Tuesday 18 January 1994

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

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

Ontario Residential Care Association

Patricia Sousa, president

Mike Bausch, chair, public affairs committee

Brent Binions, member

Greater Toronto area mayors

Mayor Hazel McCallion, chair; mayor, city of Mississauga

Fergy Brown, mayor, city of York

Nancy Diamond, mayor, city of Oshawa

Ernie Lightman

PUSH Ontario

Sam Savona, housing project worker

Jennifer Pritchard, housing project assistant

Metropolitan Toronto Association for Community Living

Doreen Crystal, past president

Fred Reynolds, executive director

Angie Hains, director, independent supportive living services

Legal Clinics Housing Issues Committee

Paul Rapsey, spokesperson

Mississauga Fire Department

Cyril Hare, chief

Advocacy Resource Centre for the Handicapped

David Baker, executive director

City of London

Tom Gosnell, mayor

Ted Wernham, councillor and chair, planning committee

Orchard Heights and Town and Country Home Owners' Association

Fran Wallace, past president


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

*Acting Chair / Président suppléant: Grandmaître, Bernard (Ottawa East/-Est L)

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

Arnott, Ted (Wellington PC)

*Dadamo, George (Windsor-Sandwich ND)

*Fletcher, Derek (Guelph ND)

*Johnson, David (Don Mills PC)

*Mammoliti, George (Yorkview ND)

Morrow, Mark (Wentworth East/-Est ND)

Sorbara, Gregory S. (York Centre L)

Wessenger, Paul (Simcoe Centre ND)

White, Drummond (Durham Centre ND)

*In attendance / présents

Substitutions present/ Membres remplaçants présents:

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

Jordan, Leo (Lanark-Renfrew PC) for Mr Arnott

Mills, Gordon (Durham East/-Est 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)

Cunningham, Dianne (London North/-Nord PC)

Turnbull, David (York Mills PC)

Clerk / Greffier: Carrozza, Franco

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



The committee met at 1007 in the Humber Room, Macdonald Block, Toronto.


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


The Chair (Mr Michael A. Brown): The standing committee on general government will come to order. The business of the committee this morning is to deal with Bill 120, An Act to amend certain statutes concerning residential property. This morning we are beginning our public hearings, which will take place over the next four weeks. Yesterday we had a briefing from the minister and the ministry.

This morning I'm pleased to welcome the Ontario Residential Care Association as our first presenters. Welcome to the committee. You have been allocated 30 minutes for your presentation. During that 30 minutes you have an opportunity to make your case, and the members always appreciate some time to ask some questions and to clarify your positions. If you would like to introduce yourself for the Hansard recording system, you may begin.

Ms Patricia Sousa: Good morning. My name is Patricia Sousa. I am the president of the Ontario Residential Care Association. On my right is Mike Bausch, who is chair of our public affairs committee, and on my left is Brent Binions, an association member.

I just want to point out to you that we do have handouts for you. We expected them to be here before 10, but they're not here yet. As soon as they come, we'll get them out to you.

The association represents approximately half of the estimated 600 retirement homes in the province, and on their behalf I thank you for inviting us to appear here today because we have serious concerns about Bill 120 that must be addressed.

To understand our concerns it is important that you first understand retirement homes and the people who choose to live in them. Throughout the province there is a total of over 37,000 seniors, disabled and post-psychiatric residents. The average age of our residents is 83 years. Twenty per cent of the residents are general welfare recipients.

People tend to move into a residential care setting when they can no longer remain on their own with a reasonable degree of comfort or because they prefer the sense of belonging that comes from a congregate setting.

Services offered in individual facilities vary from home to home, but there are basic services common to most. For example, socialization and interaction programs help to keep residents involved in the community. Staff carry out 24-hour-a-day security and personal care support, assisting residents as needed with bathing, eating, dressing and medication. Also provided are homemaking services such as meal preparation, housekeeping and laundry.

The first point to remember is this: A retirement home allows a person to live independently with ongoing consistent and dependable support. Residential care fills the gap between home care and extended care and its role will grow in importance as care funding budgets continue to shrink, as the number of hospital beds for the elderly and disabled decreases, as the elderly population increases and as consumers continue to demand more choice and better service.

On this next point I want to be very clear: Retirement homes are not boarding homes. Boarding homes share no characteristics with retirement homes. Unfortunately, recommendations forwarded to the government by the Lightman commission lumped these two different types of facilities into one category. Consequently, the recommendations were formed to address the problems of what the Lightman report called "the lowest common denominator."

Now, on to our concerns about Bill 120. This piece of legislation is a misguided approach to regulating our sector. It will create problems for our residents because essentially it does not recognize situations unique to retirement homes and our focus on care.

Bill 120 is housing legislation. Retirement homes provide care services. Regulations designed for housing problems do not fit the situation which we face, but the government is determined to apply it to us instead of developing proper legislation regardless of the ramifications.

Specifically, emergency transfers are not recognized. A home cannot move a resident out of the facility without consent, even if the person needs more care than the home can provide or if the resident is a threat to other residents.

Transfers within a facility are not allowed. A home is not allowed to move a resident to another part of the home which may be specifically designed to deal with special care needs.

The role of the family is diminished. Currently we typically work closely with family members to ensure that an individual resident is on the best care route, but it appears Bill 120 overrides the involvement of the family.

Short-term stays are not recognized. Bill 120 does not allow for temporary stays; for example, while a resident is recuperating after time in the hospital, while receiving outpatient treatment or while family are away or unable to provide regular care.

Internal monitoring is not allowed. Because of dementia, some residents may have a tendency to wander. In these instances the person must be watched to ensure the safety the resident and family expects the home to provide. But the legislation does not allow a monitoring safeguard.

Non-emergency access is not allowed. Retirement homes must be allowed 24-hour access to residents' rooms to carry out important support services, but the legislation allows access only under limited conditions or with 24-hour notice.

Taxes could increase costs to residents. The association estimates rent control could raise costs to residents at least 5% because certain services will lose their GST- and PST-exempt status. Residents may also lose medical tax benefits.

Homes will have no flexibility in setting rates. Residents' care needs can change quickly, but we are concerned the legislation will require 90 days' notice before a care program can be altered. As well, facilities often reduce rates for times when a resident is away from the home temporarily or for admissions or discharges at times other than the beginning or end of the month. Bill 120, however, requires services to be calculated on a monthly basis.

A broad area that requires province-wide attention is the legislation's impact on the general welfare assistance program. The committee will be learning more of this later on in the hearings scheduled, but I want to bring this issue to your attention. In short, the legislation endangers these programs which are managed by individual municipalities. GWA recipients living in retirement homes require daily living support detailed in service contracts held by the municipality and the retirement home. The legislation puts into question retirement homes' ability to deliver the contractual requirements and could leave the approximately 7,000 GWA residents of retirement homes to cope on their own.

In conclusion, please understand that Bill 120 will remove our flexibility to deal with residents' care needs. The legislation will create a series of complex rules and procedures that might seriously affect the health and safety of the resident.

We think separate legislation is called for, but because the government is determined to proceed with Bill 120, we are intent on assisting the Ministry of Housing in amending the bill to ensure the best possible legislation.

We will be writing amendments and submitting them to the committee for what we hope will be serious consideration.

At this point, any one of us is happy to answer any of your questions.

The Chair: Thank you very much for your presentation. We will do the questions in rotation by caucus, beginning with the official opposition, Mr Daigeler or Mr Grandmaître.

Mr David Johnson (Don Mills): How are you going to do this?

The Chair: The time will be divided equally among the three caucuses.

Mr David Johnson: How much time do we have?

The Chair: I haven't quite done the math, and I will do that, but around five minutes.

Mr Bernard Grandmaître (Ottawa East): What was your input in Lightman's report?

Ms Sousa: We had none.

Mr Grandmaître: You were never consulted?

Mr Mike Bausch: We participated in the consultation process and, I believe, met with Dr Lightman on two occasions.

Mr Grandmaître: Two occasions? You're saying no. I just want to make sure that everybody's on side. So you were consulted.

Mr Bausch: Yes.

Mr Grandmaître: You were consulted before the report was written?

Mr Bausch: Yes.

Mr Grandmaître: How about after?

Mr Bausch: No.

Mr Grandmaître: You were not?

Mr Bausch: Although Dr Lightman did make a presentation to one of our convocations to explain his reasoning.

Mr Grandmaître: Ms Sousa, you mentioned that this bill should be divided, and you're not the only one suggesting that this bill shouldn't be what we call an omnibus bill; it should be divided, we should have separate legislation. Did you bring this to the attention of Dr Lightman, or did you know that Dr Lightman would combine your kind of services with housing needs in the province of Ontario?

Mr Brent Binions: No. We presented our case to Mr Lightman when he consulted us. We had designed, within our association, what we referred to as a model bylaw. It was, in effect, a draft type of legislation that would cover a minimum of standards for facilities delivering the care. It covered a number of the things that are touched on in the legislation, but it was specific to our sector. It dealt with the huge difference there is between a boarding home, which is strictly accommodation, and a retirement home, which is an accommodation facility that offers extensive services; in fact, a health-care facility, albeit at the lower end of the spectrum.

We designed a whole series of what we looked at as potential legislation to deal with all the problems that we saw, and we presented those to Mr Lightman and showed him how to deal with the various issues. We had some discussions on the issue of rent control and we had discussions on the issue of the Landlord and Tenant Act and how we could provide protection without going under that legislation.

In effect, I think what Pat was referring to before is that although we had discussions with him, we don't think he reflected anything that we had to say to him in his report. I guess that's our concern. We've provided that information to the government and, in fact, to both the caucuses of the -- was it Health critics we provided it to at the time, or was it Housing -- we provided it to both caucuses at some point in time, the same time we provided it to Mr Lightman, so it's going back a year and a half now. That information is still available and we're certainly prepared to provide it again to this committee if they felt it was worthwhile.

Mr Grandmaître: Were you under the impression, when you were interviewed by Dr Lightman, that his terms of reference -- let's refer to his mandate as his terms of reference -- were to resolve the unregulated homes problems? Were you under that impression?

Mr Binions: We were under the impression that part of his goal was to look at unregulated boarding homes, which is where the problem started from the inquest, and as well to look at how that was different from retirement homes.


Mr Hans Daigeler (Nepean): Just quickly, you referred to amendments that you plan to put forward and I just encourage you to bring them to our attention as soon as possible. I think we're very, very interested in this and I think that's a wise thing to do. Even though you'd rather see the bill either removed or reintroduced in a different shape, I think you are nevertheless well advised to put forward amendments. Perhaps the government is willing to listen to some of them, and I think the more that we can see them early on the opposition side, we may be able to assist you there. I just encourage you to do that as quickly as possible.

Mr Binions: The time frame was very tight to get our proposals or get our papers ready --

Mr Daigeler: Obviously.

Mr Binions: -- being the first on the list. We are working on them and we'll have them, I would hope, within 10 days.

Mr Daigeler: I just encourage you to do that before we get into clause-by-clause. I think this will be very helpful for us.

Would you just tell me how many homes of your nature are out there at the present time in Ontario?

Ms Sousa: We estimate about 600 in Ontario.

Mr Daigeler: About 600?

Ms Sousa: Yes. Retirement.

Mr Binions: That 600 would include boarding homes as well as retirement homes, and we consider boarding homes a significantly different animal from ourselves. I would break it down. We think there are probably closer to 400 or 450 retirement homes --

Ms Sousa: Care.

Mr Binions: -- as we refer to them, that provide the full care packaging, which is what we represent.

Mr David Turnbull (York Mills): Very quickly, I have three questions. Because of the time, I might ask you to keep the answers short.

The Chair: Approximately seven minutes.

Mr Turnbull: Mr Bausch, I know that you operate several retirement homes very successfully. Can you tell me, have there been any discussions with the ministry as to how they would allocate between rent and care? This surely is very much of concern to you.

Mr Bausch: It's our understanding that initial allocation will be left somewhat to the discretion of the operator in that only the rental portion will be registered at the local rent control office. That initial rental is of course subject to dispute should an individual tenant or indeed the ministry itself wish to object. That's the limit of our conversation with them.

Mr Turnbull: They have suggested that if you set the rent at a level that they're not satisfied with, they can object to that. Is that's what you're saying?

Mr Bausch: They didn't suggest that they were going to, but of course the ministry reserves the right to intervene.

Mr Turnbull: Which is quite curious, because if anybody were crazy enough to build a new rental apartment building today, they would at least have the option of setting the initial rents themselves.

Just to expand on your point about the GST-exempt status, is my understanding correct that the services portion of this would then be subject to GST?

Mr Bausch: We're concerned about that; in fact, are really not excited about trying to get some sort of opinion. But at the moment, because of the bundled nature of what we do and a single monthly fee, it's been deemed to be an exempt service. If we unbundle, we're concerned that only the rental portion will continue to enjoy GST-exempt status and the other service elements, like food service, for example, could attract indeed not just GST, but possibly provincial sales tax.

Mr Turnbull: So there could potentially be a significant increase to the residents as a result of this legislation.

Mr Bausch: If all came to pass, we anticipate it could be as high as 5%.

Mr Turnbull: I'm sorry just to jump on so quickly, but in terms of the question of removal of a dangerous person, somebody who had maybe entered one of your homes as somebody who was completely compos mentis and deteriorated quickly, do I understand correctly that there would be the potential that there might be difficulty in removing that person from the home and the attendant dangers to the other residents?

Mr Bausch: Tremendous difficulty, and I might add this is one of the few areas in which we agreed with Dr Lightman. Even Dr Lightman recommended some form of "fast-track" eviction when a resident becomes a danger to himself or to others.

If I can just make one key point, the principal difference between what we do and the services that are provided in apartment buildings or rooming houses is the communal nature of our facilities. All the residents eat together, all the residents engage in social activities together and it's not like an apartment building where you can come and go. As a result, the actions of any one individual necessarily have an impact on others in terms of, if not danger, quality of life at the very least. It's been very much our experience that the norms that are established for acceptable care levels and acceptable behaviour are the norms that tend to arise in a group home, for example. In other words, they're the construction of the residents themselves. The residents themselves will dictate the levels of care that are acceptable and the behaviour that's acceptable. I don't know if group homes are proposed to be regulated under this mechanism, but quite clearly we have more in common with them.

Mr David Johnson: I would like to congratulate you for an excellent brief. I might say that many of the concerns that you've raised today were raised by our brief yesterday, which was actually put forward, or crafted, I guess, by Margaret Marland. Some of the problems you mentioned under the Landlord and Tenant Act: that you can't evict without 24 hours' notice; you can't transfer patients, for example, from one floor to the other without going through severe difficulties; eviction is a problem that we've been talking about.

One of the questions that has come up pertains to the fact that the rent control applies to the rent, not to the care. But it seems as if, from the discussion yesterday, it's possible that the government could be considering care coming under control at some point. Certainly, this would be a problem in itself, but the fact that the Ministry of Housing would be responsible for deciding what's a reasonable increase leaves me in total dismay. I wonder what your comments are on that.

Mr Binions: We are extremely concerned about that element of the legislation. It can be done by regulation, as you are aware. They can move the whole control of care up by regulation, which they can do very quickly. It takes perhaps one individual out there who raises the rate by what the government considers an inordinate amount. In order to control that individual, the only way to do it is to put rent control on the entire sector. They don't have the ability to deal with one individually. If it did that, Housing is poorly equipped to deal with the service element when we are becoming more and more part of the health care spectrum. You would think that the Ministry of Health would be better equipped to look at something like that if it wanted to control it or to look at that if that's what it wants to do. We have great concerns.

The Chair: Do you have a question?

Mr Leo Jordan (Lanark-Renfrew): I just wanted to refer to your comments, Mr Bausch. You mentioned the bundled nature of what you do. I was wondering, are you saying that it's better left bundled, if you want to use that term, or do you partly support the separation of the different services you provide?

Mr Bausch: I suppose as providers we don't have passionate feelings about whether rates should be bundled or not bundled, but quite clearly there's a tax advantage to the resident in having them bundled. It attracts no PST, no GST, and indeed virtually their entire monthly fee is a medical deductible expense in terms of their income tax return. We're just concerned that when you unbundle, you're going to attract different interests and different taxation sources, and the ultimate loser is the resident.

Mr Jordan: Thank you very much.

Mr Gary Wilson (Kingston and The Islands): Thanks very much for your presentation. I certainly appreciated the account from your point of view because of course it is based on your experience. One of the questions that I'm wondering about, since you raised the issue of fast-track eviction, is what you do now. What is the experience in your homes now when emergencies arise?

Ms Sousa: What we do now is that when the resident comes in, the family and the resident have a full understanding that should their health deteriorate or any medical reason, we would transfer them to a hospital or they would have to look maybe at a nursing home. Now, at this point in time we work very closely with the families and the doctor to take the resident from our facility to another facility or to the hospital or whatever. But under Bill 120, we would have to give them 90 days' notice.

Mr Binions: You couldn't give them notice. You couldn't evict them. They could stay there as long as they want under Bill 120. There's no mechanism for us to move persons out when they become a risk to themselves or to others in the facility or if we no longer have the services within our own home to look after them. There's no mechanism to move them on to another level.

Ms Sousa: Even to move them to another level of care within the building.

Mr Gary Wilson: But isn't it true that there are other agencies you can call on in the community to deal with an emergency when you feel that one of the people in your care is a threat either to himself or to other residents? I'm thinking of anybody from the police, say, to workers who are dealing with their care as far as their treatment goes, say, of psychiatric patients or former psychiatric patients, for instance.

Mr Bausch: I think the issue is not that there are other agencies that exist to be of help. The issue quite clearly is if the resident does not want to relocate, we're powerless to do anything about that relocation.

Mr Gary Wilson: But I'm suggesting you're not powerless in an emergency. As far as the longer-term considerations, which the Landlord and Tenant Act will bring into effect, that is something that can be worked out over a period of time, the determination that time exists, but not in an emergency, and I think that's quite clear.

Mr Bausch: We're advised by ministry staff that the only grounds for eviction are non-payment of rent.

Mr Binions: Non-payment of rent. There's a very limited strength, none of which applies to this.


Mr Gary Wilson: But I think the issue is, in an emergency, where there is a danger either to the residents themselves or to another resident, there are actions that can be taken that deal with the emergency. Then on the question of eviction, again keeping in mind the rights of the resident, which is what we're dealing with here, the Landlord and Tenant Act will take over there to make sure that their rights are accounted for.

Mr Binions: No. We don't see it that way. At the present time, we work by way of contract. We have a contract with the resident that says, "When, in conjunction with your family and the doctor, it's felt that we can no longer adequately care for you in this facility, we are entitled to give you notice and you will look for another place," in effect, a long-term care facility where higher levels of care are offered.

Under this legislation, that contract will be null and void. The resident will be able to stay there no matter how heavy his care is. They could be fully incontinent, something we don't deal with at our level of facility. They could become severe wanderers. We can handle maybe level 1 Alzheimer's, but we cannot handle level 2 or level 3 Alzheimer residents. That's not something our types of facilities are constructed to do. As that goes on in the deterioration of a resident's health, as that continues, there's no mechanism for us to give notice under the Landlord and Tenant Act to say: "We can no longer look after you. You're a risk. You're causing problems for other people who are in the facility because your actions are improper." They may not even know their actions are improper. There's still no mechanism to protect the rest of the residents.

Mr David Winninger (London South): I disagree I think with your premise that there are no remedies for the retirement home operators. First of all, if someone becomes incompetent to make a decision as to whether they should remain there or get hospital care, for example, you're familiar with the Substitute Decisions Act and the machinery presently in place.

Mr Binions: That's not been proclaimed in force yet.

Mr Winninger: No, but under present legislation, you can still seek to have a committee appointed. It may be a guardianship situation as well. If you're in an extreme situation under the Mental Health Act and someone's a danger to himself, herself or others or in imminent danger of bodily harm, you can seek an order for psychiatric assessment there. Lastly, it seems to me that under the existing provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act, for a variety of circumstances including when someone is a danger to other tenants in the building or disturbing the quiet enjoyment of other tenants in the building, you can serve a notice and that tenant is obliged to comply within seven days, as I recall. So there's a variety of remedies open to you.

Mr Binions: Six months to a year to move someone out in that situation. That's just unacceptable in the type of services we offer. The rest of the people who have to stay and live with this will be gone in those six months to another facility up the road where there isn't that kind of person. In effect, you are destroying our ability to do business.

Mr Winninger: Under the Mental Health Act, you can do it overnight.

Mr Binions: Under the Mental Health Act, it's only if the person's incompetent. You're only dealing with a small part of the problem. More often than not, it's not because they're incompetent; it's because their level of care has gotten way beyond what we're capable of providing. When that happens, we give notice. That's the agreement when they come in. You're taking away our ability to run our business.

Mr Winninger: I was just quarrelling with your assertion that you're stuck for ever with a tenant who may become incompetent. You're not. There's a variety of ways to have that tenant dealt with.

Mr Binions: Let me go another way around that. I don't have the ability to walk in and say, "I want to be appointed committee under the Mental Incompetency Act." The Substitute Decisions Act has not been proclaimed in force and may not be for another year. There's no clear date set for that.

Mr Winninger: Committeeship under the present law.

Mr Binions: So if we go for committeeship under the Mental Incompetency Act, it may be that the family member decides they want to be appointed committee, and the family member may say: "We don't care if you can't look after this person. We don't want to move him." I'm still stuck with him. So the Mental Incompetency Act does not supply a full answer to the problem. It's unlikely the family is going to let me have him declared incompetent and me appointed a committee. That's very unlikely.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Winninger. We appreciated your comments.

Thank you very much for appearing before the committee this morning. We look forward to receiving the amendments that you are drafting. The committee will be happy to have a look at those. For your information, there will be clause-by-clause consideration of this bill in February.


The Chair: The next presentation will be from the greater Toronto area mayors, Mayor Hazel McCallion, chair.

Mrs Hazel McCallion: Thank you very much, Mr Chairman. I'd asked the mayor of Caledon to join me and the mayor, Nancy Diamond, is stuck in traffic. She's on her way too.

The Chair: Good morning. You will understand that the committee has reserved 30 minutes for your presentation, and we always appreciate some time to have a conversation with you during that 30 minutes.

Mrs McCallion: Yes, we appreciate it and look forward to the questions.

First of all, I wanted to make the position of the greater Toronto area mayors very clear. We have never on any occasion said that we are against intensification or accessory apartments. Never. I want to make that very clear. We have always indicated to the minister that we are concerned about the implications of what she intended to do, and that is by nullifying the zoning in all residential areas in a municipality.

As you know, after she made the announcement that the government was going to legalize basement apartments or accessory apartments as-of-right in all zones, I can only assure you that I can speak for the city of Mississauga, where we estimated we had 7,500 illegal and it doubled overnight as a result of her statement, because immediately they felt they had the support of the Minister of Housing and the province of Ontario to justify.

I have never seen an issue in the 24 years I've been in local politics that has had the unanimous concern of the municipalities of Ontario, not just the greater Toronto area. AMO will be here in February and they will put their position forward. I don't know of any municipality -- the committee may know of one, but I don't know of any municipality in the province that has said, "Great," exactly what the minister wants to do.

What we have clearly indicated to her are the concerns: the safety concerns, the right to enter etc. I've done, for the benefit of the committee, the major issues that have been submitted by 21 municipalities out of 30 in the GTA, and I'd like to distribute that to the committee to show you the major issues that have been raised.

No municipality has objected. They've opposed, because they felt that there was no consideration given by the minister and her staff to the concerns raised.

What puzzles us as mayors of the greater Toronto area and of the province of Ontario councils is that I believe we're elected to know the services that must be provided to citizens. We're responsible for making sure there is water, making sure there's sewage capacity, making sure that the fire code and the building code are implemented, and that's what we do.


Secondly, we've spent the taxpayers' money over the years based on mandates from the province of Ontario to have an official plan, to have secondary plans and to have zoning in our municipalities. We've spent millions and millions of dollars. We're in the process now of reviewing our official plans at the request -- demand -- of the government.

And then we have the Sewell commission in the process of looking at the Planning Act of the province, which is to determine how communities are built and serviced, concern for the environment, concern for people, concern that adequate facilities are there, and to make sure that they're used to the greatest advantage.

Then along comes the minister, in the midst of this very expensive study, and says, "Oh, zoning out the window in residential areas." In comes as-of-right.

I remember when Lorna Jackson, the mayor of Vaughan, led a delegation of the greater Toronto area mayors to meet with the minister at least a year ago. I remember the mayor of Whitby saying to her -- a very strong supporter of the party that's in power, by the way, in the province of Ontario -- "Madam Minister, if basement apartments go into a certain zone in Whitby, they will not be able to flush their toilets." That's a pretty common, practical thing. See, the mayor knows that there's no capacity there. Does the Minister of Housing know there's no capacity there? No. How would she? How would the government know the capacity of the services that are needed in a municipality? You have no idea of the services.

We go through this very lengthy process, consolidated reports, to make sure that there's sewage capacity in the area to serve a development: water, roads, traffic, community services, soft services such as library, baseball diamond, soccer fields etc. The province has said, "You've got to do that type of planning," and we agree, and we have agreed over the years. Now the province comes along and says: "Sorry, out the window, folks. We're just going to, through our decision, add another 5,000 or 10,000 people to a secondary plan, and don't worry about the services." Those are the services.

Our fire chief is going to be here this afternoon. I'm not going to concentrate too much on the fire and building code, because I think his report says it all.

I was on a radio show, I believe with you, the other day, Mr Winninger, with the mayor of Sarnia and the mayor of London. I have never seen an issue that has disturbed the mayors so much as this issue, because you're taking away from the municipality the right to plan for people. You're just saying, "Sorry, we know better at Queen's Park." Well, I'll tell you, I have grave concern about that, because if I don't know my municipality and my council doesn't know and my staff doesn't know, how in the world do you know at Queen's Park?

Our fire department went to a fire two weeks ago, before Christmas. He will deal with the fire in Mississauga. I'm so pleased that Dr Clarkson has called an inquest. I can guarantee you, members of the committee, they're not only going to be looking at the cause of the fire, they're going to be looking at the conditions under which this mother and her child lived in regard to the entrances, exit etc.

I can assure you that the firefighters of this province are concerned about their safety in going in, because we don't have the right to enter. Yes, we do have the right to enter when there's a fire; we send our firefighters in to risk their lives.

We have clearly indicated, and as chairman of the greater Toronto area mayors, we said to the minister, "We'd like to work with you." Bill 90 came on the scene, and then we were told Bill 90 was put on the back burner. Now, out of a clear blue sky, came 120, with no consultation at all. Is that a way to do business in today's age? We don't think so.

We say to you, as members of the committee, the minister is not listening. I have to tell you. The fire marshal's office prepared regulations that I believe were submitted to the minister back in August to try to get a handle on the fire meeting.

We've had illegal apartments, I would think -- I can only speak for Mississauga, but I'm sure in most municipalities -- through the ages. But we had the zoning that when we found a situation reported to us and we could develop information, without the right to enter, to take action. We did. In fact sometimes we've been very successful in convincing the people of their legal liability with an illegal apartment. I also hope the insurance companies will start to take recognition of whether or not insurance coverage is applicable to an illegal apartment. Through convincing, and through court cases we've been successful with, we have been able to eliminate illegal basement apartments.

We have asked, the municipalities have asked, ever since this was brought forward and back when the Liberal government was in power and came forth with its report on intensification, we questioned then with that government the right to enter.

I have to tell you, members of the committee, that we have grave concerns. They have not been addressed by Bill 120, even though I have a file this thick of presentations made only by the municipalities of the greater Toronto area that have been submitted to the minister. She is not listening, and even though she's taken the mayor of Mississauga on -- and I really enjoy it, because I don't think I back off from somebody taking me on. But when she accuses me of supporting snob zoning, she's accusing the mayors of all the province of Ontario of snob zoning, and the councils, not present but the ones of the past.

I think she got the idea in the United States. Too bad she visited there to get the idea. But I have to tell you that we take it -- somebody phoned me and said, "You should ask for an apology." I said, "It isn't worth anything, an apology from the Minister of Housing to the mayor."

I will deal with it, because my citizens and the citizens of the municipalities are behind their mayor and council, because they know we do not oppose intensification, we do not oppose accessory apartments. We want to determine, as duly elected people by the people of the municipality, as to where they go, to make sure they're safe, to make sure we can serve the people who come out of the accessory apartments and the areas that are intensified.

We have done a major study in Mississauga to find out what areas can be intensified. I think we're cooperating. But we take real exception to the dictatorial approach of the Minister of Housing and of this government in saying: "We know better. You at the local level do not know where these things should happen." I think that's an insult to the municipalities of Ontario and an insult to the greater Toronto area.

The list there clearly indicates the concerns of the municipalities, and I can assure you that all we want is our concerns recognized and implemented into the legislation. Most important of all, you know, to go and get a warrant to enter a place, we'd keep the magistrates busy. We should have the right to enter, and the bill should clearly indicate the right to enter and not that we get a warrant to enter.

I can assure you that our fire chief will deal this afternoon with the fire regulations and the building code. They too, the fire chiefs, are not against intensification. They have never said they're against it. They have never said they've been against access.


I take exception to the minister -- and of course a Toronto rag called the Star came out and supported her. I hope the Star is here. I challenged John Honderich two years ago on an editorial that said that the mayors were against intensification, and I asked Mr Honderich to do his homework and to get those who write those editorials -- I don't know where they get them to write those editorials -- to do research and a survey before they write editorials. Well, they came out again and supported the minister with accusing the municipalities of snob zoning. Both of them are in the gutter, in my opinion, both the Star and the minister, and I take real exception to it. But an apology from either wouldn't be worth the paper it's written on. So, Mr Chairman, that's my presentation to you. I look forward to your questions.

The Chair: Thank you. We'll begin the rotation with the Conservative caucus.

Mr David Johnson: A hard act to follow, but my usual congratulations to Mayor McCallion. It's interesting, Mayor, that we're talking about this at a time when the vacancy rate is up in the province of Ontario, when the affordability of housing is as good now as it's been for probably a couple of decades, when we've had success in all the municipalities, Caledon, York, Mississauga I'm sure and others, in terms of instituting 25% affordable housing, with new proposals coming in. Yet the minister doesn't think that the municipalities are doing their job. The minister says the municipalities are not cooperating and they're not reaching the affordable targets, and that's why she feels compelled to bring this in. I wonder what your reaction is to that.

Mrs McCallion: I'd like both the mayor of Caledon and the mayor of York to join me in responding to these questions, because this is not Mississauga speaking today; it's the mayors of the greater Toronto area. We agree that in fact municipalities -- and I can only speak for my municipality in this regard. We have never resisted social housing coming in. In fact, we would take more units if we were allocated them to build what we call "adequate accommodation," because I believe these people need dignity and pride in where they locate. So we find in our municipality that the vacancies have increased considerably.

Needless to say, not just this government but the former Liberal government and the former Conservative government -- and I'm non-partisan, as you know -- killed private sector building of rental accommodation. You're all guilty of it, so you can't escape from that. Rent control has been a detriment to building, and that's not improving, by any means. Only condominiums are being built if there are apartments going up, and now social housing. But I'd like Mayor Fergy Brown or Mayor Calder to respond. Fergy?

Mr Fergy Brown: I certainly agree with everything you say. We don't oppose the legislation providing these accessory units. We try to encourage them in the city of York, we believe. Our housing study that we did a couple of years ago, we held it up because the province had a document that was coming out. We held it up for a couple of years, and when it came out we were in agreement with what you were doing.

But really and truly it's the regulations and so on that we need to provide this particular type of housing. The biggest thing, in our mind, is -- it confirmed our worst fears when that disaster happened in Hazel City that people were victims in a basement apartment, because we have no rights of entry. I don't know whether we have bylaw enforcements where the officers just aren't tough enough, but they go up there and they just can't get in. We know that this particular legislation would legalize -- we'd have tons of apartments in the city of York. It sure isn't any snob zoning there, because we've got nothing to be snobbish about, not any more than East York.

Mr David Johnson: Just good people. Just following up on your comment there, Fergy, isn't this a head-in-the-sand approach? Because until municipalities have the right to get in to find out what's going on, to look at these problems, this issue is not going to go away. There are still going to be problems. In my humble estimation, the legislation that's before you right now, Bill 120, is not going to solve that problem. It's not going to give the municipalities the tools to deal with the enforcement.

The answer here is that the province should set some overall targets or guidelines in terms of policies. Municipalities should be given the tools, such as the enforcement tools and the flexibility through their zoning, to deal with the province's targets and then address the issue within each of your municipalities according to local needs. Is that the answer that you're saying?

Mrs McCallion: Let's take school accommodation in the region of Peel. There isn't a new separate school or public school that opens that hasn't got 15 to 20 portables on the site the day it opens. So school accommodation is under extreme pressure in Peel because of our growth. We're trying to provide the affordable homes, all range of homes, as well as the social housing that is required to accommodate these people. As I say, this is bringing pressure to bear on our services that are not of a safety -- and I want the fire chief to deal with that, fire safety and building code.

Mr David Johnson: But just that you mention it --

The Chair: Your time has expired, Mr Johnson, I'm sorry. Mr Wilson.

Mr Gary Wilson: Nice to see you again, Mayor McCallion. It's always an informative and I would say a lively presentation. It certainly leads to good thought.

One of the things that you raised is the issue of consultation and just the whole idea -- first of all, I want to say that I think there is a lot of agreement here. You seem to be suggesting municipalities are after providing good housing in their communities and that's what our goal is as well. I think the thing that we have the capability of giving is a provincial view of this. Just to determine what the provincial view is, we did hold a vast consultation in 1992 that saw many submissions, both from municipalities but from others, and sure there's disagreement on the way to move on this issue. As you suggest, many municipalities are against it. There are a few that are in support of it, but sure, the majority are against it.

But there are many other groups in the province, and I'm thinking of housing advocates, legal and social agencies, that are in support of the issue of legalizing these apartments and I think that is one of the central issues, that these apartments exist already and what we're trying to do is bring them out into the open where we can make sure that they do meet the health and safety standards that we all are in support of.

Another issue is just the complexion of the municipalities as they exist now. You mentioned schools, for instance, where portables have to be brought in to some schools but there are other schools in older neighbourhoods where portables aren't needed. In fact, the classrooms are empty -- or not empty, but certainly underused. It's a question of trying to bring standards throughout the community that will use all our services and this is one aspect of doing it. But again, the important thing is to bring them into the open so that the tenants and the owners have their rights as far as providing this kind of accommodation goes.

Mrs McCallion: You just hit the nail on the head. You said that there are municipalities that might have vacant schools. Do you know it at Queen's Park? Don't you think the mayor and the council know where the empty schools are? How do you know at Queen's Park where they are? If you nullify zoning, which you're going to do, then it's as-of-right in any zone and that could be in a zone where there are vacancies, but it could also be in a zone where there are no vacancies. So my whole position is and the position of the mayors is, let us decide where they go, because we're aware of all the facilities.

We go through a very lengthy process of asking the school boards, "Can you accommodate this development?" and they come back and say, "Yes, we can," or, "No, we're going to have to bus the kids and put a condition on the sale of the house that their kids could be bused." We go through that process now and what this legislation does has knocked that out the window. In other words, it doesn't matter: as of right, legalize them wherever they are.


Mr Gary Wilson: Yes, but that's not going to happen though.

Mrs McCallion: Oh?

Mr Gary Wilson: First of all, again you go back to the fact that those apartments are there already and again we have to bring them into the open to make sure that the standards apply. We also are giving the municipalities greater access to --

Mrs McCallion: But sir, we have to deal with the ones we've got now, but how about all the others that are going to come in when you nullify the zoning? Come on.

Mr Gary Wilson: Yes, but how many are going to actually be created?

Mrs McCallion: Ho.

Mr Gary Wilson: You suggest that everyone suddenly will be putting another unit in their residence, and that's just not going to happen.

Mrs McCallion: Oh, well, how do you know it's not going to happen? You're asking me how I know it's going to happen.

Mr Gary Wilson: First of all, the province isn't going to double in population simply because Bill 120 passes. But there are certain circumstances where people would find it advantageous. For instance, in cases where a family moves out and the parents are left behind, it helps them in supporting themselves in their homes if they could put a unit in there.

Mrs McCallion: Are you going to collect the income tax from it? There's another thing. I haven't even touched on the financial --

Mr Gary Wilson: Yes, but that is another factor.

Mrs McCallion: No, but just a sec. I haven't even touched on the financial aspect of it. How do you get an accessory apartment on the assessment roll? Can you explain it to me?

Mr Gary Wilson: I can have that explained to you.

Mrs McCallion: No, no. I want to know if you know, because if you're sitting on this committee you'd better know how.

Mr Gary Wilson: We'll find out together. Do you want the answer?

Mrs McCallion: Oh, Jeez, got to ask that.

The Chair: Mr Wilson, your time has expired. Mr Cordiano is going to continue the questioning.

Mrs McCallion: How about lot levies?

The Chair: Mr Cordiano.

Mr Grandmaître: Right on.

Mr Joseph Cordiano (Lawrence): What I do know is that the minister has blamed you for a couple of things. First of all, she says municipalities like yours and the restrictive zoning bylaws keep undesirables out. Snob zoning it was labelled yesterday and before, and as well she blames you for the tragedies which have occurred, I mean the restrictive zoning and the illegal basement apartments that are out there now. I've heard your reactions to that. Of course I don't agree with the minister and that I make very clear to you, but do you think there's any hope that what the minister is proposing will prevent those kinds of tragedies?

Mrs McCallion: No, because we have to have the authority to find out where they are and we don't have it under the bill. It's simple as that. It's so simple.

Secondly, I'll be around a hell of a lot longer than she will, I can tell you.

Mr Cordiano: I'm pretty sure of that. If we can help it on this side, you will.

Mrs McCallion: I don't need your help, thank you very much. You just have to do the right thing for your people.

Mr Cordiano: Maybe we need your help. How is that?

Mrs McCallion: You may need our help.

Mr Cordiano: Okay.

Mrs McCallion: You don't need the help of the mayors. By the way, Nancy Diamond, the mayor of Oshawa, has joined me.

Mrs Nancy Diamond: Good morning. My apologies. We could talk about roads another time.

Mr Cordiano: Welcome. The other thing the minister said yesterday, of course, and just getting back to the point that was made earlier, the disappearance of the kinds of neighbourhoods that now exist in municipalities like yours, North York and others where you have single-family dwelling units -- yes, exclusively single-family dwelling units -- I think the minister can't fathom that.

I think it just doesn't sit well with this government that this is a possibility that will exist well into the future. I think there's a bent there that they want to destroy that type of neighbourhood, and with this kind of zoning that's going to be required there will no longer be the existence of single-family dwelling units, neighbourhoods made up exclusively of that.

Mrs McCallion: I'd like to ask the mayor of Oshawa to respond to that because I think her municipality is --

Mrs Diamond: Thank you, Mayor Hazel. I would say that the issue is not only around single-family and so-called snob zoning. We're going to destroy the town homes, we're going to destroy the semis with this kind of intensification.

Just to give an example of the issues that would be relevant in Oshawa, supposedly this bill is to allow people to gain access to housing. We have a 4% or 5% vacancy rate, and by provincial standards of affordable housing, of all the sales made in Oshawa last year, 90% were affordable. We don't have a problem, so please don't try to fix it.

Mr Cordiano: No, and the auditor pointed that out in the non-profit housing report that came out last year.

One final point --

Mrs McCallion: Let me comment. In our municipality, we have the widest variety of housing you can find. We have an enormous amount of social housing and we support that. We take a lot of flak for it, by the way. We'll have a council chambers with 500 to 600 people. We say, "Sorry. If they're in the right place, we support it," and we stand up to the citizens, and I still get re-elected.

Mr Cordiano: That point about it being in the right place or allowing municipalities to determine --

Mrs McCallion: Exactly.

Mr Cordiano: Do you think there's a middle ground on this? Do you think we can work out a solution that is a compromise along the way?

Mrs McCallion: Yes. I think there can be and I think the mayors are prepared to do it -- and the mayors of Ontario, by the way, not just the mayors of the greater Toronto area. I've been asked to bring together the mayors of the large urban centres on this issue to also make a presentation and I think we'll join AMO in the presentation to this committee. It is a unanimous approach across this province. I've never seen an issue that has joined the mayors and the municipalities, not opposing -- and I want to emphasize that because the Toronto Star is around here -- accessory apartments, not opposing intensification.

All we ask is that we be allowed to decide where it goes so that we know that we can look after the people who come out of the houses, out of the accessory or intensification. Make sure they're safe, make sure they're according to the fire code, make sure they're according to the building code. Is that a common, sensible request?

Mr Cordiano: We're going to make some amendments that attempt to do that, so hopefully they will pass.

The Chair: Thank you, Mayor McCallion, and your colleagues for appearing before us today. This bill will be considered in clause-by-clause until the week of March 6. Thank you for appearing.

Mrs McCallion: But you know, from my experience of appearing before other committees, I sure hope that something comes out of this. I really do. I think that otherwise you're window dressing with these committees, I've got to tell you. I hope this is not window dressing on behalf of the safety of people.


The Chair: The next presentation will be made by Dr Ernie Lightman. Could we clear the room, please, of those who are wishing to leave. Could we take all conversations out of the room, please. Order. Good morning, Dr Lightman.

Dr Ernie Lightman: Good morning.

The Chair: We have heard your name several times already and we are just beginning these hearings. It's a pleasure to have you here with us. You've been allocated one half-hour by the committee for your presentation. You may begin at your leisure.

Dr Lightman: I was going to say that was a very hard act to follow, but somebody already said it so I won't start with that.

This morning I'm not going to say too much, really, that's new. Most of what I had to say was in the report which was tabled last June. I must confess that when I sat down the first day at the computer to type out the report, I had no idea of the rigorous scrutiny that a report like this would be subject to. It's not like an academic article that nobody ever reads, it's not like an op-ed piece that's forgotten the next day. People look at this and now, maybe 20 months down the road, I still stand by the vast majority of what was said in the report and I think it's as powerful a document today as it was at the outset.


I would like to say, however, that it does feel very good to be here at the committee stage. There were a number of occasions along the road where it was perhaps a bit touch-and-go whether we would ever get this far. I'd like to take the opportunity to commend the many concerned community groups, agencies, consumers and families who were able to persuade a sometimes-reluctant Ministry of Housing that this was an important issue, that it was an issue worth acting upon. I think a great deal of credit goes to the community for their concern and their very effective use of my documents.

The first thing I'd like to say substantively is to commend and to strongly endorse the government's decision to extend landlord-tenant coverage to some 50,000 vulnerable adults across the province of Ontario. Since the report was tabled I have been saying repeatedly, and to anyone who would stop long enough to listen, that I considered landlord-tenant coverage the single most important recommendation in the report. I'm very, very pleased that it's now going to be acted upon.

I'd like to explain why I think landlord-tenant coverage is so important. The first issue, I think, is whether it is necessary to act at all. I did have the luxury of reading through the Hansard for first and second reading. It's an interesting experience. It was clear -- I think everyone who spoke seemed to agree -- that it was appropriate to act, that there is a problem, that there's been a problem for a long time.

The history of the problem is really quite straightforward. For nearly half a century now, really since 1960 we began shutting down psychiatric hospitals. We began closing down the large institutions for persons with developmental disabilities. We reduced dramatically the rate at which we were institutionalizing our senior community.

The problem, and this extends back for years and years and years, is that we never developed adequate community supports to enable these people to live in a proper way in the community. We had a quote from a former Minister of Health at one point who said explicitly that the Ministry of Health's responsibility to the psychiatric population ended the day they walked out the door. That has been the dominant view for a long time now.

We wound up with a lot of people in the community without any proper supports, without anywhere proper to go. They wound up in what we're now calling care homes, which in many cases are simply dumping grounds. They are places where we put difficult social problems. One municipal official explained to me that in his community they were able to use this type of accommodation to get difficult people off the streets. I'll explain more about that a bit later.

The second question, I think, is why landlord-tenant is the right way to go, why landlord-tenant is the right way to act. We considered two basic approaches towards the problem. One of them, which was asked for at various times by the long term care association, by some families, was what we can call comprehensive regulation. This has an initial very considerable attraction to it because it simply says that if there's a problem, government should go in and fix it up.

But if we look at what comprehensive regulation means, it means a number of things. It means, first of all, government must set standards; second, government must have the authority to inspect and to enforce these standards; third, government must have the authority to punish for violations of the standards. In many cases, government will have to pay.

What this would mean, in effect, is we would be creating an entire new set of nursing homes. To create a new set of nursing homes at this point would be totally contrary to the directions of long-term care. It would be amazingly expensive. I would challenge the long term care association or anyone else to tell me where we are going to get the money from at this point to develop that kind of comprehensive regulatory system.

An inspection system, if it is to be meaningful, is very labour-intensive. You've got to have a lot of inspectors and you've got to make sure they don't get too close to those they're supposed to be inspecting. If you don't have enough inspectors, the exercise is meaningless.

What we recommended instead was a rights-based approach with very limited regulation in a couple of very specifically identified areas. A key point of a rights-based approach is coverage under the Landlord and Tenant Act, because Landlord and Tenant says to the residents of care homes that they have the same rights and they have the same responsibilities as everyone else living in the community; that they're not going to be subject to some kind of differential and second-class, in my view, status; that the residents' rights to remain in what is their permanent accommodation will no longer be contingent upon the whim of the landlord. That's what happens today with 50,000 people: The landlord can say to them, "You are gone," and 10 minutes later they can be gone.

The Globe and Mail had a big feature about this, describing what it called "green garbage bag evictions," which is the scenario in places like Parkdale where they put someone's meagre belongings in a green garbage bag and in 10 minutes it's out on the porch and the person is gone. But the same thing can happen in a luxury retirement home, and let's be clear about that.

The long term care association, in the material it submitted to you earlier, said that I was primarily concerned about the boarding homes. That is incorrect. That is a misrepresentation of my position. The problems occur right across the spectrum. There are different problems at times at the top and different problems at the bottom. Rent control is not a big issue in Parkdale. But the issues in principle apply across the board.

This report has one chapter that deals primarily with the retirement homes, one chapter that deals primarily with boarding homes, and the whole rest of the report deals with both areas together.

Coverage under Landlord and Tenant, then, also endorses the government's recent initiatives -- and, again, this is for a number of years now -- in the direction of long-term care, because it's saying that instead of building big new places to dump people, we're going to try to enable them to remain in their communities, we're going to give them the rights to remain in the communities and we're going to, over time, assist them to remain in the communities and give them all the rights and responsibilities that accrue to anyone else in the community.

There are two particular areas that I'm quite concerned about in terms of the government's response, or non-response, to date. I'd like to lay them out before you.

The first of these is that I am very apprehensive about the domiciliary hostel system. This is a program that is funded through MCSS under general welfare. It provides accommodation for about 4,500 vulnerable adults across the province. Operators of homes can be paid up to $1,000 a month to provide room, board and what are called limited care services. Typically, they will house four people in a room. That's an income of $4,000 a month per room. For $4,000 a month you can rent a home in Rosedale, not a room in Parkdale. In many cases, operators provide very, very little in return.

I was called last week or the week before by the media in Windsor, where they have one very large home with 450 beds. I call it a warehouse, and that's what it is. In that home an elderly woman left at night because there was no one there to watch her. She wandered down the street and knocked on somebody's door who opened the door and took her in. The home called the police. The police knew, of course, where she came from. When they called the home to come and get her, the staff person from the home who showed up didn't even bring a coat along.


The other issue that's very important in this context is another large home in Windsor which was run by the former head of the long term care association, the local branch. This is the man who appeared opposite me whenever I was at any event in Windsor and he was there to say how wonderful things were. This man was subsequently charged with eight counts of fraud and theft involving $140,000 of residents' money. The case was settled with a plea bargain and when last heard from -- at least when I last heard about him -- he was off in Florida. But one of his homes went into receivership and the receiver found that he was paying under $1.50 a day for food for these residents.

In my report I call for the phasing out of this system as soon as possible. I do not call for its immediate closure, because 4,500 beds would be very difficult to find overnight, but I do call for a commitment from the government, from the Ministry of Community and Social Services, to phase out this system as soon as possible. It is an anachronism. It costs up to $50 million a year and the accountability, even the fiscal accountability, for that public money in many cases is negligible.

I am very concerned, because after the report was tabled the response for this issue has been buried in MCSS. I'm very concerned about what is going to come out. Nothing has come out yet. I'm sure it will come out as part of the welfare reform package, but I would just like to indicate that it is a part of the package that we shall be watching very, very closely.

The other issue I just want to raise much more briefly is a second matter of concern, and that is that in many cases in the care homes of Ontario there is a lot of improper, inappropriate medical care that is being delivered. I would like to urge the members that as they pay attention to and concentrate on abuse of OHIP, I'd like to point out that abuse also is perpetrated by care givers, by doctors, on occasion.

I visited one retirement home not far from here where the 40 elderly residents were lined up in the hall because the doctor was coming for his weekly visit that afternoon. That doctor would bill for 40 home visits in a period of an hour and a half or two hours. I would call upon the Ministry of Health to pay attention to this and to take some action to ensure that this kind of thing doesn't happen too much more.

I would also, in closing, like to indicate, on the issue about the zoning changes, many members have suggested that two orphans have been scotch-taped together here. My report does comment on the zoning issue, and what the government is doing in terms of Bill 90, recycled, is fully congruent with the recommendations of my report. So I am not at all uncomfortable about being attached to the zoning changes. I think they are long overdue.

Having said that, I would simply like to indicate, by way of summary to my comments, that I am very, very pleased about the government's decision to extend Landlord and Tenant coverage. I think it is an extremely, extremely important action. I would also like to say that it is necessary but it is not sufficient. There's lots more. We look forward to further action and further important steps towards normalization and integration into society for some of society's most vulnerable members.

With that I will close and I would welcome comments or questions.

Mr Winninger: Thank you for your presentation, Dr Lightman. If time permits, my question has two parts. The first part builds on your latter comment about not resisting being linked in with the zoning changes in Bill 120. I would just like to read a comment you made in your report and ask you to elaborate a bit on it.

You say in your report:

"Accessory apartments provide an important source of inexpensive housing even in communities where municipal zoning rules render them illegal. This illegal status often disempowers residents as lack of coverage under the LTA may subject them to capricious behaviour and precipitate eviction by landlords. We wish to indicate strongly, and unequivocally, that we find exclusionary zoning practices by local governments both offensive and unacceptable."

I wonder if you could elaborate on that for us.

Dr Lightman: It certainly sounds like my language. I'm not sure how to elaborate upon it. The analogy that came to my mind as I've been following this in the press is that of families that have an illegal nanny living in their home. As long as the nanny is there, does her job, doesn't cause any trouble, everything's fine. But if she tries to question anything or to assert any of her rights, you immediately call Immigration and she gets deported.

It seems to me there's a very good analogy between that and the current illegal basement apartments, that as long as people don't try to assert any of the rights that they would otherwise have, let us say, under the Landlord and Tenant Act, everything is fine. The first time they open their mouth, you call the municipality, they come, the family is evicted fairly quickly and, the day after, you can rent the apartment again.

The accommodation is there; it serves a need for landlords, it serves a need for residents. The residents need somewhere to live, the landlords want the money or they wouldn't be doing it. It seems to me the role of the province is to bring this in line, to regularize it and to bring them within a more effective public purview than has been the case so far.

Mr Winninger: Time permitting, Mr Chair, I have a follow-up question. I see the linkage you're drawing, I think, here between protection of tenants who happen to be in apartments in housing and vulnerable people in care and retirement homes.

Dr Lightman: Yes.

Mr Winninger: The question I have relates back to some of the cautions, if I can call them that, from the Ontario Residential Care Association that presented earlier, concerns about how we move out people who constitute a hazard.

The Chair: Are you looking for a response?

Mr Winninger: A response from Dr Lightman. How do we move out tenants or deal with tenants who might create a safety hazard to other tenants, particularly those who become incompetent? Is that a concern of yours?

Dr Lightman: The analogy is that of a person residing in their own home. If I'm in my own apartment and I'm slowly or rapidly declining and I'm not causing trouble for anybody else, it seems to me that the state has no right to interfere. On the other hand, if I'm causing trouble or a difficulty for somebody else, then there are provisions under the Landlord and Tenant Act to remove me. If I'm interfering with the enjoyment of the premises of other people or endangering property, the Landlord and Tenant Act does provide provisions.

The difficulty with what the long term care association is asking is that what they're asking for is that they should have the unilateral right to determine when a person is to leave their own home, and this is unacceptable. There are cases where the operator will say to a resident: "I think you need to buy 24-hour nursing care, and in fact you're going to buy it from us or from an allied company. If you don't want to buy that, I'm sorry, we can't look after your needs. You're going to have to be gone." That's blackmail.

Mr Grandmaître: A very short question, Mr Chair. Mayor McCallion was just before us, and I'm sure you heard her presentation.

Dr Lightman: I heard, yes.

Mr Grandmaître: She told us that AMO or the mayors of the GTA were not consulted. Would you agree with this?

Dr Lightman: I have no idea what happened with the bill. During my exercise I received written correspondence from AMO; I received a written submission which we treated with the proper care.

Mr Grandmaître: So you did --

Dr Lightman: Yes, absolutely, and we also had considerable contact with OMSSA, the Ontario Municipal Social Services Association. We had more contact with OMSSA than AMO actually.

Mr Grandmaître: You just said that you were pleased that the ministry accepted your zoning change approach. Where did you get your expertise if you didn't consult with mayors and municipalities?

Dr Lightman: Consulting doesn't mean I have to agree with them. We consulted with them, I heard what they had to say, and I also consulted with legal aid clinics and people on the other side. On balance, I didn't accept that position.

Mr Grandmaître: Yes, but you didn't consult with them.

Dr Lightman: I received a written submission from them. There was a notice sent out that if people wanted to appear with me or come and meet with me personally -- there were all kinds of ads. This was very widely publicized. AMO didn't choose to come and contact with me and I, as a matter of policy, did not go out and ask people in general, except service providers directly. But aside from service providers, the onus was on agencies or the community to --

Mr Grandmaître: To get in touch with you.

Dr Lightman: Yes, but this is quite normal with a commission of this sort.


Mr Cordiano: Dr Lightman, you've read Hansard and you've read some of the comments I had to make, but I'm going to reiterate some of the concerns that I have. As well, I think they coincide with some of the things you've had to say, in particular fast-track eviction. In your report you had some concern about that. Obviously, in this Bill 120 that is not dealt with. There are no provisions under the Landlord and Tenant Act to deal with unruly behaviour of a tenant who jeopardizes the safety of other tenants. Do you not see that as a major flaw in the bill that needs to be amended?

Dr Lightman: In my report I recommended a fast- track procedure because I felt there were circumstances where this was necessary. The specific details that I recommended, the technical details would not work as I recommended them. I could go into it but I was convinced. But that's not relevant, I don't think. I still think there is a problem. I think really the ministry would have to explain why it didn't feel that --

Mr Cordiano: The minister was here yesterday and she could not explain. She did not answer my questions on that and I think that --

Dr Lightman: Sir, I'm not responsible for the bill.

Mr Cordiano: I'm just telling you the events yesterday. I think that it's necessary for us to be as constructive and as responsible as we can. That section of the bill needs to be amended and we will be putting forward amendments.

Dr Lightman: I have received by fax a couple of suggestions from different community groups. The Christian Resource Centre has suggested an approach and you'll be hearing tomorrow from another group as well. They at least would solve the technical details, the technical difficulties that were in my recommendations.

Mr Cordiano: The other area, because I'm running --

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Cordiano. Mr Jordan.

Mr Cordiano: One final question. I can't get at this.

Mr George Mammoliti (Yorkview): The minister did answer your question. I was here.

Mr Jordan: Thank you, Dr Lightman. I certainly appreciate your presentation this morning. This is more or less a follow-up from the mayor's presentation earlier. How can you, regardless of how strongly you feel about these issues, really support the throwing away of 50 years of planning through official plans for a municipality, zoning bylaws that control development in such a way that you can have recreation, you can have schools, you can have all the support groups required for a certain population in that area? Now you're saying, "I'm going to get rid of all of that to be able to bring forward my solution as presented to these problems."

Dr Lightman: I don't think I'm throwing away 50 years or I'm recommending throwing away 50 years of anything. I think there are different priorities here and I think the rights of the residents of these apartments to have --

Mr Jordan: But that's what brought in planning in the first place.

Dr Lightman: But obviously it hasn't worked or we wouldn't have a problem.

Mr Jordan: Then let's improve on it, not throw it away.

Dr Lightman: Maybe we've been trying long enough to improve on it and maybe we need landlord-tenant coverage and maybe we need a legal status for the apartments. As long as the apartments are in this illegal or quasi-legal status, the residents do not have the basic rights that someone would have in a high-rise apartment building, and to me that is the central, most important issue. The others are important, I certainly wouldn't dismiss them, but I think the most important issue and the central theme of the entire report is that the residents are the most important players in the analysis.

Mr Jordan: Yes, I agree with you that the residents are certainly most important but so are the services that these residents require, in the light of education, in the light of recreation, in the light of health care. Now all of a sudden we have a community that was planned for 10,000 and it could go to 15,000 very easily, but who's going to plan ahead for these other services?

Dr Lightman: In many cases that community already is at 15,000 because we have all these people living there. You can't suggest that we're starting with a clean slate. If we were starting with a clean slate then it might be a different scenario, but the people are there already and all I'm saying is that they have to be given a legal status. You can't treat them like they're illegal nannies, and that's the way they're treated at present.

Mr Jordan: Then, doctor, my bottom line is, why not leave some control with the mayors and councils and the people of the community so that they can in fact upgrade, if you will, these illegal situations and take care of them, identify them and so on? They want to have accessory units but they can't have them in their community without some control and some knowledge of where they are.

Dr Lightman: I speak only for myself. I don't speak, obviously, for the ministry or anybody else, but in my own personal view the municipalities haven't done an adequate job. The housing policy statement which came out in 1988 or 1989 hasn't been acted upon. I think we've been waiting for the municipalities to clean up their act, if I can use that phrase. We've been waiting long enough and I think it's time to act now.

Mr Jordan: And you feel this is the way to do it then.

Dr Lightman: I think this is one way to do it, yes.

Mr Jordan: I'm sorry. I can't, no matter how I try to rationalize --

Dr Lightman: That's okay.

Mr David Johnson: It would be interesting to see you run for office, run for mayor, run for councillor.

Dr Lightman: I'm an academic. That's hard enough.

The Chair: Thank you, Dr Lightman, for coming here this morning.

Mr Sean G. Conway (Renfrew North): Pardon me? You're an academic and that's hard enough. Is that what I heard?

Dr Lightman: In my department it's hard enough.

The Chair: Thank you, Dr Lightman, for appearing this morning. I'm sure we'll hear your name many more times over the course of the next four weeks.

Dr Lightman: Thank you for the opportunity to address you, and I wish you well in the rest of your consultations.


The Chair: Could I have some order, please.


The Chair: The final presentation for this morning is Persons United for Self-Help, Sam Savona. Good morning and welcome to the committee. The committee has allocated one half-hour for your presentation. Following the oral presentation, the committee always enjoys some opportunity to have conversations through questions and comments. You may begin.

Mr Sam Savona: My name is Sam Savona. My helper, my right-hand person, is Jennifer. Jennifer will give reasons why I rose, and then after, if anyone has any questions, I'll answer.

Ms Jennifer Pritchard: Shall I begin?

The Chair: Could you introduce yourself for the purposes of our Hansard reporting service.

Ms Pritchard: Okay, Sam just did. My name is Jennifer Pritchard and I am a colleague of Sam's at PUSH Ontario.

Since the early 1970s, with growing pressure to deinstitutionalize people with disabilities, the provincial government initiated the closure of many facilities. Tragically, little or no funding was provided for safe and assured housing within the community, rendering thousands of disabled individuals without adequate shelter.

Instead, people with disabilities reside in hospitals, including remaining mental institutions, nursing homes, rest homes, rooming homes, rooming houses and apartments, in addition to support service living units. Generally, people with disabilities receive some form of care giving in addition to their housing.

Tenants with disabilities confront other obstacles. The issue of accessibility is long-standing. Individuals with mobility impairments, including those in wheelchairs, are hard-pressed to get into many buildings, apartments and houses. Once inside, people with disabilities face difficulties in accessing the laundry, recreational and waste disposal facilities. Problems around physical access impact as well upon those who are visually impaired. These circumstances leave most tenants in a position of vulnerability.

Furthermore, like other low-income tenants, these people are at risk of unjust treatment by unscrupulous landlords who often have control over where people with disabilities live, whom they live with and the amount of rent paid for accommodation. Moreover, people with disabilities tend to be dependent on their landlords for attendant care services such as meals and daily living activities. These circumstances are known to leave tenants with disabilities vulnerable to violations ranging from intrusions into issues of personal choice through sexual and physical abuse.

In 1992, the Report of the Commission of Inquiry into Unregulated Residential Accommodation, the Lightman report, was published, disclosing shocking truths about the living conditions of many people with disabilities. These findings have served to increase the demand for more humane housing throughout the disabled community of Ontario.

In October 1992, PUSH Ontario also had initiated its own project which would assist people with disabilities to obtain their rights as tenants of Ontario, the Tenant Rights Advocacy Project, TRAP. As part of this project, we have been recording calls from tenants with disabilities complaining about their experiences with service providers, who in many cases are also their landlords. Most of the residences involved are support service living units where personal care such as attendant care services is provided.

Some of these complaints are recorded in the attached document, "Situations Facing Tenants with Disabilities." Some of you may already have read or heard about this document, but I feel it is important to keep these stories at the forefront of this exercise because these are the deputants you should really be hearing from.


The most difficult problem we encounter when talking to someone in a residence where services are being provided is to guarantee them that they will not be victims of retaliation taken against them by their care givers. Residences where services are being administered are exempt from the Landlord and Tenant Act, which means that the tenants are without protection against eviction or other withdrawal of services. People in support service living units, group homes and retirement homes rely heavily on their care givers for their daily basic needs. The slightest threat by their care giver of withdrawal of services would discourage the person from complaining publicly. It is very rare that we find someone who would take the risk to go public with their complaints. When someone does come forth, they are not only risking the danger of their own life but the lives of their family members. Some tenants in these circumstances often are single parents.

Until recently the government has turned a blind eye to these tenants with disabilities. If it wasn't for the lobbying tactics by the roomers and boarders coalition and organizations such as ourselves, we might not be here at this stage of the game. On November 23, 1993, the Honourable Evelyn Gigantes announced Bill 120 and with this announcement sparked a glimmer of hope in thousands of vulnerable tenants with disabilities. This glimmer of hope is in anticipation of having their basic rights as tenants finally recognized. You might think I'm being overly dramatic at this point, but try and place yourself in this predicament.

You are around 20 years old and up until a year ago you've been living in a hospital since your early childhood. While living in this hospital you've been told what to do, ie, when to wake up, when you could eat, who can visit you and when you can go out for a breath of fresh air. You've been also made to feel you are not capable to make your own decisions. You rely on others to assist you with basic needs, such as bodily functions. A year ago, you moved into an SSLU where now the tables have been turned around and you direct your own care.

For months you've been experiencing difficulties with staff such as verbal and physical abuse, but the management fails to look into the matter. In fact, the manager tells you you should be grateful that you have a place to live. Furthermore, they even go as far as saying, "If you tell anyone outside, your services will be discontinued." To a person in this predicament, they would be so terrified that they put up with the abuse in order to keep their home.

Bill 120 is a step in the right direction. It gives tenants with disabilities an equal playing field with their landlords and service providers. You may have or will be hearing from administrators opposing this bill. I just have one question for you to ponder over while you are listening. If these administrators operating mental institutions, nursing homes, rest homes, rooming houses and SSLU apartments really care for tenants with disabilities and are offering a safe and harassment-free place to live, then why are they so opposed to Bill 120, a bill which would protect human dignity?

The Chair: Thank you. The members have questions. The official opposition.

Mr Grandmaître: You say that administrators opposing this bill are wrong. Well, I've met quite a number of them and I've visited a number of those homes, well-kept homes, great care, excellent care I should say. They told me very plainly, how come the government doesn't inspect the unregulated homes and bring them up to par instead of punishing everybody? What do you think of that comment?

Mr Savona: Well, I think that they shouldn't do that. But in nursing homes, it's been known that abuse has been happening within those facilities as well. When you are talking to administrators, they're going to pick a person for you. There's no doubt about that.

I myself have been in facilities where, when they had open house, more visitors could come in and see the facilities. There was a grand show. They would even instruct the residents how to act. They would even threaten them that if they didn't act appropriately, they were going to be punished. The people should be part of the group and not the administration. They are the residents. You're talking about their home, their rights, not the administration.

Mr David Johnson: I would certainly like to thank you for bringing this deputation. I don't think there's anybody in this room who doesn't agree that there certainly have been abuses in the past and that they need to be addressed.

I guess the question perhaps that we have to address is -- it has certainly being put forward, and I frankly agree, that the majority of the operators are good operators, are treating people well and are operating to the best of their ability, but certainly there are some operators who are perpetrating these abuses -- how to deal with them and how to make sure that this doesn't continue.

One of the questions that was put forward by the Ontario Residential Care Association was that over a period of time, a person's level of service requirements may change. Some of the operators may be able to deal with a care service up to a certain level, but then beyond that level, they may not have the facility, the ability to provide that care.

Yet the act would require that the person be allowed to stay there, if the person chose not to move, even though the operator may not be able to provide that level of care. I think what we heard from Dr Lightman before was that as long as the person isn't providing trouble, indeed they should stay there.

I see a problem there. Certainly the operators see a problem there. If the care can't be provided and the person refuses to move, what's going to happen? Is the operator going to be compelled to do it somehow or is the person not going to get the care? What's going to happen? I wonder what your response would be to that, because the Landlord and Tenant Act, which now comes into sway, would say that the person can't be evicted.

Mr Savona: Where I live now is Metro housing and we have many elderly people living there, and from time to time, I witness a person deteriorating. What do they do? What do landlords do when anybody, even yourselves -- I hope it doesn't happen, but when you deteriorate, your landlord may evict you because you're deteriorating. I don't have all the answers, but there are people in that situation outside of institutions that are covered under the act now, and what do they do? All we ask is to be treated as anyone else. We know we have disabilities, but let us worry about that.


Mr David Johnson: That's fair enough. You should be treated like anybody else. I'm not sure we have all the answers either. I agree, "evict" is a strong word, but I guess if a person needs a different level of care, I would hope the ability would be there to look at providing the person with the kind of accommodation that they need and it may not be in the -- I guess the question has arisen. It may not be in the facility that they're in right at that point in time. Maybe they should be somewhere else. But if the person just totally disagreed, notwithstanding the circumstances, this act would prevent it.

Mr Savona: But doesn't that happen now in a regular apartment building when a person gets older and starts deteriorating? Does the landlord evict them? No. They don't interfere. Maybe they do, maybe not, but they don't.

Mr David Johnson: So you think they would automatically shift somehow? If a person gets older in an apartment building and they need care, if they're living in an apartment without care, then obviously the landlord wouldn't be able to provide care; that wouldn't be their business. But the person would hopefully, automatically I guess, somehow move to a place where they could get the care that they need.

Mr Savona: I agree. Then why don't you allow that choice to everyone else?

Mr David Johnson: That's a good question. Has my time expired?

The Chair: A minute perhaps.

Mr David Johnson: I understand that there seems to be a great deal of concern about the security of services, I think, and perhaps tenure. But beyond that, if you were to say one aspect of this bill that's important to you, what would that aspect of the bill be?

Mr Savona: That we have the same rights as everyone else under the act.

Mr David Johnson: In terms of?

Mr Savona: You talk about services. If a landlord is our service provider, that they won't jeopardize our services. Let's say I was making a lot of noise every night or I wasn't paying my rent on time. Under this act they wouldn't be able to withdraw the service in order to get me out of there. If they want to deal with me and my lateness in paying my rent, then do that in the proper manner.

Mr Gary Wilson: I'd just like to make a comment and perhaps ask Mr Savona to elaborate on some of this discussion because both the questions from the opposition side have, I think, probably with relation to what the circumstances are, unfairly highlighted the care home operators who are negligent. The majority will not be threatened by anything in Bill 120 because they already are providing the service and the accommodation that are needed.

There are some that have been highlighted in the various consultations that need to be brought into line to make sure that the accommodation is provided, but I think Mr Savona has clearly shown that the criterion that we're trying to follow here is to treat the residents in care homes the same as anybody else, the same as a resident anywhere else. In fact, that highlights the term for Bill 120, which is "residents' rights."

The resident of any kind of accommodation should be treated the same as anyone else. That is what the legislation is attempting to achieve, and of course, as Mr Savona has clearly shown, it's the residents themselves who should be providing the insight into whether the accommodation and the care are appropriate.

I would like to know, first of all, is that essentially the way you see it?

Mr Savona: Yes.

Mr Gary Wilson: In your experience, have conditions been improving in this way for you and what would you like to see with regard to accommodation and care?

Mr Savona: Again, I don't know if this is the right avenue, because I think it has to do with long-term care issues being intertwined, but I can only give my own experience about where I'm living right now. The supervisors and the board are great. They have at least 50% representation of the residents themselves and the president, which I am now, and the vice-president are both people with disabilities. It shows how the residents can be a part of management, and then that would be like a watchdog over the administration.

Mr Gary Wilson: So you're saying the residents or people with disabilities should have a greater role in the management.

Mr Savona: Yes. Well, maybe not the management, because you're going to get into a conflict of interest, but at least the board of directors. I've always had this idea back in my mind that residents who would like to be on the board of directors might be able to be on other boards instead of their own board.

Mr Gary Wilson: To broaden your participation in other activities in the community essentially?

Mr Savona: Yes.

Mr Gary Wilson: I do see this then as a very strong push towards that goal. Thanks very much, Mr Savona, for your presentation.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Savona, for taking the time to come down and meet with us this morning. We appreciate your presentation.

Mr Savona: Thank you.

The Chair: For the committee members, I would remind you that the committee will meet promptly at 2 o'clock to hear presentations. We'll see you at five minutes to 2.

The committee recessed from 1200 to 1403.


The Chair: The standing committee on general government will come to order. The business of the committee is to deal with Bill 120, An Act to amend certain statutes concerning residential property.

The first presentation this afternoon will come from the Metropolitan Toronto Association for Community Living. If you'd like to all just have a chair at the microphones, the committee has allocated one half-hour for your presentation. During that time it's often interesting for the members to use some of it to ask you some questions and listen to your comments. You may begin by introducing yourself.

Ms Doreen Crystal: My name is Doreen Crystal. I'm past president of the Metropolitan Toronto Association for Community Living. I have with me this afternoon Fred Reynolds, the executive director of the association, and Angie Hains, who is the director of independent supportive living services.

The Metropolitan Toronto Association for Community Living has been serving persons with developmental disabilities and their families in the community since 1948. It currently provides support to approximately 4,000 individuals and families. Services provided include preschool integration programs, supported work programs and employment training services, family support and protective service workers and group homes and supported apartments.

There are two points I would like to make clear about MTACL's position on Bill 120.

(1) For many individuals with developmental handicaps Bill 120 will not have an impact because they are already living in accommodations covered under the Landlord and Tenant Act. This group is made up of individuals who are able to live successfully in regular accommodation and have their support needs met offsite. Our concern is only with the group of individuals living in residential programs under the Homes for Retarded Persons Act and the Developmental Services Act.

(2) MTACL's position on Bill 120 is different from that of the Ontario Association for Community Living. MTACL's position is based on its experience gained through operating residential programs for individuals with developmental handicaps for over 30 years. It is also based on its understanding of the relationship between issues involving both security of tenure in housing and the supports and services which make it possible for an individual to live safely and securely.

MTACL operates 48 group homes and a supported apartment program in which a total of approximately 600 individuals live. These residential services are funded by the Ministry of Community and Social Services and operate under the Homes for Retarded Persons Act and the Developmental Services Act. Our residential services are currently exempt from the Landlord and Tenant Act.

One of the key directions presented by the Ministry of Housing in its housing framework for Ontario was the concept of delinking. The expectation is that the support service component and the housing component should be distinct and separate. A person's tenancy should in no way be affected by his or her support service needs. In fact his security of tenure will be guaranteed under the Landlord and Tenant Act.

The concept of delinking is not easily reconcilable with well-established service systems such as ours in which the housing and support services have been intentionally linked. While a delinked approach is possible for those who are able to have their support needs met offsite or those whose support needs are minimal or temporary, it is not currently possible for those whose support needs are extensive, lifelong and must be provided where they live. For this group, the acquisition of housing is meaningless unless adequate onsite supports are also available.

The Ministry of Community and Social Services recognized this fact when the linked residential programs were established. Each residential program has a legal agreement with the ministry which specifies not only the location of the housing but the number of people to be served, the type of service and level of staffing to be provided, as well as the budget for the program. The Homes for Retarded Persons Act also specifies the type of care each individual in a residence under the act must receive. For example, regulation 500, section 7 states that it is the responsibility of the board of every approved home and auxiliary residence to:

"(c) ensure that each resident receives, at all times, care adequate for and consistent with his individual needs; and

"(d) ensure that each resident receives an individual program of training designed to increase the resident's mental, social and physical development."

Regulations such as these are not consistent with the delinking of housing from support services. Neither are they consistent with the image of unregulated care facilities widely presented in the media at the time of Bill 120's introduction.

The needs of 600 individuals who live in MTACL's residential programs vary greatly. Some individuals are profoundly handicapped and require physical assistance with all activities, for example, feeding, toileting, bathing. Others have additional disabilities including cerebral palsy, severe visual or hearing impairments, seizure disorders, psychiatric illnesses or a variety of other conditions which create medical fragility and require a wide range of supports and services. Still others have less complex needs but require regular, consistent in-home supports to live successfully in the community.

Individuals in service are typically grouped so that those with similar needs live together. In this way, the staffing pattern and the additional supports required can be geared to meet the needs of the group. An individual who needs a great deal of staff attention will share a house with like individuals so that the staffing can be provided and resources made available in a coordinated and cost-effective manner.

As an individual's needs change, it is sometimes necessary that he or she move to a different location within the service system where more appropriate supports and services are available. In all recent expansions of MTACL's residential services, the Ministry of Community and Social Services has required that individuals currently receiving service move to other locations within the system in order to make residential spaces with the appropriate support component attached available for those who are being returned to the community from institutions.

On occasion, the behaviour of an individual constitutes a threat to the health and safety of other individuals with whom he or she lives. There are also instances where an individual decides, after having moved into a residential placement, that he or she wants no part of the service provided within that placement.

The Landlord and Tenant Act certainly provides due process for eviction but does not provide any remedies for the situations I have described. An individual may refuse to move for reasons such as fear of change or the lack of cognitive ability necessary to understand the proposed change or the reasons for the change, even though remaining in an inappropriately serviced setting may jeopardize his own health or safety or that of his roommates.

Even though there are a number of individuals who move from one location to another within MTACL's residential service system, there are very few who leave the system completely. Of 600 individuals in residential services in 1992-93, only 13 left the system. Seven of the 13 went to chronic care facilities because their medical conditions had deteriorated significantly, three returned to live with their families, two no longer wanted to receive service and moved to boarding homes, and one moved out of Toronto to live with friends. In each case, staff of MTACL arranged for other accommodation and services where necessary. We are committed to providing security of tenure within residential programs for the developmentally handicapped. This includes having both housing and services which are appropriate to the individual's needs. It is our contention that security of tenure should be viewed within the residential program at a particular agency rather than at a specific address and should be guaranteed by a process less formal and intimidating than that provided under the Landlord and Tenant Act.

We recommend that:

(1) Non-profit community-based agencies providing residential services to individuals with developmental handicaps under the Homes for Retarded Persons Act and the Developmental Services Act continue to be granted an exemption from the Landlord and Tenant Act.

(2) Boards of directors of non-profit agencies providing residential services to individuals who are developmentally handicapped be required to ensure that policies and procedures are in place which will allow residents and their representatives due process in any dispute arising with respect to tenure; have individual occupancy agreements which address issues of tenure; provide all reasonable assistance in providing alternative accommodation when necessary.

Thank you. We would be pleased to answer any questions that you have on the presentation.


Mr David Johnson: This seems similar to a deputation that we had this morning from the Ontario Residential Care Association, that people need different levels of care and their care over a period of time, I guess the care that they need changes and there needs to be flexibility within the system. I guess you're telling us that basically you're going to have a problem if the Landlord and Tenant Act applies to you. Is that the essence of it?

Mr Fred Reynolds: That's it exactly. Very clearly, it will hamper our ability to manage and to in fact provide the best kind of support and services to the people who are depending on us.

Mr David Johnson: I think this is the situation that we had before. There could be a number of different circumstances, I guess, where this would arise. I guess you've outlined them here. In general, you've said what you feel should happen. Will you be bringing forward specific amendments that would encapsulate the recommendations that you have on page 5?

Mr Reynolds: We didn't make any attempt to phrase these recommendations in the appropriate language to actually serve as amendments to the bill. We just wanted to bring forward the concepts and the principles that we thought would give us a problem.

Mr David Johnson: If this goes through in its present form without any change, what impact will it have in terms of an expansion of the service that you give?

Ms Crystal: We wouldn't be able to expand at all. As a matter of fact, we would probably lose some spaces because of the additional support that would be needed in order to carry out the recommendations in the new act, which is very difficult for us, considering we have approximately 1,500 people on a waiting list waiting for residential services. That's just our waiting list; that does not include all of Metropolitan Toronto.

Mr David Johnson: You serve 600 people at present?

Ms Crystal: No, we serve 4,000 people but --

Ms Angie Hains: But 600 in residential services.

Mr David Johnson: So 600 in residential and 4,000 in terms of outreach programs, is it, or how does that work?

Mr Reynolds: There's a whole variety of services that we provide. For instance, day program services: We have approximately 800 people who are in full-day programs. There's another group that's relevant as far as the residential part is concerned, the group we made reference to in the presentation.

We have a large group of people who are somewhat more independent and they live in the community in places of their own choice relatively independently and we have a number of adult protective service workers who provide minimal support to those people. So that number is included in the list. We have preschool programs, we have family support workers who work with families and individuals so that the service -- to get to the total of thousands, there's a whole lot of different kinds of services with varying degrees of intensity.

Mr David Johnson: But it's all excellent work for sure and it's all required. As you say, you have a waiting list of 1,500 people for the residential -- this is for the residential care?

Ms Crystal: Yes.

Mr David Johnson: Just within Metropolitan Toronto?

Ms Crystal: That's just on our waiting list. There are other agencies in Metropolitan Toronto that provide similar services that have their own waiting lists.

Mr David Johnson: You're certainly speaking in terms of MTACL. Are you speaking on behalf of other agencies as well in that regard?

Ms Crystal: No. The other agencies in Metropolitan Toronto I believe will be doing a presentation at the end of next month or this month, the MARC agencies, the Metropolitan Agencies Representatives' Council, which is comprised of approximately 50 agencies in Metropolitan Toronto. I believe about 25 of those provide residential services and they will be doing another presentation on the same issue.

Mr David Johnson: The basic problem is having the Landlord and Tenant Act applied here.

Ms Crystal: That's correct.

Mr David Johnson: If that somehow is removed, then you are able to live with the bill, are you?

Mr Reynolds: Absolutely. The underlying intent of the bill to ensure that people have their rights -- we don't have any quarrel with that. In fact that's part of our business to ensure that the developmentally handicapped have their rights. But I guess our contention is that there are enough safeguards built into the system as it is now and to use the Landlord and Tenant Act would be a cumbersome, legalistic kind of procedure that we don't feel is really necessary.

Mr David Johnson: Within your sphere of service delivery, is there any sort of overall monitoring agency you have at the present time? I know that some of the homes that serve the elderly have their own sort of self-regulating agency. Do you have that kind of thing?

Mr Reynolds: We have the provincial government, the Ministry of Community and Social Services, and we have a program supervisor from the ministry. All of our services are done on the basis of legal agreements with the Ministry of Community and Social Services, which specifies the kind of service we provide, the number of people, the amount of money that is going to be provided to us.

As a matter of fact, it's interesting you should ask that question, because right at the moment the children's group homes are very closely monitored by the Child and Family Services Act and by a licensing procedure. The adult homes are not monitored quite in the same way but they are monitored. We have a binder of regulations about that size that we have to follow. It's not in the form of legislation but it's regulations, at least guidelines that the ministry provides that we must follow. Part of the program supervisor's role is to ensure that those guidelines are followed.

Mr Gary Wilson: Thanks very much for your presentation. It certainly gives another viewpoint for our deliberations and is helpful from that point of view. Following up on something Mr Johnson drew attention to is that you do speak for yourselves and not for other groups in the city, and of course they will be coming forward. You do, though, specify that your view is different from the Ontario Association for Community Living and this is a field, I think, where I guess circumstances are changing, viewpoints are changing in how we meet the needs of people with developmental disabilities. I would like to pursue some of the things here and see whether you do see it in that kind of a context.

You point out in your brief that there are residential facilities where they are already under the Landlord and Tenant Act and that it's inappropriate. You're just saying in your facility or your group homes it's not appropriate. I think the question then is the degree or the association, the way, I guess, accommodation and care are linked. You seem to be suggesting that they are too interlinked, in effect, to be separated. I just wonder whether you could elaborate on that, because it seems to me this is the thing that you're bringing forward.


Mr Reynolds: Yes, do you want to speak to that, Angie?

Ms Hains: No, you can.

Mr Reynolds: Let me give you an example. I think we've already pointed out in our presentation that we serve a wide spectrum of people. We have some group homes that serve people who are very low-functioning intellectually. They need assistance with toileting, bathing, even feeding in some situations.

To say that for that person you can separate the services from where they live just doesn't seem to be very practical to us. That person is not able to select where they live, able to choose to move at a particular time because, where they might move to, the service wouldn't be provided. In other words, to live there successfully, they've got to have the service, and we just don't see how you can separate those two things. Then there are varying degrees of that on through the spectrum.

Mr Gary Wilson: Yes, that's right. I guess that is one of the main features of course with all of us. We all have different needs and capabilities. I think the one thing, though, that we are trying to highlight in this legislation -- in fact that's why it is called residents' rights -- is that we all share that need, I think, to have security of accommodation. As long as accommodation is a factor in wherever anybody lives, then we think there should be that security assured. That is one of the reasons why we are trying to include all types of accommodation.

Mr Reynolds: We don't disagree with you on that. We agree 100% that the security should be provided. What we do disagree with is the method that's used in order to provide that security, that's all. We don't disagree with the basic premises.

Mr Gary Wilson: Okay. You think that it's unmanageable or just that it would create more problems than you would be able to handle?

Mr Reynolds: Both, I would say. Take, for example, another kind of example that I don't think we've mentioned in here, and this is real life. This is not something hypothetical or a what-if. From time to the time -- well, all the time -- we have individuals in our service who not only are intellectually handicapped but have some form of behaviour disorder, emotional disturbance, whatever, which makes it difficult for them to live with other people. Most of the time it's okay, but from time to time there will be episodes where this becomes a real problem.

For example, in one situation we had a young man in a group home who literally broke every window of the group home. Now what we had to do to deal with that situation, we immediately moved him from that location for the sake of his own safety, for the sake of the safety of the other people in the group home. If we had had to go through the Landlord and Tenant Act to have that person removed -- it just isn't practical. We have to have the ability to be able to deal with situations on a fairly immediate kind of basis.

Mr Gary Wilson: But I don't think Bill 120 prevents you from dealing with them on an immediate basis. Obviously, I think it's recognized in that kind of case that you outlined that you would have to take immediate action that wouldn't call into question the Landlord and Tenant Act on those actions that you would take. It's only more long-term that the Landlord and Tenant Act would be called into question.

I think it is appropriate, though, to analyse what it is that caused the behaviour and then to take steps to deal with that, rather than simply -- in some cases, I'm not saying that would happen in this case, but it could be imagined that the way of dealing with that case and others would simply be to evict the resident. That's what we're saying shouldn't happen.

Mr Reynolds: But we're saying that we would not do that and that there should be safeguards against that happening. What we're saying is we would take the responsibility to deal with that in another way, and that's outlined in our recommendations.

Look at it perhaps in a more positive light for a moment. We've already talked about and agreed upon a wide spectrum of people. Our hope for people is that they will move through that spectrum. They start out needing a lot of support, they grow and learn and improve and move on, and hopefully they move on to the situation I described a little earlier where they are living in the community on their own in residential facilities that would be governed by the Landlord and Tenant Act.

However, in order to accomplish that, people do have to move, so the situation could very easily arise where a person is living in a group home, they're comfortable living there, their friends are there, they want to stay there, and yet, in their own best interests, to achieve further independence, they should be moving on. They don't need that support. Both economically speaking and from the standpoint of what's best for that individual, it's time for them to move on.

If that residence was covered by the Landlord and Tenant Act, theoretically that person could say, or his or her family could say: "We like to live in this group home. We don't want to move. We're going to stay here." How could you deal with that situation if you had to evict that person, if you want to use that term, on the basis of the Landlord and Tenant Act?

Mr Gary Wilson: Well, again, it comes back --

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Wilson. Mr Grandmaître.

Mr Grandmaître: You've been in business since 1948. How long have you been receiving funding from the Ministry of Community and Social Services? Since day one?

Mr Reynolds: Not exactly, because the whole issue of the services provided to people with developmental handicaps -- it used to be they were referred to as mentally retarded -- used to be an issue under the Ministry of Health, so funding used to come through the Ministry of Health. It changed in the 1960s, I believe. I can't tell you precisely the date under which they started receiving funding from the Ministry of Community and Social Services, but I would say that it's government funding ever since we started providing residential services. My experience only goes back 10 years with the organization.

Mr Grandmaître: But you're not only providing residential services for your clients or your people; you're also providing them with health care. Are you being funded by the Ministry of Health as well because you're providing those services?

Mr Reynolds: No, we're not actually providing the services. We make sure that the individuals who are in our services get health care, but we don't actually provide it. In other words, for people living in a group home, we make sure they have a physician who's looking after them, a dentist, an orthodontist if it's needed, or whatever. But the services are provided --

Mr Grandmaître: Outside.

Mr Reynolds: Outside, yes. But our responsibility is to make sure those services are available to them and to encourage them to use them.

Mr Grandmaître: Did you have a chance to make the same presentation to Dr Lightman?

Mr Reynolds: No, we didn't make any presentation to Dr Lightman.

Mr Grandmaître: Did you have a chance to meet with the Ministry of Community and Social Services to explain the workings of your group? Did you have a chance to meet with them and say how dearly affected you would be by Bill 120?

Mr Reynolds: "Yes" is the answer, but on one occasion I spoke with the area manager of the Toronto area, Ministry of Community and Social Services, and asked what the area office's position was on Bill 120 and was told they didn't have a position. I more recently wrote to Brian Low, who has recently been appointed director in the Ministry of Community and Social Services in a newly formed branch dealing with people who are developmentally handicapped. I outlined the problem to him and asked specifically in writing what the ministry's position was. I've had no response to that letter.

Mr Grandmaître: No response.

One last question and then my friend will take over. Why do you think the Minister of Housing would make such a recommendation under Bill 120 that you would now be served, if I can use the word "served," under the Landlord and Tenant Act? Why was that decision made?

Mr Reynolds: I think the decision was made with every good intention, as I said earlier, to preserve the rights of everyone, including people who are developmentally handicapped. But I think --

Mr Grandmaître: But you said you never had a problem with this before.

Mr Reynolds: No.

Mr Grandmaître: Carry on.

Mr Reynolds: I believe that this way of doing it for this particular population is not appropriate. That's all that we're saying really.

The Chair: Thank you. Mr Daigeler.

Mr Daigeler: I will just pursue this a little bit. Frankly, the question is perhaps less to you than -- I guess he disappeared now -- the parliamentary assistant or somebody.

Mr Gordon Mills (Durham East): He's right there.

Mr Daigeler: Are you the parliamentary assistant? I thought Winninger was. Oh, I see.

Mr Grandmaître: Everybody is.

The Chair: Nevertheless, the question?

Mr Daigeler: What's Winninger's role?

Mr Mills: Get to the point. We've got the power play here.

Mr Daigeler: Clarify for me: Does Bill 120 apply to the homes that this group is representing?

Mr Gary Wilson: Yes.

Mr Daigeler: The minister earlier referred to, and Dr Lightman as well, where there has been abuse and so on, in order to prevent these abuses they have to bring in Bill 120. In your experience, have there been a significant number of cases where serious abuse has taken place?


Mr Reynolds: There have been, but I think the problem lies in that we're talking about different people. We're talking about developmentally handicapped people as though they all have the same degree of handicap.

I'm sure there have been some abuses occur with people who might have been referred to as developmentally handicapped but who are at the sort of upper end of the spectrum and are capable enough that they are living relatively independently on their own, but they still have some problems with daily living, some problems with getting on with people, some problems dealing with landlords and whatever. Those people, who are not the kinds of people we're talking about here, I'm sure there have been abuses there.

I have heard myself and our APSWs, our adult protective service workers, have acted as advocates for some of those people when they have been turfed out of their accommodation. People talk about the green garbage bag syndrome where their belongings are all put in a bag and put out on the street, and yes, there have been some people who have suffered that kind of treatment.

I think the Landlord and Tenant Act should be there to protect them, but we're not talking about that group. We're talking about people with developmental handicaps but those at a different level of functioning, if you like, who are already in a program, where we are prepared to provide the kinds of protections so that doesn't happen.

I think the problem stems from trying to capture a whole range of people under one kind of act, which is appropriate for some but not appropriate for others. That's all we're saying.

The Chair: Thank you for your presentation this afternoon. The committee will be giving consideration to what has been said today during the clause-by-clause examination which commences March 6. Thank you for your presentation.


The Chair: The next presenter will be the Clinic Resource Office, Paul Rapsey.

Mr Paul Rapsey: Good afternoon.

The Chair: Good afternoon. You've been allocated one half-hour for your presentation this afternoon.

Mr Rapsey: Thank you. I should just clarify one thing. I'm speaking on behalf of the Legal Clinics Housing Issues Committee. I work at the Clinic Resource Office but this submission is not from that office per se.

We represent tenant advocates in more than 70 legal clinics around the province. I want to say that we support the bill but that our support is not unqualified. I want to also add that I'm speaking about not the general bill in all of its complexity but I want to address my points primarily to the implications which the Landlord and Tenant Act has. I've given you a written submission. I'm not going to be reading that submission. I'm going to be talking about highlights.

The Lightman commission admittedly was dealing with a broad spectrum of accommodation, and Mr Lightman noted that you've got luxury accommodation at one end and you've got boarding and lodging houses at the other end. One of the things he asked for was that these homes be monitored.

The existing legislation exempts care homes from the entire application of the Landlord and Tenant Act. The problem is that the way the legislation is worded, the courts have not been able to figure out when something is or is not a care home. So one of the benefits to this bill could be to add a degree of certainty.

Some courts, including the Divisional Court in Ontario, have said that the primary purpose of the accommodation must be to provide care and others have said no, that any nominal degree of care, whether or not it's actually provided, is sufficient to render the premises exempt from the Landlord and Tenant Act. That is the problem, because you end up in court trying to decide preliminary issues as to whether or not the legislation applies.

I'm not sure that the bill resolves that problem. In fact I think what the bill does is to provide a loophole for premises that are now fully covered by the Landlord and Tenant Act to claim that they are care homes. You see, Lightman acknowledged that you've got boarding and lodging homes at one end of the spectrum of care facility and those homes that clearly are now fully covered by the Landlord and Tenant Act, but they now will be able to claim that they are care homes and come in under the limited exemptions of Bill 120. Therefore, a remedial piece of legislation has the potential of removing rights from tenants.

I think this is a problem, and it's a problem that relates to the fact that Lightman's main recommendation of monitoring these homes has not been followed through in this bill. I would recommend, and it's going to come up again and again in some of my problem areas with this bill, that you could simply regulate: This is a class A care home, this is a class B care home, this is a class C care home and so on, and that certain exemptions apply to certain homes and don't apply to others.

One thing the Divisional Court said was that obviously rent includes the provision of meals. This legislation allows the provision of meals to be excluded from rent. It takes away protections from tenants in that regard in all homes. For example, in the traditional board home situation meals are provided, meals are included in rent now. Suddenly they can claim that they're a care home because of the way the definition is worded, which says whether or not the primary purpose is the provision of care. That means even if a minimal degree of the accommodation is care, it's going to be covered and exempted. We think this is overly broad and a real problem.

The other real problem with the legislation is that if you look at appendix C of my paper, I've columnized the act between the Landlord and Tenant Act, the Rent Control Act and the Rental Housing Protection Act. There are real discrepancies. I hope that those discrepancies are oversights, drafting errors or whatever, but when you've got related legislation with different definitions or existing definitions in one act and not in the other, you provide a real problem for courts and tribunals, tenants and landlords to know exactly how to apply the acts together.

For example, "care services" is defined in two acts and not in a third. Homes for Special Care Act residences are exempted from one act but not from two. The Developmental Services Act special regulations apply to one act, but the whole act applies to the other two acts. Correctional and penal accommodations are exempted from two acts but not from one act.

The definition of certain exempted rehabilitative and therapeutic centres in two acts uses the words "building or structure," but in the other act it uses only the term "building."

I can't say I really understand why these distinctions are there. All I can say is that unless there's a real, genuine purpose to those distinctions which has escaped me, you're not doing a service by having those discrepancies exist.

Another problem applies just to the application of the act to the Rent Control Act. Those are the multiple transitional sections that say that if the premise was a care facility on such-and-such a date, and I believe the date is usually correspondent with the first reading date, then such-and-such shall apply or shall not apply, and there are several of them in the act.


The problem is you're assuming it's easy to know whether something was a care home or a care service on that date. The multiple court cases which are going now under the existing legislation should show it's not easy to know whether something is covered by those terms on such-and-such a date.

I think the whole problem could be avoided, and therefore you will be saving our judicial system and our tribunal system a lot of hassles, if you simply deem premises to have been covered on such-and-such a date for such-and-such a purpose. I really do think that this whole problem of assuming it's easy to know what the premises was on such-and-such a date is going to provide a real lot of litigation and litigation problems.

I also am aware that Lightman himself recommended fast-track evictions. We do not support fast-track evictions. We're happy that the bill does not provide for fast-track evictions.

The procedures in the Landlord and Tenant Act are already intended to be summary. I admit that they are not always summary, but they're not summary because of the legislation. The reason they're not summary is because of financing, because of court loads, because of funding, because of person power in the judiciary or the tribunals.

I don't think that problem is going to be solved by fast-track evictions, nor do I think there's any justification for having different classes of tenants. We are not supposed to be encouraging the discriminatory treatment of different classes of people in today's society.

I also think that in many of the critical problems arising from danger to others or to self, particularly raised by the last group, can already be resolved in a summary proceeding through Mental Health Act legislation or Criminal Code legislation in the most extreme cases. But I'm not sure that in other than those most extreme cases there's any justification for discriminatory treatment of vulnerable people in this province.

I'm also aware that there is a concern by some people on the issue of subletting. Again, this becomes an issue of treating care facilities as a homogenous group. They clearly are not. You cannot allow the act to continue to treat them as a homogenous group.

I think the issue of sublet is already adequately covered in the existing Landlord and Tenant Act. The reason is that the existing act allows landlords to put in written agreements, whether they are occupancy agreements or tenancy agreements, a clause saying that you cannot sublet without the consent of the landlord and that the only proviso on that is that the consent cannot be unreasonably withheld or arbitrarily withheld.

Courts have never had a particular problem with the problem of determining reasonableness of any issue. I think they won't have a problem in those cases. For example, in your class A, if you go by a classification system, which I again say you should, class A premises that are more akin to your nursing home type of situation -- of course, it could be a legitimate provision that a tenant cannot sublet to someone who doesn't need that kind of facility or that kind of care. I think a court would have no problem finding that.

The other thing is that traditionally you write in, where there's a waiting list or where there's a particular type of facility provided for a particular type of person, that that is reasonable. You could do that by regulation. You could simply say, by regulation, for class A care facility it's reasonable to absolutely deny the right to sublet; for class B, it's reasonable to deny the right to sublet where there's a bona fide waiting list; for class C, that's just a boarding house. Why should it be any different than any other residential premises where the right to sublet exists?

The opposite side of that coin is that if you're bringing this wide spectrum of care facility into the coverage of the Landlord and Tenant Act, you've got the problem that you're dealing with vulnerable people for the most part: the elderly, the disabled, people who are more prone to death, who are more prone to serious illness, to hospitalization, people who are more prone to sudden decrease in their physical abilities, for example. They can no longer get to their second-floor room. They can no longer use the particular type of bathtub or whatever in the premises.

Those people now, if they had a year's lease, would not be able to leave without the consent of the landlord, would still be liable for up to a year's rent. Too bad. If they die, their estate would still be liable till the end of their tenancy period. They would then have to give the appropriate notice under the Landlord and Tenant Act.

I think if this is truly remedial legislation, you have to acknowledge that you're dealing with a special group of Ontario citizens, the more vulnerable group of Ontario citizens who, at their option, if they die or if they are seriously ill or no longer capable of living in that particular accommodation at their option, I think you need then to have a fast means of termination of the tenancy; instead of your 60-day or your end-of-the-year and then 60-day notice, maybe a 30-day notice, a 28-day notice, as is in part I of the Landlord and Tenant Act, for example. There are options, and I think that has not been considered and it is a definite problem area for tenants.

I only want to touch on the apartments-in-houses issue briefly. We support it. But the bill seems to assume that these so-called illegal units, illegal because they're not zoned appropriately -- that the act of living there by the tenant is an illegal act that permits the landlord to evict. Well, that's an assumption that is not clearly made, because the caselaw on the issue is not at all clear. I would submit that's the illegal act of the landlord. The landlords should not be able to evict for their own illegal act.

Now the reason it's important is the bill will remedy the problem for the second unit in houses and those types of issues. But there are other kinds of so-called illegal units that won't be covered by this act and won't be made legal. By assuming that these premises give the landlord a right -- and I think there is an implied assumption that that's a right provided in the bill -- you are jeopardizing the existing rights of these people.

The problem is nobody wants to go to the court and say, "My premises are not up to scratch," if they are going to be afraid of being evicted, and you're going to have more fires and more deaths and more tragedies that we have experienced in the last couple of months. But the problem is not one of these premises being illegal; the problem is one that tenants do not feel they can come forward to enforce their rights.

I disagree with people who say that Bill 120 is going to create more problems and more tragedies. I think Bill 120 is, quite the contrary, going to allow tenants to go to court, go to the rent control, to allow them to go to the municipalities without fear of being summarily evicted simply because the premises is not zoned as it should be and to demand that they be brought to a safe standard.

I also think, having been an advocate myself for many years, the problem is not so much that the premises is legal or illegal; the problem is that you have a real problem getting the municipalities to enforce their standards. I know, from many premises I've gone after on standards issues, that you can go, but you're not going to get much help from the municipality in terms of bringing those premises up to standard. You have to go to court and get a judge to order it. I think that's the problem, not the fact that they are zoned or not zoned appropriately. So we support the apartments-in-houses part of the bill categorically.

The only other two things I want to raise are that I simply don't understand section 6 of the bill. I've read it and re-read it, and it just passes me by. For example, one part of it requires something in writing; the other part of it doesn't require something in writing. One part of it exempts you if there's been fraud or misrepresentation; the other part doesn't.

I don't understand it, and if I, who have had some legal training and some experience in the field, don't understand it, tenants and landlords are not going to understand it. If you're saying to them, "We're going to give you a summary procedure to go to court," and a summary procedure is one where you don't need a lawyer, how are they going to be able to enforce their rights if they don't understand the legislation? I simply do not know what that section means.


The other concern I have is the Municipal Act section, which deals with lodging houses. I'm not sure of the benefit of exempting residential units from there. It's not readily apparent to me why you would exempt it entirely unless you are going to provide for some form of regulation of these homes elsewhere by regulation under the Landlord and Tenant Act or whatever.

I reiterate that the problem is assuming that all care homes are the same; they aren't. There needs to be, by simple regulation under the Landlord and Tenant Act, a classification of these homes so that you know you're not taking away rights from tenants but you are preserving and expanding their rights and that you are making any exemption consistent with the nature of the care facility that is providing the service. That's my summary of my submissions.

Mr Winninger: I certainly think that you've provided some helpful assistance in interpreting the "for-care" versus "residential" definitions.

I'm reminded of a case I was involved in which you might be familiar with, Diversicare, a case in London with the Chelsea Park tenants, where we went to Divisional Court and the court only heard from the landlord and dismissed the landlord's appeal. They were trying to argue that even though these tenants live in an independent apartment building, because they can contract for additional supplementary services or care they were to be excluded from the provisions of the rent review act.

I don't think we have any definitive answer yet as to how the courts interpret the issue of care and the applicability of the rent review act. I understand that there are cases presently under appeal. George Monticone was here earlier today. He is one, I think, that may provide some guidance.

Mr Rapsey: Yes, there are two cases, two cases that have ruled completely opposite, both before the Court of Appeal at the present time.

Mr Winninger: I think it's important that we review your submissions, which are quite technical in nature, and that we give them the appropriate consideration when we get to clause-by-clause. I think my colleague might have a question.

Mr Gary Wilson: I'd just like to affirm what David said about your submission, although I'd like to get a sense, partly because you jumped into your presentation, of where you think the overall effect of the home care provisions in Bill 120 are. Generally, are you satisfied with them as going in the right direction?

Mr Rapsey: I definitely think they're going in the right direction. I know of too many abusive situations, in everything from quite sophisticated care homes to very unsophisticated care homes, to think that you can just assume that there's going to be self-regulation. There isn't going to be self-regulation, or not satisfactory self-regulation. So I'm pleased with the direction, but I'm concerned with the assumption that all care homes are the same, and I'm also concerned that by the way you've defined "care home" you're going to expand the possibility for homes jumping from the full protection of the Landlord and Tenant Act into the limited exemptions of the new bill.

Mr Grandmaître: Your way of describing Bill 120, it's going to be a legal nightmare, it's going to be a lot of fun for lawyers challenging Bill 120.

Mr Rapsey: I think the fun is going to be if it's not tightened up and there's some way of classifying. Mr Lightman himself did not want the full regulation of nursing homes, and I totally agree with that. But there needs to be some system of classification, which can be done quite easily through regulation under the statute. It doesn't need to be a nightmare.

Mr Grandmaître: So you think the bill is assuming too much and that the regulations should be tightened.

Mr Rapsey: I've seen no regulations yet under it, but I think regulations under the Landlord and Tenant Act for example could be made to classify care homes and to classify types of exemptions. I don't see a problem with that. The regulatory provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act as it exists now are very broadly worded.

Mr Grandmaître: You made an allusion to the LTA and the Rent Control Act, that one act was overriding the other. Can this be resolved?

Mr Rapsey: I think it can.

Mr Grandmaître: In the regulations?

Mr Rapsey: I think some of the problems are just the discrepancies in the drafting of the parallel legislative sections. I think maybe that was a legislative oversight or a drafting oversight, or if it's not, it needs to be made clear why there is a discrepancy in the wording of the sections.

In terms of classifying, again I think it's just simply a system of monitoring. For example, maybe there should be a requirement that homes that are going to be claiming they are care homes come forward and register, and there'd be some way of saying, "Well, you're just a boarding house," or "You're quite a sophisticated care facility and therefore you would be classified under this system and subject to these exemptions."

Mr Grandmaître: Will you be providing this committee with amendments?

Mr Rapsey: No. Again, I'm just providing you with concerns and with issues that I think need to be addressed. In my appendices, I've shown where some of the discrepancies are. I think that can be something that can be taken away and looked at.

Mr Grandmaître: But don't you think that your concerns --

The Chair: Mr Jordan would like an opportunity.

Mr Jordan: Thank you for your very detailed presentation. I'm interested in your observations or remarks relative to your familiarity with abusive situations. You say that you are aware of those in the different classes of homes. How did you become aware of them?

Mr Rapsey: I was a lawyer practising for tenants.

Mr Jordan: Who brought it to your attention?

Mr Rapsey: The tenants or in some cases it was community workers.

Mr Jordan: Had they gone through the other channels before going to you of going to the representative of the county or the representative of the municipality?

Mr Rapsey: There were no other channels in those circumstances. These were simply landlords who had taken over existing premises who simply wanted more rent or they wanted to downgrade the type of care they provided or there was some other reason that they didn't want these people, who had been allowed to live there under a previous regime, to continue to live there.

Mr Jordan: I guess what I would like to have your comments on is, is it not possible for the municipality in which this home is located to understand the licence that it carries and the regulations that go with it? Then that tenant or resident could go directly to the official of that municipality and bring something to his attention and have it dealt with to save all this legal -- why do you think Queen's Park has to deal with this? Why can't we do it with our own regulations at home base?

Mr Rapsey: Because it's not being done.

Mr Jordan: I know. You've pointed out situations where it's not being done, but can we not correct that?

Mr Rapsey: I think to allow it to be done by a municipality, if the municipality actually applies to the actual facility, it's too piecemeal. It needs some direction. There are many of these homes that municipalities simply have no impact on at all. They are complying with zoning requirements. There's no other agreement with the municipality that gives the municipality any right to go in at all.

For example, the old exemption for the Ministry of Community and Social Services Act, homes that were subject to that, the term "subject to" was simply very broadly applied and there was usually just an agreement as to funding; absolutely no agreement as to the types of rights these occupants were to have or the types of care they were to receive, and very seldom were we ever able to get our hands on the actual agreement. It was simply a funding document, and that exempted the home from the legislation -- absolutely inadequate.

Mr Jordan: I guess what I was trying to establish -- do I have a minute?

The Chair: No, I think the time has expired. Thank you very much for appearing today. I think your comments will be useful as we get to the clause-by-clause on March 6.



The Chair: The next presentation will be from the chief of the Mississauga fire department, Cyril Hare. Good afternoon. Welcome to the committee. You've been allocated one half-hour for your presentation and the members always appreciate some time to ask questions. Your presence has been predicted this morning by the chief executive of your municipality. You may begin.

Mr Cyril Hare: Mr Chairman and committee members, I'm here today to talk to you about the concerns of the fire protection community regarding the fire safety of accessory apartments in houses.

The recent tragedy that occurred in Mississauga that resulted in the death of a mother and her infant son has raised public awareness of the dangers that the tens of thousands of people who live in this form of accommodation face every day. It's my hope that your committee will be moved by these events and the information that will be presented to you not only by myself but by others to take action to have fire safety regulations put in place to reduce or eliminate the possibility of more of these tragedies happening.

I should add that yesterday morning we had another basement apartment fire in which we sent a mother and her preschool child to hospital with smoke inhalation, but I believe both of them will recover. They're probably out of hospital already. So it's not something that's going away.

The fire deaths of January 1, 1994, in Mississauga are now the subject of an inquest. The details of that incident will be reviewed through that inquiry. It's sufficient to say that the basement apartment in which the fire occurred was not approved by any municipal officials and did not have even the most fundamental fire safety precautions.

The firefighters who attended the fire took great personal risk to rescue both occupants from the basement apartment. However, their actions were in vain. By the time they got the people out it was too late. They were transported to hospital and both died in hospital. Although we've received a great deal of publicity, there have been previous fires in other jurisdictions -- we've certainly had some of our own -- that have resulted in deaths, and the results of this fire were predictable.

In 1993 there were 47 fires in basements of single-family dwellings in Mississauga. In reviewing our statistics we found that 30% of those were basement apartments. The Ministry of Housing has estimated that up 10% of our housing stock could contain basement apartments. It should be obvious that the likelihood of basement fires is greater in a house with a basement apartment; 30% of our fires were basement apartments and 10% of the stock we'd consider basement apartments.

Basements are also some of the most difficult fires for us to fight. When you're fighting a basement fire, the fire is coming up the stairs while you're going down. You have no choice but to take an awful beating going in, and if you're inside the house it's very difficult to get out. Unfortunately, we don't really have statistics for the province but I'm sure most municipalities could give you similar statistics to those that I've just provided.

In 1993, the task group on accessory apartments was convened by the Ministry of the Solicitor General, office of the fire marshal. This task group consisted of representatives from government, industry, property owners and tenants' groups, a cross-section of those interested groups. Its mandate was to develop a set of regulations for accessory apartments that could be included in part 9 of the fire code.

The group reviewed the provisions of the building code and the guidelines that had been developed by the office of the fire marshal to assist local fire departments in setting standards for fire safety in accessory apartments. I had the privilege of representing the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs on this committee.

By April of last year the group had prepared a draft regulation for inclusion in part 9 of the fire code. I've included for you in your information booklet a copy of the most recent draft, which is actually dated this month. At this time I did not know the status of the document, other than that current draft, other than to note that Bill 120 doesn't address it, doesn't mention it at all, nor does it mention any improvements to the Fire Marshals Act.

The draft regulation addresses a number of fire safety concerns. It provides for the installation of fire safety devices and construction that will provide early warning for building occupants, reduce the rate of spread of a fire, and provide means of escape in an emergency.

The first requirement of the regulation that should be present in all buildings where persons sleep is the installation of smoke alarms. These devices detect the presence of smoke and sound an alarm before the concentration reaches lethal levels. If the person in the dwelling is ambulatory, he or she has a good possibility of escape.

Unfortunately, most people don't realize how quickly a fire spreads. From the time of open flame till the time of flashover can be as little as three minutes. Flashover is the point when all of the material in the room -- the furnishings, the walls, the ceiling, everything -- ignites in one large fireball. If you're in there, you will not survive, and if you're in an adjacent area, you're in immediate grave danger.

An occupant must act quickly when the smoke alarm activates. You only have a few minutes to escape. By the time the fire department responds, if you're in the room of origin, you're quite likely dead, and if you're in another area, you are in grave danger and probably will be severely injured by the time we rescue you. Information on smoke alarms is also included in the information package.

The regulation calls for fire separations between dwellings and also between the dwellings and fuel-fired heating appliances. A fire separation is a physical barrier to prevent the spread of fire and smoke, and it's designed to last for a specific period of time. It usually consists of a non-combustible cover, something like drywall, over the combustible elements in the building. The separations act to slow the spread of fire and allow the occupants time to escape from adjacent areas of the building or through their exits.

In most accessory apartments, these types of barriers are non-existent. The walls and ceilings are often highly combustible lightweight panelling and combustible ceiling tiles. It has certainly been our experience that the least expensive building materials you might find will be found in basement apartments.

Proper exits are also an important requirement of the proposed regulation. The standard calls for a separate exit from each dwelling unit. Where exits must pass through other parts of the building, through areas that may be occupied by other tenants or other occupants, you must have another exit. You may be able to do that through windows.

Where the windows are over 900 millimetres, or three feet, above the floor, you're required to provide stairs so that the persons can get out, and of course the window must be large enough for persons to escape. I have a concern, which I have certainly raised before, about the use of windows as exits. They're fine for those of us who are physically able, but what about those who aren't?

Where property owners now, for one reason or another, are not able to comply with the fire separation requirements or the exiting requirements, they can compensate for these deficiencies by providing fire sprinkler protection throughout the building.

The draft regulations will provide an increased level of safety for ambulatory residents, but they don't address the needs of the elderly, children, the handicapped or the impaired. Unfortunately, many of the occupants of accessory apartments are in these high-risk groups. The most efficient means of protecting occupants in these categories is to provide fixed fire control systems such as residential sprinkler systems. A residential sprinkler system will control or extinguish a fire before it reaches a size that will endanger the occupants in the involved dwelling or other portions of the building.

The Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs endorsed this concept of installing residential sprinkler protection in all new premises at its 1993 conference. Unfortunately, the proposal has not received a great deal of support from the Ministry of Housing or from building industry lobby groups.

It's my opinion, one which is shared by most of the fire protection community, that the installation of residential sprinkler protection is the most efficient method of addressing the fire safety problem not only in accessory apartments but in all residential premises ranging from single-family dwellings to high-rise apartment buildings. We've also included information in your package on residential sprinkler protection.

The electrical installation in most basement apartments is a concern as well to the fire service. Many of the basement apartments are constructed by the owners. The quality of the work is dependent on their skill as a tradesperson. It has been our experience that the electrical services are never upgraded to compensate for the increased electrical load, circuits are often overloaded, and the wiring is not in compliance with the Hydro code. Permits are never taken out for this work and, therefore, Hydro never inspects them. The only time inspections are carried out is when we discover it, and that's normally after we've had the fire. After we have the fire we bring in Hydro and they issue orders to get the electrical systems corrected.


There has been some controversy over which agency should enforce these regulations for fire safety. I don't think there's any question that the fire service is the best qualified to carry out this function as we currently enforce the regulations in other buildings, in other structures, in other areas, and it would be obvious that it should remain with us and that these standards should be added to the fire code. The fire code already has the general enforcement mechanisms in place.

Another issue that goes hand in hand with the fire safety regulations is the right of entry. Bill 120 proposes to have the enforcement agency obtain a search warrant before compelling a property owner to allow entry. Although the bill proposes to make obtaining a search warrant easier, it's not sufficient. When obtaining a search warrant the informant must have "reasonable and probable grounds to believe an offence has taken place." Unless you've been in the building you have no grounds to claim there's an offence.

It has been our experience that a justice of the peace will not grant a search warrant without substantial evidence. In 1993 we in fact attempted to obtain a warrant to do an inspection on a residential premises. We had an affidavit from a private individual who had raised concerns, who had been in the property and identified concerns, and the justice of the peace did not give us authority to enter the property to do the inspection.

The fire department can charge the owner under the Fire Marshals Act, but the time and the expense required to take him to court is just an added load on a municipality. We can charge them under section 18 of the act for obstructing us in the performance of our duty, but if we do take them to court and we fine them, it's a great deal of work for myself, for my staff, and then all of the funds flow to the province and we do all the work. The province reaps all the benefit as far as fines go, and I don't think fines are a benefit to start with.

It also leads to delays. Delays in carrying out the fire inspections will extend the time that accessory apartment occupants must live in substandard and unsafe conditions. Bill 120 must contain some provisions to require the owner to allow entry for the purpose of conducting a fire safety inspection. Failure to allow entry must result in a minimum fine that will deter a property owner from refusing access for the purpose of inspection. If it's more expensive for him to refuse us entry than to let us in, he's going to let us in. These powers should be included in the Fire Marshals Act.

The workload that municipalities will have to shoulder to properly inspect accessory apartments will be enormous. In Mississauga, by the Ministry of Housing staff's own estimates, there are approximately 10,000 unregistered accessory apartments. Conservatively estimating the person-days required to inspect, review plans, reinspect and occasionally prosecute offenders at two days per person, and the more difficult it is to carry out the inspection the more likely it is we'll have to spend more time at it, it's going to give my municipality approximately 20,000 person-days of work, which is roughly 87 person-years. I don't have 87 staff to get it done in one year. This estimate does not take into account social contract implications and the impact that has on my ability to provide service.

There is no municipality that has enough fire prevention or bylaw enforcement staff to complete the inspections within a reasonable amount of time. Much of this work will have to be done by on-duty firefighters through service inspection programs. It's imperative that the process be made as simple as possible to ensure that existing accessory apartment stock is brought up to an acceptable level of safety as quickly as possible. The more time-consuming the process, the longer it will take. What we need to do is streamline the bureaucracy, not lengthen the process by placing unnecessary hurdles before municipalities.

In addition to the need for improved powers of entry, property owners must be required to register their accessory apartments with the local municipality. If I don't know it's there, how am I going to deal with it? The municipality will have the responsibility for inspecting the premises. The current bill requires registration for the purposes of rent control, but does not contain any requirements for registration with municipalities for the purposes of safety.

The property owner will no longer have any fear, since this bill will make it his or her right to have the basement apartment, so zoning will not be an issue. It has been said the tenants will report their accessory apartments once they have no fear of reprisal from the landlord. It's been our experience that accessory apartments are most often occupied by immigrants and the disadvantaged, and these people are the ones who are least likely to know their rights and are often afraid of government authorities. The majority of our complaints come from disgruntled neighbours, not tenants. It's rare and I can't even think of one right now where we've had a tenant complaint. They usually come from the neighbourhood.

Municipalities must know where these apartments exist in order to ensure that they are safe and also to plan services for those areas that have large numbers of these types of accommodation. Our municipal services were predicated on the understanding that many of our planning areas were planned based on buildings being occupied as single-family dwellings. Since the services provided by fire and emergency services, as well as other local government services, are influenced by population, it is appropriate that these properties also pay their fair share of taxes for these additional unplanned service demands.

In addition to the need for adequate safety regulations, the province and the fire protection community must do something about public awareness regarding dangers of fire. There are a number of programs that are available. However, the funding and staff are not available at either the provincial or municipal level. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We need to increase the public's knowledge of fire safety.

Although Canada has one of the highest standards of living in the world, we also have the unenviable record of having one of the highest rates of death by fire. Every fire prevented by education is one that my staff does not have to fight. I might add that I never know about the ones we prevented because we never hear about them. We only hear about the ones we didn't.

I've included six recommendations for the committee's review.

(1) The fire code should be amended immediately to include the draft fire safety regulations for accessory apartments.

(2) Bill 120 should include provisions to allow municipal fire safety officials the right of entry without the need of a search warrant to ensure compliance with minimum safety standards.

(3) Bill 120 should contain provisions to require owners of accessory apartments to register their properties with the municipality in which the properties are located.

(4) The Fire Marshals Act should be amended to have the fines collected for prosecutions under the fire code paid to the local municipality, as is currently the practice of the building code.

(5) The building code should be amended to require the installation of residential sprinkler protection in all residential premises constructed or renovated under the building code.

(6) The Ministry of the Solicitor General, office of the fire marshal, should be granted funding to deliver a coordinated fire safety education program to all residents of Ontario.

Are there any questions?

Mr Cordiano: Thank you very much for that presentation. I think it goes a long way towards answering some of the questions that have been posed around Bill 120 with respect to safety and the concern that I think all of us share with regard to the fact that, although basement apartments may be legal after Bill 120, are they safe? Will all of these units in fact be safe?

Obviously, safe places for people to live in are what we're after. We're not, I think, going to trade that off for additional units to house people. Your views are that in fact Bill 120 will not go all the way towards ensuring that we have safe places for people to live in, as in the form of accessory apartments.

Mr Hare: My concern is that Bill 120 should be quite specific in bringing these regulations forward. It says there will be some regulations, but it doesn't say when or how. I think those things need to be brought forward as quickly as possible.


Mr Cordiano: We haven't heard any indications around those specifics from the minister; perhaps we will. But again, the question is, will there be enough -- and the other question of course ultimately is, will the standards that will be set be met? If you can't inspect these facilities and enforce those standards, then we're back to square one.

Mr Hare: True. Whatever the regulations are, we're going to make every attempt that we can to get out there and get to those places and get them inspected and see that they are upgraded. Right now we haven't found any buildings that come anywhere near the standards that are spelled out in this proposed regulation.

Mr Cordiano: By your estimation, there's quite a considerable amount of work to be done to make those places safe or up to standard?

Mr Hare: Yes, there is. Mississauga I don't believe is unique. If we have the problem, I'm sure it's shared by everyone else across the province.

Mr Grandmaître: How much assessment would you -- I guess it will have to take a while, but how much municipal assessment is Mississauga losing because of these 10,000 units, basement apartments, that are not being reported as living quarters?

Mr Hare: Assessment? I'm not sure exactly how much the value would be, to be honest with you. I couldn't give you an estimate.

The Chair: Mr Johnson can find out.

Mr David Johnson: Mr Johnson would like to ask,after congratulating the chief on a fine report under most trying circumstances, I'm sure, and on your concern for safety, as I'm sure it's all of our concern for safety, but it certainly comes through in this report: In your estimation, if Bill 120 was implemented in the fashion that has been recommended today, without the further right-of-entry powers that you're seeking, what would be the consequence in terms of safety?

Mr Hare: I think we'd end up with the status quo. We know right now that it's not adequate.

Mr David Johnson: Your mayor was here this morning and it was her fear, from the other side of the equation, that if it was implemented the way it is today, it would encourage more basement apartments. That may not be in your jurisdiction to comment on, but if she's right and more basement apartments came in and you, as the fire chief, did not have the right of entry to inspect and make sure that the safety standards were up to scratch, then what would happen?

Mr Hare: I'll have more fires and more deaths.

Mr David Johnson: That's what municipalities have been saying for years to various ministries. So I think really the focal point of this whole thing is that if municipalities do not have stronger rights of entry to get in and inspect, then there's going to be a problem.

Mr Hare: That's correct. I only I have so many -- I shouldn't say myself because I won't be doing the inspections per se. I have a staff to do that. But for my staff, every day that you add into the process of trying to get an inspection done is one less inspection that will be done, the longer the process is drawn out. We need to be able to do this fairly quickly and efficiently.

We will be using and I'm sure many municipalities will be using their on-duty line firefighting staff wherever possible to try and do some of these inspections. If we do that, those people -- I can't tie those people up in court because somebody said: "No, you can't come in. Go and get yourself a warrant." I can't do that. Those people have a responsibility to provide protection to the public. As part of their on-duty activities, they will do inspections when they're not committed to an emergency.

Mr David Johnson: Chief, I get the sense in recommendation 2 that you're recommending that the fire department should have abilities to search for beyond the kind of things that they would look for today. Earlier in your presentation you mentioned the wiring hazards, for example, the wiring hookups that perhaps wouldn't comply, and also property standards and building standards, that sort of thing. Is it your contention that the fire department not only should have the entry but should have a wider scope of problems to look for?

Mr Hare: No. If there are problems now electrically, when we identify them, we have the right, for example, to bring in a Hydro inspector under the current legislation, under the Fire Departments Act. So we can take action once we gain entry.

Mr David Johnson: So you could identify that and bring in a --

Mr Hare: Yes.

Mr David Johnson: Can you bring in a building inspector?

Mr Hare: Yes, we can. Under the act we can bring a constable, police officer or any person we deem necessary for the purposes of carrying out our inspection.

Mr David Johnson: So it would be your contention then, provided that Bill 120 gave the fire department the right of entry, your staff not only would be able to determine typical fire hazards but they would be able to be suspicious about wiring hazards and other property standards violations and then you could bring in those staff --

Mr Hare: If necessary.

Mr David Johnson: -- if necessary to identify all the problems, all the safety hazards, and hopefully make the unit safe then. But you can't do that unless you have that right of entry.

Mr Hare: Right now, what the bill proposes is that we should do it by search warrant.

Mr David Johnson: Well, that's --

Mr Hare: I'm saying that's going to put in -- if you've ever gone to get a search warrant --

Mr David Johnson: I know the problem.

Mr Hare: It just adds a delay into the system.

Mr David Johnson: Delay, and as you've indicated, quite likely you will be denied unless you have some ironclad case that there is a violation there. You can't get that ironclad case unless you're in and see it. It's catch-22.

Mr Hare: The evidence is inside the house.

Mr David Johnson: That's right.

The Chair: I have Mr Fletcher, Mr Mammoliti, Mr Mills and Mr Wilson believing they're going to be in on these four minutes. Mr Fletcher.

Mr Derek Fletcher (Guelph): I'll try to be as short as possible. Thank you for your presentation.

As far as Bill 120 is concerned, right now it's moving in a direction that is trying to require safer accommodation. The recommendations on the back of the page, if these recommendations were included in Bill 120, your department would have no problem with the implementation of Bill 120?

Mr Hare: I'm not here to speak about the issue of where people should have basement apartments, just that if you have them --

Mr Fletcher: Not just basement apartment, as far as Bill 120 is concerned.

Mr Hare: -- wherever you say you're going to have them, I want to make sure they're safe.

Mr Fletcher: Yes, and if we included the six recommendations on the back of the page, Bill 120 would be palatable to you.

Mr Hare: Yes.

Mr Fletcher: Especially number 5.

Mr Hare: Yes. It would certainly cut down on my loss statistics.

Mr Fletcher: On a personal level, my brother died in a basement fire in Mississauga about 10 years ago. I think a simple smoke detector would have been sufficient. I think he would have had more of an opportunity to get out of the residence at the time, had that smoke detector been there. I know how long we had to wait before smoke detectors were made law, were in the building code. We waited a long time for that.

I think your recommendations are very good recommendations. Maybe not all of them will be implemented, but I think some of them should be. I agree with you. I think that safety is paramount and I just want to thank you for your presentation.

Mr Mammoliti: Thank you very much, chief, for coming out. It's been my experience that when home owners decide to rent out a portion of their home, it's because they need the income.

Mr Hare: In some cases.

Mr Mammoliti: In most cases. Yesterday we heard that there are over 40,000 basement apartments or apartments within homes in Metro. I'm assuming that most of the home owners can't afford to keep the home unless there's that second income. In your recommendations -- 5, to be specific -- you talk about implementing fire sprinklers in homes.

Mr Hare: Yes.

Mr Mammoliti: How much would that cost a home owner?

Mr Hare: In a new home it would cost between $1 and $1.50 a square foot. In an existing home, depending on the water supply, it's going to cost a bit more because you're going to have to run the pipes inside the walls, so you've got to open and close the walls.

Mr Mammoliti: So what could it cost an average home owner, roughly?

Mr Hare: Probably it could cost you $2 or $3 a square foot depending upon the situation in the house.

Mr Mammoliti: The total figure in an average home would be how much?

Mr Hare: How big is your house, 1,000 square feet, 2,000 square feet? It could be $3,000 to $5,000.

Mr Mammoliti: That would be pretty expensive for a home owner to do in order to survive, wouldn't it?

Mr Hare: I guess I have to ask you how much the life of the person who lives downstairs is worth.

Mr Mammoliti: Don't get me wrong. I tend to agree with you on this. I think we're caught in a dilemma in a sense, and that is, how do you protect what I call essential housing, how do you protect the people who live in the essential housing and how do you pay for these types of renovations and of course the safety protections that you're talking about?

Mr Hare: Right now I guess quite simply there is no safety in any of them. The proposed regulations, for those people who are ambulatory, will give them warning and give them time to escape. The greater problem that I see is what do you do for children who can't climb a ladder to get out of a window, who aren't old enough to know what they should do when the alarm goes off? What do you do for the elderly? What do you do for those people who are handicapped and who can't quickly escape? Those are other problems that we've got in many of these types of accommodation.

I guess one of the things we're finding is that people are using this as an income-producing activity and not just to own their home. In many cases we're finding absentee landlords where they've taken a house and what they've done is they've divided it and rented upstairs and rented downstairs and it's an income-producing property for them. It's got nothing to do with trying to pay for their own home.

Mr Mammoliti: Is that worse for the fire department, that type of scenario?

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Mammoliti. Thank you to Mr Mills and Mr Wilson for being so understanding. Thank you, chief, for appearing before us today.



The Chair: The next presentation will be from the Advocacy Resource Centre for the Handicapped, David Baker. Mr Baker, good afternoon.

Mr David Baker: Good afternoon.

The Chair: You've been allocated one half-hour for a presentation to the committee. We're happy you're here today. You may introduce yourself and your position within the organization and begin.

Mr Baker: Thank you very much. I'd like to begin by thanking the committee for its indulgence in allowing us to shift from the morning to the afternoon. Unfortunately, the shift has not permitted Mr McInnes, who is a quadriplegic and unable to get out today because of the weather, to be here. He is our vice-president. Also, Patti Bregman is trapped down in the States at a funeral for her grandfather and was unable to get back in time. I regret that the shift was not sufficient to allow them to appear. They would have liked to have been here.

Maybe I could just say a few words about ARCH for the benefit of members who may not be aware. ARCH is a legal centre serving the disabled community. We have representation from 49 member organizations representing persons with disabilities, a whole range of disabilities. This area, obviously, has been brought to our attention in our capacity as a legal centre serving our community.

The focus of my remarks will be confined to the sections dealing with the care, although I listened to the chief's comments in relation to the ability of certain groups within society to register complaints about, among other things, fire and safety standards with their landlords. I would suggest to you that the changes that are proposed in relation to care have some relevance to the ability of disabled people to raise concerns, including concerns about the enforcement of the other sections of this bill, to the attention of their landlord.

By way of background to our involvement, we have as one of our functions what we call an intake or information service, and we receive between 8,000 and 12,000 calls per year. Many of those are from lawyers serving disabled people, but by far the vast majority are from persons with disabilities. Virtually from the time when we opened in 1980, this issue was brought to our attention.

As we say in the brief, there was a honeymoon period for people who had lived in institutions and who had the opportunity to move out into various forms of housing in the community, but the honeymoon period quickly came to an end when they attempted to raise with their landlords, be they private sector and boarding homes or, on more occasions than we had certainly contemplated, with non-profit and charitable landlords as well -- difficulties were arising where people were raising with their landlords concerns about issues of quality of service, basic issues that any tenant might have with a landlord, but also issues that related to the quality of care.

Basically, what they were experiencing was a situation where there was a shortage of this type of housing and people were told that if they didn't like it, they could leave. People who raised these concerns were being evicted, and for many of them this meant a trip back to the institution.

I received a call from Renfrew actually just a week or two ago from an adult protective service worker who was working with someone who had raised concerns. Actually, there were two tenants who had raised concerns about a private boarding home situation. They were being evicted and they were being sent back to Kingston Psychiatric Hospital. I don't know if that would have been brought to Mr Conway's attention, but it was a difficult situation because there was very little recourse for those tenants in that situation, and that is not atypical.

You will have heard, I believe, of circumstances that have arisen where conditions in some of the private boarding homes have been so bad that there have been deaths directly attributable to those conditions. The Cedar Glen inquest, which in many respects gave rise to the Lightman report, had been and was being discussed with the previous government prior to the election. There were discussions ongoing about that inquest which was in process at that time. These issues had been brought to the attention of the former government and there were moves in this direction, I believe it's fair to say, before the election took place.

Mr Jordan mentioned with one of the previous witnesses concerns about why there is no alternative to this process, and if I could just respond to that, as our brief indicates, we had attempted many methods to deal with this. Local government really has not been one that was open. It was fully explored, I can assure you, as one of the options.

In circumstances where there was provincial government funding going into the home, we had for a period of time some success in going to the Ministry of Community and Social Services, if that was the funder, and they would conduct their own independent investigation and they would either threaten or in fact perform what's called a program review, which is quite an extensive examination of the programs and services provided by the particular care-providing accommodation.

For a period of time that appeared to be working, but over the last five or six years that was no longer an option. A gentleman named Les Horne, who may be known to some of you, was personally responsible for that but also the ministry was concerned about the expense involved in program reviews and that degree of intervention in these individual situations which can arise. That was one option we explored.

Another option that we examined was -- again this exclusive to the non-profit sector; the for-profit showed no interest in this -- we brought together meetings of the various service providers, particularly what are called supportive service living unit providers, and encouraged them to voluntarily put themselves under part IV of the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Some of them agreed and have abided by that. Unfortunately, it's the landlords who didn't agree where there have been circumstances where problems have arisen. Ultimately, we came to the conclusion that protection under the Landlord and Tenant Act, and coincidentally rent review legislation, was the only alternative, and we did fully explore these other alternatives.

As I say, we continue to have inquests. I believe there is one down in the Chatham area starting up soon in a private boarding home situation, which others may speak to you about, where the circumstances in this housing has really fallen below any standard which should be permitted. People really are prevented from complaining or enforcing the other rights, whether public health or fire and safety and so on, which they have, because they are told if they complain they'll be evicted and there is really no recourse presently available to those people.

As I mentioned to you, there was discussion between ARCH and the previous government which was moving in positive directions. We were pleased that Professor Lightman was appointed to review this issue because we wanted someone with an economics background to look at it. We were concerned that if people were given rights that this kind of housing might dry up for people, which would be providing people with no solution whatsoever. You have your rights but you don't have the housing. We were satisfied through the process followed by Dr Lightman that this issue was satisfactorily addressed, and when Dr Lightman's report appeared to find its way on to the shelf and started to collect dust, there were concerns about this.


Also, there were continuing situations where people were being evicted under the existing legislation. As is mentioned in the brief, the issue of the application of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to these situations became a real question. Why is it that housing which is provided almost exclusively to disabled people and seniors was excluded from protection under the Landlord and Tenant Act and the rent review legislation? As a consequence, charter challenges were initiated, one in Peterborough where a client of ours, PUSH Ontario, was granted intervenor status, and one down in Windsor, where two individual clients of ours brought forward the charter challenge.

In the Windsor case, the judge reviewed on a preliminary basis the charter argument, found that it was of substantial merit and granted injunctions to protect the rights of the individuals concerned. The case is currently scheduled to be argued in April. Yesterday counsel for the government, for the landlord and for ourselves agreed that it should be adjourned until October, because the perception is that the government is dealing in a good-faith way with this issue, and therefore the issue of the charter has been deferred to permit an opportunity to fully review the legislation.

In essence, the legislation, on the issue of care, represents the issues being raised in that litigation. It's extraordinary, but I'm basically here on behalf of the ARCH board of directors to support the legislation and say that it represents a substantial move forward. It will, in our estimation, not jeopardize either the quality of the service provision or the availability of this type of accommodation for disabled people, and it will substantially improve the ability of people in these situations to raise legitimate concerns.

In those circumstances where the tenant deserves to be evicted, there is the same provision that is currently available for evicting tenants, which has proven satisfactory, or if it doesn't, we believe it should be altered for all tenants and not specifically targeted at disabled people and senior citizens. Those are my submissions. Thank you, Mr Chair.

Mr Jordan: Thank you very much for your excellent presentation. I was interested in your reference to an area in my riding of Lanark-Renfrew, where there was a case and two residents had to be returned to Kingston.

Mr Baker: That was the threat that the landlord had issued, and this was a home for special care. Someone came up from Kingston Psychiatric Hospital who was responsible for the home for special care situation. I had to inform the person that at this point in time it was a matter for negotiation between the tenants and the landlord; it was not a question of the individuals having any rights in that situation.

But the last I heard -- and as I say, you may have heard more because I was referring them to their member -- was that the people were coming up from Kingston to visit the home and to try to ask the landlord not to evict these people, because the consequence would have been that they would have been returned to Kingston Psychiatric Hospital.

Mr Jordan: But were the grounds of eviction relative to the fact that he couldn't provide the service that they now require?

Mr Baker: That wasn't what I was told, but I was getting my information from the adult protective service worker and I don't pretend to have all the information. The point I would make would be that this legislation doesn't deal with the issue of service provision. There's no obligation on landlords to provide services if it doesn't fit with the program they're delivering, but it does give people the rights. This is essentially a private boarding home situation, with services an ancillary issue.

Mr Jordan: We have, as you are aware, the Rideau Regional Centre in our riding. At one time that institution -- at that time it was called an institution; now they don't use that term. It's a residence for handicapped people -- at one time we had approximately 3,000 residents; now we have 735 residents.

In talking with the staff and the people in charge there, the pressure from government to have them released to the community is such that I'm concerned that is the objective whether the proper accommodation is in the community or not.

Who is assessing the place these people go to when they leave the official residence that they had been occupying for a number of years?

Mr Baker: I think that in the area of developmental handicap which is relevant to Rideau Regional Centre, there's no one officially mandated with that responsibility. In practice, it would be likely that an adult protective service worker would take that individual on to their case load, particularly if they were going into a private housing situation.

You'd have a situation where the adult protective service worker -- and I would say with the advent of the advocacy legislation it's more likely that there would be someone there with that person -- would be supported in asserting concerns about the adequacy of the housing.

Mr Jordan: Rather than the operation of it?

Mr Baker: The adequacy of the operation? I'm not sure what the distinction is you're making. The point I am making is that there is support for individuals. It's kind of patchwork now -- we hope that it would be somewhat improved -- support for individuals in moving out should they chose to move out and should that be a real option for them.

The problem is that if the landlord is saying, "Well, I've got these people and basically if this one's gone tomorrow I can fill that bed with someone else," that affects the quality of both the housing and, in all likelihood, the quality of the care they're receiving.

What this legislation would mean is that, at least in relation to the housing, people would have the same security of tenure as other people and they would therefore be in a better position to raise concerns about the fire standards being violated or the agreement with the ministry in relation to funding for services and so on, not being complied with.

Mr Jordan: Something we're missing here is not the landlord or his accommodation that he's offering to the resident so much as the human element of the resident as he or she enters into the civic life of that community.

I can tell you from firsthand experience with some of the residents that there are people in the community who are perhaps unemployed, but they become friends with them at a bar or somewhere and they're not ready for this type of social life. They know exactly the day they're receiving their money, their payments. They're having, in my opinion, a much more difficult time fitting into the social life that's being all of a sudden given to them, that they had controlled before. Now it's all there.

Mr Baker: If you're asking me whether I favour maintaining services like the Rideau Regional Centre, I guess I'd have to say that going back through three governments, Conservative, Liberal and NDP, it has been the policy of the government to deinstitutionalize people.

Mr Jordan: But no one has said at what level.

Mr Baker: I just finished my thought there. I represent individuals. I don't enforce government policy. I have helped people, assisted people who wished to leave the Rideau Regional Centre and I have assisted people get back into the Rideau Regional Centre who found that the community services or alternatives that had been made available to them were not adequate to meet their needs.

My position is not to take a position on deinstitutionalization. My responsibility is to serve the interests of my client, which I do. As I've mentioned, in at least one case I assisted someone, over considerable opposition, to get back in.

The Acting Chair (Mr Grandmaître): Thank you, Mr Jordan. Mr Wilson, please.

Mr Gary Wilson: Thank you very much for your presentation. I'd like to turn to your opinion perhaps on something that an earlier group, the Metro Toronto Association for Community Living, was suggesting. While I guess you could say they're generally supportive of the thrust of the legislation, they are very concerned that it is not as flexible as it might be with regard to Landlord and Tenant Act provisions, mainly for people who are developmentally disabled. They think there's a continuum, at one end at least. I guess the level of discretion is so low that the Landlord and Tenant Act doesn't apply or isn't helpful.

I was wondering what your view is especially in cases where a resident in a home care institution might be a threat either to himself or another resident.


Mr Baker: There are basically two issues I think you're raising. One is that a person is not, because of his disability, capable of making decisions about his housing. The other issue I think is one where the tenant is disruptive and somehow that's causally connected to the person's disability. Have I got two issues? Okay.

In relation to the capacity issue, I think to the extent that this concern ever was valid, it's no longer valid in light of the passage of the advocacy legislation and the passage of the substitute decisions legislation. Either you have a person who is capable of making these decisions and exercising his rights or you have a substitute, whereas, as we've seen, we have many people out there now who are in fact not capable and who have no one there to act on their behalf. In relation to that issue, I would say I'm not terribly sympathetic to it from the beginning, but it has been addressed as well as it has been addressed in any jurisdiction of which I'm aware here in Ontario. That process of implementation is now ongoing.

In relation to the issue of disruption, I must say, in the area of developmental handicap, my experience suggests that's not a major issue. I think you may hear from the Canadian Mental Health Association on this point in relation to mental health concerns and, if I understand it, a suggestion that there be a fast-track eviction process introduced.

I guess my personal view -- and this is not my organization's view, because the Association for Community Living and the Canadian Mental Health Association are member organizations of ours, as are a number of organizations that feel very, very strongly there should be no fast-track eviction. We don't have an organizational position on it, but I suggest that consideration be given to the sufficiency of the Substitute Decisions Act and Mental Health Act provisions as well as the Criminal Code provisions.

If people are breaking the law and are threatening other people, for example, there are definitely mechanisms for dealing with that under the law, and these are the same provisions that would apply in any other landlord and tenant situation where a tenant is disrupting circumstances for others. So I think that needs to be looked at.

Another point I would make in relation to that is that in circumstances where people are living in a genuine shared accommodation situation -- boarding homes are like that and they're covered under the Landlord and Tenant Act and I think they should be -- but where it's a genuinely cooperative living arrangement, and sometimes those arrangements are set up for disabled people -- it is possible to structure things under the Co-operative Corporations Act, I believe; correct me if I'm wrong -- so that there are provisions where essentially the tenants themselves can make decisions about who they choose to live with. It's a different structure but it's open to people to go that route if that's the kind of structure they're looking for.

Mr Gary Wilson: What about where there's onsite, 24-hour care? Do you see the Landlord and Tenant Act having an effect there, or would it be out of place to have Landlord and Tenant Act provisions in effect?

Mr Baker: I guess the question for me is, why would it not have effect? That's where the charter issue arises for me and for disabled people who are our clients and the people who've complained all these years about this provision. Why is there this exemption? Why is it assumed that tenants don't need the same protection simply because they're required to be provided with care? I think it needs to be considered, but considered on the basis of why people should be treated differently.

I'm pleased that Professor Lightman, certainly our examination of this and apparently the government's examination of this suggest that there isn't a good reason for treating disabled people and seniors differently than other tenants. If there are specific issues, I'd be happy to try to address them, but I don't think simply because people receive care, therefore they should not have the same protections under the Landlord and Tenant Act or they should be exposed to rent increases that are far in excess of those that anybody else is exposed to.

Mr Gary Wilson: What about --

The Acting Chair: Thank you, Mr Wilson. Mr Cordiano.

Mr Cordiano: I think Mr Daigeler has a question.

Mr Daigeler: Thank you very much for your presentation. In your comments you referred to the fact that the tenants, and in this case the disabled tenants, are not always right, but in many cases they had or have justifiable complaints. In this type of situation, injustice and abuse can exist unchecked. Could you enlighten me a little bit about what might be some of these cases of injustice and abuse, and how widespread this is? Just give me some concrete examples of what you're referring to here.

Mr Baker: Sure. I understand you're travelling down to Windsor. I understand the tenants' committee at ALPHA House, which is referred to in our brief, will be addressing you, so I'll leave that to them. I'd also prefer not to comment on it because it's before the courts. But the cases that we've heard about are situations where people have gone to the service providers and said, "You're not fulfilling your contract with the government," or, "You're not doing what you promised you would do," and the landlord has said, "Well, if you don't like it, we're going to evict you." That's a concern.

The situation in Peterborough was where a landlord was free to evict the disabled tenants and bring in other tenants at a higher rent for purely economic reasons, and because some care was provided in that situation, those people could be evicted from their homes, whereas people in the apartment building next door couldn't be evicted for those kinds of reasons from their homes. In that case again there were people who were looking at returning to Kingston Psychiatric Hospital or to other far more expensive service delivery structures and they didn't require it. They were living in a perfectly satisfactory way in this home, but there just weren't alternative places available for them.

We've heard of situations where people were complaining about the food, were helping organize tenants' groups. The situation in the Cedar Glen home I think is a good one, because that was the longest inquest at the time in Canadian history, examining what was going on in that home and the problems there were in having the physical abuse that people were experiencing dealt with.

People were dismissed because they were formerly psychiatric patients, and no one listened. People didn't have any rights in relation to their landlord which they could enforce. So no one would come in and assist them in that situation, not even the people from Queen Street who had referred them there. So there was no mechanism there.

Again, for me it comes down -- and I can go on because we've literally had hundreds of complaints over the years.

The Acting Chair: Mr Cordiano would like to ask you a very short question.

Mr Baker: Oh, I'm sorry.

Mr Cordiano: Not to cut you off, but I just wanted to zero in on a point with respect to care and provision of care and if there's any concern about the lack of provision in the bill in emergency situations. Under the Landlord and Tenant Act, you need 24 hours' notice in order to enter the tenant's premises. I know there are going to be instances where emergency care needs to be provided without that notice being granted, and that's going to create some difficulties. Are you at all concerned with the lack of provision for that in Bill 120?

Mr Baker: I think that can be dealt with and is being dealt with now by those service providers who are operating under part IV voluntarily by contractual arrangements in advance; that is, that people say, "We want you to come in because we require assistance." Before a landlord will undertake to provide service, that would be part of the service agreement, "Part of the service you will provide us is that you'll come in and assist us."


Mr Cordiano: But in an emergency situation where there need to be provisions --

Mr Baker: In many of these places, the seniors have buzzers and so on. That's part of the service.

Mr Cordiano: But under the Landlord and Tenant Act, it still requires written notice 24 hours in advance in order to enter those premises.

Mr Baker: Not if you're invited. You're an invitee. You're invited to come in in circumstances where service is required. That's not prohibited under the Landlord and Tenant Act, I don't think.

The Chair: Thank you for appearing this afternoon. As usual the time is too short. We will be considering this bill clause by clause in the week of March 6.

Mr Gary Wilson: Mr Chair, could I just ask the committee members whether they would like to hear from an official from the Housing ministry on the issue of the fire code that was raised? He has a brief explanation that I think would be welcomed by everyone.

Mr David Johnson: Why don't we have the deputants first, and then at the end of the day, that would be helpful.

The Chair: That sounds like a reasonable suggestion to me.

I would also like to bring to the attention of members that this morning someone asked for a copy of a survey. That survey is now in front of everyone.


The Chair: The next deputation is from the city of London. Good afternoon again. You have been allocated one half-hour for your presentation, and the members always appreciate some of that time to talk about it.

Mr Tom Gosnell: Thank you very much, Mr Chairman, and thanks to you and the committee for the opportunity to speak here today.

You should be aware that the council of the corporation of the city of London has passed a resolution opposing this proposed legislation. The chair of our planning committee, Councillor Ted Wernham, and I are here today in an effort to outline the critical shortcomings council and our staff see from a planning, financial and safety perspective. We are taking the contrary position based on facts and an enviable track record for planning, not political ideology.

I would also like committee members to be very clear that the city of London has been proactive in the creation of residential intensification and not merely taking an adversarial position. Our council's record is one Londoners can be proud of and offers solutions for the provision of safe, affordable housing.

If this legislation is passed in its present form, we fear it will strike a blow at the very heart of the value of most Ontarians' largest investment and that's their home.

At this juncture, I would ask Councillor Wernham, chairman of city council's planning committee, to present a brief history of what measures we've taken and what we are doing today as a municipality.

Mr Ted Wernham: In 1990 a residential intensification study was completed in London. That was a multifaceted study aimed at residential intensification and looked at the ability of existing properties to support new households; the potential demand for units; and the physical potential of the existing building stock. So as you can see, we're not standing idly by.

In January 1991 the city of London established a home planning advisory service to provide assistance to home owners who wished to create an additional unit in their residence. As well, the city of London official plan already includes policies that promote residential intensification in appropriately identified areas. The work continues in another area as well.

I feel the committee members should also understand that the city of London is currently developing a city-owned subdivision of 321 lots, 48 of which will contain made-to-convert residences.

London's official plan also contains policies that will further designate intensification and infill, but subject to consideration of neighbourhood planning and adequate servicing.

The question of servicing takes us into another critical area that has all but been ignored in this as-of-right concept. Doubling or tripling residential units will have a significant effect and strain on hard services such as sewers, water systems and others that are not designed to meet extreme demands.

Bill 120 also ignores the municipality's requirements regarding parking. This will unquestionably lead to parking abuses, turning residential front, rear and side lots into ad hoc parking lots. This proposed legislation even allows for intensification in town house projects. Density in those units has already been set to the outer limit of tolerance. This legislation pushes that beyond responsible planning for quality of life and for safety issues.

From a safety standpoint, our city of London fire department has grave concerns about as-of-right basement and attic apartments, garden suites or granny flats. Basement apartments, because of the smaller windows and, for the most part, one entrance in and one entrance out are, in a working fire, considered to be one of the most dangerous, intensely burning blazes faced by firefighters.

In August of last year, the Ontario Municipal Fire Prevention Officers Association presented a lengthy brief to the ministries of Housing and Municipal Affairs which I urge you all to read in detail. I've attached as an appendix a copy of this report to our presentation. It's page after page of problems and potential threats to the safety of our people.

Mr Gosnell: We'd also like to make you aware of the January 7 editorial in the London Free Press. I think that, this one time anyway, this newspaper's stance clearly reflects the broad-based community opposition to many of the provisions in Bill 120. I quote:

"At the least, the province should make its accessory apartment provisions permissive. The same as proposed for garden suites, with the final control resting with the municipality."

It goes on to add:

"What are the safety, fire, and other regulations governing these apartments? Who pays for the staff to inspect them? Who pays to enforce these laws? The province may be setting the rules, but the local municipalities may end up paying the price. The government's heart is in the right place, but its head is in the clouds."

The government's major thrust with Bill 120 is to create more affordable housing. We understand that, but we also believe this legislation is a Toronto-driven solution applied with a very broad brush across the province. Extensive and ongoing research by the city of London's community improvement division reveals that 65% of housing stock in the city of London already meets the province's criteria for affordability. Add to that a consistently high vacancy rate of 4% to 5% in rental units. Therefore, it leaves us asking the question why? Why is this legislation, despite the protests of municipal politicians and community groups, moving ahead with such great speed?

Just this past week, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp released figures that earmarked the city of London as the number one centre for housing starts last year. Of special interest, the committee should note that CMHC says the construction of semidetached housing, row housing and condominiums made up London's enviable position. The report also says an increase of 6% was experienced in single, detached units. These numbers indicate to me that the work our citizens and council are pursuing in housing is working for citizens across the economic spectrum.

At a public meeting held at London city hall last year, community groups and neighbourhood associations representing a broad cross-section of the socioeconomic fabric of London stepped forward to say no to Bill 120. The opposition was as diverse and as broad as the very mix of the people who make up our community and invest their life savings in their principal residences. Spokesperson after spokesperson from virtually every area of the city told our council they do not want the real estate value of their homes converted from a free market value assessment to one based on the potential cash flow of putting an increased number of bodies into potentially inappropriate settings.

Listen to these home owners as our council did. In spite of similar meetings across Ontario, I've heard some government members presenting statistics from a survey that says 75% of Ontarians agree with basement apartments. That may be, but I doubt the people responding were ever told in what context these units and additional flats would appear on the landscape, or that they would be as of right. To use that figure as a rationale for the majority thinking of Ontario is incorrect and it's irresponsible.


Government members have also trumpeted unsubstantiated figures about the number of illegal apartments that exist in Ontario. How does one qualify and quantify numbers like that? A registry of illegal apartments, to my knowledge, does not exist in this province. Again, to use those numbers with an air of official credibility attached to them is dangerous.

In closing today, on behalf of London city council, we believe that Bill 120 is not only ill conceived, but it mixes unrelated issues dealing with tenants' rights issues in residential facilities. Quite simply, the province has not listened to municipalities which will ultimately suffer from this flawed piece of legislation.

London has demonstrated through local initiatives and controls that properly planned residential intensification can take place in a sensitive, cost-effective fashion. In fact the members of the Legislature for London Centre, London South and London North all live in residential areas where a broad cross-section of housing is available at all prices. These neighbourhoods are among some of the most sought-after places to live in London. Why is that? Because of municipal zoning, municipal planning and sensitivity to the tangibles and intangibles that constitute a good place to live. Where intensification is a good idea in London, it already happens.

Bill 120 will gut that ability to respond to local concerns with its unbridled as-of-right provisions. Municipally controlled zoning is the basic tenet of local land use and development. Those controls handle a broad cross-section of quality of life issues from health and safety to economic viability to social desirability.

I would urge this committee to recommend that Bill 120 be stopped at this stage and rewritten in true consultation with local government. As a council, we have consulted Londoners in open public forums. Their overwhelming response to these provisions of Bill 120 was a resounding no. Do not allow political ideology to get in the way of decades and decades of planning and controls that have made this province one of the most desirable places to live and to raise a family for people at all income levels.

The Chair: We will start the rotation with the government.

Mr Winninger: I'm sure it won't surprise you, Mr Mayor and Councillor Wernham, that we agree on some things and disagree on others. I certainly think London has made some strides towards introducing affordable housing to various parts of the city. Unfortunately, however, we still have a waiting list for London housing of over 1,000 families. We have a similar waiting list for cooperative and non-profit housing of over 1,000 families. We know that the number of tenant-occupied households in London that spend more than 30% of their income on housing is 31%, and it goes to 36% for the census metropolitan area. So there is, I suggest to you, an affordability problem.

The other problem I have with the position you put forward is this: London now has an official plan, and the official plan does specify that areas designated low and medium density may be zoned to allow apartments in houses, but there is no requirement. At the same time, areas to be zoned must meet certain criteria, such as second units have to be compatible with surrounding uses and also an area suitable for apartments in houses must include legally established converted houses, other types of multiple housing.

This would largely preclude legalizing apartments in houses in single-family areas, and if we look at the history of planning in London, we find that second units are permitted in parts of the inner city in R2 and R3 zones but that conversions are not allowed in most residential areas. Certainly the standards for houses to be converted require a larger lot than those that are unconverted.

There seem to be a number of cards stacking the deck against people, property owners who wish to exercise the right to convert by having a second dwelling unit in their home, whether it's single, detached or row. That's a problem I have with the position the city is putting forward. I wonder if either of you could comment.

Mr Gosnell: Obviously you and I have had this discussion many times. I think you were at a public meeting a year and a half ago, Mr Winninger, where we had 300 people and I think two or three of them supported your point of view and the rest did not.

Zoning has a history in the province of trying to make sure that we have a society in municipalities where people can live and work together, and I think what your legislation is doing which is most offensive of all is to really take away the right of municipal government to zone lands. That's really the history of local government and why I think our cities have done so well.

I don't disagree with the premise of your government or you in particular that there can be more intensification. Where I totally disagree is that what you are doing so naïvely, in my view, is changing the zoning of every single-family, row house, town house property in the province of Ontario. That's not going to solve your problem. In fact that's going to create far more problems than you're trying to solve.

I think what you have to hear and I hope you will hear over the next month before you make a decision on this is that council after council will come in and tell you that there are areas of our community that can intensify. There are many areas of our municipalities that simply cannot because of service and land and other conditions that are there. Your legislation does not understand that, does not take that into account and condemns many parts of local communities to a lifestyle change that is totally unacceptable to that local government.

You got elected to sit on the Legislature; you did not get elected to do the zoning of local government. That's the message you're going to hear from every member of council who probably will come before you representing the official position of their council. Unless I'm mistaken, I don't know of a municipality, by resolution, that supports these provisions of Bill 120 in the entire province, but I can sure tell you that the AMO position and the majority, if not all of the positions I've seen to date, do not support what your government's putting forward with these resolutions.

Mr Winninger: Is there time for a follow-up? We as a province have many cities in Ontario, such as London, where the household size, particularly in the inner city, is declining, where there is excess capacity for water and sewer, hard services and soft services like schools and parks. Instead of investing considerable amounts of money in increasing our urban subdivisions, in the interests of compact development does it not make sense to you to utilize that excess capacity in a win-win way?

Mr Gosnell: It does and in fact we do that now. But we do it by zoning applications where we can clearly make sure that those services are in place.

I think you've touched upon the primary concern we have that unless you look at it project by project, area by area, you could create a situation, in White Oaks, for example, an area that you represent, where it's already maxed out to its maximum capacity for water, sewage and other services and yet your provision would allow for that entire area, the size of St Thomas, to double and there would absolutely be no controls on it at all.

Where it makes sense we support what you're trying to say. The problem with your legislation is that it allows every single area of the province that's single-family, row house, town house, two-family or whatever to double in density, and that's the problem with it, because it does not take into regard areas that are already at a point that they simply cannot take any more services.

Mr Winninger: What we heard yesterday --

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Winninger. Mr Grandmaître.

Mr Grandmaître: Mr Mayor, I'm interested in your own planning advisory service, so maybe I should ask Ted or the chair of the planning committee. How did you work this in with the public and how successful were you?


Mr Wernham: Probably one of the most vocal of all our meetings with respect to representation from the community -- in fact, we intend to hold another meeting, as his worship referred to, and have the public come forward. We want to be able to provide home owners with assistance with regard to those places in the city where it would make good zoning sense and good accommodation sense to have these additional units. We took this into account while we were reviewing our official plan policies.

Mr Grandmaître: Did you need to change your zoning bylaw to accommodate or to assist people to provide this intensification?

Mr Wernham: Yes.

Mr Grandmaître: You did?

Mr Wernham: Indeed, because we went through a process where there was a total zoning reform just recently and that was one of the components.

Mr Gosnell: If I might say on that, we looked at a specific area of residential intensification and included that concept in a plan. It was with, I believe, your government that we were the first local government to sign an intensification document. That's the kind of thing we would encourage continuing to take place between the province and local government. We all want affordable housing. We all want intensification, the use of services, whether they are there or not and underutilized. But clearly all of us live in cities where we can all think of parts of the municipalities that simply cannot take any more density. Unfortunately, what's happening is that this bill is going to throw that in with all the other areas and it doesn't make any sense.

Mr Cordiano: Just to follow up on that same thought very quickly, what I think I'm hearing is that there is some room to allow for basement apartments to exist as long as municipalities have the authority to determine where they might be located through their zoning bylaws.

Mr Gosnell: Yes; not only where but that they be done properly to meet the code.

Mr Cordiano: Yes, of course.

Mr Gosnell: They don't necessarily have to be apartments; they can be a division in the house. You can think of any number of different ways for it to be done. There are opportunities for garden suites and we're not disposed to not having those. What we're saying is that not every single property in a community can either be divided into an apartment or can have an additional garden suite added to it. There has to be discretion. That's why we have a history of zoning in the province of Ontario.

Mr Gary Wilson: There is discretion.

Mr Gosnell: There's no discretion as it relates to as-of-right accessory units in residential --


Mr Gosnell: No, that's as of right; that's not discretion.

Mr Grandmaître: You say "the residential intensification and appropriately identified areas." How did you do this through your zoning bylaw? How did you identify these properties?

Mr Gosnell: On the area that we dealt with with the previous government, we looked at a Hamilton Road area where we had setbacks off the road. We had engineering studies done on the capacity of the roads, the sewers, the water systems. We did a review of the school system, of the parks system. We looked at all the different components that make up amenities to living in a community and we realized that we had areas in the community that could have more intensification and therefore lead to more affordable housing. That's why we entered into the intent to get into the residential intensification which we have included in our official plan.

Mrs Dianne Cunningham (London North): It's a pleasure, of course, to see our municipality being represented so ably. I think I can speak as a former member of the planning board where we used to look very carefully when we had delegations coming to ask us if they could increase the usage of their homes in permitting these residential units, detached, semi-detached and row houses. As I remember, it was pretty well received as long as all of our own bylaws and what not were followed, so this brings back some memories.

I have some difficulty sometimes with some of the figures that are used by the government in this regard too, and I thought Mr Winninger said it very well when he said that the cards are stacking against our position from time to time. I agree with him, sometimes they are.

Unfortunately, in this instance I think the cards are stacked against the public. You raised the issue of the question with regard to the 70% number that's being used. The question is this: "Do you strongly favour, somewhat favour, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose allowing owners of houses in Ontario to add one" -- one -- "self-contained apartment to their house to increase the supply of housing?" Quite frankly, if I was asked a question like that, I'm surprised that 100% didn't agree with it. I'm surprised that 30% opposed it, because I think that under many circumstances that should happen.

That's what we had last week. Mr Winninger and I had a friendly exchange on a television program and he stated that 70% of the citizens of Ontario were in favour of, in this case, basement apartments. Now you're objecting to that number, and I wondered if you'd like to expand upon it.

Mr Gosnell: I don't think the question makes any sense, quite frankly. If you had asked the question, "Do you want basement or accessory apartments as a right in every location where anyone in a single-family, row house or town house so chooses?" I think you'd find that 100% of the population would probably say no. So it's like anything else: It's how you phrase the question.

I think you've pointed out that it's a real motherhood question, but the real guts of what we're talking about is, do you want every residential property, regardless of servicing capability, to have the opportunity to either be doubled or tripled in density? That question was not put to the public.

Mrs Cunningham: On the second question that I have, I'm searching for the answers, so I'm just reading the bill with regard to the explanatory note. Do you know anywhere, in any province, that a bill like this could amend a planning act -- and I'm going to quote now. It amends the Planning Act "to ensure that official plans and bylaws cannot be used to prohibit two residential units in a detached house, semi-detached house or row house." Is there any province that would have taken that responsibility away from the municipalities, that you know of?

Mr Gosnell: I don't know of any. I can't even find a municipality in the province that supports anything to do with as of right, let alone finding a province that's endorsed it.

Mrs Cunningham: I think my questions speak for themselves.

Mr David Johnson: To the mayor and the councillor, what I'm hearing through this deputation is a municipality that's very well planned, a municipality that has planned considering intensification, affordability issues, parking, services; a planning process that involves the people who live there and work there, who understand the conditions in the city of London, and not an exercise by academics or somebody from some remote location. Yet the minister is saying that the planning that you put in place is snob zoning and the minister is saying that you haven't planned properly, that you haven't planned for enough affordable housing, for example.

I wonder, having gone through this exercise and considered all these factors and worked with the people and come up with the wonderful community that you have, what is your reaction when you hear those kinds of comments from the minister?

Mr Gosnell: I think it's just mind-boggling that the minister would call it snob zoning, because it doesn't affect just large estate lots, which sometimes the public has the impression are the only lots that are being touched. In fact, every two-family zone, every triplex, every row house, every town house will be affected by this as well. I think I could make the case that the area that is considered the least snobby, in her words, probably meaning income, would be the most damaged by this legislation. So I find that her comments really are without foundation. Perhaps she had a bad hair day. I'm not sure why she said it like that, but the point is that she never got elected to do local zoning, and I think what the government is intending to do with this is to take away that right. I don't know that any of the members of this Legislature should take a decision to remove local zoning issues from local government lightly.

Mr David Johnson: My sense is that what's required and what municipalities need are more powers in terms of entry to address the problems: the property standards problems, the safety issues that occur. As you know, today if you knock on the door and try to get in because of a complaint, you can be refused entry. Number one and maybe number two: for the province to set guidelines or targets for affordable housing, which they've had, and then allow you at the local level to have flexibility, permissive legislation to meet those kinds of targets. I wonder what your views would be on this kind of approach.


Mr Gosnell: I'll answer the question on the entry. Perhaps Councillor Wernham could talk about guidelines that we could work out with the province.

We have for some time asked for the ability to look at zoning infractions and entry opportunities where we think there's a health or safety risk or a zoning or a residential density risk. This bill doesn't do that, but there is legislative opportunity to give authorities at the local level the right of entry to make sure that our zoning bylaws are being complied with and, more importantly, that the safety and health issues are being complied with as it relates to guidelines.

Mr Wernham: It's our contention that the government's mixed up between affordability and accommodation. There's no way it can be demonstrated that by simply doubling the density in any particular area it makes an area more affordable. We're concerned that these types of solutions aren't carefully thought out and in fact will become more damaging to the infrastructure that we have to rely on currently.

To respond to a comment that speaks to the opportunity to intensify in the inner core, we're not necessarily convinced that everyone wants to live in a higher density inner core. We feel there should be some opportunity to enjoy the amenities that exist in the fringe areas of our cities as well.

What we've done in taking a look at our official plan in a subdivision that we have ourselves being planned is to try and accommodate the affordability issue rather than the accommodation issue.

The Chair: Thank you, gentlemen, for appearing before us. As you know, we will be considering this bill clause by clause the week of March 6.


The Chair: The final presentation for this afternoon's meeting comes from the Orchard Heights and Town and Country Home Owners' Association, Fran Wallace. The committee has allocated one half-hour to your presentation. I would note that all members have a copy and some background material, so you may introduce yourself and indicate your position within the organization and begin.

Mrs Fran Wallace: My name is Fran Wallace and I am the immediate past president of Orchard Heights and Town and Country Home Owners' Association, which is located in Mississauga.

I had the privilege of serving as president of the association when Bill 90 was originally introduced in the Legislature in 1992. I was so horrified by the implications of the bill at that time that I immediately ensured the residents of my neighbourhood were fully aware of its implications. You have attached in my remarks package the individual comments of home owners in my neighbourhood regarding this issue. This is not a petition. They are individual comment sheets completed and signed by the residents. Out of the 455 residences in our area, 183 home owners took the time to respond and only one resident favoured the bill.

I'm here today to speak on behalf of my association and convey our strong opposition to Bill 90 or, as it is now known, Bill 120. My remarks are my personal feelings but they reflect the consensus of the concerns of my association.

I'd like to start out my comments by expressing my anger at Minister Gigantes for hiding the implications of Bill 90 by incorporating it into a new bill which includes unregulated care homes, Bill 120. The government seems to be focusing the discussions on the need for tenants' rights in care homes, and while this is an important issue, the accessory apartment and garden suite issue seems to be taking a back seat.

The minister has a lovely report, the Lightman report, and its recommendations to justify the actions being taken on the care home side of the bill. The old Bill 90 side of the current legislation, the accessory apartment and garden suite side of the equation, is so unpopular, and she knows it, that it is quite obvious she is trying to slip it into law on the coattails of the care home issue.

I resent being manipulated in this fashion and I would rather see the entire bill die than pass it, because half of it possibly has some merit. It's a sleazy move that tends to justify and further the public's distrust of politicians. I am not prepared to speak on the issue of care homes. My remarks will focus on the accessory apartment and garden suite portion of Bill 120.

I'd like to clearly state at this point that I feel there is some need for legislation to protect tenants and the landlord in what are currently illegal apartments. Bill 120, however, is so flawed, it's a recipe for chaos.

First, we must take into account that the legislation permits absentee landlords and has opened up the definition of what constitutes a "household." This means that a person can buy six houses on my street and install 12 tenants in those houses, of which any one of those tenant groups could consist of 15 people. Tenants in this situation have far less commitment to Orchard Heights than home owners and even less because of an absentee landlord situation. So much for the sense of community which has been a part of Orchard Heights for over 40 years.

As-of-right accessory apartments in every home and town house across the province is wrong. The directives from the province in the late 1980s encouraging higher residential density on new property development has resulted in some pretty tight living quarters for residents, particularly in town house developments. City planners have designed these new developments to already accommodate as many people as possible in as little space as possible, and now, with this legislation, the density of these developments could be doubled. There's no doubt that when people live in spaces that are too crowded, violence erupts and pride of ownership decreases. We'll be legislating ghettos.

I know the NDP is promoting this bill because it will increase property usage in older areas which are underpopulated because the children have moved out, and to the casual observer, Orchard Heights, which was built in the early 1950s, would fit this description. However, Orchard Heights points out the flaw in province-wide legislation. Exceptions to the norm cannot be accommodated.

Since we moved into Orchard Heights 14 years ago, the area has been transformed from empty-nesters to a wonderful mix of original owners and young people raising their families. There is also a growing tendency for children to live with their parents longer. I know several residents in the area with kids in their late 20s still living with their parents.

Other considerations: The public school in the area was sold in 1980. We have no school. Our water system is rusting and it requires replacing. The telephone system is running out of lines for the area. The houses were built with single-car driveways. The legislation requires no designated parking spots for tenants. There are no sidewalks in the area so any extra cars parking on the road become very dangerous to pedestrians and particularly our children.

The city has identified a lack of recreational facilities in our planning area. We have no community centre and because we're a fully settled area, finding a location for a recreational facility will be very costly, and this bill could double the number of people living in Orchard Heights. It's wrong. Mississauga knows my area's capability and needs, not the province, and any approvals for accessory apartments should be determined by my city council, not the province.

Education costs are 63% of my municipal tax bill. Sending just one extra child to elementary school costs $2,226 a year in municipally collected tax dollars. Yet the way this bill is structured, there is no mechanism to collect the increased taxes required to cover municipal services, let alone the education costs for accessory apartment dwellers. I know the NDP feels that the extra taxes will be collected by accessory apartments, but they're wrong. The assessed value of a house must increase by $5,000 before any municipal tax increase can be levied.

In my area, most of the houses already have finished basements. Any adjustments to accommodate tenants would be minor and not increase the value of the home substantially, if at all. In new homes where the basement has not been finished, most of the increased value would be swallowed up in the $5,000 benchmark, meaning little tax increase would occur. It would not cover the extra cost of sending even one child to school for a year.

It should therefore come as no surprise that those residents who elect not to have accessory apartments will wind up paying the extra costs incurred by the accessory apartment dwellers, not the landlord. That prospect is infuriating to those of us who elect not to have accessory apartments. The legislation discriminates against those of us who elect not to have accessory apartments.

I also object to the way the NDP is promoting this bill as a means for seniors or first-time buyers to supplement their incomes. The very nature of an accessory apartment in a residence designed as a single-family dwelling means that the relationship with the tenant is different than that of a tenant in a building designed to be a multiple-tenant facility. It cannot be an impersonal relationship and if the landlord-tenant relationship turns out to be problematic, it is much more serious than that in a regular, large apartment situation. It takes months of documentation, stress and legalities before the problem is resolved.

For those on limited incomes who felt this was a terrific means to supplement their income and help pay for the house, it may wind up being the reason they default on their mortgage payments and lose the house. By utilizing the standard rules of the Landlord and Tenant Act in Bill 120, many unsuspecting landlords will be caught up in a nightmare that has been promoted by the NDP. I would think this is one political hotbed that the NDP would wish to avoid.

Let me quote from a letter sent by John Dowson, chairperson of the Newmarket Citizens Task Force on Apartments in Houses, to the editor of the Toronto Star on November 14, 1992:

"With regard to the increased traffic, increased school enrolment and parking I can speak with authority. I live on a suburban block of 32 semi-detached, single-family housing units, and between 1978 and 1992, 17 of these units have been converted to living areas up and down. Of these 17 units, 11 are owned by absentee landlords, seven out of the 17 units have been converted and are still served with 60 amp electric power and only six are complete apartments; the remaining units are below-grade rooming houses. Further, as far as can be ascertained, only five of these units have laundry facilities.

"A recent real estate ad for one of these units listed four bedrooms in the basement with shared kitchen facilities, which were a microwave oven, a hotplate and a refrigerator. They are not affordable; these units rent for the same as any one- or two-bedroom apartment, and sometimes more. School enrolment at the local elementary school has increased by 35% in an area where no new houses have been built since 1958. On-street parking has tripled, garbage is left out at the curb every day -- we have one pickup a week -- and crime has increased."


Mr Dowson is living the nightmare that I'm trying to avoid by opposing this bill.

As for the garden suites, or granny flats, the legislation for this form of housing is also poorly thought out. Permission for these dwellings is limited to 10 years. I know I wouldn't put any above-required funding into a structure that is only going to be in existence for 10 years. So how comfortable and, more importantly, safe are these structures going to be for tenants?

How do you enforce the removal of a building from a property after 10 years? Great. Just what I want in my neighbourhood: abandoned buildings. That's an invitation for trouble, which of course brings up the fact that lack of definition in the bill means that granny flats can be vans or trailers. There's also no guideline regarding the placement of the granny flat. I do not wish to live in a trailer park. I don't wish to see trailers in my neighbour's front yard.

By forcing municipalities to ignore the local property standards and zoning bylaws and strictly follow the Ontario Building Code, accessory apartments will actually have lower standards than any other form of housing in Mississauga.

I understand the government is currently working to improve the fire code regulations as a follow-up to this bill. The thought of trusting the current government to develop adequate fire code regulations after this bill is passed is very scary. When one looks at the structure of Bill 120 and realizes how badly it's botched in response to an issue we pretty well all agree needs an answer, it certainly doesn't give us taxpayers much confidence. Give us the detail on the fire code changes before the bill is voted on.

If this bill is passed as it currently stands with the fire code regulations as is, the same fire hazards will exist for tenants. We've already had one recent example on New Year's Day of inadequate fire regulations in an existing illegal apartment in Mississauga. The proposed legislation wouldn't have helped those unfortunate people. This whole area of the bill is inadequate and it needs refinement before it's voted on.

There is only one good aspect to this bill, and that is because it improves the municipality's ability to access apartments to inspect. But even then the city of Mississauga finds the legislation defective in that it will only permit enforcement of the Ontario Building Code and property standards through a complex procedure of obtaining warrants on reasonable grounds. Few reasonable grounds can be determined in advance without access to the premises.

In summary, my opposition to this bill is also based on a violation of my rights. I am being discriminated against, and I resent it. I choose to live in an area of single-family residences. I worked hard to achieve enough success in my career so that I could afford to live in Orchard Heights. This legislation will mean the end of single-family residential areas. It's not as though I'll be able to move somewhere else to live in a single-family residential area. They won't exist. I'll have to move out of province to find my preferred housing style. It's so wrong.

Bill 120 also takes away people's hopes and dreams. So many of us dream of owning our own home to raise a family. It's something we aspire to: buying the best house in the best area we can afford. It's a reward for success. Bill 120 takes away that incentive to achieve, and what is a society without goals?

Bill 120 needs massive improvements before it is passed. To use a familiar expression, if a job is worth doing, it's worth doing right. The illegal apartment issue needs to be addressed; it just needs to be done right.

Mr Daigeler: I appreciate your presentation very much because I think it points out some of the real issues and the real concerns and how they affect the ordinary person. I should say one thing. In the briefing that the ministry and the minister gave to us at the beginning of these hearings, they did say that this bill will allow one extra apartment in self-contained houses provided that reasonable building, fire and planning standards are met. Now, they also added that these new standards are going to be developed as regulations. Frankly, this is something I haven't heard very much about yet from the government side, and perhaps they may address this later on.

Have you had any kind of indication through your contacts what these regulations might be? I could visualize that some of the requirements that the municipal representatives have been talking about would be included in these regulations. We haven't seen it. All I see here is this very small reference on this paper that was presented to us. I'm just wondering whether, first of all, you've seen or heard anything about this, and secondly, whether you think that if there are such regulations established by the provincial government, that could possibly soften your concerns about this bill.

Mrs Wallace: I have not been given much of a chance to prepare for this presentation. The information I have is thirdhand. I understand that the fire chief in -- I don't know whether it's Peel or whether it's the city of Mississauga. He is involved in the committee that is helping to develop the guidelines for the fire code regulations. My understanding is that he does not feel they are going far enough. I understand that they're talking about putting in fire safety walls and improving the doors, that sort of thing.

Mr Grandmaître: Sprinkler systems.

Mrs Wallace: That's what's missing, I understand. That's what I was told. Again, this is thirdhand.

Mr Daigeler: I think you're right.

Mrs Wallace: In terms of how it's going to be hammered out, I don't know the specifics on it. I agree that there definitely have to be some improvements on it, but by the same token, I think I've demonstrated fairly clearly that there are a lot of real problems with this bill. I'd rather see those recommendations in print before this thing is voted on.

Mr Grandmaître: Also, in order for these apartments to qualify as a basement apartment or an accessory apartment, they will have to register them. A lot of people will hesitate and won't register their illegal basement apartments.

Mrs Wallace: Oh, I'm quite sure of that.

Mr Grandmaître: I'm sure that you're not going to have a flood of people walking into the registry office and saying, "Look, I've been leasing out an illegal apartment for the last 15 years, and this is it, and just walk in and inspect it," because it would be very costly for these people to renovate, to upgrade the needed services to make these apartments legal.

Mrs Wallace: I agree.

Mr Grandmaître: On page 5, you say there's only one good aspect to this bill. I don't think you should say it is one good aspect because it won't give municipalities more access. They'll still need a warrant.

Mrs Wallace: I think what I said was there's a glimmer of hope there.

Mr Grandmaître: A glimmer of hope.

Mrs Wallace: But the city is definitely saying that it doesn't go far enough.


Mr Grandmaître: I think municipalities should be given all rights to enter any premises and to inspect --


Mr Grandmaître: Yes, not only the fire prevention people but municipal --


Mr Grandmaître: You can have your say, Gord, after. As a former inspector yourself, a provincial one, I think municipal inspectors, building inspectors, plumbing inspectors, electric inspectors, should have access to your home if they think your home is not, let's say, meeting all the requirements. Right now municipal inspectors are being prevented.

The Chair: Are you hoping for a response?

Mr Grandmaître: No, that's the next paragraph.

Mrs Wallace: Can I respond?

The Chair: Certainly.

Mrs Wallace: One thing I'd like to say is that I know the city of Mississauga is extremely concerned because all the extra inspections are going to require extra people, time, money etc. I don't feel I am knowledgeable enough to really express any definitive answers on that, but I just point out that's a bit of a problem, too, from what I can see.

Mr David Johnson: The city of Mississauga has actually said it would need 87 extra fire fighters.

Mrs Wallace: Is that right? Well, good for them.

Mr David Johnson: I would like to congratulate you on your presentation. Many of the points you've raised are points that I made in the opening presentations yesterday. Right off the top you've done quite a survey, obviously, of the people in your area. The government's done its own survey and I wonder what your reaction is to that. They say that 70% either strongly favour or somewhat favour the legislation, but their question doesn't indicate -- the words "as of right," for example, aren't in the question.

Mrs Wallace: Yes. I saw that in the minister's statement in some of the background documentation I was given. It was an Environics poll.

Mr David Johnson: That's right.

Mrs Wallace: I can well imagine the way the question came out. I don't think there's any objection. People are saying, "Yes, we need to have some legislation for illegal apartments." That's not anything anybody is disagreeing with, I don't think. The point is how this legislation is put together. That's the travesty. This stuff is awful. It's so full of holes. It's so full of errors. Nobody disagrees that we need to do something about illegal apartments; it's how we handle the issue.

Mr David Johnson: Since you do mention absentee landlords, and from my previous experience at the municipal level I know that has been a thorn in the side of a lot of councils, I wonder if your home owners' association has personally had dealings with instances that involve absentee landlords.

Mrs Wallace: No, none at this point. We have three rental properties in the area -- they're renting the entire house -- where the landlord does not reside there. A couple of them have lived there for 20 years, so there's not any real problem there. The third one is a house that sides -- is that the word? -- on to a main road and it's at the entrance to the neighbourhood and we have a real difficulty keeping people in those houses because they are on the edge of Dixie Road and it's very noisy and things. We sort of try to ignore them and use them as a buffer. There's been a lot of change over there, but I can't say we've had any real problem.

Our area is very special in the sense that we have at least a dozen, maybe 15, what I call three-generation families in the area, and that is, people bought the houses in the 1950s, they still live there and now their children have moved into the area and are raising their children there. It's quite a special area in the sense that so many people are so close to one another and it really is a sense of community. When I talk about six houses on a street being bought up, it really has a major impact in our area.

Mr David Johnson: This hasn't been discussed a whole lot, but you talked about the granny flats and the fact that they would be in existence for 10 years and what happens at 10 years and one day.

Mrs Wallace: That's right.

Mr David Johnson: It just sort of boggles the mind if the municipality would require the demolition of this. In many cases the granny flat would probably violate the coverage, the floor space index, so once the 10-year agreement is up, I guess the thing would have to be demolished. You'd wonder who would ever invest in something under those circumstances.

Mrs Wallace: Yes. It's one thing to build it so that it's there; it's another thing to have to invest money to take it down. The other option on that is that you get the permission for 10 years. Suppose granny dies in six. You don't have to take it down for four years. You've got permission to have it sitting around for another four years.

Mr David Johnson: And most likely a request to carry on, even though granny's no longer there, for a longer period of time.

Mrs Wallace: Even if granny isn't there, are you going to spend the money to take it down? Likely not. We have a golf course next door to our place and the caddy shacks out in the golf course are just demolished during the winter months when they're not in use. All this would be is a vacant building for these kids to do whatever they want to do. I see it as a real problem.

Mr David Johnson: My time's probably running out. I'd just say I think you were trying to be kind actually in terms of the one good aspect of the bill.

Mrs Wallace: The intention is good.

Mr David Johnson: The good aspect is only in the eyes of the government itself. I think you'll find that all of the municipalities, and we've certainly seen it from the two municipalities that have been here today, feel that the right of inspection is very minimally improved and nowhere near what municipalities need.

Mrs Wallace: That element was one element I was trying to look up at about 9 o'clock last night. I wasn't getting a whole lot of help from anybody, so just from the background reading I have done on it, I couldn't give you a really clear definition of how much it improves the situation, although I gather it improves it a bit --

Mr David Johnson: Not much.

Mrs Wallace: Not much.

The Chair: We've been waiting all day to hear from Mr Mills.

Mr Gordon Mills (Durham East): I've heard a lot. Thank you for coming here this afternoon. I'm going to take particular umbrage at your comment about granny flats, as you have caddy shacks in your area that dilapidate.

I'll tell you, first of all, that in the riding I represent, there are a number of elderly people. We all know that health care costs the earth for elderly people and we all know, and I should know particularly because I'm getting up into that age group, that when they get older and are separated from their families, their health deteriorates rather rapidly. I have evidence of that and probably you have too.

People come to me about this legislation and they say, "We think this is a fine idea to have a granny flat." I obviously have come to the conclusion that you don't know anything about granny flats, because you say in your brief --

Mrs Wallace: Excuse me?

Mr Mills: You don't know anything about them.

Mrs Wallace: I'm afraid I do.

Mr Mills: Okay. So how comfortable and safe will these structures be for the tenants? Well, I can tell you that there are thousands of granny flats or garden suites in the United States that are being used now. There are thousands of the same structures being used in Australia and New Zealand.

In my riding, I have a manufacturer who makes these. He lives there. He's going to come before this committee to present his brief. I've seen models of these granny flats. They're sectional. You carry them in between the buildings. Further than that, they have various types of designs that match the house. If you live, as I do, in a siding-type house, they will go to great extent to make that compatible with that house. So they won't stick out like a sore thumb.

I can tell you another point about these granny flats. We all know that people when they get older are living on a limited income. The cost of health care and private nursing homes is escalating, forcing some of these people to live rather substandard, and they would much rather live near to their families.

The proposal that my constituent has in the construction of granny flats is that you sign a lease with that company and the lease cost of that granny flat on your property is less per month than the cost of compatible nursing care, including the hookups to the hydro etc. So there we have not a shed in the garden; we have wonderful looking -- I must say I've seen the photographs of these buildings and I know this committee will see them when the gentleman comes here -- really what I consider first-class accommodation for seniors, compatible with the area they've been placed in, a lease arrangement that makes the people able to afford them, and that lease will relieve your suggestion that they're left there to rot. When the use for that senior is over, that lease then will be terminated and the thing moved on to another senior who is waiting.

I see this, not as you see it, as scary, abandoned buildings in the neighbourhood and an invitation for trouble; I see this as a very compatible use for land and in keeping with the buildings there, and it also serves the purpose of making our elderly people able to afford good accommodation and to be near the people they love. That to me is very important.

Mrs Wallace: I don't disagree that having your elderly parents or whatever close by is something we would all desire. However, I don't care if it is a nice-looking building. If you stick it in your side yard and I'm looking at it out my front window, or it's in your front yard and I'm looking at it, I don't care, I don't want it. I don't want to see that on my streetscape.

There are problems with this legislation. You can stick those things anywhere. They've got to be placed properly and there have got to be guidelines for them. Secondly, the legislation right now does not say it's a lease situation. At the end of the 10 years, they're going to come and take it away.

Mr Mills: It's an arrangement with the municipality.

Mr Grandmaître: What's this?

Mr Mills: The municipality; it's an arrangement.

Mr Grandmaître: It is?

Mr Mills: That's what it is, exactly.

Mrs Wallace: But the legislation does not say that, though.

Mr David Johnson: How would you like to sit on the municipality that's going to go in and take those out after 10 years? Good luck.

Mrs Wallace: The legislation does not say that.

The Chair: Perhaps the discussion should be with the presenter.

Ms Wallace: It may be a great, "Gee, that's one solution," but by the same token it doesn't say that in the legislation, so let's fix the legislation.

Mr Grandmaître: Bring in an amendment, Gord.

Mr Mills: I've great confidence in granny flats. I might need one.

The Chair: That completes the 30 minutes you've been allotted. Thank you for your presentation. We very much appreciated it and we will be commencing the clause-by-clause during the week of March 6.

Mr Wilson had noted that someone from the ministry might be prepared to --

Mr Gary Wilson: Perhaps we can wait until tomorrow. It will probably come up again, Mr Chair, so maybe when more people are here, more of the committee members.

The Chair: That would be fine, Mr Wilson. I would inform the committee that tomorrow we will be commencing at 10:30. Mayor Lastman is ill. He is not able to be here at 10 o'clock so there is a cancellation. The clerk has worked very diligently to try to place another presenter in that time slot but we have been unsuccessful, so we will start tomorrow morning at 10:30.

The committee adjourned at 1704.