Monday 31 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

Metro Agencies Representatives' Council

Rolf Paloheimo, president

James Lockyer, board member

Anglican Houses

Terry McCullum, executive director

Julie Mancuso, manager, adult services

Chris Whittaker, board member and resident

David Hulchanski

Eden Community House of Toronto

Ted Shaw, president

Susan Carr, staff member

Ontario Advocacy Coalition

Patti Bregman, member

Shoshannah Benmosché, member

Orville Endicott, member

Canadian Association of Retired Persons

Lillian Morgenthau, staff member


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

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

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

Arnott, Ted (Wellington PC)

Dadamo, George (Windsor-Sandwich ND)

*Fletcher, Derek (Guelph ND)

*Johnson, David (Don Mills PC)

*Mammoliti, George (Yorkview ND)

Morrow, Mark (Wentworth East/-Est ND)

Sorbara, Gregory S. (York Centre L)

Wessenger, Paul (Simcoe Centre ND)

White, Drummond (Durham Centre ND)

*In attendance / présents

Substitutions present/ Membres remplaçants présents:

Cordiano, Joseph (Lawrence L) for Mr Sorbara

Marland, Margaret (Mississauga South/-Sud PC) for Mr Arnott

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

Offer, Steven (Mississauga North/-Nord L) for Mr Brown

Owens, Stephen (Scarborough Centre ND) for Mr Dadamo

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

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

Also taking part / Autres participants et participantes:

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

Clerk / Greffier: Carrozza, Franco

Staff / Personnel: Richmond, Jerry, research officer, Legislative Research Service

The committee met at 1403 in the Humber Room, Macdonald Block, Toronto.


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


The Vice-Chair (Mr Hans Daigeler): Order, please. We are resuming our sittings after a little excursion to Windsor, a rather interesting trip, on Bill 120, An Act to amend certain statutes concerning residential property.

The first presenter this afternoon is the Metro Agencies Representatives' Council, Rolf Paloheimo, president. Please introduce yourself and the gentlemen with you. You have half an hour, and if you'd leave some time for questions and answers, it would be appreciated.

Mr Rolf Paloheimo: Thank you. We'll try to be brief. My name is Rolf Paloheimo. I'm the board president of MARC. I'm a volunteer and I became involved because my late son, Shane, was dependent on agencies in MARC for therapy, inspiration and hope.

MARC is a coalition of over 50 agencies committed to providing vital services to persons with developmental disabilities. The agencies within MARC are funded in large part by the province, through the Ministry of Community and Social Services, under the Developmental Services Act, the Homes for Retarded Persons Act and the Vocational Rehabilitation Services Act. In addition, many of the agencies in MARC raise funds through charitable donations. All are non-profit corporations run by volunteer boards.

I've been asked to speak by the agencies within MARC that provide housing in conjunction with their other services. These agencies provide residential accommodation to about 1,100 individuals in 138 group homes and 163 apartments. In general, the agencies within MARC support the rights that the Landlord and Tenant Act gives to tenants and applaud the extension of those rights to persons who are not now covered.

Today, however, it is our purpose to inform you of what we believe are the unintended effects of Bill 120 that is currently before you. The unintended effects that concern us only relate to the situation where caregiving agencies are also housing providers or landlords, not those situations where care or counselling, if any, and housing are provided by separate parties.

The term "developmental disabilities," as defined in the Developmental Services Act of Ontario, means a condition of impairment present or occurring during a person's formative years that is associated with limitations in adaptive behaviour. They can occur without regard to race, economic status or religion. By definition, developmental disabilities interfere with a person's understanding of their rights and responsibilities to one degree or another.

Ontario has long recognized the difficulty that persons with developmental disabilities face. It is for this reason that it provides around $1 billion per annum for therapeutic care for persons with developmental disabilities. Much of the money allocated for this therapeutic and residential care is pursuant to the Developmental Services Act or the Homes for Retarded Persons Act. Under these legislations, caregivers are also often long-term landlords.

Agencies providing care under the Developmental Services Act or the Homes for Retarded Persons Act are among the most heavily regulated in the country, save perhaps correctional facilities and hospitals. All agencies providing care under these acts must be non-profit and run by volunteer boards. In addition, the Ministry of Community and Social Services has a network of 13 area offices with a total of at least 100 program supervisors whose only job is to supervise the 465 agencies providing service in this sector. Every major change to an individual resident's program, including those changes related to where they live, is scrutinized by the ministry.

The agencies in MARC, like all community agencies providing this kind of care in Ontario, involve parents, guardians or other advocates in decision-making for the programs of the residents in their care. The Advocacy Act will create even more stringent requirements for the representation of the interests of persons in the care of these agencies. The inclusion of charitable caregiving agencies under the Landlord and Tenant Act will not benefit these vulnerable people. It will increase the frequency with which they are in court and decrease the availability of housing to them.

The Landlord and Tenant Act is adversarial in its nature. The remedies available in it assume that the landlord and tenant are adversaries. Imagine if it applied to hospitals, correctional facilities or other facilities operated with a blended purpose: part residence, part therapeutic or other objective.

Some of the difficulties that the Landlord and Tenant Act will create are related to group living arrangements. Many of the residents that our agencies care for are dually diagnosed with developmental disabilities and psychiatric disabilities. If an individual living in a group home with others is abusive or violent towards his housemates, it is in the interest of all residents that the individual be separated from the others without resorting to traumatic confrontations or abusing trust relationships that exist. The Landlord and Tenant Act does not provide a speedy, thoughtful or caring remedy for this situation. The remedies provided under the act are confrontational, are demeaning to those who do not understand it, and have no way to balance the rights of innocent co-residents who are not articulate or assertive.

For example, I know that my son Shane, when he was alive, did not understand the words "ownership," "mine" or "yours." The reason for this, as I came to understand through knowing him, was that ownership is a concept related to the ability to control something. Whether that something is a toy or a piece of real estate, the concept is the same. Shane was severely multiply handicapped with cerebral palsy and vision impairments and needed help to do all things in life, including play with toys. Consequently, he never developed an ability to meaningfully control things. Therefore, he never developed an understanding of ownership in the way that I did when I was little.

I think it is fair to say that for him the idea of security of tenure was an abstraction, unrelated to the things that were important to him. He understood security in the sense of having someone familiar and kind to care for him: to feed him, bathe him, change him, play with him and teach him. To him, it meant to be in the care of his family members, especially his parents, his little brother, Erik, and other people he knew and who cared about him as well as for him. His greatest fear was that he would be left behind or alone with strangers. The idea that he had a right to stay in one place made no sense to him. People were what was important to him.


For Shane, learning developmental concepts was a major achievement. We developed very sophisticated methods to help give him choices or control. In order for him to realize his potential, the care that I gave as a parent needed to be supplemented with professional help.

Most of the group homes operated by MARC agencies involve a high level of staffing and cost. If a person residing in one of our group homes becomes independent enough to live on their own, with assistance, it should not be necessary to declare that person incompetent in order to move them to a more independent setting. Why should they have the right to monopolize a home that they no longer need that may cost the taxpayer as much as $250 per day when others are waiting to fill that same spot?

Similarly, if that individual, having moved to an independent setting, becomes a danger to himself or to others, should he be subjected to the processes envisioned by the Landlord and Tenant Act if he needs to be in a more supportive setting? Should the agency providing care for him be required to declare him incompetent in its attempts to remove him to a setting where more care is available? Does that process have any benefit for him?

It is puzzling for MARC agencies that the schedule 1, 2 or 3 institutions operated in the province will not fall under the act. However, the community boards operating programs under the same legislation, performing the same functions and responsible for many of the same residents, will now fall under the act.

Other difficulties arise in situations where individuals with developmental disabilities are learning to live on their own. An agency may be required to help with some of the activities or responsibilities that go with independent living. For instance, banking and credit matters are confusing and difficult for some. Tenant responsibilities are another.

For this reason, many agencies in MARC provide housing for some residents under head leases. Under a head lease, the agency assumes the rent and tenant obligations while it attempts to teach the resident about those same responsibilities while he or she occupies the apartment. If this arrangement comes under the Landlord and Tenant Act, agencies will not be able to assume those guarantees. Leases will be between landlords and tenants only.

Will persons with developmental disabilities who have no prior credit history, who may not understand credit concepts and who may not be able to hold down a job without assistance, be able to qualify to rent apartments on their own?

Even the Ministry of Housing refuses to make social housing available to persons with developmental disabilities unless confirmed support funding is supporting their application. This policy is not unspoken or hidden; it is clearly spelled out in all information with respect to supportive housing and social housing programs. This bill does not propose to increase access to housing for persons with developmental disabilities in social housing projects or in any other form of rental housing.

If the Ministry of Housing is unwilling to guarantee the tenancy of persons with developmental disabilities, who will? MARC agencies have and do. I am here to ask you to allow them to continue to guarantee tenancies for these very vulnerable people.

Currently, the waiting lists for residential placements among MARC agencies is longer than the list of actual residents served. Many have been on waiting lists for over 15 years. In addition, the province is anxious to move persons from its directly operated facilities into community placements in group homes and independent living situations. Applying the Landlord and Tenant Act to these homes will slow the admission of new residents, just as it slows the graduation of those who no longer need the services provided.

The agencies within MARC are all committed to providing care that preserves the dignity and legitimate rights of those they are caring for. At the same time, they are also charged with the task of educating their residents about those same rights and responsibilities. Their role as caregivers could be undermined by the Landlord and Tenant Act. If they are cast in an adversarial role, the task will become more difficult, not less.

Most agencies have standard procedures that outline the requirements that must be in place before a major change in a person's program can be made. The most common format includes the person himself, a guardian such as a parent if applicable, important people or therapists connected with that person's program and the Ministry of Community and Social Services program supervisor in an individual program plan.

Whatever the procedure, all agencies do their best to preserve the rights and dignity of their residents. If a criticism can be made, it is that the procedures are not standardized from agency to agency and that some agencies may have better procedures than others.

If there is a need to improve or standardize the procedures and regulations that govern security of tenure for residents who are funded under the Developmental Services Act or the Homes for Retarded Persons Act, the agencies within MARC are ready and willing to work with the government to develop procedures and to help formulate a caring and thoughtful regulation for this purpose.

I'd like to ask Mr James Lockyer, who's a board member at MARC and a lawyer who has taught landlord and tenant law in university, to comment.

Mr James Lockyer: I'm going to make comments in two areas.

First of all, we have noticed that the Lightman report, which was the forerunner of this bill, seems to have taken our side, so to speak, on this issue. But the bill, unfortunately, does not reflect the opinion of the report.

In his report he said, "We do, however, recommend that an adequate legal distinction be made between a rest home, which offers care, and a group home that offers treatment or rehabilitation so that criteria for the exemption for the latter can be specified clearly." That's at pages 90 to 91 of the Lightman report.

Our agencies, of course, operate homes that offer treatment more than rehabilitation, but they offer treatment and in a sense rehabilitation as well, although it's really very often permanent rehabilitative care that they offer.

Subsection 1(3) of the bill unfortunately doesn't reflect what the Lightman report recommended, because it limits the exemption to those homes which offer treatment or rehabilitation on a purely temporary basis, a six-month basis, where the home is not the permanent residence of the residents who reside in the home.

What we are asking, essentially, is that we go back to the Lightman report and appreciate the difference between the type of homes that simply offer care, which certainly should be subject to the provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act, as is recommended by the report, as opposed to the kinds of homes our agencies operate that do provide treatment and/or rehabilitation, which we submit to you are singularly inappropriate to bring within the provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act.

If one looks at the kind of residents we have, the imposition of the adversarial system to "assist" them is simply not appropriate. Their care at our hands or our agencies' hands and their treatment at our agencies' hands are in a context of a completely non-adversarial nature, quite obviously.

If you suddenly introduce a court system, a forfeiture system through the Landlord and Tenant Act which, first of all, requires a period of time, inevitably, to pass before someone can be moved from one home to another, even though that may well be in their best interests, that is something that is really unpalatable to us and unmanageable and will hurt the residents significantly and will also cause a very unfortunate side-effect of an acceleration by the agencies of calling in the police for assistance.

Ultimately, if our homes were to be subject to the Landlord and Tenant Act and we had an emergency assaultive situation, which we run into frequently, whether the victim be another member of the same residence or a member of staff, then the only way to deal effectively with that, if we are faced with a Landlord and Tenant Act security of tenure situation, is to call in the police. Then the police will remove the person and in effect -- and I don't think this is crying wolf by any means -- the local detention centres will become the alternative accommodation for our residents, and singularly inappropriate for our residents as well.

As Rolf, our chairman, has said, we can well satisfy the kinds of concerns that are addressed by the thought of bringing us into this legislation by making sure that any homes that are exempt are exempt under the auspices of Comsoc, and that Comsoc can name them, can set down the appropriate preconditions before they can be exempted from the provisions of the act.

In that way the government retains control over the way in which residents are being moved from one home to another, from one unsuitable accommodation to alternative, suitable accommodation, but at the same time we're not caught up in the adversarial system that the Landlord and Tenant Act creates. Thank you.


Mr Bernard Grandmaître (Ottawa East): The agencies within MARC are not the only people concerned with the Landlord and Tenant Act. In Toronto or in Windsor, people are very concerned that your clients will come under the Landlord and Tenant Act. I agree with you that the government's bill doesn't actually reflect Dr Lightman's report. Did you have an opportunity to single this out to Dr Lightman or the government, the ministry or the minister? Did you have a chance to meet with these people?

Mr Paloheimo: We met with the Minister of Housing in June 1993, around about, when they were considering the bill, and presented our concerns at that time.

Mr Grandmaître: What was the response then?

Mr Paloheimo: At our meeting the minister seemed to be open-minded about the bill, but didn't give any specific response to our concerns at that time.

Mr Grandmaître: As pointed out by your colleague, Comsoc can make exceptions to the rules. Was that possibility brought up to the Minister of Housing?

Mr Paloheimo: We discussed some alternative methods for ensuring security of tenure or alternative definitions of agencies or homes or locations that might be exempted. One of the elements she suggested was that a useful procedure might be to have people declared incompetent if it were necessary to move them against their will, but we weren't very happy with that suggestion.

Mr Grandmaître: Why would the government go beyond Lightman's recommendations?

Mr Paloheimo: I don't know, frankly. It's a bit of a mystery to us.

Mr Grandmaître: It's a mystery to all of us, and this is why we're looking for people to tell us.

Mr Gordon Mills (Durham East): It might be a mystery to you; it's not a mystery to me.

Mr Grandmaître: I'm making my point, Gord, and you can make your point after.

Mr Mills: You said it's a mystery to all of us.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Mills, you're out of order. You will have an opportunity later on.

Mr Grandmaître: We haven't had an answer from the government or from you people. Did you take your sleeping pills last night, Gord? You should have.

The Vice-Chair: Please address the Chair.

Mr Grandmaître: We're very concerned too that the government is acting this way with very little consultation, because we've been told by the minister that all groups concerned came before the ministry or the minister. We find it very surprising that the government chose to go beyond Dr Lightman's recommendations, especially forcing the LTA on agencies such as yours. I thought you had an answer and I still say we'll be fishing for an answer. Even the minister doesn't know why they went beyond the Lightman report.

The Vice-Chair: Did you want to respond to that, if you heard a question?

Mr Paloheimo: No, I don't need to respond, I don't think.

Mrs Margaret Marland (Mississauga South): Mr Paloheimo, thank you on behalf of the Progressive Conservative caucus for your presentation, because obviously, having had the personal experience that you have, speaking as a parent, this isn't an easy deputation for you to make today and we respect that very much.

Personally, I find it totally regrettable that you have to be here and make this presentation. Obviously MARC has done its homework. You met with the ministry seven months ago. A number of agencies in the same position, for some similar reasons and some other reasons that aren't exactly the same as yours, are all telling us that the Lightman report has not been drafted into this bill in the way he was making the recommendations in his report.

I thank Mr Lockyer for your comments on the record this afternoon, because when we draft our amendments to the bill to address the concerns you have brought to the committee, we certainly will be quoting your comments.

You said you met with the minister. Do you remember what staff you met with as well, by any chance?

Mr Paloheimo: No, I can't recall. I'm sorry.

Mrs Marland: Maybe you could just fax me a note about who was at that meeting. We heard last week from some other groups, the Massey Centre people, that they didn't meet with the minister but met with a staff person. It must be very upsetting to you to have had those meetings and have done your homework and then see the bill come out in its present form.

Was it the minister or the minister's staff who suggested that these people could just be declared incompetent or that you could go the police route?

Mr Paloheimo: No one suggested the police route, but the minister did suggest the incompetence.

Mrs Marland: Rather than just exempt the facility.

Mr Paloheimo: That was the discussion at the time, yes.

Mrs Marland: Because that whole avenue, whatever you do, it's an added traumatic experience for the residents.

Mr Paloheimo: And demeaning.

Mrs Marland: It's incredibly demeaning.

Mr Paloheimo: At the bottom of it, our agencies are in a care and service role and it's very difficult to do that when we're also in an adversarial role. It's true that there may be a conflict between providing housing and providing care, but unfortunately that's the position we're in and we have to balance those rights.

Mrs Marland: I want to assure you that we will bring amendments to address the concerns you've brought to the committee.

Mr Stephen Owens (Scarborough Centre): I'd like to thank the members of MARC. It's nice to see you folks again, and George Wadlow particularly, who continues to be a part of my legislative life.

Mr David Johnson (Don Mills): Keep it up, George.

Mr Owens: You could probably start haunting Dave Johnson's door, because he doesn't --

Mr David Johnson: I agree with him.

Mr Owens: I'm sorry I missed the initial part of your presentation. In your comments on page 3, with respect to a person getting to the point where they could live independently, I don't quite understand why you would have to have the person declared incompetent to have that person transferred if there was consent.

Mr Paloheimo: If there's consent, but quite often, if you can imagine someone who's in a high-care setting and is having a lot of their assistance with their activities of daily living, in effect, the agency may need to push someone out of the nest, as it were, just to get them to live more independently. You don't want to do that in an adversarial way. You're trying to encourage independence, if you will.

Mr Lockyer: It's even worse, because you can't do it in an adversarial way. It would not be cause under the Landlord and Tenant Act to evict someone because they were now in sufficiently good condition that they could live in a more independent setting than they are presently being kept. People looking for their place couldn't get in because you couldn't get the one out.


Mr Owens: I understand there needs to be a flow-through, as it were, to enable people who have developed skills to live independently in the community, which is the goal of all of us in this place.

My question is with respect to exemptions. As the member for Mississauga South indicated, Massey Centre -- it's essentially a maternity home etc on Broadview Avenue in Toronto -- came in and asked for an exemption with respect to application under this law.

I'm a little bit nervous about providing blanket exemptions or exclusions in the broadest sense because then you're going to have every Tom, Henrietta and Harry coming in and saying that in their particular care situation, notwithstanding that it's in Parkdale and probably was part of the routes that Ernie Lightman took during his study, they qualify for an exemption.

How would you suggest going about providing --

Mrs Marland: You could start with this list.

Mr Owens: I'll tell the member for Mississauga South if it wasn't for the Conservative government closing down Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital and dumping people into the community we wouldn't need bills like this.

Mrs Marland: Oh, oh, oh.

Interjection: Hear, hear. It's true.

Mrs Marland: I'd love to debate that.

Mr Paloheimo: The agencies within MARC would be delighted to work with the government to formulate a caring way of addressing security-of-tenure issues. As I said in my presentation, all of the agencies do have a process for making decisions in a way that tries very hard to be in the person's best interests.

Mr Owens: Absolutely, with involvement with that person.

Mr Paloheimo: With involvement with that person and their guardian, if applicable, and so on. Most of the agencies in MARC would be very happy to see a standardized process in place that reflects their rights but does not involve confrontation or outside parties or involvement in the legal system in order to effect changes that may be normal in the course of a person's life.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much. That, unfortunately, is the time that's allocated to you. We certainly appreciate your presentation, both orally and in writing. You can be assured that your comments will be considered during the clause-by-clause discussion in March.


Mr Terry McCullum: My name is Terry McCullum. I'm the executive director for Anglican Houses. With me are Julie Mancuso, who is the manager in our adult program area, and Chris Whittaker, a resident of one of our programs and a board member of Anglican Houses.

We have a written presentation. We didn't time ourselves exactly, so we'll try to hustle this a bit and give you a chance to ask questions. We'll do it in parts.

First of all, we'd like to thank you for the opportunity to be able to formally speak with you. We commend the government and all the parties involved in it in trying to protect rights. We also commend people who try to open up neighbourhoods that might have been formerly closed to people, to look at alternative forms of housing like basement apartments. We ourselves have suffered discrimination and exclusion through bylaws, especially group home bylaws, so we commend an attempt to open up neighbourhoods for more affordable housing.

At the same time, we commend Bill 20 for trying to address the needs of a lot of people who have been living in unregulated congregate and individual accommodation to ensure that they have protection in their housing from arbitrary evictions. That was the whole point of Dr Lightman's commission and report, to try and address that.

We do have a couple of areas of significant concern we'll talk to you about, but as an opening statement we want to commend the effort to address the protection of rights of people. I think we're all in agreement with that. I guess everyone who'll come in here will say that they agree with the protection of rights.

I'll move right on here. We've handed out a flyer, and in this little booklet you can see all the programs we're working with listed on the back cover. Anglican Houses is kind of a conglomerate agency of sorts because we serve youth, adults and seniors, whereas most agencies serve just one group.

We're a housing and support organization. We have 29 different residential sites that we work with; some are just small houses, others are larger group homes, boarding homes. We have two seniors' institutions. We have two apartment buildings. We also operate a street outreach program for young people out on the streets involved in prostitution, trying to help them get off the street.

It's quite a wide spread. We do both housing in fixed settings plus community support programs, so it's quite a spread. In all of these cases we are involved with people with special needs and that's the common thread.

As a backdrop, I thought of a comparison to the United States and then to us. In the United States right now, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, HUD, has been looking at the problem of the homeless. They estimate that 85% to 95% of the homeless on the streets, and they have a bigger problem than we do, have special issues such as psychiatric disability, substance abuse difficulties.

What they're trying to do, and getting a lot of praise, is to create programs to connect mental health agencies and support service agencies to the homeless and to look at ranges of options for people, such as different kinds of transitional housing to help build people so they can go on into more permanent housing.

They are looking at the real needs of the people. They're not seeing it as an economic issue of a lack of affordable housing. Even if the affordable housing was in place, it wouldn't mean the people would be able to use it. There would still be a lot of homeless. So what's that all about? Let's look at it.

In Canada, I think in Ontario, we were ahead of the States, but it was only in the early 1980s that we seriously started looking at this issue. Without getting into the partisan stuff, someone made reference to the closure of hospitals. Well, that actually did trigger a concern in the community, as you know, that there weren't the resources there any more. That led to the establishment of the first transitional rehabilitative and alternative housing programs in Toronto and in other communities throughout Ontario. Those are the kinds of programs we're here to try and protect today, to talk about, because we think this is a little too sweeping in Bill 120.

In Anglican Houses we have some programs under LTA, the apartment buildings, of course. What we've done to try to protect the rights of people from evictions and arbitrary treatment is to involve the residents themselves in the management and regulation of their own housing. We have resident committees and we use membership agreements; it's all set out. People know what their rights are.

There is a process, a friendly process, we hope, mirroring what the previous group said, a non-adversarial process of trying to resolve difficulties and deal with issues. But if push comes to shove -- and we've hardly ever had to evict anyone outright -- we have that as a last resort for situations where there could be danger to others. That's how we've handled it and we would like to continue if we could.

I'm going to talk about one of the areas of the bill that we have concern with and then Julie will talk to the other, which is a specific clause around the rehabilitative housing. Mine is more general and it deals with congregate housing, especially congregates where you have a group of people living together. It's not separate apartments like an apartment building. It's even sometimes more together than a rooming house would be because you don't have locked doors and you have people living together in supportive settings, boarding houses, whatever.

If we're trying to house people with disabilities and give them hope and give them options we believe you need flexibility to do that. I suppose the basic thing that everyone would probably agree with too is that the present Landlord and Tenant Act is inadequate in many ways around evictions. The process is legalistic, cumbersome, takes huge amounts of time and effort. It's really unresponsive, especially if you have situations of danger.

I suppose if that was corrected, then everyone would agree, or at least more people would agree, that maybe that will work out fine. But that doesn't happen now, so you'll probably hear groups coming in here advocating what they'll call a fast-track mechanism for evictions, and we certainly heartily agree with that.


We know and everyone knows the horror stories. The Toronto Star did a series on the professional tenant who can stay in their housing for over a year and not pay rent and move on to the next thing. In non-profit housing, we have people running crack houses and also staying in their housing. You're probably going to hear tenant groups come in here and tell you, if they've had experience with membership agreement approaches, that they'd rather have that because they can have more control of their housing, the problem being that the rights of the one individual take precedence and supersedence over the rights of the group to their quiet enjoyment of housing.

As an operator, we're trying to get flexibility. Maybe I could pose you a problem: Say you want to help kids get off the street, teenagers, young adults. They're involved in prostitution, drug addiction, crack houses, everything, but you think, "Hey, let's see if we can create some options here."

Trying to run that under the Landlord and Tenant Act with its current eviction processes would be a nightmare. If we had to do it now, what we would try to do is use membership agreements, try to build in the ownership of the tenant group, try and get some action going where people who are living there want to do something and then hopefully move the system along.

But our fear, if it's just blanket Landlord and Tenant Act, is that it's going to tie the hands of people trying to create programs to help people move along and that there are too many risks. What about a dangerous situation when you can't move? You can go to the police, sure, but is that the way it's all going to go?

What would be some alternatives we see? The fast track is one. Another would be to exempt certain forms of social housing from the Landlord and Tenant Act outright but to put in special conditions like the MARC group was talking about, like membership agreements that have certain fixed criteria. That can all be put in place.

You're talking non-profit groups here; they have boards of directors. You're talking about public funding with all its regulations and accountability mechanisms. We're monitored all the time for what we're doing. We have to have goals and objectives and evaluation reports. So fast-track exemption of specific groups, or allow for a mechanism where groups could apply to be exempted because of the special nature of their housing and then that would be reviewed in its own right, or create a separate piece of legislation, which I know is probably beyond your time frame.

Mr Joseph Cordiano (Lawrence): Oh, we have time.

Mr McCullum: For instance, people may not realize this, but the co-op sector is not under the Landlord and Tenant Act. They're exempt from it formally, and that exemption I see is continued. What they have is a separate piece of legislation. They're the most confident group of tenants in the province.

We're here to say, for the people who are on the bottom, "Give us a break too," and not to make it into a farce. But the piece of legislation they have is subject to judicial review. You could probably create a similar mechanism for people doing specialized housing and allow for a more humane process and a little more flexible process, but definitely with accountability. We agree with accountability absolutely. People's rights have to be protected.

That's my piece about a broader spectrum of housing. Julie now will speak about one part of the act, about rehabilitative.

Ms Julie Mancuso: We're pleased that Bill 120 allows provision and recognizes the need for the exemption of rehabilitative programs from the Landlord and Tenant Act. We also agree with the general framework in which clause 1(3)(i.1) sets this out in that rehabilitative programs should be for a specified duration that should be based on the achievement of goals. However, we do have concerns regarding the specifications around the length of stay and the principal residence.

First of all, I would like to direct my comments and recommendations pertaining to length of stay to subclause 1(3)(i.1)(iii). In respect to the length of stay, Bill 120 proposes that the average length of stay should be for six months or less. However, it has been our experience that the rehabilitative period varies from individual to individual, and typically this process takes two years, from our experience working with people in the various programs.

A rigid criterion of six months or less does not allow a person sufficient time to prepare for independent living. The nature of the issues that people bring to our programs are such that it requires a holistic, individual approach to people, focusing on such things as skill development, goal planning, increasing coping capacities and establishing social and support networks. It would be unrealistic to expect people to make these gains in such a short period of time. In fact, the pressure of having to do so could likely jeopardize a person's ability to be able to participate and derive benefit from the services which are being offered.

As Terry mentioned, we use membership agreements. We have found these membership agreements to be very effective in terms of setting out the conditions of the program, including the rights of the residents and the responsibilities of the operator, achieving a due process for situations which are conflictual. As well, we set out in our membership agreements a specified period of time, up to one year, which can be renegotiated depending on a person's individual needs. We have found this to be most effective.

Therefore, with regard to length of stay, we would strongly recommend that in programs which are rehabilitative the length of stay remain flexible and be based on the individual needs of the resident and allow for periods of contracting or recontracting in order for a person to attain their goals.

The next area we would like to address is the area of principal residence, subclause 1(3)(i.1)(ii). The stipulation in Bill 120 that the accommodation not be the principal residence also, in our opinion, undermines our ability to provide rehabilitative programs. The majority of people who apply to our programs in fact do not have an address where they can remain or return at the time of the application. For many, they don't have a permanent address because they're being discharged after a lengthy hospitalization. Consequently, when they come into our program, although that program may be for a transitional period of time, it is in fact their principal residence.

Another major implication of this clause for consumers of our services outside the Metro Toronto area is that people wouldn't be able to secure social assistance if they do not have a principal residence.

In order to support the transitional rehabilitative aspects of our programs, we suggest that the wording in this subsection be changed from "principal residence" to read "not the permanent residence," understanding that the residence is transitional.

However, it must be a person's principal residence if that's the only place they have to stay and it's required in terms of them getting social assistance. Any wording with regard to this section will need to be looked at in terms of the General Welfare Assistance and Family Benefits acts so that people aren't jeopardized in terms of their own social assistance.

The basis of our transitional rehabilitative programs is rehabilitation, not accommodation. Our programs are funded by the ministries of Health and Community and Social Services, which evaluate them based on the achievement of program and resident goals. We are being funded to assist people to develop the skills necessary to move on into independent living.

If our programs do not qualify for exemption from the Landlord and Tenant Act due to implications pertaining to length of stay and principal residence, we feel the rehabilitation nature of these programs will be undermined. If people are covered under the Landlord and Tenant Act in a rehabilitative program and they do not wish those rehabilitative services, they would not be obligated to accept that or to receive that. They could stay. That would prevent others who could benefit from the services from having access.

The accessibility to a flexible rehabilitative housing provision is necessary to our referring sources. We have appended two letters, one from the Whitby Psychiatric Hospital and the other from the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, which support the benefits of a flexible rehabilitative service provision as they have found through Anglican Houses.

In summary, our comments and recommendations are based on our experience as a service provider to provide an array of housing alternatives to meet the varied interests and needs of our consumer groups. Many people have a variety of different problems and have been homeless, and we need to have the flexibility to ensure that the rights and options are there for them.

We hope you will recognize the impact of Bill 120 on the provision of our services and will consider our input as a service operator and advocate. We thank you for the opportunity to present our recommendations. I'd like to turn it over to Chris Whittaker, who will speak from his personal experience as a resident and also a board member of Anglican Houses.


Mr Chris Whittaker: Good afternoon. Honourable members and guests, I wish to express my viewpoint on rehabilitative housing and why policies governing rehabilitative housing should not change in the years to come.

I have benefited from rehabilitative housing during my stay. It allowed me to collect myself and begin a path towards returning to a normal way of life after suffering through a period of confusion.

As a result of rehabilitative housing, I have profited greatly. Living in rehabilitative housing has given me a cushion of peer support provided by the other members of the house in which I live. I have lived in more isolated, individualistic rooming house situations in the past, and the members of my house are the best people I have lived with in years.

The program encourages that members share the house chores as well as contribute to the purchasing of those household supplies needed each month. The peer support I receive allows me to continue my education in a healthy environment. Staff support and assistance in goal planning have helped me prepare for more independent living.

I have found in this housing program that under a membership agreement, residents have input into the program. Residents have enough opportunities to express concerns and opinions. They make decisions through group discussions. They have a caring attitude towards each other and their personal space is respected by other residents and staff.

It is the flexibility of the current membership agreement that allows for peaceful resolution of difficult, explosive situations in this type of housing. This is more supportive and effective than a lengthy, court-oriented, Landlord and Tenant Act type of approach.

I have received educational opportunities through rehabilitative housing in that I'm on the board of directors of Anglican Houses as well as the advisory committee to the board. I also chair the general residents' association executive committee.

In addition, I was part of a select group that attended a conflict resolution mediation workshop that took place in the fall of 1992. This workshop gave me valuable experience in mediating minor conflicts.

My fellow residents and I urge you to consider the special needs of rehabilitative housing, needs for a healthy environment, in reviewing the rehabilitative housing policy under the Landlord and Tenant Act. Six months is unrealistic to expect people with special needs to develop the confidence and skills to move on to independent living. Length of stay should be based on individual need.

In closing, being a member of this rehabilitative housing program under the current membership agreement has been very beneficial for me.

Mr David Johnson: Thank you for an excellent presentation. We've heard two excellent presentations this afternoon and I think they're conveying the same message. It's one that I very much hope we're all hearing here today.

You have been able to accomplish a great deal of good work because you have the flexibility and you're able to deal with the situations that come before you. I just hope the pendulum doesn't swing too far. Unfortunately, there's an instance or two, obviously, that generated the Lightman report in the first case, but if the pendulum swings too far, then many good operators, yourself, MARC beforehand, are going to be very adversely affected. It's not just the operators but the people who live there. That's what we really must keep sight of.

In terms of the six-month stay period, there was some discussion I've had in the past that if this bill goes through the way it is and the six-month period is left, regrettably that may encourage some operators to get the people out within the six-month period. I don't know if that would happen or not. I suspect most good operators would say, "Look, six months or not, we have to deal with people and meet their needs." But there may be some operators who try to get people in a revolving door, out within the six-month period.

Mr McCullum: We don't know what the penalties are. Do we get sent to prison if we keep them longer than six months? But no, you're right. In six months, it's hard enough for people to get to know what their street address is. Yet the taxpayers' money is supporting these programs. We have to be sensitive to that, but six months is, I think, an old-fashioned idea of the revolving door.

The bill is trying to ensure stability in housing and permanence and support, and I think we can all be together on that. All we're asking is for renewable lengths. I think the clause is excellent if it can be recontracted so that it's an aboveboard arrangement, so everyone's rights are protected, everyone knows why they're in that housing. It's not just housing, but that it can be recontracted so that people can have the kind of length of stay they need, again looking at the principal residence issue too so that they can get their family benefits.

Mr David Johnson: You put forward a couple of good suggestions as an alternative to the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Mr Gary Wilson (Kingston and The Islands): Thanks very much for your presentation. It's quite inclusive so it gives us a lot to consider. There's a lot too to raise. I'll go quickly to the issue of security of tenure. Isn't that important in the rehabilitative process for the people who come to stay at your place? Giving them that security would give them a bit of stability that they could build on, as opposed to -- I'd like to get into the membership agreement you mentioned. I would expect if they didn't sign that agreement, they wouldn't be staying at Anglican Houses, is that correct?

Mr McCullum: That's right.

Mr Gary Wilson: Okay. Just answer that question then. What about the security of tenure as balancing these other problems you raised, which I think you admitted in your presentation? The fast-track eviction -- it sounds as though you would need it very seldom, that there aren't very many cases you have severe problems with. Listening to your presentation, you suggested it happens rarely.

Mr McCullum: But the problem is that if you don't have something standing behind the agreement --

Mr Gary Wilson: But I wanted to ask you about the balance, the security of tenure that comes with the Landlord and Tenant Act. We consider it very important that they have that reassurance or that security.

Ms Mancuso: Under the rehabilitative programs, if that time is more flexible, they would be excluded under the Landlord and Tenant Act anyway. It's the provisions of the membership agreement, the conditions of the program that would be signed and agreed to. A person's continuance would be based on their ability to meet the goals and objectives and, if they required more time, to extend it.

In the more permanent shared living situations is where we believe there needs to be a fast-track eviction process if that type of housing is going to come under Landlord and Tenant Act.

Mr Mammoliti (Yorkview): I've done some extensive work over the last few years on drug rehabilitation, and illicit drugs for that matter. I'm very sympathetic to what you're saying. I do believe we need to take a look at this particular concern. Is it not true that unless you have even the threat of eviction for maybe a drug addict, somebody who's getting rehabilitated, then the therapy might go to waste, that in essence the threat of eviction is a part of the therapy sometimes?

Ms Mancuso: It's part of a commitment the person is making to participate in something that's going to be therapeutic or rehabilitative as a part of being in that house and program.

Mr McCullum: We don't have these programs, but say the alcohol recovery programs that may present here later -- well, saying you solve the time limit thing, I hope. An example there is, what if a guy enters the program in good faith and then he says: "I can't hack it any more. I'm going back to the bottle. I kind of like living in this place. It's really got nice wallpaper. I love it here. I'm going to stay here."

Under the Landlord and Tenant Act, see, they're not dealt with in any way. But then it just undermines the rest of the people who are there for a specific purpose. You need a motivation, like you say, but this is not regular housing.

Mr Cordiano: Thank you for a very thorough presentation. Yours follows many other presentations we've had where we're beginning to see that there's a universal dislike of some of the provisions of this legislation not just from disliking the legislation, but that it's going to end up being very harmful to institutions such as yours.

God, you have to wonder if there wasn't something in the minister's upbringing that prevents her from listening to some reasonable arguments that've been put forward. I think this is confounding me. I don't understand why the minister cannot realize that there is every reason to expect difficulties with this legislation resulting from aspects of it which will make your lives impossible.

What we're really asking the minister to do is be reasonable and to take into consideration what you're saying and to amend the legislation to at least make it palatable. I don't have time to ask you some real questions on this, but your suggestions with respect to evictions and various of the other aspects of your brief, these are things we've heard repeatedly from other groups that are operating institutions such as yours.

I say this because what's coming out of this now is a universal recognition that there are some problems with this legislation. The minister has to listen to you. It's absolutely essential that we make amendments.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you for your presentation. As you've just heard, obviously you have struck quite a responsive chord with the committee.



The Vice-Chair: The next presenter is Professor David Hulchanski, from the faculty of social work, University of Toronto.

Dr David Hulchanski: Thank you for responding to my request to be here. My focus is on the apartments-in-houses provisions of Bill 120, although I have been part of and I'm familiar with the issue we were just discussing too. But I'm going to, in my presentation, discuss the apartments-in-houses provisions.

My connection with this issue is long-standing, virtually from the beginning in the biblical sense, although in Ontario "in the beginning" means the early 1980s. It was called residential land use intensification. This is where we get the general intensification issue, but part of it is second suites in apartments.

I am the author of the first of the Ontario government's studies on residential land use intensification. This is Making Better Use of the Existing Housing Stock: A Literature Review. Before the then Conservative government -- Claude Bennett was the minister -- launched into this effort, of course you want to find out before you commission expensive --

The Vice-Chair: That is "In the beginning."

Dr Hulchanski: Right. Before launching into a major series of studies, you want to make sure you're not going to study something that already has been studied, and the 150 pages here summarize what was known as of that time, which was 1982, about this issue.

I'm both a professional urban planner and a university professor. As a professional, I have a master's degree in planning, which is expected. I was a planning consultant in the past and I'm a member of the Canadian Institute of Planners and the Ontario Provincial Planning Institute, and for eight years I taught urban planning at the University of British Columbia, so I was a member of the Planning Institute of British Columbia too.

Academically, my PhD is in urban and regional planning. I'm a full-time university professor and researcher now, since 1983, and my research and teaching focus, again, is right on this topic, what I call the difficult part of the housing problem and always has been: lower-income households and rental housing supply.

In addition, in the late 1980s I was director of a university research centre, the UBC Centre for Human Settlements. I did a number of studies; for example, for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp, one titled The Municipal Role in the Supply and Maintenance of Low-Cost Housing: A Review of Current Initiatives. I did a survey of North American municipal initiatives too along these lines.

Finally, ironically, my PhD dissertation was titled The Evolution of Land Use Planning in Ontario. That's why I can talk about "In the beginning," because in the beginning for land use planning in Ontario is around 1900. In the year 1900 there were no land use planning regulations. People could build virtually whatever they wanted anyplace they wanted in virtually any way they wanted. There were minimum health codes and minimum building standards at best in the province.

I studied how we got from that point, which is sort of zero, right to largely where we are now, the modern period after the Second World War. Here we have a 60-year history of zoning, the separation of land uses but also the separation of types of residential structures, and that's what's important and that's where I'll end.

Apartments in houses: What kind of public policy is this? After outlining all my urban planning credentials, I'm here to tell you that, in my view, apartments in houses is not a municipal planning issue in the sense of a land use planning problem or difficulty. There are no unique, rare or exceptionally perplexing, onerous, troublesome land use planning issues or difficulties associated with having one or more additional people living in our owner-occupied housing stock.

We have among the best quality of, and largest, single-family housing stock in the world. It's built to the highest standards on earth, for the most part. Many dozens of costly studies have demonstrated this. Experience in every other jurisdiction I know of leads to the same conclusion, and I have carried out surveys of the United States and of many other Canadian municipalities.

Why is it not a municipal land use planning issue? The land use planning aspect has been very well researched over a dozen years and the stack of reports, starting with this first one, is about like this. I hate to imagine the cost. Mine was quite cheap, I'm glad to say, or sad to say. But all these studies find no unique or exceptionally troublesome land use planning issue or difficulty. They can all be addressed. I'm sure others have spoken to you about these, and I will if you ask me.

We have here in fact a rare case involving experimental research, which is usually impossible for most social issues and policy proposals. That is, tens of thousands of illegal apartment in houses already exist in Ontario and virtually right across the country. I've studied them in British Columbia, in Vancouver in particular. Have they destroyed neighbourhoods? No evidence at all of this. Have apartments in houses lowered property values? No evidence of that. In fact, the evidence is just the opposite.

The real estate industry and house buyers already assume they can create apartments if they want due to the inability to enforce the ban. It's just a fact of life in our real estate markets. House values already reflect this potential and people choose to do it or not to do it, no matter what the municipality says. So there's plenty of evidence to the contrary that there's any negative impact on neighbourhoods.

The studies are getting a bit ridiculous. I have here a state of California study, 1988 -- lots of planners are making lots of money -- The Effects of Subsidizing Affordable Housing on Property Values. This isn't a study of it. This is a study of the studies. This has found 15 studies that they've studied and analysed the methods and all that, and none of them find -- and this is in the States in fact, where there are lots of differences from here, but the situation is a bit worse in terms of quality of some of the things -- no negative impact on property values. This is one little example of a study of such studies.

If apartments in houses are not a land use planning problem, what kind of problem is it then? I have three things to say to that and then I'll answer questions. First, it is a practical issue relating to the recognition of reality, in my view; second, it's a property rights issue; and, third, it's a human rights issue.

First, apartments in houses are a practical issue relating to the recognition of reality, as I call it. In current slang people are saying, "Let's get real, folks." Tens of thousands of apartments in houses already exist and have for a long, long time. They are not going to go away. They have not gone away in other jurisdictions that have tried. Pretending they don't exist as a real part of virtually all single-family districts in Ontario is simply incredible.

Apartments in houses exist as part of the reality of the current real housing stock in our low-density residential areas. Some are great units, some are poor-quality and unsafe units. Why do we allow poor-quality, unsafe housing of any type to exist in Ontario? Why are municipalities not doing their jobs? This is fundamentally their job.

Bill 120 simplifies the municipal task of addressing the poor-quality, unsafe units. This is a much smaller task than pretending that all apartments in houses will somehow be made to go away. You have a bigger job there.


Bill 120 requires all legal apartments in houses to meet reasonable building, fire, zoning and property standards, as they should. Bill 120 simplifies the process for enforcement of municipal zoning and property standards, which needs doing. Bill 120 allows municipalities to get real and to deal with the real issue: poor-quality and unsafe units. That's the issue. Let's deal with the real issue here. I think Bill 120 allows us to deal with that real issue.

My second point on apartments in houses: I see it as a property rights issue. How far can the state go in telling us how we can use our property? How far can the state go in telling us whom we can live with in our property? Property owners have voted with their hammers on this issue. They've created a vast stock of rental housing even though it's illegal to do so. Tenants have voted with their dollars on this issue. They choose to live in those units.

"Property rights," of course, put in quotation marks here, consist of a socially defined bundle of rights. It comes down to the Legislature from time to time defining and redefining what is the socially defined bundle of rights associated with property ownership in Ontario. By not getting real, by not recognizing reality, by not voting for Bill 120, it means that there are members of the Legislature, in my view, who want to push the boundaries of the appropriate role for the state in our houses in the wrong direction. There are already enough regulations affecting where and how we can live, so this is very clearly a property rights issue.

Are members of the Legislature in tune with the realities of daily life as lived by the majority of our citizens, owners and renters? All evidence I've seen points to a vast majority of people in favour of apartments in houses. The polls show this.

In Vancouver, where there are 27,000 illegal units in a housing stock of, I believe, about 200,000 units, the city had a clever idea. "We will have a plebiscite and allow neighbourhood by neighbourhood to vote whether or not they can have secondary suites in their area." Very democratic, right? So they started in the fringe area, that is, on the edge of the better neighbourhoods, because they thought the vote would go in their favour. They favoured somehow getting rid of illegal suites. But in fact the vote went the other way and they were quite shocked.

With the second neighbourhood, there was a postal strike near the end. If you counted the ballots that got caught in the postal strike, the citizens voted in favour of second suites. If you exclude them, they voted against. Of course, city council in its wisdom decided then to exclude the ballots that were delayed by the postal strike, which I don't think is fair.

Any time I've seen people asked to think about it and express an opinion, they've been in favour of this. They don't want the state encroaching even further on the details of their daily lives, how they use their living space or whom they can live with in their residential space, again within all the reasonable public health building codes and all those bylaws and all those reasonable standards of the municipality.

My last point: Apartments in houses are a human rights issue, quite clearly. The history of municipal residential zoning, which I've studied a lot, is a history of exclusion. We've been zoning people increasingly, not just land uses. I've been reading the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s literature where practitioners were quite concerned, lawyers were quite concerned, lots of people were quite concerned once municipalities stepped over the boundary of saying, "Here is an industrial area. Here is a commercial area. Here is a residential area," because they quickly began saying in the residential areas, "Here's apartments and here's not apartments." That's sort of okay, but then in residential areas they kept on fine-tuning that, where they crossed the boundary between regulating buildings, land use categories, and regulating people. Single-family districts with detached houses are generally owner-occupied houses and you begin talking about people. That's what this history is full of.

When I returned to Toronto and the University of Toronto in 1990, I served as a volunteer on a children's aid society committee, the housing committee. That housing committee brought together a number of people who were concerned about this issue before the Legislature even was talking about it, as far as I know. We drew up a petition and we discussed it somewhat. The people in the room from around the province had been to enough meetings to know that the objection of people to second suites is not a planning issue, because all the planning issues of course have been beaten to death for 12 years. People are quite often explicit about what they mean.

In my little study I include some clippings from 1982. There was a meeting where "500 angry area residents," as the newspaper said, showed up for a proposed social housing project. A columnist says he wandered around the people in the room, who happened to be immigrants from the 1950s; this was in 1982. He says the people jostling to the microphone delivered with a fresh passion all the old arguments against development: too much traffic, property values being affected, neighbourhoods already overcrowded and all that. He then says, "In the corners of the room, one heard darker sentiments: `Hey, I hear the city's bringing in another load of those boat people,' and `We don't want Pakistanis.' A teenage boy told me confidentially, `They're going to bring people from Iran and El Salvador.'"

When we drew up our petition, which you probably have seen, it led to the establishment of the inclusive neighbourhoods committee. It talks about human rights there, not the planning issues. We didn't outline planning issues there; we outlined human rights issues.

In the United States the law is quite clear. They've had their Bill of Rights longer than we've had our charter. It's called exclusionary zoning. Exclusionary zoning is illegal in the United States. Municipalities have brought it to court all the time and they have mandated inclusionary zoning. I don't think we want that here. We can save ourselves lots of money in legal fees by doing the right thing now.

I've distributed my Plan Canada article recently, And Housing for All, and that defines what is inclusive planning, exclusive planning, inclusive zoning, exclusive zoning and all that. In order to save time, I'll simply distribute that.

One last point, almost a separate little point. I've heard it said, "Perhaps absentee speculators will move into our neighbourhoods and carve up the houses." Look at the economics of this. If you're talking about a better-quality neighbourhood where houses are a bit more expensive, in the $400,000 or $500,000 range, it's the tiniest percentage of tenants who can afford the rents that would be required to make that economic investment even at current property values and current interest rates.

If you take a lower-cost neighbourhood where houses are cheaper, let's say $200,000, in Toronto or Metro Toronto, that house generally is smaller because it's cheaper, and often in bad condition because it's cheaper. With the amount of money you have to put into it, and if you make a go of it, it's still $1,000 a month or more to make a go of it. Given the nature of that neighbourhood, you're probably improving the social mix in the neighbourhood. You're bringing in tenants who are at the high end of the income spectrum for tenants. So that's not an issue either, in my mind.

I trust I've been clear and I'll answer any questions you have.

Mr Mills: Thank you very much, professor. I enjoyed your presentation so much that I've only got one regret, that the mayor of Mississauga wasn't here today.

Interjection: We've got Margaret Marland here.

Mr Mills: But we've got a substitute here, I believe. Anyway, no offence.

Mrs Marland: I'm not the mayor's substitute.

Mr Mills: I really thought you made some points that I, sitting on this committee, hadn't seen so far.

I just want to talk about houses with private septic systems, because they're a sore point with me. I've got a house that's on a septic system. My children have all grown up, they've gone, and I've said to the minister, "What are you doing to me?" She said, "Well, it's pressure from the municipalities." What is your argument, professor, for no exception?

Dr Hulchanski: I frankly don't have a position on that. I would defer to engineers, that they make a case whether that's valid or not. I'm sorry I'm not able to professionally say something about that as a planner.

Mr Mills: Okay. I thought you had said something about it.


Dr Hulchanski: I generally agree with that provision, but you're right. There are conditions, but can one define the conditions where it would be allowable?

Mrs Marland: We only flush the toilet once a day.

Mr Mills: What have I said wrong, Mr Chair?

The Vice-Chair: Nothing. Do you have a question?

Mr Mills: No.

Mr Gary Wilson: Your presentation certainly is very clear and I think speaks very strongly in support of the bill. There are a couple of things I'd like to ask about. One issue that's been raised quite strongly here is the issue of fire in second apartments. What's your view on that? Have you found them to be more hazardous than other kinds of accommodation?

Dr Hulchanski: We have owner-occupied stock that is in quite poor condition. We have people who smoke in bed. I've thought about this a lot, and there's no connection between all that. Fireproof buildings sometimes burn down, so there's no logical connection there. There are going to be fires. We do our best to prevent them. That's why I say municipalities should get real and deal with the job of the unsafe firetrap units. That's a smaller number than the total number of illegal units.

Mr Gary Wilson: Do you see Bill 120 worsening conditions in student quarters adjacent to universities? You've probably had some experience with those areas, maybe even studied them.

Dr Hulchanski: Will Bill 120 worsen the accommodation? No. The people who rent out rooms privately to students do so now and it's hard to even find out who they are. Again, we're just making legal a certain kind of situation, so municipalities in fact have a smaller job to do when there are clearly illegalities. That would be an externality problem. If there are too many students, if there's an absentee landlord, one tends to find out fairly early if there's a problem there. Are the existing bylaws sufficient to deal with that? I tend to think they are. In my experience, they are, the noise bylaws and all the other bylaws that one can use.

It's already been ruled in the Supreme Court that you cannot legislate a definition of a household. People can choose to live with whom they want.

Mrs Marland: I agree with you on that. That is true.

Mr Owens: You touched briefly on zoning by occupancy, zoning by ownership. Could you expand a bit? We've heard a number of deputants come forward and suggest that if we're going to do this, the only kind of accessory apartment should be in those homes that are owner-occupied. Can you comment on that?

Dr Hulchanski: I think, and I'm not a lawyer, that there are definitely legal problems with that, of the law laying that out, so that's probably not legally possible. Remember, an investor is worried about the property value. Again, just think about the cost of a house in one of the "better neighbourhoods" and the cost of a house in one of the more average neighbourhoods. It's economically very difficult to pull that off.

We already have lots of these investors or speculators who invested in condominiums hoping to make a capital gain. They've gotten burned and they've learned a few things. The market has learned a lot from this. Right now there are a lot of condo owners, as investors, renting out these condo units at less than economic prices, because it's not economically viable to do that and make money. They were hoping for a capital gain. I don't see a great capital gain coming for somebody who abuses this, carves up and ruins a house in a neighbourhood. It's going to be worth less than what it was worth before. It just doesn't make any economic sense to me.


Mr Grandmaître: I can see why you're not in favour of Mr Sewell's latest recommendations on planning and just about everything in the province of Ontario, because his mandate was so wide that you could touch just about everything in the province.

Also, did you say that land use planning wasn't or should not be a municipal issue? Did you say this?

Dr Hulchanski: No, the issue of apartments in houses is not a land use planning problem or policy problem. That has been studied. Is there a parking problem related to it? All the things that planners deal with I think have been addressed in this stack of studies that my first study initiated, you see. That's all I meant by that. The municipalities have all the different categories of zoning and that's what they're responsible for.

Mr Grandmaître: With all your experience at the municipal and provincial level with planning, if I can use the Planning Act as a tool, do you think that municipalities are lacking this good planning tool in the province? There have been so many amendments to the Planning Act in the last 60 years and there have been a thousand studies done by people like you, and it's not working.

Dr Hulchanski: You're asking a good question, but it's very broad and general. To be specific, do they have enough power or not? I have sympathy for what you're saying, but let's face it: In Canada we have some of the best houses and neighbourhoods on earth. It comes about by this incremental adjustment to what we're doing, by learning what we're doing. When I was saying let's get real at least about this issue, let's let municipalities deal with the real problem, which is the illegal, unsafe units.

Mr Grandmaître: Give them more power.

Dr Hulchanski: An apartment that is unsafe and a firetrap, remember, is an apartment in a house. That's somebody's house, an owner's house which is unsafe and a firetrap.

Mr Cordiano: That point is precisely the point I wanted to zero in on. Just because Bill 120 is passed it will not necessarily lead to safe places to live. There has to be provision that goes well beyond legislation to enable municipalities to allow for inspection and to enforce what Bill 20 attempts to do, that is, provide safe living conditions. That hasn't been contemplated in this bill.

The fact of the matter is that to bring many of these units up to standard will require an additional capital outlay by many people who are first-time home buyers, upwards of around $7,000 to $10,000 to make those units safe. Half the number of units out there are unsafe, do not meet standards. How do you contemplate resolving that problem? By and large, you've got first-time home buyers who are in need or people who may not be first-time home buyers but need the money to keep their mortgage payments up.

Dr Hulchanski: There's no magic bullet. There's an incremental process, step by step. I think what is in Bill 20 is a big leap forward, and definitely it's not everything and it's not going to solve all the problems, but it is going to go a long way in making a big step and that's all. It's a good, big step forward.

Mr Cordiano: But at the end of the day there will still be illegal units out there because they're not going to be brought up to standard.

Dr Hulchanski: Even without Bill 120 there will be and there'll continue to be. At least Bill 120 gives some more authority to municipalities, maybe not enough that they want, and I'm not prepared here to say -- we're talking in general.

Mrs Marland: Professor, you're certainly a very controversial, interesting deputant, I must say. At the beginning, when you were giving us your lengthy curriculum vitae, I thought you were going to give us some very knowledgeable opinions on planning, but your opinions are so selective.

You say it's a property rights issue. You say it's a human rights issue. What you have to really wonder is, whose property rights are they? Are they the property rights of the tenant or are they the property rights of the person who owns the property who may have bought that house in a single-family area, may have bought it as a town house without basement apartments? Now their neighbour, under your scenario, should have the right to add this additional unit. So what you end up doing, from a planning perspective, is weighing the property rights and the human rights of the person who's made the investment against one neighbour who wants an apartment and one who doesn't. I would suggest to you that that's pretty selective.

Nobody talks about these wonderful garden suites, and as somebody who has obviously earned some income over the years in dealing with urban planning -- although now it sounds like you're not really interested in planning any more because you're not interested in zoning -- what you're saying now is that in spite of the thousands of dollars which I'm sure you've earned in urban planning, "Let's throw out all those official plans and all that planning that has been done in municipalities," where they have planned the types and sizes of services relative to the urban plan for the land use of that area. What you're saying is, in supporting this in such a prolific way: "None of that matters. We can just double up all the occupancy."

I want to ask you about the garden suites that they can have for 10 years. Have you any idea what kind of building the municipalities are going to approve that has to be demountable in 10 years' time and yet meet all the codes?

Mr Mills: He's coming at the end of the month, the guy who makes them.


Dr Hulchanski: No, I know. I've seen designs and I don't have problems with that either. The problem is how you summarize what I had to say. There's a question of externalities. You talk about property rights, you talk about the tenants and then the owners of the house, but then you talk about the house next door's property rights. This is why I say okay, you're right, it's a value judgement, where you draw the line --

Mrs Marland: It sure is.

Dr Hulchanski: -- and show me the evidence of how a second suite negatively affects the neighbours.

Mrs Marland: Come to my riding. I'll show you.

Mr Mammoliti: Oh, so they already exist then.

Mrs Marland: I said they exist.

The Vice-Chair: This is a lively Monday afternoon. I'm sorry. Did you finish your remarks?

Dr Hulchanski: Yes.

Mr David Johnson: In terms of planning issues, if it's not a planning issue, the number one expectation of people in terms of planning is that they will have the ability to participate in the planning of their own community, and this chucks that right out the window.

Your opinion is that this will assist in the enforcement, allow municipalities to get on with the job they're supposed to do. That's your opinion as a representative of the faculty of social work; on the other hand, I have the opinion of the mayors of all the municipalities who have been before us, the fire chiefs who have been before us, and they say this legislation does not allow them, for example, sufficient entry rights and they've been dealing with this issue day by day over years. It still requires reasonable grounds and will not allow them to get into these units. The fire chiefs are of the same opinion.

The process of enforcement, which is long, time-consuming and costly, isn't even addressed in this particular legislation. The fire chief from Mississauga says that without extra powers you're simply going to have more units and more fires and, unfortunately, probably more deaths. I'm reconciling what they're saying with what you're saying. I don't know if you have any opinion on that, but the evidence seems pretty clear-cut.

Dr Hulchanski: There's no magic bullet. We're making incremental steps, and that's what we've done since 1900 in this province to try and have good neighbourhoods.

Mr David Johnson: That's a very small increment.

Dr Hulchanski: Well, you're going to define the problem and chase after the bad units instead of trying to chase after all such units. It's a more manageable task.

Mr David Johnson: The municipalities are saying it doesn't scratch the surface.

The Vice-Chair: Dr Hulchanski, you certainly create a lot of interest, as an academic should. We thank you for your presentation, and you know the committee will be proceeding with clause-by-clause in the second week of March.


The Vice-Chair: May we have order, please? I think we ought to go back to Windsor where there is freezing rain that seems to cool the tempers a little bit more.


The Vice-Chair: Next is Ted Shaw, president of the Eden Community House.

Mr Ted Shaw: Good afternoon. My name is Ted Shaw. I'm president of the board of directors for Eden Community House. Susan Carr is a staff member at Eden Community House, and Sean Doherty is a board member and past- president.

I'm pleased to be here to represent the views of our board, staff and residents on Bill 120 with regard to the impact of this bill on the individuals who live in our home at 1 Hillholm Road.

Eden House is a 10-bed group home for adults with severe and persistent mental illness. We've been situated in the Forest Hill area of Toronto for 11 years and throughout that time have been providing rehabilitation services to people who need a high level of support.

Staff at Eden House operate using the principles and practice of psychosocial rehabilitation. The goal of psychosocial rehabilitation is to enable individuals with a disabling mental illness to achieve their maximum level of community integration and self-reliance. Interventions help the individual learn to compensate for the effects of the symptoms of the illness through the development of new skills, coping techniques and a supportive environment. Eden House staff work closely with the individuals in the program so they may gain skills necessary to live successfully in the community with the least amount of formal support as necessary.

We agree that supportive housing programs, in general, should be under the Landlord and Tenant Act. We also recognize that for programs whose primary purpose is rehabilitation and not accommodation, there need to be exemption criteria established for these special-needs groups.

We are concerned that the amendments being proposed by Bill 120, particularly as they apply to the criteria for exemptions of rehabilitative services or programs from the act, will have a negative impact on the lives of the people living at Eden House and on our continued ability to provide the high quality of service for which we have become known in the mental health community. We have some suggestions which we think would reduce the potential problems with the act and which we hope you will take into consideration when reviewing the bill and making your final revisions to it.

The role of rehabilitative residential settings, programs which are both rehabilitative and transitional in nature, must be recognized and endorsed as a viable and necessary option for people with severe mental illnesses. We believe that such rehabilitation programs for the severely mentally ill must be exempt from the Landlord and Tenant Act and we think that the following suggestions would more realistically recognize and accommodate the types of programs operating in this sector of the community.

Under the definition of "care services," rehabilitation programs are exempt from the act provided they meet certain criteria outlined therein. I would like to suggest some refinements to the proposed amendments in Bill 120, as they refer to part I of the Landlord and Tenant Act. I'm not used to referring to specific numbers in the act so you'll pardon me if I make some mistakes, but I hope you can follow.

In part I, subclause 1(3)(i.1)(iii), the bill states that the average length of occupancy of the occupants does not exceed six months. It's our experience that six months is not a reasonable length of time for someone to gain the skills necessary to successfully prepare them to move to permanent accommodation. We have found over the 11 years that it has taken individuals an average of 2.4 years in order to make the personal gains required to be able to live on one's own.

Our opinion, further, is that setting a hard-and-fast time limit would be counterproductive to the goals of rehabilitative programs. We recommend that the length of stay be left flexible and based on the individual needs of each program participant.

Furthermore, we also recommend that the terms of residency be specified in a written service agreement prior to an applicant moving in, thus ensuring that there is a demonstrable understanding of the conditions of residency on both parts.

The next area of concern for Eden House refers to part I, subclause 1(3)(i.1)(ii) of Bill 120, where it states that in order for the program to be exempted from the Landlord and Tenant Act, the building in which the accommodation is located is not the principal residence of the majority of the occupants.

For the individuals living in Eden House, 1 Hillholm Road is their principal residence. These folks do not have any other residence from which they operate or that they may return to once they are ready to leave our program. Staff assist residents to apply to other permanent housing organizations or locations when they're ready to move on; this is part of discharge planning. For this reason, this criterion is a problem for us as it would not exempt our program from the act.

We recommend that you consider changing the wording from "principal residence" to "permanent residence." This would then recognize that a rehabilitative program is a transitional program, that is, a step on the way to independent living.


The third proposed amendment I would like to provide comment on is part I, clause 1(2)(a.1), which states that the definition of "residential premises" be "any premises occupied or intended to be occupied by a person for the purpose of receiving care services, whether or not receiving the services is the primary purpose of the occupancy."

The primary purpose of occupancy for residents of Eden House is rehabilitation. Individuals come into our program for a period of time to work on rehabilitative goals for housing as well as other community skills. The sole reason for existence of programs such as Eden House is to prepare or rehabilitate, if you will, people for future permanent accommodation and improved quality of life. In fact our principal funding source, the Ministry of Health, evaluates our program based on our rehabilitation outcomes, or the gains people make over the course of their stay with us.

If Eden House were to be included in the Landlord and Tenant Act, individuals could indicate a desire to take part in our rehabilitation program but, in reality, choose not to. Such persons could then rely on the protection afforded under the act regarding eviction. The result would be that he or she would then take up a space for someone else who truly wished to work on their rehabilitative goals.

You can see that with repetition, this process could severely diminish opportunities for this critical service option for the severely mentally ill. Any reduction of rehabilitative services at this time will have a profound effect on those individuals being successfully served in our program as well as the individuals on our waiting list who wish to participate.

Eden House is a member agency of the Ontario Federation of Community Mental Health and Addiction Programs, and we also endorse the federation's response, which we understand it will be making before this committee on February 2.

We support the principle that for programs whose primary purpose is rehabilitation across the province, they should be exempt from the act and that criteria should be developed to protect individuals against arbitrary eviction and other abuses.

In conclusion, we believe that the inclusion of Eden House under the Landlord and Tenant Act would be disadvantageous to our ongoing ability to maintain the quality of service that we have provided over the past 11 years. These rigid criteria and prescribed practices will curtail our ability to continue serving persons with severe mental illnesses rather than allow us to improve the services provided.

On behalf of the residents of Eden House, the staff and the board of directors, I thank you for this opportunity to address what we believe are critical issues for those we serve. I will attempt to answer any questions with regard to Eden Community House of Toronto.

I'll just draw your attention to two attachments. One is a summary of the recommendations --

Ms Susan Carr: That's not an attachment. This was faxed this morning.

Mr Shaw: Okay. So there aren't copies of this?

Ms Susan Carr: No, that's being faxed.

Mr Shaw: Okay. There is one other attachment, which is a statement from one of the residents at Eden House. Copies of that are being faxed to the committee.

Mr Cordiano: Thank you for your fulsome presentation. You've covered all of the basic issues that I think are the focus of what is wrong with Bill 120, the section that deals with Dr Lightman's recommendations. I could go on to say that of course Bill 120 itself is a problem, given that you have two disparate pieces of legislation put together for the purposes of this omnibus legislation. That's an argument for when the minister is here.

But I agree with a number of items you put forward for consideration for amendment, and it's frustrating -- I don't know if you were here for the group before the professor from the University of Toronto --

Mr Shaw: No, I wasn't.

Mr Cordiano: -- but many of the same points were made by that group, Anglican Houses. I'm hearing the same story. It's becoming quite repetitive with respect to what's wrong. The major problem areas you've highlighted in your report are what's wrong with Bill 120, and I certainly hope that the minister is prepared to not only listen but make changes to the legislation.

There was concern by other groups with respect to fast-track evictions. That's not an area that you touched on in your brief. Do you have any opinions on that?

Mr Shaw: I have to say I don't know what you mean by fast-track evictions.

Mr Cordiano: Under the Landlord and Tenant Act you need to go through the process that's in place, and it could be quite cumbersome to evict a tenant. There has to be notice. You go through a pretty rigorous process.

Mr Shaw: Yes. Right, okay.

Mr Cordiano: Would that be a problem for your organization if you had to use the provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act to evict someone?

Mr Shaw: Yes.

Mr Cordiano: Okay. That's another area that obviously you hadn't highlighted in your report, but certainly that would be something for you to consider, because there is no way of dealing with tenants in that fashion, someone who was a danger to other tenants, or a danger to himself for that matter.

The minister says, "Call the cops. They'll deal with it," which is essentially what I think was said to another group by the minister. "Call the police. They'll deal with it." That's certainly not going to be satisfactory for groups such as yourselves. You already have ways of dealing with those kinds of situations, I would imagine, that are satisfactory to you.

Mr Shaw: That seem to be working, yes.

Mr Steven Offer (Mississauga North): I'm not a member of this committee on the normal basis. I'm here just for today and I've now heard four presentations, including one from Metro Agencies Representatives' Council, one from Anglican Houses and yourselves.

Three of the four touched on the same point with the same concerns and helped this committee out, you who are professionals in the area, by also suggesting how those concerns can be met. I must say that, though I've just been here today, I have heard a certain reluctance on the part of government members to listen to the concerns of the experts in the field in the real world. Even now I see the members of the government tittering over a very important concern.

Mr David Winninger (London South): Now you're being provocative.

Mr Offer: If the government continues to refuse to listen to the people who are working in the field, what are the ramifications, the impact, if the changes you have made and Metro Agencies Representatives' Council and Anglican Houses have made don't take place?

Mr Shaw: In general terms, it restricts our ability to provide high-quality service. The example referred to in the report is the fact that we become restricted in our ability to deal with people we are having difficulty serving. Fast-track eviction, to me, sounds like it has potential, but as I say, I don't know very much about that. But any opportunity we have that is curtailed to be able to move someone into a program that is going to serve their needs better is going to be difficult for us to abide by.


Mr Cordiano: Did the minister consult with you directly about the proposed Bill 120?

Mr Shaw: Not that I'm aware of; I don't believe so.

Mr David Johnson: Congratulations on a very thoughtful deputation with some good suggestions. Obviously you're doing good work; keep it up.

I wondered if any of the residents of the Eden Community House would have been people who had been involved with drug or alcohol abuse in the past.

Ms Susan Carr: That's not our primary focus. Our focus is strictly severe and persistent mental illness.

Mr David Johnson: You're suggesting that if the primary purpose is rehabilitation, you should be excluded from the Landlord and Tenant Act. Is that easy to define, that the primary purpose is rehabilitation?

Mr Shaw: To define the purpose of the program?

Mr David Johnson: No. What you're saying makes a lot of sense. As has been indicated here earlier, there've been a number of deputations today and other days saying precisely the same sort of thing. I don't know if the government is reluctant to change this or not, but it hasn't come forward to this point and said, "We've heard the common sense and we're going to do this."

I'm just trying to think of how hard it may be to do this, to define a rehabilitation program. In your view, would it be easy to do that so that it would be quite easy to exempt? There may be people who say, "Oh, I run a rehabilitation program," or people who may want to take advantage of that definition to sneak in under a rehabilitation program so they're not subject to the Landlord and Tenant Act, people not as deserving as yourselves.

Ms Susan Carr: There are strict criteria under the Ministry of Health that define how programs are run. As is mentioned in here, it is the basis for how the Ministry of Health evaluates our programs. The Ministry of Health is evaluating the program based on the rehabilitation outcomes. I think that makes a fairly clear guideline for the Ministry of Housing to use in terms of Landlord and Tenant Act exemption.

Mr David Johnson: So that definition in effect exists today. Using that sort of definition, it would be quite easy then, in your view, to create an exemption.

Ms Susan Carr: Sure.

Mr David Johnson: Good. That sounds like a good way to do it then.

You talk about a written service agreement with your residents. I gather you have a written service agreement today, do you? If there was an insistence, notwithstanding the discussion we've just had, to go ahead with the Landlord and Tenant Act and make it apply in your case, which we agree would not make sense, there's been some discussion that a written service agreement might overrule the Landlord and Tenant Act. Would that be your view?

Mr Shaw: If a written service agreement would be sufficient to exempt us from the act, I don't know why there would be a definition that would include time lines and some of the other things that are in there.

Mr David Johnson: It's my understanding that the Landlord and Tenant Act would take precedence --

Mr Shaw: Over the service agreement?

Mr David Johnson: Yes.

Mr Shaw: Oh, okay. I misunderstood you then.

Mr David Johnson: No, I left it open to see your reaction. But my understanding is that the Landlord and Tenant Act would be supreme and that you wouldn't be assisted by a written service agreement.

Mr Shaw: That would be a problem for us. The reason we're suggesting the written service agreement is that we recognize the fact that there needs to be something there that is going to protect individuals who are living in homes such as ours.

Mr David Johnson: Finally, you talk about -- and another group this afternoon talked about the same thing -- how if there was somebody who chose to come into your care but didn't take the care, but took up space and then said, "Look, I don't want to move. I like it here. This is where I want to stay. I'm invoking my rights under the Landlord and Tenant Act," that would be a problem for you and other institutions such as yours.

I'm only predicting a response. The response may be that they won't do this, this will happen in a blue moon, this will hardly ever happen, so why should we react to a situation that will happen very infrequently? I wondered if you would have any guidance to give us on how often this kind of situation might be encountered.

Mr Shaw: I don't know.

Ms Susan Carr: It's really hard to say.

Mr David Johnson: One response is that when you're looking at a 10-bed facility, if it happens once or twice, that cuts your capacity by 10% or 20%.

Ms Susan Carr: That's right.

Mr David Johnson: In talking to other providers, is this something that you think might come up?

Ms Susan Carr: It could very likely happen.

Mr Derek Fletcher (Guelph): Some of your concerns today have been addressed by other groups and I think that once these committee hearings are over we'll be able to go back over all of the presentations and see where changes are needed, if changes are needed.

What Mr Offer is trying to put into your mouth, that everyone is not listening, is not a fact. These hearings are going on for another couple of weeks, so we can't make amendments until we've heard what people have said.

As far as the fast-track evictions are concerned, suppose I was in your establishment and I was a troublemaker and without this bill, and you threw me out and I didn't think I was at fault so I wanted to appeal it. What would happen? Could I appeal your decision that you threw me out and I think you were wrong?

Ms Susan Carr: As part of our current membership agreement that was mentioned in here, if you were a troublemaker you would be addressed by your peers living in the group, the people who set the rules by which they want to live and have an ongoing ability to make amendments and changes as they see fit.

Mr Fletcher: What if I thought it were a conspiracy?

Ms Susan Carr: It would be addressed by the resident group, not by the program.

Mr Fletcher: So if I were thrown out, I would not have an appeal of the group's decision to throw me out, and if I did have an appeal, where would I stay while I was appealing?

Ms Susan Carr: It would depend on the grounds for your appeal. If you were appealing because you thought there was some conspiracy or something like that, then we'd help you find alternative accommodations until the matter was settled.

Mr Fletcher: Or possibly I could be just out.

Ms Susan Carr: We don't put people out on the street.

Mr Fletcher: That's what I wanted to make sure of.

As far as the exemption criteria are concerned, could you tell me what criteria we would set for the exemption? Do you have a plan of criteria? I could have a house and rent it out to 15 people, if I wanted to, and say it was rehabilitative, using my own criteria, and be exempt under this legislation. What criteria are we looking at? I'm trying to be specific, because I'm not sure what we should use.

Mr Shaw: Our report outlines some of the criteria we would like to see used. I think a lot of it hinges on the written service agreement and to ensure that there are points to be covered within that agreement that are going to be acceptable to the Ministry of Health, which is our primary funding source around that.

Mr Fletcher: Have you presented to the ministry in writing or any other way draft criteria?

Mr Shaw: No, we have not.

Mr Fletcher: It would be nice if you would do that. Then we'd have it. It would be exciting to see that.

I'm just going through your list. The length of stay must be flexible. I can agree with that. But from "principal" to "permanent"? What is "permanent"? I've lived in a house for 15 years and I move. Is that permanency? Do we set a time limit on permanent; instead of six months we would say 12 months?

Mr Shaw: The concern of the use, as I understand it, is that there is a ramification around the use of the term "principal residence" as it interacts with family benefits. As I said in the report, the way it reads, it's as though these people live somewhere else and come in here for programming. In fact, they do not live someplace else; they live where they are at 1 Hillholm Road for the time they're there. That's why we use the term "permanent residence" for the want of another term.

Mr Fletcher: It's just a little vague on the permanency part.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you for appearing. As you know, we will have clause-by-clause consideration on March 7. I'm sure the committee will take your comments under careful consideration.

Mr Offer: On a point of order, Mr Chair: I've heard this afternoon reference to a service agreement and agreements of that kind. I'm wondering if ministry officials might be able to help. Upon passage of Bill 120 in its current form, would that make all existing service agreements illegal?

The Vice-Chair: That's really a question for ministry officials. Perhaps if we have time later on, with the agreement of the parliamentary assistant, we might have the officials answer that.



Miss Patti Bregman: I'm Patti Bregman. I'm a lawyer at ARCH, but I'm here as a member of the Ontario Advocacy Coalition. With me are Mae Harmon, co-chair of the coalition, Orville Endicott, and Shoshannah Benmosché, who will read sections of our brief. She will not go through the entire brief for time reasons.

I want to remind everyone here that the fundamental message behind this legislation that I want you to keep in mind when you're thinking about it is that everybody has a right to have a home they can consider permanent. The fact that you have a disability should not suddenly mean that you don't have the same entitlement anyone else does. This legislation is about making a home a true home and residence.

Ms Shoshannah Benmosché: The Ontario Advocacy Coalition started in 1986. Its purpose was to convince the government of Ontario to enact legislation establishing an independent, fully funded advocacy system for vulnerable people. The coalition is still actively working towards the implementation of the Advocacy Act to ensure that the legislation is translated into reality for those who have endured abuse, neglect, exploitation and marginalization for so long. There are 40 member organizations, representing a wide range of disability groups and seniors throughout the province. A list of the member groups is attached.

Although this legislation is not directly related to the Advocacy Act, we have been following Dr Lightman's work and report very closely. We urge the government to carry out his recommendations as they have a direct impact on our members. In fact, you heard from one of our member groups, Citizen Advocacy Windsor, in Windsor last week. They have been active in providing advocacy services to tenants living at the ALPHA apartments for living for the physically handicapped.

Bill 120 extends protection to the same constituency served by the Advocacy Act, the most vulnerable people in the province. It should be noted that the recommendations of the inquest into the death of Joseph Kendall which led directly to the appointment of Dr Lightman were also the final impetus for the enactment of the Advocacy Act. The proposed amendments to the Landlord and Tenant Act and related legislation will give equal protection to all tenants without discrimination. It will increase the ability of advocates to effectively help their clients.

The advocacy coalition strongly supports the proposed amendments in Bill 120 with the respect to those relating to the Landlord and Tenant Act, the Rent Control Act, the Rental Housing Protection Act, and those designed to legalize basement apartments. These amendments eliminate the discrimination against people with disabilities and seniors that now exists. All tenants will now have the same right to secure and safe housing.

The exemptions from the protection in part IV of the Landlord and Tenant Act for housing where care is provided mean that housing intended as independent living to an institution in the community --

Miss Bregman: My mistake. It should be "is now."

Ms Benmosché: Is now provided? I don't know where the "is now" goes. Sorry; I'm going on automatic pilot.

It is undeniable that many people with disabilities need assistance such as attendant care to live in the community. However, the need for assistance with physical activities should not deprive an individual of the right to secure housing. Without the protection of part IV of the Landlord and Tenant Act, tenants with disabilities and seniors have faced harassment, coercion and, in some cases, abuse by landlords. Both the tenants and landlords are aware of the fact that tenants can be evicted at will for failure to comply with unreasonable rules that often have little to do with housing. For example, one lease prohibits tenants from speaking negatively about the housing provider to anyone but the provider. This is grounds for eviction.

There is consensus among experts in the health and social services fields that secure housing is a fundamental requirement for healthy living. It is difficult for anyone to maintain a job, social networks and supports and any degree of normalcy if every day they wonder whether they will be evicted and on the street that night. We know of people who have chosen not to seek short-term medical or psychiatric assistance requiring hospitalization because the last time they returned home, their belongings were on the front porch and they no longer had an apartment.

Currently, many tenants living in housing where care is provided are afraid to challenge decisions by the landlord-care provider with respect to any aspect of their care or housing because of fear of eviction. Many of our member groups report knowing people who have been evicted because they were considered troublemakers by the landlord or seeking to enforce their rights. For example, one tenant was told he should not contact the fire inspector directly when the landlord failed to fix a safety hazard in his apartment.

In addition, it also empowers the tenants and advocates to form tenant associations and seek changes to benefit all the tenants in the building. Many tenants are now either afraid to join tenant associations because of threats by providers that they will be subject to eviction or, in other cases, the housing provider will allow a tenant association but require that the staff of the provider run the association. With this bill, tenants can form associations freely to represent their interests.

There is nothing about people with disabilities or seniors that justifies depriving them of the same rights that other tenants in this province have. Providing care does not interfere with the ability of a landlord to operate effectively under the Landlord and Tenant Act. This is clear from the fact that there are housing and service providers who have voluntarily agreed to provide Landlord and Tenant Act protection to their tenants without any disruption to the programs.

These include some of the largest landlord-service providers in the province such as the Ontario March of Dimes, Cheshire Homes Foundation and the Handicapped Action Group Inc, HAGI, in Thunder Bay. They have voluntarily agreed to provide part IV rights to tenants while still providing care. There is no reason that any other housing provider in the province cannot do the same.

The long-term care reform proposed by the province favours community-based services with consumer-controlled boards. These services, however, will be meaningless to tenants with disabilities and seniors if they are constantly required to move because they lack any security of tenure.

We strongly support the provisions of Bill 120 that would legalize basement apartments across the province. We urge the government to also include the legalization of garden suites in this legislation. The advantages of both types of accommodation are discussed below.

As we noted above, there is a shortage of affordable and accessible housing for people with disabilities and seniors. Both groups are also highly reliant on informal support services provided by family and friends. Even where services such as attendants are used, the informal support and social networks are beneficial to everyone. Allowing legalized basement apartments and garden suites will provide a welcomed option for seniors and people with disabilities who want to maintain their independence while living closely enough to their social support networks. It is an ideal situation for seniors who want to live near their children but do not want to displace their children's families, and for people with disabilities who want to live independently but still need and want family assistance. By legalizing these apartments and garden suites and setting safety standards, tenants can be assured that their living quarters are safe. Now, many people are afraid to complain about unsafe conditions because they may be evicted if the apartment is illegal.


While the amendments in Bill 120 relating to the price of services are a step forward, we do urge the government to closely monitor the price of services and take any necessary steps to control them. We are very concerned about the possibility of economic evictions despite the provisions that prevent eviction for non-payment of the service component. A Small Claims Court judgement against a tenant for the service component can jeopardize their tenancy by depleting their finances to the extent that they can no longer afford the rent.

For the same reason that we would like to see stronger price controls in place, allowing landlords to require tenants to purchase mandatory services may force them to leave their apartments or prevent them from moving into other apartments. Landlords who are not currently providing services may use this provision as a means of skirting rent control provisions.

While we strongly support Bill 120, we are also concerned that the government move forward as quickly as possible on implementing those recommendations made by Professor Lightman with respect to rights relating to services. We understand that these recommendations have been referred to the long-term care division for review and implementation. This is appropriate, as many of the issues are being dealt with in the context of long-term care. However, we want to stress that the implementation of these recommendations is as important as the ones in Bill 120. Until the entire package has been implemented, vulnerable people will still be at risk. This legislation should be passed as quickly as possible to ensure that the most vulnerable tenants in Ontario are no longer subject to abuse and harassment in their own housing and to promote true independent living by people with disabilities and seniors.

Mrs Marland: I notice in the list of member organizations of the Ontario Advocacy Coalition a number of organizations that have, either directly or indirectly through association with some other groups, made presentations to this committee. I'm thinking particularly of the Canadian Mental Health Association. Some of the concerns they have identified you have not identified today. They were not 100% in favour of the bill as it's presently drafted because of the tenure aspects and some of the things we've heard earlier -- I don't know how long you've been here this afternoon -- the six months and those areas. Is there a reason that although you're speaking on behalf of some of these same groups which have concerns about the bill, you have chosen not to share the same concerns?

Miss Bregman: We chose not to for a couple of reasons. One is that there are some different perspectives in the community, which we recognize. CMHA is a service provider. The advocacy coalition was formed primarily for consumers and the community. While they're a member and we want their support, we may not always agree.

We did not raise some of the issues. Fast-track eviction is one about which there has been some discussion, and what the coalition decided is that our position is that if you feel there's justification for fast-track eviction, it must be applied to every single tenant in the province. There's absolutely nothing about people living where care is provided that makes it necessary to have fast-track eviction for one constituency and not for another. If you use fast-track to deal with domestic violence or anything else, fine, that's your policy decision, but you can't limit a fast-track eviction to only one constituency. There are just no data. If you talk to people from Supportive Housing Coalition, they'll tell you that in five years they've never had to evict anybody quickly.

Mrs Marland: Most of your comments have dealt with that portion of Bill 120 which was originally under Bill 90. I'm wondering if you would like to make some comments on that part of Bill 120 which pertains to the housing aspect. You've said you're concerned that the Lightman recommendations have been referred, for goodness knows how long, to the long-term care division. We've heard from a number of people that some of the very specific recommendations of Dr Lightman -- MARC said earlier this afternoon that a distinction must be made in terms of who it is we're talking about; that while we protect vulnerable people, we not absolutely ruin existing programs the success of which is based on the premise that people do move out and other people move in and have those opportunities. When I look at the member list of your Ontario Advocacy Coalition, I know some of those organizations are very concerned about that aspect of retirement and rest homes that comes under Bill 120.

Miss Bregman: I'm not entirely clear on what you're asking.

Mrs Marland: The organizations you have listed as part of your coalition have said in phone calls and correspondence to me that they are concerned about the part of Bill 120 that deals with the accommodation, the portion of this legislation that deals with retirement and rest homes. And of course they've also said these are two major issues that require individual legislation anyway, instead of being lumped together with basement apartments. But their concern has been very clear, and it's been very clear in their presentations to this committee that while the bill addresses some of their concerns, it also creates concerns for them.

Not only that, but it doesn't do anything about their care. It only does something about tenancy. For a lot of these organizations, and I'm thinking of ARCH and PUSH especially, because they are groups I interact with all the time, and the head injury associations across the province and so forth -- what floors me this afternoon is that you're 100% for the bill except at the very end where you talk about some of the Lightman recommendations. I am saying to you that that's not what a lot of these organizations have been telling me.

Miss Bregman: What I've heard from some relates to very narrow areas. To be honest, we didn't deal with them in part because we dealt with areas where we had consensus. I can't speak for them and I'm not trying to. As far as the care component goes, though, the concern is that yes, you need to deal with certain areas in care and service contracts. Landlord and tenant legislation is not appropriate, but it is appropriate to deal with the issue of security of tenure. This is, fundamentally, housing. This is not an institution in the community. That's the line that is being drawn. If the government wants to set up institutions in the community, they can certainly do that, but we need to recognize that more and more people are living independently and this is their home.

Mrs Marland: So what you've clarified is that in terms of the organizations that are part of your coalition, there isn't necessarily consensus on Bill 120 as it's drafted. You've addressed in your presentation this afternoon those areas on which there were consensus. So when we hear from these other groups that don't agree with Bill 120, we can accept the credibility of their presentations?

Mr Orville Endicott: I think you certainly have to accept the credibility of people who appear before you.

Mrs Marland: We do.

Mr Endicott: We have certainly not had any serious disagreements around the coalition table. Sometimes service provider members of the coalition defer to the consumer-survivor and senior elements in the coalition.

Mr Owens: I'd like to concentrate on the substance of the legislation. My comments are with respect to some of the issues we've heard around exemptions and fast-track eviction proceedings.

I find your comments quite interesting with respect to the application across the board, that in your experience with supportive housing you have never seen the necessity to have fast-track eviction proceedings. I appreciate those comments. I contrast your comments with some of the folks from the for-profit rest homes and care homes who say, "We've got to have a way to get these people out, and if we pass this bill it's going to be the worst thing since the slicing machine broke in the bakery so we couldn't slice the bread any more." Can you expand a little more on the fast-track eviction process?

Miss Bregman: I have to say I'm not a landlord and tenant expert, although I've learned quite a bit in recent months. There are mechanisms under the existing Landlord and Tenant Act right now to deal with tenants who cause damage, who have threats. You can get people out quickly. One of the problems is a lack of court time; it sometimes takes time. I was just at a legal clinic meeting of clinic lawyers dealing with a number of issues, and they can tell you there are landlord reps who can get people out in 48 hours. What it takes is the landlord really understanding the law.

I've heard the arguments raised for fast-track eviction by a number of people. It's something we've looked at, and possibly somebody could convince us that in general the landlord and tenant system needs fast-track eviction. I don't accept that, but there are arguments being made. Our position really is that there's nothing distinct about this population that says you need to have it for this constituency. There are people living in shared accommodation. There are people where you have domestic violence, drugs in a family. Simply because somebody also happens to have a disability or be a senior and needs some support should not change their rights under the Landlord and Tenant Act. There are ways now under the Mental Health Act of dealing with things, under the new substitute decision legislation. We have remedies that are not being effectively used.


Our argument is simply that there's just absolutely no justification for discriminating against people with disabilities and seniors, that they are any more violent, any more difficult. That's essentially what it would be: discrimination against one segment of society. Unless somebody shows me something that says we have a really good public policy reason for picking out this group as opposed to the population at large, it just doesn't fit, and I don't think anybody's willing to say we need to go to fast-track eviction for the entire population.

Mr Owens: As consumer advocates, do you see a necessity to grant exemptions to those homes providing care or rehabilitation? If you agree that this is a sometimes needed issue, how would you go about doing that in terms of protecting the interests of the tenant? My view is that we already have that fast-track eviction process and that's what brought us here under Bill 120. In terms of places like the Massey Centre or some of the group homes under the Metropolitan Toronto Association for Community Living, how would you do something like that without inviting a holus-bolus application?

Miss Bregman: It has to be an extremely limited exemption, and I think the legislation deals with it relatively well. We were involved in discussions ahead of time. You're limiting by: Do they live somewhere else? Is it a very specific, targeted place? There are transitional programs that people stay in for three years. To me, that's a home. That's not a sort of narrow: "I broke my leg. I need to live somewhere where they can provide me with services, then I'm going out again." We do need to deal with service contract issues in terms of terminating services, which will also help, but I don't think you deal with them under this legislation. I think there is a very natural divide.

We have to make sure we keep the restrictions as narrow as possible and preferably would have a way to review it or challenge. In other words, there has to be a way to say: "This provider is saying we do this. How do we prove that's happening?"

Mr Cordiano: Let me be clear about one thing. Our party would support the thrust of Dr Lightman's recommendations and support the general view that the Landlord and Tenant Act should be applied to these living accommodations for people in these centres.

To go back to this fast-track eviction question, the problem I'm having is that I think what's being overlooked in the discussion is that where it is a problem for these operators such as Anglican Houses, which was here, and many others who have come before us expressing their concern is in the area of congregate living accommodations, where there are shared washrooms, shared kitchens, where people are living physically very close to each other and have to see each other, where they can't go into a self-contained unit and lock the door and call for emergency help if someone gets out of control.

If someone does get out of control in those shared, congregate living accommodations, the operators, the people on the front lines, are saying that there have been many instances where one tenant is a very serious threat to other tenants and they need to do something very quickly. This legislation would preclude them from taking swift action, would make it virtually impossible. You disagree with that.

Miss Bregman: I disagree entirely. This legislation does nothing to prevent them from calling the police, from using the Mental Health Act, from calling substitute decisions or getting a landlord's agent and going to court pretty quickly and using the existing landlord and tenant provisions.

My response is, if you can show there really is that problem, are you prepared to say all congregate living; not just congregate living where care is provided but every single congregate living environment? In other words, if your son is sharing a house with four other people, that would have to apply. You can't justify it. There's absolutely no evidence that because you need care, you're more likely to go out of control; in fact, you may arguably be less.

Mr Cordiano: There's also the question that when care is being provided, you need to separate the accommodation question from the provision of care services. At the end of the day, someone who is a tenant who refuses to pay for the services they've been provided would not be able to be evicted for lack of payment, that as long as they paid the rent portion, the Landlord and Tenant Act would be silent on that question. I see that as a problem that isn't resolved, is left wide open for this area. That is a question. It's an interrogative statement.

Ms Benmosché: I happen to be a landlord and I have separated the utilities from the provision of space. If my tenants decide to put in a 12-volt battery system to run their apartment instead of buying from Ontario Hydro, they are perfectly at liberty to do that. I do not require my tenants to purchase a service provided to my buildings.

Mr Cordiano: We're talking about one human being providing care to another. It's very difficult to make that kind of distinction in those circumstances.


Miss Bregman: But it also goes to the issue of both the mandatory services and what the implications are. All too often we have been involved in cases where the landlord has used that separation of services as a way of evicting people. I have been told by landlords: "I don't like this guy. I'm going to keep the rent portion low and increase the care part, because I know that person can't afford it."

Mr Cordiano: But that was before this bill, where the Landlord and Tenant Act did not apply. After this bill, the Landlord and Tenant Act will apply.

Miss Bregman: Except that you can still make it so unaffordable. If you can continue to get Small Claims Court judgements against people, chances are -- there's a lot of concern that this really doesn't go far enough in protecting from economic eviction. But the landlord can also choose not to have mandatory services, can choose to stop providing the services.

Mr Cordiano: I think there's a fundamental ideological difference.

Mr Offer: I'd like to get a response to this concern I have. I have heard today from the service providers that unless changes are made to Bill 120, service to people in need will be affected. As consumer advocates, your function is to make sure that service to the people is not adversely affected. Do you have a concern that the issues raised by the service providers will not be addressed by change to Bill 120?

Miss Bregman: I'm concerned that the service providers will use this as an excuse, as they have in various other cases, not to do certain things. We've spent a lot of time talking to service providers. We mentioned in the brief that the March of Dimes, Cheshire Homes, and OACL have been very supportive, although I'm not sure what position they've taken in full --

Mrs Marland: But they're not supporting the bill.

Miss Bregman: I've had dealings with them and they are supportive of some parts. We have talked to service providers who are currently able to do this. I have talked to service providers who say they can't, and when I sit down and ask, "Tell me why," they can't come up with anything. Yes, I'm concerned they will have problems; not because of this bill, though. They think this will suddenly change the world for them, but when you sit down and you put it to them, they can't come up with anything.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much for your presentation. As you can see, it's a topic for lively discussion. I don't think we're going to solve all the questions today. Nevertheless, we appreciate your presence. As you know, clause-by-clause will be in the week of March 7.

Mr Mammoliti: Mr Chair, may I take two minutes before the next presenters to ask the committee for unanimous consent to extend the deadline for written submissions? I understand a flurry of people want the deadline extended, and I'm asking the committee for unanimous consent.

The Vice-Chair: I certainly will put that question to the committee, but in fairness to the Conservative caucus perhaps we should have someone --

Mr Mammoliti: You're absolutely right.

The Vice-Chair: You can ask again a little later. In the meantime, Mr Wilson, Mr Offer earlier asked a question of the ministry officials. Will we be getting an answer?

Mr Gary Wilson: Do you want it now?

The Vice-Chair: With the agreement of the committee, could we take a few minutes for that answer?

Mr Winninger: Why are we doing it now?

The Vice-Chair: You don't want it right now?

Mr Gary Wilson: Not now.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Offer, is it okay with you that this will be given later on? I don't think you'll be here tomorrow.

Mr Cordiano: We don't want it now. To be courteous to the presenters, I really don't think we should --

The Vice-Chair: Okay, we'll do it either at the end of the day or tomorrow.


The Vice-Chair: The final presentation this afternoon is from the Canadian Association of Retired Persons, Lillian Morgenthau.

Mrs Lillian Morgenthau: I don't know how many of you are acquainted with the Canadian Association of Retired Persons. It is a national association of approximately 180,000. Many of our people, about 90,000, are in Ontario. It is an association to improve the quality of life of people over 50. This bill has come to our attention. We do a lot of briefs and a lot of lobbying. We have some very grave concerns about this particular bill.

It's our perception that this whole bill came about to protect vulnerable adults in small, independent housing where a care component was part of the operation; for example, assistance with bathing, dressing, meals and medication. Certainly this kind of regulation and protection is a significant step in the right direction. The Canadian Association of Retired Persons feels, however, that this bill is too restrictive. It is full of bureaucracy input without offering incentives to accommodate a future which will be filled with the baby-boomer bulge in a few short years.

This upcoming group will require a range of long-term living and care facilities, especially in view of the longer living span we are experiencing. It should be noted that more than 30,000 North Americans are over 100 years of age. Bill 120, while seeking to protect vulnerable adults on one hand, is using a hammer to deal with a small portion of the population. Actually, a carrot is needed to meet the future demand of a burgeoning older population.

With this bill, how does the government see the housing facilities in the next decade? Does this government have a hidden agenda? Is its intention to eliminate the private sector in favour of Big Brother?

CARP does not favour any institution. However, we have observed that private development becomes zero development when bureaucracy takes over. This country was built by pioneers whose initiative and vision opened up this country we all love. This bill does not encourage creative, independent thinking in meeting the diverse needs of the older population.

In a time of shrinking public resources, it is not wise to restrain or inhibit private initiative which can and does do the job of looking after present and future needs that supplement government facilities. There is no doubt that abuse exists in rental accommodation. However, this abuse is also present in government-run institutions.

We wish to emphasize that this bill will really help in smaller facilities, but it covers facilities not really meant in the Lightman report. This bill will also stymie growth of large facilities and may well result in the closing of present establishments, and this would be disaster. As the number of long-term care facilities become scarcer, both by closures and lack of future development, a growing elderly and special-needs population will find itself deserted and left to scrounge for the too few government facilities. We cannot depend on Big Brother to meet and fulfil our long-term care needs. Different priorities compete for the government dollar, and CARP feels seniors will be at the bottom of the money ladder.

This bill's aim is to see that tenants, as they will be regarded, will reside in a safe environment, but it does not address the issue of practicality and the issue of care. Let us be open and frank. You cannot expect operators to maintain all Bill 120 standards and operate at a loss. Even not-for-profit facilities have to meet expenses, including union salaries. Obviously, if there is no profit, there will be no facility.

The public deficit is making it impossible for government to continue to find enough money from public revenue to support the needed care facilities properly. Standards will break down if we don't look at practicality and reality. The public purse is too small, and we must encourage the private sector to develop this area. This bill, as presently drafted, will discourage much-needed development. We ask you to go back to the drawing board and make this bill more particular to those smaller facilities accommodating approximately 10 people.

We foresee that if this bill passes in its present form, it will create the opposite effect from its intention. If we don't recognize the technological changes taking place that can benefit our mature population, it will stagnate at the present level and be incapable of offering the quality of life that new technology will bring to alleviate pain and ameliorate living conditions. New buildings, new residences with modern technology, are essential to the future baby-boomer bulge. This bill will kill the impetus to create these new facilities.

CARP asks you to encourage growth and not stifle it. We ask that Bill 120 be redrafted to protect those in smaller units, which the Lightman inquiry addressed, and that a separate consultation process be developed for the larger, modern facilities. Proper supervision can be designed to protect the tenants.


To force this discussion, I attended a meeting of the board of CMHC this morning, the seniors' advisory council, on which I sit. The legion, the military legion, was there. They told us straight out that they had a discussion about the bill yesterday with someone from government, and they are cutting out their care facilities. They cannot cope with what this bill is going to do to them.

The intent of this bill is certainly laudable. The forcing of it into this particular area will destroy a lot of good residential living. We just finished a focus group of three different types of people: the property managers, because the particular subcommittee I chair wanted to see if we could seniorize some of the high-rise apartment buildings around the city where people have lived for decades. Perhaps when they moved in they didn't think they'd stay there, but they've been there 30 years. They have aged, the buildings have aged, but the place they live in cannot really accommodate what's happened to them. So we were discussing how we could seniorize some of these apartments, and when we were talking about these things and about Bill 120, it would be opposites for them to have to do these things with the landlords, because they just wouldn't do it.

In Bill 120, you're talking about the Abbeyfield concept where six or eight or 10 people live and have put together a home. If you set this kind of standard, that will have to go out of business. I know the basic thought about Bill 120 is to do away with the abuse, and that's laudable, but I think there would be tremendous abuse if we forced all these to close. This government is not prepared to absorb the upcoming bulge and the people who are already in these extended facilities. That's our position.

Mr Winninger: You'll forgive me. I'm a bit confused. Maybe you can help me in through questions and answers.

Mrs Morgenthau: If I'm not confused myself.

Mr Winninger: I assume from your presentation that you are dealing with the Lightman part of Bill 120.

Mrs Morgenthau: No, I'm dealing with the bill itself.

Mr Winninger: Apartments in houses as well?

Mrs Morgenthau: Yes.

Mr Winninger: Okay. Then first of all, we did hear Professor Lightman earlier in these proceedings, and he said that abuse, neglect and exploitation runs from the common boarding house right up to affluent retirement homes and care homes. He didn't draw any arbitrary lines between small boarding houses of 10 people and some of the larger facilities, as you have. He found that the problem was prevalent throughout. I'm wondering how you would go about protecting these people if you were to limit the legislation in the manner you suggest.

Mrs Morgenthau: Very simple. Even if you do give this bill its okay, you will still have to have supervisors, you will still have to have people who will go from one place to another to check up. These people can do it without closing down facilities that are now available. Abuse is there, but let's not fog our eyes and say everything is being abused. It's not true. There is some abuse, but there are plenty who are being taken care of and who are being cared for in the community they live in.

Mr Winninger: Is the extension of the Landlord and Tenant Act, the Rental Housing Protection Act and the Rent Control Act to these kinds of facilities going to close them down?

Mrs Morgenthau: We'll find out, won't we? And then it'll be too late.

Mr Winninger: I suppose we will. There seemed to be a theme running through your presentation that Bill 120 will somehow diminish private investment and that the government can't meet that vacuum. Isn't allowing as-of-right conversion for one apartment in a house going to stimulate the private sector -- create jobs in renovation -- and also allow home owners on a private basis to create affordable housing for people who need it? I'm curious why you see that as somehow impeding private investment.

Mrs Morgenthau: If I were a person with a home and I had facilities to rent and I put in x number of dollars to make this acceptable to the Landlord and Tenant Act and the facilities, as far as I could see, were acceptable to someone who moved in a year or two ago -- I have no one in my house -- and I were subject to all the rules of the Landlord and Tenant Act, if I didn't get along with my tenant and he was abusing the part of the house he was in, I could not get him out.

Mr Winninger: But that's the case now.

Mrs Morgenthau: Yes, but it's not the case if you rent to one person. It's not an apartment. What we're saying is that this act goes too far.

We see it very simply: How many new apartment buildings have been built that were not subsidized or non-profit since the Landlord and Tenant Act has come in?

Mr Mammoliti: I need to disagree with you about the provisions you said are not in the Landlord and Tenant Act to get rid of tenants who perhaps are destroying the place. I think the language in there is quite clear on landlords taking action about tenants who destroy the place, or don't keep it clean, for that matter.

Mrs Morgenthau: I have in our office letters from so many people who have had tenants and not been able to get them out. I'm sure you know that too. It's in there, but try and get them out.

Mr Mammoliti: You're absolutely right; I have a hundred letters as well. But what is very consistent --

The Vice-Chair: Mr Mammoliti, you asked the witness a question. Please have the courtesy to let her finish her remarks.

Mrs Morgenthau: It may be in writing, but try and get them out. First of all, it's very expensive. You have to get forms and a lawyer, and before you get through, anything you may have wanted to do to increase your income -- especially with seniors. They need something to supplement their income, and if they want to live in their home and rent out part of their home, they don't have the money to go to lawyers and have these things done, and they don't have the knowledge --

Mr Mammoliti: But they have the choice. They have the choice of whether they want to rent out their basement apartment or granny flat or whether they don't. They have a choice as to whether they want to rent it out.

Mrs Morgenthau: Mr Mammoliti, it's obvious you're young.

Mr Mammoliti: Actually, I'm 65 years old.

Mrs Morgenthau: Then you should be a member of CARP. I'm not saying we don't need the young. I have four children your age.

I'm saying that when a senior who today has no income from interest coming in wants to supplement income and stay in their home and rent out part of it, they're the ones who are abused.

Mr Mammoliti: But it's illegal right now to do that. What would be your solution to what's happening out there now? They're illegal apartments. Would your solution be the status quo, to keep it the way it is?

Mrs Morgenthau: I gave a solution, if you had listened. I said that you have supervisors now looking over situations with abuse, but the social workers or coordinators right now are very few. If you're going to have this come into being, you will have to increase your staff. You will have to do things to take over all these homes and all these extended care. Rather than do that, why not hire these people to supervise? Give them the rules you feel will keep the people safe.

Like I said, the legion is already cutting out its care setup. They just are not going to have it. This is too restrictive. And they're not the only ones.


Mr Cordiano: Did anyone in the ministry or the minister herself consult with your organization? Did anyone make any effort to consult you over Bill 120?

Mrs Morgenthau: I have this much stuff at home. As a matter of fact, I have a couple right in my case. We've had every single publication on Bill 120. This morning we had a representative come and explain Bill 120.

Mr Cordiano: But did anyone consult with you before Bill 120 was brought forward and made public?

Mrs Morgenthau: No, which was too bad.

Mr Cordiano: Did you hear that, gentlemen? No one consulted. I just wanted to make sure, now that I have the floor and am asking questions. Perhaps there's a problem of hearing on that side.

Mrs Morgenthau: As a matter of fact, Mr Cordiano, I asked who was sitting on this panel and what the background had been. I was rather surprised, considering the large membership we have, that we were not asked to be part of the consulting.

Mr Cordiano: I am surprised too.

Mrs Morgenthau: Maybe it's because we don't take funding from the government and we say what we think. We're neutral.

Mr Cordiano: In your opinion, this bill will have a devastating effect on many of those institutions that provide care.

Mrs Morgenthau: Very adverse effects. We do a tremendous amount of work with abuse. I sit on a lot of those. I feel this bill is not apropos to this and I feel that a lot of our seniors will be adversely affected. One of the women who was at the focus group for tenants in the high-rise apartments has gotten four of her friends together and they have rented a house and are all going to live together. Under this bill, she will not be able to do that.

The Vice-Chair: No further questions from the Liberal caucus? Mrs Marland, I don't know whether you had an opportunity --

Mrs Marland: I'm sorry. I was continuing the previous deputation's discussion, so I didn't --

The Vice-Chair: Do you have any questions?

Mrs Marland: I don't.

Mrs Morgenthau: I'll have this Xeroxed and sent in to you. I'm very sorry; I didn't have time to Xerox it.

The Vice-Chair: That's fine. If you send it to the clerk, he will make sure to have it distributed to the members of the committee. Your presence is very much appreciated and we look forward to your written remarks. Thank you for your presentation.

Mr Mammoliti had a question earlier. As we have five minutes left, perhaps we can deal with the two outstanding items.

Mr Mammoliti: I wanted to try to get unanimous consent to deal with an issue that has come up. Apparently, there are people who want to give us written submissions and I understand that today is the deadline. I'd like to extend it a week if possible.

The Vice-Chair: Are you giving a particular date?

Mrs Marland: We're not going to get into clause-by-clause until March, so I would actually extend the deadline for written submissions to the end of February. We'll still have a week to read them before we get into clause-by-clause.

The Vice-Chair: Is that agreeable to everybody? Agreed.

As to the question Mr Offer had raised earlier, I ask the parliamentary assistant, do you want some of the officials to respond?

Mr Gary Wilson: There's a bit of time, so why don't we ask Scott to come forward.

Mrs Morgenthau: There was one thing I wanted to ask.

The Vice-Chair: I'm sorry, we're now into another subject. If you have a question to the clerk --

Mrs Morgenthau: No. This is the magazine we put out. It says right there, "Wake up, Canada," and I think that's what we should be doing.

Mr Scott Harcourt: I'm Scott Harcourt from the Ministry of Housing. I believe the question had to do with the relationship between service contracts agencies have and provisions in the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Once the bill attains royal assent, any existing provisions in a contract which violate any terms in the Landlord and Tenant Act will no longer be applied. For example, if a service agreement applied for the turfing out, evicting of a tenant through arbitrary means other than the Landlord and Tenant Act, that would no longer be in effect under the Landlord and Tenant Act once it takes effect.

I talked to our legal people, and they were of the opinion that if there's a contract in existence at the time the Landlord and Tenant Act provisions are amended, they would no longer be in effect either.

Mr Offer: Are the provisions in the agreement joint and several? In other words, if there are some provisions that have been rendered illegal, does the whole agreement fall by the wayside?

Mr Harcourt: I'm not a lawyer, but my opinion is that probably not the whole agreement would be regarded as illegal but just those provisions which are illegal under the provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Mr Offer: It might be helpful for the committee in its deliberations, notwithstanding the opinion raised, that we get a precise answer, because there are many groups, certainly the ones I've heard today, which rely in no small measure on these types of agreements. They will want to know the status of those agreements come the proclamation of the bill, unless the government members listen to the service providers of the province and agree with the amendments that have been suggested.

Mr Gary Wilson: I think we can get a complete explanation of it, including the legal aspect.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much. This concludes the hearing for today. The meeting is adjourned until tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock.

The committee adjourned at 1658.