Thursday 10 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:

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

Cordiano, Joseph (Lawrence L) for Mr Sorbara

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

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

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

Also taking part / Autres participants et participantes:

Ministry of Housing:

Gigantes, Hon Evelyn, minister

Dowler, Rob, manager, planning and building policy section

Harcourt, Scott, manager, existing stock policy, housing policy branch

Lyle, Michael, legal counsel, rent control section

Clerk / Greffier: Carrozza, Franco

Staff / Personnel: Yurkow, Russell, legislative counsel

The committee met at 1027 in the Humber Room, Macdonald Block, Toronto.


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

The Chair (Mr Michael A. Brown): As members know, the purpose of the committee meeting this morning is to continue the clause-by-clause review of Bill 120.

Mrs Margaret Marland (Mississauga South): It's nice to see all the new faces over there.

The Chair: Just before we proceed to vote on the motion by Mr Owens that the question now be put, I would like to clarify to the committee the implications of the motion at hand.

I draw the members' attention to standing order 47, under which Mr Owens's motion was made. Standing order 47 states, "A motion for closure...shall preclude all amendment of the main question." It further states that if it is passed, "the original question shall be put forthwith and decided without amendment or debate."

As the committee knows, the motion currently under consideration is an amendment to an amendment to section 1 of the bill. The committee will also know that two amendments to section 1 have carried and that there are further amendments to this section of the bill which have been moved, and then, by unanimous consent, consideration stood down.

I would like to clarify the interpretation of the term "main question" as set out in the standing orders. The question presented to me is whether or not in the case of a closure motion on an amendment to the amendment the question is to be put on the original amendment by Mr Mammoliti or on section 1 as it has so far been amended. In reviewing precedents on this matter, I find that the main question is indeed the section and not the original amendment. I draw members' attention to a decision by Speaker Turner on this subject on November 3, 1981.

I would now like to make it clear to all members that a decision in the affirmative on the closure motion would mean that the next question to be put would be, "Shall section 1, as amended, carry?" We are now ready for the vote.

Mr Drummond White (Durham Centre): Can we discuss that?

The Chair: We're taking a vote.

Mr White: I realize that, but --

The Chair: There's no discussion.

Interjection: There's no debate on the ruling. The Chair has the floor.

The Chair: No, there's no debate on the ruling.

Mr George Mammoliti (Yorkview): Mr Chairman, just a question on the ruling.

The Chair: There's no question. I'll take the vote.

Mrs Marland: Recorded vote.

The Chair: All in favour of Mr Owens's motion that the question now be put? Those opposed?


Cooper, Cordiano, Dadamo, Daigeler, Grandmaître, Johnson (Don Mills), Mammoliti, Marland, White, Wilson (Kingston and The Islands), Winninger.

Mrs Marland: On a point of order, Mr Chairman: How is this in order when Mr Owens is not here?

The Chair: The question has been lost. We will then continue with debate on Mr Mammoliti's --

Mrs Marland: On a point of order, Mr Chairman: How can a vote be --

The Chair: We will now continue on Mr Mammoliti's amendment to his amendment. Now, a point of order, Mrs Marland.

Mrs Marland: We're welcoming you back, Mr Chair.

The Chair: Thank you. I --

Mrs Marland: I know, you must have been. How is it in order for a motion to be moved in the absence of the mover of the motion?

The Chair: The motion was actually made yesterday, Mrs Marland, and therefore it is in order. Mr Mammoliti is speaking to your amendment.

Mr Mammoliti: Yesterday was actually a pretty emotional day for all of us, including myself. There were, after reading Hansard, some legitimate concerns brought forward by both the Conservatives and the Liberals. There was some question in terms of language to the amendment and to the amendment to the amendment.

For that reason, Mr Chair, without going into any further debate I really would want to get unanimous consent to stand this amendment down so that we can proceed with other matters, and then come back to this when we all get a chance to maybe look at this a little further and debate it a little further.

The Chair: Mr Mammoliti has asked that the amendment be stood down. Do I have unanimous consent to stand the amendment down? Agreed. I would believe I'd need a motion to stand the amendment down also.

Mr Mammoliti: I move to stand the amendment down as well, Mr Chair.

The Chair: Agreed? Agreed.

I believe, in light of what Mr Mammoliti has obtained unanimous consent for, we then move to Mr Cordiano, who wishes to make a further amendment to subsection 1(4).

Mr Joseph Cordiano (Lawrence): We're back to the set of motions that I had put forward.

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

"(4) The definition of `residential premises' in section 1 of the act is amended by adding the following clause:

"(j.1) accommodation occupied by persons in residential premises for the purpose of receiving care services, whether or not receiving the services is the primary purpose of the occupancy, who are subject to an agreement between the provider of the accommodation and a municipality with respect to general welfare recipients, or" -- the word "or" ends that.

The Chair: An explanation, Mr Cordiano, for making this amendment.

Mr Cordiano: This specifically deals with concerns raised during the course of our hearings around facilities that provide care services and their continuing ability to receive occupants or residents by agreement with municipalities, those that are receiving general welfare under the act that governs that for convalescent care or respite care or for an ongoing period of time that would be deemed to be of a temporary nature.

There was some question about whether this might be permitted when Bill 120 was in fact enacted, so this is an effort to rectify that problem.

Hon Evelyn Gigantes (Minister of Housing): As I read this amendment, and I'd be grateful for Mr Cordiano's comments, what it would have the effect of doing is permitting facilities such as boarding-houses and lodging-houses and rooming-houses that operate under the domiciliary hostel program to operate outside the Landlord and Tenant Act. In other words, the people who would be living in rooming-houses, boarding-houses or lodging-houses funded through the domiciliary hostel program would not have the benefit of the protections of the Landlord and Tenant Act, and in particular protection of due process on eviction.

Mr Cordiano: I think it is a problem that, in effect, Bill 120 will preclude the kinds of agreements that now exist between care homes and municipalities over receiving GWA-type residents.

Hon Ms Gigantes: No.

Mr Cordiano: You're saying, Minister, that is not the case. Your explanation in fact spoke about the problem that would prevail, that is to say that the Landlord and Tenant Act would not apply to these residents.

I'm suggesting that their contracts would take precedence over that and it would continue to be the case, and that's the reason for this amendment. You're suggesting that in fact the Landlord and Tenant Act should apply, and that the contracts that have up until this point been made between a municipality and the care providers be superseded by the Landlord and Tenant Act.

I'm suggesting there's no flexibility in that between municipalities and care providers, and therefore this amendment is necessary to continue to provide the flexibility that is now present for these kinds of agreements to take place in the future once Bill 120 is passed.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I can't support this proposal because it will mean that people who are living with assistance in the domiciliary hostel program -- and many of these people are extremely vulnerable people, just the kind of people about whom Dr Lightman has reported to us and about whom he has raised the issue of the need for protection under the Landlord and Tenant Act.

In fact it would be precisely the kind of situation that Joseph Kendall lived in that we hope to address, urged on by Dr Lightman's report, that we would be neglecting in terms of landlord-tenant protection for residents if we were to support this amendment. I cannot support it.

Mr David Johnson (Don Mills): Perhaps a question to the minister. As I understand this, and I'm trying to recall some of the deputations that came to us, there were some care facilities that if they had some beds, some rooms that were available, apparently entered into a contract with the local municipality to take GWA cases. They may take three or four or a handful or whatever.

It wasn't the prime purpose, as I can recall, of some of the care homes, but they did that. It's probably good for them to have full occupancy, and it was probably good for the municipality in terms of making arrangements for people who needed some kind of support.


The concern, as I understand it, is that if such a facility in general is not exempt from the Landlord and Tenant Act, with the amendment that was put through yesterday or some time this week at any rate, if the average stay is now 18 months, there'll be more and more facilities that will be exempt.

I grant you that, but there would still be several facilities, many facilities, that will not be exempt. Consequently, if they permit GWA cases to come in for a short period of time, they would have no way of turning those rooms over. In other words, if the GWA case chose to stay there, they would be governed by the Landlord and Tenant Act and they could stay in that facility as long as they wished.

I don't know if that's the intent of the government and you will achieve that, but my guess is that these care homes will be less likely to enter into an agreement because they will have no confidence that in fact they can free up those rooms as they do today to serve the people they were originally intended to serve.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I can certainly appreciate the concern that you're raising. I think, however, that it is dealt with in the proposed amendment that we will be coming to shortly which has to do with the understanding of a contract or a term of time associated with the stay.

Mr David Johnson: You're talking about the two-year business.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I'm talking about two years.

Mr David Johnson: Is it your expectation then that with each of the GWA cases there be a contract entered into for a specific length of time?

Hon Ms Gigantes: I'm being nodded at by a lawyer for the minister who is pointing out to me by his nod that I'm misinterpreting what the effect of our amendment will be.

Mr David Johnson: Could we have the lawyer then explain? Which lawyer is that? Where is the nod coming from? Are you guys nodding over there? Would it be possible to have an explanation by the appropriate staff?

The Chair: Would that be suitable, Minister?

Hon Ms Gigantes: I can see they're excited and pleased at the thought.

Mr Bernard Grandmaître (Ottawa East): Their joy of yesterday has not ended.

Mr David Johnson: They had so much fun yesterday.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I think their concern may be that they're going to have to contradict me, and they should not feel that concern.

The Chair: Please introduce yourself for the purposes of Hansard.

Mr Michael Lyle: My name is Michael Lyle. I'm a legal counsel with the Ministry of Housing. Would you like some clarification?

Mr David Johnson: You've heard the conversation here. You were apparently nodding your head.

Hon Ms Gigantes: He was grimacing.

Mr Lyle: The amendment adding section 2.1 which the government has proposed would allow for evictions where the term of a rehab and therapy program has run its course. It's not clear to me if the situation you're referring to would be a program of rehabilitation and therapy, so it's not clear to me that this provision would apply in that case.

Mr David Johnson: In the case of GWA then for example, where there's a contract for a certain period of time, the way it's set up right now, it's not clear to you that it would apply to that particular case.

Hon Ms Gigantes: It wouldn't.

Mr David Johnson: Indeed, that individual then would be governed by the Landlord and Tenant Act if in fact the average stay was over 18 months in that home, as all the amendments stand at the present time. Consequently, there would be no way of gaining control of those rooms back. In fact the GWA clients could stay there as long as they wished with the protection of the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Mr Lyle: As I understand it, and I'd be happy to be contradicted by our policy people, in the GWA situation, we're not talking about people in receipt of rehabilitation and therapeutic services.

Mr David Johnson: Yes. You're right.

Mr Lyle: If that's the case then, the 18-month exemption is not an issue here. The extra ground for eviction, which deals with the situation of people in receipt of rehabilitation and therapy services, does not apply either.

Mr Cordiano: If I may just add to that, the point is that there are situations where it is desirable for someone to be in a home for a short duration, whatever period of time that may be. It's considered a short duration. It's not a long-term stay. It's not to make this their permanent residence or a long-term residence. It is because perhaps family members are going away for a trip or a period of time and the kind of care they normally would provide would have to be provided by someone else. So there is some kind of consideration for that.

That's what this amendment contemplates, those kinds of circumstances. Certainly that would not be covered by the exemptions that are made under the other sections the minister spoke about. We're still concerned because these contracts are in fact being made between municipalities and care homes. This would cover off that particular circumstance.

The Chair: We're going to try to have policy help you out, Mr Cordiano.

Mr Cordiano: I don't need their help. I'm just trying to put forward my point of view on why I suggested this amendment. It may be that the ministry has a different view of this, but they're welcome to comment.

Mr Scott Harcourt: I'm Scott Harcourt from the Ministry of Housing. Indeed, what Michael Lyle said was correct. The situation that Mr Cordiano was referring to has to do with respite care. In that situation, it's true that there's nothing in Bill 120 that in fact stops an agency from providing respite care. The situation would be that yes, they would fall under the Landlord and Tenant Act.

The only situation that would occur would be that if the resident did not want to leave at the end of their stay, they couldn't be evicted, other than going through the Landlord and Tenant Act. There is not a provision in the Landlord and Tenant Act that would allow eviction in that situation.

Mr David Johnson: So the Landlord and Tenant Act would be of no use either?

Mr Harcourt: No, you couldn't evict under the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Mr Cordiano: What you're telling us is that these rooms could not be turned over, which is the stated intention and purpose of providing that kind of care by these homes. You're eliminating that usage.

Hon Ms Gigantes: They couldn't be turned over against the wishes of the resident. That's correct.

Mr Cordiano: I rest my case. I don't think anything further needs to be said.

Mr Harcourt: There is nothing to prohibit that agreement from occurring. It's just that if the resident didn't wish to leave, it's true that they could not be evicted on that basis.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Let us be frank. We're not talking about respite care here. We're not talking about convalescence. In those cases, as we generally understand, what you're dealing with is the intent by the resident and the resident's family to provide short-term accommodation. What you're really concerned about is people in receipt of social assistance whom you may not wish to see stay for a long period of time. If that's your concern, why don't you say it up front?

Mr Cordiano: Minister, I'm going to take you to task on this --

Hon Ms Gigantes: I'm going to suggest --

Mr Cordiano: -- because I find it completely unacceptable --

The Chair: Mr Cordiano, the Chair --

Mr Cordiano: -- what I say --

The Chair: Order.

Mr Cordiano: That's why you take it upon yourself --

Hon Ms Gigantes: Oh dear, dear.

The Chair: Minister, you have the floor.

Hon Ms Gigantes: What the effect of the amendment would be, if I could draw my concern to Mr Cordiano's attention, is that the amendment is such that it would provide a sweeping exemption for situations in which people who are receiving assistance through the domiciliary hostels program would not be able to have secure accommodation in a rooming-house, a boarding-house or a lodging-house. That puts that person in a great deal of anxiety and in a situation where the person is vulnerable to all kinds of pressures from the landlord. I'm not satisfied to see that happen and therefore I will not support the amendment.

Mr Cordiano: What you are, in effect, doing is forcing homes to say they will no longer take these types of residents for fear that there are not proper contracts in place, for fear that there are not stated intentions at the beginning of their occupancy for that facility. It's not to say or suggest that a home would not accept someone in those circumstances. I don't believe that is the case at all. But you're trying to force the issue by insisting that, after the fact, nothing could be dealt with in respect of turning those rooms over.


You're trying to change horses in midstream, as I see it. That is completely inconsistent, what I think is honest about what your stated intentions are. I think it has to be very clear that in fact you're saying to these homes, "You're no longer going to be permitted to do this. This is the way they're going to interpret it," because you're tying their hands in effect. You're not allowing them to turn these rooms over.

In theory, what could happen is that these residents may stay in those homes, because no one wants the responsibility of dealing with it. Once they have found a home in one of these places -- and I understand these are difficult circumstances, but to say to a home, "You're going to have to accept this," whether in fact the stated conditions were clear from the beginning about accepting a resident, I think is unacceptable.

Hon Ms Gigantes: That's fine. We disagree.

The Chair: Further questions, comments to Mr Cordiano's amendment?

Mr David Johnson: Just a question to the staff then. I wonder if the staff hadn't thought that one aspect of this may be to reduce the number of these kinds of arrangements, I guess, or agreements that would be entered into. That would be sort of an unpleasant side-effect to this whole thing.

If operators knew that they now had no control in terms of gaining control of those units back at some point in time and that the Landlord and Tenant Act would kick in and, as you've indicated, there would be no cause for eviction under the Landlord and Tenant Act, wouldn't they be somewhat reluctant to enter into these agreements in the first place? Couldn't that be to the detriment of people who need that kind of short-term stay?

Mr Harcourt: The only situation where there could be a reluctance is if the operator felt that the resident who is coming in for their short-term stay wouldn't leave at the end of that agreed-upon period.

Mr David Johnson: How could you tell that?

Mrs Marland: How do you know that?

Mr Harcourt: You may not be able to tell that, certainly, but the situation where that was likely to happen I don't think is that likely.

The other thing I should mention is that if rooms were put aside specifically for a short-term stay or for respite accommodation, they would in fact be exempt by the fact of being emergency shelter for a short-term stay under the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Mr David Johnson: Oh, okay, so --

Mr Harcourt: That would be if specific rooms were put aside.

Mr David Johnson: Maybe you should clarify that: if they were specifically set aside.

Mr Harcourt: If there were specific rooms set aside.

Mr David Johnson: How do they do that? How do they specifically set them aside? Somehow designate them?

Mr Harcourt: Correct. They would just designate them for short-term stays. It's as simple as that.

Mr David Johnson: They have to designate them to the ministry or --

Mr Harcourt: No. Under the Landlord and Tenant Act the only way it could be challenged is through the courts, so it would be the onus upon somebody to take it to court.

Mr David Johnson: So then it would be to the advantage of the operators if they were in that kind of mode on a regular basis to designate a certain number of units that way.

Mr Harcourt: Absolutely.

Mr David Johnson: And then they would not come under the provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Mr Harcourt: That is correct.

Mr David Johnson: But if they failed to designate them, whatever -- I'm not sure. How do you designate? Do you write it on a piece of paper or something, after the fact, and you say, "I designated them"? How does that happen?

Mr Harcourt: Whether they write it on a piece of paper or not I'm not sure is all that relevant. It would be up to them to prove in court if they were challenged that they were for emergency shelter.

Mr David Johnson: So then an operator might evict somebody, saying, "I had designated that unit for emergency shelter." The tenant of course would then be evicted, but the tenant could take the operator to court and say, "You didn't designate it."

Mr Harcourt: That's correct. And the burden of proof would be on both parties to show that in fact that was or wasn't the case.

Mrs Marland: Well, it's what I've been saying all along. It's more money for the lawyers and more protracted hearings in the courts.

I'd like you to tell me what section it is in the Landlord and Tenant Act that covers the special designation of use.

Mr Harcourt: Clause 1(j), "short-term accommodation provided as emergency shelter" is designated as exempt under the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Have you heard this, Mr Cordiano? I think you've missed all this useful information.

Mr Cordiano: Was it useful, Mrs Marland?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Yes.

The Chair: Mrs Marland.

Mrs Marland: Clause (j) says "short-term accommodation provided as emergency shelter." I don't think in a court of law you would have emergency shelter defined as respite care. So if you can show me where it says "respite care," I can --

Mr Harcourt: The term "respite care" is not in the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Mrs Marland: No, I didn't think it was. So where does your answer hold in response to the concerns that Mr Cordiano and Mr Johnson are asking about?

Mr Harcourt: It is the belief of the Ministry of Housing that in fact places which provide respite care would in fact qualify under that exemption.

Mrs Marland: But you know, with respect, we get these answers, and I want to tell you something that I am tremendously upset with and it isn't anything that you have said, but this week we had before this committee -- what was she? -- an assistant deputy minister. I was thinking it was the acting one earlier in the morning.

But in the afternoon we had an assistant deputy minister, Ms Roch, and the other person who was with her whose name I can't recall right now, tell us that there were service providers that were happy with the Landlord and Tenant Act coming into force in their operations.

I asked them at least three times to give us the names of those service providers and the first two questions they waffled and ignored, and finally, the third time I asked the question, we heard I think it was Homes First.

Hon Ms Gigantes: This is not --

Mrs Marland: Do you know that I'm just waiting for a letter to be delivered to my office today? It's a copy of a letter that went to the Minister of Community and Social Services from Homes First which is completely opposite to what that assistant deputy minister told this committee. I'm not allowed to use the word "misleading," but I can tell you, when I get that letter, I am going to ask this committee to ask that assistant deputy minister to come back before this committee and clarify her comments.

The reason I'm so cross about it is that all of us sitting on this committee are trying to do a job -- all of us; we're all trying to serve the interests of the people in this province. None of us on this committee are assistant deputy ministers and for the most part, I don't think any of us will be. So we are trying to separate the wood from the trees in dealing with this legislation --

Hon Ms Gigantes: How is this in order, Mr Chair?

Mrs Marland: -- and we are dependent on the information that is given to us. If you don't understand, Madam Minister, what this has to do with what we're discussing this morning, that's probably part of our problem.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I do understand, unfortunately.

The Chair: Through the Chair.

Mrs Marland: The thing is that we've just had another answer which says of course this motion isn't needed because in the Landlord and Tenant Act there is something that would exempt the kind of use that Mr Cordiano is trying to address here. Yet, when we come to it, it isn't in the Landlord and Tenant Act and we get an answer, "Well, the ministry interprets it this way."

I'm sorry, it isn't the ministry that makes the final decision of interpretation, it's the courts. You're going to get some judge presiding in some court who doesn't agree with the ministry's interpretation because that's not what the Landlord and Tenant Act says. If the Landlord and Tenant Act says "emergency shelter" or "respite care," fine. But don't tell me that emergency shelter means respite care unless you say it in your own act.

I'm sorry, you can't arbitrarily say the Ministry of Housing makes that interpretation, which is what you just said, because, in fairness, it's not your jurisdiction that will make the final interpretation and I think that it's totally false for us to go with making decisions on this committee based on something that is not in the act or, as I said yesterday, is poorly worded in the act that's before us in terms of 120.

I'm glad the minister finds this so entertaining.


Hon Ms Gigantes: I find you entertaining.

Mrs Marland: You know, I think we all get very insulted by the fact that when we ask questions that this particular minister thinks are humorous or superfluous, her whole demeanour and body language, let alone what she actually says, are very disconcerting for us because we're trying to do a job.

Mr Gary Wilson (Kingston and The Islands): On a point of order, Mr Chair: I don't see what this has to do with the motion that's in front of us.

Mrs Marland: Then you weren't listening.

The Chair: That isn't a point of order, of course. You can always speak to the amendment that is before the committee.

Mr Gary Wilson: You can only listen so long, Margaret.

Mrs Marland: If you don't know what this has to do with the motion in front of us, then you weren't listening to the reply of your own staff, Gary. That's all I can say.

The Landlord and Tenant Act does not refer to respite care. I'll tell you why the concerns of Mr Cordiano and the concerns of Mr Johnson and myself are so valid. It's because of the fact that with all of the cutbacks in funding to regional municipalities and regional government, which are some of these service providers, there are huge waiting lists for permanent accommodation for people who can no longer be looked after at home.

You've got to be Alice in Wonderland if you believe that people will not use this respite care entrée into a facility knowing full well, "Boy, I'll get them in there and then Aunt Bertha or Uncle John or my mother or father is going to be protected, because then they'll be under the Landlord and Tenant Act."

It won't be a little piece of paper stuck on a door that says, "This is a temporary room," that will work, I can assure you, and it certainly won't be the Landlord and Tenant Act that's going to be any help in an argument in the courts. You just can't say black is white unless there's an argument to support what it is you're saying in an existing statute, because that's the only thing anybody has to fall back on.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I'm going to take the opportunity to read a description from Dr Lightman of the kind of contract situation, the kind of accommodation need, that we're talking about here. It's from page 142 of his report. He says:

"A domiciliary hostel contract is between a municipality and individual operators; residents are effectively disempowered. In theory, residents can take control by leaving particular boarding homes and going elsewhere; in practice, however, individuals are often `placed' in specific settings. (Nevertheless, we were told that the competition among operators in one community is so severe that hostel residents are `recruited' at local coffee shops and given small inducements, such as cigarettes, to leave one home and enter another. Residents indicated there was no point in moving as `all these places are basically the same'. We have also heard of financial inducements being offered in return for directing clients to certain settings.)"

This market condition, this market description which Dr Lightman has given us is certainly borne out by evidence from other people. What it indicates is a situation in which, far from the situation being described by members in the opposition, which is that operators are so anxious to get rid of people, operators are out trying to get people in to fill empty spaces that they can only receive payment for if they manage to get somebody placed in a bed, in a room, with public money.

In addition to the fact that the description of the marketplace that's going on here is not a very real one, and while Ms Marland would prefer to have, for the benefit of courts, each word in the English language defined within each piece of legislation that we pass here, I think the reading that has been given to us of the Landlord and Tenant Act and the opening that there is for operators to designate rooms, if in fact they wish to have a situation where they think they're going to want to evict people although, if we read Dr Lightman, that's not likely to be the case -- I think, all in all, we should proceed on this motion and deal with it.

It is not an acceptable motion, in my view, and I do feel satisfied, particularly following the discussion, for which I'm very grateful, and the assistance that we've had about how to read the Landlord and Tenant Act in this connection.

Mr Cordiano: Minister, this is again a fine example of coercive Utopianism. You've misinterpreted -- I think, at the very best, you've misunderstood how this operates. You've just said that operators are looking for residents.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Dr Lightman says.

Mr Cordiano: Well, Dr Lightman. You've quoted him and you've said the problem is that they're out there looking for people because there are so many empty beds.

This amendment that I put forward deals with those beds in a home that are designated to be temporary in nature. It does not deal with the other number of beds that are vacant, may be vacant or may be filled, depending on the circumstances, depending on the economic climate.

That may be the case today when Dr Lightman looked at this situation, but we're not talking about beds that are designated for permanent residents that are there for a long duration. We're talking about beds that have been set aside by a home for a temporary duration. If that's being made out to be longer-term in nature, well then, of course, that is not the case, this wouldn't apply. I don't think there would be a problem with that.

You're talking about residents that would be there for a longer-term duration and a contract that would be set up by a municipality and a home that would deal with residents that are there for a temporary period of time. As the operators see it, these are temporary, short-term contracts. They're not contracts that are put in place for five, 10 years.

That's not what the evidence suggests, unless you have other evidence to show us, contracts that have been put in place where residents are then situated in these homes for a long period of time. We have not seen evidence of that. The contrary is true; the opposite is true. In fact, you have these homes requesting that these beds continue to be turned over and that's the basic premise of this.

Anyway, we have a disagreement, so why don't we move on, Mr Chairman.

The Chair: Further questions or comments to Mr Cordiano's amendment to subsection 1(4)? Shall Mr Cordiano's amendment carry?

Mr Cordiano: A recorded vote.

The Chair: A recorded vote has been requested. All those in favour?


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

The Chair: All those opposed?


Cooper, Dadamo, Mammoliti, White, Wilson (Kingston and The Islands), Winninger.

The Chair: The motion is defeated.

Mr David Johnson: Mr Chair, just a question to you. I note by my calendar that today is Thursday the 10th. We did have some discussion earlier in the week about some reports that were, as I understand it, going to be tabled today. There was agreement that there would be reports with regard to municipal liability, status of the fire regulations and the -- I see the minister nodding her head. Of course, Thursday hasn't gone yet, but could we be apprised of when those reports will be before us today?

Hon Ms Gigantes: At 2 o'clock.

The Chair: The minister says 2 o'clock.

Mr David Johnson: Fine, thank you.

The Chair: That completes, I believe, the amendments I have to section 1. Are there further questions, comments or amendments regarding section 1?

Members would find that because we have stood down a number of amendments to section 1, I would need, at this point, unanimous consent to stand section 1 down till they're dealt with. Agreed? Agreed.

Moving right along to section 2, do I have questions, comments or amendments to section 2?

Hon Ms Gigantes: I'm quite prepared to move an amendment. I don't know if this is the one you want to hear at this stage.

The Chair: If not, shall section 2 carry?

Mrs Marland: Just a second, there's a government amendment and there's a Liberal motion.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I have indicated to the Chair I'm prepared to move an amendment. I don't know if that's the right --

The Chair: Just to be helpful to members, the procedure here is we will deal with section 2. These are new sections to section 2. We have to deal with section 2 before we get to them. There's nothing out of order here. It's just a rather strange procedure, even in my view, Minister.

Shall section 2 carry? Carried.

Mrs Marland: Really, I don't understand that vote.

Mr Mike Cooper (Kitchener-Wilmot): Section 2 is carried. We are now going to 2.1, a new section.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Gary, can you move it? You've got it there.

Mr Gary Wilson: I move that the bill be amended by adding the following section:

"2.1 Subsection 110(3) of the act is amended by striking out `or' at the end of clause (d), by adding `or' at the end of clause (e) and by adding the following clause:

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

Mrs Marland: Wait a sec, my wording is different. I was with you so far. I was with you halfway and then it changed.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Could I just draw to Ms Marland's attention that I had noted there was a rephrasing in the amendment which had been distributed to members of the committee. I believe this occurred two days ago, and I tried to make sure that everybody understood we needed to substitute one amendment for the other.

Mrs Marland: Thank you.

The Chair: This amendment is not in order as subsection 110(3) of the act is not open in this bill. We can deal with this if someone would like to ask for unanimous consent.

Mr Gary Wilson: I'd like to ask for unanimous consent.

The Chair: Mr Wilson has asked for unanimous consent to deal with this.

Mrs Marland: What I wanted to ask was, could we have an explanation of what this is before we decide whether we want to open that section of the bill?

Hon Ms Gigantes: That's debating it before having it in order.

The Chair: Before it's on the floor, that's right.

Mrs Marland: No, it's an explanation. I won't ask any questions, just the mover explain it and then I'll know whether I want to open the bill to consider it.

The Chair: That is a little unusual.

Mrs Marland: But the whole thing's a little unusual.

The Chair: Given the circumstances, I think that could be permitted.

Mr Gary Wilson: If I may, I'll just say that in the submissions we heard before the committee, there was some concern about the time element involved here and that we felt this provided another ground for eviction that the providers of the services especially were eager to see. We think this goes some way to meeting their -- I should say too the opposition's -- concern that there be this added ground for eviction.

The Chair: Mr Wilson has asked for unanimous consent. Do we have --

Mrs Marland: Could we have five minutes to read this? I can't now ask questions because I said I wouldn't, and of course I always do what I'm told.

The Chair: I think that is a reasonable request under the circumstances.

Mrs Marland: Then I can go over and ask him.

The Chair: The committee will reconvene at 1125.

The committee recessed from 1115 to 1126.

The Chair: Order. Mr Wilson has asked for unanimous consent for section 2.1. Agreed?

Mrs Marland: Mr Chair, I have a question. What Mr Wilson was asking was to open a section of the Landlord and Tenant Act that isn't being opened by Bill 120. So if we agree to deal with Mr Wilson's motion, the government motion, then we open subsection 110(3) of the act.

My question to you is, once that section is opened and we deal with this motion on the floor, then is that section open for any other subsequent amendments to that section? Once it has been opened for one amendment, would it be open for others?

Mr Cooper: For unanimous consent.

Mrs Marland: I'm not asking you, Michael. You're not in the chair.

Mr David Johnson: Thanks for your advice. It's probably wrong, but thanks for it anyway.

Mrs Marland: You're bad.

The Chair: I'm just reading the motion, Mrs Marland. I'll be with you in a moment.

Mrs Marland: Thank you, Mr Chair.

The Chair: Mrs Marland, the unanimous consent applies to subsection 110(3) of the act precisely. So we are only opening that particular section that is delineated in the motion that Mr Wilson made. Any other section could be opened by unanimous consent.

Mrs Marland: Then, having asked that question, could I just ask, if we're going to be working together and we're going to have unanimous consent to do this for this section of the act, is there any likelihood that we might have unanimous consent when our side might want to move an amendment to that same unopened section of the bill but a different subsection? Could we possibly dream in Technicolor?

The Chair: Mrs Marland, as you know --

Mrs Marland: I'm talking through the Chair, as you know.

The Chair: I always thought you were. Unanimous consent may always be asked.

Mrs Marland: Requested, yes. I was just wondering if we might get some encouragement.

The Chair: Do we have unanimous consent? Agreed.

Now, do I have questions, comments or would you like to make another explanation, Mr Wilson?

Mr Gary Wilson: No, I think I'll leave it at that, Mr Chair.

The Chair: Further questions or comments?

Mrs Marland: I'm glad we're dealing with this government motion, and I do have an amendment to it. The amendment that I would have would be -- actually, I was going to --

The Chair: Do you have a copy, Mrs Marland?

Mrs Marland: No, I haven't written it yet --

Mr David Johnson: Do you want me to write it?

Mrs Marland: -- but I could write it and you would be able to read it.

After the first comma, it says, "no other tenant of the building," etc. I was tempted to move an amendment which said, "no ancillary tenant," but I decided that I wouldn't do that. My amendment would be to remove that part that refers to "no other tenant of the building" right down to "two years," I guess: all the way through to the next comma. I don't know whether an amendment is in order that removes a part of your sentence.

The Chair: You may make an amendment which deletes.

Mrs Marland: All right. My amendment would be to delete after -- I'll read it. I agree with where it says, "the accommodation was occupied solely for the purpose of receiving rehabilitative or therapeutic services agreed upon by the tenant and the landlord," comma. My deletion would be "no other tenant of the building in which the accommodation is located occupying the accommodation solely for the purpose of receiving rehabilitative or therapeutic services is permitted to live there for longer than two years," comma. That would be the deletion. Then I would still agree with "and the period of tenancy agreed to has expired." So I'm just deleting that portion between the commas, as I've identified. That would be my amendment.

The Chair: Is the clerk comfortable that he can write that up in a suitable form?

Mrs Marland: Would you like me to write it up?

The Chair: I think that's straightforward enough that it can be put. Mrs Marland has placed an amendment to the amendment. Would you like to speak to your subamendment, Mrs Marland?

Mrs Marland: I think probably everyone understands why I would be making it. This motion by the government is going in the right direction towards meeting the needs that the service providers told this committee about when they appeared before us, but it still has this narrowing condition, and the narrowing condition is the part that I wanted to remove.

Mr David Johnson: Can I just elaborate? Again, I think the basic direction that the government is going in here is a positive one too, and we've heard this kind of concern. But as I understand what they're proposing, if you have a facility and that facility is for rehabilitative or therapeutic services, then if you have an agreement with the tenants in that facility and if no tenant -- now here's the narrowing feature. If no tenant -- is "tenant" the right word? If no resident, no tenant within that facility, has stayed there for longer than two years, so we're not talking about an average, we're talking about --

Interjection: An absolute.

Mr David Johnson: Yes, an absolute. Not one tenant could be there for longer than two years. So you could have a whole bunch of them for under two years and you could have one for over two years, and this clause would not click in.

But at any rate, if you meet all of those conditions and your period of rehabilitation or therapy has expired, then the operator could evoke the Landlord and Tenant Act; you have to go through the regular provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act. In other words, it's another point under the Landlord and Tenant Act to initiate an eviction. You still have to go through the same process.

The fly in the ointment here is that if you have one person, just one person, who's been there for two years and a day, then you can't use this provision. That seems to be quite restrictive. If it was an average, let's say, of two years, then that would certainly broaden it, but to cause this clause to not come into effect simple because one person in a facility that could contain many, many people had been there for two years and a day or more seems to be fairly narrow. I think that's why Mrs Marland is making that amendment. With the amendment that she's making, this would be quite a bit more useful.

I wonder if I could just ask a question with regard to the definition. I don't know if this is to the minister or the staff, or whom. When it says "the accommodation was occupied solely for the purpose of receiving rehabilitative or therapeutic services agreed upon by the tenant and the landlord," does that mean we consider this on a case-by-case basis? I don't know. There may be facilities whereby some tenants are mostly there for housing and some are mostly there for therapy.

Mr Harcourt: Just to clarify, if some tenants are there for rehabilitation and therapy, the two-year limitation applies to any tenants in the building who are there for rehab and therapy. If there are other tenants in the building for other types of care services, the two-year maximum does not apply in this case.

Mr David Johnson: Let me see if I can clarify that then: If you have a group of tenants there simply for accommodation and if you have another group of tenants for therapy, if one of the tenants who's there for accommodation has lived beyond the two-year period, then does that void --

Mr Harcourt: No, it doesn't void it. You'll only look at those tenants who are there for rehab and therapy.

Mr David Johnson: Is that clear in here?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Yes, it is.

Mr Cordiano: It says so: occupying the accommodation "solely for the purpose of receiving rehabilitative or therapeutic services."

Mr David Johnson: All right, I guess it is. So you only look at those who are there for --

Mr Cordiano: Rehabilitation.

Mr David Johnson: Now, when you say "solely for the purpose of receiving rehabilitative or therapeutic services," my mind is trying to come around that. Is that definable, when you say "solely," because some people may be there for therapy and rehabilitation, but they're also living there.

Hon Ms Gigantes: They will be living there. All of them will be living there.

Mr David Johnson: Yes, they will all be living there, right.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Can we refer you to the fact that this is an agreed-upon program? It's agreed upon between the tenant and landlord that the accommodation is provided in the course of the receipt of services which are either rehabilitative or therapeutic.

Mr David Johnson: For example, I doubt Ecuhome would come under this; you wouldn't consider the program at Ecuhome.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I would not give you a reading on that.

Mr David Johnson: You wouldn't?

Hon Ms Gigantes: No.

Mrs Marland: She doesn't know.

Mr David Johnson: Would anybody else give me a reading on that?

Hon Ms Gigantes: What I know is that I should not give you a reading on it.

Mrs Marland: Why?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Because there are legal questions involved.

Mr David Johnson: In that particular instance or in general?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Yes.

Mr David Johnson: What do you mean by yes? Yes in general or yes in that particular instance?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Yes in that particular instance.

Mr David Johnson: All right. Let's try another one. How about St Michael's Halfway Homes?

Hon Ms Gigantes: I'm not familiar with their program. You might describe it.

Mr David Johnson: As I understand it, it's for people recovering from alcohol. Is there any other staff here who are familiar with it? I guess not. I would call it a therapeutic program for people recovering from alcohol.

Mr Harcourt: I'm not familiar with that particular program, but generally programs which serve recovering alcoholics would qualify under the rehab and therapy clause.

Mr David Johnson: It's just the use of the word "solely" in the first line that gives me pause. There may be facilities that consider themselves to have rehab and therapy but they also have accommodation, obviously.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Yes.

Mr David Johnson: As long as they're there --

Hon Ms Gigantes: This addresses those people who are resident for the purposes of rehabilitation and therapy. If there are two types of resident, one not in receipt of service and the other in receipt of service, this amendment addresses the situation of the tenant who is in receipt of services.


Mr David Johnson: The Scarborough hospital has the Manse Road group program which serves the severely mentally ill adults with schizophrenia, manic depression, chronic depression, post-traumatic stress. Would that be considered therapy, a program like that?

Hon Ms Gigantes: You haven't described the program and I'm not a judge of what is a therapy program. If there is an agreement, you'll note in the amendment the section in fact which Ms Marland wishes to remove --


Hon Ms Gigantes: I'm sorry. That is not the section she wishes to remove.

Mr David Johnson: No, it's before that.

Hon Ms Gigantes: If there is an agreement between the tenant and the landlord that the purpose of the person's placement in a living accommodation is to receive therapy or rehabilitation services, then this clause applies.

Mr David Johnson: That will be the criterion then. As long as there is an agreement, then the ministry won't cast its own opinion on this as long as the tenant --

Hon Ms Gigantes: And that agreement governs a program in which no person resident in the accommodation is resident there longer than two years.

Mr David Johnson: Yes, but provided the two-year restriction is satisfied and the tenant and the operator agree that there is a "therapy" or "rehabilitative" program, then the ministry staff from whatever ministry will not interject into that to say: "In our view, that really isn't a rehabilitative or therapy program. It's just a little bit of a therapy program but it's not enough for us to exempt you" -- "exempt" is the wrong word, but for this clause to click in.

Hon Ms Gigantes: That's right.

Mr David Johnson: I guess time will tell.

Mr Cordiano: My tendency is to support this amendment because it goes beyond the 18-month provision dealing with circumstances where you have mixed types of residence, obviously. To that extent, I think that our initial concern was that these kinds of situations be covered off.

Now, of course, extending it to 24 months gives a little more flexibility than the 18-month period, so I'm not opposed to that. However, having said that, where there are agreements between a resident and a landlord I think you will find that the amendments that follow that I am suggesting under this section will add to the kinds of protection that I think should be necessary when there is an agreement in place between a tenant and a landlord. I won't speak about those just yet, but they cover a number of areas that I think are central, if there are agreements between landlords and tenants, that take them outside the protections of the Landlord and Tenant Act.

So I hope, Minister, you will consider some of those amendments as being rather useful, since you've introduced this idea of a tenancy agreement.

The Chair: Mr Mammoliti.

Hon Ms Gigantes: May I speak to this --

The Chair: Oh, you wish to respond to Mr Cordiano?

Hon Ms Gigantes: No, I was going to speak to the amendment. I was wondering if you could put me on the list.

The Chair: I'll put you on the list.

Mr Mammoliti: Perhaps it might be wise to let the minister respond first because she may be answering a question that I might have.

Hon Ms Gigantes: It might help if you asked your question. Then I might try to answer it.

Mr Mammoliti: I wanted to know the technical difference, if you will just bear with me for a second, between the amendment Mr Cordiano introduced yesterday, the 18-month provision, and this particular one. Is there a difference?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Yes.

Mr Mammoliti: There is. Can we find out what that difference is?

Hon Ms Gigantes: What this amendment addresses is the situation where the Landlord and Tenant Act applies but there are extra grounds for eviction. What Mr Cordiano was proposing yesterday was an amendment which removed coverage of the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Mr Cordiano: For 18 months.

Hon Ms Gigantes: So they are two different approaches to two different objectives. The objective in this one is to allow a program to clear places for people once the term of the program is complete.

Mr Mammoliti: Is there a need for Mr Cordiano's amendment, is the question, and which would supersede which?

Mr Cordiano: It just adds to it.

Mr Mammoliti: It just adds to it? There's no weight, one over the other?

Hon Ms Gigantes: No. There is no direct connection. What I think we could say is achieved in each is relief of the operator. The relief that's contemplated in Mr Cordiano's amendment is one which removes the Landlord and Tenant Act completely for a defined period. What we are proposing instead is a relief which allows the operator of the program to say to a tenant, when that has been agreed upon in the first instance: "The purpose of your tenancy, which was to participate in this program, has now come to an end. It has been achieved in the length of time."

Mr Mammoliti: The final question then would be, this would replace the 18 months? It's an addition to it; it's not a replacement.

Hon Ms Gigantes: It provides relief for the operator to know that the operator can ensure that there will be a continuing flow of residents who will be receiving that therapy or rehab program.

Mrs Marland: I have a question of the minister before I make another comment. Minister, will you be taking this bill into committee of the whole House to reverse the Liberal motion for 18 months that was passed?

Hon Ms Gigantes: We will discuss that with our caucus.

Mrs Marland: That's what I thought. That's why this whole exercise of clause-by-clause in committee is a waste of time.

Hon Ms Gigantes: No. That's not why.

Mrs Marland: In fairness, I think the reason we now have more evidence than ever that this part of Bill 120, where you are dealing with people with special needs who are in treatment -- this amendment of the government's is dealing with people who are in treatment.

The very fact that no one in this room, and there are at least five members of the minister's staff in this room, can answer Mr Johnson's question points out the fact that this kind of motion that refers to people who are in treatment shouldn't even be in a Housing bill. It should be a bill from the Ministry of Health or Comsoc, whichever is the funding agency. If it's mental health, it obviously comes from the Ministry of Health, and some of the other programs, as we've heard, were funded by Community and Social Services.

The Chair: Perhaps you could be more precise to the amendment you're proposing.

Mrs Marland: The amendment, to be precise, is dealing with the needs of people in special treatment. Mr Johnson asked the minister some questions, would this apply to this program or that program, and the minister isn't familiar with those programs.

The reason she isn't familiar with those programs is that she's the Minister of Housing. She's not the Minister of Health and she's not the Minister of Community and Social Services, who have identified a need for those programs, in fact fund them, and hand over the responsibility to the service providers, who with the government money provide the service. In turn, the service providers come before this committee and say, "We can't work under the Landlord and Tenant Act and we can't work with a control over the time of treatment."


The Massey Centre has told us, as have some other organizations, that they can't be tied even to two years. That's why my amendment is important to these service providers that the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Community and Social services fund.

If there isn't anybody in this room from the Minister of Housing's staff who can answer Mr Johnson's questions, it just points out once again how ludicrous it is for any reference to these programs to be before this committee under the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Mr Grandmaître: That's the problem with omnibus bills.

Mrs Marland: As my friend Mr Grandmaître says, that is the problem with omnibus bills. But at least some omnibus bills, sometimes you can rationalize a relation of one item to another, but when you can't get answers from the minister who is present, who is presiding over her bill, it proves that this section shouldn't be in her bill at all. And of course, that's what we've been saying all along.

So we've got a Minister of Housing arbitrarily making a decision through her bill that affects two other ministries that fund programs that are needed for vulnerable people who are in special treatment in this province today. I think it's a barbaric approach and I think it's insensitive to the service providers to take the control and the management of the programs away from them. If you don't like what they're doing, take the money away. You're probably doing a pretty good job of that as well, actually.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I will speak to the amendment to this proposed amendment. I do not support Ms Marland's amendment. The effect of her amendment would be to widen the application of the use of the special eviction process that is being proposed within this amendment and it would mean that we would not be able to make the kinds of distinctions which we believe are important about when that eviction power might be used, to what purposes it might be used and whether it might be used in a way that would not benefit the person involved in the program.

I should point out to Ms Marland that there's nothing arbitrary about the Ministry of Housing's interest or indeed responsibility in this matter. It was the decision of the government -- it may not be to her liking -- once we had received, for example, the Lightman report, that it should be the Ministry of Housing which took the responsibility for making amendments, securing the tenancy of people who had not had rights which were available to other tenants in this province. Those rights address concerns of people living in apartments in houses, those rights address concerns of people living in unregulated care homes, and it was very much a cooperative effort among ministries that produced the recommendations which are before the committee.

Further, on this particular amendment, I can personally attest to the cooperation among the ministry representatives who dealt with the concerns that had been raised by operators and concerns that in fact had existed in the drafting of the legislation in the first place. We feel that the proposal of the amendment is a reasonable way of providing that extra eviction power for program operators and we feel that it is important to build in the design of the application of that eviction power that you see before you in the main clause, which Ms Marland's amendment would remove.

Mr White: I would like to state very clearly that I think this is a very, very important issue. In my community, the Ministry of Housing, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Community and Social Services are all involved in housing in various and sundry different ways.

The Ministry of Housing, frankly, has over the last several years become much more involved than it ever has been, because my community houses the Whitby psychiatric facility and a large number of people who are former residents of that facility now need alternative accommodations within our community. What's important is that they not be denied their basic rights, that there be a mediation of what their rights to accommodation are and what their rights in terms of treatment and services are.

The clause that the minister is suggesting makes a great deal of sense for those reasons. Because someone is a patient or an ex-patient, should they have less rights than you or I? There is certainly a curtailment here, but how dramatic should that curtailment be?

I think the balance that the minister speaks of is an excellent one. It is one that allows people those rights that are basically the same as everyone else's. It only states very clearly that there are some rehabilitative programs and that for the most part -- and my own experience in that area is that I don't know of any residential rehabilitation program that would require more than two years of active treatment. I think this is an overgenerous time frame and certainly would allow for almost any ongoing treatment programs that happen outside of a hospital setting.

I think for those reasons it makes a great deal of sense to argue that the Minister of Housing is not the Minister of Health or the Minister of Community and Social Services. There is some legitimacy to that. However, the Ministry of Housing is much more involved with a range of different social programs than it has ever been in the past and has done so actively and well in my community. I can certainly attest that this minister has been very active in ensuring that her ministry is responsive to the needs of our communities, and mine in particular.

Mr Cordiano: I note that the time is quickly approaching 12, but let me just say that the real difficulty with this amendment, at the exclusion of any other consideration that was included in our amendment having extended the section that deals with the further exemption from six months to 18 months, is that it's a definitional problem and we can foresee difficulties around having to define whether in fact an agreement between a resident and an operator is therapeutic or rehabilitative. Notwithstanding that there is an agreement, it becomes interpretational whether that agreement is therapeutic or rehabilitative.

It's precisely because of that concern that we felt that the element of time should be the foremost consideration, because it was measurable and the true test would be the element of time, 18 months being what we heard from deputants as the average, the history that has been experienced by those, I might add, very good providers of care who were conscientious and quite serious about what they were doing.

We took those matters with a great deal of seriousness and we brought forward the amendment dealing with the 18-month provision, but it's precisely because no one has been able to define in a consistent, logical fashion what "rehabilitative and therapeutic" might mean in legislative fashion, the difficulties and complexities around doing that, that we felt the element of time should be the first and foremost consideration.

The Chair: Further questions or comments?

Mr Grandmaître: May I be on the list for this afternoon?

The Chair: You have further questions and comments?

Mr Grandmaître: No, for this afternoon, I want to be on the list.

The Chair: He wants to be on the list.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Is that to the amendment or the subamendment?

Mr Grandmaître: To the sub.

The Chair: Just before the committee breaks for lunch, I have an unrelated piece of business that I would like to deal with if the committee's so inclined. It is to pay the expenses of a Mr Barry Schmidl who attended the committee from Sudbury. The committee had agreed that it would pay the expenses of people who had to come to Toronto from other parts of the province that the committee was unavailable to meet with, and I would just ask that we have a motion from someone to pay Mr Schmidl in the amount of $295.09.

Mr Grandmaître: Is he the only person who made a claim?

The Chair: Yes. This is the only claim we have, and I think Mr Schmidl has waited some time for his reimbursement and that we could deal with it. If someone would just make the motion. Mr Winninger. All in favour? Agreed.

The committee will reconvene at 2 o'clock sharp.

The committee recessed from 1202 to 1409.

The Chair: The purpose of the committee meeting this afternoon is to reflect on the clause-byclause consideration of Bill 120. We were debating, as members would know, Mrs Marland's amendment to the amendment, government amendment to section 2.1. When we finished I had Mr Grandmaître on the list.

Mr Grandmaître: I'd like to address my comments and possibly questions to the minister. Madam Minister, this morning you were asked by the opposition why the Ministry of Housing was the lead ministry in this case. I think in your response to Ms Marland you did say that you were the lead ministry for the simple reason that you wanted to protect the rights and also to regulate not only housing proper but even the retirement homes and homes providing care.

My question to you is, if that's the real reason why you are the lead ministry in this case -- and maybe I should be asking the Ministry of Health or Comsoc -- why didn't those ministries address those problems where problems were identified?

I'm going to use as an example, for instance, the Rideau Place people who appeared before this committee saying: "We are not being subsidized by the Ministry of Health, we are not being subsidized by Comsoc, we're not being subsidized in any way, shape or form. Why would you want to regulate our home, for the simple reason that we're paying our way and we're receiving good services and we would like to retain or maintain these services as they are. We don't need the government to regulate us more than we are regulated now."

I find this a little strange. Why didn't you or the Ministry of Health or Comsoc attack the people who were or who you thought were breaking the law and/or didn't have any protection whatsoever? Why didn't you regulate these people, bring out some norms and say, "If you don't follow these norms, then you'll have to respond to us, to the Ministry of Health or Comsoc or Housing"? But in Bill 120 --

The Chair: And you're going to address this to Mrs Marland's amendment.

Mr Grandmaître: Yes, it's all part of Ms Marland's question this morning to the minister and the minister's answer.

Mr Gary Wilson: Is that the way you see it, Mr Chair?

The Chair: I'm sure the member always ties it together.

Mrs Marland: That's the way I see it, and that's all that matters.

Mr Gary Wilson: Mike isn't as genial as you are. She said that she's the Chair here, Mike.

Mr Grandmaître: Well, I'm glad we've got another Chair in place. Madam Minister, you've heard my questions. How come you didn't go after these operators who were breaking the law or you weren't satisfied with the maintenance of these services? How come you're taking the lead for these ministries? You're responding for the Ministry of Health and Comsoc. How come these people are not here to answer those questions?

We've heard from the Ministry of Health and also Comsoc, but now you're taking the rap for them, because you have to answer for the Ministry of Health. I know you've consulted with them, but I'm finding it very, very strange that you have to take that responsibility when really we're trying to regulate homes that are not being regulated and are not providing the services there they were designed to provide. How was it decided that your ministry would be the lead ministry in this with Bill 120?

Hon Ms Gigantes: The very simple answer to that question is that Dr Lightman, in his study of unregulated care homes across Ontario, which are many in number and spread over a wide range of levels-of-service costs and so on, but in his study he determines that one of the key things that would improve the situation for residents was to have housing measures in place, coverage by the Landlord and Tenant Act, coverage by rent control. These were his recommendations, and I certainly understand why he made those recommendations.

You talk about a case-by-case kind of regulation that you feel is more appropriate, you suggest it's more appropriate, but in fact much of the need for regulation can be addressed if we have protection for residents that enables them to use their own initiative to assure that their situation is a good one.

For example, you raised the issue of Rideau Place. We all know that in this world there are landlords who are wonderful and who will never have anybody call a rent control office or the Ministry of the Attorney General and say: "I've got a problem with this landlord. What are my rights?" They will carry on their businesses and maybe never, in all their years of experience, have anybody use the legislation which applies to the business they're operating, the Landlord and Tenant Act. They may never have anybody call a rent control office. Certainly, I've had landlords like that who have just been absolutely wonderful, and I've had landlords who made me call and say: "What are my rights? How long do I have to wait for the furnace to get turned on?"

We don't write legislation for each and every case. You say, "Enforce the law." The law doesn't cover unregulated care homes now, so what law is there to enforce? What you're suggesting instead is that where there are problems, ministries regulate on a case-by-case basis. But according to what standard? What are the rights of people who live in a care home?

At the upper end of the market people may be exceedingly content. Certainly people at Rideau Place have indicated to you and to me that they are very happy with their situation, that they feel they will never have cause to ask to have their rights in the Landlord and Tenant Act applied in their situation, that they feel they will never have any need to go to a rent control office and ask for assistance about an increase in the cost of their accommodation. We are not proposing -- which I believe that they did not understand, at least initially -- to regulate the costs of other services.

When you have a situation where in case after case, and this is what Dr Lightman studied, there are problems -- and there can be problems even in the high end of the market in terms of care homes. People have complained about the size of accommodation cost increases. That may not be the case now; it depends on the market.

But legislation won't be used by people if they don't need to use it, number one. Number two, rather than try and regulate on a case-by-case basis on whatever standard you want to set, doesn't it make sense to address those problems which can be addressed, as it were, generically, that have to do with people's rights to maintain their tenancy, to expect only reasonable increases in the cost of accommodation and so on?

It makes sense to me. That's why we do laws of a general nature, so that you don't have to run after every particular case and try to figure out the merits of that case; everybody involved knows what the règles du jeu sont and people then operate within a framework which is understood on all sides and generally judged to be fair. I hope that helps.


Mr Grandmaître: It does, Madam Minister, but you did use words that I didn't use. You used, three or four times, "on a case by case." I didn't ask you to deal with these homes case by case. I was simply advising you or telling you something that you already know, that we do have some good landlords, good care homes --

Hon Ms Gigantes: Absolutely.

Mr Grandmaître: -- good care providers, and you said let's use a generic form of regulation to regulate all of these people. I'm saying, why regulate good operators that may never have to use Bill 120? So I'm asking you, why didn't you pick and choose these bad operators?

Hon Ms Gigantes: On a case-by-case basis?

Mr Grandmaître: No, because you seem to think --

Hon Ms Gigantes: How else would you do it then?

Mr Grandmaître: -- that there are a whole lot more --

The Chair: Are we going to tie this to Mrs Marland's amendment 2.1?

Mr Grandmaître: -- bad operators than good operators, and I'm saying there are as many good operators as bad operators.

Hon Ms Gigantes: There are more good operators than bad operators.

Mr Grandmaître: Why didn't you go after the poor operators then?

Hon Ms Gigantes: We're not going after anyone. We're setting certain standards. Those standards actually do apply to rental accommodation across this province, except in the case of unregulated care homes and in certain exemptions that we have made in this legislation in hospitals and so on, and in situations where people haven't been able to exercise their rights in apartments and houses.

Mr Grandmaître: Yes, but people have told us --

The Chair: Mr Grandmaître, this is a very interesting debate, but it --

Mr Grandmaître: One last question, Mr Chair, I promise you.

The Chair: -- doesn't relate particularly to Mrs Marland's --

Mr Grandmaître: One last question and that's it. You've heard people saying we cannot operate under Bill 120. Ecuhome told us this; Massey Centre told us that. What will your bill do for these people when they say they cannot operate under Bill 120? Have you got a contingency plan for these people?

Hon Ms Gigantes: I wouldn't call it a contingency plan. We seriously do have a plan to work with operators who feel they are going to have troubles with the legislation being provided through Bill 120 and assist them so that they feel they can operate. We believe we can do that. We believe we can do it in all aspects about which they've raised concerns. We've given serious thought to each of the items they have raised with us and we believe, in a very positive sense, that we can provide assistance to them that will make their operations quite compatible with Bill 120.

The Chair: Further questions, comments, or even amendments, to Mrs Marland's amendment to the government motion 2.1. Further questions or comments?

Shall Mrs Marland's amendment to Mr Wilson's amendment to section 2.1 carry? All in favour? Opposed? The motion is lost.

We are now dealing with Mr Wilson's amendment to section 2.1. Questions, comments or further amendments.

Shall Mr Wilson's amendment carry? Carried.

Section 2.1: I have a Liberal motion.

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

"2.1 Section 81 of the act is amended by adding the following subsection:

"Agreement required

"(3) There shall be a written tenancy agreement relating to the tenancy of every tenant in residential premises for the purpose of receiving care services, whether or not receiving the services is the primary purpose of the occupancy, and the agreement must set out what has been agreed to in respect of care services and meals and the charges for the services and meals."

The Chair: Mr Cordiano, this amendment is out of order, as it is dealing with a section that is not open in this bill.

Mr Cordiano: Could I have unanimous consent to entertain this amendment?

The Chair: Mr Cordiano has asked for unanimous consent. Agreed? Agreed.

Mrs Marland: Boy, we should work all weekend. Things are improving.

Mr Gary Wilson: We may.

Mr Cordiano: Mr Chairman, if I may, this amendment is necessary to deal with the fact that in a care home there are a number of circumstances whereby it is essential for the landlord to enter the premises of a unit, a tenant's premises, to provide either emergency services or other types of services without having the provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act preclude that from happening, in as flexible a way as possible.

The Landlord and Tenant Act, I think, precludes this from occurring without written notice. For example, it requires that there be a 24-hour written notice for a landlord to enter the premises of the unit occupied by a resident in the case of emergency services or in the case of care that needs to be provided.

Actually, in Bill 120 there is no contemplation of those kinds of emergency services that need to be provided where a 24-hour written notice simply would not do, where someone needs the kind of emergency care services that often take place in a care facility. As we heard repeatedly from deputations, there are certainly a number of instances where this kind of care is essential.

Hon Ms Gigantes: On a point of order, Mr Chairman: Might I inquire which motion is being addressed?

The Chair: Section 2.1. Does anyone else have a problem with which motion is being addressed?

Hon Ms Gigantes: I got confused, because what was being said seemed more pertinent to further amendments.

The Chair: You may continue, Mr Cordiano.

Mr Cordiano: There are other amendments that deal with other requirements. There may be wrinkles to each of these, but I think all of these deal with the matter that is not dealt with in Bill 120; that is, there are circumstances which necessitate that a landlord must deal with tenants, and I guess with respect to this particular subsection, the agreement here dealing with this particular amendment deals with care services, meals and charges, and requiring that these be set out.

If I may, to the minister's remarks, I was attempting to address the purpose of a tenancy agreement, which would not only spell this out, but further amendments also deal with the authority that a landlord may enter the premises as part of a tenancy agreement. That is spelled out further in subsequent amendments, so I suppose the minister is somewhat correct in wondering where I was leading with this. But my explanation was attempting to deal with all of these amendments which in effect provide for a tenancy agreement to deal with a number of matters that are not contemplated in Bill 120, or at least are made virtually impossible to be dealt with by Bill 120.


All of these sections that come under section 2 and the subsequent amendments deal with a number of these items. This particular amendment under this section of the act deals with what must be set out in terms of care services and meals, and that is certainly something that I think can be supported by all members. The fact that there would be a tenancy agreement to spell out what charges for these meals and care services have been contracted with the landlord I think is going to make the situation much clearer for people to deal with.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I have some concern not about the intent but the wording. Perhaps I could ask a question of Mr Cordiano. If we removed the phrase "whether or not receiving the services is the primary purpose of the occupancy," would that in any serious way change what you're achieving here?

Mr Cordiano: That is a legitimate question. I think that was inserted for the situations where there are a limited number of care services provided. I think in that case it was of some concern that these people not be treated differently in a care facility. Where there was minimal care, such as someone having someone bathe them or something like that -- I can't contemplate what it might be, but it was a limited level of care that was being provided -- I felt that it was still important to include those residents to ensure that they also would be provided with these tenancy agreements in those types of situations.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I asked the question because, as you'll recollect, in the motion we just dealt with we had arranged wording or proposed wording, which was approved by the committee, that dealt with those people who are involved in a therapeutic or rehabilitative program, and we had also contemplated that there would be people outside that program in the accommodation.

My concern is that the phase "whether or not receiving the services is the primary purpose of the occupancy" suggests that everybody in the building will have to have a tenancy agreement for the purposes of receiving care services, whether or not they are receiving care services or whether the receipt of care services is the primary purpose of the occupant, which starts to get terribly confusing.

It does seem to me that your motion, without that phrase, accomplishes what it is you say you want to achieve. If that phrase were removed, I would have no difficulty with what you're proposing because it would in fact simply be an underlining in a legislative clause of what we already have made provision for in the bill, which is that each resident of a care home will receive a full information package from the operator concerning what services are provided, what the costs of those services are and so on. The normal arrangement is for an agreement about the provision of services to be entered into between the resident and the operator. That's normal.

This would simply spell it out. I don't have any concerns about how many times we spell it out in the bill. It's perfectly acceptable to me, except when you're saying that you're going to require such an agreement of people even if the prime purpose of their occupancy of the building is not the receipt of services.

Mr Cordiano: I think it speaks to the care homes where there is, as I say, a limited -- this was not contemplated to capture the rehabilitative or therapeutic centres.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I understand.

Mr Cordiano: This was designed for rest and retirement homes, those kinds of facilities. Therefore, it was our view that where they're providing care services, then an agreement was necessary between the occupant and the landlord, the operator of the home, because, as the case may be, there are a number of provisions within the care facility which, if not spelled out, would take it outside the Landlord and Tenant Act. You're not including care services in the Landlord and Tenant Act. That's not what the intent was, I believe.

Hon Ms Gigantes: In the Rent Control Act.

Mr Cordiano: Pardon me, in the Rent Control Act. That's right. I thought it was essential that these care services and charges for these things would be spelled out very clearly.

Additionally, as the other amendments deal with it, it is essential to have a tenancy agreement as well for the operator of a home to be able to go into the premises of a unit that is occupied by a resident to continue to provide care on an ongoing basis. The Landlord and Tenant Act precludes this from happening, unless there is written notice of 24 hours in advance.

We felt that was not acceptable, because there are many homes where care needs to be provided on an ongoing basis and where residents need to be checked on regularly within that 24-hour period, without having to resort to written notice each and every time this happens. It's a routine check on the residents or the occupants by the care providers. Therefore, it's essential to have this tenancy agreement to overcome that difficulty in the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Some would say that we shouldn't even bother with the tenancy agreement. Obviously this act contemplates that and more by virtue of the Landlord and Tenant Act covering that. We felt that there was some middle ground and that by having a tenancy agreement, the resident would be covered, because in effect they would be made aware of these circumstances by virtue of their agreement with the operator. It covers off those kinds of situations rather than resorting to the Landlord and Tenant Act, which is a very rigid, unyielding kind of circumstance to deal with. The regime of the Landlord and Tenant Act is much more difficult to deal with for operators of these homes.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I'm going to ask Scott -- I've forgotten your last name.

Mr Harcourt: Harcourt.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I'm so sorry. How can I forget the name Harcourt? I'm going to ask Scott to make a comment about the Landlord and Tenant Act as it applies to the entry of premises, of rental units. But first I'm going to ask you again, if I were to suggest the removal of whether or not receiving the services is the primary purpose of the occupancy, leaving your main objective, "There shall be a written tenancy agreement relating to the tenancy of every tenant in the residential premises for the purpose of receiving care services...and the agreement must set out," and so on, does that not accomplish what you're after?

Mr Cordiano: I'm not really sure, because, as I say --

Hon Ms Gigantes: I'm concerned that unless we take out that middle clause, what we're doing is opening up a field where people will be talking about what's the primary purpose of the occupancy for no good purpose -- for no useful purpose, without making a moralistic judgement on it.

Mr Cordiano: Without going into that area, I just think that if, by taking out this clause, you then preclude -- and this is my concern -- the occupant of a care facility from being included where there is limited care, where in fact these residents are there and are relatively healthy, shall we say, and there are very limited needs that are required by the occupants, therefore it becomes a question of how you define this, whether it's great care, where there is a therapeutic or rehabilitative requirement. By removing that sentence, I'm not so certain that you can then categorize these occupants or these residents in a care facility as being treated in the same fashion.


What I do not want to happen is, in a facility which houses tenants who receive a great level of care within that facility's mandate, a requirement to have a tenancy agreement or having the option to have a tenancy agreement, and those who receive limited care or virtually no care -- other than the regular goings-on in the facility, that is, meals and bathing etc or what else is required of a limited nature -- not being given the opportunity to sign a tenancy agreement by virtue of having removed that section of that amendment.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Can I ask this question? Is your concern that the tenancy agreement spell out the services provided or that it spell out entry provisions into a unit?

Mr Cordiano: No. That's dealt with in a subsequent amendment, and we'll get into that in another amendment.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Then could I suggest to you again that you've already said "the purpose of receiving care services," and the agreement sets out what is agreed to in respect of care services and meals and charges for the services and meals. So I think you're covered in your major objective there. The concern I have is that you're requiring everybody in the building, whether in receipt of anything besides accommodation, to sign a tenancy agreement. We don't do that.

If I rent a unit in a care home but I don't need any services and there are people who do that, why should I have to enter a tenancy agreement? About what? You say that a tenancy agreement is about the services and meals. That's fine.

Mr Cordiano: I will submit to this, that in this particular amendment it may not be necessary, but in subsequent amendments there is the requirement where there are no care services provided for additional measures. The 24-hour rule, which is something I've elaborated on already --

Hon Ms Gigantes: So it's the power of entry you're talking about?

Mr Cordiano: It's the power of entry in that particular case.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Okay. That's different.

Mr Cordiano: And in another case, there is a requirement for subletting, which I think has to be agreed to by the landlord, in my opinion. You may not share that opinion, but this particular wording would enable the landlord to make that determination.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Could you speak to the question of entry, Scott?

Mr Harcourt: The minister has asked me to comment on access provisions under the Landlord and Tenant Act. Currently a landlord may enter a tenant's premises if given 24 hours' written notice, if there is an emergency or if consent is given at the time of entry. There is one additional provision and that is if there is in a tenancy agreement provision that the landlord is required to clean the premises, the landlord may enter the premises for that purpose. All of those provisions are contained in section 91 of the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Mr Cordiano: Right.

Hon Ms Gigantes: What would constitute an emergency?

Mr Harcourt: I suspect if the tenant was frail or elderly and was not in good health and you couldn't get a response, that might be deemed to be an emergency. If the tenant was not responding for a length of time when trying to enter the premises, that might be deemed an emergency, those types of situations.

Mr Cordiano: Right, in so far as that is essential, in our opinion, so as not to leave anyone that is vulnerable in a particular situation where the care providers would not visit that person for at least a period of time which would be I think beyond what is acceptable in an emergency situation. That is the reason for that particular aspect of this amendment, to deal with that circumstance.

Hon Ms Gigantes: No, if I could, Mr Chair, what you're dealing with in the phrase "whether or not receiving the services is the primary purpose of the occupancy" is a question of somehow ascertaining whether the primary purpose is accommodation and service, ancillary service I think we'd probably call it in this committee, or whether it is primarily for the receipt of services and accommodation is somehow just considered a byproduct or a necessary attending factor.

Mr Cordiano: Again, I get back to this notion of having a resident in one facility which provides care on a sliding scale, if you will, or on a continuum. What I do not think is acceptable is to have two types of residents, one who has signed a tenancy agreement contemplating the fact -- you could do this if it were just for care services. I think you're right. I think in the case of those who would need care services, then you would additionally ask for a tenancy agreement.

But I think it's appropriate to suggest that in the case where there are emergency services required in those types of facilities -- I think your argument is, "Why should that be any different than anywhere else?" We're usually talking about the elderly. We're talking about perhaps frail elderly who are quite capable of looking after themselves, by and large, but need to have someone look in on them every once in a while.

This was what we heard repeatedly from care providers, from home operators, that they felt this would be difficult at the least to deal with circumstances like that where, for example, as I think one of the deputants said, someone is a smoker and is an elderly person and has a tendency to fall asleep while smoking, a very dangerous situation.

Home operators know this to be the case, know that person puts himself or herself in a dangerous situation and will then I suppose be visited by some person who is providing that care in the particular area of the facility. They'll have a watch, I suppose, or someone who comes in and ensures that this person is not putting himself in a dangerous situation, and the rest of the tenants in the building.

Those are the kinds of situations that are contemplated by the home operators and I think not dealt with easily by the Landlord and Tenant Act. I think this would be precluded if all we had was the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Getting back to the point where care is not the primary purpose, you have someone who is a smoker, you have someone who perhaps needs to be looked in on by someone who's providing care every once in a while --

Hon Ms Gigantes: Why do you care whether it's the primary purpose or not? This is what I have real difficulty understanding.

Mr Cordiano: Perhaps that change in the words "primary purpose" might ameliorate --

Hon Ms Gigantes: If we took out the phrase, then I see nothing inconsistent with the purpose of the bill and what you're trying to achieve. But when you start talking about, is this primary, is it not primary, whether or not receiving, when receiving, why receiving, who cares? What you want is an agreement around the care services and the meals and the charges.

Mr Cordiano: Not necessarily. What we want is for every resident in that type of facility, a care facility, which may or may not provide care at a high level but may provide some minimal amount of care -- you see, if that phrase is not in there, then that person who really has no need of any kind of care provision, I think if we take that out, perhaps what might end up happening is that everyone in effect would sign a tenancy agreement anyway, because you're entering into one of these facilities.

There would be some level of care that would be needed to be provided because that would simply be the way in which people would see this. I think they'll just make tenancy agreements a standard or something that is entered into in every single facility, and therefore, that level of care, again a definitional problem, would no longer be a problem. Quite frankly, if you want to take it out, I don't think it's going to be a problem.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I'm quite prepared to support it if we take that phrase out.

Mr Cordiano: Okay. Let's remove it, and I think that might accomplish what we want to accomplish.


The Chair: Mr Cordiano, do you wish to amend your amendment?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Can I take one more moment to consult? Fresh news from the front. Can you explain what you were just saying, Scott?

Mr Harcourt: Maybe I'll get legal to comment here. I think what the amendment, as it's worded, presently does is it incorporates the definition of "care home" into it, which is not defined in the Landlord and Tenant Act. That's why the reference is not to "care home." I'll get legal to comment on the result if the phrase "for the primary purpose of receiving care" is excluded.

Mr Lyle: Perhaps I could elaborate.

Mr Cordiano: Yes. That would be helpful.

The Chair: Could you just introduce yourself.

Mr Lyle: I'm sorry. I thought I was already introduced. My name is Michael Lyle. I'm a legal counsel with the Ministry of Housing.

There is currently an exclusionary definition in the "residential premises" definition in the Landlord and Tenant Act. It says that "residential premises" does not include "accommodation occupied by a person for penal, correctional, rehabilitative or therapeutic purposes or for the purpose of receiving care."

There was an equivalent, in fact an identical definition in the former Residential Rent Regulation Act. That definition in the Residential Rent Regulation Act has been interpreted by the courts to mean primarily for the purpose of receiving care. In other words, you don't get the exemption unless you're primarily for the purpose of receiving care.

I assume the reason why Mr Cordiano's motion has been worded the way it has is to ensure that we don't get into the issue of whether or not the --

Mr Cordiano: The primary purpose is care.

Mr Lyle: Exactly.

Mr Cordiano: That's what I thought I was addressing.

Mr Lyle: I think it actually achieves the minister's purpose. We can leave it as it is.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I don't believe you. Michael, for a moment, if I might, "There shall be a written tenancy agreement relating to the tenancy of every tenant in residential premises for the purpose of receiving care services." The agreement is about the receipt of care services. We're not into an exemption here, we're not into anything that has to be tested by the court, until we introduce this phrase, which I find difficult to stomach, about primary purpose. As soon as you say "primary purpose," you're into what's secondary, what's ancillary, all the discussion that we had yesterday.

Mr Lyle: The words in the proposed motion say, "of every tenant in residential premises for the purpose of receiving care services." Given the court decision, I think those words "for the purpose of receiving care services" would be interpreted as being primarily for the purpose of receiving care services.

Hon Ms Gigantes: No, no, no. I read this to mean that the agreement is for the purpose of receiving care services. I think what you're doing is introducing a complexity here that isn't required. There is no test that needs to be made here. The agreement is about care services. It's for the purpose of receiving care services. That's what Mr Cordiano has told us; that's what I believe.

Mr Cordiano: The intent here is to allow for those care services to be provided on a continual basis. Obviously spelling that out in a tenancy agreement would make it clear. If the courts have interpreted otherwise --

Hon Ms Gigantes: The courts were interpreting what constituted an exemption. They were setting up a test.

Mr Cordiano: That's right.

Hon Ms Gigantes: We're not setting any test here. We're just saying where care services are being received, there should be a tenancy agreement about it.

Mr Cordiano: Quite frankly, I think if you want to remove that clause, that's fine. Because of that interpretation, it was necessary to have that clause in there so that it would not be considered a total exemption.

Mr Lyle: It's definitely not an exemption.

Hon Ms Gigantes: It's not a test.

Mr Lyle: It's merely a question of to what tenancies does this particular provision apply.

Mr Cordiano: Yes. So in your opinion, if it were written as it was originally, this would then allow for all tenants to be covered in the same way, if they had a tenancy agreement.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Not if it's an agreement about services.

Mr Lyle: All tenants who are occupying residential premises for the purpose of receiving care services.

Mr Cordiano: Right.

Mr Lyle: That would not matter then.

Mr Cordiano: If they received care services as the primary reason.

Mr Lyle: There would be no distinction between those two.

Mr Cordiano: There would be no distinction and that's what I've been arguing, that I did not want to set up a regime where there were distinctions between one set of residents and another. I thought it was important not to have that in a facility. If we remove the words, as the minister has suggested, then would it not make it possible to have that kind of distinction?

Mr Lyle: I think you'd get an argument.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I don't think so. I don't think that's the test.

Mr Cordiano: I don't know, Minister, if that was your intent or not.

Mr Lyle: I think the minister is probably correct in saying, though, that given the context of this, we'd likely end up with the same result whether those words are in there or whether those words are taken out.

Mr Cordiano: That's what I'm saying, more or less, but since you bring up the point -- I'm willing to remove the words because I, quite frankly, don't think they have that much of an impact on this particular section. If that's acceptable, we will remove those words. It doesn't really much matter.

The Chair: Mr Cordiano, then you wish to --

Mr Cordiano: Further amend my amendment.

The Chair: By deleting --

Mr Cordiano: By deleting that wording, "whether or not receiving the services is the primary purpose of the occupancy."

The Chair: What you wish to omit is in the second line, commencing with the word "whether" and going into the third line, ending with the word "occupancy."

Mr Cordiano: Yes.

Hon Ms Gigantes: And you need to take out the comma.

The Chair: Thank you, Minister.

Hon Ms Gigantes: You're welcome.

The Chair: All in favour of Mr --

Mrs Marland: No, no, we've got some more discussion.

Mr Gary Wilson: We do?

The Chair: It was a good try, Mr Chair.

Mrs Marland: A whole hour has gone by and --

The Chair: Mrs Marland, you wish to discuss Mr Cordiano's amendment that he just placed?

Mrs Marland: Yes.

The Chair: Fine.

Mrs Marland: Should I mention -- or you don't want to mention this?

Mr David Johnson: I guess the first point to make here is that if you look in the Rent Control Act there's a definition of "care home." The definition of "care home" would be quite familiar, reading Mr Cordiano's amendment. It states that "care home" means "a residential complex that is occupied or intended to be occupied by persons for the purpose" -- now we go right to his amendment, the exact same words -- "for the purpose of receiving care services, whether or not receiving the services is the prime purpose of the occupancy."

Maybe my question is to the legal counsel again, who's just occupied his --

Mrs Marland: I don't think the minister heard what you said.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Oh, yes, I did.

Mr David Johnson: Here we have precisely the same definition in the Rent Control Act that this amendment is addressing.

Mrs Marland: Which is probably why it was drafted that way in the first place.

Mr Cordiano: Well, it was.

Mr David Johnson: Which is undoubtedly why -- and it seems to stand up here. Why does it stand up here? Have you got the Rent Control Act?

Mr Lyle: Yes, I do. It's section 4 of the bill.

Mr David Johnson: Section 4, yes, subsection 1.

Mr Lyle: It's much more important here, the use of the words "whether or not receiving the services is the primary purpose of the occupancy," because in this situation we essentially have different categories. We have residential premises which will be covered by the Rent Control Act, including all services, and then you have care homes where care services and meals are not subject to the Rent Control Act. So it's important to distinguish between those two classes.

Mr David Johnson: It's a little hard to know exactly why we're fussing about a few words here, but here it makes sense and legally it stands up and there's no problem with interpretation, I gather. The courts have not made any strange rulings with regard to this particular definition in the Rent Control Act.

Mr Lyle: This is a proposed definition in the bill, so it hasn't been passed into law as yet.

Mrs Marland: What, in the Rent Control Act?

Mr Lyle: You're referring to the definition of "care home" in the Rent Control Act?

Mr David Johnson: Yes. That's the definition that comes out of this bill, is it?


Mr Lyle: Yes. That's not current.

Mr David Johnson: But you don't anticipate any difficulty.

Mr Lyle: No. It was drafted to deal with that particular court case I referred to.

Mr David Johnson: So I'm a little bit at a loss as to why it comes out of this bill and makes sense here to put that into the Rent Control Act, but it doesn't stand up under this amendment in section 2.1. Isn't there some value in being consistent?

Mrs Marland: Where is it in Bill 120?

Mr Lyle: It's in subsection 4(1) in Bill 120. I think there is some value in being consistent and I think we are, in the sense that if you look at subsection 1(2) of the bill, which refers to the Landlord and Tenant Act, essentially the same wording is used. However, I think it's most important that these words be used in the Rent Control Act, because different categories of residential premises in the Rent Control Act are being treated in different ways.

Mr David Johnson: Does this imply that by the definition, in your interpretation of what the courts have said, somebody assesses how important the care services are and whether the care services are minor in nature or whether they're very prevalent in nature, and if the care service component is minor in nature, then you apply one interpretation and if the care service component is very major then you apply another interpretation?

Mr Lyle: What the court decision said was that the exemption that was in existence at the time should be interpreted as saying you exempt in the case where the primary purpose is care. What this provision says is that you will meet the definition of "care home" and will follow the rules related to care homes in the Rent Control Act if you have a situation where the purpose of the accommodation is for the receipt of care services, whether or not it's a primary purpose or a non-primary purpose.

Mr David Johnson: All right. Let me ask you about these scenarios. Suppose we have a situation where the care component is there but it's not -- I don't know how one defines the primary purpose, but it's a more minor purpose than the primary purpose.

Mr Lyle: It's an attempt to ensure that we don't get into that sort of issue.

Mr David Johnson: So if this amendment were passed the way it is and the care component was more minor than primary, presumably then still a tenancy agreement would be required, because this says whether or not it's the primary purpose.

Mr Lyle: That's correct.

Mr David Johnson: Now, if this clause were deleted with the same circumstance and the care component was more minor than primary, then what? Is a tenancy agreement required or not?

Mr Lyle: Then you would get into the argument of whether this particular court decision should be applied to interpret these words in this particular context.

Mr David Johnson: So then it does leave it open. I think this is Mr Cordiano's concern, that he wanted all the people to be treated the same, and you're saying there would be some doubt if this clause is removed. If you were receiving care but it was not a whole lot of care but it was some care, then based on that court's interpretation of that other clause, one could argue that you're not receiving enough care such that a written tenancy agreement would be required as a result of this clause.

Mr Lyle: Would not be required I think is what you wanted to say.

Mr David Johnson: Would not be required, yes.

Mr Lyle: That's my concern.

Mr David Johnson: So we get into that kind of situation. Wouldn't it be more clear if the "whether or not" was left in and it would cover all cases and you wouldn't have to worry about that court's ruling?

Mr Cordiano: Could you repeat what you just said earlier, because it's critical.

Mr Lyle: Sorry, I'm not sure what comment you're referring to.

Mr Cordiano: The question of this clause creating two sets of residents, one set that is covered and another that is not.

Mr Lyle: No, I don't think I said that.

Mr Cordiano: Okay, what did you say?

Mr Lyle: This is not an exemption provision. This is a question of whether or not a written tenancy agreement would be required and the concern I expressed was that if we were to remove the words "whether or not receiving the services," the possibility is open, given the past case law on what the term "purpose of receiving care services" means, that could be interpreted as meaning only where the purpose of receiving care services is a primary purpose.

Mr Cordiano: Right, but where it's not, as is the case in many facilities where the primary purpose of the residency was not to receive care, because the courts would not interpret it that way because there's a limited amount of care being provided, that would not apply, that a tenancy agreement would not be necessary.

Mr Lyle: That's my concern, that it might be interpreted in that fashion.

Mr Cordiano: You see, that's the crux of the issue here.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Mr Chair, if I might, it may be that the words that are really scrambling us all around here are "for the purpose." As I read this clause, "There shall be a written tenancy agreement to receive care services," if we didn't say "for the purpose," then we wouldn't get into primary purpose, secondary purpose, whatever colour of purpose. We don't need that "for the purpose." There should be "a written tenancy agreement for the receipt of care services." Is that what you're after, Mr Cordiano?

Mrs Marland: But, Madam Minister, excuse me. I mean, we are all jumping in, but I think it's the easiest way to do it.

Mr David Winninger (London South): Except for the Chair.

Hon Ms Gigantes: I actually sought the Chair's agreement.

Mrs Marland: But, Madam Minister, if you don't like the "primary purpose" wording, then why did you put it in your own amendment to the Rent Control Act?

Hon Ms Gigantes: But that's different. That is a test. You're creating a test then.

Mrs Marland: I have a technical question, a procedural question.

The Chair: Fine. That should be a point of order, I guess.

Mrs Marland: Yes, I guess it is. You know, it's very interesting, as we're going through these motions, and they all start "I move that the bill be amended," etc, and section whatever or subsection whatever of the act, what I'm wondering is, because we've got a bill that's amending three or four or five acts, should these motions not be worded to identify which act we are amending?


Mrs Marland: I know where we are, but what I'm saying is, somebody who isn't sitting through these hearings and goes back over these amendments, it's not identified on each motion which act is being amended, it just refers to "the act."

The Chair: In the sections it's quite clear which act you would have to be -- generically, that works.

Mrs Marland: But in this case, we agreed to open section 81 of an act that isn't already in Bill 120, I'm saying. So I think we should have to identify the act.

Clerk of the Committee (Mr Franco Carrozza): But you have identified. If you notice, part I is the Landlord and Tenant Act, and the section that you would open is --

The Chair: It's an interesting point of order, Mrs Marland, but --

Mrs Marland: What you're saying is we're still in there. Okay.

The Chair: I think there is nothing out of order.

Mrs Marland: I wasn't suggesting it was really out of order; it was just a technical question. I don't have the floor.

The Chair: As you point out, the Chair has reasonably lost control here and he would like to restore some semblance of control. Mr Johnson actually had the floor when Mr Cordiano somehow managed a supplementary which somehow followed with another supplementary, but I think Mr Johnson has the floor.

Mr David Johnson: There's one other question I'd like to pose to our legal assistants. The minister's concern is that this would require a tenancy agreement for every tenant, whether or not they were getting any care. As I interpret her concern, she thinks that is a bit wasteful to have people who are not getting any care whatsoever, that they would have to enter into a tenancy agreement, as I interpret what she said. Maybe you interpret something different, from the look on your face.

Mr Lyle: Yes, that wasn't my interpretation of her concern.

Mr David Johnson: What was your interpretation that her concern was?

Mr Lyle: I believe her concern was that in using these words we would end up getting into a discussion of what the primary purpose of the occupancy was. But I'm sure she can --


Mrs Marland: But why wouldn't the tenants want the protection of a tenancy agreement?


Mrs Marland: That is the point.

Mr David Johnson: Let me ask you this: In terms of what we would be the most clear and avoid ambiguity, and considering the legal case in the court ruling, I guess, would it not be to leave the words "whether or not receiving the services is the primary purpose of the occupancy" in as originally proposed? Would that not be least subject to challenge, in your view, sitting there at this point, with what you know?

Mrs Marland: It's pretty tough for him with his view, sitting there, when the minister said a little while ago, "I don't believe you."

Mr David Johnson: But the minister said if you've got a contrary opinion she wants to hear it.

Mrs Marland: But she doesn't say she doesn't agree with him. She says, "I don't believe you," and the poor guy has to answer another question from us.

Mr David Johnson: Show a little backbone here.

Mrs Marland: Not the poor guy. Mr Lyle.

The Chair: Order.

Mr Cordiano: Mr Chairman, the point is -- oh, is there a question?


Mr David Johnson: All right, I think I interpret what you're saying then by your silence there.

Mr Lyle: I'm quite happy to answer the question. I think I've already answered it. It's basically that I would prefer it to remain the way it is.

Mr David Johnson: You'd prefer it. This may not have been the minister's main concern, but if it was the main concern, that you're requiring a number of people to enter into a tenancy agreement, people who do not receive any care whatsoever, if that was your concern and this was wasteful, is that the way you interpret this whole amendment?

To me, from what you've said, this amendment says, "There shall be a written tenancy agreement relating to" and then the rest of it you have to read together, from what I've heard you say, "the tenancy of every tenant in residential premises for the purpose of receiving care services," so that all runs together.

Does the tenancy agreement, by the way it's stated, pertain to only those tenants who receive some care services, whether it's a little bit or a whole lot, or does the tenancy agreement, in your view, pertain to all the tenants, even those who do not receive care services?

Mr Lyle: In my view, a written tenancy agreement would only be required by this subsection in the case of a tenant who's receiving some level of care services.

Mr Cordiano: But see --

Mrs Marland: No, it's my turn next.

Mr Cordiano: I'd like to clarify this. I have the floor.

Mr David Johnson: So if it was somebody's concern that this clause would require somebody who received no care services whatsoever to enter into a tenancy agreement, you would say, to quote you -- well, I shouldn't quote you -- but you would say that you disagree with that opinion, and in fact this does not require a tenant who receives no care services to enter into an agreement.

Mr Lyle: Yes, I would agree with that.

Mr Cordiano: But see, look --

Mrs Marland: Oh, wait a sec, I guess I'm next.

Mr Cordiano: No, you're not. I had the floor to begin with. I conceded it to you as a courtesy.

Mrs Marland: Where am I on the list?

The Vice-Chair (Mr Hans Daigeler): Mrs Marland is next apparently, yes.

Mr Cordiano: I was on that list.

The Vice-Chair: Yes, you are, but after Mrs Marland.

Mrs Marland: I would like you to know it's 3:15 and it's the first time I've spoken legally since 2 o'clock.

I guess I have to, through the Chair, ask the minister a question because we're dealing with a bill here, which is An Act to amend certain statutes concerning residential property. We also have a reference to a Residents' Rights Act. We have a Minister of Housing who is so concerned about tenants in this province that she wants everybody to be protected by the Landlord and Tenant Act, right?

Hon Ms Gigantes: That's not what we're proposing.

Mrs Marland: But I am correct when I say that you are so concerned about tenants that you want everybody to be under the LTA.

Hon Ms Gigantes: You had your answer.

Mrs Marland: You would prefer it, so that's what you want.

Hon Ms Gigantes: That's not what we're proposing.

Mrs Marland: Now we're debating a motion of Mr Cordiano's which is giving a tenancy agreement to certain people and you want to -- because that's what you want. If the wording was good enough in your amendment to the Rent Control Act, I really don't understand why it isn't good enough here, because what you want is to protect their tenancy. If you want to protect their tenancy, why wouldn't you want all tenants to have a tenancy agreement?

I think the simplest way Mr Cordiano could word his motion would be to say, "There shall be a written tenancy agreement for every tenant in a care home as defined in subsection 4(1) of the bill." "Care home" is already identified in the bill. If you do that, Mr Cordiano, you've got a definition of "care home" and you've got a definition of the services that the minister endorses, because that's the wording she's got already in her Bill 120.

Mr Cordiano: Let's ask Mr Lyle what he thinks about that.

Mr Lyle: I'm not sure what the question was.

The Vice-Chair: Are you finished, Mrs Marland?

Mr Cordiano: Just a minute. She's going to ask him.

The Vice-Chair: Are you asking a question?

Mrs Marland: Do I have to repeat all of that?

The Vice-Chair: No. The only thing is that Mr Cordiano cannot amend his amendment to the amendment right now. We'd have to defeat this one first.

Mrs Marland: Wouldn't it be simpler if this amendment of Mr Cordiano -- you have his amendment in front of you?

Mr Lyle: Yes, I do.

Mrs Marland: Wouldn't it be simpler to address the concerns that he has, which we share? We agree with his amendment, but wouldn't it just be simpler for that amendment to say, as a section 2.1 of section 81 of the Landlord and Tenant Act, "There shall be a written tenancy agreement for every tenant in a care home, as defined in subsection 4(1) of this bill"?

Mr Lyle: You'd actually have to make a reference to a section of the Rent Control Act for technical --

Mrs Marland: "Subsection 4(1) of the Rent Control Act, which follows in this bill."

Mr Lyle: I think I might like to refer that question to legislative counsel. I think it's a question of preferred methods of legislative drafting. I think the preference is generally not to refer it to another statute if at all possible.

Mr Russell Yurkow: Actually, the same wording appears in subsection 1(2) of the bill. I think Mr Lyle had already pointed that out. Subsection 1(2) has already passed, so that wording would already be in the Landlord and Tenant Act. So you wouldn't have to refer to the Rent Control Act.

Mrs Marland: This is getting more and more fascinating. If we've already passed it in section 1 and the minister doesn't agree with the wording --

Hon Ms Gigantes: We haven't passed section 1 yet, but it's there.

Mrs Marland: We haven't passed section 1.

Mr Yurkow: Subsection 1(2).

Mrs Marland: Okay. I'm talking about --

Mr Cordiano: Under the definition of "residential premises."

Mr Yurkow: That's correct.

Mrs Marland: Subsection 1(2), the definition of "residential premises."

The Vice-Chair: This was stood down.

Mrs Marland: It was stood down, but I didn't hear the minister have a concern about the wording above "whether or not receiving the services is the primary purpose of the occupancy." Minister, why are you concerned with Mr Cordiano's wording when it's in a bill that you've already approved? I assume you approve the wording of these bills before they're tabled, do you? Do you approve the wording of the bill before it's tabled?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Let me see if I can explain adequately.

Mrs Marland: But can you just answer that question?

The Vice-Chair: Please let the minister respond.


Hon Ms Gigantes: The phrase may be appropriate and necessary for certain purposes in a bill, but not necessarily appropriate and necessary for certain other purposes in a bill. The purpose that Mr Cordiano is trying to achieve is to provide a tenancy agreement that covers matters related to care services and meals.

That seems to me totally consistent with the primary purposes of the bill, which will, among other things, provide that operators will set out information about care, care services, meals, costs, all those provisions of services within the care home. It therefore seems very reasonable that there should be a tenancy agreement.

However, if there is an occupant of a care home who may not be in need of care services, why should that occupant have to sign a care service agreement? This is a care service agreement; it's not an agreement about anything else. So why should the occupant who doesn't need the services have to sign a care services agreement?

Mr David Johnson: It says you don't have to.

Hon Ms Gigantes: There we disagree. I think that phrase implies that and I think the phrase "whether or not receiving the services is the primary purpose of the occupancy" is not useful here, because there is not a test here except the receipt of services. If you receive services, you sign a tenancy agreement. If you don't receive services, why should you have to sign a tenancy agreement?

Mr David Johnson: You don't have to.

Mrs Marland: In nine years I've spent a lot of time on committees going through clause-by-clause and I have never heard such convoluted answers in my life. The minister didn't answer my question, which was, does she approve a bill before it is tabled, a bill that carries her name? Do you approve a bill that carries your name, Minister, before it's given first reading? I want to wait for the answer to this question from the minister.

Mr Cordiano: Am I next on the list?

The Chair: Yes.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Yes, Mr Chair.

Mrs Marland: You do approve it? Thank you for answering that. So how is it that you approve a certain set of wording which is very specific and descriptive in the same section of the bill that Mr Cordiano's motion which is on the floor now is trying to make an addition to, and then in fact continue the same wording in the next section of the bill?

The wording is identical. I'm quite sure that whoever drafted this for the Liberal caucus went to the bill, checked out what the wording was in part I, went to part II, checked out the wording, and drafted his motion, the motion that would be coming from the Liberal caucus, to use the same wording.

Now we have the minister saying, "Oho, but you can only use that wording there and this wording there. You can't use this wording because it has a different meaning for your motion, Mr Cordiano. It has a different meaning."

Even legal counsel -- why do we have legal counsel? Who do we listen to on this committee? Do we listen to legal counsel, who is independent, non-partisan, or do we listen to the minister? What is the committee to believe in terms of the answers when we have a minister who doesn't say to legal counsel, "I don't agree with you," but says to legal counsel, "I don't believe you"? I think that's pretty degrading for that legal counsel, personally, and I don't think it's funny. I think it's degrading. I feel sorry for legal counsel to have to take that.

I think it leaves a very serious dilemma for the committee members because we come back to the fact that we are dependent on what we hear as a result of our questions in trying to deal with amending this bill clause by clause, and in fact in trying to deal in this particular case with Mr Cordiano's motion which is on the floor, we're dependent on the answers and the information that we glean from our questions.

We are put in a very difficult situation where legal counsel does confirm an understanding that we all seem to be able to have about the wording and what the impact of that wording is. Yet we have a minister saying, "I don't believe you. It doesn't mean that."

Where it's going to matter, as I said yesterday, it's only going to matter in one place. It's going to matter down the road when somebody walks in to their lawyer with this bill with the wording in the bill. If Mr Cordiano's motion is rejected on the basis that it uses the same wording in other sections of the bill, it's unbelievable. I really wish we had a video of this because I think we should keep it. It's historic.

Mr Cordiano: If I may, after a great deal of exchange here, I think we've come to a point where I almost understand what it is that we're doing.

Hon Ms Gigantes: That's good.

Mr Cordiano: That's pretty scary. I think there is a difference of opinion here between the minister and myself with the stated and original amendment. However, I should point out to the minister that, even by excluding the words that she finds unacceptable, in my opinion -- and I'm going to ask Mr Lyle to come before us again -- this would still apply to every tenant.

Mrs Marland: With his bulletproof vest.

Mr Cordiano: It would be necessary for that tenant to sign a tenancy agreement by virtue of the fact that meals are included, and if you look at the wording of the amendment, unless a tenant were to exclude himself from the meals portion of the program, which I find inconceivable --

Hon Ms Gigantes: No. There are places.

Mr Cordiano: Perhaps that might be the case.

Hon Ms Gigantes: There are places where some people take meals and other people don't take meals.

Mr Cordiano: Perhaps in smaller facilities.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Some larger facilities.

Mr Cordiano: I think meals are an essential part of what goes on in a facility each and every day for almost everyone in that facility, and I suppose they could exempt themselves from meals, but getting back to my original point, it was my intention to have everyone dealt with in the same fashion. By removing that wording, I don't believe that will be the case.

I'm somewhat concerned. I suppose in this particular section I'm not as concerned, but when we do get to the other sections or the other amendments that I propose, it is going to become evident that tenancy agreements are going to have to be entered into as a requirement of entry into these facilities and as a requirement for emergency access provisions, which I think is another feature of all of these.

Hon Ms Gigantes: If you don't have a tenancy agreement, you don't get accommodation.

Mr Cordiano: I think it's essential to have a tenancy agreement in order that there be access provisions because of Bill 120. I think as it stands now, anyone entering into these facilities signs an agreement.

Hon Ms Gigantes: An agreement for what?

Mr Cordiano: What do they sign now?

Hon Ms Gigantes: I think your main concern has to do with entry into somebody's unit.


Mr Cordiano: My concern has to do with a number of things, providing protection for those residents, consumer protection and also protection that is afforded to them to secure their residency in that institution. Because of the very nature of what we're dealing with, which is not entirely or exclusively accommodation because it includes care, we're having to do this. I don't think it would be essential if care were not a component.

Getting back to your point, however, my concern is that at one level or another, however minute, almost everyone in that facility will require care or at least the possibility for someone to look in on them in a facility such as this. That is why I think everyone entering into these facilities should have an agreement so that they themselves can determine just what those provisions might be. It's not to preclude someone from entering into the institution, or the facility -- some are institutions still -- but it is rather to give people the flexibility around how they want to be treated by the operators.

I think that's what this will do. In effect, it will be possible for a resident of a facility to say: "I want this level of treatment rather than what you're going to offer to everyone else. I want to be able to do this." It might be minimal, but it still spells it out in an agreement so there's no misunderstanding.

It further strengthens the hands of residents, because it gives them a contract by which then they can deal with an unscrupulous operator, if you will, who would have them go out on the street. This would preclude that from happening entirely, because even if they have their meals outside of a facility and even if they have a very limited amount of care, the fact that an operator would look in on them or have one of the attendees who is usually there to look in other people walk by and see that they're not smoking in their room after having fallen asleep is something that I think would not be precluded by signing a tenancy agreement.

That's why I think in almost -- well, I think in every case it's not going to be a deterrent. It's not going to be a way to exclude people from entering into a facility just because they have to sign an agreement. I think an agreement makes it all the more clear as to the rights of the individual resident and it would spell that out. In fact, a court would then have a way to determine that if there is an agreement there, that cannot by superseded by anything else. Mr Lyle, would you not say that that would be the case?

There would be no question as to the rights of that resident if they signed an agreement is what I'm saying, even if there was no care or limited care of the type that I spoke about, which was that an operator would have someone look in on a resident from time to time, requiring no additional care but simply the fact that someone smokes in their room and, as a safety measure, the operator would be permitted to enter the unit to look in on this person so that there isn't that kind of emergency.

Mr Lyle: I'm really not sure what you're asking me to comment on from a legal perspective.

Mr Cordiano: My point is that if we had everyone sign an agreement, it's not going to take rights away from that person who has minimal care provided to them. I think this is what the minister is concerned about. Why should a person who's not receiving that much care -- because I think in these facilities it could be argued that they receive some care, which is very minimal, and the care I'm referring to is the mere fact that someone looks in on someone who is a smoker, for example, to ensure they're not going to engulf themselves in flames.

It gives them the right to prescribe what is acceptable to the resident. It allows for that great flexibility. The tenancy agreement would allow each and every tenant to stipulate that in an agreement, and it would not have the effect of excluding someone, because everyone has a right to an agreement, whether that agreement is just one line or two lines or two or three pages.

Mr Lyle: I guess I'm still unsure as to what you're asking me in terms of a legal opinion.

Mr Cordiano: What I asked you was that the fact that someone signs a tenancy agreement would not diminish their ability to enter into a home or their right to enter into a home, because everyone would be offered the same right after having signed an agreement.

We're not saying that the agreement has to contain all of these provisions. I don't think we're saying in any of my amendments that it need necessarily provide for these things. Agreement could be reached between an operator and a resident to their mutual understanding.

Mr Lyle: Certainly, tenants' agreements are arrived at all the time and some are in writing and some are not.

Mr Cordiano: And they're all quite different.

Mr Lyle: There are some that are quite standard.

Mr Cordiano: And some that are very different.

Mr Lyle: True.

Mr Cordiano: We're not suggesting that all of them have to be the same. There may be a standard by which everyone agrees at some point.

Mr Lyle: But all are subject to the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Mr Cordiano: Right. Anyway, that's my point.

The Chair: Further questions or comments on Mr Cordiano's subamendment? Shall Mr Cordiano's amendment carry?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Is it amended?

The Chair: To the amendment.

Mrs Marland: I think he'd like to be here for the vote.

Mr Cooper: Was there ever a motion to have the amendment amended, to have that section taken out?

The Chair: Yes.

Mr Cooper: And that's what we're voting on?

The Chair: I can read it for you. Mr Cordiano moved that his amendment be amended by striking out the words beginning with "whether" in the second line and ending with "occupancy" in the third line.

Mrs Marland: Who moved that?

The Chair: Mr Cordiano.

Mrs Marland: So he moved his own amendment to take it out.

The Chair: Yes.

Mrs Marland: And the minister has said she would --

The Chair: All in favour?

Mrs Marland: Excuse me, I'm just asking a question.

Hon Ms Gigantes: There's a vote going on.

Mrs Marland: The minister said she would support it with that taken out, right? Okay. So we can do it without Joe here.

The Chair: All in favour of Mr Cordiano's amendment? Carried.

Mrs Marland: Now we're going to move on the motion as amended? Great.

The Chair: We will now consider Mr Cordiano's amendment, which now reads, and I'll just help the committee with this, "There shall be a written tenancy agreement relating to the tenancy of every tenant in residential premises for the purpose of receiving care services and the agreement must set out what has been agreed to in respect of care services and meals and the charges for the services and meals." Mr Cordiano, do you wish to speak to your amendment?

Mr Cordiano: I don't think much more needs to be said at this point. I think it's been made quite clear why we're doing this and I think we just move on with the vote on the amendment.

The Chair: Further questions or comments? Shall Mr Cordiano's amendment to section 2.1 carry? Carried.

Mr David Johnson: Can I ask a question? I note that it is not only Thursday, March 10, but it's after 2 o'clock. I wondered if the reports that the minister had agreed to distribute this afternoon are available.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Five minutes. There was one phrase we were going to change in the draft I just looked at. It's a very brief report.

Mr David Johnson: We're all looking forward to it.

The Chair: We are then to another motion from Mr Cordiano.

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

"2.2 The act is amended by adding the following sections:

"Tenancy agreement: right to consult

"81.1(1) Every tenancy agreement shall contain a statement that the proposed tenant has the right to consult a third-party advocate in respect of the agreement within five days after the agreement has been entered into.


"(2) The tenancy agreement comes into effect on the expiration of the five days unless the proposed tenant notifies the landlord, in writing, that the agreement is cancelled.

"Accessory apartment registration

"81.2(1) No person shall rent out an accessory apartment unless the apartment is registered with the municipality in which the apartment is situated.


"(2) A municipality may inspect an accessory apartment as a precondition to registration.


"(3) A municipality with which an accessory apartment is registered is entitled to a fee based on recovering its costs for the registration and the inspection if there is an inspection.


"(4) Every person who rents out an accessory apartment in contravention of subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and, on conviction, is liable to a fine of not more than $5,000."

There's quite a lot here. First of all, let's deal with the right to consult. This would simply follow on the introduction of the tenancy agreement.


The Chair: Mr Cordiano, this amendment is out of order as it deals with a section that is not open in the bill.

Mr Cordiano: I ask for unanimous consent.

The Chair: Do we have unanimous consent? Agreed.

Mr Cordiano: Dealing with the tenancy agreement, the right to consult, it would follow that having entered into a tenancy agreement, a resident would have the right to consult a third party in respect of the agreement that was entered into. This is for the protection of the tenant and resident in order that he or she may understand fully what he or she has entered into in terms of a contractual arrangement. I think that at the very least this would provide for a cooling-off period so that this person may in fact seek this third-party advice.

Just following on that, the provision-for-cancellation clause is there for the agreement to be cancelled by way of written notice after the five-day period.

Mr Chairman, for the next section dealing with accessory apartment registration, because it deals with section 81, these two are lumped together. Obviously, I had legal advice that this was appropriate. We're dealing with two different notions or two sections of the bill that are distinct, in my opinion, but deal with --

The Chair: I would suggest, Mr Cordiano, and to the committee, that perhaps the best way to proceed would be to deal with your proposed amendment sections separately, just so we can have a more logical -- based on usage.

Mr Cordiano: I was hoping you would say that, Mr Chairman, because we can deal with the tenancy, the right-to- consult and cancellation provisions first and then get into the discussion around accessory apartments.

The Chair: Is there further discussion on Mr Cordiano's amendment relating to section 81.1?

Hon Ms Gigantes: I would indicate my support for that section of his amendment.

The Chair: Further discussion? Shall subsections 81.1(1) and (2) carry? Carried.

Now we'll deal with the next section, 81.2.

Mr Cordiano: The accessory apartment registration obviously is going to take us in a new direction which I think will take some time. That's a prelude to the discussion that will ensue on this.

It is our opinion that it is absolutely critical for municipalities to be able to register every unit that exists out there. We heard time and again from municipalities that they had no way of knowing where these currently illegal units, and I might add unsafe units, exist, where in their municipalities they are in fact located. This provision for registration would enable a municipality to identify where these units currently exist.

As well, this deals with the necessary inspection that would ensue. In order for us to make units safe, in order for municipalities to ensure that these units are safe, they need to make inspections of these units.

I think it's only reasonable that we afford that possibility in this legislation by, firstly, making it a requirement for these units to be registered so that the municipalities know where these units are located. It is mandatory that they register. That is the only way to compel people to register with a municipality. It's not an option; it is a mandatory requirement. You register your unit and as a matter of having registered, the municipality then has every possible way to make an inspection necessary.

The other item deals with the fee and of course the penalty. The fee is necessary on a cost-recovery basis, because as we heard from, I believe it was, the fire chief of Mississauga, it would take 84 man-years, I believe he said, to inspect every single unit in Mississauga. If they had one person working on it for the next 84 years, that's how long it would take. They simply could not inspect every unit in the city.

That does not even speak to the notion of having the municipality inspect these units additionally to the fire inspection that might take place. There is a problem with inspection and the question of who's going to pay for it. This is not something that we should take lightly. To ensure that these units will be safe places in which to live is what I think one of the requirements of this bill was intended to be, that these units be made safe. I don't believe that Bill 120, as it is conceived and as it is written at present, will do just that, because simply by making units legal as of right will not compel these people to come forward and make their units safe. There's no incentive to do so. In order to make them safe they're going to be required to spend additional dollars to bring them up to a standard that is acceptable in terms of the building code, the fire code etc.

In my mind, if you're going to legalize these units as of right, then you have to give the municipalities the ability to inspect the units, to make it mandatory, as well as give them the necessary resources on a cost-recovery basis to inspect these units to ensure that they are in fact safe. Failing that, I don't believe for an instant that this legislation will lead to safer places to live. I'm quite convinced of that, Madam Minister.

I don't believe that simply by waving a magic wand people are going to instantaneously come forward or that the provisions of the bill whereby a municipality can search the premises of a unit with a search warrant will even provide the incentive for municipalities to go out and inspect these units. I don't think that's the case.

I think this may also happen: It's not contemplated in the bill, but other people exposing the fact that there's an illegal unit and then having to be granted a search warrant to inspect the premises to ascertain whether or not this is a safe unit is quite an ordeal to have to go through. I just don't think this will happen. I think it's necessary that we allow for a municipality, firstly, to register the units, and I'm going to reiterate this, to identify where the units exist in a municipality by requiring that every single unit register with a municipality. There is no question that then these units will be identified and that then these units will be inspected for safety.

I think that's what this amendment will do, and I think and hope that every member of the committee would support these amendments, because they speak to the requirements for safety and they speak to the needs of those vulnerable tenants who will be living in these unsafe units if we allow the bill to go forward without these necessary amendments.


At the end of the day are we not concerned, as we heard repeatedly from the numerous people -- there was a fierce debate one day when the mayor of Mississauga was here. Quite frankly, I don't want to engage in that kind of rhetoric, because we put people first, and by putting people first, let's make it happen. Let's give municipalities the right to inspect these units and let's ensure that safety is of the highest order in this legislation. Let's ensure that by allowing municipalities the necessary tools in order to make those inspections and by requiring that units be registered with every municipality in the province of Ontario.

Mrs Marland: I think one of the most significant briefs on the subject of accessory apartments that this committee received was one that was apolitical. It was the one presented to the committee by Cyril Hare, the fire chief of the city of Mississauga. He speaks very strongly to a number of issues which actually are not within the municipal purview in terms of jurisdiction.

One of the things he talks about and why I am supporting the motion that's on the floor is that without a registry the municipality simply doesn't know where these accessory apartments exist. For firefighters, of course, when they go to a home, if that basement apartment isn't registered -- if it happens to be in the basement; it obviously isn't always in the basement -- there is always a tremendous risk for those firefighters onsite anyway, but there's an added risk for them when there are two homes in one building if one of them happens to be in the basement.

If they know that there is a basement apartment and that in all likelihood there would be occupants there -- obviously, if it was a nighttime fire, that likelihood would be greater -- they would approach the fire differently and they would deal with the circumstances differently.

When firefighters go into the basement they are at the greatest risk in that house. Tragically, we've had some very real examples of that in Mississauga, where our firefighter of the year last year was very badly burned because of the back draught in the basement.

When we're talking about the importance of registering where these homes are, we also have to talk about the other part of the tool, which is that when they are registered we have to be able to inspect them to ensure that they are safe. As much as, ideally, we want to do both of these things, neither of them is going to be easy to accomplish because the reality is, as Chief Hare said, and I quote on page 12:

"Accessory apartments are most often occupied by immigrants and the disadvantaged. These people are the people who are least likely to know their rights and are often afraid of government authorities. The majority of our complaints come from disgruntled neighbours, not from tenants."

I think that when Chief Hare is saying that, he's speaking from his broad experience and he's warning us that simply passing legislation isn't going to make it happen. He's warning us that he has a concern with Bill 120, and I quote again so that you don't think I'm paraphrasing or misinterpreting what Chief Hare said to this committee. He said, on page 11: "The current bill requires registration for the purposes of rent control, but does not contain any requirements for registration with municipalities for the purpose of safety."

There has to be a tremendous irony there, because what would be more important to that tenant than their safety? Certainly, if the families and relatives of those people we have already lost in fires in basement apartments had any choice, it wouldn't be a matter of controlling the rent, because in basement apartments the marketplace has been controlling the rent anyway. It certainly would be anything that could be done for the purposes of safety. When the fire chief has to point out to us that this bill requires registration for the purposes of rent control, but doesn't make any requirements for the purposes of safety, we have to look with great concern on that aspect of the bill.

Without a registry, we are dependent on somebody identifying that an accessory apartment exists. Then, when that happens, in order to be sure that apartment is safe, it has to be inspected. It's true that Chief Hare said, and I quote again, on page 10:

"In Mississauga, by the Ministry of Housing staff's own estimates, there are approximately 10,000 unregistered accessory apartments." Those aren't Chief Hare's estimates, they aren't the city of Mississauga's estimates and they're certainly not Margaret Marland's estimates; they are the Ministry of Housing staff's own estimates. He goes on to say: "Conservatively estimating the person-days required to inspect, review plans, reinspect and occasionally prosecute offenders at two person-days per apartment, gives my municipality approximately 20,000 person-days of work. This is equal to 87 person-years. This estimate does not take into account the social contract. There is no municipality that has enough fire prevention or bylaw enforcement staff to complete the inspections within a reasonable amount of time." That's the end of the quote.

Without compulsory registry, which is what the motion on the floor speaks to, how is the bill going to do anything about ensuring the safety of people who have these accessory apartments, the people who occupy these accessory apartments, or even ensure the obligation of the people who own the buildings and benefit from the income from those accessory apartments to fulfil an obligation in law? It simply isn't going to happen.


If the province made a registry of these apartments mandatory, then as soon as the first few illegal apartments -- they now would be illegal because they're not registered -- were charged a substantial fine for not registering, we would find that people would very quickly come on board to register their accessory apartment in their building or they would choose to discontinue it, one or the other.

If you're going to be in favour of basement apartments, you take on a tremendous responsibility. If you're in favour of basement apartments, you're saying that it's okay for people to live in a facility which may put them at very high risk in terms of their personal safety. Although Bill 120 is going to tell people in basement apartments that they can have an inspection to ensure that their apartment meets the requirements of the fire code -- whatever those are going to be; we haven't heard yet what they're going to be -- and although Bill 120 says that everybody can have an accessory apartment as of right, regardless of zoning, although it gives all those rights, gentlemen, it's only paper. Things don't happen because a government passes a bylaw or a statute. That is not the enforcement tool. It simply is paper. By passing Bill 120 and saying that as of right there will be legal basement apartments or accessory apartments, and people don't have to worry because they can now demand that their facilities be inspected, first of all, how many of them are going to know that they can ask for inspections and, secondly, who's going to pay for the inspections? How are they going to happen?

When the municipalities tell you, as they have a number of times through presentations to this committee and through their province-wide organization of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, AMO, "Give us the jurisdiction because we want to decide from a planning point of view where accessory apartments may go," there's a reason for that. One of the reasons is from a planning point of view, but the other reason is that they would then know where they are, they would have the control.

All you're doing with this bill, especially if you vote against this registry requirement, which is the motion on the floor, all you're saying is that they can be anywhere and that they can be inspected. That takes the responsibility away from me as a legislator. If you vote for Bill 120 as it is without a mandatory requirement to register an accessory apartment -- it's a little hard to talk when there are discussions going on at the same table -- if you think that's good enough for you, then that's got to be your decision and up to you and your conscience. But you must know, as intelligent men -- it's ironic that I'm the only woman on the committee today -- that things don't happen just automatically because a province or at least a level of government says so. It just doesn't happen.

If that were the case, we wouldn't have an underground economy that's scooping away 15% in taxes across this province, because the law says there has to be 7% sales tax and 8% -- or the other way around. The law says that retail sales tax must be collected and it says the goods and services tax must be collected, and it's not happening.

I say to you that because we suddenly say these apartments are legal and because we say that the people who live in them can ask for inspections from the fire department and from their municipality, that it's going to happen, it isn't and it can't happen in the format that is outlined in this bill simply from the real, practical aspect of it.

When Chief Hare talks about 87 person-years just in Mississauga, who's going to pay for it? Where do you think the money's going to come from? If they were to hire all the staff that is required for this, then there would have to be an onus on the person who owns the house, who benefits from the income from an additional accessory apartment. Maybe that is the solution; maybe that is the way it could be worked out.

I believe that if you're going to legalize accessory apartments, of course there has to be a way of ensuring that they're safe, but my warning to you is that it's not going to happen just by passing a bill, without keeping some control over what happens next and what this motion says is, "No person shall rent out an accessory apartment unless the apartment is registered with the municipality in which the apartment is situated." As soon as you go to register your accessory apartment, the municipality can ask you if it's been inspected and you would be able to show a certificate if it had, so we would know there was no fire risk to those occupants, and if it hadn't been, there would be a fee, the same as any building certificate fee or a building permit fee.

You can't do anything to your house -- I think it's 100 square feet. If you build anything bigger than 100 square feet, you need a building permit. There's a reason for building permits. It's not some income-generating source for a municipality, and those of you who perhaps have been municipal politicians, as Mr Johnson and I have been, know full well that the cost of building permits is covered by the fee. That's because it takes staff time to look into whether a building permit will be issued. A building permit is issued to say that the building meets the Ontario Building Code, whatever the construction is. The reason we have an Ontario Building Code is the same reason we have an Ontario fire code; that is, to ensure the safety of the occupants of that building.

The Ontario Building Code doesn't deal with exterior cladding and how a building necessarily looks. A building code deals with the safety features and the structure of a building. You obviously know what the fire code addresses. But if you want to have a building or an addition to your house or a major renovation to your house, you have to get a building permit, and you pay a fee for the building permit. So if you're going to have an accessory apartment and you're going to benefit from that income, then you're going to have to have it inspected to ensure the future occupants are safe, just as the house you are living in originally had a building permit to say it was safe when it was originally constructed, and it's all done on a fee-for-service basis.


Without a mandatory registry in every municipality, none of these things is going to happen. I was wondering whether we should suggest how a registry might be engineered, but I think it makes far more sense to leave it up to a local municipality to decide how it wants to manage its registry, but just to ensure that they have one. The cost for it obviously would be on a user-pay basis. That's the only way a municipality will be able to staff up to meet all the inspections that are going to be needed so that those of you who vote in favour of basement apartments can sleep at night because you know they're going to be inspected. They're going to be inspected because everybody is going to know about it.

Do you know something else that's interesting? Usually, neighbours know where these accessory apartments are, and I think, with the high profile and publicity that's happened -- I'm speaking as the Housing critic for our party, which obviously is a province-wide responsibility, but speaking also as someone living in a municipality that has had two tragic fires in basement apartments in the last three months, because of the publicity that has drawn and of course the ongoing inquest into one of those tragedies, if the province passed this bill with a requirement that all basement apartments be registered, I think you'd find a lot of information flowing into the municipal offices or to the locally elected councillors about where these apartments exist.

That also, of course, brings me to another tool that has to be part of this whole thing which is not addressed in Bill 120; that is, the fact that the fire chief doesn't have the right of entry that he needs because of this bill. That's something else Chief Hare speaks of. If we're talking about registering accessory apartments and then the following requirement for inspection, I think it's important to look at what Chief Hare said on page 9. He says:

"An issue that goes hand in hand with the fire safety regulations is the right of entry. Bill 120 proposes to have the enforcement agency obtain a search warrant before compelling a property owner to allow entry. Although the bill proposes to make the obtaining of a search warrant easier, it is not sufficient. When obtaining a search warrant the informant must have `reasonable and probable grounds to believe that an offence has taken place.' Unless you have been in the building, you will have no grounds to claim that there is a violation of any regulation. It has been our experience that a justice of the peace will not grant a search warrant without substantial evidence. In 1993 in Mississauga we were denied" -- we being the fire department -- "a search warrant even though we had an affidavit from a person who had been in a residential premises that we wanted to inspect."

You can't be in favour of basement apartments and give half the authority. It's like saying: "Okay, this is fine. As of right, everybody can have them. They're going to be legal, and we're not going to have to worry any more about people being burned to death in them because they're going to be inspected. So it's all off my shoulders. I don't have to worry any more if I vote in favour of this." It's not going to happen.

I think that the motion that's on the floor goes partway to meeting some of the concerns of the fire chief, those of you who were privileged enough to hear his presentation, and I realize there were other fire chiefs who made excellent presentations also to this committee. There were other fire chiefs from around the province who wanted to, and time didn't permit hearing from them.

I really feel that you've got a tremendous responsibility if you're voting in favour of Bill 120 as it is, without the necessary amendments to make safety and protection of those accessory apartment occupants protected.

Mr David Johnson: I obviously have problems with this legislation as it's intended. I will be supporting the particular amendment that's before us because it makes a bad situation a little bit better. As I was sitting here, I was leafing through some of the letters that have just come to us within the last day, I guess. I've come upon one from my own constituency. It's called the Don Mills Residents Inc. Their view in terms of the whole issue of accessory apartments is that they are certainly opposed to it and are registering their concerns. That's one of many letters that are before us today.

I see a letter from the city of Brantford. The city of Brantford has expressed to the "ministers of Housing and Municipal Affairs and to the Honourable Brad Ward...its opposition to the proposed amendments to the Planning Act" to allow for a second residential unit as of right in a single detached house. In terms of their rationale, I think this is probably fairly representative of most municipalities. They've indicated that it's an unprecedented intrusion on the traditional authority of municipalities to plan, zone and regulate land use within their communities.

They, I believe, are expressing what many municipalities have expressed, that they, along with their citizens, have planned their communities over many years and they planned those municipalities to take into account varying local circumstances.

This was reflected in some of the deputations that we heard, not only the letters that we're getting now but in terms of the deputations that we heard through the hearing process. I recall, for example, the mayor from Waterloo being before us and indicating that the housing in Waterloo was very influenced by the fact that the university was there and that they had set in place some different zoning close to the university to accommodate students. But they were deathly afraid of this particular bill because the housing they had set in place permitted up to five people, I think, in a residence. It was not uncommon to have five students renting a house.

What would happen under this bill, according to the mayor of Waterloo, would be that there would be two units permitted, as of right, with five people in each unit. So instead of having five people in a house, you'd have 10 people in a house -- 10 students in a house, more than likely, near the university -- and this was not contemplated in their planning that they had pursued for many years with their local citizens. This undoubtedly will cause severe problems in the Waterloo area.


The city of Brantford also makes the point that it doesn't take into account local conditions, just as it doesn't in Waterloo and, I might say, in the city of Hamilton. There was, again, a deputation, not from the council but from a citizens' group that apparently was put together with the support of the city of Hamilton. In view of the older housing stock in the city of Hamilton, in view of a housing stock that had in many cases what they called cellars, I guess, as opposed to basements, they had to put in place certain zoning in the city of Hamilton which permitted accessory apartments up to a certain point, but they could not support a complete as-of-right situation in the city of Hamilton.

This, in the view of this particular group, would cause not only concern, but would cause economic hardship in the core of the city of Hamilton. This is something that has been developed in that city with the people there over a period of time and again developed because of the nature of the housing stock and various circumstances in the city of Hamilton.

I recall the mayor of the city of Ottawa being before us and indicating that in her municipality -- and, Mr Chair, I see from the smile on your face that you may recall it too -- there was at least one prominent area, and there have been more than one area, that was prone to basement flooding in the city of Ottawa. It was her view that this is going to cause severe problems in the city of Ottawa if we're looking at an as-of-right situation in terms of basement apartments, for example, accessory apartments -- in the case of Ottawa, probably basement apartments -- and that this is certainly going to cause a problem and perhaps a very unhealthy situation.

I certainly had the opinion that the city of Ottawa was supportive in terms of housing initiatives in general and I think the city of Ottawa has a reputation in terms of being more supportive of housing issues, but I must say that I was pleased to hear that many cities have expressed support, in their own way, for housing initiatives, Ottawa certainly being one of them.

The city of Etobicoke came forward and the representatives from the city of Etobicoke told us that they had passed, back in 1990 I believe it was, a policy pertaining to accessory apartments. They had sent it along to the Ministry of Housing and they had yet to receive a response to it. It was a policy that was formulated in consultation with the council, of course, and its citizens and its staff. It was a policy that had certain conditions tied to it to meet the local circumstances, but they had failed to get any response from the Minister of Housing. Yet they were accused apparently -- some municipalities were accused, at any rate -- of not taking action that was fast enough or appropriate and, consequently, we have Bill 120.

Looking through, I see the city of Sarnia -- I suspect this pile of the municipalities is endless. The city of Sarnia goes on record that it "objects to the provision set out in the residential properties statute law amendment act, 1993, with respect to those regulations...of the as-of-right creation of a second dwelling in detached or semidetached or town house dwellings."

The gateway to the Kawarthas, Lindsay -- we were in the town of Lindsay not too long ago. I think some other folks were in those environs --


Mr David Johnson: We both enjoyed it but at slightly different times, I suppose. I remember talking to the mayor and some of the council members of the town of Lindsay. They're very proud of their town. They have grave concerns, though, with regard to Bill 120, as has every other municipality that I've encountered. There must be one somewhere that supports this bill. I haven't found that municipality yet.

Hon Ms Gigantes: There are.

Mr David Johnson: There are? Okay, we'll come across them.

Mr Gary Wilson: On a point of order, Mr Chair: I really don't see what this travelogue has to do with the amendment we're discussing. It's a bit wide, isn't it? We're not discussing Bill 120 here; we're discussing the amendment put forward by Mr Cordiano.

Mr Winninger: He'd rather discuss Kingston anyway.

The Chair: I am sure Mr Johnson will keep his comments to the amendment.

Mr David Johnson: Mr Cordiano's attempting to put in an amendment that will pacify, to a degree I guess, the concerns of the municipalities that I'm mentioning. Certainly, all of these municipalities, in terms of their concerns, are expressing some of the concerns that I guess are addressed in this amendment. They're expressing a number of concerns, and I wouldn't want to be accused of minimizing their concerns.

Mr Gary Wilson: I don't think I'm doing that at all. I'm just saying that we are talking about one specific amendment here and Mr Johnson is all over the map, literally and figuratively.

Mr David Johnson: I'm just looking here with regard to the town of Lindsay and some of the concerns that it has. I know that one of the concerns they have is addressed in here, which is the right of entry. This is one that comes up with all municipalities.

In this particular amendment that Mr Cordiano has put forward, it indicates that for an accessory apartment to be rented out it must be registered first, and a precondition of registering would be that the municipality may inspect the accessory apartment. This gets at one of the concerns.

I would say that the major concern the municipalities have is that the provincial government has run roughshod over their authority that they've been given to plan their communities with their citizens, and they're wondering, given that this is the first instance of this treatment of the local municipalities, what can they expect next? What's going to be next on the horizon? How are they going to be disregarded in the next instance?

One of the concerns is that they have not had the ability to get in and inspect accessory apartments or basement apartments. This amendment by Mr Cordiano at least opens the door to that possibility, and I guess as Mrs Marland has indicated, even if your view is that municipalities are being snobbish or they're not being responsive or they're not toeing the line enough, at least I think you have to say that safety is a very prominent issue with regard to this whole bill.

Without the possibility of municipalities getting in to inspect, which we've already heard from Mrs Marland in terms of the fire chief -- the fire chief has indicated that the provisions of this bill, the way it stands today before us, do not permit the municipalities to get in to do the inspection they need to do to ensure that the apartments are safe.

This amendment will allow that to happen in the first instance. It doesn't speak beyond the first instance, I guess, so down the road somewhere there may be problems, but at least it's a starting point and at least it allows the municipalities to get in in the first place.

I'm looking at the deputation from the fire chief of the city of Scarborough and to use his words, "Owners of accessory apartments in the house must be required to register these units with the local municipalities." Here's a fire chief in one of the largest cities in the province saying: "If you want us to have a fighting chance of ensuring some sort of safety in these units, they must be registered. The registration of these units would be advantageous in many ways, including assisting the local fire departments in scheduling inspections, review of the plans, reinspections and prosecution where infractions of the regulations occur. The owners of these properties would also be required to maintain the accessory units in acceptable condition enforced through an inspection program."


So municipalities cannot ensure the safety. They may not be able to ensure the safety under any circumstances, but certainly if they don't know that an apartment exists, then they cannot be held accountable or they cannot hope to have a higher degree of safety. If safety is the key issue, safety is why they're being registered and safety is why we need an inspection of the apartment, and in that regard that's why I asked earlier this week questions pertaining to the fire regulations, for example.

I'm glad to see that the minister has indicated that it is the intention to proclaim the new fire regulations at the time the apartment-in-houses provisions of the bill come into effect. We've seen draft regulations. I don't know if the final regulations are going to be the same as the draft regulations or not, but it would've even been superior if those regulations had been issued first, because I know the fire chiefs are very concerned about them, and there remains some concern.

I didn't really expect we'd be into this debate today so I haven't got my copy of the draft fire regulations with me, but there remains some concern about the access into these units and whether or not one of the accesses should be through or can be through another unit. If that's so, I know that's causing some of the fire chiefs a problem. I believe the draft fire regulations permit the access into the unit to be through another unit.

Hon Ms Gigantes: There has to be a second.

Mr David Johnson: There has to be a second access, but that second access can be a window, as I understand it, a window that is a certain height off the floor. Certainly, from the fire chiefs I've talked to, there are a number of them who are not fully satisfied with that. Now, I know that some of the fire chiefs assisted in terms of putting this regulation together. I think they view this as a minimum though, an absolute minimum, and there are many of them individually who are not really happy that the fire regulations, as they're drafted, are going to be adequate, that you could have one access through another unit.

There's concern that if a tenant can't get through that other unit somehow, because of a key situation or whatever, yes, there's a second access, but if that second access is a window, there will be a certain percentage of the population that will have difficulty getting up through a window, either the elderly or those who are disabled.

It's not a very good situation. The fire chiefs, certainly to me -- I can think of the fire chief in the city of Ottawa, who actually wasn't permitted to make a deputation. I guess the official line is that he put in his request too late, but I can recall him sitting throughout the whole morning, I think it was, hoping to be able to speak. I thought we had some time at one point or at least we offered to come back early from lunch to hear him but that couldn't be arranged. I thought that was a pity, because he did express to me that he didn't feel that the regulations the way they stand are satisfactory.

Mrs Marland: We placed a motion and they voted against it.

Mr David Johnson: Well, that's true.

This raises the issue of the liability too. This amendment, as it stands, will allow the municipalities to get in and do an inspection if people indeed come forward and register, so it's a good step forward. My suspicion is that a lot of people will not come forward and register and that there will be many units that will not be registered. But nevertheless there will be certainly quite a number who will come forward, will register with the municipality and then the municipality will be able to inspect.

We've already heard from the fire chief of Mississauga that it was either 87 or 89, one or the other, person-years of work to inspect all these units. He has indicated that they simply can't do that. If all of them come forward, and even if half of them come forward, we're looking at a considerable amount of time. That isn't going to take place overnight; that's going to take place over a period of perhaps years. I don't know. It's going to take a long time to do that unless they hire a whole lot of staff, and certainly the municipal taxpayer isn't going to be too happy about raising that money. I don't know if there's going to be a grant from the province of Ontario to do that. I see the minister is contemplating that, but I haven't seen any provision in here for a grant to the municipalities.

Hon Ms Gigantes: That's right. You haven't.

Mr David Johnson: That probably means, since I haven't, that it's not there.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Grants are usually not in legislation, as you know.

Mr David Johnson: Grants are not in legislation. Maybe that leaves the door open a little bit.

Hon Ms Gigantes: No, it doesn't.

Mr David Johnson: No, it doesn't. The door is closed, then. There are no grants for municipalities.

Then the question of liability comes up. Given that these are registered and given that the municipalities have been put on warning that they exist, if there's a problem, if there's a fire, if there's another tragedy, unfortunately, such as we have had, what is the liability the municipalities would encounter? Could they be sued? What is the situation?

The response we have here is, "Bill 120 will not affect the extent to which municipalities are able to establish policies concerning the extent of enforcement activity." I guess that's nothing new. "It's recognized that Bill 120 may generate a demand for additional inspections." I like the word "may"; it certainly will. "However, it should be noted that municipalities which already permit apartments in houses, such as the city of Toronto, have not raised concerns about liability."

The city of Toronto has the most generous assessment base. When I was mayor in East York, we had half of the assessment base that the city of Toronto had. The city of Toronto has certainly more resources to deal with these circumstances than any other municipality, bar none, in the province of Ontario. This is going to be a real financial problem to municipalities, to have to deal with a whole lot of inspections in a short period of time.

This response still doesn't deal with the municipal liability, in my estimation. It doesn't indicate what additional liability the municipalities will be accountable for. I just don't think it answers the basic question, so the municipalities are still going to be wondering about that.

The other aspect of the amendment that's before us, which is a good one, that the municipality will be entitled to charge a fee for this, will I guess assist to some degree, but you can only charge so much to your home owners. You can say that you can cover the whole cost. I doubt it; I just don't think this is going to work. It's good to have this in here, because it'll help offset the cost, but I think we're looking at not only the fire department but the building department and probably the property standards people. We're looking at a number of people -- health perhaps, perhaps Hydro. There are a number of people who could be involved in an inspection, just as there would be during normal construction of a house.

I don't think the municipalities are politically going to be able to charge a fee that would fully recover that cost. Then I get back to the previous argument, again, that with limited resources -- we've heard this year, I think, of a 3% reduction in the grants to the municipalities.

Hon Ms Gigantes: You haven't heard that. You've heard speculation about that.

Mr David Johnson: We've heard speculation about that. it could be even more then, I guess. This is going to cause a problem and the municipalities are going to be caught right in the middle of it.

I'll support this amendment because it's for safety, and we're all here to support the safety aspects. This will permit the municipality to get in and look at it and make sure it's safe, but when you look at the total bill, it's the wrong way to go in my estimation. We're hearing that message right across the province of Ontario. Does the municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth support it? As far as I can see, there's no support anywhere across this province, but at least this is a small help.


Hon Ms Gigantes: Very briefly, I appreciate the focus of the amendment. I believe the members who have spoken to it are concerned about safety in apartments in houses. I too am very concerned about safety in apartments in houses. The question is whether this really does contribute to greater safety in apartments in houses.

If we are being told by members of the opposition that people will not come forward to get their apartments inspected, how do they propose to do a registry, if people don't voluntarily come forward to get a building permit, to have an inspection? There is a legal obligation on people who are renting apartments to make sure that the standards of the fire code, the Fire Marshals Act, are met. If that doesn't bring people forward in a situation where they're no longer in an illegal status because of zoning, how do you set up the registry? Is it being proposed that we send out people door to door to find out where these apartments exist? How do you create the registry?

Mr Cordiano: What you propose in your --

Hon Ms Gigantes: This is a rhetorical question.

Mr Cordiano: I thought you were asking.

Mrs Marland: Do you want me to answer the question?

Hon Ms Gigantes: No, I don't.

Mrs Marland: Just take it out in their tax bill.

The Chair: Order.

Hon Ms Gigantes: There are difficulties. This is not a simple method to get everybody to come forward either.

Mrs Marland: Give them notice in their tax bill, and then with the first violation, a heavy fine. It'll work.

Hon Ms Gigantes: While the notion of a registry has some appeal, it also has some definite drawbacks. It will be expensive. We've heard members of the Conservative Party talking about concern about expense. This would be an increased expense to a system where people have affordable housing in apartments in houses. I don't see that it's going to produce enough of what they're looking for to justify what is being requested in terms of an increased cost for the system. Also, it would automatically move all those apartments in houses currently illegal because of zoning into a situation of being illegal because they weren't registered. You'd be an illegal operator until you were registered.

Mr Cordiano: What's wrong with that?

Mrs Marland: Why would making them legal make them safe?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Once again we'd have the situation where tens of thousands of units would be considered illegal and they'd be in a black market situation and the tenants would be afraid to make a complaint or bring forward a request for an inspection.

I was not present when Chief Hare of Mississauga spoke to members of the committee. I did read his presentation.

Mrs Marland: The Star agreed with him.

Hon Ms Gigantes: In response to some of the claims that have been made by members here, I will just read directly from the Fire Marshals Act, which I know they're familiar with, but it doesn't hurt them to hear it again. Subsection 18(1):

"Subject to the regulations, the fire marshal, deputy fire marshal, a district deputy fire marshal, an inspector or an assistant to the fire marshal may, upon the complaint of a person interested, or when he or she considers it necessary so to do, without such complaint, inspect all buildings and premises within his or her jurisdiction, and for the purpose may at all reasonable hours enter into and upon the buildings and premises for the purpose of examination, taking with him or her, if necessary, a constable or other police officer or the other assistants that he or she considers proper."

I believe that Chief Hare indicated he had never attempted to use this section and been denied entry. So I'd just remind members of that.

Ms Marland suggests that members had not been presented with the draft regulations. The members were presented with the draft regulations. The consultation that Mr Johnson considers so important with fire officials around this province is going on currently. That consultation obviously will be an important part of the process of establishing new fire code regulations as they affect apartments in houses.

I'd just like to raise one other matter; this is a second matter, somewhat a side matter, an ancillary matter. Ms Marland quoted Chief Hare as saying that he was concerned that the bill registered rental accommodation for the purposes of rent control but didn't register rental accommodation for the purposes of safety. The registration under rent control is, as she knows, registration that is associated not with apartments in houses but with the care home provisions of this bill and it is for the purpose of being able to monitor ongoing costs.

Mrs Marland: So basement apartments won't be under rent control?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Yes, they are under rent control but we have not established registration of units in buildings of fewer than seven units so far. We are beginning to put into the registry information about those apartments existing in buildings with from between four and six units and we will work down, but the Rent Control Act does not apply to single units for registration purposes.

The other issue that there has been a lot of comment on has been the cost, the cost to municipalities of inspection and so on. The fact is that once we have a situation in which all new apartments in houses will require a building permit to be legal and they will have to meet fire standards, once a building permit is taken out by the potential owner of the apartment, then that's going to provide an indication to the municipality that this unit exists and that the property may be reassessed because it is now a revenue-generating property.

Mrs Marland: What does it do to the 100,000 existing?

Hon Ms Gigantes: If there is the effect we expect and hope for under this legislation, having removed the dead hand of zoning, the interfering hand, the long arm of municipal zoning from the activities of home owners who wish to operate an apartment in a house, we will have these owners seeking to have municipal inspection done so that they will be able to say to prospective tenants, "This is a safe apartment, this apartment meets standards," and they will probably get a better rent for the accommodation that they have within their house.

I see that this provides a balance in terms of potential sources of funds to the municipality -- increased assessment will do that -- and it will provide the municipality with some funds to be able to do the increased inspection which can and should be occurring. It can and should because there are dangerous apartments in houses now, dangerous situations that people are living in, and we hope and expect that this legislation will be a major step forward to improving that situation in Ontario.


Mr Cordiano: Minister, I completely reject the notion that this is a feeble effort at ensuring that greater safety is afforded to those units. I would like to know where in your proposed bill there is any incentive for anyone to take out a building permit and to renovate the unit they now have, that exists illegally. What incentive do they have for doing that, for coming forward and seeking a building permit? I just don't understand how that is much more effective than this, which would introduce the notion of a fine or penalty for failing to register a unit.

There is no -- I stand to be corrected -- clause in this bill which would have an equal amount of penalty for failing to take out a building permit and in effect legalizing or making safe a unit that now exists that is not safe. To my mind, the fact is that unless you take out a building permit and unless you violate some of the building code requirements, there will not be a penalty assessed against the person or an individual for doing so, or other obstructions that may occur as a result of a fire chief seeking a search warrant or some other individual laying a complaint before a justice of the peace to have the premises searched.

These are inconsistencies, by and large, and to suggest additionally that the taking out of building permits will provide sufficient funds to municipalities to cover off the costs of inspections -- perhaps that may provide for the municipalities that see an influx of building permits, but very few, I would add, because I just don't see what incentive an individual who now operates what amounts to an illegal unit would have for taking out a building permit and making their unit a safe place to live, bringing it up to some standard which he or she couldn't care less about, because there's no requirement for that person to do so, no incentive to do so.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Could I have Rob Dowler speak to this, please?

Mr Cordiano: Sure. I'm not conceding the floor, Mr Chairman; I would like to hear from him.

The Chair: I understand, Mr Cordiano.

Mr Rob Dowler: Unfortunately, I didn't bring my copy of the Fire Marshals Act with me, but just --

The Chair: Just introduce yourself, please.

Mr Dowler: Yes. I'm Rob Dowler with the Ministry of Housing staff.

Just going by memory, I believe the penalties that are available under the Fire Marshals Act --

Mr Cordiano: Currently.

Mr Dowler: -- currently would include a maximum fine of in the area of $10,000. As well, I think there's -- again depending on the decision of the judge -- an optional jail sentence of, I believe, up to a year on the first offence. Again, I'm going on memory here. I'm not completely certain as to the possibility of charges being laid under the Criminal Code, but I believe there could be a criminal negligence case built, again depending on the specifics of the offence. So those would be in addition.

Mr Cordiano: Those remedies currently exist --

Hon Ms Gigantes: That's right.

Mr Cordiano: -- and what happens when no one finds out about these violations of the act?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Tenants don't come forward now.

Mr Cordiano: They're not coming forward and they won't come forward after because there's no reason for them -- you're relying on tenants to come forward?

Hon Ms Gigantes: Yes.

Mr Cordiano: As we heard from the fire chiefs and their practical experience, the front-line experience they have is that it's those vulnerable people who live in those units who are the least likely to come forward.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Those are illegal because of zoning.

Mr Cordiano: It's not a question of the fact that they're illegal that they're not coming forward; they simply won't know their rights. They won't know that they can come forward. They don't know that now, because the units are illegal, they could come forward and be able to say that these units are illegal and, quite frankly, don't meet the code.

After the act is passed, sure, it will be interpreted that these units exist as a right and that they have been legalized, but do you honestly believe that those people would not fear being evicted, or do you not believe that the threat they could be evicted would be a disincentive for them to come forward whether Bill 120 passes or not?

Hon Ms Gigantes: I think there are lots of tenants who will act on their own behalf in their own safety once the illegal status of zoning has been removed -- lots.

Mr Cordiano: You're relying on that, and that alone. What I'm saying is that we should at least provide for these amendments which would have a fine imposed on an individual, after the bill is enacted, that would be in addition to the remedies that already exist, and it's stated so right in the act, so that if you fail to register a unit and fail to have these inspections, there's an additional fine on top of what's in the Fire Marshals Act and on top of any building code provisions or any other violations of any other act that would apply in this case.

I'm just suggesting that we strengthen this section through these amendments, that we strengthen the provisions in the bill in order to go one step further than simply relying on tenants who might come forward and who may not come forward.

This is not a total remedy, as I think was stated earlier. This is not the way I would prefer to proceed. But in the absence of my preferential choice, this is a compromise position. This is what we heard from fire chiefs around the province and from municipalities. It is not a perfect solution. It may not lead to every single unit being registered, but there is a greater likelihood and a greater chance that units will be made safe because they're required to be registered with a municipality. The fact that there is a penalty imposed is another disincentive for people to continue to operate unsafe, illegal units. I say "illegal" because even after Bill 120 passes, these units will continue to be unsafe regardless of Bill 120.

There are a few minutes left but I see we're getting close to 5 of the clock. I don't know what the intent here is.

Mr David Johnson: I have a question. Madam Minister, in your statements did I hear that you thought there would be an assessment increase as a result of this? For example, the mayor of North York was here. Let's take his municipality. Could you tell me, once this bill goes through, how the assessment will increase in North York such that it will have extra revenues? Could you tell me how that will work?

Hon Ms Gigantes: It will depend on how many people in North York intend to develop an apartment in the house. But an individual house, once it is upgraded to create an apartment in the house, has a revenue-generating capability which will trigger an increase in assessment in most cases.

Mr David Johnson: Have you discussed this with -- I guess it's the Ministry of Finance now. I presume that's what assessment comes under.

Hon Ms Gigantes: Yes.

Mr David Johnson: I would suggest to you that you are wrong --

Hon Ms Gigantes: You can suggest that.

Mr David Johnson: -- and I would advise you to check with ministry staff. Do the staff have any comment on that? I think what's being said is that if a single-family house is now recognized as having a legitimate basement apartment in it in the city of North York, the assessment will go up on that property. I don't believe it.

Mr Dowler: I can't comment on the specifics of the city of North York.

Mr David Johnson: That's what I'm asking; that's my question.

Mr Dowler: Are you specifically interested in North York?

Mr David Johnson: Yes.

Mr Dowler: I can't comment on the specifics of North York. I can tell you that we have had meetings with the Ministry of Finance staff in charge of assessment and I can relate to you what their comments were, but I can't give you any information on North York.

Mr David Johnson: All right. Give me their general comments then, because I can't understand how that would work. I would ask you to check that and maybe as we go along I'm going to ask that question again. But what are their general comments?

Mr Dowler: The general comments of the assessment officials were that there is currently a problem, as I guess you have suggested, with illegal units. The local assessors may or may not know about them. One of the main sources of information in regard to improvements in construction that occur in a local municipality is the building permit record. These illegal units currently are created without the benefit of a building permit, and as a result, if there is a significant increase in market value occurring from the conversion --

Mr David Johnson: Now you've caught on to it.

Mr Dowler: Okay.

Mr David Johnson: We're down to market value. Market value is not in place in North York. Market value is not in place in Metropolitan Toronto.

Mr Dowler: That's correct.

Mr David Johnson: So there won't be an increase. There won't be a change. I hope the minister is listening to this.

Indeed in the rest of Ontario, even where there is market value, it would depend on the value of the property increase in the eyes of those who assess, but that may or may not be the case. To assume that the assessment is going to increase is a dubious assumption, particularly in North York. It just wouldn't hold.

Mr Dowler: The comment that was made by Finance staff was that in all cases, regardless of whether market value assessment per se is in place in the municipality, the local assessment is based on market value, and that may not be current market value in the case of Metro.

Mr David Johnson: It's 1945 market value.

Mr Dowler: It could be some subsequent valuation, as you know, if improvements were undertaken subsequent to the 1945 base. Do you follow me? It would depend on the specifics. The local assessors did indicate that the difference between a legal house with an unfinished basement and a legal house with a legally constructed basement apartment would generate an increase in assessment in most markets. The example that was given by the regional assessment commissioner in Peel was 10% to 15% in that particular instance.

Mr David Johnson: I'd like to see that in writing, if I could.

The Chair: This concludes this week's clause-by-clause examination of Bill 120. We will in all likelihood continue with this bill once the House resumes sitting.

The committee adjourned at 1703.