Thursday 27 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

City of Windsor social services department

Dana Howe, commissioner of social services

Peggy Davis, director, special services

Housing Information Services, Labour Community Service Centre of Windsor and Essex County

Judy Lund, director

Federation of Windsor-Essex County Tenants' Associations; Legal Assistance of Windsor

Tony Mandl, student lawyer, LAW

Joe Krall, federation executive director

Carol McDermott, staff lawyer, LAW

Concerned Citizens for Access and Equality

Ralph Evans, member

Sharon Lumsden, member

Citizen Advocacy Windsor/Essex

Shirley Jarcaig, managing director

Nola Millin, president

Apartments for Living for the Physically Handicapped Association

Charles Gascoyne, board member

CAW Community Development Group

Caroline Desjarlais, portfolio administrator

Earl Dugal, executive director, Windsor area

City of Windsor housing advisory committee

Marina Clemens, chair

Michael Cooke, planner, planning department

Edward Link, building commissioner

Central Park Lodge, Windsor

Jim Anderson, general manager

M. M. Dillon Ltd

Tiziano Zaghi, senior planner

D'Arcy Goodfellow

London and Area Tenant Federation

Leo Bouillon, executive director

Chelsey Park Retirement Community

Tony Orvidas, administrator



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

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

*Arnott, Ted (Wellington PC)

Dadamo, George (Windsor-Sandwich ND)

Fletcher, Derek (Guelph ND)

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

*Johnson, David (Don Mills PC)

*Mammoliti, George (Yorkview ND)

Morrow, Mark (Wentworth East/-Est ND)

Sorbara, Gregory S. (York Centre L)

Wessenger, Paul (Simcoe Centre ND)

White, Drummond (Durham Centre ND)

*In attendance / présents

Substitutions present/ Membres remplaçants présents:

Cooper, Mike (Kitchener-Wilmot ND) for Mr Dadamo

Crozier, Bruce (Essex South/-Sud L) for Mr Sorbara

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

Owens, Stephen (Scarborough Centre 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

Clerk / Greffier: Carrozza, Franco

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



The committee met at 0900 in the Hilton Hotel, Windsor, Ontario.


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 business of the committee today is to hear public deputations with regard to Bill 120. Our first presentation this morning will be from the city of Windsor. The committee has allocated 30 minutes to your presentation. Introduce yourselves for the purposes of our electronic Hansard and then begin your presentation.

Ms Dana Howe: Welcome to Windsor. My name is Dana Howe. I'm the commissioner of the social services with the city of Windsor and these are my staff, Peggy Davis and John Durocher. We're extremely privileged to have you come to Windsor and reach out into our communities and receive feedback on the good work the government is doing.

The establishment of the Commission of Inquiry into Unregulated Residential Accommodation in November 1990 was the most praiseworthy and welcome announcement, as was more recently the government's decision to provide coverage under the Landlord and Tenant Act to all residents of domiciliary hostels.

The government is to be commended for its recent action in recognizing hostels within provincial legislation. This constitutes a first step towards formal protection for vulnerable adults who reside in domiciliary hostels. If the vulnerability of hostel residents is to be officially recognized and if vulnerable adults in the province are to receive the protection necessary to their enjoyment of the same rights and quality of life as other citizens, then further steps must be taken to ensure their safety and wellbeing.

In August 1992, Windsor city council endorsed a submission to the Lightman commission outlining 19 specific recommendations, which we have included in an attachment to our presentation.

They are highlighting the following: that the province assume responsibility for regulation; that the province effect regulation through amendment of existing legislation, ie, the Ontario Building Code, Homes for Special Care Act and Landlord and Tenant Act; that the province establish an adult protective services program; that lodging home operators be required to enter into individual lease agreements with residents on an annual basis; that the province recognize the empowerment of the individual as primary in the development of regulation; and that the province initiate a pilot program within a community where there exists an effective municipal bylaw regulating lodging homes.

Further to the release of the report A Community of Interests, Windsor city council, in September 1992, unanimously supported Dr Lightman's 144 recommendations, including the recommendation that Windsor be considered as a site for any comprehensive community care pilot program. This resolution was communicated to the ministers of Citizenship, Community and Social Services, Health and Housing.

In response, the Minister of Community and Social Services advised council of the government's intentions to review the recommendations of Dr Lightman while establishing an interministerial committee to assess his recommendations.

The Ministry of Community and Social Services then engaged Ernst and Young to conduct a domiciliary and emergency hostel review, the final report of which was released in November 1992. Further to this review, a project to reform the general welfare hostel system has been announced and the municipality has been invited to participate in this project.

Current issues: Our present concerns with respect to what has been accomplished to date relate to three areas: the failure of the domiciliary and emergency hostel review to create an accurate picture of domiciliary hostel residents and the current state of services available to them; the failure of the government to date to seize the initiative presented within the Lightman report, particularly with respect to support and protective services for vulnerable adults in domiciliary hostels; the increased vulnerability of domiciliary hostel residents as a result of the failure of the current long-term care reform process to include lodging home residents within the long-term care strategy.

(1) Hostel review: A major and fundamental flaw with the recent and prior reports concerning hostels is the failure to separate domiciliary and emergency hostel residents in both their quantitative and qualitative research. As a result, the service-intensive emergency hostel system has distorted the services picture of domiciliary hostels in general by suggesting more services than actually are provided.

The research is equally flawed in its failure to elicit adequate consumer input. For example, in one major report, seven residents from a single domiciliary hostel constituted consumer input for the whole province, yet the report proceeds to make assumptions with respect to quality of service based on this totally inadequate consumer sampling.

Various reports repeatedly state that the lack of recognition by the province of the key role of hostels in delivering extensive services is a primary issue and that, as a result, the per diem is inadequate. This statement is founded on the assumption that hostel operators should be in the business of providing services. It is our position that domiciliary hostel residents are part of the community and should therefore have access to generic long-term care services, just as any other citizen. The Lightman report illustrates very clearly the inherent conflict between the profit motive and any inclination an operator may have to provide adequate support services.

In terms of funding, prior reports basically suggest giving more money to operators by way of purchase-of-service contracts with municipalities in exchange for provision of a specific package of services. No specific accountability measures are proposed other than a general statement that new mechanisms should be designed to monitor the effectiveness of programs.

Our extensive experience in administering purchase-of-service agreements with domiciliary hostel operators in a setting regulated by comprehensive municipal bylaw has shown us that direct enforcement of standards aid to ensure the delivery of adequate service when the role is delegated to the operator. However, it is our position that apart from the provision of board and lodging, wherever possible, services should be handled by the community agents other than domiciliary hostels operators. Only then can the integrity of support services to vulnerable adults in domiciliary hostels be protected from conflict of interest.

A further conflict exists with respect to the administration of personal needs allowances by domiciliary hostel operators. Recent changes to family benefits legislation have facilitated the payment of personal needs allowances directly to operators as opposed to residents.

Windsor city council recently petitioned the Ministry of Community and Social Services to take action to redress this problematic situation. For its part, the Windsor department of social services has intervened to ensure the direct delivery of personal needs allowances cheques to subsidized residents. However, there is nothing in place to protect the interests of privately paying residents or domiciliary hostel residents on a provincial scale.

(2) Complementary legislation and support: The action of the government in expanding the Landlord and Tenant Act, the Rent Control Act and the Rental Housing Protection Act to cover lodging homes is consistent with the recommendations of the Lightman report in that it thereby recognizes lodging homes as residential, as opposed to institutional, facilities. With Bill 120, the government has taken a positive step in this direction.

What should follow, however, as suggested by the Lightman report, is the expansion of other pieces of existing legislation so as to ensure the safety and wellbeing of residents, ie, the Ontario Building Code, the Ontario fire code, the Planning Act and the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

The government is to be lauded for ongoing action undertaken over the past two years in respect to the development of the Advocacy Act, the Consent to Treatment Act and the Substitute Decisions Act. It is our position, however, that further action must be taken in respect to the creation of protective services for vulnerable adults. The Lightman report has proposed a bill of rights, a rest homes tribunal and the mandatory reporting of abuse of vulnerable adults. In its submission to the commission of inquiry, Windsor city council went even further in proposing an adult protective services program, the administration of which should fall under the Ministry of the Attorney General.

We also identified the need for a pilot program and for the location of one such program in the city of Windsor. We are sure you have taken note of the fact that the Lightman report has several references to the city of Windsor. In one instance the report commends "the efforts of the Windsor social services department to protect rest home residents through active enforcement of that city's bylaw." The positions taken in both this and our earlier submission to the commission of inquiry are based directly upon extensive experience through years of active enforcement on behalf of vulnerable adults in Windsor lodging homes.

(3) Long-term care reform: We do not ignore the fact that lodging home residents, as vulnerable adults, are medically frail or at risk by definition. It is essential, therefore, that all community health services be readily available to them as they are to other citizens who live at home. It would be essential that the single-access system under the long-term care reform include lodging home residents.


We are dismayed, however, by the fact that the long-term care reform legislation to date has consistently excluded lodging home residents from its target groups. We have been told that the needs of vulnerable adults in lodging homes are to be addressed by government action in respect of the Lightman report. However, action taken to date, ie, Bill 120, can in no way compensate for the exclusion of lodging home residents from long-term care reform.

The virtual shelving of the medically at risk lodging home population in respect to any discussion of long-term care reform has been a running parallel to increased efforts by hospital discharge planners to release heavy care individuals to the care of lodging home operators. Cutbacks in hospital budgets and bed closings are therefore compounding the problems associated with the frail elderly in lodging homes, ie, accidents, including accidental deaths, as a result of the inappropriate placement of heavy-care individuals into lodging homes.

As appropriately classified by the government, through expansion of the Landlord and Tenant Act and the Rent Control Act, lodging homes are residential, not health care facilities. Accordingly, heavy-care individuals should have no place in lodging homes. Yet our experience has proven otherwise as demonstrated by continuous serious occurrence reports involving falls, medication errors, injuries, wanderings and other mishaps involving the frail elderly in lodging homes.

While the municipal bylaw regulates against the admission of heavy-care individuals to lodging homes, it is the operator's obligation to maintain appropriate admission standards. As stated, hospital budget cutbacks and closures are compounding the problem, along with the fact that the city of Windsor is already underallocated in respect to approved nursing home beds as compared to other municipalities in the province.

Conclusions: While we recognize and applaud the government's recent initiatives as demonstrated by the advent of Bill 120, we strongly urge that further actions are required as follows:

(1) the placement of lodging homes under the umbrella of other existing legislation in order to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all vulnerable residents;

(2) further action to implement the recommendations of the Lightman report, including the establishment of a pilot program in the city of Windsor;

(3) that in the context of both the general welfare hostel review and social assistance reform, the government ensure the separation of services from board and lodging in domiciliary hostels and, further, that the delivery of services be under the auspices of long-term care reform;

(4) that the province include services for lodging home residents within the populations currently targeted by long-term care reform;

(5) that the province recognize the existence of the vulnerable adult population in Ontario and move to empower this group through the establishment of a proactive adult protective services program. This program will include provisions to protect the personal and financial interests of vulnerable adults which includes domiciliary hostel residents.

I apologize for reading this so quickly, but we had 15 minutes and we wanted to put a lot in it, so there you go.

Mr Bruce Crozier (Essex South): Ms Howe, you've given a very complete and concise report which seems to be centred basically in one area and that's the domiciliary lodging homes. It's my understanding that this committee has heard a number of comments, and I wonder if the city of Windsor would not have some with respect to basement apartments. Before our time runs out, I just wondered whether you had any comment in that area.

Ms Howe: We restricted our comments to the lodging home area today. I'm not here to speak to that issue as far as Windsor's position on that area. I'm sure some position will be sent in on that, but not as far as we're concerned today. With the very restricted time limit that we had, with the very extensive experience we have in this area and with the very vulnerable population that we serve here, we felt we should focus entirely on this issue.

Mr Crozier: It's your understanding that the city will comment on that, though, before these proceedings?

Ms Howe: I'm sure they have a position on it. Let me just put it this way: If they have a concern in this area, I assume it will be channelled through appropriately.

Mr Bernard Grandmaître (Ottawa East): If I can take you back to page 8 of your presentation, you say: "Bill 120 can in no way compensate for the exclusion of lodging homes residents from long-term care reform." Can you expand on this?

Ms Peggy Davis: This is particularly evident in the access system to long-term care reform. People are leaving hospitals and being placed directly into lodging homes, that is, people who require additional care. People are able to go in from the street directly into lodging homes without going through the single-access system that is part of the long-term care process. As a result, you have inappropriate placements of individuals and, as we have said, there are placements coming directly from hospitals who are heavy-care individuals who are really at risk, because there's no guarantee there are going to be nursing services available to them.

Mr Grandmaître: You're saying that this clientele who leave the hospital, these lodging homes cannot provide them with adequate health care services. Is this your concern?

Ms Davis: Yes. Lodging homes are not health care facilities. Also, the community services that are available within the long-term care reform are not necessarily available to individuals who are living in lodging homes. If these individuals are considered living in residential units in the community, it's our question as to why long-term care services are not available to them.

Mr Hans Daigeler (Nepean): This is actually the first time somebody has concentrated on this rather interesting hostel lodging aspect, and I'm just wondering how you define "lodging." So far, most of the presenters who have been speaking about that part of the legislation were talking about residential care homes, and I'm just wondering, when you talk about lodging homes, I guess you're not talking about residential care homes in the way we've heard of before. It's probably a bit difficult to define this. I'm just trying to figure out, do you have in Windsor what we so far have heard of as residential care homes?

Ms Howe: I guess there are many definitions: rest homes, lodging homes, hostels. In our situation, our bylaw defines a person who is in a rest home or hostel as persons who are in excess of four people residing in a home who are unrelated and who are requiring certain services. In our business, in order for us as a municipality through social services to pay for them, they have to have some sort of a medical certification that they require some sort of care to be there.

In terms of that then, the city of Windsor was the first municipality, before the general welfare act even included hostels under the definition for payment under general welfare for being able to pay a per diem, to pay for residents in rest homes, because we found ourselves in a situation in the early 1970s when the psychiatric facilities were depopulated. There were no services put in place prior to that depopulation, so people returned to our community with very intense needs and no place to put them. That was kind of the reason they started to evolve.

We have been very actively involved since the early 1970s trying to put services in place, services through the CAMP program, the Canadian Mental Health Association, to put support programs in place for people and to provide the proper care. But these places aren't nursing homes, and there's been a hesitancy on the part of the government to recognize them at all, because then it's a whole other step of kind of health care. It's kind of the first step. It's in a continuum of services. It's people being maintained in their home communities in residential services who require some care but don't require nursing care.

For example, the psychiatric, who may be well contained in terms of daily living if they have the proper medication, can live fairly well in the community, but if they're not monitored and don't take their medication, at times can become dangerous to the community. With some supervision at this level and with some very good monitoring to make sure that their interests are taken care of, these people can live in the community quite successfully without other, more expensive, levels of care taking care of them.

Our problem has been that this level of care has never been recognized by the government in any formal way until now, and this is why we're so excited by the mere fact that it has been mentioned here.


Mr Ted Arnott (Wellington): Referring to page 8 again, you indicate that there hasn't been enough protection for lodging home residents and that the government should do more in that respect. Do you have any concrete examples of what the lack of protection has meant to individuals in Windsor?

Ms Howe: We had a recent inquiry in a death in a rest home in Windsor. What happened was we had a person who was taking narcotic drugs or some sort of drugs during the day in the rest home and there were staff in this rest home who basically did not intervene and watch that he shouldn't be taking these drugs. This went on all day long.

That night, the person was escorted to his room, I believe by another resident in the home, and fell unconscious on the floor at 11 o'clock at night in the hall. He was left to lay there all night long. In fact the floor was washed around him laying on the floor, and he died in that spot on the floor.

What we're saying is that this person was a vulnerable person. He had a psychiatric history. He was in there to be cared. He was abusing the drug that he was taking, but it should have been stopped. It could have been stopped and it wasn't.

We had to participate in an extensive process around this issue. We see that vulnerable people, if the home is not being responsible -- and we can't be there night and day. Our workers are in there, but we aren't in an 8-hour situation where we can monitor, or not 24 hours a day.

People who get into the rest home business don't have to necessarily have any background in this business whatsoever, other than wanting to get into this business. If they don't have a dedication to quality services to their customers and have the proper monitoring systems in place, if the drugs aren't properly locked up, if there aren't sufficient staff to monitor those residents in the home so that they're properly cared for, or they themselves don't abuse themselves or abuse others, then they become vulnerable in a place that's there to protect them. Those are some examples.

Ms Davis: Can I give an example? Just a couple of weeks ago in the freezing cold weather, a frail elderly lady wandered three blocks away from the home in which she was living. In this situation this lady managed to get up the stairs. She wasn't wearing a coat and she was carrying a roll of toilet paper. She wandered into a house and all she could say was, "I'm freezing, help me." It was determined that she didn't know where she lived, she didn't know her name, she was very much at risk. This lady had wandered out of the lodging home. This more or less demonstrates the capabilities of a lot of the people who are in lodging homes.

The fact that the legislation has initiated a process where there'll be a separate lease agreement with each individual -- that's fine in a purchase of service. You have to, though, look at the reality. Many of the residents in the homes are not able to negotiate agreements on their own behalf and are not able to determine what services they do require and if in fact they are receiving the services. In Windsor we have in excess of 1,900 residential care beds. We have a wide range of facilities, ranging from 12 beds to 450 beds.

Mr David Johnson (Don Mills): I may have missed the point. I understand the problems, but what is it specifically that you're recommending? Are you recommending that these operators be more highly regulated? Are you recommending that they in a sense be phased out and government take over the services they're doing?

I see here in one place you're recommending that heavy-care individuals shouldn't be allowed to go into these places. I don't know why they are going in there right now if they need the extra care. Is that what you're saying?

Ms Howe: How they get there is that they're in the hospital and there's tremendous pressure on the hospitals to cut costs and a pressure to discharge people as early as possible. There have not been the community services developed to the level of sophistication required to handle those people in the community, so the hospitals are tempted to place people in a facility such as a lodging home because it gets them off their books and into someone else's, and it's not necessarily the appropriate placement. One of the favourite tricks is to place them on the weekend when we're closed and we have no intervention, and then we have to react.

Mr David Johnson: You're suggesting there should be more money for the services.

Ms Howe: No, not necessarily. What we're saying is that there has to be a much more comprehensive approach to this issue, that when you're developing the long-term care reforms, lodging homes have been excluded. A lot of good work has been done by the government in many areas, but what we're saying is that you have to look at the whole picture, the comprehensive picture of the issue.

Lodging homes are a step in the continuum of service progressing from the lowest level, a person serviced in their own home. If they can't be serviced in their own home, then they can be serviced in a lodging home. If they can't be serviced in the lodging home, they may end up in a nursing home, a home for aged or, ultimately, chronic care beds or acute beds. As their level of care needs changes and elevates, they move along that continuum.

But the beginning continuum step is being ignored, and we're struggling in our municipality. We've tried very hard. Our municipality has a bylaw. We've tried hard for years to monitor this area and it has been very frustrating for us as staff to try to advocate for this continually vulnerable population without a comprehensive service plan in place.

We're using this as an opportunity to congratulate you, to say you've recognized it. For once someone has. Thank you very much, but please include them in a comprehensive process so that they can be protected.

Mr Wayne Lessard (Windsor-Walkerville): Thank you very much, Ms Howe, for your presentation. One of the advantages of having committees come to Windsor, it gives me an opportunity to sit on committees that are involved in doing bills that I'm not involved in and an opportunity to learn some of the concerns about the legislation we're currently reviewing.

I know that Windsor has been in the forefront with respect to issues related to housing and as housing relates to social and medical issues as well. I think that's probably one of the reasons that Windsor was suggested as a place for a pilot project under the Lightman report. That's something we're going to continue to try and have established here.

I know that Windsor as well has had a lodging home bylaw for many years, one of the few cities in the province, maybe the only one. One of your concerns is that the bylaw isn't able to go far enough to address a lot of the concerns that you have because of the powers the city has to pass bylaws in this area. Maybe you could tell the committee about the bylaw the city has and some of the areas where you think the city should have more power that it's unable to put in that bylaw.

Ms Davis: A major concern is the lack of protection of the financial interests of the resident. We deal with subsidized residents and in Windsor they make up less than a third of the population in the homes. There are people in the homes who, as we've described before, are frail elderly who have financial interests and don't have family or alternative resources to be providing them with support. As a result, they are quite vulnerable. There are situations in the courts right now involving people who have lost their money through their living in a residence. That's a major concern, and there's nothing there for protection.


Ms Howe: In terms of that, when the government made the decision to change the comfort allowance, to be paid directly to the operator as opposed to the resident, this was just putting money in the hands of -- if the lodging home operator is not impeccable in terms of being trustworthy and you put all this money that is supposed to go to a vulnerable population within his or her home in their hands, and you have a psychiatric person or an elderly person who can't tell you from day one whether he or she got the money or not, there's an opportunity there for the money to be abused.

We had a situation like that in Windsor last year, where we did a random audit of our clients to make sure that the money they were supposed to be getting, they got. As a result of that, we found that there was a substantial amount of money that was supposed to be in trust accounts and available to our residents that was not there. As a result, charges were laid -- a significant amount of money was missing -- and ultimately the operator was found guilty.

Right at that time, the government made the decision to give the operators the money directly, across Ontario, and there's no audit being done, from my understanding, of any of these operators by the province, even though funds are being paid directly to operators, to ensure that the clients are getting their money.

I would suggest to you that if you don't do a random audit on any program to make sure there's integrity in the way the services are being provided and delivered, there is an opportunity there for abuse. This is a big opportunity for abuse when you have a population that's vulnerable and a for-profit organization that is receiving the money directly. I would suggest to you, based on our experience of this one operator, if this happens to be a sample of what's going on across the province, you have a major problem there.

The other thing we're concerned about in our agreement, and ultimately the bylaw, is that private people go into these facilities and pay their own way, and sometimes they go in with a significant amount of money. But there's nothing to protect that private person, your mother or my mother or father, going into that facility. If we weren't there as children to protect their interests, there's nothing to protect them from having their money taken or abused if the operator is unscrupulous.

Mr Mike Cooper (Kitchener-Wilmot): Do you have adult protective services here in Windsor?

Ms Howe: No.

Mr Cooper: I know, as the Chair of the standing committee on administration of justice, we did a year and a half on the committee doing the Advocacy Act and we had several presentations from adult protective services from across the province that came in. They wanted to take on the role as advocates from the province, have the province hire them. My question to you, being as you've mentioned it fairly consistently through here, is, what role do you want them to take on? Signing leases and contracts for the vulnerable adults?

Ms Davis: Adult protective services -- if you're referring to a program that there is in Windsor, there's one worker tied to an agency that is an adult protective services worker. We don't see this as the answer. This is not a comprehensive program.

What we attached to the Lightman report was extensive information on the adult protective services program in Michigan, which is delivered under the department of social services for the state of Michigan. It is very complementary to the legislation that has been enacted, the Advocacy Act and the Substitute Decisions Act. You can have the legislation, but you need the program in place to ensure that the legislation is being applied where it was intended to be applied. Putting one worker out in the community to service hundreds and hundreds of people is not the solution.

Ms Howe: I think that the short answer to that is, we do see that an advocate is needed for the client, but it has to be in a more comprehensive process. The advocate has to have the opportunity to do something about the problem when the problem is there. So the advocate has to have kind of a network of services that the advocate can connect to, to ensure that when the problem erupts, a solution can be found. An advocate, as a voice in the wilderness, is not doing the client any good.

The Chair: Thank you. You've been most helpful. The committee will be considering this bill clause by clause during the week of March 6.


Ms Judy Lund: Good morning. First of all, I would like to thank this committee for taking the time to hear petitions from across the province, and also for allowing our organization the opportunity to speak on this very important issue. I'm here representing the Housing Information Services of Windsor and Essex county and in support of the many other groups from across the province that are in favour of this legislation.

Housing Information Services is a non-profit service provided in this community to assist people in finding appropriate and affordable rental housing. We are sponsored by the Labour Community Service Centre, a non-profit, locally based, community organization whose board is comprised of local labour and community activists who are interested in improving the quality of life for all residents of Essex county through various endeavours: non-profit housing -- townhouses for the community and seniors' apartments -- child care services, a proposed community-based health care centre and our full housing information service. I'm the director of the Housing Information Services.

Our board is involved in these broad areas, as it concurs with and supports the Ontario Premier's Council on Health, Wellbeing and Social Justice position that good health is a resource for improving your standard of living and that good health is encouraged by the positive development in all of one's areas of life: the workplace, your home life, your education, social networks etc. The board has taken it upon itself to help develop and operate programs which can address these various social determinants of health, again with the aim of improving the quality of life for all in this community.

Our organization was therefore very pleased to see the initial Bill 90 and subsequent Bill 120 initiative which will increase residential rights across Ontario. As our experience lies mainly in the area of private rental and subsidized housing, my comments will mainly focus on the as-of-right component of this legislation, in particular accessory apartments and garden suites.

Society in this country has been changing over the last 40 years. In Ontario, from 1951 to 1981, while our population increased by 87%, the number of new households increased by 152%. Social change is continuing to occur across Ontario; it will not stop or go away. Our neighbourhoods are not static but are ever-evolving communities which need to continue to evolve so as to better house our current and future populations.

Who is this population? A greater proportion of non-traditional households; smaller households, often with lower incomes; and a greater total number of households for a same- size population, seeking appropriate and affordable housing in municipalities where raw land for development is running out.

Renters have consistently formed one third of Ontario's total housing population. All renters deserve to have the same rights and privileges under our laws as home owners. Some of the apprehension over this legislation is perhaps an image of who the renter is -- young, transient, noisy etc. However, tenants themselves represent a cross-section of the population. Almost one half of tenants are 35 years of age and over, one fifth are over 55 years. In 1981, approximately one third were single-person households; however, one third had family and children.

In short, tenants are just like you and me and are simply in a different stage of life than home owners. Tenants themselves, like home owners, if allowed options, will choose to move into neighbourhoods which they find attractive, for many of the same reasons that a home owner would. Tenants can value the neighbourhood community as much as a home owner and deserve to have this option.

Historically, illegal conversions have been for the most part accepted by communities but have been denied legal status. This is a very dangerous trend, as it leaves both the landlord and tenant at risk. Owners are subject to being reported by uncooperative neighbours and having their units closed down, with little other option. Tenants have no benefits from improved codes and regulations that we've had over the last 10 to 20 years. As we've seen in the past, if regulations remain too stringent, then illegal units will continue to be developed, leaving people at risk, as there are no standards through which they can seek protection.

Under this new legislation, people living in illegal and legal apartments will be protected under the Landlord and Tenant Act, the same act which governs tenants currently living in larger apartment buildings. Tenants living in illegal apartments have the same right to protection as tenants living in larger apartment buildings and large rental complexes.


This legislation will give all tenants an opportunity to speak up without the immediate threat of eviction and closure of their home. Legalizing apartments will increase the likelihood that owners will comply with regulations if they can market the unit in cooperation with the municipality rather than being forced to close it down. There will be protection through fire and building code revisions which owners have historically enjoyed. The municipality will have increased powers of entry in order to ensure these units meet relevant codes.

Accessory apartments will increase the choices or options available to people who require affordable housing. In a province where we feel that housing is a right and not a luxury and where renters consistently form one third of the population of Ontario, we need to ensure that all people have access to housing and options for the different stages of their lives.

Across Ontario it has been found in general that accessory apartment rents are lower than conventional building rents. We find this in the case for our home sharing program which the Labour Community Service Centre has operated for the past four years for the city of Windsor. That's where people rent out space within a person's own home but there's no capital cost for construction and separating the home.

The average rents in this area range around $300 to $350 a month, which are lower than we find in private buildings. We feel that lower rents will be developed within accessory apartments as well, and our Housing Information Services certainly finds that the people coming to utilize our services are having difficulty finding rental accommodation because there aren't the significant number of units in the income ranges and rental ranges they can afford.

One of the aspects that we found is many renters in this area are in need of lower-priced rental accommodation because their incomes do not keep pace with the cost of living and therefore they are having more of a difficult time now than they had five or even 10 years ago.

The development of this type of housing can help to stabilize neighbourhoods. Legal apartments will pay their fair share of taxes. They'll encourage renewal of older housing stock. We'll see an increase in the number of people utilizing the current neighbourhood infrastructure: sanitation, public transit, neighbourhood schools etc.

Many neighbourhoods were built for much larger populations that now exist or are expected to exist in the future due to changing demographics. This will help to increase this proportion again. However, as the proportion will most likely never reach the numbers they were originally intended for, there should not be any real concern over the issue of overcrowding.

Overconcentration has, however, been addressed by allowing only one unit as of right in each home, thus allaying some fears of massive change in neighbourhoods. It has been found that approximately 12% of home owners would consider this option.

This means that only one or two units in a block might be converted, no large significant turnover of units or large numbers infiltrating neighbourhoods, as in the past when large apartment buildings were built up into existing single-family neighbourhoods. This 12%, if ever attained, would not happen all in one year but over time, as has been the case in cities which have allowed this type of housing.

Since it's expected that most of the conversions will be made by the home owner, the same standards for housing and upkeep will be maintained. Home owners who have the opportunity to pick their tenants, and therefore their most immediate and closest neighbours, will most likely pick ones who are of good character, are reliable and who closely reflect their own living standards. Again, with options made available to them, thus allowing tenants the ability to choose where they will live, many will choose a neighbourhood for the same reasons as a home owner and therefore will also value the standards and upkeep of the community at large.

We feel that home owners who choose to convert their units will do so because they likely already have the required space available within their own home. Extra costs associated with exterior changes will in all likelihood be avoided in most cases. Therefore, concerns over major changes to homes in area neighbourhoods remain unfounded.

Municipalities still have rights with respect to percentage of lot coverage on a given parcel of land, just as they do with a single-dwelling unit, and therefore can control this area of concern. Illegal apartments already exist. They, for the most part, already blend into the larger community. History should therefore allay fears people may have with respect to large changes to building structure etc. Legislation like Bill 120 which serves to revitalize neighbourhoods can help maintain and perhaps in the long run help to increase property values.

Our organization specifically has learned through our involvement with the home sharing program that, while most seekers and housing providers apply to home share for monetary reasons, many learn that there are numerous other benefits to living in close communities, such as security, companionship and assistance with everyday tasks, benefits which to a large extent we have lost in our fast-paced, fragmented society, particularly people of low and modest incomes who we found, through our experience in non-profit and cooperative development, don't typically have a lot of the support networks other people might have and therefore need this type of community involvement.

This type of housing falls in line with the thinking under the long-term health care reform by encouraging people to stay within their own communities and have opportunities for neighbourhoods and social structures to continue to play a large role in their lives. It encourages seniors to stay in their homes longer with viable financial and community assistance. They can also help current home owners to keep their homes and help young couples as they endeavour to purchase and afford their own homes.

Speaking of home-sharing, we have operated this program in the city for the past few years now. We've typically maintained a list of 50 to 75 providers who are interested in sharing their homes in the entire municipality. There are normally 10 units listed in the paper, approximately, and we've matched about 40 people in one year in the community. The Ministry of Housing stats show that twice as many people would consider home-sharing as undertaking the expense of converting their home. So again historical statistics do not indicate the great influx of units and people of which some communities are afraid.

Accessory apartments across the province can help to decrease urban sprawl, as they can help to save farm lands by using existing housing stock better, and decrease the need for extensive car travel as people will live closer to work. As an offshoot, city transit can become more appealing and cost-effective, and this is something this municipality has struggled with severely over the last few years.

There will be no large additional government costs in order to implement this type of housing. Therefore, we are increasing affordable housing options, putting money into individual taxpayers' hands and saving the general taxpayer money with that type of housing.

In general, the present laws are not working. There are over 100,000 existing illegal units in this province. The most efficient way and fair way to deal with them is to legalize them and regulate them.

While it once may have been seen as an ideal to move into a neighbourhood of your peers, people like you in a family environment, we are now beginning to understand that this type of thinking, perhaps unintentionally, promotes discrimination.

Two-parent home owner families are not the only type or the main type of family which exists today and maybe never really were. We should understand that all people want the opportunity to live and raise their families in safe, affordable housing, whether that be rental or home ownership, regardless of what their family or household looks like.

All people should have this right without unnecessary obstacles being placed in their way. We cannot continue as a society to endorse policies which discriminate against households which do not conform to what we think constitutes a stable community.

Our organization firmly believes that no municipality should be allowed to restrict the number of people living in a unit based solely on the relationship of the occupants. While attempting to regulate a housing unit type, what this actually unintentionally perhaps does is regulate what a household or family is or what one should be to be allowed to fit into a neighbourhood.

This older form of legislation discriminates against non-traditional households. It establishes a barrier to the segment of our population which is currently in the greatest need of affordable housing: singles and small families. They're typically the people we see on a daily basis in our organization.

Singles who choose to live together in order to save money and live in a more expensive community should be allowed to do so. Seniors who choose to convert a portion of their home, as they no longer use it, they need the extra money, or for whatever reason, should be allowed to do so.

If this legislation is passed, we would like to encourage the Ministry of Housing to facilitate a means of landlord and tenant education to ensure that everyone is aware of their rights and responsibilities under the new act and under the Landlord and Tenant Act. There are many active housing groups across the province -- ours, for example, is only one of several groups locally -- who would be more than willing to become involved in community education to ensure people's rights are understood and respected through this new legislation.

While we do not feel there will be the great influx of units which some municipalities are concerned about, we would encourage the ministry to consider allocating greater funding and resources to the municipalities in order to carry out their work ensuring that these units meet fire, building and safety standards.

We would also encourage the Ministry of Housing to continue its current trend of regulating rental units by decreasing the threshold on the number of units within a complex which allows the unit to be registered under rent control. Previously, only complexes with six or more units had to be registered. Recently, this threshold has been reduced to four or more units. We think this is a positive trend, one that should be continued and should eventually include all units, including apartments in houses.

We therefore respectfully endorse the province's Bill 120, particularly with respect to the accessory apartments and the garden suite legislation.

Mr David Johnson: I would like to congratulate you on that presentation. You've said so much, one hardly knows where to begin. Partway through I think you were talking about home owners picking the tenants for the accessory units, basement apartments or whatever, and indicated that they would pick with great care and that the tenants would maintain the community standards.

One of the problems that we've heard from some of the municipalities -- and I think this came up yesterday. One municipality indicated that about 25% of the units were non-owner-occupied. In other words, the owner was absent. A great number of the problems occurred in this regard, where the owner was not there and the owner sometimes was difficult to get hold of. I wondered if you had any thoughts on that.


A number of the municipalities are actually saying, "We support basement apartments, we support accessory units, but there need to be some conditions." One of the conditions that they're talking about is that the units should be owner-occupied.

Ms Lund: First of all, if you're saying that 25% of the units are non-owner-occupied, that would mean then that 75% are owner-occupied. So I think that alleviates for the most part the majority of their concern, that three quarters of the units are going to be maintained by owner-occupied people.

I think for the 25% that are non-owner-occupied, the majority of the people who are purchasing these homes are doing so for financial reasons. I think it's in their best long-term interests to maintain these units as well and fit into the larger community, because if their units become run down, there won't be the financial gains and the capital gains that they are looking for within that complex.

I understand that a lot of people have raised this concern, but what we're finding is there really are no empirical data to support the fact that tenants have any less likelihood of taking care of the units or have any less concerns as to what the community looks like and how the community is maintained. In fact, tenants really reflect their greater community, just like you and I, and really want a nice place to live in.

What we're finding with people who come into our organization on a daily basis is that many of them are very concerned about the areas that they're going to live in. One of their greatest concerns is that their choices are limited because of their lack of income, and they really have concerns perhaps if they have their own children as to what their community is going to look like.

While there may be that concern, that's again thinking that tenants are just one type of population when they're not. They really are people of any age and of any family status, and really have the same concerns and long-term interests that home owners do.

Mr Lessard: Ms Lund, I know that you've done a lot of work to increase the supply of safe and affordable housing in the city of Windsor, and you're to be commended for that. You've indicated a number of advantages of Bill 120 as it relates to apartments in homes. You know as well that there are many areas in the city of Windsor and there are people on city council who don't see those same advantages, and this is going to be a bit of an uphill fight to get them to buy into Bill 120.

You mentioned that there needs to be some community education as well, because not everybody recognizes those advantages. I wonder what elements or aspects you would see as part of that community education plan.

Ms Lund: I think there are several organizations I can use. Just locally, for example, there's a very active tenants' organization, the Federation of Windsor-Essex County Tenants Associations, there's the local rent control office and our Housing Information Services.

What we try to do is work with tenants who come in and make sure they understand the information as to what's available to them. One of the items I find that's really difficult for people is the fact that legislation is often confusing. It's often in languages which are at a level that is a barrier to the community.

One of the first things I really strongly push for and my history in the cooperative sector has been very strong in advocating for is, first of all, plain-language material, which means material that's written such that anybody with a grade 6 or so education could really understand what his or her rights are.

I think one of the problems that people run into is that people don't understand their rights and aren't aware of how to go about finding them. That intimidates people and allows people not to really access their rights and act on them.

Right now, between our three organizations, we already try to do a lot of education out there with the public. I think that has to continue. I think as well landlords need to know their rights and responsibilities. For example, we have a lot of landlords we work with and tenants who, when they move in, don't sign a lease. When they move in, they have verbal agreements and really have to remember and rely on what he said she said he said she said. We think that's really not good for anyone, the landlord or the tenant.

What we developed with a group out of Chatham is a plain-language lease so that everybody can understand when they move in what their rights are and what their responsibilities are. We think that really education and support so that people know, if they have a concern, how to access the information and how to access services and make sure that's available to them.

Mr Stephen Owens (Scarborough Centre): In terms of the concerns that have been raised with respect to zoning by owner occupancy, I appreciate your comments. I'm curious to know why the opponents of this kind of legislation feel it's appropriate that you would have to have two different kinds of zoning by occupancy or two pieces of regulatory language to govern how the occupants of a dwelling conduct themselves. I'm quite pleased that your view is in line with mine and my government's.

Ms Lund: I would like to add to that. In our history with the non-profit and cooperative sector, we ran into a lot of historical ideas as to how people conduct themselves.

Mr Owens: Prehistoric.

Ms Lund: One of the things we found find is that a lot of the fears people have are not necessarily founded in what really, actually happened. People have a fear about a non-profit or co-op coming in, "Those types of people won't take care of it." We've heard: "Our crime will increase. Our traffic will increase." The director of my organization had his life threatened the first time we actually tried to do a cooperative in this area.

We had the RCMP at the city council meeting. People were really nervous. I think it's really just the fact that people are afraid of change. People have historic ideas as to, for example, what renters are. When you think of a renter, most people think of somebody noisy and young. What ends up happening is that what we are able to show through the development of non-profit and cooperative housing is that these types of communities can fit into the neighbourhood. The people who move in quite often, I find, are so happy to live in a nice environment that they take care of it, and they're pleased, because they understand that their choices are limited because of their lack of income.

Mr Owens: That's the idea. That's right. They are developing a sense of community.

Ms Lund: So they want to have the same community and they want the same place for their children as well.

Mr Crozier: Do you have a parking problem in Windsor?

Ms Lund: Not necessarily.

Mr Crozier: Not necessarily. That's not what I hear. This would certainly exacerbate that to a great degree. More importantly, this is an omnibus piece of legislation that covers a number of areas, and it's good that we're getting at each one this morning.

I want to make a comment with regard to small urban and rural municipalities. This seems to be a city problem, and so being, when you put this kind of legislation in, particularly when you speak of the as-of-right portion of this, I feel that some consideration should be given to municipalities being the ones which can determine the need best and which therefore can also attempt to solve the problem best. I wonder if you might comment on that with regard to your position on the as-of-right position.

Ms Lund: Yes. With respect to parking, I think there's a perception that there's a parking problem. I grew up in the downtown area. I've rented in this community. I've lived my whole life in this community. I have my whole family living in this community. I have purchased a home in the downtown area.

I think there are, by and large, in this community large perceptions of parking problems. I think parking is becoming a universal problem and I don't think this necessarily will extend that problem beyond the proportion it's already going. One of the studies that has been done on this legislation has found that in fact there are parking alternatives in a lot of communities. While people complain about parking issues, many of them have never been forced to park illegally and so have found other alternatives.

With respect to it being a city problem, our service now is involved in the city and the county. One of the things we're finding in the county is that there is really no rental housing. Windsor has a problem with affordability and quantity, supply of housing, but the county really just has very little rental housing at all.

Mr Crozier: Oh no, excuse me. you should look at the vacancy rates in the county. I think you're mistaken.

Ms Lund: The vacancy rates in some of the communities are high and in some of the communities are low. For example, Belle River, Amherstburg and Essex are very low. Leamington has had a high vacancy rate. But what Housing Information Services is finding is that these vacancy rates are on the higher-end units. They're not on the lower-end units where most of the incomes need. That's why it's important to have legislation like this, to have units that are affordable.

As for the municipalities determining where the need is, I think this legislation has encouraged municipalities over the last couple of years and a lot have not taken up on it. What I think it does is encourage home owners and the actual taxpayers and the market to determine where the need is in each community, giving the control back actually to the people in the community.

The Chair: Thank you very much for appearing this morning. The members will take your brief into consideration during the clause-by-clause during the week of March 6.



Mr Tony Mandl: First of all, I'd like to thank the committee for allowing us to come and speak today regarding Bill 120.

My name is Tony Mandl. I am a law student at Legal Assistance of Windsor and I will be presenting a joint brief on behalf of the Federation of Windsor-Essex County Tenants' Associations and Legal Assistance of Windsor. With me are Joe Krall and Carol McDermott, both of whom may assist me in responding to any questions you may have.

Mr Krall is the executive director of the Federation of Windsor-Essex County Tenants' Associations or FOWECTA. This organization was founded in June 1990 out of a concern for the growing number of complaints and disputes between residential landlords and tenants and the need for an advocacy voice for the some 20,000 tenant households in the Windsor-Essex county area. FOWECTA now rents space from and has its office within the office of LAW, although the two organizations remain independent.

Ms McDermott is a lawyer with Legal Assistance of Windsor who specializes in landlord and tenant matters and is also on the board of FOWECTA.

LAW was established two decades ago as a storefront legal clinic in downtown Windsor and provides representation for tenants who cannot afford private legal representation.

Many of the clients of Legal Assistance of Windsor and the Federation of Windsor-Essex County Tenants' Associations are similar. LAW's clients must meet a means test, while those of FOWECTA don't. However, we do find that many of FOWECTA's clients are of limited means and the clients of both agencies frequently experience additional disadvantageous factors such as physical or mental disability, dislocated family status, immigrant or refugee status or advanced age.

LAW and FOWECTA wholeheartedly support the passage of Bill 120 and urge this committee to move with dispatch to ensure its passage.

The Landlord and Tenant Act and Rent Control Act have been amended in recent years to extend and strengthen protection to some tenants. However, we still much too often are consulted by clients whose premises are excluded from coverage of the Landlord and Tenant Act or the Rent Control Act. They have few rights, and those they have are difficult and sometimes risky to enforce. Furthermore, we are certain that there are many even more vulnerable tenants who never seek help because they are either not aware they have any rights or have given up any hope of redress.

Bill 120 provides hope that many of the current abusive situations will be limited by extending legal protection to thousands of renters now occupying illegal units or living in circumstances in which their landlord also provides some form of service in addition to accommodation.

Tenants living in apartments in houses often want to remain in their unit because they have chosen its location for specific reasons and have become part of the local community. Seniors may want to stay in a familiar neighbourhood close to friends, transportation, medical facilities or whatever services attracted them to the locale. Single parents living in apartments in houses may chose to do so because of access to schools and ease of transportation. Some find the apartment in a home provides a sense of privacy and security not available in high-rises.

Permitting low-cost apartments in all kinds of residential neighbourhoods will break down barriers between cultural, ethnic and economic groups, thereby promoting a greater sense of community and a rich, diverse character.

Additionally, a better distribution of city populations makes economic sense because it will result in a better and more efficient use of existing utilities. By permitting slightly higher density in areas traditionally reserved for single-family homes, there will be better use of hydro, heating, sanitation and public transit.

Apartments in homes will also be more environmentally friendly since they will permit more efficient use of energy and heating within the house, greater and more efficient use of existing services like public transit, and the apartment dweller will be able to make use of the blue box recycling programs existing in many residential neighbourhoods.

Proposals for intensification always raise concerns about parking. However, we submit that the changes articulated by Bill 120 will have little or no impact on parking. We certainly admit that there are parking problems now, which long predate the introduction of this legislation. Municipalities generally have not adequately planned for sufficient parking spaces anyway.

There are already many people living in illegal units who have cars. Legalizing these units will not add new vehicles to city streets or driveways. Even if Bill 120 encourages the construction of new apartments in homes, many of these tenants will not own vehicles because they have chosen a modest dwelling precisely because their limited income will not afford them a car.

In those cases where new tenants bring their cars into residential neighbourhoods, traffic will not likely increase, because many of them are able to move into private homes only when a son or daughter of the home owner moves away to college or university, taking along a car anyway.

Generally speaking, then, we can say that tenants living in apartments in houses presently deemed illegal often want to remain in their unit because they have chosen its location for specific financial and social reasons and have already successfully integrated themselves or their family into the local community.

However, no unit is perfect and even tenants generally happy with their apartments do occasionally inquire about their rights and sometimes make requests of their landlord to make necessary repairs. A tenant's innocent request for an inspection by a city official to determine whether the premises are safe or adequately maintained too often prompts the discovery of an illegal unit. This sets in motion a chain of events that culminates in the tenant being evicted rather than being helped.

Having heard of such a circumstance once, a wary tenant may become very reluctant to take any steps to enforce rights for fear that such steps may backfire. This problem could be minimized by legalizing one apartment per house as of right.

FOWECTA and LAW commend the ministry for introducing these progressive measures in Bill 120. We have some comments which we hope will assist in its implementation.

Rights are not rights without remedies. There is not much value in ensuring that tenants can remain in newly legal units if they cannot take the necessary steps to ensure that those units are safely and properly maintained. Therefore, it is essential that municipalities provide adequate resources so that inspectors can respond to tenants' requests for assistance promptly and follow through with notices of infractions, work orders and prosecutions.

We do not, however, advocate an increase in their powers of search and seizure. Too often, our clients complain of lack of privacy and security because of landlords' intervention in their lives, and they are afraid to request an inspection by a building inspector for fear their apartment will be declared illegal.

Even if a unit will not be declared contrary to zoning bylaws because of the amendment by Bill 120, some tenants will fear, rightly or wrongly, that the inspector will condemn the premises or perhaps discover that it is not the only additional unit in the building.

Our experience tells us that there are enough substandard rental units in the city that building inspectors' time would be better spent attempting to respond to tenants' requests for assistance in a timely fashion rather than acting as an independent enforcement arm by barging into premises where no one has requested their assistance.

City inspectors should be in the business of serving residents by upgrading buildings, and not closing them down and displacing tenants. Ultimately, city inspectors would be able to spend less time investigating and more time enforcing building and health and safety codes, giving inspection a more preventative role.

Once the apartments in houses become legal, they will of course be subject to the increase and notice provisions of the Rent Control Act. However, because they exist in buildings with fewer than four units, they will not be subject to the registration provisions of the Rent Control Act. This is a weakness that could be addressed by amending the Rent Control Act to require the registration of all rental units. The registry would serve as an information base easily accessible to all prospective tenants. Without registration, it is almost impossible for a tenant in an apartment in a house to determine what the legal rent is or when it was last increased.


I will now turn to the issue of care homes. We support the inclusion of care homes in the Landlord and Tenant Act. Too often tenants in care homes are the most vulnerable, because they are dependent upon their landlords for some form of assistance in managing their daily lives. Even if a tenant has the rights available to most other tenants, such as security of tenure and the right to adequate maintenance, if the tenant fears that an attempt to enforce that right may prompt a withdrawal of service, the right then becomes illusory.

We have some suggestions to improve the manner in which Bill 120 proposes to address this issue.

We maintain that the cost of additional services, such as a meal plan, must be subject to registration and control. If the cost of services is registered without increases being controlled, we fear that landlords who can no longer increase rent at will may just tack the increase on to the cost of services. The guideline amount of rent increases is not appropriate for other care, so we would suggest a reasonable figure be determined based on the annual cost-of-living index.

Once controls have been placed upon the amount of increases available for rent and care services, we fear that the quality of care may be varied in order to reduce the landlord's costs. Therefore, in addition to the disclosure provision of section 9.1 of the bill, we would propose adding a remedy under the Rent Control Act whereby a tenant may apply for a decrease in the cost of additional services when the quality or cost to the provider has decreased.

The bill does create an offence for making illegal increases in either rent or charges for care services or meals to a tenant of a rental unit in a care home. We applaud this provision and think it is essential. However, we would like to see it go further.

Threatening to withhold care services can very effectively prevent a tenant from exercising any rights. For example, a landlord who doesn't want any opposition to an illegal increase may merely threaten to reduce a resident's meals to all but bread and water if she complains, or tell a quadriplegic who cannot get out of bed alone that attendant care services may become unavailable. Therefore, we recommend that withdrawing services or threatening to withdraw them be made an offence punishable on summary conviction under the Provincial Offences Act.

We are also concerned that despite the changes proposed by Bill 120, the Landlord and Tenant Act will still not be extended to cover rooming and boarding houses in which kitchen and bathroom facilities are shared with the landlord or his or her immediate family where the landlord is the owner.

There are landlord owners of rooming and boarding houses who cater to or in some cases prey upon vulnerable transient populations and ex-psychiatric patients. By living there themselves, they totally exempt the premises from the act. The most manipulative landlords often take the tenant's disability cheque, deducting directly for rent, meals, prescriptions, and allotting the tenant only a small amount for, say, cigarettes.

These tenants are some of the most vulnerable, because a complaint or a small delay in rent payment too often results in a garbage-bag eviction, when a possibly disabled or aged tenant is instantly thrown out of the building without any warning. We suggest that this exemption from the act be narrowed to exclude situations in which more than one roomer or boarder lives with the owner.

We agree that the demolition, conversion or renovation of care homes must be made subject to municipal approval, because we think the municipality has an important role to play in monitoring the number of units available and ensuring that any change in that number is effected in an appropriate and well-planned manner.

We suspect that some landlords of apartments in houses and of care homes may unnecessarily fear this law in the mistaken belief that it will force them to continue to rent to unacceptable tenants. We would offer to them a simple solution: Read the Landlord and Tenant Act and the Human Rights Code. They may indeed find themselves living in proximity to people who display remarkable cultural differences. However, they do not need to continue to rent to a tenant about whom they have a valid reason to object.

For example, if the tenant is persistently late in paying rent or behaves in ways that disturb the landlord's or other tenants' reasonable enjoyment of the premises or if any of the other grounds for legal eviction exist, all the landlord has to do is follow the precise steps laid out in the Landlord and Tenant Act to evict that tenant.

Rights without knowledge of them cannot be enjoyed, let alone enforced. Since many of the people most likely to benefit from these changes are particularly vulnerable and may be easily intimidated, it is important that extra effort be made to make them aware of these rights.

Section 111 of the Landlord and Tenant Act requires that a landlord post a copy of part IV of the act or the summary provided in the regulations in premises that have a common space and more than one unit. We recommend that a similar but appropriately tailored requirement be added to apartments in houses and care homes. A landlord should be required to prove that the information about rights and how to enforce them was provided to a tenant by producing a tenant's signature evidencing acceptance.

In conclusion, we wholeheartedly support legalizing one apartment per house and extending the protection of the Landlord and Tenant Act and Rent Control Act to tenants receiving care services from their landlords. We do not support an increase in search and seizure powers of building inspectors. We think the controls on the cost of services need to be extended and we would support an extension of registration of all rental units under the Rent Control Act.

Finally, we applaud this effort to empower those most vulnerable members of society by granting to them similar rights to those enjoyed by most renters. This is a significant step along the path to social justice for all.

Mr Lessard: I know of the work that Legal Assistance of Windsor provides in the community as a former student who worked there during law school, and I'm glad that you're involved in this issue as well. I was interested in your comments about increased energy efficiency and the environmental impacts of increasing the numbers of apartment units in homes, so I thought that was an interesting advantage as well.

You also mentioned the fears people have that there might be an explosion of these units constructed in single-family homes. Do you think that fear is real or do you think that is something that may happen?

Mr Mandl: First of all, Bill 120 will simply legalize and recognize the fact that there are many units that already exist within homes, so in that sense those flats within homes already are in existence and will not result in any sort of explosion. There probably also is already a market saturation for low-cost apartments within houses. I don't see that it would result in rapid expansion or conversion of residential homes for use by low-income residents.

Mr David Winninger (London South): I thank you for your presentation. I thought you made a number of very valid points. What gave me pause and caused me some concern, however, was your position on increased inspection powers, and I say that for two reasons.

One reason is that Bill 120, by allowing as-of-right apartments, provides, we feel, greater incentive for landlords to bring their properties up to basic safety and health and property standards. I don't think we're doing vulnerable and other tenants any favour by allowing them to live in accessory apartments that don't meet those standards.

The other reason I say that is that notwithstanding that we have other legislation that will provide advocates and make it easier for substitute decision-making and community supports, notwithstanding all that, there are always people who seem to fall through the cracks, who can't assert their rights, who won't make complaints to the city inspectors and health inspectors, and it would concern me if those people's needs go unmet simply because there are people out there who aren't prepared to enhance inspection powers.

That's the problem with a complaints-driven system, I suppose, that there are people who aren't assertive enough to complain. Could you comment on that?

Ms Carol McDermott: My main concern is that there are not enough resources for building inspectors to do as much in terms of assisting tenants and upgrading the units that the tenants want upgraded. If we ever got to the point where we had building inspectors like Maytag repair persons, we could then say, "Okay, let's send them out on a really proactive basis and have them searching out units that need to be further upgraded." I think instead we have a lot of tenants who are sitting there and saying: "I would like someone to come and inspect. Could you find time to come and inspect?" I think there is a natural deselection process of where people are going to live.


There are other remedies where the individual lives in a unit that's so totally unacceptable that someone needs to go in and get them out of there. I don't think building inspectors are necessarily the appropriate people to do that. I think there are enough powers now that can manage to do that. Rather, I'd like to give tenants some security to know that they won't likely have a building inspector coming in and searching out their premises and closing it down unless they first call the building inspector and say they want it.

We see a lot of people who are afraid to call a building inspector. We're quite content to go to court for them and commence an application to have their premises upgraded, but we really want evidence first, and the best evidence would be from a building inspector. They're afraid to call the building inspector because they know, if it turns out to be an illegal unit, that they are going to be out of there and also they don't have a remedy if their units are illegal.

Mr Grandmaître: Let's talk about conversion. How difficult is it in the city of Windsor or the county to legalize or to legally convert your single home into an accessory apartment or create an accessory apartment? How difficult is it, or how easy?

Ms McDermott: I can't answer that because that's really something a landlord would want to do and we don't represent landlords.

Mr Grandmaître: No, I'm talking about the municipal bylaws. Are they accommodating the population or the landlords if they want to convert legally?

Ms McDermott: I don't know how accommodating they are. What I do know is that there are many landlords who have converted illegally and we see the tenants who are living in the illegal units.

Mr Grandmaître: You pointed out that every unit should be registered. Who would administer this program?

Ms McDermott: The Rent Control Act.

Mr Grandmaître: No, administer; the city or the province of Ontario?

Ms McDermott: The rent control program. I think they could use the same registration system.

Mr Grandmaître: Where would they register?

Ms McDermott: They could use the same registration system that they have currently. It would just extend it down to one unit per premise. Now it starts at four, so it means you can get information if there are more than four units, but if you're living in a premise with three, or in these circumstances usually with one or two, you can't find out what the legal maximum rent is.

Mr Crozier: I'm going to make one comment on the parking question again. You've said it's not a problem and it won't be a problem. I think it's fairly evident that you probably haven't served on a municipal council because it's a problem in many communities and I think it will be increased if we allow this.

More to the point, and I want to get back to this as of right again, I think that not only do prospective tenants have a right, but don't you think individuals in communities in areas of a town, in neighbourhoods, also have a right? That's why I get back to this point of, why can't it be at the municipal level? Why can't the municipality control this? Why do we have to put the big brush on all this and say, "Just anybody can do it, practically under any circumstances"?

Mr Joe Krall: I believe that in response to the parking issue, we admit it's already a problem. I think to say it's going to become a very big problem because of this will be admitting to the floodgate-type arguments which I just don't see. I believe the fact that the estimates say there's some 100,000 illegal units in this province would indicate that there has been a difficulty in regard to planning for the needs of renters in this province.

I believe that in many municipalities zoning has been exclusionary, élitist, "not in this neighbourhood," and I think the discriminatory practices need to be curtailed. I believe the municipalities have had opportunities to do that and we commend the province for taking steps to stop that now.

Mr David Johnson: Perhaps former mayors are of the same mind and I'm going to follow up on the same question.

We've heard deputations from across Ontario now, and as I indicated earlier, and you may have been here, what we've heard is support for the concept of basement apartments and support for accessory apartments. I can't recall one deputation, frankly, that spoke on that issue that didn't offer support. What puzzles me a little bit is that there sometimes seems to be an all or nothing kind of an attitude and this is what I'd like to probe a little bit.

For example, we heard from citizens in Hamilton where they have very large homes that are being made into various apartments, a certain situation there. I know in my own municipality of East York we have very small homes. We have small bungalows, very different from the city of Hamilton, a different set of circumstances. We heard from Ottawa, where they have many flooded basements in certain areas and that causes a problem. They're concerned about putting basement apartments in areas like that.

They also express concern about row houses, for example. There are municipalities with very wide lots, municipalities with very narrow lots. The city of Waterloo has a university, and London expressed the same concern, where there are different sets of circumstances.

I guess what they're saying is that they need some local control over this. They're going ahead. Etobicoke, for example, came forward with an apartments-in-houses policy. They did that in 1990. It was submitted to the Ministry of Housing and it still has not been approved. They still have not heard back on this. Municipalities are acting on this and they're acting in the case of their own unique circumstances, because municipalities have a character, they are different.

I'm wondering, in your view, is there no room at all for local municipalities to consider this as a community, the people in the community to consider this and come up with a policy, an approach for these accessory apartments that would reflect the local circumstances?

Mr Krall: If all municipalities were to comply, then perhaps idealistically we could go back to that scenario. I don't believe that's going to happen or that it would happen. I think history to date leads us to believe that not all municipalities are going to do something. I believe that property standards will help municipalities to address where there are some real shortcomings in these units.

Mr Arnott: I'm still trying to get a grasp of the basement apartment situation presently in Windsor. Do you have any idea of how many legal basement apartments there are presently in Windsor, and how many illegal basement apartments?

Ms McDermott: No, I'm sorry, we don't have any handle on the number. If I can respond partly to the question and the previous comments, it's interesting to talk about the broad policy issues in planning and how wonderful it would be if a municipality could sit down and see the future and see all the people and everyone's needs and plan everything.

We see the individual tenants who right at that moment are being evicted, who want a remedy for them right then. They don't care that the city has the potential to look at the future and make projections and come up with a plan that may or may not conform to what happens in that community in the future. What they care about is that they need a remedy right then and the only real remedy they can get is if they are covered by the Landlord and Tenant Act. Then they can go to court, or we can go to the rent control board. We can get some kind of remedy.

It may turn out that this is not an appropriate community for the apartment in houses to exist. If that's the case, then probably those people will eventually move. It probably will not last for a long time, but at least that tenant will have some remedy to redress at that time, and then the city can go on and do whatever in terms of its planning to make that a more or less attractive area for those people to live in.

Mr Arnott: We've heard some presentations over the last few weeks of municipalities, as well as landlords, concerned about situations that may arise where a tenant becomes extremely unruly and may be a threat to some of the other residents in a building. I think most of us agree there should be an opportunity for eviction at that time.

You, I assume, provide legal advice to tenants who are facing eviction and you indicated that if this bill passes, it would apply the Landlord and Tenant Act to more tenancy situations. How long does it take under the Landlord and Tenant Act, on average, to evict a tenant who is extremely unruly, who potentially represents a risk or a threat to some of the other tenants in the building?

Ms McDermott: I think it depends on your skill at gathering evidence and using the procedures of the court to do it.

Mr Arnott: But if you're advising someone, how long on average?

Ms McDermott: I don't advise landlords, but you could probably be in court, I would think, within a couple of weeks and you could have a writ that's effective that day. You can then have the sheriff come and serve a notice to vacate that day, saying he will be back in seven days to lock the person out.

There certainly are remedies available for a landlord to evict a tenant, but if the circumstances are so severe that there is a real threat to life or health, there are much more immediate and responsive pieces of legislation. There are other authorities such as the police that may be more appropriate in those circumstances, or sometimes having someone taken in for a psychiatric assessment can be appropriate.

The Landlord and Tenant Act is really intended to govern the relationships between landlords and tenants. It's not intended to deal with circumstances where people become really dangerous or threatening. However, it does give landlords appropriate ways to evict really unsuitable tenants.

The Chair: Thank you very much for making this presentation to us today.



Mr Ralph Evans: I am Ralph Evans. On my right is Sharon Lumsden. On my left is Susan Palazzi. Sharon and I are members of Concerned Citizens for Access and Equality and also members of the newly formed tenant action committee at ALPHA, Apartments for Living for Physically Handicapped Association. Susan Palazzi is an adviser from Concerned Citizens.

For your information, Concerned Citizens for Access and Equality is a group of physically disabled adults who actively advocate for freedom and access in all areas of community life. The tenants' committee represents the majority of tenants living in ALPHA. ALPHA offers accessible, geared-to-income housing for adults with physical disabilities. A non-medical attendant care staff is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

What we have in common is that we feel that regardless of our support care needs, we should have the same rights and protection that other tenants enjoy, those rights accorded by the Landlord and Tenant Act. As disabled people, we are forced to live in supportive housing because of the degree of support we need. However, as tenants who pay rent we have very little legal protection with regard to our tenancy.

In making this submission, we bring our own diverse backgrounds and experiences as people with physical disabilities. We are pleased to have the opportunity to speak with you today and voice our support for the amendment of certain statutes concerning residential property.

At the outset, we would like to comment that our submission will speak solely to the amendments to the Rent Control Act and the Landlord and Tenant Act. We support changes which contribute to our independence, ensure that we are more informed about such things as the cost and quality of attendant care, and provide us with the protection and security afforded to other tenants.

The Rent Control Act: Our only comment with regard to this act is that we are pleased we will be given information about the cost of the care we receive and, more importantly, we are given the right to request that information from our landlord. We want to know what we are paying for and these amendments will give us the right to know.

The Landlord and Tenant Act: We strongly support the removal of exemptions which relate to support-service living units like ALPHA where care is provided. We express our support for several reasons.

First, the removal of the exemption gives us the protection of the Landlord and Tenant Act, a protection already given to tenants of Ontario Housing or private landlords.

Second, the exemption is discriminatory since it denies us the security and protection other tenants enjoy, and that denial is based solely on the fact that our apartment complex provides support care. Many apartment complexes for the disabled -- for example, Cheshire Homes in London and Toronto, Ontario -- provide support care and are also governed by the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Third, it is our opinion that the landlord and the care giver should not be one and the same. In other words, in the current situation, whether we have a problem with our tenancy or with our attendant care, we go to the same person or group of persons to voice our concerns. This is neither appropriate nor an efficient or effective avenue to resolve problems. The conflict is obvious, and one should not impact upon the other. Indeed, there should not be a relationship between the two; however, in the past, a relationship has existed.

Fourth, we support a legal structure which clearly outlines such things as reasons for eviction. We will have a legal recourse with regard to eviction, and in our opinion this is long overdue.

Finally, we welcome legislation which dictates tenant and landlord rights and obligations. The exemption leaves too much room for subjectivity with regard to eviction, maintenance and repairs, and other rights and responsibilities.

Before closing, I would like to speak about the impact of our landlord's response to Bill 120. Why ALPHA would be so vehemently opposed to Bill 120 is not easily understood. In a letter dated December 1, 1993, the ALPHA board of directors informed all tenants that their attendant care services will be terminated on March 31, 1994. In a radio interview on CBC-1550, Mr Gascoyne, a board member, stated that we will be in rest homes or chronic care homes after March 31, 1994. In an article in the Windsor Star, the same message was given. ALPHA's reason for these decisions? The possible passing of Bill 120.

Our landlord, in opposing Bill 120, is telling us that we do not need protection or security as tenants. This is the same landlord who instructed a tenant that her support care was terminated unless she lost some weight. This is the same landlord who organized a pool party for all staff in August 1993 and left the building in charge of an 18-year-old homemaker with specific instructions not to leave the staff room. This is the same landlord who allowed the building to be without smoke detection, unbeknown to the tenants.

We need and want the protection of the Landlord and Tenant Act. We will accept our responsibilities as tenants as outlined in the act. We want the legal recourse afforded other tenants in Ontario. At this time, instead of the efficiency of summary procedure of the Landlord and Tenant Act, which allows any tenant in Ontario to go before a judge in a short time, we are forced to make a complaint through the Ontario Human Rights Commission, which has a significant backlog and provides an unwieldy procedure.

In closing, we strongly urge the NDP government to enact the amendments to the Landlord and Tenant Act. Many voices have been raised in support of Bill 120. We add our voice in support of this bill and the amendments with regard to the removal of the exemptions.

We appreciate the opportunity to speak with you today and would be happy to answer any questions you may have about this submission.


Mr Crozier: Mr Evans and Ms Lumsden, I want to thank you for attending today and compliment you on having the courage to speak out under the circumstances you have, because I have the context of that radio broadcast you were speaking of, and I just wanted confirmation for everybody to hear because we're going to be hearing from ALPHA later that as part of that broadcast you confirmed that the residents received a letter from ALPHA that if this bill goes through, you guys are out. Is that essentially what it said?

Mr Evans: That's correct.

Mr Crozier: Could you give us some idea, having been told by your landlord, for which you have no protection right now, how you felt when you received that?

Ms Sharon Lumsden: Some of the tenants in the building have come from chronic care or nursing homes to begin with. They moved into ALPHA as an alternative to independent living. It terrified them; it absolutely terrified them. We had a mess for a while with some of the tenants. I have never been in a nursing home. I don't care to go to one. It upset me. It's unbelievable the terror. You can't describe the feeling that you get of hopelessness: "What am I going to do? Where am I going to live?"

The Chair: Mr Crozier, it's my understanding that this particular issue is subject to a court proceeding at the moment, and under the standing orders discussing a court proceeding or a judicial proceeding of any type is not in order, so perhaps in the interests also of the presenters, you will broaden your line of questioning.

Mr Crozier: In the legal sense then, I will withdraw my question. Is that what you usually say?

The Chair: No, it's there.

Mr Crozier: Just broaden the issue?

The Chair: Just broaden the issue is fine.

Mr Evans: The court case only includes two tenants. That does not involve the whole building. It's only with reference to two tenants.

Mr Crozier: Are you the two tenants?

Mr Evans: No, we are not.

Mr Crozier: I'm referring then to a broadcast in which these two people --

The Chair: I would at this point, just to be helpful, remind members that all members during a committee session obviously have parliamentary immunity that is generally put in place. The same protection is not accorded to presenters, so what you say could be possibly subject to action.

Mr Crozier: No, I don't think it's necessary to go beyond that, frankly. I'll pass.

The Chair: I'm just trying to keep us all out of trouble, that's all.

Mr Crozier: Good.

Mr Arnott: Thanks very much for coming forward. Your presentation's been very compelling.

One of the issues I see in this bill that remains an outstanding concern, I think, as it would affect you, is that this bill addresses problems relating to tenancy but it doesn't bring in standards of care that I think are needed too. That's not necessarily a flaw of the bill, but it's an inadequacy in terms of the government's policy, especially the Lightman report, which gave us all cause to pause and recognize that there has to be regulation of standards of care as well. Would you agree with that?

Ms Lumsden: Yes. There definitely has to be a standard of care. As tenants in ALPHA, we're willing to work with somebody, to work with people. We don't want to be told any more how our care is going to be delivered. We want to be in on the decision-making. We're not unreasonable people. We don't make unreasonable demands on any care giver. We just want our rights, as everybody else, to make the decision how our care is going to be received and how it's going to be done. There's definitely a lot more room for improvement in there.

Mr David Johnson: I think Mr Arnott has led into it quite nicely. There's a bit of a general concern, and maybe I'm playing devil's advocate a little bit here. I think what you bring forward is very valid and needs to be addressed. The Lightman report certainly pointed that out. There have been abuses in, shall I call them, care homes in general, no question about it.

The point has been made though that while these need to be addressed and something needs to be done, if the regulations are too strict, the pendulum swings too far the other way. One of the swings of the pendulum that has been brought up before is that you've suggested for example that the care be separated from the accommodation side. I think some concern has been addressed by that, but if the pendulum swings too far, this will be a great disincentive for private operators. The private operators, probably those in business right now, will carry on, but it will be a disincentive for any new operators to come in.

I wonder if you agree with that, and if you do, is that a concern, or do you have a different view in the long range? How do you see this kind of care being given?

Mr Evans: The only thing I can comment on that is that the way the situation is now, it does no good for us as tenants in an apartment complex where the landlord also provides the support care. In the situation we have, we have no input into either. The removal of the exemption under the Landlord and Tenant Act and the introduction of the information that we can get from the Rent Control Act, which came into force when the bill was first read, gives us at least a little step in the right direction. It's hard to explain, but we would rather not live under what we have now, and this, as I say, is maybe a small step to giving us some kind of dignity and respect that we would like as tenants.

Mr David Johnson: What I'm asking beyond that is, do you see a role for the private operator in terms of care homes in the long run?

Ms Lumsden: I think there is. I think it's extreme that the landlords or the private owners think we're going to run them over or beat them or whatever. I think somebody who was presenting here just before us said it: There are other avenues in the community. If there is a tenant who is causing a problem, you can take care of it.

Mr David Johnson: I think we'd all agree that there certainly are a number of excellent private operators as well. In my view at any rate, we wouldn't want to discourage the excellent operators; it's just the few bad apples.

Ms Lumsden: I think if you're an excellent operator, you won't have a problem with the tenants. It's like any landlord or tenant in any building, whether you're disabled or not. If you're a good landlord, your tenants are not going to have any problems. If you have a tenant in an apartment who's acting up, you know how to get rid of him. It's the same rights as we want.

Mr Lessard: I just wanted to say thank you very much for your presentation. I know sometimes it can be intimidating to appear before a group from the Ontario Legislature, but it is important for us to hear from tenants and people who will be affected by the legislation. I want to wish you luck in the challenges that you're facing at ALPHA. Thank you once again.

Mr Gary Wilson (Kingston and The Islands): Thank you very much for your presentation. It's set out so clearly. It covers all the aspects and certainly gives us things to consider when we come to the clause-by-clause.

I'd like to ask you one thing about ALPHA; that is, I understand it's a non-profit organization. You might be aware that the Ministry of Housing is proposing that the boards of non-profit housing include tenants on the board, up to a third. I'm just wondering what you think that will do for non-profit housing like ALPHA.

Mr Evans: I think it would be good for the tenants to have at least input into any areas of their concern within the building. When we formed the tenant action committee, we submitted a letter to the board of directors requesting that we have seats on the board and that matter's been deferred. So right now we have no answer at all.


Mr Gary Wilson: I see. How long ago was that, that you made that proposal?

Mr Evans: We formed on January 7, so it's been almost a month. We attended their last meeting. At that time, they deferred it.

Mr Gary Wilson: What are some of the issues that you expect would be raised by tenants that aren't being looked at now?

Ms Lumsden: Issues that would be raised by tenants are more control of our support care; who's going to do the hiring and firing; how it's going to be delivered; how the building's maintained, the maintenance of the building. I think regular things that would be in a landlord and tenant building, essentially one that provides support care. I think our biggest issue is the support care issue.

Mr Owens: This is one of the things that has intrigued me I guess in a generic sense. We've gone through the hearings with respect to the provision of care in residences and the impression that I'm getting from deputants is that you're essentially subject to the type and kind of care that the operator would like to provide for you, that consent is perhaps not a big issue on the agenda in terms of the type or time of delivery of the care.

I'm wondering, in a situation like yours -- I've been involved in a review of the Co-operative Corporations Act -- if you were looking at the provision of your own care as a residents group and forming a not-for-profit care cooperative, would that be something that you would find interesting in terms of meeting your needs in a resident-driven way?

Ms Lumsden: I think so, anywhere we can have some control, some say, yes. The building itself, having a place to live is fine. We would like that, but then when you have to have the aspect of care, that's where we're coming from, is the care.

Mr Owens: Yes. This is not an institution.

Ms Lumsden: No.

Mr Owens: Exactly; this is your home.

Ms Lumsden: This is our home, this apartment building where we pay rent.

Mr Owens: And just like if I wanted to have somebody into my home to do something, I should be able to choose who it is and what it is that they do when they're there. But it's my sense, again from a number of deputants, that kind of consent, and choice particularly, is simply not available to people. For people who are vulnerable, it's problematic because what do you do? You need the person, you need some level of care.

Ms Lumsden: Yes. You're subject to policies of the building and one day to the next, they can change. You didn't know there was a policy until you broke it.

Mr Owens: And what happens when you break that policy?

Ms Lumsden: Oh, you get told about it. It's the situation, you're wrong and they're right.

Mr Owens: So they send you the memorandum like you're in school.

Ms Lumsden: It's like being a child and a parent. You're the child.

Mr Owens: And that's not the dignity that you spoke about earlier.

Mr Gary Wilson: Just to follow up about this part, to maybe ask you to elaborate a bit or confirm just what you meant when you said that the landlord and care giver shouldn't be the same. I think you mentioned that in your presentation. You would be in support of the support that we give through the rent control just applying to the accommodation portion of the payment?

Mr Evans: Yes.

Mr Gary Wilson: Those are all the questions I have.

The Chair: Thank you very much for taking the time to come down and see us this morning. I hope the weather holds and everyone can get home.


The Vice-Chair (Mr Hans Daigeler): The next presentation is the Citizen Advocacy Windsor/Essex. You have 30 minutes and if you'd leave some time for questions and answers, it would be appreciated. Introduce yourselves for Hansard records and for the committee.

Mrs Shirley Jarcaig: My name is Shirley Jarcaig. I'm the managing director of Citizen Advocacy Windsor/Essex. This is Nola Millin, the president of our organization. We're very glad to be here today.

Citizen Advocacy Windsor/Essex is pleased to lend our support to the passage of Bill 120 regarding the expansion of residents' rights to include those who are residing in unregulated housing under the Landlord and Tenant Act. This bill will enable those individuals to register their concerns and take responsibility for the conditions under which they live. We feel that this is a healthy step in reducing the possibility of abuse in such facilities and giving the residents the opportunity to exercise rights that could give them a better quality of life.

Our organization, which is entering its 20th year in providing community-based advocacy for vulnerable adults, has shared in the trials and tribulations of people living in unregulated housing. Some members of our board of directors, as well as people matched on a one-to-one basis in our program, live in these facilities.

Until the recommendations made in the Lightman report, and the introduction of this bill, there was nothing that recognized the rights of these individuals in determining their own quality of life. Many of these people, due to disability and lack of support systems, do not have other choices in living accommodation and over the years have had to tolerate and adjust to conditions of living that did not take into account their individual needs. Policies in these facilities tend to be determined and based on the interests of their operators rather than their residents, with little explanation for cause or reason and no opportunity for redress.

Let us give you examples of such situations that, depending on the sensitivity of the rest home, group home or limited care facility management, give opportunity for abuse and lack of quality of life.

A woman in her 30s had been living in a rest home for a number of years. She was a psychiatric patient and mildly developmentally handicapped. She lacked the skills to be able to live independently and did not have the family to provide her with a home. She was relatively happy at the rest home where she lived in the downtown area and was within walking distance of a recreational and treatment program for psychiatric patients which she attended. Most of her relationships and activities centred around this treatment program, which was very important to her.

The rest home that she lived in was one of three owned by the same private company with a common director. Over a period of time, the director noted that one of his homes had a number of vacancies and that all of the residents were male. He decided that he would move two of his female residents from his downtown rest home to this other rest home on the east end of the city to fill the vacancies and lend more balance in variety of tenants.

One of the women chosen was the one for which we speak. No one was consulted about the move and it was done quickly, with little attention or preparation for the possible changes it would make in the lives of these women.

Her new residence was a considerable distance from this woman's recreational and treatment program. She needed to take the bus to get to her program. The makeup of the people at the rest home was such that she did not have any opportunities for relationships. When the bus system went on strike after the move, this woman could no longer access her only recreational and social outlet. No attempt was made to find her alternative forms of transportation and the woman's emotional condition deteriorated considerably over the next weeks and months. She indicated that she was very unhappy with her living situation, but nothing was done.


Under this new bill, all rest home residents would be informed of their rights to question such moves. There would be the protection of a residents' council to address grievances, and rest home and group home operators could not take such licence.

Another area of abuse, with which this part of the province is quite familiar, is the financial licence taken with comfort allowances. It has not been uncommon for members of my organization and staff to find that an individual living in a residence for a number of months has never been told that there are monthly funds available for personal use. People in need of toiletries, shoes, clothing and transportation costs have gone without, while the $100 a month given to them for such amenities has gone into the coffers of the rest home operator.

Services that could be accessed for hearing aids, glasses, dentures, and which many care providers are aware of, are never mentioned. We have visited people who have lost dentures and been put on soft diets rather than referred to a denturist or a dentist for another set of teeth. Many of these people would need assistance in accessing these services, but such services are never contacted or mentioned to the residents involved.

Much education will be required to inform people of their rights and how to protect them. Often it is the lack of knowledge of one's rights that prevents people from exercising them.

We have a local facility, ALPHA, that is supposed to be an independent apartment living program for physically disabled adults. All of the residents living in the building require 24-hour attendant care for their physical needs. ALPHA sets policies for its tenants without any consultation, explanation or process for appeal. The justification for lack of tenant involvement is that the facility is both the landlord and the service provider.

This law would empower the tenants to speak on their own behalf. By separating service provision from landlordship, tenants could no longer be prevented from participating in the policy-making process for the building in which they live. Dialogue and communication would be required between the landlord and the tenant, preventing miscommunication and preventing the fear and resentment that has, until now, been so prevalent in this facility. The residents of this facility are adults and wish to be treated as such.

We would like to thank the committee for the opportunity to speak on this matter which will affect the lives of so many people in the province. Windsor has the largest number of rest homes per capita in the province and some of the largest in size as well. We are glad that you have chosen to visit this city so that the residents concerned with these matters have the opportunity to give their points of view. We look forward to what we hope will be quick passage of this bill and the challenges that lie ahead in ensuring that the rights of residents are protected, respected and exercised.

Mr Arnott: On page 2, you make reference to the fact that you know of cases where the comfort allowance that is extended to people in some of these residential placements is not getting into their hands and it's being stopped. Will this bill, if it's passed, prevent that from happening in the future?

Mrs Jarcaig: I think what needs to be done is that if you have, for instance, a tenants' association, if you have mechanisms in place where people are informed of what to expect when they go to live in such residences, this will prevent a lot of the lack of knowledge of these things.

I remember, it must have been a couple of years ago, going to visit a woman who was blind, in her 80s and who had recently gone to live in a rest home. She had lived there for six or seven months and had absolutely no knowledge of the fact that she was entitled to a comfort allowance. When I went to the operator of the facility and told them that she had no knowledge of it, they said: "We didn't know that we had the obligation to let her know these things. Her money is there for her, but we never bothered to tell her."

I think part of it is, if you have a mechanism in place that will inform people once they go to live in such places that, "Yes, even though you are on a pension, the government will be giving you x number of dollars every month to cover certain personal costs, and this is money the rest home is obligated to keep on your behalf," then that person knows that there is x number of dollars available to them, and if they need a pair of shoes, they can go out and get that pair of shoes; if they need toiletries, they can out and get toiletries.

To see the kinds of situations where people are literally left without anything and nobody has ever bothered to inform them and the money just mounts in the bank is --

Mr Arnott: It's wrong.

Mrs Jarcaig: It's really, really wrong.

Mr Arnott: I'm just wondering if this bill will in fact redress that problem, because certainly it is a major problem if money that people are entitled to they're not getting because someone else is skimming it off.

Mrs Jarcaig: That's true. I think if there are tenants associations in place, if we here locally are able to maybe -- certainly people will need to be informed of their rights in these rest homes, particularly since they haven't had them up until now, and there will need to be some kind of educational program put in place so that people are aware that these things are available to them. That's what we're hoping for, really.

Mr Owens: I'd like to pursue this issue with respect to residents not receiving their comfort allowance. What kinds of things could you recommend to the government that we could do around education? Posting a residents' bill of rights, some kind of enforceable duty on the operator to ensure that people get their money, some kind of spot-check audit?

Mrs Jarcaig: I think any of those things would be wonderful. I know of legal cases here locally and we have at least some bylaws here in the city that obligate rest home operators to keep track of their moneys. That's one of the ways that later on we have found out that people have never received their comfort allowances, sometimes for a period of years. At least the operator was able to be prosecuted for having done such offences. I know that there are legal precedents here in Windsor where they were able to prove what happened to the money, but that's not true throughout the province.

I think those kinds of obligations are necessary. If you're a landlord, you have certain obligations with regard to your tenants.

Mr Owens: Absolutely. Are you familiar with the term garbage-bag evictions?

Mrs Jarcaig: Garbage-bag evictions, where people are just sort of thrown out on the street at the last minute.

Mr Owens: And their belongings in the green garbage bag. Has that been a problem here in Windsor, to your knowledge, people summarily being evicted from either care homes or accessory apartments?

Mrs Jarcaig: I think those things have happened. Within our own organization we have not always been informed about such situations, but I believe that they do happen.

Mr Owens: We were in Ottawa a couple of days ago and we've had folks come in from Sudbury to testify. The opponents of this particular legislation, whether it's the issue with respect to care homes or accessory apartments particularly, have said that this is a Toronto problem and we're imposing Toronto solutions. Nola is saying no, it's not.

Mrs Jarcaig: Nola, by the way, is also a tenant at ALPHA, so she's had some personal experience around the kinds of issues of living in a facility where she doesn't have any rights.

Mr Owens: So this is not just a problem that's restricted to Toronto and we're not just simply imposing Toronto solutions on Toronto-centred problems. So your organization, taking a look at some of the recommendations you've made, particularly with respect to the comfort allowance, would see this as being helpful, particularly to vulnerable persons.

Mrs Jarcaig: Definitely. Right now, if you live in a group home or in a rest home, any kind of policy can be set without your knowledge. They can do whatever, basically, they choose to. They can make you live in a room with somebody you hate. They can move you from one rest home to another or one group home to another and they're not obligated to even tell you why.


Mr Owens: Do you see other government pieces of legislation and reviews, like the Advocacy Act, the Substitute Decisions Act, the Consent to Treatment Act, the long-term care reform, dovetailing to make whole cloth with respect to, especially, vulnerable persons?

Mrs Jarcaig: Yes. I think this is all part and parcel of the province really looking at the fact that people with disabilities are entitled to choice, just like everyone else.

The majority of people living in these types of facilities are the frail elderly and the disabled. You go into any unregulated setting, and it is usually made up of people who can no longer manage to live on their own. That's why they're there. They're not there out of choice as much as out of necessity. Nobody goes into institutional care because they just love the idea of living in an institution. They go into those places because they no longer can manage to live on their own.

Mr Gary Wilson: Thank you very much for your submission. It does offer a lot of insight into what it is we're trying to achieve here.

You mentioned that Windsor has the highest per capita number of care homes. There are, as we've heard in these submissions and during the hearings, good operators and bad operators. What is your perception of what distinguishes them? What is it that determines a good operator? In your experience, what creates the difference?

Mrs Jarcaig: You will find certain care operators who really have a sensitivity to the people who are living in their facility, who really have some genuine concern. Certainly those people need to comply with the rules of being able to live with other individuals, but they will take into account the person's level of ability and will understand the fact that maybe these people are very dependent on the facility for quality of life. I've met some excellent rest home operators who really are very sensitive, who will go out of their way for the people living in the facilities that they live in. But there are many also where that's definitely not the case. Other things take precedence for them.

Mr Gary Wilson: You do mention the issue of miscommunication, so it could be possible that the operator assumes they're doing the best thing, what they see as being in the best interests of their client. But of course the client might look at it differently. Is this what you meant by miscommunication?

Mrs Jarcaig: I think a lot of the time certain policies are established and people aren't told why. It's never made clear; it's just done. Now, maybe the operator has a very good reason for changing that policy, but if he never shares that information with the people living in the facility, there's bound to be some bitterness and resentment over the fact that they weren't even told why. They weren't even given a reason for changes.

I think anybody wants to know. You can accept change if you know there's a very just cause for that change. But if you're never even told why, if you're never given any options, if you're never consulted about changes that directly affect your life, you feel that you have absolutely no control. The question is, must the landlord have complete and total control over these things? Most people are reasonable and will accept change if they have to.

Mr Gary Wilson: Especially when part of the reason for bringing these changes about is to standardize or to give the rights to tenants in care homes that tenants in other places enjoy. I think our society recognizes that this is the way people want to live, in effect that they should have these rights. I would think that it would actually improve the lives of both the tenants and the operators.

Mrs Jarcaig: We have a lot of contact with organizations that operate groups home settings, such as the associations for community living here locally and the Canadian Mental Health Association. This will definitely affect them and cause them some adjustment and maybe some problems in complying with the act, but they're very supportive of the fact that yes, this is probably what's in the very best interests of the people in the facilities in which these people live. So they're willing to do it very, very openly.

So then the question is, if these people can recognize that this is in the best interests of those individuals, why can't other facilities? I think it will definitely make a difference and it will mean that these people will have to learn to maybe take responsibility for certain things that they didn't have to before.

Mr Gary Wilson: Who do you mean by "they"?

Mrs Jarcaig: The tenants themselves will have to take responsibility for some of the things that will happen in their own lives as a result of this, but as adults and as citizens in this society we all have to take responsibility.

Mr Owens: A small question, but it perhaps requires a larger answer: In terms of, again, the kinds of things the government would have to look at doing because of the broader application of the Landlord and Tenant Act and covering those who are not verbal in communication, what would you see the government needing to do to assist those tenants who would want to take advantage of their rights under the Landlord and Tenant Act? What kinds of advocacy, aids, would you see the government needing to provide to ensure that particularly a person who is non-verbal would have his or her rights first of all ascertained, understood and advocated on?

Mrs Jarcaig: Do you want to answer that, Nola? Nola is non-verbal.

Ms Nola Millin: Wouldn't that be a part of an advocate's responsibility?

Mrs Jarcaig: Part of what the Advocacy Act is about is ensuring that people's rights are protected when they can't speak on their own behalf.

Mr Owens: In terms of how I understand the Advocacy Act works, an advocate has a limited avenue for becoming involved with a client and in terms of the issues upon which an advocate can become involved, so I guess what I would be looking for, in terms of whether it's the Ministry of Housing or the Ministry of Citizenship through the Advocacy Commission or the Ministry of the Attorney General through the community legal clinics, to provide some level of representation to deal with the broader rights available to focus on the disabled community.

Mrs Jarcaig: I know organizations like ours will definitely be involved. We always have been, in making people aware of their rights. It was just that up until now, many people in these kinds of care facilities really didn't have any rights, so there wasn't any way of addressing these kinds of issues.

Mr Owens: Absolutely.

Mrs Jarcaig: By giving them these kinds of rights, it will certainly give organizations like ours and the Advocacy Commission a lot more opportunity to make sure that people's rights are protected.

Mr Owens: That's right.

Mr Crozier: I just want to point out again as I did earlier, and perhaps you weren't here, that sometimes the problem with an omnibus bill such as this is that it throws together totally different initiatives. I'm concerned, and I hope this doesn't happen here, that then we end up with something in both cases that really doesn't satisfy the need, that while it addresses some of the needs, it maybe isn't specific enough.


I just wonder, and perhaps it's following my colleague's question there, if there aren't some things that this bill doesn't cover, and I'm separating the question of regular apartments and basement apartments and granny flats, which are totally different from what you're getting at. Do you feel that this bill does cover the needs that you and others have spoken of this morning? The Concerned Citizens for Access and Equality were somewhat the same.

Mrs Jarcaig: Certainly, it's a step in the right direction, and I think until the legislation is passed and until we see what the effects of it are, we'll never really know if more changes need to be made in the legislation. I think that's true for just about any bill that's ever passed. You don't know what the ramifications are until the legislation is implemented.

Mr Crozier: But you feel it's a first step and a good step.

Mrs Jarcaig: Definitely.

Mr Daigeler: Mine is perhaps more a comment and not so much a question. I hope I'm not too critical towards the Windsor area, but frankly, I come from the Ottawa area. I represent Nepean and I've been a member now for, it's getting on to seven years. Frankly, I find it hard to believe that what you're describing here actually exists. I must say that in my area that I represent there are always difficulties and I think that happens in life, but it's the first time that I hear of what seem to be such serious abuses of the system. I'm just wondering what is going on here in Windsor.

I'm not sure, frankly, whether the problems that you're describing and that were described earlier can be settled by laws. I'm just wondering whether there's a problem that is deeper or different that cannot be solved by laws but that there's something else that perhaps needs to be fixed, and I don't know what it is. Certainly, the situations that you're describing I must say I just have not heard of in my area and I'm just wondering whether you'd want to comment on that.

Mrs Jarcaig: Maybe you should contact the citizen advocacy program in Ottawa and see if it's encountering the same kind of situations that we are.

Mr Daigeler: I spoke to them last Sunday. They're very well organized and they have an excellent advocacy group. I know the people who are involved in it.

Mrs Jarcaig: So do I.

Mr Daigeler: There are a lot of volunteers who are involved and I've not heard any of these kinds of stories.

Mrs Jarcaig: I've been the director of citizen advocacy here in Windsor for the last seven years and this is an ongoing concern for us, all the time. I can't believe that this only happens in this area of the province and I think Lightman's report certainly confirms that.

Mr George Mammoliti (Yorkview): It happens everywhere.

Mr Daigeler: I didn't say that it necessarily is the only area; it's just I'm saying that from my experience it's not been brought to my attention. Perhaps it does exist, but I tell you that I have been in touch and I'm in constant contact and frankly, if there were such problems, I'm sure they would contact my office or my colleague's office. I should say that of course we too have, in my area, very excellent organizations and people seem to know their rights and they're using them. But in any case, I'm just saying that I'm really struck by what you're saying and I find it hard to believe that it is as bad as you're describing it.

Mrs Jarcaig: It is.

The Chair: Thank you for coming.


Mr Charles Gascoyne: My name's Charles Gascoyne. I'm a board member at ALPHA, an organization that you apparently have heard a lot about. With me is Pat Clancy, the president of ALPHA, and Lynn Fitzsimmons, who is the vice-president of ALPHA.

In order to fully appreciate our submissions, I think it's important that you actually understand what ALPHA is. By way of background, in the 1970s a committee of concerned citizens was formed to investigate the need for suitable housing for young adults who are physically disabled. The investigations quickly showed that there were very little alternatives for the disabled other than to live at home, in chronic care or in a nursing home. It was in that atmosphere that ALPHA was created in 1978 as one of the four original government demonstration projects relative to supportive housing.

The tenants themselves at ALPHA, in terms of rent, are rent- geared-to-income and must be rent-geared-to-income under the program policies. The apartment building itself consists of 24 units made up of two two-bedroom units, nine one-bedroom units and 11 what are known as "pod" units, and these are bedroom-sitting areas where the tenants share a common kitchen and living area as well as a wheel-in shower.

At the present time, ALPHA's entered into an agreement with the Ministry of Community and Social Services to provide attendant care to the tenants at ALPHA on a 24-hour basis. It's the only 24-hour attendant care program in the city of Windsor, in the county of Essex.

The program agreement we've entered into with the ministry requires that, first of all, the individual be a tenant at ALPHA and, second of all, that all support care occur at ALPHA. It also requires that in order to qualify for the program, the tenant must require assistance in at least three primary activities of daily living, which would include transfers to and from a wheelchair, the toilet, bed or chair; it could be meal preparation; it could be feeding; it could be bowel and bladder care including rectal suppositories or condom catheters; personal hygiene and grooming; dressing; and, in addition, if there's sufficient funding, assistance may also be provided in a number of secondary routines which would include housekeeping, laundry, banking, communication and shopping.

Initially, when ALPHA was formed, the funding mechanism was to ensure that there was a resident mix of one third light care, one third medium care and one third heavy care. As the years progressed, other alternatives in the community were made available to the low-care tenant and the resident mix has since then altered to essentially one half moderate care to one half heavy care.

The care that is being provided by ALPHA is very similar to what you might find in a nursing home. The major difference is that we are serving the young disabled population, who have different needs and aspirations.

Certainly the direction of long-term care and the focus on supportive housing is welcome and we certainly support it. I think there's been a lot of misconception as to exactly what ALPHA's position has been on Bill 120 and the rights of tenants residing at ALPHA. We, as a board, actually support tenant rights and we made a submission to Dr Lightman, a fairly lengthy submission, where we advocated, on behalf of the tenants at ALPHA, increased protection.


In about 1987, the legislation was changed to recognize that care homes exhibited certain characteristics which made it inappropriate to deal with them solely as residential premises. We recognize that these apartments are the homes of the tenants and we attempt to abide by that; however, we are operating under a government program. Our concern with the legislation is not the security-of-tenure aspect per se. We have no problem in granting tenants security of tenure; the problem we have is not recognizing the unique aspects of care homes and these government programs.

In order for supportive housing to be cost-effective, there has to be a centralization of those care units. Whether it is in a delinked setting where the care is being provided by another provider and the tenants will then rent from a landlord, it's still going to be in a centralized setting. You need the on-care emergency response system; you need the staff onsite to provide the 24-hour care. The attendant care program was designed specifically for that, for those individuals who could not have their needs met in the regular attendant care program such as outreach which are limited to the hours of 6 am to 12 pm.

Our concern is that certainly there has to be increased protection to tenants, but it has to be taken into account that this is a government program and there is going to be centralization. There are only so many dollars to go about. In order for the program to be effective and cost-effective, there has to be some consideration of this unique program.

What we're suggesting is that there be recognition of the attendant care program, similar to public housing, such that if you no longer meet the criteria for the supportive housing program, that would be a ground for eviction.

Referring to Dr Lightman's report, he made it very clear that the separation of housing and the delivery of support services has been identified as a central tenet of his inquiry. He went on to say that one consequence of delinking is that housing could become more generic, with operators of care-providing homes becoming more like traditional landlords. Dr Lightman recognized that we're not traditional landlords. Traditional landlords are solely involved in providing a shelter. We have to go much further than that; if you don't have the attendant care, the shelter is meaningless.

This legislation does nothing to promote a delinking of the attendant care from the shelter component of the package; in fact, it tends to inhibit a delinking, and I'm thinking specifically of the provisions dealing with the Rental Housing Protection Act. It makes it very clear that care homes cannot even convert to a regular residential apartment building without going through a costly municipal approval process and the results cannot be guaranteed. That, to me, encourages a linking of the care to the housing and is not in accordance with the government's policy on a delinking of the care from the housing.

The problem is, we're not able to provide a full delinking. If we had individual funding -- and certainly I'd like to see that someday and I understand there is the pilot project going on -- we wouldn't need places like ALPHA because the service would be portable. We don't have it; there has to be some recognition that you have only so many units. Dr Lightman recognizes you can't force somebody to receive care from a particular individual and we wouldn't necessarily support that. We're not the answer to everybody and we recognize that. The problem is, you have only so many units, so if you have an individual who does not want to receive care from a particular service provider, what alternatives are there? There aren't any.

Providing security of tenure without providing the corollary of ensuring that they can receive the care so they can really have a true security of tenure is meaningless. We recognize that at the present time we haven't reached that point, particularly in this era of budgetary restraint, so there has to be some consideration, as I say, to the fact that there are so many units. You could also have a situation where somebody's not participating in a program. The supportive housing program will still be unit-designated. We've lost that unit and we may end up with another individual in chronic care or nursing home, improperly placed, because they can't access the units that they should be accessing. So that's one of the major concerns of ALPHA as an organization.

The other concern is that the legislation itself ignores the care aspect totally. It doesn't do you any good to have security of tenure if it doesn't deal with situations of tenant abuse, situations of care giver abuse. It goes both ways. Certainly the care givers of Ontario are very well aware of abuse of themselves as well as the tenant abuse, and that is not recognized in this legislation whatsoever. So what we've now given these tenants is the security to live in an abusive situation, because we haven't offered the alternatives.

There has to be some consideration to controlling care, creating standards of care, staff competence. These are all things that ALPHA as an organization advocated in front of Dr Lightman in his inquiry. We called for mandatory provisions in contracts, mandatory staff competence, considerations of levels of care. We're concerned with medication and the liability that is associated with it. We're concerned that all these issues are not dealt with under the Landlord and Tenant Act directly, although we can't lose sight of the fact that, as a residential tenant, the courts have consistently, and particularly with the advent of rent control, found that it's more than simply a shelter. It includes a number of services and facilities, and that's the language that the Rent Control Act uses: "services and facilities."

So we now have a situation where the legislation says we can't change services and facilities. We can't alter care to meet changing needs because we need a tenant's consent, which may not be forthcoming. We may then be forcing a landlord to continue to provide care in a dangerous situation both to the tenant and the care giver. How do you deal with it? That's not addressed in the legislation. These are concerns of our board and these are concerns that we have been raising all along.

In what situations can you withdraw care? Security of tenure is no good if the landlord can withdraw care at anything, nor is it appropriate. We at ALPHA have a policy on the withdrawal of care. It's been provided to all the tenants. We'd like to see some guidance in that. We've not been provided any guidance in that. Is the withdrawal of care constructive eviction of these tenants? Do we have to provide care in an unsafe condition? What about medical assessments or physiotherapy assessments or whatever assessments you need to assist somebody in care?

We have a situation right now where we're concerned that we're providing somebody, unsafely, assistance in feeding. We've asked for medical assessments, and that's been going back since April of last year. We've not received it, yet we're being forced to continue to provide care, potentially putting that individual at risk. It creates horrendous considerations from a liability point of view for the landlord, and that needs to be addressed.

What about confidentiality of medical records? Care homes are going to definitely have medical records, or should have medical records. That's not been addressed here. So we have those concerns.

I'd like to address some of the comments that have been made by previous presenters as I was listening, because I think there's a misconception about what's going on in Windsor.

At ALPHA, we do not have tenants on the board, and that's something we have been struggling with. You heard there was a request recently to put two tenants on the board. That was actually dealt with last Tuesday when we had our first board meeting, and it was deferred one month because we're not sure what's happening in ALPHA with this legislation.


Contrary to what Mr Crozier may have heard, there has been no letter that went out to any of the tenants that says ALPHA is closing down. That letter, or a similar letter, was read into the record of Hansard during Mrs Marland's debate on Bill 120 at first reading. What it said is that the attendant care program is being closed because of our concerns over our inability to carry on the attendant care program under Bill 120. It wasn't an easy decision that the ALPHA board of directors had to make.

Prior to taking that decision, it met with the local long-term care office to attempt to receive assurances that our tenants would receive the continued 24-hour care. The long-term care office has not given us that assurance. They have not given the tenants that assurance. What they have given them is the assurance that they will continue to receive care. We don't know that it's on a 24-hour basis or simply between 6 and 12. That's a concern of ours.

Our concern was that we give those tenants sufficient time to order their lives to do this, and Bill 120, that's delinking, but the building is staying open. If the CBC had properly reported an interview I gave, they would have seen that. Certainly we've heard about litigation, and I'm not going to get into it, but those tenants who have a lawyer were advised specifically that the building was staying open.

What we did do, however, to address those concerns about tenant participation is we've opened up to the tenants a number of avenues. It goes to consumer empowerment. We have an ALPHA advisory committee consisting of staff and tenants only. That advisory committee is free to meet, to make recommendations to the administrator, and if the administrator does not accept those recommendations, then it goes to the board. We have an attendant care committee in which the president and vice-president of the tenants' association are members. That's a board committee to deal with the attendant care issues. We've always encouraged a tenants' association. Unfortunately, it's never been one that has been able to maintain itself. Lastly, we've opened up our board meetings for a public portion and allowed the tenants to make presentations directly to the board. So we've made those attempts.

Unfortunately, they don't seem to be working, and we certainly welcome the Advocacy Act. That was something that we at ALPHA, before long-term care had actually taken the form it has now, just as it was forming, actually requested funding for, a tenant advocate. We requested it continually and were turned down by the local long-term care office. So certainly we recognize the need for tenant empowerment. We have a problem, though, with tenants on the board. It's been dealt with, we've agonized over it, and we've heard from tenants who want to be on the board and we've heard from tenants that don't want tenants on the board. They don't want them to know about their very personal care needs. So that's a concern.

We've heard submissions from tenants' advocacy, and it's not my role to slam anybody, but again you have to take it in perspective. We as a board have asked Citizen Advocacy -- we know that there's some dissension at ALPHA. We don't know what the problem is. Citizen Advocacy Windsor/Essex has been actively involved in it. We've asked to meet with their board in the absence of their administrator and our administrator and we have been consistently turned down on those requests.

These issues have to be dealt with, but this legislation doesn't. We have to keep in mind that care givers are providing very personal care and there is a power imbalance there. That has to be addressed, we recognize that, but the Landlord and Tenant Act is not the appropriate mechanism to deal with it, nor has Bill 120 dealt with it, notwithstanding some very serious concerns raised by Dr Lightman.

Unfortunately, until we get into an era where we can have fully funded individual care, there has to be a program like ALPHA. There are limited government funds, and that has to be recognized.

Mr Mammoliti: Did you or any of your staff or anybody who works at ALPHA ever threaten to evict somebody because of their size or weight?

Mr Gascoyne: No. In fact, I investigated that. That was reported by the CBC as a statement of fact. What happened was that the individual became too heavy for us to lift. We have one lifting device; the ministry does not fund for those. It was unsafe to use the lifting device, thereby putting that staff member and that tenant at risk. We, on notice to that tenant, withdrew that portion of the care only. There was no threat of eviction; there was no eviction. That individually voluntarily, as I understand, admitted herself to hospital, was there a significant period and, when her weight came down, was brought back to ALPHA and continues to reside there. That's a care issue.

Mr Mammoliti: Do you think that's fair to that individual?

The Chair: I would remind members that it is out of order, according to the standing orders, to discuss or ask questions about matters that are or may be before the courts.

Mr Mammoliti: Is this matter before the courts?

Mr Gascoyne: It's never been before the courts.

The Chair: The Chair is not knowledgeable about the exact circumstances. I'm just trying to be helpful.

Mr Gascoyne: That's one of our points.

Mr Mammoliti: Do you think that's fair, to bring up a relationship with the Ministry of Health in a case like this? Do you think it's fair to threaten anybody with eviction because of their size and not work with the Ministry of Health to try to rectify the problems that might exist in terms of lifting that person?

Mr Gascoyne: I think you assume that we didn't try to work with the Ministry of Health, that there was a threat. There wasn't a threat. We did attempt to work with the Ministry of Health. There was no solution. That is what we're asking for. We have asked for guidance on the withdrawal of care issues. If you took the time to read our submission to Dr Lightman, you would see that what we're advocating is that it be in conjunction with the consumer; that this is not something that will be imposed upon the consumer but that these issues be dealt with representations from care givers, from consumers and from the ministry.

Mr Mammoliti: If you can't come up with a resolution, you kick out the tenant.

Mr Gascoyne: We didn't say we kicked out the tenant. We withdrew that portion of the care. You also have to recognize that there are safety issues for the staff, and as an employer we can't ignore those.

Mr Mammoliti: You mentioned tenant abuse earlier. Are your staff not trained around tenant abuse?

Mr Gascoyne: Certainly they are.

Mr Mammoliti: And are tenants trained around staff abuse?

Mr Gascoyne: We don't train our tenants. They are independent individuals.

Mr Owens: I don't know if I'm less confused or more confused about your situation than I was before the deputation.


Mr Owens: Those folks over there, no question, are always confused. In terms of the types of care you provide, you say you provide medium to heavy care. What does that entail?

Mr Gascoyne: I've given you the various categories, in terms of levels, in terms of numbers of hours.

Mr Owens: Do you have that there?

Mr Gascoyne: No. I've not provided it because this is confidential information. I've got a list.

Mr Owens: I'm not asking specific case histories. I'm asking, what does medium care constitute and what does heavy care constitute?

Mr Gascoyne: Heavy care: We had one tenant who was receiving up to 49 hours of care a week, as much as eight hours' care a day. Light care: We have people who are receiving as little as three quarters of an hour care a day.

Mr Owens: So we're talking about basic functions: toileting, feeding, that kind of thing, meds, moving from place to place etc?

Mr Gascoyne: Yes.

Mr Owens: Do you have anybody on intravenous or any kind of invasive meds, insulin and stuff like that?

Mr Gascoyne: No. We are not a medical facility. You have to understand that.


Mr Owens: That's what I'm trying to differentiate. When you talk about medium and heavy care, what does that mean?

Mr Gascoyne: That is a problem that we as a board have as well. We look at the proposed amendments and see that homes for the aged aren't included. They're very light care. They don't necessarily provide medical care, yet they're excluded. I can appreciate that there is a provision in the Nursing Homes Act that does recognize that that's an individual's home, but again they're excluded. I'm having trouble distinguishing the policy of this government on this.

Mr Owens: In terms of the consent issue, you touched on that gingerly, if I can characterize the way you talked about consent. If a group of your residents decided they wanted to not accept the care that your facility, your home, was providing and wanted to go into the community or, for instance, start their own care group, how would you respond to that?

Mr Gascoyne: We certainly encourage the tenants to deal with it the best they can. We don't provide all their care, necessarily. There is the VON. We don't prevent it, but under our government program -- you have to keep in mind that it is a government program that exists -- we do require that they receive at least three activities of daily living from --

Mr Owens: Is that with consent?

Mr Gascoyne: They enter into a contract with us that is negotiated between us, between ALPHA and the tenant. That is with their consent.

Mr Daigeler: Perhaps I missed it. What is ALPHA, not what it does but who's behind it?

Mr Gascoyne: The makeup of the board?

Mr Daigeler: Are you a non-profit organization?

Mr Gascoyne: Yes, we're a non-profit organization. The founder of ALPHA was Jack Longman, who himself was disabled. It was created as a citizen group to investigate the problem of supportive housing in the city of Windsor in the 1970s. Since then the ALPHA board, in terms of makeup, has consisted of both disabled and non-disabled. At one point we had a former tenant on the board. Lynn, if she doesn't object to my saying so, is visually impaired. We have people with cerebral palsy on the board. We don't focus on somebody's disability, but at the same time we try to keep in perspective --

Mr Daigeler: I'm trying to get a sense of who's behind it. How do you get your board members? Are you affiliated with a church, or is it just members of the community, that you advertise and they come on the board? Who's behind it? You yourself are what?

Mr Gascoyne: A lawyer.

Mr Daigeler: No, are you the chairman of the board?

Mr Gascoyne: I'm a board member. I'm a past-president of the board. Certainly we look to all kinds of avenues to choose board members. We have an individual who's very active in the disabled community, and we've chosen from a number of disabled groups people in whom we find qualities needed in our organization. We search out people.

Mr Crozier: In your submission you say Bill 120 fails to take into account the unique nature of care homes, and under section (c) say "only in terms of the rights of the consumer." Notwithstanding the funding, does this bill threaten the rights of you as a care giver? And, as was said by another submitter, if this is a first step, can we then look forward to going on to perhaps satisfying other concerns you have?

Mr Gascoyne: I'm sorry, I was trying to find (c); I didn't hear the whole question.

Mr Crozier: Section (c) is the last page of your submission. You start out by saying, "Bill 120 fails to take into account..." and section (c) says "rights and responsibilities of the care giver and the consumer, by speaking only in terms of the rights of the consumer."

First, does it threaten ALPHA's rights? If it does, can it not be considered as a first step and then we'll find out how it threatens and what can be done?

Mr Gascoyne: We certainly believe it threatens our rights. It creates liability problems, and that's the problem. It focuses on the rights of the consumer only, without taking into account that there are corresponding rights and responsibilities.

To give you an example, under the Landlord and Tenant Act there is a responsibility on the landlord to provide clean, safe premises in a good state of repair, and a corresponding right on the tenant to ensure that the premises remain clean. We don't see that here. There's an obligation on us to continue to provide care, but there are no obligations on the tenant concerning that care. There have to be corresponding rights and responsibilities, particularly when you're dealing with very personal care, dealing with people who are employed to provide this very personal care.

That's not a traditional landlord-tenant relationship, and that's why I believe in 1987 there was a recognition -- I'm not going to say removal, because I don't believe care homes were ever part of the Landlord and Tenant Act -- that care homes are a unique type of facility, a unique type of housing that is something more than simply shelter. If we simply ignore the rights of the care giver, that creates a problem for both the tenant and the landlord.

Mr David Johnson: I'm trying to pin down your concerns and what recommendations you would make to this committee to address those concerns. You've expressed concern that it may require you to give care in unsafe and dangerous conditions. Is this if the Landlord and Tenant Act is applied to your business?

Mr Gascoyne: Yes.

Mr David Johnson: In that case, are you specifically asking to be exempted from the Landlord and Tenant Act?

Mr Gascoyne: Definitely not to be exempted. Our position has always been that we have no objection to the security-of-tenure concepts, but deal with the care problems in it; also, to recognize that we are a specialized program of supportive housing and to ensure that that housing program is done in a cost-effective manner, if you no longer meet the criteria for that housing program, which the government would have control over, that would be a ground for eviction, similar to public housing. We feel there are a lot of problems.

Mr David Johnson: How are you recommending that your concerns be addressed? Are you recommending that the Landlord and Tenant Act be amended to specifically recognize the conditions you feel are unique?

Mr Gascoyne: Not just our unique conditions. In supportive housing, it doesn't matter whether it's a linked or a delinked service because of the fact that you have to have 24-hour care onsite. We're asking that that be recognized as a ground for eviction, that if you no longer qualify for the program parameters, you can be evicted. There is a provision right now for public housing.

We believe the attendant care program needs serious overhaul so that the program parameters are very clear, so there is no question about whether you do or do not meet the program parameters.

Mr David Johnson: Just so I'm perfectly clear, you are recommending that there be an amendment to the Landlord and Tenant Act that if you don't meet the parameters of the care, that would be grounds for eviction. That's what you recommend.

Mr Gascoyne: Yes.

Mr David Johnson: Is that what you mean by recognition of attendant care programs? Is that the same thing?

Mr Gascoyne: That, and if it's going to be under the Landlord and Tenant Act -- I'm not sure it should be, but if it is -- there have to be amendments that also deal with the care issues. That relationship is not simply a shelter relationship, it's a care relationship, and that's not dealt with by this legislation. That creates a serious problem because, as I said, it's no good to have the shelter protection if you don't have the care provisions.

Mr David Johnson: You're talking about amendments under the Landlord and Tenant Act again? Is that what you're talking about?

Mr Gascoyne: Certainly part of the problem has always been that there's a hodgepodge of legislation that deals with these issues. For simplicity, if it's going to be under the Landlord and Tenant Act, care issues should be dealt with as well under the Landlord and Tenant Act.


Mr David Johnson: Are you in favour of delinking or opposed to delinking?

Mr Gascoyne: Personally, I'm in favour of delinking because then you wouldn't need programs such as ALPHA. I don't know how we're going to afford it, but it's certainly a worthwhile goal.

Mr David Johnson: Do I hear you properly? In a perfect world, if there were the kinds of resources available that you'd like to see available, that I assume everybody else in this room would like to see available, you would be in favour of delinking, that it would make sense.

Mr Gascoyne: Yes.

Mr David Johnson: But given that we don't have all those resources available -- other deputants have referred to that as well -- in today's situation are you still in support of delinking?

Mr Gascoyne: Yes, I still am. You have to appreciate that whether you have a delinked service or a linked service, if we're not providing the care there is still going to be that concentration. You need it, because you're not going to have an individual running across the city to provide 24-hour care. It's just not possible, even with a delinked service. It's going to be concentrated either at an apartment building where it's integrated, where it's better if it is integrated -- it's still going to have to be concentrated and there are still only so many units available. Our concerns exist whether it's a linked service or a delinked service. I understand there are concerns over an imbalance in bargaining power when you do have a linked service. I appreciate those concerns and I recognize them, but in terms of our concerns with this legislation, it doesn't matter whether it's a linked service or a delinked service.

Mr David Johnson: Has that imbalance you mention, in your view, manifested itself at ALPHA?

Mr Gascoyne: I don't believe so, quite honestly. Our tenants are far from timid about going to the ministry if they have a concern, far from timid in seeking assistance. At ALPHA, in August of this year, we voluntarily requested a ministerial review of our program, something most programs don't normally ask for; usually people will do anything to avoid ministerial review. We're confident we're providing the service in accordance with our program criteria and have asked for that because we believe we are.

The tenants aren't afraid to go to the ministry and raise concerns, and it's interesting that when a concern is raised, whether it's a stove concern or anything else, it's not Housing they go to, which funds their rental, but the long-term care office.

The Chair: Thank you for appearing today.


The Chair: The final presentation this morning is from CAW Community Development Group. Good afternoon. You're the first group I've been able to say that to.

Mrs Caroline Desjarlais: Good morning. I'm Caroline Desjarlais from CAW community development, operational services. This is Earl Dugal, executive director of the Windsor area.

I would like to thank the committee for taking the time to hear petitions from across our province and also allowing our organization the opportunity to speak on this very important issue. I am here representing the CAW Community Development Group of Windsor and Essex county, which is in favour of this legislation.

CAW Community Development Group is a resource group providing technical as well as organizational assistance for non-profit and cooperative community organizations. CAW Community Development Group has a volunteer board of directors representing a broad range of community skills and involvement. CAW Community Development Group's mandate is to improve the standard of living for all Canadians by providing assistance to groups providing affordable housing to people with low and modest incomes. Our organization was therefore very pleased to see the initial Bill 90 and the subsequent Bill 120 initiative, which will increase residential rights across Ontario.

As our experience lies mainly in the area of subsidized housing, my comments will focus mainly on accessory apartments and garden suites.

Society has changed in Ontario over the last 40 years. The population has increased, but the number of new households has increased more significantly. Social changes continue to occur across Ontario. In our society, there are more single-parent families that need to be housed in a stable environment. Our neighbourhoods need to continue to better house our population made up of non-traditional households and smaller households seeking appropriate and affordable housing in municipalities where development land is running out.

Renters have consistently formed one third of Ontario's total housing population. All renters deserve to have the same rights and privileges under our laws as any home owner. Some of the apprehension over this legislation is perhaps an image of who is the renter: young, male, transient or noisy. However, tenants themselves represent a cross-section of the population. Tenants are just like you and I and are simply in a different stage of life. Tenants themselves, like home owners, if allowed options will choose to move into neighbourhoods which they find attractive for many of the same reasons that you as a home owner would. Tenants can value the neighbourhood community as much as the home owner and deserve to have this option. Tenants have the right to choose to raise their children in a good environment, and should not be forced because of their financial situation to live in a neighbourhood that is not what they are accustomed to.

Historically, illegal conversions have been, for the most part, accepted by communities but have been denied legal status. This is a very dangerous trend, as it leaves both the landlord and tenant at risk. Owners are subject to being reported by neighbours. Tenants have had no benefits from improved codes and regulations. As we have seen in the past, if regulations remain too stringent, illegal units will continue to be developed, leaving people at risk as there are no standards through which they can seek protection.

Under the new legislation, people living in illegal and legal apartments will be protected under the Landlord and Tenant Act, the same act which governs tenants currently living in larger apartment buildings. This legislation will give all tenants an opportunity to speak up without the immediate threat of eviction and closure of their home. Legalizing apartments will increase the likelihood that owners will comply with regulations if they can market the unit in cooperation with the municipality rather than being forced to close it down. There will be comparable protection through fire and building code revisions which owners have historically enjoyed. The municipality will have increased powers of entry in order to ensure that units meet relevant codes.

Accessory apartments will increase the choices or options available to people who require affordable rental housing. In a province where renters consistently form one third of the population of Ontario, we need to ensure that all people have access to housing and options for the different stages of their lives.

Across Ontario, it has been found that, in general, accessory apartment rents are lower than conventional apartment building rents. A senior who wants to keep their independence would prefer to rent a portion of their home to a tenant or single-parent family. This will allow the senior to remain in their home, give them the independence they need and companionship. This will also help the single parent to have lower rent rather than pay the cost of living in a home alone, remain in the community they have a right to choose rather than be forced to live in a community where the rents are lower, and they will also have a person they can seek knowledge and guidance from if they so choose. It has become common knowledge that to match up the seniors with the children is of benefit to all parties.

The development of this type of housing can help to balance neighbourhoods. Legal apartments will pay their fair share of taxes. They will encourage the renewal of older housing, in that home owners who are having financial problems can fix the older home with the income that can be derived from the apartment. We will see an increase in the number of people utilizing the current neighbourhood structure: sanitation, public transit and neighbourhood schools. This will help to increase this proportion again. However, as the proportion will most likely never reach the numbers originally intended, there should not be the concern of overcrowding.


Overconcentration has been addressed by allowing only one unit as of right in each home, thus allaying some fears of massive change in a neighbourhood home. It has been found that approximately 12% of home owners would consider this option. This means at most only one or two units in a block. This 12%, if ever attained, would not happen all in one year but over time, as has been the case in cities which have allowed this type of housing. As it is expected that most of the conversions will be by the home owner, the same standards for housing upkeep will remain.

Home owners, who have the opportunity to pick their tenants and therefore their most immediate neighbours, will most likely pick ones who are trustworthy and of good character, who closely reflect their own living standards. Again, with options made available to them, thus allowing tenants the ability to chose where they will live, many will choose a neighbourhood for the same reasons as a home owner and will therefore also value the standards and upkeep of the community at large.

Our organization specifically has learned that people are looking for affordable housing. Many learn that there are numerous other benefits to living in close communities, security and companionship as an example. This type of housing falls in with the thinking along the line of long-term health care reform by encouraging people to stay within their communities and have the opportunity for social structures to continue to play a large role in their lives. It encourages seniors to stay in their homes longer, with viable financial and community assistance. This can also help current home owners keep their homes, and help young couples as they endeavour to purchase and afford their own home.

There will be no large additional government costs to implement this type of housing. Therefore, we are increasing affordable housing options, putting money into individual taxpayers' hands and saving the general taxpayer money. In the non-profit and co-op sector there are long waiting lists for affordable housing. This program will help reduce these long lists, as it will give the people a larger number of choices about where they want to live.

In general, the present bylaws are not effective. There are many existing illegal units in the province. The most effective way to deal fairly with the issue of accessory apartments is to legalize them.

While it once was an ideal situation to move into a community we all were accustomed to, two-parent families are not the only type that exist today. There are more one-family parents, seniors and handicapped who would like the opportunity to live in safe and affordable housing. We cannot to continue to endorse policies that discriminate against households that do meet the standards for what we think make up a stable community. We should not establish barriers to the segment of our population currently in the greatest need of affordable housing: singles and small families. Singles who choose to live together to save money and live in a more expensive community should be allowed to do so. Seniors who choose to convert a portion of their home, as they no use longer it, if they need the extra money or for whatever reason, should be allowed to do so.

When this legislation is passed, we would like to encourage the ministry to facilitate a means of tenant and landlord education to ensure that everyone is aware of their rights and responsibilities under the Landlord and Tenant Act and this new Bill 120.

We would also encourage the Ministry of Housing to continue its current trend of regulating rental units under the Rent Control Act. We therefore respectfully endorse the province's accessory apartment and garden suite legislation.

Mr Grandmaître: How would you describe yourself? When I look at the agenda, it's Labour Community Service Centre, Federation of Windsor-Essex County Tenants' Associations, Concerned Citizens for Access and Equality, Citizen Advocacy, Windsor-Essex. How different is your CAW group from these other groups?

Mr Earl Dugal: The difference between the organizations is that the CAW Community Development Group basically deals with the development and creation of new units through the ministry's allocation process and also with education about co-ops in particular for people who are going into the co-op sector.

The Labour Community Service Centre board, or Housing Information Services, deals with all the people in the Essex county and Windsor area, dealing with all types of different housing that is already there.

They are two separate entities, two organizations. They do not have the same purpose. The purpose of the CAW organization is basically to build new developments or renovations of existing stock and also, on the co-op end, for the education purposes of the people who are going to be maintaining the buildings.

Mr Grandmaître: But you must have some kind of linkage with these other groups.

Mr Dugal: There is no actual linkage, other than that some members of the board of the Labour Community Service Centre are from the labour movement. The CAW Community Development Group is an organization put together by boards of directors of the national union, the CAW.

Mr Crozier: I appreciate your attendance here this morning. I can speak highly of the CAW and the work the development group has done in Essex county and, more particularly, recently in Leamington.

I want to make an observation, though. There was a suggestion earlier today that if the ability to determine where basement apartments would go were left to municipalities, they would be élitist. Well, I suggest that even if there weren't this legislation, it's élitist anyway, because chances are that these basement apartments are developed or will be developed in perhaps older neighbourhoods where housing is not as expensive as it is in some other areas. Whether we have the legislation or not, we may still have the same élitist problem. On the other hand, it's been my experience with communities that they aren't élitist, that they frankly look at the situation and conduct their planning and zoning in the best way they can with the best advice they can.

But more to the question. I know where the CAW group works in this area. Will you be involved in financing basement apartments? If you won't be, why are you here?

Mr Dugal: The interest we have as a provider of any type of housing is basically in the people or the tenants who would be using that housing. Maybe some of the members have read this in the Windsor Star: We approached city council on Bill 120 when it was first being brought to each council, to discuss the possibility of getting council's endorsement for this bill. We were not successful, unfortunately, in convincing council about the need for some type of bill that will protect people who are living in illegal housing in basements.

Our organization basically deals with the needs of people who do not really have anybody to speak for them. We were the only people making a presentation on behalf of people living in illegal apartments. I say to this committee in all honesty, and I said this to council, if there had been a fire in the city of Windsor, as there was in Brampton during the Christmas holidays where a family was burned to death, maybe their position would change drastically, as it did in the late 1960s when a family in Windsor was burned totally out of an apartment above a commercial building and new laws were put into effect to try to protect people who had no protection.

Our position has never changed from that. We believe that if the legislation comes forward, it will allow the people who want to create basement apartments the right to do it, but under conditions the government has stated for people to live safely.

It's unfortunate that tragedies happen. I say to this committee, as I said to council, if it happened in the city of Windsor, I would be back to council blaming them for what happened, not because the people themselves didn't have a voice. We speak on behalf of people in all different types of housing.

Mr Crozier: Very briefly, Earl -- we can talk about this after -- I have a motion by Councillor Sheila Wisdom that in essence says, "the draft provincial legislation...respecting apartments in houses as of right and garden adopted." Has that changed since 1992?

Mr Dugal: Yes, it has. It was only garden suites that they finally zeroed in on. It had nothing to do with apartments in basements. Right now we're being told by some councillors that there are 50,000 illegal apartments in the city of Windsor. I find that ludicrous. I don't think there's that many. I think it's more like 15,000.

Mr Crozier: Windsor council always exaggerates, doesn't it?

Mr Dugal: I guess they do a little bit. I get a little bit excited also when I speak to people about this problem, because I don't want to see that happen. I remember the Anderson family. I remember raising money to bury that family. I remember those things, because there was no legislation to protect those people.

As servants of the public, you've got to understand that people who don't have much say and are afraid to come forward to explain their concerns have people like us. I agree with Bruce: Why are we here? We build housing. We're here because those people are not here protecting themselves, because they're afraid if they come they'll be thrown out of the houses they're in. That's why we're here.


Mr Arnott: I'm glad you endeavour to work with your local council on these issues. I think that's proper. Do you feel it's a good thing, generally speaking, for the provincial government to step into the traditional municipal responsibility of zoning and planning?

Mr Dugal: I believe certain issues in Bill 120 have got to be dealt with through the government. That's what I believe at this point: It cannot be done through the municipalities. Unfortunately, I believe it's too much the situation that private people are putting pressure on the municipalities not to do certain things. It's the old lobby game. Everybody lobbies to have something. All I'm saying is that the people never lobby, so they have an opportunity to meet with the committee about those issues. I guess I speak for most of them: Because they're not here doesn't mean they don't care. They do care, but they're afraid.

Mr Arnott: The provincial government is subject to lobbying too.

Mr Dugal: They've got my support.

Mr Arnott: I kind of sensed that.

Mr David Johnson: Stick with them. They need all the help they can get.

Mr Arnott: If you look at the history, certain responsibilities have been devolved to local government for specific reasons. We've heard those reasons and they've been repeated many times, but it was primarily to account for local differences. Also, there's the reality that local government, because it is right there, is more responsive to people than a provincial government, which in the case of Windsor is four hours down the road. Do you absolutely maintain that zoning and planning should be a provincial responsibility?

Mr Dugal: On the issue we're dealing with, I have to say, in all honesty, that the municipalities look at dollars -- and Bruce will tell you that -- when they go into deliberations about whom they're going to hire to protect the people who are there. That was one of the big issues. But what price do you, myself or anybody put on a person's life? That's the issue here. People are looking at dollars, but when it comes to a tragedy, they're all rallying around to say, "We've got to do something about it."

We feel the legislation, especially covering the apartments in basements that are illegally there now, is the only way it can be brought forward at this time. If the legislation is put into effect, I'm sure councils and municipalities will have input into what's going to happen in those areas; I'm sure that's going to happen. But right now there's nothing. Let's not wait for people to die before we do something to help them. It doesn't make any sense.

Mr Arnott: You must have some councillors who are sympathetic to your perspective on this issue.

Mr Dugal: Yes, I do.

Mr Arnott: But not the majority.

Mr Dugal: No.

Mr David Johnson: The reality is that the municipalities and the fire chiefs we've heard are saying that if safety is the issue, they have to have the right of entry. They say Bill 120 does not give sufficient powers of entry. If that's your issue, that's what they have to have, and this bill does not deliver.

In terms of lobbying and responsiveness, the reality is that the lobbying and the response is at the local level. There's a far greater recognition of community needs at the local level than at the provincial level. I can tell you, having been a mayor and a councillor at the local level for more than 20 years, we see deputations every day of the week. And then there's that democratic process called the election, where all these issues come up, issues of housing and basement apartments.

There are concerns out there. The concerns that come forward revolve around problems particularly with absentee-owned properties. We've heard that too through this committee, properties that aren't properly maintained and properties that cause problems in the neighbourhood. With the lack of right of entry for the fire chief or the property standards people, they can't get in to correct these problems. The municipalities are saying, "If you can give us tools to correct those problems" -- I have not heard one municipality in these deputations we've had over the last couple of weeks say it wouldn't support accessory apartments, basement apartments. They all support it, but they need the tools to make sure they're safe and make sure they can deal with the problems.

Mr Dugal: Dave, if I may call you Dave --

Mr David Johnson: That's my name.

Mr Dugal: The issue is dollars. Coming before you today, I'm not asking you for one cent. I'm asking you to protect people's lives.

You were a mayor, and obviously you've turned down some deputations and later regretted it, because things didn't go the way they should have and therefore it looked bad that the council didn't accept it.

We have taken a course here of trying to protect people's rights in illegal apartments that exist. If legislation is brought forward by the government to the municipalities that says the apartments in basements have got to have some type of regulations, obviously the dollars are what the municipalities are looking for, extra bucks to hire extra people to do this type of work. Those areas are still going to be talked about. This isn't the end of the world or the last thing we're going to hear about, what's happening on Bill 120.

All I'm saying to you is try to remember, when you're dealing with the issue, the people who are maybe not as fortunate as ourselves living in our own homes, who have to live in a basement apartment and who have no protection whatsoever because there is no legislation at this point to protect those people -- other than squealing on the landlord, who then throws the people out of the house. And what does that do? It creates more housing needs for people who don't have housing.

Mr Lessard: I have one question that follows up on the opposition's question with respect to the responsibilities of the municipality, whether you thought it was the municipality's role to improve safety in illegal apartments. Your experience is mostly within the city of Windsor, but I know the CAW Community Development Group is active around the province. If there weren't provincial legislation, do you think any municipality in Ontario would pass bylaws to address safety issues in illegal apartments on its own?

Mr Dugal: No, I do not.

Mr Winninger: I was surprised to hear that there were 50,000 illegal apartments in Windsor. The government estimates 100,000 for the whole province. I knew Windsor was a popular place, especially with the casino, but not half.

These issues are often open to interpretation, the issue of inspection for example. Mr Johnson declared that this doesn't really help with powers of entry for municipal inspectors. You've probably studied the legislation closely enough to know that while it still maintains reasonable grounds to get entry into a premises, it relaxes somewhat the requirement to seize evidence in order to get it. It's very difficult to seize evidence that there's no proper emergency exit or smoke alarm or that the ceiling's too low or the partitions are inadequate. You don't have to go in, as I understand, any more and get the photographs, so I think it really is beefing up the powers of inspectors, contrary to what Mr Johnson suggested.

I want to ask you something a little more fundamental. We often hear from municipalities, not so much from home owners. I can understand why the opposition might be mildly irritated that what it predicted in the Legislature, massive numbers of home owners coming forward to oppose this legislation, just haven't materialized, but what we have heard from a number of people is that they live in neighbourhoods that could be more inclusive. Why is it that municipalities, while declaring their right to zone multiple-family or single-family, are kind of dragging their heels on this?

Mr Dugal: I honestly believe that the lobbying that's being done by people from different parts of our city unfortunately plays a big part in our council's decision about whether it should get involved in making changes to legislation being brought forward to the city. That happens throughout most municipalities, unfortunately. I would say that's one of the reasons.

But one of the big reasons is cost. It comes down to: Where do you get the extra dollars, without raising taxes for people in the city, to give the service to make sure the legislation is enacted the way the government wants? Again I say to you, burn out three families in basement apartments in the city of Windsor and they won't care about the cost. The cost won't mean anything. That's the sad part. Why should we wait for tragedy to strike before we do anything? People have a right to be protected. They understand that, but there's still a lot of pressure.

One of the concerns was, "Maybe we can do it in old east Windsor, but let's not do it in south Windsor," south Windsor being one of the most prestigious places in the city, along with Riverside Drive, "Maybe we can look at doing some of them, but the areas we want to put them in and not throughout the city." That's the sad part about that too. I believe, and I think most people believe, that people have a right to live anywhere they want in this city, and if the legislation is put in and somebody wants to do something with their apartment in south Windsor or Riverside Drive and they do it according to the code and according to the law, they'll be entitled to do that.

You'll hear from people today who will tell you the sewers will back up and that every other thing in the world's going to happen. We don't see that as a big problem in terms of the number of units you'd be talking about. But if we're going to do anything, let's legislate it so that people are protected.

The Chair: Thank you for your presentation. As I've told other presenters, we will be considering this bill clause by clause the week of March 6.

I remind members that we reconvene at 1:30 sharp. You have about an hour to go find a bowl of soup.

The committee recessed from 1232 to 1333.


Ms Marina Clemens: My name is Marina Clemens and I'm here today as the chair of the city of Windsor housing advisory committee. This committee is made up of developers, providers, social service people, people from special-needs housing within the city of Windsor and it is a committee of council.

We have given you our prepared brief and we would just like to highlight some areas within the brief.

First of all, the province ought to be recognized for the initiatives that make up Bill 120, particularly the sections which intend to protect the rights of vulnerable tenants in care homes. It would seem upon initial reading that these amendments are worthy of support. The city of Windsor housing advisory committee, however, has not had sufficient time to respond to those particular amendments. We know that other people within our own municipality are making submissions today to you, so we would leave that up to those who we feel have more expertise than we do.

Therefore, this submission will focus on the proposed amendments to the Planning Act and the Municipal Act as first announced within Bill 90. As the standing committee is aware, the ministries of Housing and Municipal Affairs released the draft legislation, Apartments in Houses, for public consultation in June 1992.

The city's housing advisory committee formed a subcommittee to provide a response paper, which included representatives from the housing advisory committee, the planning advisory committee, the University Ratepayers' Association, Legal Assistance of Windsor and the building and planning departments. The report of the subcommittee was approved by the housing advisory committee.

On November 16, 1992, city council considered the subcommittee report and adopted resolution 1314/92, supporting each of the five recommendations contained in the report. A copy of the response was forwarded to both the ministries of Housing and Municipal Affairs.

The draft legislation took the form of Bill 90, without addressing any of the concerns made by the city. While Bill 90 was dropped on November 23, 1993, with the announcement of Bill 120, both the city and the housing advisory committee stand in support of the original submission made in October 1992. This presentation will highlight the concerns of the city with respect to apartments in houses, garden suites and the improved powers of entry and single housekeeping units.

I'd like to introduce Michael Cooke and Ed Link, who will do some of the other presentation.

Mr Michael Cooke: Thank you. My name is Michael Cooke. I'd like to move to page 3 of our brief and section 2.2 on implications with regard to accessory apartments.

While the proposed legislation can be commended for its efforts to increase the supply of affordable rental units and provide construction and renovation jobs across the province, it can also be criticized for ignoring the conditions within local areas which may not be conducive to intensification initiatives.

In the province's Land Use Planning for Housing policy statement, 1989, residential intensification was to be permitted in areas that met the following criteria -- and I think you're familiar with those criteria -- but the essence of them is, where the existing demand was there, the potential in terms of the existing building stock and also just the need to provide a mix of housing throughout the municipality.

Bill 120 no longer takes regard of these criteria. Each unit of a detached, semidetached and row dwelling would be permitted to add an accessory apartment, irrespective of local servicing and/or land use problems which may prevail. The blanket approach proposed by the province negates the city of Windsor's efforts to promote intensification in neighbourhoods that satisfy the previously adopted government criteria.

In 1991 the planning department prepared a report to the city's planning advisory committee, recommending a residential intensification strategy appropriate for Windsor and at the same time consistent with the requirements of the provincial housing policy statement.

The report suggested that there was a need for a policy to guide residential intensification activity in the city. It reviewed alternative policy approaches and concluded that one which encourages intensification activity in areas where demand is most evident, where the physical potential to convert housing stock exists and where municipal services are adequate, would best satisfy both the municipal and provincial housing objectives. In that review process, we conducted an extensive series of discussion papers, public participation and input which brought forward our final recommendations that I have before me here.

As part of the analysis, the intensification activity during 1989 and 1990 revealed that 51 out of 53 residential conversions occurred within planning districts regulated by our zoning bylaw 8600. This pattern, combined with the findings of the city's previous housing strategy study, suggested that an intensification strategy should restrict as-of-right conversions to certain planning area districts, as identified on map 1 attached to the document. We did find an as-of-right area where it would be most appropriate for this type of conversion activity, where services were there.

In order to implement the strategy, amendment 140 to the city's official plan included intensification objectives and policies applicable to the entire municipality. Accessory apartments created through residential conversions, however, were to be limited to specific planning districts, particularly the central, Walkerville, university, Sandwich and south central. In addition, an addition to the zoning bylaw was recommended to implement the amended policies of the official plan.

As part of that study, we also had a local university ratepayers' association which is concerned about the residential neighbourhoods in and around the university and as part of a large student housing study.

The findings of that study identified that intensification within residential neighbourhoods in proximity to a major university can be very contentious. Demand for dwelling units is often greater, and there is a risk that additional increases in residential accommodation can alter the character of the area.

As a result of other problems facing the neighbourhoods in the area of the university -- traffic, on-street parking, transient residents etc -- it was recommended that the Sandwich and university planning districts should not be included within the as-of-right locations for accessory apartments.


Despite the city's efforts to encourage the provision of accessory apartments in neighbourhoods where they can best be accommodated in terms of demand, physical services and capacity for intensification, the province proposes to override local official planning and zoning bylaws and permit accessory units as of right in every residential area. The province stated that "drastic action is necessary because few municipalities have implemented the intensification provisions of the housing policy statement." Communities like Windsor, however, which have taken steps to carry out the directive, are unfortunately being penalized and tarred by the same brush.

The very essence of that is the amount of work that we've done at the community level, which was the first, initial, proposed, preferred method of the province. Because other municipalities haven't adhered to that procedure, our work is all lost.

Members of the study committee feel that the proposed legislation as it relates to the provision of accessory apartments goes too far. The criteria contained in the housing policy statement for the selection of suitable areas to permit accessory apartments should be maintained. Furthermore, municipalities should determine the limits of such areas based on proper land use studies and public input from local residents.

Part of our recommended action -- and these are recommendations approved by the housing advisory committee and the city of Windsor -- essentially is that the as-of-right portion of the amendments and proposed amendments fails to take into account the city's planning efforts and therefore cannot be supported.

We also make a suggested recommendation that perhaps the province require that municipalities which have not adhered to the policy of the land use housing policy statement, maybe just in those instances, ought to be legislated to adhere to as-of-right planning.

Ms Clemens: We would just like to cover garden suites a little bit. I'm referring now to page 10. The members of the study committee support the proposed legislative amendments pertaining to garden suites, particularly as this form of housing intends to facilitate the needs of the elderly or the disabled as an alternative to institutionalization.

The legislation does, however, need clarification on a number of issues. The potential for abuse in the provision of garden suites is so great that the Planning Act must allow for municipalities to apply site plan control to all suites. Municipalities would thereby have the authority to regulate the type of construction, the size, the height or bulk of suites, and also ensure compliance with the current Ontario Building Code.

The legislative amendments proposed would also need clarification to ensure that municipalities will have the authority to restrict the occupancy of garden suites to elderly or disabled relatives of the home owner. There are some who have suggested that this type of restriction may be contrary to the Charter of Rights. If this is the case, other issues regarding occupancy will have to be addressed.

Provisions need to be incorporated for periodic review and extension or cancellation of approval of individual units. As well, there should be amendments to the Landlord and Tenant Act to provide appropriate and fair methods of terminating tenancies when an existing garden suite loses its approval.

A final provision that is required in the legislation would call for regulations to allow for an apartment in a house or a garden suite, but not both on the same property. This provision would assist in reducing the effects of overintensification in some neighbourhoods that would place excessive demands on services and have a negative impact on residential neighbourhoods.

What we are saying, in conclusion, is that the city of Windsor supports the efforts of the province to amend the Planning Act and Municipal Act to permit garden suites. Given the extent of items that require clarification and the need for additional provisions and regulations, it is recommended that all amendments pertaining to garden suites be addressed in a review and public consultation process separate from Bill 120.

Mr Edward Link: My name is Ed Link. I'm building commissioner for the city of Windsor. I'd like to speak on a few of the enforcement matters which are primarily my concern, in particular the powers of entry.

The city of Windsor enacted a property standards bylaw dealing with residential units back in 1957 through special legislation provided by the province of Ontario. I believe we were the third municipality in this province to enact such legislation. We have taken a very proactive stance in that regard.

With regard to the powers of entry, we believe that the city of Windsor supports the legislation to expand the authority for powers of entry and we feel that it is very essential in order to maintain reasonable standards for dwelling units.

But we also believe that similar amendments to powers of entry should be provided to other enforcement agencies related to such things as the enforcement of the fire code, licensing bylaws -- let's say, for example, lodging homes and that -- zoning bylaws, the Ontario electrical code etc. There are many players involved in maintaining standards, and they should equally be afforded the same ability for powers of entry.

With regard to the single housekeeping units, which is elaborated on on pages 13 and 14 of this report, we see some difficulty with, once again, the enforcement of reasonable standards. We believe our recommended action speaks for itself and we feel the ministries of Housing and Municipal Affairs should be advised that the city of Windsor objects to the draft legislation pertaining to single housekeeping units and the removal of municipal authority to restrict the number of unrelated persons who reside in one dwelling unit.

We believe that additional requirements, in order to alleviate our concerns, could be through enhancement of the licensing provisions for lodging, rooming and boarding homes. In order to do so, we need workable definitions that will stand up in court related to the definitions: What is a single-housekeeping unit, what is a lodging home, what is a rooming or boarding home.

We also believe that municipalities should be able to collect licensing fees, permit fees and other fees so that inspection services and approvals can be provided on a full-cost-recovery basis and that there will be no burden on the taxpayer.

Ms Clemens: In conclusion, we would like to say that we are certainly in support of the reasons for permitting another apartment in a home, especially the reasons given on page 18 within the news release given by Ms Gigantes on November 23.

We certainly want to make a source of affordable housing within our community. We believe that it will ease the financial burden. We certainly believe in generating employment. We certainly believe in supporting neighbourhood diversity. However, what we are saying is that we certainly need to do it within the parameters of the Planning Act and the Municipal Act and have some say in that within the criteria that we see that we have done an extensive amount of work in doing and should not be penalized and should not be brushed with the same brush as Toronto or other municipalities. Thank you.

Mr David Johnson: I'd like to thank you very much for a very thoughtful deputation. Obviously the city of Windsor has put a great deal of effort into this, and I might say that, while your efforts have been tremendous, there have been many good efforts in many municipalities across Ontario. A lot of the words you're saying here reflect comments, to some degree, of many other municipalities as well.

I think what we have to bear in mind is that to change the zoning and official plans, plans that have been in place and have worked with communities for many, many years, is not an easy task. One just doesn't flick a switch and change zoning and official plans overnight, because it's very important to people within the community.

You went through an extensive process that involved the community to come forward with these conclusions. I wonder if you could just tell us a little bit about the number of meetings you had, the number of people involved and that sort of thing.

Mr Michael Cooke: As part of our land use planning for housing policy study, we conducted a series of seven discussion papers. After the completion of the first three, we had a public meeting advertised in the newspapers, and as part of that process invited people to our planning advisory committee meetings with the city. Those reports were amended and included public consultation in their writing from people in their community, various citizens' groups and local representatives, consumers of housing as well as developers and what not.

For the final four discussion papers, the planning department, again with their consultation, conducted those and had a final public meeting on the entire thing. Of course, as part of our official plan amendment which was going to bring as-of-right planning into portions of the city, we required the ordinary public meetings as requested under the Planning Act, meetings with council and what not.

Mr David Johnson: It would be obvious to state, I guess, that these meetings involved -- certainly we've been listening to special-interest groups today and in other parts of this hearing. Any in this particular area would have been invited and would have participated, in all likelihood: individual citizens, as you say, consumers of housing, just all components of your society here in Windsor would have been invited and probably most of them would have participated in this process.

Mr Michael Cooke: Yes, exactly, through our newspaper. We treated them as though they were official plan amendments in terms of notification and what not.


Mr David Johnson: The consensus was that in terms of what you've come up with, which is a solution tailored to meet Windsor's needs, I presume, this would provide the adequate or appropriate level of housing support. Is that what was the consensus?

Mr Michael Cooke: Yes, that's exactly it. That map you're looking at identifies the area where, above and beyond current housing that's being developed, whether it's new subdivisions or new apartment buildings or non-profit housing, the private market that would be adequate to -- and that's why part of this discussion paper looked at everything from our supply of land that's currently available for development, our housing population, our projections of housing increases and what not.

Mr David Johnson: And I presume within the study that you've approved here that the city of Windsor is prepared to permit that and to do the proper enforcement to ensure that the units in there would be safe from a fire point of view, building point of view, property standards, the whole works?

Mr Michael Cooke: Definitely. Yes.

Ms Clemens: One of the other pieces that we did have, we had a number of consultations with consumers and the old access-to-permanent housing committee, which had almost more than three quarters of its members who were consumers. We really spent a great deal of time consulting with them, and one of the things that kept coming back most was that we don't have the best transit system in the city that reaches out to all areas.

For many consumers who were on a fixed or a low income, whether they be elderly or sole-support parents or single people, it was very important that they be housed and wanted housing within the areas within our community that had access to a decent transit system. We don't have that out in some parts of our municipality, so that kept coming back to us. A great deal of attention was paid to that to provide that kind of housing within areas that were accessible.

Mr Winninger: My questions I think are directed to Mr Cooke. You mentioned that the official plan amendment was going to include accessory apartments as of right?

Mr Michael Cooke: Yes.

Mr Winninger: Is this number 140?

Mr Michael Cooke: Yes, that's correct.

Mr Winninger: Okay. I'm advised that Windsor's official plan amendment 140 doesn't make any reference to permitting apartments in houses. Is that true?

Mr Michael Cooke: Yes, it is. Our original submission to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs did include as-of-right conversions and the amendment was sent back. I think it was in the process of Bill 90 coming into effect after the apartments-in-houses legislation.

The ministry advised us to withdraw all references to conversions in our official plan amendment. I don't have the correspondence with me but that was the case. So we did that accordingly; all as-of-right areas of the map included in here were deleted, I think with the ministry's knowledge that it was going to be legislated.

Mr Winninger: But what I'm hearing is that your official plan amendment would have included apartments as of right anyway.

Mr Michael Cooke: Exactly.

Mr Winninger: Okay. Second, we had some evidence this morning from various presenters that there are large parts of the city, and the south end was mentioned, where there are some fairly affluent neighbourhoods, and I assume with large homes, often on large lots, which are excluded from the planning district for which the city allows apartments in houses.

Now, presuming that some, if not all, of those neighbourhoods will have sufficient services, because they have modern infrastructure, and normally in suburban areas new schools, why would you tend to confine the as-of-right to the inner city and not to the suburban areas which make up a large portion of the municipal boundaries?

Mr Michael Cooke: Part of that is the point that Marina just mentioned, that in terms of proximity to services, these are residential areas where the only thing likely in parts of the community is a church and a school and the rest is residential areas, much of them without sidewalks.

Mr Winninger: But presumably, if you're allowing new construction in these areas, there have to be services to accommodate the new construction. I agree our bus service, our public transit service doesn't always cater to an automobile-dominated suburban society out there, but isn't this kind of going in the opposite direction from some of the recommendations that Sewell makes about compact planning, intensification?

Mr Michael Cooke: Yes.

Mr Winninger: What's good for home owners should also be good for accessory apartment tenants, in my view.

Mr Michael Cooke: Yes, provided they have cars and what not, but I think if we're trying to create affordable housing for rents that are in a much more modest income range, as the policy statement requests, a range of people of various incomes --

Mr Winninger: What about tenants who do have cars? Why would you want to exclude owners from converting apartments to house tenants who do have cars?

Mr Michael Cooke: In terms of our own analysis, where we looked at a two-year period when we were conducting our studies of 53 conversions, 51 were in these areas, so I think it identifies that in terms of the demand for home owners to convert --

Mr Winninger: What if there are one or two home owners in a suburban area who want to convert? Would you say to those one or two home owners, "You won't be able to convert because the majority tend to be in the inner city"?

Mr Michael Cooke: I think to say for the one or two, and quite frankly the majority of residents, when we have hundreds of families and residents in our university area who are very concerned about the proliferation of accessory units, weighing the demands of the two who may be interested in living in an accessory apartment in, say, south Windsor -- which isn't an extremely affluent area; it's a very reasonably family-oriented home neighbourhood -- there's a far greater majority of individuals in areas where they're very concerned about the slide of the neighbourhood, and accessory apartments in those areas will make it much worse.

Mr Winninger: We have university-related problems too but that's not the solution.

Mr Grandmaître: Basically, what you're saying is that Bill 120, as far as the city of Windsor is concerned, is not needed. You've met your responsibilities in the past and you will continue to meet your responsibilities. The Land Use Planning for Housing policy statement back in 1989 is now reflected in your official plan --

Mr Michael Cooke: That's correct.

Mr Grandmaître: -- and also in your zoning bylaw. You feel that you're being punished, you're being singled out for the simple reason that you've done your work in the past.

I agree with the ministry and the minister that not enough municipalities did the work. Windsor did, but why should municipalities like Windsor be punished because you've respected your engagement or your responsibilities in the past and all we need is some fine-tuning to the existing legislation, for instance, the right of entry, and have the building code, the fire code and all of these codes respected? This is what municipalities in the province of Ontario need right now.

Mr Michael Cooke: Yes.

Mr Grandmaître: I'm just going to switch now. How many additional units would you say Bill 120 will create in Windsor?

Mr Michael Cooke: I guess there's no real certainty. I could tell you that in each of the last five years, on average, in terms of people coming into the building department for permits for what we would call accessory apartments that are legal, we've probably had 40 or 50 per year in each of the last five years.

Mr Grandmaître: You mean zoning change applications?

Mr Michael Cooke: Right, or whether it's an existing illegally conforming unit that they've gone through for rezoning and they've been granted that, or else the zoning is permitted and they're just applying for their permit, in all those cases. Now, as to how many have been done illegally, we're not sure.

Mr Grandmaître: You don't know the number of illegal apartments in Windsor?

Mr Michael Cooke: No, we have no idea how many.

Mr Grandmaître: How many basement apartments do exist in Windsor?

Mr Michael Cooke: No idea.


Mr Link: If I may, apartments in cellars are prohibited under the municipality's property standards bylaw currently, because we felt that, considering the older housing stock, these areas tend to be damper, more prone to health-related problems, and there was low ceiling height. So the municipality, in its property standards bylaw, prohibited cellar apartments. Basement apartments, once again, more out of the ground than in the ground, were permitted, but we have really no record as to what number.

At one point for about two years, through a provincial grant, we ran a home planning advisory service to encourage people to come in and upgrade these units and to create accessory apartments. The funding for that has since terminated and we've discontinued the program more or less, but in that period, I believe there were several hundred applications that came into the office. Once again, some of these were totally legitimate and they were just seeking additional funding to upgrade units.

Mr Grandmaître: One last question, Mr Chair? One very short one?

The Chair: I don't think so. The time has expired.

The Chair has one brief question. Could you tell us, because you would have some expertise, what the vacancy rate is in the city of Windsor and area and what the average rent of one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments might be in the area?

Mr Michael Cooke: Sure, I can speak to that. Our figures for that information are based on the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp vacancy rate surveys it does twice a year. In their most recent survey of October of last year, the rents for one-bedroom up to three-bedroom apartment units range anywhere from about $450 on the low end up to $650 for three-bedroom units. It's a weighted average. The vacancy rate is just under 3% at present.

Mr Crozier: A point of information: I think that's what we were getting at this morning. It shows a vacancy rate that's considerably higher than what might have been suggested earlier.

Mr Grandmaître: Good point.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Crozier.

Thank you very much for coming today. We appreciate it. We will be considering this bill clause by clause the week of March 6.


Mr Jim Anderson: My name is Jim Anderson and I have been general manager of Central Park Lodge, Windsor, for the past 10 years. Central Park Lodge is a chain of residential care facilities, 12 of which are in Ontario and 28 across Canada.

What I'm here to speak to you today about is more on a front-line level. I typed this myself, put it together and tried to put myself, over the 10 years, the things that we have run into. There are many parts of the legislation that our company has no problem with. There's a detailed response from the residential care association, which I'm certainly not going to go into, that you've already had. So this comes from my perspective as an operator for the past 10 years.

We have no objection to rent or rate control. In the last 10 years at Central Park Lodge, our yearly increases for both rent and care have never surpassed the allowable rent increases in total. Since this legislation only covers the rent portion, which at the most only amounts to 20% to 25% of our total costs, we see no problem for operators.

The Landlord and Tenant Act: security of tenure: As of today, Windsor has bylaws that control residential homes. I must add, there are only three municipalities in Ontario that have bylaws; Hamilton and Ottawa are the other two. In these bylaws, there are rules concerning what residents you can admit or readmit at your care level. This bylaw is designed to protect residents from being retained or admitted to residential homes that cannot care for them properly. A health care professional, family doctor, discharge personnel, placement or, in the case of Windsor, VON determines if the resident has reached an extended care state and recommends they move on to a higher level of care.

Under this legislation, if the family or resident refuses to move on, who will be responsible if something should happen to them? Who will now make the determination that the resident is beyond our care? The Housing ministry? If a resident goes to a hospital and is assessed to have reached extended care level, who will pay the fine if we readmit them? The Housing ministry?

If Minister Dave Cooke's aunt, who now resides with us at Central Park Lodge -- and happily, I must say -- reaches this state and is not moved on and has a serious incident occur because of a lack of adequate care, who will answer his questions? The Ministry of Housing?

If unscrupulous operators use this legislation to maintain occupancy by retaining people beyond their care level and incidents happen because of this, who will answer Professor Lightman? The Housing ministry?

With all due respect to Professor Lightman, the isolated incidents he so eloquently described to you last week will be multiplied tenfold if there's no mechanism put in place to move people on to higher levels of care. Most of the most serious incidents that have occurred in residential homes have occurred because of improper placement in the first place or retention beyond their care level.

Conversion and renovation: Ten years ago, when I started at Central Park Lodge, our average age was 86 and we had an assisted-living floor for extra care. That took them a little further than the stage, not to nursing home, but assisted them in staying with us a little longer, where we could care for them a little better. By 1987 our average was 83 and we had to convert the assisted-living floor to room suites to meet our market demand of that time.

Now our average age is back to 89, and last October we renovated and opened the same floor to an assisted-living floor for extra care for our residents. All of this was done on demand of our existing residents primarily, and also of the market demands.

If we are not allowed or are held up from making these changes which are governed by our existing and potential residents, where will these people go? These changes have saved many unionized high-paying jobs in our company alone. Who will hire these employees?

Since Windsor seems to get a slap every once in a while regarding Professor Lightman, in reference to page 5, of his statements to you last week, the reference in the case of the wandering resident is a classic example of possible improper placement or the lack of standard resident care. As to the resident fraud case, this incident was strictly financial and pointed as much to a failure in a provincial-municipal program to properly monitor GWA funding. In neither of these incidents would this legislation have helped.

My personal recommendation is, again, from an operator. I didn't go to my head office or anywhere else. I'm giving you how I operate my facility and how I believe that if we all operated this way, we wouldn't be sitting here today. I believe there should be a residential home III, as certified by the local or district health department, that would have the following:

(1) Registered nursing staff 24 hours per day.

(2) Written and approved standards of care for residents.

(3) Continuing records of resident condition and medication records.

(4) Resident admission standards that bar the admission of extended care qualified persons.

(5) A medical advisory council made up of a doctor, pharmacist, manager-owner, director of nursing or registered staff, meeting at least four times a year to review resident care and condition.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are in the care business, whether anyone wants to admit it or not, and having the Housing ministry make decisions regarding our residents' condition is like having a brain surgeon fix your car.

Mr Owens: I want to thank you for your presentation and to ask you, on my consent theme today, in terms of your comments on page 2 of your brief, why would you think this legislation would prevent somebody, with their consent, from being moved to an assisted-living floor? Why would this legislation prevent that move from taking place?

Mr Anderson: With their consent. In a lot of residential homes like ours, if you compare our facility to an extended care facility, the differences are dramatic. Not one of my residents who has ever had to go on to a nursing home, or even chronic care when they were almost bedridden, ever wanted to leave any more than they ever wanted to leave their own home.

I'm only covered for a certain amount of nursing, I'm not a nursing home. Even with a Nursing Homes Act that thick you're going to have incidents. I don't want any more incidents than I can afford now. I've had none in 10 years because I've been able to move people on to the proper care level. That's why we have homes for the aged; that's why we have nursing homes.


Mr Owens: That's right. I guess that's why I'm having some difficulty in terms of understanding why this piece of legislation will make that difficult, particularly with what could be viewed as companion pieces of legislation with respect to the Substitute Decisions Act that allows for the power of attorney for personal care so that the individual, while a person is deemed to have capacity, could make that decision with respect to his or her care and, also, if that person is deemed to not have capacity, that the person charged with their care could make that decision. I'm not sure how this --

Mr Anderson: Even residents who are fully aware who physically have reached a state where we can no longer care for them, if they say, "No, I do not want to move," in Windsor I have bylaws that they have to be moved or I'm retained and fined for not moving them.

I imagine this law will override them, but it doesn't get past the point that many of these people do not want to move on to a higher care level. There are many nursing homes that already accuse us of trying to retain these people who should properly be in their care. I'm one who does not believe we should retain people who have reached the extended care state.

The most aware resident in the world can go to a nursing home and come back and say, "There's no way I want to go there," even if they're in a wheelchair. They don't want to go any more than a lot of them ever wanted to come to my facility. They would rather have died in their own home, where we all would. So it was a traumatic move for them to even come to my facility the way it is. They think that's going to be their last move. When they have to face moving on to an extended care or chronic care hospital, it is even more devastating, especially when they're aware.

I have no problem with people who are not aware because, as you say, the mechanisms are there, the family is there or the trustee is there. It's my aware residents. We work with them. We don't push them out in a week, or two weeks, or three weeks, or six weeks. We work with them as long as we can to make it as easy a transition as possible.

Mr Owens: My line of questioning is certainly not meant to disregard the human side of this issue because, as you've indicated, we all realize that at certain points of our life -- even now, at this stage, I don't particularly want to be moved around any more than I have to. My concern is that what your presentation indicates to me is that my perception is that you're saying that this bill, Bill 120, is going to make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for you to do that. I'm suggesting that's probably not a correct perception.

Mr Anderson: It's difficult, and I think you'll admit the time element using the facilities in this legislation is going to be far longer. The average stay in my facility is a year and a half to two years. A resident could deteriorate in 24 to 48 to 72 hours. There are nursing home vacancies in this city that are awaiting residents for their beds. If a process is dragged on where both the family and the resident are resistant to moving, regardless of the care level, that person could be in jeopardy.

Mr Owens: Yes. I don't mean to be difficult about this, but if the person is at that level where he or she requires that kind of care, then we move into a whole different avenue of legislation --

Mr Anderson: That's right.

Mr Owens: -- and probably an acute care hospital for a period of time. In terms of the issues with respect to levels of care at the time of discharge, the secondary process kicks in with respect to the long-term care process.

Mr Anderson: But right now hospitals don't retain them. They bounce them back to me regardless of their care level because of the general state of our department of health right now. I get ladies or gentlemen back who we should not readmit but who have nowhere else to go. The ambulance is almost turned around in the emergency room and they're sent back.

Even Professor Lightman -- you know, there are many parts of his report that I agree with -- recommended a fast-track system for this. It hasn't been dealt with. If you can say to me it's going to be dealt with in your amendments or recommendations -- that's why I put it in there. On page 11 he said, "The absence of fast-track: Lightman has accepted the minister's explanation of why the recommendation for fast-track was not included in the bill: because of technicalities. He's receiving questions or other approaches." My question is, is this going to be in time before this is enacted? Are we going to have that fast-track system in place?

I feel sorry for someone in the Housing ministry coming in because a resident has called and said, "These people are trying to move me out." Is he going to come in and decide whether this resident is beyond, or is the health department? I'm inspected by the health department three times a year. A nurse comes in and reviews all my records, as our bylaws locally demand. Now I'm going to have the Housing ministry coming in questioning whether the doctor, the placement, the VON or the health nurse says this person is ready to go but he or she doesn't want to go?

Mr Daigeler: First of all, could you tell me how long the Windsor home has existed?

Mr Anderson: Since 1972, our Central Park Lodge.

Mr Daigeler: It is a lodge then.

Mr Anderson: Yes, a residential home -- retirement home, rest home.

Mr Daigeler: It's so difficult to --

Mr Anderson: I know. That's the problem with the legislation. We have 24-hour registered nursing staff in our facility. Fifty per cent of our residents are given medication by registered nursing staff with their med certificate. There are different levels in lodging homes, and our level is very high. Our costs are 75% to 80% for nurses, food, care of our residents. We have 71 employees. Twenty per cent is rent and we'll fall under this, but it's many of the landlord-tenant parts that, unless they are adjusted, are going to give us major heartache.

I feel for the lodging homes or the boarding homes. They need more of this than we do. We're already set up in a system where we care for our residents. But we also have medical needs.

Mr Daigeler: This is the difficult part. In my riding I have residential care facilities which don't seem to have quite as much care as you have; however, they also do.

Mr Anderson: I think they all should have.

Mr Daigeler: Be that as it may, you said in your brief, "If we are not allowed or are held up from making these changes," and you were referring to changes in the assisted-living floor --

Mr Anderson: Within the facility, renovations.

Mr Daigeler: Right. Why do you think this particular bill would prevent you from going ahead with such changes?

Mr Anderson: Parts of the bill bar you from making major changes or renovations without going through the whole municipal system. Right now, I go to the municipality to get a licence to make a change within my facility. I don't go through the whole process that we're going to an assisted-living floor because my residents are deteriorating and they need more care.

I go there to get the licence to move this wall, open this up, put in a bathroom, put in a dining room, put in elevated toilets, and it's done. I start to work within 30 days. That's how fast my residents can deteriorate. A year ago I'd be sitting here saying I don't have an assisted-living floor. Now I've got an assisted-living floor with 21 residents on it.

The same with discharging of residents: If it's dragged out, most of these residents will expire before you've reached the end of the process.

Mr Daigeler: Perhaps the parliamentary assistant or somebody from the ministry could enlighten me whether in fact there are provisions in the bill that would make these requirements that you have to go through all kinds of different hoops. I just am not familiar with them.

Mr Anderson: I'm not sure if it's the planning or the other -- I've read the bill through -- where you have to go to the municipalities to apply to make major renovations. Not small renovations, major renovations.

I've only done that twice in 10 years. It's not something you do yearly. But if two residents in my building said, "We don't want you to have an assisted-living floor, those people should be out of here anyway," and they objected to it, I'd have a major problem.


Mr Daigeler: Earlier in the day we heard some very critical comments about -- and I'm using the words "home operators," because I'm not quite sure what homes were included in these categories. It was said that policies in these facilities tend to be determined and based on the interests of the operators rather than the residents.

I'm not sure whether the one who said that was applying that to you as well; I'm not quite clear. But perhaps you could tell me, what is the system in your home to respect the rights of the residents and what the priorities, according to your vision, are in your facility and, if you can, also comment from your experience on whether your situation is the same in other homes in the Windsor area or whether there is a problem or not.

Mr Anderson: In our facility, all of our rooms are private. The residents can bring their own furniture. We can provide part of the furniture. They all have a locked door. It's much like an apartment building. We have a full-service dining room. We have a full-service nurse's office. We have a hairdresser and barbershop. We have a Windsor Arms bar.

Mr Daigeler: How do you make decisions, though? Do you have a residents' council?

Mr Anderson: A residents' council and a medical advisory group. We're inspected monthly by the health department, the kitchen, the bedroom areas. Every four months we're inspected by the health nurse. We have monthly resident meetings; the residents' council has its input into it.

Our business is competitive. I operate on my residents. The assisted-living floor wasn't set up to bring people in from the outside. There's no one on that floor who was admitted at that level of care. It was for the residents who have been there eight, five, four, three, two years or one year. So many of the things we've done within the building were at the demand of the residents.

No, not all facilities operate the same. Not all facilities, in fact probably less than the majority, have 24-hour registered staff. They should have if they're caring for people at my level. Not all people have medical advisory. We're required to. Now, all people in Windsor should be inspected, because that's a local bylaw. Not all people have resident councils. I'm not saying there are not problems in the area, but this type of legislation isn't going to help facilities. Actually, it's going to hinder.

Security of tenure to an unscrupulous operator is a godsend, because to everyone who objects, he says, "Great, I'll keep you." Right now, occupancy is the name of the game around here because we're overbedded. So for them it's going to be great because of security of tenure: "He said he didn't want to move." It didn't matter whether he was in bed with bedsores, he didn't want to move. So they get to keep him. That's not the system I want to be part of.

Mr David Johnson: I'm familiar with the Central Park Lodge in East York on William Morgan Drive. Would your facility be somewhat similar?

Mr Anderson: We all think ours is better than the others, even in the system.

Mr David Johnson: It's hard to imagine, because --

Mr Anderson: That's Pearl LeMandel. Oh, yes, Pearl runs first-class facilities.

Mr David Johnson: It's a tremendous facility. You've made a comment that many people don't want to move. I can understand, from a facility like that, that people would not want to move. It's not only the care and the independence, but the programs that are run, recreation programs, that sort of thing, social programs, which are tremendously impressive.

I just wanted to make sure I understood your recommendation. I'm looking at the last page of your brief, and your recommendation is that an exemption should be made. You're saying an exemption from the Landlord and Tenant Act?

Mr Anderson: The parts that I've addressed. If facilities operate with a residents' council -- nurses are professional people, so I feel that if you have 24-hour-a-day registered staff, you have a residents' council, and you keep proper records for assessment, they should be exempt, not unlike you've exempted nursing homes, homes for the aged, hospitals, institutions. We have many of the same rules. In fact, our care probably is at the level of nursing home care or better in some cases and they're exempt.

Mr David Johnson: I wondered because, to tell you the truth, I was never sure if Central Park Lodge was an extended care facility, or the level of service. Just so I understand again the exemption that you're suggesting, if certain conditions are met, then the exemption should be from Bill 120. Is that what you're saying?

Mr Anderson: Right.

Mr David Johnson: So Bill 120 should not apply to any facilities.

Mr Anderson: There are different levels. This covers a properly run facility. But Bill 120 has thrown us all in a hopper together and made no definition of the hard work our company has done to try to provide what you see at William Morgan or in Windsor.

Mr David Johnson: Other operators who have approached us have asked for an exemption from the Landlord and Tenant Act. I think it's their perception that it's the Landlord and Tenant Act that is causing the problems with regard to eviction. "Eviction" is a strong word.

Mr Anderson: Bill 120. Like I said at the first, the exemption I'm looking for is under the landlord and tenant provisions. The rent control part, as far as controlling rates and rent and notification, we've always given 90 days and we've only raised it once a year. Last year it was 1%.

Mr David Johnson: So you're looking for an exemption from the landlord and tenant portion of Bill 120?

Mr Anderson: Right.

Mr David Johnson: I've heard it said from some deputants and perhaps some members of the government that this is a problem that doesn't occur very often. The problem we're talking about is where a resident exceeds in care needs what the operator can provide. "This hardly ever happens. We're making a mountain out of a mole hill. Somehow it'll be handled. Don't worry about it."

Mr Anderson: It happens a lot.

Mr David Johnson: Can you give us any description of it?

Mr Anderson: I can't give you direct examples, but I know many operators who admit or retain nursing home people or extended-care-qualified people who should never be retained in facilities like ours. They don't even have 24-hour nurses. It happens across the province.

The examples that are thrown out here, you see more examples from all the deaths in London at the nursing home or extended care facility caused by salmonella poisoning. A book that thick isn't going to stop the odd incident. It didn't stop that incident. But there are many, many extended care people being retained in residential homes as far as I'm concerned.

Mr David Johnson: Today, if there's a person who's in that category, there would be a discussion between yourself as the operator, obviously the individual, perhaps the relatives of the individual, I don't know, and --

Mr Anderson: The family doctor could be involved, VON placement. If they're in the hospital right now, the hospital will call us and say: "Jim" or "Mrs Laramie" -- my director of nursing usually -- "this person is to the point where it's taking two people to walk her. We really believe she should be" -- at one time it was called papered -- "papered for a nursing home." That's the system. If they assess her to be nursing home level, under the bylaws in this city, we do it. We cannot readmit her.

Mr David Johnson: So there's a gentle persuasion to move that person to where he or she would be properly --

Mr Anderson: I've never had a problem with families talking to them. The resident still, at the end of the day, does not want to go and goes out with tears in her eyes, along with my staff, but at the end of the day I think they believe or we've convinced them that this is for their good, that we really can't take care of them like we should.

The Chair: Thank you for appearing. We appreciate your comments.



Mr Tiziano Zaghi: Good afternoon. I would like to thank the committee and the Chairperson for allowing me this opportunity to speak. A brief introduction: My name's Tiziano Zaghi. I'm a senior planner with M. M. Dillon in its Windsor office.

A bit of background: I've been planning in Windsor for about the last seven years. I grew up in Windsor and I'm very familiar with the community. I've had extensive involvement in the housing industry, both in the private sector and the public sector, throughout the last six or seven years in the Windsor area.

I'd state right from the start that I'll keep to the outline of the brief that I've provided you, but I definitely won't go word by word. I'll try to keep very brief.

In principle, I am in agreement with and fully support the need for residential intensification by allowing the additional residential units in houses and encouraging the development of garden suites, as outlined in Bill 120. My concern that I wish to speak to you about today, although I have that support in principle, is how Bill 120 proposes to implement the provisions for allowing this form of intensification to occur in municipalities.

The two areas in particular that I wish to speak to, seeing that I'm a planner, deal specifically with the issues that deal with the Planning Act which, under the scope of Bill 120, is basically the ability for home owners to have an apartment in their house without municipal approval and, secondly, to facilitate the creation of garden suites.

The other key element that's found inside of Bill 120 is the restrictions placed on municipalities dealing with the provisions of additional residential units, that they cannot be regulated through the municipality's official plan and also zoning bylaw. I believe that's not necessarily in the best interests of a municipality and its residents when you're looking at intensification. The possibility of development occurring in a haphazard manner without proper planning consideration and controls can certainly exacerbate problems that exist today in residential neighbourhoods.

The removal of these controls, such as the official plan and zoning bylaw -- again I believe they are controls that have proved to be effective in handling housing issues and particularly with the recent provincial policy statement, Land Use Planning for Housing. A set of guidelines was developed through that document that has been incorporated by most of the municipalities in Essex county or is in the process of being incorporated through housing guidelines and policies.

Three of the key elements that policy statement introduced in reviewing these items were basically: demand -- identifying demand for units; physical services -- the availability of services; and capacity for intensification.

One of the major weaknesses of Bill 120, as a planner, that I can see, is that the bill itself, although it is very positive, encouraging this form of intensification, really doesn't look at any analysis on those three issues of demand, physical services and capacity for intensification, both for urban municipalities like the city of Windsor and the many rural municipalities that occur in the county of Essex.

I just briefly want to outline some of the potential conflicts that, as a planner, I could see happening if forms of intensification like this are given as a right. One is demand and supply. Presently, as a planner and having reviewed many of the background reports and the housing statements that have been completed in the last few years, there has been no indication that I've seen that there's any knowledge of what the demand and supply are, especially for units to be located in an existing home within the city of Windsor and the county of Essex.

Without those numbers, although I've heard estimates being provided, it's very difficult to determine what overall impact that will have on residential communities. That is one of the key bases in developing housing policies to incorporate provincial, as well as municipal, standards.

The other issue that comes forward is the issue of servicing. In developing and especially in residential areas that are older residentials that have existing residential neighbourhoods, it's very important in many cases to ensure that there's proper servicing. By servicing, we're looking at sanitary sewers, water capacity, storm water drainage, as well as other services, such as parking and things of that nature. There are many examples in the city of Windsor which have been studied through the housing statement which identified areas that would be problem areas that could be exacerbated because of increased units being introduced to the area.

As an example, there have been problems around the University of Windsor. There are areas that are older subdivisions that have been designed -- one's called the Villages of Riverside, if you're aware of it, in the city of Windsor, that has a very high density. When it was designed, it was sort of a zero lot line. In my opinion, because of various changes that occurred through the process in developing that subdivision, it's become very cramped and lacks services. If people, for income and other purposes, are allowed to have an additional unit in that area, there could be some very strong problems, not only for servicing but also for a lot of the amenities such as parks, transit use and other social services that are usually supplied to residential areas, of overtaxing those types of services.

There are other areas in the county which have a more rural nature that have extreme problems with sanitary sewer capacity and water capacities. They're set up to be at very low standards, and if intensification is allowed to occur in some of these areas without the necessary controls, it could further exacerbate areas that are problem areas already in that particular involvement.

The other issue is, having been involved in introducing in a lot of areas in the Windsor region and in the county the notion of affordable housing, I could tell you through experience at public meetings that it was quite a battle, especially three, four years ago. The notion in Windsor of a town home is still generally regarded as a housing form that's not acceptable, that it's for some reason substandard and it has all kinds of connotations. So that's what we're working with in the Windsor area.

Through public consultation in dealing with the official plans, zoning bylaw changes and also in introducing the provincial housing policy and housing statements, we have made great inroads in addressing housing issues and bringing people up to speed on what housing's all about. I think a lot of that is because of the planning process and public involvement. One of the fears I have is that after going through that process with many of the neighbourhoods they're sensitized to the many, many issues associated with housing, servicing, transit, all those types of things. Now, introducing out of the blue, all of a sudden people can find out that: "Hey, what's happening to our parking spaces? Where are these other homes coming from?" They're wondering what happened to the process, and I think part of this process was not only supplying a need and a demand but getting ownership of existing neighbourhoods to understand what it's all about.

The way I read Bill 120, without the planning process in place, which is well established inside the Planning Act, I fear that you're going to alienate a lot of neighbourhoods and send us back five, 10 years before the housing policy came forward. I think that's going to be very detrimental in getting ownership. It's going to be a very hard sell.

In closing, I just have two brief recommendations. As I said, I'm in full support of both the garden suites and also allowing people to have an additional unit in their home, subject to the idea that it be done in a comprehensive manner, very much as the housing policy statements were set up. Because of that, I think the mechanism is in place within existing housing policy statements, policies, official plans and secondary plans and zoning to facilitate these types of uses and encourage public participation at the same time.

So rather than having a carte blanche to allow development to occur wherever, especially when municipalities don't know how strong the need is and what the existing units are in their own municipality, I think that process is warranted.


Secondly, I haven't talked much about garden suites. I think they're a great concept. Originally, in reading through some of the earlier reports, garden suites were identified for seniors and also handicapped persons. Reading through Bill 120 itself I don't see any reference to that, so I'm not sure if it's open to anybody. Regardless, I think it's a great process, but there are problems with servicing and site and acceptance and compatibility with uses.

One way of identifying that even a step further, because you're dealing with a much larger structure than having it in an existing home and changing the internal structure, is to have that go through the site plan control process, which is again a very well recognized planning process under the Planning Act. Municipalities are aware of it, the public is aware of it and they also get informed when there are changes in their neighbourhoods.

In closing, I just wish again to thank the standing committee for giving me this opportunity to speak here this afternoon. In particular, I'd like to thank them for coming down to Windsor. It saved a lot of travelling to London or Chatham or those other fine municipalities that we often have to go to.

Mr Lessard: I heard the weather was nice here.

Mr Zaghi: The biggest challenge was walking from the sidewalk to the car.

Mr Owens: So there isn't a parking problem in this city.

Mr Zaghi: Not until the casino opens up, but we're taking care of that too.

Mr Grandmaître: Talking about parking, we've been told there are no parking problems in Windsor. As a planner, would you agree with these people?

Mr Zaghi: I think you have to look at specific areas with respect to parking problems. Two of the areas that I mentioned -- our firm was involved by the university to do a parking study. There have been incredible problems for the five or six blocks surrounding the university, to the point where the Windsor transportation department has gone out I think for the first time and actually given, as Toronto does -- if you're a neighbour you've got a parking space on the street.

That problem has actually been exacerbated -- you can go to Western, anywhere near universities where homes have now been chopped up into eight, 10 units, which we're trying to control I think through this legislation, and as much as you think, students own cars and most of the students who live there are from out of town. So you've got that exacerbation. If you go out there, there's absolutely nowhere to park, so the university's now looking at purchasing property, tearing down houses to build parking garages.

The other area is that zero lot line development which is called the Villages of Riverside. It's been set up in such a maze that there's virtually no place to park except for one car on the driveway and there are sort of shared driveway areas. If, let's say, 20% of the homes or 10% of the homes had an extra unit in them, without some form of control to say, "Well, we can improve parking by putting some visitor parking here or somewhere down there," you would just absolutely have cars all over public rights of way. So there are two examples.

Mr Grandmaître: If I may, I'll go back to the Land Use Planning for Housing, which the city of Windsor respected back in 1989. It's been reflected in their zoning bylaw and also the official plan. Also, like so many other people, you agree with the intensification program of the government but you feel that Bill 120 will not create the number of additional units that this government is trying to create. Is this the message?

Mr Zaghi: I don't think that's my message. I really don't know. My brother lives in Toronto. I have a lot of friends in Toronto. I could see millions of units in Toronto being like that because it's a totally different urban environment.

Mr Grandmaître: I'm talking about Windsor.

Mr Zaghi: But in Windsor I have not seen any statistics, and we're involved in putting the housing statistics together.

At that time, when that was done in 1989, it was very difficult to quantify who had basement apartments and other units that were in there. I don't know if the demand's 1,000 units or 20,000 units or 20. If you look at the statistics, the areas that have had intensification, where they've had homes that have been broken into two or three units legally through the city, I think in the years of 1989, or 1991 or 1992 or something like that, in a two-year period the city had 54 applications for that and something like 51 of them were in the downtown area. To me, those are not big, big numbers.

Mr Grandmaître: This is what I'm getting at.

Mr Zaghi: But I'm not sure, because I've attended other meetings -- one meeting at council somebody mentioned that there were about 25,000 units in the city of Windsor.

Mr Grandmaître: We've heard this.

Mr Winninger: It's going down.

Mr Zaghi: That's what I was trying to explain, supply and demand. With the housing study that was done, we knew how many single families, apartments, condominiums, and what the price ranges were. There's been no attempt to collect that data and it may even be very difficult to collect that data if they're illegal. You can't follow it through permits. You'd have to be fairly creative to identify that. But to open it up throughout the province, especially some of the rural areas, you don't know what's going to happen out there.

Mr Grandmaître: Basically what you're saying is Bill 120 or basement apartments are not necessarily your piece of legislation for Windsor or your choice for Windsor.

Mr Zaghi: I think it has to be site-specific, as the housing policy was. Windsor's very fortunate. They have a very high percentage of affordable housing. They've always met their 25% criteria. In other municipalities it's more difficult. It's very site-specific.

I can take you out to St Clair Beach, which is a 15-minute drive, and it's attached to Windsor, and it's a whole new ball game. As the housing policy recognizes, you have to do it in a comprehensive manner. This is only one component of housing. It has to be built in. What impact it has on other forms of affordable housing, I don't know.

Mr Grandmaître: Yes, and you don't need this kind of legislation to appear in an omnibus bill. It could be done through the housing policy.

Mr Zaghi: I think it could be done as the housing policy was done.

Mr David Johnson: You raised one interesting point that I guess is pretty obvious after you stated it. It was pretty obvious to me but I hadn't thought of it before, that essentially, there's a lot of trust involved in planning between the communities, between the council and between the people who live in a community, and people certainly have a right or expect that planning is going to have some substance to it and they're going to be involved in it. That's the process we have here in the province of Ontario.

When you mentioned that this might set it back four or five years, I think you said, in terms of gaining acceptance for town houses, it sort of brought me back to some of my own experiences in East York where I was the mayor. I'm not so sure that people there are opposed to town houses, but there certainly is a reluctance to accept certain forms of housing, housing that I suspect 20 years from now people will say, "What was all the fuss about?" kind of thing, but still there's an education process and there's a trust that has to be developed. People have to become familiar with it and aware of it, and that's I guess what you're doing and other planners are doing.

If you cut that trust somehow and override the process and plunk something upon people, then I think what you're saying is that that could actually make people dig their heels in. If we're talking affordable housing, for example, it may make it more difficult for the province or municipalities to have affordable housing accepted in the future. They say: "Why should I believe you? Look what happened last time?" Is that what you're getting at?

Mr Zaghi: Yes, that's right on the point. It's been quite a struggle for not only the city of Windsor but the rural municipalities and some of the towns and villages in the area, and it's not over. We're continually fighting, but residents, like I said, are very sensitized to all these issues now. It's really ingrained. Windsor generally, if you look at other municipalities, still people come here and they're surprised how low the density is. There are areas I work in where the servicing capacity for sewers is 10 people per acre. That's like four homes an acre.

If you have those areas and you have the opportunity to put in one unit in the basement and perhaps a granny flat, you've doubled that and where are you at with the capacity? Everybody realizes intensification, towns now are running out of space. The town of Tecumseh, they're going to be building up, so it's a gradual process. If people aren't informed, they're going to entrench and then you've got real difficulties. You've got provincial problems and also municipal problems right down at the maintenance scale.

Mr Arnott: Your brief is excellent. I wanted to start off that way and compliment you.

If you had to guess, would you assume that there'll be an increase in the overall number of basement apartments, assuming this bill goes through?

Mr Zaghi: I've had some discussions with people. I imagine there would be an increase in basement apartments. The point of interest was that the tenant who has lived in a terrible basement apartment, who would love to complain because he doesn't have water or facilities that everybody has, now would have an opportunity to have that corrected.


The other thing that could happen because of that: A lot of the basement apartments are there because they are lower in cost or there is no other capacity anywhere else to house people. If the costs are then built up, do they start competing with some of the more co-op housing and other forms of housing and then people will say, "Well, why should I live in a room somewhere with a little kitchen and things like that when I can go to the Windsor housing authority or there may be other apartments that are more suitable?" So there's probably some point where the price will go up and then demand and supply will even out, and then you'll get shifting into other areas.

So it will be interesting. Some people, I'm sure, will simply say, "I'm not going to spend $15,000 on my house to upgrade plumbing, electrical and that," and you can see a lot of units just going out because they're saying: "Well, I'm collecting $300 a month," or something. "That's add up so much, but I'm not going to pay $15,000 out, cash." Especially if more units come out, then these guys -- a lot of people just go to them because there's nothing else. So what you'll find is there will be a gradual oversupply perhaps and people will then cut back. I think it really depends on what the demand is in the community, and we don't know that right now.

Mr Arnott: Wouldn't it have been wise, if the government wanted to do this, to do some sort of a study, commission some sort of a study to realize what the impact was going to be?

Mr Zaghi: That's exactly what happened with the housing policy. Every community, whether small -- some had to do it immediately, like Windsor, because they are identified as a key area. Small and large, I think in any planning process that's the whole basis, to base a decision on information, data that's available, and then see what the impacts pro and against are and balance it with the rest of the neighbourhood.

Mr Arnott: Of course, that wasn't done in this case. In the constituency that I represent, Wellington county, the municipal officials I talked to tell me there are going to be significant problems, especially in the small towns. I think of the town of Mount Forest, which recently undertook some steps to upgrade its existing sewage treatment plant and on that basis was given tentative approval by the Ministry of Environment to have approximately 100 additional residential sewage units to allow for some moderate growth in the town over the next 10 years, a town of 4,000 people. What impact will this bill have on them, assuming an increase in the number of basement apartments for those 100 units, which otherwise would have sufficed for all the growth needs in the town? I'm sure there are examples in Essex county that are very similar.

Mr Zaghi: Like I said, I'm in support of that and I think there are great opportunities for it in every municipality. Just like when the housing policy came out and the whole issue of affordability -- I mean, people just groaned and moaned. Of course there were deficiencies in it. There will always be deficiencies in any legislation. Policy can't cover everything, but it gave a framework with criteria to follow. So you grew with it, not only people who have to implement it, but people it affected or might affect. That's the problem here. It's not the intent of the policy; it's just that I think the mechanism is weak.

Mr Lessard: Thank you very much, Mr Zaghi, for appearing before the committee. I understand the arguments that you're putting forward here today. In many cases, they're similar to the ones that were put forward as well by the housing advisory committee. I'm sure you must be aware of the work that they do because of the similarities, and I think that you probably were involved with them at some point.

One of the problems that we see as legislators is that even though there's support for the Land Use Planning for Housing guidelines -- and you referred to the three issues: demand, physical services and capacity for intensification -- the map that we received from the housing advisory committee indicates that there is only a very small segment of the city of Windsor that converted dwellings would be permitted and that included the downtown area, the area where the density is the highest and the income is the lowest.

You mentioned the University of Windsor and the Villages of Riverside as specific areas where further intensification may be a problem. But there's huge areas of the city that are excluded from intensification, notwithstanding they may meet those three criteria that you've indicated. The only reason that they're not included as far as permitting converted dwellings is because of the complaints from the public, because they have some fears about what they think might happen to their neighbourhoods.

They seem as though they're areas where -- well, the demand may not be high but the physical services and the capacity are certainly there.

We're not going to see that intensification take place in areas where it should if we continue to follow the Land Use Planning for Housing. I wonder how you respond to that.

Mr Zaghi: I agree that there are areas in the city of Windsor that for political reasons or whatever have been strictly single family. Perhaps they're higher income, you know, south Windsor, the Riverside areas, that have not been identified. I don't know if the housing study at the time looked at the type of detail with this particular legislation with respect to allowing units to locate, especially with the garden suites. Because there may be opportunities in areas where you've got larger single-family homes that you may have elderly people or handicapped people, that it may be acceptable to them, now that they're -- but I'm sure they don't even know what garden suites are -- to say that "That would be great to put in our neighbourhood."

All I can say is it's going to take work probably, because of the past history of those areas, to introduce that type of stuff, that type of units.

To give you an example, I was recently involved in the last couple of years in putting town home units in south Windsor. That was a huge struggle, to put in some town homes. They were even upper-end town homes. But, once they were put in, people there saw that: "I want to live in the area, I grew up in the area, and I had my big 3,000- or 2,000-square-foot house with the big yard. But I'm reaching retirement age now. Great. I can stay in my community now." And they're selling very well.

It took maybe eight years to get some town homes out there. Now you see them, now there's a market for them all of a sudden. And people are very careful about saying, "Oh, I don't want town homes because they're going to depreciate my property value," and all that stuff because they know it doesn't happen because now there's physical examples. We take them out to the site and see.

I think that's changed with affordable housing too. We're working on St Joseph's project now, which is giving a totally different look.

I agree, the first town homes people saw were boxes. This is affordable housing. And it's taken time to get beyond that. I agree, Wayne, that it'll be a tough struggle because it's very politically involved when you're dealing with people. We planners can put all the nice numbers up there, but you're dealing with people and they're the people who live in the community.

But, unless you start that process of getting ownership and saying, "Here's the benefits for you" -- it may come in in five or six years. It may take 10 years, it may take two years. But unless you start it in the right direction, by having public participation, of letting them know what they are, of showing them examples where they've had them properly, so that they're compatible with the area, then you can start changing them around.

But to say that "Boom," we're going to plop them in there, and heaven knows what's going to go in there because people are uninformed and they may not have the type of controls that they want, then you're in a real battle.

In a sense you're right, that there's some areas in the Windsor plan that have been left open, perhaps for political reasons or other reasons, but I think with this bill here, and these particular uses, they can be reintroduced at a level that can gain acceptance. I think that's a fairly big difference.


Mr Gary Wilson: Thanks for your presentation. I just want to clarify a couple of things. In spite of the politicians on the opposition side, who are the hardest people to get along with -- you mentioned about the difficulty in getting along with people -- I want to say that we had a lot of consultation. It didn't come, perhaps as you put it, "Boom, out of nowhere," but there's a been long history to try to legalize these accessory apartments. We certainly have accommodated some of those concerns. For instance, in Mr Arnott's area, unless there are municipal septic systems, then there's no requirement to put in second apartments.

But parking too needs to be clarified. Again, there are limits put on what we're requiring, that municipalities can require two parking spots where a second apartment is requested. Unless that can be accommodated, that would deny that place.

At the same time we're hearing that in other areas of the city there's no transportation, yet it would appear that if cars are available and can't be put in one area, then certainly that would seem to mean that other areas of the city could then accommodate second apartments where people would have the cars so that they could get out there. It seems to be a very balanced approach to what we're trying to do here, again, to give the home owner the right to put in a second apartment if it suits their needs. As I said, I wanted to clarify those two issues.

On the garden suites, the legislation does lay out that the municipality has complete control over the shape of the structure, the circumstances. It's in the bill, in section 47, where it says "the installation, maintenance and removal of the garden suite" is done in consultation with the municipality so it does suit the needs of the municipality.

Mr Zaghi: On that process, there are times when you're installing a new building, depending on the size of the rear yard and how much area you have, that it could cause considerable impact on the property next door. But also there are engineering things which the engineers indicate -- and I've done enough subdivisions -- things like rear-yard drainage, for instance, especially in older parts of the city, where if you cover the rear yard with the building, unless there are fairly strict controls on how that's done and where the drainage's going to go, then you've got the problem of water flowing off into other properties, some to the sewers, or it could surcharge because of drainage problems in Windsor and things like that.

Rather than having an agreement and creating another level, like a legal agreement, whatever form it takes with the city and the property owner, as I was mentioning, that type of detail is taken care of quite well through site plan control and the site plan process. The city of Windsor, for instance, leaves out the political element, because now it's gone to a system where it basically has the administration -- the planners, the traffic engineers, the engineers -- handling that.

What that does also is it allows people in the immediate area to be notified that it's occurring, because a lot of times people in the area provide input that provides a balance in there. I would feel more comfortable that the existing system be incorporated, because then that gives you a very clear indication of all the elements that go in when you review a site, including any type of new development.

The Chair: Thank you for appearing today. We appreciate your presentation.


The Chair: The next presentation is D'Arcy Goodfellow. Good afternoon, Mr Goodfellow. The committee has allocated 15 minutes for your presentation. You may begin when you're ready.

Mr D'Arcy J. Goodfellow: Thank you. I'm basically here to speak on behalf of tenants who live in residential units and receive support care 24 hours a day.

Currently in Ontario many residential rental units are exempt under certain sections of the Landlord and Tenant Act. This has caused a great many problems for the tenants living in these units. The landlords claim they do not have to comply with certain sections of the Rent Control Act and the Landlord and Tenant Act because of an exemption under subclause 1(c)(ix) of the Landlord and Tenant Act. I feel that royal assent of Bill 120 is necessary for people living in supported-service living units. It will give them all the rights that people in normal rental units are afforded at this time.

I'm a quadriplegic. I live with my wife, who is not disabled, in an SSLU. This SSLU provides 24-hour non-medical care. We are exempt. We have problems because the landlord claims exemption under clause 1(c)(ix) of the Landlord and Tenant Act. If we have a dispute with the landlord over something, there's nowhere we can go. The proper channel, as they claim, is to go to the staff that are working. If that does not help, go to the administration. If that does not help, go to the board of directors. It goes no further than that. We are then forced to go to ministries that are regulating such units. Other tenants in the apartment building have the same problem, as do tenants across the province.

An example would be a recent incident concerning a problem we've had with our stove. We have reported for the last two or three years that the stove has been giving off electrical shocks. Administrative staff have come in to examine the unit. We have been told that we are imagining it, that we are the only ones complaining of the problem. Recently, in the last two or three months, the stove has just been shutting off the circuit breaker, killing the power to not only the stove but our oven as well. We're forced to use a toaster oven or our microwave if we want to cook meals.

A member of the staff has come in to examine the unit. This person then went to administration, had someone from the administration come down and examine the unit, went to their superior, who decided to call in an electrician. The electrician made a recommendation that the stove was so old that it needed replacement; it would be too costly to repair. An electrician prior to this who did not examine the stove claimed the problem was due to static electricity. I have a computer system in my apartment; if it was static electricity, the computer would have shut down long before the stove.

We have recently had to call Ontario Hydro to get an inspection done on this stove. They recommended that the stove be totally replaced, and there was a tag put on the circuit breaker that it is not to be used again until it has been inspected once again by an Ontario Hydro inspector.

Last Friday, we were told by administration that a new stove that had been ordered for our apartment was no longer going to be put into our apartment; it would be put into a community kitchen. In turn, we would receive the stove out of the community kitchen. This unit is at least six to seven years old and is used by between four and six tenants every day, so we would be inheriting somebody else's problems.

Bill 120 would eliminate this sort of problem because not only would the landlord be totally compliant under the Landlord and Tenant Act; they would also have to comply with the appliance expectancy life chart which is found in the Rent Control Act. We have been told before by administration that it is not related by this act because it is rent-geared-to-income.

There are a number of residential rental units in which tenants receive assistance with daily activities in Ontario. Very few of these feel that Bill 120 is in the best interests of the tenants, as it will cause a loss of support services. They make claims it will force tenants into chronic care units and nursing homes.

The truth of the matter is that many of the tenants living in these units have come out of chronic care units, nursing homes, striving for independence. Bill 120 will help these tenants stay in the rental units they are in. The landlord will no longer be able to be a service care provider as well. Delinking the two is necessary. It has happened in several units in Ontario. As the chairperson of the Ontario March of Dimes committee for independent living, I know for a fact that there are several SSLUs in Ontario that the Ontario March of Dimes run in which it is strictly the service care provider. The landlord is a totally separate entity. This should happen in all of Ontario, not just in some units.


May 1, 1992: The commission of inquiry into unregulated residential accommodation submitted its finding to the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. As you all know, the Lightman report, also called A Community of Interests, was formed after the death of a tenant in an unregulated boarding home. The report made 148 recommendations to amendments to various acts. The acts included the Nursing Homes Act, Landlord and Tenant Act, Rent Control Act, Regulated Health Professions Act, Substitute Decisions Act and others.

As stated in the executive summary of the report, unregulated accommodation included retirement homes, boarding or rest homes and residential housing units providing care and assistance with daily activities. The apartment building in which I live falls under the latter category.

One quote that was submitted in a written paper from a Hamilton delegation stated, "We regulate cars, guns, repair shops and just about every other kind of business practice, but when it comes to the people that can least protect and help themselves, we turn the other way."

The people referred to in this quote are vulnerable adults. According to the commission's report, vulnerable adults are those living in unregulated housing. I and my fellow tenants in the apartment building are vulnerable adults. We may have disabilities, but we are still human. We deserve the same rights and privileges as people living in normal apartment buildings. Why should we suffer just because of a disability or the fact that we are elderly and require people to provide care that we cannot provide ourselves? We didn't ask for this sort of life.

In the apartment building where I live, tenants fall under the category of vulnerable adults. The majority would like to own pets. We cannot do so because of the exemption under clause 1(c)(9) of the Landlord and Tenant Act. If we take in a pet without obtaining express written permission from the landlord, we're subject to eviction for breaching the lease. Tenants living in rental units which fall completely under the Landlord and Tenant Act can obtain a pet without the permission of the landlord. Does it matter to our landlord that medical findings have proven that animal companionship is beneficial to elderly or disabled individuals? No, it doesn't. Our landlord simply claims immunity from the Landlord and Tenant Act because of the exemption and will give no further explanation as to why you cannot own a pet.

Issues such as these should be brought to the board of directors. We have to go straight to the administration. It goes no further than that. The problem is, if things do go to the board of directors, they are held in in camera meetings. Tenants are invited to participate or attend board of directors' meetings. This is a complete joke. At these board meetings, everything that is tabled in the open meeting is deferred to the in camera meeting. Nothing is brought before the tenants so they can hear what is going on. Tenant matters dealing with specific tenants are not discussed. In a board meeting held Tuesday night which was supposed to be an open meeting to the staff and tenants of the apartment building, there was a letter from my family doctor which was sent forth to the one administrative member of the apartment building. This is a confidential matter that should not have gone to the board of directors. This matter was not discussed with myself or my wife; it was strictly discussed with the board of directors. I find a great problem with that.

Again, Bill 120 must receive royal assent. It's necessary for tenants or vulnerable adults to receive full protection under the Landlord and Tenant Act. We need and deserve these rights. Some landlords claim Bill 120 will cause an institutionalization of tenant living in SSLUs. The truth, however, is that Bill 120 will deinstitutionalize what some landlords have already done.

In closing, a quote from Dr Lightman: "A community of interests best states my feelings of the way things are being handled today....Many vulnerable adults in Ontario live in conditions we associate with Victorian England, not with late 20th-century Canada. These vulnerable adults are not being accommodated; they are being warehoused, conveniently out of sight and out of mind....We did not set out to create a system of rental housing in which the most vulnerable members of society are the least protected; but that has certainly been the outcome."

Mr David Johnson: Could you tell us a little more about your apartment and the people who are in the apartment that you're talking about? I don't think you really had enough time to do that.

Mr Goodfellow: The apartment building I live in was named earlier as ALPHA.

Mr David Johnson: You're in ALPHA.

Mr Goodfellow: Yes.

Mr Cooper: As you understand, most people do support independent living. My question is, if you were evicted today, what would your options be? Just to let us know how vulnerable you are.

Mr Goodfellow: I cannot answer that question because of a lawsuit that is in progress right now; it is before the courts.

Mr Cooper: All right. Another person then in the same condition as you, what would their options be?

Mr Goodfellow: A nursing home or chronic-care unit.

Mr Mammoliti: What was that? I'm sorry.

The Vice-Chair: Do you want to repeat that?

Mr Cooper: A nursing home or chronic-care unit.

The Vice-Chair: That's fine. Thank you for coming.


Mr Leo Bouillon: My name is Leo Bouillon. I'm the executive director of the London and Area Tenant Federation. I'm a tenant and have been since I moved to London more than 10 years ago. I applaud the provincial government for its undertaking of Bill 120, also known as the Residents' Rights bill.

London, as it has been suggested, does not have a housing problem. The vacancy rate is high and that's true. Our city officials bury their heads in the sand and could not possibly understand the issues that tenants have. The vacancy rate is high because people cannot afford to move into these high-priced apartments.

If London doesn't need Bill 120, why is it that there is a waiting list for decent, affordable housing? It is estimated that there are over 1,000 families on waiting lists for public housing. For example, the waiting list for co-op housing is at least two to three years and one to two years for public housing. Mayor Gosnell's statement was, "Bill 120 has opened a hornet's nest over housing and rental advocates lining up with government and most civic leaders against it."

To that statement, Mayor Gosnell, I tip my hat. It's taken you all these years to realize that advocates like myself wouldn't have a job if you did yours. The federation has invited the mayor to our meetings on numerous occasions, but in his wisdom he has never attended or sent a letter. Most tenants will support the Residents' Rights Act because we are aware of the problems that tenants face. We work with it every day.

It is interesting how in London we have a different problem, not with granny flats, but with nanny flats. These are apartments for the employees of doctors, lawyers and business executives that we're not supposed to be aware of. Tell me, Mr Gosnell, is that okay and if so, does that not constitute discrimination? Bill 120 would bring illegal apartments to justice and allow for better protection for tenants who are afraid of speaking up for fear of losing their houses.

Another example of why the provincial government needs to pass this legislation is the tragic fire in Mississauga where a mother and her three-year-old son were killed. Mayor Hazel McCallion's response was, "The more reason to scrap the province-wide legislation and leave the matter to local politicians." If Mayor McCallion had her way, she'd close every illegal apartment. Good local responsible politics.

I'm not convinced that all London home owners will rush out to build apartments in their homes as it has been suggested. As for the problem of parking, most low-income families don't have access to a car because they can't afford a vehicle.

Another reason why we support the Residents' Rights Act is the fact that care homes will be forced to abide by the Landlord and Tenant Act, Rent Control Act and the Rental Housing Protection Act which will give tenants in care protection control over the amount paid for accommodations, provide security of tenure, all this a breakthrough which is long overdue.

I could go on and on with the reasons why we support Bill 120. In closing, I must bring to your attention that it is a tenant's right to demand decent, affordable housing. We, as tenants, pay property taxes and, if I may add, tenants pay more property taxes than home owners. Does that in itself not constitute that tenants should have a say in where and how we should be housed?


Mr Mammoliti: Your comments on the mayor of Mississauga are, I believe, right on. I think that she would do more than just -- well, let's talk a little bit about the mayor of North York, who said yesterday, "Cockroaches in basement apartments are bigger than cockroaches in apartment buildings." Now, this is the mayor of what, the fourth-largest city in North America? Is it the fourth largest?

Mr Arnott: Not in North America.

Mr Mammoliti: In Canada for sure -- who believes that cockroaches in basement apartments are bigger than cockroaches in apartment buildings.

The mentality of some of these individuals who sit on council is absolutely incredible, and to use this as an argument to squash accessory apartment legislation, in my opinion, is atrocious. Would you agree with me?

Mr Bouillon: You're asking me, right? I guess that's the reason why I've made reference to two mayors in particular, and I believe that's what is happening across the province and most municipalities will not own up to it.

For example, in London, the developers have quite a large say in what goes on in any kind of housing. Right now there's a proposal where a developer is trying to build a high-rise that would house 1,800 people.

Again, my answer to all that is right now landlords are complaining because there's a high vacancy rate. When they build these units it's not going to make it affordable, so we're back to square one. This is where I believe legislation will help tenants. Those who can least afford to move will have an opportunity to relocate in a basement apartment, granny flats, garden suites, whatever you want to call them.

Mr Mammoliti: How big are the cockroaches in London?

Mr Bouillon: They have quite a problem there.

Mr Winninger: Cockroaches in London are not solved, unlike accessory apartments.

Your presentation went by so quickly I just caught the tail end of it, Leo, but you've been working on behalf of tenants within the federation for a good two, three, four years now, I believe.

Mr Bouillon: Four years.

Mr Winninger: I imagine you'd be aware of the demand certainly for affordable housing in London.

Mr Bouillon: Yes.

Mr Winninger: You'd probably also be aware that there are very substantial waiting lists to get into public housing and also into cooperative and non-profit housing: over 1,000, I believe, on each of those lists.

Mr Bouillon: Right.

Mr Winninger: Can you fathom why it is that there are fairly substantial areas in London with large homes on large lots that are still zoned illegal for accessory apartments? Can you fathom why that might be?

Mr Bouillon: Again, the problem is that a lot of people will not open their homes because it is not legal, unfortunately. That is a good point. The family structure has changed over the years. In London, there are larger homes. Of course, the families back then were larger, where they had seven and eight members. They could certainly open their doors to having tenants to help pay their mortgages. Seniors wouldn't necessarily have to move out because a place is too large and they're on their own. I can see some definite advantages to Bill 120 as far as London is concerned.

Mr Winninger: You're no stranger to the problem with property standards and maintaining landlords' properties, I know, from person personal experience, and you probably would welcome some of the changes in Bill 120 that would beef up powers of inspection. Are you aware of those?

Mr Bouillon: Yes, I am, and that's so true. Part of the problem we have in London, of course, is the fact that the property standards are not up to par. This legislation would definitely make the city own up to its own responsibilities. It is another reason why we support the bill.

Mr Winninger: You deal with the responsibility of the city. We've heard from a couple of presenters from London, notably the mayor of London and also Councillor Mary Lynn Metras, that they have a problem in north London, particularly in the university area, with absentee landlords, multiple-dwelling units and the absence of enforcement of noise bylaws, garbage, parking, you name it. I just wonder what your view on that might be as it relates to this particular bill and the thrust of this legislation, which is to allow as-of-right accessory apartments across London.

Mr Bouillon: That may alleviate some of the problems that are in north London, with the concentration, again, of students in that particular area. Again, the reason for that is that's where most of the units are available. With Bill 120, that would certainly open up the doors to having students go elsewhere and not necessarily stay within that one region, and it would alleviate a lot of the problems. Again, most of the students stay in that area because they don't have vehicles, for one, and are restricted to that particular area. In this particular case, like I said, it would open up the door to having students relocate elsewhere.

Mr Winninger: We've also heard quite considerable support for garden suites, which of course the municipalities still will retain some measure of control over with regard to installation, removal, maintenance and so on. They'll have to sign agreements.

I guess in the course of your work as president of the federation of London tenants, you probably deal with seniors as well and with their housing needs. How will this provision of garden suites and allowing a longer term, till 10 years, dovetail with their needs?

Mr Bouillon: London does have a large number of seniors who have relocated to London over the years. I think that opens up the door to improving the situation for seniors, for example, with their families. The seniors don't stay with their families because there is no accessory apartment and they still are entitled to their privacy.

Actually, I spoke to a seniors' group last week and that discussion did come up. So Bill 120 would certainly open up the doors to having families stay closer together, and also, as far as the seniors are concerned, they would probably stay closer to home. They value their privacy. That situation would certainly improve.


Mr Grandmaître: As a former Minister of Municipal Affairs, I never thought I'd see the day where I'd have to defend Hazel McCallion and Mel Lastman, never in my life, because I've had my run-ins with these two, but I think it's very unfair to quote, from Mayor McCallion, one sentence of a 30-minute presentation.

What Mayor McCallion and also Mr Lastman were saying was, "Hey, give us the tools and we'll do the work." As you know, municipalities don't have the right of access or the right of entry to enforce municipal bylaws, as was mentioned previously. This is what municipalities have been asking for.

Now you're going to tell me: "Well, you were Minister of Municipal Affairs. Why didn't you give them that power back then?"


Mr Grandmaître: But that's another day. We had a very busy agenda and we never got around to it.

Anyway, going back to municipal enforcement, I think it's very important that if we believe in local government -- I don't think this government has any respect whatsoever for local government. We can see it in my own region of Ottawa-Carleton. They're destroying local autonomy by creating upper levels of government. I think all municipalities are asking the for right of entry so that they can enforce their property standards bylaws, and also the fire code and the building code. Don't you think that municipalities can do a better job than the provincial government, at the local level?

Mr Bouillon: I don't believe so. Otherwise, they could have done something over the years. They've had the opportunity.

Mr Grandmaître: I said that before.

Mr Bouillon: Yes. That's why I'm backing it up in a way. That's why I made reference to these statements that these city officials are just burying their heads in the sand.

Mr Grandmaître: Yes, but municipalities have been asking for this for I think 15 years, "Give us the power." I remember when not this government but the provincial government instituted a bill to create minimum housing standards right across the province of Ontario. At that time, in the days of Mr Davis, and I don't know if it goes as far back as John Robarts, municipalities were asking for more powers, but we didn't have the faith in municipal governments. I think it's about time that if we want to consult people and if we believe in people, we had better start believing in local autonomy and providing them with the tools, with the right legislation so that they can reflect your needs, but you don't seem to agree that local governments can do this.

Mr Bouillon: Like I said, they've had the opportunity over the years and have declined to do so. Bill 120 would give the municipality more powers.

Mr Grandmaître: Not a hell of a lot. How different would it be?

Mr Bouillon: It will give the inspectors an opportunity to go in and effectively search out the illegal apartments.

Mr Grandmaître: With a search warrant. Right now the Planning Act gives you that power.

Mr Bouillon: Maybe they don't know about it, then.

Mr Daigeler: I think, as so often with the current government, perhaps the intentions are quite honourable, but in the implementation it just doesn't work. Frankly, that's what I'm concerned about with this particular bill as well. As was mentioned in our hearings in Ottawa, I think the takeup of the provisions of Bill 120 is not going to be as expected. I'm afraid that because people still have to meet fire regulations, as they should, and certain health regulations, a good many of the current illegal apartments will not make that switch to legal apartments and they'll continue to be illegal. What do you think will happen to these units? In your view, what should happen to these units that will not switch over to the provisions of Bill 120?

Mr Bouillon: The municipalities, I will reiterate, will have the powers to go in and search these units. The reason we support this is that we will create better standards for the tenants who are existing in those illegal apartments. Unfortunately, none of the tenants are protected right now, whereas this bill will certainly give those tenants an opportunity for better lodging.

Mr David Johnson: Since we're quoting Hazel McCallion, one other quote she made is that she would outlast, in office, the Minister of Housing and that she didn't need anybody's help to achieve that.

Mr Winninger: What about your help?

Mr David Johnson: My help, Ben's help, anybody's help; she would do that, no question. I'd bet on Hazel. I'd also bet on Mel Lastman and Tom Gosnell as well.

I wondered if you would give me just a few facts about your organization, your membership, for example. How many members would you have?

Mr Bouillon: We now have approximately seven tenants' associations that represent over 1,000 tenants.

Mr David Johnson: You have 1,000 members?

Mr Bouillon: Yes.

Mr David Johnson: When you say you represent over 1,000, do you mean tenants in buildings that have 1,000 units, or do you actually have --

Mr Bouillon: Yes, 1,000 units.

Mr David Johnson: But how many of them are sort of signed up and paid members of your organization?

Mr Bouillon: Right now we are a new organization. They are exempt for the first year, any new tenant association that joins the federation. In the second year they would be paying dues to the federation.

Mr David Johnson: How many of them would have actually signed a sheet to be a member? I understand that they don't have to pay, but how many would have actually signed that they would like to be a member of the organization?

Mr Bouillon: Like I said, we have about 1,000.

Mr David Johnson: The 1,000 have signed.

Mr Bouillon: Yes.

Mr David Johnson: How many tenants would there be in all of London?

Mr Bouillon: Approximately a third of London's 316,000 are tenants.

Mr David Johnson: About a third of the population, okay. You've raised a number of concerns on behalf of tenants, and you've obviously been working hard for many years in doing that. The true test, of course, is the democratic elections when people like Mayor Gosnell and the other members of council stand for election and issues are raised.

I'm sure you've raised these issues on behalf of your tenants on many occasions. Personally, having gone through that process myself, I know that tenants' issues are raised and the fact is that as you say quite rightly, tenants pay a higher proportion. Their assessment to market value ratio is about twice what it is for home owners; at least it is in Metropolitan Toronto. I assume it's the same in London.

Mr Bouillon: Likewise.


Mr David Johnson: These are issues that are certainly raised in Metropolitan Toronto during the election process, and democracy reigns. Those who appeal to tenants and home owners and everybody who votes are the people who are put into office. How are these problems coming up? Why isn't this sinking in? What's happening here that the process isn't working in London?

Mr Bouillon: As I mentioned, we are a fairly new organization. When we started a year ago, we were getting zero calls. We're up to 250 calls a month in just a little over a year and a half. As to the fact of tenants being taxpayers, a lot of them don't realize that they even pay property taxes, for one, and of course what we're working on right now is to educate tenants. We have a year to do so, because our next municipal election is coming up and we are working very hard to educate tenants. Where we find our strength is, if we know of anyone that we can support, we will do so in the next election.

Being a new organization, it's quite difficult to get people to realize that we are there, number one. We have some opposition. Landlords are not too interested in what we're doing, although we did address the London Property Management Association. We have some obstacles to face, but we are looking at a possibility of making a change in the next municipal election, hopefully.

Mr David Johnson: What I find curious is that landlords, of course, have one vote, and if you have an apartment building with 200 units in it, there are a lot of votes there. My experience in East York has been that many of the buildings -- I can name you key areas in East York, the Thorncliffe Park area, for example, where in a large number of the buildings the turnout has in some elections exceeded the average of the municipality as a whole. There's this myth somewhere that no tenants vote, but I certainly don't share that, and from my experience that hasn't been the case. It's always puzzled me how these rascals get back in if they don't reflect the wishes of the people. It's kind of hard to explain.

Mr Bouillon: Part of the problem too is that it requires some money to enter even municipal politics. I think that might be part of the problem, where someone on a low income might be interested in going in. To me, the whole thing around the tenant issue is education.

Mr David Johnson: The fire chief in the city of Mississauga said that if basement apartments are legalized and if there is no workable right of entry for municipalities, and he did not deem Bill 120 to have a workable right of entry, there would simply be, unfortunately, more deaths, that this would not solve the problem. They really need a clear-cut right of entry to get in and make sure these units are safe. I wonder what your reaction is to that.

Mr Bouillon: Part of the process could be through education, through the newspaper, letting them know that the bill, if it is passed, is law, and give the tenants the option to be able to call in themselves. That's part of the problem right now. Most tenants will not call an inspector to come in because they're afraid of losing their apartments. If given the opportunity and they know about it, they would probably make the calls themselves. Again, part of it is the education.

Mr Arnott: Why do you suppose that those who have advocated for years the concept of legalizing basement apartments have failed to convince many municipal governments that this is the best way to go?

Mr Bouillon: Part of this is the education that I keep referring to. We ourselves in London haven't been exposed to a whole lot of the illegal apartments because the people just won't phone. We've had two or three referrals, but that's about it. Our involvement and our education began with the Inclusive Neighbourhoods Campaign. I'm quite grateful that they were around to help us better understand what was going on, not just in our community but across the province as well.

Mr Arnott: Like Mr Johnson, I have a great deal of confidence in locally elected municipal officials. I find it very curious that people continue to be elected to office attempting to represent the majority of the people in their municipality. Others don't share that view, but the majority view seems to prevail. Yet here we have a situation where the provincial government doesn't like the decision that the majority of municipalities have made with respect to basement apartments, so it's stepping in in an area of responsibility that has been delegated to municipal government traditionally.

Mr Bouillon: Are you asking me?

Mr Arnott: That's just my concluding comment.

The Chair: Thank you, sir, for making the trip to see us today. We appreciate it.


Mr Tony Orvidas: My name is Tony Orvidas. I'm the administrator of Chelsey Park Retirement Community. It is a combined nursing home, retirement home, health club and seniors' apartment complex in London, Ontario. I'm also the past president of region 7 of the Ontario Long Term Residential Care Association -- that's the region that covers the Kitchener-Waterloo and London area -- as well as a designated spokesperson for the association.

I'll try to be as brief as possible since I'm sure that it's been a long day for you and that you have already likely heard very much of the areas I'm going to cover.

I'd like to address you on the issue of the impact that Bill 120 is expected to have on rest and retirement homes. I will do so from two perspectives, if I may, first from the point of view of Chelsey Park Retirement Community, which I represent, and secondly from the general position of the Ontario Long Term Residential Care Association and rest and retirement home operators.

Chelsey Park is a unique residence since our retirement home has been under rent review legislation since 1990. I'm sure Mr Winninger could advise you more on that in that he represented the residents in our appeal at that particular time. It was a bit of a landmark decision since the rent review appeals board ruled that the rental portion of the monthly fee that we charge to our residents was to be covered by rent review while the services component was not. The basic reason for this, from what I understand, was because we at Chelsey Park were gradually converting seniors' apartments in one of our buildings into residential suites. Consequently, the rent review board felt that our retirement suites could potentially be converted back into apartments and that therefore all rents for all units should be under rent controls.

Currently we provide accommodation and services to some 110 residential clients living in our 110-unit retirement home. We call these units residential suites, by the way, because we think they're just one step above a regular bed-sitting room and so forth. There are 247 residents living in our licensed nursing home. We also have 192 seniors' apartments, guest suites and respite units. We plan on gradually reducing our number of apartments by continuing to convert them into residential suites in that this seems to be an area of service where our clients seem to be most happy.

Chelsey Park is considered a top-of-the-line retirement home. We currently charge $2,385 per month for a single-occupancy compact residential suite. It seems quite high in some cases, but that includes a kitchenette, living room, bathroom and bedroom, along with an extensive array of all-inclusive services.

Quite a few of our residents in the retirement home moved from our seniors' apartments as their care needs increased and their health deteriorated.

In our residential suites, we do not charge a first month's deposit to the resident, but it appears that under Bill 120, we'd pretty well be expected to do so. This could be a serious financial burden for some of our residents. We do not charge for the 60-day rent at termination based on the last day of the month of termination in that technically that could add up to almost 90 days, but we may be expected to do so under Bill 120.

As residential health care needs increase or when certain residents become aggressive or perhaps begin disturbing their neighbours, we have required these clients to move to higher levels of care if we could meet that level. That would be homes for the aged or nursing homes, whether our own or another. We expected the families of these residents to pay for and provide additional personal care for the residents until they made the move. These extra services could be purchased from us or any other service provider in the community.


It appears to me that under Bill 120, we won't be able to ask these residents who cause difficulty to move. It would therefore not only adversely affect our other residents who are there from a very security concern perspective, but we would also likely be putting the heavy care resident at personal risk as well if we couldn't meet their health care needs.

Of the monthly fee that we currently charge, only a certain portion is considered rent. It can range, due to historical peculiarities, by $100 or more per month for a one-size unit that's exactly the same as another, depending on the legislated maximum. So you could be paying rent of $400 for one unit and $550 for another just because of the way the place was set up when it was originally built.

The service component would therefore also be all over the place since the total that we charge for a compact one-bedroom, for example, is $2,385. That includes the rent and the services. A high rent in one suite would be offset by a low service cost in that suite, and that would balance another one where the rent was high and the service cost was low. So basically everybody's paying the same $2,385 for basically the same unit and the same services. It's a real headache for us to say the least and our residents find it extremely confusing, but that's the way we had to play it under rent review.

Oh, yes, we have also implemented one rent increase date, July 1, to make it easier for everybody, so they all know that it goes up July 1, to make it easier for everyone, except our bookkeeper of course, because what we also had to do then, so that we wouldn't contravene the act, was to delay the annual increase which we're allowed until the next July 1. So we took a loss on almost every single suite just to make it convenient for our clients.

Our residential suite clients do not sublet their suites. We screen prospective clients and once we accept them, we then allow them to select whatever vacant suites they're interested in. Under Bill 120, it appears we won't have that option or the option to relocate a resident at our cost to another area of the building which is, say, closer to our dining lounge or to our health services office in terms of meeting their increasing health care needs.

We currently have full access to our residential suites as part of our standing understanding and our commitment to residents and their families. It's part of our service and it's expected by our clients. Under Bill 120, it would appear that we would have to give 24 hours' notice unless it's an emergency.

Also, as vacancies in residential suites come up, a suite previously occupied by one person may become a double-occupancy suite or vice versa. For example, there could be double occupancy if a married couple moved into one of our one-bedrooms, a brother and sister decided to share a two-bedroom, or two friends decided to share a room together. A second occupant by the way is charged for services only at a reduced cost. With Bill 120, it would appear that we would not be allowed to make this adjustment in occupancy in the residential suite depending on the needs of the clients.

How do our respite or short-stay convalescent units fit under Bill 120? It's an area that doesn't seem to be covered at all. We usually charge by the day, depending on what the client needs or wants, the length of stay. What will the client expect of us in the future? What if we can't fill a residential suite? Rather than keeping it vacant for a period of a month or longer, we often would rent it out on a day-to-day basis as a respite unit. Is this acceptable under Bill 120?

So much for Chelsey Park's specific concerns. As you note, there are quite a few of them.

I would now like to take a look at Bill 120 maybe from a more generic perspective. I know you have heard from other concerned individuals and groups detailing the specific problems Bill 120 could hold for retirement homes and for our residents.

Driving the Ontario Long Term Residential Care Association's called-for amendments is the fact that retirement homes must be allowed to provide the quality care services their residents expect of them. I'll use my remaining time not to repeat the association's concerns, which you have heard -- I'm sure you're well versed with the presentation it has made -- but to tell you why our homes are not boarding homes, to point out why it's essential for the committee to understand that unique qualities separate retirement homes from apartment buildings. Your understanding is essential, because the bill must be amended to address situations found in retirement homes, situations inconceivable in a multi-apartment setting.

Already you have heard about retirement homes' emphasis on care, but you may not have heard too much about another basic and very crucial aspect of retirement home living. That aspect is the communal nature of retirement homes and the close day-to-day interaction of all residents, characteristics that are not part of your regular apartment building living.

For example, in an apartment building a person may step into an elevator, nod hello to the person he knows, say, in 2B -- sometimes you never know your neighbours in apartment buildings and you could live there for years; I've personally had that experience as well. In a retirement home, however, a person may step into the elevator to meet his or her dinner companion updating another resident on the details about maybe the grandson's latest escapade.

In an apartment building, tenants may run into each other in the laundry room or collecting mail. In a retirement home, however, residents' days are filled with opportunities to join groups of others in activities or maybe just pass the time, and of course it is the resident who decides whether the day will be spent in the company of others or alone.

In an apartment building, factors that distinguish one building or complex from another may be soundproof walls and good ventilation. A retirement home, however, tends to take on the personality of its residents. In numerous instances it's the residents themselves who determine the norms of their home. They certainly do at Chelsey Park.

The norms can include the physical setup of the home, ranging from a large, open space with room for an all-candidates debate, for example, to controlled access areas that ensure a resident with Alzheimer's disease is in minimal danger of wandering out and getting lost outside.

The mental or emotional norms can also be very different with the individual facility. Consequently, residents who become aggressive or abusive tend to diminish the quality of life for all and steps must be taken to relocate these clients to more appropriate care facilities.

Earlier, I said that amendments to the bill must be made to allow retirement homes to operate to their residents' expectations. As well, amendments must be made to allow homes to maintain quality of life for all. It is from this perspective that the association, in its written presentation, has identified some of its concerns with the bill, a bill with its roots in avoiding problems rental tenants typically encounter.

In conclusion, I would like to urge you, don't try to destroy the nature of retirement homes by slotting this sector into regular housing legislation. Please recognize the unique needs of retirement homes and translate this recognition into appropriate amendments to the bill.

Mr Daigeler: Perhaps I'll start with your last remark. Did you just say you're fearful this legislation will destroy your industry?

Mr Orvidas: I think it will cause significant and difficult problems for the residents who live in our accommodations.

Mr Daigeler: Didn't you just say "destroy" or did I misunderstand that?

Mr Orvidas: Destroy the nature of retirement homes by slotting them into an area which they're not in.

Mr Daigeler: You think it will alter the character and the service you're providing?

Mr Orvidas: As the bill currently stands, I believe it would.

Mr Daigeler: But you don't think it threatens the economic viability of your undertakings.

Mr Orvidas: To be perfectly honest, from my own experience, not to a large degree. From my own experience, the rent controls have not caused us too much difficulty in that we had never really been charging much above those rental increases anyway; neither have the majority of retirement homes, particularly those that belong to the Ontario Long Term Residential Care Association.

Mr Daigeler: So your concern is with the character and the type of service. You feel it will actually decrease the service that you can provide to your clients, if you want to use that word.

Mr Orvidas: Primarily, yes.

Mr Crozier: It's my understanding, and I haven't sat in on all the hearings of this committee or all the meetings, that the service component under this proposed legislation will be left so that at a later time, under regulation by the minister, it also may be brought under the terms of the control. Is that your understanding?

Mr Orvidas: It appears to be so, yes.

Mr Crozier: That seems to me to be a bit dangerous. If it's limited or if the minister does bring it under that control, then I'd like your comments: first of all, what you do think of that, and secondly, am I correct in thinking that it may in some instances have some effect on the quality of that service if there are regulations that control the costs of it?


Mr Orvidas: Quality, yes; from the perspective, I would say, of the client, of the resident, in terms of affecting their choice as to what services they want, in terms of the types of services that the general population in a retirement home might wish to see either increase or decrease, and very likely, the way things are going, would likely very much want to increase. There are varying needs. There are varying services provided. A number of communities have changed quite significantly, even during my time in the business, in terms of the type of accommodation and services being provided.

Mr Crozier: To what degree might you be concerned, then, that this would come under the rent control aspect of it? Do you have a concern?

Mr Orvidas: The major concern is because rent review legislation is a major headache, and has been for us, in the amount of time, effort and energy it takes in terms of any changes other than those that are legislated as the percentage increase annually, to have to go through the whole process of requesting something extra in the event that we're providing significantly more as a result of a client's concern about a lack of services. It's going to put a lot of small retirement home operators, who are the ones people really depend on in a lot of the smaller communities particularly, in very difficult situations.

Mr David Johnson: It sounds like you need a good accountant to keep track of all these regulations and work around them.

Mr Crozier: If this doesn't work out, I'm an accountant.

Mr David Johnson: Oh, you're an accountant. You have an offer here.

Perhaps, just following up on Mr Crozier's comment, even the fact that it's the Ministry of Housing has raised some eyebrows because I guess there's some wonder out there what the expertise in the Ministry of Housing would be in terms of the kind of care, the kind of services you provide in your retirement home.

Mr Orvidas: Exactly. I believe the earlier preference of the Ontario Long Term Residential Care Association was the Ministry of Health, or if not that, the Ministry of Community and Social Services, ministries that I think have some understanding of the needs of the types of clients we serve, the types of residents who live in our homes.

Mr David Johnson: I'm a little hesitant to make this comparison, but I am familiar with the operation of Central Park Lodge in Metropolitan Toronto. Would your retirement facility be somewhat equivalent to Central Park Lodge?

Mr Orvidas: Quite similar. They tend to be one of the higher-end type of operations as well.

Mr David Johnson: But you have made the point, and I think a very valid point, that the kind of facility -- I can understand this, thinking of Central Park Lodge. I can't think of your facility because I haven't been in it, but I can think of their facility and the communal nature, the day-to-day interaction, the parties they have, the social programs they have. People get together. People talk to each other. That sort of atmosphere is quite different, as you've indicated, from an apartment, for example, in most cases.

Mr Orvidas: Very much so.

Mr David Johnson: I guess your message is that if there's somebody who's disruptive in that sort of an environment, there's a major problem because of the closeness. Is that the point you were trying to make?

Mr Orvidas: Exactly. We have been pretty lucky in being able to convince families to make alternative arrangements and so forth very often, by exerting a certain amount of pressure as well. With the Landlord and Tenant Act and things of that nature influencing our ability to encourage people to move to alternative accommodation, it would cause problems not only for the clients living with us, but more so perhaps for the individual who needs additional care and help and so forth where a family is refusing to pay for it and we can't provide it. It's going to put that person at risk.

Mr David Johnson: I wasn't sure I saw the bottom line. Is the bottom line here that you would like to be exempted from the Landlord and Tenant Act?

Mr Orvidas: If not an exemption, then a significant readjustment or some sort of alternative which would provide controls. It's something the OLTRCA has promoted for years in terms of trying to maintain quality standards, but turning it from a commercial enterprise versus a home for the elderly would not turn us into a standard, regular apartment building dealing with tenants instead of residents.

Mr David Johnson: I assume that the exemption from the Landlord and Tenant Act would achieve that. That's one course.

Mr Orvidas: True.

Mr David Johnson: Do you have any other courses in mind? You've mentioned some other alternatives.

Mr Orvidas: There are a variety that over the years have been proposed by the Ontario Long Term Residential Care Association in terms of certain standards and certain legislation that would require retirement communities, rest homes and so forth to meet specific types of standards. There are certain standards that the Ontario Long Term Residential Care Association itself is promoting. It's sort of an evaluation process that they're initiating to ensure that only the best are members.

Mr David Johnson: You mentioned some of the smaller operators and the problems. I assume there would be problems for all operators. In your view, if Bill 120 goes through in its present form, would it be a disincentive -- well, obviously it would be a disincentive. How serious a disincentive will it be for the creation of new facilities in the future beyond what we have today, for new operators?

Mr Orvidas: That is a very difficult judgement for me to make. I suspect it would be rather significant.

Mr David Johnson: Maybe if I just list the other concerns, you can tell me if I've missed any. One is the ability to move a client or a resident who needs a higher level of care to some other facility; that's one concern.

Mr Orvidas: Or even another area in that same building.

Mr David Johnson: That's the second concern I had, to relocate to another area in the building. You also mentioned the 24 hours for notice of entry.

We certainly have run into people who have made deputations who have said that these are not major concerns, that these are things that happen once in a blue moon, that mountains are being made out of molehills here, that the operators are doom and gloom, that these are the kind of things -- the eviction or the 24-hour notice -- that they run into hardly ever and that somehow they'll deal with it, so don't worry about it. What's your reaction to that?

Mr Orvidas: It's easy to say but it's the retirement home administrator, the resident and the family who would have to suffer the consequences if it didn't go smoothly. I believe if the bill were amended or adjusted to include various alternative options that could be used, even if they were rarely used, it would make things a lot smoother for everyone concerned.

Mr David Johnson: For example, with the 24 hours' notice of entry, is there some other option that could be put in place, because obviously you have to have close contact with the residents. We heard the story of one elderly lady who fell, broke her hip and was nearly unconscious. She wasn't at breakfast one morning, so they went up and they knocked on the door. Because she was nearly unconscious, she couldn't respond, and finally they just went in. Had they waited for 24 hours, it's tragic to think what may have happened. So there's that kind of ability that's required. What other option is there?

Mr Orvidas: I would assume if the legislation were amended to permit some sort of contractual agreement or a written arrangement that would permit immediate and ongoing access, or something to that effect. It's a verbal agreement that we have. Once you start enshrining things in legislation, that's when the difficulties can arise.

Mr David Johnson: This would be a contract perhaps that would overrule the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Mr Orvidas: Or augment it, possibly, in some ways.

Mr David Johnson: In terms of relocation to another part of the building, the same sort of agreement there, perhaps?

Mr Orvidas: Yes.

Mr Winninger: I think I can say honestly that yours is probably a model operation.

Mr Orvidas: It's nice to think so, thank you.

Mr Winninger: Diversicare was probably one of the first into this graduated living experience for seniors where you start in independent apartments, move to the residential suites and then the full nursing care.

In the course of that movement, however, from time to time I imagine, as you've already said, there are agreements that are worked out, either with the resident, or if the resident becomes incapable, perhaps with a substitute decision-maker. Is that correct?

Mr Orvidas: That's correct.

Mr Winninger: On the whole, it's been your evidence today that this hasn't been a major problem both before and after you came under rent review.

Mr Orvidas: I think it's been relatively successful in spite of the Landlord and Tenant Act and rent review, correct.

Mr Winninger: In spite of it, okay. I guess you're aware that a contract between a landlord and tenant can't really override the Landlord and Tenant Act, but the Landlord and Tenant Act provides for agreements, for example, early termination between a landlord and a tenant. Maybe we're getting overly legalistic, but you can sit down and write out an agreement between a landlord and a tenant, and as long as it's consensual and doesn't violate public order and good morals, you can do that. It would seem to me that's what your dealings with the tenants have always been -- or the residents, as you've called them -- including one former MPP, who's still living there, I think, have always been predicated on, and that is that the consent of the tenant is important.


Unfortunately, among the stories we've heard, we've heard of abuse, neglect and exploitation, which I've never heard of in connection with your facility but certainly Dr Lightman said that this is not only prevalent sometimes in boarding homes but that it's also prevalent at the high end, in luxury care homes sometimes.

The evidence of these experts and also residents has been that they need a greater voice, not perhaps in management but in how day-to-day operations are run, and I know from your newsletter that you do a lot of that. But the concern is that if the owner or executive director has all the authority and can make snap decisions as to whether you're in or out of your apartment, overnight, that's where the great potential for abuse can occur. That's what Bill 120 addresses, in part.

Mr Orvidas: The intent of Bill 120 is excellent. I think the execution has room for improvement.

Mr Winninger: I'm sure all government members on the committee and the ministry will be interested in your recommendations.

Mr Gary Wilson: Thanks, Mr Orvidas, for your presentation. As Dave says, it's really gratifying to hear from somebody who runs a model operation, and perhaps it's not surprising that people like you would come forward as opposed to ones who aren't so civic minded. Anyway, we certainly appreciate your comments on it and we'll take them into consideration in further deliberation on the bill.

There are a couple of things I want to follow up on from what you said; for instance, your suggestion that the LTA will require you to expect the first month's rent. Isn't it true that you don't have to do that? It just allows you to do it if you find that's necessary.

Mr Orvidas: True, but it also, I suspect, would possibly provide the more unscrupulous operators as well to take advantage of that particular loophole, if you will.

Mr Gary Wilson: Right, but again you don't have to and there are many provisions, we think, that protect the tenant from the unscrupulous landlord by putting them under the Landlord and Tenant Act, and that's part of the legislation. As I say, you don't have to do that and if you found it's worthwhile without doing it, I would expect that you would continue.

Another thing, as far as the movement is concerned, Mr Winninger's already suggested some of the provisions there, but I think the impetus of the bill is to give the tenants the surety of residence so that being evicted isn't an overriding concern in their mind. That can be put to rest, that they won't be dismissed for any superficial reason.

That's why you have the procedures. Let's put it another way. It's based too on giving them these rights, but based on the thought that they will be the best judge of what's good for them, within the circumstances that are determined by their capabilities, so we do have other things based in.

This has been raised: What does the Ministry of Housing know about care? One of the things we know about care is this idea of the peace of mind that comes with the assurance of tenure, that they know they have a place to stay without those superficial or whimsical reasons for being thrown out.

Mr Orvidas: That's where perhaps something like, if I remember correctly, Dr Lightman's recommendation of a fast-tracking process for eviction, depending on certain circumstances, might be appropriate.

Mr Gary Wilson: Exactly, but I think the important thing is that they are relatively few for the great number of people that this legislation affects. That I think is so, but that's not to say they're not important, but at the same time there are provisions that fast track doesn't address. For instance, it still requires some kind of process that would take days perhaps, whereas in emergencies there are professionals in both the mental field or the health field, as well as legal authorities like the police, who can be called in in extreme emergencies. That's as fast track as I think it needs to be, at least in our estimation, so there are these flexibilities that exist.

Coming back to the tenants and their wishes, again taking that as central, if with due consideration it was felt that it was best for them to move to another area in the facility, we might settle it right there, where they would agree and say: "Sure. That's what's best for me." The case that you raise with the tenant who doesn't think it's best might be relatively rare, and there might be very good reasons why they want to move as well. Could you comment on that, please?

Mr Orvidas: I think client self-determination is an excellent philosophy, on the understanding that the best services and accommodation for the whole are respected as well. Sometimes what happens is that there is a clash between the two, and in those cases our position has always been that the wishes of the majority would tend to rule in that particular case, even though we ourselves have often acted as advocates on behalf of a particular client who was maybe having difficulty with his or her neighbours.

Mr Gary Wilson: I think you'd agree there's a fair amount of agreement there on that, that it's just that clash, where it does occur, but as long as the rights of the client are guaranteed through appropriate legislation -- the Advocacy Act, for instance, is part of this, as is long-term care, to make sure that the services are available so that the clients can make up their mind about the best arrangement.

The Regulated Health Professions Act is another area to report abuse, for instance, and to make sure the providers of care are regulated. So we're bringing in this network of services that are beyond the purview of the Ministry of Housing. I would say it puts the client in a quite secure frame.

What the Ministry of Housing can do, though, is to make sure that the peace of mind is there that comes from knowing that your place of residence is assured, and this is what we're trying to do through bringing it under the purview of the Landlord and Tenant Act and the Rent Control Act.

The Chair: Thank you for coming to Windsor today to see us. We appreciated your presentation.

Mr Orvidas: Thank you. I'm looking forward to the icy ride home.

The Chair: Is Mr Campbell of the University of Western Ontario university students' council here, the next presentation? Are the roads really that icy from London?

Mr Daigeler: Yes. The 401 is very bad.

The Chair: Maybe we should wait a few moments, but if he doesn't appear in short order, we will adjourn. We'll take a five-minute recess.

The committee recessed from 1619 to 1625.

The Chair: The committee will adjourn until Monday afternoon.

The committee adjourned at 1625.


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