page 2, as an interim step. Establish a price-monitoring system and then if in fact you discover that our concerns are valid, you could move into the legislation.

Second, when you go into a home, you could have a contract and you could stipulate that under certain terms and conditions you would then go back and renegotiate. If your care needs went up and the home is prepared to provide it, then you could renegotiate the contract.

What is important, though, is that with the application of the Landlord and Tenant Act, if the service is not a mandatory service, is not one you have to take with the package in living in the home, and the price of that service in the home goes beyond your financial means, you hopefully would be able to access that service in the community. So you would have some flexibility in terms of meeting your needs.

Again, I think experience will show us if in fact we need to have it. Some of us believe we do; others believe we don't. As an interim step, certainly a monitoring committee of what is in fact happening would be helpful.

Mr Gordon Mills (Durham East): Thank you very much for your presentation. I enjoyed it and was glad to listen to your wholehearted support for Bill 120. It's very encouraging after all the down stuff we've heard during this hearing. I just want to ask you about paragraph 7 of your presentation. What I'm talking about here is that I've met with municipalities in my riding and the concern they seem to have is they want to make the garden suite conditional on a member of the immediate family, like a blood relative, and then they also want to have in that arrangement some sort of condition that will automatically make the garden suite be removed upon the death of that person.

You're suggesting here that "the occupancy should be guaranteed for the life" of the person -- I can go along with that -- "or use of a designated occupant." Are you suggesting that someone other than a relative should be able to live in a garden suite?

Ms Kaegi: No. Quite frankly, we were saying "or use of a designated occupant" rather than the life because someone might have to go into a care facility, and then it seemed to us that if the use was no longer there for that designated person, that should be the end of the existence of the garden suite. We have not taken a position on the issue of whether it should or should not be restricted to a relative. Quite frankly, we had made the assumption it would be.


Mr Mills: I see.

Ms Kaegi: I hadn't thought of the other.

Mr Mills: In the society we live in today there are some older folks who get very friendly with a family that's not their own and then that family may be inclined to offer this sort of care. They would be prohibited because in fact that wasn't their relative per se.

I just wanted to ask you another question. I've been told, and maybe you've got it from your group, that municipalities will say: "We haven't got the time to mess around with this. It's up to them." I've been suggesting to the Minister of Housing that it would be helpful perhaps if we had some blanket guidelines or information that a municipality would be able to use in the case of an apartment in their garden suite so that they wouldn't be able to use the excuse that, "The administrative costs...blah, blah, blah." We could say to them, "Here's the type of model agreement that you will use. It's all laid out for you," to facilitate and to stop that argument. Would you subscribe to something like that, to make it easy, or how would you feel?

Ms Kaegi: Goodness. I have no problem with the province establishing, if you like, guidelines. I'm also, if I could put on another hat, very jealous of the jurisdiction of municipalities to act within their own areas. At the same time, I think it would facilitate to have standards, just as one has building code standards or fire safety standards. I see no problem with that. If it facilitates the establishment of garden suites -- and I'm aware of the pilot projects that have existed, all to the good -- I have no problem with having a general model for it, no.

Mr Mills: Just because there is this fear that they're going to say, "We haven't got the time to do this," and that's why I'm looking for support for that idea, that we present them with the model agreement that they could follow without having an excuse to say, "We haven't got the time." That's all. Thank you very much.

Mr Gary Wilson: Thank you, Ms Kaegi, for your presentation. It of course is filled with a lot of ideas and suggestions about how we, in your view at least, can strengthen the legislation. I realize that you've spent a lot of time considering the provisions under both aspects of Bill 120.

I want to just mention, though, that you seem to be calling for monitoring of the care charges and food charges. That will be done by the ministry just to make sure that there aren't any kind of untoward increases in the cost of care or food. There is a provision in the bill that allows rent control to apply to the cost of care and food if it's seen that there is a problem there. As you know, there is the provision to provide for 90 days' notice of the increase.

Ms Kaegi: Yes, I was certainly aware and we were certainly aware of that provision. Our concern is that things can happen fairly quickly and it's very hard to monitor. What sort of system will you set up to ensure you get all the information? Our preference would be to put in the regulation. If necessary, it could be modified. But our fallback position is at least to have a clear and effective monitoring system and require reporting of all these charges. But it's going to be an extensive data bank you're going to have to set up.

Mr Gary Wilson: In a way, although very much this legislation is based on the rights-based approach, that is, it's up to the resident under the acts that we're now applying to care homes and apartments in houses to come forward with complaints that they have. I am just wondering whether you think this will work in the areas that you are interested in, where elderly people are living in this kind of accommodation.

Ms Kaegi: I think a monitoring system can work if people are determined to make it work. As I said, our preference would be to have the regulations.

Mr Gary Wilson: But do you think there are enough advocates? Are you confident the elderly themselves can come forward with the kind of --

Ms Kaegi: No. I would argue that, yes, some can quite effectively argue and present issues. Others are intimidated. Others will be afraid, "If I cause trouble, I could lose something." It varies. Seniors are just as varied as everybody else in society, so there are some of those who wouldn't appear before this committee and others who would. I think we have to make provision for those who don't feel they are secure in making a complaint or raising a concern. They will be frightened.

Mr Hans Daigeler (Nepean): Could you just tell me a little bit about your own organization, like how many members do you have and who are the members?

Ms Kaegi: I'm sorry, I'm not the person in charge of the membership, but there are quite a few hundred in the province of Ontario, if I'm just dealing with the Ontario division. The national office is in Halifax, but in Ontario there's a very large group in Sarnia and groups of different chapters, different organizations, affiliations of our group in Metropolitan Toronto and then individuals and groups and affiliates outside. We are also linked to other seniors' umbrella organizations.

Who are they? Goodness. I could just take the ones I have met, because I haven't met them all: people who had been professionals, people who have not; people who have worked in a variety of jobs, people who have not worked outside of their home.

Mr Daigeler: How does one join the group?

Ms Kaegi: It's open to anyone who wishes to belong. The membership is extremely modest, and anyone who wishes to join may join. As part of the membership, you get the quarterly publication that we publish, Viewpoint. It's very inexpensive, it's very small, but it raises issues we think should be of concern and are of concern to seniors not only in Ontario but across Canada, such as the clawback, housing issues, taxation policy, NAFTA, whatever. We raise a range of issues, because our organization has by tradition always been interested in the very broad spectrum of public policy.

Mr Daigeler: Correct me if I am wrong. Did I hear you say, in response to the question I think from Mr Mills, that you are quite jealous of the municipalities' right to act in their own field of jurisdiction?

Ms Kaegi: If I remember correctly, I said I was torn between two hats. I did mention that therefore, when it appeared as though the suggested guideline might be that this is the way one has to draw up this agreement, I said I would like to have the guideline. I see that could be helpful to the municipality, but I wasn't going to go -- and I'm looking at Mr Johnson, if I might -- all the way and say, "This is cast in stone." That's all I was doing, but I understand the --

Mr Daigeler: I think I'll have to take a look at the Hansard, because I think I heard you be a lot more direct on the rights of the municipalities.

Ms Kaegi: On a particular issue.

Mr Daigeler: Just with regard to this particular issue.

Ms Kaegi: Fine.

Mr Daigeler: Obviously what my question was going to be was as to where you would see the harmony between that position and your obvious interest in overriding the jurisdiction of the municipalities on Bill 120.

Ms Kaegi: Quite frankly, I've seen the abuse of municipalities that have excluded housing that is affordable. I lived in a neighbourhood that was zoned single-family residential where there were illegal apartments, not in the basements necessarily; one near us was on the top floor.

It was perfectly acceptable to everybody in the community. Everybody knew about it. We had no problem with it. We knew it was in violation of the zoning, but we also knew it was an older member of the family who needed accommodation. We couldn't understand the logic of the municipality saying, "This area is exclusively single-family residential."

I could look near to where I live, Forest Hill Village, which at one time was filled with rooming houses, then went back to the zoning of single-family residential. Use of housing and needs in housing change. Furthermore, the legislation that prohibited people who were not related to each other from sharing accommodation was madness. Students, older people, single people, needed to share accommodation.


In my view, and I'm speaking personally here but it's reflected in the discussion we've had on our board in the past and which comes out in our presentation, this kind of regulation really denies people the flexibility to make appropriate decisions about accommodation. As long as it is not harmful in terms of the housing and it doesn't violate safety and building code standards, why be too picky?

Mr Grandmaître: Can I take you back to page 5 and your fifth recommendation, if I can call it a recommendation: "We are pleased to see the provision of strengthened `right of entry' for building inspectors...but we believe the legislation should go even farther." Most municipalities would agree with you that they need this power. How far would you go?

Ms Kaegi: Could I put on a different hat? I've been president of a neighbourhood association, and one of the difficulties for us was to get a building inspector into a home where we believed it was unsafe. They had to get accommodation agreement from the property owner and they never seemed to find a convenient time, and we felt this was a risk to the people who were living in that accommodation.

Mr Grandmaître: And they need a search warrant as well.

Ms Kaegi: Oh, yes. It seemed to us that if you have nothing to hide and there is a request by the building inspector to come and see, then why should you be so protective of the home owner? "Fine, come in, inspect my house. If it's fine, why should I worry?" Quite frankly, I don't see the problem with strengthening the opportunity for building inspectors to go in.

The Chair: Thank you very much for coming today. We appreciated your views.


Ms Jay Sengupta: My name is Jay Sengupta. I'm a staff solicitor at Rexdale Community Legal Clinic. With me is Rose Brunetta, community legal worker and intake worker at the clinic. We're here as representatives of the Rexdale Community Legal Clinic.

Our organization provides free legal assistance to low-income clientele living in our community. Also part of our mandate is the provision of public legal education and information to local groups as they request it. We're funded by the Ontario legal aid plan and administered by a local board of directors, who are elected annually from and by our membership.

We provide legal assistance and advice regarding housing problems and tenants' rights, immigration and refugee law, social assistance and income maintenance programs. If and when we're unable to assist people who approach our clinic, we also provide referral advice and information to them. We've been providing legal assistance to our community since approximately 1971.

We would like to begin by commending the government for taking this first step towards extending legislative coverage to groups of tenants who have until now been largely unprotected. We believe this legislation will be helpful in regulating facilities which provide care as well as in creating and regulating more affordable rental accommodation.

As our experience as providers of legal services has not usually extended to assisting tenants of care homes, we will limit our discussion of that portion of Bill 120 to a very few observations. The main purpose of our attendance today is to comment on the apartments-in-houses portion of Bill 120.

With respect to care homes, we support the intent of the bill with respect to the rights of tenants of care homes. However, there are some aspects of the amendments we would like to see changed or modified. The definition of "care services," namely, "services that provide assistance with the activities of daily living," we feel is too broad and should be narrowed.

The exclusion of care home meals from regulation under the Rent Control Act is problematic for us, as we feel there is potential for unreasonable increases in charges for meals. We submit that meals should be included in the definition of rights and that tenants should thereby be protected against unreasonable increases.

There is no indication as to how rents will be apportioned as between several tenants within a particular unit. There is no remedy in cases where a tenant might believe there has been an unfair or coercive division of the costs. We submit that the legislation should be clear on the former point and provide a method of seeking a remedy with respect to the latter.

Protection for tenants in the area of services is a necessity which does not seem to be addressed adequately in this bill. We hope the need for regulation is recognized and the omission rectified.

Those are our comments with respect to the care home portion of the bill. We'd like to move on to the primary reason for our attending here, the apartments-in-houses portion.

We believe the extension of the legislative protection to tenants of apartments in houses is long overdue. One has only to open up the rental section of a newspaper to realize that such units exist and are being rented. That they will now be regulated is a positive step, in our view. We hope also that the amendments in the bill will encourage the development of new affordable rental accommodations.

We wish to point out that tenants will not be the sole beneficiaries of the changes to the Planning Act and Municipal Act contemplated in Bill 120. Both existing and potential home owners who rely on the income from a rental unit can now operate within the law. This would include seniors who are home owners and who wish to remain in their community but whose incomes may have dropped. First-time home owners may also be able to buy because of these changes.

Improvements to houses in creating these apartments in houses will probably result in higher assessments of the property value and, as a result, higher taxes, so the municipalities I believe can benefit as well.

We applaud the fact that the need for more affordable rental accommodation is being acknowledged in this bill, as is the need for tenants to have more choices in terms of types of neighbourhoods and areas to live in.

Finally and most important, we are encouraged by the contents of Bill 120 because tenants of formerly illegal units now have a remedy available to them if their accommodations do not meet basic health and safety standards. In addition, both landlords and tenants will have recourse to the Landlord and Tenant Act in order to settle disputes.

While our organization supports the general intent of this bill, there are a couple of concerns which we would like to see addressed before it becomes law.

First, we support allowing more than one rental unit in a home or a house if health and safety standards can be met. Some homes may be large enough, we believe, to safely accommodate more than one unit. The deciding criteria in our view should be safety and minimum floor space requirements per unit.

The second point we have with respect to this portion of the bill: There is no requirement to register the rent charged in apartments in houses with the rent registry. There is no way that a tenant can ascertain the amount of rent previously charged for a unit and whether the rent he or she is currently paying includes an increase that is larger than that allowed by the Rent Control Act. We feel there is potential for abuse and, if at all possible, we would like to see a requirement that the rents be registered with the registry.

Third, we hope that the province will play a role in monitoring the municipal enforcement of standards with respect to these amendments in order to ensure that the goals of the legislation are being pursued and met.

The fourth point we would like to make is that there should be requirements that all municipalities require damp-proofing of basements to be used as rental accommodation.

Our next point is a recommendation that an advisory service be established for landlords which would assist them in planning and educate them with respect to their new rights and responsibilities as landlords. We understand that such advisory services have existed in the past and may still exist in some municipalities such as Toronto, Ottawa, North Bay, London and Windsor.

We also feel that a public education campaign will be necessary for tenants should this bill become law.

Our next point is another recommendation, that the province offer financial assistance in the form of low-interest or interest-free loans to assist in the development of new apartments in houses similar to the financial assistance provided by the Ministry of Housing under the add-a-unit and convert-a-unit programs of the 1980s.

Finally, we believe that Bill 120 should include a further provision which ensures that the provincial government will play a role in ensuring that these amended standards are enforced by municipalities similar to the role of the investigative branch under the RHPA.

That ends our presentation. We wish to thank you for the opportunity to appear before you.


Mr Fletcher: We've heard from a lot of groups that once you allow tenants into a neighbourhood, there goes the neighbourhood, the tenants are going to be disruptive and the neighbourhood is going to be run down because of everything. Is this your opinion?

Ms Rose Brunetta: The funny part is that these apartments are already in existence, so where do we see that this is happening?

Mr Fletcher: There were some presentations, such as Hamilton or London, where they said it was run down, and some places where they said they had a problem with the tenants who were unruly. Is that widespread? Tenants are bad for the neighbourhood?

Ms Brunetta: I don't think so. Tenants are everywhere. We have tenants in buildings, we have tenants in basement apartments all over the city. You may even have a neighbour who lives in a basement apartment. He may be just fine. That is a wrong conception, absolutely.

Mr Fletcher: Yes, I think that's false too. I think so. I think that's a bad perception to have.

Another thing they talk about is the cost of renovations. They're throwing around figures of $3,000, $4,000 or something. Do you have any indication that it's going to be a high cost? If a person wants to put an apartment in their house, I guess they're willing to pay the cost of putting in a good apartment. That's the way I look at it. I don't know. Do you see people saying, "No, we don't want to put apartments in because it costs too much"?

Ms Sengupta: I would think that people would see a benefit from the initial investment and I think that would be the reason for them doing it.

Mr Fletcher: Yes, if you put a little money out, you may make --

Ms Sengupta: You may be able to get a lot out. That would be my understanding of how the mind of a typical landlord works.

Mr Fletcher: I think so. That's the way I look at it too. I'm trying to figure out where they're coming from.

Ms Sengupta: I'm a tenant.

Ms Brunetta: Increase of property value, of course, in the future.

Mr Fletcher: Yes, I think so too. Thanks a lot for your answers.

Mr Mammoliti: Welcome. I know where your office is; it's actually a stone's throw away from my riding. I know that it's very reflective, your community and the community that you represent, of our community in Yorkview and that ethnicity plays a large role in both communities and the population of different cultures is very high.

I wish for you to make a couple of comments, if possible, about what this bill will do for the ethnic community and why it's important for some communities to live with their own or even very close to their friends and relatives. Would you be able to comment on that for me?

Ms Brunetta: Certainly that is a very good point. I mean, they would be able to live within their own community. But on the other hand, I think that basement apartments would benefit everybody, single parents, you know. I mean, the rents certainly have been shown to be much cheaper than elsewhere. Anybody who cannot afford a higher amount will benefit from it, yes.

Mr Mammoliti: That was my next question in terms of single parents and what this bill can do in the future, perhaps a long-term type of an approach, but what it will do for our children, the children of those single parents and those who choose to live in a basement apartment or an accessory apartment of some kind. In my opinion, it's much better than apartment living, the apartment living that we're accustomed to anyway in Rexdale and North York. Perhaps you can elaborate on the comment you had made earlier for those single parents.

Ms Brunetta: Yes, single parents living on family or limited income -- we know very well that wages have decreased and a person who used to make a reasonable amount of money in wages is not any more and therefore could only afford a smaller place that has a basement apartment, because buildings as well tend to request a certain level of income in order to qualify. Relationship as well -- if this bill were to be passed, it would certainly benefit these tenants, because both the landlord and the tenant will be protected under the Landlord and Tenant Act.

It boils down to this point basically: These apartments have been there for a long time. They will continue to be there because families need an extra income and there are families that need to pay a lesser amount in rent. Therefore, why not legalize these apartments and protect both the landlord and the tenant?

Mr Mammoliti: I will yield to my colleague.

Mr Gary Wilson: I would like to just ask, since you're from a legal clinic, about the issue of eviction. It has come up quite a bit in the other part of the bill having to do with care homes and there's a call for what's being termed a fast-track eviction. Have you any comments you want to make about that?

Ms Sengupta: We believe with respect to the care home facilities -- we don't have a lot of expertise, but as a matter of principle we don't see that it benefits the residents to be treated in any special way. There's been some discussion in the clinic community as to whether or not special rights should be requested for tenants in care homes. I think the consensus is that they don't want special treatment; they don't want special notice provisions; they don't want special eviction procedures; they want to be treated like tenants. I think that's the whole point.

Mr Daigeler: First of all, I do have to take strong exception to what Mr Fletcher said earlier, that either the opposition or people who came before the committee who were against this particular bill were taking an attitude as though, "Here goes the neighbourhood." Very clearly, everybody who came before the committee representing the municipalities and others who were opposed to this particular provision stated that they were in favour of housing intensification. Very clearly, if you go over the record, that is what was said. What they did object to is that here, if you can't get it done at the local level, where people are voted in, you bring in Big Brother from Toronto and he will do it for you. That's what they were objecting to. They said many of our municipalities have started the planning and in fact there were several municipalities that appeared before the committee that had put forward housing intensification plans and they were being held up by the ministry.

I think it's quite clear -- and I appreciate your position that you agree that the provincial governments should override the rights and responsibilities of the municipal government. That's a position all the legal clinics have taken. I just think it's a very dangerous approach because, in this case, you may agree with the position the government has taken, but there may be many other cases where all of a sudden you do not agree with the position of the provincial government and you'd be glad if there were another level of government that could perhaps limit or reduce the powers of one level of government.

What concerns me most about this is the precedent that is being set by simply eliminating the powers of what we have considered traditionally a government that's closest to the people. Can you comment on that?

Ms Sengupta: Certainly. From my understanding of studies done before this bill was implemented, a large number of municipalities and surveys done of people living in municipalities indicated that there was local support for apartments in houses.

It's my feeling also -- and you do make a good point about not liking certain policies of a particular government and wishing there was another level. I think there is some recourse available to people who find that their interests are not being represented, the next time an election comes around.

But the point I'm trying to make is that my understanding is that it was left up to the municipalities to go in a certain direction, to go towards legalizing and facilitating the creation of apartments in houses and that there has not been sufficient action taken on it. We're in support of the direction this government is taking on this issue. I don't know if that answers your question.


Mr Daigeler: Yes, I understand and I appreciate that. That's certainly your right and all the other community legal clinics, at least in this area, have taken that position.

In your practice as a community legal clinic, would you have any idea how many cases you had to deal with that were relating to people who were living in illegal apartments? Is this an active workload or not so active?

Ms Brunetta: We receive two or three calls daily from tenants who live in illegal basement apartments.

Mr Daigeler: And what would be the questions?

Ms Brunetta: The questions would be: "My landlord comes into my apartment at any time. What can I do to stop him?" "He's abusive" or "She's abusive." "He has increased my rent again" or "He's told me that if I want my brother to come in and live with me, he's going to charge me $50 extra." "My place is awful. My bathroom isn't working." He can't call the inspector, obviously, otherwise. "My kitchen sink isn't working," things of that nature, or "He's told me to be out or he's going to lock me out." There have been cases where things have been thrown out in the front yard. Really, police cannot do anything. These people are just victims of circumstances beyond their control.

Mr Grandmaître: We were talking about the right of entry with the previous presenter. Would you favour a stronger municipal right to enter premises to inspect these unsafe or illegal apartments?

Ms Sengupta: At the request of the tenant?

Mr Grandmaître: Yes, to give municipalities more power, the right of entry to inspect these illegal apartments. Would you favour this?

Ms Sengupta: Now legalized?

Mr Grandmaître: No, I'm talking about unsafe and illegal apartments that municipalities don't have the right, except with a search warrant, to inspect. Do you favour stronger legislation, more municipal powers to enter these apartments?

Ms Sengupta: At the request of a tenant, certainly.

Mr Grandmaître: You do.

Ms Sengupta: With proper notice, yes.

Mr David Johnson: I'll give you another shot at that one. Thank you for your deputation. I think what's being asked is no, not at the request of the tenant.

Ms Sengupta: Not at the request of the tenant.

Mr David Johnson: No, because what municipalities are saying -- and in your presentation you said that the province should make sure that municipalities enforce the bylaws and make sure these places are safe. I forget the exact words you used, but you gave the impression that you wanted the province to make sure that municipalities made sure the apartments were safe. The municipalities are saying they can't do that because they can't get in. If they knock at the door, unless somebody lets them in -- and quite often, both the landlord and the tenant, for whatever reason, will refuse entry.

There are some people who say, "When this legislation comes in, all the tenants will be phoning up and asking for the municipalities to come in and inspect." But there are many others who think that won't happen and there will still be many cases where the local municipality will go to the door, will want to get in and inspect to make sure everything is okay and will be denied entry. Even after Bill 120 is put into place that will continue to happen.

The municipalities are saying, "If you want to make sure that we can ensure that all of these apartments are safe, then we need better powers of entry." That's exactly what the previous deputant from the Canadian Pensioners Concerned said as well, that the municipalities, without being asked in, have power to go in and inspect.

Ms Sengupta: I think I made it clear: At the request of a tenant who calls up a municipal inspector the tenant would be there to let him in. That was my understanding. I think I asked the question twice. At the request of the tenant, certainly.

Mr David Johnson: I understand that. But then the question is, how can municipalities ensure the safety if they're not permitted in to see what the problems are?

Ms Sengupta: As far as I can see, the bill allows --

Mr David Johnson: No, it doesn't.

Ms Sengupta: -- with a warrant being issued.

Mr David Johnson: With a warrant, that's right. With a warrant it allows them to go, but they have to show "reasonable grounds" to get the warrant. The experience has been that it's almost impossible, and you can talk to staff at any municipality, to get that warrant to get in. Municipalities can't get the warrant, they can't get in, so how can they ensure that the apartments are safe?

Ms Sengupta: I would think it would be in a tenant's best interests to see that an inspector comes if standards are so unsafe or if standards are not being met. It would be in the tenant's best interests.

Mr David Johnson: Unfortunately, it doesn't happen way. I've been there and I've seen it. Many tenants deny entry. I guess there's some magical belief that if they are legal in a sense -- they say the problem is that there's still a fear, I would guess, that you can't make this unit legal. Well, you can make it, but it would be quite expensive to do it. There may be another entrance that will be required. There will be a lot of drywalling, a lot of expensive work that will have to happen. We could be talking about thousands of dollars to comply.

We're talking landlords here but in actual fact it's really a home owner and it could be a home owner with very few resources. They may be senior citizens and they may have no money and they may say, "I can't afford to do this," so they'll close down the unit. That's one reason why a tenant may choose not to let the inspector in.

Another reason could be that they don't understand all this, particularly if their English isn't sufficient. They may just be so concerned about letting in the authorities that they may deny that happening. There are many reasons and it happens today and I'm sure it will happen in the future. That's the problem we've got. Unless the municipalities have more power to get in, they cannot ensure that the standards will be met.

Ms Sengupta: I think the reason that in the past the municipality has not been called in is, as I heard mentioned, because of the fact that there is a danger of eviction because the apartments were not legal units.

I think that if this bill is passed and if there are, as we hope, newer units with better housing standards coming on to the market, if tenants have some options I can't see why they would choose to live with exposed wiring or in unsafe conditions. If there are other options, and we're hoping that's what this bill will provide, they will come forward and will approach the municipalities themselves.

Mr Tilson: I guess the fear is the sudden increase, that maybe with the existing illegal apartments that will now be made legal as a result of this legislation the concern of many landlords is the sudden requirement. It may not be up to proper standards, but all of sudden they're going to be forced to put substantial amounts of funds immediately into improving these units.

The question is whether or not the money is there to do it if the tenant objects. Have you had any concerns about that, that if a landlord was faced with that dilemma, he may simply close the place down because he can't afford to meet those standards?

Ms Brunetta: I'd say that because of the legislation the home owners who will be renting the basements will make sure -- as you said, future units will provide appropriate standards.


Mr Tilson: I understand that someone consciously goes in to renovate a basement for the purposes of creating new units. I'm concerned about the thousands of units across this province that are illegal for various reasons that now, because of the rights of tenants, perhaps quite rightfully, to improve the quality of those units, the fear has been expressed that the landlords simply won't have the capital available and will simply shut them down.

Ms Sengupta: The Landlord and Tenant Act would cover these tenants and if such a thing did happen with a few units they would have adequate time to make other arrangements. I don't believe the landlord any longer has the option of just shutting the place down. I think they would have to give proper notice.

Mr Tilson: Oh, of course they give proper notice and they shut the place down. That's the problem.

You represent the Rexdale area; at least from your name I assume you do. One of the issues under this government has been, whether it be through rent control or non-profit housing legislation that has mushroomed throughout since its mandate commenced, the assumption that housing problems, the unavailability of housing problems, the inadequate quality of housing, is the same across this province. I personally don't quite accept that, having seen many areas where it may be and other areas where it may not be.

Do you have available anything from your municipality or other private source, other than newspaper advertisements, that tells you what the availability or the unavailability of housing in your community is? Has your municipality undertaken any independent studies as to the availability of housing in your community?

Ms Sengupta: Not that we're aware of. There is a housing registry run by a community organization that keeps track of housing units that become available that tries to match landlords and tenants. But no, I'm not aware of the municipality's studies.

The Chair: Thank you for appearing today.


The Chair: Next is Fiona Stewart. Good afternoon. You have 15 minutes for your presentation.

Ms Fiona Stewart: I appreciate being able to deputate before you today. I'm deputating as an individual. It goes without saying that I am fully in support of apartments in houses. However, I am not here to address that issue today. I am here to discuss the other side of the bill, care facilities.

To tell you a little bit about myself, I have been involved in housing issues for about 10 years. I have been a manager of a care facility, a housing advocate and a board member of various non-profit housing projects, so I've played both sides of this issue.

Unlike most people who represent management of care facilities, I no longer manage a care facility. It was a care facility that was targeted to the needs primarily of people living with HIV or AIDS. It was exempted from the Landlord and Tenant Act, and I want to share with you today a story of why fast-tracking evictions should not be considered and of why people should not be removed temporarily from their homes. Let's face it, we're talking about homes even in care facilities. People come to these places, and in this instance most people came to this facility knowing they would probably die there.

I have a story of an individual. I was hired originally as a consultant to do management for the project. I left Toronto for a period of time and I got an urgent phone call after leaving Toronto that one of our residents was being evicted. Of course, he was not protected under the provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act. This individual was very ill. He was about 22 years old at the time. He was being evicted for what was deemed inappropriate and anti-social behaviour. Fortunately, a public health nurse who helped this individual take care of his physical needs looked into it and he was represented by legal counsel through the HIV lawyer at the Advocacy Resource Centre for the Handicapped, otherwise he would have been evicted.

I wish members of this committee had asked some of the housing providers what they deemed alternative appropriate accommodation in terms of eviction. I have sat through these hearings and heard housing providers say, "Of course we would make sure that there would be alternative accommodation for the individual." This housing provider also made sure that there was alternative accommodation for this individual; the alternative accommodation was Seaton House. For anyone who is not aware of what Seaton House is, it is the largest men's hostel in Ontario.

I came back to manage the residence again, this time not doing it on a consulting basis but on a staff basis, making it very clear to the board of directors that I did not believe in exemptions from the Landlord and Tenant Act and that it was my expectation that we would work together to change, that we would start to conform and to give people their basic human rights. Sad to say, three days before I started in the position this man died. It was three days before his 23rd birthday. What management put him through was a disgrace. I tell you this story because I never want to have to bear witness to something like this again.

I think this issue is about power, profit and poverty on the side of those who are in it for money, for the profit side of long-term care facilities. I'm not saying that every long-term care facility is a bad place but, face it, we're talking about money here. For the private, non-profits, I know, having worked in the sector -- and fellow co-workers, colleagues, we've discussed this for many years -- it's about keeping power and not allowing the tenants even basic knowledge.

I remember several years ago attending the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association conference and being quite shocked when a manager -- and this is not a special-needs sort of situation -- said he knew it was legal to have available a copy of the Landlord and Tenant Act for the tenants to see, but he didn't want them to know what their rights were because that would make his job more difficult.

We have to be willing as managers to give up some of that power. People have a right to have tenants' associations, they have a right to say what their housing needs are. A home is a home. In terms of their not knowing what their rights are, a right unknown is not a right.

I'd like to speak very briefly about Massey Centre and its request for exemption. I would strongly ask the members not to consider giving anyone an exemption. You simply open the door. Compelling cases can be made for almost everyone about why we're special and why we need the exemption.

What I found rather stunning -- and it was actually the members of the Conservative Party and the Liberal Party who made me aware of situations where people in coalitions didn't always agree -- Young Mothers' Resource Group deputated to this committee last week, and to summarize -- I can't remember their precise words -- said they were delighted that Lightman's report was not being shelved. Massey Centre, if you turn to its brief, is on the steering committee. They can't oppose that strongly because they're a member of the coalition. I happen to have worked for that coalition years ago and I knew that when people were really opposed they left the coalition.

I have a lot more to say, but given that I only have 15 minutes, I'll leave five for questions. Thank you.

The Acting Chair (Mr Frank Miclash): Thank you very much for your presentation. Mr Mammoliti, please.

Mr Mammoliti: When it comes to an AIDS patient and somebody's in a long-term care type of a situation, I would tend to agree with you. But if there's one thing that these hearings have done for me it's convince me, and I'm going to disagree with you here for a second, that there needs to be an exemption for rehabilitation centres. In particular, I'm going to advocate for those in drug rehabilitation clinics.

I think that we definitely need to look at some sort of an exemption or something along that line. I'd like your comment as to why a place like that shouldn't get an exemption. You said yourself you've been here from day one. I'd like to know why you think that these places shouldn't be exempt.


Ms Stewart: Actually, I can answer that question. Because if we used them, the systems are in place. For instance, if someone is committing an illegal act, that is, in a drug rehab centre doing drugs, I know for some reason people seemed appalled at the thought of calling the police. But that is a criminal matter that must be dealt with through the judicial system; it is not a landlord and tenant matter.

There is the Mental Health Act. If someone is so out of control that they are either a threat to themselves or to others, then they can be form 1-ed for a psychiatric evaluation. The last one doesn't really cover too much with the drug rehab, but we also have the office of the official guardian, which can declare someone incompetent. So I think that if you use the existing resources, it's a matter of linking the resources.

Mr Mammoliti: Okay, I understand those arguments. However, my argument is, what about the rehabilitation for everybody else who's in that facility? Yes, you can rely on some of these other measures, but what does that do to every other person who's looking to get rehabilitated? I'm not sure if you've ever been in one of these facilities, but it's absolutely crucial that they feel like a family and that they're there as a team, getting rehabilitated together. If there's one individual who might stray or might look at getting high, that sort of thing, it ruins any chances for anybody else to be rehabilitated.

Ms Stewart: My experience with it, as in some of the HIV houses, technically they're dry houses, where even the use of alcohol is forbidden. You can legislate that, but I can tell you the reality is that unless you're willing to do urine tests every day or blood tests --

Mr Mammoliti: A lot of them do.

Ms Stewart: -- it's going to still keep happening.

Mr Mammoliti: But under your objection, these individuals who are doing blood tests and urine samples and who are found to be using a substance may not get evicted right away and might jeopardize the rehabilitation or the possible rehabilitation of literally hundreds of others who might be in that facility. That's the problem that it causes among them.

Ms Stewart: I'm getting to the point where I really can't speak to your questions, because they're starting to get a bit too medical for me.

Mr Mammoliti: Okay. Thank you.

Mr Owens: I'll yield to the parliamentary assistant.

Mr Gary Wilson: What is this? There's some confusion. Okay, sorry, the question that I have --

The Chair: Oh, I'm sorry. Mr Tilson.

Mr Tilson: You've made some comments about existing health legislation to protect individuals, and I appreciate that. This is the first day I've sat on this particular committee, but I have followed the hearings and I have read some of the depositions that have been put forward.

One of the difficulties that I have personally is that we're looking at all of these things, whether it be alcohol, drugs, medical, HIV, medical problems, and what I don't understand is, why in the world is the Ministry of Housing getting involved in health issues?

The concern I have is that, all right, I can understand regulating tenure, which is what I think originally we thought the legislation was going to be doing, yet we're getting into health issues. Through the back door we're getting into health issues, yet we're not regulating standards of care for all of the other things that Mr Mammoliti raised and which other members of this committee raised and which people who have come to this committee have raised.

Ms Stewart: Actually, specifically what I want to say in this case is that the services were completely delinked. The Ministry of Housing did provide funding for this project, but it has been government policy for quite some time to delink services. Housing is delinked from the nursing services that were used. We were a housing provider. We had a community worker. We were basically a landlord. All other services came from other community agencies: nursing agencies, home support agencies. It is still my belief it was these people's home.

Mr Tilson: Listen, I understand that. I have a mother who moved from a home to a retirement home and is now in a nursing home. I can tell you, one of the previous delegations wanted to know exactly what the definition of "care" was. That's an excellent question.

Again, we're talking about housing matters, and I can tell you, there's a very fine line between people in retirement homes, who normally are there because they can't live in their own homes, and nursing homes. I know we can see extremes, but I've observed that. For the life of me, I don't know why the Ministry of Housing is getting involved in residential homes for seniors. It just baffles me.

I'd like to get to the area of -- have I got time?

The Chair: No. Thank you, Ms Stewart.

I would just bring to the attention to members that the clerk is distributing to you a summary report on the portable living units for seniors demonstration project that the ministry has kindly provided for us.


The Chair: The next presentation is from Anis Khan.

Good afternoon, Mr Khan. The committee has allocated 15 minutes for your presentation. You should introduce yourself and then begin.

Mr Anis Khan: All right, thank you. Mr Chairman and members of Parliament, ladies and gentlemen, my name is Anis Khan. I am a small owner-occupier landlord in a condominium. I'm going to cover the part of Bill 90 legalizing second units in Scarborough.

Right from the start, I'd like to say approximately two thirds of over one million rental housing units in Ontario are located in high-rise or low-rise, walk-up, multiple-unit apartment buildings. The conservation of the apartment rental stock has never been as serious an issue in the past because of the relative newness of the stock.

However, as those buildings age -- many are already 20 years old -- serious attention will have to be given to the efforts that will be required to maintain those units in a safe and livable condition and within the economy of a large majority of the population. Older-type oversized condos are no exception. The maintenance is often higher than the mortgage itself. Often it costs millions in extra assessment from time to time.

Can bylaws drawn under the Condominium Act prohibit what Bill 90 proposes to permit, to amend the Planning Act to permit as of right one apartment in each house? No official or adjoining bylaw will be allowed to prevent any house from having two dwelling units at present in Scarborough, and only one unit is permitted in a house. Houses are single detached houses, semidetached houses and row houses. A row house is defined to include both street town homes and multiple-family town house type of developments, a row house in a housing complex.

From what I see in the present bill, they don't like to include condominiums in this second-unit concept, which is not very fair. The Planning Act, 1983, is proposed to be amended to clarify that the authority to zone does not include authority to zone by reference to related persons. Therefore, can the living unit be defined for practical purposes by reference to its structural components?

I know that the city of Toronto bylaw includes a definition of converted dwellings, house and dwelling units, which presumably provides a reasonable level of certainty. Perhaps you could comment on the Toronto experience with that definition. Can bylaws drawn under the Condominium Act permit what Bill 90 proposes to permit?


Then we've got condominium lawyers still trying to evict both landlord and tenants alike on the basis of the single-family concept. They also insist the unit is to be restored to its original condition. Who overrides whom? But according to the Rental Housing Protection Act a little while ago, they've been talking about the fact that those condominiums should be included under the Rental Housing Protection Act too, so that means they have to be restored to the original condition as well.

Who is going to supersede whom? The Condominium Act wants it the way it was built, original condition; the Rental Housing Protection Act says the way it was rented. So that has to be clear. There will be very serious economic eviction if the condominiums can get their way, if they can prohibit having a second unit in the condominium, even those condominiums that are sold and bought as a duplex condominium.

I'd like to say that the revised Condominium Act, Bill 81, should be an act, but it only went for first reading. Clause 99(c) binds the property and is enforceable against the successors and the assets the owner. That means anything that's there should be preserved, right? The grandfathering clause should be maintained. But I don't know what happened to this clause.

The Ministry of Housing in the mid-1960s offered $2,500 for each unit produced. A total of 1,000 detached, semi-detached houses and town houses, as well as condominiums, could qualify for the incentive grant.

To me, it doesn't seem very fair. Because if the idea is to create affordable housing or intensification, does it really matter whether it is a stacked town house or it's a row house or it's a condominium or it's a terrace? If the unit is big enough, got enough room in it, something like what I've got, about 3,000 square feet of condominium, what am I going to do with one person with that amount of space? I can easily share with someone. It's got separate entrances and it is sold as a duplex condominium. According to Statistics Canada, these are classified as duplex condominiums.

I'm trying to see how my interests could be protected under this bill, because the Planning Act is definitely a positive step. But whether they will touch the Condominium Act, there should be some amendment to accommodate this new bill before it becomes an act.

The Chair: Mr Khan, would you like to answer some questions from the members now?

Mr Khan: Right, yes.

Mr David Johnson: I take it then, Mr Khan, that what you're really asking is that condominiums be included in Bill 120. Is that what you're asking?

Mr Khan: That's what I'm trying to represent, yes.

Mr David Johnson: Because at the present time, you're aware that Bill 120, by itself, does not give an as-of-right ability to condominium owners to duplex their units. Bill 120 does not as it exists today.

Mr Khan: It has been changed. They didn't say anything in the original Bill 90, but they added that exception in Bill 120.

Mr David Johnson: Yes, exception to the Condominium Act, which means that, by and of itself, Bill 120 -- do you own a condominium?

Mr Khan: I own a condominium.

Mr David Johnson: Is it duplexed?

Mr Khan: That's the way it was sold in the real estate listing. Right? It was sold and income was sold, right to the bank, and the mortgage was given on the basis of that income.

Mr David Johnson: At any rate, Bill 120 would not permit you, as it stands here today, to duplex your condominium. You understand that, do you?

Mr Khan: This is what I've been told, yes.

Mr David Johnson: It's been my experience in dealing with various condominium associations that by and large the condominium associations do not support what you're asking for. Is that your experience?

Mr Khan: But it does exist, because when I bought the unit back in May 1990, I inquired about this unit and they said there were about 300 families living in this condominium, whereas there are only 220 units. There are 220 units and 300 families living up there. So naturally the practice is happening in this neighbourhood.

Mr Fletcher: Thank you for your presentation. As you know, there's usually a corporation involved in the condominium, and if the corporation itself were to enact bylaws within the corporation to allow apartments within existing condominiums, that would be fine.

This legislation does not preclude or does not disallow condominium corporations from saying yes or no. It's up to the individual corporations themselves. So if you're living in a condominium -- and there is a corporation, I suppose -- if they say no, then no is the word; if they say yes, then yes is the word. That's how it's voted on as far as the condominiums are concerned. Does that clarify anything for you?

Mr Khan: According to the John Sewell report on land reform in Ontario, he's suggesting that every government, every ministry should respect that report. Something like 120 should have regard, they should respect that.

The Planning Act, 1989, says for example in section 3 there will no distinction based on family. But the condominium is sending me letters: "Get rid of the second family or get rid of yourself." That's an eviction of the landlord and the tenant at the same time. That's a pretty draconian measure and it's pretty heavy-handed. Something should be done to protect this --

Mr Fletcher: What does your corporation say about second units in the condominium? Do they say okay?

Mr Khan: That's why I bought it. They did it on purpose because they wanted to sell the unit so bad, because it was under power of sale. So I made a deal. I said, "This is the way it's going to be," because everybody else is doing it.

Mr Fletcher: And it was okay.

Mr Khan: Including ourselves, until today. There is a double standard here. Now the corporation lawyer is sending me letters.

Mr Fletcher: What does the corporation say?

Mr Khan: About the situation? The situation looked like they -- Mr Grandmaître: I did ask my question to staff and they'll come back to me at a later date.

Mr Owens: What was the question?

Mr Fletcher: Can I keep going then?

The Chair: I guess you can keep going for a minute.

Mr Grandmaître: I'm sorry. My question was, under the Condominium Act, can you convert your condo? That was my question.

Mr Fletcher: It all depends on what the corporation says.

Mr Mammoliti: Okay. Thank you.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Khan, for bringing a new view to this committee. We haven't heard this particular presentation during our three weeks, and we appreciate your bringing that to us today.

Mr Khan: All right. Thank you.

The Chair: This concludes the hearings for the day. The last group has cancelled. Therefore, we will pick this up in the continuing saga tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock. The committee is adjourned.

The committee adjourned at 1631.