Tuesday 18 February 1992

Inquiry re Ministry of Health information

Evelyn Dodds

Robert Dodds

Larry Corea


Chair / Président(e): Offer, Steven (Mississauga North/-Nord L)

Vice-Chair / Vice-Président(e): Miclash, Frank (Kenora L)

Bisson, Gilles (Cochrane South/-Sud ND)

Christopherson, David (Hamilton Centre ND)

Conway, Sean G. (Renfrew North/-Nord L)

Eves, Ernie L. (Parry Sound PC)

Harnick, Charles (Willowdale PC)

Hope, Randy R. (Chatham-Kent ND)

Mills, Gordon (Durham East/-Est ND)

Murdock, Sharon (Sudbury ND)

Owens, Stephen (Scarborough Centre ND)

Scott, Ian G. (St George-St David L)

Substitution(s) / Membre(s) rempliçant(s):

Elston, Murray (Bruce L) for Mr Scott

Kormos, Peter (Welland-Thorold ND) for Ms S. Murdock

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

Also taking part / Autres participants et participantes:

Cavalluzzo, Paul, Cavalluzzo, Hayes and Shilton

Hughes, Kate, Cavalluzzo, Hayes and Shilton

Clerk / Greffier: Arnott,Douglas

Staff / Personnel: Jackson, Patricia, Committee Counsel

The committee met at 1011 in room 151.


The Chair: Good morning. I would like to call the standing committee on the Legislative Assembly to order. At the end of yesterday's proceedings, Mrs Dodds had just completed a series of questions and answers with the official opposition. Mrs Dodds, I would invite you back to the table. Good morning.

Mrs Dodds: Good morning.

The Chair: We will resume the rotation of questioning from the members of the third party. I remind members that the time period given in yesterday's hearing was approximately 30 minutes. Prior to commencing with questions, I would like to remind you, Mrs Dodds, of the warning given with respect to the divulging of any confidential information, that in the event that a response cannot be given without divulging confidential information, we, pursuant to our terms of reference, can adjourn to an in camera proceeding, where that information may then be given.

Second -- yes, Mrs Dodds?

Mrs Dodds: Could I ask you, if something is asked to me of the clinic that I work for and if I know that my bosses would not object to it being made public, does that still qualify as something that has to go in camera, or is that up to the people concerned?

The Chair: With the committee's indulgence --

Ms Jackson: If someone has consented, Mrs Dodds, to the release of personal information concerning themselves, then there is no difficulty in releasing that personal information. So as long as you are confident that you have a specific consent that would cover the information in question, then there is no difficulty that I can perceive in your giving that evidence in public.

Mrs Dodds: Thank you.

The Chair: I hope that that helps you, Mrs Dodds.

Mrs Dodds: Yes, thank you.

The Chair: The second point that I would remind you of is the oath that was administered yesterday prior to your questioning and answers.

Last, for the attention of committee members and for those in attendance, as many members will recognize, parts of these proceedings have been held in camera. Transcripts have been taken of those proceedings, together with exhibits given at that particular point in time. It has been the desire of the subcommittee that as much of that particular information as does not breach confidentiality be permitted for viewing by the public.

We have accordingly asked counsel to review the transcripts of testimony given the the in camera proceeding together with any exhibits provided, and to delete information of a confidential nature. That has been done, and we are currently in the process of making copies of the transcripts taken of in camera proceedings, with deletions, together with any exhibits. They will be available for the public, I have been informed by the clerk, probably around the 10:30 or 11 o'clock mark. For members of the committee, it will be necessary, when those are available, to be marked as exhibits to these hearings, and so will be done when they are available for public distribution, again probably in the 10:30 to 11 o'clock area.

Having said those initial opening comments, I would like to now invite members of the third party to engage in questioning. Mr Eves.

Mr Eves: Thank you, Mr Chairman. Ms Dodds, I want to go back to the conference that you attended. I believe it was on Friday, December 6. Would you please repeat what Mr Decter said at the conference?

Mrs Dodds: He was late because of the storm, and he had to return from Sudbury, so his first comments all had to do with his difficulty of travelling. Then there was a reference to how hard on him the group had been the night before. I am sorry; I do not recall his exact words. He was joking about how they had given him a difficult time and attacked him, and then he made some reference to -- he said something that started, "For what we pay these doctors, they should" -- I am sure he intended it to be funny, but I did not find it funny. I did not even hear the last part of his sentence, because that is when I decided I was going to do something.

Mr Eves: What was Dr MacMillan's reaction at the conference when you confronted him with the situation that you had encountered the previous evening?

Mrs Dodds: He seemed immediately defensive and angry that I had raised it and said that I had to be wrong, that no one in his department could possibly have released any information to a minister. I said, "Well, this is what she said," and I repeated it. He went on at some length about the existing protection for physicians under law with respect to confidentiality, because my question had been phrased as, "What do you intend to put in the freedom of information act to protect physicians' confidentiality?"

Mr Eves: When Ms Martel phoned you -- I believe it was on Sunday, December 8 -- did she indicate where she was telephoning from?

Mrs Dodds: Not that I recall.

Mr Eves: So you had no idea whether she was in Sudbury, Toronto, or where she was?

Mrs Dodds: No, I do not remember any comment to that effect.

Mr Eves: You indicated, I believe, that she was apologizing for her remarks of Thursday evening. Did she indicate that she was sending you a letter of apology as well?

Mrs Dodds: Yes, she did. That is why she asked me for my fax machine number.

Mr Eves: I see. Did she say why it took her from Thursday evening to Sunday morning to contact you?

Mrs Dodds: No, she did not.

Mr Eves: Did her assistant -- I believe you recall her name as being MaryLou or perhaps MaryAnn --

Mrs Dodds: Yes.

Mr Eves: Did she indicate that she had tried to reach you on Friday?

Mrs Dodds: No, she did not.

Mr Eves: Would not the normal thing, if an individual realized on Friday morning that they had made a mistake, and in fact had made a statement that was not based on fact and untrue, would not their natural reaction be to apologize immediately, the next day?

Mr Kormos: One moment, one moment. You know, Chair, this is not the first time this kind of question has been posed, not just to Mrs Dodds but to the last -- over the last week.

Mr Elston: Point of order.

Mr Kormos: I've got the point of order.

The Chair: Excuse me. Excuse me, please. I imagine that Mr Kormos is rising on a point of order, making a point of order.

Mr Kormos: Yes.

The Chair: Mr Kormos, your point, please.

Mr Kormos: For over a week, various people who have appeared in front of this committee have been asked things which seem to me to be well beyond the scope of, one, their ability to answer in a meaningful way to this committee. Now, I am not sceptical about the motive for the questions, but for Ms Dodds to be asked what a normal person would do under those circumstances -- well, no disrespect to Ms Dodds, but it seems to me she might be asked what she would have done under those circumstances. But for Pete's sake, Mr Chair, if I may use that phrase, to ask this person to express that kind of opinion seems to do nothing, seems to not add to the function of this committee. And if it were only the first time that that had been put to a witness or a participant, I would say: "Okay. A mere error in judgement on the part of the person asking the question." But I am suspicious here, if one dares to be suspicious in this context, that the --

Mr Owens: In a factual way.

Mr Kormos: Yes.

Mr Elston: It's his natural way.

Mr Woods: Mr Chairman.

The Chair: Order, order.

Mr Woods: Mr Chair.

The Chair: Excuse me, Mr Woods. Mr Kormos has raised a point, and I believe it is appropriate that all members of the committee hear Mr Kormos's point, and I would remind all members that interruptions, interjections, certainly in the questions and in the answers of any particular witness, and indeed during any points of order, are something which I would hope all members keep in mind as being totally inappropriate and out of order. Mr Kormos.

Mr Kormos: Hope springs eternal.

Mr Harnick: Give me a break. "Springing eternal."

Mr Kormos: I am telling you, Chair, that it seems to me that for participants on this committee to be posing those types of questions is designed to do nothing more than elicit commentary which is irrelevant; in the words of Mr Harnick -- I know we heard him once or twice from a judge -- lacking probative value and beyond the scope of the particular participant. Ms Dodds may be more than eager to want to answer that question for her own reasons, which are not particularly surreptitious --


Mr Elston: What do you mean by that?

The Chair: Order.

Mr Elston: What was meant by that?

The Chair: Order. Mr Kormos, you have the floor. I would ask you if you could make the point as rapidly as possible so that we can proceed.


Mr Wood: You could be a little more polite.

The Chair: Excuse me. Mr Elston and Mr Wood, please.

Mr Kormos: I am telling you, Mr Chair, I see it as your responsibility to ensure that questions which are not probative and which are beyond the scope of a witness or a participant are not put, and if they are put, that the Chair intervene to say no. Surely she can be asked what she would have done under the circumstances, but to be asked what normal people might do is bizarre, to say the least.

Mr Owens: To that point, I was concerned that in your opening remarks you did not raise the counsel we had received yesterday when I raised a point of order on this very issue of speculation and rumour. As Mr Kormos indicates, I think it is your responsibility, Mr Chair, to ensure, while these are not proceedings within a courtroom, that there are certain standards of conduct and decorum that we should be certainly looking at observing in order to give this process the fairest shot possible. I am afraid that in some instances that fairness has been clearly lacking.

Mr Elston: I regret very much that I may have intervened after Mr Kormos jumped on the current witness, but I find it very unfair that he should be trying his usual tactics which would be raised in a courtroom to take a witness from her train of thought. I think his one comment that this witness may be willing to answer for her own purposes was particularly a low shot and it makes people think that Ms Dodds had some motive for being here other than getting to the truth of this situation, which in fact is not a very becoming statement for a member of the Legislative Assembly to deal with in this forum.

I find that offensive. I find that his allegation against this witness is such that he should be asked to withdraw that inference, that reference to Ms Dodds having another agenda. I particularly am upset that these particular members of the government party, having read the newspapers this morning and listened to the testimony yesterday, have shown up this morning in a particularly testy mood and have designed for themselves a strategy to take the witnesses away from their testimony.


The Chair: Order please.

Mr Elston: I find it particularly appalling that they should be in an unhappy state this morning. I would welcome them to join in listening to the witness and allowing her to put her material in front of us so that we can weigh her material along with all the other evidence we are about to hear.

Mr Eves: On that same point and the point Mr Elston just made, Mr Kormos's remark that Ms Dodds may want to answer this question for her own reasons is certainly imputing motive to a witness and is certainly conduct unbecoming, I think, a member of any legislative committee. It may surprise you, Mr Kormos, to know that some of us here are actually here to find out the truth.


The Chair: Order.

Mr Eves: Some people actually answer questions truthfully.


Mr Eves: No. You should go get your marching orders.

The Chair: Order please. Mr Eves, have you completed your response to this point?

Mr Eves: Yes, I have completed my response to this point.

The Chair: Mr Hope, did you wish to respond to this point?

Mr Hope: Yes, on this same point, for the simple fact of some of the allegations that have been thrown across about this side. Some of us are reading newspaper columns, but they are before December 5. We are trying to get some newspaper issues in front. As for Mr Elston's comments about reading this morning's paper, I do not think a lot us have read it.


The Chair: Order.

Mr Hope: It was amazing, when both of them are making comments and gestures saying we have to listen to the facts in order to make a judgement, that prejudgement, which we have been hearing throughout this hearing by the opposition, even in the media and in this committee hearing, in the questioning that has been the route, the roads that are being drawn for the people who are being asked the questions. It is more like the speeches that have been given for a yes or no answer, with all the dialogue that has been involved in it. I find it kind of funny that the members opposite are saying such gestures.

I think it is important that we deal with the facts of this and making sure that we can base it on that. I am having a hard time understanding how they can still judge facts when they have already made their decision on this whole issue. I question how much longer we are going to continue with the allegations that are made by the opposition with this whole case and then start to have an open mind in trying to decipher what is true, what is fact, what is fiction and what is self-motivated. I think that is one of the important things we have to look at through this committee hearing.

The Chair: Mr Hope, I have listened to all of the comments on Mr Kormos's point of order and it is clear that certainly the witnesses can be asked questions of this nature. I think it is important for all members to recognize that it may not have any significant evidentiary value and whether it is an appropriate use of the time given to them in questioning witnesses. But certainly, recognizing the roles and the responsibilities of each of the members of this committee, they certainly can ask questions of this nature and kind, keeping in mind that it might not have any significant impact and might not be the most appropriate way in which they would be able to use their time. But it is within their role and responsibility as members of this committee to ask questions of that kind.

Having said that, Mr Eves.

Mr Eves: Let me rephrase the question another way. Mrs Dodds, did you find it unusual that it took Ms Martel three days to apologize for her conduct on the evening of Thursday, December 5, I believe it was?

Mrs Dodds: I was surprised that she phoned me in reference to the conversation at all. If you will recall, I told you that I was under the very clear impression that evening that she was certain of what she was saying. I would not have expected her to retract something that seemed to be what she really meant at the time.

Mr Eves: Thank you. No further questions.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Eves. Mr Harnick.

Mr Harnick: Mrs Dodds, I would like to take you back to the reception where this incident with Ms Martel occurred. You have told us what was said. In addition to those comments that you have put on the record up to now, did Ms Martel ever refer to the manner in which Dr Donahue carried on his medical practice?

Mrs Dodds: His name was not mentioned in the conversation. The reference to him was as the doctor in Sudbury who had laid off 14 people and, no, there was no specific reference to his billing practices.

Mr Harnick: No, I am not talking about his billing practice, just his practice in general.

Mrs Dodds: The comment that she made about doctors seeing patients on an assembly line I think was a generic comment. I do not think it was referring specifically to the Sudbury doctor.

Mr Harnick: Did she ever indicate in the course of her conversation with you that the doctor's conduct was unacceptable?

Mrs Dodds: Oh, yes; she used the word "criminal."

Mr Harnick: Did she ever use the word "unacceptable"?

Mrs Dodds: No.

The Chair: Does that conclude your questions, Mr Harnick?

Mr Harnick: Yes.

The Chair: Thank you very much. We will now move to members of the government party.

Mr Christopherson: Could I ask you to take me back through the sequence, please, of what happened the morning of the conference that you were attending, I believe, on behalf of your employer? You were at the conference and Mr Decter had made some comments similar -- at least about the same issue, about a doctor. Just walk me through that and sort of what happened the balance of that day, if you could, please.

Mrs Dodds: He began by apologizing for being late because of the storm. He had been returning from Sudbury and he then made a whole series of comments that I think he considered humorous, about how he had been treated by the gathering the night before in Sudbury, and then, as part of this light-hearted banter, I guess he thought it was, he started a sentence by saying, "For what we pay doctors they should" -- and the attitude was so disrespectful that I did not even hear the rest of the sentence. That is when I startled the people at my table, who did not know me, by banging my hand down and saying: "That's enough. Save my place, I'm coming back," and I went to my room.


Mr Christopherson: And what happened when you got to your room?

Mrs Dodds: I think phoned the office of Mike Harris, was unable to reach him there, called his constituency office, was informed that he was at a funeral and was unavailable for quite a few hours, called his office again and asked where I could reach Dianne Cunningham, reached her in London, spoke with her at some length about what had happened and decided that I would make the incident public. I decided that. And I phoned my boss, Dr John Porter, to ask his permission. Then he said he would check with the partners and call me back. In between I called my husband to inform him of what was going on and to chat; he is my comfort. And then Dr Porter called me back and told me that the partners had said, "Go ahead." I then went back downstairs, walked up to the microphone which had just been vacated by a previous questioner, and very shortly thereafter posed the question which you have transcribed for you.

Mr Christopherson: Thank you. How long a time period are we talking from when you first left the conference room to when you returned?

Mrs Dodds: I have a very poor sense of the passage of time, so I cannot be certain. The conference was supposed to start at 9. There was a breakfast at 8, so people were just milling about. It was late getting going because they were waiting to see if the people who were not there yet were going to show up. There were a couple of people who spoke briefly before Mr Decter, and I was back down shortly after 11. I do not think I was in my room more than an hour. I had to wait about 20 minutes or so, I would think, for Dr Porter to call me back.

Mr Christopherson: So maybe about an hour, but give or take?

Mrs Dodds: No more than an hour.

Mr Christopherson: Roughly an hour?

Mrs Dodds: Yes.

Mr Christopherson: One, two, three, four, five -- six calls that I can see, then there must have been a number of calls made by Dr Porter to try to reach some of the partners.

Mrs Dodds: Mm-hmm.

Mr Christopherson: I am going from my memory now in quoting the testimony in front of me, but I think there were four others that he reached, or three others that he reached and he made four.

Mrs Dodds: Mm-hmm.

Mr Christopherson: Is that right?

Mrs Dodds: I am trying to remember what he said to me. There was one that he could not vouch for. He had not been able to reach him and he was not sure how he would react. It turned out he was fully supportive. One of them, one of the partners, is the chief physiotherapist at the clinic. He would have been able to reach him instantly. We have a paging system that whenever he does call in, his name is used and the therapists pick up the phone immediately. The next partner is an emergency room physician and he is usually right near a phone, he is right in emergency, he is not a surgeon. And the third partner is Dr Porter's brother, Dr Gord Porter, and he told me that he was certain that Gord would back us, and of course I know Gord well and he did. And the fifth partner, as it turned out, was also fully supportive, but we were not sure.

Mr Christopherson: Okay. So that is nine, 10 calls maybe, roughly?

Mrs Dodds: By me?

Mr Christopherson: No, no, just in total, in that hour, about nine calls?

Mrs Dodds: By me? Is that your question? I have to --

Mr Christopherson: By you and by Dr Porter combined, around this issue.

Mrs Dodds: Well, he would have made two and I made --

Mr Christopherson: Okay, that makes eight then, because you made six.

Mrs Dodds: Yes, yes.

Mr Christopherson: Okay. During all of that, was there any attempt to determine who the individual physician was and perhaps talk to him about how he felt about having this matter publicized any further?

Mrs Dodds: No. It already, to our minds, was public. When a minister was telling it to total strangers, to our mind it was not any longer a confidential matter. But Dr Porter did say that he would try early in the week to reach the Sudbury physicians. I do not think he told me that he was going to call that particular physician. I think he said he was going to try to reach the Sudbury OMA to find out what was going on.

Mr Christopherson: Did you ask Dr Porter in the morning --

Mrs Dodds: What morning? That morning, or the --

Mr Christopherson: I am sorry, the morning of the conference. It would have been after you had spoken to Ms Cunningham. Did you ask him if he had been able to determine who the doctor in question was?

Mrs Dodds: I do not think I asked him.

Mr Christopherson: The reason I ask is that in yesterday's testimony you identified having asked Dr Porter -- well, let me quote so I am not wrong. You said to him when you bumped into him at the airport, "`Do you know who this person is in Sudbury?' He said he did not, and I said, `Well, find out and I'll call you tomorrow from Toronto.'" So obviously the night before there was some concern on your part in terms of identifying the individual, and I wondered if, when you spoke to him the next morning, you had asked to follow up on that?

Mrs Dodds: I do not remember asking him that. Looking back it seems reasonable that he would not have had time.

Mr Christopherson: That he would not?

Mrs Dodds: Now that I look back it seems reasonable that he would not have had time to find out who this physician was. He came back from an out-of-town remote community clinic very late, he was very tired, he had been on the go for about 14 or 15 hours when I saw him and he was in surgery at 8 o'clock the next morning, so it seems reasonable that I was expecting a bit much that he would know by the next day.

Mr Christopherson: Sure. I just assumed, since he was able to garner the permission of his partners in fairly short order, since it was important to you --

Mrs Dodds: Yes.

Mr Christopherson: -- that since you had identified some pressing need to identify the doctor the evening before, that maybe that would have been a priority in the morning also.

Mrs Dodds: Well it is easy for him to reach his own partners. He knows where they are. Finding out who someone is whose name you do not know is a different story. You do not do that between operations, quickly.

Mr Christopherson: Okay, thank you. Can I move to the conversation you had with Ms Cunningham? Could you relate that conversation to me, please, as you best recall it?

Mrs Dodds: I began by the usual pleasantries: "How are you? How have you been? Haven't seen you in a dog's age." I then said: "I had a really odd thing happen last night that has upset me. It's troubling me a great deal and I want to run it by you because I think I should be doing something about it and I don't know what." I repeated to her and described to her what had happened the night before and I said: "What's been going on? Has a Sudbury physician been charged? Is there a criminal charge pending? What's been happening on this?" She said she did not know anything about it, that she knew there was an issue, a controversy, in Sudbury, but that she was not aware that anyone was being charged.

I said, "Well don't you find that odd that the minister would tell me that, and I'm a stranger to the minister, and yet on this very public issue you, a member of the House, don't know?" She said, "There are a lot of odd things going on these days." I then said: "Well, what do I do about this? I think this is really awful. The attitude of these people has me extremely worried. I feel that I have to make this public, and then whatever you want to do with it is up to you."

She said, "Well, I can't advise you," but she said that she also had the same reaction to the incident that I did -- one of shocked disbelief or just disgust, perhaps. I said, "Is there any reason that you know of that I should not make this public?" She said no, she did not know of any reason. She advised me to be very careful because there would likely be some people who were angry. I said, "Yes, I know that, but I have to do this." So she said, "Good luck." We asked each other about our families and that was the end of the conversation.

Mr Christopherson: Please, I ask you to correct me if I am incorrect or putting words in your mouth. You are stating that your intention at that point was to determine from a political perspective, from someone you knew, whether going public was the right thing.


Mrs Dodds: I believe you have used the phrase "political perspective." I see myself as a citizen reporting something publicly that people have a right to know. When someone highly placed in the Ontario government engages in objectionable behaviour, the electorate has a right to know. I did not see this as a political action so much as that of a private citizen.

Mr Christopherson: That is fair. Your determination was to determine, though, whether you should make the incidents public?

Mrs Dodds: I asked if there was any reason that she knew of, if there was anything that had been going on in Queen's Park that I was not aware of, such as some case pending or -- I mean, I did not know. I had absolutely no idea what had been going on, why this would even have come out of Shelley Martel's mouth. I just do not know. And there was nothing that was going on; there was nothing she could tell me.

Mr Christopherson: Thank you. You testified yesterday when you were asked by Ms Jackson about the -- I will read from the transcript: "Ms Jackson: Did she" -- being Dianne Cunningham -- "know what Sudbury doctor was being referred to?" And you responded: "She knew that it was -- she did not remember the name. I did not know the name, and she never mentioned the name if she did remember it. The name did not come up, but she knew that it was the one who had been in the paper as laying off 14 people. We both knew which one we were talking about from that description."

Is that an accurate reflection of the conversation?

Mrs Dodds: Yes, it is.

Mr Christopherson: Earlier, you answered a question from Ms Jackson that went like this: "Was there a similar controversy in the period before December 5, 1991" -- talking about the fact that there was now a controversy after the 5th -- "Was there a similar controversy in the period before December 5, 1991, in Thunder Bay among the medical community as you knew it?" And your response: "No, there was not. There was no public controversy at all. There were many doctors who were objecting in private conversations to what was going on, and of course as a clinic manager I had experienced some difficulties in adjusting to all of the changes that OHIP had imposed upon us, but there had been no public statement or controversy that I was aware of."

I am trying to determine how Mrs Cunningham, I believe from London, would be aware of the individual we are talking about if there were no real controversy going on.

Mr Harnick: Well, she said she was not.

Mr Christopherson: Mr Chair, please.

The Chair: Excuse me, Mr Harnick.

Mrs Dodds: Perhaps I misunderstood Ms Jackson's question. The controversy in Sudbury had been reported, and I would expect because that controversy had to do with a physician opposing the government's actions that it would be well known to any member of the Legislature. The question that I answered with respect to Thunder Bay controversy was accurate, because there had been no one in Thunder Bay closing a clinic or publicly fighting the government on it. So there was no event in Thunder Bay that had given rise to public controversy, but the Sudbury issue had been reported in our media.

Mr Christopherson: This is the 6th, though. That had not yet been made public, but Ms Cunningham still, she knew --

Mrs Dodds: What had not yet been made public?

Mr Christopherson: What had happened in Thunder Bay with Ms Martel. When you talked to Dianne --

Mrs Dodds: I am losing track of what controversy you are questioning me about here.

The Chair: Maybe Mr Christopherson could restate the question for the benefit of Mrs Dodds.

Mr Christopherson: Sure, I was just trying to determine very simply how Ms Cunningham so readily knew on December 6, I believe, the incident surrounding a particular physician in Sudbury.

Mr Harnick: On a point of order, Mr Chairman.

The Chair: Mr Harnick.

Mr Harnick: That is a total misstatement of the evidence. She quite clearly said that Mrs Cunningham did not know anything about it.

The Chair: Mr Harnick, thank you very much.

Mr Harnick: I think if he is going to restate the evidence, at least he can be accurate, because just a few moments ago I heard all these people say how interested they are in hearing what the facts are, rather than distorting them.

Mr Eves: As long as you colour them green and orange.

Mr Christopherson: Mr Chair --

The Chair: Excuse me.

Mr Harnick: She said four times already that she spoke to Mrs Cunningham for advice and Mrs Cunningham knew nothing about it. How many more times do we have to have that question asked?

The Chair: Mr Harnick, thank you very much for the point that you raise. Mr Christopherson, as I have already ruled earlier, there is a latitude given to members to pose questions, and certainly it is up to the witness with respect to the response. If they feel that there is a difficulty in the question or it requires a clarification or whatever, they have that freedom to do so with respect to their response. But of course the members can pose questions as they see fit, keeping in mind the issue that has already been discussed around the question of rumour. But apart from that, certainly there is a latitude to members to pose questions. Mr Christopherson.

Mr Christopherson: Thank you, Mr Chair, I appreciate that. The comment that Mrs Dodds made yesterday was that when she was speaking with Mrs Cunningham, and I am quoting from testimony, "The name did not come up, but she knew that it was the one who had been in the paper as laying off" --

The Chair: Mr Christopherson, I am sorry to interrupt, but counsel would like you to just recite the page.

Mr Christopherson: Oh, 1555-3.

Ms Jackson: Thank you.

Mr Christopherson: Middle of the page. The last sentence is, and Mr Harnick, for your benefit, I am reading directly, "We both knew which one we were talking about from that description." I was trying to determine how it was that without any other background discussion that I have heard of in that phone call, Mrs Cunningham from London was aware of the specifics of something in Sudbury and said, "Yes, we both knew who we were talking about." That was my question. I think it is a fair one, Mr Chair.

Mrs Dodds: I can clarify my answer to that --

Mr Christopherson: Please.

Mrs Dodds: -- now that I understand your question better. As it turned out, Miss Cunningham's knowledge of the affair was restricted to what had been in the newspaper, as was mine.

Mr Christopherson: Okay. Did Ms Cunningham suggest to you at all during that conversation that it might be wise to talk with Dr Donahue or to make some kind of contact with him in terms of this matter being more public? You felt, from your discussions with Minister Martel, that was not a problem in your own mind, and that is fair; that was your judgement to make. My question is, did Ms Cunningham recommend to you that it might be wise for you to attempt to contact him or ask you if you had contacted him or give any advice whatsoever that Dr Donahue's rights at least come into this discussion?

Mrs Dodds: She did not refer to the physician's rights as such. I believe she did make some comment about, "We really should be contacting that physician to tell him what Martel is saying about him," and I agreed with that, but I did not see that as, and I did not take from her comment, that it was intended to be an action to replace the making of the incident public, but simply another thing that should be done.

Mr Christopherson: I think you said that you wrote your company's manual or guidelines on freedom of information?

Mrs Dodds: We have a policy for staff to follow when patients request information from their files.

Mr Christopherson: And you wrote that?

Mrs Dodds: Yes.

Mr Christopherson: So at this point you still did not believe there was any real requirement, in terms of all the checking you were doing, the calls and the permission, in any way to reach Dr Donahue and ask him how he might have felt about this?

Mrs Dodds: I was not in any way officially connected with that physician. If I had been a member of the Legislature privy to confidential information and I was making it public, then I would be accountable to him. I was a member of the public who heard this from a minister. The freedom of information act applies to those who are in an official position to hold confidential information about others. It does not apply to members of the public who hear it from officials. I think you are also aware that reporters operate under the same rules.

Mr Christopherson: So your answer is no.


Mrs Dodds: Sometimes.

Mr Christopherson: My last few questions: The comments that Minister Martel made, as you recollect, regarding criminal charges. I think you testified that it left you the impression, there was no doubt in your mind the impression was left, that what was being talked about was criminal charges, and that was the only connotation put to the word "criminal," as you recall that. If I am putting words in your mouth, please forgive me and straighten me out.

Mrs Dodds: That was my inference.

Mr Christopherson: Can I ask, how would you respond to the statement if I said that there were no charges facing Dr Donahue?

Mrs Dodds: When?


Mrs Dodds: Now or then?

Mr Christopherson: I am asking a question.

The Chair: Order.

Mr Christopherson: I am asking how Mrs Dodds would respond if I said, "There are no charges facing Dr Donahue."

Mrs Dodds: Now?

Mr Harnick: She is asking for clarification. Now or when?

Mr Christopherson: Either.

Mrs Dodds: If you had said that to me two minutes after Miss Martel made her comments to me, I would have been a very puzzled person, because that would have contradicted what the minister said to me at the time. Now that you say it to me, I know that it has been published that some investigation has been completed on that physician and he has been cleared, but that is now. At that time, I did not even know that there was an investigation under way. I left with the distinct impression that within a few days I would be publicly hearing about criminal charges laid against this physician, who had protested the government's actions.

Mr Christopherson: And my last question: You do not know for a fact that Shelley Martel saw any file. All of your statements are based on your impression of that conversation.

Mrs Dodds: I have repeated to you to the very best ability of my recollection the words which she used. I have told you how I interpreted those words. That is as far as I can go.

Mr Christopherson: Right. Thank you, Mr Chair.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Christopherson. Mr Kormos, and I remind members of the government caucus there are approximately 10 minutes remaining.

Mr Kormos: December 5, the pre-Christmas party with miners and prospectors and engineers, and your contact with Ms Martel was initiated by your husband taking you over to see -- you told us he referred to "Shelley." Is that how he referred to Ms Martel? "Do you want me to introduce you to Shelley?"

Mrs Dodds: He was asked by the ministry official who was accompanying Miss Martel if he would like to meet Shelley Martel. He came over and whispered to me, "We have to leave soon, but come on over and meet Shelley first."

Mr Kormos: And you did.

Mrs Dodds: Yes.

Mr Kormos: You knew who she was.

Mrs Dodds: No.

Mr Kormos: You live in Thunder Bay?

Mrs Dodds: It could have been an engineer's wife, for all I knew at that moment.

Mr Kormos: You knew who Shelley Martel was.

Mrs Dodds: Once I had shaken her hand and looked into her face and heard her name, then I clicked.

Mr Kormos: Sure.

Mrs Dodds: I did not know that she -- well, I am not going to comment further than that. It took me a second to remember who she was.

Mr Kormos: I am not sure you necessarily -- those newspaper photos never do anybody justice. I have been looking at some of yours, and they do not do you justice.

Mrs Dodds: Well, thank you.

Mr Kormos: But I am telling you, you knew who Shelley Martel was, did you not? You knew that she was a member of the provincial Legislature from Sudbury.

Mrs Dodds: Her name was familiar to me. I had never met her, I had never spoken with her, never been in a meeting with her, had read bits and pieces of what she had done, but I can assure you there are a great many people sitting on your side of the House in Queen's Park whose faces and names I would not recognize.

Mr Kormos: I have no doubt about that. I tell you, Ms Dodds, there are some that I am not even familiar with.

Mrs Dodds: Yours I know. There have been some unflattering pictures of you too, I understand.

Mr Kormos: Wait a minute. If you did not like the pictures, I tell you, there were thousands of women in the province who did.

The Chair: Order. I know our terms of reference are broad indeed, but please, I think we are stretching the limit.

Mrs Dodds: I could not resist.

Mr Kormos: My picture cost me 30 grand a year.

Mrs Dodds: My husband says that you are the only NDPer with a sense of humour.

Mr Kormos: God bless him. But I may even test that theory over the next few minutes.

Mrs Dodds: You may.

Mr Kormos: Listen, you are telling us --


The Chair: Order.

Mr Kormos: -- that you sat as a school board trustee in the north, in Thunder Bay, then as a member of city council. That is your position now?

Mrs Dodds: Yes.

Mr Kormos: You were politically motivated sufficiently to run in a provincial election. When was that?

Mrs Dodds: In 1987.

Mr Kormos: And you knew, did you not, that Shelley Martel was the MPP for the riding of Sudbury?

Mrs Dodds: I remembered it after the conversation. I did not remember it before. Why would I?

Mr Kormos: Fair enough.

Mrs Dodds: I have nothing to do with the ministry of northern affairs and mines at the moment. My cause for many, many years was the educational system and I would be more likely to recognize and to know quite well ministers of Education, but I have not been involved in the mining field since Miss Martel has been in that position.

Mr Kormos: Ministers of Education have been pretty transient too, through no fault of their own, mind you.

Mrs Dodds: Yes. I have had problems with all of them for the past 10 years, as Mr Conway will attest.

Mr Kormos: The conversation with Ms Martel is pretty quickly one in which clearly she is not surrounded by New Democrats or even supporters of New Democratic Party policy, is she?

Mrs Dodds: I am sorry; I did not understand your question.

Mr Kormos: Well --

Mrs Dodds: You mean at this reception?

Mr Kormos: When you were having your tête-à-tête with Ms Martel.

Mrs Dodds: I would not characterize it that way. She was someone I was being introduced to at the last minute, hurriedly, as I was leaving, and I did not even know that there were any government officials in the room.

Mr Kormos: Ms Martel was there, and the conversation very quickly goes to a critique of of current government policy, does it not?

Mrs Dodds: Yes.

Mr Kormos: No two ways about that.

Mrs Dodds: It has been my experience as a politician, albeit on a much lower level than you, that no matter what social circumstance you find yourself in, everyone discusses their views on whatever political issue concerns them. I cannot buy a head of lettuce without hearing about people's potholes.

Mr Eves: Potholes?

Mrs Dodds: I was -- what can I tell you?

Mr Kormos: Ms Dodds, there was an introduction, and then immediately the conversation became one of a critique of NDP government policies.

Mrs Dodds: Discussions with government officials usually are that from the word go.

Mr Kormos: I am not inclined to disagree with you, but the facts are --

Mrs Dodds: I am glad. I would really wonder about your political experience if it had been different.

Mr Kormos: The facts are that the conversation, immediately after introductions, turned into a critique of NDP government policies.

Mrs Dodds: Yes, it did.

Mr Kormos: There was no social chatter about the weather and about the Christmas season and about the presence or absence of snow. The conversation was an introduction of who's who and then, bang, as you put it, it leaped rather rapidly --

Mrs Dodds: I have not --

Mr Kormos: -- from legislation on mines to payroll burdens to employee health tax to health care costs.

Mrs Dodds: I have not enjoyed the luxury of social chit-chat such as you describe for many years. So I am not able to explain or defend the direction that particular conversation took. To me, that is the way discussions always go when there are politicians in a conversation.

Mr Kormos: And when Ms Dodds is being introduced to them.

Mrs Dodds: I was not the first person to start the discussion.

Mr Kormos: Mr Dodds was?

Mrs Dodds: Yes.

Mr Kormos: And you participated in that discussion enthusiastically, and again, no reason not to, is there?

Mrs Dodds: I enjoy discussing issues. I will not try to explain that any other way.

Mr Kormos: And the first thing that Ms Martel said that particularly irritated you was the comment that it is doctors who draw most of the money out of the health care system.

Mrs Dodds: That is correct.

Mr Kormos: If you were merely interested in the exchange up until then, that got you passionate, did it not?

Mrs Dodds: It certainly did.

Mr Kormos: And it set you off a little, right?

Mrs Dodds: There are many things at the moment which are called doctors' income and counted in their cap calculations which are not truly their income.

Mr Kormos: It was that comment that set you off a little bit?

Mrs Dodds: Nothing set me off, Mr Kormos. I was rather controlled through the discussion, but it was that comment which caused me to disagree firmly with Miss Martel.


Mr Kormos: And then you engaged in an even more aggressive critique of NDP health policy, did you not?

Mrs Dodds: I stated my views firmly, as I have on thousands of occasions to hundreds of other politicians, which I will be pleased to do with you any time.

Mr Kormos: I have no doubt about it. You told us that somebody made reference to the doctor who laid off the 14 people. Who said that?

Mrs Dodds: I am sorry; I do not know. My husband does not remember saying it. He was standing to my left. The sound came from there, but there were other people drifting by and there was one other gentleman who was on the periphery of the conversation group for a short period of time. We just do not remember. I do not remember and he does not remember, but I know it was not me.

Mr Kormos: You no doubt discussed with your husband the conversation that had taken place. Was it him who drove you to the airport?

Mrs Dodds: Yes.

Mr Kormos: You no doubt discussed it with him in the car on the way to the airport.

Mrs Dodds: I think the best way of describing it is that I continued to mutter angrily. He has learned over the years to be a very good listener. He lets me get it out of my system.

Mr Kormos: You muttered, but once you got to the airport you had a chance to sit down at a little table, or wherever it was you sat and drank your coffee. Once again, I suspect, and you will tell me if I am suspecting wrong, then you had a chance to talk with your husband about the conversation.

Mrs Dodds: No. As I described to you yesterday, when we went into the cafeteria my husband went over to get me a cup of coffee. I spotted my boss sitting at a table, sat down and immediately began to tell him what had gone on at this session. Then another gentleman joined us. He was picking up Dr Porter, and Dr Porter and I continued talking while my husband engaged in a conversation with the other person. It was all very brief. I just had time to gulp half the cup and I had to get through security and get on to the plane.

Mr Kormos: Why were you frightened when Miss Martel used the word "criminal"? Why were you frightened by her saying, "It's criminal"?

Mrs Dodds: I am responsible for the billings of the physicians in my clinic. I am responsible for seeing to it that our computer program is well understood, properly programmed, and that my staff do what they are supposed to do. I am responsible for reconciling the records and I sign their cheques. They do not know how the office runs. They have nothing to do with their billings other than to sign that they have seen the patient and what they have done.

If a physician can be charged because something is wrong in the way his billings have been accomplished -- and this was the horrible thought that crossed my mind -- was there any possibility that I, as a relatively new clinic manager, could be making a mistake and causing something to happen to my bosses? It is certainly something I intended to look into in detail and check out in my own office and our own practices, because the doctors do not know how I am handling this. I have only been a clinic manager for a little over a year. I am responsible for that.

Mr Kormos: Fair enough.

Mrs Dodds: I feel responsible for these guys.

Mr Kormos: But it seems that the direction of your concerns was not towards whether or not indeed some errors were being made in billing at the clinic you are responsible for.

Mrs Dodds: You asked me why her comments frightened me and I told you. That does not explain why I made her comments public.

Mr Kormos: Oh.

Mrs Dodds: The two are unconnected.

Mr Kormos: You told us that it was an odd thing that happened and that your state was one of shock, disbelief or even disgust.

Mrs Dodds: It is difficult to find the right adjectives to describe one's reaction to such an occurrence. It certainly was not a mild reaction. I am not certain that the adjectives I have quickly selected here for you are the ones that I would -- If I had a day to think about the right adjectives, I do not know what I would say. It was not a pleasant experience and it certainly was not one that went out of my mind quickly. I was angry. I knew that something significant had happened, but I do not know that shock or disbelief is -- I mean, you ask me to come up with adjectives on the spur of the moment and I do my very best, but I am not an author. I am not certain that I am describing these things completely accurately. Mr Chairman, is there a washroom break called in these sessions?

The Chair: Yes. If you would like we can recess for 10 minutes.

Mrs Dodds: I would appreciate it.

The Chair: Recess for 10 minutes.

The committee recessed at 1105.


The Chair: I will call this morning's session to order after a brief recess. At closing Mr Kormos had the floor. Mr Kormos, I would remind you and members of your caucus that the 30-minute allocation has indeed expired. I would also remind all members of the committee that it has been the case that, if there is a certain line of questioning which we do not want to interrupt unnecessarily, it be allowed to continue. I will not unnecessarily interrupt that line of questioning. But I would also ask you, as all caucuses heretofore have been cognizant of and sensitive to, that when the time has expired they will attempt to wrap up their questioning as soon and as quickly as possible. Mr Kormos.

Mr Kormos: I am going to need a few more minutes but I am going to go fast. I am going to do it three and three quarters instead of one and seven eighths; do you know what I mean?

The Chair: No.

Mr Kormos: Anyway, Ms Dodds, I am going to put to you that Ms Martel did not say nothing whatsoever about criminal charges being laid.

Mrs Dodds: The way you phrased it you are correct, but then you just used a double negative. You just said "didn't say nothing." That is right. She did not say nothing; she said a great deal.

Mr Kormos: She did not say in any way, shape or form that criminal charges are going to be laid, did she?

Mrs Dodds: She said --


Mrs Dodds: It is the old school teacher in me that cannot resist.

Mr Kormos: That is why we never put them on juries.

Mrs Dodds: She did say that there were going to be charges laid and she did use the word "criminal" in one of her phrases immediately after that. I do not think she said "criminal charges," but she did say "charges" and she did use the word "criminal" in the same conversation.

Mr Kormos: If she said "criminal" it was in the broadest, most colloquial use of the word, much as I might say about the GST it is criminal.

Mrs Dodds: I did not obviously interpret it that way.

Mr Kormos: You do not disagree that to say it is criminal in that colloquial sense is not uncommon at all?

Mrs Dodds: I do not disagree that it is a common phrasing. I did not take it that way in that conversation.

Mr Kormos: You said that about the mill rate when it stood at 12.1%. You called this figure "criminal."

Mrs Dodds: I most certainly did, but I was not referring to charges.

Mr Kormos: You used it in the colloquial sense?

Mrs Dodds: Yes, I did.

Mr Kormos: Much as I might speak of the GST as being criminal, you talked about the mill rate back in April of last year as being criminal?

Mrs Dodds: That is right.

Mr Kormos: By virtue of referring to it as criminal, you were not suggesting that criminal charges were going to be laid, were you?

Mrs Dodds: But there was nothing in that discussion that referred to any potential actions against anyone. In this conversation there was specific reference made to charges, and in the same discussion the word "criminal" was used. I may have been in error, Mr Kormos, but I did connect the two and draw my own conclusions, which you may not have, but I did.

Mr Kormos: That takes us to the intervening discussion, because in fact there were a number of comments made between Ms Martel's first reference, as you would have us believe it, to the doctor and her comment about, "Yes, it's criminal." Have you reflected on those comments in an attempt to recall what in fact they were?

Mrs Dodds: I beg your pardon?

Mr Kormos: You see, there was some significant conversation between when you said, "What did you just say?" and she said, "Yes, it's criminal," and what she first said about a doctor in Sudbury.

Mrs Dodds: I do not understand what you are asking me to do here.

Mr Kormos: I am sorry, Mr Chair, but let's go through. I tried yesterday to write down what you were telling us the conversation was. Let's go through the conversation and you tell us what it was that was said, because it is really important, because you see, you are right, different people can draw different inferences about what was meant.

Mrs Dodds: I can only tell you what my inferences were, not what yours would have been.

Mr Kormos: But what was said by Ms Martel after -- you told us she said: "Oh, him. I've seen his file. You're going to lose all sympathy when you find out how many charges are laid against him." You told us that yesterday.

Mrs Dodds: That is correct.

Mr Kormos: What was said next?

Mrs Dodds: There were some outbursts from people around who were all beginning to talk at the same time. I think I said, "What?" or something. I was totally shocked.


Mrs Dodds: I am sorry that I am not able to be word-for-word specific after that.

Mr Eves: On a point of order, Mr Chairman: Perhaps I could be helpful to Mr Kormos. If he would care to turn to yesterday's Hansard, he can see exactly what Mrs Dodds said. Is this the same Mr Kormos who was objecting to my line of questioning, who is now over his time and badgering the witness? Is this the same Mr Kormos?

The Chair: Mr Eves, just one moment. First, on the last point, on the question of badgering, Mr Kormos is asking questions which he, as a member of this committee, feels are appropriate. Second, dealing with the matter that you brought up with the transcripts --

Mr Woods: You do not want the truth to come out, Ernie?

The Chair: Mr Woods, please, you seem to be one of the --


The Chair: I was about to just remind Mr Kormos and Mrs Dodds that this is the subject matter of a matter which was brought forward yesterday and is in the transcripts, at pages 1545-2, 1545-3. So in keeping with the time, which I have reminded members, Mr Kormos, has expired, you might want to refer to that portion of the Hansard so that the questioning could be quickly completed. We are at 11:23 and I would like to ask if you could complete by 11:30.

Mr Christopherson: On a short point of order, and I appreciate what you are saying, Mr Chair, and understand the guidelines we all agreed to, I would just ask you for a little extra consideration, bearing in mind that next to Minister Martel, Mrs Dodds is arguably the most important witness that will come before this group. If Mr Kormos needs a little more time, I think it is most appropriate that that be provided.

The Chair: Mr Christopherson, with respect to your concern, it is one which I have already given. I am just alerting you and your members to the position that we did give 30 minutes per caucus. You commenced your questioning at 10:30 to 11:45. There was a slight interruption on a point of order. At 11:05 we broke until 11:18 and so that extra time has already been given. I am sensitive to that concern. Mr Kormos, please, if you could continue.

Mr Kormos: You recall I spoke to you about this yesterday, Chair. I told you I figured I might need a few more minutes and that I was going to tell you.

In any event, you said, "What?"

Mrs Dodds: Yes.

Mr Kormos: What were the comments that followed that?

Mrs Dodds: She said, "Yes, it's criminal."

Mr Kormos: Hold on.

Interjection: He is trying to get this down.

Mr Kormos: Please. "Yes, it's criminal."

Mrs Dodds: Mr Chairman, I would be delighted to describe word for word, in accurate detail, every single, tiny, little breath that was taken in that entire conversation. As with most people, I am not able to recall things that precisely as Mr Kormos is preparing to record. I have given you the very best recollection that I can of the discussion. There were certain parts of it that stuck in my mind and there were other parts that did not hold the same significance for me and therefore are not recalled by me in as accurate a detail. I will do the best I can, but I really wonder what you are about, Mr Kormos.

The Chair: Mrs Dodds, that is all that one --


The Chair: Excuse me. Order, please. Mr Kormos. Please, members. Mr Kormos, if you could continue your questioning, I think, Mrs Dodds, we all recognize and understand the point that you have made. Mr Kormos, if you could quickly complete your questioning.

Mr Kormos: You said, "What?" and she said, according to you, "Yes, it's criminal." But before you told us there were a few other little comments back and forth. I would dearly love for you to try, try, try as best you can to recall what those comments were, because surely they are important and it is important to put this conversation in the context and to relate all of what was said, is it not?

Mrs Dodds: It certainly is important, and I am not treating this lightly at all. There were several people talking at the same time at that point. Several people were trying to get their two cents' worth in, and I do not recall what each person's comment was. There were people speaking over each other. I know I was not pleased with what I had heard and probably said something to the effect, "Oh, for heaven's sakes. What can you possibly be saying?" or something like that. Miss Martel was saying things along the same line, that what was going on in Sudbury was terrible and there was going to be something done about it, you know, that kind -- now do not write that down. I am describing as opposed to quoting. There is a difference.

I do not recall the exact words. I have tried to, but only certain parts were stuck in my mind as having great impact and obviously caused me to react. Other parts are remembered as a perception of the tone or the import or the inference that I drew, but I am sorry, I do not walk around with a tape recorder in my head. I wish I did. Actually, after all of this was over, I was beginning to wish I had had a tape recorder, and on my phone to boot.

Mr Kormos: Because if we did have that portion of the conversation, it might help us understand exactly what Ms Martel intended to convey.

Mrs Dodds: My feeling is that if I had had a tape recorder with me during that conversation, you would be more shocked than I was.

Mr Kormos: I have no doubt, Ms Dodds.

Mrs Dodds: You would have been embarrassed.

Mr Kormos: I would be interested in hearing what was said, which is why we are here.

Mrs Dodds: Yes. I have given you as much as I can possibly recall. I am only sorry that I am not able to recall each and every little word. I wish I could.

Mr Kormos: I am too, Mrs Dodds. Now yesterday, at the very beginning of our questioning of you, you confirmed for Ms Jackson that you publicly resigned from the Conservative Party.

Mrs Dodds: I am sorry?

Mr Kormos: You confirmed to Ms Jackson that you publicly resigned from the Conservative Party.

Mrs Dodds: That is right, I did.

Mr Kormos: You subsequently, what, joined the Reform Party in Ontario?

Mrs Dodds: I was a member of the provincial Conservative Party and after resigning I did not join any other Conservative or any other provincial party. About a year ago, I attended some Reform federal -- you do realize the Reform Party does not have any provincial riding associations -- and toyed with the idea of working with that group, but I have not followed it up.

Mr Kormos: The press report that you are acting treasurer for the riding association is inaccurate?


Mrs Dodds: Yes, it is. It was accurate for about a week. I was asked to assist with setting up the riding association. I met with some people and I did assist them. I did attend their first meeting and a new executive was selected right after other people came to the first meeting. I have not attended any meeting since or been involved in the executive of the Reform Party since. It was a slim hope I had that there would be some party I could put my faith in, but I did not pursue it.

Mr Kormos: My final question, Chair, and that is that you conveyed, when you spoke to Ms Jackson and Mr Christopherson, a sense of uncertainty as to how to pursue this whole issue. You were calling Ms Cunningham, you were calling Mr Harris. Ms Cunningham, and you agreed with her, suggested that you be very careful. Why would you have to be very careful?

Mrs Dodds: Whenever one takes on an issue publicly it is necessary to be very prudent, to be very accurate. I have taken on some big challenges in my time and I have learned that, that one has to be very accurate, very careful and very measured.

Mr Kormos: Well, when you accused the Federation of Women Teachers' Associations of Ontario of indoctrinating students to the communist point of view, was that the result of prudence and caution on your part, or was it otherwise?

Mrs Dodds: At the time that I made that quote, Mr Kormos, I had the documented evidence of that taking place in my hand.

Mr Kormos: They were nurturing little communists in our classrooms?

Mrs Dodds: Yes. Would you like me to bring it to you? I would be pleased to describe it to you here.

Mr Kormos: And that is the Federation of Women Teachers' Associations of Ontario that is doing it?

Mrs Dodds: Absolutely. If you will read the publications of the federation of women teachers of Ontario you will find that they have taken upon themselves the challenge of promoting world peace. At that time, they had decided that disarmament and world government were the two political solutions for world peace and they were deliberately teaching children that these were acceptable political aims, through methods that leave no physical trace in the classroom. I have given extensive speeches on just that all over this province.

Mr Kormos: The Federation of Women Teachers' Associations of Ontario as a hotbed of communism is new to me, Ms Dodds.

Mrs Dodds: Please do not reinterpret my statements. I am very precise in what I say they are doing. I did not say that they are a hotbed of communism; you just interpreted my statements to that effect, and I resent that.

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

The Chair: I would like, if there is a point of order, that we would allow the witnesses to complete their responses to any question that has been posed. I understand Mr Kormos is now finished in his questioning?

Mr Kormos: There is a point of order --

The Chair: Yes.

Mr Kormos: and I can be interrupted by that.

The Chair: Mr Elston.

Mr Elston: Mr Chair, I think it is obvious to anybody who has been watching the performance of Mr Kormos over the last several minutes that he is here, as he began early in this deliberation, to try and take the witness out of deliberations on the facts of the material in front of us. He has tried to indicate that she has some other motive than getting to the basic facts and truth of the matter for being here in front of this legislative committee. He has here declared in his last question certain other allegations against this witness. It has obviously been designed on his part, or on the part of the New Democratic Party, that they should try and make this witness look bad publicly --

Mr Wood: Oh, come on, Murray.

The Chair: Mr Wood, please.

Mr Elston: -- just as Ms Martel had decided that she and the New Democrats would make the doctor in Sudbury look bad publicly, so that they could tear them apart.

Mr Chair, I think that you must intervene and ask him not to be doing the type of thing that he obviously has contrived to do to take away the credibility of this deliberation. I find it extremely reprehensible. I have seen him do it before. I think, Mr Chair, that because of the time you should ask him to fully desist from further questioning.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Elston. I have listened closely to the question posed by Mr Kormos and I remind all members that we have been giving a latitude to members of this committee to pose questions that they feel are important in this issue. I am going to allow that type of question to be posed by Mr Kormos. I think that is in keeping with the rules and responsibilities of members of this committee.

Mr Kormos, I take it that you have completed your questioning now, because time has expired.

Mr Kormos: Am I precluded from asking any more questions, Chair?

The Chair: Well, Mr Kormos, I would rather not have to preclude anyone from asking questions, but I have listened to you indicating that you had but one question left to ask, that you were sensitive to the time. If you would like, you can ask one more question and then we will move on.

Mr Harnick: I thought that was his last question. He said he had one more question.

The Chair: I am going to allow Mr Kormos to pose one further question and then we will move on.

Mr Mills: No outbursts, Charlie.

Mr Kormos: Ms Dodds --

Mrs Dodds: Mrs Dodds.

Mr Kormos: Oh, I am sorry.

Mr Harnick: You should be.

Mr Kormos: It is so hard to be politically correct. Mrs Dodds --

Mrs Dodds: Thank you.

Mr Harnick: Excuse me, Mr Chairman; enough of this. This is totally disrespectful of the witness.

The Chair: Excuse me one moment. I must indicate that I do believe, Mr Kormos, that if you do have a question you would like to pose to Mrs Dodds, you could do so. If there is not a question, then we will excuse Mrs Dodds from further questions as the rotation has been completed.

Mr Kormos: Mrs Dodds, you have got a long history of taking to task publicly, with innuendo, with direct attack, with smears of communism, anybody with whom you politically disagree, ranging from the Federation of Women Teachers' Associations of Ontario to fellow councillors to fellow boards of trustees. There is a lengthy press file which would indicate that you are no stranger to the media, be it print or otherwise, and you have no hesitation in using the media to attack and condemn, again be it with facts or with innuendo, anybody who would contradict your extreme right-wing political philosophy.

Mrs Dodds: My right-wing views are not unknown. I doubt that I will ever be accused of being a socialist. I am flattered that my press file intrigues you, but if you have read it you will note that I have been critical of any party and any politician with whose views I have not agreed. My first assaults, if you will, on the government began when Bette Stephenson was Minister of Education, they continued through the Liberal regime and are now continuing on yours.

On the other hand, two weeks ago I publicly stated that Premier Rae had done a very good thing in imposing wage guidelines or in calling for wage guidelines of 1, 2 and 2. I think you will find that I am consistent with my principles and that I am obliged to speak up on issues that I have deep personal feelings about. My political sphere is totally restricted with trying to save the city of Thunder Bay's financial situation at the moment. This was something that happened that I did not ask for or need.

The Chair: Well, thank you very much, Mrs Dodds. That completes the rotation of questions. I thank you for coming before the committee.

Mr Eves: On a point of order, Mr Chair: With the line of questioning and the time that Mr Kormos has been permitted to go on, I take it that any members of this committee will be entitled to run over the time, ask any witness any questions they have about the witness's previous political involvement, personal background, opinions and views about any subject matter whatsoever. I take it, from the line of questioning that you have allowed Mr Kormos to pursue in the last half-hour, that I have carte blanche to ask anybody anything I want, whether it is relevant to this inquiry or not.

The Chair: Mr Eves, in terms of the timing it is a matter which has been specifically addressed by the subcommittee.

Mr Eves: Get ready.

The Chair: It has always been the feeling of the subcommittee that if there is a particular line of questioning which a member has been engaged in and the time happens to run over, I as Chair would not call the time. It is important to make certain that all members have a sufficient amount of time. That is what we have been attempting to do. The way in which a member uses his or her time in questioning, as to whether there is any evidentiary substantiveness to the question, is a question for the member and for the member's caucus. We will attempt to continue to live within those guidelines as set by the subcommittee.

Thank you again, Mrs Dodds. Mr Christopherson.

Mr Christopherson: Mr Chairman, just a couple of points. One is that it is acknowledged that the time that is set is arbitrarily done by yourself.

The Chair: That is correct.

Mr Christopherson: Having said that, I know you are trying to be as evenhanded as possible, in consultation with committee counsel, in terms of how much time you think is necessary, but it does need to be stated that you plucked that figure out of thin air. That is why you offer the latitude for some members.

The other thing is that I would like to reiterate the offer that I understand our House leader has made to the other two House leaders, that if they would like and if they need the time to sit in the evenings we are prepared to do that.

Mr Kormos: We should.


Mr Conway: If I might, clearly evidence continues to build to make the subcommittee meet at an early opportunity to review some of the protocol. I think it is best dealt with there and believe me, it will be dealt with there.

The Chair: Thank you very much. We will deal with that in the subcommittee meeting. Before we call our next witness, I indicated earlier this morning that there had been hearings taking place in camera and that as a result of those hearings there were transcripts made which have been amended, in so far as information of a confidential nature has been deleted. We now have copies of those transcripts, together with copies of any exhibits given, again with amendments.

There are five pieces. They will be marked as exhibit 42 being the transcript of Wednesday in camera; exhibit 43, which is the Thursday meeting in camera; we have exhibit 44, which is an exhibit of those in camera proceedings; exhibit 45 is an exhibit of an in camera proceeding, and exhibit 46 is once more an exhibit in the in camera proceeding. Those have been marked and are now part of the record as amended.


The Chair: I would now like to call the next witness, who is Mr Dodds. We are just waiting for Mr Dodds to appear. I understand he is just outside the committee room. I would remind members that this meeting is still in progress. We are just waiting for Mr Dodds.

I would like to call Mr Robert Dodds. Good morning, Mr Dodds. If you could please take a seat. Prior to questioning being commenced by counsel, it has been the practice to have the clerks swear witnesses under oath. I would ask the clerk to do so at this time.

Robert Dodds, sworn.

The Chair: Mr Dodds, I would like to warn you that in the event that you are asked a question which you cannot properly answer without divulging confidential information, could you please advise the committee. If there is not a way to disclose this information without divulging such information, then the matter will be addressed in an in camera proceeding. I give this to you as a warning and ask, if that in fact happens, that you advise the committee prior to any response. Having said that, I would invite counsel to open up questioning, after which there will be a rotation of questions from each caucus.

Ms Jackson: Mr Dodds, would you state your full name for the record, please.

Mr Dodds: My name is Robert Brian Dodds.

Ms Jackson: Mr Dodds, you live, as I understand it, in Thunder Bay and have done for about 12 years.

Mr Dodds: Yes, that is correct.

Ms Jackson: You are a consulting engineer?

Mr Dodds: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Having graduated as a civil engineer, you now work in the field of geotechnical and environmental engineering.

Mr Dodds: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: You are with a firm called Trow Consulting Engineers, a firm that is very well known to those in that business. But I am not, so I mispronounced the name. I apologize. Can you give us the name and the proper pronunciation?

Mr Dodds: It is Trow Consulting Engineers.

Ms Jackson: A company that has a number of offices throughout Ontario; you have been with that company for, I understand it, four years.

Mr Dodds: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: You were formerly on the executive of the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and remain an active member.

Mr Dodds: I would like to correct that. I was on the executive of the local chapter in Thunder Bay. It is a national organization. I was only on the executive for the Thunder Bay branch.

Ms Jackson: Am I correct that you have remained an active member of that organization?

Mr Dodds: Yes.

Ms Jackson: I understand that unlike your wife, you are not active and have not been active in politics.

Mr Dodds: Other than in my mind, no.

Ms Jackson: I want to take you directly to the evening of December 5, 1991, and in particular to a cocktail party that took place that evening under the sponsorship of the Canadian institute. You were at that cocktail party?

Mr Dodds: Yes, I was.

Ms Jackson: Indeed, I understand that you were one of the sponsors of the event.

Mr Dodds: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: We have heard from your wife that there were about 80 to 100 members of the institute in attendance at the event. Does that accord with your recollection?

Mr Dodds: I would confirm that number, yes.

Ms Jackson: When you attended, did you expect anyone else to be there other than members of the institute?

Mr Dodds: No.

Ms Jackson: When you arrived, did you find in fact that somebody else was there?

Mr Dodds: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Who?

Mr Dodds: The minister, Shelley Martel, Minister of Northern Development and Mines.

Ms Jackson: Had you met her before?

Mr Dodds: No.

Ms Jackson: When you arrived, shortly after arriving did you in fact meet her?

Mr Dodds: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Would you describe for the committee, please, the circumstances under which you met Ms Martel?

Mr Dodds: I was circulating through the room talking to acquaintances and friends. I was called over by an employee of the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines. I know this gentleman quite well.

Ms Jackson: Who is that?

Mr Dodds: Mr John Mason. I know this gentleman from the years of work I have been doing in connection with the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines. He called me over to meet the minister, and I proceeded to go over and meet the minister.


Ms Jackson: Did you proceed alone or with anyone?

Mr Dodds: My wife, Evelyn, was with me.

Ms Jackson: And what happened?

Mr Dodds: We began talking to the minister. I opened the conversation.

Ms Jackson: When you joined the conversation, who was there?

Mr Dodds: Mr Mason, the minister, a prospector named Dave Petrunka, my wife, Evelyn, and myself.

Ms Jackson: And if we imagine -- this was a circle of people, was it?

Mr Dodds: Yes. There were other people around, milling around. It was a stand-up cocktail party.

Ms Jackson: Can you just describe the configuration of people in the conversation? Starting with yourself, who was to your right?

Mr Dodds: To my right was my wife, Evelyn.

Ms Jackson: And who was to her right?

Mr Dodds: Dave Petrunka.

Ms Jackson: And who was to his right?

Mr Dodds: The minister.

Ms Jackson: And who was to her right?

Mr Dodds: John Mason.

Ms Jackson: And who was to his right?

Mr Dodds: I do not recall. There were people around, but I do not think there was anyone specific.

Ms Jackson: Was there somebody else in the group or other people in the group --

Mr Dodds: No.

Ms Jackson: -- or just people on the outside of your group?

Mr Dodds: They were on the outside of the group, I would suspect.

Ms Jackson: Were they part of the conversation, or do you remember?

Mr Dodds: No, they were not, that I could recall.

Ms Jackson: After you were introduced to Ms Martel, what then took place?

Mr Dodds: I registered my concerns that the provincial policies are ruining the mining industry in Ontario irreparably. I am referring specifically to sections 160 and 161, part IX, of Bill 71, revising the Ontario Mining Act.

Ms Jackson: And you said that to Ms Martel, did you?

Mr Dodds: I just said that the policies that are currently in effect under the revisions to the Mining Act are disastrous to the mining industry in Ontario.

Ms Jackson: What was your tone when you said that?

Mr Dodds: I do not think it was any different than it is when I address any politician I encounter. I was just registering an opinion.

Ms Jackson: Were you registering it forcefully?

Mr Dodds: I do not think I was.

Ms Jackson: What did she respond?

Mr Dodds: She responded to the effect that the malaise the mining industry is suffering is not only a result of provincial policies; it is the result of the artificially high Canadian dollar and the low metal prices, which I agreed was part of the problem. But I did respond that there are some provincial matters that do affect the mining industry.

Ms Jackson: And then what was said?

Mr Dodds: Well, the conversation evolved. I do not remember the exact words, but it evolved that one of the things that is hurting the mining industry and all industries are the payroll burdens, and somehow that evolved into the burdens such as unemployment insurance, the fact that the employer now pays all of the health costs, and I believe that is how the conversation began to lead into doctors and clinics.

Ms Jackson: Now, who was making these points about payroll burdens and health costs and such, just you or other people as well?

Mr Dodds: It was mostly my wife making those comments.

Ms Jackson: And can you describe the tone in which she made those comments?

Mr Dodds: Strong.

Ms Jackson: She presented it forcefully?

Mr Dodds: Yes, I would say so.

Ms Jackson: She is a forceful woman when she has an opinion.

Mr Dodds: Yes.

Ms Jackson: And she has many.

Mr Dodds: Yes.

Ms Jackson: All right. And what happened next?

Mr Dodds: I do not know how it got on to the fact that a clinic would be closing, but mention was made that a clinic would be closing in Sudbury; a Sudbury doctor was going to close his clinics because of the capping.

Ms Jackson: Who made that remark?

Mr Dodds: I do not recall who made that remark.

Ms Jackson: Had you ever heard that before?

Mr Dodds: I was aware of it, yes.

Ms Jackson: From where?

Mr Dodds: From a newspaper article.

Ms Jackson: Did you know which doctor it was that was being referred to?

Mr Dodds: No, I did not.

Ms Jackson: Did you know what the doctor's specialty was?

Mr Dodds: No, I did not.

Ms Jackson: What was said after that remark?

Mr Dodds: The minister stated that we would not be so sympathetic to doctors, or to this doctor, had we seen the file.

Mr Kormos: Excuse me. Once again --

The Chair: Order.

Mr Kormos: -- I need time to write this down, please.

Ms Jackson: Would you repeat that a little bit more slowly, Mr Dodds, please?

Mr Dodds: Yes. She made --

Mr Elston: New intimidation by the New Democrats.

Mr Kormos: I just want to be able to write down what is being said.

The Chair: Order.

Ms Jackson: I am sure that Mr Dodds understands. It is a perfectly proper request, but let me explain, Mr Dodds. Obviously this is an important area of your evidence that people want to have a specific note of, so if you could just repeat it very slowly, that would be helpful to us all.

Mr Dodds: The minister made remarks to the effect that we would not be so sympathetic to the doctor or to doctors -- I cannot recall which -- had we seen the file.

Ms Jackson: We would not be so sympathetic to a doctor or doctors -- I did not catch what you said after --

Mr Dodds: Had we seen the file.

Ms Jackson: Had we seen the file or the files?

Mr Dodds: I cannot recall which.

Ms Jackson: So it might have been doctor or doctors and it might have been file or files?

Mr Dodds: It may have been, to my recollection.

Ms Jackson: Did she say anything else?

Mr Dodds: Yes, then she said that there would be charges laid.

Ms Jackson: Did she use those words, or is that just your best recollection --

Mr Dodds: Words to those effect.

Ms Jackson: -- of the gist of what she said?

Mr Dodds: That is my recollection of the gist of the conversation.

Ms Jackson: That charges would be laid?

Mr Dodds: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Did she say anything else?

Mr Dodds: There was discussion back and forth between the minister and my wife, Evelyn, but those are the items of the conversation that stuck in my mind. We did not stay all that long. We left shortly thereafter.

Ms Jackson: The discussion that followed back and forth after she said charges would be laid: Can you be any more specific for the committee as to what the discussion was about and specifically what was said?

Mr Dodds: No I cannot, but I do know it evolved around the impression that there is animosity or disdain for doctors and that doctors would be leaving the province if these policies were continued to be enforced in the manner that they are being enforced.

Ms Jackson: The suggestion that there was animosity and disdain for doctors in the province I assume did not come from Ms Martel.

Mr Dodds: No.

Ms Jackson: Would I be correct in assuming it came from your wife?

Mr Dodds: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Do you recall any more specifically what she said?

Mr Dodds: When you are saying "she," you mean --

Ms Jackson: I am sorry, I mean your wife, Mrs Dodds.

Mr Dodds: My wife. No. There was just a conversation going on. As I say, it was fairly short, because we had to leave. I had to get Evelyn to the airport to fly to Toronto.

Ms Jackson: When Mrs Dodds made the comments she did about animosity and disdain, do you recall any response from Ms Martel?

Mr Dodds: No, I do not.

Ms Jackson: Can you describe Ms Martel's general demeanour while this conversation was taking place?

Mr Dodds: To my mind it seemed normal. I did not sense any specific agitation.

Ms Jackson: Do you recall any movement or hand gestures by Ms Martel during the course of the conversation?

Mr Dodds: Vaguely, but nothing dramatic or that would stick in my mind.

Ms Jackson: Nothing specific that you could tell the committee about.

Mr Dodds: No.

Ms Jackson: Now, the conversation -- first of all, from the point at which the issue of the doctor who was closing his clinic in Sudbury arose until you and your wife left the conversation, could you estimate for the committee how long that took?

Mr Dodds: Probably about 10 to 15 minutes, if that.

Ms Jackson: And the conversation about the animosity and disdain for doctors, could you estimate how long that took?

Mr Dodds: No, but it would have been relatively short. We did not stay a long time.

Ms Jackson: When you say 15 minutes, just so we are sure, I am asking you for your recollection of how long it took, not from the beginning of your conversation with Ms Martel but from the beginning of the period where the comment was made about the Sudbury doctor who was closing until when you left. Is that about 10 to 15 minutes?

Mr Dodds: It would be that or probably less.

Ms Jackson: What is your best estimate?

Mr Dodds: I would say five to 10 minutes.

Ms Jackson: What did you understand from the words, "We would not be so sympathetic to a doctor, or doctors, had we seen the file, or files," and that charges would be laid?

Mr Dodds: I inferred that she had seen the file, or a file.

Ms Jackson: What file did you infer she had seen?

Mr Dodds: In my mind it would have been the file of that Sudbury doctor.

Ms Jackson: Your wife, as you know, has indicated she recalls a further comment by Ms Martel to the effect that something was criminal. I take it, since you have not recounted that, you do not remember that remark.

Mr Dodds: I do not remember that remark. I am not saying it could not have been made, but I do not remember the remark.

Ms Jackson: Did you notice whether anyone other than the people you have mentioned as being part of your circle were listening to this conversation?

Mr Dodds: I suspect there would have been. My wife is a fairly well-known figure in Thunder Bay and we were talking to a minister of the crown, so I would strongly suspect there were other people around probably listening or attempting to listen.

Ms Jackson: Apart from what you might suspect, did you actually notice that anyone was listening?

Mr Dodds: No, I was facing the minister.

Ms Jackson: Would you describe this as a heated conversation?

Mr Dodds: I think that is a matter of opinion. I would describe it more as an intense or a strong conversation. I do not think I would call it heated.

Ms Jackson: Do you recall whether in the course of the conversation people were interrupting one another?

Mr Dodds: We probably were.

Ms Jackson: Who was interrupting whom?

Mr Dodds: I recall that the minister and my wife were interrupting one another.

Ms Jackson: And have you now told the committee everything you can actually recall of what was said in the conversation?

Mr Dodds: I believe I have, yes.

Ms Jackson: Then you left and took your wife to the airport?

Mr Dodds: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Were you present for a conversation between your wife and anyone at the airport concerning this event?

Mr Dodds: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Could you tell the committee about that, please?

Mr Dodds: When we arrived at the airport, my wife's employer, or one of her employers, who is a doctor, was there at the airport. I believe he was just arriving back from somewhere, and my wife recounted the very recent conversation she had had with the minister to the doctor.

Ms Jackson: And what did he say?

Mr Dodds: I do not recall what he said. He had someone else with him, and I was not really listening to the conversation all that closely. I was talking to the other person there about skiing. They had just come back from skiing.

Ms Jackson: All right. Apart from conversations you might have had with your wife in which she told you what was happening thereafter, have you had any other conversations with anyone about the December 5 conversation with Ms Martel since the time it occurred?

Mr Dodds: I have been asked by a number of individuals, was I there at this event, once it became a news item. I have confirmed that I was there. Other than that, probably not.

Ms Jackson: Have you had any occasion to discuss the conversation with anyone who was present at it?

Mr Dodds: No, other than the one call or a conversation with the prospector, Dave Petrunka. This was probably about a week after. I mentioned to him that this event seemed to have become something of a media event and that he would probably be getting a call from someone some day.

Ms Jackson: Did you phone him to tell him that?

Mr Dodds: Yes, I did, but he was not there. But I happened to run into him in a parking lot later on.

Ms Jackson: What specifically prompted that telephone call?

Mr Dodds: Just to mention to him that this is going to be a media event and somebody will probably be calling him. I just happen to know Mr Petrunka. I have had some business dealings with him before. It was more of a --

Ms Jackson: Was there anything specific that had caused you to call him at that time?

Mr Dodds: No, other than the fact that it was becoming a publicity event, or a media event.

Ms Jackson: You said he was not there on that occasion. Did you subsequently speak to him about it?

Mr Dodds: No.

Ms Jackson: Have you ever talked to the press about this event?

Mr Dodds: No.

Ms Jackson: Did you ever learn who the doctor was?

Mr Dodds: I do now, because I have read it in the paper since then, but --

Ms Jackson: Until you read it in the paper, did you know who the doctor was?

Mr Dodds: Until I read the paper, no, I did not know.

Ms Jackson: Thank you, Mr Dodds. Those are my questions.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Dodds. Keeping in mind that it is noon, we will adjourn until 2 pm, at which time we will commence with questioning from the third party.

The committee recessed at 1202.


The committee resumed at 1409.

The Chair: I would like to call the afternoon session of the standing committee on the Legislative Assembly to order. Members will recall that at the end of the morning session, counsel Patricia Jackson had completed her questioning of Mr Dodds. We will now proceed in terms of the rotation from caucus to caucus. The leadoff will be Mr Harnick. Mr Harnick, I have allocated 15 minutes per caucus.

Mr Harnick: Thank you, Mr Chairman. Sir, we have heard on numerous occasions that Ms Martel described the conversation she had with you and your wife and the other people in that circle as being a very heated discussion. What I want you to tell us is whether, during the course of that discussion, Ms Martel was screaming at your wife or speaking loudly and what her degree of composure was during the discussion.

Mr Dodds: She was not speaking loudly that I can recall and she seemed composed to me.

Mr Harnick: She also told us that during the discussion she said things that were unfounded and untrue. What I want is your description of whether those words suddenly slipped out of her mouth or whether those comments she made were comments that you would describe as made very deliberately.

Mr Dodds: I did not think they slipped out of the minister's mouth. My distinct understanding of the conversation was that we would not feel so sympathetic towards this doctor had we seen a file, and I do believe it had been mentioned probably several times in the conversation.

Mr Harnick: So she said that more than one time?

Mr Dodds: I know it was said but I feel it could have been said several times.

Mr Harnick: And when she said it, she did not indicate, "Oops, I've made a mistake," and cover her mouth or anything of that nature.

Mr Dodds: No.

Mr Harnick: Again, would you describe the comments she made as being very deliberately made?

Mr Dodds: In my estimation, yes.

Mr Harnick: You are a resident, I understand, of Thunder Bay.

Mr Dodds: Yes, I am.

Mr Harnick: And I understand that one of the members of this Legislature representing the Thunder Bay area is Ms Wark-Martyn.

Mr Dodds: That is correct.

Mr Harnick: I understand that she or members of her staff recently made some comments about doctors in the community in Thunder Bay. Do you know anything about that?

Mr Dodds: That has been mentioned by my wife to me in conversations, but other than that, no. I know very little of the details and even if I did, I do not think I would feel free to divulge any.

Mr Harnick: Well, you indicated earlier that you got the impression that Ms Martel had a disdain or animosity for doctors generally.

Mr Dodds: That was the impression I gathered primarily from what I reckoned to be her cool demeanour.

Mr Harnick: Is this the same kind of impression you received when you heard the remarks made by Ms Wark-Martyn and her staff members in Thunder Bay? Was that the general tenor?


The Chair: On a point? May I just --

Mr Kormos: I have to make this point, though.

The Chair: One moment, please; I was just discussing this particular matter with counsel.

The only thing I can do is remind Mr Harnick of a previous subcommittee meeting where this particular area was brought forward and that we had agreed then that though it may be the subject matter of future questions, it was not at this particular point in time.

Mr Harnick: Mr Chairman, what I am prepared to do is rephrase the question and if you deem it is on the borderline or out of order, I would be quite prepared to withdraw it.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Harnick.

Mr Harnick: When you heard the comments of Ms Wark-Martyn and the members of her staff as reported in your community, did it --

The Chair: Mr Harnick.

Mr Harnick: Just let me finish the whole question; that is the only indulgence I would ask. Did you come to a conclusion about the government's strategy in so far as dealing with medical issues in northern Ontario --

Mr Kormos: Needless to say, I want to raise a point of order.

The Chair: Excuse me.

Mr Harnick: It is certainly --

Mr Kormos: Is that the end of your question?

Mr Harnick: Mr Kormos spent a good part of this morning badgering a witness about membership in a union that has absolutely nothing to do with this. We have evidence --

Mr Wood: Charlie, Charlie.

Mr Harnick: Just a second.

The Chair: Order, please. Mr Harnick is attempting to phrase a question. He is attempting to justify the phraseology of the question, and I would expect that all members of the committee would indulge Mr Harnick in his attempt to make the point. If that is not the desire of the committee, then I would suggest we should take up the matter of interjections and interruptions at the subcommittee meeting. But if it is, I would think we should allow, as any member will be able to, if a question has caused some concern, to possibly rephrase it and, in the event he cannot, to withdraw it without interjection from any member of this committee. Mr Harnick.

Mr Harnick: What I am trying --

Mr Hope: I want to make a comment, Mr Chair. When you are making a comment, I think you should be addressing the whole committee, not looking at one side of the room. If you address in that fashion instead of looking and indicating at one side of the committee, I think it most appropriate you do that.

The Chair: Mr Hope, if you have a concern, you can bring it up on a point of order.

Mr Harnick: Yet another important item being raised by Mr Hope.

The Chair: Mr Harnick, I think where we left off, you were attempting to rephrase the question.

Mr Harnick: I am trying. You are not happy, are you?

The Chair: I can tell you that your attempt, valiant as it may be, to rephrase the question is causing some concern to the Chair and to counsel that it is still addressing a particular area where the subcommittee has made a decision.

Mr Harnick: In that case, so I do not upset any one, I will withdraw the question. Thank you.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Harnick. Are there any further questions? Mr Eves?

Mr Eves: No.

The Chair: Members of the government side?

Mr Christopherson: No, we are fine. Thank you, Mr Chair.

The Chair: Thank you. We are now to the official opposition.

Mr Conway: Mr Dodds, I have just a couple of questions that cover some ground that has already been touched upon. Subsequent to the encounter between your wife and Ms Martel on the evening of December 5 in Thunder Bay, Ms Martel has indicated to the Legislature, among other groups, that she made it all up, and she apologized profusely for her invention.

It becomes important for me to know, in the context of the meeting at which you were present along with your wife and Ms Martel and Mr Mason and others on that evening, whether the circumstances of the encounter would, to your way of thinking, as you were there and I was not -- did it strike you, having been there and watching what was a pretty lively exchange of views between your wife and Ms Martel, that Ms Martel made it up?

Mr Dodds: My opinion is no, it was not made up.

Mr Conway: I take it that you would think that in part because it was a very rapid-fire conversation with both parties, your wife and Ms Martel, routinely interrupting one another?

Mr Dodds: Could you repeat what your question is in there?


Mr Conway: Would I be right in thinking that one of the reasons you might not think it was made up is that there were not long pauses in this conversation, that in fact your wife and Ms Martel were engaged in a rapid-fire discussion, with both sides interrupting the other routinely?

Mr Dodds: That is true, there were a lot of interruptions between the two main parties speaking, my wife and the minister. Once again, to answer your question, no, I did not have the impression it was made up.

Mr Conway: There were not long pauses in Ms Martel's responses to your wife's several observations about issues before the group?

Mr Dodds: No, I do not recall any long pauses.

Mr Conway: It is also interesting to me that you seem to recall that on more than one occasion Ms Martel made reference to having seen the file or files.

Mr Dodds: The comment I remember most clearly is the fact that we would not feel sympathy for the doctor had we seen the file, and I do believe that was mentioned several times.

Mr Conway: That is fine, thank you, Mr Chair.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Conway. If there are no further questions, thank you very much, Mr Dodds.

Mr Dodds: Thank you.


The Chair: I would now like to call Mr Larry Corea forward. Good afternoon, Mr Corea. As has been done with previous witnesses, an oath has been administered by the clerk. I would like to invite the clerk to administer the oath to you at this particular point in time.

Larry Corea, affirmed.

The Chair: Mr Corea, for the members of the committee and for Hansard, could you introduce the individuals to your right?

Mr Corea: Yes. On my immediate right is Mr Paul Cavalluzzo, and to his right Kate Hughes, both with the firm of Cavalluzzo, Hayes and Shilton.

The Chair: Thank you very much. Mr Corea, prior to counsel to this committee entering into questions with you, I would like to indicate to you that in the event you are asked a question which you cannot properly answer without divulging confidential information, I would ask you to please immediately advise the committee of this; if there is no way in which you can answer the question without disclosing such information, then this matter may be addressed in an in camera proceeding. I give this warning to you with your counsel present in the event that a question and response does require the divulging of confidential information.

At this point, I invite Ms Jackson to commence questioning.

Ms Jackson: Thank you, Mr Chairman. Mr Corea, sir, I understand that you occupy the position of coordinator of customer services in the office of the Minister of Health.

Mr Corea: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: And that you have occupied that position since August 1991.

Mr Corea: Yes, August 23, I believe, was the first day.

Ms Jackson: Mr Corea, you have been good enough to provide me with a copy of your curriculum vitae. I would ask that the clerk distribute that to members of the committee and, Mr Chairman, if we might, that we mark that as the next exhibit.

The Chair: That will be marked as exhibit 47.

Ms Jackson: While that is being done, Mr Corea, let me review with you some of the elements of your history that I am sure you will recall. You obtained, as I understand it, your degree in sociology from Queen's University in 1976.

Mr Corea: Yes, that is correct.

Ms Jackson: And a master's of social work from Carleton University in 1979.

Mr Corea: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: Thereafter, you worked variously at the children's aid society as a teacher, as a researcher and as a consultant.

Mr Corea: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: Prior to August 1991, I understand you were not and had not been employed by the Ministry of Health.

Mr Corea: No, not directly employed. I had worked under contracts which had been with the Ministry of Health but I was not directly employed.

Ms Jackson: In the context of your work as a consultant.

Mr Corea: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: Your position in the minister's office, as I understand it, is as a member of what is known as the ministerial staff, as opposed to the civil service.

Mr Corea: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: Is that sometimes called the political staff of the minister's office?

Mr Corea: I believe that is how it is referred to as well, that "political staff" is another terminology for it.

Ms Jackson: In addition to yourself, who is involved with respect to customer services in the minister's office?

Mr Corea: That was a relatively new unit that was established when I came to the minister's office; there are two other what are known as general assistants working in that, Marie Lorenzo and Catherine Gregoris.

Ms Jackson: What is the nature of your responsibility as the coordinator of customer services?

Mr Corea: A minister's office receives a lot of telephone calls, a lot of inquiries of various sorts, individuals dropping in as well as sending letters and wanting to meet with the minister, wanting to resolve various problems they are experiencing. There are a wide range of individuals, organizations and members of Parliament who are contacting the minister's office to seek resolutions of a variety of problems they have or are experiencing.

The role there is really to attempt to provide them with reasonable information in an efficient manner and to be responsive to the inquiries that are placed before the minister on a very ongoing basis.

Ms Jackson: So the heart of your responsibility is essentially the provision of information?

Mr Corea: That is largely the role we play.

Ms Jackson: That would include providing information to members of the public?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: And to MPPs?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: And to other ministers?

Mr Corea: To other ministers, both at the federal and provincial level. Periodically, we would get calls from other provinces as well.

Ms Jackson: And sometimes to members of other ministers' staff as well?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: What determines when an information request comes in whether it goes to you, Mr Corea?

Mr Corea: I would like to say that there was a definite system in place there, but we were trying to assemble that. Quite often within a minister's office, being such a busy and somewhat chaotic place, the requests coming in may go directly to a policy assistant also within the minister's office, working on a particular area. For example, registered health professions acts were a topic of considerable interest in the fall and there was a special assistant as well as a legislative assistant dealing with that. The majority of times, those requests would be passed right through to them. If there was sort of an ill-defined request, one that could not clearly be passed through, that would have moved in my direction.

Ms Jackson: So if somebody is already dealing with the topic, you act in a sense as a clearinghouse, and if somebody is not, you may take responsibility for it.

Mr Corea: Yes. We tried that system as being preferable. I am not suggesting it was always operative but that was --

Ms Jackson: Are there any kinds of information requests that are, by their nature, ones that do not go to you?


Mr Corea: By and large, no -- well, unless they are information requests directed to a specific person; if they were directed to the executive assistant to the minister or to another individual, then they would tend go through me.

Ms Jackson: If they were not already directed to somebody else.

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: I am going to ask you to help the committee understand where you fit in organizational terms and also in physical terms in the minister's office. Dealing first of all organizationally, we have heard the name Susan Colley as being associated with the minister's office. What is her position?

Mr Corea: She is the executive assistant to the minister.

Ms Jackson: Would she be senior to you?

Mr Corea: Yes, she would. She would be the most senior staff within the minister's office.

Ms Jackson: Do you report to her, in effect?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Is there anybody else you report to?

Mr Corea: No. Basically all the policy assistants, special assistants, report to the executive assistant.

Ms Jackson: So the other assistants are dealing with other areas of responsibility and they all are channelled through Susan Colley.

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Do you ever report directly to the minister on things?

Mr Corea: Report? I talk directly with the minister on issues periodically. Reporting in the sense of an organizational or line reporting, not directly; it would go through Susan Colley. But dealing directly with the minister, if she asks a question, would be part of my responsibilities.

Ms Jackson: So if you are dealing in an area where she needs information that you have, you would talk to her directly.

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: In terms of physical location, as I understand it, your office is located on the same floor and quite close to both Susan Colley and the minister.

Mr Corea: That would be correct, yes.

Ms Jackson: And it is on the same floor and quite close to the deputy minister, whose office is more or less adjacent to the minister's.

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: And the other assistants who work in the minister's office are all on the same floor, are they?

Mr Corea: At the time in November --

Ms Jackson: In October, November and December 1991, would that have been true?

Mr Corea: Yes, that is true.

Ms Jackson: All right. Now, I want to get your understanding -- again, I am going back to this period of October-November 1991 in particular rather than now -- what you understood then about personal information as it was used within the ministry. First of all, when you joined the minister's office were you given any training on Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act matters?

Mr Corea: No formal training as such. It was a matter that Susan Colley and I discussed. It drew on my previous experience and acquaintance with the freedom of information and protection of privacy provisions that often relate to consulting work and the collection of information from individuals. There was no formal training --

Ms Jackson: I am sorry, there was no --

Mr Corea: There was no formal training in the sense of sitting down with someone charged with the responsibility of freedom of information and protection of privacy, but there was at least one discussion with Susan Colley in which we reviewed the mechanisms to protect personal privacy in the minister's office.

Ms Jackson: I will come back to that in a minute. As I understand, I think you can also confirm for the committee that there is not a formal manual or set of procedures written in writing or anything of that sort to assist someone in your position as to what you can and cannot do with personal information?

Mr Corea: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: As a result of your conversation with Susan Colley and whatever else you may have known, what, when you began your position and in October and November 1991, did you understand to be encompassed by the concept of "personal information," as that term is used in the context of freedom of information?

Mr Corea: Really, personal information is information that allows individuals to be identified and that deals with areas of their life they have not themselves divulged. If they have agreed to information being shared and know the purposes for which that information is being shared, then it is no longer treated as personal information. But information such as income, one's personal preferences, I would treat as personal information.

Ms Jackson: What was your understanding of the circumstances in which you could request from within the ministry personal information?

Mr Corea: First of all, I appreciated that my need for personal information was rather limited. The most frequent way in which we would encounter matters of personal information would really be someone phoning in with a complaint about a hospital or about some services they felt they should have gotten but did not. They may be phoning on behalf of someone else. A typical example would be that their parent was in hospital and not receiving treatment they felt he needed. What we attempted to do was either pass the request directly through to the ministry, or, if it was really required, to get a signed consent to be able to discuss a third party's concerns or issues and details about their own personal life that would be associated with those concerns or issues.

Ms Jackson: Apart from circumstances where you are dealing with a request for information, either by somebody who is requesting their own personal information or someone who is requesting that on behalf of the person, did you ever have occasion prior to November 1991 to consider under what other circumstances you might be entitled to request personal information from within the ministry?

Mr Corea: No, I cannot say that I did have occasion.

Ms Jackson: So the issue simply had not come up.

Mr Corea: It had not come up.

Ms Jackson: Is it fair to say, then, that it had not been addressed by you because it had not arisen?

Mr Corea: That is fair.

Ms Jackson: Had you had occasion to consider whether information that came to you from the ministry had or had not been screened as to whether appropriate personal information was being passed on to you or not? That was a very badly worded question. Let me try it again. Had you ever had occasion to consider whether, when you were getting information, as you made requests within the ministry, that information before it came to you had been screened to determine whether or not you were getting something you should not get?

Mr Corea: I operated on the assumption that the information I was getting was screened. I also operated on the assumption that I would act as a further screen to that and would really examine any information I got, both for accuracy as well as whether it was confidential or of a personal nature. But directly to your question, I made the assumption that any information I got would be screened if it related to an individual and would be screened for personal and personal information removed.

Ms Jackson: Or that if you got the information somebody had already determined that it was appropriate for you to get it?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Let me turn to the other side of that and ask you about passing personal information on. Did you understand that there was any constraint on your ability to pass on personal information that came to you to others within the minister's office?

Mr Corea: Certainly I understood generally within the minister's office the need to ensure that personal information about others was kept secure and not made widely available. I understood within my reporting relationships that it was entirely within my reporting relationships to pass on that information, but not to make it widely available within the office to those who did not have a need to know.

Ms Jackson: But anyone who was working with you in respect of the matter on which you received personal information would be entitled to get that from you?

Mr Corea: Yes, that is correct.

Ms Jackson: And I take it, as you make reference to the reporting relationship, that in some circumstances that would certainly include Susan Colley.

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: And in some circumstances would include the minister?


Mr Corea: In some circumstances it would include the minister. Certainly we in the minister's office take pains not to mention the names of individuals to the minister, given previous experiences that that is not necessarily relevant or helpful, because what can lodge in someone's mind can then subsequently be used. And it is not terribly relevant to the tasks of the minister to deal with that type of information.

Ms Jackson: So before you would pass it on to the minister, you would think long and hard about whether she needed to know it.

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: But if you concluded she needed to know it, you would pass it on.

Mr Corea: Certainly.

Ms Jackson: And within the area of other assistants working with the minister, if they were working with you with respect to the matter that called forth the production of personal information, you would consider it proper to pass it on to them with respect to dealing on that matter?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: And as to whether the minister has a need to know and whether it gets passed on to the minister, is that your decision or is that somebody else's if you are working on the matter?

Mr Corea: I think it is the responsibility of everyone working in the minister's office. It is not solely my decision, but any of us who are in a position to be briefing the minister on an issue have to take that into consideration.

Ms Jackson: What about in respect of when you have obtained personal information in connection with a request from outside the ministry, say from another minister, say from an assistant in another minister's office; you have been asked to do something, to find out some information, and you get the information, you get personal information and you have concluded that you should have got it. Can you pass it on to that assistant in the other minister's office, or did you know?

Mr Corea: Sorry, can I get you to run that one through again?

Ms Jackson: Let me be clear about this. Again, I am taking you back to October and November of 1991.

Mr Corea: Right.

Ms Jackson: I want to know what you understood, if you had any view or understanding of this at all then. You have got an information request that has come to you, as they so often do, and you are dealing with it and you get back personal information which has been screened, and there it is, you have it. What was your understanding, if any, as to whether you could pass that on to the assistant in the other minister's office who is working on the same matter?

Mr Corea: Before I pass on any of that personal information to anyone else, I would want to make sure there was a consent, that they had consent to see and receive that information from the person involved.

For example -- and let me take it out into that time period but another example -- if someone in another office, say the office of an MPP, called with a situation of a constituent's parent, clarifying that situation within the Ministry of Health, I would not pass that information back through the other MPP's office without a consent being clearly available, even though I had received some. Because the flow of information happens one way does not mean it can happen the other way without duly signed consents.

Ms Jackson: That is back to the example we talked about initially where you have had a request for information come in, in essence, on behalf of the person whose personal information it is. Other than in that kind of context, as of October and November of 1991, had you ever had occasion to consider whether or not you would be permitted to pass on personal information to someone assisting another minister when the matter does not arise by reason of a request from the person whose personal information it is? Had that issue come up?

Mr Corea: It had not come up as an issue.

Ms Jackson: Did you have a view at that time as to whether you could or could not pass on such information?

Mr Corea: I really think the passing on of personal information needs to be treated with a lot of care and a lot of consideration and even more hesitancy, and when in doubt, getting another opinion on that. I did not hesitate at all to get another opinion on matters when I felt they were outside of an area I was comfortable dealing with. I was relatively new to a minister's office at that point.

Ms Jackson: Had you ever had occasion to get another opinion or to consider yourself whether you could pass on personal information to somebody in another minister's office in the circumstances I described earlier?

Mr Corea: No, I had not had occasion to that point.

Ms Jackson: All right. Apart from any information you may have received in November 1991 with respect to Dr Donahue -- and we will get to whether you did or you did not in a moment -- have you ever received specific financial information concerning a particular doctor?

Mr Corea: No.

Ms Jackson: Let's turn to the fall of 1991 and the particular matter of Dr Donahue. There should, beside you, Mr Corea, be a black book of exhibits.

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Could you turn up exhibit 28? Did you prepare and send that memorandum?

Mr Corea: Yes, I did.

Ms Jackson: When you prepared it and sent it, it did not have the big black mark in the middle that it now has?

Mr Corea: No, it did not.

Ms Jackson: What prompted this memorandum?

Mr Corea: This memorandum was prompted by one and possibly two calls from Nuala Doherty in Floyd Laughren's office raising concerns about Dr Donahue, particularly the potential closing of his practice in Sudbury.

Ms Jackson: In the memorandum there is reference to the fact that "he claims to be paying 14 staff." Did that information come to you from Ms Doherty?

Mr Corea: Yes, it did.

Ms Jackson: Without disclosing numbers at this point, I am going to ask about types of information. Did you have any information from Ms Doherty about Dr Donahue's wages to his staff?

Mr Corea: Yes, and that also came from Ms Doherty --

Ms Jackson: From Ms Doherty.

Mr Corea: From the conversation with Ms Doherty.

Ms Jackson: Did you have any information from Ms Doherty as to whether or not Dr Donahue was in debt?

Mr Corea: There was also --

Ms Jackson: Information of that sort?

Mr Corea: Information of that sort.

Ms Jackson: From Ms Doherty?

Mr Corea: From Ms Doherty.

Ms Jackson: At this point had you had information about Dr Donahue from any other source?

Mr Corea: No.

Ms Jackson: All right. Did you have information from Ms Doherty as to the general level of Dr Donahue's anticipated earnings and how they might compare to other doctors?

Mr Corea: Nothing in a comparative sense.

Ms Jackson: How that might compare to general practitioners, for example?

Mr Corea: No, I did not have a comparison mark. I knew he was a specialist, but that was all.

Ms Jackson: Did you ever have any other types of information from Ms Doherty other than the types we have talked about? I am asking you now, for reasons that by now you are well familiar with, to talk about types of information, not the specifics of the information.

Mr Corea: I am not completely clear. I had other --

Ms Jackson: Well, you have told the committee that you had information from Ms Doherty that he was paying 14 staff. You had some information from Ms Doherty as to the wages he would have to pay. You had some information from Ms Doherty as to whether or not Dr Donahue was in debt. Did you have any other types of information about Dr Donahue at this time?

Mr Corea: I believe there was some information that broke down the classification of staff that he employed, but that is all.

Ms Jackson: And that again came from Ms Doherty?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Do you recall considering when you got this information whether or not it was personal information in relation to Dr Donahue?


Mr Corea: I do not recall specifically thinking that it was personal information. I thought this information was generally available, from the way Ms Doherty spoke, that this information was publicly available information. That came from her own discussions that Dr Donahue was indicating he would have to close his practice and had been informing his patients that closure would be required and explaining to his patients why he could no longer continue to carry on the practice.

Ms Jackson: And did she tell you specifically that the information about the kinds of staff he employed, his wage bills, his debt levels etc, was information that was publicly available?

Mr Corea: She did not tell me specifically. I understood that from the way she described the whole issue.

Ms Jackson: What was it about the way she described the issue that led you to conclude that information was publicly available?

Mr Corea: She talked about a large number of people in Sudbury aware that Dr Donahue was having to close, that he had been quite vocal about the reasons for closing and that he had been informing his patients that he was going to have to close his practice.

Ms Jackson: I take it that based on that understanding that the information she had given you concerning Dr Donahue was publicly available, you would not consider it to be personal information and constrained in its dissemination.

Mr Corea: I did not at that time, no.

Ms Jackson: What, at the time of this November 12, 1991, memo did you know, if anything, about a controversy in the medical community in Sudbury concerning thresholds?

Mr Corea: At the time I wrote this memo I knew nothing about a controversy in Sudbury concerning the thresholds, on the 12th. In the subsequent days I learned about that, but not at the time of writing this memo.

Ms Jackson: And apart from what Ms Doherty had told you concerning Dr Donahue in the, what, two or three telephone calls you had had -- how many did you say? I am sorry.

Mr Corea: I cannot recall the exact number, but two or three would --

Ms Jackson: Over what period of time?

Mr Corea: I recall that there were telephone calls; at least one telephone call which precipitated this memo, but one and possibly two others in the week or week and a half preceding this.

Ms Jackson: Apart from the information that you got concerning who Dr Donahue was and what his issue was and so on in those conversations, did you have any other information concerning Dr Donahue when you wrote this memo, which is exhibit 28?

Mr Corea: No, not at all.

Ms Jackson: May we take it, then, that the description you give of Dr Donahue in the first part of this memorandum is taken entirely from what you learned from Ms Doherty?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: At this time had you had any other requests for information concerning Dr Donahue other than the one from Nuala Doherty?

Mr Corea: No, I had not.

Ms Jackson: Did you give any thought to or make any assumptions about the fact that if Mr Laughren's office was being inundated with calls regarding Dr Donahue that other area MPPs' might be as well?

Mr Corea: I did not give any thought to that, actually. It betrays my ignorance of the political map. I did not look, although there is one on my wall, to see which other MPPs were adjacent to that, and that if it was an issue for Mr Laughren it would be an issue for other MPPs or the ridings adjacent to it.

Ms Jackson: So at the time did you know who the other MPPs were?

Mr Corea: No, not at the time.

Ms Jackson: Did you know what their political affiliation was?

Mr Corea: No.

Ms Jackson: I would like to review -- ask you to take a look at the questions you asked in your memorandum and ask you what your purpose was in raising the questions you raised there, what kind of information were you seeking and for what purpose.

Mr Corea: The kind of information I was really seeking was to try and understand what Dr Donahue's situation really was. Was he indeed going to close his practice? What would be the impact of that closure? Were there any other dermatologists who could assume the services? What would be the impact on area residents if dermatological services were withdrawn by Dr Donahue? It is really an attempt to understand what the impact of this would be on the services for area residents.

Ms Jackson: What about his situation did you want to know? You said you wanted to know what his situation was.

Mr Corea: Really whether he was going to close or not. There had also been within this time -- the decision had been relatively recently taken around no exemptions for threshold payment, no additional exemption for threshold payment. There were exemptions on the basis of technical fees and underserviced area program participation, but no individual exemptions.

Ms Jackson: So by this date, the ministry had decided that the power that existed under the agreement to grant discretionary exemptions by region and by specialty would not be exercised.

Mr Corea: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: I want to make that clear, because I think the evidence so far is that a decision probably was not announced by this date, but it had been made.

Mr Corea: Yes, it had been made.

Ms Jackson: All right. Within that context, what was it you wanted to know about Dr Donahue's situation?

Mr Corea: In making that decision, I thought there may well be situations in which, because of the state of knowledge of the practices of individual physicians, there might be some additional reason for exemption, ways in which the ministry had an obligation to continue service and find some other solution to ensure that services were continued, even if exemptions were not the only way of that occurring.

Ms Jackson: In order to make some determination of whether Dr Donahue was really going to close or not, did you consider that you had to know something about his financial situation?

Mr Corea: I did not consider that I needed to know about it. I just wanted an answer. Was Dr Donahue going to close? Somebody might need to talk directly with him about his financial situation, but it certainly was not my understanding that I needed to do that.

Ms Jackson: So did you consider, when asking these questions, that you were seeking that information?

Mr Corea: I did not consider that I was seeking financial information. I really wanted an understanding of, is Dr Donahue going to close? Are there other options here? Is there any other way that services can be maintained? If they are indeed withdrawn, then what provisions? How are we going to make sure that the residents of that area have access to dermatological services?

I guess the other question that had come up, and that is really my question 3 here, is what are the implications of dermatological services in Sudbury and area if Dr Donahue closes his operation? Will residents in the Sudbury area have suitable access?

And then the fourth one: What are the cost implications for OHIP? If northern residents were making use of the northern health travel grant program in order to travel to Toronto, for example, to receive dermatology services and at the same time the practice was closing in Sudbury, it seemed to me a legitimate line of inquiry that the ministry would not be saving any money on this whole issue and quite frankly would not be advancing its own stated direction, which was to responsibly handle the health care budget.

Ms Jackson: Let me focus a little bit more on the first two questions you asked, because the last two, it seems to me, are directed more to the issue you are just discussing: What is the impact on the region? The first two seem more directed towards: What is Dr Donahue's real situation? Is he likely to close or not? De do we need to help him, in effect? That is the gist of the first two.

I understand you to be saying that you did not consider that in getting answers to those questions you needed to get financial details about Dr Donahue's practice, but let me ask you this, Mr Corea. Would you agree that it would not be surprising if, having asked those questions, you did get financial information because financial information might help to answer them?

Mr Corea: It might not be surprising that I would get financial information on that. I still think I would surprised to see an individual doctor's description of their billings. That level of detail I really do not need or cannot really make use of.

Ms Jackson: So it would surprise you because it would not be useful to you.

Mr Corea: Yes.


Ms Jackson: Would it surprise you for any other reason?

Mr Corea: I think that level of detail also really raises questions around personal information, but that would not really be answering my questions as I conceived them. I am quite willing to admit that this is not great prose. This is done very quickly.

Ms Jackson: Understandably so. I do not mean to suggest otherwise. Can I ask you to turn to exhibit 10? I want to clarify one thing with you. I think you have really already answered this, but let me ask you specifically. I had asked you what information you had about Dr Donahue. Exhibit 10 is a broadcast that Dr Donahue made on November 8 on epilation and related issues. I take it from your earlier answer that you were not aware of this broadcast, at least before November 12.

Mr Corea: No, I would not have seen this before November 12. I have seen this, but I cannot recall the date on which I saw this. By November 12? I do not --

Ms Jackson: Would it be fair to assume that you would have seen it some time in the November 1991 period?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Just in the ordinary course of receiving reports on media?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: As a result of that, you would have learned that Dr Donahue had some involvement with respect to epilation.

Mr Corea: Yes, and also just by the description I had received from Nuala Doherty, an understanding that Dr Donahue was a dermatologist. The number of staff, in my own mind, had raised the issue of whether epilation was not a portion of his practice.

Ms Jackson: That would be because that kind of activity is traditionally delegated to staff, is it? Why are you linking epilation to the number of staff?

Mr Corea: My understanding is that it often was a delegated act, that physicians would employ a number of technicians or other allied health care professionals to conduct epilation.

Ms Jackson: Could you then turn to exhibit 11, which is another broadcast Dr Donahue did on November 13, in which he says perhaps yet again that he is going to close his office. Did you become aware of that broadcast on or around November 13?

Mr Corea: Yes, I did.

Ms Jackson: So this one came to you faster than the November 8 one?

Mr Corea: I am not sure of the sequence in there, but I believe this MediaReach was requested -- not by me, but had been requested and came up as part of the regular package of clippings that is distributed in the ministry.

Ms Jackson: On that day?

Mr Corea: I cannot recall. I do not know whether it was on that day.

Ms Jackson: Did this broadcast figure at all in your -- I guess it could not have figured in your attempts to get information on November 12.

Mr Corea: No.

Ms Jackson: Did it in any way change the urgency of your request to get information concerning Dr Donahue or the type of information you were trying to get?

Mr Corea: No, it did not have any impact. If at all, I registered that it was about Dr Donahue and this was also a doctor who had sent a request. I was aware that there was a MediaReach document on it, but it did not change or affect anything.

Ms Jackson: You have provided to me -- and I will ask the clerk to distribute it to you and members of the committee -- an announcement of the closing of Dr Donahue's clinic, which I understand you received that morning.

The Chair: That will be marked as exhibit 48.

Ms Jackson: Just looking at the various telecopy lines on the top of these documents, what we have, Mr Corea, is an announcement of office closure by Dr Donahue to his patients, which appears to have come on November 12, 1991, at 17:12 from Laughren, MPP, and then above that there is an indication, I think, that it has come from the Treasurer's office at 10:54 am on the 13th. It appears from that that it came to you from the Treasurer's office at about 11 o'clock in the morning on the 13th. Does that accord with your recollection?

Mr Corea: Certainly that accords with the lines on top, and I recall receiving this on the 13th. The exact time of it -- faxes may sit beside the fax machine for some time before they actually get to me.

Ms Jackson: And the note on it from Ms Doherty is: "Larry, can you give me a call when you get in." Do you recall if you did?

Mr Corea: I recall returning her telephone call and talking with her briefly indicating that I had sent off a request to Dr LeBlanc but that I had not received any further information back on it.

Ms Jackson: All right. You have provided to me a copy of a memo from Betty Notar to Susan Colley and copied to you and Ms Doherty of the same day, and I would ask that that be distributed and marked as the next exhibit, which might be, Mr Chairman, exhibit 49?

The Chair: Correct.

Ms Jackson: And when you get that in front of you, Mr Corea, I will ask you about that. Now, Mr Corea, in the middle of the first paragraph there is a white spot where reference to some aspects of Dr Donahue's financial situation that were in the memo have been removed, but with that one change did you receive a copy of this memo without that deletion some time on the 13th?

Mr Corea: Yes, I did. Yes, I believe it was on the 13th that I received a copy of this.

Ms Jackson: Who is Betty Notar?

Mr Corea: Betty Notar is the executive assistant to Mr Laughren.

Ms Jackson: So is she the counterpart of Susan Colley in Mr Laughren's office?

Mr Corea: Yes, she is.

Ms Jackson: And therefore higher in the hierarchy than Ms Doherty?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Is this, in effect, applying a little more pressure to get what has already been requested?

Mr Corea: I certainly interpreted it as an additional or a reinforcement of that request.

Ms Jackson: I do not think I asked you this before. Do you know what Ms Doherty's role in the Treasurer's office is?

Mr Corea: I do, from memos I received at that time. Constituency liaison, I think, is her title.

Ms Jackson: Did you talk to Miss Notar in or around the time you got this memorandum?

Mr Corea: No, I have never talked with Betty Notar.

Ms Jackson: Do you know where the information concerning Dr Donahue that is contained in this memorandum came from?

Mr Cavalluzzo: Are you talking about just the portion that is whited out or --

Ms Jackson: No, I mean the first paragraph.

Mr Corea: This information is substantially the same as the information that Ms Doherty indicated to me, so I assume it came from Ms Doherty, but I do not have any direct knowledge on that.


Ms Jackson: In the second paragraph there is a request for "briefing notes on Dr Donahue's actual position." I take it that would be understood to be briefing notes for Mr Laughren?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Or for use within his office, in any event.

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: What did you understand by the reference to "Dr Donahue's actual position"? What kind of information did you understand they wanted?

Mr Corea: I understood that to be, again, a confirmation of, is it really likely he is going to close or are there some other possibilities that are under consideration that would affect his decision to close?

Ms Jackson: "Notes on Dr Donahue's actual position," though, might well include his actual financial position.

Mr Corea: I am not sure how to respond to that. I did not take that to mean his actual financial position when I read this.

Ms Jackson: And I understood that you did say that. I guess my question is by way of saying, do you not agree that a fair reading of it might well lead to the conclusion that what was being requested was details of Dr Donahue's actual financial position?

Mr Corea: No, I do not agree that one would move to an actual financial position on that or details of his financial practice.

Ms Jackson: Why not?

Mr Corea: I find that level of detail, that request for a level of detail -- I am just not familiar with other offices requesting that type of detail, and at this time, as I am dealing with this memo, it would have been beyond my experience in the ministry at that point.

Ms Jackson: I take it, as you did not talk to Ms Notar, there was no conversation to find out what in fact was meant by the words "actual position"?

Mr Corea: No, there was none.

Ms Jackson: When you received this memorandum, did it lead you to conclude that you needed any other information or anything else beyond what you had already requested?

Mr Corea: No, I did not. I thought the questions I had scripted were a legitimate request for information that covered this, and that really what was asked for here was urgency.

Ms Jackson: Did you have any view at the time as to whether the requests in this memo were appropriate requests to direct to you?

Mr Corea: First of all, they are not directed to me. I am copied on them, but the request for briefing materials for either another minister or MPP is a fairly frequent occurrence and it comes from various sources. It can be a request for briefing material because an MPP is returning to their constituency and some event is taking place and they want to understand more about that event and have something they can respond to reasonably and say to their constituency in a knowledgeable way.

Ms Jackson: You make the point that it is not directed to you, that you are copied on it.

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: I guess I am guilty of making the assumption that you are copied on it because it is known in the Treasurer's office that you are the person who is really pursuing this.

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: What this appears to be is an effort to turn up the heat on the pursuit. Is that fair?

Mr Corea: That is fair.

Ms Jackson: Did it have that effect?

Mr Corea: Well, it had an effect on me, but it did not increase the speed with which the information came back. I think at most I made a telephone call to Dr LeBlanc attempting to find out when the information would be available. But part of my job seemed at that time to be able to take a fair amount of that pressure.

Ms Jackson: You said it had an effect on you, but it did not speed it up. Did it have an effect on you other than causing you to call Dr LeBlanc?

Mr Corea: No, just to call Dr LeBlanc. I was mildly annoyed; I think that was about it.

Ms Jackson: And when you called Dr LeBlanc, did you speak to him?

Mr Corea: No, I did not get him. He was not available on the 13th.

Ms Jackson: Did you speak to anyone in his office?

Mr Corea: I believe that I spoke to Diane McArthur on that day. I had not spoken to her before, but I think the call was bumped to Diane McArthur, who works with Dr LeBlanc.

Ms Jackson: What was said in that conversation?

Mr Corea: I do not remember the specifics of the conversation other than just a request: "I had sent a request to Dr LeBlanc on the 12th. Has any material become available for that?"

Ms Jackson: And had any?

Mr Corea: No.

Ms Jackson: It is fair that the heat having been turned up on you, you were trying to turn up the heat down the line?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Could you look at exhibit 29?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: You received a copy of that memorandum.

Mr Corea: Yes, I am copied on that. It was actually sent to me along with Dr LeBlanc and Mr Decter.

Ms Jackson: Was this memorandum prompted by exhibit 49 or by something in addition, or do you know?

Mr Corea: I have always made the assumption that it was prompted by exhibit 49.

Ms Jackson: Is that your recollection?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Did the receipt of this memorandum make the matter of any greater concern to you?

Mr Corea: I am not sure at what time during the day I did actually read these. These interoffice memorandums are time-dated. They are not dated at the time I read them; they are dated at the time of their creation. It is not unusual for 30 or 40 of them to pile up on my system and not be attended to immediately.

Ms Jackson: But would they ordinarily be attended to before the end of the day, in any event?

Mr Corea: No, not ordinarily -- or not necessarily. I have actually found that I can use my home computer to log in and deal with some of these later on at night, so sometimes they are not dealt with until the next day. There is no standard by which I am operating on those other than attempting to deal with them as quickly as possible.

Ms Jackson: I take it from what you say that it is likely that at least by the end of the day, including the time you have used at home, you would have seen this e-mail.

Mr Corea: It is likely, yes.

Ms Jackson: Having received the e-mail, does the matter that was being raised with respect to Dr Donahue become of greater concern?

Mr Corea: No. Though this one comes from Sue Colley, my assumption is that I have made the necessary request, that this memo really just reinforces my request.

Ms Jackson: So this memo did not have any additional effect on you?

Mr Corea: No, not on me. I thought it reinforced the request and that the request was no longer just one request but was an additional request for information.

Ms Jackson: Ms Colley picks up the request for "briefing notes on Dr Donahue's actual position," so we know that language got transmitted on down the line. Did you have any conversation with her as to what she meant or thought they meant by a reference to "briefing notes on ... actual position"?

Mr Corea: I recall a very brief and passing conversation with her. We did not talk about actual position, but more the need for briefing notes to be made available for Mr Laughren. But it was, as many of the conversations in a minister's office happen, very quickly and in passing.

Ms Jackson: Did you have any conversation about the content of those briefing notes?

Mr Corea: No.

Ms Jackson: She indicates that the briefing notes should be "on Dr Donahue's actual position" and she wants as well "a political response" or that the Treasurer wants "a political response from the Ministry of Health." What did you understand by the words "a political response"?

Mr Corea: I really understood that to mean, how does this fit into the overall efforts of the government? The government clearly is not in the position of withdrawing services to residents of Ontario but is also at the same time attempting to manage and deal with its own financial situation. I understood "a political response" to be integrating those two: How can you preserve and ensure that services are delivered and yet deal with the overall financial situation?


Ms Jackson: She indicates as well that this might fit within one of what she calls the "creative scenarios" the minister asked for. Do you know what the reference is to "creative scenarios"?

Mr Corea: No, I do not. It is not clear to me. I know it is linked in that sentence to the minister's policy meeting, and I believe I was at that meeting, but it does not register what "creative scenarios" means to me.

Ms Jackson: Do you recall if whenever you got to reading this e-mail you had received any information at all in response to your request for information on Dr Donahue?

Mr Corea: I had not.

Ms Jackson: Did you get any information at all on Dr Donahue at any point during November 13 irrespective of when you read this e-mail?

Mr Corea: No.

Ms Jackson: I take it that through this period -- did Ms Doherty continue to contact you in an attempt to get the information?

Mr Corea: I think there was a stirring round of telephone tag going on throughout this whole period of time. I do not recall the number of requests back and forth.

Ms Jackson: At some point in this piece I understand you started to receive contacts from other offices of members who were interested in this issue.

Mr Corea: Yes. I received a telephone call within -- I do not believe it was on the 13th; more likely the 14th or 15th that again a series of calls were directed to me from David Sword in Ms Martel's office.

Ms Jackson: Had you met David Sword?

Mr Corea: No.

Ms Jackson: Who did you understand him to be? What was his position?

Mr Corea: At that time I did not understand -- until I was able to contact him again, which I do not believe was until the 15th, I understood him to be on the minister's staff, no designation within that as such.

Ms Jackson: When you spoke to him, whenever that was, on the 13th or the 14th or the 15th, what did he ask for?

Mr Corea: My recollection is that he was essentially indicating he had also heard there was a possibility of Dr Donahue closing his practice. What he was also trying to understand was what was this threshold business about, how did that relate to the ministry's overall plans? There was a lot of explanation of the nature of the threshold and the OMA agreement, and possibly discussion about electrolysis and that issue, because electrolysis was being delisted. The decision had been announced some time before but was becoming effective November 14 or 15.

Ms Jackson: In the course of this conversation did he provide you with any information about Dr Donahue?

Mr Corea: No.

Ms Jackson: Did he appear to have any information about Dr Donahue, other than that he had announced he was closing his office?

Mr Corea: No.

Mr Jackson: You have already told us that you had received some information from Ms Doherty that you understand to be in the public domain concerning Dr Donahue.

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Did you pass that information on to David Sword?

Mr Corea: I cannot recall. To the best of my recollection I did not pass that information on to David Sword.

Ms Jackson: Given your understanding that it was in the public domain, I assume you did not see any problem with your passing it on to David Sword.

Mr Corea: No.

Ms Jackson: It is possible, then, that you did?

Mr Corea: It is possible.

Ms Jackson: I understand you to say you have no recollection of having done so.

Mr Corea: I have searched my memory but I cannot remember distinctly talking about those figures with Mr Sword.

Ms Jackson: Did you have any contact during this period of November 13, 14, 15 or in that area from Sharon Murdock's office?

Mr Corea: No.

Ms Jackson: Did you, at any time in November, have any contact with anyone from Sharon Murdock's office?

Mr Corea: Somewhat later I met someone from Ms Murdock's staff, Alan Ernst. I am not sure of the day but it would be towards I believe in the week of December 2. He attended a meeting with Mr Sword and Ms Doherty and others in preparation for the December 5 meeting.

Ms Jackson: Let me take you to the morning of November 14. Were you by that time aware of any other requests for information concerning Dr Donahue within the ministry or from outside, apart from the ones you had had from -- you had had requests from Mr Laughren's office, reinforced by Ms Notar, reinforced by Ms Colley, and there is the possibility, I take it from your evidence, that you spoke to David Sword then but likely a little later.

Mr Corea: That is correct.

Ms Jackson: Any other requests for information concerning Dr Donahue?

Mr Corea: I was not aware of any other requests for information.

Ms Jackson: We have heard some evidence that there is something within the ministry called a "contentious issues meeting" in the morning.

Mr Corea: Right.

Ms Jackson: You are familiar with that?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: If the issue had come up in the contentious issues meeting, would you have heard about it necessarily?

Mr Corea: Possibly but not necessarily. After the contentious issues meetings there is usually a meeting in the minister's office to discuss what items have been of ongoing concern and also have been raised in the press, and what MediaReach transcripts have been requested and what briefings have been requested. Attendance at those meetings is not obligatory but everyone tries to attend that. Whether Dr Donahue's name came up at one of those, I cannot remember.

Ms Jackson: There is some indicating in the evidence the committee has heard already that during the course of the 13th the existence of the broadcast by Dr Donahue generated additional interest in finding out something about Dr Donahue. Did you hear any of that?

Mr Corea: I cannot remember distinctly hearing anything about that. If it was raised at the contentious issues meetings and reported subsequently, I may or may not have been in attendance.

Ms Jackson: I understand that on the morning of November 14 you did receive a document that contained information concerning Dr Donahue?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: When?

Mr Corea: I do not have a log of the time at which I received it. To the best of my recollection it is somewhere between midmorning and noon.

Ms Jackson: Where or from whom did you receive it?

Mr Corea: Can I preface my remark by indicating that from December 8 through until December 29 I was on holiday out of the country. My recollections of events around the 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th and on through November is really a recollection somewhat further back in time, so I am not certain whether the document was handed to me directly or left on my chair. Both of these are distinctly possible situations given that people are continually passing information and documents to me and that sometimes leaving them on the chair is seen as a way of --

Ms Jackson: Drawing it to your attention?

Mr Corea: Drawing it to my attention or separating it from the other piles of paper.

Ms Jackson: So somebody might have handed it to you or somebody put it on your chair, you do not recall which?

Mr Corea: I cannot clearly recall.

Ms Jackson: The impression I get from that is that you are fairly sure it did not come just through interoffice mail but beyond that cannot say?

Mr Corea: I am sure it would not have come through interoffice mail because that would have been encased in a brown envelope, typically a large envelope. With that information, those are just placed in my office.


Ms Jackson: And it did not come in with any other regular mail that day.

Mr Corea: No, it did not.

Ms Jackson: It was specially delivered in some fashion, but you do not know how.

Mr Corea: No, and it was a hard copy. It was not sent to me through the electronic mail system.

Ms Jackson: I am going to ask you quite specifically about your recollection of what you got and so on, but just before I do that I want to assist the committee in knowing what steps you have taken to refresh your recollection or otherwise. I understand that in the last few days you have had occasion to discuss your recollection of these events with Diane McArthur.

Mr Corea: Yes. My recollection not so much; her recollection, but not mine.

Ms Jackson: When did you do that?

Mr Corea: Diane indicated that she might be appearing before the committee and just wanted to tell me what she would be saying.

Ms Jackson: And she did tell you that.

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: What did she tell you about the delivery of this document?

Mr Corea: She told me that she actually had delivered it by hand to me.

Ms Jackson: What else did she tell you?

Mr Corea: She told me that the document was several pages in length, that it was blacked out, that she had blacked it out and that she had requested it back later that same day. That was the basic --

Ms Jackson: I understand that you have as well discussed your recollection of these events or had a conversation about these events in the last few days with Dr LeBlanc.

Mr Corea: Yes, that is correct.

Ms Jackson: When was that?

Mr Corea: That would have been Thursday.

Ms Jackson: Why did you have that conversation?

Mr Corea: Again, Dr LeBlanc initiated it and just indicated what he would be saying to the committee.

Ms Jackson: And what did he tell you?

Mr Corea: That he recalled that the documents had been brought to me by Diane McArthur and he recalled that I had returned it to his office.

Ms Jackson: I understand as well that you have had occasion to discuss your recollection of these events with a Mr Dee.

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Can you tell the committee who Mr Dee is?

Mr Corea: Garth Dee, I understand, is on the staff of Mr Cooke.

Ms Jackson: The NDP House leader.

Mr Corea: The House leader.

Ms Jackson: When did you have this conversation with Mr Dee?

Mr Corea: I do not recall the specific date on that. It was within the last three weeks.

Ms Jackson: Why did you have a conversation with Mr Dee about these events?

Mr Corea: I was asked to go through my recollection of events with Mr Dee.

Ms Jackson: And did he take notes of your recollection?

Mr Corea: During our conversation he was typing on to a computer, and therefore I am assuming that what he was typing were notes of my -- I did not see any copy.

Ms Jackson: You have not been given a copy of the notes.

Mr Corea: No.

Ms Jackson: Were you told anything in that interview about what other people had said of these events?

Mr Corea: No, not at all.

Ms Jackson: Apart from those three occasions, have you had occasion to discuss your evidence on the matters you are testifying to today with anyone other than your counsel and with me and members of my office?

Mr Corea: I have talked with Susan Colley. It was Susan Colley who informed me of the events that had taken place after December 8 when I left the country. As soon as I returned on the 29th I had a message to contact her, which I did, and she described in general terms the events from when I left through to when I returned, and also asked whether I had received any documents. She referenced them as -- she asked whether I had received a memo. I indicated that I could not recall it being a memo but that there was a document that was given to me and which I returned.

Ms Jackson: You have said you received this document. Can you tell the committee first of all what your recollection is, if any, as to how many pages there were in the document?

Mr Corea: My recollection on the whole document is quite vague. I do not recall it being an interoffice memorandum; by that I mean that if you look at exhibit 29 you will see a standard heading on that interoffice memorandum which gives a time and date and to whom it is directed. I do not recall it having that structure. I recall it being more than one page and very limited amounts of information I recall about this document; a couple of phrases and virtually that is it.

Ms Jackson: Did you recall to whom the document related?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: To whom did it relate?

Mr Corea: I took it to relate to Dr Donahue. I do not recall seeing the words "Dr Donahue" on this document, but I understood it to relate to Dr Donahue.

Ms Jackson: Do you recall the kinds of information about Dr Donahue it contained? Again, I am here seeking kinds, not specifics.

Mr Corea: It is difficult to answer because I only remember a few phrases on the document. To characterize them I would have to say that it related to his practice, categorized his practice.

Ms Jackson: As in the types of services he did?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Do you recall it having any reference to the level of his billings?

Mr Corea: No, I do not recall the level of his billings.

Ms Jackson: Do you recall any reference to the percentages of different kinds of work he did?

Mr Corea: Yes, I recall a reference to a percentage.

Ms Jackson: Do you recall any reference to dollar numbers at all?

Mr Corea: No, I do not recall.

Ms Jackson: Do you recall any reference to a patient in the document?

Mr Corea: No, not at all.

Ms Jackson: You said you do not recall it -- well, let me ask you this in fact. I do not know if there is in front of you, and if there is not I will ask the clerk to give you a copy of exhibit 44, which is an edited version of an e-mail which has been marked "in camera" in these proceedings.

The Chair: The clerk will come to assist.

Clerk of the Committee: Yes, he does have exhibit 44.

Ms Jackson: Let's try to do this this way. Mr Corea, you attended in my office on Sunday.

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: And I showed you an e-mail that had been marked "in camera" in these proceedings.

Mr Corea:: Yes.

Ms Jackson: From the time you saw this document on the 14th and, as we will hear, returned it, until I showed you the document I showed you on Sunday, had you ever, to your recollection, seen again the document you received on the 14th and that you have been describing?

Mr Corea: Can I get that again, just so -- I lost the train of your thought.

Ms Jackson: Have you seen the document that you have described in your evidence just in the last few minutes, at any time after November 14 and before this past weekend?

Mr Corea: I have not seen the document that I saw on the 14th since then. You have shown me a document that you say is the document I saw, but I do not --

Ms Jackson: I am about to ask you about whether it is or it is not. I apologize for the fact that this is a little convoluted, for reasons that are well known to you. The document that is now before you is an edited version of the document I showed you on Sunday.

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Are you able to tell the committee whether the document you are now looking at, which is an edited version of the document you saw on Sunday, is or is not the document you were given on November 14?

Mr Corea: No, I am not, because I cannot recall beyond the few phrases, and my memory of that document is very limited. It was in my possession for a very short period of time and I did not study it, and my understanding from leaving a subsequent meeting was that the best thing to do would be to forget the information in that document.


Ms Jackson: I am going to take you through the steps of the rest of the day, but I understand you to be saying that the document you received on the 14th might be this document or it might not, you cannot say.

Mr Corea: Right.

Ms Jackson: I neglected to ask you, and you will see in the edited version of exhibit 44, that there is a reference to Dr Donahue being on the underserviced area program and therefore exempt from the threshold until August 31. Do you recall learning that on about November 14?

Mr Corea: On or about -- I do not recall learning it on the 13th, but at some point in there I was made aware that Dr Donahue had been on the underserviced area program.

Ms Jackson: Is it possible that you learned that from the document that was left in your office?

Mr Corea: It is possible, and it is possible that I learned it in conversation.

Ms Jackson: There is a heading here that says: "Practice Features/Other Information" and most of that is edited out, but let me ask you if you recall whether the document you saw contained any summary of or commentary on Dr Donahue's practice.

Mr Corea: I cannot recall.

Mr Jackson: When you first saw this document some time midmorning to noon, what did you do with it?

Mr Corea: I looked over it briefly and set it aside to be dealt with at a later point. There are any number of issues and there were any number of issues I was trying to resolve and deal with at that time. Because this document had appeared, it does not mean I was going to deal with it at that particular moment. I briefly looked over it and set it aside.

Ms Jackson: When you looked at it, however briefly, did you form any view as to whether or not it was proper for you to have the information in it?

Mr Corea: No, I did not form any view at that time.

Ms Jackson: From what you said earlier you would assume that something coming to you had been properly screened?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Is it fair that if you addressed your mind to it you would have assumed that this had been properly screened?

Mr Corea: It is fair.

Ms Jackson: But you did not address your mind to it.

Mr Corea: No, I did not.

Ms Jackson: Did you then discuss the document with anyone?

Mr Corea: No.

Ms Jackson: Now, you have indicated that Diane McArthur told you she had a recollection of calling you with respect to the document and saying something about it. You have no recollection of that?

Mr Corea: I have a recollection of her calling me and asking me to do something with the document, but not of discussing it or discussing the contents of that document with her.

Ms Jackson: All right. What did she ask you to do with the document?

Mr Corea: My recollection is that she asked me to destroy this document and mentioned that Dr MacMillan was concerned that this information was available.

Ms Jackson: Do you remember when that was?

Mr Corea: I cannot be precise on the time. It was, again, obviously after I had received the document and before I returned it. The time in there I just cannot be precise at all on.

Ms Jackson: Did she say why you should destroy it, apart from the fact that Dr MacMillan was concerned?

Mr Corea: No, what I recall is that I was asked to destroy it and that Dr MacMillan was concerned that information was available.

Ms Jackson: Did you understand that to be a reference to the personal information in the document?

Mr Corea: No, actually I did not understand it clearly to be that reference. It was as plausible to me that the information was inaccurate and that would be a reason for destroying that information.

Ms Jackson: Apart from being inaccurate would there be any other reason for you to destroy it, other than that it was personal information that should not have gone to you?

Mr Corea: No, those seem to encompass the kinds of reasons why a document would no longer be --

Ms Jackson: In any event, it was implicit in what she was saying to you that for whichever reason it ought not to have gone to you.

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: And after she gave you those instructions what did you do with the document?

Mr Corea: After she gave me those instructions, I collected what she had given me. At the same time or prior to that I had been by the fax machine in the minister's office and I had picked up a fax that had come in that related to this issue and was actually a fax from the chamber of commerce addressing the issue of closure of services in Sudbury and the threshold. I took that and walked back to my office, picked up the documents that Diane McArthur had -- or that I had been given, and walked downstairs to Dr LeBlanc's office. I did not know immediately where that office was, so I looked around for a period of time and then met Dr LeBlanc coming out of his office and went in with him. He was in the room with Dr MacMillan, and both of them were engaged in a telephone call on the speaker phone. In fact, it was part of the reason why I had gone down to Dr LeBlanc's office, and when the telephone call was completed -- I stood there and listened to the telephone call, and when the telephone call was completed I handed the documents to Dr MacMillan --

Ms Jackson: You have not yet told the committee why you went to Dr LeBlanc's office. You have said you had an instruction to destroy a document. You had shortly thereafter or shortly before picked up a fax from the chamber of commerce.

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Why did you then go to Dr LeBlanc's office?

Mr Corea: Because in picking up the fax I had bumped into Sue Colley who had asked me to sit in on the telephone call that Dr LeBlanc had been or was going to be receiving.

Ms Jackson: From whom?

Mr Corea: I did not understand from whom at that point, but it just related to this issue of medical services in Sudbury.

Ms Jackson: The fax that you picked up related to the issue of medical services in Sudbury?

Mr Corea: As well, yes.

Ms Jackson: And was from the chamber of commerce?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: And did it refer to the situation with respect to Dr Donahue?

Mr Corea: I cannot recall if Dr Donahue was specifically mentioned in there, but it referred to the closure of services and the impact on Sudbury. It was quite a lengthy --

Ms Jackson: Certainly issues relating to Dr Donahue?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Do you still have that fax?

Mr Corea: I do not have a copy of that fax. What I did was log it with the corporate correspondence unit for response. But at the time I had that fax and I intended to take it to Dr LeBlanc to indicate that there was a growing concern within Sudbury about the closure of services.

Ms Jackson: Do I understand that the fact that you did not destroy the document you had received is in some way related to this fax? You had been asked to destroy the document.

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: I said, "What did you do?" and you said you did not destroy it, you went off to Dr LeBlanc's office.

Mr Corea: Yes, with the documents in hand. I was returning them to their source, essentially.

Ms Jackson: Was the fact that you did not destroy the document in any way related to the fax that you picked up in or around the same time?

Mr Corea: They were all relating to the issue of medical services in Sudbury. The reason why I was taking the fax was to show Dr LeBlanc; the reason why I was taking the documents back was to give them back to the person -- to Dr LeBlanc, from whence they had come.

Ms Jackson: But if Diane McArthur told you to destroy them, why did you not just do that?

Mr Corea: I thought that it would be more reasonable to return them to them and they could destroy them. That way they were sure that they had the documents back.

Ms Jackson: So you went down to return the document and to participate in this telephone call?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: And on your way down did you read the document?

Mr Corea: I scanned it again, yes.

Ms Jackson: If you had already been told that you ought never to have received it, why did you then scan it?

Mr Corea: I was not told that the information was information that I could not read or view, was so confidential -- I was asked to destroy it and there were concerns that the information was available, but I was not told that it was so sensitive that it was not for my eyes.

Ms Jackson: I think you agreed with me earlier, Mr Corea, that it was implicit in what you were told that you should never have received it. If that is true, why then did you read it again?


Mr Corea: I scanned it as I was walking down and making sure that I had all of the documents. At the same time, I was scanning the fax I had received. This was not a studied reading of this particular document.

Ms Jackson: Do you recall learning anything more from the document when you scanned it?

Mr Corea: No, all that I have learned of that document is the composite of the two brief, sort of, examinations I have had. That in part accounts for my rather limited recollection of it. I did not study this document other than to think: "It doesn't not appear to be answering my questions. It doesn't appear to be relating to the issues I've raised. What is this about?"

Ms Jackson: Before you took the document down to Dr LeBlanc's office, did you discuss it with Susan Colley?

Mr Corea: No.

Ms Jackson: Did you discuss it with David Sword?

Mr Corea: No.

Ms Jackson: Did you discuss it with Nuala Doherty?

Mr Corea: No.

Ms Jackson: Did you discuss it with any one else?

Mr Corea: No.

Ms Jackson: Then you got to Dr LeBlanc's office. Could you tell the committee what happened there?

Mr Corea: When I went into Dr LeBlanc's office, he was actually on his way out and he motioned to me to be quiet and we went back into his office. As I mentioned, there was a speaker phone conservation and Dr MacMillan was in the room. I believe at the time I walked in he was actually responding to a series of questions. Dr LeBlanc and Dr MacMillan both engaged in a discussion which broadly related to closure or medical services in Sudbury and then the conversation terminated.

At that point, I handed the documents I had received back to Dr MacMillan with a comment to the effect that, "I understand that you're interested or that you wanted these back."

I think that subsequently we introduced ourselves to each other at that point. I had not met Dr MacMillan up to then nor had he met me; indeed that is the only time I met Dr MacMillan.

There was a variety of topics discussed at that point including discussion of the use of the word "cap." Dr MacMillan indicated that he was going to be on the radio the next day in an interview and that maybe he should tape the interview. I think I agreed at that point that that would be a good idea, because the brief discussion he had just prior to that indicated that his knowledge about what was exempt from the threshold agreement was quite extensive; he talked a lot about technical fees being exempt and delegated acts. My understanding was growing at that point about the agreement, so I thought it would be useful if we had a transcript of that because he seemed to be explaining it particularly clearly.

On one point, I recall him being corrected by Dr LeBlanc about the use of the word "cap." Dr LeBlanc said, "It's really not a cap, it's a threshold pay adjustment," and some comment about how that was a more appropriate terminology to be using. Actually, that stuck in my mind as much as anything in our conservation at that point. I thought it was a clarification of some of the issues that were arising from this.

I asked Dr MacMillan about Peterborough. There had been questions that had been received about a cardiology clinic in the Peterborough area in some weeks prior to that. We no longer were receiving those kinds of requests for information about that or complaints about the potential closing of those services. I was wondering if he had any knowledge of that and he responded that yes, a team of people had gone to Peterborough and that they were able to resolve the issues with the cardiologists in the Peterborough area. I believe he mentioned that some money for administrative services was provided as a result of the conservations between MOH and the cardiologists.

Ms Jackson: Was there any discussion specifically about Dr Donahue?

Mr Corea: There was discussion about Dr Donahue in the sense of wondering why Dr Donahue was raising the question of threshold exemption. Dr LeBlanc indicated that Sudbury had been an area in which physicians had by and large rejected the OMA agreement. I cannot recall the exact words he used, but that while there had been overall, I believe 85%, acceptance of it across the province, Sudbury had been an area where the physicians had been opposed to the agreement. He was wondering why a dermatologist was coming forward with a request for exemption when certainly there would be other specialists in the area whose earnings may have put them in a position more quickly to request an exemption.

Ms Jackson: Was there some indication that as a dermatologist his earnings might or might not put him in a position where the threshold would be a problem?

Mr Corea: I believe Dr MacMillan responded to the effect that dermatologists tend to have more of the technical and delegated acts available to them so that -- their earnings are calculated and those do not fall into the calculation and therefore --

Ms Jackson: Their technical fees do not get included in the calculations --

Mr Corea: Yes, do not get counted in.

Ms Jackson: So the discussion was as to the cost structure that Dr Donahue might be undergoing and how that would relate to his earnings.

Mr Corea: Yes, and dermatologists in general, what specialties were more likely to request exemption more, be in a position of exceeding the threshold.

Ms Jackson: Do you recall any other discussion about Dr Donahue's costs or earnings or his vulnerability to the threshold or anything of that sort?

Mr Corea: No, I recall it being made very clear that the details of a physician's practice are confidential information. That was basically it.

Ms Jackson: Would it be fair that since you cannot recall specifically what was in the document you had returned, you cannot say whether or not the conversation that you had with Dr LeBlanc and Dr MacMillan overlapped to some extent with what the contents of that document were?

Mr Corea: It may have overlapped, but at this point it was quite clear that the details of his practice were confidential, and I am not sure why we would then engage in a discussion of those confidential details.

Ms Jackson: But you are not sure if you did or you did not.

Mr Corea: I can recall quite specifically certain elements of that conversation that triggered -- that I retained information. It would surprise me if we discussed in detail his practice and I did not recall that, and yet I can recall very specifically things like Dr LeBlanc telling Dr MacMillan that use of the word "cap" was not the most suitable in that --

Ms Jackson: Except for this, Mr Corea: The details of Dr Donahue's practice would not help you all that much. You wanted to know whether he had a problem or not. The details of how he had a problem were more for the experts, as I understand you to say.

Mr Corea: Fair, yes.

Ms Jackson: So there might have been that kind of conversation. It would not have significance for you if it had occurred.

Mr Corea: Yes, it would not have significance for me. It is not something I would need to retain or would find useful.

Ms Jackson: Have you now told the committee everything you do in fact recall about the conversation concerning Dr Donahue?

Mr Corea: Yes, I have.

Ms Jackson: At the end of that meeting, then, do I have it that you had returned all the copies of the document you had, however many they --

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: However many pages it was, you had returned that to Dr MacMillan.

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: And you had returned the fax that you got on this issue to --

Mr Corea: Oh, sorry, let me explain. There was a brief conversation about the fax. As I gave the documents to Dr MacMillan I handed the fax to Dr LeBlanc and he noticed at the end of the fax that the fax was not signed by the person whose name and title was there, but had apparently been signed by a secretary or an administrative assistant. That was the other conversation. So I retrieved that fax and left his office with it.

Ms Jackson: So you left the fax with Dr LeBlanc?


Mr Corea: Yes. I am sure Dr LeBlanc indicated that he would be talking with Mr Laughren, that he had already received a request for a briefing from Mr Laughren and would be talking directly with Mr Laughren the following day. Because Mr Laughren was travelling around the province, my understanding was there was an arrangement to have a telephone conversation.

Ms Jackson: Is it your understanding that, in part, this "request for a briefing on Dr Donahue's actual position" would be dealt with in this conversation between Dr MacMillan and Mr Laughren?

Mr Corea: Yes, in part. I still expected to have a subsequent briefing of it available, but I understood that in part there would be direct contact between Dr LeBlanc and Mr Laughren.

Ms Jackson: Just before we leave this issue and the return of the document, you have told the committee that you cannot say one way or another whether the document that has now been marked in evidence is the document received, but I take it in light of Ms McArthur's statements to you that she brought it to you and they did subsequently get it back. You would have no reason to disagree with her that this is the document she brought you?

Mr Corea: No. I am faced with agreeing with several people that I have had this document and not having a clear recollection of it myself.

Ms Jackson: Can I take you then to the evening of November 14, the same day? I am going to ask about a conversation you had that night with Susan Colley. Do you recall whether or not you had any further conversations that day with Nuala Doherty or David Sword?

Mr Corea: No, I do not recall having any conversations with them on that day.

Ms Jackson: You might or might not have had some but you do not recall?

Mr Corea: That is right.

Ms Jackson: Then that evening you spoke with Susan Colley on this matter, as I understand it.

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Who initiated that conversation?

Mr Corea: Sue Colley called my house.

Ms Jackson: This was in the evening?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Why?

Mr Corea: I do not clearly recall why. I recall that we talked about work situations. Why she called originally to my house I am not clear. There is a possibility that she would have called to talk with my wife at that time as well. Whether I was the second person on the phone call or the first person, I am not sure, but I recall that we had a discussion that evening and it was a discussion that summarized the additional request for information directed by Betty Notar. I recall that I previously had indicated we had only a passing conversation about that. This phone call was really a follow-up to that or a more detailed discussion of that.

Ms Jackson: So there is still this outstanding request for information concerning Dr Donahue that has to be dealt with?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Is it possible that in that conversation, you shared with her some of the contents of the document you had in your possession earlier that day?

Mr Corea: To the clearest of my memory, I did not share any of that information. When I left Dr MacMillan and Dr LeBlanc, it was quite clear to me that details of Dr Donahue's or any physician's practice were confidential information. That it needed to be shared with anyone without a consent was quite clear in my mind.

Ms Jackson: You said before that when you got personal information it was part of your job to have, if you were working with somebody else on that matter, you could give them the personal information. Is that right?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: And this would be personal information you got in connection with one of the things you were working on.

Mr Corea: It would be on a need-to-know basis. If I did not need to know about the details of Dr Donahue's practice, I do not know why Sue Colley would as well. I was taking that to mean that the minister's office does not need to know the details of Dr Donahue's practice.

Ms Jackson: At least much of what you were given would not be something you would share with her.

Mr Corea: Right.

Ms Jackson: But if something came up in the course of your conversation, some kind of information that you thought you did need to know to answer the minister's inquiry, that then would be something you could share with her if you knew it, would it not?

Mr Corea: I explained to Sue Colley on the phone that the details I understood from talking with Dr LeBlanc and Dr MacMillan, the details of Dr Donahue's or any physician's practice were confidential.

Ms Jackson: Did that mean that any specific information about that practice at all should not come to you and should not be shared among members of the minister's office?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Absolutely none?

Mr Corea: Unless it had been provided by Dr Donahue himself directed to the minister's office in some kind of effort to clarify or seek the assistance of the minister's office.

Ms Jackson: So you could only share information concerning Dr Donahue if you had his explicit consent to do so?

Mr Corea: It was my understanding of that.

Ms Jackson: So from this point on you knew that any personal information about Dr Donahue could only pass back and forth in conversation or in memo if you had Dr Donahue's specific consent.

Mr Corea: Yes. My understanding of that was coming from the conversation and was much clearer and much more -- it is not usual that documents are requested back from you and asked to be destroyed. I expected Dr MacMillan to make more of a -- his reaction was rather subdued about it on receiving these, but it certainly made an impression on me that I was giving the documents back and the stress placed on the fact that the details of practice are confidential. There is not a need to know or discuss those.

Ms Jackson: It is fair, Mr Corea, that if you had at that time recalled specific pieces of information from the document that you thought were already in the public domain with Dr Donahue's consent, you would have considered that fair to pass on, irrespective of whether it had been in the document.

Mr Corea: Yes, that is right.

Ms Jackson: Do you recall whether there were any such pieces of information?

Mr Corea: In the public --

Ms Jackson: In the document that you had passed back.

Mr Corea: Back, yes.

Ms Jackson: Let me jump ahead and say that I take it, as you do not recall very much about that document, that you do not recall whether it contained pieces of information that you understood to already be in the public sphere.

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: But if it had, you would have thought you would be free to pass those on to Sue Colley or --

Mr Corea: Yes. If they were in the public sphere -- their presence in the document, once they are in the public arena -- they had been in the public arena and therefore they were available for discussion.

Ms Jackson: How was the matter left? You and Sue Colley have discussed the fact that you have this outstanding information request concerning Dr Donahue and so far you do not have anything. What are you going to do about it?

Mr Corea: First of all, there seems to be a decreased obligation to do anything about it because Dr LeBlanc is going to speak directly with the Treasurer.

Ms Jackson: Dr LeBlanc or Dr MacMillan?

Mr Corea: Dr LeBlanc.

Ms Jackson: I am sorry, I misunderstood you earlier.

Mr Corea: Dr LeBlanc is going to speak directly with Mr Laughren, so there is some sense that the whole request for a briefing, while it may not be in paper form, has been dealt with so that information will be -- Dr MacMillan will be able to apprise Mr Laughren of --

Ms Jackson: Is it Dr MacMillan or Dr LeBlanc?

Mr Corea: Dr LeBlanc will be able to apprise Mr Laughren of the situation and the Ministry of Health's position in relationship to that and answer and respond to any questions. I considered it a dynamic briefing rather than a paper briefing, so in some sense the pressure is taken off. I view the pressure as being taken off to have a piece of paper as a briefing material.

Ms Jackson: But it still has to have been of some significance because it forms the subject matter of a conversation between you and Susan Colley that very evening.

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: There is still something that has to be done, is that not right?


Mr Corea: I think the "more" that needs to be done -- the subject was that there clearly needs to be a greater understanding of the underserviced area program, the understanding of the provisions of the agreement. A lot of this information needs to be made available. This is information that is not secret or confidential information; this is information that citizens of Ontario have a right to in order to make their decisions and to make use of services.

Ms Jackson: But you still need to deal with the request for a briefing from the minister's office.

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: With respect to Dr Donahue.

Mr Corea: And I assume that a briefing would be coming forward, that an approved briefing would make its way through and come forward.

Ms Jackson: And to some extent it is going to have to address the situation of Dr Donahue?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: And to do that, whether or not the information comes to you, somebody is going to have to look at the impact of these government policies on Dr Donahue's specific situation.

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: And so all of that is still outstanding?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: And what did you and Susan Colley decide to do about it in that conversation, if anything?

Mr Corea: At that point, we had really just discussed the need for more information, that there needed to be made available more information, and we would wait for the briefing to come up and, again, that Dr LeBlanc would be talking with Mr Laughren and we would be getting additional information and making it available as it came forward.

Ms Jackson: But what were you and she going to do to get additional information? What were you going to do?

Mr Corea: I was going to do nothing. My understanding on leaving the meeting with Dr LeBlanc and Dr MacMillan was that that would be forthcoming. I did not need to apply any more pressure; there gets to be a breaking point where asking and asking and asking achieves only irritation. My understanding was that there would be a briefing, an approved briefing, made available for the ministry -- not just the minister's office, but for the ministry.

Ms Jackson: The ministry -- well, for Mr Laughren?

Mr Corea: For Mr Laughren, but also that it would be available within the ministry as an approved briefing.

Ms Jackson: And it would so be available to Mr Laughren, Ms Martel or anybody else?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: So you are in a position where you are now waiting until somebody gives you some information, is that right?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: And when you get that information, it will be for you to pass it on to Mr Laughren or Ms Martel or the Minister of Health or whatever.

Mr Corea: But I am assuming also that they will have gotten some, that in some senses it will be stale news.

Ms Jackson: Okay, but you are still going to have to do something?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: And what you will do is when you get the information you will pass it on?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Okay. Then we go to the morning of the 15th of November. That morning you got another memorandum from Susan Colley, which I will ask the clerk to put in front of you and distribute. This is one you have been good enough to give us, Mr Corea. I have had to edit parts of it out, so the version you will be getting is edited.

The Chair: This will be marked as exhibit 50.

Mr Cavalluzzo: Excuse me, could we have some copies, please? Thank you.

Ms Jackson: Do you recall this memorandum, Mr Corea?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Can you confirm, Mr Corea, that of the material that is deleted in paragraphs 2 and 3, there is no indication in the memorandum that the material in paragraphs 2 or 3 is confidential or that it should not be passed on to anyone?

Mr Corea: Can I reference another copy of that, because I --

Ms Jackson: Please do, but I would ask you for this portion of the hearing not to make reference to what it says specifically.

Mr Corea: Sorry, your question again, Ms Jackson?

Ms Jackson: Let's start with paragraph 1. There is a reference there to the dollar amount of billings that Dr Donahue is doing in epilation and a note that Ms Colley is "not sure figure can be transmitted to Floyd: check this." There is no such caution with respect to the information in paragraphs 2 and 3, is there? There is no suggestion that the information there is confidential or that it should not be passed on?

Mr Corea: No.

Ms Jackson: Would it be a fair reading of this memorandum, then, that apart from the dollar figure on epilation, the rest of the information can be used, as she suggests, in developing a briefing with Floyd?

Mr Corea: It would be a fair reading of this. I am not sure I agree with it, but it would be a reading of that.

Ms Jackson: Was it your reading of it?

Mr Corea: No.

Ms Jackson: What did you understand you were expected to do with the information in this memorandum?

Mr Corea: I did not expect that I was going to transmit the information in this memorandum at all. I might act on certain parts of it, but I am not going to transmit this information. When I looked at this memorandum, I saw dollar figures and other information that I thought should not be transmitted. That is my understanding of having had a more complete discussion about what details of practice are and are not confidential.

Ms Jackson: So what information did you understand you should and could transmit?

Mr Corea: Within this memo?

Ms Jackson: Yes.

Mr Corea: I am not sure I considered that question at the time, that I was going to transmit any specifically, but I can look through it and indicate. Certainly point 4, that with Dr Donahue's consent a review or discussion of is practice could take place and that some resolution may be possible with his particular practice and to know whether that would entail him closing or not closing and what would be the impact on Sudbury.

Ms Jackson: Mr Corea, as I read this memorandum, it reads to me as though as least Ms Colley thinks that except for the dollar figure in epilation that you will be using this information to develop "a briefing with Floyd."

Mr Corea: I was not developing a briefing for Mr Laughren. The briefing was being developed by the ministry. I might assemble that together with other available information and pass it on, but I was not developing a briefing for Mr Laughren.

Ms Jackson: I thought you earlier indicated you were the person through whom the information would be passed on to Mr Laughren and Miss Martel and so on.

Mr Corea: It might be passed on through me, but it would not be developed by me. I very rarely script a full briefing on a issue.

Ms Jackson: What, then, is the reason for giving you this information, in your understanding, if you are not going to be using it to do anything?

Mr Corea: I am not entirely clear -- part of the reason for providing me with this information was maybe to clarify her understanding of the situation and what should be my understanding of it; you know, essentially putting to me that this should be my understanding of the situation in Sudbury.

Ms Jackson: Did you ever say to Ms Colley that you did not think you could use this information?

Mr Corea: No. We did not have a conservation about this memo. I do not know at what time I read this memo or this e-mail. We did not have an extensive conservation over it. I essentially was pursuing my own course of action, which was to provide what information was made available through an approved briefing and what other information I thought was relevant to this and making that available to Mr Laughren's office. I assumed that the detailed briefing of Mr Laughren would occur by Dr LeBlanc.

Ms Jackson: All right. If your function was to pass this information on, to whom did you pass it on?


Mr Corea: This information?

Ms Jackson: Yes.

Mr Corea: I did not pass this information on to anyone.

Ms Jackson: Why?

Mr Corea: Again, I am not sure that at the time I read this -- there are elements of this that were already part of my understanding, which was that no one is being exempted in either the north or south. This matches our policy to hold the lines on thresholds. I understood that to be the ministry's position and that would be part of it.

Ms Jackson: What other paragraphs of this memorandum were not new to you?

Mr Corea: Were not new?

Ms Jackson: You have said 5 is not news.

Mr Corea: Right.

Ms Jackson: What other paragraphs, by number, are not news to you?

Mr Corea: I think actually paragraphs 2 and 3 that you have blacked out are news to me.

Ms Jackson: I am afraid we are driven to explore those in camera, and I will.

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Was 4 new --

Mr Corea: In paragraph 1, the dollar figure that is also blanked out is news to me.

Ms Jackson: I beg your pardon?

Mr Corea: The dollar figure that is blanked out is news to me.

Ms Jackson: I am sorry, I did not hear what your answer was on paragraph 4. Is that news to you?

Mr Corea: No, that was essentially my understanding that with Dr Donahue's consent we could discuss his practice and from that determine whether there were other options to him closing, and if there were other options to him closing, those could be sought and possibly achieved; if there were none and his practice closed, then to assess the impact on Sudbury.

Ms Jackson: With respect to the items in 1, 2 and 3 that were news to you, I understand you to say your role was to pass information on for a briefing, so Ms Colley is giving this to you to pass it on is your understanding.

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: But you did not do that.

Mr Corea: No.

Ms Jackson: Did you tell her you did not do that?

Mr Corea: No.

Ms Jackson: Why did you not do it?

Mr Corea: I was already on a course of action of providing what information I thought was useful on this. Ms Colley had an idea of what information was useful on that and I was pursuing my own. I also do not know at what time I read this e-mail. It could be well into late into the day that I read this, so passing it on would be rather academic.

Ms Jackson: Do you recall whether you discussed anything in the e-mail with anyone else?

Mr Corea: No, I do not recall.

Ms Jackson: You may have done or you may not have done?

Mr Corea: I doubt very much whether I discussed it with anyone else. If I did not discuss it with Sue Colley, discussing any of this with anyone else does not seem to make sense to me.

Ms Jackson: Two other people who we know are now interested in some of these issues are Nuala Doherty and David Sword.

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: You do not know if you discussed it with them, or do you?

Mr Corea: I did not discuss any of this information with them. My clearest recollection is that I did not discuss any of this information. I do not know at what time I actually read this e-mail, but my clearest recollection is that I did not discuss any of these details with Nuala Doherty or David Sword.

Ms Jackson: So is it fair, then, that at this point in time, although you are to pass information on for this briefing Mr Laughren is pressing for, you still do not have any information that you can or have passed on?

Mr Corea: No, actually I have some some information that I have started to assemble. Those were letters that had been signed by the minister or were to be signed by the minister to MPPs, hospital administrators, executive directors of district health councils, applicants and the president of the OMA. Those explained, essentially, the threshold exemption issue and the decision to provide no individual exemptions from that. Copies of that had been provided to me.

Ms Jackson: But those letters are in essence telling people that there are not going to be any further exemptions.

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: So those letters are not likely to help resolve the problem with Dr Donahue?

Mr Corea: No, they are not, other than to clarify the position of the ministry.

Ms Jackson: Okay. On November 15, the same day we have just been discussing, do you recall a meeting with Nuala Doherty and Ian Wood?

Mr Corea: I do not recall that meeting. I recall that at some point on either the 14th or the 15th Nuala Doherty came by my office, but I cannot recall specifically the time or the date, whether it was the 14th or 15th.

Ms Jackson: Do you recall at some point meeting somebody named Ian Wood?

Mr Corea: I recall talking with Ian Wood. I cannot recall meeting him; I could not identify him.

Ms Jackson: The purpose of such a meeting, if one occurred around this time, would presumably be with respect to this ongoing question of briefing Mr Laughren on the Dr Donahue issue, is that fair?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: I have told you that I expect Ms Doherty will testify that there was such a meeting on the 15th, and I understand that you have no reason to disagree with that.

Mr Corea: No, I have no reason to disagree.

Ms Jackson: And if she were to say that there was discussion in that meeting about issues related to epilation, you would have no reason to disagree with it?

Mr Corea: That certainly would make sense within the context. This is November 15 and epilation has just been delisted as a procedure. The minister's office was receiving sort of a last round of complaints about that from individuals, as well as others who were angry at the decision around epilation.

Ms Jackson: If she were to testify that there was discussion in that meeting about whether and how Dr Donahue would reach his threshold, would you have any reason to disagree with her?

Mr Corea: Whether and how he would reach --

Ms Jackson: Whether he would reach the threshold and how that would occur.

Mr Corea: I would consider that as part of the details of his practice and that that is not available information.

Ms Jackson: Do you remember whether you received such information in that meeting?

Mr Corea: That she was telling me details?

Ms Jackson: Yes.

Mr Corea: I do not recall her telling me details of that.

Ms Jackson: All right.

Mr Corea: That she was telling me when Dr Donahue would reach his threshold?

Ms Jackson: Whether there was discussion as to whether Dr Donahue would reach the threshold and, if so, when.

Mr Corea: There was discussion, but was she telling me or was I -- I do not recall any discussion of that.

Ms Jackson: Either way. I am afraid I do not at this point know which way it is, because I have not talked to her. Somebody else has, but --

Mr Corea: I do not recall any discussion about when Dr Donahue would reach the threshold.

Ms Jackson: All right. During this period, Mr Corea, do you recall at some point hearing Ms Doherty express some scepticism or anger about Dr Donahue's case?

Mr Corea: I do not recall, other than annoyance at me and trying to get information and the speed at which information -- I do not recall annoyance at Dr Donahue.

Ms Jackson: Do you recall anybody around this period of mid-December or as we move into late December expressing scepticism or anger towards Dr Donahue and his particular case?

Mr Cavalluzzo: Excuse me, you said mid-December.

Ms Jackson: Sorry, I meant November.

Mr Corea: I suppose that Dr LeBlanc wondering why a dermatologist would be coming forward could be viewed as scepticism, but that is the only --

Ms Jackson: That is the only instance you recall?

Mr Corea: Yes, and I do not think that is scepticism; that is just a question.

Ms Jackson: Do you recall providing any information concerning Dr Donahue's situation to either Nuala Doherty or Ian Wood around November 15?

Mr Corea: At that point, on December 15, we were quite clear that information was around the practice area. A practice, Dr Donahue's practice or any physician's, was confidential, and I believe I stated that quite clearly to Nuala Doherty and David Sword, and Ian Wood as well.


Ms Jackson: I have indicated to you as well that we have received some notes of a conversation between David Sword and yourself on November 15.

Mr Corea: Right.

Ms Jackson: Do you recall that conversation?

Mr Corea: I do not specifically recall the conversation. It is conceivable that I would be talking with him at that point.

Ms Jackson: Let me put those notes back in front of you, or ask the clerk to, Mr Corea, and ask you about that. Those will be exhibit --

The Chair: These will be marked as exhibit 51.

Ms Jackson: As I understand it, Mr Corea, what these notes reflect are notes that David Sword has made of a conversation that he had on November 15 with you, and I just want to ask you whether any of the phrases there jog any memories for you.

First of all, he makes a note, "Info on doctor's billing" -- I hope you can see on your copy that it is an apostrophe-s billing, so it appears to refer to a single billing -- "confidential." Do you recall a conversation with David Sword in which the confidentiality of an individual doctor's billings was discussed?

Mr Corea: I recall indicating that details of doctors' -- indicating to both David Sword and Nuala Doherty in a variety of forms that the details of doctors' practices are confidential. The words "doctor's billings" are not mine, but "confidential" is certainly.

Ms Jackson: Do you recall, was Mr Sword asking you for information on an individual doctor's billings?

Mr Corea: I do not recall. I do not recall whether he was asking me for information on a doctor's billings or whether I was just indicating that the details of practice are confidential, that --

Ms Jackson: Then there is a note that says, "Less said better." Do you recall any comment in any conversation with Mr Sword to the effect of the less said the better by either you or by him?

Mr Corea: No, I do not recall anything.

Ms Jackson: "Any info on this guy's business." Do you recall any conversation about trying to get info on this guy's business?

Mr Corea: No.

Ms Jackson: "Committed to making new system work." Do you recall a conversation in which that comment might have been made or be relevant?

Mr Corea: I cannot recall. It makes sense if we are talking about threshold as being a system, which it really is not, but it would make sense in light of committing to make the threshold system work.

Ms Jackson: And then there is a note that, "Business practice must be looked." Do you recall a discussion about looking at -- well, let me ask you specifically: looking at Dr Donahue's business practice?

Mr Corea: No.

Ms Jackson: Is it possible that there was such a conversation, or do you just have no recollection one way or the other?

Mr Corea: I just have no recollection on talking about it.

Ms Jackson: Then on November 15, as I understand it, you sent out some information to Nuala Doherty and David Sword. Could I ask the clerk to put in front of you and others a fax of that date, which attached letters and questions and answers.

The Chair: That is marked as exhibit 52.

Mr Harnick: On a point of clarification, Mr Chairman: Going back to exhibit 51, the only writing is at the bottom. Is that because we are --

Ms Jackson: I will have to check that, Mr Harnick, but it is my understanding that this is the form in which we got the notes. My assumption on the basis of that is that Mr Sword edited out things that were unrelated to this. I will check that tonight and if I am wrong --

Mr Harnick: Okay. I just thought maybe you had deleted it so that we would be looking at it --

Ms Jackson: On this occasion I believe I personally was not the editor, and I believe Mr Sword was. I am told this is the way we got it.

Mr Harnick: Okay. Thanks.

The Chair: On that same point, if I might, there is a word at the bottom which says "restricted" with an arrow. It moves to a blacked-out portion. I was wondering, counsel, if you could make inquiries as to whether that portion that was blacked out is one that is relevant to this issue or something other than.

Ms Jackson: It is a good question. We will ask.

The Chair: Thank you very much.

Mr Cavalluzzo: Excuse me, do we have the original of this note?

Ms Jackson: I do not. "I don't" is the answer. What we have is what we got, which was Xeroxes of the note.

Mr Cavalluzzo: And is the original still in existence?

Ms Jackson: I assume it is.

Mr Cavalluzzo: Thank you.

Ms Jackson: And that it could be obtained through Mr Sword, I would assume.

On exhibit 52, is it fair that this note and attachment still do not deal with the outstanding issue of Dr Donahue?

Mr Corea: Not specifically of Dr Donahue. They are dealing with the issue of threshold and the exemptions and whether there would be exemptions or not. They are really stating quite clearly that these letters hopefully would be going out on that day. What I had --

Ms Jackson: And then -- sorry, I did not mean to cut you off.

Mr Corea: What I have attached are draft letters that have been prepared by the ministry and were being signed by the minister.

Ms Jackson: And then you say, "I am still waiting for briefing material to travel through the approval process." Would that be the briefing material with respect to Dr Donahue?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: And then later on the 15th, you sent them a further communication, which is a two-page fax that I would ask the clerk to distribute to you and members of the committee, again to Nuala Doherty and Ian Wood, which tends to suggest that by now you have met Mr Wood, is that fair?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: And David Sword.

Mr Corea: I had either met him or had a conversation with him on the phone. I really cannot recall meeting him.

The Chair: That fax transmission is coming out as exhibit 53.

Mr Cavalluzzo: Could I just have some clarification in terms of how long we are going to be sitting? I have no idea, and if we are going to be sitting much longer I wonder if the witness might have a two-minute break just to walk around.

The Chair: Yes, if you would like to, certainly. How about we have a recess, keeping in mind the time, for five minutes?

Mr Cavalluzzo: Thank you.

The committee recessed at 1638.


The Chair: Seeing a quorum, we will call this meeting back to order.

Ms Jackson: Mr Corea, you sent out exhibit 53, it would appear from your note, only successfully at the very end of the day, and immediately got a new telephone directory. Am I correct, sir, that at the time you sent this out you still had not received any additional information concerning Dr Donahue and that the only information you had received you concluded you could not pass on?

Mr Corea: Yes, that is correct.

Ms Jackson: So you are really still waiting for information on Dr Donahue?

Mr Corea: Yes, I am still waiting for it.

Ms Jackson: On November 18, you sent out a further fax to Simon Rosenblum in Mr Laughren's office, which I would ask the clerk to pass out and put in front of you.

Mr Corea: Yes.

The Chair: Mark this exhibit 53.

Ms Jackson: I think 54.

The Chair: I am sorry. I think you are right; that is 54.

Ms Jackson: First of all, Mr Corea, who is Mr Rosenblum? That is a new name in the series of correspondence.

Mr Corea: On the 18th it was a new name to me, this phone call from Mr Rosenblum in Mr Laughren's office.

Ms Jackson: And what position did he --

Mr Corea: I understand he works on the minister's staff in Mr Laughren's office. His exact --

Ms Jackson: Any explanation as to why a new person was becoming involved?

Mr Corea: No, there was no explanation at the time. I think I made the assumption that Ms Doherty was not available or there was additional information to pass on.

Ms Jackson: And do I take it from this that the briefing note you have been waiting for on Dr Donahue has finally just come in?

Mr Corea: Yes, from the fax on the 18th. It has come to me.

Ms Jackson: And that briefing note -- would you just turn up exhibit 14 and tell us whether that is the briefing note that you sent along with this fax?

Mr Corea: This would be the substance of the briefing note I sent along. Typically, when we send out briefing notes they are masked, "Recommended ministry response" is masked. I do not have a copy of the briefing note I sent to Mr Rosenblum, but typically when we send out briefing notes, the section "Recommended ministry response" is masked out or "Advice to the minister" is definitely removed.

Ms Jackson: There is not a section on "Advice to the minister" in this one.

Mr Corea: Right.

Ms Jackson: But you are saying ordinarily if it goes outside the ministry, you take out the "Recommended ministry response."

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Do you know whether you did in this case or not?

Mr Corea: Since I do not have the specific copy of that, and typically it is masked -- Post-it notes are just attached and then can be removed subsequently. As they are going through the fax machine, it reads it as blank.

Ms Jackson: But you do not know whether you did that in this case or not?

Mr Corea: No, I do not know.

Ms Jackson: Is there any reason why the recommended ministry response that is set forth here could not or should not go to Mr Laughren's office?

Mr Corea: No, there is not, none that I can see on quickly reading through it.

Ms Jackson: Then can you look at exhibit 15 and tell the committee whether those are the transcripts of the CBC interview that you indicate you are sending along as well in exhibit 54.

Mr Corea: Yes, they are. This is Dr MacMillan's print interview in the Sudbury --

Ms Jackson: So is it a fair conclusion, as you get this briefing note on the 18th, that in fact from the time you made your original request on November 12 until November 18, although you continued to be pressed during that period by a number of people for some information on Dr Donahue, you really did not get anything that you did not already know until you got this briefing note on November 18?

Mr Corea: Yes, that would be fair. I assumed also that there was information flowing directly without going through me, so it is not as if the request was not being met in some form.

Ms Jackson: Well, do you know if it was or not?

Mr Corea: I have never asked Dr LeBlanc if he did indeed complete his conversation with --

Ms Jackson: There was a lot of discussion, I take it from what you are saying, among a lot of people about the Dr Donahue issue throughout this period.

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: Because a lot of people were trying to get some information about what his situation was.

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: And you did not have any success, really, in getting any specific information, that you now think you could have passed on, until the 18th?

Mr Corea: Right.

Ms Jackson: And through this period, as I understand it, you continued to hear from Nuala Doherty with respect to the controversy that existed in Sudbury, including controversy with respect to Dr Donahue?

Mr Corea: Through the 18th?

Ms Jackson: Through this period of -- through November and November 18 and 19 and thereafter.

Mr Corea: I recall the telephone conversation with Mr Rosenblum really bringing in an additional piece of information that started to make sense, in light of what Dr LeBlanc had said, which was that from Mr Laughren's visit to his constituency area and discussions that he had that weekend of the 16th and 17th, the issue was not solely focused on Dr Donahue, but actually that there were other specialists in the Sudbury area who were finding that the threshold decision was a difficult one for them and that they faced decisions about their practice. So the discussion with Mr Rosenblum on the 18th really kind of expanded it to say that the specialists in the Sudbury area, more than Dr Donahue, were having problems with the threshold decision.

So that was an added bit of information. It seemed to fit with Dr LeBlanc's comments. It was really what Mr Rosenblum was indicating, that yes, the issue was Dr Donahue's specific practice previously, but this is a larger issue for Sudbury. There are other specialists who may be faced with closing and the situation of medical services in Sudbury is of considerable concern.

Ms Jackson: So the scope of the controversy is widening?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: But the problem that was identified with Dr Donahue's situation had by no means gone away?

Mr Corea: No, it had not gone away.

Ms Jackson: He was still threatening to close his office.

Mr Corea: Actually, by this time I believe there are at least one or two e-mails to indicate that he has closed his office subsequently, but --

Ms Jackson: I think that may come a little bit later.

Mr Corea: But Dr Donahue's situation has not gone away.

Ms Jackson: To pick up on my original question to you, though, you continued to hear from Nuala Doherty that the Sudbury situation, including the Dr Donahue situation, continued to be a problem?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: That Mr Laughren was still continuing to have to deal with?

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: And with respect to which she was continuing to request your assistance?

Mr Corea: The focus of the assistance really now had moved to making sure that Ministry of Health officials were in direct contact with Sudbury-area physicians in attempting to understand the situation: What was making Sudbury unique? Are there other ways of redressing that situation?

Certainly what Mr Rosenblum indicated to me, and it was reinforced by subsequent conversations with Ms Doherty, was that the issue was being characterized as a north-south issue, that services to northern residents were deteriorating because of decisions in the south. That was a particular perspective on it that I understood the Minister of Health to understand as problematic, that we were at that point very concerned about services to northern residents.

Ms Jackson: But my sense of it is, from what you have been saying, that within the ministry in large measure it was seen to a large extent to be an information problem. You wanted to find out more about the doctors and you wanted to let them know more about the program.

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: So it is not wrong to say, is it, that there was a real focus on giving and receiving information?

Mr Corea: Right.

Ms Jackson: That was the milieu in which you were then operating?

Mr Corea: Yes, particularly the giving part. MOH is the largest ministry and the information requests it gets are enormous. My sense of the brief period up to this point was that the provision of information back could have been improved, that people needed to know more about northern health grant programs, the status of that, difficulties they were experiencing with it, the types of services that were available to them. So getting information out from the ministry to citizens of Ontario seemed a very reasonable focus.

Ms Jackson: And in this exercise of giving and receiving information, you continued to deal with Nuala Doherty in part. I mean you dealt with other people too, but you dealt with Nuala Doherty.

Mr Corea: Yes, in part. Yes.

Ms Jackson: Can I just, in closing, ask you to identify one last piece of correspondence, and then I am afraid we are going to have carry on in the morning. On November 19, she sent you a fax, again with sort of further information and further request for information with respect to the Sudbury situation.

The Chair: That is being distributed and marked as exhibit 55.

Ms Jackson: And we see in that that among the issues you are still focusing on, in the giving and receiving of information, is the Sudbury doctor situation, which would include Dr Donahue.

Mr Corea: Yes.

Ms Jackson: She says in that memo, "In turn I can ensure that Shelley Martel's and Sharon Murdock's office receive the same information." Did it become the pattern in around this time that to the extent you were sending information to either Miss Martel or Ms Murdock, you were sending it through to Mr Laughren's office?

Mr Corea: That became the pattern. The prospect of this occupying all of my time was not one that I really looked forward to, and there were other issues that were pressing on me. There had been a request for the transcripts of MediaReach which normally come to our office and to make those available. In talking with Nuala Doherty she offered to pass on whatever information I forwarded to her by fax to Miss Martel's office and to Ms Murdock's office.

Ms Jackson: So at least from this point on, most of the information that comes out from the ministry to the extent that it goes to Miss Martel and Ms Murdock goes to Mr Laughren's office, in so far as you know?

Mr Corea: Yes. There are direct contacts occurring as well, individually with both myself and with other members of the ministry.

Ms Jackson: That might be an appropriate place to break, Mr Chairman.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Ms Jackson. We will adjourn until tomorrow at 10 am where we will recommence with the questioning of Mr Corea.

The committee adjourned at 1702.