Wednesday 26 June 1991

Review of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 1987

Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner

Management Board Secretariat

Comprehensive review

Continued in camera

Office of the Executive Director, Assembly Services



Chair: Duignan, Noel (Halton North NDP)

Vice-Chair: MacKinnon, Ellen (Lambton NDP)

Cooper, Mike (Kitchener-Wilmot NDP)

Frankford, Robert (Scarborough East NDP)

Jamison, Norm (Norfolk NDP)

Marland, Margaret (Mississauga South PC)

Mathyssen, Irene (Middlesex NDP)

McClelland, Carman (Brampton North L)

Morin, Gilles E. (Carleton East L)

O'Neil, Hugh P. (Quinte L)

Owens, Stephen (Scarborough Centre NDP)

Villeneuve, Noble (S-D-G & East Grenville PC)

Substitution: Mills, Gordon (Durham East NDP) for Mrs Mathyssen

Clerk: Arnott, Douglas

Staff: McNaught, Andrew, Research Officer, Legislative Research Service

The committee met at 1545 in room 228.


Resuming consideration of a comprehensive review of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act 1987.

The Chair: When we left off last week we had just heard a submission from the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner. They are back here this afternoon to answer any questions we may have as a result of their presentation. I wish to call back the members from the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner.


The Chair: Thank you for coming back this afternoon. I think I will read the questions. Did you have any further comments you wished to make?

Mr Wright: No, I do not think so. I believe you are correct, I had finished my remarks related to our most recent report to you and we had left it that any questions would be asked this afternoon and, of course, we are back here to answer those questions.

The Chair: Thank you. The floor is now open for questions.

Mr H. O'Neil: I see you are quite strong in your recommendations regarding some of the discussions we had with the media as to what should and should not be released.

Mr Wright: Are you referring to particular types of information?

Mr H. O'Neil: Yes, those that should be released to the media.

Mr Wright: I am afraid you are going to have to help me out a bit.

Mr H. O'Neil: We had recommendations from different people in the media saying they wanted to be allowed to release certain information and print it, and you disagreed with those suggestions.

Mr Wright: I think I understand now what you are referring to. Yes, we have addressed the question of personal information relating to witnesses, victims and things of this nature which I believe you received some submissions on. We felt that basically the way to deal with it, rather than immediately considering the possibility of amendments to the legislation, would be to allow the act as it now reads to work, and allow the office to deal with the issue in the context of an appeal that we might receive from a denial of access to that information.

I know there has been a lot of coverage of that particular issue, certainly in January of this year, but to this point our office has received the grand total of one appeal involving that issue. So from the perspective of our office, it certainly has not been a big issue in terms of appeals, which I think is an interesting observation.

Mr H. O'Neil: That is an interesting figure too, as you say, just one appeal.

Mr Wright: Yes.

Mr H. O'Neil: In other words we will be going through this with our own staff as to the changes that should or should not be made. I would like to feel, as one of the members of the committee, that you will have people here if we need some type of assistance and some advice?

Mr Wright: We look forward to the opportunity and certainly would do whatever we could to co-operate in that way.

Mr Frankford: You say you had discussions with the Ministry of Health. Is that including the information that goes on to OHIP claims?

Mr Wright: You are referring to the Health Care Accessibility Act?

Mr Frankford: Yes.

Mr Wright: Ann Cavoukian, who is assistant commissioner of privacy, has been most directly involved with that and I pass the question over to her if I may.

Dr Cavoukian: If you are referring to the health care information act that we referred to in here, we have very recently had conversations with senior officials at the Ministry of Health and they have reiterated their commitment to the protection of privacy and confidentiality associated with health records.

We have been informed that in the fall of this year a draft bill should be ready, although I cannot be certain of that, and we are continuing to have discussions with them, giving them whatever assistance we can by way of privacy principles that should be considered to be included in this kind of legislation. We are optimistic that at some point this year perhaps, if not a draft bill, at least a policy paper which could be the precursor to the bill, will be ready at the Ministry of Health for consultation purposes.

Mr Wright: In addition to that, the reason specific reference was made to that type of legislation is that there is quite a long history in Ontario dealing with concerns over confidentiality of health records. The Krever commission did a report many years ago. The subject has been on the agenda for a long time and I think we felt it is getting close enough that we would simply like to reinforce with this committee the fact that perhaps, with some assistance from this committee, and just to keep everyone aware of the issue, we can take that next step which will get us the bill in some form.

Mr Frankford: It is really not so much clinical records; it is claims which include a diagnosis.

Mr Wright: It is very broad, as I understand it; basically medical records. That would include records with hospitals, quite outside the Ministry of Health itself and OHIP; doctors' offices and other things of this nature. The legislation would be quite broad in its application.

Dr Cavoukian: Wherever medical records reside, this piece of legislation would cover confidentiality.

The Chair: I again wish to thank the commissioner, the assistant commissioner and the executive director of the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for coming along here this afternoon. We surely will be in touch as we progress with this review of the act. Thank you very much.


The Chair: Frank White, director of the freedom of information and privacy branch of the Management Board Secretariat is here this afternoon as well. I understand Margaret had some questions she wanted to ask, but she is not here at this point. Is there anyone else on the committee who wishes to ask Frank White some questions?

Mr White: I think I can respond to the question she asked in terms of the provincial agencies that were covered and those that were not covered by the provincial Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

You will notice that under the definition of "institution" on page 6 of the act, it is any ministry of the Ontario government and then, by regulation, any agency, board, commission or corporation or other body that would be designated by the regulations.

In the Ontario Directives manual, which is the corporate administrative manual of the Ontario government, there is a policy on the establishment and scheduling of government agencies, and a listing of all the agencies the government considers agencies of the Ontario government; they are divided into three schedules.

Schedule 1 is those agencies that are very close to government, many of the advisory committees, many of the regulatory agencies like the Ontario Municipal Board, all the grievance boards. Schedule 2 is the crown corporations like Ontario Hydro, the Niagara Parks Commission, the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission, the Liquor Control Board. There are about 18 of them. They are usually viewed as commercial agencies. Then in schedule 3 are cultural and arts types of organizations.

At the time the Attorney General introduced the bill for second reading, he said the intent of the government was to include all those schedule 1 and 2 agencies routinely to be covered by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

During the debate the other parties felt that some of the schedule 3 agencies should be covered. They gave the Attorney General a list of those agencies and he said he would take it upon himself to have those covered. What you ended up with were the community colleges, district health councils, local housing authorities and the Workers' Compensation Board as schedule 3 agencies being covered and no others being covered since that date.

In the back of the provincial act you will see a listing of all the agencies that are covered. That includes every schedule 1 and schedule 2 agency and then some schedule 3s. I do have a listing, which I will see if I can get the committee clerk to pass out when he comes back, of the schedule 3 agencies that are covered and those that are not covered. That is what has happened. No other schedule 3 agencies have been covered since the bill was passed and became effective 1 January 1988.

The Chair: Any questions.

Mr H. O'Neil: Not pertaining to this. We have heard from Mr Wright. With regard to not only his statement but some of the other suggestions and comments on some of the things that we have heard through the committee hearings, do you review those also for suggestions that might come from yourself or do you work with them?

Mr White: Are you looking for suggestions?

Mr H. O'Neil: Yes.

Mr White: The Minister, Frances Lankin, has said she would be appearing at the committee during the second set of hearings. I think if there were any suggestions or proposals of areas of interest from the government, she would be presenting them at that time.

Mr H. O'Neil: Have we any idea when that might be?

Mr White: I think once the committee determines when the next set of hearings will be. She has made a commitment to appear during that set of hearings. If there is anything in terms of how the act has been operating, or situations that have turned up while the act has been in operation that the committee would like to discuss, we will certainly be available to discuss that. But I think the minister would be the one to present any proposals or areas of interest to the committee. She would of course be interested if you felt some suggestions should be made.

The Chair: I think that can come up for discussion in the next item of business.

Mr Owens: Just in response to your question, the minister has been asking, through her staff, when she can come to the committee. Because we are not scheduled to meet over the summer, as I can see from the hearings, she will definitely come to see us first thing in the fall. She is ready, willing and prepared to come and will do so at the earliest possible moment.

Mr H. O'Neil: Going back, Management Board and the minister, you people have all of the papers that have been handed to us. Now this particular paper, do you have a copy of that?

Mr White: Yes.

Mr H. O'Neil: Do you have a copy of the one that was prepared by Andrew on this particular one?

Mr White: Yes.

Mr H. O'Neil: In other words, you have all of those and the minister will make comments on any suggestions in there that she was in agreement or was not in agreement with?

Mr White: I am not sure what the minister would like to do in terms of the way she would address your request right now.

Mrs Marland: I am sorry. This is one of those afternoons when I am supposed to be at three different places all at the same time.

We have been talking about what agencies were not covered by the act. I do not think the one I am looking for is on this list, and I am not sure what schedule agency TVOntario is.

Mr White: That is a schedule 3: the Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Mrs Marland: Oh, it is? All right. Maybe by reading Hansard I will find out why schedule 3s are exempt from the act.

Mr White: I actually just mentioned to the committee members that during the review of the provincial bill the opposition parties of that time asked for some schedule 3 agencies to be covered and the Attorney General took it upon himself at that time to cover them by regulation, but none has been added since then. What you see before you is a list of the 3s that were covered, at the bottom, and ones that have not been since that point in time. At the bottom would be the ones that are covered.


Mrs Marland: Have the six schedule 3 agencies at the bottom that are currently covered been added since the act was proclaimed?

Mr White: The commitment was made to cover them during the review of the original bill and they were added on 1 January 1989. They were given a year to prepare.

Mrs Marland: Was there a review of this bill at that time, then?

Mr White: This was when the original bill was being debated.

Mrs Marland: I see. So are you saying it will be possible for this committee to make recommendations for further additions to that list that are presently exempted that could be added to be covered by the act?

Mr White: I would think the minister would be quite interested in the committee's opinion on further coverage.

Mrs Marland: Which minister would?

Mr White: The Chairman of Management Board of Cabinet, Frances Lankin. These agencies are covered by regulation, so it is not something that would have to be added to the act; it would be added to regulations made under the act. In the back of the act you would have a copy of all the regulations, which include all those agencies that are schedule right now, currently.

Mrs Marland: By regulation, and it would not require an amendment to the act; it would just require the government to agree by regulation to remove their present exemptions.

Mr White: That is right.

Mrs Marland: I have a lot of concern about some of these schedule 3 agencies, Mr Chairman, which I will address at the time that we are preparing our report.

Do you know the background of why schedule 3 agencies were not included originally?

Mr White: Yes. During the debate, when the bill was being considered after second reading, the NDP suggested that the government policy would be to automatically schedule the schedule 1 and schedule 2 agencies under the act. They are listed in Management Board policy, establishment and scheduling of agencies, and that is automatically done now every time a new schedule 1 or 2 agency is established. It is automatically covered by regulation by the provincial Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

At that time, the NDP felt that -- and this will be in Hansard -- other agencies should be covered. They gave a list to the Attorney General at that time and he undertook during the debate to have those agencies covered by regulation. The agencies at the bottom of that list are the ones that were covered. I do not know why certain were picked out at the time and others were not.

Mrs Marland: But are you saying those six at the bottom were proposed at that time by the NDP caucus?

Mr White: Yes. It was actually more than six, if I could point out. There are 21 community colleges and 29 district health councils, 58 local housing authorities.

Mrs Marland: Do you know if any of the list that are currently still exempt were also discussed and set aside? Are you familiar with whether any of those were discussed?

Mr White: I believe there were three on the list. The three were the medical -- Clarke Institute and the Addiction Research Foundation, and I think they were set aside at that time because, as Mr Wright was saying, the Ministry of Health had made a commitment to introduce comprehensive health information privacy and confidentiality access laws. So it was felt they would much better be handled with a health access and privacy act, because of the patient records. So those three were --

Mrs Marland: Does the Clarke Institute come under the Ontario Mental Health Foundation?

Mr White: I do not know. I just do not know. The Mental Health Act?

Mrs Marland: No, I am looking for which of these agencies the Clarke Institute -- you mentioned the Clarke Institute and I am trying to see where it would come.

Mr White: There were the Clarke and the Addiction Research Foundation. I believe there is the Ontario Cancer Institute.

Mrs Marland: The Addiction Research Foundation would not be under the Cancer Institute, would it?

Mr White: No, it would be separate. I did not keep a copy of the list.

Mrs Marland: The Ontario Research Foundation is on. I know we will be getting into this debate at another time. I think it is really significant that those schedule 3 agencies which are currently covered include agencies which function totally on public money, whether the money is flowed through to them from the government or through public subscription. The 22 community colleges would be a good example of that. They are supported by subscription by the students who attend them and by funding directly from the provincial government; certainly the same with housing authorities and district health councils.

When I see now a comparison of a list of those that are exempt with a list of those that have to come under the act, it certainly gives me some more argument about why some of these other schedule 3 agencies should be under the act, because it is totally wrong that something like the Royal Ontario Museum has to answer to the public under the act -- which I agree with, by the way -- and TVO does not.

I think when we get the report from the Provincial Auditor we will all be able to better understand why I am concerned. Other than where there is the confidentiality issue, which I respect with anything to do with health or mental health or addiction treatment and so forth, there are a whole lot of other regulations that govern those kinds of schedule 3 agencies anyway. When you look at things like Thunder Bay Ski Jumps Ltd, why should it not be open for public review? What we are dealing with under the act is an ability for the public to be able to find out what is happening to their money. It is just pure and simple. It is taxpayers' money. The public should be able to ask questions about how that money is being spent and how that facility or that service is being administered. We will look forward to discussing that at some time in the future.

I appreciate the opportunity to at least understand better where the schedule 3 agencies lie. I was not aware of the fact that there were already existing powers under the regulations to add and include presently exempted schedule 3 agencies.


The Chair: The next item on the agenda is a closed-session discussion on the format and content and possible recommendations of this committee on the report of the comprehensive review.

The committee continued in camera at 1609.



The Vice-Chair: Would the witnesses please come forward and identify yourselves. This is a review of proposals for members' pins. If I may make a special request, I am having a problem with ears as a result of an infection. I would appreciate it very much if those who speak, speak up. I apologize, but I cannot do much about it.

Mrs Speakman: My name is Barbara Speakman from assembly services division. With me is Karyn Leonard from interparliamentary and public relations. I believe Mrs Marland has already briefed the committee on a preview we had earlier today with some of the designs that have come in from some suppliers on a pin that would be exclusive to members and would be a combination of a security-type pin so the security staff would automatically recognize a member -- we have turnover in staff and it is sometimes difficult for them -- and also something that would be of use to you or of value to you either in the building or elsewhere if you go out and want to have something that is unique as a member.

The Speaker had asked us to look at a variety of options in terms of the use of symbols such as the mace. The amethyst, for example, might be an idea to incorporate. Karyn has gone out and come up with very preliminary ideas. At this stage we wanted to run them by you to get your feelings on what you like and what you do not like, so that we can eliminate some of those ideas rights off the bat and concentrate on maybe one or two special items that you are in favour of, come back with something better and circulate that and come up with the final pin, hopefully for September for when you come back in the fall session.

We also have one additional item here today that, if you have time, we would like you to look at. We have had some requests from the men for a Legislative Assembly tie. We used to have one years ago and it sort of went into disuse. We have some samples and ideas for you to look at today too, but first of all I think the pin. I would like to hand it over to Karyn.

Mrs Leonard: I think the one thing that we want to stress with this is that all of the companies we are dealing with have entirely Canadian-made products. As you may know, our Legislative Assembly gift shop stresses bringing forward a lot of the artisans and a lot of the craftsmanship that is available here in Ontario. So we are looking at Ontario-based first and foremost, and when we cannot get it in Ontario we certainly go across the country for other products. I want to stress that to you. All of our quotes are based on Canadian-made products as opposed to an offshore kind of base.

I do not know how you want to go about this today. These pins are somewhat in an awkward thing to pass around, but we do have several. Maybe passing them around is one of the better ideas. Mrs Marland, as Barbara has indicated, has already spoken with most of you about the pins. This round one is from a golf club and it is purely a sample of a style. It is nothing to do with what we are looking for, other than the style of the pin and the fact that it is yellow gold.

The idea has been put forward to have perhaps a coat of arms placed on top of this flat gold piece. Whether the coat of arms would be raised or whether it would be enamelled is entirely up to all of you. That is part of your decision-making process. Maybe what I will do is pass this one around in this little bag and you can have a look at it.

Another idea that has been placed before us is to have the amethyst included as part of this. You can look at having an amethyst perhaps placed on an off-centre basis on this pin. I will just pass the two around in a little bag so they do not get lost.

The Vice-Chair: Does the committee want to have them handed around or do you want to go up to the table and look at them collectively?

Mr H. O'Neil: We will do whatever you want.

The Vice-Chair: Go and look at them collectively. Thank you. Come back and resume your seats, please.

Mrs Speakman: I understand you are going to have a subcommittee look at this now. Is that one of the ideas?

Mr H. O'Neil: During the summer months.

Mrs Speakman: During the summer. I think we have reached consensus on the one you want to pursue a little further, anyway, and then maybe we can come up with a couple of designs around that theme that we can then distribute and let you make a decision.

Mrs Leonard: We understand it is the round one that most people seem to favour, and you would like to see an amethyst piece with the coat of arms placed on top of that amethyst.

Mr H. O'Neil: That was one. Gord, you had another suggestion too, did you not, more along the federal?

Mr Mills: I would like to see the mace incorporated. That signifies to me that the person who has it on is a parliamentarian. As it is, it could be something from a high-class gift shop unless it is signified with the symbol of Parliament.

Mrs Speakman: That is good. I think that is enough for us to continue.

Now, the ties: I realize not everybody here is interested in the ties.

Mr Mills: I am, very much.

Mrs Speakman: The majority seem to be. We thought we would just take the opportunity of being here to let you see some of the ideas and styles and try again to get some kind of consensus on which ones you prefer. Our preference is the silk as opposed to the other ones. We wanted something a little more --

Mrs Leonard: We have the formats and this is purely to show you what the different styles of the ties would perhaps be. These are to give you an idea of what these look like and that is a sample of the woven silk, which I think is probably the best one.

We want to know whether you would like to have it with a coat of arms. Would you prefer it with a single coat of arms, smaller coats of arms woven in as this one is here? If you can give us a bit of direction on that, we can go out and have something else designed.

Mr Mills: My preference is the coat of arms all over the place, like that -- the coat of arms everywhere.

Mr Cooper: Without the stripes.

Mr Mills: Without the stripes and in silk.

Interjection: On a dark background.

Mr H. O'Neil: The only thing is, we have Ontario ties now, do we not?

Mrs Leonard: We have Ontario polyester ties which are not selling at all. They have been in stock I understand for something around the 10- to 12-year mark. They are totally polyester and not really in keeping with the current trend in attire.

Mr H. O'Neil: The current trends are against any type of thing like that. I used to be given all kinds of ties from different organizations that had their names printed on them. I never wore them. If we go to the expense of having ties made, are they going to be given away as gifts or are we supposed to wear them ourselves?

Mrs Leonard: I personally think that would be a decision you would want to make as a group. A lot of the members do come and want to buy ties for gift purposes. They are not necessarily wearing them themselves. I see a few people who do wear ties that have been given to them from various jurisdictions around the world, but for the majority, I would say, in accordance with what our shop manager tells me, people are buying them for gifts, for presentation purposes.

Mr Jamison: There is only one problem I have. I understand that it would be for gifts and that possibly members would wear them. The problem I have is that styles of ties change so dramatically that if you were to order, for example, 1,000 ties at a time, you could be stuck with 500 or 600 ties on hand that are simply not -- as we look around the room, I do not think many of us would be wearing the ties we are wearing today three or four years ago. It is the width of a tie, and the style changes where you go into thin ties, and then two years later you would be into the broad ties again.

I think part of the problem with ordering ties is being able to really order on demand and get a supplier who would be able to keep up with the fashion style at that point, whether it be a thin tie or whatever.

Mrs Leonard: That is definitely part of the problem.

Mr Owens: Would there be a corresponding scarf or neckerchief for the female members?

Mrs Leonard: Yes, it certainly could be done. We have not had a lot of request for that, I have to tell you. We do have beautiful hand-painted silk scarves that are very popular for both members who are buying gifts and for the public coming in. Those are far more popular than the corresponding scarves would be, I would think from past history.

Mr H. O'Neil: They are very nice. I have picked up different ones down in the gift shop for gifts too.

Mrs Leonard: As I hope you have noticed with our legislative gift shop, we really are trying to have very unique items so everything is not the same as going elsewhere to buy gifts, thing that are very unique to the Legislature as well, not Toronto souvenirs.

We are in the process now of developing a questionnaire which will go out we hope to all of the members in the fall asking you exactly what you would like to see in the shop, also asking you whether you have anyone in your riding who might be interested that you are aware of, or who might have a special talent, a special gift he or she would like perhaps to have reviewed by the shop itself.

As I am sure you have noticed, we have a lot of artisans who come to us and they do like to display here in the building. We try to accommodate those requests as well. Our shop is changing. We took it over approximately a year and a half ago, so that is the end we are working towards. Having the kinds of requests that we have down there, we have to come back to you and say: "Do you really want to see ties? Are you going to buy them as gifts?" Or are they something you do not feel are worth our putting both the effort and the investment into?

Mr Mills: I was under a little different conception of the tie. I thought the tie you were thinking of was unique to members. I know that I belong to a particular unit in the forces and I have that tie, what you would call a regimental tie. I wear that when I go within certain groups hoping that it is going to prompt some conversation, that people would introduce themselves, that they know where I am coming from.

I thought that when you go somewhere and you put the tie on, it has some sort of connotations of where you are coming from. It helps to introduce you to people.

I can see the problem. If it is just a gift shop tie, to me, I do not really think that is going to be too successful. But if there were a tie in some design, like with the coat of arms, that was uniquely and specifically for members, I can see a member always having one or two on hand for those occasions, not to wear in here perhaps daily, but when you go to functions. It helps people recognize who you are. I think that is so important. That was what I thought this was about, with the quotes.

Mrs Speakman: Certainly we can do that. Maybe it was the connection to the pin as well. That becomes very much more expensive because you are doing only --

Mr Mills: Specialty.


Mrs Speakman: Say you have two each, 260, which is a lot different proposition. But it is possible, if that was what the members would like us to do, but it would not be 130, of course, would it?

Mr Mills: No.

Mrs Speakman: It would be fewer.

Mr Mills: We could get four, five or whatever.

Mrs Speakman: That is right. It is something we would like to leave with you as a committee to get back to us. We get requests for ties so we will probably be having a look at the possibility of a shop item of some kind. But if you also would like to look at the possibility of a member's tie, by all means let us know what you would like.

Mr Mills: Maybe I am from another era but I like to think of things like that. It helps to introduce you, and people say, "I don't think people would wear a particular military tie because they would be embarrassed that they are going to be asked questions they couldn't answer." I think it would be a kind of fraudulent representation if you did that. I would like to think that would be the same way, that they would be rather exclusive because otherwise you will not perhaps be able to explain why you had it on.

The Vice-Chair: Would the committee like to have the tie referred to the subcommittee the same as the pin? How do the committee members feel about that?

Mr Owens: It sounds fine, Madam Chairman. Do we need a motion to move that or we will just move it into subcommittee discussions?

Clerk of the Committee: If members are agreed, then it is as you choose.

Mrs Speakman: Once again, it is a slightly different situation. We are trying to develop, at the assembly's expense, a pin that is unique to the members. The tie situation is two: one, we are looking to develop something for sale; and, two, if the members would like something developed for themselves, it would be purchased by the member, so it is a slightly different situation.

The Vice-Chair: So am I hearing that we can refer the pins to the subcommittee but not the ties? Is that what I am hearing?

Mr Mills: Both.

The Vice-Chair: Okay. Would somebody like to make a motion to that effect?

Mr Mills: I move that take place.

Motion agreed to.

Mr Mills: I would just like to go on the record that though I am not on this committee as a member, I would certainly like to come back as a guest if I am not going to be permanent here and have a look and discuss the tie item further at a future date.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much for coming and bringing your --

Mr H. O'Neil: We still have a couple more items.

Mrs Speakman: I have one more.

The Vice-Chair: Yes. We have Barbara Speakman here to speak in regard to dry cleaning. Thank you very much for coming, Karyn.

Mrs Leonard: Thank you.

Mrs Speakman: All I have on the dry cleaning is a status report. We are developing currently a spec to go out to various dry cleaners to bid on the privilege of coming in here with their dropoff and pickup dry cleaning spot. When I have a proper spec I will come back and circulate that to you so you can see what it is we are asking of them.

The Vice-Chair: Okay. Mr Deshmukh, would you care to come to speak about banking machines, please? By the way, thank you very much, Mrs Speakman, for your presentation.

Mrs Speakman: I will stay because I am also involved in the banking machines.

Mr Deshmukh: What we have currently installed in the way of a banking machine is that the Royal Bank of Canada currently supplies and services what is normally characterized as a Cash Counter automated banking machine in the Legislative Building. It is located on -- what do you call that?

Mrs Speakman: The east basement lobby, I guess.

Mr Deshmukh: It is just near the elevators as you go down before you get into the tunnels. That is called an Interac system and the machine is serviced weekly. Actually, there is no cost to the assembly on that particular one.

If there is an intention to go ahead with a full-service bank machine, there are considerations down here. All the banks indicate that they are responsible for installation costs. That is the first thing. All banks would like the location of the banking machine to be moved closer to the cafeteria, dining room and the mail room, somewhere that is accessible.

Mr Mills: It makes sense.

Mr Deshmukh: Yes, where they could get business too. That is something you would have to consider.

The other one that is important is, none of the banks actually thinks it is a viable option per se. They do not anticipate much business from this machine. What they have said to us when we solicited input from all the five banks was essentially that they anticipate about 50 to 100 transactions per day and it would cost the assembly around $1,600 per month to subsidize. If the transactions exceeded 300 per day, then it would not cost the assembly anything.

The other thing that is worth noting on this is that even if we get a full-banking machine, we will not have the deposit facility for all five banks, presuming the people are banking with all five. It will be only for one particular bank.

So essentially the bottom line is as we set it down there. The full-service bank machines can provide full service only to holders of accounts at the bank represented by the machine. Deposits to any one full service would represent only 2% of the transactions and cost about $1,600. That is really the survey that has been brought to the committee. I believe the committee wanted some details on this some time ago.

Mr Mills: I see you pointed out in here that within a block you have all the services you want anyway.

The Vice-Chair: Face the mike, please.

Mr Mills: I thought I was just talking ad lib. I should have put my hand up and got on the list. I think most people need at least a minimum daily dose of exercise and I do not see particular hardship in -- in fact I look forward to it -- going over to the one on Wellesley Street.

To subsidize it, and it is going to cost $1,600 to do that, I cannot go along with that. I do not think it is necessary. Who asked for this?

Mrs Speakman: This committee did.

Mr Mills: Oh, I see. I should not be speaking, because I am a guest here.

Mrs Speakman: They asked us to investigate the feasibility because it is only a Cash Counter, but in fact even the $1,600 would only subsidize the banking machine for one set of accounts.

Mr Deshmukh: It will not cover everybody.

Mr Mills: My account is a Johnny Cash machine, and this will be absolutely no good to me.

Mr H. O'Neil: I have to agree with Gord. I think it would be a wonderful idea to have a machine where we could go and get cash or make deposits, but the problem is going to be, if the Bank of Nova Scotia is the one that gets the contract and I belong to the Bank of Montreal, it is not going to do me any good, and to put in a whole bunch of them, $1,600 times the number of banks, as Gord says, we live close to a bank or we come from a town where there is a bank. I think it is just too expensive and would not serve all the needs. We should just forget it.

The Vice-Chair: I think initially some of us just did not know our way around maybe and did not know what to do for a bank, so I think we have all learned a lot more.

Mr Owens: I think there was a lack of understanding of how the bank machines work. As Hugh says, it does not matter. I am at Toronto-Dominion, so what are you going to do? Are you going to put in five different bank machines so that we can access our particular branches? That is out to lunch.

The Vice-Chair: Initially it was more for deposit than it was for withdrawal. Some of us were going around with cheques in our pocket and did not know what to do with them.

Mr Owens: I could not go to a Royal Bank machine and deposit my cheque. It does not accept it. I can only withdraw. The only place I can deposit is at a TD machine. It would just cost too much money.

The Vice-Chair: Is there any further discussion on this matter? Is there any other business the committee wishes to discuss? If not, we stand adjourned until the next meeting, whenever you are notified.

The committee adjourned at 1700.