Wednesday 9 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

Haeck, Christel (St Catharines-Brock ND) for Mr White and Mr Fletcher

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

Morin, Gilles E. (Carleton East/-Est L) for Mr Brown

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:

Ministry of Housing:

Gigantes, Hon Evelyn, minister

Dowler, Rob, manager, planning and building policy section

Lyle, Michael, legal counsel, rent control section

Melville, Tom, legal counsel

Clerk / Greffier: Carrozza, Franco

Staff / Personnel: Yurkow, Russell, legislative counsel

The committee met at 1011 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): We'll continue clause-by clause consideration of Bill 120.

The first item: I'd like to inform the members of the committee that substitutions for Mr Drummond White will now be accepted by the Chair as he has returned to the government caucus and I've received notification from the chief government whip in this regard.

Yesterday Mr Cordiano had the floor. I don't see him right now. It will go to Mr Owens.

Mr Stephen Owens (Scarborough Centre): I'll yield my time.

Mr Bernard Grandmaître (Ottawa East): That's very nice of Mr Owens.

Mr George Dadamo (Windsor-Sandwich): He's a good guy.

Mr Grandmaître: He's always trying to do the best.

Mr Owens: I would rather give them a chance to make fools of themselves.

Mr Grandmaître: Absolutely. The problems with this bill are numerous and I would like to highlight some of the problems, the concerns not only of the Liberal Party but my personal concerns.

We're faced with an omnibus bill, and omnibus bills, as you know, are complicated and make life for Ontarians more complicated for the simple reason that they have to look at five or six different acts, in this case five different acts, before they can get the global picture.

The first concern I would like to address is the basement apartments or accessory apartments.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Grandmaître, I think you should restrict yourself to comments on the amendment we have before us dealing with clause (i.1)(iii).

Mr Owens: Is Ben talking about the time he was minister again, reliving those days with a car in 1989?

Mr Grandmaître: The good old days.

Mr Gary Wilson (Kingston and The Islands): The opening statement was yesterday.

The Vice-Chair: I think this bodes well for the day. Everybody is in good humour. Did you want to make any other comments on the amendment that's before us?

Mr Grandmaître: It's not everybody who's in good humour. They won't let me speak.

On the amendment and on behalf of my critic, Joe Cordiano, who will be about 10 minutes late, Mr Chair --

Mr Owens: You're not supposed to note absences of MPPs.

Mr Grandmaître: I'm being interfered with. Maybe I should start all over again.

Mr David Johnson (Don Mills): I want to hear about basement apartments.

Mr Grandmaître: At least the Tories want to hear about the basement apartments, and I think it's very important. You should let me comment on the proposed law which will legalize firetraps.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Grandmaître, you know we're dealing with the amendment that's moved by the Liberal Party, if you would restrict your comments to that amendment, please.

Mr Grandmaître: Mr Cordiano tried on two different occasions yesterday to bring in an amendment by inserting after "rehabilitative" in the third line, "respite and convalescent care." We're adamant that a better definition of rehabilitative and respite and convalescent homes --


Mr Grandmaître: Nobody's listening, now that I'm talking to the amendment. Now that our Housing critic is in place --

Mr David Johnson: I thought you said Housing critter.

Mr Grandmaître: Not a quitter. We're adamant that the definition of rehabilitative and respite and convalescent care homes be added to this bill. I know the minister told us yesterday that it could be part of the new regulations, but we don't have the regulations before us, so it's very difficult for us to accept the bill as is without having all the facts before us.

Also, the minister advised us yesterday that people who would not be cared for or who don't seem to be cared for in the bill would be protected by the Substitute Decisions Act. As you know, the Substitute Decisions Act is not before us. It's not even passed yet.

All these things, and also the basement apartments, are of great concern to this party. We would like the ministry to tell us what its plans are: How will it improve the rehabilitative definition and also the respite and convalescent care definition? It should be included in the bill so we can go on and look at every clause of this bill by tomorrow, if we have a chance to go through every clause. The reason it seems like we're stalling is very simple: We don't have all the facts before us and it's very difficult to envisage the global picture of this bill, a very important bill which will affect the lives of thousands and thousands of people in Ontario.

For that reason, I don't think the opposition, not that we're mean about it, can do a good job except to vote against Bill 120 in its present form, for the simple reason that the government is not willing to listen to the people who came before us and highlighted very clearly what the problems would be for them to continue to operate.

I'll give you an example. The Massey Centre again today provided us with a letter saying it would make it impossible for the centre to continue its work. It's very important that we should listen not only to the people operating the Massey Centre but all the organizations that came before this committee telling us that the bill is not clear and that they would like to see amendments. Knowing the government is not willing to move on any of the opposition's amendments makes it difficult for us to really have a global feeling for this bill, and we will continue to oppose this bill until the government is ready and willing to accept some of our amendments.

Mrs Margaret Marland (Mississauga South): I received a letter just yesterday -- actually, I'm copied on this letter; it is to Karen Haslam -- from the Emily Murphy Second Stage Residences. They happen to be on Barron Street in Stratford. Their plea on behalf of second-stage housing and their concerns about limiting the amount of time are put very succinctly. I want to read the committee one short paragraph, because this is what we're talking about in terms of the independence of these kinds of organizations. As I said yesterday, and I'll say it again, they are funded by the public sector so there is a regulatory control of these facilities. Why they have to go under another statute, go under that particular statute of the LTA, is beyond me.


"Women who have suffered long periods of verbal, psychological, emotional and physical abuse at the hands of someone who professes to `love' them, and who may actually love them, need a safe, secure, protected time when they come out of the relationship to reflect, to heal, both emotionally and physically, and to plan. As second-stage housing is now constituted, we can offer them this time and much-needed protection."

That's the end of my quote. I'll give that to Hansard so they've got the actual document.

The other point I want to make, which just adds more weight to the argument I made yesterday about who funds these facilities we're talking about, is a letter over the signature of Bishop Sotirios, who is the head of the Greek Orthodox Church in Canada. In his letter, he says:

"After consultation with our appointed Ecuhome board members, I have reviewed the serious matters that currently threaten Ecuhome's housing. Our unique joint venture has enjoyed a successful nine-year history, supported by legal agreements with the ministries of Community and Social Services and Housing."

That letter is accompanied by letters with very similar wording from the Right Reverend Terence Finlay, Bishop of Toronto, the Anglican Church; also Dr Helga Kutz-Harder, who is the executive secretary of the United Church of Canada; and the Reverend Briant Cullinane, who is the chancellor of the Archdiocese of Toronto, which I presume is the Roman Catholic Church.

Here we have the four major churches in Canada joyfully celebrating the fact that they have this joint venture with the ministries of Community and Social Services and Housing and have had it for nine years. They're saying it works, and please leave it operating the way it is because it works.

There is a fifth letter. Actually, I can't read the signatures on this letter, but I'm happy to share it with any member of the committee. Obviously, this is a letter written by someone who is a resident in one of these homes. I'll just read you one paragraph:

"Three weeks ago, one of my room-mates who had seven months sober, relapsed. I watched four staff members from Ecuhome, including an executive director, help this person find his way into detox, and made special arrangements for him to pay the rent that he was short. I really was quite surprised at the extent they were willing to go to help.

"Last week in my house, we were having a problem dealing with a room-mate that was borderline, functioning at an independent level. Staff had stayed involved with us to help us cope until such time as alternative arrangements could be made. Without staff intervention, that situation would have been unbearable.

"I know of another situation with a friend of mine that's in recovery and lives in Ecuhome. He relapsed for two days and caused some problems at his house. Staff approached another house with full disclosure of the situation and asked them to give him a second chance. They agreed to take him and the jury is still out, but the point is pretty clear. Ecuhome staff is very involved with us and does go to great lengths to help wherever needed.

"I cannot imagine the problems that communal living without staff counselling would have, or if it would even be possible."

What we're not hearing here is that if these programs are destroyed by this bill, who is going to help these people who are presently looked after in these programs? It is a very serious situation.

Every day in my office, and I'm sure it's the same in all of yours, we receive calls from people who are being hurt by the cutbacks the government is making. If we are in this situation where these very vulnerable, special-needs people are now able to benefit from these residential programs, and there are the controls -- here's a situation where in one house that individual wasn't compatible, so he or she was moved to another house in the same organization. It's absolutely ludicrous not to let staff do that for the benefit of that individual. They're not putting them out on the street. That's not the risk. That's not why they need the Landlord and Tenant Act. They're still being nurtured and protected and given the services they need because they are vulnerable, but in another house within the same organization. That kind of lateral move has to be within the power of the staff and the people who provide these services.

I come back to the fact that everybody in this room pays for these services because these are government services. When you destroy these programs, as these service providers have told us -- the people who have been talking to us aren't bureaucrats in some ivory tower. They aren't politicians who are trying to do it for political reasons. They're not people who have a political axe to grind.

The chairman of the board of Ecuhome, who came to present, is the president of a large corporation in Canada. Do you really think he needs to be involved as president of the board of that organization if he didn't want to do it? There's no political gain for him. There sure as heck is no business gain for him. You have to ask, why do those people do those voluntary jobs? Why do they take on those voluntary positions? They do it because they believe in the organization and they believe in what the organization is doing for individuals. Obviously, governments in the past have also believed in them, and the current government believes in them because it continues to fund them.


What are we saying here? "Oh, there's a problem." Well, the problem doesn't exist in those government-funded homes. If you want to put people under the protection of the Landlord and Tenant Act, do it where there is no control; don't do it to every organization and every publicly funded home. If you're worried about abuses where there are no licences and no regulations, have this bill say that, have it address those care facilities, those care homes, where there are no controls. But it's ludicrous to have this bill apply to those facilities where there are independent boards and there is direct funding from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Community and Social Services and, in this case apparently, the Ministry of Housing, whose bill this is. It just doesn't make sense.

If you vote to put these organizations out of business, it's going to be your responsibility to say to those people who no longer have that service available to them, that housing available, the counselling, the rehabilitation, every part of that program available to them -- it's going to be your responsibility to deal with the fact that the program no longer exists. I wouldn't want to be the person who receives that phone call. It's bad enough that we have huge waiting lists, but if we kill existing programs, boy, that would be the worst thing we could possibly do.

I don't really think there's any point in us having public meetings on legislation and inviting the public to come and talk to a committee of the Legislature about what the impact of that legislation is unless we're going to listen. These organizations have been very clear in what they've said to us, and we can't have this bill kill those programs.

The Vice-Chair: Obviously, this is an important section because, as was pointed out yesterday, it determines many other aspects of the bill, so I will allow a few more comments in this regard, but I would remind members that we've had quite some time on this particular amendment and we have many more to come still.

Mr David Johnson: There are just a couple of other deputations that caught my eye, and I thought they should be mentioned at this point. We've been talking mostly about homes with rehabilitative or therapeutic aspects to them, but going through my files I noticed a letter from the Honourable Stanley Knowles. The Honourable Stanley Knowles wrote to the Honourable Bob Rae on February 7 of this year. Mr Knowles is a resident of Rideau Place in Ottawa, a retirement home in Ottawa. He has expressed his concern with regard to Bill 120.

Mr Owens: A gentleman of the best substance.

Mr David Johnson: Absolutely, and a gentleman we all respect, I'm sure. He has expressed concerns with regard to the impact of Bill 120 on retirement homes. He says:

"I am very happy here and am very concerned about the Ontario government Bill 120 which proposes to make retirement homes such as Rideau Place subject to housing legislation, specifically rent control and the Landlord and Tenant Act.

"For the past few years Rideau Place and other retirement homes have been trying to warn the government that putting such retirement homes under housing legislation would cause serious problems in the day-to-day running of such retirement homes and for the residents living in them.

"The government, however, has ignored these warnings and the indications are that Bill 120 may become law this spring.

"Rideau Place has submitted a brief to the Honourable Evelyn Gigantes, Minister of Housing, and to the standing committee on government affairs on Bill 120 and I am very anxious for you to have a copy of this brief which I am enclosing with this letter. I urge you to read it carefully and to give it your particular attention.

"I am aware that there are a great many seniors in Ontario who are living miserable, insecure lives in boarding- and rooming-houses who have no protection whatever from greedy, unscrupulous landlords and that Bill 120 will give them some security. Many of these people are completely dependent on their supplemented old age pensions and are paying far too much for the accommodations they have. I cannot see any reason for including Rideau Place and other retirement homes" --

The Vice-Chair: We have all seen it.

Mr David Johnson: I just thought that should be read into the record because he's saying there need to be exemptions from the Landlord and Tenant Act, and that's the substance of this amendment that's before us, exemptions. It's Mr Knowles's strong opinion that Rideau Place be one of those facilities that should have the exemption.

We also received a deputation from Anglican Houses, and they express the problem we will be facing. They provide services, and some of the people they serve, they indicate in their brief, are people who have a history of destroying property, violence, suicide attempts, theft, and disruption. They attempt to provide housing program, where there's safety, where the residents have a say in their lives and housing. They set the rules and the residents are involved in settling disputes, so the Anglican Houses have an environment right now where if there is a problem, the residents themselves have a hand in sorting out the problems. They think this is a more than adequate resolution mechanism and that the imposition of Bill 120 will cause problems.


Specifically, they point out the problem of congregate living, where people are living together and sharing facilities. This is a thread through a lot of the presentations we have heard. We've talked a great deal about programs having therapy, programs having a rehabilitative nature, but another factor here is where people are living together. Most of the deputants I have heard have said that tenants living in self-contained units should have the protection of the Landlord and Tenant Act, but when you are dealing with a situation where there's congregate living, where people are sharing the kitchen, where people are sharing the washrooms, where people are sharing a living room area, this is of a different nature.

It puzzles me why the government hasn't made an attempt to look at that, because we have had several groups now come to us and say that if it's a self-contained unit, it should be the Landlord and Tenant Act, and if it's a congregate living situation, there should at least be a fast-track mechanism, because you've got people who can't get away from a problem if they're being harassed, if they're being bothered or if somebody is doing something that would jeopardize the rehabilitative program or the therapeutic program. They can't get away from these people because they're living together. At least look at the possibility of a fast-track mechanism rather than applying the full Landlord and Tenant Act. Indeed, that's what the Anglican Houses are requesting. They are requesting that a fast-track mechanism such as Dr Lightman has proposed be looked at.

Personally, I don't think there is a serious investigation of that possibility, and that puzzles me. I would be much happier if somebody said: "We've looked at it. Here are some alternatives of how a fast-track mechanism could work, but we have concluded that there are various problems with each one of them." We don't have any evidence of that happening. The only evidence we have is that we decided right from the beginning, notwithstanding that there is a congregate living situation, notwithstanding that there would be therapy, rehabilitation programs or whatever, that the Landlord and Tenant Act is going to be applied in each and every circumstance, and that's it.

The exemptions, even with the amendment that's before us today from the government, will not help many of these programs. The Anglican Houses say: "In the absence of a fast-track system, we risk jeopardizing the safety and peaceful enjoyment of the resident group as a whole in exchange for the right of the threatening individual to maintain their housing during the eviction process." So the whole group is at risk, but the one individual is being protected.

I'm just going to leave it at that, because I guess this has all been said before. My one final closing comment is that it's interesting that the Anglican Houses are supported in a letter from an administrator of the Ministry of Health. If you look on the back of their brief, one of the administrators of the Ministry of Health has said:

"In order to achieve the flexibility which you" -- Anglican Houses -- "need to deliver the full benefit of your treatment program, we agree with your concerns...." Here's a Ministry of Health letter.

Mrs Marland: Isn't that interesting. I wish we'd had that when they were here. Boy, that's significant.

Mr David Johnson: It's signed Ronald G. Ballantyne, administrator, Ministry of Health, Whitby, Ontario. He says, "we agree with your concerns about being required to have your program come under the jurisdiction of the Landlord and Tenant Act." Here it is in black and white.

Mrs Marland: That poor guy will never get a promotion.

Mr David Johnson: Well, sorry to put him on the spot, but there it is in black and white. The Ministry of Health agrees with Anglican Houses that they should not come under the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Mrs Marland: We'll look after him, one of us.

Mr David Johnson: I will leave it at that.

The Vice-Chair: As I don't have anyone else on the speakers' list, I think we're ready to call the question on the Liberal amendment to subsection 1(3).

Mrs Marland: Could we have it read, please?

Mr Grandmaître: It's been a long time.

The Vice-Chair: Does the mover want to read it?

Mr Joseph Cordiano (Lawrence): 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."

Mrs Marland: Recorded vote, Mr Chairman.

The Vice-Chair: A recorded vote. All in favour?


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

The Vice-Chair: Against?


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

The Vice-Chair: The amendment carries.

The next amendment is a Conservative motion.

Mrs Marland: 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 substituting "twenty-four."

The Vice-Chair: Did you want to speak to the amendment?

Mrs Marland: I may after some other comments. At this point, I will let someone else speak.

Mr George Mammoliti (Yorkview): I'd like to point out that I have the exact same amendment, but in view of the discussion that took place yesterday and in view of the amendment that just passed, because the average stay in most of these homes is 18 months and that information has been consistent throughout the hearings, I think it would be appropriate for us to just move on and not deal with the 24. I'd be willing to do that with my motion.

The Vice-Chair: In other words, you're withdrawing your own amendment? You haven't moved it yet.

Mr Owens: He's withdrawing it; that's what I heard.

Mrs Marland: We heard from a number of programs, certainly the Massey Centre, say sometimes three or three and a half years. I think we would be much smarter to respect the program administrators and the designers of those programs to make decisions in the best interest of their clients. I reiterate my comments about who funds those programs. If there's a problem with those programs, let the government deal with that problem through its funding arm: the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Community and Social Services and the Ministry of Housing.

Obviously, I'm in favour of Mr Cordiano's motion for 18 months because that's an improvement on six, but I would like my motion for 24 to pass because it just improves the scope for those service providers, and it doesn't deter the control of government, because the control is there through the funding if it doesn't approve of whatever any individual service provider is doing with its clients. There are those controls. I won't repeat that argument again. It's been said very loud and clear by deputations before this committee.

Mr Cordiano: I feel I should say something about this, and this does not come from just an interest to be different. I know there are some genuine concerns about this 24-month provision Mrs Marland has put forward, and I can appreciate that.

At the end of the day, I think we compromise regardless of what we do, but our compromise at least covers the concerns we heard throughout the committee hearings from most of the deputants. Whether it's 18 months or 24 months, it's rather difficult to conclude that one is more precise or more correct than the other.

But by and large, we heard that 18 months was the average and that the majority of deputants who came before us could live with 18 months. Unfortunately, I cannot support the 24 months because it just so happens that we passed the 18-month clause, and this would negate the effects of the 18-month provision, which I feel is sufficient to cover those concerns. Unfortunately, I won't be supporting the 24-month clause.

Mrs Marland: You didn't tell me that.

Mr David Johnson: I'm just looking through my material to try to find the instances, but it's obvious that the 18 months is far superior to the six months, and that will be of great assistance to a number of organizations.

But at the same time, we did have deputations, and I think Eden Community House was one of them -- I can't find their brief, but I believe Eden Community House said their average stay was 2.4 years. I think there are going to be some programs tailored now to make sure they come under the 18 months, if that's what carries at the end of the day. If the 24 months were passed, I suspect programs at Eden Community House, which has a slightly longer duration, would tailor it to come under the two years.

In the brief from the Scarborough General Hospital, they indicate that their average length of stay was about a year. However, "other such programs have a 24-month average length of stay," to use their exact words. They didn't quote what they were exactly, but they say there are other programs and they do have a two-year length of stay.


The Society of St Vincent de Paul said that their average stay was somewhere between one and two years. You could average that off at 18 months or that could be 19 months or 20 months or 16 months or whatever, but chances are that now they'll have to look at their program and make sure the average stay is under the year and a half so they can enjoy the privileges of being exempt from the Landlord and Tenant Act. But if the two years was in place, it would allow a program like the St Vincent de Paul to be more flexible.

At the Massey Centre, we know that phase 3 for the young ladies who need extra assistance is a two-year program in itself. If they've come in a little bit earlier, into the phase 1 or phase 2 of the Massey Centre program, their stay would be even longer than the two years.

There certainly were a number of groups that indicated the two years would be of great assistance to them, and that's why we put this forward. We're happy with the 18 months, but we'd be only fully happy with the 24 months. I certainly will be supporting the two years.

The Vice-Chair: Are we ready to vote now? Mrs Marland has moved 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 substituting "twenty-four."

Mrs Marland: Recorded vote.

The Vice-Chair: All in favour?


Johnson (Don Mills), Marland.

The Vice-Chair: Opposed?


Cordiano, Dadamo, Grandmaître, Haeck, Mammoliti, Owens, Wessenger, Wilson (Kingston and The Islands).

The Vice-Chair: The amendment is lost.

Mr Mammoliti, I understand you are not putting forward your amendment.

Mr Mammoliti: No. In reference to some of the discussion that took place yesterday, the average stay in these places is 18 months, and I was quite willing, as members know, to amend mine to read 18 months.

The Vice-Chair: You're withdrawing your amendment.

Mr Mammoliti: I haven't put it forward, so I'm not withdrawing it.

The Vice-Chair: The next amendment I have is a Conservative motion. Frankly, it's out of order.

Mrs Marland: You want me to read it and then you're going to say it's out of order?

The Vice-Chair: It's up to you. If you want to not move it --

Mrs Marland: No, I'll move it.

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 striking out subclauses (ii) and (iii).

The Vice-Chair: I'm advised that this is out of order and that the proper procedure would be to vote against the section.

The next motion I have in front of me is a motion by Mr Mammoliti.

Mrs Marland: Are we going to vote against it?

The Vice-Chair: Against what?

Mrs Marland: You said it would be in order to vote against the clause.

The Vice-Chair: I'm sorry, Mrs Marland. You are correct. Shall clause 1(3)(iii), as amended, carry? All those in favour? All opposed? Carried.

Mr Mammoliti: I move that the definition of "residential premises" as set out in subsection 1(3) of the bill be amended by adding the following clause:

"(i.2) a residential unit, as defined in section 1 of the Planning Act, in a detached house, semi-detached house or row house if there is a written contract between the landlord and the tenant entered into after the day this clause comes into force."

The Vice-Chair: To clarify, this motion is the one labelled "A." It replaces what you had in your package. Mr Mammoliti, do you want to speak to your motion?

Mr Paul Wessenger (Simcoe Centre): Is this in order?

The Vice-Chair: I am advised that it is.

Mr Wessenger: On a point of order, Mr Chair: I don't believe it is in order, on the basis that it is beyond the scope of the bill because it changes the rights with respect to apartments that presently exist. It doesn't relate to the question of the creation of accessory apartments.

The Vice-Chair: Legal advisers sometimes have different opinions. However, the advice I have received, which has been verified, confirms that it is in order.

Mr Mammoliti: Just in conclusion to that, there is a slight amendment to what I proposed yesterday, a grandfather clause that's now attached to this that would actually do the opposite of what Mr Wessenger is saying. That's a legal opinion I got as well, so it does protect the tenants who currently reap those benefits.

Mrs Marland: What benefits?

Mr Mammoliti: The benefits Mr Wessenger is talking about.

Mr Owens: Do we not have the complete amendment? Is that what I am to understand, that there is more language to this?

Mr Mammoliti: No, that's it.

The Vice-Chair: We have an amendment that's been distributed and it's been read into the record. That's the one we're discussing and will be voting on.

Mr David Johnson: I have a question to the author. I just want to understand it, as it's just been put in front of us. Perhaps you could give me a few words about the intent of this resolution.

Mr Mammoliti: I'd be prepared to do that if we're off the point of order.

The Vice-Chair: We are not on a point of order. We are in the debate.

Mr Owens: I still don't think it's in order.

Mrs Marland: Excuse me. How are we debating it if it's not a legal motion?

The Vice-Chair: Mrs Marland, I have already ruled that it is clearly in order. We are in the debate on the amendment. Mr Mammoliti has spoken to his motion and now Mr Johnson has the floor.

Mrs Marland: On a point of order, Mr Chair: Did legislative counsel give you the advice that this was in order?

The Vice-Chair: The Chairman has received advice and the matter is in order. That's about the third time I've said that. If you want to challenge the --

Mrs Marland: Could I ask legislative counsel what his opinion is?

Mr Russell Yurkow: The advice to the Chair would come from the clerk and not from legislative counsel. I think my view on this should be irrelevant. Traditionally, the Chair relies on the clerk for advice on procedural matters.

Mr David Johnson: I'd still like a bit of clarification from the author of this amendment, if he could just say a few words about the intent of this amendment.


The Vice-Chair: Mr Johnson has the floor, unless there is a point of order.

Mr Owens: I think we're still working our way through determining whether we are dealing with the motion. What I was going to suggest --

The Vice-Chair: I've already clearly established that the motion is in order. I will not entertain any further questions with regard to that ruling.


Mr Cordiano: On a point of order, Mr Chairman, and this is very critical: We want to ensure that whatever we vote on is in order, because after we hold the vote --

The Vice-Chair: I have already ruled that the motion is in order. We're debating the motion now.

Mr Cordiano: Yes, but I want to know that there aren't going to be legal challenges put forward after this is passed.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Cordiano, you're questioning the ruling of the Chair.

Mr Cordiano: No, I would like to get legislative counsel's opinion on that.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Cordiano, I already advised the committee that the motion is in order according to the advice the Chair has received. Mr Johnson has the floor.

Mr David Johnson: I'm looking for a simple clarification from the author, what his intent was in putting this amendment forward, just to clarify in my own mind. I wonder if he would say a few words. He said he'd be happy to do that.

Mr Mammoliti: During the deliberations we heard from a number of individuals who have concerns about detached, semidetached or row houses, the small landlord issue, as I like to put it, that mom-and-pop operation that exists now. As you know, there are many thousand illegal apartments out there. This does not stop the bill from going forward. I agree with the bill. All this does, and we've heard the recommendations from a number of people who have come forward, is that after the bill passes it gives the option to those who have at that point legal apartments to sit down with their tenants and create a contract, a mutual contract that would satisfy both of them. If they choose not to, the tenants who live there, after this is passed, would fall under the Landlord and Tenant Act. What this does is create an option for the tenants and the landlords of those small mom-and-pop operations that currently exist.

Mr David Johnson: If the amendment as passed and was legal, in the sense that it stood up, if I had a house and created an accessory apartment in that house and entered into a contract with the tenant coming into, let's say, a basement apartment in that house, the Landlord and Tenant Act would not apply; my contract with the tenant would apply.

Mr Mammoliti: Yes, that's my understanding. I verified that with legal after it was written and they give me that assurance. At the same time, those that currently exist, in those municipalities that might have those options available to those who have basement apartments and are subject to the Landlord and Tenant Act, will not be affected in any way. This doesn't affect them.

Mr David Johnson: Presumably, in that contract I drew up with the tenant, if there were certain problems beyond what was contemplated in the Landlord and Tenant Act I could include certain provisions for eviction, for example -- could I? -- that the tenant would say, "All right, I agree to those reasons," whatever they are.

Mr Mammoliti: You heard some of the submissions from some of the deputants who have talked very clearly about: What are you going to do with the existing illegal apartments at this point once they become legal? What option does that landlord have? The bill as it stands now doesn't give those landlords any options. They have to take the tenants as they are. They can't say, "See you later." This at least gives them an opportunity to sit down with those tenants and come up with some sort of agreement. If they choose not to, they've got a choice. The tenant can move, or the landlord has to accept the fact that the Landlord and Tenant Act at that point would take effect.

Mr David Johnson: I was under the impression that the Landlord and Tenant Act was supreme and that you couldn't draw up a contract that would contravene the Landlord and Tenant Act, let's say.

Mr Owens: You can't take rights away. You can't ask people to sign away their rights.

Mr David Johnson: I'm being advised by your colleague over there that you can't take rights away.

Mr Mammoliti: No, this doesn't take rights away. This actually gives those tenants who currently exist in some of these illegal apartments more rights, in that either they're going to be subject to the Landlord and Tenant Act or they're going to have a lease that they probably have never had or a contract set up that they probably have never had.

Mr David Johnson: So you view this as giving the tenants more rights. Some of the deputations we heard -- I think of your friend Mayor Lastman, who made a deputation saying that if the landlord and the tenant couldn't get along in the house and somebody had to move, in his view it shouldn't be the owner of the property who would have to move, that it should be the tenant. If he were to look at this, he might wonder, does this give the landlord more rights to deal with circumstances? Given that we're not talking about a big landlord here with 250 units in an apartment building, but about a little guy -- or little girl, one or the other -- who happens to own a house and has rented out the apartment, and is not sophisticated with regard to landlords' issues and there may be circumstances that come up, will this be of any assistance beyond the Landlord and Tenant Act, in your view, to the landlord, to the owner of the house?

Mr Mammoliti: Yes, this will give the option. This amendment is a middle ground for a lot of those concerns that have been raised. This will not only give tenants more rights than they currently have, but it will also give the landlords more rights than they currently have.

The Vice-Chair: Mrs Marland, you're next on the list, and I have a long list of speakers.

Mr Cordiano: We should probably rotate, Mr Chair. We used to follow that system. It evens the time out.

The Vice-Chair: I agree that we should try to keep the interventions to a relatively reasonable time so we can rotate.

Mr Cordiano: Go ahead.

Mrs Marland: After voting against my last motion, Mr Cordiano, I really appreciate your letting me speak.

This is a tough motion for me, no matter what, because I'm not an advocate for basement apartments, as you know. Not being an advocate for basement apartments, I have difficulty dealing with a motion that addresses them in any way.

Maybe leg counsel can answer this. I'm not clear what the role of legislative counsel is to a committee. Is it only in the technical drafting of motions? You're not here to give us legal advice, are you? Or can you give us a legal interpretation of what is being presented and what the bill says?

Mr Yurkow: No, I'm here for the technical aspects of the drafting and not to give legal advice. Things like out-of-order motions, procedural things, are within the ambit of the clerk.


Mrs Marland: But it is within your responsibility if I ask you whether, if this bill goes through as it is, unamended -- it's difficult, because we're dealing with a definition here at the front end of the bill but we haven't really got into the bill where we're discussing basement apartments. I realize why we have to deal with the definition, because that's where it is in the bill and that's why we're dealing with it now.

When this bill is proclaimed, do all the existing basement apartments -- and here we have another little complexity, because in the city of Toronto there are legal basement apartments, but I don't think any of the other municipalities have legal basement apartments. The city of Toronto is in a different situation as opposed to the other municipalities, like my own, Mississauga, for example. If I'm a landlord with a basement apartment today that's illegal, will I automatically be under the Landlord and Tenant Act with my existing tenant once this bill is passed?

Mr Yurkow: I can tell you, and I think it's within my mandate, what this particular amendment does.

Mrs Marland: Could you answer my question first?

Mr Yurkow: Try your question again, please.

Mrs Marland: I have my little bungalow and I have my tenant downstairs and it's an illegal apartment today in my municipality, because my municipality doesn't permit second living units within a single-family home, so I've got this illegal tenant downstairs. This bill is proclaimed tomorrow. Am I automatically under the Landlord and Tenant Act because I today have somebody who is a tenant, albeit in an illegal apartment?

Mr Yurkow: The accessory basement apartments, as they're called, enter into the bill only because there is an amendment to the Planning Act which allows the Planning Act basically to include accessory or basement apartments. Your question is, if you have an illegal apartment --

The Vice-Chair: That would be a good question to ask legal counsel for the Ministry of Housing.

Mrs Marland: Michael, you're going to get on Hansard.

Mr Michael Lyle: My name is Michael Lyle. I'm legal counsel with the Ministry of Housing, and I've just been handed a copy of this motion.

Mrs Marland: My question isn't about this motion, not at this point. Today I have an illegal basement apartment in my house. This is fictitious, this story, for those of you who start to panic, before you run out and phone the Toronto Star. When this bill is proclaimed, will I as a landlord, and will my tenant, immediately on proclamation of this bill be automatically under the Landlord and Tenant Act?

Mr Lyle: Yes, you will.

Mrs Marland: Now, if I'm in the city of Toronto and today I have a legal basement apartment --

Mr Lyle: Then clearly you are currently under the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Mrs Marland: I'm currently under the LTA. Okay.

The Vice-Chair: It's still to the amendment from Mr Mammoliti.

Mrs Marland: Yes. Now, if Mr Mammoliti's amendment were passed, because it's in this bill it would then be part of this bill. Would it then exempt those landlords and tenants who have a contract, which is what his amendment speaks to?

Mr Grandmaître: Will the contract supersede the LTA?

Mr Lyle: It's not so much a question of will the contract supersede the LTA, but there will be a specific exemption that in this circumstance that particular unit will be exempt from the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Mr Wessenger: I still think this motion is out of order; however, I'm going to speak to what it means. If you read this motion it makes a substantial change in the Landlord and Tenant Act, because in effect it creates the right to opt out or to contract out of the Landlord and Tenant Act with respect to the classification of a unit.

For instance, if you rent a whole house you can then contract out of the LTA. That house is not subject to the Landlord and Tenant Act if you have a written contract. If you rent a semidetached house, the same thing: A whole semidetached house is out of the provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act. If you rent a row house you're out of the provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act. In effect, we're allowing any type of rental unit --

Mrs Marland: It doesn't say that.

Mr Wessenger: Yes, that's what it says.

Mrs Marland: It says "in a."

Mr Wessenger: It says: "residential a detached house." It can either be a unit in, or it can be the whole house.

Mrs Marland: It doesn't say that.

Mr Wessenger: It does say that, in my opinion. If you read the definitions, in effect we're taking a whole class of housing out of the protection of the Landlord and Tenant Act. That is a substantial change in the law. We're in effect rewriting the whole landlord and tenant law in this province with this clause by saying that from now on we're only going to have protection for tenants under the Landlord and Tenant Act if they live in apartment buildings. Everybody else can contract out of the Landlord and Tenant Act. That's just an incredible change and I'm surprised, really, that Mr Mammoliti would move such a major change in the Landlord and Tenant Act to change the whole structure.

Mrs Marland: On a point of order, Mr Chairman. This is why you wanted to be Vice-Chair.

The Vice-Chair: That's what I get paid for.

Mrs Marland: Is it in order for Mr Wessenger to read something that isn't in the motion?

The Vice-Chair: Mr Wessenger has the floor and he clearly is trying to make an argument, which is very much in order.

Mr Grandmaître: On a point of order, Mr Chair: While Mr Wessenger was giving us his interpretation of the amendment, legal counsel was shaking his head, saying no.

The Vice-Chair: Sorry, that's not a point of order. Mr Wessenger has the floor. Could we please follow the normal procedures of the committee and give those speakers who wish to speak an opportunity to put their comments on the record?

Mr Wessenger: If you look at the definition in the act, it defines "residential unit," and it says "means a unit that consists of a self-contained set of rooms located in a building or structure." I would suggest that the whole structure is a set of rooms contained in a building, so clearly it would cover the situation of the whole building as well as the situation of a section of the building that's contained.

In my opinion, this would deal not only with the situation Mr Mammoliti suggested he was dealing with -- I think Mr Mammoliti's intention was to say that any time you had a house that was divided into two units, that would not be under the protection of the Landlord and Tenant Act; any time you had a semidetached house divided into two units, that would not be under the protection of the Landlord and Tenant Act. That was his intention, but I would suggest that the legal effect of what he's done goes even beyond that, and I think his is a serious enough change, making legal units contained in existing buildings outside the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Mrs Marland: Don't worry, George. You'll be the only one re-elected.

Mr Wessenger: This is the most major change I've ever seen with respect to the Landlord and Tenant Act. It's just incredible. I don't think even the other members of this committee would be prepared to go so far as to take LTA protection away from existing units. It does affect existing rights. It's quite true that somebody who is in a premises now will not be affected by Mr Mammoliti's motion, but any future tenant coming into any of those premises will not have the benefit of the Landlord and Tenant Act. For all those reasons, I think this is beyond the scope of the bill. I'll leave it at that.


Mr Owens: I want to associate myself with my colleague Mr Wessenger's comments wholly, including his comments with respect to whether this motion is in order. I don't believe it is.

The Vice-Chair: Could I have your attention, please? I will not entertain again any comments with regard to the ruling of the Chair. I've said that several times now. I have clearly given the ruling on that. Otherwise, you're challenging the authority of the Chair.

Mr Owens: Anyway, in terms of the motion itself, this does absolutely nothing to enhance the quality of the bill. It is with a certain level of dismay that I find myself arguing this particular kind of motion on my side of the committee, but politics is a weird and sometimes strange game, so we have to do what we have to do.

Mrs Marland: Like the accord in 1985. That was pretty weird.

Mr Owens: If you talk to the housing advocates about this particular issue, I think the word "concerned" does not express the level of outrage deeply enough. There's no misunderstanding that this particular section, if passed, will do nothing more than to strip rights from tenants who currently enjoy these rights.

I'm certainly not a lawyer like Mr Wessenger, but I don't know of any judge or any arbitrator, in my experience, who has allowed anyone to enter into an agreement of any kind that has allowed them to opt out or to sign away their rights. It just has not happened in my experience.

When asked what the remedy is for the breach of this contract by either party, the only answer I've heard to date is that you go to court. If your concern is with respect to the "small" landlord as opposed to the "large" landlord, this particular motion does absolutely nothing to address the concerns you feel are out there, as the mover of the motion. You still end up in court. You end up in a different court and you end up with higher costs, but you still end up in court. If the concern is that the cost is onerous with respect to the "small" landlord, I think that is misguided. In terms of the kinds of time lines it takes to evict a problematic tenant, those time lines are clearly there. There are resources available to the "smaller" landlord that they can access.

To allow a motion like this is to say to a large number of constituents in my riding, "While you've had these rights for a significant period, and that while our party was in opposition we fought hard to have a strong Rent Control Act but we got rent review from the Liberals" -- we've been on record as being strong tenant activists. I don't think this motion does the history of our commitment to the tenant movement any justice. As I say, I find it strange that I'm having to argue a motion like this on my side of the table, but I want to make it clear that I am absolutely, in no way, shape or form, prepared to support this amendment and certainly hope my colleagues on both sides of this table will see fit to do the same thing.

Mr Cordiano: The intent of Mr Mammoliti's motion is rather interesting. What I'm still deeply concerned about is what the intent of the government of the day is in Bill 120. Their intent is to bring under the Landlord and Tenant Act units that are not currently covered by the act. That is stated in the definition of the act under the explanatory notes, part I, Landlord and Tenant Act. I just want to read what this says. The bill introduces the new concept of "care home facility" and it goes on to talk about, in the last paragraph of that page, "Certain accommodation that is presently excluded from the list of residential premises is also added."

The sections of the act dealing with the Rent Control Act, dealing with the Landlord and Tenant Act, clearly state these premises will be now covered under the act.

I would like some legal advice about how this new clause can co-exist with the other clauses of 1(3) and that they are not in fact contradictory. If Mr Mammoliti's amendment is passed, I believe there will be some legal challenges to the effect your amendment gives to 1(3). Perhaps legal counsel from the ministry can give us that kind of advice, about whether someone would be able to launch a legal challenge on the basis that they have no rights when other people have rights. This is no way to write legislation, in my opinion.

The Vice-Chair: You're asking that of legal counsel?

Mr Cordiano: I'm asking legal counsel of the ministry, yes. I want to make sure that the effect that is being given by the amendment will be preserved after that amendment is made law. Quite honestly, I don't wish to be part of an amendment that would render the act then challengeable and negate the impact of what the intended amendment is.

Mr Lyle: I would imagine that if this provision is passed into law, its constitutionality would be challenged under section 15 of the Charter of Rights. I'm sure you would hear arguments that it violates the equality rights of certain tenants who live in accessory apartments.

Mr Cordiano: Why is that? Because other tenants living in residential premises have those rights?

Mr Lyle: That's correct. They would have the protection of the Landlord and Tenant Act, whereas these tenants would not have the protection of the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Mr Cordiano: Do they have those rights currently? I suppose those tenants who live in what are recognized as legal units have those rights and those who are not living in legal units are non-existent in the eyes of the law.

Mr Lyle: That's not entirely clear. There's mixed law on the question of whether illegal apartments are protected by the Landlord and Tenant Act currently. That is a subject of --

Mr Cordiano: Is there any case history?

Mr Lyle: There are cases that go differently on that subject. I don't have them with me now, but I could provide that to you at a later time.


Mr Cordiano: The trouble I'm having with this is that the effect --

The Vice-Chair: Through the Chair, Mr Cordiano.

Mr Cordiano: I thought I was talking through the Chair.

Mrs Marland: Who said, "Through the Chair"?

The Vice-Chair: I did. Mr Cordiano, you have the floor.

Mr Cordiano: Thank you, Mr Daigeler. I've been waiting for over 45 minutes to have my five minutes of say, and I'd appreciate the time I do have.

I understand Mr Mammoliti's amendment and its intention. The intention is essentially to not have the provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act apply in these units that would then have an agreement between a landlord and a tenant, I suppose making it much more flexible for a landlord not to have to deal with the Landlord and Tenant Act, and there are some very legitimate concerns around that. We've heard all kinds of stories about difficulties people have with tenants and vice versa, and I suppose a contract would attempt to cover off most of those areas of concern that both tenants and landlords would have.

The difficulty in setting this forward as a subsection in this act would be that you're having quite opposite, and I believe contradictory, forces at work in the act by doing this. This section really negates the impact of the stated intention of the government to bring those units under the provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act. Would you not agree with me that that's what this in effect would have the impact of doing?

Mr Lyle: It certainly negates the intention of the government. I think that's fairly clear. Clearly, the government intended that all accessory apartments would receive the protection of the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Mr Cordiano: Can I ask you some personal questions with regard to your --


Mr Cordiano: Pardon me; wrong choice of words. Professional questions.

The Vice-Chair: I'd remind you again that the questions are through the Chair and that Mr Lyle is here to answer any legal questions you might have.

Mr Cordiano: Through you, Mr Chairman, to the deputant: Pardon me about the "personal" remark. I meant to say your professional background. You've been legal counsel in the ministry for some time and you're familiar with writing legislation and the legislation that is currently before us and other acts that are dealt with within the ambit of the Ministry of Housing.

Mr Lyle: Yes, I am.

Mr Cordiano: If this clause is permitted to be passed, and there's every indication that it may, I don't understand what we're doing with Bill 120. Why doesn't the government at that point just rescind the act? It would negate almost every impact this act would have.

The Vice-Chair: I'm not sure whether that's a legal question, but if you want to --

Mr Cordiano: Mr Chairman, if I may, if this section were to --

The Vice-Chair: Mr Cordiano, just in fairness to legal counsel, are you finished with your question to the legal counsel?

Mr Cordiano: No, I'm not finished. I'm trying to make it very clear --

The Vice-Chair: Would you ask your question of legal counsel, please. Otherwise, he can take his seat again.

Mr Cordiano: I'm trying to make myself very clear because this is not a simple question.

Mrs Marland: The contract is elective between the tenant and the landlord.

Mr Cordiano: I understand it's elective. None the less, in theory, every single tenant and every single landlord could have such a contract, making it impossible for any tenant in those circumstances to be included under the protections provided under LTA.

Mr Lyle: That was your question?

Mr Cordiano: What I really wanted to ask was the question of whether this could be entertained. If this section could be entertained in this bill, there are other things I would like to introduce, with all due respect to Mr Mammoliti. I would like to change the whole ambit of the bill, because if we allow this section to be entertained, why not go the full nine yards and introduce other measures that would certainly change the focus of the bill? I find it completely unacceptable that if we were to entertain this clause, which changes the intent of the bill, I should not be allowed to introduce other measures which would change other aspects of the bill completely.

The Vice-Chair: Did you want to comment? You don't have to.

Mr Lyle: No.

The Vice-Chair: Are you finished with your presentation, Mr Cordiano? Thank you very much, Mr Lyle. Mr Grandmaître.

Mr Grandmaître: My questions --

The Vice-Chair: Have been answered?

Mr Grandmaître: Well, they've not been answered. They are the same questions my critic has been asking, but we're not satisfied with the answers. Maybe we should take a 20-minute break, Mr Chair, and come back at 2 o'clock with written legal advice explaining to us in detail what this amendment will do. Will it be contrary to the intention of the government? Will it supersede the LTA? All of these questions need to be answered, and I think it's important enough to take a 20-minute break and come back at 2 o'clock and have written legal advice.

The Vice-Chair: Are you moving that?

Mr Grandmaître: My colleague will ask a few questions.

The Vice-Chair: So you're not moving that at this point?

Mr Grandmaître: Well, then we'll call it. At this point, no.

The Vice-Chair: The next speaker is Mr Wilson.

Mr Grandmaître: Well, no, Mr Chair --

The Vice-Chair: You had your opportunity to ask questions. You can come back, which you will. Mr Wilson, and I have Mrs Marland, Mr Mammoliti, Mr Johnson.

Mr Gary Wilson: This amendment strikes at the heart of Bill 120. That's quite clear in the discussion we've had to this point, with legal counsel even raising the issue of the possibility of a constitutional challenge if it goes through. And Mr Wessenger set it out very clearly, based on his experience, that this goes far beyond what appears to be the intention of Mr Mammoliti.

But even on that intention, I think it's fair to say, after sitting through all the presentations, that this drastically alters the tenor of those comments. This issue was raised occasionally, but not in the vast majority of submissions. When you look at what the bill is based on, the amount of consultation that went into the writing of the bill -- and here I want to mention particularly the Lightman report. After his province-wide consultation, meeting with many groups, he said in front of this committee, to quote from Hansard, "I considered landlord-tenant coverage the single most important recommendation in the report."

This amendment certainly is inconsistent with the thrust of the extension of Landlord and Tenant Act coverage to as many people in the province as possible, and to deny one group of tenants the coverage of the Landlord and Tenant Act strikes at the heart of what we're trying to do here. I think that's recognized by all members of the committee. From the discussion, there is serious concern about the intent of this amendment and great uncertainty that we would want to move ahead with this, for the very definite reason that it takes away rights presently enjoyed by most of the tenants in the province.

Again, what we're trying to do with Bill 120, residents' rights, is to extend LTA coverage to as many tenants as possible, and it flies in the face of where we are in this history of the province that we should be taking this step that denies these hard-won rights. I think it is recognized by most of the members of this committee that this is not the way we want to be going at this point.


It's clear, with the procedural issue that there is the uncertainty of what the amendment would do, in some minds at least, and the very clear position on this by people who have the experience -- I'm thinking here of Mr Wessenger -- that it would be going far beyond what the amendment is trying to achieve, as well as the substantive issue that this is not what we heard from the vast majority of presenters to our committee, and with Dr Lightman's clear support for Bill 120 coming out of the extension of LTA coverage, that this is simply something we want to defeat. I think the position of most of us is clear on that.

Mr Owens: The amendment's out of order anyway.

Mrs Marland: I'm not a lawyer, but I can read, and I would like for the benefit of the committee to read what is in the act. Everybody can sit around this table and say that the intent of this motion that's on the floor now is A, B or C. Mr Wessenger, who is a lawyer, just told us that this motion would affect all living units. It could affect a whole house, to use his description, a semidetached, in his opinion.

Mr Owens: That's right.

Mrs Marland: I don't need more comments from the staff at this point. Thank you.

Mr Owens: It was me who commented, not the staff.

Mrs Marland: The point is that all I can go by is what is printed on this motion and then refer to what is printed in the bill. I would have appreciated it if Mr Wessenger, who is a lawyer -- none of the rest of us on the committee at the moment is a lawyer, with his training and his qualifications -- had done the same thing. The decent thing would have been to take us to the definition as worded in Mr Mammoliti's motion, which says "a residential unit, as defined in section 1 of the Planning Act." It doesn't say "a residential unit" open, it says "as defined in section 1 of the Planning Act."

For those of you who haven't read section 1 of the Planning Act, I would take you to page 21 of Bill 120. There you will read that it says, "Section 1 of the Planning Act is amended by...the following definition." In section 1 of the Planning Act that exists today, there is a page of definitions and it talks about jurisdictional definitions, boards, municipalities etc. It doesn't define a residential unit. Until this bill goes through, a residential unit has not been part of the Planning Act.

As you read on page 21 over to the top of page 22, it says, "`residential unit' means a unit that... (a) consists of a self-contained set of rooms located in a building or structure." It doesn't say what Mr Wessenger said. It says "a self-contained set of rooms located in a building." It doesn't say a house, a row house or a town house. If it applied to a house, a semi or a row house, it would say that. The reason I know it would say that is that that terminology is used elsewhere in this bill. Elsewhere in this bill there is a reference to where basement apartments will be permitted. Basement apartments will be permitted in single-family homes which are detached, semidetached or row housing.

It's very clear that the drafting of this bill would not use one set of language in one section and another set in another, unless there was an intent for them to mean something different. Obviously, the meaning of "residential unit" as defined in section 1 of the Planning Act, which is all Mr Mammoliti is referring to, is the definition within the bill itself. After it says "consists of a self-contained set of rooms located in a building or structure," it goes on to say "is used or intended for use as a residential premises" and "contains kitchen and bathroom facilities that are intended for the use only of the unit." It doesn't say "the house"; it says "the unit." If we need to get a dictionary to define "unit," then let's do that. It goes on, fortunately, to say "has a means of egress to the outside of the building or structure in which it is located, which may be a means of egress through another residential unit."

It couldn't be any clearer, and for those of you who are so blindly partisan and don't want to listen to what your own bill says, that's your choice, but I think you're being very unfair. It's very interesting to observe who in this room is giving advice to whom. If we're talking about a definition of a residential unit that "has a means of egress to the outside of the building," obviously we're not talking about the whole building, as Mr Wessenger has tried to say we are. We're saying "has a means of egress to the outside of the building or structure in which it is located" -- "in which." Do we not understand what "in" means? It doesn't say "at which it is located"; it says "in which," which I would presume means inside.

It's grossly unfair, whether or not you agree with a colleague's resolution and whether or not a colleague has the courage to represent his constituency --

Mr Owens: That's not the issue.

Mrs Marland: It certainly is the issue, because of the way you're making the comments. Mr Chair, the way Mr Owens and Mr Wilson have placed their comments, and Mr Wessenger, they are not even dealing with the wording of Mr Mammoliti's motion. they are dealing with "the intent." Mr Wessenger is misleading us through his legal advice.

Mr Wessenger: Mr Chair, I object to that.

Mrs Marland: Oh, don't have a heart attack.

Mr Wessenger: The fact is, Margaret, that you're completely off base.

Mrs Marland: I am not a pretend lawyer.

Mr Wessenger: You are a pretend lawyer interpreting law, and in essence you don't know what you're talking about.

The Vice-Chair: Could we have some order? I'm sure Mrs Marland would want to withdraw that.

Mrs Marland: Perhaps we should --

The Vice-Chair: Have you withdrawn that comment?

Mrs Marland: Oh, definitely. My concern is that there is an automatic credibility attached to somebody with training in law. That's why I said I'm not a lawyer, but that I can read. The point is that for 100,000 people in this province, probably 200,000 or 300,000 people, but for 100,000 occupants of existing basement apartments in this province, suddenly this is going to be law and they are not going to know anything about it.

And that's 100,000 landlords. The thing the NDP likes to do is paint everybody as a landlord, and that a landlord is this horrible, big ogre who takes people's money for providing accommodation. What the NDP fails to do is recognize that when we're talking about basement apartments, for 99% of the cases we're not talking about the big, wealthy developers like Tridel and Marathon and whatever that own multi-storey, multi-unit buildings. We're talking about perhaps your parents, perhaps your uncle and aunt, perhaps your brother and sister, who have one additional unit in their building. When we talk about basement apartments, we're not talking about the "traditional" landlord. But the NDP in its socialism believes that "landlord" is a dirty word, so when we talk about the landlord and the tenant and the need for this protection, we paint this picture of who the landlord is. As Mayor Lastman said very well, "What about the landlord with the tenant from hell?" What about the landlord today who doesn't know that tomorrow or six months from now, or whenever this is proclaimed, that suddenly he is not even going to be able to evict his tenant?


You know what the irony is? A landlord may decide that's the end for them in terms of having an extra unit within their house because they don't want to be under the Landlord and Tenant Act. We're not talking about buildings built for the purpose of being apartments for the public. What the NDP members fail to recognize is that we're talking about people's private homes when we talk about basement apartments. We're talking about people living as close together as we are in this room, sometimes with less separation. We're talking about all the impact that can have on two different families or two different individuals when there is a problem.

The only reason for eviction under the Landlord and Tenant Act, and we better be very clear about this, is non-payment of rent. Non-payment of rent is the only reason for eviction. We're looking at who is living in the other half of your house, with less separation than we have in this room, and we're thinking it's okay to pass a bill that will affect 100,000 people, and suddenly people who never thought they were "real" tenants or "real" landlords are now in the business.

When we have a motion made by a member of this committee, who I presume is making the motion as a member of this committee, which he has a right to do, and when he has a very clear definition in his motion, I do not have words to describe how unfair it is. I don't care whether you vote for or against Mr Mammoliti's motion; that's your choice --

Mr Gary Wilson: How are you going to vote, Margaret?

Mrs Marland: I'm voting for it, in answer to Mr Wilson's question.

I don't mind how people vote, but I do object to people saying this motion is saying something it isn't saying. When it is so specific about a "residential unit as defined," and then you go to the act to see the definition of that residential unit, then how can it be anything outside of that definition?

Mr Gary Wilson: Do you want to hear from legal staff?

Mrs Marland: As I have said before, the problem with this bill is that as soon as it's proclaimed, if you put 10 lawyers in a room, you'll get 10 different opinions about what this bill says. That happens to be the practise of law, and until there's a challenge and a precedent in a decision, we won't really know what this bill says.

It's very interesting. I heard Mr Owens earlier talk about "the history of our party with the tenant movement." Very passionate stuff, but I wish your party would care about private home owners as well, because that's what this bill is about.

I heard the Ministry of Housing lawyer say something about there might be a challenge under section 15 of the charter. Yes, there might well be, and there might be challenges on other sections of the bill under section 15 of the charter as well, because innocent people are suddenly going to be encompassed by a heavyweight statute in this province. Ironically, the people who provide that accommodation because they've invested in a house and have decided to rent space within their home, as it says, space which has a kitchen and a bathroom, is used for residential purposes, has an egress to the outside, is self-contained within a unit -- those are the descriptions. Those people have done all of that, and by the time we get the fire marshal's regulations to ensure that they are safe, those people have made an individual decision to provide that kind of accommodation.

Although I personally am opposed to basement apartments because that's what the people who elected me have asked me to represent, I feel that this bill's impact is going to be horrendous on the lives of those people who are innocently encompassed by the proclamation of this bill.

I would like to ask the lawyer for the Ministry of Housing, either of you, did you work on the drafting of this bill?

Mr Lyle: I'm going to suggest that this question be answered by Tom Melville, who's my colleague from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, legal branch. He worked on the provisions of the bill dealing with the Planning Act and the Municipal Act.

Mrs Marland: Okay. Who drafted the provision of the bill that defines basement apartments?

Mr Tom Melville: I was responsible for that.

Mrs Marland: So you drafted both of them.

Mr Melville: Yes.

Mrs Marland: All right. Could you take me to the section in Bill 120 that defines basement apartments? I just don't know where it is.

Mr Melville: It's on page 21 at the bottom, section 36 of the bill.

Mr Rob Dowler: I'm Rob Dowler, Ministry of Housing staff. Perhaps a point of clarification would be in order here.

The Vice-Chair: Are you also legal counsel?

Mr Dowler: I'm a policy adviser, not legal counsel, but I can speak to the intent of the drafting, if that's helpful.

The Vice-Chair: Go ahead.

Mr Dowler: I believe the question put to counsel was, where is the definition of "basement apartment" located? I think it's important for people to understand that the term "residential unit" does not necessarily refer to a basement apartment. In the popular vernacular, what that term is meant to define is a dwelling unit.

Mrs Marland: On grade.

Mr Dowler: A dwelling unit could be an entire house, it could be a unit in an apartment building, it could be a unit below grade.

Mr Melville: Or indeed above grade.

Mr Dowler: It could be above grade. It is simply a dwelling unit. I think that's an important clarification.

Mrs Marland: If that's the case, why is the wording the way it is on the top of page 22?

Mr Melville: The wording is an attempt to describe the physical characteristics of what would be commonly known as a dwelling unit or a residence.

Mrs Marland: So under (a), why does it say a "set of a building"?

Mr Dowler: What we're referring to here is just a set of rooms that is self-contained, so they are contiguous -- so you don't have, say, a series of rooms located in the basement and a series of rooms located in the attic -- these rooms are self-contained, they're contiguous, and they are located in a building or a structure. Maybe this is where the confusion is coming in. This doesn't necessarily mean to imply that the set of rooms is part of a building or a structure. All it says is that the set of rooms is located in a building or a structure.

Maybe this is where the confusion is coming in. This doesn't necessarily mean to imply that the set of rooms is part of a building or structure. All it says is that the set of rooms is located in a building or structure. I think you would agree that a set of rooms that is in a single, detached house, unconverted, would be located in a building or structure. Similarly, a basement apartment unit, which is a set of rooms, would also be located in a building or structure. But the wording is not meant to imply that the rooms only make up part of the building or structure.

The Vice-Chair: This being 12 o'clock, we'll have to continue the exchange this afternoon.

The committee recessed from 1201 to 1411.

The Vice-Chair: Okay, if we can get the committee started, we're already 10 minutes late. Mrs Marland, you had the floor and you were asking questions of ministry officials. Do you want the officials back at the table?

Mrs Marland: Yes, please. Do you think we have a quorum with four members?

The Vice-Chair: Are you calling for a quorum? It's up to you.

Mrs Marland: I don't think we have a quorum right now. My concern is, are we going to proceed and then have to take --

The Vice-Chair: Do we have a quorum? We don't.

Mr Owens: Your colleague is conferring with my colleague and Ben's colleague out in the hallway.

Mrs Marland: Oh, I didn't know that.

The Vice-Chair: Are you calling for a quorum?

Mrs Marland: I think we should proceed when we have a quorum.

The Vice-Chair: Okay, since we do not have a quorum, we'll recess until we have.

The committee recessed from 1412 to 1415.

The Vice-Chair: Okay. There's a quorum present now. If the members, please, could take their seats. Mrs Marland, you had the floor earlier this morning and I think you requested that the ministry officials should come back to the table.

So if the officials who were there this morning, if they're still here, could rejoin us, please.

Mrs Marland: Mr Chair, this morning we were discussing Mr Mammoliti's motion because the wording in his motion is "a residential unit, as defined in section 1 of the Planning Act, in a detached house, semi-detached house or row house...." So in order to find the definition of what "a residential unit, as defined in section 1 of the Planning Act" is, we went to part IV of Bill 120 on page 21, which is actually section 36 of the bill, and that's where we find for the first time the introduction of a description of "residential unit" under the Planning Act. In this section, we find "residential unit" means a unit that," and then the rest of the description is at the top of page 22.

My argument is that that description at the top of page 22 is specific to a residential unit rather than, as was being argued, having another meaning. If this section 36 of Bill 120 wasn't drafted to mean a unit within an existing building, then I guess what I would have to ask is, why did they not just use the description that's in the Landlord and Tenant Act itself, because I did ask at the end of the meeting this morning for a copy of the definition of residential unit in the Landlord and Tenant Act.

You know what's really interesting is that they don't call them "residential units" in the Landlord and Tenant Act. They call them "residential premises." I think that we're dealing here with something that if the government wants it to say something very clearly, it had better say it very clearly or else it's going to leave open this whole definition for challenges which are going to be expensive down the road through the court system.

If, as in the bill, (a) says a residential unit "consists of a self-contained set of rooms located in a building or structure, (b) is used or intended for use a residential premise, (c) contains kitchen and bathroom facilities that are intended for the use only of the unit and, (d) has a means of egress to the outside of the building or structure in which it is located, which may be a means of egress through another residential unit" -- if you don't want it to say that, don't have that in the bill.

As I said, I don't agree with additional units anyway, so I'm not wanting to get the wording perfect in order to pave the way for these additional units to be there, but I'm simply saying you can't describe a horse that's a cow. I think it's unfair and I think it's unfair to take that description and say, "Oh, no, it doesn't mean that, it means this." Well, if it means this, then why don't you simply say -- I wrote down "a residential unit is a building or structure which is used for residential purposes." As a matter of fact, your Rent Control Act has another description.

So now that I've compared the three acts, it makes it even more clear that the definition in Bill 120 is definitely dealing only with a unit within another residential premise. If you don't want it to say that, then you have to amend your own wording. In fairness to Mr Mammoliti, his motion is taken right out of your own bill. So this business about whether or not he should move the motion is in itself kind of curious because he has simply taken a section of your own bill with this description and that's all that his motion applies to.

If you want to say that it means something else, then let's put it in the words as to what it means. It's ambiguous the way it is. It's not fair to have it say something that is totally different from the Landlord and Tenant Act and the Rent Control Act and standing on its own. If a residential unit is a residential premise and can apply to any house or residential location, no matter what kind of structure -- I mean, it's kind of interesting because when you get into the Landlord and Tenant Act, they even talk about what the exceptions are, and it's funny because the exceptions are those where occupants share bathrooms. So isn't it interesting? Here we've got a requirement where they have to contain their own kitchen and bathroom facility in Bill 120, so there again this stronger emphasis that this is a residential unit within another building.

I just do not see how we can proceed with the definition as it is. In fairness to the mover of the motion, of course, we get into this a lot with legislation where we get hung up at the very beginning of a bill because we have to deal with the definitions, and then often the ramifications and scope of those definitions are not dealt with until we get into that particular section pertaining to that matter farther in the bill.

But personally, I think that the interpretation or the spin that's being put on Mr Mammoliti's motion to say that by supporting it I would be putting in jeopardy the rental agreements between anyone in this province in any type of rental unit, I'm sorry, you're going to have to tell me where that says this in the bill.

I would like to know from the legal staff, why don't you just say "a residential unit is any building or structure that's used for residential purposes," the same as the Landlord and Tenant Act says? Just use the same words.

Let me just tell you, in fairness I should have read what the Landlord and Tenant Act says. The Landlord and Tenant Act says, "any premises used or intended for use for residential purposes" -- that's what "residential premises" is -- "including accommodation in a boarding-house, rooming-house or lodging-house, land intended and used as a site for a mobile home" -- Mr Wessenger's favourite site -- "used for residential purposes, whether or not the landlord also supplies the mobile home."

So there's no question in the Landlord and Tenant Act what a residential premise is. To tell you the truth, when I read Bill 120's definition of a residential unit, I didn't have any question either, but suddenly Mr Wessenger was trying to say that a horse was a cow. He was saying that a residential unit was the same as a residential premise --

Mr Wessenger: Put me back on.

Mrs Marland: I'm glad you're going to respond, Mr Wessenger, because we'll benefit from that.

If you're saying that both these things mean the same thing, then why don't you use the same words? Perhaps that is my question to the legal staff: Why don't you just use the same words?

Mr Dowler: I'm not a legal person; I'm a policy person, as I indicated earlier. The policy intent of the words "residential unit" -- what we're trying to do there is set out a definition that would describe a dwelling unit; that's the popular term. It could be a dwelling unit that's located within a structure, in a basement -- let's say a basement apartment -- or it could be the whole structure: a single, detached house.

You'll notice in the amendment proposed in section 37 of the bill that we use the words "residential unit" in the context of clause 37(2)(a) to indicate that an official plan should not prohibit "the erecting, locating or use of two residential units in a detached house."

Mrs Marland: Right.

Mr Dowler: So you can understand why we set out the definition "residential unit." This is the building block we're using to say that official plans can't preclude the locating of two dwelling units, or residential units, to use the language of the bill, in a house. So a dwelling unit again could be a single, detached, unconverted house, or it could be a self-contained unit within a house, or it could be a self-contained rental unit in any other residential building.

Mrs Marland: Okay. I have no difficulty with that, but say that, because that isn't what this says. What this says is that it's a self-contained set of rooms located in a building; a self-contained set of rooms. As you point out in section 37, you go on -- actually there you're even more specific that "has the effect of prohibiting the erecting, locating or use of two residential units." Where? Not in a field, in a detached house, semi-detached house or row house. In other words, in clause 37(2)(a) it does say in a house.

Mr Dowler: Exactly.

Mrs Marland: Okay. So why don't you say that? Why don't you just say "any premises used for residential purposes" and then it won't matter whether they're the whole house or a unit within a house? Why was it drafted differently?

Mr Dowler: The problem with going the way you suggested is that the amendment that's then proposed in 37(2)(a) would allow for the locating of two residential buildings on every lot and that's not the intention of the bill. What we're talking about is two dwelling units within a single, detached, semi-detached or row house. We're not talking about two buildings or structures used for residential purposes being allowed.

Mrs Marland: You are when you get to granny flats; of course you are.

Mr Dowler: Again, that's --

Mrs Marland: Granny flats are two residential --

The Vice-Chair: Let's make sure that we're discussing Mr Mammoliti's amendment and make some sort of connection here.

Mrs Marland: Yes. Well, Mr Chairman, when we get to granny flats, we are talking about two residential units on one property.

The Vice-Chair: We're not quite there yet.

Mrs Marland: No, but it's going to be just wonderful when we do get there; I can hardly wait. I hear what your answer is, but if that's what a residential unit is, why bother saying it's in a building if it is everything else as well? Why don't you say a set of rooms in a building or any premise? You can't make it say two things. You can't make it say a set of rooms in a building and everything else unless you put it there.

Mr Dowler: Yes. Again, I think it might be helpful if you think in terms of the words "dwelling unit." Your dwelling unit can be your entire house or it could be a unit within your house, if you're dealing with a two-unit structure. Does that help?

The other comment, Mr Chair, in response to your remarks about the proposed amendment to the Landlord and Tenant Act, I think we would concur with Mrs Marland's comment that there would be drafting problems that would result from relying on this definition in the context of an act for which it was not drafted.


This particular definition of a "residential unit" was set out for the Planning Act and for the purposes of the apartments- in-houses provisions contained therein. The motion proposes to rely on this definition for the purposes of setting out a new provision in the Landlord and Tenant Act. There would almost certainly be problems in regard to its drafting in that context. It was not drafted with that purpose in mind, and as staff we would need to have another look at how to set it out. That's just as a comment in regard to your remarks there.

Mrs Marland: I don't know what you mean by that.

I'll listen to what some other people say. I think it's almost hysterically funny that I'm so interested in perfecting this vehicle that I don't even approve the design of in the first place.

The Vice-Chair: Are you finished?

Mrs Marland: I'll relinquish the floor for now.

Mr Mammoliti: We've got the staff here, so it might be appropriate to ask whether an insertion to this amendment might be in order to accomplish what I still think I've accomplished with this, but to kind of address some concerns that people might have. I have just inserted in my copy here at the beginning of the amendment --

The Vice-Chair: Mr Mammoliti, we're discussing what we have in front of us.

Mr Mammoliti: -- I realize that -- "an accessory residential unit, as defined in section 1 of the Planning Act." So you're inserting "an accessory." Would that satisfy some of the concerns that are at this hearing?

Mr Dowler: "Accessory residential unit" is not a defined term currently in the Planning Act.

Mr Mammoliti: But it is defined in this bill, is it not?

Mr Dowler: No.

Mr Mammoliti: "An accessory residential unit, as defined in" --

Mr Grandmaître: It's not defined in the Planning Act.

Mr Mammoliti: No, it's not defined in the Planning Act. You're absolutely right. So that wouldn't work, would it?

Mrs Marland: And yet we're going to be approving it. Isn't it interesting?

Mr Mammoliti: What would you insert, then --

Mr Owens: It's where, George.

Mr Mammoliti: -- and where, to satisfy the concerns that you've heard at the table around this amendment?

Mr Lyle: If the concerns you're referring to, Mr Mammoliti, are only with respect to the possibility that this provision could exempt detached houses, the whole house as opposed to just a unit within the house, then I think we'd have to go away and give it some thought with staff and with legislative counsel as to what wording would work in order to deal with that problem.

Mr Mammoliti: How long would that take?

Mr Lyle: It's really difficult to assess. Perhaps an hour to at least give it some discussion.

The Vice-Chair: Did you want to stand down your amendment?

Mr Mammoliti: In order to expedite things here today and to perhaps deal with other items, I'd be willing to stand down until tomorrow morning and get back to this.

The Vice-Chair: You're willing or you aren't? Are you standing down your amendment?

Mr Mammoliti: I'd be willing to, but I'd want to get back to it tomorrow morning.

The Vice-Chair: I obviously can give no guarantees as to when we get to it. That's within the prerogatives of the committee. So, Mr Mammoliti, are you standing down your amendment or are you continuing to discuss it?

Mr Wessenger: If he stands it down, it comes back at the end like everything else that's stood down.

Mrs Marland: No, no, we can have an agreement to come back --

Mr Owens: No, let's deal with it now. We're not agreeing to stand it down.

Mr Mammoliti: You're not agreeing?

Mr Owens: No. Let's do it.

The Vice-Chair: If you want me to ask the committee whether --

Mr Mammoliti: So they're not agreeing to stand it down.

The Vice-Chair: Well, I haven't asked, but --

Mr Mammoliti: You need unanimous consent to stand it down, and obviously we don't have it.

Mrs Marland: It doesn't need to be unanimous.

The Vice-Chair: Let me ask, first of all: Mr Mammoliti, do you want to continue debating it or are you asking to stand that amendment down?

Mr Mammoliti: My suggestion is to stand it down.

The Vice-Chair: I'm not asking you for a suggestion. I'm asking you what you are doing.

Mr Mammoliti: Let's get the rules straight first, because the Chair advised me at one point -- not you, but the Chair yesterday advised me that you would need unanimous consent.

The Vice-Chair: For standing down the amendment?

Mr Mammoliti: For standing down, yes.

The Vice-Chair: I'm advised that, no, it would not require unanimous agreement but it would require the agreement of the committee.

Mr Mammoliti: What is the precedent around standing down until the following day? Is there precedent around there?

The Vice-Chair: There are certainly precedents. Normally it's done simply by agreement. I'm not familiar with a vote actually being taken; it's sort of agreement. However, it would have to be an agreement of the committee in order to specify that it be until tomorrow.

Mr Mammoliti: All right. Then I would not have a problem with that.

The Vice-Chair: So what are you doing, then?

Mr Mammoliti: To stand down --

The Vice-Chair: You are standing down your amendment.

Mr Mammoliti: I think that the concerns that have been raised are legitimate and I'd like to know some of the answers to some of these questions.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Mammoliti is standing down his amendment until later on during the committee's proceedings. We are moving on then to Mr Johnson.

Mr David Johnson: At the same time, do we understand that the staff will be coming back with some phraseology understanding the intent of Mr Mammoliti's amendment, that they would be helpful in terms of coming back with phraseology that would satisfy that intent?

Mr Mammoliti: That's my understanding.

The Vice-Chair: That is something that is between Mr Mammoliti and whoever he wishes to consult. That's not something that's up to the committee to direct. Mr Mammoliti has stood down his amendment and it's up to him to bring it back in the proper form, in the proper method.

Mr Owens: On a point of order, Chair: In my experience on committees unanimous consent is generally requested to stand items down and in this particular issue, this situation, I don't agree that we should stand this item down. I think we've had a fairly significant amount of debate and quite frankly should be moving towards a resolution.

The Vice-Chair: I will consult with the clerk, but it would be my understanding that if the mover of an amendment decides to stand it down, I don't think that the committee could overrule him.

Mr Owens: Withdrawal would be nice too, but that might not happen.

The Vice-Chair: The clerk is on the phone. If we could just have a recess for three minutes, please.

Mr David Johnson: Make it five.

The Vice-Chair: Five minutes? Okay.

The committee recessed from 1438 to 1445.

The Vice-Chair: Okay, could you please take your seats again. After consulting with the clerk, Mr Mammoliti can stand down this amendment; however, it does require the agreement of the committee. Normally, it's done sort of informally. I understand there are some members who do not wish to stand it down. So, Mr Mammoliti, you have the option either of withdrawing it or of asking for a vote that you be allowed to stand it down.

Hon Evelyn Gigantes (Minister of Housing): On a point of order, Mr Chair: Is it possible that there might be an in-between position, with your discretion --

The Vice-Chair: It's always possible.

Hon Ms Gigantes: -- that we would say that Mr Mammoliti would consult with legislative counsel to make sure that the amendment is designed to accomplish the purpose he is trying to achieve but that we try to deal with this matter this afternoon? Is that possible?

The Vice-Chair: That's still standing it down.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Yes, but it's standing it down within a given time frame.

The Vice-Chair: Nevertheless, it requires the consent of the committee.

Hon Ms Gigantes: That's fine, but could I propose that?

The Vice-Chair: Yes, that would be fine.

Mr Owens: Is that a motion?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Well, I can't make a motion.

Mr Mammoliti: I would propose that we do that but not in the time frame for this afternoon; that perhaps we look at tomorrow being an option, because not only do I want to touch base with legal counsel here, but there are also other opinions that I might want.

The Vice-Chair: So you are asking to be allowed to stand down your amendment until tomorrow, is that correct?

Mr Mammoliti: So that I can come back and answer some of the questions, perhaps, that everybody has raised here today.

The Vice-Chair: So you are asking to allow you to stand it down until tomorrow?

Mr Mammoliti: That's right.

The Vice-Chair: Is there agreement of the committee on this? Mr Grandmaître and then Mr Owens.

Mr Grandmaître: I thought the question was asked of Mr Mammoliti this morning, "Where did you get your legal advice?" We were told that you did receive legal advice from the ministry.

Mr Mammoliti: No, not the ministry.

Mrs Marland: No, he didn't.

The Vice-Chair: I'm sorry, Mr Grandmaître has the floor.

Mr Mammoliti: No. I wish I did.

Mr Grandmaître: Can I ask Mr Mammoliti a question, then?

The Vice-Chair: Yes.

Mr Grandmaître: Where did you get your legal advice?

Mr Mammoliti: A number of discussions took place, but I'm not sure whether it would be appropriate for me to talk about that at this point.

The Vice-Chair: You don't have to answer the question.

Mrs Marland: No, you don't.

Mr Grandmaître: I wish Mr Mammoliti would; after all, it's his amendment.

Mr Mammoliti: I'm just trying to accommodate the committee. That's why I suggested this. I don't understand why people have a problem with this. I'm trying to accommodate some of the concerns that people have here so that we can get on to some of the other items in the bill.

Mr Grandmaître: I understand this perfectly. I'm asking you a perfectly legal question: Where did you get your legal advice?

The Vice-Chair: Mr Mammoliti already indicated he did not want to answer this question. Anything else?

Mr Owens: I want to concur with the minister's suggestion. While it's my view that these issues should have been resolved before we got to this point in the committee, I am prepared to agree with the minister in her suggestion that we can stand this down, but I want it understood by motion that we deal with this issue by 5 o'clock today. We can't wait till tomorrow. We've dealt with it for a significant period of time already. We seem to be doing legislative paint by numbers here, where we're still struggling to --

Mr Mammoliti: Just forget it, then. I'm trying to accommodate you. Forget it.

The Vice-Chair: Just one member at a time. The question before the committee right now is that Mr Mammoliti has asked that he be permitted to stand down his amendment until tomorrow. That was his request. Mr Owens has spoken. Does anybody else want to speak to it? Is there agreement of the committee to stand down Mr Mammoliti's amendment until tomorrow? No? Can we have a vote, please? All those in favour?

Mr Mammoliti: Mr Chairman, 10 minutes at least so we could have all the members here at the table.

The Vice-Chair: Are you calling for a recess?

Mr Mammoliti: I think in fairness to some of the members, they need to hear this discussion.

The Vice-Chair: We are duly constituted. Are you asking for a recess?

Mr Mammoliti: I'm asking for a recess of 10 minutes.

Clerk of the Committee (Mr Franco Carrozza): Under standing order 128(a), he can ask for it before a vote.

The Vice-Chair: You're asking for a 20-minute recess?

Mr Mammoliti: Is it 20 minutes or is it 10?

The Vice-Chair: It's 20 minutes. Okay, the committee stands adjourned for 20 minutes.

The committee recessed from 1452 to 1514.

The Vice-Chair: The committee is in session again.

Just for the information of the committee, the clerk had given me preliminary advice on whether the request to stand down the amendment requires unanimity or just simple majority, and the clerk was checking with precedents and other clerks. I'm now advised that it does require unanimous consent. We now have the request from Mr Mammoliti still to stand down the motion until tomorrow. Do we have unanimous consent for this? No.

Mr Mammoliti: All right. I can't understand why some of the members would not agree to stand down until tomorrow. I thought I'd be able to perhaps be in a better position tomorrow to answer some of the questions that were raised today with my amendment, and it would free up some time to be able to deal with some of the other issues within the bill. Obviously, some members don't want to do that.

We'll talk a little bit at this point about what has been raised in reference to my amendment from other members and talk specifically about some concerns that people have had and have made about my commitment and government commitment to tenants.

We'll talk a little bit at this point about what has been raised in reference to my amendment from other members and talk specifically about some concerns that people have had and have made about my commitment and government commitment to tenants.

I don't think there's any question that my concern still is and always has been for tenants, as well as, in this case, home owners who have concerns about Bill 120, and I've got to tell you this: There have been a number of individuals in my riding who have been firmly opposed to the bill unless something like this was addressed. Those are my concerns that I've pointed out to you over the last few hours.

Construction workers who have been laid off for two years and who have been put in a very difficult situation where they have had to rent out their basements or rent out a portion of their home because they need the money have some concerns with this legislation. With the legislation taking effect, it would in essence force their hand when they decide that, for whatever reasons monetarily, they don't wish to have somebody else living in their home. Unless my amendments are addressed, and I think in a way that everybody's happy with, those construction workers and those people, and quite frankly most of them out there who decide to rent out their units in their homes because they have a financial problem and they can't find a mechanism or a way of paying for their bills, are going to be left out and hung out to dry.

This is why I've been specific in my amendment when we talk about detached homes, semi-detached homes, row houses and others. It's because most of those people who rent out any of their units choose to do so -- yes, in answering another question -- but are also forced into that decision because of the problems they have financially.

Now, is that a choice or is it a situation? In my opinion, it's a situation. In my community, they're construction workers. There are people who have worked for 25 or 30 years to own what they have. And for you now to take that and not listen to them and say: "Too bad. You've decided to rent out. As of midnight of this day, you cannot, whenever you want, just say, `I don't want this person in my unit'" -- I was and I still am an advocate of the fast track -- now, some people say fast-track eviction, some people say a fast-track procedure -- that might come out of this. I would want to see a fast track, not only for these types of homes I'm referring to here, but also for residents who live in high-rise buildings or anybody else out there. Fast track is important, but I don't see anything around here when we talk about fast track. I don't see any amendments from the government. I don't see any proposal saying, "Yes, we're going to try and expedite some of these decisions so that home owner, that person who owns that semidetached house, who chooses to rent because of his financial difficulty and who is now placed in a difficult position with his mortgage company because the tenants that he's taken on can't pay the rent, has to now, after this bill goes through, go through a lengthy process and will end up losing his or her house anyway."

These are the people I'm trying to bring into this room. These situations are what I'd like all of you to look at. You all have them. I'm not the only one. I'm not the only person in this room who has seen this type of situation.

My amendment to the bill I think addresses those concerns, and I think it does it in a way that is a medium, is something that everybody could agree to. But obviously I've seen that it isn't. I've seen that there are some people who are actually taking offence at what I've done here. I am simply trying to represent my tenants and my home owners here.


I take great offence when somebody says to me, both in the hearing and privately, that I don't care about the tenants. If I didn't care about the tenants, then what's Bill 95 going through the Legislature right now for? If I didn't care about the tenants, then why would I have sat in committee with Bill 4 and some of the other legislation that this ministry's brought forward and continually gone up to bat for those tenants? If I didn't care about those tenants, then why am I now in Yorkview taking out a campaign against slum landlords -- and working quite well, I might add.

So to those who have sat here and have insulted me to a degree that is unbearable, I can't accept that criticism. This is both to my colleagues who sit around this table and to some of the witnesses and some of the people who are sitting out there witnessing what's happening here today.

I am an individual who was elected in 1990 to represent his community, and his community is not only the tenants; his community is the home owners who are going to be affected by this piece of legislation. Those home owners agree with my amendments. Some people around this table don't agree with my amendments. I want to try to resolve this concern with the people around this table. If there are amendments to my amendments that might make you a little happier, then I'd be willing to look at them. Obviously, that is not the case, because I have asked for this to be stood down until tomorrow so that we could sit down and talk about some of these problems that might exist so that we can come to some sort of resolution. Not only on the record did I have members of this committee tell me that they're not willing to do that, but I had tenant activists tell me that they don't think that that's appropriate.

The constitutional question comes up. The constitutional question has come up every time I've sat in committee for the last three years. No matter what comes forward, there's always a lawyer somewhere who says, "Yes, there could be a challenge." Now, with all due respect to the lawyers who have given us those opinions, where's the constitutional right of those home owners of detached homes and the homes that I'm referring to when we talk about when this legislation comes into force? Where's their constitutional right when the tenants -- yes, they may be illegal, but they're in their units. Where's their constitutional right in making a decision or having input to a decision when it comes to Bill 120? You're going to be forcing these people into a decision that they might not want.

My amendment addresses that. It gives them an opportunity to sit down with them and give the tenants an option. That option might be to go forward and be represented by the Landlord and Tenant Act and be governed by the Landlord and Tenant Act, or it might mean that a lease be drawn up between the both of them. I think that's fair and I don't think that that's anti-tenant or anti-tenant movement, for that matter. I take great offence at those types of comments.

Where's the rights of the home owners here? We've heard that consistently from individuals who have come forward. Where are the rights of the home owners here? This is not only, and it shouldn't only be, a tenant issue; it should be both. My amendment makes it both. My amendment talks about the rights of both people, an option, a choice that both of them have, both the tenants and the landlord. By ignoring the landlord here, you're ignoring a very serious problem in Yorkview and I cannot sit here and accept that. As a member of this Legislature, I cannot ignore the home owners in Yorkview.

I'd be willing to make a small amendment to my amendment that I think might address a lot of the concern that Mr Wessenger raised earlier in reference to a whole house being affected. I think that is a good and legitimate concern and I've actually touched base with a number of lawyers who happen to be in this room. They would agree that a small amendment and a friendly amendment might be in order to address that concern.

It's actually the insertion of the words "an ancillary residential unit" to my amendment. I'm sorry, I mispronounced it.

I understand that with this particular wording, it will address a lot of the concerns and the questions that have come up today about this amendment. We have a choice here, my friends. I'll be very, very blunt with you. We can make a friendly amendment that might bring this language in here, and we can debate that. A friendly amendment doesn't need a debate. A friendly amendment we can just introduce here and pass or we can pass a motion at this point that would bring us into another discussion that would talk about the amendment to the amendment, and that's a decision that you need to make here as well. I'd be willing to put the motion forward.

Mr Owens: On a point of order, Mr Chair: I think for the purposes of process, because Mr Mammoliti is the proponent of the clause, is it not correct that he can add or subtract whatever he wants to that and put it to the committee as a whole clause? He doesn't need our agreement or not to amend his clause.

The Vice-Chair: It would be an amendment to the amendment. It's been read into the record.

Mr Mammoliti: The amending mover can move that.

Mr Owens: All I'm saying is he doesn't need our consent.

The Vice-Chair: No.

Mr Owens: That's all I wanted to clarify.

The Vice-Chair: But he can move an amendment to the amendment.

Mr Owens: That's right. I don't want to get into a wrangle about what we're doing and what we're not.

Mr Wessenger: Go ahead and do it, George. Make your motion.

Mr Mammoliti: I was waiting actually for a fresh copy.

Clerk of the Committee: If it's only a word we could do it.

Mr Mammoliti: I think that counsel would have those couple of words and we could make that friendly amendment.

The Vice-Chair: You are wishing to make an amendment to your amendment.

Mr Mammoliti: Yes.

The Vice-Chair: You're asking legal counsel to say it.

Mr Mammoliti: He's got it there.

The Vice-Chair: Would you please read that then. The amendment to the amendment would be?

Clerk of the Committee: As I understand it, Mr Mammoliti, you wish to add the word "ancillary" on the first line after the word "a" so it will read "an ancillary residential unit."

The Vice-Chair: Is that clear to the committee, or do you want that in writing?

Mrs Marland: On a point of order, Mr Chair: I don't think that's going to work because ancillary units are not defined in section 1 of the Planning Act. That's the problem.

The Vice-Chair: That's not really a point of order, but that would be part of the debate of the amendment to the amendment.

Mrs Marland: I'm just pointing it out. You're still leaving in "as defined." If you leave in "as defined in section 1 of the Planning Act," it doesn't exist.

Mr Mammoliti: It's the lawyers who are advising this.

Mrs Marland: Yes, but Mr Wessenger gave you that suggestion.

Mr Mammoliti: No, no, no. Mr Wessenger gave me another suggestion. This was the lawyers in the room who suggested this.

Mrs Marland: Did they not tell you that it wasn't defined in section 1 of the Planning Act?

Mr Mammoliti: The lawyers heard the concerns. The lawyers heard some of the questions. I asked them to try and address it and they did with this suggestion.

Mr Grandmaître: I hope you're not paying them.


Mr David Johnson: Is it any one of these three over here?

Mr Mammoliti: I think if they really wanted to, they could come forward and answer.

The Vice-Chair: Sorry, I was a bit distracted because we're trying to clarify as well with the clerk if this is in order. So you are moving as an amendment the word "ancillary" in front of "residential unit." On that amendment then --

Clerk of the Committee: To clarify, please.

The Vice-Chair: Just to be clear again, could we from the clerk hear the amendment that's being proposed to the amendment.

Clerk of the Committee: "Ancillary" would be in quotes, not "ancillary residential unit." It's a residential unit but it's an ancillary to that.

The Vice-Chair: I think we have to have the exact wording that the amendment would be.

Clerk of the Committee: I'd like to look at this. Could we have a recess, please, to get the right word?

The Vice-Chair: Can we continue the debate, because we do have four other members on the original amendment still. If we can continue the debate and perhaps they are able to clarify this. Is that agreeable?

Mr Mammoliti: I think that would save time in the long run.

The Vice-Chair: Is that agreeable? Mr Johnson is the next one, then Mr Grandmaître, then Mr Wessenger, then Mr Cordiano and then Mrs Marland.

Mr David Johnson: We're debating on this same general point, though, are we?

The Vice-Chair: Mr Mammoliti's --

Mr David Johnson: All right. First of all, I want to say that I'm very much taken with Mr Mammoliti's comments on this whole issue. This is one of the joys of being an elected representative. When you try to represent everybody, as you're elected to do, sometimes some people take potshots at you because you're not simply toeing their line. But in the broad scheme of things, you have to listen to everybody. You can't listen to just certain self-interest groups, just to certain pockets of people. You have to listen to everybody. You're elected to represent all of the people and that's what Mr Mammoliti is attempting to do and I commend him for that. That's not an easy thing to do in many circumstances. This is one of these tough issues and I think he's taken a very tough but a very appropriate stand considering all of his constituents. So I commend him for that.

If I can shift to the people who are at the end of the table here again, the amendment is a fairly simple one to understand. I don't think you need a copy of it. Apparently it's changing "a" to "an" and then putting the word "ancillary" in quotations. Can we have the advice of the people at the end of the table? Mrs Marland has indicated that "ancillary residential unit" is not defined, and that's quite true. But "residential unit" is and with "ancillary" being in quotations, does that mean that this is definable, that this is a term that would stand up?

Mr Melville: It would mean which?

Mr David Johnson: That this is a term that would stand up, that would withhold --

Mr Melville: It means secondary and it would modify "residential unit."

Mr David Johnson: And since "residential unit" is a defined --

Mr Melville: Term.

Mr David Johnson: -- term, then "`ancillary' residential unit" is also defined then, is it?

Mr Melville: Yes, the modification would apply to --

Mr David Johnson: To a term that's defined.

Mr Melville: To a term that's defined, yes.

Mr David Johnson: So from a legal point of view, it's perfectly acceptable to modify a term that's defined?

Mr Melville: Yes.

Mr David Johnson: So in your view, what would "an `ancillary' residential unit" mean?

Mr Melville: In my view, it would mean the residential unit in a house that was not the major unit, that was secondary in area.

Mr David Johnson: For example, a basement apartment would fall quite neatly into that category?

Mr Melville: Yes.

Mr David Johnson: Could anybody interpret "an `ancillary' residential unit" as being the whole building or structure?

Mr Melville: I don't see how.

Mr David Johnson: You don't see how.

Mr Dowler: I guess it would beg the question, ancillary to what?

Mr David Johnson: So it doesn't make sense?

Mr Dowler: I can't think of an example off the top of my head.

Mr David Johnson: It couldn't relate to the whole house, the whole detached house, the whole semidetached house or the whole row house, because the word "ancillary" would prevent that.

Mr Melville: It implies that it is a secondary unit in size.

Mr David Johnson: If Mr Mammoliti's intent then is to separate those and exempt, let's say, the basement apartments and what we've been calling "accessory" apartments, although that term isn't defined anywhere, then he's accomplished that through this recent amendment to the amendment.

Mr Melville: I'm not sure it's fair to ask me to speak to how well the amendment would achieve the policy objectives of what Mr Mammoliti wants to do, because I think there are a number of other ramifications we haven't spoken to, but in terms of making it the secondary unit, it does achieve that.

Mr David Johnson: What other ramifications are you referring to?

Mrs Marland: But they're not defined in here.

Mr Melville: I guess there are a number of other issues that could happen.

The Vice-Chair: The legal aspects.

Mr David Johnson: Yes. That's what I'm asking.

Mr Melville: It doesn't deal with a situation, for example, of two units where they're both rented or a situation where you could have one small unit and one large unit and the large unit is the rented one.

Mr David Johnson: If you have two units that are rented, then you're saying it doesn't apply to that, or it does?

Mr Melville: It would apply to the ancillary unit.

Mr David Johnson: So one of them would be considered the ancillary unit.

Mrs Marland: "Ancillary" doesn't refer to size.

Mr Melville: I think the dictionary would say ancillary is secondary, auxiliary or --

Mrs Marland: But it doesn't refer to size.

Mr David Johnson: A reasonable interpretation then would be that the smallest unit would be considered the ancillary. Is that what you're saying?

Mr Melville: Yes.

Mr David Johnson: From a legal point of view, if this was up in court and the judge had to make a decision, and somebody said, "That's the ancillary unit," and somebody else said, "No, it's not, it's that one," then the judge would probably take which one is the biggest in area. Is that the way it would work?

Mr Melville: Given the time that I've had to consider it, yes. I'd answer it that way.

Mr David Johnson: If you have two apartments being rented in a house, an absentee owner, then the smaller one, from what you've just said, would be exempted and the bigger one wouldn't be.

Mr Melville: Well, it's a reasonable --

Mr David Johnson: It's a reasonable assumption at this point?

Mr Melville: Yes.

Mrs Marland: You're really saying "ancillary" means size.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Johnson has the floor.

Mr David Johnson: Are there any other suggestions in terms of size, anything else beyond that in terms of prominence in the structure or anything like that?

Mrs Marland: "Ancillary" means additional.

The Vice-Chair: Perhaps I could just remind members that we're not even really discussing this particular amendment to the amendment yet, but in order to possibly speed up the process, I'm allowing this debate. We don't really have "ancillary" before us right now. He hasn't formally moved that yet. We are still talking to his main amendment.

Mr David Johnson: Nevertheless, it's still part of the amendment.

The Vice-Chair: Yes. I am saying hopefully to expedite matters later on.

Mr David Johnson: Just in terms of the whole amendment itself, if I was a tenant and lived in a basement apartment and this amendment went through as Mr Mammoliti sees it going through, then as I understand it, I would have the right of determination of whether I entered into a contract or not. Is that your understanding?

Mr Melville: I'm not sure. Am I being called upon to interpret Mr Mammoliti's amendment?

Mrs Marland: Yes, you are.

Mr Melville: What it says is if there is a written contract entered into between the landlord and the tenant, after this clause comes into force.

Mr David Johnson: That implies if there isn't, then the clause does not come into force.

Mr Melville: I think that's a reasonable implication.

Mr David Johnson: That's a reasonable assumption.

Mr Melville: Yes.

Mr David Johnson: Then if the clause does not come into force, the provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act would then apply. Is that the way it works?

Mrs Marland: If the bill is passed.

Mr Melville: I think that's certainly a possible interpretation.


Mr David Johnson: The way I interpret this, then, the tenant has the right to determine if that tenant wishes to enter into a contract or not. If the tenant chooses to enter into a contract, then that contract applies. If the tenant chooses not to enter into a contract, then the Landlord and Tenant Act applies. From a legal point of view, is there any hole in that?

Mr Lyle: I think the concern would be that if a tenant chose not to enter into a written contract, the landlord may refuse to lease the premises to the tenant.

Mr David Johnson: Is that a legal basis for not renting an apartment?

Mr Lyle: That's a question of negotiation between the parties.

Mrs Marland: But that's going to apply anyway, everywhere. You can't force people --

Mr Lyle: I'm not suggesting that, but this is basing landlord and tenant coverage on that.

Mrs Marland: Yes, but if they're already there --

Mr David Johnson: If they're already there and if they refuse to enter into a written contract, if they're already there in a basement apartment and the landlord, or the owner of the house --

Mrs Marland: That's better, home owner.

Mr David Johnson: -- who could be a senior citizen, came and said, "I'd like you to enter into this contract; you've lived here for two years in the basement apartment, but now we have Mr Mammoliti's fine amendment to Bill 120; in view of that, I'd like you to enter into that contract, and if you don't, I'll evict you," who would you prefer to represent at that point, the landlord or tenant?

Mr Lyle: If it's a pre-existing tenancy, then you're correct: It's a different situation and there's no ground for eviction for refusing to sign a tenancy agreement.

Mr David Johnson: So you couldn't force the tenant out because the tenant didn't sign a contract. Am I right?

Mr Lyle: If there was a pre-existing tenancy agreement, then that would not be an issue.

Mr David Johnson: All right. If there wasn't, if there was just the fact that a person came in and paid $500 a month, no written agreement, and many people will not have written agreements, I suspect, but in that case --

Mr Lyle: I intended to say, when I said pre-existing tenancy agreement, pre-existing tenancy, so whether there's a written agreement or not, yes.

Mr David Johnson: Right, or not. You could not evict a tenant because they refused to sign a contract.

Mr Lyle: That's correct. But it would not deal with the situation of the new tenant.

Mr David Johnson: The only situation where there may be some concern from a sort of "tenancy" point of view is that if you are coming to a property and you wanted to be a tenant there and the owner of the property -- again it could be a senior citizen -- said, "Unless you sign this agreement, you can't live here," then that owner of the property would have the right to not rent on that basis, or indeed on any. Really there's no compulsion for a person to rent their basement to anybody, I guess.

Mr Lyle: Except for the Human Rights Code, no.

Mr David Johnson: Yes, but if it was any other basis.

Mr Lyle: Yes, that's correct.

The Vice-Chair: We now have received in writing the amendment to the amendment. With the permission of the committee, I'll allow Mr Mammoliti to state for us whether that's the amendment to the amendment he wishes to make. Is that your amendment to the amendment?

Mr Wessenger: Mr Chair, I'm wondering if I could ask for clarification on this amendment from legal counsel from the Ministry of Housing because I have some concerns and I'd like their opinion before Mr Mammoliti elects to move this amendment related to "ancillary."

The Vice-Chair: We're now in an unusual process here, but with the agreement of the committee --

Mr Grandmaître: We all agree.

The Vice-Chair: Okay. Go ahead.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Why don't we get it moved and then we can --

Mr Wessenger: Maybe I shouldn't be acting as a lawyer here, but I --

Mrs Marland: Go ahead.

Mr Wessenger: If I could just ask legal counsel, I gathered from your answers that there's some ambiguity with respect to the concept of the word "ancillary." Is that correct?

Mr Melville: I answered that before and, yes, there could be ambiguity with that.

Mr Wessenger: Okay. Would it make it less ambiguous if we added, after "ancillary," "to an owner-occupied residential unit in a detached...."? Would that make it clear, if we added the words "ancillary to an owner-occupied residential unit"? Would that create any more clarity?

Mr Melville: I think that creates a new set of policy issues; that's what it does.

The Vice-Chair: I think we have to go back to Mr Mammoliti, since he is the one who is moving the amendment and who is trying to make an amendment to the amendment. If we have a further amendment to the amendment, I think this is going to get awfully complicated. Mr Mammoliti, what are you proposing?

Mr Owens: We could vote on the clause now.

The Vice-Chair: That's really what's still before the committee, yes.

Mr Mammoliti: I move that the definition of "residential premises," as set out in subsection 1(3) of the bill, be amended by adding the following clause:

"(i.2) a residential unit, as defined in section 1 of the Planning Act" --

The Vice-Chair: Mr Mammoliti, you already moved the original amendment. You are moving an amendment to your amendment. Would you please read that particular part.

Mr Mammoliti: Why don't I read it all, Mr Chairman, and we'll base it as an amendment to the amendment? I'm proposing an amendment to my amendment that would read --

The Vice-Chair: If that's agreeable to the committee, that the way he reads it would be the amendment --

Mr Mammoliti: "(i.2) a residential unit, as defined in section 1 of the Planning Act, that is ancillary in a detached house, semidetached house or row house if there is a written contract between the landlord and the tenant entered into after the day this clause comes into force."

The Vice-Chair: I have Mr Grandmaître, Mr Wessenger, Mr Cordiano, Mrs Marland, Ms Gigantes. We are now talking to the amendment to the amendment.

Mr Grandmaître: With the addition of "is ancillary" to the main amendment, does this make the amendment to the amendment -- I don't like to use the C-word, but under the Charter of Rights would this be acceptable?

Mr Lyle: I don't think the concern around the Charter of Rights was the concern as to whether or not this applied only to ancillary residential units. The concern over the Charter of Rights was that some tenants of some kinds of residential premises would not have the protection of the Landlord and Tenant Act, whereas the other tenants do. That was the Charter of Rights concern I raised earlier.

Mr Grandmaître: But you don't see any problems with this amendment, this addition.

Mr Lyle: This addition does not create new Charter of Rights problems but it doesn't take away the Charter of Rights problem that --

Mr Grandmaître: It doesn't take away the original concern you had before.

Mr Lyle: That's correct.

Mr Wessenger: First of all, I'd like to say that even as amended I have great difficulty with it because it's a question of the wrong approach towards dealing with a problem. Basically, the problem that exists out there is a problem with respect to the way the process works under the Landlord and Tenant Act. That may partially have to do with the way the court system works and some of the technical aspects with respect to the way the Landlord and Tenant Act works. I think that's the problem and by trying to get around that problem by creating two different sets of rights, depending on who the landlord is, is the wrong approach.

Secondly, I'd like to state that if you're a landlord, you make a choice to be a landlord and you ought to take the risks involved in making that choice. With respect to the concept of saying an owner of a house is different from somebody who owns a duplex, I find it very hard to find any distinction between a person who owns a duplex and a person who owns a residential house in which he rents one portion out and rents the ancillary one out in the basement. I don't see any distinction from that at all.


Going further, with respect to the economic harm to the person who owns a house, I don't really again see any distinction between that with respect to any landlord, and particularly any small landlord who might, for instance, own, as I said, a duplex, a triplex, a sixplex. I've seen the economic hardship suffered by unsophisticated landlords who own small buildings, in many cases, under the Landlord and Tenant Act and I don't think we should create two classes of landlords. For that reason, I think we should vote against this amendment.

Mr Cordiano: I was on the original list to speak to the amendment, which I had not spoken to.

The Vice-Chair: Do you want to stand that down then? We are dealing with the amendment to the amendment.

Mr Cordiano: But you had a list of speakers on the original amendment, and that's the list I want to be on.

The Vice-Chair: Then we'll go on to Mrs Marland.

Mr Cordiano: But you do have that list?

The Vice-Chair: Yes, I do.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Aren't we dealing with the amended amendment? There was agreement --

The Vice-Chair: I'm sorry, no. There has been no agreement to vote on the amendment to the amendment.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Then make a motion, for heaven's sake.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Mammoliti has moved it, but we have not voted on that. We're discussing the amendment to the amendment.

Mr Owens: On a point of order, Mr Chairman: My understanding is that we were, as Joe understood, dealing with the whole package. I thought there was some level of consensus around the room that it didn't matter how Mr Mammoliti read it into the record, we were dealing with the package as a substantive issue.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Owens, we had an amendment that was read into the record. Mr Mammoliti wants to amend this amendment and that's what we're debating at the present time. Now, in this debate you can obviously discuss and bring in some other comments that relate to the original amendment, but it does require a vote. Mrs Marland has the floor.

Mrs Marland: Are you on the point of order?

Mr Wessenger: I was just going to try to expedite the process by suggesting that we could unanimously agree that the motion Mr Mammoliti has put before us --

The Vice-Chair: That it be so amended?

Mr Wessenger: So amended, that's right.

The Vice-Chair: Is there unanimous agreement? I don't see unanimous consent for that. Mrs Marland has the floor.

Mrs Marland: In speaking to the amendment, which deals only with the word "ancillary," I would like to know whether -- I'm very interested in the answers, and I'm sorry, I should have written your names down earlier and I didn't. What is your name?

Mr Melville: Tom Melville, Ministry of Municipal Affairs.

Mrs Marland: I want to ask Mr Melville this question again to pursue the meaning of "ancillary," which Mr Johnson was asking you, because I think it's very important, or it will be if this passes, because somebody is going to have to know what the definition of "ancillary" is in the ministry's eyes. I want to be clear because I thought in some of your answers, Mr Melville, you said that if there were two units and one was larger than the other, you would say the smaller unit was ancillary. Is that so? Is that what you're saying?

Mr Melville: I was asked that question and I gave the opinion that "ancillary" meant secondary in size.

Mrs Marland: How about secondary in age, as with an addition, ancillary to an existing structure?

Mr Melville: The amendment is not completely clear. It's true that you could add any number of complicating factors. We have not had time to consider those factors in any measured way, but on balance, and given the question and the time to answer it, I stand by it. I think that "ancillary" does mean --

Mrs Marland: Secondary.

Mr Melville: Ancillary, I'm sorry, means secondary, as you mentioned.

Mrs Marland: Yes. I agree with you that ancillary is generally accepted and interpreted as being secondary to something, which obviously exists, but I don't ever see it being relative to size.

Mr Melville: I agree. If you're saying the concept has ambiguity, yes, it does. In a perfect world, we would have time to sit down and work out precisely how we wish to define the concept.

Mrs Marland: Since we're in this perfect world where you did have time in drafting this bill -- in fact, going back to Bill 90, and I guess it was even more perfect -- in this amendment that is being placed, there is still a reference to the definition of section 1 in the Planning Act. In that definition, the arguments that I gave earlier about why this motion will not apply to single-family homes but only units within them -- I want to take you to clause 37(2)(a) and ask you again about clause 37(2)(a), which reads:

"No official plan may contain any provision that,

"(a) has the effect of prohibiting the erecting, locating or use of two residential units in a detached house, semidetached house or row house situated in an area where residential use is permitted by bylaw and is not ancillary to other uses permitted by bylaw."

It's very interesting, because we've got this wonderful word "ancillary" there, and of course in that sense it has nothing to do with size.

Also, in that paragraph you're telling the municipalities essentially that they can't prohibit these units in their official plans. In saying to a municipality what your official plan must be, you're again referring to two residential units in a detached house. So it brings you back to the previous section, where the definition is of a "residential unit."

If it isn't in another building, how could you possibly identify it in clause (2)(a) as being two separate buildings? One contradicts the other. In clause (2)(a) the unit has to be a part of something else. It can't be the whole house.

Mr Melville: That's correct, in (2)(a).

Mrs Marland: Right. So what's the difference?

Mr Melville: I can only reiterate what Rob said earlier. The residential unit is a building block. The idea is a building block.

Mrs Marland: I know, but here we've got two concurrent or following sections in a bill and you're saying one thing in one section and another in another. I keep saying it's up to you to perfect this, because I'm going to be voting against all of it anyway, but the point is that there are people who are going to have to interpret this, and you can't say a residential unit is something in section 36 and then in section 37 say it's something else.


In section 37, a "residential unit," which are the words that are printed in there, cannot be a whole house, right?

Mr Melville: It's saying that you cannot prohibit if you're a municipality --

Mrs Marland: Right.

Mr Melville: -- the putting in of two of those units into a single house; yes, that's quite clear.

Mrs Marland: That's right. So how is it in section 36 two of those units can be anything else but a unit within a building?

Mr Melville: You mean in the definition.

Mrs Marland: Yes.

Mr Melville: Well, it's a building block. You're taking the definition and using it for different purposes. In section 37 it's used for the purpose of defining what a municipality cannot prohibit. In Mr Mammoliti's motion it's used for a different purpose entirely.

Mrs Marland: But whatever we do with Mr Mammoliti's --

Mr Owens: Let's call the question.

The Vice-Chair: The amendment to the amendment.

Mrs Marland: Whatever we do with Mr Mammoliti's motion, it pivots on this definition. That's why I want you to either change the wording or admit that those two sections don't mean what you're saying they mean. You can't call them a residential unit in section 36 and say it means a whole house and then go to section 37 and say it doesn't mean a whole house, because it means inside a house.

Mr Dowler: Maybe I can be of some assistance here.

Mrs Marland: It can't be a part. How can a unit be a part in one section and not another?

Mr Dowler: Let me just try this.

Mrs Marland: No, I really think it's a legal interpretation, with respect. I really do, because these laws are not interpreted, and I say this with respect. They're not interpreted by policy analysts. They're interpreted at great expense in the courts with two or three lawyers.

Mr Dowler: I was just going to suggest that maybe I could clarify the drafting instructions that were given to our lawyers in plain language, and from that you could then get a sense what these two sections are intended to do in policy terms. I thought that might be helpful. Section 36 --

Mrs Marland: Well, you can give me that explanation, and certainly I know there were drafting instructions given to the lawyers --

Mr Dowler: Yes.

Mrs Marland: -- but all we've got today is what the lawyers drafted. This is what I'm going to go to court with, with my lawyer, and you're going to go to court with your lawyer with the same document --

Mr Dowler: Yes.

Mrs Marland: -- and you're going to get two lawyers deciding what this mean. I'm simply saying to you, why don't you just say that a residential unit is a building or a structure which is used for residential purposes? Why say two --

Mr Dowler: I was just going to offer the comment that the definition --

Mrs Marland: Unbelievable.

Mr Dowler: -- is intended to describe a dwelling unit, and that's the basic building block. That's set out in section 36.

Section 37 is intended to describe the situation whereby two dwelling units are located within a single detached, semidetached or row house. The two concepts are not mutually incompatible. I don't know if that helps.

Hon Ms Gigantes: They have nothing to do with the amendment to the amendment.

The Vice-Chair: Well, perhaps any further --

Mrs Marland: Excuse me, Mr Chairman, they have a lot to do with the amendment to the amendment because of the fact that the amendment refers to a definition.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Owens was next on the list. Did you want to talk to the amendment to the amendment?

Mr Owens: No. I thought we had agreed that we were doing the whole piece.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Mammoliti, still to the amendment to the amendment. Did you want to say anything further on it?

Mr Mammoliti: Can I just ask you a question in terms of process first, Mr Chair? When we discussed the amendment to the amendment, after we discuss and vote -- I assume we're voting on this.

The Vice-Chair: Yes.

Mr Mammoliti: Will we then proceed --

The Vice-Chair: Back to the amendment.

Mr Mammoliti: Back to discussion to the amendment?

The Vice-Chair: That's correct.

Mr Mammoliti: As amended.

The Vice-Chair: Well, it depends whether or not your amendment to the amendment carries.

Mr Mammoliti: Okay.

The Vice-Chair: If it carries, then we will talk to the amendment as amended.

Mr Mammoliti: Okay.

The Vice-Chair: Finished?

Mr Mammoliti: No, I'm not finished. That was just a question.

The Vice-Chair: Okay. Did you want to say anything else then?

Mr Mammoliti: Yes.

The Vice-Chair: To your amendment to the amendment.

Mr Mammoliti: To the amendment, yes, the amendment to the amendment.

I'm sorry for having to repeat myself, but the concern again with a home owner who decides to rent out his basement apartment, for instance, because he's out of work -- because, as we've experienced, the recession was a bad one, people have decided to take this on and rent their basements or rent a portion of their home to somebody else -- and then decides after perhaps the tenant does not pay the rent --

Hon Ms Gigantes: Mr Chair, on a point of order: With all due deference to the concern which is being raised by Mr Mammoliti in his main amendment, he is not now speaking to the amendment to the amendment, which has to do with the addition of the words "an ancillary."

The Vice-Chair: I'm sorry, but I think Mr Mammoliti is speaking to his amendment. He's quite in order.

Mrs Marland: I have a point of order. There are six members of this committee this afternoon. I think Mr White is still sitting as an independent.

Clerk of the Committee: He's a member of the committee.

Mrs Marland: But he's not a government member.

Mr Dadamo: Yes, he is.

Mrs Marland: He is a government member?

The Vice-Chair: I'm sorry. You may not have been here this morning, but I clarified that.

Mrs Marland: All right. So then we have six government members sitting on this committee this afternoon. Am I correct? Is the minister the seventh member of the government party this afternoon and is the minister able to move points of order or is she here to answer questions on her bill?

The Vice-Chair: As you know, Mrs Marland, every member of the House has the right to sit at the committee and to raise questions. They're not allowed to vote. However, they are certainly allowed to raise points of order and to intervene in the debate.

Mrs Marland: Okay, I thank you for clarifying that for me.

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

Mr David Johnson: We can't hear the minister speaking, Mr Chair.

Mr Mammoliti: I'm sorry; I'd like to know what the minister is saying.

Mrs Marland: So would we.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I would love to share it.

The Vice-Chair: I'm sorry, the floor is held by Mr Mammoliti, who is speaking on the amendment to the amendment. Mr Mammoliti.

Mr Mammoliti: I believe that I gave an example of a home owner who has decided, because of financial difficulties -- and again, in most cases when individuals rent out a portion of their home --


Mrs Marland: I can't hear because the minister is harassing my Chairman.

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

Mr Mammoliti: Then after the landlord, the home owner, gets back on their feet, with this amendment to the amendment it would not change the scope of my original amendment, which would mean that they would be able, if wanting to rent out their unit, to make some sort of an agreement with that particular tenant.

We heard from different individuals as well during the hearings, and if I'm not mistaken, from a number of tenants. The question was posed as to whether or not they would agree to sign a contract that would incorporate them doing manual labour in a home, ie, shovelling the snow, planting flowers, painting the fence --

Mr Gilles E. Morin (Carleton East): The same day.

Mr Grandmaître: The same day.

Mr Mammoliti: The same day. The tenants who were in front of us said they would like that opportunity and that the only opportunity they would have to do that and to incorporate that in the contract -- I believe Mr Johnson asked this question during the hearings, if I'm not mistaken. The reply from the tenants was that they'd like the opportunity to do that.


Then the question became, would the Landlord and Tenant Act allow for this type of an agreement? The answer that came back from the ministry was that the Landlord and Tenant Act would forbid any types --

Hon Ms Gigantes: Mr Chair, on a point of order: I object to the fact that you are permitting Mr Mammoliti to speak to the amendment when I withdrew from your speaking list because I understood you had decided that we were to speak to the amendment to the amendment.

The Vice-Chair: Which Mr Mammoliti is doing. He's taking some liberties, but in order to fully understand the amendment to the amendment, I think it is quite --

Hon Ms Gigantes: No, it has nothing to do with ancillary --

The Vice-Chair: I'm sorry, Minister. You're out of order. I'm the Chair here. Mr Mammoliti is trying to explain his amendment to the amendment by making certain references to the original amendment, which is quite in order. Mr Mammoliti.

Mr Mammoliti: When the question was posed to the ministry in reference to whether the Landlord and Tenant Act would allow for such an agreement, the reply that came back from the ministry officials was that the Landlord and Tenant Act would not allow this to happen and that it would supersede any contract that would take place. My discussion with you here today and what I propose would allow tenants to be able to do that and it could in essence take the place of a monetary figure.

This would help a number of tenants in that some of them may not have work. They may not be able even to pay the amount of rent that a home owner would want. But at the same time if it's a home owner who can't shovel the snow or can't paint or can't cut the grass or can't do any of this work, this contract provision would allow that tenant to be able to move into such an agreement and it would help out both.

If this amendment, and in this case the amendment to the amendment, doesn't carry, it might stop this type of situation from happening, and I know that there are many tenants who would want the opportunity to do that. At the same time, there are arguments from others who say that my amendments would take away rights of tenants. We have heard consistently, even from legal, that this will not do that, that rights would not be taken away from tenants and that in essence there would be this --

Mr Owens: On point of order, Mr Chair: Just in terms of where we're straying on this, and I understand that you're allowing certain --

The Vice-Chair: Did you ask --

Mr Owens: Certainly, I asked for a point of order -- that you have allowed certain liberties, but we're straying off now into the principle of tenant --

The Vice-Chair: I somewhat agree with you, Mr Owens, so Mr Mammoliti, if you could try and stay as closely as possible to your amendment to the amendment, it would be appreciated.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Make it at least ancillary.

Mr Mammoliti: I appreciate the minister's humour. It's refreshing for a change in that I haven't witnessed it for two years in my discussions with her.

Mr Owens: George, George.

Mrs Marland: Careful, George.

Mr Mammoliti: When a person -- and we're going to talk a little bit about Mr Wessenger's --

The Vice-Chair: No, Mr Mammoliti, you're talking about your amendment to the amendment.

Mr Mammoliti: The amendment to the amendment talks about Mr Wessenger's concern about the original amendment. The concern was that homes, houses, may be affected, that houses that currently would fall under the Landlord and Tenant Act would be affected. The amendment to the amendment, I understand, would stop that from happening and would allow, and it's a right that I'd like to give tenants, the opportunity to sign a contract with a home owner that would allow them to do work around the unit, to make some other arrangements in terms of any contract that might be satisfactory to that home owner.

Let me say, now that we're getting into this, that this might even solve some of the concerns --

Mr Owens: We've been into this for three days now.

Mr Mammoliti: -- that some of the mayors would have and even some of the ratepayer organizations in reference to how some of these homes look and the work that's not being done on some of these streets by the home owners, and neglecting the cutting of the grass and neglecting the --

Mr Owens: On a point of order, Mr Chair: Let's bring the member back to the issue at hand, please: the amendment to the amendment. I'm not sure what that has to do with cutting grass.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Owens is right that we're talking to the amendment to the amendment and I have already --

Mrs Marland: It's ancillary to the house to cut the long grass.

Mr Mammoliti: My point is this one and I agree --

The Vice-Chair: I have already reminded the member to try and link his comments as closely as possible to the amendment to the amendment.

Mr Mammoliti: If people would let me finish my train of thought, I would get to my point and it would be very specific to the amendment to the amendment.

One of the concerns that people have come forward with in reference to -- Mel Lastman, my mayor, came forward with this. He said that you could walk down any street and you could tell which houses are rented and which ones aren't.

With my amendment to the amendment, the landlords, the owners of those homes, will have the choice whether or not they would want a contract to incorporate the amount of work that's being done on those homes and trade it off for money perhaps.

When you, for instance, as we discuss this and as Mel Lastman says, now drive down a street and see that the grass is unattended to and the eavestroughs are not being fixed and the railings aren't being fixed and none of this stuff is being fixed, my amendment to the amendment actually would give that home owner an opportunity to have somebody fix up his home and do it with a contract and live there at the same time. So when we talk about a home and the home being now brought into the scope of the amendment --

Mr Owens: I think we're still straying here, Chair, but I'll leave it up to your discretion.

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

Mr Mammoliti: Mr Wessenger's concern with my original amendment was that homes would not be incorporated. Homes now are incorporated with this amendment, okay? With that, I see a positive twist, and it's something, to be quite honest with you, I didn't even think about. Now that I've made this amendment to the amendment, if this goes through, I'm going to start pushing harder and try to convince some of my home owners that it's in their best interests to create a contract with one of their residents -- if they own a home and they rent out two portions, for instance, or even one portion of the home -- that would not only meet the monetary needs of the home owner and the renter, but would also incorporate work to be done to improve that particular home and the appearance of that home. I think it would actually, if done, meet the needs of somebody like Mr Lastman or Mr Johnson when he was the mayor of East York.

You know that one of the concerns was the appearance of these homes. We could never come to any type of an agreement because the bylaws or lack of bylaws was always in the way. Now, with the amendment to the amendment --

Mr Owens: George, calm down.

Mr Mammoliti: Mr Chair, I'm being told to calm down, but I can't hear myself because of the talk beside me.

The Vice-Chair: I can hear you.

Mr Mammoliti: My point is that I think this is even better than my original suggestion, that this will satisfy even more people and that contracts may be a better way of finding affordable housing for people. Remember what the ministry told us when I believe it was Mr Johnson asked a question, the Landlord and Tenant Act supersedes and will not allow a contract to be put in place. Let's remember that argument because for me now it's even more of an issue. I'm glad I did this, and actually I want to thank the lawyers for helping me out on this one because I certainly don't have access to the ministry lawyers or to the phones or to any of that. As a backbencher, I don't have access to any of that stuff.


I'm not a lawyer, if you haven't guessed, and I need this process to be able to better fulfil my needs and figure out a way of working this system. It has taken me almost four years, but I've figured out, almost, how to work the system here, and I'm glad I did, because now I'm able to address some of the concerns of my home owners, and I'm doing it with the amendment to the amendment, for those construction workers who are out of work and need money perhaps, or those construction workers whose tenants don't want to pay the rent for one reason or another and can't afford to go through the process that currently exists.

If you were to ask and maybe we should ask some of the lawyers around the table how much they would charge on an hourly rate to represent some of these home owners --


Mr Mammoliti: Here's some talk about support groups. Yes, I hear the argument. Support groups are there even for home owners, right, but who's going to pay for the education and who's going to pay for the information to be distributed to all these home owners? Nobody's going to pay for that. I don't see any commitment from any ministry with this bill to help those particular home owners I'm trying to represent here as well.

Maybe, just maybe, if I can get a commitment, a monetary commitment that would include the education of these home owners on what Bill 120 means to these home owners, and give them the time to be able to absorb that and to deal with that even legally if they have to, then maybe I would not be proceeding in the way that I'm proceeding.

But that money is not there. So what do I need to do? I need to put an amendment to a bill that is pretty good in my opinion, but needs the amendment to be able to address the concerns of people in my community.

Now I'm having to even amend that amendment because we have found some concerns that individuals may want addressed. I'm hoping that once the debate has finished people will see it my way when it comes to representing the needs of those who are vulnerable, and the argument will come out that tenants are vulnerable. Well, so are these home owners. So are some of these home owners when they've worked for 25, 30 years and don't want to lose their homes. How vulnerable are they?

Mr Owens: On a point of order, Mr Chair: I think the standing orders are quite specific, and the clerk can instruct me on the specific section, that once a member becomes repetitious as the member is --

The Vice-Chair: I don't see that Mr Mammoliti has been overly repetitious.

Mr Owens: Shall we start counting the number of times that he says specific words.

The Vice-Chair: He is repeatedly referring to his amendment to the amendment, so therefore you do not have a point of order.

Mr Owens: This is very Monty Pythonesque.

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

Mr Mammoliti: This is not an issue that is humorous to me. This is not an issue that I appreciate, especially from my own colleagues. We're talking about construction workers. We're talking about people who can't afford their homes, who have worked all their lives for their homes and don't want to lose their homes and don't want to be put in a situation of having to go and live somewhere else, perhaps in a high-rise building that they have never been able to or never wanted to -- let me just scrap all of that. I'm getting too emotional here.

This is about those particular people who can't afford the home, the people who have worked all their lives. This issue is about those people. The comments that are made around the table are insulting to those individuals who have come to me for help.

While we are here to represent tenants, we are also here to represent the home owners. I would love it, after this is all said and done, for these same individuals who bring these arguments forward to distribute Hansard among the home owners in their own ridings and see what response they would get.

What about information that would go towards these home owners, information about what their rights are? Who is doing that for them? My suggestion to you, Mr Chair, is that nobody is doing that for them. Even if there is somebody out there who is quite willing to provide the service, they don't know anything about it. Who is responsible for letting them know? Is it the tenants who rent their basements or is it the tenants who rent their units or is it the MPPs? Who's responsible for letting them know how to get access to information about their rights and about legal aid for them?

I think it's the ministry's responsibility as well. I think quite frankly that if this was addressed, this money issue, this information issue, we may not even be put in the position of having to listen to me for the last six hours.

Mr Owens: On a point of order, Mr Chair.

The Vice-Chair: I hope it's not on the same point of order, Mr Owens.

Mr Owens: The point of order is that the member is straying. This is not a bargaining session; this is in fact --

The Vice-Chair: I'm sorry, Mr Owens, that is clearly not a point of order, but I would like to remind Mr Mammoliti again that we are at this point talking --

Mr Mammoliti: Are there other people on the list?

The Vice-Chair: Yes, there are. We are still talking to your amendment to the amendment. Obviously, I have let you speak in general terms as well, but repeatedly you came back to your amendment. If you could conclude your remarks on the amendment to the amendment, it would be appreciated.

Mr Mammoliti: The other issue that I think this amendment to the amendment deals with is the constitutional issue, the debate that's been brought forward in reference to the constitutional question. I'm not sure I agree with some of the lawyers that you might get individuals who might want to tackle this on the basis of the Constitution. I think that as long as the residents and the home owners are given the opportunity and a decision on how they want to live their lives and deal with any lease or contract, or none of the above, that because it falls under the scope of the Landlord and Tenant Act, depending on their decision, it would not warrant any question to the Constitution.

I think this amendment actually deals with those questions on constitutional issues. Any tenant, after this particular amendment would get passed, would be subject to what any other tenant would be subject to no matter where they would go. The only difference is they might have an option in signing a contract that might include painting the driveway for the landlord or that might include painting the railings or fixing up the yard or planting flowers. What this actually does is give tenants even more rights than they currently have with the illegal apartments we're seeing out there.

I have never been opposed to Bill 120, I have never been opposed to legalizing these units and I have never been opposed to most of the things that are in Bill 120. But there are two issues here that I was fundamentally opposed to: One of them we've dealt with already; on the second one, we are witnessing an amendment to an amendment.

We're doing that because the members who sit on this committee have some concerns about the original amendment: The Constitution, and I think I've touched on the constitutional issue, and of course the issue that Mr Wessenger's raised in reference to homes that currently are rented out complete to tenants and whether or not my original amendment would have taken that over.


Ms Christel Haeck (St Catharines-Brock): I have a point of order. I guess it's my own clarification that is really required. Is Mr Mammoliti referring to a written contract that relates to tenancy or a written contract to work?

The Vice-Chair: I'm sorry, that's not a point of order, Mrs Haeck, but certainly a point of clarification that you may wish to make later on.

Ms Haeck: I'm sorry; I'm confused if we're talking about an employment contract or a tenancy contract.

The Vice-Chair: It's not a point of order.

Mr Mammoliti: I think it's important for me to answer that question.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Mammoliti, you still have the floor. We do have some other members who wish to speak on the amendment to the amendment.

Mr Owens: This is absolutely outrageous.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Mammoliti, you're finished?

Mr Mammoliti: No, I'm not finished. Actually, I'd like to answer that question, if you don't mind.

The Vice-Chair: No, you are speaking to your amendment to an amendment.

Mr Mammoliti: Yes. The amendment to the amendment would allow for a tenant to make an agreement -- to agree with a landlord, to agree with a home owner, in whatever way they feel fit in coming to some sort of an agreement -- that the landlord would provide the unit if there's an exchange of money, usually, or money and work, for that matter.

This amendment would allow that to happen, but with the way the bill sits now, this would not be allowed because the Landlord and Tenant Act very clearly says that you're not allowed to do that.

During the hearings we had people come to us and say that they'd like that option, that they'd like to be able to have an option to sign such an agreement with their landlord, and they were very specific as well. They talked about seniors or the disabled who want to rent out those units and can't shovel the snow and they want to keep their home, or they can't paint the railings or they can't cut the grass or they can't fix the eavestroughs or they can't do any of that. This amendment would allow that process to take place. I think that's a right that tenants don't have right now. So that's something different that I certainly agree with.

I think that if you were to ask some of your home owners in your own riding, they would agree with that as well, and even some of the tenants if you laid it out to them appropriately and honestly and said to them, "This is what Mr Mammoliti proposes, this is what Mr Mammoliti would want to do. What do you think?" as I've done for the last two years with my ratepayer organizations, with my mayor and with my tenants in my riding. I have talked continually to these people from the day this bill and the bills that were there before this bill were introduced in the Legislature.

Why did I do that? I did that because I anticipated some of the concerns that might come out of the bill and I anticipated some of the concerns coming from my ratepayer organizations, my ratepayer presidents, my ratepayers themselves, the home owners and the concerns that might come across.

They came across through the mayor. I didn't agree with most of the things that Mr Lastman said; I have no reason to say that I do. Most of the stuff that he talked about, I don't agree with him on, but when he talks about the rights of home owners and tenants, then I agree with that. That's what my amendment does. It gives tenants rights they currently don't have, and I'd be willing to argue that with anybody, and it gives landlords rights they currently don't have. For me, this is very important. It's probably the 100th time I've said that for me this is very important. I think you've already seen how important it is to me during this debate.

The Vice-Chair: I think, Mr Mammoliti, in that regard you're right. I can encourage you to conclude your comments, because we do have some other speakers on the amendment to the amendment.

Mr Mammoliti: Mr Chairman, again, on process -- and I'm not sure what you told me earlier in reference to process; a question to you before I continue.

The Vice-Chair: We will be voting on the amendment to the amendment after we have finished the comments on the amendment to the amendment.

Mr Mammoliti: And then the process after that, Mr Chairman?

The Vice-Chair: Then we will be voting on your original amendment.

Mr Mammoliti: Will we be going into further discussion?

The Vice-Chair: Yes, there will be further debate.

Mr Mammoliti: In that case, I'll let individuals air their views.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Cordiano, on the amendment to the amendment. Ms Gigantes also wanted to talk to the amendment to the amendment.

Hon Ms Gigantes: No, you have it wrong again, Mr Chair.

The Vice-Chair: No, you had requested to speak to both.

Hon Ms Gigantes: No, I had requested to speak --

The Vice-Chair: Mr Cordiano is next.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Mr Chair, I --

The Vice-Chair: Mr Cordiano has the floor.

Hon Ms Gigantes: On a point of order, Mr Chair: You have misrepresented what has happened with my request to speak.

The Vice-Chair: Minister, I would ask you to withdraw that comment.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Mr Chair, I would ask you to withdraw your explanation of what happened. I had originally asked --

The Vice-Chair: This committee stands adjourned until a quarter to 5.

The committee recessed from 1638 to 1646.

The Vice-Chair: Could we resume the debate, please.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Mr Chair, if I might.

The Vice-Chair: It has of course been a long afternoon, and sometimes words are used that are not appropriate within the Parliament. I would ask the minister to withdraw the word that she used earlier.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Mr Chair, I am pleased to withdraw the word "misrepresented" if that is what you found unacceptable.

I ask on a point of order that you correct the record, because as I understand it in our informal conversations, you had misunderstood. I had originally asked to speak to Mr Mammoliti's motion, understanding we were debating the amended amendment. As I heard you rule otherwise, I asked you to withdraw my name from that speaking list. I later indicated to you that I did wish to speak to Mr Mammoliti's amendment. Then, when you indicated to the committee that I wished to speak to both, I wish to indicate to committee members that that was to present what I had requested in an inaccurate way.

The Vice-Chair: That's fine, and certainly if I misunderstood which speaking list you wanted to be on, I'm sorry. You have withdrawn the remark which I found offensive and we're back to the speaking list.

Who wants to speak on the amendment to the amendment? Mr Cordiano and Mr Owens. Is that correct? On the amendment to the amendment.

Mr Cordiano: Yes. It's really dealing with the word "ancillary," which has been added in the amendment. I would like to ask the legal advisers from the ministry, if they would come forward again, I thought I heard in an earlier explanation that "ancillary" was interpreted as "secondary."

Mr Melville: That's correct, yes.

Mr Cordiano: Being smaller in size?

Mr Melville: Yes.

Mr Cordiano: What happens when that is not the case?

Mr Melville: In terms of this bill?

Mr Cordiano: That clause.

Mr Melville: It would mean that the exemption that's proposed would not apply.

Mr Cordiano: I'm a little confused. If there is a unit that is, as of a certain date, ancillary in the sense that even though it isn't smaller in size, it's added, and it now becomes the additional unit, this section would not apply, or this clause would then not apply? The exemption would not be permitted?

Mr Melville: I don't actually have the wording in front of me, but my understanding was that it was intended to restrict the exemption to the unit, which would be the ancillary unit contained within the house.

Mr Cordiano: I think the intention here is to make the ancillary unit exempt from the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Mr Melville: That's correct.

Mr Cordiano: Now, my question to you was, you've defined "ancillary" in terms of size. That's your interpretation.

Mr Melville: That's correct. That's what I said.

Mr Cordiano: My point is that if the additional unit which is added at some time in the future, so it's an additional unit, but that unit happens to be larger than the original unit, then this exemption would not apply for that unit?

Mr Melville: Can I rephrase the question? Do you mean if the dimensions of one of the units are changed so it becomes the larger unit as opposed to the smaller unit because of construction or addition or something like that?

Mr Cordiano: Let's suppose that I own a home and I'm going to add an accessory unit and it is now ancillary, but that unit is larger than my original unit that I live in.

Mrs Marland: It's still ancillary.

Mr Cordiano: Is it still ancillary and it still comes in under this exemption?

Mrs Marland: It has to.

Mr Cordiano: That's what I want made clear.

Mrs Marland: It has to be.

Mr Cordiano: I don't understand what --

Mrs Marland: I agree with you.

Mr Cordiano: This is very unclear and confusing, and that's the trouble I'm having here with all of this section, but I wanted to deal with this question of ancillary first.

Mr Melville: I think I indicated in my earlier reply to Ms Marland that the concept is not without ambiguity.

Mr Cordiano: Yes.

Mrs Marland: That's the answer.

Mr Cordiano: Mrs Marland repeatedly centred in on the ambiguity. To my mind it is quite unfortunate when we have sections that are not clear or the act is not clear about its intention. I know this is an amendment, but we have a whole section of definitions which are questionable in terms of their clarity. This amendment that's proposed is certainly not clear, and with this definition of "ancillary" all sorts of bizarre things could start to happen. I can only begin to imagine what those might be.

Mrs Marland: I said "ancillary" means secondary; it has nothing to do with size.

Mr Cordiano: The point is, does it or doesn't it? I think that before I would support such an amendment to the amendment I would want it made clear, and it hasn't been made clear. When we as legislators draft legislation that is completely unclear, then of course things end up being litigated, things end up in the courts endlessly.

It was suggested earlier that there is an undefined meaning to this section, or this amendment that's proposed, whether in fact it is constitutional, whether this would be deemed appropriate by the courts, given the charter. The question of "ancillary" is very important. Perhaps there should be greater definition of it. When you begin to introduce a concept like this which is unclear, such as the word "ancillary" is, then you're asking for trouble when this is headed for the courts, because in a certain situation one would argue that the unit is not ancillary and that therefore these provisions do not take effect and would look for a loophole to get out of the exemption whenever it suits someone.

We're arguing from the opposite end, but I think that's a valid argument to make, that someone enters into a contract and then they make the case that this is not an ancillary unit, and therefore this exemption does not provide and that contract is null and void now. That's sort of what I'm contemplating here. Would that not be the case? With such unclarity there is at least a case to be made.

Mr Melville: I think clarity is always an admirable objective in drafting.

The Vice-Chair: That's probably as far as we are going to get in terms of clarity about this particular amendment. Did you have any further questions?

Mr Cordiano: I do. The point that I'm trying to make, because this is so fundamentally altering of what really appears to be the intent Bill 120 -- I have some sympathy to some extent for what's being attempted in the sense of what Mr Mammoliti was attempting to redress here. I have discomfort with the notion that we may create two classes of tenants. To my mind, you need to have a very clear set of definitions and a very clear understanding on the part of both parties to a contract of just what they're entering into before we set this in legislation.

I'm not uncomfortable with the notion of contracts, because I think that if we set certain conditions, those contracts, if they're made clear and if the circumstances around the entering into a contract are made clear and all parties are fully apprised of what they're entering into for reasons that go beyond what's contemplated in Bill 120 -- there were some reasons that were valid that were put forward by Mr Mammoliti, I'll say, albeit very few.

I would not want to have the effect of creating a second tier of rights that were subservient to the first tier, or secondary to what was there before.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Ancillary.

Mr Cordiano: I hesitate to use that word, but what I'm suggesting is that -- we'll get into this a little further tomorrow because we are quickly running out of time, but I think this is an important matter with respect to the intent of Bill 120, and the whole question of what's ancillary very clearly enters into that definition. It would not be a contract that's entered into with full knowledge and clarity if we allowed such a concept to be brought forward without understanding its impact in a court of law.

I'm not a lawyer by background, obviously, but I have been involved in drafting legislation as it's gone through the House, and quite honestly I think there are a lot of ambiguities in this bill, and to the extent that we're offering up yet another one in this section, that gives me great cause for consternation here. It hasn't been made clear to me by legal representation that these matters will not be challenged by the courts, that there are very definite grounds here for challenges that will go forward.

I will probably have an opportunity to speak to the amendment when we get to that, and that's another question I would pose, but to the extent that this question of ancillary -- the things cross over because there isn't very much clarity with respect to how that might be interpreted by the courts.

Mr Owens: It's your thinking that is not clear.

Mr Cordiano: My thinking is very clear, but it's very unclear with regard to this amendment and what its true intent will be. Well, its intent I understand. What its true impact will be I think is very questionable. The impact is something that will be left to the courts to decide and I think they will probably throw some of these sections out for their lack of clarity or their ambiguity, and that's sort of what I wanted to get from you, your interpretation of that.

Mr Melville: I think I've answered the question in that I said it's not without ambiguity. I'm sure that any counsel receiving instruction would be pleased to have clear direction given to them as to how to resolve the ambiguity too.

The Vice-Chair: We have about a minute and a half. Mr Owens is next, unless you want to adjourn until tomorrow.

Mr Owens: No, what I would like to do is move that the question now be put.

Mr Cordiano: Is there anyone else on the speaking order?

The Vice-Chair: No. Mr White was next.

Mr Cordiano: Mr Chairman, if the question is deemed to be put, I would like to move a recess for 20 minutes. That would bring us into tomorrow.

The Vice-Chair: You're moving a recess?

Mr Cordiano: Yes.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Cordiano has moved we recess. Can we just recess and get some advice from the clerk.

Mr Cordiano: Well, it being 5 of the clock, Mr Chairman --

The Vice-Chair: We're not quite at that point yet. Could we just give the Chair a few minutes to consult with the clerk.

Mrs Marland: I think the committee is adjourned automatically by the clock.

The Vice-Chair: I am advised that Mr Cordiano has asked for 20 minutes, so the vote will be tomorrow. This committee stands adjourned until tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock.

The committee adjourned at 1700.