Tuesday 8 March 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


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

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

Arnott, Ted (Wellington PC)

*Dadamo, George (Windsor-Sandwich ND)

Fletcher, Derek (Guelph ND)

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

*Johnson, David (Don Mills PC)

*Mammoliti, George (Yorkview ND)

Morrow, Mark (Wentworth East/-Est ND)

Sorbara, Gregory S. (York Centre L)

*Wessenger, Paul (Simcoe Centre ND)

*White, Drummond (Durham Centre ND)

*In attendance / présents

Substitutions present / Membres remplaçants présents:

Cordiano, Joseph (Lawrence L) for Mr Sorbara

Harrington, Margaret H. (Niagara Falls ND) for Mr Dadamo

Klopp, Paul (Huron ND) for Mr Morrow

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

Owens, Stephen (Scarborough Centre ND) for Mr Morrow

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

Also taking part / Autres participants et participantes:

Gigantes, Hon Evelyn, Minister of Housing

Clerk / Greffier: Carrozza, Franco

Staff / Personnel: Yurkow, Russell, legislative counsel

The committee met at 1004 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): Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. We're here to continue the clause-by-clause on Bill 120. I just saw the minister leave.

Hon Evelyn Gigantes (Minister of Housing): No.

The Vice-Chair: No? Okay. As is the custom, I will allow some opening remarks from the minister and then from the critics of the two parties before we move to the first clause, if the minister wants to begin.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I hope we're not going to spend a lot of time making grand speeches but move quickly to clause-by-clause.

First, I'd like to wish everybody a happy International Women's Day.

Mrs Margaret Marland (Mississauga South): Yes, that was a nice way to start.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Second, to speak directly to the amendment which members of this committee saw for the first time yesterday, we had attempted to provide notice to opposition parties on Friday of the content and direction of the amendment we are proposing, section 2.1. We had some discussion around the objective of this amendment yesterday. If I could just repeat what I tried to lay out to members yesterday, it addresses the particular question raised by deputants before the committee about what happens when spaces in rehab and therapy programs are filled and people who have essentially completed their rehab or therapeutic portion of the program covered by the Landlord and Tenant Act under this legislation do not wish to move on to another residence and provide another opening in the program for somebody who is ready to take up that opening.

Our proposal is that the term of the therapy or rehab program would be set out to the person entering the program and if the term of that program is less than two years, then the person can be asked to leave once the term has been completed.

Essentially, what we're doing here is adding another ground for eviction under the Landlord and Tenant Act, subsection 110(3), and suggesting that where there is a term set out, which is understood by both parties at the beginning of residence, within a two-year framework that term can be a cause for eviction.

I had spoken briefly to this amendment yesterday and I think the wording I used may not have conveyed the correct impression. I want to make it clear that this hasn't to do with whether the person is considered to be fulfilling program requirements of a resident or not. It has simply to do with the term. The program goals are associated with that term. They are understood by the resident and by the operator at the beginning of residency, and it is the time of that program objective, the outside time framework, attached to the program which is understood at the beginning and which can be used as grounds for eviction if that term is shorter than two years.

This is separate and distinct from the notion that a program which has an average length of residency of six months or less is not covered under this legislation. This legislation does not extend the Landlord and Tenant Act to such a program where the residency is on average less than six months. It's separate and apart from that element of the legislative proposal and addresses the question of how to ensure that people move on once they've completed the term of a rehab or therapeutic program.

I'd be pleased to answer any questions where I can shed any light or understanding on that matter.


The Vice-Chair: I see Mr Johnson has his hand up, but I think any kind of questions should be asked when we get to clause-by-clause on these points. I think right now we're giving an opportunity for the minister and for the critics to make some general opening remarks. For the detailed questions, the critics may raise this in their remarks but I think we should finish that round first and then go to clause-by-clause.

Mr Joseph Cordiano (Lawrence): Are we asking questions now? I'm sorry?

The Vice-Chair: No, some general comments that you wish to make, as is the custom at the beginning of clause-by-clause.

Mr Cordiano: Okay.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Which happened yesterday.

The Vice-Chair: As the minister says, "Which happened yesterday." Yesterday we were listening to and questioning the Ministry of Community and Social Services and the Ministry of Health.

Mr Cordiano: I'm disappointed, Minister. I thought you might be interested in what I have to say.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Always.

Mr Cordiano: Obviously, I need a little patience from members of the opposite side. Let me start off by saying that I thought that in approaching this today, having come to this point in time where we're going to deal with clause-by-clause, I thought that perhaps there were indications from the other side that we would in fact see a significant number of amendments. But I've looked at the set of amendments that have been proposed by the government and I'm not convinced that they go nearly far enough in addressing the concerns that have been put forward by deputants. The latest amendment, the addition of 2.1, is certainly a small step in that direction but I don't feel it goes nearly far enough.

Let me start off by saying in my opening remarks that we heard from witness after witness that the fact was there were numerous problems with this legislation. Municipalities, fire departments, advocacy groups and care providers all expressed real difficulty with the legislation. What they said was, "Please don't ignore our concerns because we have to deal with these problems directly on a day-to-day basis."

Quite frankly, I wasn't too thrilled with the response that we were getting from the other side and the kinds of questions that were being posed by the members opposite to these deputants. It seemed to me that throughout the hearings what we got from government members repeatedly was their strong desire to try and educate deputants about the correctness of Bill 120 and the appropriateness of it, rather than a desire to hear what deputants had to say and their legitimate concerns about the legislation.

I'm not surprised that this has been the case because we've seen this in previous efforts at passing legislation, and this is a style of governance that we've seen repeatedly by this government. But it is my hope, however futile -- I see that the amendments will attempt to deal with some problems, but as I say, it is my hope that government members will look at the amendments we put forward as constructive and directed at resolving some of the real concerns we heard from deputants. It's very critical that they understand that we're dealing with some serious matters for those deputants. That these people have to provide care in very difficult circumstances and that they are providing the kind of service citizens of our province need should not be overlooked.

It was my concern yesterday, particularly after having heard from both the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Community and Social Services, that essentially this legislation was an effort through a back-door mechanism -- and I can only describe it as this, because it was my surprise actually that the witnesses who had come before us never really expressed this concern that Bill 120 in effect will change the very nature of the way in which these rehabilitation centres operate.

They will now have to become housing providers rather than rehabilitation centres, as they were designed to be in the first place. Their whole raison d'être, their whole reason for existence, was to provide rehabilitative services to the clients they serve, but in effect Bill 120 will change the way in which they operate, notwithstanding the amendment that has been put forward by the minister on section 2.1, which I think still forces these rehab centres to operate under very constrained circumstances, that is, under the Landlord and Tenant Act, because most of them, as we said repeatedly yesterday, have an 18-month average stay for their clients and that is what most of their programs are designed for.

For me, that would mean that essentially they could move to evict someone but they would have to do so within the confines of the Landlord and Tenant Act, providing no flexibility to remove someone from a difficult circumstance in a timely fashion.

We know from experience, from the history around the province, that to evict someone under the Landlord and Tenant Act could take anywhere between two and six months at the worst. That is an awfully long time to have to deal with someone in congregate living circumstances, shared accommodation. That's a very difficult situation in which to have to remove someone over a period of two months. It is unfortunate that we didn't see enough movement in terms of the amendments that were being offered by the minister.

The problem with this legislation, as we said right from the outset, was that you attempted to combine two very distinct pieces of legislation into one and called it a residents' rights bill, and that is the only common element that perhaps does exist, that there is an extension of rights to residents.

But when you look at the impact of each of these pieces of legislation, the impact is truly quite different and affects sectors that are quite distinct from each other. When you try to compare rooming-houses to homes that provide a long-term housing arrangement for seniors and rest and retirement homes, the kind of care that's being provided in those homes, what's taking place in a rooming-house versus what occurs in a rehab centre, these are very distinct, very different types of settings that have very different needs and that need to be dealt with differently.

We're seeing all of the problems that have been expressed before us in committee coming to the foreground and it's only the beginning; we're going to see many more problems down the road.

The question of intensification and the notion of allowing for the existence of accessory apartments, ensuring that all municipalities comply with what amounts to the minister's view of the world, which includes intensification anywhere, everywhere, and without regard to proper planning processes, I think seriously threatens the good intentions behind the principles of intensification.

The provisions of Bill 120 seem to suggest that the minister believes she knows what a proper level of intensification is and what any community could withstand. I think that's a very serious problem, Minister. When you begin to become the minister involved with what proper planning has to take place in a community, that's undermining the very notion of planning around the province. With one stroke of the pen, with this piece of legislation, to completely do away with planning around the province that takes place in each municipality is completely unacceptable. We heard that repeatedly, and people around the province are now coming to realize that's in effect what Bill 120 would mean.

We heard repeatedly from municipal and fire officials that there are huge numbers of unsafe accessory apartments that will have to be brought up to standard. We heard that these units would require an additional expenditure by the owners in the range of between $5,000 and $10,000 to make these safe places to live. In reality, I don't believe there will be too many people motivated to spend that kind of money in these very difficult economic times. There's very little incentive to do so. On the other hand, there is very little in Bill 120 to make them bring their units up to standard. That's why we will recommend that all accessory apartments be registered with the municipalities and that municipalities be given the right to inspect the units to ensure that they are in fact safe.


Members of the governing side, the backbenchers in particular who will be voting on this -- I have a great deal of confidence that most of the members realized during the course of these hearings that there were problems associated with this legislation. I have some optimism about the way in which some of them will proceed. Perhaps I'm naïve, perhaps I'm being idealistic about the democratic process, but I think there is hope that indeed we will have some interesting times ahead during the course of this week in a clause-by-clause setting.

The only thing I heard that was rather inconsistent with the expression of views by the members of the opposition was their view that legalizing accessory apartments in an effort to provide more affordable homes -- that people would actually use accessory apartments to help finance their mortgages. They say people will take advantage of this interesting idea and more and more people will go out and actually buy homes as a result of the option to have an accessory apartment help pay for their mortgage.

If only that were true. On the one hand you say that, and on the other, when we talk about how many additional units will be created, most members have expressed the contrary view, that there won't be that many units created, that what we're in effect doing is legalizing what's there. So I'm confused about what that direction really is with regard to your beliefs.

That having been said, I think there will be some interesting impacts on the infrastructure. We heard from municipalities where there will be an increase in population in a certain particular point in a municipality, and a school, for example, won't be able to accommodate the additional children. In the entire municipality that may not be the case, but if you look ward by ward or if you break it down even further into smaller sections of the city, there may be schools that are overburdened at the present time and simply can't take the influx of children in that particular area. There is nothing in Bill 120 that would deal with that, nothing. We heard very little to satisfy our concerns with regard to that.

It's quite clear that the government has failed to prove what the impact of this legislation will be. When you legalize basement apartments, again we ask, would it make them safe places to live? Will the number of basement apartments increase?

Members of the opposite side say, "There's going to be an added incentive for people to go out and buy homes because they can now afford them with the accessory apartments." On the other hand, there won't be that many new units, because quite frankly, what we're doing is legalizing what's there.

On the residential care home side of the legislation, again, the presenters who came before us showed the gaping holes that exist in the legislation. Even Dr Lightman who provided us with his report finds the legislation lacking, and in questions to him directly he repeated that he was uncertain about the whole question of fast-track eviction, that he felt there was still a necessity for it.

We heard from those on the front line, those who have to deal with difficult problems each and every day. They pleaded with us to hear what are real problems to them. They said, "Surely you would not undermine the very programs that we deliver." In effect, that's what Bill 120 does, notwithstanding, again I repeat, the clause that has been suggested as an amendment by the minister.

Extending rights to residents in care facilities is something of course which I have always supported, and in fact the minister would recall that in May of last year I asked her a question in the House about her intentions with regard to the Lightman report.

It was at that time that we felt the government should move forward with some legislation dealing with this area. I say again that I would support the efforts of the main thrust of Dr Lightman's recommendations and the main thrust of Bill 120, but we see there is legislation that's before us that lacks balance and, I would say to the minister, that lacks a true effort at consultation with the service providers who are affected and the people who are affected in those homes.

There was a lack of consultation on the part of the ministry notwithstanding Dr Lightman's efforts on this, but we heard repeatedly from the groups, and I find it startling that it would be only the groups that presented to us that were failed to be contacted or consulted, because when we heard from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Community and Social Services yesterday, what I discovered was that Bill 120 was quite a coercive bill towards what they do, coercing these service providers, forcing them rather, to become housing providers, something which some of them have indicated they have no interest in being. In effect, you're putting them out of business by passing Bill 120.

That's unfortunate. I think many of the service providers have been stellar in their performance, have been dealing with circumstances that are quite difficult over the past three or four years in an economic downturn where we have seen an increase in the types of problems they've had to deal with.

I think it's quite unacceptable to us that you would attempt to undermine their programs and attempt to undermine their very existence without being as open and as honest about it, with all of us, because I haven't been privy to this. I think that for most of us on this side our first understanding of this, of the impact of what Bill 120 will lead to, the consequences, is just beginning to be understood.

At the end of the day, I've come to believe that the only way I understand it is as a coercive effort on the part of the government. It's a kind of coercive Utopianism. That's the way I think of it. You think of the world as becoming a place where people can all feel that they belong, and I think that's probably an idealistic, hopeful view of the world; I think however that the view you share with others is not always the view that needs to prevail.


There are differences in our society, and I think we're beginning to understand that with the service providers. Not all of them share your view of the world. Not all of them think the service they're providing ought to be provided in a different fashion. I think that at the end of the day it's unacceptable, because there wasn't an open, consultative process to determine that we were shifting to delink services from housing and just where these rehab centres fit in in terms of that continuum of care that needs to be provided in some of those difficult areas. Where do they fit in? I get repeated phone calls from many of these service providers who didn't understand this.

I think that if we had not asked the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Community and Social Services to appear before us, that would have been something we all would have overlooked. I think yesterday's meetings were quite instructive and put things in perspective, at least for me, in understanding where this bill would actually lead.

We are dealing with a number of items that I think we can address by amendment. I think we can approve the legislation with respect to accessory apartments. However, we cannot accept doing away with the planning process, which has always been the role for municipalities to follow, doing away with that completely. Just by waving a magic wand and saying that accessory apartments are now going to exist as of right legally and they will suddenly become safe places to live is simply not going to happen. There are many more steps that need to be taken to ensure that those are safe places to live.

Municipalities have to be able to inspect these units, and first of all, they have to know that they exist and where they exist. They have to have right of entry. It's not good enough for them to seek a warrant. That's a lengthy process. They need to know that these units exist and where they exist, and that's not contemplated in Bill 120.

Just to conclude, let me say that once again I would reiterate my support for the thrust of Dr Lightman's recommendations. I want to commend the government in this respect, that it has taken the initiative to bring forward legislation. You deserve some measure of credit for that. But I implore you to look at the serious concerns that have been expressed by the presenters who took the time to come before us, and those other presenters who did not have the time to come before us or who were not granted time to come before us because we simply could not accommodate them.

The overwhelming evidence that was before us expressed the view that there had to be changes made to this legislation. that this was absolutely critical. I'm not convinced that the amendments we have seen today address those concerns and will make this legislation workable.

I would also reiterate our frustration at having to deal with these two pieces of legislation in an omnibus bill. I think that is completely undemocratic. It makes a mockery of the process that we follow in this Legislature, one that attempts to examine legislation that is critical, that impacts on all the people of the province, with the appropriate time and effort that go into doing this.

There were some 235 requests. That may have even grown from the time it was cut off. We accommodated something less than that. It just goes to show what kind of interest there was across the province with regard to this legislation, how far-reaching it was and how much of an impact this legislation would have.

At the end of the day, after almost four years of this administration, I can only describe what you're doing as coercive Utopianism. That's not to be taken offensively; it's just something I use to understand what it is that you attempt to do. Quite frankly, it's the only way that I can understand your approach.

Minister, there is still time to deal with these matters in a serious fashion. As I heard from members of the government side, there are areas we can work together on. I think we can make changes to this legislation so that it would work in the interests of all the people of the province.

Mrs Marland: May I just ask a question on process before I make my comments?

The Chair (Mr Michael A. Brown): You certainly may.

Mrs Marland: If all the amendments that are in the package which has been presented to the committee to be dealt with this week are not completed by Thursday at 5 o'clock, will we continue dealing with those amendments in the weekly meetings of general government when the House resumes?

The Chair: As you know, the committee works under motion from the Legislature. We have been instructed this week to conduct clause-by-clause review. I would understand that if for some reason that is not completed this week, then the subcommittee will have to meet and order the business at that time for the new session. I believe this is the only piece of legislation before the committee, so it may be safe to assume -- although that may be a little bit of a strong statement, because you should never assume anything in this business -- that the committee will continue to work on this bill if it does not finish clause-by-clause on Thursday of this week.

Mrs Marland: Thank you.

I welcome this opportunity today to outline not only some of the concerns of the Progressive Conservative caucus with respect to Bill 120, but also some serious issues that were brought up yesterday before this committee and I feel were not adequately addressed by the ministry officials present yesterday.

To begin with the process, Mr Johnson and I feel that the three days that have been allotted to clause-by-clause consideration of this controversial bill are far from satisfactory. With the exception of the members opposite, I'm sure most people present and most who have made deputations would agree wholeheartedly that there is simply insufficient time.

The discussions we have all been party to both during public hearings and with Ministry of Health and Ministry of Community and Social Services representatives yesterday have proven nothing if not to point out the wide spectrum of opinion on this legislation. Just looking at the list of deputants is enough to illustrate this point.

Very few submissions spoke with authority to both parts of the bill. I think all will agree there are two very distinct components of Bill 120. They spoke to either the care home or the accessory or as-of-right sections. The concerns in regard to each part are very different and the amount of time allotted to this legislation is woefully inadequate to deal with the separate but very important interests.

When we questioned the minister before the committee hearings began and asked her to split the bill into two distinct components, she informed us that both parts had to do with residents' rights; therefore, the legislation was properly linked together. Well, graduated licensing and photo-radar were both highway safety issues, according to her caucus, but they knew enough not to link them in one omnibus bill.


I will now turn my attention to some problems at hand, ones that we tried to deal with yesterday but I feel still need some clarification.

We heard yesterday from officials with the ministries of Health and Community and Social Services. Obviously, one problem we spent considerable time on was the question of the six-month average stay for exemption purposes. May I add that much of the reason we were with the Ministry of Health for so long yesterday was that no one bothered to inform us -- for that matter, it appears, the Ministry of Health included -- that an amendment addressing that issue had been slipped into the government motions yesterday morning. Since some members opposite were so distressed with the amount of time taken with that point yesterday, may we suggest that they could have saved time had they either informed us or the ministry officials of the motion they planned to introduce.

The Health representatives yesterday stated that the Landlord and Tenant Act will not cause major problems for any of the care homes covered under the bill, that in fact it can only help the residents, because it will give them security of tenure.

I have two points to raise on that. What happens when a resident causing problems for other tenants, either by being abusive or refusing to accept medication and being very disruptive to everyone's peace of mind, refuses to discuss problems with the Ministry of Health officials, a crisis response team or any other problem-solving mechanism that the ministry cares to throw their way?

We certainly have in our briefs lists of rules for the operation of a number of these various facilities that came before us, and when you look at the kinds of rules that are necessary for those homes to operate, it makes this particular example very significant.

The Ecuhome Corp, for example, has a whole page on precautions when dealing with blood and other body fluids. Now, that has to be a very serious, very significant list of rules in a communal setting for adults living together. They're talking about what to do when hands have likely come in contact with somebody else's blood or body fluids and handling soiled items that have blood and body fluids on them. If somebody decides that they don't want to bother with that, obviously the whole safety of that community becomes at risk.

The same thing with their house agreement, which talks particularly about drinking, smoking, garbage and other things. With drinking, for example, if that is a rehabilitative program for people who have been alcoholics and they're trying to get over it and one individual decides he's not going to stay on the program and he's going to be drinking in that facility, how disruptive do you think that is to the other residents?

If you look at a communal living situation, and you have to look at what is best for the majority of people who are receiving that form of therapy and treatment, then you have to understand that house rules in terms of health are absolutely paramount to the safety of the people who live there. If you have one resident who refuses to comply with those house rules in that kind of communal setting, then obviously everybody is at risk. That really concerns me greatly.

The Landlord and Tenant Act gives that person the right to refuse intervention by anyone, except perhaps the police. Well, I'm sure the police have time to get involved because somebody isn't obeying those critical house rules; they don't have time. They don't have the manpower to decide that 10 or 12 people living together, and there's one person who is putting them all at risk because they're not adhering to the rules, particularly regarding cleanliness and the hazard of handling body fluids and blood -- at one time this wouldn't have been a problem. People weren't at risk with HIV and AIDS. The fact is that today everybody is at risk and everybody has to take precautions.

The very Ministry of Health officials who were here yesterday saying that this bill was just great are the very people who set out rules for the protection of the general public in terms of the operation of hospitals and ambulance services and anyone who is at risk with body fluids or blood, and yet they're saying that if there's an individual who doesn't wish to comply under the Landlord and Tenant Act now, it's okay for them to stay in that communal living environment. I don't think the repercussions of that kind of example have really been considered by the ministry, particularly the Ministry of Health.

The protection of the Landlord and Tenant Act takes away the right of the landlord to rid the premises immediately of this threat, whether real or perceived. The ministry officials said yesterday that rehabilitation and treatment could be hampered if the threat of eviction was always over a tenant's head. Well, what about the threat of infection and contact through blood or body fluids with AIDS? I wonder which would be a greater detriment to your rehabilitation if you had that risk over your head.

Do they believe rehabilitation or even the enjoyment of everyday life is not hampered when they have a disruptive influence that they cannot rid themselves of except by leaving those premises themselves? Where are the rights of the community versus the individual? There is a way of considering both, and this legislation obviously is not the way.

The second point is one we discussed yesterday as well. Security of tenure does not necessarily lead to security of care. I would have thought that this would have been of greater concern to the health officials than the question of tenure.

I don't think the Minister of Housing was here when Ms Jessica Hill made her presentation to the committee yesterday, but I can tell you that I'm sure that if the Minister of Health, Ruth Grier, were here and heard her acting assistant deputy minister of the newly created mental health programs and services area in the Ministry of Health say, "Care should not be a prerequisite to obtaining accommodation or a factor in continuing a tenancy" -- that's the Minister of Health's newly acting assistant deputy minister who says that care should not be a factor in continuing a tenancy.

Does she really believe that? Does she really believe that no matter what the care is, they should continue living in a certain facility with certain conditions?

It's absolute garbage. It's so contradictory to what you would expect to come from the Ministry of Health. The Minister of Housing has different responsibilities and I respect that, but these are things that the Ministry of Health representatives were here saying yesterday. She even went on to say:

"Many of the seriously...ill residing in supportive housing programs have been discharged from the psychiatric facilities or inpatient units of general hospitals. Most of this population has had repeated stays within the psychiatric hospital system and living in supportive housing programs affords them the opportunity to live as full participants in the community."

Of course it does, and isn't that in itself an argument for a longer stay?


You see, there are just so many contradictions. There's an argument for a certain kind of program, a certain kind of treatment, and you cannot make that program or that treatment arbitrarily tie in with a time factor. The people from the Massey Centre have told us that certainly some of their clients are short-term, but some of them are up to three and a half years. Are you saying because a person needs three and a half years they're not going to get it? What a waste of money in the first two years then. Maybe the success of their recovery happens in the last year or six months of their stay.

Whatever it is, if they have those needs, their needs must be met. We're talking about the most vulnerable people in our society and I absolutely hate something that is so two-faced that it ends up that it just plays with people's lives and people's futures. If we're talking about security of care, we'd better make that as important as security of tenancy and we'd better make it as important for everybody who lives in one of those facilities.

I would also like to briefly discuss the Ministry of Community and Social Services presentation of yesterday. Here we have a government ministry that not more than a year ago went to bat legally to allow Ecuhome, a care service provider, the right to remain exempt from the Landlord and Tenant Act; I mean, it wasn't even another government. I don't know what this government is doing to our bureaucracy, but I can't see that a bureaucracy which in 1989 believed so much in a program that under the former minister, John Sweeney, it set up this program, signed this new contract with Ecuhome, issued a press release -- it was a celebration, and so it should have been. It was a program that was needed. Now the same ministry, with staff who may or may not have been part of the original decision, is going to kill that program.

Yesterday, not only did this ministry support Bill 120, which places Ecuhome under its regulatory powers; the representatives who were here yesterday knew nothing of their own ministry's commitment to Ecuhome, a $1.5-million-per-year commitment, I might add. Can you really believe they didn't know anything about it? Or were they told not to acknowledge anything about it? That's up to somebody else to decide. I will draw my own conclusions. But I think it's sad when staff are put in that kind of position.

I would prefer it if they came and said: "We've changed the policy. We've changed the approach. This is what we're going to do now. We don't believe that program needed an exemption from the Landlord and Tenant Act a year ago." Why don't they come out and say stuff like that? At least they would have some individual credibility if that had been the case. Frankly, I wouldn't have known about the $1.5-million commitment either, except that I was able to dig up a press release on that matter issued by that very ministry.

On top of that little conundrum, the officials, when asked to list the care providers they stated had no problems working under the Landlord and Tenant Act, could not come up with one of which they were sure. They sat here and said, "There are other providers who have no problems," and yet when I asked them directly to name some, isn't it interesting that the very people who are responsible for this kind of program could not. No wonder we're upset. I would think that at the very least, the government members must be confused about what's going on in their own ministry.

Given these examples, does this really sound like a piece of legislation about which everyone is thrilled? I don't believe so. Our party has stated, time and time again, its opposition to the former Bill 90, now the as-of-right apartments in this new Bill 120. I will not go over that part at this point again; I will have ample time to comment on that section when we get to it. But we would like to point out one more time the dangers in taking away the rights of municipalities to do their own planning.

The local politicians, who are also elected, I might remind you, know their municipalities. They study the infrastructure, they plan the infrastructure and they sure as heck pay for it. They plan the towns and cities according to that known capacity. Bill 120 takes away the right to do so and imposes a province-wide plan on areas that may not be able to handle it. Such an irony when regional governments were set up to do that very thing: They were given the mandate to plan communities.

If the province is really going to take, by erosion, one piece at a time of the planning responsibility away from municipalities, it might as well say, "We're going to do the whole thing and dispose of regional government." You could certainly save billions of taxpayers' dollars in this province if Big Brother provincial government is going to tell the area and regional municipalities how to plan and how to provide hard services. Of course, we've heard about the fact that the province is thinking of taking over the responsibility for roads and sewer construction and leaving the social services with the --

Hon Ms Gigantes: That's right, yes.

Mrs Marland: No, actually it's the other way, isn't it? They're going to take over the social services. Whatever the responsibility of the province is, if it comes out and changes the structure that exists, fine, but don't leave the cost of the structure there in terms of regional government.

Most large municipalities in this province have planning departments. Every regional municipality has a planning department. Why have the duplication? Why have such a tremendous cost burden to the taxpayers? Bill 120 takes away the right from municipalities to do that planning and imposes a province-wide plan on areas that may not be able to handle their plans.

The Ministry of Housing refers to as-of-right apartments as small, accessory units. They say they will probably house single people or, at the most, young couples. "As of right" is defined nowhere in the legislation as a small, one-person residential unit. That isn't what the legislation says. If that's what you want, have it in the legislation.

Unscrupulous landlords and the NDP have told us -- I want to emphasize I'm not saying "unscrupulous NDP" in this. I'll reword this so I don't upset my colleagues, because I don't believe that.

Mr George Dadamo (Windsor-Sandwich): Very nice of you, Margaret.

Mrs Marland: But I think we know there are unscrupulous landlords. Unscrupulous landlords, and the NDP has told us enough about them, can in effect divide a house or even a town house complex into twice the amount of residential units. One extra person may not be a strain on the infrastructure, but double the amount of families may be.

Nor does Bill 120 legislate safety. There is no mechanism within the legislation for mandatory inspection to ensure that the apartment is safe. Once it's legal, it's legal. But who will be liable when the apartment proves unsafe? We're certainly finding that out right now with the coroner's inquest that's taking place in my municipality.

Mr Stephen Owens (Scarborough Centre): And what did the mayor do about that?

Mrs Marland: The Progressive Conservative Party has many more concerns regarding this controversial legislation. We hope that we are given the chance to address them adequately during the next few days of clause-by-clause consideration.

The Chair: I think perhaps we're ready to begin the clause-by-clause examination. I will call subsection 1(1), Mr Johnson.


Mr David Johnson (Don Mills): I just have a few general motions that I would like to make if it's appropriate at this time.

The Chair: If you have a motion, you may put a motion. That's always in order.

Mr David Johnson: I put a motion requesting a report from the Ministry of Housing to this general government committee, and I would expect the report before we complete this week -- I would hope that's possible -- regarding "a consultation process which fully involves the municipalities to develop the regulations pertaining to Bill 120 as requested by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario."

Mr Chair, they have requested that the consultation process pertaining to the regulations fully involve AMO.

The Chair: Do I have a copy of your exact motion, Mr Johnson?

Mr David Johnson: Yes, you can have it right here. I've scribbled it down. That's the first part. The second part is the same ministry, same timing, regarding municipal liability.

The Chair: We'll have to deal with one motion at a time. Is it the same motion with different sections? The Chair is having some difficulty.

Mr David Johnson: The motion requests a series of reports, five reports to be specific, from the Ministry of Housing. It's all the same ministry. They're all reports. I would like them all back by the end of this week. It's information that should be readily available, I would think.

The Chair: Perhaps you could just read the motion so that I understand. Then we can make the arguments about the motion after we know what the motion is.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Could we see a copy of the motion?

The Chair: As soon as it's moved clearly.

Mr David Johnson: You can see a copy of it right here.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I'm not prepared to vote on it until I see a copy of it.

Mr David Johnson: It simply requests a report. It only requests information.

The Chair: Well, just make the motion precisely.

Mr David Johnson: The motion, then, is that I request a report from the Ministry of Housing to the general government committee before the end of this week regarding:

"(1) a consultation process which fully involves the municipalities to develop the regulations pertaining to Bill 120 as requested by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario;

"(2) municipal liability pertaining to Bill 120 as outlined in the response of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario to Bill 120;

"(3) the status and the proposed implementation schedule of the fire code regulations;

"(4) changing the Assessment Act to have houses containing an accessory apartment assessed as a duplex as outlined in the presentation of the mayor of Scarborough;

"(5) the danger of radon gas accumulation in basement apartments and the linkage of this gas to a greater incidence of lung cancer as noted in the presentation of the mayor of Scarborough."

That, I might note, has been requested by a number of people.

The Chair: If we could have a copy of that, the clerk will get it and circulate it to the members. Now, the reason for the motion, Mr Johnson.

Mr David Johnson: The reason is that as we proceed with Bill 120, and particularly these pertaining to the accessory unit section of Bill 120, there are a number of questions. I'm sure the members of the committee have heard these questions, particularly from the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and many of the municipalities.

I think perhaps the most serious question is the issue of municipal liability. Municipalities are concerned as to where they stand in the event, for example, that a large number of either tenants or landlords come forward seeking an inspection of an accessory unit. Municipalities have very limited staff at this point in time. Municipalities are operating under the burden of the social contract, under the burden of the expenditure control program and apparently under the burden, as I understand it in a recent announcement, of a further 3% cutback this year, in 1994, in their grants from the province of Ontario.

We heard the fire chief from the city of Mississauga indicate in his presentation that it would take 87 person-years, in his estimation, to inspect each and every basement apartment in the city of Mississauga. To do that, for example, in the course of a year would require, obviously, 87 fire inspectors. I believe his message and the message of the mayor of Mississauga, speaking on behalf of that one out of many municipalities, was that this was unreasonable to expect, that they simply couldn't inspect all of the basement apartments.

Then the question becomes, what is the liability if there is a flood of these coming to the municipality for inspection and the municipality because of fiscal constraints, many of which have been imposed by the provincial government in terms of grant reductions, is unable to do the inspection, and a fire, heaven forbid, occurs or some problem occurs? What is the liability of the municipality? That's what AMO is asking. AMO has approached the ministry and has asked for clarification of that matter. They have not had that clarification. I think as we proceed this week that surely the ministry should give some kind of response to municipalities as to where they stand in that event.

The ministry might also comment with regard to those units that do not come forward and do not ask for an inspection, but are apparently made legal under this bill. Does the municipality assume any liability for them? In other words, is there any expectation that the municipality will be proactive and will be required to go out and somehow bring up to standards those apartments that have not volunteered to have an inspection.

Those are very important issues and I think before we vote on Bill 120, we should know the answers to those questions, and the municipalities would like to know the answers to those questions. That's sort of the first part.

The second part or another part deals with the regulations. The regulations are going to be important to the municipalities. For example, I think Scarborough has noted what might be reasonable grounds for entry into an apartment to do an inspection, and it would like to work with the ministry in terms of determining those regulations.

What they're requesting is that the regulations not be developed in isolation of the municipalities but there be some process set forward, some consultation process, so that the province will work with the municipalities in a joint venture to determine the regulations that make sense.

They are very much concerned that these regulations will be without that kind of consultation and consequently perhaps designed in a way that will not be to the maximum benefit of the province and the municipalities and the people who inhabit the basement apartments. It's simply asking that the ministry outline what the public consultation process will be for the regulations, and I think that's valid.

The next one, although the clerk has my motion there now, I'm just trying to recall, but I think the next one had to do with assessing.

Mr Owens: Did you just want to repeat it? I didn't get a written version of the motion.

Mr David Johnson: You'll get a copy, don't worry. You'll be well looked after.

Hon Ms Gigantes: On a point of order, Mr Chair: Do we have copies of this motion now?

The Chair: It has now appeared.

Mr David Johnson: It starts about one third down the page. It goes down the bottom of the page and then comes around to the top.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Mr Chair, this is not an acceptable written form for a motion, it really is not. It's not possible to read this and make sense of it.

Mr David Johnson: It doesn't live up to the expectations of the minister. I would hope the minister would be more concerned --

Hon Ms Gigantes: Mr Chair, on a point of order: Could we please table this --

Mr David Johnson: -- if the information that's being requested --

Hon Ms Gigantes: I believe I have been granted the right to raise a point of order.

The Chair: Point of order, the minister.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Could we at least table this matter until we can get something we can read in front of us and cut the discussion on it right now until we can get something we can read in front of us?

The Chair: The members are having some difficulty reading Mr Johnson's motion?

Mr David Johnson: What's the matter with you guys? Be a little more interested in --


The Chair: Order. We will recess until 22 minutes after 11 while we get a formal copy of Mr Johnson's motion.

The committee recessed from 1111 to 1124.

The Chair: The committee will come to order. Mr Johnson has not returned with his motion yet. In the meantime, the minister tells me that she has a clarification of wording regarding section 2.1 that the members may be interested in. This is just a point of information.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Exactly, Mr Chair. What I'd like to draw to the attention of members of the committee is the circulation of new wording for the amendment which has been proposed by the government to section 2.1 that deals with the term of an agreed period of therapy or rehabilitation.

Mrs Marland: Is this in the other one?

Hon Ms Gigantes: No. This has just been circulated. Perhaps the clerk could help us identify exactly which piece he has circulated. It doesn't indicate any change, and this is going to lead to confusion. I'd ask the clerk to make sure that each member feels satisfied that he or she now has the new wording.

The Chair: Perhaps the easier thing to do would be to read it out.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I will read it. It now reads:

"I move that the bill be amended by adding the following section:

"2.1 Subsection 110(3) of the act" -- that's the Landlord and Tenant Act -- "is amended by striking out `or' at the end of clause (d), by adding `or' at the end of clause (e) and by adding the following clause," and here is where you will find the change in wording from the motion which was tabled yesterday:

"(f) the accommodation was occupied solely for the purpose of receiving rehabilitative or therapeutic services agreed upon by the tenant and landlord, no other tenant of the building in which the accommodation is located occupying the accommodation solely for the purpose of receiving rehabilitative or therapeutic services is permitted to live there for longer than two years, and the period of tenancy agreed to has expired."

This is to make very clear that what the amendment is addressing is a program in which all the people involved are not permitted to stay in the program for longer than two years.

The Chair: I just will ask members if they are all satisfied that they have a copy of the new amendment that the government will be proposing. Fine. We will then revert to Mr Johnson, who had the floor and was speaking to his motion, which all members now have in front of them.

Mr David Johnson: Mr Chairman, can I seek your advice then? I have now in the proper form, I suspect, the motion. I've already spoken to items 1 and 2, I believe, of the motion that you have before you. What I'm asking for simply is a report. I hope that's not put in the category of a heinous crime to simply have a report on questions that have been raised, largely by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.

The report can simply indicate, for example in the case of municipal liability, that we don't know what the municipal liability is or we know what the municipal liability is and it's not this or whatever the fact of the situation is pertaining to the municipal liability. But the municipalities would like some guidance in that regard so they know what they're up against.

In terms of the regulations, again if there's no proposed process involving the municipalities to be involved in the formulation of the regulations, then simply say that. That's not a very complicated report, but people are asking how this is going to work. If there is indeed a process that's being developed, then I'm simply asking that it be noted so the municipalities will have some idea as to where they stand.

They're also quite interested in item 3 of the motion, which is the fire code regulations. Of course, many of the fire chiefs alluded to that, Chief Hare being one of them, the fire chief from the city of Scarborough being another one. A number of fire chiefs who were before us wondered what the status is and when the new fire code regulations would be implemented. I'm asking for that information before this committee.

Item 4 is to ask for a report on the possibility of changing the Assessment Act, because many municipalities have said that having two units in a house will require services -- services pertaining to education, services pertaining to recreation, waste disposal, you name it. There will be more services required, and most municipalities in fact have said they're not opposed to accessory apartments, but there are conditions that they feel should be in place. Some of them have mentioned the fact that they think it would be more fair if the Assessment Act was changed such that the house would be assessed as a duplex. That would presumably generate a little bit of extra revenue which would help to offset the costs of the extra services for education, for recreation, for waste disposal etc.

I'm simply asking that the ministry report on that prospect, whether the ministry contemplates that or whether the ministry is opposed to that or whether that's a possibility or not.

Item 5 is one that was only referred to once, I think, in the various presentations, but I've heard it on at least one other occasion, and this has to do with the incidence of radon gas in basement apartments. Specifically, it was noted in the brief from the mayor of Scarborough, but there is increasing concern with regard to radon gas accumulation in basement apartments. I think there was a study done in Norway which has linked this to a greater incidence of lung cancer.


I'm simply asking, since it was noted in one of the presentations, that whatever information the Ministry of Housing has in that regard, they make us aware of information with regard to radon gas and the linkage to lung cancer. I'm only asking for reports here; just information, Mr Chairman, to help us at the end of the day make our decision on this issue. That's the essence of my motion.

Mr Cordiano: I believe that if what we're asking for are reports, then it would add certainly to the existing information that we've accumulated on committee up to the present time. I think there are some legitimate concerns revolving around what might be the process that's followed for developing regulations as there are some practical implementation problems around accessory apartments and the role that municipalities will play.

I think as well, with respect to questions revolving around liability, I've expressed repeatedly our concerns with the fact that simply by legalizing basement apartments or accessory apartments as of right does not make them safe places to live. In fact Bill 120 is lacking in its approach when it fails to direct municipalities or to give them the right to inspect these units to ensure that they are safe places to live.

I think to the extent that we are -- well, if no one's listening, I suppose it really doesn't matter because the intent is not to listen to what we would think is appropriate.

Mr Gary Wilson (Kingston and The Islands): Well, say something.

Mr Cordiano: With comments like that it really --

The Chair: Order.

Mr Cordiano: I think, Mr Chairman, there is an effort on our part to be open and direct with the members of the government side as to what our intentions are. I'm not holding anything back. I think it's quite clear that we disagree with some parts of this bill fundamentally. I've made that clear. I've made our position clear as to what we intend to do with those sections of the bill and I think to the extent that we are adding to our base of information, this would be an appropriate motion.

The Chair: Can I have Mr Daigeler, Mr White, Mr Owens and Mr Grandmaître?

Mr Hans Daigeler (Nepean): Just briefly, I always appreciate additional information. However, I feel that the time line is not quite reasonable, the provincial civil servants being busy with other matters. There's always third reading and before we make our final vote, I think it's useful to have that information, but to request that before this Thursday I don't think is quite fair and reasonable and I would recommend to Mr Johnson to take that out and leave the rest in place.

Mr Drummond White (Durham Centre): Similarly to Mr Daigeler, my concern was not with the many points in the resolution but rather with the time line and the fullness of the request, a report about a consultation process etc, of planning. These things, I think, will require to be done properly with much more than two days.

For example, in two days the issue of the radon gas, which may be something of some real significance, I'm not sure it could be done justice in that period of time, nor is the Ministry of Housing staff necessarily equipped to deal with that very problematical issue. I'm sure Mr Owens would be able to comment on that as well.

The first three items seem appropriate but I'm not sure about the time line. As well, are we looking at an expressed intent on the behalf of the ministry or a complete report and time line and schedule of activities, which is a little problematical for even a couple of months?

Mr Owens: My comments are straightforward and succinct. I move that the question now be put.

Mrs Marland: Are you going to cut off any further discussion?

Mr Bernard Grandmaître (Ottawa East): You've done what?

Mr Owens: I've put a motion on the floor.

The Chair: Mr Owens has moved that the question now be put.

Mrs Marland: This is great. No further discussion. Let's cut off the debate.

The Chair: Mr Owens, I still have two members on the list. I will rule that out of order at this point.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Putting the question is always in order, Mr Chair.

Mr Owens: On a point of order, Mr Chair: In terms of the motion, and I'll say this quite respectfully, the motion that the member has put forward is, first of all, very straightforward. I don't think it requires a great deal of debate.

The Chair: You cannot debate the Chair's ruling.

Mr Owens: In terms of the number of people on the speakers' list --

The Chair: If you're debating the Chair's ruling --

Mr Owens: -- I'm not sure that's germane. Three parties have had an opportunity to comment.

The Chair: Mr Grandmaître. Oh, a point of order for Mr Cordiano.

Mr Cordiano: I agree with the Chair. The ruling of the Chair cannot be debated. If you want to challenge the Chair, then please go ahead and challenge the Chair.

Mr Grandmaître: Thank you, Mr Chair.

Mr Cordiano: We're attempting to deal with the matter --

The Chair: Order.

Mr Grandmaître: I'll be very short.

Mr Cordiano: Go ahead and challenge on it, if that's your attitude.

Mr Grandmaître: On the mover's first point, the consultation process, I think it's very, very important that municipalities should be involved with the ministry to write regulations. You need the input of municipalities because, as you know, Madam Minister, municipalities will be gaining -- if I can use the word "gaining" -- more responsibilities, and I think it's only fair that you could say yes and that's it. You don't need a report on it but just simply say yes, municipalities will be involved in the development of the regulations, period.

On the fourth point, I'd like to ask the mover, why would you need a change in the Assessment Act? At the present time municipalities, once a year, do send a list of the additional units in their municipalities to the Ministry of Revenue asking it to update their assessment. Why would we need a change or an amendment to the Assessment Act? Maybe there's something I don't know. What is it?

Mr David Johnson: If I'm then allowed to respond to a question that's directed to me --

The Chair: You may respond.

Mr David Johnson: -- my understanding, which I wouldn't profess to be 100% either, so I'm really raising a flag here, is that the house which would accommodate an accessory apartment would be assessed as one house, whereas, for example, if a house is zoned in the first instance as a duplex, then both units are assessed separately and individually and the sum of the two assessments in a duplex would be more than the assessment that you would expect to get from an individual house that has an accessory apartment. That's my understanding. That's the information that has filtered my way via municipalities.

If I'm wrong in that, then the report is a very simple one and I guess no action is required. But certainly I have heard that message from municipalities, that to in fact get these two units assessed as if they are independent units would require some sort of change, probably in the Assessment Act.


The Chair: Your question's been asked. We'll move on to Mrs Marland.

Mrs Marland: You're finished, Mr Grandmaître?

Mr Grandmaître: Yes.

Mrs Marland: I think there are three questions here that if the minister were willing to respond fairly quickly, it's not a time problem at all. I'm sure a phone call to the Ontario fire marshal will answer number 3. That's not a big-deal report; it's just a status of where we are with the fire code regulations. I think some three weeks ago, as members of this committee, we did receive a draft of the fire code updating from the fire marshal.

There actually has already been an answer to the question of the Assessment Act, and that obviously isn't this minister's responsibility. But I asked this minister in the House if she would recommend changing the Assessment Act and she said no, as I recall. If that's still the position, I think you could say that again on the record today, Evelyn, and that's the answer to that, unless the government hasn't discussed it recently.

I think number 5, as the government members have said, is very important. It is information that we need. Maybe we can't have number 5 by the 10th, but I really think what Mr Johnson is looking for here, especially in number 1, is a commitment to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario. It's a straightforward question.

I would guess that 1, 2 and 3, the minister could answer on the record probably this morning without its being a report. Let me ask you, Madam Minister --

The Chair: We're debating the motion.

Mrs Marland: I am debating it, but I'm asking, would the minister be prepared to give us an answer to any of these this morning on the record and would she be willing to give a commitment to number 1?

Hon Ms Gigantes: The motion calls for reports, and it calls for reports by Thursday, March 10, two days from now. On Thursday, March 10, this committee will be into clause-by-clause, if we ever get started. I don't wish to see a process developed where we will have tabling of reports and then we will have a demand from members of the Conservative Party on this committee that we discuss all these reports.

As the member for Mississauga South has pointed out, much of this information has been available to committee members through the course of hearings, and materials which were prepared by the ministry for those hearings. There have been reports on each of these items and responses on each of these items, with the exception of number 5. Number 5 is an important exception because, as members on both sides have pointed out, this is a very large question which affects far more than items covered by Bill 120.

I would therefore suggest to the committee that we dismiss this motion, that we proceed with clause-by-clause, and at each stage where they feel we need to repeat information which has already been provided to the committee, we can do that.

Mrs Marland: I guess, Madam Minister, you didn't want to answer my question and I guess we could ask the Minister of Finance about the Assessment Act. But your position is the same as when I asked you in the House, that you're not going to recommend changing the Assessment Act?

The Chair: Why don't we just speak to Mr Johnson's motion rather than engage in a debate?

Mrs Marland: I'm trying to shorten the motion because everybody's saying that it's too much to ask for.

The Chair: If you wish to shorten the motion, you may make an amendment.

Mrs Marland: I can't shorten it if the minister isn't willing to answer my question.

Mr Cordiano: On a point of order, Mr Chair: I heard what the minister said and I think there is definitely --

The Chair: The point of order?

Mr Cordiano: The point of order is, the point that the minister's making is that these items have been dealt with. I beg to differ with respect to number 1.

The Chair: That's a point of view.

Mr Cordiano: There was no consultation process agreed to with municipalities over regulations.

The Chair: Mrs Marland.


The Chair: Thank you, Mr Cordiano.

Mrs Marland: The two that I said were the exception to my request for an answer from the minister were 1 and 5. If the minister were willing to commit to number 1, we don't need a report. That's why I asked her if she would be willing to commit to a consultation process which fully involves the municipalities to develop the regulations.

It's simply saying will you talk to the municipalities when you start to develop the regulations pertaining to this bill, which is what AMO has asked. If the minister could say yes, she would commit to talking -- a consultation process is what talking is about -- if she would commit to that, we can take that out of this. I would move to take this out of this motion for a report. Would you commit to doing that, Madam Minister?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Absolutely, if you will take out that section. Certainly. My concern has been that we can have a debate on whether reports are satisfactory to members and that can preclude our ever dealing with the legislation, as members of the Conservative Party know full well.

My real desire here is that we begin to address the work which has been laid in front of this committee, which is a clause-by-clause examination of Bill 120, which we have not begun after many hours of sitting.

Mr Owens: And agreed to by the three House leaders.

Mr Cordiano: On a point of order, Mr Chair: It's inappropriate that the minister lecture this committee on what's appropriate to be dealt with on committee.

The Chair: That's not a point of order, Mr Cordiano.

Mr Cordiano: It is a point of order.

The Chair: No, it isn't. Mrs Marland.

Mr Cordiano: I think that you should respectfully submit to what the committee is undertaking because there are --

The Chair: Mr Cordiano.

Mrs Marland: So, Madam Minister, will you agree to a consultation process which fully involves the municipalities to develop the regulations pertaining to Bill 120 as requested by AMO?

Hon Ms Gigantes: I agree to that and I will say to you that we have had many discussions with AMO around such regulations already.

Mrs Marland: Good.

Hon Ms Gigantes: And we will have further discussions as we move to the finalization of such regulations.

Mrs Marland: Okay. That's excellent. I'm going to ask Mr Johnson if we can take number 1 out.

Mr David Johnson: We have the minister's agreement, so sure.

Mrs Marland: Okay. We'll take out number 1. Do you think, Madam Minister, through the Chair --

The Chair: Order. We just can't take things out. We need an amendment.

Mrs Marland: All right. I'll move an amendment to remove item 1 from this motion. Through the Chair, is it possible that the status and proposed implementation schedule of the fire code regulations is something that the staff could have in two and a half days?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Absolutely.

Mrs Marland: Thank you. Then I would move that we --

Hon Ms Gigantes: But I am unwilling as minister to commit to having reports produced which are going to be debated as reports before this committee instead of the work to which all members agreed, which was to undertake clause-by-clause of Bill 120.

Mrs Marland: I hear you, Madam Minister, but the fact is I'm going to move that we take out item 3 because --

The Chair: We have to deal with the first amendment that you have moved.

Mrs Marland: All right. I move that we remove item 1 from this motion. Okay?

The Chair: All in favour?

Mrs Marland: All in favour of removing item 1 from this motion.

The Chair: All in favour of deleting item 1? Agreed.

Mrs Marland: For crying out loud, why wouldn't you be in favour of shortening it? You are such puppets, it's unbelievable.

The Chair: It's carried.

Mrs Marland: Carried, thank you. I have a commitment from the minister that we can get the answers to number 3 for Thursday. I also heard the minister say that she doesn't want that discussed and I think that's within the Chair's purview about what's discussed on Thursday, because actually we could discuss the old draft if we wanted to, but I'd rather have an up-to-date status and that's all we're asking for.

Having the commitment from the minister that we will have the status and the proposed implementation schedule of the fire code regulations, then I would move an amendment --

Mr David Johnson: Do we have that commitment from the minister?

Mrs Marland: Yes. The minister said yes, she would commit to it. The minister wants to answer, Mr Chair.

Hon Ms Gigantes: No, I won't repeat myself.

The Chair: You may continue, Mrs Marland.


Mr David Johnson: Then I guess we have that commitment.

Mrs Marland: Yes. I don't think it's necessary -- okay. Then my amendment is to remove item 3.

The Chair: Mrs Marland has moved that we delete item 3. All in favour? Carried.

Mrs Marland: Item 2, the municipal liability pertaining to Bill 120 as outlined in the response of AMO: Through the Chair to the minister, has that been looked at by your ministry?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Yes.

Mrs Marland: So would you be willing to share an answer on that question?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Absolutely. I'm just not willing to suggest to the Chair that he accept discussion of reports on Thursday as opposed to the work which was agreed to by members of this committee, which was to do clause-by-clause of Bill 120.

Mrs Marland: Can I ask, through the Chair, will you bring in number 2 by Thursday?

Hon Ms Gigantes: I've answered this already, Mr Chair.

The Chair: Go ahead, Mrs Marland.

Mrs Marland: No, I'm sorry, Evelyn, you weren't as clear on that as you were on the other two. I heard what you said --

The Chair: You may make an amendment if you wish, Mrs Marland, or just continue the discussion.

Mrs Marland: Okay. Madam Minister, when would you be willing to --

The Chair: This is not a time for a debate, Mrs Marland.

Mrs Marland: No, but how do we know how to vote on this? If the minister -- and she is being cooperative on this. Why don't we eliminate some of this? If the minister would be --

Mr Owens: I don't know why Dave doesn't just withdraw it.

Hon Ms Gigantes: You could defeat the motion. That would eliminate it.

Mrs Marland: We've had a commitment from you.


Hon Ms Gigantes: If that's how you want to spend your time --

The Chair: Order. Mrs Marland has the floor.

Mrs Marland: Mr Chair, I would like to move to delete item 2, but I just need to know from the minister, if I do that, when will --


Mrs Marland: Mr Owens, I'm not asking you. Thank you. I'd like to know when we would get the answer to that question of municipal liability from the minister. She said they've discussed it. I'm just asking her, when would she be able to share that with this committee?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Mr Chair, there is no problem producing any of this material. My single and only point is to indicate my very strong recommendation to you as Chair that we not enter into a process which will produce reports on Thursday, which will then become the subject of discussion about whether they are adequate reports, as opposed to the work which we have agreed to as a committee, which is to deal with the bill which is before us, Bill 120, clause by clause and report to the House.

The Chair: I may be able to put the minister's mind at ease in regard to that, in that there is really no -- the ministry may produce the report but that does not make it debatable. We will be dealing with clause-by-clause.

Hon Ms Gigantes: When?

The Chair: We are actually right now.

Hon Ms Gigantes: No, we're not right now, Mr Chair. In fairness, we are not dealing with clause-by-clause now. We have not begun clause-by-clause and we've spent several hours in the committee in time which was allocated to clause-by-clause consideration of the bill.

The Chair: The Chair was just trying to inform the minister that the reports may be tabled with the committee but there is not an opportunity to debate the reports.

Mrs Marland: Mr Chair, I would assume that satisfies the minister's concern, what you've just said. I heard the minister say, in answer to my question, that there's no problem presenting these reports, so in that case I would delete item 2 from this motion.

The Chair: You move that item 2 be deleted?

Mrs Marland: Right.

The Chair: Mrs Marland has moved that item 2 be deleted. All in favour? Carried.

Mrs Marland: So now that we've deleted 1, 2 and 3, it remains as to whether or not the government members are interested in item 5.

Hon Ms Gigantes: No, 4.

Mrs Marland: That's right, 4 and 5. For that reason, I'd move that 4 and 5 be split in the vote. I think that there would be members who would be interested in the radon gas question and might support the motion on that but may not support the motion on the Assessment Act because their government's already taken a position on the Assessment Act.

The Chair: I'm not sure procedurally how we would accomplish that, Mrs Marland. We have a motion including two sections.

Mrs Marland: I'm moving a motion that we split those items 4 and 5. That's in order.

The Chair: No, you would have to delete one of them and we could deal with it separately.

Mrs Marland: No, I'm moving that we vote on them separately, and that is in order.

Hon Ms Gigantes: It is.

The Chair: Yes, all right, I understand. Fine.

Mrs Marland: So I move that we vote on 4.

The Chair: We have to complete the debate on the motion before we vote.

Mrs Marland: Oh, that's right.

The Chair: Unless you're suggesting that the question now be put.

Mrs Marland: No, I'm finished my --

The Chair: Mr Owens?

Mr Owens: I move that the question now be put.

Mr David Johnson: Just one more point --

The Chair: No, Mr Owens has moved the question now be put. I believe that would be in order, given that we've had more than adequate discussion.

Mr David Johnson: On a point of order, Mr Chair: There has been talk about the date. I'm prepared to amend the date of the report for item 5.

The Chair: That's not a point of order, Mr Johnson, unfortunately. We will deal with the motion --

Mr David Johnson: What a process. This is unbelievable.

Mr Gary Wilson: That's what we think too.

The Chair: I'm trying to put the question. We have a motion from Mr Johnson before the committee. I believe all members have it. We are dealing only with sections 4 and 5. Amendments have deleted the first three.


The Chair: Oh, I'm sorry. All in favour of Mr Owens's motion that the question now be put? Opposed? Mr Owens's motion is carried.

Now we will deal with Mr Johnson's motions 4 and 5.

Mrs Marland: I'd like a recorded vote on 4 and 5, and they are being voted on separately.

The Chair: I will put them separately. All in favour of section 4 of Mr Johnson's motion? A recorded vote.


Cordiano, Grandmaître, Johnson (Don Mills), Marland.

The Chair: Those opposed?


Dadamo, Mammoliti, Owens, Wessenger, White, Wilson (Kingston and The Islands).

The Chair: Number 4 is defeated.

Mrs Marland: Now we'll find out who's interested in putting people in basement apartments.

The Chair: All in favour of part 5 of Mr Johnson's motion?


Cordiano, Grandmaître, Johnson (Don Mills), Marland.

The Chair: All those opposed?


Dadamo, Mammoliti, Owens, Wessenger, White, Wilson (Kingston and The Islands).

The Chair: It is lost and the motion is lost.

Now, subsection 1(1).

Mr Cordiano: Mr Chairman, it's 12 o'clock. I have other commitments.

The Chair: It being 12 of the clock, the committee will reconvene at 2 o'clock this afternoon.

The committee recessed from 1159 to 1407.

The Chair: The standing committee on general government will come to order. The purpose of the committee meeting this afternoon is to examine Bill 120 clause by clause. As members will recall, this morning we started section 1.

Mr Grandmaître: Did we?

The Chair: Yes, we did. Do I have questions, comments or amendments to subsection 1(1)? Mr Cordiano, I believe you have an amendment to subsection 1(1).

Mr Cordiano: I certainly do.

I move that clause (b) of the definition of "care services," as set out in subsection 1(1) of the bill, be amended by inserting after "rehabilitative," "respite, convalescent care."

I think it's important to include this because it addresses the concerns of a variety of rest and retirement home operators. Actually, the whole industry expressed a concern around their ability to continue to provide convalescent care and respite care in their facilities, and I don't believe we have addressed this. However, I think adding these two definitions along with "care services" makes it crystal-clear what we're referring to in terms of respite and convalescent care. That's why I have included that in the definition clause.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I appreciate Mr Cordiano concern to make sure we're thinking of all the kinds of care and that the legislation reflects our intent with respect to all the kinds of care that can be provided in residential settings. However, this amendment would have the unintended effect of applying provision of the Landlord and Tenant Act to types of care that I suspect he would not want to see the Landlord and Tenant Act applied to, namely, the types he is adding, respite and convalescent, both of which tend to be short-term stays in residence. If convalescent care is such that it actually involves a rehabilitation or therapeutic program, Bill 120 would apply to convalescent care, as it does to the larger generic description we use, rehabilitative or therapeutic service. Because of the way this definition is used throughout the act, I think he's unintentionally extending the provision of Landlord and Tenant Act coverage to such short-term service as we normally describe as respite or convalescent.

Mr Cordiano: I'm not quite sure I follow that, but the purpose for this was once again to exempt this type of care from provisions of Bill 120. It's in the definition clause. It will probably become clearer as we move on and the other amendments that I propose become evident.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Mr Chair, could I make the suggestion, in that case, if Mr Cordiano is willing, that we leave this amendment so that when we look at the further sections in the act what I am saying may become apparent to him, which is that he is unintentionally extending Landlord and Tenant Act coverage to short-term care services that we normally describe as respite and convalescent?

Mr Cordiano: Why don't we do that, come back to it? We may even get some agreement on this.

The Chair: Mr Cordiano, you're asking for unanimous consent to stand this amendment down? Agreed? Agreed.

Mr Johnson, I see you have an amendment which looks similar, but not the same.

Hon Ms Gigantes: No, it's the reverse.

Mr David Johnson: Probably for the same reason.

Subsection 1(1): I move that clause (b) of the definition of "care services," as set out in subsection 1(1) of the bill, be amended by inserting after "services," "for any type of care that involves treatment and support or assistance to overcome addictive or substance dependency or physical or mental challenge."

The Chair: Do you wish to speak to your motion, Mr Johnson?

Mr David Johnson: Simply to say that the definition of "therapeutic and rehabilitative services" is not set out anywhere in the bill. This definition sets out guidelines to understand the services.

Hon Ms Gigantes: This amendment, as I understand it, would have the opposite effect of Mr Cordiano's amendment. Mr Cordiano's amendment would have increased the scope of LTA coverage to care which is respite or convalescent and is short-term in nature. What is being proposed by Mr Johnson is that we limit what is defined as a care service to only those services that are addressed to addictive problems or physical or mental incapacities.

The concern of the Ministry of Housing on this score is that that would limit care services too narrowly. It would mean that if there were programs that provided a therapeutic or rehab service to people who needed life skills training in a residential setting, or what the experts call "psychosocial guidance," to help integrate those people into normal living conditions in society, this change in the definition would exclude these kinds of services. I don't know if that's Mr Johnson's intent, but if it is, the ministry will not support that, because it places too close a limitation on the types of programs which do exist at the community level and which are important within a residential setting.

Mr David Johnson: It's my understanding that this amendment is attempting to put some better definition around the words "therapeutic and rehabilitative." Perhaps the minister would elaborate. Without an amendment such as this, how are these terms going to be interpreted, or what scope is going to be given to these terms as the bill stands?

Hon Ms Gigantes: I could ask Mr Johnson, what scope does he think is reasonable? What he suggested in this amendment is a very narrow definition, so the only rehabilitative or therapeutic services that would be defined for purposes of this bill would be those that had to do with addictions or physical or mental incapacities. If, for example, we take a situation where there are services that are residential in nature that are addressed to the needs of young women who come from abusive situations, who may have children, that definition he's using might rule them out, even though one could suggest there are rehabilitative or therapeutic services being provided in such a setting.

Mr David Johnson: Since we're asking each other questions, young people who have come from an abusive setting might include the young ladies at the Massey Centre, for example?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Yes.

Mr David Johnson: The Massey Centre made a presentation to this committee and indicated that if this bill is implemented, even with the latest amendment, the two-year amendment, it will still affect them because, as they have indicated to us, part of their program exceeds that two-year period.

Hon Ms Gigantes: If I understand what Mr Johnson is suggesting, it is that the only services we should consider when we are considering the definition for purposes of confining the application of the Landlord and Tenant Act should be those services that are directed to addictions, or physical or mental challenges or difficulties. That's a very limited kind of definition, in our view, and I don't think you might always like the outcome in the application.

Again it might be helpful if the amendment were stood down until it was clear how the change in this definition might affect other applications within the bill.

Mr David Johnson: I'll accept the minister's advice on that.

The Chair: Mr Johnson has requested that the amendment be stood down. Agreed? Agreed.

Hon Ms Gigantes: We certainly should have dealt with the next amendment or the next motion first.

The Chair: I have a further Progressive Conservative motion to subsection 1(1). It is out of order, Mr Johnson.

Mr David Johnson: The motion is out of order and I haven't even given it?

The Chair: You can make the motion if you wish.

Mr David Johnson: This is the one with regard to fast- track. I move that section 1 of the bill be amended by adding the follow subsection:

"(1.1) Section 1 of the act, as amended -- "

Hon Ms Gigantes: No, that's the next one.

Mr David Johnson: That's the next one I have on the yellow sheets. I'm just going in the order the yellow sheets are in.

The Chair: Okay. That one is not out of order, but the one I had is that 1(1) be struck out.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Shouldn't we deal with that first? There's no point amending it if you're going to strike it out.

The Chair: Actually, this one goes first, because (1.1) follows this one.

Mr David Johnson: I move that subsection 1(1) of the bill be struck out.

The Chair: Mr Johnson, that amendment is out of order. Now subsection 1(1.1).


Mr David Johnson: I move that section 1 of the bill be amended by adding the following subsection:

"(1.1) Section 1 of the act is amended by adding the following definition:

"`fast track,' in respect of a care facility, means a process whereby the landlord or care giver causes a resident to vacate his or her unit immediately in order to leave the residence entirely or to be moved to another, more adequate, unit."

To include a definition of fast-track eviction was actually proposed by Dr Lightman. It says here it will probably be ruled out of order, but obviously it isn't -- not to put thoughts in your mind, Mr Chair.

The Chair: If you want, I could consider it.

Mr David Johnson: During the hearing process a number of groups expressed a concern about the eviction process. To give credit where credit is due, the ministry has made some movement to address some of the concerns. However, it's still apparent that a number of the groups will not be able to fit within the new definition, the new amendment that has been put forward, and I suspect the Massey home may be one of those.

A number of groups, some of which I quoted from yesterday, indicated that if they do not become exempt from the Landlord and Tenant Act, either under the six-month definition or under, now, the new definition the minister put forward this morning, they will have problems in terms of proceeding with their programs. Ecuhome has indicated that it will be disastrous to its program: They may have to close.

There were other examples; I wish I could recall them at this instant. I know we had deputations from St Vincent de Paul, from St Michael's Halfway Home. Perhaps that's an example. I don't know if they would fit under the new definition. As I can recall, they ran a program for rehabilitating those who were suffering from alcohol abuse, and the concern they put forward, that I think you heard again this morning, is that if they have 10 people and one or two decide to drink -- in other words, to go outside of the program -- this could be a problem for the rest of the people.

That may not be a good example of fast-track, though, now that I'm thinking about it, but there are other cases where in Ecuhome or other homes there'd be people who would be causing a great deal of disruption, where the tenants are living in fear. I quoted one example of a person who was harassing another person, and they were having trouble getting that person out. They need a fast-track method to deal with people who are causing a great deal of distress to other tenants.

This was a theme we seemed to hear over and over again from many groups that came before us. We're suggesting that this bill contain provision for such an approach for those who will not qualify for exemptions. Dr Lightman apparently agreed and recommended such an approach.

The Chair: On reflection, having spoken with legal counsel, I'm afraid the amendment is out of order.

Mr David Johnson: Can you tell me why?

The Chair: It introduces a new concept into this section that the section doesn't contemplate, nor the act.

Mr David Johnson: I'll ponder on that.

The Chair: We will not be able to deal with subsection 1(1) because we have two amendments stood down from it. We will then deal with subsection 1(2). Are there questions, comments or amendments to subsection 1(2)? If not, shall subsection 1(2) carry? Carried.

Subsection 1(3): the PCs. Relating to clause (h), just to help. We have quite a number of amendments to subsection 1(3).

Mrs Marland: I move that clause (h) of the definition of "residential premises," as set out in subsection 1(3) of the bill, be amended by inserting after "Public Hospitals Act" in the second line, "the Homes for Special Care Act, the Homes for Retarded Persons Act."

It would be great if the government could change the name of that Retarded Persons Act while it's doing anything else in the next year. It's time we changed the name of that act. It's a very old, out-of-date term.

Anyway, the Homes for Special Care Act and the Homes for Retarded Persons Act are both exempt under the Rental Housing Protection Act in Bill 120, clause 27(2)(b). We would like them to have continued exemption from the Landlord and Tenant Act, as they currently do. If there's agreement on that -- the minister's nodding -- I won't bother saying any more.

Hon Ms Gigantes: No.

Mrs Marland: Oh, it's just that you understand what I'm saying. I got excited for a minute when I saw you nodding.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I'm so agreeable.

The Chair: Have you completed your comments, Mrs Marland? Further questions, comments?

Hon Ms Gigantes: While I can understand the concerns that get expressed around coverage for facilities which operate under these two acts, it is the case that there are organizations which currently operate under these two acts and use the Landlord and Tenant Act.

It is also the case that the use of the Substitute Decisions Act, which will come into force before long, will be of great assistance in situations where the capacity of a resident needs to be determined, but in many cases people both in settings operating under the Homes for Special Care Act and the Homes for Retarded Persons Act are in fact capable of making decisions around their own personal lives and making decisions around the settings in which they live.

That being the case, we think it important to provide scope for that to happen, that people who are living in facilities that operate under these two acts should not be living in facilities which are in effect run like institutions. If we believe in community-based living situations with support services for people, such as the residents who live in facilities under these two acts; if we believe there is a different kind of living situation and a different sense of responsibility for their own lives, ability to make decisions around their own lives; and if we believe they should be living in facilities which are not small replicas of institutions where all parts of their decision-making process are in effect institutionalized, we should also say that given the kind of special arrangements that can be made within the provisions of the Substitute Decisions Act and the Mental Health Act, operators should be able to move, as many operators already have, to using the Landlord and Tenant Act as the basic legal framework in their relationship with people who are not there for six months or a year or 18 months.

These are permanent homes for people who are living in the community. These are not temporary treatment facilities. These are not mini-institutions set in the community. These are the permanent homes of the people who are residents under the provisions of these acts. We believe, because there is experience in the field, that they can operate within the provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act and that the nature of our community-based living situations for these people will improve because of that.

Mrs Marland: I don't disagree with anything you've said about how people living in these kinds of facilities are able and should be able to make decisions about their own lives. I've got some wonderful examples in my own riding. But would you agree, first of all, that those homes are owned and operated, for the most part, by very responsible organizations like Community Living and so forth?


Hon Ms Gigantes: Yes.

Mrs Marland: If that's the case, I'm wondering why we would be concerned about having to put them under the LTA.

Hon Ms Gigantes: For one, Margaret, you will remember that Community Living Ontario supports this inclusion. They have experience in local chapters which bears out to them that operating within the Landlord and Tenant Act is not only suitable but beneficial for the people in their care.

Mr Cordiano: It speaks to some of the fundamental notions about why it's necessary to bring these mini-institutions, if you will, under the Landlord and Tenant Act. I have no problem with the Landlord and Tenant Act being extended to those living arrangements that are indeed permanent. I have a great deal of difficulty with this act changing the fundamental premise for which those centres were established that provide rehabilitative services, changing them through a Housing bill no less, because in effect what you're doing is changing the very programs they've been operating under.

I would have preferred to see the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Community and Social Services change their funding requirements so that the criteria established for those programs are altered fundamentally. What you're doing in effect is retroactively taking these providers and their services and altering the way they're going to function through a Housing bill. You're saying they're now going to become providers of housing of a permanent nature. If that's the case, that's fine, and the Landlord and Tenant Act should apply. Those are residents in permanent living situations and their rights should be extended, as they are for other tenants.

Where the grey area lies is with respect to rehabilitative services. Of course you attempt to address that in your other amendment, but to go back to a definition here, it's quite unreasonable to me that we should try to ensnare all these centres by way of Bill 120 and change the very nature under which they've been operating.

It would have been much more acceptable to us if this had been done openly and straightforwardly, to take all these centres and change their funding criteria and change the way in which they operate, to say essentially, "If you want to stay in these types of businesses, you're going to have to operate under these sets of circumstances."

Hon Ms Gigantes: May I respond to that, Mr Chair? If you look at the precise amendment in front of us, Mr Cordiano, it deals with those facilities or residences that are operated under the Homes for Special Care Act and the Homes for Retarded Persons Act.

Mr Cordiano: I understand, and they're more permanent.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Some of those will be transitional settings, but in most cases what you're dealing with is permanent residences.

Mr Cordiano: I have no difficulty with that.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Then whatever questions you have around specific therapy programs and rehabilitation programs I think would be better raised in another section. This is really dealing with permanent housing. The operators who are operating these facilities have always been aware that what they're providing is some permanency of accommodation.

Mr Cordiano: The crossover point is what I'm concerned about, obviously, the intersection between how we define what is a rehabilitative centre --

Hon Ms Gigantes: But that's not the question here.

Mr Cordiano: I understand, but the exemption is made there under these acts that provide more permanent housing.

Hon Ms Gigantes: But there's not a question of finite programs with the Homes for Special Care Act or the Homes for Retarded Persons Act. Here, what we're dealing with, if we add them as an exemption, and that's precisely the point I'm trying to make --

Mr Cordiano: You're further exempting afterwards. Under those acts, it brings all those operators and providers within this section. Whether they're temporary or rehabilitative or transitional in nature is not at issue here. It's just bringing all of those under this section, and then you're exempting them further under another section. So my comments are in order with respect to this section.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Well, no, because what you're looking at under --

Mr Cordiano: Okay. We're going to have an argument for half an hour about this.

Hon Ms Gigantes: If that's the situation, I'll leave it at that.

Mr Grandmaître: Mr Chair, could I ask the minister a question? You're saying that at present this amendment should be dealt with in the same way as we dealt with the previous amendments for the simple reason that -- you're not saying this?

Hon Ms Gigantes: No. I'm saying that what is attempted through this amendment is to extend the exemptions by way of which acts are exempted from the total legislation because of the definition of residential premises, and adding to that list the acts that are the Homes for Special Care Act and the Homes for Retarded Persons Act, which cover permanent housing. That's what I was trying to discuss with Mr Cordiano.


Mrs Marland: I don't have the Homes for Special Care Act here and I guess no one else does, and I don't have the Homes for Retarded Persons Act here either. I don't think any of us on this committee has those acts memorized, just as we don't have any of the acts that are printed under (h) memorized. When you look at some of the other acts here, the Developmental Services Act, for example, some parts of that act probably deal with the same client as in the retarded persons act.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Oh, yes, but not in matters of accommodation. These two acts are dealing with homes. The acts are rightly named and they are dealing with permanent accommodation. That is why Community Living Ontario, having considered the question very carefully, has been supportive of the approach, because Community Living Ontario has recognized that what we're dealing with under these two acts is the permanent living, the home of the people who are being provided accommodation.

Mrs Marland: What about the Nursing Homes Act? Those are homes for people with special needs.

Hon Ms Gigantes: But those are regulated under other pieces of legislation.

Mrs Marland: Well, it's the Nursing Homes Act. You're saying these two acts deal with homes. I'm suggesting there's another act that does deal with homes.

Hon Ms Gigantes: There are equivalent protections for residents under the Nursing Homes Act as are found in the Landlord and Tenant Act, and therefore there is no need to duplicate.

Mrs Marland: Are residents of nursing homes protected under the LTA?

Hon Ms Gigantes: There is a due process for eviction. They are not protected under the Landlord and Tenant Act, but a mirror process is in place.

Mrs Marland: That's interesting, because I've dealt with problems for people in nursing homes. I'm talking in this particular instance of a nursing home operated by a regional government where families were being asked to remove their relative because they were disruptive. The family didn't think the relative was disruptive and thought the wrong party was being blamed. They didn't seem to have any protection from being ousted.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I'd be glad to get you some information about what rights should have been brought to their attention.

Mr David Johnson: The minister, in her comments in terms of why we wouldn't need this amendment, alluded to the fact that we would have a Substitute Decisions Act in the near future. Could you tell me what you expect on the timing of that? There have been various reports that that may not be until after the next election now.

Hon Ms Gigantes: No, the plan at this stage is for proclamation in January 1995.

Mr David Johnson: That's still the plan, is it?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Yes.

Mr David Johnson: I know it's coming under tremendous fire.

Hon Ms Gigantes: For all the wrong reasons.

Mr David Johnson: Somebody was quoted in the paper, I forget just who --

Hon Ms Gigantes: Some tangled-up lawyers.

The Chair: Are we speaking to this section?

Mr David Johnson: The minister raised the issue.

The Chair: It doesn't really matter who raised it. Further questions or comments to Mrs Marland?

Mr White: I'm just curious. Would the Homes for Retarded Persons Act not have been superseded by the Developmental Services Act, which is included in this clause? The minister indicates no, I believe.

Hon Ms Gigantes: That's correct.

Mrs Marland: That's what I just asked.

The Chair: Further questions, comments or amendments to Mrs Marland's amendment to subsection 1(3)? If not, shall Mrs Marland's amendment carry? All in favour? Opposed? It is lost.

We then have Mr Grandmaître.

Mr Grandmaître: I move that clause (i.1) of the definition of "residential premises," as set out in subsection 1(3) of the bill, be amended by inserting after "rehabilitative" in the third line, "respite, convalescent care."

Mr David Johnson: Doesn't the government have a proposal to delete that whole section?

Hon Ms Gigantes: That's right.

Mr Cordiano: That clause was really in the absence of striking out that section which deals with the question of principal residence. If you strike that section out, there's no necessity to include this definition. I think that would be a better solution, so we'll withdraw that amendment.

The Chair: Fine. We'll go with the government amendment.

Mr Gary Wilson: I move that clause (i.1) of the definition of "residential premises" in section 1 of the act, as set out in subsection 1(3) of the bill, be amended by adding "and" at the end of subclause (i) and by striking out subclause (ii).

This amendment removes the clause which required the building in which the accommodation is located to not be the principal residence of the majority of the occupants in order for accommodation to meet the rehabilitation and therapy exemption. We did this to reflect the fact that many rehabilitative programs serve people such as the homeless and runaway teenagers, many of whom have no permanent residence.

Mrs Marland: What English-language whiz wrote that section?

Mr Gary Wilson: Is there something you don't understand? Is that a question?

Mr Cordiano: As my earlier clause, dealing with respite and convalescent care, was stood down, there is an insertion I would like to make by way of my amendment dealing with this section. I stood all of these items down so we could deal with it at some further point, so I hope you won't rule that out of order now, given that this other clause is before us. Do you follow what I'm saying?

The Chair: I'm having trouble following you.

Mr Cordiano: The subsection dealing with the definition of residential premises. In this clause, (i.1), there is the word "rehabilitative." I would insert, after "rehabilitative" in that third line "respite and convalescent care." It follows within the same provisions that would be made for an earlier subsection. This is just for consistency. Wherever the word "rehabilitative" appears, I would have the words "respite and convalescent care" follow. I just alert you to that so you won't rule it out of order at some point when we deal with that matter.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Cordiano.

Mr Cordiano: Now, on the item that's before us --

The Chair: That's what we really wish to hear about.

Mr Cordiano: I would ask the minister if it would be within her power -- yes, of course it is -- to change the word "and" at the end of that last subsection to "or," which would give a little more flexibility in terms of the definition. You've completely ruled that out?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Yes.

Mr Cordiano: The test then would be that you'd have to satisfy both of these conditions.

Hon Ms Gigantes: That's correct.

Mr Cordiano: We would like to see the possibility for greater flexibility. Obviously, you're ruling that to be not acceptable.

Hon Ms Gigantes: That's correct. We feel it's important to require that there be more than one test, namely, either occupancy, termination with objectives or --

Mr Cordiano: Or?

Hon Ms Gigantes: -- the six-month criterion. We don't want "or." They have to be in addition to.

Mr Cordiano: I don't know that I want to try to amend this and have it defeated. I'm simply stating this as I am right now, that I would prefer it to be "or." I'll take it at face value that you're not going to accept this.

Hon Ms Gigantes: That's right.

Mr Cordiano: That's fine.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I think we're ready to vote.

Mrs Marland: You're a good Chairman, Evelyn.

The Chair: Are there further questions or comments with regard to Mr Wilson's amendment to subsection 1(3)?

Mrs Marland: I'm going to restrain my comments.

Mr Gary Wilson: I'd like a recess, Mr Chair.

The Chair: Mr Wilson has requested a 20-minute recess. The committee will reconvene at 3:15.

The committee recessed from 1453 to 1513.

The Chair: Mr Wilson has moved an amendment to subsection 1(3). All those in favour of Mr Wilson's amendment? Opposed? Carried.

Mr Cordiano: Mr Chairman, to be consistent with what was moved earlier and then deferred, I move that clause (i.1) of the definition of "residential premises," as set out in subsection 1(3) of the bill, be amended by inserting after "rehabilitative" in the third line, "respite, convalescent care."

The Chair: And you are requesting?

Mr Cordiano: For the same reasons I had requested earlier, a deferral.

The Chair: You're requesting unanimous consent to stand this amendment down, to be consistent with the one we stood down to section 1. Agreed? Agreed.

Mr Cordiano, you have another amendment.

Mr Cordiano: I move that subclause (i.1)(iii) of the definition of "residential premises," as set out in subsection 1(3) of the bill, be amended by striking out "six" in the fifth line and inserting "eighteen."

Obviously this deals with our desire to see the exemption provision expanded to include many more centres. As we heard repeatedly from many deputants, the six-month period was insufficient for them to do what they have to do within their programs. The average length of stay for many of their residents was 18 months. This amendment reflects that overwhelming view we heard before the committee.

Mr George Mammoliti (Yorkview): I have a question, I think appropriately addressed to legal counsel. It's in reference to the difference between the amendment we have before us and the amendment the government has brought forward revamping or changing the scope of subsection 110(3) of the Landlord and Tenant Act. That, for me, means quite a bit. I'd like to know the difference, because I have a similar amendment I'm looking at moving. If there's not that much difference, I think we could forget other amendments, but if there is a big difference, of course I need to think about that myself.

Mr Russell Yurkow: I don't think there is a big difference. There is a difference in approach. The change to the definition excludes all these units from the operation of the Landlord and Tenant Act. The government's proposed amendment to the Landlord and Tenant Act allows the units into the Landlord and Tenant Act but deals with the eviction process. Changing the definition excludes all the units, whether it's 18 months or 24 months, where the average is less than that period of time. The change to section 110 of the Landlord and Tenant Act basically -- no one is within the two-year period. There are subtle differences. I don't think they are major differences.

Mr Mammoliti: Let me give you an example of a potential situation. Under the proposed amendment from the government, if a resident of a drug rehabilitation clinic, for instance, runs into a dispute with the landlord, the care giver, before the two years, does that care giver have to go through the Landlord and Tenant Act process? And under the Liberal motion, would it be similar in that the landlord would have to go through the same process, under both amendments?

Mr Yurkow: Under the Liberal motion, if the average length was less than 18 months, that unit doesn't come under the Landlord and Tenant Act. Under the other version, the unit is under the Landlord and Tenant Act, and then you can short-circuit the eviction process. The one doesn't apply at all; in the other case, the act applies, but you have a quicker remedy of eviction.

Mrs Marland: It's clear as mud, isn't it?


Hon Ms Gigantes: I ask legislative counsel this. If there were a facility in which, under the Liberal motion dealing with an 18-month non-application test, people stayed in the program anywhere ranging from three months to three years, that would mean you could live in this facility for three years or even more and not have the Landlord and Tenant Act apply. It doesn't assume that there would be a situation where, once a program was completed, you would be expected to leave.

Mr Yurkow: I'm not sure about the latter part of the question, but as to the earlier part, the fact that someone is in a unit for three years doesn't necessarily bring it within the ambit of the Landlord and Tenant Act, because we're saying it's the average stay, however "average" is calculated. I don't know if that addresses your question.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Yes, thank you.

The Chair: The Chair has a question. Do we know how the average will be computed?

Mrs Marland: That's a good question. What's the answer?

Hon Ms Gigantes: The average will be computed based on the actual records of residency within the facility.

Mr David Johnson: Over what period of time?

Hon Ms Gigantes: I would assume a year, but that will be determined by regulation. If you have proposals on that, I'd be glad to hear them.

Mrs Marland: Will you be going back to what's been average, or are you going to just start from when the act is proclaimed?

Hon Ms Gigantes: That would be determined by regulation. If you have proposals, I'd be glad to hear them.

Mr Gary Wilson: I would like to remind the committee members that we heard many people come forward to talk about the importance of the extension of rights to as many people as possible. What we're trying to do in this bill is make sure that those rights apply to people in accommodation that can be called permanent, or at least where they can expect to require some security of tenure. The important thing about the time limits is to recognize that over a certain period of time it is important that people can have that security to be treated the way other tenants are treated in their place of accommodation; so that they have a right to privacy, a right not to be thrown out arbitrarily.

Our proposed amendment, when we get to it, does look at the issue and does provide another ground for eviction, but keeps in place that very important element of due process, which I think people recognize as being very important. As it does apply to most tenants in Ontario, now we're extending it to others.

The Liberal amendment provides quite a large space for exclusions, that there would be many more places that would qualify in a way we don't think would be helpful to the people in the programs.

Another thing that came up in the committee hearings was that people enter these therapeutic and rehabilitation facilities to be treated; that they're not there to set up a permanent residence. What we're talking about are relatively few cases. People raised this question in a "What if?" category. In fact, the vast majority of people are there to be treated, and once that happens they move on. We're faced with the problem of dealing with a very small number of cases by removing rights for a very large number of people. I think that is not the way we want to go.

Mr David Johnson: I have a question for legal counsel. I just want to understand. Under the Liberal amendment before us, in Ecuhome, for example, which made a deputation, if the average stay, calculated as the minister has outlined, is less than 18 months, that facility would not come under the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Mr Yurkow: That's correct.

Mr David Johnson: That would be facility by facility, I presume. That wouldn't be Ecuhome as a whole, because Ecuhome has some 50 different properties. That would be facility by facility, home by home?

Mr Yurkow: I'm not sure. I haven't looked at it from that perspective. I'm not prepared to answer that.

Mr David Johnson: That would be a reasonable interpretation at this point. I think that was certainly what was intended, at any rate. If you had, for example, somebody who lived there for maybe two years or two and a half years, something like that, and needed the extra support, but there were other people who lived a year or less, and if the average was taken and that average was less than the 18 months for that particular home, it would not come under the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Mr Yurkow: It would not come under the Landlord and Tenant Act. That's correct.

Mr David Johnson: You were comparing this with the government's amendment. In that same set of circumstances, if you had one person in a home with, say, 10 individuals who lived there for two and a half years and the others lived there for a shorter time, such that the average was a year, still, because that one individual was there for two and a half years, then what? Then the home would still come under the Landlord and Tenant Act, I presume.

Mr Yurkow: Under the government proposal, if the average is more than six months, the home comes under the Landlord and Tenant Act, but if no one is permitted to stay in the home for longer than two years, you have a speedier eviction process, or a different eviction process plugs in.

Mr David Johnson: When you say a speedier eviction process, I'm not precisely aware of what you're talking about.

Mr Yurkow: The government proposal is amending section 110 of the Landlord and Tenant Act, which deals with termination of the tenancy by the landlord. A particular subsection the government proposal amends is subsection 110(3), which deals with when a writ of possession may issue. The government proposal deals with taking back possession, as opposed to the front end, where the unit isn't under the Landlord and Tenant Act at all. Under the government proposal, the unit is under the Landlord and Tenant Act but you can get a writ of possession.


Mr David Johnson: Some of the providers who were before us claimed that to go through the Landlord and Tenant Act would take three or four months --

Mrs Marland: At least.

Mr David Johnson: Mrs Marland is saying at least that, and some people say longer. How much speedier would this provision under subsection 110(3) be?

Mr Yurkow: I probably misstated when I said speedier. All the government proposal allows is another ground for getting a writ of possession.

Mr David Johnson: I see. You still have to go through the same process. It's still three or four months. You still have to serve notice, but it allows you to serve notice in the first place. It's a condition for serving a notice.

Mr Yurkow: It allows a mechanism.

Mr David Johnson: In other words, at present you have grounds for eviction if the tenant doesn't pay, if the tenant causes a whole lot of disruption to other tenants -- I'm just talking about the Landlord and Tenant Act in general -- if the tenant does a whole lot of damage, or in some cases if you need the unit yourself for possession. What you're saying is that this is now one additional ground.

Mr Yurkow: This becomes an additional ground for getting a writ of possession.

Mr David Johnson: But if that individual is causing immediate distress, as in a couple of the cases we've heard through the hearings, it's no faster. It's no way to remove that.

Mr Yurkow: The government proposal isn't a fast-track eviction process.

Mr David Johnson: For example, if you have a drug or alcohol rehabilitation clinic with perhaps 10 other individuals, and one of those individuals decides to go back on drugs or alcohol, this is really of no assistance in terms of getting that individual out of there.

Mr Yurkow: If I can put it more simply, the government proposal deals with situations where it's anticipated that people not stay in the facility for longer than two years, and if someone does try to stay beyond that time, they can't rely on the protection of the Landlord and Tenant Act. The government proposal says, basically, "We designed this facility for stays of up to two years -- "

Hon Ms Gigantes: Could I add to that? I don't think that is quite exact, and I'll put it to legislative counsel and I'd like committee to have it clearly.

If the program is designed to be less than two years, if everybody within that program is there for less than two years, then at any point when the program determines -- it could be three months, it could be six months, it could be nine months; that could be the program involved. Say it's a nine-month program. Then at nine months people have to leave. It's as long as everybody within the program is there for less than two years.

Mr David Johnson: Actually, I agree with the minister's interpretation.

Mr Yurkow: I confess I agree with the minister as well. She said it better than I can.

The Vice-Chair: As we're all agreed now, we should move on to some of the other questioners, because there are four on that amendment. Perhaps you could finish your question; you've had quite a bit of time already.

Mr David Johnson: It seems to me that we're addressing two different issues here.

The government amendment allows the provider to remove somebody who wishes to stay beyond the length of the program provided nobody in there goes more than two years. The Liberal amendment offers an exemption under the Landlord and Tenant Act with I think the main purpose of allowing the providers to deal with individuals who are causing havoc in the program. Whether it's a drug rehabilitation program, whether it's an alcohol rehabilitation program has nothing to do with -- well, it may in a sense have something to do with the end period, if somebody wishes to stay beyond the term of their program. That could be addressed as well, but the main purpose is to allow the provider to get somebody out if they violate the program. That will take place under the Liberal amendment; it will not take place under the government amendment. Is that a fair synopsis?

Mr Yurkow: Under the Liberal amendment the unit doesn't get plugged into the Landlord and Tenant Act at all. Under the government amendment, the unit is under the Landlord and Tenant Act, but they're adding a ground for getting back possession.

The Vice-Chair: If there is further clarification required, it may come through further questioning.

Mr Paul Wessenger (Simcoe Centre): Mr Johnson covered the same point I was going to make, the fact that these two sections shouldn't be considered as alternatives. They deal with different issues. That's the point that should be clarified for Mr Mammoliti. They're not alternative. Even if this amendment carried, I would suggest that the government amendment, on its own merits, is still appropriate, because it deals with the question of terminating a program when some of the programs expire. They're not alternative provisions, in my opinion.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Could I just add to what legislative counsel has said? I hope it will clarify further. I believe the last comment was to the effect that under the government's proposal dealing with this element of the bill, the unit is governed by the Landlord and Tenant Act. There is a rider to that, and I hope everybody understands it.

The rider is, the Landlord and Tenant Act does cover the unit, but only where the average length of stay is over six months. If the average length of stay -- and I want to reinforce this point -- is less than six months, the Landlord and Tenant Act will not apply under the provisions of this bill. That means that in most cases of treatment and therapy programs that are known to the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Community and Social Services, the Landlord and Tenant Act will not apply, for the reason that the average length of stay in residential treatment rehab therapy programs is less than six months. That's just the elemental kind of approach we have taken and the reason for that.

Let me continue a little further. What is the process that will apply in a situation where the Landlord and Tenant Act does apply to a program which would be covered by the amendment we are proposing to provide an extra eviction power for the operator on termination of a program that was operating in a residence where people did not stay longer than two years?

For a resident who was disruptive, who was threatening, who damaged property, the process would be that the landlord, the operator, in this case, would use the Landlord and Tenant Act in order to evict, if that were considered the appropriate measure. The landlord would be in a position to know that one incident of problem behaviour might well be a precursor to further incidents of problem behaviour and would therefore, in the wisdom of the operator or the landlord, take immediate action to evict the resident.

The process would be one in which the resident, under the Landlord and Tenant Act, would have 20 days to prepare to respond to the eviction notice. We considered the possibility of shortening that notice period to five days. Given the very vulnerable nature of many of the people who are resident in care homes, we felt it inadvisable to shorten the period of notice, because that's the only period during which the resident has time to get assistance if there has been a notice of eviction which the resident believes to be arbitrary.


The longest period of time involved in landlord and tenant matters normally occurs at the court level. Frequently, the difficulties that occur there have to do with the fact that landlords are not well informed about how to carry the process forward expeditiously.

We are prepared as a ministry to provide supports to landlords, in this case to operators of treatment and therapy programs, to make sure that all the pieces of legislation which can be of assistance to them and all the administrative bodies and personnel who can be of assistance to them in this process are made available.

In fact, we are prepared to and have indicated that we will undertake an education program to make sure there is a ground understanding by operators who have never had to use this process before about how to use it as effectively as possible, and to also help them understand how to build up the links in the community -- police links, psychiatric official links -- and the use of the Mental Health Act so that they feel they have supports within the community when an emergency arises. Emergencies do arise, that's a fact, and they need to have assistance to understand how to use the existing resources within a community.

We need to take an active part in helping police, for example, understand. We have changed the understanding of police officials in this province about how to assist in periods when they should be active. We've done that in domestic violence situations, and this is another area in which we have had evidence before this committee that there is need for a better understanding by police officials of what their responsibilities and capabilities are in a situation that constitutes an emergency. So we are prepared to take that on as a responsibility in the Ministry of Housing.

The question that arises before us here is a question of where one draws the line between a treatment and a home. There are thousands of homes in Ontario in which government at various levels provides supports for life of various kinds. Some of them are psychiatric assistance. In some cases they're developmental assistance. In some cases they are assistance so that people can learn how to develop their social skills and move on to become employable. There are thousands of situations in which government support provides for these kinds of services.

For the most part, what we're talking about here are situations in which the people who are receiving services are living in a permanent home. We have to decide, as legislators, how long we think it reasonable to say that operators of a residential setting where treatment and therapy are being provided as services can continue to operate as if it is merely a rehab and treatment service which is being provided, that that's the primary reason why the person is resident at that place.

There have been many court cases around this, as many of the committee members will know. Some of the organizations which have appeared before this committee have been in court on these questions. There have been disputed judgements. There have been judgements which seem not to be consistent with each other on this question. The existing exemption over rehabilitation and therapy programs has been very widely interpreted by some judges and very narrowly by others.

One of the elements that we need to deal with here legislatively is to try and draw a legislative framework that will assist the courts, that will assist operators and that will assist those people who are receiving services while at the same time looking for a permanent home. It's a very important and very difficult matter. There's nothing magical about where you draw the line. Wherever it gets drawn, there will be cases which will be more or less difficult. We all understand that.

We don't assume, in putting forward this proposal legislatively, that everything will operate perfectly as a result of a new legislative recommendation. We know that the person who spent the most time studying and consulting with residents, with operators in care homes across this province, Ernie Lightman, felt very strongly that the landlord and tenant protections available to tenants living in permanent residences in this province should be available to people in care settings, which up to now haven't been regulated and where the protections haven't been available for residents. They should be available.

We think that we've proposed a reasonable kind of dividing line, if you want, about what is a treatment program, therapy- rehabilitation program, and what is a permanent home and where we think the emphasis switches to the fact that a person is living in a home, which is his or her home, and also receives some kind of supportive services, care services. That's what we're trying to do here.

Dr Lightman also suggested a fast eviction process because of his concerns around incidents that could arise. He came before this committee, having had discussions subsequent to his report with many people in the community, both here in the Toronto area and elsewhere, and said, "This is not an easy thing to do."

He is, I think we probably all agree, the person who probably knows more about this field now, at this moment in time, than any other person in Ontario. He knows more about what's happening out there, more about the kinds of problems that arise, more about the kinds of coercive situations that tenants have had to suffer under, more about the difficulties that operators face, and in his judgement, when he came before this committee, he said, "I proposed fast-track, but I can't say to you that this is going to be an easy thing to accommodate." Essentially, that's what he said.

I think we have to face the fact that there is no magic about this, that there is no simple, hard, fast, clean, perfect solution. What we're trying to do here is to provide enough of a legal framework so that people who have been unprotected and very vulnerable up to now -- in many instances people have suffered terribly because of their vulnerability, because of the constant threat of eviction. Here, I'm not only talking about people who have been enrolled in a treatment program but people who have had the need for strong life supports in order to be able to live, to eat, to move around at all, who have really suffered terrible degradation and coercion and difficulty.

These instances have arisen in communities across Ontario. They have been documented by Dr Lightman. Operators have had to face difficulty with abusive residents, with threatening residents, in some cases with violent residents, but the question we have to ask ourselves is, in order for operators to be able to provide the kinds of settings and services that they have done in Ontario, do we say that for a two-year period people who are living in homes where they receive care do not have the protection of the Landlord and Tenant Act, particularly as regards eviction, do not have access to a due process? That's the question in front of us.

The proposal that sits before you legislatively is the government's best attempt to reach a kind of balance around these issues. They're important issues; they're difficult issues. We don't pretend this is perfect, but we do think that it's a better proposal than the one represented by the Liberal motion.


Mrs Marland: If there's one thing that's going to be valuable out of this whole process, it's going to be the ability to sell this Hansard to all the lawyers. We're going to have a nice revenue generator for the taxpayers of this province. I'm not sure how many people in this room have legal degrees, but it's a matter of who speaks as to what the interpretation is.

When you draft legislation that is full of so much gobbledegook that it takes lawyers to interpret it, then what? This lawyer interprets it this way and another lawyer interprets it that way. The government is saying that it wants to accomplish X, Y and Z. When the minister talks about the fact that there have been a lot of court-disputed judgements in the past, there sure as heck are going to be a lot more in the future after this legislation gets proclaimed. If you're going to have a legislative framework to assist the courts, you'd better have one, and this isn't it. This is not straightforward; it's not clear.

You said, Minister, it's not perfect but it's clean. I can start picking holes. When we get to the government motion, I'm going to pick holes in the wording of the government motion. I realize that's not the one that's on the floor at the moment, but we seem to be discussing it because we're discussing the Liberal one.

If you really want to protect people who need treatment in a residential setting, which I think is what we're all talking about here, then why would you put a hammer over anybody's head? I think you said that as soon as their treatment's over, out the door; there's no reason for them to stay any longer. But that person, who maybe recovered in six months or eight months, may have another person who started with him or her at the same time and is still recovering in three or three and a half years.

The point is that it's so contradictory. When this Hansard is reviewed as to what has been said in the last half an hour or more between some of the comments that, I think it was you, Mr Wilson, made, and our legislative counsel and the minister for the last 15 minutes, it's all open to interpretation. When you're drafting legislation, I'm sorry, it has to be in black and white or it costs millions of dollars to interpret it. If I don't agree with your interpretation, I'm going to hire a lawyer and I'm going to go to court and I'm going to get a lawyer to convince that judge that this is the right interpretation.

When you talk about the government motion and it talks about "the period of tenancy agreed to has expired," what agreement is there? If somebody is absolutely out of it in terms of their treatment being needed right away because they're in such a crisis situation, are you going to make them sign a tenancy agreement that if they still need treatment after a specific period of time, they have to be willing to get out?

I think you're giving lawyers a licence to print money with the arguments that have been given in the last 40 minutes. If that's how this amendment to this section is going to be interpreted, with so much latitude for individual interpretation and individual cases to be pleaded on the part of individuals in need, in crisis, it's such an example of government being involved where it doesn't need to be involved. I think that's the bottom line.

I think you probably have enough clout in the advocacy legislation to ensure that people who need to be protected will be protected; if not, then strengthen it. But coming along with this aspect of this act on top of it -- you talk about, as I said, disputed judgements. Boy, you haven't seen anything yet. It isn't going to work. It doesn't look at individual human beings and their specific needs in terms of treatment.

The Vice-Chair: Legislative counsel wanted to add a comment.

Mr Yurkow: I just want to make a point of clarification. I may not have expressed my views adequately, but on a sheer question of interpretation, there's nothing that the minister has said in her interpretation of the act that conflicts with the way I understand the act.

Mrs Marland: What I'm saying is that we're going to be able to sell this Hansard and the lawyers are going to be able to go off to court with the minister's statement under their arm. This is what is intended; this is why it's needed; this is what is intended. Whether or not this is what it says, or whether or not this is how it works, this is what the minister said. Does that make it law? Do comments recorded in Hansard of a committee meeting make it law? I would suggest they don't, and I am not a lawyer. I would suggest the only thing that makes it law is the wording that ends up being published once the bill is proclaimed. That's what become law, not what anyone of us says in this room during the course of these deliberations.

It's a pretty futile exercise for us to be trying to guess. The minister's very sincere about what it is she wants to do, Mr Cordiano is very sincere about what he wants to do and Mr Mammoliti is very sincere about what he wants to do, but the reality is that this is the only document that will decide what happens. It isn't the stuff that's said in this room.

Mr Cordiano: I would just like to point back to what was said by --


The Vice-Chair: Mr Cordiano has the floor.

Mr Cordiano: Let me read from Dr Lightman's report, his recommendation 14. The ideal solution to this would have been, "That the Ministry of the Attorney General and other affected ministries define specific criteria for qualifying under the `rehabilitative or therapeutic purpose' exemption from the Landlord and Tenant Act...." I won't go on further as to what he defines in his explanation for that, but largely my understanding of what he's saying is that it would have been easy and clean to have a definition for what "therapeutic or rehabilitative" means.

He goes on to say that this could have easily been satisfied because the ministries that fund these programs could define them by the funding process. Through the funding process, what criteria would be determined as to be essential for a definition of "therapeutic or rehabilitative" would have been much more easily handled.

I suspect, Minister, and I don't want to have too much to have to do with the government legislation, that this legislation was brought forward with some haste. I take some of the blame for this because I did call on you to act expeditiously on this matter. I know I'm being a little sarcastic, but quite frankly I think it would have been better handled if we'd had clear lines as to what rehabilitative centres and what therapeutic centres were actually engaged in through their funding criteria, and that could have been easily established.

However, and this is what causes me great consternation with respect to the approach that's being taken, as you put it, Minister, and as the Ministry of Community and Social Services and the Ministry of Health both alluded to yesterday, the nature of these programs and the very reason for their existence have changed. We're delinking care services from housing, and again I go back to that inconsistency. The fact is that this bill will inevitably put these centres out of business.

Your amendment, 2.1, I think is a compromise because there was a great of pressure. There's a great deal of reality that's staring us in the face, that in fact these centres will have difficulty dealing with the measures in Bill 120 and I think you came to understand that, that they will be dealing with very difficult circumstances, in some cases, as we've been told, life-threatening circumstances. Quite frankly, this is a compromise, but it's hodgepodge at its best. That's why I have great consternation with this bill, because there are two opposite things occurring here.


On the one hand, these centres ought to have been dealt with through the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Community and Social Services in another type of legislation which might have dealt with the purpose behind those centres in and of themselves, and that is to say, if we don't need them -- you're delinking services -- then they are in effect housing providers. So let's be open and honest about that and in as direct a way as possible deal with them on that basis.

You're making these providers housing providers, no longer providing the kind of services that integrate housing with services. I think you've said that very clearly to us, that this is no longer acceptable, that we no longer have many institutions out there, that we no longer need this nor is it desirable from your government's point of view. I question that, and I think many of these providers were a link for people to integrate into a community rather than being -- this is the way you look at it -- permanent places to live. I don't see them as permanent places to live. I see them as transitional exactly in the way they were invented, exactly in the way their original purpose was stated. They are transitional and they accommodate people in our community. They allow for that integration to occur. In my opinion, it's still very viable and still very necessary.

To suggest that they become housing providers of a permanent nature I simply think is the wrong way to go about it. If that's your real intent, then you should take back this legislation dealing with that section, exempt them entirely and deal with it in another fashion and just make everyone a housing provider under this bill and not try to combine the two things, because you obviously don't believe in the validity of that approach. You yourself have said so. So I have a great deal of difficulty dealing with the inconsistencies that are in this bill on that level.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Johnson's still on; however, you had an opportunity to speak already before. This is obviously a very important amendment and section, so I'll allow a little bit more debate, but I think we have spent quite a bit of time on this particular amendment.

Mrs Marland: Yes, the minister spoke for 20 minutes.

The Vice-Chair: Yes. Mrs Marland, I think you spoke at some length too.

Mrs Marland: I didn't speak for 20 minutes. I'll start keeping track. I'm very good at that.

The Vice-Chair: I will allow some more debate, but not too much longer on this particular amendment.

Mr David Johnson: I've heard these kind of comments before and I just let them drift by as long as I can speak, but we did spend 20 minutes here idling, waiting for the government to get its votes together. I would be very disappointed if this becomes an issue of people not being permitted to speak to this.

I wanted to address a question to the minister because I think I understand how the Liberal amendment that we're debating here now would assist places like the Massey Centre and Eden Community House and St Vincent de Paul, for example, that have come forward asking for assistance from the terms of this bill, but I don't understand how the government amendment would help. I wonder if you would assist me in that regard.

Eden Community House, for example, which houses adults with severe and persistent mental illness, estimates that on average its residents stay there 2.4 years. That's their estimate.

Mrs Marland: Average.

Mr David Johnson: Yes, average.

St Vincent de Paul, which made a deputation to us, says that from its experience -- this is on page 5 of its brief -- the process may take from one to two years, so the six- month business is out. We're looking at people who are there for longer than that.

To quote them again, from page 4:

"Illustrative of this would be the example of a resident who lives in one of our" -- this is St Vincent de Paul -- "homes for recovering addicts. All residents presently sign an agreement accepting as a condition of residency that they abstain from alcohol and non-prescriptive drug use. Early in our history of providing homes for people with addiction problems we found that abstention from alcohol or drug use was an absolutely necessary condition for providing a therapeutic environment. To allow someone living in a community of recovering alcoholics the right to use alcohol threatens the mental and physical health of every resident living in this community.

"This really is not an exaggeration. Alcohol is directly implicated in 10% of the deaths in Ontario and indirectly implicated in about 30%."

I guess what I'm asking is how the government's amendment -- I understand how the Liberal amendment will help. If the average stay is under 18 months, then if the Liberal amendment was passed -- they say one to two years in their program, so it's quite possible that the average stay could be under the 18 months -- then they would not come under the terms of the Landlord and Tenant Act and they would be able to deal with somebody who is not abstaining from alcohol or drugs in their program. How does your amendment help St Vincent de Paul with that problem, which they think is quite a tremendous problem?

Hon Ms Gigantes: I'm not familiar with St Vincent de Paul's program except as you describe it and as has been brought before this committee.

If I understand correctly, the government amendment does not address the issue they're attempting to raise to committee members, because the situation is one in which the average length of stay is above six months and the program itself certainly has not up to now been defined as one which is shorter than two years. Am I correct in those assumptions?

Mr David Johnson: That would seem to be the case, yes.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Okay. The government amendment does not address that in terms of providing authority or powers for the operator to get rid of, to evict summarily. On the contrary, what the government is proposing is that there would have to be a due process under the Landlord and Tenant Act for an eviction. This is not an impossibility, and in fact there are treatment regimes, treatment programs, and there are residences with high levels of psychiatric support, mental health support, programs in which people with high levels of need in terms of living supports, health supports, operate currently under the Landlord and Tenant Act.

There are operators, like perhaps St Vincent de Paul, who have never operated in that way and who would prefer not to have to think about operating in that way, but it does not mean that St Vincent de Paul would not be able to evict someone. There are certainly grounds, and you will be familiar with grounds under the Landlord and Tenant Act, for eviction. Certainly, the use of alcohol in a setting in which the community was committed not to use alcohol would allow an operator to evict on the grounds that the peaceful enjoyment of the home, of others, was disturbed.

You and I can only guess what judgement would be made by a judge, but I think you and I might guess that a judge would find that to be a reasonable ground for eviction.

Mr David Johnson: Really?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Yes.

Mr David Johnson: That totally amazes me.


The Vice-Chair: Mr Johnson, you had the floor and you were looking for a brief comment from the minister.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I would feel the same way in the case of the Massey Centre for Women requirement.

Mr David Johnson: All right, let's look at Massey. I'm totally amazed in terms of St Vincent de Paul, because I doubt any judge would evict anybody on the basis that they were drinking. That would be a new interpretation, I think, but it will be interesting to see. I guess we're going to get a chance soon.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Each case is heard on its own, as you know.

Mr David Johnson: You mentioned the Massey Centre, and again, I understand, I think, how the Liberal amendment would assist the Massey Centre, because looking at the makeup of its residents, it would appear to me that there's some likelihood the average stay would be under 18 months.

They have three phases, I think. The first phase is for pre-natal, the second phase is 10 closely supervised one-bedroom units where the mothers and their infants live for a period of up to six months, and then phase three is for those people who need longer assistance, and that can be, they say, up to two years, although I think they have verbally indicated that perhaps some individuals who go through the whole process would be there for over two years.

At any rate, the average stay would seem to be over six months but probably under 18 months. So again, the Liberal amendment I think would result in the Massey Centre being exempted from the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Hon Ms Gigantes: If you look at the wording of the amendment we've proposed, I think you will find that it will be of assistance to the operators of Massey too.

Mr David Johnson: The number one issue that they raise they pose this way:

"The issue of security is paramount. The majority of women at the centre come from violent and abusive backgrounds and often are still subject to negative influences from their past. Their stay at the centre gives them a chance to make a break from the destructive relationships in which many of them are involved. The regulations" -- current regulations that are in place because they're not under the Landlord and Tenant Act, for example -- "that prohibit overnight male visitors allow for the removal of threatening individuals from the units and permit the discharge of residents who engage in drug activities, prostitution or violence" etc.

The Massey Centre is of the opinion that once the Landlord and Tenant Act applies, they will not be able to set rules which will prohibit the male counterparts, I guess, that they're concerned about who will be violent and abusive, and they say that to depend on, and their illustration was a 17-year-old, calling the police in such a situation -- it just won't happen.

They're very concerned about safety and they stress this over and over. "A safe environment is essential if the high-risk children are to thrive," they say, the children of the mothers. How does the government amendment assist them in providing that safe environment?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Could you refer to the government amendment?

Mr David Johnson: Yes, okay.

Hon Ms Gigantes: You'll notice "no other tenant of the building in which the accommodation is located." I don't know if you've ever visited it the Massey Centre.

Mr David Johnson: Yes, I have. I was there on opening day, as a matter of fact. Go ahead.

Hon Ms Gigantes: It has separate buildings.

Mr David Johnson: Yes. So this says that --

Hon Ms Gigantes: There would be three different programs being carried on in separate quarters at the Massey Centre.

Mr David Johnson: As I understood it from legal counsel, though, what this clause is essentially doing is giving another cause for eviction.

Hon Ms Gigantes: That's right.

Mr David Johnson: Is it doing anything else, other than that?

Hon Ms Gigantes: You've described the program as you understand it in terms of average length of stay.

Mr David Johnson: Yes.

Hon Ms Gigantes: What it does here is provide that the length of the program agreed to will provide a reason for eviction within the term of that program, if it's within two years.

Mr David Johnson: Their concern, though, is that within the duration of one of those terms, male visitors are coming and causing security problems.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Yes.

Mr David Johnson: I don't see how your amendment addresses their number one concern, which is that.

Hon Ms Gigantes: In a program that is less than six months, which is one program they operate, landlord-tenant coverage would not be implied by Bill 120.

Mr David Johnson: But for phase 3 --

Hon Ms Gigantes: Phase 3 is accommodation which may range up to three years.

Mr David Johnson: They say two, but you may be right.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Two, three. Then when the program is complete, the person is asked to move. If the person is a resident and providing a disturbance to the quiet enjoyment of residency by other people in the program --

Mr David Johnson: It's not the resident; it's a visitor to the resident.

Hon Ms Gigantes: But it is a resident who is permitting the visitor; it's a resident who permits the visitor and can be evicted now.

Mr David Johnson: But, Minister, the problem is that the resident doesn't want the person there any more than anybody else does. This is an abusive --

Hon Ms Gigantes: If the resident doesn't want the person, and the people in the program don't want the person, then the police should be called. How do they get rid of such a person now?

Mr David Johnson: You know, this is exactly what the Massey Centre people say. You're talking about people who are under stress. You're talking about --

Hon Ms Gigantes: What do they do now?

Mr David Johnson: They have rules and they can evict these people themselves, as the management, but as I understand it --

Hon Ms Gigantes: But I thought you just told me that it wasn't the resident who was the problem and it wasn't a question of evicting. What is their method of dealing with the situation now when it occurs?

Mr David Johnson: As they've described it to me, because the Landlord and Tenant Act doesn't apply, they are able to set rules which they can enforce internally.

Hon Ms Gigantes: How do they enforce them?

Mr David Johnson: I don't know. I would assume --

Mr Grandmaître: Through a committee.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Yes, but what is the penalty?

Mr David Johnson: The point they're making --

Hon Ms Gigantes: Is the penalty eviction?


Mr Cordiano: The threat of eviction. That's how it works.

The Vice-Chair: I don't think this is particularly helpful.

Hon Ms Gigantes: No, I don't think it is.

Mr Cordiano: It works.

Mr Gary Wilson: That's not what we heard.

Mr Cordiano: Sure we heard that.

The Vice-Chair: Try and rephrase your question, Mr Johnson.

Mr David Johnson: Obviously, we're barking up a --

Mr Grandmaître: Through a committee, Gary.

Mr David Johnson: -- a tree here without any assistance. But we had the Massey Centre in front of us. They made a deputation. I thought there was considerable concern for their plight.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Yes.

Mr David Johnson: They're telling us that this isn't going to help them. This isn't their main problem. I'm just curious to understand what happened in between, when all the sympathy was provided to the Massey Centre. They were here yesterday and they said that because of the reasons I've mentioned, this amendment is not going to solve their problem. I guess we have a difference of opinion. I don't know what else to say.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I didn't say it was going to solve anyone's problems.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Owens and then Mr Mammoliti.

Mr Owens: I was going to suggest that if I was the last person on the speakers' list, I would yield my time in deference to the Chair's comments that we've had a lot of significant discussion. No, I am not calling the question.

The Vice-Chair: I'm just saying that we have another motion that is very similar to the one that's before us, so we can continue the debate at that point as well.

Mr Owens: Absolutely.

Mr Mammoliti: When an individual in a place like -- I'm sorry. What was the place called, David, that you used as an example?

Mr David Johnson: St Vincent de Paul was the first one and then the Massey Centre.

Mr Mammoliti: In a place like Massey, for instance, where they're getting the visitors, apparently there's a problem there where they're getting visitors. It's posing problems in terms of the therapy and the care that's given there. Do we have any precedent in the courts, and I guess the question is to the minister, that would say that people have been evicted because of male visitors?

Hon Ms Gigantes: I could not answer that question and I don't know if there are any Ministry of Housing people here who would be able to answer that question. No volunteers?

Mr Mammoliti: I guess I'd like to pose the second question: Is there any precedent for anybody being evicted because they had a bottle of beer in their home?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Excuse me. I think I might not have understood your first question properly. What you're asking is about all landlord and tenant cases?

Mr Mammoliti: Yes.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Oh, I'm sorry. I understood your question to be directed at care home situations.

Mr Mammoliti: No.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I'm very sorry.


Mr Mammoliti: Male visitors and having a bottle of beer in their home: Have the courts ruled on this as being behaviour that might warrant eviction?

Hon Ms Gigantes: In the first case, I'd be surprised if in some drastic circumstances with court orders and so on, there had not been some kind of judgement of that nature. In the second, I'd be surprised if there were.

Mr Mammoliti: More specifically towards what's been addressed here in reference to alcohol and drug abuse, in some of these places it is absolutely forbidden, not because the care givers want to forbid it because it's just a rule they want to make up; it's forbidden because it jeopardizes the care that's being given to the rest of the clients who are in the building. One bottle of beer to an addict, to somebody who is an alcoholic, during his stay in the treatment program could spark the behaviour pattern that they're ultimately in there to get away from. In some of these care facilities, the care takes more than six months.

That's the issue here. For that reason, I'm going to have to say that I support this particular amendment, because in my heart I believe that you cannot jeopardize or tie the hands of these types of care facilities. It's unfortunate that some people might want to even accuse me of not caring for tenants and not looking out for the best interests of tenants, but in essence, by agreeing to this, I am; I'm looking after the best interests of the most vulnerable in this particular case, and those are the tenants, the people who are out to seek help. If you jeopardize their stay there, and if they go out before six months are not fully -- there's never a cure for this stuff -- in control of themselves, then society suffers as well in terms of social problems.

The other issue is that you mentioned earlier that you would be prepared to give resources to these types of places. When these places apply for funding to any ministry --

Mrs Marland: Right.

Mr Mammoliti: Margaret, it's scary for me and you to agree.

Mr Gary Wilson: I'd think about that, if I were you, George.


The Vice-Chair: Mr Mammoliti, you have the floor.

Mr Mammoliti: In this particular case --

Mr Gary Wilson: Think about it.

Mr Cordiano: He's an independent thinker. Leave him alone.

Interjection: He even said it himself.

Mr Cordiano: That's something you can't say.

Mr Mammoliti: In this particular case --

Mr Cordiano: Don't condemn him.

Mr Mammoliti: I lost my train of --

Mrs Marland: You were saying that these programs are funded --

The Vice-Chair: Would you please leave the floor to --

Mr Mammoliti: Yes, exactly. Thank you, Margaret. When these places apply for funding to the ministries, the guidelines that are there do not include the court costs that it might cost for these places to take people to the courts that would look after this sort of thing, landlord and tenant courts.

When you talk about resources, is that what you're talking about? Are you saying that the ministries that would be involved here would be willing to give extra funding to these types of places to take care of them? That's a question that I'd like answered as well.

The Vice-Chair: Did you want to answer that?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Sure, I will. When I spoke of resources earlier, I did not mean to suggest legal resources. I was talking about resources which can be supplied by the Ministry of Housing in particular, and certainly by other ministries, about how to make the legislative framework a workable setting in which to operate rehab and therapy programs. That is educative more than legal.

However, it is the case that in the past many of the organizations which have provided what I would tend to call supportive housing, and what other people would call therapy and rehabilitation programs, have been taken to court. It is not the case that organizations have been out of court up to now. It is my hope as minister that we will have fewer court cases in the future with this legislation, which is clearer than past legislation.

There is an exemption now provided under the Landlord and Tenant Act for residences which provide therapy and rehabilitation services. As I mentioned before, there are many cases which have gone to court and in those cases -- Mrs Marland has noted that -- ministries have provided support to provide for legal defences by the operators, claiming that they did not have to have the Landlord and Tenant Act applied to them because they were exempt from the Landlord and Tenant Act.

To say that the Landlord and Tenant Act exemption that exists currently is one which has not generated court cases is simply to disregard our experience and the legal fees which the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Community and Social Services and in some cases the Ministry of Housing have footed, while there are other organizations funded by the Ministry of the Attorney General which are supporting residents who have demanded to have the same legal protections as other tenants in Ontario.

This has been going on for decades. This is not the beginning of legislation and legislative court cases around this matter in Ontario. Let us not think that for a moment. If, in the future, there are cases in which operators who are funded by Community and Social Services or by the Ministry of Health or by the Ministry of Housing are being taken to court, it has been the pattern that legal fees of cases in which the ministries felt the legal framework was being upheld by those operators are being subsidized. They have been in the past; I'm sure they would be in the future.

Mr Mammoliti: I think everybody knows an addict of one form or another, whether it's with illicit drugs or even prescription drugs or even alcohol. I want everybody to reflect on what that person or those persons might say at a very crucial point in their life when they were deciding to get off the substance and they needed that arm, they needed that help from some of these places. I want everybody to reflect and think about what those people we know would say if they saw at that time a bottle of beer or a glass of whisky or a hit of heroin or a hit of crack cocaine. Chances are that person will tell you that if he sees it, he'll take it.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Can I just say this, with due respect: To say that you can evict somebody for having a hit of cocaine in a residence does not mean that it will not happen. If we say that operators can evict within 30 seconds because somebody has cocaine, an illegal substance, in a residence, that doesn't mean it won't happen. It doesn't mean other people aren't exposed.


Mr Mammoliti: Yes, but the question is, is it the right thing to do? By doing it, by evicting, whom are you saving? The answer is that you're saving the rest of the clients from a lengthy process and perhaps a process that might be very uncomfortable and can prove to be very discomforting to the people who are there to get help. That's the question you need to ask.

Hon Ms Gigantes: That's the question that is asked, and it is seriously answered when we make the legislative response we do.

Mr Mammoliti: Minister, your amendment --

Hon Ms Gigantes: We disagree about this. That's a fact.

Mr Mammoliti: All right. I'm on record.

The Vice-Chair: I thought we were getting close to the vote but I do have two more people now, unless they want to stand down.

Mr Owens: I wanted to say that I've sat and listened carefully and I certainly cannot support the Liberal motion that my colleague the member for Yorkview seems to want to support. I think we're mixing apples and oranges here that we've been talking about for the last number of weeks, and that is, what is the intent of the bill? The intent of the bill is not an attempt to address rehabilitation issues or care issues. Those are dealt with separately in other pieces of legislation.

With respect to the issue of drugs and alcohol on the premises, I can't not support the comments that Evelyn Gigantes makes that no matter what law you have in place or what rules you have in place, if there is a view by one of the residents that he'll use any of these substances, then he'll use them.

The question I have in my mind around this particular issue is, are we so able to protect people so wholly and so fully from the realities of life that we can say that if you're living at 100 Wellesley Street East, you have absolutely no chance of ever coming into contact with drugs or alcohol, ever, and that your rehabilitation is guaranteed?

I don't think we can say that, because what happens is that for Buddy, who is in the home with this great amount of protection that the member for Yorkview and the Liberal member seem to view this as providing, once he walks out that door he's in the big world now and there ain't enough police officers and alcohol is a legally dispensed substance. How do you protect the person from falling off the wagon or running into his or her old confrères in the drug-dealing business? You can't do that.

Mrs Marland: So then don't bother with these treatment centres at all.

Mr Owens: In terms of the issue, I think again the minister was quite honest and quite open that this ain't a perfect process and that where we find ourselves in 1994 is at the end of a series of tragedies. People have died. People have existences in places like Parkdale, which Mr Ruprecht from the Liberal Party happens to represent, that in terms of the kinds of existences these people have been forced to live in in an unregulated manner have to come to an end. In terms of the kinds of process the minister is proposing, I think it is a good compromise. We've tossed this around. I don't think there is an answer that's going to make everybody happy.

In terms of the issues with respect to places like the Massey Centre, I think you're right, Dave, in terms of the level of concern that was expressed with respect to having male visitors onsite. It's not only a problem at Massey Centre, but it's also a problem, for instance, in public housing complexes, Metro housing. If there's been an assault committed or if you're trying to keep somebody out of the premises, the way to deal with it is not through the Landlord and Tenant Act but through having trespass notices set, and through that method in terms of responding to individuals not being wanted on premises.

I think the member for Yorkview asked a question with respect to convictions on the issue of men in units. I don't think you'll find anything like that because there isn't anything for a court to turn a conviction on. In terms of looking for those kinds of statistics, they're just not going to be available.

in closing, Chair, I think you're absolutely correct. We have turned this problem over significantly, and maybe we should start taking a look at the second part of this same question.

The Vice-Chair: I have three more speakers now. The debate seems to encourage more speakers to intervene.

Mr Gary Wilson: You're planning to hear the other speakers, are you, Chair?

The Vice-Chair: Since there were some new comments at this point. Frankly, I would hope we can still call a vote still before 5, but we have a similar motion still to vote on as well.

Mr Gary Wilson: Right. It is on something Mr Mammoliti raised that I think flew in the face of many of the submissions we've heard that in fact people recognized these problems and told us they did everything they could before they evicted anybody in the setting, and in that sense, the extension of the Landlord and Tenant Act doesn't make a lot of difference; it's just one more form.

Mr Cordiano: Why do it?

Mr Gary Wilson: The reason -- I'm asked, why do it then? -- is that it provides due process. It's as simple as that. The thing that really moved me to say something is that Mr Mammoliti says, "Who are we trying to protect here?" That's the main issue. On these cases, many of them speculative, we would ask people who came, "How many cases do you have of having to evict?" and they've turned out to be relatively few. Often they couldn't even remember where they were, but they could certainly come up with scenarios just as we all sitting around here can come up with cases that might happen, but in fact very few of them do happen.

In trying to deal with those cases, we are denying the rights of many tenants who need that protection, the protection of due process. In finding a lot of legitimate reasons why somebody might be evicted, there are also many illegitimate reasons why people could be evicted and in fact are being evicted now. Those are the people we're trying to protect.

The thing about the Landlord and Tenant Act is that it provides due process that both landlords and tenants know is there and can turn to when it's needed.

The Vice-Chair: I have Mrs Marland and Mr Cordiano again. Hopefully, we'll have some new insight still.

Mrs Marland: If this was such a major problem that you're trying to resolve, there would be more argument for what you're trying to do, but the point is, as some people said to us, it is the elephant-gun-to-the-fly approach. What I'd like to ask is, when are agreements going to be honoured and when are they not? For example, in the government amendment, it talks about "the period of tenancy agreed to has expired." That's an agreement between the landlord and the client. Okay?

How different is that agreement than in Ecuhome, for example? They have tenancy agreements at Ecuhome. They also have agreements that illegal activity, as defined by the Criminal Code, is not permitted in the house or on the property. They also say that violence or threats of violence are not permitted in the house or on the property. They say that "violation or negligence of one of the following rules could result in termination of residency," and there are about six rules here.

I want to know, on behalf of all these people, when it is that whoever interprets this massive mess in this legislation that on the one hand, according to the government motion, you will accept that a "period of tenancy agreed to has expired," therefore -- there's an agreement over here between a client and Ecuhome, for example, and in this motion, you're going to accept it. Does that mean that any other part of that agreement that's been made with Ecuhome you don't accept?

I just think it's so abhorrent to the thrust of what these kinds of care homes are about. If we're saying that there's a Mr Kendall every month or even every year, then why don't you go in and deal with that home and shut it down? But to lump organizations like the Massey Centre and Ecuhome and many of the other organizations that were represented before this committee to try to resolve the rotten operator -- go in and clean out the rotten operators and deal with them.


The absurdity grows when you talk about the example Mr Mammoliti gives. In fairness to him, he's trying to approach something that he knows.

Mr Owens says: "Well, you can't shield them from the big world out there. When they get out in the big world, they're going to run into their old friends. They're going to see beer and other substances available to them. They're going to see their friends using other substances." Of course they are.

The point of these programs is that we're investing money -- every single person in this room is paying for these programs, and you better realize it -- and we're now saying: "Oh, well, it doesn't matter if the odd person in one of those programs violates the rules in terms of substance abuse. It doesn't matter if the whole group of people who happen to be in that program at that time are affected to the degree that maybe they have to be in the program a month longer or six months longer. It doesn't matter in terms of time that they slip because of the fact that somebody's broken the rules." We all have to live by rules.

Another thing, in Ecuhome they say residents must participate in the house decisions by consensus. What's wrong with that? Why don't you leave it alone and let it work?

Mr Owens: What's wrong with empowerment, though?

Mrs Marland: What we're saying is you're going to pick and choose what parts of agreements you're going to respect and what simply doesn't apply.

I'll answer your question actually, Steve. You said, "What's wrong with empowerment?" I push for empowerment. I advocate for empowerment. But that's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about empowering somebody to destroy somebody else. No, thank you. We say, "You can have four months and you can put somebody's head through the wall." Why should violence or illegal activity and substance abuse be allowed in these premises if we're investing millions and probably billions of dollars in the treatment of substance abuse through behavioral modification?

It's intense for those people, especially at the beginning of their treatment. You say you can't protect them. I agree you can't protect them from the world. They have to go out and face the world eventually, but they're not strong enough. We're talking about them when they're at their most vulnerable stage.

Apparently, putting other people at risk for the sake of one is okay with you. I'm saying that it's not okay, because if that person was in their right mind -- I don't know if any of you have gone through having a family member who's aging or has Alzheimer's. It's not dissimilar. It doesn't even have to be that elderly, unfortunately. You know that Alzheimer's patients can create hell on Earth for those families. There's no way, if that individual were well, that they would want to create the havoc in the lives of their families that they create.

This is a similar thing. We're saying these people have to be managed. Everybody in communal living has to be managed. I go back to some of the arguments I gave you this morning about personal hygiene management of blood and body fluids. We're not fooling around with stuff here; we're talking about very serious matters. My concern is that there doesn't seem to be any respect for who the operators of the program are.

Tell me how many people have been beaten to death in an Ecuhome facility or a St Vincent de Paul facility, or have been thrown out with the clothes in a garbage bag? That's where all this stuff started. We don't want garbage-bag evictions. You're going to have to tell me where the responsible operators are doing garbage-bag evictions. My first question to you is, okay, is that responsible operator getting funding from Comsoc and the Ministry of Health? That's the whole point. If we don't have control through that rein, through the funding mechanism, then we do have a big problem.

I'm simply saying that we're not talking about people who are out -- sure, there are a few private facilities for those people who can afford them for substance abuse treatment, for example. I don't know of any specifically, but I know they exist. But for the most part, from the people who came before us, we're talking about publicly funded facilities, and if they're publicly funded, by golly, they have to be accountable. If it's accountable to the public, it's accountable through the government ministries that do the funding.

So don't tell me there's a problem with people who are not empowered being mistreated with a facility that's publicly funded. You can't say both those things. If they are funded, then that's where our controls should be.

I don't think they'll ever get this --

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much. Mr Cordiano still, and then I do hope we can have the vote before 5 o'clock.

Mr Cordiano: Just let me say that this is absolutely critical in the overall legislation and the way it impacts the legislation, so I'm not too dismayed by the hour becoming late. I know we will get through the work we have to get through in the time we have scheduled for it, because if we can't deal with this and make our points on this, I think there's no point in discussing any other items in the bill. This is a fundamental, absolutely critical part of the bill that separates the view of the world the way the minister sees it and certainly the way I see it.

Quite frankly, holding out for the rights of an individual against the rights of the other individuals or the larger number of individuals who would be affected is unacceptable to me. When those individuals are at risk in a home and they're there for the kind of treatment that the program's stated intention was designed for, and allowing for that stated intention to be fundamentally altered or threatened by the imposition of this act -- the absence of the Landlord and Tenant Act has in some ways deterred people from certain kinds of behaviour. We heard this from deputants. The fact is that the threat of being removed from a program acted as a deterrent. There's no denying that. In many of these instances, the fact that you had no recourse to the Landlord and Tenant Act meant that you had to comply with the terms of the program.

As Ecuhome has pointed out to this committee, and it was alluded to by Mrs Marland earlier, they have agreements in place, and good operators are conscientious, thorough and very professional in what they do. They're not throwing people out on the street.

Mr Owens: Then they don't need to worry about the act, Joe.

Mr Cordiano: They don't need the Landlord and Tenant Act. Those people don't need the Landlord and Tenant Act, because things are operating just fine without it.

Mr Gary Wilson: That's scary.

Mr Cordiano: It's not scary. What you're trying to create is even more litigation in our society where it's not necessary, where things are operating by consensus, and that's the model that was put forward by Ecuhome. Things are operating by consensus. There is a committee that operates, there are rules and regulations that the residents themselves --

Interjection: Accept.

Mr Cordiano: -- not only accept but draft, come forward with a number of recommendations that have been brought forward by residents. I think that's a model we should uphold. That's something we need more of in society, not litigation, not redressing every problem through the courts, because that's going to create an even more difficult circumstance for our society. I think we're heading down the American path when we do that. God knows they're the most litigious society in the world. Everything is fought in the courts. There's a lawsuit for everything under the sun there. Is this the road you want us to go down?


I don't that we need to do that in this society. I think there are matters that can be solved, particularly within rehab centres. That's what we're talking about here. This exemption is for rehabilitation centres. Mr Mammoliti's points were well founded. I applaud him for the views he put forward. I think he did so with great honour and great honesty and great integrity, because as we heard from many of these operators, it's going to be rather difficult.

I think, quite frankly, that there hasn't been a straightforward point of view put across at these hearings. Again I have to say to the minister that if you want to undermine the programs, if you want to dismantle them, then you're going about it the right way. If at the end of the day that was the intention of the government, to change the fundamental nature of these programs, then have the guts to bring legislation forward that says that. Do it openly, do it forwardly, do it directly and we can have a consultative process that includes everyone who's affected by that. But to change the criteria under which these programs have to operate right from under their feet is completely undemocratic. It's like introducing retroactive legislation, which you've done already in this administration. The point is that it's unacceptable and it's undemocratic and it's going to undermine those programs. If you want to change those programs, be up front about it. Bring in legislation of a different nature, this legislation notwithstanding.

If it's a housing bill and you want to allow for people to set up operations to provide permanent housing under these sets of conditions, that is one thing and I think that's completely separate. But to take some situation that already exists, a sector like this that already exists and is functioning and meeting the needs of many people out there in our society, and to change them by taking them and pulling them along by their ears and suggesting that this is necessary now, and not allowing for them to be open and not allowing for them to understand fully the implications of what you're doing, is unacceptable. That's why this amendment speaks to that. That's why it's important to have this cutoff at 18 months.

As I said earlier, Dr Lightman, in his report, thought this was a difficult problem. He wanted it resolved by the Ministry of the Attorney General and other affected ministries, determining through a legal definition what "therapeutic and rehabilitative services" meant. You could do this through funding criteria. I think that would be much more honest and that would be much more cleanly defined, rather than this sneaky approach to undermining these centres.

Let's be honest with these centres. If you don't want them, because that's not our view, to operate in the way they have for the last number of years, then be clear about it. Bring in legislation that says: "We're not going to allow you to do this. What you've done till now was fine, thank you very much, but from now on you're not going to be allowed to have funding on this basis." Let's change the criteria. Let's do it through appropriate legislation, not this omnibus piece of legislation, which we've had to deal with under certain difficult circumstances, I might add, because we've had enormous numbers of people express an interest in coming before the committee, and rightfully so.

Throughout communities in Ontario there are many operators who are providing the kinds of services that are critical for people to recover from very difficult circumstances. Minister, this is an important area. In many communities it affects the lives not only of the people who are in those centres, but their families and the entire community. My God, I dread the fact that if these centres stop functioning in the way that they are now, we're going to have an enormous number of social ills befall us over the immediate future, until you make that appropriate transition to where you want to be, which is to delink services from housing.

I understand the direction you're going in, and perhaps another day we can examine that and determine that it is the appropriate direction to head in, but it's certainly not the appropriate mechanism or process that we're following here. That's why I'm forced to make this amendment in order to deal with a situation that I think we can only describe as one we are trying to salvage. I think that at the end of the day your amendment does not meet the critical test I am describing here. It doesn't go as far as it needs to go. I think that for me --

Mr Owens: What do you mean it doesn't go?

Mr Cordiano: The amendment that I'm talking about refers to --

Mr Owens: First you say it's not necessary, then you say it doesn't go as far as it should.

The Vice-Chair: Order, please.

Mr Cordiano: It doesn't go as far as our amendment goes, which gives these centres the absolute right to evict someone because they qualify under that exemption. The amendment that has been put forward by your government, by the minister, does not allow for that to occur.

I think at the end of the day, when all is said and done, these centres will have a difficult time continuing to operate in the way they are operating because you've removed the one thing that I think they could count on, the one thing that I think a recovering alcoholic or a recovering drug addict has to comply with: the rules and the regulations and the program itself that they were admitted and entered into, an agreement with these operators, the conditions by which they agreed to be housed.

If they violate that and are a threat to the other tenants, if they undermine the very existence of this home, then at the end of the day you have completely undermined those programs. There's no way they can recover from that. Other tenants will be understandably affected. We've even heard that some of these homes -- the residents there have described the situation as one that was tense at best, and distressful in most cases, where someone who brought alcohol into a home or brought illicit drugs caused all the other tenants to go into a distressful situation. I don't think we can avoid that or we can preclude that from happening unless there is a threat of eviction --

Mr Owens: That means you don't need the unfettered right of kick people out, though, Joe.

Mr Cordiano: -- which would kick in automatically. I think that an operator would be responsible for the safety and the good health of the other tenants. I don't think we could sacrifice the other people in that home because we're trying to uphold the rights of one individual over the rights of all the others to a safe, healthy program which they entered into at the very beginning. That was their understanding.

I notice it's 5 o'clock, Mr Chairman, and I would like to adjourn the debate.

The Vice-Chair: This committee stands adjourned until tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock.

The committee adjourned at 1659.