Wednesday 7 December 1994

Premature disclosure of report

Margaret Marland


Chair / Président: Hansen, Ron (Lincoln ND)

*Vice-Chair / Vice-Président: Wessenger, Paul (Simcoe Centre ND)

Dadamo, George (Windsor-Sandwich ND)

Johnson, Paul R. (Prince Edward-Lennox-South Hastings/Prince Edward-Lennox-Hastings-Sud ND)

*MacKinnon, Ellen (Lambton ND)

McClelland, Carman (Brampton North/-Nord L)

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

Rizzo, Tony (Oakwood ND)

*Sterling, Norman W. (Carleton PC)

*Sullivan, Barbara (Halton Centre L)

Sutherland, Kimble (Oxford ND)

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

*In attendance / présents

Substitutions present / Membres remplaçants présents:

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

Fletcher, Derek (Guelph ND) for Mr Rizzo

Haslam, Karen (Perth ND) for Mr Dadamo

Jamison, Norm (Norfolk ND) for Mr Paul Johnson

Murdock, Sharon (Sudbury ND) for Mr Hansen

Tilson, David (Dufferin-Peel PC) for Mr Villeneuve

Also taking part / Autres participants et participantes:

Marland, Margaret (Mississauga South/-Sud PC)

Clerk pro tem / Greffier par intérim: Arnott, Doug

Staff / Personnel:

McLellan, Ray, research officer, Legislative Research Service

Sibenik, Peter, procedural research clerk, office of the Clerk

The committee met at 1615 in committee room 2.


The Vice-Chair (Mr Paul Wessenger): The purpose of the meeting today is the consideration of a matter pertaining to premature disclosure of a committee report to the media. What is proposed by the subcommittee today is to consider the matter, starting with certain witnesses, the first being the complainant, the member for Mississauga South. I think the procedure is that we'll hear from her to make -- yes, Ms Murdock.

Ms Sharon Murdock (Sudbury): I would like to move that these proceedings be closed. The reason for that is, given that this is an exploratory evaluation or assessment of the whole issue of complaint, I think we should do that in camera.

The Vice-Chair: I have the motion by Ms Murdock. Do you wish to speak to the motion?

Ms Murdock: I already have.

The Vice-Chair: Is there any further discussion?

Mr Norman W. Sterling (Carleton): I vehemently oppose this motion. I don't think committees should be operating in camera unless there is an absolute assurance that there is a real problem with operating in the open in terms of privacy of individuals etc.

The whole purpose of this hearing, as far as I am concerned, is to find out, number one, who the culprits are and what we're going to do with them and if there was a breach. When these issues are tried in our courtrooms with regard to individual citizens about the same thing, I don't understand why we politicians who are elected and represent people should have the shield of closed doors in hearing the evidence in front of us.

I do not understand the need for this and I think it's a terrible mistake and our meeting will be fruitless. We're talking about a serious prima facie case of breach of privilege. We're talking about a situation where somebody leaked information which they were not supposed to. If you read some of the research material in other jurisdictions, it's considered an extremely serious breach of parliamentary privilege.

Mrs Marland's privilege, and thereby all of our privileges and rights as members, has been breached by some members of this Legislature, and I think the worst thing we could do is close the doors and hold out the notion that perhaps a deal was being cut behind closed doors to protect some members of this Legislature because they didn't act in an honourable fashion, as they should.

Mrs Barbara Sullivan (Halton Centre): I have two comments to make. First of all, I want to object to Mr Sterling's observation and conclusion before these hearings have been conducted where there is an assumption that a member in fact breached the rules of the House and that it was clearly a member who breached the rules of the House. I am not certain indeed if there was a breach, and that's one of the lines of questioning I intend to pursue.

However, I have, in preparation for this meeting, re-read documentation from the other two reports involving premature disclosure of committee draft reports, and I note in reading those reports that full Hansards were available of the testimony and of the discussions surrounding the committee consideration of those breaches. I should say that both of those instances, which have been precedents in this place, were dealt with at the same time by the same committee.

I wonder if the clerk would comment as to whether indeed the full committee consideration, including the questioning of witnesses, was on the record in previous situations in the House.

The Vice-Chair: I don't know whether the clerk or research can answer that question. Perhaps research would be more appropriate.

Mr Peter Sibenik: I don't have that information before me right now, but I can find that out. I do have a copy of the two reports in question and they are available here, but it would take some time to find that point out. I can make some inquiries about that.

The Vice-Chair: Could you make those inquiries shortly then?

Mr Sibenik: Yes.

The Vice-Chair: Okay. You've completed your comments for the moment, Mrs Sullivan?

Mrs Sullivan: Yes. I think that information is pertinent in order to address this point of order.

The Vice-Chair: Should we have a five-minute recess, unless there's any further discussion?

Ms Murdock: I certainly see no reason to have an in camera session on the basis of an inquiry, absolutely, and I would agree with Mr Sterling on that point. But on this point, where it's an exploration of the whole issue itself, I think there should be a distinction made as to when the witnesses are here.

In terms of who might or who might not have leaked a report, if indeed that occurred, I think that should be done in the in camera session. I do agree that for the purposes of if there's a person or persons identified, certainly that should be wide open, such as the inquiries that have gone on in this place in the past. But I think while we're talking to the three witnesses today, that should be done in closed session, so I maintain my motion.

Mrs Sullivan: Is it the intention of the member to exclude each of the other witnesses who have been invited? Is that what the concern is, that one witness may hear the testimony of another witness and therefore would not be presenting independent testimony to this committee? I'm not quite certain of the rationale for this point of order.

Ms Murdock: No, I just assumed that would happen because whenever you are in closed session, any witnesses called before a committee in camera are not in the room while one is giving testimony. Having said that, I would just like the ability, the freedom of confidentiality of the witnesses and the freedom to feel free to say whatever they want to say, depending on the kinds of questions that they're being asked. I think that is in terms of determining who breached what or what has occurred in this place.

Mr David Tilson (Dufferin-Peel): I must confess that this is an investigation to determine the premature disclosure of information and very serious allegations have been made.

Quite frankly, on the face of the press clippings that are in the package, it has become clear by reading those press clippings that information was given. In fact they were given by government sources. One of the papers referred specifically to --

Ms Murdock: It does not say that.

Mr Tilson: I'm sorry. It did. If you turn to the article in the Toronto Star of August 17, the third-last paragraph, "But government sources said that their interpretation of Cronk's findings is that Gigantes did not technically violate the guidelines, even though the report criticized her." Who are government sources?

Mr Derek Fletcher (Guelph): It doesn't say "committee members."

Mr Tilson: All right. It has been accused now that there is someone in the government. Now in that meeting there are only government members, if it's government sources, unless you're suggesting that --

Mrs Karen Haslam (Perth): Let's talk about this motion.

Mr Tilson: I am talking about this motion. I'm talking about it is now out in the open by reading this newspaper clipping that it was government members who told somebody. That's what this newspaper article says. That's what the article says. Mr Walker has reported that in the Toronto Star on August 17. We now know on the very face of the information that this committee has before it, which is two newspaper clippings, that someone in the government -- and the only people who were in the government were government members -- made these allegations.

I can quite understand why you want to make this a secret meeting. The allegations have been made. We know now that someone on the government side revealed that information. So I simply say when you say that you want the witnesses to be free, it's already out of the can. We now know.

Ms Murdock: No.

Mr Tilson: Well, that's what it says.

Mr Mike Cooper (Kitchener-Wilmot): Read the line right before.

Mr Tilson: I'm only reading what the articles say. Unless you're disputing what the article says, which I'm sure you'd like to.

Ms Murdock: We know we didn't.

Mr Tilson: I guess my question too is the rationale and we know from this article, and it has been revealed by the Toronto Star article, that someone on the government side released this information. That is on the very face of the Toronto Star article. That --

Mr Fletcher: That's not what it says.

Mr Tilson: I just read what it says, unless you're going to say I didn't read what I said.

Mr Norm Jamison (Norfolk): Well, read it again and understand what it says.

The Vice-Chair: May I please have order.

Mr Tilson: Do I understand therefore that, notwithstanding the information that's come from the article by William Walker which is before the committee, your sole rationale is that you want witnesses to be free to give testimony when we already know what Mr Walker at least has said?

Mr Fletcher: Let's find out if it's true.

Mr Tilson: My question is directed to Ms Murdock, who I assume made the motion.

The Vice-Chair: Ms Murdock, do you wish to reply?

Ms Murdock: I take exception to his automatic presumption that it's government sources. I've read this article as well. The paragraph that he has quoted certainly does say, "But government sources said that their interpretation of Cronk's findings...." This is the Legislative Assembly committee. As I recall, Liberals and Conservatives are members of the government as well. Certainly the way I see --

Mr Tilson: Oh, I'm sorry. We are not a member of your government.

Ms Murdock: I see this as --

Mr Tilson: There's no way you're going to tie me with your government, Ms Murdock.

Ms Murdock: -- the way in which it was written is --

Mr Tilson: I imagine the Liberals feel the same way, so don't try that.

Ms Murdock: Oh, please.

Mr Tilson: Well, I'm sorry. I refuse.

Ms Murdock: I have no doubt, Mr Tilson, as to why you're --

Mr Tilson: When you're trying to tell me that I'm a member of your government, forget it.

The Vice-Chair: I think Mr Sterling's next on the list.

Mr Sterling: Are we going to now be in a spot of -- I don't understand the rationale. We are big people here. If somebody comes forward and makes an allegation in front of a witness or a member of the committee makes an allegation towards a member, I think that member has to live with that allegation, and that's the end of the story. If the person is incorrect or misconstruing the facts, that person, be it a member or it be some other functionary, has to live with it. I do not understand the rationale for going behind closed doors on this. In fact, I find it absolutely contrary to what we're doing.

Mrs Haslam: I'm going to agree with Ms Murdock's motion. I wasn't on this committee and --

Ms Murdock: Neither was I.

Mrs Haslam: -- I'm really here to investigate and listen to the witnesses, but I think it can be better done among ourselves without the grandstanding, without the play for news. I would rather see us do this in a session where we as members look at the possibility of what happened in a frank way without its becoming a cause célèbre.

That's what I'd like to see this be. I'd like this to be a true look, a true investigation without political grandstanding, without a show, without the idea that, "This is what I'm going to say because it looks good," or, "It makes somebody else look bad." I don't think that's what we're here to do. I think we're here to examine a breach of privilege of a colleague, and in order to do that in a frank way, I feel we should be looking at this in a closed session. In fact I would recommend that we discuss this in a closed session. We have to come to terms with being very frank and looking at what we're investigating.


The Vice-Chair: We now have our researcher back. Are you in a position to report?

Mr Sibenik: Yes, in both cases they were open sessions. They were not in camera.

Mrs Sullivan: I expected that response, as I had read some of the Hansards, although not all of them, and I wanted to be certain. I don't believe that this is an appropriate opportunity to set a new precedent by going in camera. I believe the circumstances appear to be quite similar to those of previous instances in this House and therefore we should proceed in the same way.

Ms Murdock: Before Mr Tilson speaks, I'll withdraw the motion. I agree. I don't want to set a new precedent.

The Vice-Chair: Do I have unanimous consent to withdraw the motion? Agreed.

With that, we can now proceed with our first witness. I think we've agreed that other witnesses are excluded during the -- okay, I'll ask Ms Marland to proceed with her presentation.

Mrs Margaret Marland (Mississauga South): Are you saying that witnesses are excluded?

Mr Tilson: I'm sorry, Mr Chair. What's your ruling?

The Vice-Chair: I think it was suggested we exclude witnesses.

Mr Tilson: Who says?

The Vice-Chair: I think it's appropriate.

Mr Tilson: You think it's appropriate.

The Vice-Chair: Any judicial hearing -- well, it's up to the committee.

Mr Tilson: This is a public meeting.

Mrs Marland: They weren't even excluded in the Gigantes inquiry, for goodness' sake.

Mr Tilson: We have nothing to hide. This is an independent meeting --

The Vice-Chair: Excluding witnesses, except the person who is going to testify.

Mr Tilson: I understand that, but I'm simply saying that we are all independent people in this place. We have nothing to hide. This is an investigation. This isn't a trial where there's a plaintiff and a defendant and for the purposes of that sort of testimony. This is an investigation to determine whether or not the allegations --

The Vice-Chair: It's not my decision to make, to decide to make that decision.

Mr Tilson: You just made your decision. You excluded witnesses.

The Vice-Chair: No, it's up to the committee to make that decision.

Mr Tilson: Has there been a vote on this?

The Vice-Chair: No, there hasn't been. It's up to the committee to make the decision. If there's no motion, then --

Mr Tilson: There's no motion, so let's just drop it and bring the witnesses back in.

The Vice-Chair: Okay, Mr Hansen can come back if he wishes.

Mr Fletcher: What if he doesn't want to come back?

Mr Tilson: He doesn't come back; he can go away.

The Vice-Chair: With that, I'll ask Mrs Marland to proceed.


Mrs Marland: Thank you, Mr Chair. I think it's important for the committee members to know that throughout the inquiry, the hearings into the matter with respect to the Minister of Housing, the witnesses who were called before us at that inquiry were allowed to be present during the testimony of all other witnesses prior to them being witnesses themselves. I thought you might be interested in knowing that.

I know that you have background material in your package and it also includes my original letter to the Speaker of October 24, where in the second paragraph I have said that, "The members of the Legislative Assembly committee agreed that counsel's report would remain confidential until we had approved the final version of the report, which would be made public at 12 noon on Friday, August 19." It's very important to start this afternoon understanding what the agreement of those committee members was.

I would now like to bring you to the first time the committee saw a draft report, which was on the evening of Tuesday, August 16. At that time, and I think the meeting started some time around 7, the committee members were assembled in one room.

Ms Cronk and her assistant, Mr Hourigan, also a solicitor, came into the committee room with the report, and Ms Freedman, I think, and her staff carrying copies of that report.

The control of that report from that point was excellent and I commend the clerks, and in particular Ms Lisa Freedman, for how the committee's conduct of business in terms of the responsibility of the control of that report was addressed.

The committee members then split into three separate locations in order that each caucus could individually discuss the report. That was so controlled that in each location we had someone whom you could say was a guard. We had a clerk with us at each location so that when we went into whichever room each caucus was in we did not take in with us anything in terms of being able to record what was in that report -- tape recorders, pad and pen, electronic laptops -- nothing. We went into a room, were given the report and the clerk remained with us.

I have no idea what the Liberal caucus and the government caucus did. I can only tell you what our caucus did. I know that when we left the room to go to the washroom, the report was left in the room where the clerk and the other caucus member were.

In the case of our caucus, it was Charles Harnick and myself. Mr Harnick had driven down from his vacation. The reason I tell you that, because it's quite pertinent, is that because he had been up north and because we had no idea what the report would contain, we were unprepared to deal with the report if we had something subsequently, from receiving the report, that we had to deal with on our own, so for that reason we had two members of staff standing by in the north wing, in the PC service bureau.

The agreement was -- pardon me, I think before I get into what the agreement was I want to also draw your attention to another insert in your package today, which is the Hansard from the decision made by the Speaker. There are a number of references here by the Speaker, where he says:

"Let me begin by quoting Erskine May at page 124 of the 21st edition of Parliamentary Practice:

"`The publication or disclosure of debates or proceedings of committees conducted with closed doors or in private, or when publication is expressly forbidden by the House, or of draft reports of committees before they have been reported to the House will, however, constitute a breach of privilege or a contempt.'

"Our own experience in this assembly supports May with respect to the premature disclosure of committee reports that have been considered in closed session.

"On Thursday, June 21, 1984, the House adopted a report from the standing committee on procedural affairs entitled Standing Orders and Procedure (No 3) concerning the premature disclosure of committee reports in which it was stated:

"`It is unethical for members to disclose matters relating to the contents of a committee's report, which was considered and adopted while the committee met in camera, before the report has been presented to the House. Such disclosure may be found to be a breach of privileges of the House and may constitute a contempt of Parliament.'"


Finally, not to take up all the time, because this is already recorded in Hansard, the final summation is where Speaker Warner says, "Both Erskine May and our own precedent support the notion that such premature disclosure does constitute a breach of privilege and possibly contempt of this House."

With that decision by the Speaker in mind, I will bring you back to the Tuesday evening. When Mr Harnick and I had completed our review of the draft report of Eleanore Cronk, which I think, in trying to reconstruct the time factor, was somewhere around 9:30, we gave our two copies to the clerk who was in the room with us and Mr Harnick and I went downstairs to the north wing to tell our staff that we had no need for them to do any work for us. Naturally, one of those staff members said: "Oh well, what happened? What did the report say?" Mr Harnick and I both said, "We cannot discuss it with you, but thank you for staying late." At that point I went to my office and Mr Harnick went to his car to drive back up north.

What was interesting was that when I went in my office my desk was covered with pink telephone slips. Interestingly enough, today I went over my telephone book and I don't think I have ever had so many messages from representatives of the media, both print and television, and many of them with home numbers saying I could call -- if it was 3 in the morning, I could call. Every one of those people who called me would tell you that I did not speak to them.

I went home. My husband was the only person at home. He said, "How did today go?" I said, "Well, it was difficult." He said, "What was the outcome of the draft report?" He knew the draft report was coming in. I said, "Ken, I do not wish to discuss it with you." He understands that I have never discussed anything with him that would put him in a position that, if somebody ever asked him if he knew something he shouldn't have known, he would have to lie about it. He didn't pursue the matter. He knew, when I said that, that I was not in a position to discuss it with him.

Naturally, I assumed that everything was fine in terms of the confidentiality of this report, until I got the first phone call on Wednesday morning, which in fact was about the Star article. A few minutes later I got the call about the Toronto Sun article. I was very upset to see the headlines because right away I knew that a member of our committee, at least one member of our committee, who had sworn secrecy had violated that commitment.

The reason I knew that was because I'm very confident that if you were to ask other members of the committee what each of their caucuses did in terms of the control of the report -- and you have Ms Freedman later on this afternoon anyway and she can confirm for herself what the control of the report was -- no staff saw that report. In terms of any content of that report being discussed with anyone other than a member of the committee, it had to have been a member of the committee who initiated the information and the discussion, because if every member did as Mr Harnick and I did, which was return the copy to the clerk -- and I may be wrong about this, but I think you'll find when you ask Ms Freedman that because it was a draft, the copies were shredded that night, except for one copy. If I'm wrong about that, it's my misunderstanding, but please ask her what happened to those reports that were handed back to her that night.

So when I read in the newspaper -- I mean, look at the Toronto Sun article first of all, which says "Queen's Park Sources said last night." The Toronto Sun even identifies that the Queen's Park sources were "last night." I think, when you read further on, it also refers to the content of the report and again says "sources said." Then, what is really interesting in Mr Wallace's article is the next line, which says, "The committee's report won't be made public until tomorrow." So Mr Wallace knew the report wasn't public and --

Mrs Sullivan: On a point of order, Mr Chair: We don't have in our package of material documentation from the Toronto Sun.

Mrs Marland: You don't have these?

Mrs Sullivan: No, we have the Toronto Star report, but we do not have anything from the Sun.

Mrs Marland: Sorry; I'll go to the Star, then. I'm sorry; I didn't know you didn't have them both.

The Star article, at the end of the first paragraph, says "the Star has learned." It talks about an outcome of the draft report, and it's a very definite statement that obviously came from the report, "A lawyer conducting a Queen's Park probe has found Housing minister Evelyn Gigantes violated Premier Bob Rae's conflict-of-interest guidelines by trying to get charges dropped at an Ottawa housing agency, the Star has learned."

Then it goes on, in the middle of the middle column, "In her report" -- it's defining where this information came from -- "Cronk found Gigantes committed a breach of the `fundamental' principles of the Premier's conflict guidelines, sources said last night." It's still saying "sources."

Then, in the next paragraph, even Mr Walker of the Star identifies, "Cronk's findings will form the basis of the committee's report." He understands that it's in the future tense and he also understands that this was "to be released publicly later this week." That was the agreement that the committee had, that we would release the report at noon on Friday. Mr Walker understood that; it's in his column.

But where I became very upset was when I came into the third column reading this, which was faxed to my home on that Wednesday morning, where it says, "It was in relation to these two areas that Cronk cited Gigantes for violating the guidelines, sources said last night." Here, again, another reporter is identifying that the sources were last night. Then, in the next paragraph, "But government sources said that their interpretation of Cronk's findings is that Gigantes did not technically violate the guidelines, even though the report criticized her." When I read that paragraph, which confirmed that it was government sources, I knew then where the violation and the breach of the confidentiality had come from.

Naturally, I believe that as elected members of this Legislature we have a responsibility not only to the people who elect us, but in fact we have a tremendous responsibility to each other. I sat as a member of the subcommittee on the committee that conducted the Gigantes inquiry. Kimble Sutherland was a member of the subcommittee and Bob Chiarelli was also a member. The three of us, as a subcommittee, made a great number of decisions leading up to the inquiry -- who the witnesses would be, whether their fees would be paid -- a lot of work for two weeks prior to the committee. We had very difficult sessions, but at no time did I ever feel that there was any lack of respect between the three of us on that subcommittee.


When I look at the responsibility that we have as members in this place, because of the importance of how we handled this report, particularly the importance of how we handled -- this report was most important above all else to one person, and the one person whom that was important to, I would respectfully suggest to you, was the Minister of Housing, Evelyn Gigantes.

Since that was a draft report that was presented to us on the Tuesday night, what we had agreed to -- and this again emphasized the importance of keeping it completely confidential to the point where we, as I said previously, were not even going to take notes to remind ourselves -- was that if we found that there were any fundamental mistakes in that report, any one member or any one caucus could address those fundamental mistakes. Then the idea was that we would give our comments on what fundamental mistakes were in the report to Ms Cronk to make the drafting changes on Wednesday, we would come back on Thursday to look at what now would become the final report and the final report would be released at noon on Friday.

You should also know that there was a great deal of deliberation about how the report would be drafted, and the decision was made by all three parties -- and it was unequivocal, this decision -- that Ms Eleanore Cronk would draft the report and in that report she would include her findings. At one point, certainly, Mr Chiarelli and I mentioned that we were very confident with Ms Cronk drafting the report, at which point I distinctly remember Mr Kimble Sutherland saying: "We are all very pleased with the work of Ms Cronk. In fact, people who aren't on this committee have told me, in the government, that they feel they have confidence in Ms Cronk and the superb way she's conducting this hearing and fulfilling her job as counsel to the committee."

Having that kind of support for this counsel drafting the report, we were unanimously agreeing that when the report came, unless there were fundamental mistakes, it probably wouldn't need redrafting. But we all understood that the report that was received on Tuesday night, August 16, was a draft report to be kept in the utmost secrecy. I think what happened when that report was broken to the media was something of which, personally, I think we should all be ashamed, because it simply means there is nothing that is sacred when we make a commitment as elected members of this Legislature. I have not experienced anything like that, and I was personally very upset about it, but as I thought about the reflection on all of us, all 130 of us, however many were still elected and serving in this place in August, I felt the reflection on us was terrible.

It was for that reason that I felt the matter should not die. I wanted to know -- not so much a witchhunt about who actually did it, because I'm sure that we probably don't stand very much chance of ever finding out who actually did it, but I wanted for us to have a discussion as legislators to try to find a way to ensure that something like this wouldn't happen again, because I think when we are, to use Speaker Warner's words, possibly constituting a contempt of Parliament by those kinds of actions, then we do not serve the parliamentary system or the people of this province, in my humble opinion.

Mr Tilson: Mr Chairman, on a point of order: I have a package in front of me that has been given to each committee member. Do we have everything that we should have? For example, do we have the record of the committee, all motions made by the committee in public? Do we have that information?

The Vice-Chair: I don't know whether we have that. I don't believe we do have that information.

Mr Tilson: Can we get that, at some appropriate time? I think it would be useful to see what motions were made by the committee immediately prior to all this happening, immediately prior to the private portion of it and immediately after the private portion in particular.

Mrs Haslam: It's in Hansard, isn't it?

Mr Tilson: Well, no, none of us know, because none of us were on the committee.

Mr Fletcher: I don't want that information.

Mr Tilson: I'm sorry?

Mr Fletcher: I just don't want it.

Mrs Marland: He says he doesn't want it.

Mr Tilson: He doesn't want it. I guess not. You don't want anything.

The Vice-Chair: I assume that material could be made available.

Mr Tilson: Sure. That could be made available.

The Vice-Chair: It would be in the Hansard.

Mr Cooper: Mr Chair, on a point of clarification: The Toronto Sun article, that's from --

Mrs MacKinnon: What date?

Mr Cooper: From August 17? The Toronto Star article is stamped August 17. The Toronto Sun article: Was that on August 17 also?

Mrs Marland: It says August 17 on the top.

Mr Sterling: Our copy doesn't show it at the top.

Ms Murdock: Ours is blurred.

Mrs Marland: Oh. Do you want to pass this one around?

Mr Cooper: No, I just wanted clarification on the date, that it was the same date.

Mrs Sullivan: I note that the Toronto Star article is August 17, which is the Wednesday. However, the Toronto Sun article, in the body of the text, refers to the committee's determination being made public "tomorrow," which would mean that this article appeared on August 18.

Mrs Marland: The only explanation I can give for that, and I don't want to answer for Mr Wallace, is that the point is being made that he understood that the report won't be made public until "tomorrow," which means that he was placing it at Thursday instead of Friday.

Mrs Sullivan: So your record on your clipping shows August 17 as the publishing date?

Mrs Marland: That's what I have across the top here.

The Vice-Chair: Ms Sullivan, there's also an ad that says, "Today Wednesday," so I would assume it's probably that.

Mr Cooper: Okay. Thank you.

Mr Tilson: You're smarter than I thought.

The Vice-Chair: I must give credit to the clerk for pointing that out to me.

I think we now have some questions or comments. I think the first on the list is Ms Haslam.


Mrs Haslam: You say that you had no idea what the report contained, and yet you say you knew, you had every indication or you felt that it would come out the way it did. Is that correct?

Mrs Marland: No, I didn't say that.

Mrs Haslam: No, I'm asking you. You said you had no idea what the report contained but you and Mr Chiarelli felt that it would come out the way it did, or no. The results of the report were a surprise to you?

Mrs Marland: No, I didn't discuss the results of the report.

Mrs Haslam: Are the results of the report a surprise to you, because you said you had no idea what the report contained?

Mrs Marland: Until I saw the report, I had no idea what the report contained.

Mrs Haslam: Was it a surprise to you that the report came out the way it did, or were you expecting it to be as detrimental to the minister as it appears?

Mrs Marland: Mr Chairman, are we here to discuss my interpretation of the report?

Mrs Haslam: This is only my first question, because I want to know where the information came from.

Mrs Marland: That's fine.

Mrs Haslam: If there were people who felt the report was going to look like this and this wasn't a surprise, that's what I wanted to know. Was the result of this report a major surprise to the members of the committee?

Mrs Marland: You would have to ask the members of the committee that.

Mrs Haslam: I'm asking you.

Mr Fletcher: You're a member.

Mrs Marland: As a member of the committee, I did not know what the report contained, and I am here today to discuss the leaking of this report. I am not here to discuss my personal reaction to that report.

Mrs Haslam: What I'm trying to say is, could the press have said, "It's going to be critical," and that's what they went with on that evening. That's what I want to know. Was the report a surprise in the fact that it was critical, because the only quotes in this article are around the word "fundamental." What I'm trying to ascertain is, was this a surprise that the report was critical of the minister?

Mrs Marland: Ms Haslam, with respect, I do not think your question is in order. You're asking me to guess what the press meant.

Mrs Haslam: No, I didn't ask you that. I'm asking you if, when you saw the report, were you surprised at the result of the report, at the fact that it came out saying that the minister was in error?

Mrs Marland: Mr Chair, I'm not going to answer that question, because it is not relevant to the matter before the committee. I am here --

Mrs Haslam: Fine. I'll go on to another question then.

Mrs Marland: May I just finish what I was saying?

Mrs Haslam: Certainly.

Mrs Marland: There was a matter referred to this committee, and the matter that has been referred is very well written in the Hansard of the decision of the Speaker of this House. In his opinion, he said that, as a member, I did have a prima facie case of privilege, and the privilege that I was claiming with the Speaker was the violation of an agreement between committee members to keep a report confidential.

Mrs Haslam: I'll go on. How would you interpret the article that appeared in the Toronto Star? Do you feel that article was in favour of the minister or against the minister?

Mrs Marland: My reference to the article in the Toronto Star is those references as to the source of the article.

Mrs Haslam: So you don't have any comment on whether you felt it was for or against the minister?

Mrs Marland: I don't have any comment on that. I'm not here to discuss that.

Mrs Haslam: As you mentioned your phone calls, were there any press present when committee members left the committee's meetings?

Mrs Marland: I have no way of answering that, because I can only tell you that the room that Mr Harnick and I were in, at the time that we left, the clerk, who was with us, left with us. In fact Mr Harnick and I didn't even know if the Liberal and the government caucuses were still reviewing the report.

One other thing that happened that I didn't tell you was that Ms Cronk and Mr Hourigan visited each of the caucuses in their sequestered quarters to answer any questions that any of the caucuses had on the report.

Mrs Haslam: Besides Mr Harnick and yourself, who else was in your caucus?

Mrs Marland: We only had two members on the committee. The Liberals had three.

Mrs Haslam: Do you know who the three were in the Liberal caucus?

Ms Murdock: We can get that.

Mrs Haslam: No, I just wondered.

Mrs Marland: I hope I would have this correct, but I believe that that evening, unless there was a substitute, it would have been Mr Chiarelli, Mr Murphy and Mr Callahan. But the clerk would confirm that for you, because she knew who was there.

Mrs Sullivan: On a point of order, Mr Chairman: Perhaps we could leave the detail of who was in what room to the full report of the clerk, and then we can be certain we have accurate information.

Mrs Haslam: That's fine.

The Vice-Chair: The clerk can do that appropriately.

Mrs Haslam: During the committee hearings, were the government members supportive of the minister in their questioning? Did they seem to support the minister?

Mrs Marland: Mr Chairman, I will say it again: We are not here to discuss the inquiry, and the questions that Ms Haslam is asking --

Mrs Haslam: I think this has bearing on the leak.

Mrs Marland: Can I finish what I was saying?

Mrs Haslam: Certainly.

The Vice-Chair: Yes, you should allow the witness to complete her comments, Ms Haslam.

Mrs Marland: We are here to discuss how a draft report was leaked when there was unanimous agreement that it was a draft report and it would not be made public until it was finalized. You're asking me to interpret proceedings of the inquiry, and I will not do that. That is not the purpose of this meeting.

Mrs Haslam: Mr Chair, I think it has relevance, when we look at the reports, when we understand that this type of report, being so -- I won't say so detrimental, but coming out against the minister and being one that puts the minister in a bad light -- it does have relevance on whether there was support for the minister within the proceedings or not from not only government members but from the Liberal caucus and from the PC caucus.

Mr Tilson: Mr Chairman, could I speak on that point of order?

Mrs Haslam: That's not a point of order. I still have the floor.

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

The Vice-Chair: Okay, you wish to make a point of order, Mr Tilson.

Mr Tilson: The point of order that I'd like to speak of is that with this line of questioning by Ms Haslam, almost all the questions have to do with what this witness thinks. We're not here to know what Ms Marland thinks, we're here to know what facts Mrs Marland has to tell the committee, and what she guesses or what she philosophizes is completely irrelevant to these hearings as to what she thinks particular government members have to say. It's as simple as that.

Mrs Haslam: I didn't ask her what she thought.

The Vice-Chair: No, no, Ms Haslam, please. Ms Haslam, I think there are a lot of other members who want to ask questions. So could you ask one more question and then we'll go to -- if you would, please.

Mrs Haslam: It's interesting. I starred the same section you did when I looked at the Star one about government sources, but when I read it, I read it as not caucus members but more a bureaucratic way of looking at it, someone saying "technically violates the guidelines even though a report would criticize her."

If the press calls and says to you, "I hear the report is negative" -- did you get another press call at home in the morning or at home in the evening that said, "I hear that this report is negative"? Did you get that kind of a call at home? Did you have any calls come to your home?

Mrs Marland: I actually didn't get home till about quarter to 2, and the first call I got in the morning was from someone who had seen this headline.

Mrs Haslam: Did they ask you for input? Did they say, "What's your comment about the report?"

Mrs Marland: No, the call I got was from a friend.

Mrs Haslam: Mr Cooper, could you sit back?

Mrs Marland: It wasn't some -- yes, we're looking around you, Mike.

The Vice-Chair: Ms Haslam, I think --

Mrs Marland: The call I received in the morning was simply from a friend in Mississauga. It wasn't anybody to do with out here.

Mrs Haslam: Okay. You're cutting me off.

The Chair: Okay --


Mrs Marland: Just to answer your question very specifically, I did not have any -- any -- discussion of the report with any member of any media -- press, TV, radio -- anyone, not a soul, and as I've already emphasized, I didn't even discuss it with my husband.

The Vice-Chair: Ms Sullivan.

Mrs Sullivan: Mrs Marland and I have served on this committee at various other times, and during the time of this particular inquiry I was involved in another committee and did not participate in the events, either in their initial stages or in the latter stages, and frankly I didn't pay an awful lot of attention to what the process was until this matter was referred to this committee.

I'm going to ask Mrs Marland to answer some further questions with respect to the process, because I think that what apparently occurred in the Legislative Assembly committee at that time was quite unusual for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the subject matter being dealt with, but decisions were made that were not normally made in committee processes.

One of the first decisions that was made that was unusual was that the committee report was not prepared in the normal course of events. It was not done in-house for comment in camera, it was done outside of the precinct. Would you agree with that?

Mrs Marland: Agree that it was unusual?

Mrs Sullivan: Yes, and could you talk about what you know about the actual preparation of the report, whether it was prepared inside the precinct or outside of the precinct.

Mrs Marland: You're correct in saying that there were a number of things in terms of process that were different with the whole proceeding of this committee, even to the fact that the subcommittee that met the last two weeks of July to prepare for the inquiry itself had extraordinary powers inasmuch as it was the subcommittee that was able to go over a list of proposed witnesses and recommend to counsel witnesses who should be called. What was also unusual was the unanimity of the decisions that the subcommittee reached as to process.

If I'm correct in recalling it, I think the subcommittee met every night after we finished the hearings, and we sat from 9 in the morning till 10 or 10:30, sometimes 11 at night. Then the subcommittee would meet with the chairman and with Ms Freedman and sometimes with Ms Cronk. If there was a difficult decision to be made, sometimes Kimble Sutherland would say, "I'm not authorized to make that decision," and Mr Chiarelli and I would say, "We understand," and Kimble would get back to us in the morning, and quite informally in the morning the three of us would go out in the hall and Kimble would say, "This is okay, that's not," or whatever it was.

A lot of the decisions that were made were made with subcommittees taking place as the proceedings and as the day went on, every day -- and even the fact that we started on Monday with only four days assigned to sit and at the end of the first day Eleanore Cronk told us that there was no way she would be able to complete all the witnesses by Thursday and that she would need Friday, and right up till Thursday morning, Mr Sutherland said, "No, you can't have Friday; it's got to be all complete tonight." Then as Thursday noon came, we began to realize that if that were the case, then we would never hear from Ms Gigantes.

So, yes, the process was different from other processes that we're all used to in terms of how our committees operate.

When it came to the drafting of the report, I guess we were probably anticipating in the role that Ms Cronk had for the committee that she was equivalent to a staff person, and when the decision was made that she would draft the report, that was part of one decision, and then part of the next decision was whether or not she would include findings in her draft of the proceedings of the inquiry. The decision about whether she would include the findings was something that Kimble said he'd have to go and speak to his people about, and again Bob Chiarelli and I said, "Of course, we understand that." Then he came back and said yes, they agreed, again emphasizing that because they thought so highly of Ms Cronk and how she had conducted the hearing with absolute fairness to all witnesses, they would be happy to have her draft the report, including findings.

So whether that has answered your question about the fact that, yes, there were some -- there wasn't a point at any time where all the members of the committee made process decisions. That was partly, I think, out of necessity. There would never have been any time for the whole committee to be part of it.

Mrs Sullivan: So in the dealings with outside counsel, who was brought in at the request of the committee, basically initially to conduct the examination because of her expertise as an advocate, her role changed as the committee proceeded, I gather.

Mrs Marland: No, I don't think her role changed. She was counsel for the committee, which meant that her role was to lead the evidence in chief. She and Mr Hourigan had interviewed all of the witnesses prior to the inquiry beginning. They had in fact recommended that some of the witnesses -- and all three caucuses recommended witnesses. She came back to us and said, "We've interviewed so-and-so and so-and-so and we're not recommending that their evidence is relevant," and we did drop two or three. We all lost some witnesses. Her role didn't change. She led the evidence in chief during the inquiry, and when she finished with a witness, all three caucuses then had an opportunity to cross-examine that witness.

I didn't answer your question a minute ago about where the report was drafted. It's my understanding that the report was totally drafted in the offices of Fasken Campbell Godfrey, which I think is the name of her firm, and I know from what Ms Cronk and Mr Hourigan said, they would leave here at midnight and go to their office till 3 in the morning to prepare for the next day and look over some of the information they had received that day.

Mrs Sullivan: I was interested in your comments that your main concern was to ensure that a breach of this nature does not happen again in the future. You have spoken about the process particularly of the night that the draft report was available. What I find on committees is that it's assumed that people understand the rules. Did the Chair remind members of the committee, as they were gathering to consider the draft report, of the importance of the confidentiality of that particular draft document and of the time between, what would that be, the Tuesday and the Friday? Were there specific oral instructions to the committee?

Mrs Marland: Oh, yes, there were, and it was really emphasized by the fact that -- and again, Ms Freedman can confirm this for you, but it's my understanding that Ms Cronk and Mr Hourigan only brought one copy of their report to the building and the copying was done by our own clerk's staff under Ms Freedman's supervision. I think I am correct about that. But the emphasis on the confidentiality was so reinforced by the fact that we went to these separate sequestered rooms and were monitored the whole time by a representative of the Clerk's department. Frankly, I've never experienced that before.


Mrs Sullivan: Do you recall whether the reports which had been copied were numbered?

Mrs Marland: I think they had our names on them. They were either numbered or had our names on them. I think they had our names on them.

Mrs Sullivan: Perhaps, Mr Chair, we could reserve a question later for the clerk as to additional kinds of controls other than the room controls as to how many reports were printed and whether they were numbered or whether there was a specific name on each one --

Mrs Marland: And whether they were shredded that night.

Mrs Sullivan: -- and how they were dealt with subsequently.

I'm going to have to go back for this question to the consideration that the committee was giving to the conflict question. I have looked at the report today, and as I read it, all the way along there were specific parts of the Premier's conflict guidelines that the committee was considering in relationship to Mrs Gigantes's alleged conflict.

They included the guidelines, the "Fundamental Principles," which were sections 4 and 5; sections 19 and 20, the "Communication in Administration of Justice;" 22 and 24, the "Communication with Tribunals and Ministries." Those were the parts of the conflict guidelines that were named or that were included in the final report. Would they have been the only parts of the Premier's conflict guidelines that were considered by the committee in relationship to Mrs Gigantes's alleged breach?

Mrs Marland: Again, Ms Sullivan, you're asking me about what took place actually in the committee as the work of the committee was being conducted, which is the content of the committee hearings. That answer to your question is in the Hansard of the committee hearings, and I think that would be the most accurate place to get the answer to your question.

Mrs Sullivan: I wish I had had time to do that. The reason I ask the question is that I used to be a reporter and I used to be a digger as a reporter. If those are the only sections of the conflict guidelines that the committee was considering, it would seem to me that a clever reporter may well speculate as to the sections in which there were problems and then may well be able to lead a question laterally. I guess that's where I'm coming from. So the importance of what sections of the guidelines were being considered I think is important as we go down the road as to how this breach occurred.

Mrs Marland: I think if you did have the time to even read the opening of the inquiry, you would see that Ms Cronk, as I recall, put everything on the table. The one thing that I think any committee member who would answer any of your questions would tell you is that Ms Cronk treated every single witness -- she asked actually the same questions practically to every witness except those questions that she asked as a result of an answer from a particular witness. But she had a flow and a form that she led every witness through. So when you ask the question about what sections, if I had time to re-read the volumes from that week, I could answer your question accurately, and I don't want to answer your question any other way but accurately.

Mrs Sullivan: Okay. I know I'm pushing it, Mr Chair. I guess one of the issues the committee is going to have to consider, and one of the reasons that I'm interested in whether those are the only parts of the guideline, is whether there was an intentional breach or whether there was a breach that occurred inadvertently. I believe other precedents have rested on that kind of an issue: Was there political gain, was there personal gain, was there monetary gain to be made as a result of a breach of confidentiality, or was this in fact a horrible error made by someone -- and I won't even speculate as to whether it was a member or someone else, and I don't know if that can be determined -- or whether it could have just been smart reporting that led to what was a hint and that caused latter problems. I think those are some of the things that we're going to have to look at.

The other question which you mentioned was the effect on the principal, Ms Gigantes, of the premature leak. That affects a number of other things. First of all, the impact on her, but secondly, impact on the committee members who were working their way to the final report, which had not been considered at the point that this leak occurred.

In your view, did this leak, did this story that appeared in the Toronto Star -- and I didn't know about the Sun story -- change the final report in any way? Did it influence the members of the committee in their decision-making?

Mrs Marland: I think, as I recall, the events then by necessity changed the timing of the release of the report, by necessity changed --

Mrs Sullivan: Do you mean that the wording of the report changed?

Mrs Marland: No, the timing of the release. In other words, now that it's in the press, we realize that we, as a committee -- as a subcommittee we realized, and then ultimately I think it was the decision of the whole committee, that there was no point in keeping the report until the noon Friday deadline.

Mrs Sullivan: So it was released earlier? I didn't know that.

Mrs Marland: Yes.

Mrs Sullivan: It was released when? On the Wednesday or --

Mrs Marland: You know, this is awful, but I can't tell you now whether it was -- we did have, and again Ms Freedman can confirm this: I think what we did on the Wednesday, in light of this being in the newspapers, was we had a meeting at 5 o'clock on the Wednesday afternoon where the decision was made to release it, and I'm not sure whether we released it that night or Thursday.

Mrs Sullivan: Could I just have a point of order, Mr Chair? This relates in part to the difference of this committee, but the parliamentary rules are that the breach occurs if the report is released in advance of its delivery to the House. The committee itself may well have breached privileges by agreeing to pre-release the report to the public in advance of its going to the House, or was there any other circumstance? Could we have a report, say from the clerk, where the House allowed the pre-release of the report in its instructions to the committee?

The Vice-Chair: I guess I'll ask the clerk to speak to that.

Clerk Pro Tem (Mr Douglas Arnott): I understand that the House had pre-authorized committees in general meeting during the summer period to release the reports by filing them with the Clerk of the House.

Mrs Sullivan: All right. Thank you.


Mrs Marland: I think that's all it involves. It would have involved Ms Freedman, I think, taking the report and tabling it with the Clerk.

I don't want to avoid your question about whether the release changed the report; I want to answer that question. Because my answer to you is that if I were to make a comment on that question, then I'm talking about what the draft report contained and what the final report contained. I'm only in a position, in my opinion today, to talk about what the final report that was released contained. So I cannot answer your question about whether there were any changes.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Cooper.

Mr Tilson: Mr Chairman, I thought we were going in rotation.

The Vice-Chair: Did I miss you?

Mr Tilson: Yes, you did.

The Vice-Chair: Okay, Mr Tilson, we aren't going in rotation. We're going by --

Mr Cooper: Go ahead. I'll yield.

The Vice-Chair: -- who I am recognizing. I'm recognizing, Mr Tilson, those who put up their hands first. It's general practice in this committee not to go in rotation, but to go with individual members.

Mr Tilson: I'm sorry, Mr Chairman. I just assumed it was rotation.

My initial comment in reaction is that Mrs Sullivan commented just in a passing comment that it's possible this was good reporting. I must say, when I look at the articles of the Toronto Star and the Toronto Sun, the Toronto Star seems to talk about -- it's commenting in the opening paragraph that the probe found that Ms Gigantes "violated Premier Bob Rae's conflict-of-interest guidelines." That's the first point. The second point is it refers to the solicitor delivering a 134-page legal judgement privately. The third point is that sources -- it talks about a "breach of the fundamental principles" and so on. In other words, it becomes quite clear, to me at least, and obviously to you, that there was a premature disclosure, and we can run through that, but I'm sure we've all read the article.

My question is, once this was revealed, at any time did the subcommittee or the committee discuss what this committee is discussing; in other words, the issue of a premature release of information?

Mrs Marland: Yes, we did, and it was a very strange set of circumstances.

Mr Tilson: Can you first of all tell me when that took place?

Mrs Marland: Well, this is what I'm trying to recall; I think at the meeting at 5 o'clock on the Wednesday afternoon. If I'm correct -- I don't think Hansard was there, to start with, and I knew that I wanted to place on the record my concerns about the fact that this report had now become public. The fact that the Toronto Star identified how many pages were in the report -- I mean, there is too much detail in this Star article for it to have been subjective reporting.

I think probably Mr Hansen and Ms Freedman can do a better job of recalling the 5 o'clock meeting than I can because I was anything but objective at that point about the conduct of how the committee had ended, the inquiry had ended.

Mr Hansen was an excellent Chair throughout the inquiry. He was superb in the conduct of what was, for me, the most difficult hearing or committee session that I had experienced since I have been here, in nine and a half years.

My concern at the beginning of that meeting was that there had been a breach of confidence, there had been a breach of faith, as far as I was concerned, by someone on the committee. Whether that someone on the committee had shared the contents of their report with a staff person, who in turn shared it with the media, I have no way of knowing, but one thing I do know is that the only people who had the report were members of provincial Parliament. They weren't staff who got the report.

So in terms of what the committee discussed, I remember that it was decided: "Well, the report's out. It might as well be released now." I remember wanting to have Hansard there because I wanted to put on the record my concerns. To be honest, at this point now I can't recall how that all evolved. It was a very distressing meeting.

Mr Tilson: This meeting that took place on Wednesday at 5 pm, the purpose of that meeting -- that was a general meeting of the committee?

Mrs Marland: It was the whole committee, yes.

Mr Tilson: Had that time been set before the committee had met in camera to review the report?

Mrs Marland: No. The second week we were going day-by-day because we were not sure how long the drafting of the report was going to take. In fact, we originally had thought we would have a meeting on the Monday, and we had agreed about the drafting of the report.

Then at one point on Sunday, I think it was Sunday morning, Ms Freedman got the subcommittee on a conference call because Kimble Sutherland now had some concerns about Ms Cronk drafting the report, doing the initial draft, and she had to know, in order to get all her work done in time for a meeting, which I think at that point was supposed to be on Monday.

So I think we talked again on Monday morning and it was decided that we couldn't meet before Tuesday at 5. Then I think how it was left on Tuesday at 5 was that if we had comments to make on the report -- and as I said, it was agreed that they would be substantial comments, that where there were fundamental mistakes in the report, inaccuracies in the report. As a matter of fact, I think -- anyway, that was what was going to take place on Wednesday.

Again, Ms Freedman took notes of all our subcommittee meetings, so she can answer that more accurately than I can, but I think it was agreed that we would see the final report on Thursday and agree as a committee that that would be our finalizing and accepting of the report, and it would go public on Friday.

Mr Tilson: All right. But I'm still at a loss as to why you were meeting on Wednesday at 5.

Mrs Marland: I think because of the fact that the report was now no longer confidential.

Mr Tilson: So the Chair called that meeting? Do you recall? If you don't recall, that's okay.

Mrs Marland: Again, Ms Freedman can confirm it. I think Wednesday morning we did have a conference call with the Chair. Actually that's right, we did, and I know that Kimble was saying, "Well, I want a meeting at 12 o'clock," and somebody else said, "Well, I can't be there till 1," and I said I had a funeral at 2. I did have Mr Robert Peace's funeral at 2 o'clock in Oakville that afternoon so I couldn't come till 5, and that's how it got to be a 5 o'clock meeting on Wednesday.

Mr Tilson: When you met at 5, can you tell us what you discussed with respect to the breach, if you can recall?

Mrs Marland: As I can recall, I was the only person who wanted to discuss the breach and there wasn't any discussion on it.

Mr Tilson: So you raised the issue and that was the end of it.


Mrs Marland: I was informed that in order to do that I had to raise it with the Speaker and, subsequently, I wrote the letter to the Speaker.

Mr Tilson: Who informed you of that? The Chair?

Mrs Marland: It would have been either the Chair or the clerk, as I recall, because I didn't know the procedure. I hadn't done that before.

Mr Tilson: You indicated that there were concerns prior to the Wednesday afternoon meeting by Mr Sutherland as to the drafting of the report. What does that mean? What were his concerns? Sorry, that isn't what you said; the concerns of Mr Sutherland as to Ms Cronk, if I'm pronouncing her name correctly, drafting the draft report.

Mrs Marland: In fairness to Mr Sutherland, the only reason I mentioned that was that it involves process. You were asking me about the timing. When we left here at, I think it was, 3 o'clock Saturday morning -- we finished hearing the last witness Friday night around midnight or later -- the understanding was that Ms Cronk would draft the report and include findings. Then I gather there was the necessity for another conference call, which we had on Sunday. That changed the timing and Ms Cronk said she had to have Monday to complete writing and Tuesday to have it typed.

Mr Tilson: As far as the meeting on Tuesday night, the draft report was presented initially to the whole committee and then you broke off into groups. That's what you informed us.

Mrs Marland: Yes.

Mr Tilson: The question was asked to some degree, but I'd like to know full details, as best you can recall, as to who indicated that this was a confidential report? What statements were made by the Chair, the clerk, Ms Cronk, any other members? Do you recall that emphasis?

Mrs Marland: Certainly the Chair reconfirmed that this was a draft report. Ms Cronk indicated that she would have a concern that this report would be treated in any way other than with the utmost secrecy. But we had already agreed to that, so it wasn't news. The way we were all handled, as I said, in terms of how we were given the report and where we went with it was just more emphasis on the fact that it was a highly confidential document.

Mr Tilson: Did the document say anything itself? Do you recall?

Mrs Marland: I don't recall what it said on the front.

Mr Tilson: Other than "draft," it didn't indicate any words like "confidential"?

Mrs Marland: I'm sorry, I can't recall if it said that.

Mr Tilson: You indicated on Wednesday that, other than your own remarks, your own concerns, the breach of the premature release wasn't discussed. Was there any other time after the Wednesday night that the subcommittee or the committee met to discuss the premature disclosure of this report?

Mrs Marland: No, we didn't.

Mr Tilson: So that was the end of it as far as that issue was concerned with respect to the committee.

Mrs Marland: Yes, because I think I understood that the committee couldn't deal with the breach, that it was something I had to deal with with the Speaker. In fact, even after I sent him the letter, I couldn't deal with it with him in a letter; I had to raise it the first day the House was back.

Mr Tilson: Just so we're clear on the issue of confidentiality, this was a decision by the committee. Was there a motion or was it some sort of an understanding?

Mrs Marland: There was definitely an understanding. I can't recall whether it was formalized in a motion, but there again, Ms Freedman can give you that answer about whether it was a motion that it would be confidential.

Mr Tilson: The conversations with respect to the shredding of the report, you seem to believe that all copies save one were going to be shredded. How did you come to that conclusion?

Mrs Marland: I think I recall something Ms Freedman said about having her staff working -- I think I recall saying something about her staff being busy between 5 and 7, from when Ms Cronk brought the report to -- they made the copies that then were presented to us, and I think I recall Ms Freedman saying something about her staff being there, or her having one person there, helping her shred them before they left that night.

Mr Tilson: Prior to the committee releasing the report, at least prior to the committee making it a final report and in fact releasing the report, we have two articles. We have an article from the Toronto Star and we have an article from the Toronto Sun, both dated August 17.

Do you have any information as to whether or not any other newspaper or any other form of media -- radio, television -- commented on these events prior to the committee releasing the report?

Mrs Marland: No, I don't have any information.

Mr Tilson: Did the media ever contact you after all of this, after all of these incidents took place?

Mrs Marland: Once the report was public, they did. As a matter of fact, during the day on Wednesday, they were still trying to contact me, and then once the report was public, I did get some humorous comments from some of the media about the fact that I wouldn't return their calls.

Mr Tilson: You mentioned that after subcommittee meetings Mr Sutherland was seeking instructions from someone with respect to his party's position with respect to decisions that were going to be made by the subcommittee meeting. Can you elaborate on that?

Mrs Marland: The process was that as the subcommittee, as I've said, we did have extraordinary powers. In my own case, I think there were only a couple of times that I checked on something with my House leader. I can't speak for Bob Chiarelli, but there were a number of times when Bob Chiarelli and I very readily and easily made a decision and Mr Sutherland said that he wished to make a phone call before he agreed to whatever it was. We said that was fine, and a few times he would make a phone call and then come back and tell us that it was okay, or he'd come back the next morning, as I've said, or at noon or at some point during the day, when he'd had an opportunity to confirm what the position of the government was on whatever it was we were trying to agree on.

Mr Tilson: Just so I understand the procedure, Ms Cronk -- I hope I'm pronouncing her name correctly -- presented her report to the committee. You then broke off into different sections for each caucus to review the reports separately by each caucus.

Mrs Marland: Yes.

Mr Tilson: The reports were then kept at all times under the guidance of one of three clerks and then they were delivered to the main clerk, Ms Freedman.

Mrs Marland: I can only tell you what happened with Mr Harnick's and my report. We handed it to the clerk who was in the room with us and said goodnight.

Mr Tilson: So there were three clerks, other than Ms Freedman? Or she was one of the three clerks?

Mrs Marland: I don't know that.

The Vice-Chair: I wonder if you could close so that we can return --

Mr Tilson: Thank you, Mr Chair.


Mr Sterling: Just on a point of order, Mr Chairman: We're getting kind of close to the bewitching hour. I think we're going to have to have some extra time in order to look into this matter and I'm just wondering what our plans as a committee will be. I think we should be asking the House leader for some time to consider this matter further during the recess. We have 10 minutes left and we haven't even heard from the witnesses today, and there are more people who want to question Mrs Marland. I don't know what other options we have.

The Vice-Chair: We do have, I think, a number of options, but it would be up to the committee to determine what some of those options are. We could, for instance, continue tonight to sit for a while; we could ask for more time tomorrow; we could request intersession time; or you could ask that the issue be carried over to the next session, all of those. I'm sure there are other suggestions too.

Mr Sterling: A lot of us have problems with the timing of doing anything in the next day and a half. We have other legislative matters that we are involved with in the Legislature most of tomorrow. It's going to make it very difficult tomorrow. And this evening I think I've got about three events on which I've promised to be at.

The Vice-Chair: You could make a motion. Do you wish to make a motion, Mr Sterling, or do you want a discussion by the committee?

Mr Sterling: I move that we ask the House leaders for some time during the intersession to consider this matter further.

The Vice-Chair: Any speakers on that?

Mr Cooper: I'll speak to that. I just have a few comments that I would like to address with Mrs Marland. I suspect that when I'm done addressing them, we could find a solution within a matter of a very short time to this whole thing that we're into right now. I have been waiting on the speakers' list, so if we could defer the vote on this motion until after I'm done and see.

Mr Sterling: Well, we have --

Mr Cooper: I could do it in five minutes.

Mr Sterling: We have three minutes.

Mr Cooper: I could do it in three minutes.

The Vice-Chair: I could indicate that I can ignore the clock if members wish to --

Mr Cooper: I could do it in a very brief time, if it's agreeable. This won't take long.


Mr Sterling: The problem here is that we have --

The Vice-Chair: If we can wind it up quickly, I suppose.

Mr Cooper: I think we probably could, if I could address a few questions to Mrs Marland.

The Vice-Chair: Okay.


The Chair: I would ask Mr Sterling to defer his motion.

Mr Sterling: I have two other witnesses I've got to hear from, at least.

Mr Tilson: There may be other witnesses.

Mr Sterling: So I don't know how I can wrap up anything.

The Vice-Chair: It might assist with respect to dealing with the process, is that what you think?

Mr Tilson: Unless Mr Cooper has something to tell us --

Mr Cooper: I think we could come to a conclusion here very shortly to this whole process today.

Mr Tilson: I don't know how we can do that when we were on the first witness. We've got two other witnesses scheduled for today. We know that we may be asking for other witnesses to attend.

The Vice-Chair: Do you have a point of order?

Mrs Haslam: I think you're using this time to argue a point that can be argued later on, at 6 o'clock, when we have to make a decision. I think we should work at this committee to 6 o'clock, if that is the time, and then we make a decision as to what our options are open to. If we go with any other options, I would ask the Chair to set some timing parameters, because I do feel that you cut me off very shortly and the rest of the next two hours has been spent plogging away. I believe in plogging away, but I believe in some sharing of the time.

So I would like to spend the next few minutes continuing on with this committee. At 6 of the clock, then we should decide what we can do.

Mr Sterling: At 6 of the clock we're adjourned and we're gone.

The Vice-Chair: We have a motion before us. Mr Cooper, do you want to speak on the motion?

Mr Sterling: All the motion is is to ask the House leaders for some time. If they can't negotiate it, then there's no time.

Mrs Haslam: That's not what I want to do.

Mr Cooper: All right. Let's just go straight to the motion. I don't think there's the time necessary to continue on with this. I think what I would be getting at is that, because of the comments by Mr Tilson at the very beginning and Mrs Marland at the very beginning, where she stated that they are not part of the government --

Mrs Marland: Pardon?

Mr Cooper: You said you were not part of the government, as in a government source.

Mrs Marland: I didn't say that.

Mr Cooper: Now we have two direct quotes in the Star article that say "a source" and "a source" and then it says "but a government source," which would suggest that they had the source that gave them the information and they went to verify it with a government source. Now, if you've said you are not a part of the government -- you said that at the beginning.

Mr Tilson: Yes.

Mr Cooper: All right. The media have done a very good thing in the province of Ontario: They've created two governments; one is the Ontario government and one is Ontario's NDP government. So they have quite a powerful thing. I am not a reporter, but they cover themselves very well.

Mrs Sullivan: On a point of order, Mr Chairman: There's a motion on the floor, and whether the member understands that a government is the cabinet and the Legislative Assembly is something else is totally irrelevant to that motion.

The Vice-Chair: Could you speak to the motion, Mr Cooper.

Mr Cooper: On the motion, Mrs Marland has stated unequivocally that they did not breach. I agree -- she has convinced me -- that there has been a breach.

Mr Tilson: She didn't breach.

Mr Cooper: And Mr Harnick has convinced me.

Mr Tilson: Mr Harnick hasn't even given evidence yet. We may have him come.

Mr Cooper: The report was very critical, so there would be no sense in the government breaching it. Are they then accusing the Liberal caucus of doing that? I suggest not, and I suggest that if you were to call in every member of the committee, they would deny it.

Mrs Marland is and has been a Chair of a committee, and she would tell you unequivocally that it was not the clerk, the legislative researcher or legal counsel who breached. So I suggest we are finding nothing here, and there is no point in going on.

I'm suggesting we will not find a solution to this, so I suggest that we come to the conclusion that, yes, there has been a breach, and our thing is to report back that there has been a breach, we do not know by whom, and that members should be notified that they should not breach confidentiality.

Mr Tilson: You only wish.

Mr Cooper: So I speak against Mr Sterling's motion.

The Vice-Chair: Are there further speakers to the motion to request --


Ms Murdock: Request what?

The Vice-Chair: Mr Sterling has moved that this committee sit during the intersession.

Mr Sterling: They're trying to cover it up.

Ms Murdock: I don't agree to coming back during the intersession to do this, but if we want to continue with this, that we do it in the next session, period.

Mr Fletcher: How about tomorrow?

Mr Sterling: What's wrong with the intersession? There are no committees meeting.

Ms Murdock: So? Why should we get paid for doing that?

Mr Tilson: We have now heard part of the testimony of the first witness, and there may be other questions. I know I have some more questions and I'm sure Mr Sterling has some more questions, and there may be some questions that arise out of those questions. We then have Mr Hansen, who is the Chair. I don't know how we can make any report, as Mr Cooper is suggesting, without at the very least hearing from the Chair of the committee and the clerk of the committee. At the very minimum, we have to hear from them.

And other people's names are being mentioned: Mr Sutherland's name has been mentioned several times by Mrs Marland, Mr Harnick's name has been mentioned by Mrs Marland, Mr Chiarelli's name has been mentioned. It may well be that we want to hear all members of the committee with respect to their version of what went on. We've heard one member of the committee, and we will be hearing Mr Hansen and Ms Freedman, and I don't know when we're going to hear even those two people.

We clearly have a lot of work to do in this committee before we're in a position to make a report. If we're simply going to base the report on partial testimony -- Mrs Marland hasn't even completed her testimony and there's been a suggestion that we report to the House. I've heard several preposterous things during today's proceedings, but that's the most preposterous one. Of course, Mr Cooper, I say that with the greatest respect.

I simply say there's much more work for this committee to do. I think Mr Sterling is quite correct in suggesting that you as Chair go to the government House leader and ask for more time so we can properly deal with this very important issue that has been delegated to this committee by the Speaker of this House.

Mr Jamison: Personally, I don't see any problem in taking time tomorrow for the hearing. I think the hearing can be heard further. I'm not a lawyer -- some people tend to try to be here, day in and day out -- but if you look at the issue of the stories appearing in the paper, at this point there are only possibly two people who know, other than the perpetrator of a potential leak, where it came from, and it's not likely that those people would testify in front of this committee.


Mr Sterling: We can make them testify.

Mr Fletcher: No one's under oath here.

Mr Jamison: I can tell you that's probably going to lead this committee in circles. As I watch today, committee members are predisposed in their own positions already. When the questioning was started, Mr Tilson showed a very pointed point of view before any evidence was actually presented. So I can say that we could continue the hearing tomorrow, but --

Mr Tilson: On a point of privilege, Mr Chair: To suggest that I am biased is completely out of line. I am not biased. I was simply reading what an article said, and that is all I was doing.

Mr Jamison: I'm just listening to what you had said.

Mr Tilson: For Mr Jamison to suggest -- even suggest -- that I am biased is completely out of line, and I would ask that you rule that he is out of order in making such allegations.

Mr Jamison: Mr Chair, I am only reflecting Mr Tilson's comments.

Mr Tilson: Mr Chairman, I ask for your protection against the comments of Mr Jamison.

The Vice-Chair: I would ask members to consider carefully what they say. I think what is being expressed are questions of opinions rather than questions of fact.

Mrs Sullivan: Speaking to Mr Sterling's motion, as you know, we have just begun this review that's been referred to this committee. I have reached some conclusions with respect to the evidence and testimony that Mrs Marland has brought to us, not the least of which, and the first issue, is that there was a leak of some sort out of that draft report situation. What is not clear is the nature of the disclosure or -- no, actually the nature of the disclosure is clear, because it's clear that the full report was not disclosed, nor was an excerpt from the report disclosed.

Mrs Marland could not confirm for us, because of her role, whether there was a change made to the final report as a result of this leak, and I think that's a fundamental question. We don't know if anyone lost or was a loser out of this disclosure and we don't know if anyone was a winner out of this disclosure, whether there was a fundamental gain or loss to an individual who was associated with the work of that committee. One of the main things we don't know is whether this leak was inadvertent, a response to a speculative inquiry, or whether it was in fact a deliberate situation. Lastly, the source is unknown.

Those are issues that could be followed up on.

But I want to go back to Mrs Marland's original comments, which I made note of when she was speaking. I think it's important to understand that when a member makes a complaint, as she has, which the Speaker has recognized as one that is legitimate, one has to take into account in reviewing that complaint what the remedy is that the member is suggesting. In her remarks, she indicated that she wanted, not a witchhunt of who did it, but to find a way of ensuring that it would never happen again.

Mr Sterling has suggested that we approach the House leaders to sit during the intersession. Certainly neither myself nor Mr Conway are able to sit this evening or tomorrow to further consider this report. In my view, it's appropriate to go to the House leaders and see what their disposition would be.

I think Mrs Marland's own request with respect to the intent of her bringing this issue forward is one that the committee should respect. If indeed the committee wants to look at alternatives with respect to premature disclosure -- ie, tightening processes, or bringing in with the legislative press gallery some of the remedies used in Westminster -- that's something that could be considered. But it's clear that Mrs Marland was not looking for a witchhunt. She was looking at something that would underline and strengthen what honourable members are to assume to be the rules of this place, and I honour her for that, for bringing this issue that way to this committee.

I will be supporting Mr Sterling on his motion to ask the House leaders to sit during the intersession. I will not be doing that, however, in order to conduct the witchhunt that Mrs Marland has indicated she does not want.

Mrs Haslam: I agree with much that Ms Sullivan has said. But while Ms Marland doesn't seem to be on a witchhunt, I don't think I can say the same thing for Mr Tilson, and that's what worries me about this committee. Like Ms Sullivan and Ms Marland, I came looking at what Ms Marland was asking to do, and I am very disgruntled and upset that it is not what has happened here this afternoon. It has turned into a different kind of committee. This was not the type of committee I was asked to sit on. I was asked to sit on a committee that would take a look at a very serious situation and how we could remedy it.

I commend Ms Marland for saying she wasn't on a witchhunt, and that's not what I felt we needed to do here either. It was only when the comments from Mr Tilson were put forward that it became very clear that that's what this committee seemed to be shifting to.

In that case, if we're going to ask for time, I would rather have the committee do it. I don't agree that we should ask the House leaders to let us sit during the intersession. If the committee agrees it would like to hear additional witnesses, I think the committee should make the decision to do that in the spring session. That's what I would be supporting if that particular motion came forward. I will not be supporting Mr Sterling's motion.

Mr Sterling: On a point of order, Mr Chair: I'd like you to recognize the clock.

The Vice-Chair: As we are now past 6 o'clock, I declare the meeting adjourned.

The committee adjourned at 1808.