STANDING COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
COMITÉ PERMANENT DES ORGANISMES GOUVERNEMENTAUX
Tuesday 8 May 2012 Mardi 8 mai 2012
The committee met at 0900 in committee room 1.
The Chair (Mr. Bill Mauro): Good morning, everybody, and welcome to government agencies.
A couple of things: Our presenter this morning has been held up, and we’re told he should be able to get here within the next 10 to 20 minutes. So while we’re waiting, we thought we could just share a bit of information with you on what we’re doing in terms of the agency review and look for some concurrence.
As you remember, we were looking for guidance back from the House leaders’ office to allow us to meet in the afternoon so that we could review two agencies for sure. This afternoon, we were supposed to start. We have four dates left, including this week’s. Obviously, we’re not doing it today. We haven’t gotten that direction back from the House leaders. That takes us down to three potential dates. Given that we needed two dates for each agency, I’m thinking maybe that if, in fact, we get a letter back allowing us to go forward, we would commit today to doing one agency, assuming we get the letter back, and that we would call—I think it’s the LCBO which was the first request from the official opposition, which would then put the third party’s agency over to the summer, assuming that we went forward in the summer.
We haven’t got the okay back yet to do it, so I’m just throwing that out there, if there are any thoughts on that. I’m just looking for a concurrence from you to go forward in that regard.
Mr. Peter Tabuns: If, in fact, the House leaders concur with afternoon sittings, we will have an opportunity to get to the second round, which would be energy?
The Chair (Mr. Bill Mauro): Remember, we were going to give one afternoon for the agency and then another afternoon for the stakeholders related to the agency, so we needed two per. Assuming today’s isn’t going to happen, we’re only going to have three days left.
Mr. Peter Tabuns: Ah, okay.
The Chair (Mr. Bill Mauro): So if we went forward with your way, we’d only be able to get the agency and not the stakeholders part of it done. I guess we could do that; I’m not sure you would want to do that.
Mr. Peter Tabuns: We’d consult with our colleagues on that. But if you’re making us that offer of the beginning of the WSIB hearing—
The Chair (Mr. Bill Mauro): We can certainly—
The Chair (Mr. Bill Mauro): Go ahead.
The Clerk of the Committee (Mr. Trevor Day): If we get Tuesday afternoon authorization from the House immediately, we would have time for—again, three afternoons is what we were looking for: LCBO agency, WSIB agency, and then LCBO stakeholders is what we’d have time for.
The Chair (Mr. Bill Mauro): So the agencies back to back.
Mr. Peter Tabuns: Okay.
The Chair (Mr. Bill Mauro): Any thoughts on that? We’re good with that?
Mr. Peter Tabuns: I just have to check with our House leader to make sure that he’s comfortable with that arrangement as well.
The Chair (Mr. Bill Mauro): We’ve got the subcommittee reports. Mr. Pettapiece was going to move a motion on those.
Mr. Randy Pettapiece: I move the adoption of the subcommittee report dated Thursday, April 26, 2012.
The Chair (Mr. Bill Mauro): Thank you very much. Questions? Discussion? All in favour? It’s carried. Thank you very much.
What else have we got?
The Chair (Mr. Bill Mauro): Oh, sorry, the second one as well. Mr. Pettapiece.
Mr. Randy Pettapiece: I also move the adoption of the subcommittee report on committee business dated Thursday, May 3, 2012.
The Chair (Mr. Bill Mauro): Any discussion? All in favour? It’s carried. Thank you very much.
Okay, that’s it. Just be close. How about we pick a time? It’s only the one today. If we say we’ll try for 9:30, that leaves us a full 30 minutes we’re back and we’re done by.
The Chair (Mr. Bill Mauro): Well, people have work to do. Let’s let them.
We’ll reconvene at 9:30. Thank you very much.
The committee recessed from 0904 to 0906.
MR. BARRY PAYNE
Review of intended appointment, selected by official opposition party: Barry Payne, intended appointee as member, Durham, Haliburton, Kawartha and Pine Ridge grant review team.
The Chair (Mr. Bill Mauro): Good morning, everybody. We will reconvene Government Agencies. Welcome.
Our intended appointee today is Barry Payne, nominated as a member for the Durham, Haliburton, Kawartha and Pine Ridge grant review team.
Mr. Payne, please come forward and take a seat at the end of the table. You can begin with a brief statement if you wish. Any time used for your statement will be deducted from the government’s time for questions. Each party will then have 10 minutes to ask questions, beginning with the third party. Welcome, Mr. Payne.
Mr. Barry Payne: Good morning, everyone. I apologize for my delay. It has been quite a morning. I felt like I was part of that movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles getting here this morning. I’m not used to facing a committee such as this, so if I’m a little nervous, please bear with me.
I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today to be considered for a position on the grant review committee. I am a member of the Hiawatha First Nation, located on Rice Lake near Peterborough, Ontario. Though I reside on the Hiawatha First Nation, my journey in life has been widely varied. I actually grew up here in Toronto, in low-income housing in the Jane and St. Clair area. My mom, who also was a member of the Hiawatha First Nation, was mostly a single, working mother for most of my life.
After working in some of the areas covered by the review team, such as Durham region, Pine Ridge, I believe I have a lot to offer because I’ve probably interfaced with most of the organizations at one point or another during my time employed out there.
Because of my humble background, I’ve never really had any personal networks or special skills to assist me with my business ventures, other than the working-hard ethic instilled upon me by my mom, who worked in factories for most of her life in order to put food on the table.
I believe it’s because of the extent of my own personal journey through life, starting out in university, loading boxcars to support myself, to eventually working with corporate giants such as Xerox and Canon in a sales capacity, that I learned many of the skills that enabled me to become successful in my own business ventures, and the eventual migration to starting up my own business from the basement in my home on the Hiawatha First Nation to one that today is now the third-largest supplier of furniture to the Canadian federal government, ahead of such American giants like Steelcase and Haworth.
I think this experience has taught me how to look at opportunities and evaluate their viability and potential. The path of starting and nurturing one’s own business quickly teaches a person the value of teamwork and working efficiently and effectively with others. The greatest aspect, I believe, in working in a team environment is the fact that there are many different views and skill sets to draw upon that make a team dynamic in its effectiveness.
I am not only looking at this opportunity to serve and give back to my community, but I think it’s incumbent upon aboriginal people such as myself to get involved and hopefully encourage our young people to consider getting more involved in their communities and to consider serving on boards. I have learned through research that there are already a number of other aboriginal peoples involved with other area review teams, This is great to hear.
I think my participation with the grant review team allows me a starting point in hopefully gaining the experience to be considered for other boards as part of my natural evolution. My ultimate goal to is to sit on a board for one of the banks or a large corporate institution.
I look forward to bringing my varied personal background to the grant review team. Thank you.
The Chair (Mr. Bill Mauro): Thank you, Mr. Payne. We appreciate that. We will now move for questions to the third party.
Miss Monique Taylor: Thank you for being here, and we’re glad that you made it safely after your long journey.
Mr. Barry Payne: A little out of breath.
Miss Monique Taylor: I’ve been reading through your resumé and through the report submitted, and I was quite impressed, to say the least. I was happy to read the portion of why you wanted to be on this committee. Would you like to just state that reason a little bit further for the record?
Mr. Barry Payne: One of the reasons why this sort of committee appeals to me is because of my background, essentially. Having grown up in an area like Jane and Woolner, diversity is just a natural part of my everyday life. Because of that and the fact of my experience in the First Nations community, I believe that because of all the background kind of put together, it gives me a much better understanding when we’re looking at grant applications from various community organizations. But also, again I believe that the more aboriginal people start to get involved with the community, hopefully it’ll spur young people to start getting involved more as well.
Miss Monique Taylor: So you’re saying, then, that a big portion of that would be to be encouraging youth to be involved?
Mr. Barry Payne: I would say, actually, a great proportion of it. Any of the activities that I do now in boards that I have got involved with, like the Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce in Winnipeg—I was initially on the start-up board for that, travelling back and forth at my own expense—it was actually to encourage aboriginal youth to get more involved. One of my passions in life is going out to aboriginal communities and getting involved in aboriginal youth groups and encouraging them to take control of their life and getting involved and possibly even starting up their own business.
Miss Monique Taylor: That’s great. Thank you. That’s it.
Mr. Peter Tabuns: No, nothing.
Miss Monique Taylor: Thank you very much.
Mr. Barry Payne: Thank you.
The Chair (Mr. Bill Mauro): Okay. Thank you. We’ll go over to the government side. You have about seven minutes left, if you so choose.
Ms. Helena Jaczek: Thank you so much for coming, Mr. Payne. Given your life experience and business experience, can you just sort of outline for us a few of the skills that you think that you will bring to this grant review team in particular?
Mr. Barry Payne: I think one of the skills that a lot of people actually joke about is my intuition to look at opportunities and weigh out potential projects or business opportunities, whether they have a chance of being viable or potentially successful. I think that has probably been one of the biggest key factors to my background, and the fact that I’m used to working in a team environment. I would say that my success is not based on me solely. It’s the people that I work with who have made me look successful.
Ms. Helena Jaczek: You mentioned that you grew up here in Toronto and obviously are now living at the Hiawatha First Nation. In terms of the Durham, Haliburton, Kawartha and Pine Ridge area, how long have you actually lived back in the region?
Mr. Barry Payne: Actually, I moved back to Peterborough in—my wife will kill me if I forget, because it’s the year we got married. In 1991, I actually moved back to the Peterborough area.
Ms. Helena Jaczek: Okay. So you’ve been pretty familiar with all the community organizations and so on?
Mr. Barry Payne: Correct. When I moved back to the Peterborough area, I was actually working for Canon at the time, and one of the areas that came under my responsibility was the Durham region. So in terms of organizations that I’m sure would be applying for such grants, I’d be familiar with most of them in the Durham region.
Ms. Helena Jaczek: Okay. Thank you. Phil, anything?
Mr. Phil McNeely: No.
Ms. Helena Jaczek: No. We’re good. Thank you.
The Chair (Mr. Bill Mauro): All right. Thank you very much. Now we’ll now move over to the official opposition. Mr. McDonell.
Mr. Jim McDonell: Good morning, Mr. Payne.
Trillium has earned a few dents over the last few years. Just allow me to quote from the Auditor General’s report: “We noted, for example, that two board members also own consulting businesses that provide service to the not-for-profit sector. We examined one of the businesses and found that of the 11 projects listed on its website, six had received foundation grants during the time the owner was on the foundation board. One of the grants included money for consulting services bought....”
Just with that in mind, if you were to implement any policy in your grant review team to make sure something similar didn’t happen, what would it be and how would you do it?
Mr. Barry Payne: Actually, I remember reading that part in the auditor’s report, and that was one of the parts that stuck out with me.
It’s interesting that you bring that up because actually when I was involved with the Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce in Winnipeg, one of the things that really stuck out in my mind and bothered me was the fact that most of the board members were actually gaining some sort of business through their relationship with the board.
My business organizations are all located in Ottawa, and we deal strictly with the federal government, and we’ve never gone outside that area. So one of the things that is near and dear to me would be the fact of the conflict of interest. People, when they’re serving on boards, need to do it from the heart and not for a business reason.
Mr. Randy Pettapiece: Yes. I’d like to ask a question too. Thanks for coming.
Money is tight and a lot of people are after the same money, and we have to ensure that the projects that get this money get it for the right reasons. There was a grant of $120,000 to a community organization with one staff member for over a two-year period to develop a strategic plan for itself. Seeing that the auditor also showed how often grant review teams did not abide by their own rules on establishing grant merit or reasonableness and that you have been involved in your community, what are your measures of reasonableness for grants and grant amounts to a community project?
Mr. Barry Payne: Actually, I kind of liken it to my own business background experience. At one point in time—and I’m sure it was similar to the foundation’s experience—when I started a business I actually was able to go out and visit pretty much every site we got involved in, looking at deficiencies and things like that. I think sometimes organizations like the foundation tend to get—maybe we get too big or we get, you know, tied up in the things that don’t allow us to do what we should have been doing and doing check—like physical site visits and things like that.
Personally, I look forward to doing it because I think it’s important for the taxpayers and government accountability to see where the money is actually going. It’s been a pet peeve of mine sometimes that when I see an organization—and I’ve come across examples of what you’re talking about, and it happens because of the lack of follow-up and accountability. But based on, I think, the recommendations as well as the response by the foundation, I believe one of their strategic goals now is to put more controls in place to make sure that that doesn’t happen. I look forward to being part of that.
Mr. Randy Pettapiece: Okay. Thank you.
The Chair (Mr. Bill Mauro): Seeing no further questions, Mr. Payne, thank you very much for making it in here this morning. We appreciate the effort that you’ve gone through to be with us today.
Mr. Barry Payne: Thank you for your time as well.
The Chair (Mr. Bill Mauro): I will now consider the concurrence of the intended appointment of Barry Payne, nominated as a member of the Durham, Haliburton, Kawartha and Pine Ridge grant review team. Ms. Jaczek?
Ms. Helena Jaczek: I move concurrence in the intended appointment of Barry Payne, nominated as a member of the Durham, Haliburton, Kawartha and Pine Ridge grant review team.
The Chair (Mr. Bill Mauro): Ms. Jaczek has moved concurrence in the appointment. Is there any discussion?
Seeing none, all in favour?
Opposed, if any?
Thank you very much. Congratulations, Mr. Payne.
Seeing no further business, we’re adjourned until next week. Thank you very much.
The committee adjourned at 0918.
Tuesday 8 May 2012
Subcommittee reports A-27
Intended Appointments A-28
Mr. Barry Payne A-28
STANDING COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
Chair / Président
Mr. Bill Mauro (Thunder Bay–Atikokan L)
Vice-Chair / Vice-Président
Mr. Phil McNeely (Ottawa–Orléans L)
Mrs. Donna H. Cansfield (Etobicoke Centre / Etobicoke-Centre L)
Ms. Helena Jaczek (Oak Ridges–Markham L)
Mr. Bill Mauro (Thunder Bay–Atikokan L)
Mr. Jim McDonell (Stormont–Dundas–South Glengarry PC)
Mr. Phil McNeely (Ottawa–Orléans L)
Mr. Randy Pettapiece (Perth–Wellington PC)
Mr. Peter Tabuns (Toronto–Danforth ND)
Miss Monique Taylor (Hamilton Mountain ND)
Ms. Lisa Thompson (Huron–Bruce PC)
Clerk / Greffier
Mr. Trevor Day
Staff / Personnel
Mr. Larry Johnston, research officer,
Legislative Research Service