Monday 17 January 1994

Subcommittee report

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


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

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

Arnott, Ted (Wellington PC)

Dadamo, George (Windsor-Sandwich ND)

*Fletcher, Derek (Guelph ND)

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

*Johnson, David (Don Mills PC)

*Mammoliti, George (Yorkview ND)

Morrow, Mark (Wentworth East/-Est ND)

Sorbara, Gregory S. (York Centre L)

Wessenger, Paul (Simcoe Centre ND)

White, Drummond (Durham Centre ND)

*In attendance / présents

Substitutions present/ Membres remplaçants présents:

Conway, Sean G. (Renfrew North/-Nord L) for Mr Sorbara

Harnick, Charles (Willowdale PC) for Mr Arnott

Marchese, Rosario (Fort York ND) for Mr Morrow

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

Winninger, David (London South/-Sud ND) for Mr White

Also taking part / Autres participants et participantes:

Cordiano, Joseph (Lawrence L)

Ministry of Housing:

Gigantes, Hon Evelyn, minister

Beaumont, Anne, assistant deputy minister, planning and policy

Mason, Janet, director, housing policy branch

Borooah, Ann, director, housing development and buildings branch

Lyle, Michael, solicitor

Dowler, Rob, manager, planning and buildings policy

Douglas, James, policy adviser, housing development and buildings branch

Clerk / Greffier: Carrozza, Franco

Staff / Personnel:

Franco, Tera-Lynn, assistant to committee clerk

Luski, Lorraine, research officer, Legislative Research Service



The committee met at 1406 in the Humber Room, Macdonald Block, Toronto.


The Chair (Mr Michael A. Brown): The standing committee on general government will come to order. The first order of business this afternoon is to ratify the subcommittee report. I believe all members have a copy in front of them. I would like someone to move its adoption.

Mr George Mammoliti (Yorkview): Moved.

The Chair: Mr Mammoliti has moved the adoption of the subcommittee report. Do we have some discussion?

Mr David Johnson (Don Mills): I don't have a copy.

The Chair: We will get you one, Mr Johnson.

Mr David Johnson: I understand that there are more deputations are being requested than the time that is allotted permits.

The Chair: That is correct, Mr Johnson.

Mr David Johnson: In that regard, allow all of those who are interested in this topic -- and really we're talking about two major topics -- has there been any discussion of extending the time to permit that to happen?

The Chair: You of course have the subcommittee report in front of you, which outlines the attitude that the subcommittee took at its meeting.

Mr David Johnson: I wonder, at the time that the subcommittee was dealing with this, if they realized how many deputations there were.

The Chair: I can say that the subcommittee was aware there were more deputants asking for space to be heard than we had spaces for.

Mr David Johnson: Was this the unanimous agreement of the subcommittee?

The Chair: All subcommittee reports are unanimous.

Interjection: By definition.

Mr Mammoliti: We hugged at the end of it.

The Chair: I might say there was a lively discussion about many issues, but this was the consensus of the committee.

Mr Mammoliti has moved the subcommittee report. All those in favour? Carried.


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: The Legislature has instructed us to consider Bill 120, An Act to amend certain statutes concerning residential property. We are pleased to have the minister with us today. Welcome, Minister. We will begin with the minister's statement, followed by a response from the two critics.

Hon Evelyn Gigantes (Minister of Housing): Do you want to mention that Ms Marland is not able to be with us?

The Chair: I should inform the committee that due to illness, Ms Marland is not able to attend this afternoon.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Thank you, Mr Chair. I appreciate this opportunity to speak to the committee about Bill 120, the residents' rights bill.

Our government introduced this bill because while some tenants are protected by our laws in Ontario, others are not. Thousands of tenants have been denied the everyday protection afforded by the laws of this province. Bill 120 will give these residents the protection that Ontario's other 1.2 million tenants already have.

The tenants we are concentrating on in Bill 120 are residents of care homes and apartments in houses. In care homes, the lack of protection has meant residents don't have any privacy or are faced with the threat of losing their apartment at a moment's notice.

Tenants living in apartments in houses may have to put up with unsafe living conditions because they simply can't afford to complain. Unfair zoning bylaws keep them quiet about safety or maintenance problems because they know their apartment may be closed down if they speak up.

Our government believes that a person living in a care home or an apartment in a house should have the same rights, the same security and the same protection under the law as other tenants in this province.

I'd like to concentrate for a few moments on care homes. As the committee knows, early on our government appointed Dr Ernie Lightman to conduct an inquiry into the province's unregulated care homes -- into what has been a long-standing, unhappy and unacceptable situation -- and we asked him to recommend ways to remedy that.

In his investigation, Dr Lightman found that care home residents are vulnerable to several forms of abuse: eviction at a moment's notice, with their belongings stuffed into garbage bags; unsafe living conditions; inadequate care; lack of privacy; sexual abuse; and problems affecting health and personal safety.

There are an estimated 47,000 people living in these care homes: frail elderly people, former psychiatric patients and others with developmental or physical disabilities. Their safety, security and personal dignity -- very basic human rights -- is what is at the heart of the care home measures in this bill.

The amendments proposed in this bill provide the full protection of both the Landlord and Tenant Act and the Rent Control Act to care home residents. Care homes will also be protected against conversion to other uses under the Rental Housing Protection Act.

The Rent Control Act will apply to that portion of the monthly charge which covers accommodation. The amount paid for care and meals will not be covered by rent control because this figure varies so widely from home to home, from resident to resident, and for individual residents from time to time.

While the costs of care services will not be regulated, care home operators will be required to register three basic matters of information with the rent registry. Those are the rents, charges for care services and the number of occupants in each unit. This will allow municipal and provincial inspectors to ensure that care homes meet provincial safety and maintenance standards and improve overall living conditions for residents.

A requirement of 90 days' notice prior to any increase in the cost of care service and rent costs will also be enforced through the Rent Control Act. We will monitor care service costs annually so that we can take regulatory action if that becomes necessary. So the intent is not to regulate care costs per se, but the Rent Control Act will provide significant consumer protection and empowerment when it comes to care services.

This bill represents protection based on a recognition that care home residents are respected members of our society, an approach that's consistent with the steps we're taking in long-term care redirection, steps towards community-based care and deinstitutionalization.

We recognize that care homes do provide a very vital service to people with different degrees of care needs and that many of these care facilities are run by people with a high sense of responsibility and compassion.

In trying to weed out abuse and to protect the vulnerable, we shouldn't, and we're not going to, put at risk the quality or quantity of Ontario's care home service.

What the government is attempting to do is to achieve a balance, a balance between the need to protect people in vulnerable situations and the need to preserve and improve a service which people in Ontario need.

In preparing this legislation, we carefully considered the relationship of eviction processes to resident and staff security and safety. The Landlord and Tenant Act provides for eviction if the safety of other tenants or staff is or has been seriously affected by the actions of a tenant. A temporary eviction or fast-track eviction process is really not the answer to the problem of residents who threaten others: The court system simply doesn't respond quickly enough.

At the same time, where an immediate danger to other tenants does exist, intervention by physical and mental health professionals or the police must be available. In fact, many current operators of care homes are already operating under the Landlord and Tenant Act by their own choice.

A great deal of deliberation has been entered into before this legislative proposal has been brought forward, both by Dr Lightman in his investigations and consultations and by several provincial ministries after his report was received. We believe the amendments proposed in this bill are a responsible and necessary response to a key issue: protection of the basic human rights of thousands of people.

There are hundreds of care home operators who've been guided by compassion as well as good management sense. They should be commended for their sense of social responsibility. I know they'll welcome this legislation because now all operators will be working with the same rules.

On the other hand, as the Lightman report has shown, there are other operators who'd rather set their own, quite separate, rules. But what's at stake here are the rights of people who are already vulnerable by virtue of their circumstances.

It's important that this committee sends out one message that is very clear: Issues of basic human rights such as personal safety, security and human dignity are the ground rules for all who live in Ontario.


This bill also addresses serious problems faced by people living in apartments in private houses and in some cases by owners of such apartments.

In the past month we've seen the tragedy that can result from unsafe apartments, and the fact of the matter is that the people who died in those fires might still be around today if their apartments weren't made illegal by some local zoning law, a law that turns a blind eye to the thousands of apartments that already exist right across this province.

It amazes me that some people are claiming that these tragedies are proof that Bill 120 will make a black market situation worse. These are attempts to stand the truth on its head. This bill's purpose is to prevent exactly this sort of tragedy.

Apartments in houses are found right across Ontario, not just in Toronto, and currently we estimate 100,000 of these apartments are now illegal in most parts of the province due to municipal zoning bylaws.

As a result, municipalities have found it difficult to enforce safety standards. In the first place, bylaw officers find that they often need search warrants to get into existing illegal apartments in houses. Tenants and owners are reluctant to open the door to an inspector because they fear that an inspection will result in the eviction of the tenants because of zoning.

Bill 120 contains provisions to make it easier for bylaw officers to obtain search warrants. More importantly, this bill makes apartments in houses a legal use. Owners can open their doors to inspectors without fear of automatic shutdown of the apartment because of the zoning. Many owners have said they would be interested in having a positive municipal inspection report because it improves their ability to obtain a mortgage or insurance and it improves the value of their property.

Similarly, tenants can complain to their municipality when this bill is in place about unsafe or unhealthy housing conditions without facing automatic eviction because of the zoning.

Bill 120 will break what really has been a vicious cycle. The amendments proposed in this bill will enable home owners living in detached, semi-detached or row houses to create one apartment unit in their house legally, provided they meet reasonable building, fire, property and zoning standards; improve municipal inspection and enforcement powers by making it easier for municipalities to get a search warrant to investigate possible violations of standards bylaws for all buildings, including apartments in houses; give municipalities the option to enter into 10-year agreements with home owners who want to install garden suites or granny flats on their property; make it clear that, for zoning or property standards purposes, it should make no difference whether people who share living accommodation in a single housekeeping unit are related to each other or not.

This bill is not -- I want to emphasize this -- an attempt to legalize existing apartments in houses which are now substandard. It is not a moratorium. To be legal, any unit, already existing or newly created, must meet provincial health and safety standards. By making apartments in houses a legal option, these amendments will bring them out into the open and enable municipalities to enforce safety standards effectively.

In conjunction with Bill 120, new standards for apartments in houses have been developed as regulations under the Ontario Building Code and are being developed under the Ontario fire code. These standards will address fire safety issues such as smoke detectors, exits and fire separations.

From the point of view of tenants, there are many clear benefits from Bill 120. When apartments in houses can exist legally, tenants can complain to their municipality about unsatisfactory housing conditions and get action without risking eviction because of zoning, and municipal officials will be better able to make sure that apartments in houses are safe for the people who live in them.

Garden suites have particular value in some situations. They allow families to stay together, at least two generations, supporting each other while maintaining their privacy, and they're a solution for many seniors who, as they grow older, find it difficult for various reasons to cope with a large home.

They can also help others, such as people with disabilities, live independently with a little support close by.

So garden suites, or granny flats as we know them, will benefit entire communities, especially where institutional facilities are not convenient or aren't available. Overall, it's a way to keep down the costs to society of institutional care.

But I must emphasize that we're not proposing as a province to legalize garden suites either. This legislation will simply give the municipalities the tools they need to approve garden suites on a case-by-case basis. They can enter into agreements with home owners to regulate the installation, maintenance and duration of use of these units.

I want to stress this is a municipal option. This legislation will give municipalities explicit authority to enter into agreements with owners of garden suites, permitting them through temporary zoning for periods of up to 10 years, compared to the current maximum of three years.

Overall, the proposed amendments will support home ownership. Rental income from a second unit in the house can help ease the financial burden of home ownership for people living on fixed incomes or living alone. For many people, the rent from an apartment in their house can make the difference between being able to stay in their own home and having to move.

In other cases, the rental income from an apartment in a house can make all the difference for people wanting to move from renting to home ownership. As home owners bring existing illegal units up to standard or create new units, construction and renovation jobs will be generated, while Ontario's supply of affordable housing will increase at little cost to the taxpayer.

To sum up, this legislation reflects key recommendations in the Lightman report on care homes and the results of an extensive consultation process on apartments in houses. As I did at the introduction of this bill and again at second reading, I'd like to underline the valuable contribution of Dr Ernie Lightman to this legislation. He fought long and hard for the changes to provide protection to people living in care homes. He'll be before this committee tomorrow when unfortunately I won't be able to be here. I'd like to thank him for the excellence of his work and his dedication.

I'd also like to thank the tenant advocates and organizations representing senior citizens and mental health consumers, in particular community organizations such as the Ontario Coalition of Senior Citizens' Organizations, the Advocacy Resource Centre for the Handicapped, the Coalition for the Protection of Roomers and Boarders, the Inclusive Neighbourhoods Campaign and the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario division, who have vigorously advocated and supported this bill for some time. They continue to bring to public attention the needs of people whose living situations are the reason for these amendments. I thank them for their compassion and for their caring.

This legislation will take us a step closer towards balancing the rights of tenants, landlords and local communities, rights which up till now have been out of balance as far as residents of care homes and tenants in apartments in houses are concerned. It will mean more jobs and more affordable, healthier and safer housing for thousands of people who live in this province. It's a bill about residents' rights. It's about an idea whose time has come in fact, about action that has been long overdue. Thank you very much.

The Chair: Thank you. Responses by the critics.


Mr Joseph Cordiano (Lawrence): Let me just thank the minister for appearing before us today to make clear or clearer the legislation as presented.

I want to start off by saying that I will attempt and our party will attempt to be as constructive as we possibly can to make what virtually amounts to an impossible situation a positive experience for everyone.

The biggest problem for us with the legislation, Bill 120, as presented, is that it puts together two disparate pieces of legislation, an omnibus piece of legislation called Bill 120, and attempts to deal with them in the fashion that we see before us. These are two different pieces of legislation, two fundamentally different ideas. If you have difficulty with one set of ideas, then obviously you can't accept the whole thing, or if you have difficulty with the other part of the legislation, you can't accept the whole thing. You have to take it or leave it.

Of course, I would say to the minister that this seems to be the rule around here. We are moving forward with this omnibus style of operation and it's a difficult one to reconcile for us.

Having said that, let me move on to what I think are problems associated with Bill 120 and what I think, at the end of the day, would be useful in terms of the directions that we might move in, in our efforts perhaps to amend the legislation, if indeed that is possible. Parts of the legislation I think would have to be altered fundamentally to do this, particularly dealing with basement apartments, as we see it.

At the end of the day it may be possible to do that. I'm not quite sure at this point. It depends on how far the government wants to move with amendments; I suspect not too far and therefore that's why I'm saying that. I will respect the right of the government to do what it has to do in legislation, but let me say the difficulty for us, as I say, stems from the fact that these two disparate pieces of legislation have been put together as one, and for us that presents enormous problems.

I suspect that the majority of presenters will show us just how different the two bills are at the end of the day. The title, Residents' Rights Act, given to the legislation really represents what we are dealing with, a "one size fits all" approach to everything that will fit everyone in different categories right across the province, in different parts of the province. Quite frankly, we don't believe that this, what amounts to a heavy-handed approach by the government with respect to municipalities, will work.

We in our party believe that there is room for flexibility, that there is room to consider municipalities that are small that cannot deal with the kinds of proposals that are being put forward in the legislation, that it will be rather difficult for some municipalities. The changes to official plans that will have to result will be costly for some municipalities. In fact there will be difficulties all around for those municipalities.

But I think at the end of the day what concerns me about the legislation dealing with basement apartments is that there are no options and that in theory we will see, as a result of this legislation, the end of subdivisions, the end of communities that were built around the notion of single-family dwelling units. That, in theory, is no longer possible after this piece of legislation. That style of living or that form of living will come to an end.

I say to this government that there should be provisions, that there should be flexibility, that there should be an alternative to ending it holus-bolus right across the board with one sledgehammer approach. I think that at the end of the day the vast majority of people in the province will want choice, and this bill precludes that choice from occurring, because in theory every municipality will have to comply, every municipality will at some point contain some degree of intensification which looks like what's being proposed in Bill 120.

I think there's a middle ground and I believe that the government has not sought that middle ground because its approach is to provide "one size fits all," one sledgehammer approach: "Just do it right across the province, do as we say and there are no alternatives to this, and no flexibility at the end of the day." That is the biggest problem with the approach that the government has taken with the basement apartment section of the bill, which was really Bill 90.

It's unfortunate that we have to deal with both pieces of legislation in the same manner because I believe the second part of the bill dealing with the regulation of rest and retirement homes and bringing those under the Landlord and Tenant Act and under rent review -- rent control, if you will; I'm using our old term, rent review. I hasten to add that's no longer the case; it's rent control.

There's a great deal that I could support, that our party does support, about what was brought forward with the recommendations by Dr Ernie Lightman. I said this in the statements in the House. I think our party is very supportive of the general thrust and the direction that has been taken, with some concerns that I think can be addressed. If the minister wants to work constructively with us, I think those concerns can be addressed. I'll allude to those in a moment.

I think at the end of the day the general direction that has been taken by Dr Lightman is something that we on our side of the House support. That's what causes me a great deal of frustration because, on the one hand, I would like to support the general direction of that legislation but I find it difficult to support the entire bill, given what's stated under the section dealing with basement apartments.

Again, I hold out some hope that we may be able to change that; how far in order to satisfy everyone's concerns in our party, I don't know. We'll have to work through that as we move forward in this committee.

Let me deal with some of the sections of Bill 120 that refer to Dr Lightman's recommendations and the concerns that we have. Our caucus is generally concerned that the application of the Landlord and Tenant Act to care homes may in fact restrict staff access to residents such as those in retirement homes. The notice requirements, for example, under the Landlord and Tenant Act have the potential to prevent staff from carrying out daily care for residents. We believe the special requirements of such homes must be taken into account when applying the Landlord and Tenant Act, and I don't believe for a moment that is the case under the legislation as we see it.

I would add that the legislation does not address the basic differences in unregulated accommodation, which ranges from boarding houses to retirement homes. It lumps them together; it deals with them in the same way. It's clear that care services provided to such accommodation vary widely and, as such, the legislation should take these differences into account -- fundamental differences: the kind of care that's provided in a rooming house, for example, as compared to what's provided in a rest and retirement home.

Again, there are also legitimate instances in which a resident of a retirement home must be moved from the home. The minister alluded to this in her opening remarks with respect to fast-track removal, the circumstances under which an individual may represent a risk to other residents. It would appear that such a relocation is not easily done under the Landlord and Tenant Act. It's certainly the case -- that is not easily accomplished, as the current case exists.

It's interesting to note that the Lightman report recognized the need for temporary relocations and recommended that there be a fast-track mechanism, as the minister alluded to and she rejected, because there are a variety of instances where others are a threat, where an individual may be a threat, to others in the home. I cannot sit here and understand why that is not something that is easily understood. There has to be a clear and easy way to do this, even if it means a temporary relocation. Bill 120 has ignored Dr Lightman's recommendation and therefore there is no adequate mechanism for doing this.

Questions have been raised regarding whether the application of the Landlord and Tenant Act under Bill 120 takes into account the nature of rest and retirement homes. These homes often have contracts with local hospitals to have people stay in their homes for short periods -- say up to five days or for a weekend -- for respite care. Once again, it's unclear how the Landlord and Tenant Act will apply to such situations.


It's also unclear under Bill 120 what will happen to those municipalities that have been able to negotiate low rates with retirement homes for social assistance residents. Under Bill 120, there is a potential problem in that these special rates will be tied to specific units in retirement homes rather than to the occupants of these units, which may not always house social assistance recipients. It appears that the retirement home would not be able to convert such a unit to a market unit with correspondingly higher charges. There's an inequity there for the home, and that's something that is not addressed in the legislation.

Bill 120 will prevent eviction for non-payment of care charges. However, the Landlord and Tenant Act allows eviction for non-payment of rent. It is conceivable that under Bill 120 a care home resident could continue to pay for accommodation charges while refusing to pay for care charges. In such an instance, a care home would have no recourse under this legislation and could only resort to suing a resident for non-payment of care charges. Bill 120 sends a confusing message when compared to the Rent Control Act, and that's not saying a whole lot. Under Bill 120 you cannot be evicted if you don't pay your care charges, but under the Landlord and Tenant Act you can be evicted for non-payment of rent.

Furthermore, what happens to the landlord if he discontinues providing care in instances where he is no longer being paid by the resident? To what degree will the landlord be held responsible if the care is not provided, resulting in harm to that resident? The province has said that initially it will not subject care charges to rent control -- the minister has stated that clearly in the House -- but that she will monitor the situation. That leaves the possibility open that you will bring these charges under rent control, simply by passing a regulation at some future date. Again, that would not be subjected to the kind of public scrutiny we're engaging in now; that would simply be a regulation that's passed.

In the meantime, the province will not only be keeping track of these charges; as the minister again pointed out, it reserves the right to challenge how rent and care charges are actually appropriated. However, the government seems to ignore the fact that in the retirement home sector there is a 75% occupancy rate, which has created a competitive marketplace that must have competitive pricing in order to attract residents. It completely ignored that.

I'm certain that the presenters will be able to point out examples of how this legislation will not provide the residents of unregulated facilities with the protection they need, the protection this bill purports to provide. I hope that constructive ideas will come forward -- as I say, we will be providing some constructive ideas as we move along -- to make the bill more responsive to the concerns that have been brought to my attention from various groups and individuals across the province.

Perhaps the most constructive amendment would be to deal with basement apartments and the rent regulation of residential facilities in two separate pieces of legislation. But I'm kind of whistling in the wind because this is a fait accompli and we're going to deal with it as one piece of legislation. But that is quite simply, Minister, the most frustrating thing I have to deal with. Coming to grips with that is not easy for us. You will, of course, have no sympathy for that view, but quite frankly a lot of people out there feel the same sorts of frustration that I do.

Given that sense of difficulty, I would hope that, at the very least, we can make amendments that would be accepted and that would move some measure towards rectifying those concerns and making the legislation as effective as possible and, at the end of the day, if possible, continue to allow for the choice that people rightfully deserve in the province: the choice of where they live and the choice to live in single-family dwelling units to continue to be a choice, to continue to be something that is possible. When we pass this legislation, and inevitably it will pass, there will no longer be that choice for people.

Mr David Johnson: As was mentioned, Margaret Marland unfortunately is ill today, and she would be giving this opening statement on behalf of the Progressive Conservative Party. The statement was prepared in conjunction with her office and my office, but to give credit where it's due, the final version did come from her office. However, I'll do my best.

Before addressing the substance of the bill, I wish to express disapproval with regard to the fast-tracking of Bill 120 through the legislative process. I might say that in coming into the room today, I have had similar expressions from people representing other groups that are most concerned that they're just finding out within the past week that in fact this bill affects their area of involvement and they haven't had an opportunity -- even though the minister has indicated that quite a number of groups apparently have had an opportunity to have input, many groups haven't.

After second reading last month, we now have only one month of public hearings and one week for clause-by-clause analysis of an omnibus bill. Even if the government had dealt solely with Bill 90, which is the former version, the accessory apartments and garden suites legislation, this allotment of time would have been insufficient, even for that, for due consideration and analysis. Now that measures to regulate residential care homes have been combined with the apartments-in-houses measures to form an omnibus bill, five weeks of committee deliberations are simply inadequate.

There are several individuals and organizations that would like to make oral presentations but cannot do that because of the time constraints. I realize that what's going to be said is that they can submit written briefs, but considering the large number of submissions that we're going to hear, the public knows that a written report will not receive the same attention as an oral presentation to this committee and it's most important that all be allowed to be make that oral presentation.

Moreover, to allow just one week for clause-by-clause consideration of the bill suggests that the government has already decided that whatever amendments the opposition parties put forward will not receive government support.

Now I turn to the concerns about the substance of the bill itself, Bill 120. First I will address the measures that will allow one apartment as of right in all detached, semi-detached and town houses unless they are on a septic system. Later I will address the measures that will regulate tenancy in residential care homes.

To begin, let us consider the premise of allowing accessory apartments as of right rather than through the current tried-and-true method of municipal zoning bylaws. Just think about what this means. When Bill 120 becomes law, there will be no such thing as a neighbourhood of single-family homes in all of Ontario. This bill will result in the duplexing of Ontario.

The NDP administration is moving towards centralized Big Brother control of our communities rather than local autonomy at the municipal level. It is also imposing, although we've heard to the contrary, a made-in-Toronto solution on other localities where shortages of affordable housing do not exist or where the accessory apartment solution is simply inappropriate. No longer will local government, the level of government that is closest to the people, be able to plan the future of residential neighbourhoods. Moreover, by changing the rules after the fact, the government is, with one swipe, erasing decades of municipal planning.

The government is also invalidating the municipalities' considerable effort and expense to implement the Land Use Planning for Housing policy statement that sets goals for intensification but which rightfully left it up to municipalities to decide how to meet these goals.

I find it also ironic that the government is even ignoring the recommendations of its very own Sewell commission. Those recommendations would be that the province should set the policies but let the municipalities decide how to implement those policies.


I was most concerned, Madam Minister, that recently you were quoted in the media saying that single-family zoning is snob zoning. I hope that in saying that and recognizing that there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people in the province of Ontario who have chosen to buy single-family homes, who have sought out this sort of lifestyle -- we're talking about not just rich people, but about middle-class and poor people; we're talking about all people -- we are not labelling them as snobs. It gives that appearance.

Home owners are worried that Bill 120 will devalue the biggest investment of their lifetime. They paid a premium for a single-family home and they expect at least to have a say in changes to the zoning in the neighbourhood. Indeed they have always been told that they would have a say and that their voice would be heard when zoning was changed in the neighbourhood, but now that's not so. Now we have a dictatorial approach and the municipalities are wondering what will be the next planning decree from this government to the municipalities and to the people of Ontario.

Home owners' concerns are valid and real. Several presentations to this committee, I'm sure, will come from residents and municipal officials in areas where accessory apartments have caused serious problems. Many of these problems, for instance, such as poor maintenance, parking problems, too many tenants in a unit, excessive noise and property standards violations, could be largely prevented by restricting accessory apartments to owner-occupied homes. My guess is that when we trot out statistics that show that a certain percentage of people support this concept, people are largely commenting on owner-occupied premises. So far this government has refused to consider this restriction, but we will none the less present an "owner-occupied" restriction as an amendment to the bill.

Having looked at the implications of as-of-right accessory apartments for home owners, let us also consider the implications for tenants. How are we going to know that as-of-right accessory apartments will be safe, decent housing? You do not plan to mandate the inspection of accessory apartments. You will not establish a registry of accessory apartments for the use of bylaw enforcement officers or fire or police departments. Your power-of-entry provisions, which have long been one of the main problems that municipalities have dealt with in this area and which require the obtaining of a search warrant, are still woefully inadequate and won't work, according not only to myself but to municipal officials and fire chiefs.

The bottom line is, will these apartments be safe? Unfortunately, it's been already alluded to that on New Year's Day there was a tragic basement apartment fire in Mississauga which unfortunately resulted in two deaths. Three fire chiefs, including Fire Chief Hare of Mississauga, will be making presentations to this committee. I urge that we listen to their very serious concerns and respect their recommendations to amend Bill 120 to improve the powers of entry and to establish municipal registries of accessory apartments.

Bill 120 will also result in a downloading of costs from the province to local levels of government, quite possibly resulting in property tax hikes at the same time, of course, as municipalities are already trying to eat the expenditure control plan and the social contract. For example, municipalities will be required to change official plans and zoning bylaws. This is to comply with this bill. This is a very expensive proposition, and a frustrating exercise as well because part of the process will be that they invite the general public to a public hearing.

Undoubtedly there will be many comments that will be heard expressing concerns about the bill, but the municipalities will have no recourse. The municipalities will be put in the very awkward spot of having to go through this process but be unable to do anything about the concerns that are expressed to them. Some of them are even suggesting that the government should conduct those hearings.

The government claims that the use of municipal and educational services by residents of accessory apartments will not increase since the main effect of the bill will be to legalize the apparent 100,000 illegal accessory apartments that already exist, but many municipalities simply do not believe that this is the case.

Their concern is that it will be quite likely that Bill 120 will promote absentee owners, for example, to duplex properties, strictly for investment purposes. This, I can say from personal experience in the past, has been where the bulk of the complaints are heard and where the bulk of the property standards problems arise, and this could well be encouraged under Bill 120.

There will be no way to ensure that property tax assessment of a home containing a basement apartment is any higher than the assessment of a similar house with a finished basement that is not a separate apartment. The province has also made it clear that it will not allow development charges for the creation of accessory apartments in existing homes.

If there are additional costs for the services to the residents of accessory apartments, municipalities and school boards will have to pass on those costs in two ways: one, by increasing property taxes or, two, by increasing development charges for new homes. Either option is obviously unacceptable at this point in time within our fragile economy.

Think of the other costs that municipalities will have to incur. There will be increased demand for inspections to ensure compliance with the building and fire codes and other property standards. Home owners may need these inspections for insurance or mortgage purposes. Some tenants will want to ensure that their apartments are up to standard. But who pays for the inspections? The municipalities; in other words, the property taxpayer.

Similarly, larger bureaucracies may be needed to process the search warrants that will be required under Bill 120 for officials to gain right of entry to apartments when violations of safety standards are suspected. Again, the property taxpayer will have to foot the bill. One way to offset the inspection costs would be to let municipalities charge the home owner for inspection, since the home owner will benefit from the future rent revenues. Inspections could be mandated if there were adequate resources to pay for them.

Having considered some problems that arise from allowing accessory apartments as a right, I want to mention briefly some difficulties that occur because legal apartments in houses fall under the Landlord and Tenant Act and the Rent Control Act. Few home owners, I might say, are very expert in the landlord and tenant law. Those who rent large apartment buildings, I'm sure, are considerably more sophisticated, but many will rent out apartments without fully understanding their rights and responsibilities as landlords.

When accessory apartments are allowed as of right, more home owners will consider them as a way to help pay for their mortgage of course, and that's already been mentioned. Indeed, more people may actually be coerced into purchasing a home who may be dependent upon some of the rental income to pay for the mortgage.

What happens if the tenant does not pay the rent? Eventually the home owner can serve an eviction notice but, if the tenant decides to protest the eviction and take the case to court, it could be months before the home owner could evict the tenant. That could be enough time for a home owner to default on the mortgage.

Indeed, there was a case in the municipality of East York I'm sure you're aware of, Madam Minister, within the last couple of years that resulted in the home owner actually being arrested. Because she was so distraught with the fact that the tenant wasn't paying the rent and with regard to actions that were being taken in the basement in her house, she perhaps said some things that she shouldn't have said, but at any rate she ended up being arrested. She simply didn't understand all the implications, I guess, of the Landlord and Tenant Act.


As for rent control, if a home owner undertakes necessary capital expenditures for an accessory apartment, the total rent increase cannot be more than three percentage points above the annual rent increase guideline. Will home owners realize this and ensure that they have made the necessary renovation prior to establishing their initial rent? If they don't, they will find that their rental revenues do not meet their costs. Moreover, future purchasers of a house containing an apartment will be restricted by the levels of rent set by previous owners, even if those levels are far less than what the market would bear.

Will rent control in the end dampen the availability of accessory apartments, just as it has led to an inadequate supply of rental apartments in larger buildings? It is possible that the government is shooting itself in the foot in terms of increasing the supply of affordable housing. Indeed, it's interesting that in many cases the basement apartments are quite often, in the older sections, located in basements that do not have, for example, the kind of ceiling height we would legislate today.

I wonder what would happen in the case of a senior citizen, for example, where a tenant has complained about perhaps the condition of the apartment, then a municipality is allowed to come in and do a check and it's found that the ceiling height or something doesn't quite meet the new standards that are being brought in? What will happen in that case?

It doesn't necessarily have to be a senior citizen; it can be somebody who may be short on funds. They'll have two choices: Either they can go to some considerable expense to correct the situation -- and if the situation, for example, deals with a basement height that's too low, that could be a considerable expense -- or they can choose to close down the rental unit, I assume, and evict the tenant.

In many cases, particularly with seniors, they would not want to go through the expense or the trouble to do a major renovation, and my guess is that in that case a considerable number of units, units that are serving today quite adequately, could well be shut down.

To try to get on with it, I'd like to consider the part of the bill that will apply the Landlord and Tenant Act, the Rent Control Act and the Rental Housing Protection Act to residential care homes.

Something obviously must be done to prevent situations such as the most unfortunate death of Joseph Kendall at the rest home in Orillia. While Kendall was beaten to death by another resident, he was also, as we know, malnourished and overmedicated. The inquiry showed that he and other residents of the home had been victimized by its owners and operators. The Lightman commission found evidence of terrible conditions, abuse and poor care in other unregulated situations.

However, I must say that the majority of owners and operators of residential care homes are reputable and fill an important service gap between home care and extended care. The homes that belong to the Ontario Residential Care Association are self-regulating and meet high standards.

The ORCA has called for province-wide standards of care and a formal disputes resolution system for five years. Likewise, since 1989 the Progressive Conservative caucus has called for legislation to regulate minimum standards of care and service in Ontario's rest homes.

However, that is not what Bill 120 delivers. This bill regulates tenancy while leaving the door open for the future regulation of care by the Ministry of Housing, and this is totally inappropriate. The regulation of care, not tenancy, would be an appropriate solution to the problems that exist in this sector. Moreover, standards of care should be regulated by the Ministry of Health, not by the Ministry of Housing.

Bill 120 fails to differentiate between residential care homes and boarding houses. The regulatory needs of boarding houses, which provide room and board but not formalized care, are very different from those of residential care facilities, which also assist with things such as bathing, eating, dressing and medication. There will be a great many problems when the Landlord and Tenant Act and the Rent Control Act apply to residential care homes. I know the ORCA will be presenting its views to the committee in that regard. Under the Landlord and Tenant Act staff cannot enter a resident's home in non-emergency situations without 24 hours' notice, unless the occupant gives consent. This is an impossibility where residents are disoriented or are unable to communicate their wishes.

Problems will arise if patients need to be transferred to a different floor that would better deal with their care needs. The complications under the Landlord and Tenant Act for transfers are enormous.

Bill 120 does not include any amendments to the Landlord and Tenant Act to facilitate the speedy eviction of residents whose care surpasses what the home can provide or who pose a threat to other residents and staff.

Nor will Bill 120 recognize short-term stays such as respite care or the contracts between residential care homes and municipalities to house general welfare recipients who need housing combined with 24-hour supervision and care.

The exemption from the Landlord and Tenant Act for contracts under six months will not apply unless care is rehabilitative or therapeutic and the building is not the principal residence of the majority of its occupants.

The Landlord and Tenant Act allows tenants to sublet their premises. Such a provision is totally inappropriate in a care facility where admissions are based on medical assessments to ensure that the facility can adequately meet the needs of the resident.

As if these problems aren't enough, more problems will arise from the application of the Rent Control Act. A residential care home will not be able to evict a person for non-payment of care charges. Contracts to ensure the payment of rent and care charges should be mandated in this legislation.

Another problem is that many residential care homes offer below-market rents when they first open in order to attract residents. In homes where there are a substantial number of residents still paying the introductory rates, rent control would permanently keep these rates below market levels, forcing operators into an untenable financial position in the long run.

This brings me to the biggest argument of all against rent control: It doesn't make housing more affordable because it results in a shortage of supply, and I wonder why, when our population is aging, when the public resources for long-term care are sorely lacking and when we desperately need residential care, the government would implement legislation that is a disincentive to establishing residential care homes.

Lastly, I want to devote a few moments to the implications of applying the Rental Housing Protection Act to residential care homes.

This act, which is administered by the municipalities, should not apply to residential care homes for several reasons. First, municipalities will face an additional workload associated with inspections and the processing of Rental Housing Protection Act applications, yet another example of the downloading in the bill.

But just as importantly, the application of the Rental Housing Protection Act does not protect housing supply. By effectively prohibiting the demolition or conversion of care facilities, the bill will be a supply disincentive. It is a serious invasion of property rights, especially for existing homes where the home was purchased before the act applied.

Obviously this government is finally driven by its ideology. The government believes there is no role for the private sector in the provision of care and an attempt is being made to drive residential care homes out of business, just as they want to shut down the private nursing homes.

We will all suffer from this stupidity, it says here --

Mr Cordiano: Remember, those are Margaret's words.

Mr Bernard Grandmaître (Ottawa East): You're not responsible.

Mr David Johnson: -- because we will have fewer supportive housing options when we need more than ever before, and we will address the concerns that have been raised today with amendments when this committee examines Bill 120 clause by clause.

Mr Cordiano: On a point of order, Mr Chairman: Not to offend my good friend and colleague Mr Johnson, but probably because Margaret was going to deliver this speech, as is her customary way, she has taken a little extra time, I would say. I did not go into a great deal of detail in some of the areas we wanted to explore, and I would like to have an opportunity to do that at some point if you would deem it appropriate, given that the opening remarks I think went a little further. I thought there was a limit that was agreed to in terms of opening statements.

The Chair: My instructions, according to the subcommittee report, were to allow the minister and the two critics each 20 minutes. I would confess that I did not keep close track of the time as I believe both the minister and yourself were less than 20 minutes. I'm not sure what Mr Johnson exactly was.

Mr David Johnson: I was right on 20.

Mr Cordiano: That's fine.

The Chair: As you know, Mr Cordiano, these hearings are to go on for a number of weeks and there will be clause-by-clause examination of the bill for a space of one week during the intersession. I would suggest there will be a number of opportunities for you to place your concerns and your position. Thank you.


The next order of business is a technical briefing by the ministry. We will ask those from the ministry to introduce themselves. I see some familiar faces, but I will allow the introductions to be made by each of you.

Maybe we should just take a couple of moments while the room clears. Order. Would those intending to carry out private conversations please do so outside of this room. I think the dust is settled now.

Ms Anne Beaumont: Thank you, Mr Chair, and good afternoon to the committee. I'm the assistant deputy minister of planning and policy in the Ministry of Housing.

I want to thank you for inviting us to make a presentation on Bill 120 today and, as invited, I'll introduce my colleagues here with me. On my immediate right is Janet Mason, who is the director of the housing policy branch, and Janet will provide you with an overview of the care homes provisions in the bill. On Janet's right is Ann Borooah, director of the housing development and buildings branch, who will speak to the apartments-in-houses provisions. On Ann's right is Michael Lyle, a solicitor with our legal branch, who will provide a brief summary of the structure of the bill.

I'd also like to introduce to the committee a number of other staff who are here today: Tom Melville, who is a solicitor with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, legal branch; Rob Dowler, manager of the planning and buildings policy section; James Douglas, who is a policy adviser with that section; Scott Harcourt, manager of the existing stock policy section; and Terry Irwin, a senior policy adviser with that section. These people will be available to the committee to help it with its deliberations over the coming weeks.

Our presentation this afternoon should last about three quarters of an hour, and we are now distributing some material to help you follow the presentations. You may find the whole package clearer if you hold questions to the end of the full presentations, but we are of course in your hands on that.

Let me start by describing the process that gave rise to the care homes provisions in the bill. In November 1990, following the death of a rest home resident in Orillia, the government asked Dr Ernie Lightman to "report on the level of care and living conditions of people living in unregulated rest homes."

The Lightman commission began its work in January 1991 and produced a discussion paper in March of that year as a basis for consultation. He received over 230 written submissions in response to that paper. The commission released its final report in June 1992. That report contained 148 recommendations.

The following month, July 1992, the Ministry of Housing was asked to coordinate the development of the government's response to the Lightman commission report. An interministerial committee was set up to analyse the report and bring forward recommendations for action. The care homes part of the bill is the result of that interministerial committee's work. I'd like to thank the ministries of Health, Community and Social Services, Attorney General, Citizenship, Municipal Affairs, the Solicitor General and the Ontario women's directorate for their contribution to the legislation through that committee.

To quote the commission's report, "The principal aim of this inquiry has been to redress structural imbalances between operators and residents, to empower vulnerable adults who live in unregulated settings and to assist them to assume control of their lives."

The commission looked at several ways of doing this and settled on a consumer-centred empowerment approach to resident protection rather than a comprehensive regulatory model. Central to this is the notion that the place where vulnerable tenants live is their home and that rest homes, as Dr Lightman refers to them, or care homes, as we understand them in this bill, should be considered permanent residences with a component of care, rather than temporary places to live or low-level institutions.

A major component of the empowerment approach is the need to give residents of care homes rights and the means to achieve those rights. This is the major rationale behind Bill 120, which extends tenant protection legislation to care home residents so that these residents have the same rights and protections as other tenants in this province.

This approach is consistent with and reinforces major trends in our society about how we treat vulnerable people. There's a general movement towards integrating such individuals into the community and providing them with the same rights and services as other members of society.

Bill 120 reflects the major philosophical direction and the major recommendations of the Lightman commission report, but as the interministerial committee began its work, it recognized that many new program initiatives and legislative changes had either taken place or were imminent since Dr Lightman had made his recommendations. These initiatives necessarily influenced how we implemented the specific recommendations in his report. They changed the environment within which we operated and offered other options for achieving the same objectives.

For example, Dr Lightman recommended a rest home bill of rights and tribunal, with the objective of making clear what the rights of rest home residents are and providing them with an appeal procedure to protect those rights. These recommendations reflected his analysis that no mechanism existed at the time to achieve this. However, many of the rights which he recommends being set out in the bill of rights are already protected in various pieces of legislation such as the Human Rights Code, the Landlord and Tenant Act and the Rent Control Act.


Since the time that Dr Lightman did his work, we've seen the proposed development of advocacy services under the Advocacy Act, the clarification of rights under the Substitute Decisions Act and the Consent to Treatment Act. These pieces of legislation will, when fully implemented, provide a much stronger environment for vulnerable individuals to understand, to pursue and to protect their rights. So we recommend it against the additional cost and bureaucracy of the bill of rights and the tribunal.

Similarly, we evaluated Dr Lightman's recommendations on standards of care in the light of a number of new government initiatives. In particular, the implementation of the Regulated Health Professions Act, which will enhance the capacity for self-regulation of the health professions, and the work of the Drug Programs Reform Secretariat, which is addressing issues such as overmedication and medication practices, will lead to improvements in standards of medical care in care homes.

The significant increase planned in the availability of community-based services under long-term care redirection also changes the environment for care and provides for higher levels of choice for consumers.

All of these improvements, combined with Landlord and Tenant Act coverage, Rent Control Act coverage and the Advocacy Act, result in an environment in which vulnerable adults have more choices and more protections against abuse and poor care.

Bill 120 also contains a provision that care home operators provide tenants with a package of information setting out what care is being provided, the costs of that care, staff qualifications and other information, and this also will strengthen consumer protection significantly. So for these various reasons, we advised against specific regulations in standards of care in care home settings.

Another example of an approach which is somewhat different from Dr Lightman's is the registration of rest homes. He recommended a new system of municipal registration because he was concerned that municipal property standards, fire safety and public health inspectors cannot enforce existing laws and standards because they don't know the location of care homes. But with the extension of the Rent Control Act to care homes, they'll be registered through the rent registry, which will achieve the same objectives of identifying them as municipal registration would.

Another area where the government has taken a different approach from Dr Lightman is in the area of price control of care services and delinking of care and accommodation. Dr Lightman recommended that rent control coverage be extended to all mandatory services offered by the care home operator but that optional services be exempt. If this approach was adopted, landlords may be likely to define all care services as optional and therefore removed from rent control, yet the reason most people move to a care home is that they want to be certain that services are available to them.

Bill 120 takes a different approach, for a number of reasons. We were very concerned about the practicality of applying rent control to care service costs, which vary, as the minister said in her presentation, according to the health and needs of each individual from time to time.

We were concerned as well about ensuring the continued ability of operators to provide the full range of care and personal services to their residents, and recognize that to do this there is a need for economies of scale and for cross-subsidization.

For all these reasons, rent control coverage is extended by Bill 120 only to the accommodation portion of care home costs and there is no prohibition of linking care and access to tenancy. But we have inserted what we believe is a strong alternative protection against economic eviction and rent gouging.

Under Bill 120, non-payment of care services is not a ground for eviction as is non-payment of rent. We provide for the ability to extend rent control coverage to care service costs at a later date if prices rise in a dramatic way. We believe that this is a moderate approach to delinking of care and accommodation. It lets us move towards more consumer empowerment while ensuring the viability of private care homes.

Let me turn now to the apartments-in-houses provisions in the bill. The province has published a large body of research on this issue since the early 1980s, when an 11-volume study of residential intensification was jointly prepared with AMO, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario. This and later studies have generally concluded that residential intensification, and in particular apartments in houses, can be an excellent response to three of the demographic trends facing Ontario.

Firstly, households are getting smaller. In 1961, the average household size was 3.7 people. In 1991, it was 2.7 people.

Secondly, with an increasing number of smaller households and empty-nesters, a large number of houses have extra space. For example, the number of dwellings with six or more rooms occupied by two people increased by over 190% between 1971 and 1991.

Thirdly, there's a persistent need for affordable housing for renters and for first-time home buyers, not just in Toronto but in many areas across Ontario. To illustrate this, in early 1993, more than 60% of renters could not afford to purchase a modest home in London, Ottawa, Sudbury or Toronto.

Given these trends, it's not surprising that we find evidence of support for allowing owners of houses to convert extra space into a second unit to rent out. A Focus Ontario poll taken in the fall of 1992 found that 70% of people in Ontario polled supported allowing owners to have a second unit. Municipal polls have yielded similar findings.

As well, the fact that so many apartments in houses already exist is also evidence that this form of housing fills a need. We estimate there are approximately 100,000 illegal apartments in houses across the province, more than half of those being outside Metropolitan Toronto.

Studies have shown that the major obstacle to the creation of legal apartments in houses is municipal zoning. In response to this, the province has provided grants to assist municipalities to conduct planning studies to address the issue of apartments in houses and intensification.

The Ministry of Housing has provided financial incentives to owners interested in adding an apartment through the add-a-unit and convert-to-rent programs. The Housing policy statement that was released in 1989 required municipalities to amend their official plans and zoning bylaws to allow apartments in houses. In spite of all of this, this form of housing remains illegal in most neighbourhoods today.

This issue was addressed also by Dr Lightman in his work. He noted that apartments in houses provide "an important source of inexpensive housing even in those communities where municipal zoning rules render them illegal." He found that this illegal status made it difficult for tenants in those units to exercise their rights to a safe and secure home under the Landlord and Tenant Act and under other legislation.

The commission expressed strong support for the provisions in the Housing policy statement, which suggests that municipalities allow apartments in houses as of right in appropriate zones, but noted that few municipalities had met this requirement, even though the deadline for the priority areas in the province was the summer of 1991. The commission therefore recommended that the government amend the Planning Act to make accessory apartments an as-of-right use in zones where residential uses are permitted.

The bill before you implements this recommendation by allowing one self-contained apartment in a house, provided that reasonable building, fire and planning standards are met. To go together with the legislation, new standards are being developed as regulations under the fire code and the Planning Act and were issued in the summer of 1993 under the Building Code Act.


To further ensure that units meet standards, Bill 120 has provision to improve powers of entry for property standards and zoning officers. This is in addition to the existing very broad powers of entry available to local fire officials.

The bill also contains two provisions related to other forms of small-scale residential intensification, that is, a clarification to the Planning Act to indicate that bylaws should treat unrelated persons who form a household no differently than they treat a family household and, secondly, there are permissive provisions in the legislation that will help municipalities regulate garden suites, or granny flats, on a case-by-case basis.

Ann Borooah will provide more details on the apartments-in-houses provisions later in the presentation, but I'm going to turn over to Janet Mason to take you through the proposals to implement changes to the legislation dealing with tenancy law as it applies to care homes.

Ms Janet Mason: I'm the director of the housing policy branch at the Ministry of Housing. I'd like to describe briefly the key features of the care home provisions of Bill 120. I will also address some of the major issues which have been raised to date in the discussions about the bill.

First, let me describe briefly what is meant by the term "care homes." It refers to both private and publicly funded permanent accommodation which offers an element of care, but not a high enough level of care to be licensed under nursing home or other standard-setting legislation. This could be a private retirement apartment complex which provides care services, rest and retirement homes, boarding houses which provide care and non-profit housing which provides support services.

As noted previously, the care home provisions of Bill 120 amend three statutes: the Landlord and Tenant Act, the Rent Control Act and the Rental Housing Protection Act. Bill 120 extends Landlord and Tenant Act protection to persons receiving care. This is done by eliminating or modifying three exemptions which now exist in the Landlord and Tenant Act.

First of all, the existing provision in the act which exempts premises occupied for the purposes of receiving care has been deleted. At the present time, most private retirement homes and care homes are exempt from the Landlord and Tenant Act under this exemption.

Second, the number of exempted statues in the Landlord and Tenant Act is being reduced from 14 to 10. At the present time, many non-profit and charitable care homes are funded under a variety of provincial government statutes and are exempt from the Landlord and Tenant Act on this basis. Under Bill 120, those statutes which provide funding mechanisms only and do not set standards or regulate programs are removed as a basis for exemption.

This means accommodation funded under the Ministry of Community and Social Services Act, the Ministry of Health Act, the Homes for Special Care Act, the Homes for Retarded Persons Act and most accommodation under the Developmental Services Act will no longer be exempt. Those 10 statues which remain as a basis for exemption are those, such as the Nursing Homes Act and the Public Hospitals Act, which govern institutional settings.

Finally, the current exemption in the Landlord and Tenant Act for rehabilitation and therapy has been significantly narrowed. Up until now, operators have frequently hidden behind this exemption when in fact little rehabilitation and therapy is provided. In future, to qualify for this exemption, there must be agreement between the landlord and tenant that the occupancy is for a specified length of time or until the objectives of the program have been met or cannot be met. As well, the accommodation must be located in a building in which the average length of stay does not exceed six months and is not used by the majority of its tenants as their principal residence.

By extending the Landlord and Tenant Act to care homes, full provisions under part IV of the act will apply. This means that all the rights, obligations and responsibilities set out in the act for landlords and tenants will apply. This includes rules for access and privacy, notice provisions, responsibilities for repair and maintenance and termination procedures.

The right to privacy under the Landlord and Tenant Act will mean that a landlord can no longer enter a tenant's unit whenever he or she wishes. Some operators have expressed concern that they will not be able to provide care adequately to residents under these rules.

Access provisions will have to comply with those set out in the LTA. However, many private and non-profit operators already successfully provide care for tenants under these provisions. For many situations, the 24-hour notice provision is appropriate. The landlord may also enter the premises as long as the resident consents at the time of entry.

Concerns have also been raised about access to tenants' apartments in emergency situations. In cases where there is an emergency, 24 hours' written notice is not required.

Eviction procedures set out under the LTA will also apply to care homes. There have been demands for a fast-track eviction process allowing for the temporary departure of the resident. This is because of the concerns over potential danger to other tenants and staff.

The difficulty with the fast-track eviction, however, is that an application to court for temporary removal would take time to resolve because due process must be observed. It would be unacceptable to remove a tenant, even temporarily, based solely on a landlord's request.

It is also unacceptable to provide a different standard of protection to persons simply because they receive care. There is no evidence that tenants in these situations are more difficult or present more of a danger to other tenants than tenants in regular, permanent rental accommodation.

Questions have also been raised about the potential difficulty of moving tenants when their care needs increase and can no longer be met by the care home operator. However, in our discussions with operators it is clear that eviction is not the answer in these cases. Operators work with health professionals, clergy and family members to find an appropriate solution to these problems in a way which does not infringe on the rights of tenants.

As mentioned by Ms Beaumont, it should be noted that under Bill 120 care service charges are not considered rent under the LTA. As such, a landlord will not be able to evict a tenant on the basis of failure to pay for care services. If a tenant cannot or does not pay for care services the landlord's remedy will be through the courts.

The Landlord and Tenant Act will apply to care homes once Bill 120 receives royal assent. Bill 120 extends rent control protection to care homes in much the same way the Landlord and Tenant Act does. As in the LTA, the exemption for receiving care has been eliminated from the Rent Control Act. The exemption for rehabilitation and therapy has also been restricted in the same way that it has in the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Finally, the list of exempted statutes has also been reduced. However, in the RCA, the list of statutes no longer exempt are only the Ministry of Community and Social Services Act and the Ministry of Health Act. This list is not quite the same as in the LTA because the criteria used to determine whether a statute should provide exemption from the Rent Control Act is whether it provides alternative price control mechanisms.

The extension of rent control to care homes applies only to the accommodation component of total charges. Charges for care services and meals will not be subject to price control. In covering the accommodation component of care homes, all of the provisions related to rent control will apply. These include notices of rent increase, the rent control guideline, landlord and tenant applications, maintenance provisions and rent registry provisions.

While the bill does not provide for care services and meals to be brought under rent control, operators of care homes will be required to disclose certain information to residents. Prior to entering into a tenancy agreement, a new tenant must be provided with an information package which will set out information about care services and meals that the landlord provides. Increases in rent and care services and meals cannot be taken until the landlord has provided this information package.

The landlord will also be required to give a 90-day notice to the tenant before increasing charges for care services or meals. Increases taken without proper notice will be void and rebateable under the act.

There is a concern on the part of the government that tenants of care homes not receive some of the large increases they have experienced in the past. For this reason, Bill 120 provides for regulation which will allow charges for care services and meals to be covered by rent control if this occurs. The Ministry of Housing will undertake annual monitoring of care service charge increases to determine whether there are excessive increases warranting the regulation of these charges.

Like landlords of other residential complexes, landlords of care homes containing four or more units will be required to register care homes with the rent registry. For the most part, landlords of care homes will be required to register rents charged as of November 23, 1993. They will be required to register the total amount charged for accommodation, care services and meals as well as the number of people occupying each unit. In order to assist rent officers in making determinations on the allocation between accommodation and rent, regulations will be provided.


Rent control provisions will apply to care homes on the date of first reading of Bill 120. This means that rent regulation will apply as of November 23, 1993. The reason it is effective as of this date is to prevent landlords from increasing rents before the bill is passed in order to set a higher maximum rent.

Finally, coverage of the Rental Housing Protection Act will be extended to include care homes in the same way that rent control does. Care homes will be included in the definition of "rented residential premises" under the RHPA. The bill clarifies that premises which are exempt from the RCA because they are subject to one of the statutes cited in that act or because the premises are occupied solely for rehabilitation and therapy are not residential premises for the purposes of the RHPA.

Municipal approval will be required in any municipality in the province to demolish, extensively renovate or repair a care home or to convert a care home into another type of rental property or non-rental use. This recognizes that vulnerable individuals must be protected in municipalities of all sizes.

Because the government is also concerned with protecting the stock of regular rental accommodation, municipal approval will be required in municipalities of 50,000 or more to convert rental property into a care home. The Rental Housing Protection Act will apply to care homes once Bill 120 receives royal assent.

I'll now turn you over to Ann Borooah, who will take you through the details of the apartments-in-houses portion of Bill 120.

Ms Ann Borooah: I am the director of the housing development and buildings branch in the Ministry of Housing. As Janet indicated, I'd like to provide you with an overview of the apartments-in-houses portion of the bill and then to discuss some of the issues which have been raised during our consultations.

The first thing the bill does is to make an apartment in a house a legal use under municipal bylaws as long as the unit meets reasonable building, fire, zoning and property standards; the unit is located in a detached, semi-detached or row house in areas permitting residential use; and the unit is not on a private septic system.

I should mention as well that Planning Act regulations will be developed which will set out caps on property and zoning standards which municipalities may apply to apartments in houses, such as caps on the number of parking spaces a municipality can require.

In addition to the legislative provisions in Bill 120, regulations under the building code and the fire code will establish uniform fire safety standards for apartments in houses.

The second thing the bill does is to simplify the process for enforcement of municipal zoning and property standards. To achieve this, the Planning Act would be amended to remove the requirement to identify what evidence will be seized as a condition of obtaining a search warrant.

For example, it is currently difficult to obtain a search warrant to investigate alleged property standards or zoning offences in cases where the offence involves issues such as an inadequate ceiling height or a cold unit. Neither of these things of course can be seized or produced in court.

The powers-of-entry provisions to be added to the Planning Act are similar to the current provisions in the Building Code Act and the Rent Control Act. It should be noted, though, that the amendment retains generally accepted protections of privacy for people in their homes. In cases where bylaw officials are denied entry by the occupant, it will still be necessary for a municipal official to obtain a search warrant and show reasonable grounds to believe that an offence has occurred. I should also point out that the amendment does not affect the already broad powers of entry provided to fire officials under the Fire Marshals Act.

The third thing the apartments-in-houses amendments do is clarify the intent of the current section 35 of the Planning Act, which now states that zoning should not distinguish between people based on whether or not they are related to one another. This existing section of the Planning Act is the result of a private member's bill which was passed with all-party support in 1989.

Bill 120 clarifies this section of the Planning Act to indicate that zoning and property standards should not treat the occupants of a house differently based on whether or not they are related to one another, and neither should they treat single people who share a house as a household any differently than family households.

The fourth and final objective of the apartments-in-houses portion of the bill is to provide some optional legal tools for municipalities that are interested in accommodating garden suites. Garden suites are separate, portable cottages typically located behind or beside an existing house. Bill 120 gives municipalities authority to permit garden suites through a temporary-use bylaw for a period of up to 10 years. It also allows municipalities to make the bylaw conditional on a municipal agreement with the owner of the garden suite. The agreement could specify such things as the name of the party occupying the garden suite. It could also set out provisions for relocation, performance bonds and a range of matters.

There are four issues which have been raised during the consultation on apartments in houses which I would like to respond to today.

First, what will Bill 120 do to ensure that existing and new apartments in houses meet fire, building and property standards? The bill does four things to address this issue.

In conjunction with Bill 120, new standards specifically for apartments in houses are being developed as regulations under the Ontario Building Code and the fire code. These standards will regulate fire issues such as smoke detectors, exits and fire separations. The building code changes came into effect last July and fire code changes will be proclaimed after Bill 120 is approved.

By making apartments in houses permitted uses under municipal zoning, tenants are in a better position to complain to local authorities about substandard conditions, and therefore exercise their right to a safe unit. Tenants in illegal units are reluctant to do this for fear that complaints will result in their eviction.

As well as the legal responsibility to keep units up to fire and building code standards, owners will have some incentive to arrange for municipal inspection as well. A municipal letter confirming that the apartment is legal will improve their ability to obtain mortgage financing and insurance and will increase the resale value of their property. Legalization also creates a way for law-abiding landlords to create second units. This avenue is not currently available in most neighbourhoods today.

The fourth way that Bill 120 will improve enforcement is in proposed changes to the ability of property standards and zoning bylaw officers to obtain search warrants by removing the requirement to specify evidence which will be seized in the course of making a prosecution. These are in addition to the broad powers of entry already provided to fire officials under the Fire Marshals Act.

Another issue we hear a great deal is, what about local services? Won't they be overwhelmed by apartments in houses? As Anne mentioned, considerable research has shown that apartments in houses tend to be smaller units and therefore tend to attract smaller households, which means that converted houses have on average only slightly more people than unconverted houses. This means that loading on sewer, water and road services should not be materially affected by the second unit.

The fact that second units are generally smaller also means that they tend to attract significantly fewer school-aged children than unconverted houses. This is a key point given that half of local tax bills typically go to providing school services.

The most important fact here is that apartments in houses are not for everyone. Even in what is arguably the strongest conversion market in Ontario, the city of Toronto, where apartments in houses have been legalized for a number of years, 80% of the homes which could have a second unit remain unconverted. The possibility of apartments in houses overwhelming local services, taking all of these considerations into consideration, seems quite unlikely.


The third issue which has been raised is, what about municipal revenues? Will apartments in houses pay their fair share? Discussions with assessment officials indicate that new apartments in houses typically generate a modest increase in property taxes when the assessor knows about them. Bill 120 provides a way for owners to create apartments in houses legally through a building permit. Building permits are the main way that local assessors find out about the need for a reassessment. Legal units created under Bill 120, therefore, have a higher likelihood of paying their share of taxes than the illegal ones in existence today.

The fourth issue we hear about frequently is, what about neighbourhood standards? After Bill 120 municipalities will still be able to control, among other things, on-site parking, maintenance, outdoor space and the physical appearance of houses, such as the building height, coverage on the lot, the setback of the houses from the street and so on.

Regulations under Bill 120 will set out some reasonable caps on the property and zoning standards that can be applied to apartments in houses, but this is just to ensure that standards are not put in place which effectively make it impossible to have a second unit.

Bill 120 does not override municipal zoning powers such as the regulation of building additions or front-yard parking. These matters remain within the control of the municipality.

In summary, Bill 120 provides a way for law-abiding owners to create apartments in houses which meet reasonable standards. It also provides a way for tenants to access their rights to safe and secure housing and offers municipalities some measures to improve their ability to ensure that standards are met.

I'll now turn it over to Michael Lyle who will provide you with an overview of the legal structure of the bill.

Mr Michael Lyle: I'm a solicitor with the legal services branch of the Ministry of Housing. I will comment on the structure of Bill 120.

The bill is organized into six parts. I will speak first about the three parts of the bill which relate to accommodation in which care is provided.

Part I of the bill contains sections 1 through 3 of the bill and these contain the amendments to the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Part II of the bill relates to the amendments to the Rent Control Act and these are found in sections 4 through 26 of the bill.

The amendments to the Rental Housing Protection Act are set out in part III of the bill. These are found in sections 27 through 35.

Parts IV and V of Bill 120 relate to apartments in houses and garden suites. Part IV contains the amendments to the Planning Act and these are set out in sections 36 through 45 of the bill. Part V relates to the amendments to the Municipal Act and these are found in sections 46 and 47.

Part VI of the bill contains the commencement dates of the various parts of the bill and the short title of the bill. The amendments to the Landlord and Tenant Act and the Rental Housing Protection Act will come into force on royal assent. The amendments to the Rent Control Act come into force on the date of first reading of this bill and that is November 23, 1993. The amendments to the Planning Act and the Municipal Act are to come into force on a date to be named by proclamation.

Ms Beaumont: That concludes our presentation. Thank you for your time and attention.

The Chair: Thank you. I'm sure that members have some questions regarding the presentation. Mr Winninger.

Mr David Johnson: You're not going in any order?

The Chair: We have time to take them as they come.

Mr David Winninger (London South): There have been some news items recently expressing concern that the guidelines for fire protection and maintaining the fire code are only guidelines and not regulations. It would seem to me, given that the whole thrust of this legislation is to bring up to code and up to fire and safety regulations the quality of what have been hitherto illegal apartments in houses, given that thrust, perhaps the kind of concerns that have been expressed that we're more likely to have a fire in an illegal basement apartment, for example, than in a single-family home might be misplaced. I wonder if one or more of you want to comment on that.

Ms Beaumont: I'm going to ask Rob Dowler to speak to that, as Rob is the member of staff who has been dealing with the fire marshal's office on provisions in relationship to apartments in houses.

Mr Rob Dowler: Yes, draft standards are currently out in the public domain right now from the office of the fire marshal, but as Mr Winninger points out, they are just that. They are draft standards and they are just guidelines. There is currently nothing out in force right now which ensures that there is a uniform, standard approach to fire safety in apartments in houses.

As a result of the initiatives being conducted under Bill 120, we struck a task force which met in the first and second quarters of last year. That task force did deliberate and did develop draft regulations under the Ontario Fire Marshals Act which would set out formal standards for apartments in houses under that piece of legislation and under the regulation that the fire marshal has responsibility for. It is the intention of the government, as I understand it, and I think as our minister indicated this morning, to make that regulation law upon proclamation of Bill 120.

It would currently, we would argue, be difficult to make that provision law, because if orders were placed under the regulation, it would be difficult for people who own illegal units to come into their chief building official and apply for a building permit for the purposes of satisfying a fire marshal's order, because the unit is not permitted under zoning. At that point, the chief building official would be placed in a situation of possibly having to issue a building permit for a unit which did not meet applicable law. He would be in a very difficult spot. With the proclamation of Bill 120, the unit would become a permitted use under zoning and the chief building official would be put in a position whereby the order could be cleared and a building permit could be issued.

The Chair: I have Mr Johnson. One question apiece and we'll just keep going around.

Mr David Johnson: Let's just carry on in that vein then, because I'm unclear, and I think you're referring to it, in terms of the standards that are going to be applied. Can you comment?

I'll try to maybe make a multiquestion since you'll only allow me one. Are they going to be the same standards as affect new construction? If they're different -- in other words, there are building standards for new construction. For example, in living space I think there has to be a certain amount of light space that comes in. There may be access requirements, there may be ceiling heights among other standards that have to be met. If they are exactly the same, fine. If they're not, how are they going to differ and when will we know?

Mr Dowler: There is a tradition that has been established some time ago in dealing with existing buildings to have standards which are slightly different than the current standards that we apply today under part 9 of the Ontario Building Code for new buildings. I think that's based on the fact that when you're dealing with an existing structure, you're dealing with more difficult design conditions and perhaps more difficult economics than if you're dealing with a building which is being constructed from scratch.

There is a plan under the draft standard which was developed with the Ontario fire marshal to have standards that are somewhat more flexible than the standards which are currently applied to new construction. That approach has been used in our existing renovation code, which is contained in part 11 of the Ontario Building Code. That approach has also been used in other regulations issued under the Ontario Fire Marshals Act.

So the proposal, I think, is to have compliance alternatives and to have a slightly more flexible and, we would argue, more realistic approach than simply requiring adoption of new construction standards for existing buildings.

Mr David Johnson: I don't understand what "compliance alternatives" means. Does that mean every municipality can have a different set of rules and apply what it would like to apply? What does "compliance alternatives" mean?

Mr Dowler: There would be three sets of options contained in the draft regulation. These would deal with different combinations of situations. Different arrangements of rooms would call for different compliance alternatives. For example, if there are two full exits available and full fire separation in the unit, there may not be need for as stringent measures on the notification side -- are there smoke detectors and things of that nature? -- as there would be in a situation which does not have as high a standard on the exiting side.

There would be three options which would deal with different packages of fire containment, fire notification and exiting, depending on the design conditions in the existing structure that confront the inspection and enforcement official.

Mr Hans Daigeler (Nepean): This is going to be a bit tricky if we just get one question at a time. My first question is quite straightforward. You're referring to a survey in your package here which says that there's 70% support across Ontario for the apartments-in-houses provision. I'm always interested in surveys, and this government continues to do surveys. I have some training in sociology, so I guess we do have to provide some work for the sociologists as well, but I do note with interest that the NDP government continues to do surveys. I remember the time when they used to actively criticize other governments for doing the same, but be that as it may, can I get a copy of the survey, in particular what kind of questions were asked, when they were asked and the usual stuff?

Ms Beaumont: Yes, certainly we can provide you with information and we'll comment on what exactly was done in that survey.


Ms Borooah: The question was asked as part of a survey by the Environics Research Group looking generally at attitudes towards housing in Ontario and one of the questions within the survey related to acceptance of apartments in houses within neighbourhoods.

Mr Daigeler: Could I get a copy of that whole survey, not just of that question but of the survey?

Ms Borooah: Sure. We can make a copy of the survey available to you.

Mr Daigeler: To the committee.

Ms Borooah: Yes.

Mr Daigeler: Okay, that's straightforward. Is that too simple for one question?

The Chair: You've had your question. Mr Winninger.

Mr Winninger: Another concern we frequently hear out in the community is that with absentee landlords being encompassed in this legislation, it's going to lead to a lot of problems of enforcement, and I'm talking about health and safety, zoning and so on. I'm wondering why in your view it is necessary that absentee landlords be included in this legislation.

I ask that with a particular focus in mind, since a lot of the opposition in London seems to be coming from north London where there's a university, the University of Western Ontario, and it seems to me that it's a bit of a red herring to suggest that just because there is a problem with absentee landlords in the vicinity of the university that's somehow going to be aggravated, if you will, by Bill 120. Could you comment?

Ms Beaumont: Yes, I would agree with you about the London situation and make two kinds of comments. Firstly, that many of the issues that are raised in this context and the problems that are attributed to absentee landlords are problems that exist in single-family housing areas of municipalities, they're problems that exist in many different kinds of residential situations and they're usually problems for which municipalities have potential solutions in the form of municipal bylaws, whether they be weed control bylaws, whether they be noise bylaws, whether they be parking regulations. But there are avenues for addressing some of the problems.

If you try to confine the application of this law to a situation where you only have an owner-occupant, the problem you face is that you're placing unnecessary regulation on people's ability to sell their house. For example, you may be in a situation where you have a house, you rent out an apartment within that house and you live in the remainder of the house. You move out of town -- say you're with a company and they transfer you to another part of the country -- and you want to rent out your house in your absence. If we confined the legislation to a situation where you can only apply it with an owner-occupant, the person who rents out your house would no longer be able to rent out the basement. We're limiting your ability to rent out your house. We're also placing the tenant in the basement apartment in jeopardy. So we have the practical problem there.

We also, I think, have a philosophical problem, and that is that as we've dealt with planning legislation in this province, as we've dealt with zoning regulations, as we're looking now, for example, in this bill to the provisions around the single housekeeping unit, one of the things we've tried to do is to address standards for use of buildings, standards for development of buildings, and not standards based on who lives there or what their tenure is. There is no provision in the Planning Act for dealing with a tenure situation.

In the particular situation in London, many of the situations that are commented on in north London in the vicinity of the university and in similar university towns, relate not to the situation we're dealing with in 120, where we're talking of one dwelling unit with the potential of one additional dwelling unit in it, but rather deal with the situation where you're talking of the splitting of a house into a number of apartments, which is quite different.

Mr Charles Harnick (Willowdale): I wonder if the minister can tell me whether Dr Lightman recommended that care homes be considered in the same piece of legislation as basement apartments.

Hon Ms Gigantes: He did not make that recommendation, but he did, in the context of the report that he provided for the public in Ontario, suggest that it was important, number one, that Ontario have the source of affordable housing that apartments in houses constitute and, second, that standards in apartments in houses needed to be attended to. He did address the question of apartments in houses in the context of providing affordable and safe housing for those people who find it difficult to find housing within the community, many of whom will at some point or another live in unregulated rest homes.

Mr Cordiano: I want to ask the minister a general question about affordable housing with regard to the last announcement with respect to allocations in non-profit housing. As I recall from the facts that I received, there were 2,800 out of a possible 5,000 that were actually announced.

Does this mean, with the lower number of allocations that you've announced and with the provisions that are being made in Bill 120, that you foresee an increase in the number of basement apartment units being created across the province, thus alleviating the pressure that might be there for more non-profit housing that you often refer to as being the case in Ontario?

Hon Ms Gigantes: That's a very simple question to answer, Mr Chair. The proposal call that we made was for 5,000 units, and 5,000 units will be allocated by the end of this month. We've done it in stages.

Mr Cordiano: So we can anticipate further allocations.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Absolutely. We're going to be allocating 20,000 units under the Jobs Ontario Homes program.


Mr Daigeler: On a point of order, Mr Chairman: Could I suggest that instead of just one question at a time, we go by 10-minute rotation, if that's agreeable to the committee? I find it very inconvenient to ask just one question.

The Chair: I'm certainly amenable to any suggestion the committee might make. If that's how the committee wishes to proceed, we certainly can do it in that fashion.

Mr Gary Wilson (Kingston and The Islands): This seems to be working very well.

Mr Winninger: We're quite impressed; we're very impressed.

Mr Derek Fletcher (Guelph): It sounds good.

The Chair: Ten-minute rotation. We'll start with the official opposition.

Mr Cordiano: Just to carry on with that notion, to say there is a commitment is one thing -- we'll find out if the further allocations will be there, and perhaps the staff would give me some idea of what you anticipate will be the number of units created as a result of the provisions in Bill 120. What do you anticipate? Do you have any projections as to how many new units will be created, those being accessory apartments, namely, basement apartments, across the province? Do you have any idea?

Ms Beaumont: It's difficult to anticipate, but if you look at the number that was quoted in Ann's presentation where she said that the city of Toronto -- and we've had some comments that these provisions in the bill deal with the city of Toronto situation, that the demand for apartments in houses is in the city of Toronto and not in other communities.

You can then look at what has happened in the city of Toronto where accessory apartments have in fact been legal for a good number of years. In that city only in about 20% of the units that could have had apartments built into them has that actually happened. I would anticipate that you would be seeing considerably lesser volume in other communities.

Hon Ms Gigantes: That's doesn't mean 20% of all homes because not all homes would qualify.

Mr Cordiano: So what are you suggesting to me, that there isn't really a great demand for this type of accommodation across the province?

Ms Beaumont: I think what we're saying is there is obviously a demand because 100,000 individuals have felt it necessary, for various reasons, to flout the zoning regulations in their community because they've seen it as important to them and to potential tenants to construct another apartment.

Mr Cordiano: But, see, the point is you have a law, a piece of legislation, which will deal with each and every municipality across Ontario in the same fashion and that's, I suggest to you, the fundamental reason why I have a great deal of difficulty with the approach you've taken, because if you're suggesting, on the one hand, that there isn't really the pressure there in most communities across Ontario -- because, as you say, there isn't really the pressure in a community, the city of Toronto, ie -- the experience has not been there to suggest the great pressures you're talking about.

Legalizing the existing units that are there is one thing, but to apply this legislation right across the province where there isn't any real demand for it in smaller communities or in communities that are not large urban centres is not justifiable to me. This is the source of difficulty in supporting this legislation. I think most people would agree with that.

Ms Beaumont: If you look, though, at the bulk of our legislation, if you look at planning legislation, if you look at legislation addressing housing, you'll find that most of that legislation applies across all communities and it does that for a variety of reasons. Fundamental among those, I think, is to provide choice --

Mr Cordiano: Now I've heard it all.

Ms Beaumont: -- and to provide equity of choice across Ontario.

Mr Cordiano: This will not provide choice. I beg your pardon, but it will not provide choice. That's exactly the point.

Mr Rosario Marchese (Fort York): Mr Chairman, she was answering the question.

Mr Cordiano: But my colleague has another question to ask.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I think what you're confusing here is a difference between demand and supply, and you say in Toronto the pressure isn't there, which means that you read --

Mr Cordiano: No, no, I haven't said that.

The Chair: Let the minister answer.

Hon Ms Gigantes: If I could, what you see in Toronto is a situation where only one in five home owners, in those houses where the provisions would allow a home owner to develop an apartment, has in fact developed an apartment. However, there may be demand in terms of the market for more than that. So you have to keep those two elements separate in your mind. The pressure on the demand side is high. The pressure on the supply side depends on how home owners feel. Not every home owner wishes to develop an apartment in a house, and there is nothing in this legislation to force a home owner to create an apartment in a house.

Mr Cordiano: I certainly would hope not. That would be the abomination of democracy.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I thought that your question showed some confusion around that issue.

Mr Cordiano: There's no confusion about that. Anyway, my colleague has a comment.

Mr Grandmaître: Looking at your survey, on page 11 you say that you've identified approximately 100,000 units in Ontario that are largely illegal. I'm talking about apartments in houses. Now, Madam Minister, you just said one in five. You did say in Toronto, though; I didn't hear you say across the province.

Hon Ms Gigantes: One in five of those units where the development would be allowed, and that is not all homes. Let's make that clear. That's not 100% of houses.

Mr Grandmaître: Very good. How many would you say, out of the 100,000 identified, are illegal apartments?

Ms Beaumont: I'm going to ask Ann Borooah to address that.

Mr Grandmaître: By the way, that's question A.

Ms Borooah: I'd like to ask James Douglas, who has done some fairly detailed analysis of the various surveys that have led us to our conclusions. He's on his way.

Mr Grandmaître: While we wait for his answer, maybe I could ask question B. What will you do, when the illegal apartments are identified, with these tenants if the landlord doesn't want to respect the fire code, all of the municipal services and so on and so forth? What are you going to do with these people?

Mr James Douglas: On question A, we have estimated there are approximately 114,000 illegal second units across the province.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Most of them are outside of Toronto.

Mr Douglas: Outside of Toronto.

The Chair: For the reporter, it would be far easier if we let the responder respond.

Mr Grandmaître: Thank you. I just want to make sure, Mr Chair.

Mr Mammoliti: I didn't catch that figure. What was that?

The Chair: Order.

Mr Mammoliti: I'm sorry.

Mr Douglas: Within Metropolitan Toronto, we estimate there are approximately 40,000 illegal second units out of a total supply of 62,000. In the province in general, we estimate there are approximately 114,000 illegal second units out of a total supply of 160,000.

Mr Grandmaître: Question C: How many of the 40,000 do you think can be converted and become legal basement apartments?

Mr Douglas: Clearly, there will be a whole range of units. However, many of those units are located in Scarborough and North York in fairly new houses where in all likelihood they could meet standards with respect to ceiling height and exiting and smoke detectors either as they are now -- ie, units are simply illegal for zoning purposes -- or with a modest amount of renovation work.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Or in the attic. It doesn't have to be the basement.

Mr Grandmaître: It doesn't have to be the basement. Okay. I'm thinking of our own ridings of the Ottawa area. I'm thinking of Lower Town, Vanier and all of these places where there are no new subdivisions going up. They're mostly older homes. These people do rent illegal apartments, and I'm concerned about these people. I'm concerned for the safety of the tenants and I'm concerned for the land owner -- not the land owner, but the owner of the apartments. To make them legal, I think, is practically impossible. I've noticed in your survey that our own ridings are not even included in there. Is Ottawa-Carleton in your survey?


Hon Ms Gigantes: Kanata did its own survey. Rob could speak to the question of older housing in existing units.

Mr Dowler: A point of clarification is that while the bill does make one second unit a permitted use it doesn't actually make that unit fully legal until performance standards have been met. So the bill would still require that fire safety, building safety and other standards will be met before the unit will become fully legal.

As to statistics for Ottawa, or Lower Town in particular, the municipality has not done a study that I'm aware of anyway. I'm a little out of date with Ottawa, but we don't have Ottawa's specific numbers. Kanata has done a little bit of opinion polling as to what people think about apartments in houses and that's included in your package, but we don't have numbers for Ottawa.

The Chair: Mr Johnson's eager and -- or Mr Harnick.

Mr David Johnson: He's going to follow up on his question first.

Mr Harnick: Very briefly, Minister, you've told me that Mr Lightman in fact did make, in a roundabout sort of way, some recommendations about housing for vulnerable adults. It seems to me that in his report he listed 148 recommendations and nowhere did it say that a bill should be brought forward where housing for vulnerable adults should be included with a bill dealing with basement apartments.

He was concerned about protecting vulnerable adults and primarily in some sort of institutional or quasi-institutional form. One hundred and forty-eight recommendations later he never envisioned for one moment, and I put this to you, that vulnerable adults' housing needs should be associated in the same bill as a bill dealing with a municipal matter, specifically basement apartments. Why are you doing this?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Mr Chair, Dr Lightman will be appearing before this committee and I'm sure Mr Harnick will want to raise this issue with him, but my feeling is that Dr Lightman is concerned to see the measures which are before you in this legislation acted upon and that it is not a matter of such urgency to him to consider what envelope it fits in legislatively.

Mr Harnick: I can't understand --

Hon Ms Gigantes: He was not asked to take on a mandate in considering the question of apartments in houses; he did note as a result of his commission's work that this was an important area of housing for a lot of people with whom he was working.

Mr Harnick: There's just no question he wasn't asked about combining these two things because he would have been positively astounded to do that. What you've effectively done -- and you know why you did it, you did it to tie the hands of the opposition who might be very, very supportive of the aspects of this bill that deal with vulnerable adults and who have grave reservations about dealing with basement apartments when virtually every mayor in the province of Ontario, every reeve, is totally against your basement apartment legislation, so much so that you yourself knew that --

Hon Ms Gigantes: Is this a question?

Mr Harnick: If you're just patient for a moment, I'll let you comment the same way you asked the Chairman to ask someone else to be quiet while you were trying to answer. I apologize. It reeks of hypocrisy when you pull Bill 90 and then you bring it back under the form of Bill 120. Why are you doing that? Why are you combining apples and oranges? Surely you have to have an answer that you can give us that's a cogent, real answer to tell us why you're taking a bill that deals with basement apartments and combining it with a bill that deals with protection for vulnerable adults.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Bill 90 was never pulled. The chief elements of Bill 90 are contained in Bill 120 and the member has noted that. It is my view that we are dealing here with legislation which affects the rights of residents in rental housing who have not previously had the protection that they need.

The source of the problems in the case of care home residents or in the case of residents of apartments in houses -- they may have different sources of difficulties, but in effect in both cases, they have not been afforded the protection of the Landlord and Tenant Act and the Rent Control Act.

Those two pieces of legislation are critical to both elements of this legislation, and I would have thought that it would please legislators to deal with the issues of the application of the Rent Control Act and Landlord and Tenant Act for all residents who rent their accommodation in Ontario in one comprehensive piece of legislation.

Mr Harnick: Let me move on to something else.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Could I ask that Anne Beaumont be allowed to respond on that?

Ms Beaumont: If I could just take one moment and add to the minister's comment, I'd indicate that in his recommendation 127, Dr Lightman himself made that connection between accessory apartments in houses and rest home stock.

Mr Harnick: He was dealing with it in terms of vulnerable adults; he wasn't talking about municipal options, granny flats.

Ms Beaumont: He dealt with this in the context of a chapter dealing with housing supply and choice.

Mr Harnick: For vulnerable adults.

Ms Beaumont: No, it was dealt with much more broadly than that.

Mr Harnick: I wonder if the minister can tell me why there is a municipal option for garden suites or granny flats and there is no municipal option for basement apartments.

Hon Ms Gigantes: The situation that exists in Ontario is that there has been a municipal option and that most of the apartments in houses which exist in Ontario are illegal because of zoning. It is that situation which we're attempting to remedy.

When it comes to the situation of garden suites, this is a use of property which we feel municipalities should have an option to pursue over a longer period of time than they have now and that will ease the situation for municipalities in terms of contracting with property owners. It's as simple as that.

We don't expect that there will be the same response on the side of garden suites. They are a temporary use by the very nature of the accessory unit concept, and in most cases property owners will not have an interest in developing them. However, when they do, for the purposes of the municipality, it will be more convenient to be able to set out the terms over a longer period of time.

One of my own colleagues has a constituent who is interested in developing garden suites as a manufactured product and he's concerned that small municipalities will lack the legal resources to draw up contracts that will be satisfactory, so I have suggested publicly that perhaps what we should be thinking about is drawing up a model contract that municipalities could use if they didn't want to devote legal resources to the kind of contractual arrangement they might use in these circumstances. That in fact might be a useful thing for us to be doing.

Mr David Johnson: Your response indicates to me that you feel that municipalities are either incompetent in terms of meeting your housing initiatives or they can't be trusted to meet your housing initiatives. It would be interesting when the municipal leaders come in over the next couple of weeks to see what they feel about that.


But in view of the fact that it's already been stated that the city of Toronto apparently has a policy that allows basement apartments, the city of Toronto perhaps has the largest stock in all of Ontario of possible apartments in houses, and in view of the fact that certainly other municipalities are working towards housing initiatives, in view of the fact that the vacancy rate today as I understand it here in Metropolitan Toronto is about 2% or 2.5% and across the province of Ontario it's probably even higher than that, don't you think, rather than mandating to the municipalities what they should do, it would be a better way to go to talk to them, to indicate what your objectives are, what your policies are, to work with them? Isn't that a better approach for a government to take, rather than coming down with the hammer and telling them what they have to do?

Hon Ms Gigantes: The municipal housing policy required municipalities to amend their official plans to meet provincial housing policy objectives beginning in 1989. The amended plans, for which the province provided financial assistance, do not include one of the goals, which was to establish that apartments in houses could be undertaken by property owners without regard to zoning. So we have had the test on that, and in fact in the continuing discussions that have gone on during that whole period there has still been municipal resistance, which I can appreciate. I can certainly understand their hesitation, if I put it kindly.

I'd like to make it quite clear that to attribute to me a judgement that municipalities are incompetent is inaccurate in the extreme. I think there has been a reluctance. I wouldn't call it incompetence at all. I'd like to make that quite clear.

Municipalities will express their concerns very directly, I'm sure, before this committee, and I've had the opportunity to meet with many councils, many town planners and so on on this issue. I feel it's an understanding of the combination of elements within this legislation that will help municipalities come to support it.

That may take a little time, but in fact we are addressing many of the concerns they have raised, including questions around parking, whether there will be a heavy loading on services and so on. I think many of the items which have been raised, once they understand the full concept involved in the legislation which is before us now, they will find quite workable.

Mr Mammoliti: First of all, let me state that I know Dr Lightman personally, and if he had a problem with the way the minister was dealing with this, her type of approach to both bills, then I think he would certainly point that out to the minister.

My question is to the ministry staff. I appreciate the statistics on illegal apartments: 40,000 in Metro, from what I understood. I'm sorry, I didn't catch the rest in the rest of the province.

Ms Borooah: Approximately 114,000, we think.

Mr Mammoliti: That's 114,000 above and beyond?

Ms Borooah: That's 114,000 illegal in the province as a whole, including --

Mr Mammoliti: Total. Separated would be 40,000 in Metro and --

Ms Borooah: About 47,000 in Metro.

Mr Mammoliti: Okay. When you put these statistics together, did you look at when these apartments seem to have come up, that a lot of them had come up during the recession, for instance? Do you find that most of them came up during the last recession? How many apartments have come up due to economic difficulties by home owners, for instance? How many were forced into having to open up a basement apartment illegally or lose their home, given the option? Have you looked at that at all? Can you give us any statistics around these circumstances?

Ms Borooah: Because of the way this information is gathered, we don't have any substantial information that tells us about the recent recession and any changes in the rate. Our estimates are actually based on an average of rates over time. There is nothing to suggest that there was sort of a panic occurrence of conversions that occurred in the last few years.

Most of the data are based on information that we've obtained from census data and other things of that nature and on municipal surveys of their own housing stock. If you'd like a little more specifics on the rates of conversion, I think James Douglas could give us a bit more information he wasn't able to provide in answer to the last question.

Mr Mammoliti: If you can add possibly seniors to this, I'm not sure whether you gather those statistics, but perhaps seniors who might not be able to afford their home due to property taxes and other expenses.

Ms Barooah: Before James gives you the actual numbers, if I could just say, most of the research that we've done in the ministry over the last 10 to 12 years has suggested that the most likely converters are not seniors, although some seniors do convert, and it's more common for some reason in American jurisdictions than it seems to be here.

But the most likely converters are those who want to go out and purchase a home and they consider the option at the time of purchase. When they go to buy a house they want to buy one that's converted or they think about renovating the house and in the course of renovating create that extra unit and it makes that first purchase more affordable to the home owner. But in terms of the rates of conversion and any other data we have on who converts, James might want to add a bit more to that.

Mr Douglas: First off, the figure I mentioned before of 38,000 illegal second units in Metro is from municipal studies done between 1987 and 1991. I would anticipate that the figure is considerably higher as of 1994. Metro did estimate a conversion rate of approximately 4,000 units a year through the 1980s. Given the fact that some units are deconverted, for example, gentrification in Cabbagetown, the number of units created in the average year is probably about 3,000 net, so you can probably add another 9,000 to that 38,000 figure.

Other conversion rates for the province are very unclear, given the illegal use or nature of the use. However, American statistics have been suggested that where second units are legal, you can get a conversion rate over a whole municipal area of approximately one unit per 1,000. That will give some idea what would happen outside of the hot markets if Bill 120 was approved. That would mean approximately 2,000 units a year.

Mr Mammoliti: Clearly, this bill will help the younger, just-married couple who might find it hard to get a mortgage otherwise.

Mr Douglas: That is clearly one the groups that would benefit from the legislation. Another group is older people who have fixed incomes and are faced with higher property taxes and higher operating costs.

Mr Mammoliti: Like seniors.

Mr Douglas: Seniors.

Hon Ms Gigantes: If I could, Mr Chair, just one other note. There was reference earlier by Mr Johnson to the question of vacancy rates. I should point out that what we know about vacancy rates, and CMHC noted it as far back as two years ago now, is that the vacancies are occurring in the upper-rent units and that among affordable units there is still a much larger demand than there is supply.

He also talked about the problem that landlords might encounter, because they were unfamiliar with the Rent Control Act, in determining appropriate level of rent. I'd point out that under the Rent Control Act, a new unit does not become subject to rent control for a five-year period.

Mr Gary Wilson: I'd like to continue on the reaction of some of municipalities and others too, and that has to do with the availability of the services for the projected units that would be built after Bill 120 is passed. I was wondering what the ministry has done to look into the availability of services and just how that crops up as a concern.

Ms Beaumont: It crops up in two different sets of concerns: one, around the provision of hard services, that is, is this going to put pressure on the pipe services, on the roads etc; and secondly, the provision of soft services, is it going to lead to overcrowding in the schools and provision of other services. We've looked at both of these. Ann, would you like to comment?

Ms Barooah: I think my remarks address some of these issues, that generally we found that in a converted house you expect a very marginal increase in the number of people who are actually occupying that house on average. So while average household size hovers around three, it will be a few points of a per cent higher for a converted house, so the actual population impact of the house is only marginally higher.

You mentioned earlier the rates of conversion. A number of figures have been discussed this afternoon with respect to rates of conversion, that in any given area you don't expect all of the houses to convert certainly at the same time. So where you might have, say, 20% of the stock in a certain neighbourhood converting and the actual size of the household is only marginally higher than the other households in the area, again there is not a population impact, which is what tends to impact on the use of hard services.

The third element relates to the kinds -- a lot of the impacts on services are associated with servicing the structure and not necessarily the number of people in the house, like lawn watering, for example, is the greatest impact on peak capacity and that really doesn't vary depending on the number of units in the structure; it's the same lawn.


From the point of view of social services, the most obvious example is the schools and the potential impact of two units in a house on the schools in a neighbourhood. The data there should be promising, in fact, to municipalities. Our indications are that the number of children per household in a converted unit is around 0.3 on average, and the number of children in an unconverted household is on average 0.8. So even if you had 0.3 in each of the two units, you'd still have less children in the house overall, because the size of the units tends to not be as suitable for families, who may seek an individual unit of their own more typically, because the size is more suitable. So generally, we don't think those sorts of impacts would be felt.

We should keep in mind one other factor, and that is that very often it's those areas where the household size has declined over time that are most likely to convert, the older neighbourhoods where you no longer have new families that have moved there recently and therefore tend to be in the childbearing period and tend to have larger households. You tend to have two income earners or a couple or a single person who wants to live in one part of the house and maybe a single person in the smaller unit in the house, if indeed it's smaller.

Overall, that tends to recapture some of the population that would have been lost if the older household that had lived there in the first instance just stayed there and became an older couple with no one else living there. So we think there's a good balance in the bill between the availability of services in areas and the demand on those services created by the households that would move into the converted units.

The Chair: Thank you. We will be commencing a five-minute rotation among the three parties. Before that, I have a question that I was just discussing privately with the minister.

Mr Sean G. Conway (Renfrew North): Oh, let's take a vote on this.

The Chair: Certainly, Mr Conway. The question is: If the clerk has a home in which he has at the moment an illegal tenant, but then when this law is passed he legalizes the situation, is that a new rental unit within the meaning of the Rent Control Act?

Mr Grandmaître: A conflict of interest; you can't sit as clerk.

Ms Beaumont: If it's in an existing dwelling, that would not be a new rental unit and excluded from the Rent Control Act for five years. If the clerk was planning on constructing a new house with a rental unit in it, that rental unit would be a new unit and excluded from the Rent Control Act for five years.

Mr Daigeler: I think he's talking about himself, the Chairman here.

The Chair: There is a big demand in Kagawong.

Mr Daigeler: I'm sure the demand is great up there.

I'd like to ask the minister, or if she wants to pass it on to her officials that's fine too, can you give me some precedents for what is obviously a very severe interference in the municipal planning authorities? I think you're obviously stepping in here with a very, very heavy hand, and perhaps you might want to say, "Well, it has been done before."

Hon Ms Gigantes: Yes, I could. It would be the Liberal housing policy that was developed when your government was in office to which we can refer this legislation as a natural outcome for the period of time when the housing policy was before municipal governments for them to make appropriate amendments.

One of the clearly stated policy directions was that there should be no zoning inhibition to the development of apartments in houses, and although municipalities went through enormous studies and surveys and consultations with residents and so on, with financial assistance from the provincial level, they did not meet that goal.

I think that, given the fact that it was a goal established under your government which is supported by this government, you shouldn't be surprised to see that once it wasn't met through the kinds of steps you're suggesting or Mr Johnson is suggesting would be appropriate -- that's been tried, and it didn't work. So the goal still exists there, and the natural next step, when you don't have agreement and you decide the goal is a valuable one, is you take the responsibility at the provincial level.

Mr Daigeler: I'm going back a little bit now, and obviously I wasn't that closely associated with the housing issues at the time. Are you referring to the housing allocation, like each municipality would have to meet a certain income-related goal? Is that what you're referring to?

Hon Ms Gigantes: That was part of the housing policy statement. Perhaps Anne would like to add a bit of background.

Mr Daigeler: First of all, if I recall correctly, this was done with considerable support from the municipalities.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Oh, yes.

Mr Daigeler: In the end, I think it was basically a consensual approach to this.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Right.

Mr Daigeler: But be that as it may, you're also referring to the fact that these targets haven't been met, and again I would like to see something in writing.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Oh, yes. Anne could comment too.

Mr Daigeler: How far the various municipalities have achieved their objectives -- I'd be very interested in seeing that in front of me.

Ms Beaumont: As the minister indicated, there were a number of provisions in the housing policy statement. The one that most people are most familiar with is that requiring that 25% of all new housing be affordable. But there were other provisions in those policy statements as well, and one of those dealt with the issue of intensification with apartments in houses, with rooming, boarding and lodging houses.

We can provide you with information we provide to the committee, information that Municipal Affairs and ourselves have collected on municipal action on this aspect as well as the broader aspects under the housing policy statement.

Mr Daigeler: I'm very interested in that.

Ms Beaumont: We'll get that for you.

Mr Grandmaître: Let's go back to the 25% -- 25% of a new subdivision. It wasn't 25% of new homes or building permits that were applied for in one year. It was for a subdivision: 25% of that housing had to be affordable.


Ms Beaumont: What the housing policy statement says, Mr Grandmaître, is that 25% of new housing. It doesn't specify within a subdivision. It talks about new housing in the community. In the 25%, it did not include conversions. It specifically did not include conversions.

Mr Grandmaître: You're right.

Ms Beaumont: But it dealt across the community.

Mr David Johnson: I just find it interesting, and I'm sure Mr Grandmaître was going to say this, that with the 25% provision -- I agree that the provision related to new housing and there was a flexibility in that particular policy. One application may have a lower percentage; another application may indeed be totally affordable housing. Municipalities had some flexibility, some choice or ability to deal with different circumstances. That's what I find is a problem.

One of the problems with this, it doesn't provide that option, but I find it curious when obviously progress was being made in terms of affordable housing, the 25% option, when the vacancy rate is indeed going up -- I can say that it's not just expensive units. In my own riding we don't have a whole lot of expensive units and there are buildings that are on the lower end of the scale that are advertising there are vacancies. I don't know where you're getting your numbers from, but just going out in the field and seeing it, there certainly are vacancies.

I find it interesting when the real estate board here in Ontario says that the affordability now is better than it has been in a considerable period of time -- I don't know if it's decades. It's at least one decade that the affordability in Ontario is the greatest -- and yet with all these circumstances taking place the municipalities are told they have been unsuccessful. They have not dealt with this issue of affordable housing so bad boys and girls, you must be dictated to as to what you have to do.

The municipalities are also of the opinion that, once Bill 120 goes through, their official plans and zoning bylaws, by and large, will not comply with the dictates of the province of Ontario and that they will be required to go through the process of changing their official plans, their zoning bylaws to comply.

I see you shaking your head, Madam Minister, so maybe you'll go on record as indicating what's going to happen in that regard, because if they are required to hold public hearings, it's going to be certainly expensive. Not only is it going to be expensive but it's going to be very frustrating because people will certainly show up who are opposed to it, but there's not a darned thing the municipalities will be able to do. I wonder if you could tell us exactly how that process is going to work.

Hon Ms Gigantes: All that we are saying in this legislation is that the municipalities' power to exclude apartments in houses will be removed and we will put some caps on the amount of service -- I'm not a planner so I'm not using these terms correctly -- but the number of requirements that municipalities can associate with an extra unit in a house.

As Ann Borooah explained earlier, we're not in fact changing official plans. We're not asking municipalities to stop using setbacks. We're not asking municipalities to make any major changes. We are saying if they do want to make changes which are associated with the fact that we are providing that they shall not be able to prohibit by mass zoning -- if I could just finish -- the development of an apartment in a house by a property owner, they are limited in the number of changes they might choose to make, not that we are requiring them to make but that they might choose to make, for a property which is having an apartment in a house developed.

For example, if municipalities decided that now that they could not by zoning bylaw prohibit the development of an apartment in a house but said that they were going to require three, four or five parking spaces for an apartment in a house property, then we would cap that and we would say, "No, we will certainly permit you to associate the requirement for one further parking space, but that should be the limit."

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Johnson.

Mr David Johnson: Yes, you see, this is what happens.

The Chair: Seeing no further questions --

Mr David Johnson: I have a further question. I haven't finished.

So what will happen then is Bill 120 will specify that in an area in any municipality in Ontario that formerly was designated single family, municipalities cannot exclude a basement apartment, but their zoning bylaws will exclude.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Apartments in houses; they're not just basement apartments.

Mr David Johnson: All right. The zoning bylaws will exclude and my guess is that the official plans could well exclude that as well.

The question is, you'll have in a number of municipalities, maybe most municipalities, zoning bylaws and official plans that do exclude an apartment in a house, notwithstanding Bill 120, and are you going to allow those official plans and zoning bylaws to stand in opposition without being changed?

If that happens, then my guess is that during various proposals for development and appeals to the Ontario Municipal Board -- it'll be interesting to see what the legal position of that is when there are appeals. Normally, what would have to happen is that the official plans and the zoning bylaws would have to be changed to be brought in compliance with this mandate.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Would Ann like to comment on this?

Ms Beaumont: Yes, Ann Borooah has looked into this issue with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and with its lawyers.

Ms Borooah: There are actually a number of provisions in the bill that indicate to the extent that an existing municipal official plan or zoning bylaw or any of the other provisions -- property standards bylaws -- contravene the intent of this bill, that those provisions would no longer be of legal effect. So even without an amendment to the official plans and the zoning bylaws and so on, the provisions of the bill would stand. In the normal course of events, we think it would be beneficial for the municipality to go through the process of making all of those documents consistent with the law, but the fact is effectively they wouldn't be in effect any more.

Mr David Johnson: But you've just stated that you're expecting the municipalities to change their official plans, to change their zoning bylaws.

Ms Borooah: At some point in time, but the law will make them do it.

Mr David Johnson: And you recognize that is an expensive process.

Mr Grandmaître: One very short question. Madam Minister, you were talking about parking, for instance, and you gave us an example of the lack of parking to permit a second unit or a basement apartment.

Does that mean that the committee of adjustment in a municipality will be rendered void, nil, for the simple reason that that's its role and, if it doesn't change its zoning bylaw, how can the committee of adjustment guide itself if it doesn't have the proper zoning bylaw?

Hon Ms Gigantes: I should say that the same framework will apply to apartments in the attic as to basement apartments.

Mr Grandmaître: Now answer my question. Without a change in its zoning bylaw, in its official plan, how can a committee of adjustment in a municipality grant this capping?

Ms Borooah: Effectively, the bill would legally change their zoning bylaw. The bill would replace whatever provisions contravened the legislation. For administrative purposes, it would certainly be far better if their official plan and their zoning bylaw had the provisions that are required by the bill right in the documents.

Mr Grandmaître: And if it's not?

Ms Borooah: And it would be easier for the committee to read the plans and so on that way.

Mr Grandmaître: And if it's not?

Ms Borooah: And if it's not, the bill is still effective and the committee of adjustment --

Mr Grandmaître: You will impose it?

Ms Borooah: We wouldn't have to oppose it.

Mr Grandmaître: Impose it.

Ms Borooah: In law, it would apply to the decisions of the committee of adjustment as well.

Mr Grandmaître: Thank you.

The Chair: Thank you. It being 5 of the clock, the committee will adjourn. I'd like to thank the staff of the ministry for appearing before us today. I'm sure over the next few weeks we will bond very closely. I would like to thank the minister for appearing today.

The committee will resume at 10 am tomorrow morning -- I would ask that all members be prompt; we have presenters to hear -- and will reconvene at 2 o'clock that afternoon. The committee is adjourned.

The committee adjourned at 1700.