Tuesday 13 September 1994

Crown Forest Sustainability Act, 1994, Bill 171, Mr Hampton / Loi de 1994 sur la durabilité des forêts

de la Couronne, projet de loi 171, M. Hampton


*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)

Grandmaître, Bernard (Ottawa East/-Est L)

Johnson, David (Don Mills PC)

*Mammoliti, George (Yorkview ND)

Mills, Gordon (Durham East/-Est 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:

Bisson, Gilles (Cochrane South/-Sud ND) for Mr Mills and Mr White

Carr, Gary (Oakville South/-Sud PC) for Mr Arnott

Hodgson, Chris (Victoria-Haliburton PC) for Mr David Johnson

Jamison, Norm (Norfolk ND) for Mr Mills

Miclash, Frank (Kenora L) for Mr Sorbara

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

Waters, Daniel (Muskoka-Georgian Bay/Muskoka-Baie-Georgienne ND) for Mr Wessenger

Wood, Len (Cochrane North/-Nord ND) for Mr Morrow

Also taking part / Autres participants et participantes:

Ministry of Natural Resources:

Davidson, Stuart, legal counsel

Wood, Len, parliamentary assistant to minister

Clerk / Greffier: Carrozza, Franco

Staff / Personnel: Beecroft, Doug, legislative counsel

The committee met at 1008 in committee room 2.


Consideration of Bill 171, An Act to revise the Crown Timber Act to provide for the sustainability of Crown Forests in Ontario / Projet de loi 171, Loi révisant la Loi sur le bois de la Couronne en vue de prévoir la durabilité des forêts de la Couronne en Ontario.

The Vice-Chair (Mr Hans Daigeler): I call the meeting of the general government committee to order to deal with Bill 171 clause by clause. I understand you made good progress in my absence yesterday, and let's continue in this spirit.

I understand there's an amendment on the table, moved by Mr Hodgson, with regard to the Liberal amendment to section 1 of the bill. Is there further discussion on the amendment by Mr Hodgson? We'll then vote on the amendment by Mr Hodgson. All those in favour?

Mr Michael A. Brown (Algoma-Manitoulin): Could we have a recorded vote?

The Vice-Chair: Recorded vote. All those in favour?


Brown, Hodgson, Miclash.

The Vice-Chair: All those opposed?


Bisson, Dadamo, Mammoliti, Waters, White, Wood.

The Vice-Chair: The motion is lost, six to three.

Returning to the Liberal amendment, is there further discussion on the Liberal motion?

Mr Brown: I believe committee members had circulated to them a letter from the World Wildlife Fund that arrived yesterday. It speaks directly to the point we've been trying to make. Without reading the entire letter, I might précis it by saying that it suggests very strongly that if we do not include a definition of sustainability in the act, this act really should not go forward.

I've made the arguments before and I'm not going to be long making them again this morning, but it is essential, in our view, if you're dealing with a bill called "sustainability" -- that's the title of the bill -- that the bill be required to define sustainability in the act itself, not in some manual somewhere.

I've heard the government make the argument over and over that we can do this in a forest planning manual. It is in my mind and I think in the minds of every interest group and every individual who came before us, with the exception of a few, that the act cries out for a definition and the act cries out for a definition within the act.

Therefore, I ask the government to look at this amendment. This amendment has been approved by cabinet. This is the wording that cabinet has used. It came from the Diversity report. It's quite a broad statement of principle. I believe it could be used for many, many years without any impediment on the management of our forests. It has been suggested that technology may change our understanding or that scientific knowledge in the field may change, but I cannot believe this definition doesn't encompass all of that and permit increasing knowledge to be applied.

I asked yesterday, and didn't get an answer from the government, if there is some scenario they can give me that indicates that as the state of our knowledge improves, this definition may be an impediment. I would be happy to hear it, but I have not heard from any government member who could give us one concrete example of where this definition would get in the way of better management of our forests. As the bill is entitled "sustainability," it seems to me we must define it.

Mr Frank Miclash (Kenora): We've gone through the arguments, as my colleague has indicated, and I'm just hoping that over the past 24 hours the members from the government have had a chance to take a look at the Diversity report, again, a document we know was approved by cabinet. I would just like to reiterate my support for this amendment.

Mr Len Wood (Cochrane North): Mr Brown has raised the question. There's no argument with the Diversity report, and you've taken five points from that report. The amendment we have brought forward adding to what is in the proposed legislation in Bill 171 we feel does a better job of dealing with this than to just take the five or six points from Diversity. You're saying to strike out the present section and insert that as the purpose.

We're saying our motion covers all the points in the amendment brought forward by the Liberal caucus. It covers everything in there. It gives a definition of sustainability and it also covers all the points you've raised in your motion. We feel it's broader and will do a better job of carrying this legislation into the years and years to come.

Mr Brown: I now move to quote from the World Wildlife Fund. Maybe members haven't read this, but I would ask the government members to look at this very carefully. It says in the fourth paragraph:

"Legislation which promises sustainability in the title should define it and require its achievement. Bill 171 does neither. Instead it seems that sustainability is to emerge from a management planning process guided, to some extent, by the eventual application of a number of manuals now under development as well as local citizen committees and other measures, all reinforced by enough ministerial discretion to ensure that the act, in your words, `will allow us the flexibility that's needed to properly manage the diverse range of forest ecosystems' and so forth. Ironically, Bill 171 seems to provide less certainty of stewardship than the existing Crown Timber Act, which is based on achieving a `sustained yield' of timber."

That's our position. It's the position of virtually every group that has come in here. I have said I'm not wedded to the definition; I would be willing to accept the government's definition. But the government's definition cannot be in the manuals, the government's definition has to be in the act. Either that, or you should call it the Crown Timber Act and take "sustainability" out of the title. I'm not opposed to that notion either. I'm just opposed to the apparent hypocrisy of using a word you are afraid to define in the act itself.

The issue here is not the definition. As I've said before, I'm not generally convinced this is the perfect definition. I would be willing to live with the government's definition. The difference between the government's position and the position we are putting forward is, do you have the strength of your convictions or don't you? If you do have the strength of your convictions, I would be willing to take the principles Mr Wood has put forward. But they would have to be included in the act, not in a manual.

If we as legislators are to do our job, we are to instruct a ministry under an act. We are to act on behalf of all the people of Ontario, and the only way we can do that with any certainty at all is to put the words into the act. As legislators, I'm sure every one of us here finds out on at least a weekly basis of some regulation passed in the past two or three years that none of us ever knew occurred, because regulations can be changed. They're changed by cabinet; they're not changed by members of the Legislature. There are literally thousands of them passed a year; it's impossible for us to have any scrutiny over them. Manuals can be changed even more easily.

What we're suggesting is that if you believe in sustainability, if you believe the title of this act should be "forest sustainability," you should have the courage to define it, not in some way that can be changed at the whim of a future government, of a future minister, of a future cabinet. If you are going to change the change the definition of "sustainability" somewhere down the road, you should hope that a future government would have to come to the Legislature, to the 130 members who are elected to represent the people, and let it be exposed to the full light of day.

That's essentially the point we're making. If you can find among the various interest groups enough people to support your view of how this should be done, then go ahead and tell me, but our research, having listened for three weeks, all indicates that people want a definition.

I could sit here and I could propose -- and we have chosen not to do that -- definition after definition, in this section, of "sustainability." We could go through those briefs and we could drag out every definition of sustainability there is, but we have chosen not to do that. We've chosen to put forward one by the government and say it should be in the act. That's the issue. The issue isn't whether your definition, Mr Wood, is better than mine or mine's better than yours. The issue is, should it be in the act, where a committee just like this one would have to meet to change it, or is it one that can be changed up in the corner office here some Wednesday morning when people are totally unaware? Our position is that the Legislature should have the opportunity to debate any such definition.


The Vice-Chair: Are we ready for the vote on the Liberal motion to section 1? I guess we are.

Mr Brown: Recorded vote.

The Vice-Chair: All those in favour?


Brown, Carr, Hodgson, Miclash, Morin.

The Vice-Chair: All those opposed?


Bisson, Dadamo, Mammoliti, Waters, White, Wood.

The Vice-Chair: The motion is defeated, six to five. We are returning to section 1 as it is before us. Is there further debate on section 1?

Mr Wood: We have a government motion to section 1.1.

The Vice-Chair: We have to vote first on section 1. Is there further debate on section 1 as it is? Section 1.1 we will be discussing later on, because it's a new section. Okay, all those in favour? Opposed? Carried.

Mr Wood, you have a new section 1.1.

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


"1.1(1) In this act, `sustainability' means long-term forest health.


"(2) For the purpose of this act and the regulations, the sustainability of a crown forest shall be determined in accordance with the Forest Management Planning Manual.


"(3) The Forest Management Planning Manual shall provide for determinations of the sustainability of crown forests in a manner consistent with the following principles:

"1. Large, healthy, diverse and productive crown forests and their associated ecological processes and biological diversity should be conserved.

"2. The long-term health and vigour of crown forests should be provided for by using forest practices that, within the limits of silvicultural requirements, emulate natural disturbances and landscape patterns while minimizing adverse effects on plant life, animal life, water, soil, air, and social and economic values, including recreational values and heritage values."

The Vice-Chair: Is there debate on this new section?

Mr Gary Carr (Oakville South): Similar to some of the concerns and questions raised during the Liberal motion, it centres on putting it in the manual versus the act. As I said yesterday, the difficulty we have with this particular definition is the fact that we can't seem to get agreement. Every time one word gets changed, another group would fall out in agreement. Everybody said there should be a definition, but most of the groups that came before us didn't even lay out a definition. They said, "Look back; we're not going to tell you what to do," which wasn't particularly helpful, quite frankly, when you're talking about wording that is very important to the whole bill.

In other words, if you look at the summary, most of the people came forward and said, "We need a definition but we're not going to tell you what it is." The reason I think most of them said that is that you can't have agreement.

What it comes down to is the trust factor, and I don't say that against this government, and it doesn't even pertain to this bill only. People are very concerned when things are left to manuals and regulations. They like to see things in legislation where it can't be changed easily because they do not trust any government to do the right thing. I suspect the government has said, as it's said on other bills, that doing it this way allows flexibility, and to some extent that is true.

I think, though, that if we have a bill, as we do before us, where we cannot get an agreement of what the definition should be, it's little wonder that we had, as we did as we went across the north, the people at Spruce Falls who said, "Don't pass this bill." The largest employer of Mr Wood's riding said don't pass it, Avenor, E.B. Eddy, the native groups.

If you'll remember, because I asked this question ad nauseam, "If you were me and you had to vote on this bill, how would you vote?" -- I hear the chuckles. Many people were asked that. People, in spite of what the government might think, find it very reluctant to criticize the government because they have to work with it. Most of the people didn't just jump out and say: "It's a terrible bill. We hate you. Don't pass the bill." They were very reluctant to criticize, because they realize most of them have to deal with the government.

I think of the chap at Spruce Falls Inc who came on his own behalf. The company was very reluctant when I asked the question, "Would you pass it?" Most of them had about a two-minute response time before they finally said, "No I wouldn't." In spite of the fact that not only this government but all governments think people are prepared to jump on them, they find it very difficult in front of a committee to say, "No, I don't agree with this bill," particularly when they have to work with you. In private they may be a little more vocal and tell you exactly what their concerns are, but in public they find it, as a group, an association, very difficult to say, "No, we don't like this bill."

The reason the concerns were out there on this bill was because of the definition. They're very concerned about what it will mean, how it will be interpreted by a minister of the day. I'm sure, and I spoke with the parliamentary assistant, they're working with the groups to try and alleviate some of these concerns, but if you asked them, they felt it should be in the legislation.

The final point I want to make on this whole question -- I asked this yesterday and maybe the parliamentary assistant will be able to answer it -- is about the final government motion amendment. Do we have agreement from people like the Ontario Forest Industries Association? How many people have bought into this? You heard yesterday that I asked one of the ministry officials and he gave a very political answer. He said they like the fact that there's a definition, but I think we got out of it that they don't like this definition. Let's just be honest. Did they lay it out? Did the groups like that say they disagree with it? And where are we at with this?

At the end of the day, I understand that the final decision's going to have to be made by the minister and the ministry, and that may be what has to happen in light of the fact that we couldn't come to a consensus. Hopefully, the parliamentary assistant or one of the government members will at least assure me that there was consultation on this final definition; that even if there wasn't final agreement, we got as best a consensus as we could with the numerous groups.

That's the only question I think needs to be answered. You've come up with one and we know you have the votes to pass it. But I want to tell you, the people out there and myself are very reluctant, based on some of the concerns I shared with you this morning. What I would hope, because it is going to be through the manual, is that this discussion isn't going to end today. The one good thing about it not being put in the legislation is that we are going to be able to work with these various groups. I'm sure you will; I'm sure we'll hear from them if you're not. I would encourage the government to continue to make sure that the various groups out there are a part of this definition and that we continue to work with them. At the end of the day, if we don't, I honestly believe the communities that we're out there, all of us, trying to help could be hurt. I know no one wants to do that, I know the ministry doesn't want to do that, but you have to realize that people are very concerned about this government motion and the definition you're putting forward.

If the parliamentary assistant could answer a little about how the final outcome came, I think it would be helpful. After that, I guess we'll take a vote on it.


Mr Brown: I have a number of questions of clarification for the parliamentary assistant. It says in 1.1(1), "In this act, `sustainability' means long-term forest health." My first question relates to "long-term." Could you give me a time frame of what you intend to mean by long-term? It's rather vague.

Mr Wood: For ever and ever and ever.

Mr Brown: So in perpetuity.

Mr Wood: If somebody dies off, another one's born and they replace them and they just keep continuing having a population, and also continuing to have forests and trees in the ecosystem out there.

Mr Brown: The next word is "forest," which is not defined anywhere in the bill. I think we all think we know what forests are, but I wonder if you could tell us what you mean by "forest." Is it three trees somewhere, or what is it?

Mr Wood: Well, a tree is one thing out there in the forest. There is a large number of things that make up a forest, Mike: water, air, animals, insects, your whole system.

Mr Brown: Our problem is that we're having a little trouble understanding exactly what is meant by "forest" in this bill. Could you help me? Could you tell me how many forests we have in Ontario?

Mr Wood: I don't have the exact number at my fingertips.

Mr Brown: Is there an exact number somewhere?

Mr Wood: I'm sure there is. "Crown forest means a forest ecosystem or part of a forest ecosystem that is on land vested in Her Majesty in right of Ontario and under the management of the minister." That's a definition that is spelled out in the act under the definitions, 2(1).

Mr Brown: Yes, but that is a crown forest.

Mr Wood: We're dealing with crown forests here in this act.

Mr Brown: Then wouldn't it be better to be saying "the long-term crown forest health"? We're not dealing with the private forests, we're not dealing with the forests that happen to be in provincial parks, we're not dealing with forests in Ontario; we are dealing with specific forests, the ones that happen to be on crown land, and not even all the ones that happen to be present on crown lands. Would it not be better to be saying what you mean, which is crown forest health?

Mr Wood: You've raised the point.

The Vice-Chair: Have you finished?

Mr Brown: No, I'm just trying to wrap my little mind around all of this.

I wonder if you could indicate to the committee how difficult or what is the process for changing the Forest Management Planning Manual. What is the process one must go through to change the Forest Management Planning Manual once it's in effect? I'm talking about the actual legal process we go through.

Mr Wood: The drafting of the manuals right now is being done in consultation with all the stakeholders out there. If you're talking about a legal definition of what is required to change them, we're working on I believe the third draft of the manuals to comply with the legislation as it's there now, and I would expect that would be the process that would be followed in the future. If there are people saying the manuals don't meet the needs out there on the ground and they've got to be redesigned to meet those needs, there's going to have to be consultation with the professional foresters, whether they be in the private sector or with MNR or foresters with Environment. All these people are going to have to be in consultation in redrafting them.

Mr Brown: I understand that. My real question isn't about the consultation process. If Mr Wood is the Minister of Natural Resources and he wants to change what's in a manual, how does he do it? Granted, we have consultations, although there's no mandate that says you must have consultations. We don't want to take this too personally. It's Mr Hampton who's the minister; I can almost bet you that 20 years from now Mr Hampton won't be the minister.

Mr Wood: That's the same as Lyn McLeod was replaced and Mike Harris was replaced and all these were replaced.

Mr Brown: Exactly; that's my point. What does the minister have to do to change a manual once there has been consultation? How do you do it? What's the process?

Mr Wood: I might have to get further updated, but my understanding is that it's not the minister who changes it; it's an upward movement from on-the-ground people out there demanding the change, the professional foresters and the people out there managing the forests on behalf of the government, no matter which government is in power at that time.

Mr Brown: I know, but somebody has to authorize that the manual actually be changed or there has to be a process. Who does that?

Mr Gilles Bisson (Cochrane South): Look at section 66 of the bill.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Brown, any further questions?

Mr Brown: I'm actually taking Mr Bisson's advice, which was to look at section 66. I'm trying to look at section 66.

The Vice-Chair: I asked because Mr Hodgson is waiting.

Mr Chris Hodgson (Victoria-Haliburton): I can wait. It's up to the Chair to allocate the time; as long as I get a chance to speak.

The Vice-Chair: I'll just try to be fair and not let you wait too long.

Mr Brown: I'm trying to speed-read this, but I'm still not sure how it actually gets authorized. Perhaps staff could tell us how that happens. This isn't a trick question. I'm just looking for the legal process, what actually has to happen.

Mr Wood: I think your concern is that it would be changed without anybody knowing about it. It's saying, "the manual or amendment is published by the ministry and available to the public." The public is involved in the consultation. That's on page 26, clause 66(7)(a). And clause (b) "the manual or amendment is approved by the regulations."

Mr Brown: Just so I can get this clear, the process is that there is a consultation which the government may believe to be adequate, and it's the government's decision whether it's adequate or it's not. Then the minister would have to go to cabinet with the redrawn regulation to have that manual changed. Is that correct?

Mr Wood: That language could be subject to interpretation by the courts or something, but it's saying:

"(a) the manual or amendment is published by the ministry and available to the public; and

"(b) the manual or amendment is approved by the regulations."

In terms of the procedure for changing regulations, it would be the same as any regulations being changed in any ministry, as far as I know. There's no special procedure. Not having been a cabinet minister to know what cabinet deals with in the procedure for those changes --


Mr Brown: What I'm trying to understand is this. Once this set of manuals that we have today -- I understand it's going through a consultation process at the moment, but once that's completed, once the government decides it is, and it is going to be the government that decides that, and those manuals are put in place, they are now what you do.

Mr Wood: Yes.

Mr Brown: If I wanted to change two words in a manual, does the ministry have to change the regulation, necessarily, for two words, or how does that work? This is an important question because I think people have to understand how this works.

Mr Wood: Subsection 67(1) says: "The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations," and I'm sure he would change the regulations that had to be changed as well.

Mr Brown: So you couldn't change the words in a manual, two words, without having a regulation to change it? Is that the correct interpretation, Mr Wood?

Mr Bisson: The manuals are amended through the regulations.


Mr Brown: Mr Chair, I'm getting a number of answers here. I'm not sure which is the correct one.

The Vice-Chair: At this point the only answer is coming forward from Mr Wood.

Mr Wood: And I've given you what is spelled out in the bill.

Mr Brown: We can debate those sections later, but I think it's critical, as we look at this particular amendment you're putting forward today, to understand what kind of difficulty or ease a government, either now or in the future, has in changing what you suggest here. I think the point's been made by quite a number of members that the Legislature will in all probability not see these changes. What I'm trying to determine here is, what kind of process do you have to go through, what opportunities will people have to know that a manual has been changed?

If it's too difficult, that could be a problem because obviously the state of the art in forestry is going to be changing. On the other hand, if it's too easy, that could be a problem too in that it could change without anybody really understanding that it has.

We have to understand that a forest is not just about the timbering activities in the forest; there are a lot of other things that go on out there. Maybe something that seems very logical to a forest company or a worker in the forest would not be seen to be a terribly happy circumstance to, say, a hunter. I am just trying to find out what the process actually is to change it, because that's the crucial part of our argument on this bill.

Mr Wood: The process you're looking for an answer on is covered under subsection 67(1), and the paragraphs go from 1 to 28. Paragraph 27 basically explains "approving a manual prepared under section 66 or an amendment to a manual," so the procedure is spelled out in the legislation. The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations, and the procedure for approving a manual prepared under section 66 is spelled out there as well.

Mr Brown: So what you're telling me is that no words in a manual can be changed unless the regulations are changed. Is that what I'm hearing, yes or no? That's got to be categoric for me to know.

Mr Wood: I'm quoting to you what is in the bill, Mike. If you're saying you want a different legal interpretation or you don't read it the way it is, that's your choice, but these were drafted by the legislative clerks and they consulted with the legal people, I'm sure. They're drafted on that basis.

Mr Brown: Maybe I could ask legal counsel if he could tell me whether a change in the manual requires, necessarily, a change in regulation.

Mr Doug Beecroft: A change in the manual, even a change of one word, is of no effect unless it is approved under regulations. That's what 66(7) says. If the minister wants to change one word, he has to go and get cabinet's approval for that change to the regulations.

Mr Hodgson: We're dealing with the government's amendment. I'd like to make a couple of comments and then propose a friendly amendment to that, what I consider to be a friendly amendment.

The Vice-Chair: We'll see if it's friendly a little later on.

Mr Hodgson: First, to deal with Mr Brown's question about the definition of "long-term forest health," Mr Wood used the word "perpetuity." I'd just caution that there have been other acts, such as Bill 18 when they took certain private lands and added to them to Algonquin park, where traditional uses were guaranteed in perpetuity, but MNR has since limited that to a set number of years. So I'd just caution about using the word "perpetuity."

In terms of the idea of changing it to encompass only the crown forest lands, it's my understanding that this act also encompasses crown forests on private lands, under subsection 58(1). I need a clarification from the parliamentary assistant. If that's not referring to crown timber on private lands, then later on when we deal with that section, I'd like to address it. Right now, I'd like to have the parliamentary assistant tell me about subsection 58(1) because I believe that deals with crown forests on private lands, that there are numerous cases in northern Ontario that this act will deal with and that it's not just on crown lands that we're talking about. There are remnant agreements from mining agreements and the homestead act and other things this act will affect, those property owners. We had a person who was affected by that come and present to us when we were up in northern Ontario.

The amendment that the government seeks I feel only goes partway. It adds to the purpose of this bill. Just for the record, I'd like to read into the record the purposes of this act, mentioned in the act and also mentioned in all the press releases and heralded as a great accomplishment, that we're going to have sustainability two ways, one for the forest ecosystem and the other for the economic viability of the communities that earn their living from forestry.

"The purposes of this act are," it says, and I'll just go halfway down, "to manage crown forests to meet social, economic and environmental needs of present and future generations." It's proactive, It's talking about economic sustainability. Therefore, this definition, as amended by the government, doesn't go far enough in meeting the purpose. I think the principles should reflect the purpose.

As I mentioned yesterday, this act makes the crown accountable as well for the maintenance of our crown forests, that ownership of those is by the people of Ontario. The people who go on to these crown forests or work in the forest industry, under section 52 of this act, will be fined or judged according to the definition of sustainability. That's how you will draw the line: "If you cross this line, you will be fined or punished. If you stay within this line, you'll be rewarded and be able to continue working." Under the new Environmental Bill of Rights, any citizen in Ontario will have recourse to holding the crown accountable in making sure this definition of sustainability is upheld.


If the bill is to maintain economic sustainability in a positive sense, I think it should have the following amendment:

I move that subsection 2(1) of the bill be amended by amended by adding the following definition:

"`Forest health' means the condition of a forest ecosystem that sustains the ecosystem's complexity" -- wait. I'm on the wrong one. I want to read mine.

Mr Bisson: That's ours. Talk about a friendly amendment.

Mr Hodgson: That would really be friendly.

I move that the government motion dealing with section 1.1 of the bill be amended by adding the following paragraph to subsection 1.1(3):

"3. The health of crown forests is vital to the social and economic needs of many communities in Ontario."

This is a principle that would be consistent with the purpose as stated in this act, and it would be a further reference to hold the ministry accountable so there's assurance to the people of Ontario, especially the communities that are vitally dependent for their social and economic wellbeing on a healthy forest. Therefore, I move that hoping it will be received in a friendly manner and supported.

Mr Carr: Obviously, this is something like the same principles behind what we talked about yesterday in the Liberal motion. I think it's something everyone who appeared before this committee could agree with. Certainly all members, all parties, should be able to agree with that.

As I said yesterday, I don't need to tell the members from the communities involved, particularly the parliamentary assistant, who went through the period he went through with the situation at Spruce Falls, that communities live and die by this industry up in his area. What we are proposing here is fundamental to the principles of what the government says, and it's something that I don't think any group could disagree with, I don't think any member could disagree with, because the health of the crown forests is vital to the social and economic needs of many communities in Ontario. We saw many of those communities as we travelled. I think that's why we had such input from those communities, obviously the reason being because they live and die by what happens in the forest industry.

I think this would alleviate some of the fears that have been put forward by numerous groups that are concerned, going back to the issue of putting it in the manual versus the legislation. It would be a guide, that the government has already stated should be a given, to these communities.

Hopefully, the parliamentary assistant will go out on a limb and make a decision on this, because I can't see how anybody could vote against this motion. If they choose not to support it -- I'm hoping the reason the motion similar to this, the Liberal one, was defeated was because they realized the Liberal motion wasn't going to pass and they were going to put their own amendment through. But if they do not support it, I hope there will be some justification, and I'd like to know who made the decision not to support this motion, because I can't see any of the members not wanting to. If it's somebody in the ministry, I hope they will let the parliamentary assistant know so he could explain to us here in this committee why something as fundamental as this motion could not be accepted by the government.

I would encourage all members to take a look at it. If they truly believe the things that have been articulated by this government, it should be done. It has nothing to do with the politics involved, because I can't see any political party not agreeing with the principles laid out in this motion. It should be supported by all members of this committee and become a part of this bill.

Mr Bisson: First of all, I find myself in a bit of a funny situation, because I agree on the one hand with what you're trying to do, Mr Hodgson -- I don't have an argument -- but I'm wondering if that's necessarily where we need to put it. Let me, as best as I can in my own muddled way, try to explain this.

If you look at the principles under subsection (3), where you want to add it, we're saying, "The Forest Management Planning Manual shall provide for determinations of the sustainability of crown forests...." Then, if you read 1 and 2 as it stands, we're saying, "Large, healthy, diverse and productive crown forests and their associated ecological processes and biological diversity...." If you follow the drift of what 1 and 2 is doing -- I'd ask you to read that -- then go to your 3 and see, "The health of the crown forests is vital to the social and economic needs...." I understand what you're doing and I support it, but I'm not so sure that's where I would put it. I wonder if it would make more sense to put it under 1.1(2), and I'd be looking for a bit of direction from the parliamentary assistant on that.

It's motherhood. What you're basically saying is that a healthy forest is what we're striving for and that's good for the economic needs of our communities. I think all of us agree with that, but I'm not so sure that's where we need to put it. Would it have better weight putting it somewhere else, I guess is what I'm asking.

Mr Wood: I see that there's one different word in the amendment the PCs have brought forward, the word "community." In our amendment it'll be dealt with further on. The definition of forest health is that we're talking about the people of Ontario, communities, people. We're looking at giving a definition of forest health and suggesting that it be in another area of the bill where the definitions are spelled out: "crown charges," "crown forest," "designated purpose," "first nation," "forest ecosystem." This is where all the definitions are spelled out. We're saying it should be in that particular section. The only difference I can see in your amendment from ours is that you're talking about communities. All these communities have people in them, and we've used the word "people," the people of Ontario.

Mr Hodgson: What we're talking about in the principles is a guide to how the crown will be accountable. If somebody wants to know, say, in 30 or 40 years, "Has the crown done its job?" they'll go to the definition of sustainability, they'll look at the purpose of the act, and the principles back up the purpose. That's the guide for the staff and for decisions that are made relating to crown land.

In the principles we've got the ecological processes or the environmental side covered, and this new act will call for the creation of environmentally protected areas. What we also want in equal balance to that is the second side of this act's purpose, that is, to be positive about the economic wellbeing of the communities that derive their earnings from the forest. I see it as a healthy balance to have it right up front in the principles, not just as a definition that's providing for the needs of the people of Ontario. You can argue that some people enjoy looking at caterpillars and that that ecosystem would have equal weight with the people's needs in a northern community, the one-industry town that you represent, sir. Somehow, whatever decision the MNR made wouldn't be accountable to that community's economic and social wellbeing. I think that should be mentioned in the principles as a guide right up front for the decisions that are made in regard to crown forest management practices. That's why I'd like to see it in the principles.

Mr Wood: The trouble with caterpillars is that when you get them all over your pavement and track them into the house and everybody else's house and all that -- they're not really that friendly about every five or six years.

Mr Hodgson: But it might meet the ecosystem's complexity while providing for the needs of the people of Ontario.

I see this as a way of adding accountability to the management of our forests.

Mr Wood: One of the concerns is that when you put everything into the purposes clause -- I'm not a lawyer by trade, but some of the advice we've had is to be very careful about what you put into a purposes clause because this is the first thing the courts look at when there's a challenge to the legislation. The last thing we want is something in there that will disrupt everything in Ontario and everybody will be challenging it, of course based on their interpretation of the purpose.


Mr Hodgson: That's exactly my point, that the only people who can't challenge right now are the people this bill's supposed to manage for: present and future generations' economic wellbeing. Other people can challenge under this act for environmental or ecological reasons, but economic wellbeing, unless it's in the principles and is followed up by defining what areas are going to be cut, and when they're not to be cut then there's compensation, which, as ministry staff mentioned yesterday, is allowable under this bill -- I think it should be upfront.

Clearly, the press releases have said that's the objective of this bill, and it's stated in the purpose. I think the principles should reflect it. This is a principle I don't think anybody can argue with, that "The health of crown forests is vital to the social and economic needs of many communities in Ontario." Surely there are many members on the government side whose communities -- you know this to be true, so I can't see the government voting against it when you have to go back to your communities and explain, "I voted against a recognition that healthy forests are vital to our social and economic wellbeing." Are you against that?

This act is supposed to positively make sure that the management of the crown forests will "meet social, economic and environmental needs of present and future generations." It's proactive for sustainability for the economic wellbeing and social wellbeing. I think that should have equal footing with yours, that "Large, healthy, diverse and productive crown forests and their associated ecological processes and biological diversity should be conserved." I don't see the two as conflicting.

But I know that if there becomes a choice and you go back to court -- under the Environmental Bill of Rights anybody can challenge how we manage our forests. Somebody should have it in the act so they can say: "Yes, this was their intent. They wanted to balance how our forests were managed." That's why I think it should be in the principles. It's a friendly amendment to the definition as proposed by the government.

Mr Carr: I couldn't say it any better than Chris, but I realize what the parliamentary assistant is saying. That's precisely why we'd like it in there. If there's any court challenge, people need to know that we give equal weight to the economic and social concerns of these communities. We can't leave that out.

I appreciate, Mr Bisson -- putting it in another section is a bit of a compromise and very helpful and better than nothing, but I think it needs to be laid out in the purpose. Because of what you said about legal challenges and so on, we need to give weight to these communities that live and die off the forest industries, so that if there are any court challenges -- it's our duty as legislators to put this in so firmly that people in these communities know.

I understand that press releases written to go out into communities are done for reasons of keeping the public happy. But what we are looking at is the legal purpose of a bill. I'd think the members from these communities would like to have this in so that when we start talking about legal challenges, which, as Chris mentioned, may come up for any reason, the full legal weight of this clause is in under the purposes clause so the people of that community are protected, so their jobs are protected against some of the situations that may come up.

It needs to be there. If you firmly believe the press releases, as I know you do, then put it in there. Let's not say the legal people are afraid. That's precisely why it needs to be in there: If you leave it out, it will allow challenges, and when challenges come up the economic and social viability of the communities will not count if it is not in this part of the bill.

If you choose to leave it out, the members from these communities had better be very clear with the people in the ministry who are advising you to do this that you are leaving your communities open at some point in time -- God forbid, and hopefully we don't need it -- to some challenge which may come from any particular group. And Chris outlined some of the other difficulties we've got with the Environmental Bill of Rights and so on.

If it is not in the purposes clause, you are leaving your communities out to legal challenges that I believe should not be made. We should put it in the bill, and I cannot believe that any member from a community that has industries like we saw in the minister's own riding would not accept this. It's a bit of a compromise to put it elsewhere. I believe it needs to be in the purposes section and that we should support this.

Mr Bisson: Thank you very much. Again I would say what I said a little while ago in starting this off. I feel I'm in a bit of a funny spot, because the more and more I read your paragraph 3, the more and more I read it as being a very green piece of language. What you're saying is that the health of crown forests is vital to our economic needs, and follow me as I go through, because I'm not sure that's -- is that what you're trying to say?

Mr Hodgson: Yes, it is, just to work it in.

Mr Bisson: I thought you were trying to put in a requirement that you can't do anything to effect the economics of an operation.

Mr Hodgson: That's what it will do if you recognize that. It's just a principle that you recognize.

Mr Bisson: The more I look at it, the more and more I'm being talked over to your way of thinking, but when I look at the principles, we're saying "The Forest Management Planning Manual shall provide for determinations of the...following principles:" and we lay it out in 1 and 2, and then you want us to add 3. If you read 1 and 2, they're very green things. Do we agree?

Mr Hodgson: Yes.

Mr Bisson: When I read 3 it's even greener than that. Paragraphs 1 and 2 are saying we have to manage our forests in a very green way. This says you have to manage it not only because it's a green thing to do, it's a smart economic thing to do. Is that what your intention is?

Mr Hodgson: That's right.

Mr Carr: I wanted to make that point but I didn't. I'll be very brief because I know we want to get on. That's exactly what we're saying. You people, Gilles and Len, know more than anybody else. If you talk to somebody, for example, in Len's riding, at Spruce Falls Inc, they more than anybody realize that the long-term viability of the forest is economically in their best interests as well. Spruce Falls Inc is now owned by everybody in the community, and the people who live and work there are now the owners of that company. The days are long gone when the perception was that some of these forest companies come in there to rape the forest, take all the resources out and then leave it and go away 10 years from now. The people who own that company, and I use them as an example, are people who want to live in that community, want to have their kids in that community 20 years from now. They realize it is not mutually exclusive that economic viability is the most important thing, because they realize that maintaining a healthy forest will do that.

That's why I think this particular amendment should be able to be accepted. Again, it should be in the purposes clause. What we're saying is that the long-term health is in the interest of the environment, the interest of the people of the community, the interest of the companies that are making the profits in that area. It's in the interests of the entire community that this particular amendment be accepted by the government. I hope they will seriously consider it, because that is what we're trying to do.

I think the people in these communities know better than anybody else that the long-term health of the forest is in the economic best interests as well as the best interests of the people of the community and in fact of the environment and the forests. I wanted to make that quick point to Mr Bisson because that is exactly what we're trying to do.

Mr Wood: I think what your amendment is saying is already covered in the purpose clause: "social, economic and environmental needs of present and future generations." If you look at the government motion to amend the definitions, "`Forest health,' means the condition of a forest ecosystem that sustains the ecosystem's complexity while providing for the needs of the people of Ontario." That's in the definitions, and that in our opinion is where it should be, where you're explaining the health of crown forests. We don't have a problem with putting the word "crown" in there, because that is in the title of the act. Mike had asked, why isn't the word "crown" in there? It's the Crown Forest Sustainability Act.

That's the argument. These motions were both brought forward today, and it's quite obvious they were both thinking of the same thing, that there should be a definition of forest health. You've brought forward one idea suggesting it be in the purpose. We brought forward an amendment saying it should be in the definitions.


Mr Hodgson: In the interest of time, if the parliamentary assistant is saying we're in agreement, why don't we agree to my amendment now and then we don't have to deal with theirs later on, if they're the same.

Mr Brown: Nice try.

Mr Hodgson: I want to stress that this bill is being sold as economic and social viability and sustainability for the long term for a lot of communities in Ontario. To be up front with that, one of the principles of the bill that supports the purposes of the bill should be a recognition of the importance to the social and economic needs of many communities in Ontario.

To put it in later as a definition, that "`Forest health' means the condition of a forest ecosystem that sustains the ecosystem's complexity while providing for the needs of the people of Ontario" -- if somebody challenges this under the Environmental Bill of Rights on the management of crown land, how would a judge say this somehow recognizes that economic and social factors should be taken into account when you're drawing up the manuals for managing the forests of Ontario? But if you put it in the principles, they could very clearly say, "This was the intent of the framers of this piece of legislation, that it's recognized that crown forests are vital to the social and economic needs of the community."

That's clearly set out in the purpose of the act, it should be in the principles, and it's been stated in the press releases since February as one of the reasons for this new act, so I can't understand why the government would have a problem. If they're saying it's the same as their amendment on section 4, in the interest of time they should approve mine because it's on the floor, and then we can skip right over your amendment later on, if we're concerned about efficiency.

Mr Brown: It's very similar to a Liberal amendment, which has since been defeated, regarding this section. What Mr Hodgson is doing is commendable. I think what he is trying to do is to place this act in the proper perspective, making sure that the human impact on the ecosystem and human activity are recognized to be part of an ecosystem. That's important. It's important to be stated maybe separately.

When I read the present paragraph 2, "social and economic values," just that phrase, it can speak to a provincial economic interest. I think all members know that a provincial economic interest is not necessarily a community economic interest. I think we all see that daily in our constituencies as we meet with constituents who are unhappy about some provincial policy which may or may not be for the greater good for the province of Ontario, but sure as heck isn't very good for my little community that I happen to live in.

What Mr Hodgson is attempting to do is to recognize that communities are important and economic activities are important in communities. Because of the awkward structure of this bill -- this is really the Crown Timber Act and we look at it specifically from that viewpoint. Believing this is a timber act, we're always looking at it from that perspective. But this could be -- and Mr Hodgson would understand, being from the great tourist area he represents -- a community tourist operation that is being impacted by a forestry operation; I think that would be fair to say. It could be that the forest itself is being managed properly from a timber perspective, that we're going to renew it and everything is going to be just fine 70 years from now. But a person or company operating the resort in that neighbourhood is going to be impacted very significantly by that operation.

That is quite different from what we see you saying in the principles you're putting forward, and it comes from looking at this act as a timber act. You say all the right things about it, but you look at it from this very narrow timber perspective rather than looking at it from the overall economic and social perspectives.

So I'm suggesting -- and I believe yesterday Mr Hodgson, at my suggestion, offered that amendment -- that this amendment does place human values, particularly community values, at the forefront. I don't think the wording you have here does that. That's my problem, and I think it's Mr Hodgson's and Mr Carr's and Mr Miclash's and a number of other people's problem with not explicitly stating either this amendment or one very similar to this amendment that the government might find more acceptable.

What the government might want to do is ask that this section be stood down, if you're unhappy with this particular wording of this particular amendment, while you consider how you can take the point Mr Hodgson is making and incorporate it into your principles. That's a suggestion you might want to think about.

Mr Wood: I've listened to the arguments coming forward. It seems we're down to arguing over "communities in Ontario" versus "people of Ontario," and whether it should be spelled out in the definition or whether it should be in the purposes. From the consultation we've had out there, we felt the words "people of Ontario" would take in the people in those communities rather than just saying, as your amendment says, "the communities in Ontario," and that it should be in a definition of forest health. You're saying the definition should be in the purposes.

Mr Hodgson: Mr Chair, I'd be agreeable to a subamendment from the government to change "many communities in Ontario" to "the people of Ontario," as long as it's in the principles section, if that's what he is suggesting, and then we can vote.

The Vice-Chair: Are you withdrawing your amendment?

Mr Hodgson: No. I'd be willing to have a subamendment to my amendment.

The Vice-Chair: Right now, we have one amendment before us, and that's your own.

Mr Brown: Actually, I would have a problem with the subamendment because I think the community is pretty important to what we're talking about here. The values and importance, both social and economic, of a community are often different from the grand picture: "Big Brother is doing it for your own good." We've heard that a lot of times before. That's why I like the wording you've got in this section. If you change it to the wording the government --

Mr Hodgson: The other wording does half the job.

Mr Brown: I'm not so certain it does even half the job; it may negate what we're trying to accomplish. Again I come back to the suggestion that it's important that this notion be put in the principles of the bill and that the government might want to stand this down while we think about it for a few minutes.

Mr Wood: We'll take adjournment for a few minutes.

The Vice-Chair: The committee stands recessed for five minutes.

The committee recessed from 1120 to 1133.

The Vice-Chair: The committee continues its discussion of clause-by-clause. Is there further debate on the proposed amendment by Mr Hodgson?

Mr Hodgson: If I could say a few words, there's been some discussion before on this amendment that they agree with the content but they wonder where to put it. Some people say it should be in the definitions section and I'm proposing it be in the principles section. We on this side are trying to help this bill and be consistent. We propose that it be done in both. If everyone's in agreement with the intent and we're just quibbling about where it's to be put, I'm agreeable to put it in both. We can put it in the principles and we can put it again in the definitions, and then it'll be very clear for future generations to see that our intent was to have a balanced management approach to the crown forests so the people of Ontario and the communities of Ontario can benefit socially and economically. That's a friendly amendment.

The Vice-Chair: Of course, what we're talking about is the amendment that's before us. Any further debate?

Mr Wood: I understand exactly what the Conservative caucus is suggesting, that it should be in both sections, the definitions and also the purposes. I'm still not clear in my mind that that's necessary. If we look at the amendment they brought forward and then a further amendment to the amendment that has to be added -- at this point I'm still looking at our amendment that would deal with it and would give the same strength as what is being proposed when you talk about definitions. What we're suggesting is that it would be under 2(1) instead of 1.1. At this point, even though there's not that much disagreement about what we're trying to achieve, we feel that the amendment we're bringing forward later will address the concerns of the Conservative caucus, that the language there would deal with that. I know Mr Waters has comments he wants to make, and I might have further comments before it comes to a vote.

The Vice-Chair: Gee, I thought we were almost finished with this speakers' list, but I now have Mr Waters, Mr Hodgson, Mr Brown and Mr Carr.

Mr Daniel Waters (Muskoka-Georgian Bay): Having had a couple of minutes to reflect on this, I looked at it. Before, I had looked at the proposed PC motion in conjunction with the government motion, and now I'm sitting down and I'm looking at the act. Section 1 of the act, to me, covers what the PC motion says, and in addition to that you're going to have section 1.1, is my understanding.

If you look at what's already in the purposes clause, it says, "The purposes of this act are to provide for the sustainability of crown forests and, in accordance with that objective, to manage crown forests to meet social, economic and environmental needs of present and future generations." That's what's going to be in the final bill, so I don't see why you're asking for this. You're asking us to repeat it.

Mr Carr: Under "sustainability."

Mr Waters: But it says "sustainability" at this time. It already says "sustainability," and it says, "with that objective, to manage crown forests to meet social, economic and environmental needs." I see a balance, that you can't take social or you can't take economic or environmental as an individual concern and bring that forward and say, "You can either cut or not cut." You have to look at all three.

Mr Carr: What's the problem with putting it in again?

Mr Waters: How many times do you want to repeat it? That would be my answer to that question, Mr Carr.

Mr Hodgson: The whole purpose of this amendment is that in the purposes it sets out as the objective "to manage crown forests to meet social, economic and environmental needs." Then we define sustainability to mean "long-term forest health." Then we have the determination, and then we have the principles which are going to guide this act. The principles should be consistent with the purpose. But the first two paragraphs of your principles meet only half of equation and they minimize the economic impact.

I'm saying this act is to be proactive for the economic and social aspects of these communities in the present and for the future. Therefore, to be consistent with the purposes -- that's why it's mentioned at the top -- it should also be mentioned in the principles. They should be consistent with the first part of the section. That's why I'm asking that it be repeated in 1.1(3)3.

In response to the parliamentary assistant, that we're in agreement but it has the same weight in another section, with all due respect, I would like to get legal counsel's opinion on that, on whether there's a difference between having it in the principles or in the definitions. If there's no difference, I suggest we do it in both; if there is a difference, we should do it in both just to protect ourselves.

Mr Beecroft: Section 1 of the bill governs the whole bill. Every provision of the bill should be interpreted in accordance with section 1. If there's any legal issue that arises on any provision of the bill, the purposes section, section 1, is available to whoever has to interpret it, whether it's ministry staff, whether it's the court, to assist them in interpreting it.

This particular provision deals specifically with the Forest Management Planning Manual. It says, "The Forest Management Planning Manual shall provide for determinations of the sustainability" in accordance with certain principles. It's a more specific provision, directed specifically at that manual.

Mr Hodgson: That's exactly my point. That's why it has to be in there to guide the manuals on how we manage the crown forests, to act as a guide. It's been stated by the government, it's been stated in the purposes of this act, that this is sustainability on two different fronts: one is the whole forest ecosystem and the other is for the economic and social wellbeing of the communities in the present and the future. That's been stated time and again by the government, and I'm just asking that that be put in the principles that are going to guide how the manuals are drawn up and hold the ministry accountable.


Mr Brown: I agree with what Mr Hodgson is saying, that this is an important amendment to place the social and economic needs of many communities in Ontario in context.

One of the goals of this bill is to sustain those communities; at least that's how I understand this bill. Again it comes back to the fact that this is a timber bill, a timber management bill. It isn't a forest management bill, no matter how it's dressed up. It's about timber and we see everything from that perspective. If you go through this bill and compare it to the terms and conditions of the timber management EA, you'll find that most of it is somewhat similar. The only new section has been passed in Bill 160 already, I think supported by all three political parties: the setting up of the trusts for the sustainability of funding to forest renewal and forest activities through the futures fund.

But as I read this, I'm wondering -- this is a question to Mr Hodgson -- if he is saying exactly what he means. I'm wondering if it's somewhat backwards. Chris, is what you really want to be saying, "The social and economic needs of many communities in Ontario is vital to the health of crown forests"? I'm just trying to determine your intent. Is what you're saying that human activity, social and economic activity, is a component of a healthy forest and we need that to have a health forest, or are you -- I'm just trying to understand what you're putting here.

Mr Hodgson: No, it's fairly clear. When you're managing public lands, you can manage them for different aspects of the ecosystem and you can also manage them to take into account the economic and social wellbeing of many communities. This is just a principle, that "The health of crown forests is vital to the social and economic needs of many communities in Ontario." This will guide how the manuals are drawn up and how you implement forest management plans in Ontario.

It's a truism that the health of the crown forest is vital to the social and economic needs of their communities, and when we're drawing up the manuals on how the forests around Kapuskasing, for instance, are to be managed, that would be given equal weight to paragraphs 1 and 2 of the principles, which cover other aspects.

Mr Brown: We come back to my concern that we've been expressing all the way through, that we have a timber bill here before us and it's not what the government bills it as.

Our idea was to have an umbrella bill that talked about sustainability, and the various aspects I think could have been a timber act, could have been the Game and Fish Act, could have been some amendments to the Provincial Parks Act. There could have been quite a series of what the government might want to have called sustainability acts, but under the umbrella of sustainability.

What we have here is an act that deals with timber and we're trying to take the timber and move it off into some way of using timber to manage the entire forest. Yes, we should have regard to a bunch of other values, but really what we're doing is managing timber.

Coming back, I reiterate our support for Mr Hodgson's amendment. I think it's helpful. I can't believe the government would have any problem putting it in the section that is only to be used in interpreting the forest planning manual. The government hasn't been very convincing, to me, about why they don't want to include this section.

Mr Bisson: We're going to help you.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Carr has proposed to reverse the speaking order. He will cede his spot to Mr Bisson.

Mr Bisson: Thank you very much, Mr Carr. I'm going to make you happy. We hear what you're trying to do, Mr Hodgson, with your motion. Quite frankly, we don't have a big problem with it, but it comes back to what I was talking about, that maybe we're not doing in the right section of the bill. Bear with me.

What we're doing under principles is saying "The Forest Management Planning Manual shall provide for" these following determinations. If you go to subsection 66(2) of the act, there's going to be an amendment put there already. We're going to be saying "The Forest Management Planning Manual shall contain provisions respecting" the following principles: (a) and (b), and we suggest you put this as (c), which would be the best place to put it. It would do exactly what you want, because that principle that's enunciated in the purposes clause is driven through the forest planning manuals, and we are going to define that under clause 66(2)(c).

What we would be saying is that the Forest Management Planning Manual shall provide for the determination of the sustainable crown forest, in the amendment the way it is. We would then take your amendment to our motion, which we see as friendly, and would move it over to 66(2)(c). That's what would guide the forest planning manuals in drafting and how they have to be interpreted and what they mean, and it would do exactly what you want it to do.

Mr Hodgson: I'd like legal counsel's opinion. If somebody challenges this act, would putting it in 62 have the same weight as where it's proposed now? If it's the same, why don't we do it in both?

Mr Beecroft: I'm not sure I understand Mr Bisson's proposal. The opening words of subsection 66(2) are "The Forest Management Planning Manual may contain provisions respecting," and I'm not sure I understand what you propose clause (c) would say.

Mr Bisson: Let me explain. The government amendments are yet to come, and there is an amendment to subsection 66(2). Subsection 66(2) will read, "The Forest Management Planning Manual shall contain," so it's not "may." Now when the planning manuals are put in place, these are the principles the planning manuals have to be driven by. By taking his 3 and putting it there, it basically does what he wants it to do.

If you go back to 1.1(3), the way I would explain it is this: What section 1.1 does is that you have the purpose clause. The purposes clause itself, as it reads, and we agreed, is, "The purposes of this act are to provide for the sustainability of crown meet the social, economic and environmental needs."

Then we go on to define that a little further under section 1.1: "`sustainability' means long-term forest health." Then we give determinations by which we can measure how we're going to achieve that, because we need to be able to measure that; we want to be able to quantify, to a certain extent.

Then we set out the principles by which we're going to have that determination. In the principles, we're saying that's going to be done through the Forest Management Planning Manual. If we go to subsection 66(2) and we take Mr Hodgson's motion and we put that as (c), it basically does what he wants it to do, and it would make a lot more sense putting it there.

My fear is that if you put it in both, if you say we're going to have 1.1(3)3 and we're going to do it again under 66(2)(c), it's putting more words into the bill than really need to be there. My view, and this is just a legislative framework, is that the more you put into a purposes clause, the more you can make it confusing. That's why it would be much better just to try to leave the purposes clause the way it is. The purposes clause is set up in order to give you determinations about how you reach sustainability and how it works so you can measure it. We do that through the Forest Management Planning Manual, and under 66(2)(c) we would add that clause.


Mr Hodgson: I still haven't got the answer about whether there's a difference under the law between what's being proposed.

Mr Beecroft: The effect of your motion is to say that the manual's provisions about how to determine sustainability have to be in accordance with certain principles. The amendment Mr Bisson is talking about would say that the manual shall contain provisions respecting something. Your amendment is saying the manual has to be consistent with certain principles. His amendment would say specifically that the manual shall contain provisions respecting something. I'm not quite sure I know exactly what words you have in mind for clause (c), but --

Mr Bisson: So the answer is yes.

Mr Beecroft: There is a difference between the two motions. Which you prefer is up to you.

Mr Hodgson: There is a difference. Right. What I'm saying --

The Vice-Chair: I'm sorry, Mr Hodgson, but Mr Bisson had the floor. He asked you a question and you told him he had the floor back.

Mr Bisson: I'm not going to belittle it. We're prepared as a government to entertain the principle Mr Hodgson has put in his motion. It is our view that this principle we agree with, I think all parties agree with, and we're prepared to do it under clause 66(2)(c).

Mr Carr: I thought we had it. I believe that what we're saying is as important as 1 and 2. If you believe that 3 is as important as 1 and 2, it should be in the principles. If you don't believe it, put it anywhere else, but we cannot compromise under the principles. I think paragraph 3, which we are adding, is as important as 1 and 2 under the principles.

Let's make no mistake about it. When we get to "Forest Management Planning Manual" under the definitions, it says it "means the Forest Management Planning Manual prepared under section 66 and approved by the regulations, including amendments to the manual approved by the regulations." This is going to be the strength of the bill. This is where all the work is going to be done, notwithstanding the purposes clause, I believe, and that's why believe it is so important.

In the Forest Management Planning Manual, if you're going to lay out principles -- this is where I think the actual work is going to happen. If you believe in principles 1 and 2 and don't believe in 3, don't put it in there, but don't tell us 1 and 2 are important enough to be in principles but 3 is not. You can't have it both ways. If 1 and 2 are important to be in the principles, 3 should be as well. If you don't believe it's as important as 1 and 2, don't put it in, but don't try and put it in other sections. Forgive me, because I don't want to be confrontational, but it does not do it.

We have some waving here, so I'll defer to you. It reminds me of school, the kid who had the answer.

If you believe it's important, put it in there. If you don't, then don't con us and say it's part of the principle, because it is not.

Mr Brown: As we go through this bill and went through the hearings, it seemed to me that one of the important things the government was trying to talk about and believed was important and indeed was compelled to do through the timber EA terms and conditions was to set up community advisory committees. I thought that was one of the basic tenets of this bill, that it was reflecting what the timber EA said. Mr Hodgson puts an amendment that just strengthens the importance of communities in the bill, and all of a sudden the government has a problem with that. Again I'm confused about why the government has trouble doing what the government has already indicated it will do.

Mr Hodgson makes a good point. I think having this in the principles of the Forest Management Planning Manual is important for the interpretation. As we all know in this business, what courts end up doing to legislation is not always what we intend, and we should take every safeguard to make sure the communities are important here and that the wellbeing of people is important here.

As the government has been so adamant that it's following the timber EA's terms and conditions in terms of community involvement in these decisions, I'm having some difficulty at this point understanding the reluctance of the government to put that in the principles of the Forest Management Planning Manual. It puzzles me.

If there's a problem with the wording, if there's some word in there that's giving them difficulty, they should say so. Maybe we can work out a wording that says the same thing but doesn't cause whatever offence Mr Hodgson's wording appears to be causing the government; we can work that out. But I think it needs to be part of the principles.

Mr Wood: I'll try to clarify some of the confusion there may be in Mr Brown's comments. I'll go back to what transpired about an hour ago. There was a question about whether there's been broad public consultation on what we are proposing in our amendment. Yes, there has been. It follows along the lines of the Diversity report. It follows along the lines of the policy framework. It addresses the environmental assessment concerns. The advice we've been getting is that the amendment we've brought forward doesn't necessarily need the addition that the Conservatives have brought forward, provided we give a definition of what forest health is, and as Mr Bisson said earlier, we address the concerns of the Conservative caucus in the manuals in terms of communities. Our concern is that we want "the people of Ontario," and you're saying "communities" and then you're saying, "I'll bring forward an amendment to put people in those communities to address that."

We feel that our amendment, along with a further explanation, under the definitions, of "forest health," and with the understanding that we will address your amendment under section 66 on the manuals, and as the purposes clause has already been voted on and accepted -- I've just explained that there has been broad public consultation on the government motion we've brought forward. I think during the policy framework we consulted over 3,000 people.

In bringing forward our amendments, there was a lot of dialogue with professional foresters, and the advice they're giving us is: "No, you can't satisfy everybody who comes in front of the committee, but what you have addressed in your amendment will address the concerns. You haven't left anything out" in terms of the studies that have been done, the Diversity report, the policy framework, the environmental assessment and the consultation that has taken place prior to drafting the legislation, during the second debate on the legislation, during the public hearings that have gone on, and at the end of the public hearings, the consultation that took place in the drafting of the manuals, the regulations, the feedback coming from not just a handful of people but hundreds of people out there advising on what to do.

I don't know how much advice the Conservative caucus has done and how much consultation they went into before they brought forward the amendment, but I know what we have done as the government caucus.

The Vice-Chair: That will conclude the discussions for the morning.

The committee recessed from 1200 to 1405.

The Vice-Chair: We are debating the amendment by Mr Hodgson to the new section 1.1.

Mr Miclash: I spent the last two hours going over what we were looking at just before the lunch break. I was taking a look at what Mr Hodgson proposed, reading it over and thinking that it might read better and maybe we could get the government folks on side if we were to say, "The health of crown forests is vital to the social and economic wellbeing of many communities in Ontario." I think that would change the context of it a bit, yet not change the meaning. I'm suggesting that as a friendly amendment.

The Vice-Chair: A friendly amendment to Mr Hodgson's friendly amendment. If he wants to change that, of course it would be up to Mr Hodgson, but Mr Brown is next.

Mr Brown: I thought Mr Miclash had made a motion.

Mr Miclash: Sorry. I move that we change the wording from "economic needs" to "economic wellbeing."

The Vice-Chair: I'm advised that you cannot make an amendment to an amendment. Unless Mr Hodgson integrates this into his own amendment, you will have to wait to make your own amendment later on.

Mr Brown: Maybe we can hear from Mr Hodgson on this one.

The Vice-Chair: As Mr Brown is next, he would like to hear from Mr Hodgson, if he wants to speak.

Mr Hodgson: Thank you very much, Mr Chair, for your generosity.

The Vice-Chair: It's all Mr Brown's doing.

Mr Hodgson: Thank you very much, Mr Brown. I stand corrected.

Mr Brown: You're welcome.

Mr George Mammoliti (Yorkview): Those halos are going to fall round your neck and choke you.

Mr Hodgson: I'm glad to see that Mr Miclash spent his two hours productively. "The health of crown forests is vital to the social and economic wellbeing of many communities in Ontario." Is that correct? I'm agreeable to that change, and I'll repropose it.

I move that the government motion dealing with section 1.1 of the bill be amended by adding the following paragraph to subsection 1.1(3):

"3. The health of the crown forests is vital to the social and economic wellbeing of many communities in Ontario."

The Vice-Chair: Further discussion? Did Mr Brown still want to speak? I have Mr Carr next.

Mr Brown: I'll yield to Mr Carr.

Mr Carr: You know, I forgot what I was going to say.

The Vice-Chair: Then Mr Wood is next.

Mr Carr: I was just teasing. It was a train of thought for Gilles, actually, so I'll pass.

Mr Wood: It goes back to the discussion we had before lunch, and I'm not going to go on too, too long. The PC motion is bringing forth an additional section that we felt would probably be better in subsection 66(2). Chris has brought forward an amendment talking about many people in the communities of Ontario. Now we have a further amendment being brought forth saying --

The Vice-Chair: No, there's only one amendment before us.

Mr Wood: That was the discussion we had before, that he wanted the word "people" in there, even though he hasn't spelled it out in his written amendment. In our government motion, we're saying we want the word "people" in there. The whole discussion is centring on how we talk about communities, how we talk about people in communities, how we talk about the wellbeing of people in communities, and whether it should be addressed in 1.1(3)3.

Our concern is that, yes, we're going to have to deal with that issue, but it should probably be dealt with under a different section, section 66. Nobody disagrees that we have to address this in there, but it doesn't have to be addressed in the section that has been proposed in the PC motion to amend our main motion to amend the legislation.

The Vice-Chair: Is there further debate on this amendment or can we have the vote?

Mr Hodgson: I just want to remind the committee that this is an amendment to the government amendment, a friendly motion. If the government's saying they agree with this and they're going to put it into section 62, I still don't understand why they wouldn't want it in the principles up front so everyone in the communities and the public at large can take a look and it says clearly, yes, this is the purpose of the bill, and the principles follow the purpose, and that's going to guide how the manuals are drawn up. That's how the bill has been sold in the press releases. I feel we could have it in both places. I do thank the government for putting it in the section they referred to earlier and I look forward to seeing that, but I hope they would pass it in this section as well.

The Vice-Chair: Are we ready for the vote on the amendment? All in favour?

Mr Carr: Recorded vote.

The Vice-Chair: Recorded vote.


Brown, Carr, Hodgson, Miclash, Morin.

Mr Hodgson: Somebody's opposed to this, against the wellbeing of communities in Ontario?

The Vice-Chair: All those opposed?


Bisson, Dadamo, Jamison, Mammoliti, Waters, Wood.

The Vice-Chair: The motion is defeated.

We're now returning to the government motion.

Mr Wood: The reason for the amendment is that groups wanted sustainability defined within the act and it was also recommended that the principles from the policy framework be included. We feel that the motion we brought forward does this, that it clearly spells out what our definition is.

It's a new section. When we're talking about sustainability, we're directing it to be by the Forest Management Planning Manual. I think it addresses the concern that there wasn't enough definition in the act. By adding this new section, we feel that it's there. The definition will be also in the manual.

We've had broad public consultation with this particular motion that's been brought forward. It incorporates the principles from the policy framework and the Diversity documents, and these are documents and consultation that have been out there broadly, with well over 3,000 people. We've also had consultation with a large number of people, in bringing forth this motion, over the last 10 days, since public hearings were finished.

Mr Bisson: I would basically say the same thing. We've had lots of discussion on this, so let's move on to the vote.

Mr Miclash: I'm having a hard time with what the parliamentary assistant is saying when he says "broad public consultation." I sat in the hearings for three weeks and heard a countless number of groups -- I think more than 50 groups -- say there had to be a definition of sustainability in the act. When he talks about broad public consultation, maybe I was missing something when we heard about all those people telling us that this definition certainly had to be in the act.

Mr Wood: In our government motion, if you look at it, "In this act, `sustainability' means long-term forest health."

Mr Miclash: "For the purpose of this act and the regulations, the sustainability of a crown forest shall be determined in accordance with the Forest Management Planning Manual." Then it refers to the manuals in terms of the definition of sustainability.

Mr Wood: Yes, there are two definitions. One is in the act, that "sustainability means long-term forest health," and then it's in the manuals as well, following along the lines of the policy framework for sustaining forests and the Diversity documents, the concept of biological diversity and silviculture and the whole bit. It's all covered in there loud and clear, as far as I'm concerned.

Mr Carr: This whole issue came up, and realizing there was not an opportunity for consensus, maybe the parliamentary assistant could tell us the names of the groups that now support this definition, if any. Are there any groups that you can say support your definition? I don't want to get into the tricks we played with the other chap, who said they wanted a definition and tried to make it like, "Maybe you'll like this definition." I want to be very clear. Are there any groups you can name that like this definition? Of all the groups that came forward, who can you say likes this as is?

Mr Bisson: The friends of Gilles Bisson.


Mr Carr: It's a serious question.

Mr Wood: I haven't answered yet. We were on the telephones consulting with a large number of people, asking: "Will this satisfy the concerns out there? Are we going too far away from the objectives and principles in the policy framework?" The answers came back loud and clear: "No, what you've incorporated in this particular thing addresses those concerns. It's condensed it down, but it still covers the main principles and objectives of the policy framework and the Diversity documents that are out there."

As Mr Brown mentioned earlier, it's based on cabinet approval of the policy framework. It's all incorporated in there and, yes, the groups have got feedback on that. We've consulted with them.

Mr Carr: I don't want to put you on the spot, but I will. In your own area, Spruce Falls Inc was very critical. Do they agree to this one?

Mr Wood: It depends on who you're talking to from Spruce Falls Inc.

Mr Carr: Kent Virgo was the official voice that day; let's use him. I recognize there are 800 people there, Lord knows, but the official voice coming out, surely -- what does Kent Virgo say?

Mr Wood: I haven't talked to Kent Virgo on this, but I've talked to Dave Goss, who is his immediate boss, and I've talked to Frank Datori, who is the chief financial officer of Spruce Falls.

Mr Carr: And they endorse this? They say this is good?

Mr Wood: There is not so much concern with this as there is with -- they raised tenure.

Mr Carr: To cut through it, we can safely say there aren't people who say, yes, this it. We're still in this area. I recognize that at the end of the day you have to, because Lord knows you're not going to be able to get a consensus to please everybody. I just want to know if we had it, and I want to know very clearly. I sense we don't. We still haven't done it, right? There isn't a consensus now that this is final? There's still disagreement, and they haven't said, "Boy you've really finally done it, this is it," for this motion, right?

Mr Wood: This is generally supported out there by a large group of people, Mr Carr. We're always going to have the problem of sustainability. Do we come up with a worldwide definition of sustainability? Do we use a federal Canada sustainability definition? Do we use an Ontario definition, a northeastern definition, a northwestern definition, or what is sustainability in this particular forest? There are probably 100, 140 forests we're talking about. The professional foresters we're talking to are saying they need the ability to be able to adopt something out there, and let's not tie their hands. That's something that's not going to work.


Mr Carr: I wish we had an opportunity to call some of the people back in, with some of the amendments. As you know, I was very clear with a lot of them, asking, "If it changes" -- it would be helpful, although we're certainly not precluded from asking some of these people before third reading whether they now support the amended bill.

As I mentioned earlier, it's difficult for some of these groups, particularly when they have a parliamentary assistant from that area, because people don't like to come in and criticize the government, in spite of what you might think. I get the feeling that for the groups that opposed it, and I used Avenor and Eddy and Spruce Falls Inc, that said, "Don't pass it as is," one of their big concerns was this whole issue of a definition and so on. I suspect that if you asked those people now whether they agree with this, they would still say, "No, we can't" and whatever.

That's what I'm getting a sense of. You can't say definitely, "Yes, this is now a definition that the people at Spruce Falls Inc like." I recognize that it was difficult to do. I just wanted to get that clarified. At the end of the day, you have to come up with something and we run of time. If our party had been in government or the Liberals, I imagine they also might not have been able to get a definition that would've been agreeable.

But I just don't want us to sit here and play the games, like with the other chap. When you ask them the question, "Do they agree to this?" they say, "They like the definition." Let's not play games. Let's say it's difficult and they couldn't agree to it.

My next question is this. I guess I was a little disappointed about our motion. I sat here, and I know some of the members tried hard to work it out and work with some of the staff people, but when push came to shove, the people making the decision were the staff, basically, who were calling it, because I cannot believe that our motion could not have been agreed to by the members. I'm a little bit concerned that at the end of the day what we do here doesn't matter. They tell you you can't. Unelected officials are going to have a big impact on Gilles' riding and, even as a parliamentary assistant, in your riding. They're making a decision you're going to have to live with on this.

Mr Mammoliti: You're in la-la land.

Mr Carr: George, we know that all you do is rubber-stamp, but in all fairness to Gilles and Len, I think they at least did try to work with the people and, at the end of the day, they did try to get it done. In your case I don't think it matters too much. You're just here for the ride.

Mr Mammoliti: You're in la-la land again.

Mr Carr: Some of us are attempting to make this bill better. Through this whole thing what I gather is that it really doesn't matter what we do here, that some of the work we try to put forward on some of these issues, and the same with Mike and Frank, isn't going to matter; they're going to do whatever they want. I'm not going to waste my time going through this.

As you know, I don't come from an area where I knew too much about the industry -- I've tried because of my critic's portfolio -- but in the two weeks I was up there I tried to learn as much as I could and put things forward. Of course, Chris knew a little more about it. We tried to put some of these amendments forward to make the bill better at the end of the day. It's not going to work.

I realize that, for whatever reason, there aren't going to be the changes, so there isn't a heck of a lot of point in putting the time into it and proposing amendments. Quite frankly, if I'm going to talk to anybody, it's those people back there. You people won't make any of the changes.

Mr Mammoliti: Did you stay up all night?

Mr Carr: You know what, George? I knew what the amendments were about. I knew what they were about, George. I didn't sit here and collect my pay and watch the world revolving by. I attempted to work with the situation.


The Vice-Chair: Order, Mr Carr; through the Chair, please. Mr Mammoliti.

Mr Carr: I actually read them to know what I was voting on, George.

The Chair: Mr Carr, would you please address your comments to the Chair.

Mr Carr: What we attempted to do with that was put forward something constructive. I don't think it's too helpful to continue. The bill's going to go through; you're going to win the amendments coming through. All I'll say is that there's no sense even trying to work for compromise in supporting this. Anything the government puts forward, we may as well just vote against it, because you're not willing to listen to us and we're probably not willing to listen to you either. There's no sense wasting a whole lot of time on it. We're wasting everybody's time sitting around here debating this. Let's try and move it through a lot faster, because the bill's going to go through as is with the government amendments.

Ultimately, it's the people who are going to have to live with this. Committee is the one area where I thought we had some ability to attempt to make bills better, but I can see it won't be. I haven't been here under previous governments. They tell me it was the same way under other governments. Things aren't going to change too much around here. What I resent more than anything else is the fact that unelected officials, people who won't have to carry the can on this, are the ones making the decisions. It's a waste of time.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Hodgson.

Mr Mammoliti: I'm very disappointed in you, Gary.

Mr Carr: I'm very disappointed in you, George. For once you could go out on a limb.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Hodgson has the floor.

Mr Hodgson: In the interest of friendly amendments and trying to make this bill work better for the future, I follow what the government said, that it's taking my amendment out from this amendment, just a statement of principle that forests are important to the social and economic wellbeing of communities across Ontario, and it wants to put it into subsection 62(2) as "Thou shalt," put it word for word into that section.

To be consistent with what the government's asking -- and I follow what Mr Bisson said, that you don't want to put a lot of words at the front of the act in the principles section, in section 1. To be consistent, the whole of subsection (3) should be deleted and moved, along with my amendment, into subsection 66(2).

That's the government's argument, the parliamentary assistant's argument, that those are the principles that guide the makeup of the manuals. You'd put "Thou shalt" in your amendment and you'd take the principles right out of the front section and put them into subsection 66(2), to be consistent with the argument we've heard for the last two hours from the government, if I'm following that correctly. That's the reason my amendment was rejected as being put in here, because it was better suited to subsection 66(2).

It is a principle. You've got, "Large, healthy, diverse and productive crown forests and their associated ecological processes and biological diversity should be conserved." That's a principle that should be along with and balanced with social and economic sustainability for future generations, and it should go into subsection 66(2) if we're to be consistent with what the government's been saying this morning and yesterday afternoon.

With that in mind, to help the government be consistent and to make this act flow together in a consistent manner with the statements that have been made, I'd like to make an amendment to this amendment, if that's possible, Mr Chair. I have it in written form.

I move that the government motion dealing with section 1.1 of the bill be amended by deleting subsection 1.1(3), Principles.

I'll table this motion with the Chair at this time, but I feel that can be added into the government motion under subsection 66(2) and make it so all the principles are together that have to dictate how the manuals operate. Is that agreeable, Mr Waters? It's consistent and it's logical.

The Vice-Chair: I understand that this amendment is in order. Does everybody understand what is being moved? Apparently everybody understands it. We're now again discussing an amendment, so who wants to speak to the amendment?


The Vice-Chair: Order, please. Mr Carr and Mr Mammoliti, if you want to have a private discussion, please do it outside.


Mr Bisson: I understand the light in which Mr Hodgson brings forward his amendment. I would just say that we went through the debate a little while ago in regard to trying to adhere to the requests of the Conservative caucus, unlike the characterization made by Mr Carr earlier. What we're trying to do here as a government caucus -- Mr Wood and myself and other committee members also -- is to listen to what the opposition is saying. If the opposition has amendments that make sense, that complement the bill and make it a better working document, why wouldn't we want to do that? We're perfectly prepared.

Unlike Mr Carr's characterization that he feels the entire process is run by the bureaucrats within MNR, I would say, no, that is not the case. We give the direction to ministry staff in terms of what we want to do. Certainly we confer with them in regard to what the implications of certain amendments would be -- I think we have that responsibility -- but it's entirely the decision of this committee to decide what we're going to do with this bill, and that's how this thing is proceeding.

The comments by Mr Carr I understand were made in frustration. I don't think he agreed with them himself. I think he's probably saying that because Mike told him to come in here and say that. That's understandable. That's your leader, that's what he wants you to do.

Anyway, speaking directly to the amendment -- I was trying to figure out how to skirt around to get to that -- what we're trying to do in this section is two things under the purposes clause. We're trying to set out what the purpose is, as is found presently in section 1 as it stands, and we have a number of principles that are set out in that. We then move on to giving a description of what sustainability is, unlike the characterization of the Liberal Party. There is a definition here; it's very concise, very clear, we know what it means.

Then what we're trying to do in this part is set a determination so we can measure that in the end. That's why this particular section is brought forward, with the determination of how we measure and the principles which they follow. The principles are guided back to the Forest Management Planning Manual found in subsection 66(2). If we were to do what you asked us to do, I think we'd have no way of doing the determinations.

What we were trying to do from the government side is take your request to bring that paragraph 3 you wanted into the act. We're prepared to do that and we will do it under 66(2), but to take out what you're asking us to do, to strike out the entire section 1 of the act after "Determination," I don't think would work. We need to leave that there so we have some ability to measure the determination about how sustainability is working. To take it out I think would delete that.

Mr Brown: Again my colleague from Victoria-Haliburton has brought forward an interesting approach, and I think it might be the approach which balances off the concerns the government had and the concerns Mr Hodgson had that the principles be on an equal footing. I think that's what Mr Hodgson is attempting to do and that's why he would prefer to see them in subsection 66(2). That makes some sense.

Our disappointment that we weren't able to define the principles up front that would apply to the entire bill, not just to the Forest Management Planning Manual but also to other elements of the bill like the silvicultural manual and other manuals, is clear. I think Mr Hodgson is making a valuable suggestion here. It seems to me that in order to get the balance correctly, what he is suggesting might be the route to go.

The government has already shown its reluctance to actually put the principles in the legislation. They're quite happy, I guess, to put them in the Forest Management Planning Manual, but every interest group that came before us said we needed to define this. What Mr Hodgson is suggesting is that if you won't define it up front, define it where all the points have equal weight in law. I share his concern that some of these elements are going to be interpreted by a court somewhere as having different weight. I think that's what Mr Hodgson is trying to get at, and I support his efforts in that regard.

Mr Bisson: I want to say again that if you take out this section, as proposed by Mr Hodgson, you would have no weight in regard to the planning manuals. What we're doing is defining sustainability in the act under "Sustainability," section 1.1, and then quantifying how we do that and giving it more definition and giving it more weight by going off to section 66. If you take out "Determination" and "Principles," you're not going to have that. We can't support your motion, because it would delete the power we have in the act.

Mr Hodgson: I'd like legal counsel's opinion on that. As I read it, I'm not taking out the definition of sustainability or the determination. The determination reads, and this is subsection 1.1(2), "For the purpose of this act and the regulations, the sustainability of a crown forest shall be determined in accordance with the Forest Management Planning Manual." Then the authority for the manual comes in section 66. The principles have to be mentioned in the manuals, but the authority for the manuals comes from the act itself in section 66.

Mr Bisson: Just a question, just to help things along.

The Vice-Chair: Sorry, but the question is to legislative counsel. We'll hear from Mr Beecroft. Mr Hodgson, you still had a question for Mr Beecroft?

Mr Hodgson: Two questions. One is the question I just stated, and the other is, by leaving two of the principles here under "Principles" in section 1.1 and putting the third principle in subsection 66(2), would that have different weight in law?

Mr Beecroft: As I understand your motion, you're only proposing that subsection 1.1(3) be struck out.

Mr Hodgson: That's correct.

Mr Beecroft: So subsections 1.1(1) and 1.1(2) in the government motion would remain. Regarding the second question, if you simply removed subsection 1.1(3) from this section and transferred it word for word into section 66, I don't think it would have any different legal effect. Now, if you left two principles here and put another principle in section 66 that followed the same language, if section 66 said, "The Forest Management Planning Manual shall provide for determinations of the sustainability of crown forests in a manner consistent with the following principle," and you added a third principle, so you had two in section 1.1 and another one in section 66, it would be puzzling to do that from a drafting point of view.

Mr Hodgson: And that's what they're proposing to do here. My amendment makes it consistent.

Mr Beecroft: If you want those three lines that introduce the principles to be identical in both section 1.1 and section 66, it makes sense to have all three principles in one place.

Mr Hodgson: That's right. That's what my motion does.

Mr Beecroft: If you want the three lines that introduce the principles to be different, if the purpose of the provision in subsection 1.1(3) is different from the purpose in section 66, then there's a reason to have them in different places. But I'm not sure what the committee's desire is.

Mr Hodgson: I am not sure what the reason is. I'm told that we would take the weight away from the planning manuals, and I don't think that's true.

Mr Carr: We were told you're wrong, Mr Beecroft.

Mr Hodgson: All I'm asking is that it be consistent. I propose that the government have a recess on this to determine what they want to do.


Mr Wood: I don't think there's any reason for a recess. We have our legal person here who drafted the legislation and has given us the interpretation of it. I'm quite prepared to bring him forward to explain the reason. He can do it through me; if you think it should be done through me, I can have a chat with him.

Mr Carr: There's obviously a disagreement between legal minds.

Mr Wood: We have our legal people, the same as you had your legal people who drafted your amendments and the Liberals had their people who drafted their amendments. There's a reason for putting it in this particular --

Mr Hodgson: I'd be agreeable, Mr Chair, if we could ask the legal counsel.

The Vice-Chair: I think that's what Mr Wood authorized. Can we have the ministry legal counsel come to the table. Please introduce yourself.

Mr Stuart Davidson: My name is Stuart Davidson. I'm legal counsel for the Ministry of Natural Resources.

Mr Hodgson: Thank you, Stuart; sorry to have to bring you up here. My amendment to the government amendment is following the logic we've heard this morning, that we do not need to have a principle recognizing the economic and social aspects of this sustainability act which are mentioned in the purpose, that we can have that in subsection 66(2), as the government suggests. If this goes through, we would have two principles in the first section of the bill and one principle in section 66(2). In a court, would it ever be determined that these are unequal principles if they are in different sections of the act?

Mr Davidson: I think there's a little bit of confusion here, and I mean no disrespect. Subsection 1.1(3) is talking about the principles that will be applied in the determination of sustainability. These two principles that are delineated in 1 and 2 are the principles that the ministry will be obliged, under the law, to comply with or be consistent with when they're determining their test for sustainability.

If the committee decides -- it is the committee's decision, of course -- to include your motion in 66, what that means is that when they're drafting up the Forest Management Planning Manual, depending on the final wording of that motion, that will have to be an element of the manual. For example -- and I don't want to put words in anyone's mouth -- if we were to put a recognition that a healthy forest is vital to the economic and social needs of the people of Ontario, or whatever, that would mean that in that manual there would be a requirement that it be recognized in terms of how the manual is drafted.

Mr Hodgson: That's correct, and the government side has already assured us that that's going to be in the government amendment. What I'm saying is that to make this bill consistent, all the principles should be in one section, and that's subsection 66(2); that would make it a consistent act. The idea that if you take out subsection (3) of your amendment, that wouldn't give any weight to the planning manuals -- I believe the manuals stand alone under "Determination," subsection (2), and again in section 66.

Mr Davidson: I think the position of the ministry -- and that's all I can articulate here -- is that subsection 1.1(3) is relating to the principles that will be applied to the determination of sustainability. Those are the two principles that will relate to the test.

In terms of the motion that may be possibly raised by the committee in terms of the manuals, the two are not mutually exclusive, and it may be -- in my opinion, it would be -- that you're likely to have more weight if it's included as a separate principle -- for want of a better word at this stage -- in 66(2). That's the advice I think I've given to you.

Mr Hodgson: But they're all principles and they should be balanced. We've got the ecological requirements of sustainability in (3)1, and what I was asking for in (3)3 would have been the recognition of the social and the economic as equal, as the purpose of the bill says. So I'd like it all in 66, if you're saying that has more weight. That would give it a total balanced approach. If you remove (3), paragraphs 1 and 2, and put it into 66, it would have more weight and be consistent; all the principles that guide the manuals would be together.

Mr Davidson: I don't in any way mean to be argumentative, but in a way you're talking about apples and oranges. The two principles that are in (3) are talking about the principles that apply to determination of sustainability, and that is already in clause 66(2)(b). If they add your motion, then you have the balance that I believe you're recommending.

Mr Hodgson: But I would like to scrap these first two. There is another way to determine sustainability, and that's based on the economic sustainability of the communities involved, or social sustainability, as well as environmental, ecological sustainability. The ministry has to manage these crown forests in such a way that the people of Ontario can measure it. They will require accountability: Section 3 of this act says it will make the crown accountable.

Mr Davidson: With all due respect, that's a political discussion, and I think it should be --

Mr Hodgson: We're told on the political discussion that there are legal ramifications to what we're doing, that if you scrap subsection (3), paragraphs 1 and 2, and move it to section 66, there'd be no weight in the planning manuals. A legal question: Is that yes or no?

Mr Davidson: It depends on what the wording is.

Mr Hodgson: I'm talking about deleting it. There's no wording. You'd take (3) right out of section 1.1. Does that do away with the manual's authority? The authority does not come from subsection (3) of 1.1. Are you saying it does?

Mr Davidson: No, no. What I'm saying is that if you delete subsection (3) of 1.1, that could possibly change how the ministry determines what sustainability is. It effectively opens it up.

Mr Hodgson: If you put it into section 66?

Mr Wood: I think it has been answered a number of times.

Mr Hodgson: No, he hasn't. He's thinking about it, Mr Chair. The question is, yes or no, does it take away from the manual?

Mr Wood: You came up with an amendment on the spur of the moment, and he's answered it already.

The Vice-Chair: Just a minute. It seems to me that Mr Davidson doesn't want to answer this particular question, which of course is his prerogative. Do you have any further questions, Mr Hodgson?

Mr Hodgson: You don't want to answer that? That's okay.

The Vice-Chair: Do you have any further questions, Mr Hodgson?


The Vice-Chair: Could we have order, please. Mr Hodgson has the floor.

Mr Carr: I just see that you're arguing two sides and you're caught doing it. You can't argue two sides. You can't argue five minutes for one amendment and --

Mr Mammoliti: You can't move amendments to amendments every two seconds and then expect counsel to come up and answer your questions. You just can't do that kind of thing.

The Vice-Chair: Order, please. Mr Hodgson, do you have any further questions?

Mr Hodgson: No.


The Vice-Chair: Order, please. Thank you very much, Mr Davidson.

Mr Mammoliti: Kick them all out.

The Vice-Chair: Sometimes I would like to kick some members out, but that's not my prerogative.

Do we have any further debate on this amendment?

Mr Bisson: I come back to what I was saying. I originally understood that what you were talking about doing is taking out (2) and (3), "Determination" and "Principles."

Mr Hodgson: Not (2), just (3).

Mr Bisson: Okay, now you've clarified it. Looking at the principles alone, if you took out the part that says, "The Forest Management Planning Manual shall provide for determinations of the sustainability of crown forests in a manner consistent with the following principles," and that's entirely gone, you have nothing referring back to section 66.


Mr Hodgson: You better put that back there, like you did with ours.

Mr Bisson: Follow what I'm saying here. Forget (1) and (2). I'm talking about (3), under "Principles." If you take out those two lines, you have nothing referring back to section 66, other than what we have under "Determination." What we're trying to do here, and I guess what counsel is trying to tell you about apples and oranges, is that we want to define sustainability as meaning long-term forest health, then we want to have some kind of determination so we can measure that, and the way we measure that is through the Forest Management Planning Manual, and then we're saying "the following principles" will be part of that.

I will get to your point. If you took out those two lines, you would have no principles for how to determine your determinations, and if you took out those two lines you would have no weight in 66(2). I would take it that's basically what would end up happening.

I understand the point you're getting at. You're worried that if you don't have 3 as you proposed it, which is the economic thing, it has less weight. What we're saying is that it's not a question of less weight. I asked you the question originally when we started the debate this morning. I said right at the beginning that I support what you want to do but I'm not so sure you're putting it in the right section. The way I read your section, is it a green thing or is it a brown thing, green being an environmental clause, or is it an economic development clause? Depending on how you read that, if it's an economic development clause, it has a totally different connotation. That's why I was saying, if you're reading it as a brown clause, I don't think it belongs under "Principles." It would have to go under subsection 66(2). That's the logical thing.

The Vice-Chair: I'd like to remind the members that we're still discussing Mr Hodgson's amendment that came on the spur of the moment. We still have the main section, of course, to be discussed.

Mr Brown: I'm a little concerned that Mr Bisson is referring to economic development as "brown." That really wasn't the point.

As I look at what Mr Hodgson's trying to accomplish here, we have to remember that what we're dealing with here is an amendment put forward by the government --


Mr Brown: That's fine, but this is an amendment and it wasn't in the original bill. What the government amendment does -- and people could help me if I'm wrong here -- is that it says "Sustainability, for the purposes of the Forest Management Planning Manual, is...." It doesn't say for the Forest Operations and Silviculture Manual, it says for the Forest Management Planning Manual. So we have a definition, if I'm understanding this correctly, that only applies to the planning manual. In other words, we could have a prescription put forward as a plan, and the plan or the prescription may be successful but the patient may die, because the operations and the silviculture don't follow along. The plan was great; it just didn't work.

I want to know from the parliamentary assistant, does this definition that is being put forward in the amendment apply to operations and silviculture manual directly, or does it only apply to the planning process? If so, how is the relationship between the operations and silviculture manual? Could you just describe the relationship here? If we're going to strike them, I would like to understand that. The government was perfectly happy a week ago not to have any definitions in here at all. Just help me out.

Mr Wood: You're wrong on that. We said we were going to come forward with amendments after we had the public hearings, and as a result of the public hearings we tabled our amendments last Thursday. They were given to the clerk and, I understand, circulated to the two opposition parties.

Mr Brown: We appreciate it.

Mr Wood: You're saying we had no intention of coming forward with a definition of sustainability and spelling it out and in the act and making sure it's covered under the Forest Management Planning Manual. We have done exactly what you're saying we had no intention of doing. I don't know what more you're looking for.

Now we're dealing with an amendment. You're saying, "We want to take some of that out of there and hide it into subsection 66(2)," and I'm asking, why do you want to take something out of the beginning of the act and put it into the back of the act? That's the amendment you're saying: to take it out of there and put it into the end. It all refers to sustainability and what message they --


The Vice-Chair: Mr Brown has the floor.

Mr Brown: I would really like an answer to the question. Do these principles, 1 and 2, apply only to the Forest Management Planning Manual?

Mr Wood: No, it applies to all the manuals, if that answers your question.

Mr Brown: How do we know that?

Mr Wood: Because I just said it is.

Mr Brown: That's great, but usually we try to write it.

Mr Carr: "Because I said it was."

Mr Wood: Well, I answered your question.

The Vice-Chair: Order, please. Any further questions, Mr Brown?

Mr Brown: After that one, no.

The Vice-Chair: Are we ready for the vote?

Mr Hodgson: No. I have one comment in response to a question posed to me by Mr Bisson. I could answer it in terms of an example. You're going to set up, under "Principles," 1 and 2, and 2 talks about, when you're determining sustainability and how you're to manage the forest business sustainably in these manuals, that you're "minimizing adverse effects on plant life, animal life, water, soil, air, and social and economic values." This act was supposed to promote economic and social sustainability.

For example, in Mr Waters's riding, if a crown forest wanted to have a trail put through it -- that is removing trees, that's not regenerating the trees -- that wouldn't be allowed if it was challenged under this act the way it would be written, unless you have some force of law to balance it that makes equal all three aspects of sustainability that are mentioned in the preamble and the press releases.

The Vice-Chair: Are we now ready to vote on Mr Hodgson's amendment? The amendment reads:

"I move that the government motion dealing with section 1.1 of the bill be amended by striking out subsection 1.1(3)."

All those in favour?

Mr Brown: Recorded vote.

The Vice-Chair: Recorded vote.


Brown, Carr, Miclash, Hodgson.

The Vice-Chair: All those opposed?


Bisson, Dadamo, Jamison, Mammoliti, Waters, Wood.

The Vice-Chair: The amendment is defeated.

We're returning to the government motion regarding section 1.1.

Mr Waters: After about three hours of debate, I'd like to put the question.

The Vice-Chair: You may wish to reconsider this, because this has serious implications. The government will then have to move --


Mr Waters: I can put the question on the government motion, right?

Mr Wood: I think we shouldn't.

The Vice-Chair: If you call the question, we will be voting on section 1 the way it is in the bill.


The Vice-Chair: I indicate to you again, we would be voting on section 1 as it is in the bill.

Mr Waters: Then I ask the Chair's indulgence in telling me how exactly we ever get to a vote on the government motion on section 1.1? Do we have to sit here till doomsday or do we get on with the job?


The Vice-Chair: Could we have some order, please?


The Vice-Chair: Gentlemen, there's only one Chairman in this committee, and it happens to be me today.

The answer to your question, which is obviously a valid question, is that if there are no more speakers who wish to speak to a certain amendment, we will call the vote.


Mr Bisson: Now we're back where we started about an hour or an hour and a half ago.

I just wanted to comment about a couple of points Mr Hodgson made. He was worried about subsection 58(1) being in conflict, that it would give weight to the bill to be able to deal with private lands. Just for purposes of clarification for the committee, 58(1) would give the ability to the crown, the people who work for the crown, to get access to certain lands that are private. For example, there are patented lands in regard to mining claims. As a lot of people in the north would understand, but maybe not in the south, it might be patented land by which the holder owns the surface rights but doesn't own the rights of the forest on that land. That's what 58(1) is all about. I wanted to clarify that for the record, that it didn't meant what Mr Hodgson said, that the intention was to give the purview of the act over private lands. It doesn't do that. It's only for the crown forests.

At this point I'll stop, because the person I wanted to talk to is gone.

Mr Wood: I'm going to be very brief in my comments. I think section 1.1 in our government motion addresses the concerns of a lot of people out there. It's unfortunate that Mr Carr is not here at this time, because I would have explained some of the questions he asked me about Spruce Falls. One forester has made a number of comments and other professional foresters have said: "We don't only have to worry about Kapuskasing. We have to worry about Smooth Rock Falls, Cochrane, all the communities in between." The professional foresters group came forward and said they thought we should proceed with Bill 171, with some amendments, and addressing the definition of sustainability would go a long way to doing that. This is what we've done.

Mr Brown: I have an amendment.

The Vice-Chair: You have an amendment to the government motion?

Mr Brown: To Mr Wood's motion, section 1.1.

I move that the government motion dealing with section 1.1 of the bill be amended by striking out "forest health" in subsection 1.1(1) and substituting "crown forest health."

All that actually does is add one word to the amendment and it just makes clear that we're talking about crown forests and not forests in general. We had that discussion a little earlier, I think the parliamentary assistant would remember. I was concerned that there is no definition of "forest" within this act, that the only definition of "forest" is "crown forest." I thought, to be helpful, that the parliamentary assistant and the government would clearly want the words "crown forest" in the amendment so we would understand we're dealing with crown forests.

The essence of this bill is that we are dealing with crown forests -- in my view it should be all crown forests, but I know that's not the government's view -- and we should be clear that's what we're talking about and not just forests in general. As long as we have to define things, I think we should know what we're talking about, unless the government plans on putting forward a definition of "forest" somewhere in the bill.

The Vice-Chair: Could you please pass that amendment to us?

Mr Brown: I think the clerk has a copy of that somewhere.

The Vice-Chair: He's not here right now.

Mr Brown: I think there were copies made for the committee. It was drawn up this morning.

The Vice-Chair: Okay. We have a new amendment. Mr Wood, did you want to comment?


Mr Mammoliti: Mr Chair, is there another amendment?

The Vice-Chair: That's correct. Mr Brown just moved an amendment, and I will read it again:

"I move that the government motion dealing with section 1.1 of the bill be amended by striking out `forest health' in subsection 1.1(1) and substituting `crown forest health.'"

Mr Wood: On that amendment, we're proposing that under the definitions, "forest health" be defined. We have a motion that was circulated this morning which would define forest health. Without trying to be argumentative, Mr Brown, it says, "`forest health' means the condition of a forest ecosystem that sustains the ecosystem's complexity while providing for the needs of the people of Ontario."

Mr Brown: I'm having trouble finding it in my binder.

The Vice-Chair: It's in there, numbered 3.2 in the upper right corner.

Mr Wood: What you pointed out, Mr Brown, is that we're dealing with An Act to revise the Crown Timber Act to provide for the sustainability of Crown Forests in Ontario, and I don't think we have any problem with inserting the word "crown" in there. I'm just not too sure what "crown forest health" would mean because the act really says we're dealing with crown forest health. If you think it's going to put some extra teeth into it -- but the heading of the act is quite clear. I'm not going to argue whether the word "crown" should be in there. It doesn't really take anything away from the legislation; maybe it doesn't add anything to it either. I'm not sure.

Mr Brown: I'm not sure either, other than I thought that to be consistent -- in the act itself the only definition of "forest" is "crown forest," and that's why I thought we should be consistent in that part of the bill. If that's not necessary that's not necessary, but it seemed to me just to be consistent.

The Vice-Chair: Could I make a clarification. The clerk has just checked, and the information I gave earlier to Mr Waters was incorrect. What we're discussing -- well, what we were discussing before Mr Brown made his amendment -- section 1.1 is a new section that is presently not in the bill. It is in order to call the question.

We're now going back to Mr Brown's amendment. I think Mr Bisson wanted to comment.

Mr Bisson: I just want to put a little fly in the ointment, Mr Brown, nothing serious, and I would look for some information from legislative counsel or maybe we can get the ministry lawyer up here. If you put the word "crown" in, instead of saying "forest," would it present a problem later on if we ever wanted to make a change to the Public Lands Act, to deal with reforestation on public lands, to say "crown forest" rather than "forest"? I just wonder if that would mean we would have to come back and reamend the act in some way in order to make those two acts mesh. This act speaks specifically only of forests found on crown forests, and if we wanted to do something with private lands, as some people want to do, will that present a problem in the future? I don't know if it's a problem. I just raise the question.

The Vice-Chair: Has anybody got an answer to this?

Mr Wood: I just made the comment that we don't think we have a problem with it. We don't have a problem with the word "crown" being in there.

The Vice-Chair: Is there any further discussion? If not, can we have a vote on the amendment put forward by Mr Brown?

Mr Bisson: No. Listen, I'm going to fight with my parliamentary assistant now. I really want to have that information from -- please.

Mr Wood: We have our legal adviser from MNR, Gilles.

Mr Carr: Why don't we send this guy home?

Mr Bisson: He wants to earn his pay.

The Vice-Chair: Any further questions regarding Mr Brown's amendment? No. We're then voting on Mr Brown's amendment. You all know what the amendment is. All those in favour of Mr Brown's amendment?

Mr Bisson: Recorded vote.

The Vice-Chair: Recorded vote. All those in favour of Mr Brown's amendment?

Clerk of the Committee (Mr Franco Carrozza): Mr Wood, Mr Brown, Mr Miclash, Mr Carr, Mr Hodgson, Mr -- you have to vote.

The Vice-Chair: Well, he can vote against it. It's a long clause-by-clause.

Clerk of the Committee: And Mr Waters. It's six.

The Vice-Chair: All those opposed?

Clerk of the Committee: Mr Bisson, Mr Dadamo, Mr Jamison and Mr Mammoliti.

The Vice-Chair: The amendment carries.

We're now returning to the government amendment to the bill, the new section 1.1. Since this is a new section, there can be a limited debate. Is there any further debate? Okay, I call the vote, then, on the amended government motion regarding section 1.1. All those in favour?

Mr Brown: Recorded.

The Vice-Chair: A recorded vote.


Bisson, Dadamo, Jamison, Mammoliti, Waters, Wood.

The Vice-Chair: All those opposed?

Mr Mammoliti: You weren't satisfied with your amendment?

Mr Brown: No, I wasn't.


Brown, Carr, Hodgson, Miclash.

The Vice-Chair: Section 1.1 carries, as amended.

We're now moving on to section 2 of the bill. I understand there are some amendments being proposed. Mr Brown, I think you have an amendment.


Mr Brown: This is the definitions section. We do have some amendments to the definitions section, but we have questions about other definitions within this section that we may want some answers to.

The Vice-Chair: Would you like to do that all at once?

Mr Brown: It may be easier to go through, and for each definition as we come to it there may be some we don't need to talk about, but as we go through, just so we can be satisfied that we have the proper definitions here.

The Vice-Chair: So what are you proposing?

Mr Brown: I'm proposing that rather than just take the amendment, we have an opportunity to ask the parliamentary assistant about any particular definition as we go through. In some members' minds there are some questions about these definitions, not necessarily --

The Vice-Chair: So at this point you're not making any particular amendment. You'd simply like to have some discussion on section 2.

Mr Brown: For example, on "crown charges," I would like to begin with asking some questions about that.

The Vice-Chair: Let's start asking the questions, then.

Mr Brown: Maybe the parliamentary assistant can help me. I note that when we look at the definition of "crown charges," it doesn't indicate taxes anywhere in this. Is a charge different from a tax or a price or a penalty or a cost? I'm thinking about things like residual value. In section 28, the minister has quite a wide discretion on setting something called "price" that many people would think is a fee, many people might think is a tax. I'm just wondering if we have this crown charge adequately described and if the word "tax" might not be something the government would want to include in that.

The Vice-Chair: You can have your officials respond.

Mr Wood: Yes, and if you have another question, we can address that at the same time.

Mr Brown: Do I hear an answer?

The Vice-Chair: He will be giving an answer shortly. Do you want to continue?

Mr Brown: Now we come to the famous definition of "crown forest." It means, "a forest ecosystem or part of a forest ecosystem that is on land vested in Her Majesty in right of Ontario and under the management of the minister." The first question I have is, how many of these do we have and how do I know when I leave one forest ecosystem and get into the next?

Mr Wood: That information is out there. I'm not a professional forester, Mr Brown. You have different species of trees. We could probably get you an answer on approximately how many forests are out there, but I don't have the answer right at my fingertips.

To go back to "crown charges," we're not talking about taxes here; we're talking about fees and charges as a way of doing business as a tenant to a landlord, tenants operating on government-owned crown land. It's the cost of doing business and it's not necessarily tax; it's charges, fees or penalties, expenses. This is the way it's been operated.

Mr Brown: So, for the purposes of this act, you are satisfied that "crown charges" describes everything and there's no need to include a word like "tax."

Mr Wood: Yes.

Mr Brown: That's fine. "Crown forests": We'll find out shortly how many we have, I guess, but it would seem to me to exclude forests which belong to the crown but are located on private lands.

Mr Wood: No. We have crown forests that are on private land.

Mr Brown: "`Crown forest' means a forest ecosystem or part of a forest ecosystem that is on land vested in Her Majesty in right of Ontario." That doesn't include, at least in my mind, forests that belong to the crown which are where someone else, some private individual or company, owns the land. Am I wrong?

Mr Wood: My understanding is that yes, there are crown lands, there are crown forests on crown lands, and there are also crown forests on private land, and the crown owns the forests and the resources on there.

Mr Brown: We're just trying to get this right. "`Crown forest' means a forest ecosystem or part of a forest ecosystem that is on land vested in Her Majesty in right of Ontario and under the management of the minister." The key word is that the forest is described as being on land vested in Her Majesty.

Mr Wood: I just got some clarification. I think you're right. What I was explaining earlier does not happen in this particular act, or this particular definition. We're dealing with crown land and crown forests.

Mr Brown: So a forest that is owned by the province, by Her Majesty, but is on somebody else's land, on private land or patented land under a mining claim or whatever, is not a crown forest. Am I correct in understanding that from this definition?

Mr Wood: The intention is that you're dealing here with crown forests on crown land. We're not dealing with crown forests on private land.


Mr Brown: So that's what we intend. That means this act does not deal at all with a crown forest which is on private or mining patented land or whatever. Is that true? That's what it says.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Wood is just trying to get a response.

Mr Brown: I'm very patient.

The Vice-Chair: If we could be patient for a minute.

Mr Bisson: What's your point?

Mr Brown: Does it or does it not apply to crown forests which are on private or, say, mining patented land? That definition precludes it.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Wood, you have the option of calling officials forward.

Mr Wood: Yes. Based on your advice, I've just had some discussions with some people. What you're concerned about, Mr Brown, is covered under 67(1)29 of the act, under regulations.

The Vice-Chair: You can't find that, Mr Brown?

Mr Wood: It's at the top of page 28. I think that will help you to understand the definition of what you raised, "crown forest." Any other questions, Mr Brown?

Mr Brown: I'm just trying to determine whether I'm satisfied yet.

The Vice-Chair: Perhaps while you think about that we can move on to --

Mr Brown: So this is the Crown Forest Sustainability Act, but it deals with forests that are not crown forests. Is that what I'm understanding? Is that right? Is that what paragraph 29 says?

Mr Wood: I referred you to that because under the regulations it helps to clarify. There are trees on private land, but the crown owns them.

Mr Brown: I understand that.

Mr Wood: And there are forests on private land that the crown owns.

Mr Brown: That's right, but they are not crown forests according to the definition that we're disputing. Paragraph 29 of section 67 permits you to make regulations, but they are outside of crown forests. Am I right or am I wrong?

Mr Wood: We're trying to cover a large area with a piece of legislation that --

Mr Brown: I understand.

Mr Wood: There's no doubt that in some cases we're not dealing with forests on patented land but just dealing with trees. There's a wide range of --

Mr Brown: But the definition of a crown forest that we're seeing here in the bill refers only to "a forest ecosystem that is on land vested in Her Majesty," but then under the bill, in a separate section, in 67(1)29, we have a section that can be regulated "governing the harvesting and disposition of trees that are not in a crown forest." So we have a crown forest bill talking about trees that aren't in crown forests, is that right?

Mr Wood: There's a regulation there to deal with that.

Mr Brown: Going back to my amendment that passed a few minutes ago to government amendment 1.1, where we talk about "long-term crown forest health," we're not referring to one of these forests; it would be on patented or private land, although the trees belong to the crown.

The Vice-Chair: It seems to me that there are some questions here that people are struggling to find an answer to. Perhaps the officials and the parliamentary assistant might want to think about it a little bit and put this on hold and come back with an answer later on, and in the meantime we'd go on to some questions. That's just to be helpful.

Mr Brown: That's fair enough.

The Vice-Chair: Perhaps the officials and the parliamentary assistant could come back later on, after they've had some time to think about this particular question. Do you have some other questions?

Mr Brown: In terms of making the legislation clear, I appreciate that.

We go to "`first nation' means a band as defined in the Indian Act." I'm just a little perplexed. The legal definition is "band," is it, in the Indian Act? I don't have a copy of the Indian Act here.

Mr Wood: We'll have to get you an answer on that.

Mr Brown: My concern is that "first nation" is a term used by a great many bands in Ontario, but I know of at least one that hasn't adopted the term "first nation." They have decided that, as they should, on their own, to call themselves what they choose to call themselves. I'm just wondering how that works.

Mr Wood: I'll get a further clarification for you, but there is the Indian Act of Canada, and in our dealings with first nation people, we've referred to them as first nation people on a regular basis, and we're referring to them as first nation people in the act. We're also saying that that means a band, as defined in the Indian Act of Canada. The Indian Act of Canada probably hasn't been updated in how many years to reflect what "first nation" might be or what "band" might be.

Mr Brown: All I'm trying to do is clarify these definitions, and "first nation" is a term that many bands choose for themselves. If they choose that, I believe that's what we should call them. But I'm just looking at the legal definition and noting that some bands have not chosen to be known as first nations, and there are also out there people who believe themselves to be first nation people and who are in the process of negotiating, for example, a land base for themselves, who as of yet have not actually under the Indian Act been incorporated as a band.

Mr Bisson: On a point of order, Mr Chair: I take it that what we're supposed to be dealing with are amendments to the legislation. Somehow we're into a wide discussion of all the definitions.

The Vice-Chair: It is a point of order. However, as I indicated at the beginning, and the committee agreed, Mr Brown has asked on section 2, before he puts the amendments forward, to have a general discussion on the various definitions being put forward. That's what we're doing at the present time.

Mr Bisson: Is that in order, or should we be putting amendments?

Mr Brown: Mr Chair, I thought these questions were to be helpful. We're here to review this bill clause by clause, literally word by word.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Brown, with the agreement of the committee, I gave you the floor. You still have the floor. However, I might indicate that, as what you're asking for is clarifications on the legal definitions that are here, perhaps the ministry's legal counsel, who probably drafted these matters, would come before the committee and try and answer some of the questions you have. But of course that's a decision that's up to the parliamentary assistant.


Mr Wood: With all respect, Mr Chair, I think as we get Mr Brown's questions, we can address a number of them. I don't know how many others he doesn't understand. We'll have to get him to put forward --

Mr Brown: I don't think it's a question of whether I understand them. It's a question of whether it is the proper definition in the bill to suit the government's purpose and the purposes of the legislation. If we don't have it right, at the end of the day we cause a lot of confusion, there are court actions. These are important questions to be putting forward. We're to continue, Mr Chair, I take it?

The Vice-Chair: It's up to you, if you have further questions that are, hopefully, going to speed up the process of the amendment-making regarding section 2.

Mr Brown: Is the purpose here speed or is the purpose here thoroughness?

The Vice-Chair: I would say a good combination of both.

Mr Brown: Well, I'm moving as quickly as I can.

The next definition which happens to be before us is, "`ecosystem' means an ecosystem in which trees are or are capable of being a major biological component." That's an interesting definition that I have some questions about. Would that mean Ontario Place is a forest?

Mr Wood: You've got a definition in your amendments on "ecosystem."

Mr Brown: Oh, I do have one. I'm sorry, I missed that one.

The Vice-Chair: But right now you haven't moved those.

Mr Brown: No, I haven't. I'm just asking, does that mean that Ontario Place -- it is crown land owned by MNR. Theoretically, if you go in there with a bulldozer, you can rip everything out and grow a forest. Under the definition you put forward, is Ontario Place a forest?

Mr Wood: Well, yes. I mean, a tree is one thing that grows out there in the ecosystem.

The Vice-Chair: I guess the answer was yes. Next question.

Mr Brown: Thank you. Perhaps at this point --

Mr Mammoliti: Mr Chairman, if I may, I'm just a little confused about something that was asked. For the record, I'm not sure whether Ontario Place would be considered a forest. I think we should --

The Vice-Chair: Mr Mammoliti, you're out of order, but you can certainly call for the floor later on.

Mr Brown: At this point, I will make our amendment for "forest ecosystem," seeing as we're there.

The Vice-Chair: You will move amendments now?

Mr Brown: As we go through, we've hit the first Liberal amendment to the definitions section, which is the "forest ecosystem."

Mr Bisson: I thought the point was that you weren't going to do amendments.

Mr Brown: We can do them all and then come back. I just thought this would be more productive.

The Vice-Chair: So you're finished with your general questions --

Mr Brown: No, I'm finished up to this point, but I have an amendment relating to "forest ecosystem." Would you prefer that? We can ask questions about them all and come back and to the amendments. However --

The Vice-Chair: Right now we have started by asking the questions on them all. I thought that's what you were proposing.

Mr Brown: All right, we can do that.

The Vice-Chair: I thought that was helpful and I thought that's what you were requesting. In the interest of speed, perhaps we should continue with that.

Mr Bisson: What are we doing? Mr Chair, do we have unanimous consent?

The Vice-Chair: Unless there's disagreement, and I didn't hear any. Mr Brown, any further questions?

Mr Brown: That's fine. I think we'll go to making the amendments now.

The Vice-Chair: Do you want to go ahead with any amendments you may have?

Mr Brown: I move that subsection 2(1) of the bill be amended by adding the following definition:

"`ecological region' means a region defined by similarities in climate, soils and vegetation."

The Vice-Chair: Any further discussion on this? Do you want to speak to your amendment?

Mr Brown: Yes.

Mr Wood: Amend what? There's no such words in there. How can you amend something that's not in the act?

Mr Brown: We're placing another definition in the act.

Clerk of the Committee: He's adding it in. He's adding the definition to the act.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Brown, will you please give an explanation?

Mr Brown: Yes, I would be happy to. It is important. A number of presenters have pointed out that when we're talking about the crown forest, we're talking about ecological regions. We're talking about what kind of trees grow in certain climates, soils and vegetation. Certainly, if you're doing a forest management plan, it would be important, in our view, that it would be consistent within the same ecological region. I don't think that's terribly hard to follow, and I believe some amendments, as we go further through here, will explain why we need to do that. It seems to me that as we're having some difficulty deciding how many forests we have, we're having some difficulty deciding how many regions we have, it's important that we add this definition into the bill.

Mr Wood: Mr Chair, the words being brought forward here, "ecological region" to be added on to subsection 2(1), I guess at the end of it --

The Vice-Chair: No, in alphabetical order.

Mr Wood: These words were not in there. I think we should refer these two words over and see what kind of definition we're going to be able to get out there.

The Vice-Chair: So you'd like to stand that down?

Mr Wood: Yes. We've tried to deal with "sustainability," we've tried to deal with other words, and now the Liberals have come up with another, "ecological region," and they've put their definition of what they think it means. I think the only way to be fair is that we're going to have to take a good look at it and see how many definitions are out there.

Mr Brown: I think the parliamentary assistant wants to stand that down. I'm quite prepared to stand that motion down.

The Vice-Chair: Okay. We'll stand that down until we've clarified some of the other things.

Mr Brown: Then I would be pleased to move subsection 2(1), forest ecosystem.

I move that the definition of "forest ecosystem" in subsection 2(1) of the bill be struck out and the following substituted:

"`forest ecosystem' means an ecosystem dominated by trees, and includes shrubs, herbs, mammals, birds, microscopic creatures, soil, air, water and other components of nature;"

I think that definition helps us with the Ontario Place scenario; I think that definition would keep us from defining Ontario Place as a forest ecosystem or as a crown forest. I would suggest that it might be far superior to the present definition that's contained in the bill.


Mr Wood: What we have here is a Liberal motion talking about "an ecosystem dominated by trees," and the impression is that that would be what is out there. You could have an ecosystem without any trees. You could take all the trees out of a system and still have an ecosystem. You could have shrubs or whatever naturally grows there. You still have an ecosystem. So the wording you've got --

Mr Brown: But the forest ecosystem is the question I asked.

Mr Wood: We've looked at that and we've seen that it doesn't spell out what I think you want to spell out. You're saying "`forest resource' means trees in an ecosystem."

Mr Hodgson: Mr Chair, what order are these amendments going in? I have a motion in between the two Liberal motions.

The Vice-Chair: They're following in alphabetical order because that's the way these various definitions are arranged here.

Mr Hodgson: I realize that. I have one alphabetically ahead of the one we're dealing with.

The Vice-Chair: I don't know. I was given the order by the clerk.

Clerk of the Committee: The reason the motion's out of order is that it came in later than the other amendments. It's not only in alphabetical order but also --

Mr Hodgson: It's alphabetical and time. Thank you.

The Vice-Chair: Further discussion on this amendment, or are we ready for the vote?

Mr Brown: I have some difficulty with describing Ontario Place as a forest ecosystem. I don't know whether anybody else does. Many parts of Toronto would therefore be -- this place itself would be a forest ecosystem, I take it. Sure, if that's what the government intends or what the government means, but is that the intent? That's what the government's definition means.

I think you have to meet two criteria for the government's definition to work. The two criteria are simply that the crown owns it and, second, that it's capable of growing trees, and I don't know very many parts of Ontario that aren't capable of growing trees other than the extreme far north.

Mr Wood: The message I was trying to get -- you're referring to Ontario Place. If it were under the ministry, it would be different.

Mr Brown: It does belong to the ministry.

Mr Wood: But it's not being managed by MNR. Our argument on this one, Mr Brown -- you probably would have liked to get a good definition there, but the definition you've brought forward does not do the job you intended it would do when you brought it forward. It would have to be redrafted by professional foresters or something to give it better teeth. I don't think it does what you thought it was going to do.

The Vice-Chair: Are we ready for the vote on this particular amendment?

Mr Brown: I don't find that a very satisfactory response.

Mr Wood: We'll vote on it, then.

Mr Brown: I know we will to vote on it. But I have great difficulty with Ontario Place being called a crown forest and being a forest ecosystem.

Mr Mammoliti: What difference does it make, Mike? I'd like to know.

Mr Brown: The member asks what difference it makes, and I think it does make a difference.

Mr Mammoliti: Seriously.

Mr Brown: Seriously. The debate around this bill is based largely around ecosystems, that we want to maintain and sustain ecosystems, so we have to understand what they are. How can you maintain and sustain an ecosystem if you can't define what it is? Maybe our definition doesn't work, but I would suggest to you that it is at least a better definition than the government's in that it talks about things other than it's capable of being dominated by trees, because that describes the entire province of Ontario.

We would like to know, and maybe some staff could help us, how do you know when you go from one ecosystem to the next? Your definition is so broad that Ontario could be considered one forest ecosystem. It could also be considered about 100 million ecosystems, depending on how you define it. If you're going to go out and manage for ecosystem values, you're going to have to tell us what that's about. Our definition may not be great, but I think it's an improvement over the uncertainty yours creates.

Mr Wood: But you're saying that trees means trees in a forest ecosystem. You could clear all the trees out of a system and still have a forest ecosystem. We know that can happen or has happened and you can still have a forest ecosystem.

Mr Brown: Southern Ontario's a good example of that.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Bisson had also a question on this one, and then we might want to vote on this amendment.

Mr Bisson: If I read the definition the Liberals put forward, "an ecosystem dominated by trees," you know very well, Mr Brown, that you have a number of areas in the forests that are not dominated by trees and it would not be considered a forest ecosystem under your definition. I look at the one that's in there now as making a lot more sense, so I disagree on your definition.

The Vice-Chair: Are we ready to vote on this amendment? All those in favour of Mr Brown's amendment?

Mr Brown: Recorded vote.


Brown, Carr, Hodgson, Miclash.

The Vice-Chair: Those opposed?


Bisson, Dadamo, Jamison, Mammoliti, Wood.

The Vice-Chair: That motion is defeated.

Any other amendments, Mr Brown?

Mr Brown: Oh, I think so, Mr Chair.

I move that subsection 2(1) of the bill be amended by adding the following definition:

"`forest ecosystem unit' means a part of a forest ecosystem defined by an association of plant species and soil conditions;"

That comes back to our concern that there has to be an understanding of how much of an ecosystem we're talking about. I'm not going to say much more because you don't seem to really like any of my definitions, but we're just trying in this process to bring some certainty to what the forest planners are going to have to decide. When you talk about ecosystem management, it seems to me you'd better be able to define it; therefore we're putting this forward. I'd appreciate hearing what other members have to say.

Mr Bisson: I question why we would put into the bill a definition of something that's not found in the bill. "Forest ecosystem unit" is never mentioned in the bill once.

Mr Brown: At present.

Mr Bisson: It is not described in any way in the bill or the planning manuals, as far as I know, so why would we want to put that in?

Mr Brown: I believe there are amendments later on that address that, but we can probably come back if there is and define it.

The Vice-Chair: Any further debate? We'll vote, then. All those in favour of Mr Brown's amendment regarding the definition of "forest ecosystem unit"? All those in favour? All those opposed? The motion is lost.


The next amendment in order of alphabetical priority is a government motion.

Mr Wood: I move that subsection 2(1) of the bill be amended by adding the following definition:

"`forest health' means the condition of a forest ecosystem that sustains the ecosystem's complexity while providing for the needs of the people of Ontario;"

Mr Brown: What does that mean?

Mr Hodgson: Does the government define "needs" as social and economic wellbeing?

Mr Wood: "Needs" can cover everything that the people of Ontario -- it's a broad word: all the needs of the people of Ontario.

Mr Hodgson: How do you measure that? This definition goes to the key of sustainability, and if we're going to be accountable, there has to be some way to measure. I was wondering if you were talking about social and economic wellbeing or just all and every need.

Mr Wood: You're saying, what are the needs of the people of the province of Ontario?

Mr Hodgson: If it were social and economic wellbeing --

Mr Wood: Social, economic, environment: These are the things we're talking about when we're talking about forest health. When you define those other three words, you're taking in a broad sector of what the needs of the people of Ontario would be.

Mr Hodgson: There's Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Is that the guide we're going on? I gather the forest manual's got to take that into account?

Mr Wood: Yes.

Mr Hodgson: So why don't we put down Maslow's hierarchy of needs?

Mr Wood: The forest manuals are there and they would cover that whole area.

Mr Hodgson: Will the ministry provide a definition more specific in the definitions section for "the needs of the people"?

Mr Wood: That's the definition we're talking about.

Mr Hodgson: Okay. So it will be up to the courts.

Mr Brown: I'm kind of grappling with this and still trying to determine what it actually means. I would think "forest health" kinds of presumes that it is healthy and it's not just a condition. The condition would be healthy, not unhealthy. The way you have it defined, it could be the Ontario Place example where the forest is in terrible condition, obviously, and this definition would fit.

Mr Hodgson: Just for the record, I want to say that I support this amendment that the government's putting forward. The definition of sustainability is "long-term forest health," and that's for all the people of Ontario.

The Vice-Chair: So you know what the needs are.

Mr Hodgson: Everyone will have a long and prosperous --

Mr Carr: We've defined it ourselves so that it's still open-ended.

Mr Hodgson: That's right, and we support that.

The Vice-Chair: Are we ready for the vote? All those in favour of the government's amendment to subsection 2(1), the definition of "forest health" to be added? All those opposed? The amendment is carried.

Now, we're moving right along to the Conservative amendment to subsection 2(1).

Mr Hodgson: I move that the definition of "forest operations" in subsection 2(1) of the bill be amended by inserting "inclusive of uses other than harvest" after "purpose."

The whole thing would read, "`forest operations' means the harvesting of a forest resource, the use of a forest resource for a designated purpose inclusive of uses other than harvest, or renewal or maintenance of a forest resource, and includes all related activities;"

The purpose of this amendment -- it was confirmed yesterday by senior ministry staff and it was talked about in the government estimates this year in MNR. They're looking for ways to assess values on other uses of the forest resource, and not all uses require a harvest. In the future, this will not restrict this act implementing dues or other things on forest operations other than harvest. It's crucial. It just allows the minister a little more flexibility in establishing what's fair user rates in the forest.

The Vice-Chair: Any further debate on this amendment? If not, all those in favour of the Conservative amendment? All those opposed? The amendment is defeated.

The next amendment is a Liberal amendment to the definition of forest resource.

Mr Brown: I move that the definition of "forest resource" in subsection 2(1) of the bill be struck out and the following substituted:

"`forest resource' means trees in a forest ecosystem;"

The reason for this amendment is to make it clear that in this timber bill we're talking about trees and not talking about blueberries that somebody could charge for, like the Treasurer or the Minister of Finance. We're not talking about anything other than the trees, and I think it's quite simple. The way the government has this is that it permits the minister under any whim to provide regulations regarding any other commodity in the forest, and we believe that is not what this bill is about.

The Vice-Chair: Any further debate?

Mr Wood: Just a comment that the definition is far too restrictive, I believe.

Mr Brown: I'll ask the parliamentary assistant, what other resources would the government be considering?

Mr Wood: I'm just saying that we don't want to confine it, to be too restrictive.

Mr Brown: Such as? Examples? Would blueberries be one?

Mr Bisson: Blueberries, grapes.

Mr Brown: Hawberries.

Mr Bisson: Strawberries.

The Vice-Chair: One person at a time. I can't follow all these berries.

Mr Wood: I wasn't going to go that far, but I think Mr Brown is well aware of what we're talking about. We don't want it restricted.

The Vice-Chair: Any further debate? All those in favour of Mr Brown's motion?

Mr Brown: Recorded.


Brown, Carr, Hodgson.

The Vice-Chair: All those opposed?


Bisson, Dadamo, Jamison, Mammoliti, Waters, Wood.

The Vice-Chair: The motion's lost.

I'm told that the next motion by the Conservatives is the same motion as the Liberal motion, and since it was defeated, we can't vote twice on the same subject.

Mr Hodgson: It's similar, yes, I'll agree to that. From what we've heard today, things can be similar but different.


The Vice-Chair: The next motion is a Liberal motion.

Mr Brown: I move that the definition of "forest resource processing facility" in subsection 2(1) of the bill be amended by striking out "or any other facility, whether fixed or mobile, where" in the second and third lines and substituting "or any other stationary facility where".

This is the section we heard a tremendous amount about; it's about mobile processing. We heard a great deal in the northwest, and some of the questions -- I have raised this amendment more to ask questions and to get some clarification from the ministry than anything else.

I want to know what machinery could be considered mobile? What are we talking about? Are we talking about the famous mobile chippers and that's all, or are we talking about delimbers or any other kind of machinery that may now or in the future be used in the forest? Why do we have to license something that is portable and mobile?

Mr Wood: I'm not going to go into a long answer. All I would say is that it's equipment considered to be stationary or permanent, built, that would stay in one place, including complete pulp mills, paper mills, sawmills that are operating as portable operations right now. Maybe not all of them in Ontario, but they are operating throughout the world and they are portable. The paper mill, the pulp mill, the sawmill, the slasher, whatever it is, they move it as they need the forest. They follow the forest.

Mr Brown: My real question, then, is where is this spelled out in terms of what machinery is included in this act, or how is that done? We have to recognize that technology changes, and over time some technological circumstance may occur that we don't even imagine at this moment. How does the ministry deal with that? For example, are we talking about the simple sawmill that quite a number of my constituents have, that they use either on their farm operation or in a small kind of timbering operation or lumbering operation, mostly on private lands? Is that included in here? Do these people then have to get licences?

Mr Wood: As I said, we've seen complete operations change from when they used to haul one log at a time with a horse to the point now where we have complete operations that were not even thought of years ago, being permanent on cement bases, now mobile and being moved. There's no doubt about it, it will be clarified in the manuals as we go along, but we have to leave the definition there to make sure there is room for keeping up with advanced technology and modernization and everything that is happening out there in the world and is going to continue to happen. We've seen that from the different species of trees that were considered to be a weed and nobody wanted them. People are willing to come to fist fights and draw blood over poplar, because there's a dollar to make on it, and birch. The whole operations are changing, and that's why the feeling was that you need that flexibility.

Mr Brown: To answer my question then, the government views this as a way of licensing all facilities --

Mr Wood: Processing facilities.

Mr Brown: -- all processing facilities. How does the government define processing? A delimber, for example: Is that a process, or is that a part of the harvesting operation that has nothing to do with --

Mr Wood: We're talking about adding the word "facility" on to a processing facility. The two words are together, go hand in hand.

Mr Brown: I understand that. But "processing facility": Is it the government's view that means a delimber?

Mr Wood: We've had that discussion during the public hearings. The regulations will have to specify which ones are going to have to be licensed.

Mr Brown: So what we will see in the regulations coming from this bill is a list of the equipment or machinery or whatever that would be subject to the licensing provisions. That's why we're talking about this, because these are in the licensing provisions of the bill later on. So in the regulations you will spell out: "This means sawmill" or "It doesn't mean sawmill. It means portable pulp mill, but it doesn't mean portable paper mill" or whatever. That will be spelled out in the regulations?

Mr Wood: Yes, it will be spelled out in the regulation. In "forest resource processing facility," it's already spelled out; it "means a sawmill, pulp mill or any other facility, whether fixed or mobile, where trees or other forest resources prescribed by the regulations are initially processed." They're saying it will be covered under the regulations.

Mr Brown: "Or any other facility" is the problem. We don't mind so much the ones that are delineated; it's "or any other facility" which is the big catch. You're telling me you will define "any other facility" in the regulations? Is that the way it happens?

Mr Wood: What is going to be the process for making newsprint 25 years from now? What was the process for doing it 100 years ago? Things are changing. What is "other facility"?

I've seen the whole operation go from horses to Caterpillars to timberjacks all the way up from portable sawmills, permanent sawmills, portable chippers, permanent chippers, to where you have paper mills and pulp mills on a boat processing and moving down the river and producing newsprint: Chips and fibres go in one end and it's going out the other end and they just keep moving it down the river as they're processing. Technology is there to do it, and that's why we're talking about "other facilities."

Mr Brown: I'm not questioning that; I agree with what you're saying. All I'm doing is trying to determine how the government spells that out. Is that done in the regulations?

Mr Wood: It's in the regulations.

Mr Bisson: We all deal, in northern Ontario, as my friend from Muskoka would, with the problems of -- if we were to do what you want, it would give the ministry a much more difficult time being able to deal with a lot of the small portable mills that eventually become permanent mills and don't have a wood allocation, and then we're all scrambling around to try to find the wood after. We deal with that in all of our ridings. I think this gives us greater ability in the future not to let that problem get worse than what it is. I see that your amendment would make things a little bit more difficult in the future.

Mr Hodgson: If the government wanted to stand this down -- because I understand the parliamentary assistant's difficulty with this. "Forest resource processing facility" as defined is vague. The Ontario Lumbermen's Association had a really good explanation and a recommendation for this. The way it's defined right now, a slasher that processes tree-length logs, produces veneer logs or a firewood processor might be considered a facility because the forest resources are processed through them, and this is just one of those advances in technology that Mr Wood's referring to.

I think what the ministry's trying to get at is mobile, in-bush chippers that process roundwood, a whole lot, and the people of Ontario have a right to consider that because there's no way the ministry calculates the crown dues before it's chipped, and if it's sorted, it's just up to the operator of the chipper; we do with our crown dues on the weight afterwards. There's no way to regulate the highest and best end-use, no matter how you want to define that, or the difference in crown dues; it's $7.50 a cubic metre if it's chipped and goes to pulp wood or $11.50 a cubic metre if it's a log.

I think what the government's trying to get at is some way to license roundwood chippers, but I've never heard in the discussions that you wanted to license advances in technology: delimbing logs or producing the type of equipment that can harvest veneer. Am I correct in assuming that? I didn't hear all through the hearings that the ministry's intent was to ever license that type of advance in technology.


Mr Wood: There's no doubt that the issue you've raised on portable chippers was raised in the northwest, but other discussions have been brought up: What is the technology going to be five years from now, 10 years from now? Maybe the chipper as we see it now will be gone and there'll be another processing facility taking its place, as it has changed so drastically over the last three years.

Mr Hodgson: We deal with mobile sawmills in this legislation, and where their licensing comes in is based on the volume of wood.

Mr Wood: We deal with mobile pulp mills. We deal with mobile sawmills. We deal with --

Mr Hodgson: I'm agreeing with you, Mr Wood. It's just that if you want more time to think about it, I'd be willing to let you stand this particular one down, because it is vague and there is confusion out there.

Mr Brown: I think part of the problem was that some of the discussion focused on very specific machinery. As we consider this -- and to be fair, we can consider this during the licensing section perhaps more, the whole question of the need for licensing etc and how that licensing might be done. I would think that standing this down may be an appropriate thing to do in view of what may happen when we get to the licensing sections.

Mr Wood: I don't think there's any point in standing it down. I think we should deal with it. We're going to have to deal with licensed chippers, we're going to have to deal with technology as it advances, and we're looking for room to be able to deal with that technology, whether it's portable or fixed.

Mr Brown: Mr Chair, I will withdraw that amendment.

The Vice-Chair: The amendment is withdrawn. We're moving on to 5A, another Liberal motion.

Mr Brown: I move that subsection 2(1) of the bill be amended by adding the following definition:

"`natural forest' means the forest ecosystem produced as a result of the interaction of vegetation, soils, climate and natural disturbance processes in the absence of direct human disturbance;"

I would really like to know why I'm making this amendment.

The Vice-Chair: I'm sure everybody else would like to know that too.

Mr Brown: Sometimes you surprise yourself.

Mr Bisson: I was going to ask that very same question. Why are you bringing that forward? "Natural forest" is never mentioned in the act.

Mr Brown: How be we withdraw that?

The Vice-Chair: Okay, the amendment is withdrawn. This concludes the amendments I have in front of me regarding subsection 2(1); however, there's the one we stood down. Does the parliamentary assistant have an answer on that now?

Mr Wood: You're talking about 2A. It was a new section brought forward by the Liberal caucus, and I have no idea why it is being brought forward. You're not amending anything that is in the act right now. There's a suggestion that the words "ecological region" should be put in there and should be defined. Our position is that we don't know why it's brought forward in the first place; there's no reason for it.

Mr Brown: I'm sure there's a management job or other job that requires it, but we can always come back and add it. It's a little broad.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Brown, you're withdrawing this one as well?

Mr Brown: We'd like to go back to the "crown forest" discussion that I believe was stood down pending an answer from the ministry.

The Vice-Chair: No, I don't think there was anything else that was stood down.

Mr Brown: It wasn't stood down but we said we would get a reply from the ministry.

The Vice-Chair: I'm sure you'll be able to ask the question again and hopefully you'll be able to get some answers from the ministry officials, but we did not stand down any other amendment.

Mr Brown: There wasn't an amendment; it was a question about that particular clause.

The Vice-Chair: I'm sure you'll get an opportunity to get an answer for that.

There is another amendment to section 2.

Mr Wood: I move that subsection 2(2) of the bill be struck out.

Mr Hodgson: What's the purpose of the amendment? It's redundant?

The Vice-Chair: I presume you're asking why the section is deleted?

Mr Hodgson: Yes.

Mr Wood: When we revised section 1.1, it replaces this section.

Mr Hodgson: It's in subsection 1.1(2).

The Vice-Chair: All those in favour? Opposed? Carried.

Mr Wood: Because of the amendment we accepted that the Liberal caucus brought forward where the word "crown" comes in prior to "forest health," we want to be consistent, so "crown" should be --

Mr Brown: I'm lost.

The Vice-Chair: I'm not clear either. Mr Wood, you are trying to make a further amendment to --

Mr Wood: I'm just trying to make sure it's consistent with the amendment we accepted, where we're talking about "crown forest health."

The Vice-Chair: I understand that with regard to the government motion that carried, where we were defining "forest health," in order to be consistent with the earlier motion --

Mr Brown: It should be "crown forest health."

The Vice-Chair: That's correct.

Mr Hodgson: Does that affect other areas? I suspect it has ramifications throughout the act.

Mr Brown: Could we take five to figure this out?

Mr Wood: Maybe make it 10.

The Vice-Chair: He's asking for a 10-minute recess. We'll recess until 4:35.

The committee recessed from 1623 to 1638.

The Vice-Chair: We'll resume our deliberations after that hopefully refreshing recess.

Mr Wood: Under 2(1) I move that the definition of --

The Vice-Chair: Sorry, before you do that, as we did vote on 2(1), I'd have to have unanimous consent to reopen this. Agreed? Agreed.

Mr Wood: I thank the committee for unanimous consent.

I move that the definition of "forest health" be changed to a definition of "crown forest health."

The Vice-Chair: Any comments? All those in favour? Opposed? Carried.

Mr Brown: While we're on this definitions section, there are three definitions that the government has not defined that are critical to this bill. I would ask that the government come forward with definitions for the term "damages," for the term "losses," and the term "licences," all of which are used in the bill without any definition. We are not clear, as an opposition, what it is the government's referring to, and many people have expressed the same thought, that they don't know what "damages," "losses" or "licences" mean in the framework of this bill.

I would ask that rather than adopting this section, we stand it down to permit the government to come back and define those terms. At some point, as we go through the sections that deal with those terms, the government may wish to come back and place those definitions in the definitions section of the bill.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Brown has requested --

Mr Brown: Unanimous consent.

The Vice-Chair: -- that we stand down the voting regarding section 2. Is that agreeable to the committee?

Mr Wood: I'm not really sure that would be necessary. You're saying the three words "damage," "losses" and "licences."

Mr Brown: Rather than debate right now those sections which involve those words, Mr Wood, I'm suggesting that debate on those words might be more appropriate to the sections where they come up. I just think it's an orderly way to do business. If the government doesn't see the need to define them when we get to those sections, then we can pass section 2, but just leaving it open for the moment might be very helpful procedurally.

Mr Wood: I don't think so. They're not in 2(1) right now.

The Vice-Chair: There's no unanimous agreement to stand down section 2. Are we ready for the vote? In fact, we are ready for the vote, because we were in the process of voting before.

Mr Hodgson: Can I request a 20-minute break for the vote?

The Vice-Chair: You can always request that.

Mr Hodgson: I am requesting it.

The Vice-Chair: We stand adjourned for 20 minutes, and that will mean we are adjourned until tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock, when we will have a vote.

The committee adjourned at 1643.