STANDING COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
COMITÉ PERMANENT DES ORGANISMES GOUVERNEMENTAUX
Tuesday 22 October 2013 Mardi 22 octobre 2013
The committee met at 0901 in committee room 1.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): All right, can we call this meeting to order? First of all, Lorenzo is not here today because of an urgent family matter, so we wish him well as he moves through this.
Thank you very much for your prompt attendance. We will begin the meeting.
Before we go into intended appointments review, our first order of business is to consider a number of subcommittee reports.
The first subcommittee report is from October 3. Would someone please move the adoption of this report? Laura.
Mrs. Laura Albanese: I move adoption of the subcommittee report on intended appointments dated October 3, 2013.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Any discussion? All in favour? Thank you; the motion is carried.
The next subcommittee report is from October 10. Would somebody please move the adoption of this report? Monique.
Miss Monique Taylor: I move adoption of the subcommittee report on intended appointments dated October 10, 2013.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Is there any discussion? All in favour? Opposed? Carried.
The last subcommittee report is from October 17. Would someone please move its adoption? Jim.
Mr. Jim McDonell: I move the adoption of the subcommittee report on intended appointments dated October 17, 2013.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Great. Is there any discussion? All in favour? Opposed? Carried. Thanks very much.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): We will now move to the appointments review. We have three intended appointees to hear from. We will consider concurrences following the interviews.
MS. COLLEEN CAMPBELL
Review of intended appointment, selected by third party: Colleen Campbell, intended appointee as member, Ontario Infrastructure Lands Corp. (Infrastructure Ontario).
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Our first intended appointee is Colleen Campbell, nominated as a member of Ontario Infrastructure Lands Corp., or Infrastructure Ontario. Colleen, we invite you up. Welcome, Colleen, and thank you very much for being here.
Ms. Colleen Campbell: It’s a pleasure. I’ll just get a little liquid here.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): You may begin with a brief statement if you wish. Members of each party then will have 10 minutes to ask you questions. Any time used for your statement will be deducted from the government time.
Ms. Colleen Campbell: Thank you, and good morning, Mr. Chairman and committee members. Thank you for inviting me here today and for the opportunity to present my experience and qualifications to serve as a public appointee to the board of Ontario Infrastructure and Lands Corp.
I thought it might be useful to start by giving you a brief history of my educational background and some relevant highlights from my work experience. Going way back in time, I have a business degree from the Richard Ivey School of Business—I hate to admit, from 1980—with a concentration in finance, and subsequent to that, 30 years of experience in the capital markets. This experience has primarily been in the capacity of a product specialist in the area of corporate, government and infrastructure bond financing.
I was recognized in the Brendan Wood journal for outperformance in the capital markets in 2006 as the top bond investment banker in Canada. In 2012, I received my ICD.D designation from Rotman.
In terms of other activities, I also serve as chair of the endowment board of Greenwood College School.
Just some relevant, I think, experience to the question at hand: I did join the Bank of Montreal’s investment bank in 1997 as head of Canadian debt capital markets, with the mandate to build out their capability in corporate and government bonds as, at that time, the market for these securities was beginning what was to become a very significant and steady growth period. My arrival at BMO also coincided with the beginning of the development of the infrastructure bond financing market in Canada.
In 1997, I had been the team leader on the first airport financing in Canada for the Vancouver Airport Authority with my previous employer, CIBC, before moving to the Bank of Montreal.
When I joined BMO, I had the good fortune to lead our team on the bond financing program for the Greater Toronto Airports Authority. This financing was very significant in terms of establishing the structural benchmark for follow-on infrastructure financings, as well as being the largest corporate bond offering done in the history of the market at that time.
In 1999, I led the team that structured the Highway 407 bond program, which, like the airport financing for Toronto, was considered precedent-setting for its structure and approach, as well as its significant size. In both of these cases, we have remained—“we” being BMO—a consistent lead underwriter in what have become the two largest infrastructure bond programs in Canada.
I’ve also had a long history with Infrastructure Ontario and its predecessor organization, OSIFA. In 2005, we worked with the management team at OSIFA in setting up the organization for their initial bond offering, and were the lead underwriter on this financing. These early experiences, plus our ensuing work over the past 15 years, have established us as a leader in Canadian infrastructure financing.
In 2008, I assumed responsibility for BMO’s global debt capital markets business, which included a build-out of our US infrastructure capability.
As of December of last year, I stepped down from this position and took on my current role as vice-chair of BMO capital markets. This new role allows me more time and flexibility to pursue outside interests, as I no longer have lines of business reporting to me. I continue to sit on the management and loan commitments committees in the capacity of senior adviser.
In January of this year I was contacted by Salvatore Badali, a partner at Odgers Berndtson—I think I’m saying that right; it’s an executive search firm—with respect to a search they were doing for a board position at Infrastructure Ontario. He asked if I would be interested in applying. I must confess that it was a bit early in terms of my personal timing, as I had just changed roles and had promised myself some downtime. He assured me that the process would take some time—which turned out to be quite true, as I sit here today—so I agreed to proceed.
I have a great deal of respect for what Infrastructure Ontario has achieved. I think they have set the standard for how P3s should be executed. They have an exceptional, high-quality, experienced team that the province should be very proud of. I also have an extremely high regard for Tony Ross, who is chair of the board and whom I worked for 22 years ago at Merrill Lynch.
I believe the experience I have gained over the past 30 years can be put to good use in the role, so, presented with this opportunity and my interest in doing something to give back at this juncture of my life, I am putting my name forward for this position. Thank you.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Thank you so much, Colleen, for that overview. We’ll now move to the government to ask any questions that they may have. You have five minutes if you choose to use it.
Mrs. Laura Albanese: Thank you, Mr. Chair, and thank you for your presentation. We don’t have any questions. We just want to thank you for accepting to appear before this committee and for wishing to serve as a public appointee. On behalf of my colleagues and the government of Ontario, we appreciate you putting your name forward. You are highly qualified. Your qualifications are impeccable.
Ms. Colleen Campbell: Thank you.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Thanks, Laura. We’ll move now to the official opposition. Jim?
Mr. Jim McDonell: Thank you for coming out today.
Of course, everybody has heard about the recent mismanagement of the hydro projects that have gone on, the gas plants. Do you have any experience with some of the neighbourhood opposition to some projects of this scale and being able to work through it?
Ms. Colleen Campbell: Did I have work experience on the project financings, do you mean?
Mr. Jim McDonell: No, on any projects that you’ve been involved in where there has been opposition—
Ms. Colleen Campbell: From a political point of view, you mean?
Mr. Jim McDonell: Political or just—were you able to work through it?
Ms. Colleen Campbell: I’m certainly aware of the media. I watch the news and listen to the news. I must confess that I’m probably the most apolitical person you’ve ever had in this role, because I spent 12 hours a day working for the last 30 years. I’m certainly aware of the headlines as much as any citizen is. I don’t have a political view one way or the other.
I think one of the things I admire about the Infrastructure Ontario process is that, in my experience, they’ve been very apolitical in executing their mandate. I find them highly professional. Politics never came into any of the work that we did with them, and I assume that that occurs as well at the governance level, which I hope my impartiality will bring to bear. I don’t know if that’s answering your question.
Mr. Jim McDonell: It was more if you’ve had experience in any projects you’ve been involved with where there is a backlash and you’ve been able to work through it by working with the communities to allow the project to proceed—not so much to comment on the fact that they were cancelled. But more or less, is there some experience with working through neighbourhoods that aren’t happy with something, through open houses, through conciliation or whatever it takes to move a project through? The projects that the bank has been involved in—
Ms. Colleen Campbell: I must confess, my role in these things has been really quite technical as opposed to community-based, so that aspect of the projects I haven’t had involvement in.
Mr. Jim McDonell: Okay.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Randy?
Mr. Randy Pettapiece: I’d just like to pursue that a little bit further. At certain times, there is opposition to projects that are going on. I’m just wondering about your mediation skills, is what I’m after—whether you’ve had much experience in mediating these things. I guess that’s the question.
Ms. Colleen Campbell: Yes, I see. I managed a team of over 100 people in the latter years. Probably in the last seven years, I had a great deal of experience. There’s a lot of mediation in management, I would say. I’ve also been on the management committee of our firm and on our loan commitments committee for over 17 years. So I think from a governance point of view, in terms of the governance of the firm—it might be a little different experience than what you’re referring to, but there’s certainly a lot of mediation in management, I would say; of a different sort, but a lot of experience in that regard.
Mr. Randy Pettapiece: I guess we weren’t trying to get to the political side. I think we’re just wondering, when you get into this thing—because it can happen—just what your skills are as far as mediation.
Ms. Colleen Campbell: Right.
Mr. Randy Pettapiece: Go ahead, Lisa.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Lisa?
Ms. Lisa M. Thompson: Thank you, Chair. Given your experience with Infrastructure Ontario, I’m sure you’re aware that that particular agency is carrying a $4-billion debt. There are increasing needs all the time, especially with the recent announcements that dollars just aren’t available for smaller municipalities. In my riding, we’re threatened to have roads actually closed because there’s no money to repair bridges. We all know the shape the Gardiner is in, and the transit needs in Toronto. So I’m curious: You’re taking on quite a responsibility going in in this particular appointment. Do you see Infrastructure Ontario’s infrastructure projects being thwarted based on the financial and debt position of the agency? What risks do you see associated with this position that you’re entrusted to, and how do you see helping Infrastructure Ontario to move forward and dig themselves out of this hole?
Ms. Colleen Campbell: Again, I don’t really see it as narrowly an Infrastructure Ontario issue; it’s obviously a provincial issue that the Infrastructure Ontario team has to execute in an efficient manner. We have significant constraints on resources, as the province does. I’m hoping my role can be on how we can best execute them so that the scarce resources available to the province can be used most efficiently. P3s don’t mean that the province doesn’t have a role to play in terms of a revenue stream, but they do shift the responsibility for the upfront capital needs and for keeping these projects running efficiently so that the scarce resources that we have can be used most efficiently with the dollars we have.
In terms of the projects that we are responsible for, there’s a broader decision-making framework that determines what the priorities are. Our role is really to make sure, given those priorities, that we execute them in the most efficient and effective way.
Ms. Lisa M. Thompson: I appreciate your response. Just to clarify, you see there might be opportunities with a P3 approach to help alleviate some of this stress?
Ms. Colleen Campbell: Yes. Listen, it’s not a free option; there’s still revenue required from the province. But it tends to change the way those revenues are raised, that being that the upfront capital raised goes to a private sector operation and the support is typically through a revenue stream by the government. It’s been proven that, by moving the responsibility for the costs and financing the project to the private sector, they tend to be run quite efficiently because they’re carrying all that risk.
Ms. Lisa M. Thompson: I appreciate that. Thank you.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): No further questions from the official opposition? Thank you very much.
We’ll move now, Colleen, to the third party, represented by Percy Hatfield and Monique Taylor. Percy?
Mr. Percy Hatfield: Good morning. Thank you for coming in. You have a very impressive business background. I was hoping the next appointee would have an engineering degree, somebody who knew something about infrastructure, CSA standards, how to build girders on the Herb Gray Parkway in my part of the world.
Have you kept up with any of the media coming out of the huge controversy in southwestern Ontario over the total collapse of oversight on the Herb Gray Parkway?
Ms. Colleen Campbell: This is Windsor-Essex?
Mr. Percy Hatfield: Yes.
Ms. Colleen Campbell: Yes. Again, through the media, I’m aware of the dispute over the bridges and the girders.
Mr. Percy Hatfield: And I guess my question would be—perhaps there will be financial fallout and you’ll be able to help with that. But on a go-forward basis, I’m told that the way the government has been doing business on the P3s has led to huge cost overruns on most projects, according to the independent lab testing people. Lab results don’t get reported to Infrastructure Ontario. Instead, they go the contractor and may never find their way up. Also, the cost overruns are 75% in some cases.
I’m just wondering how, with your business background, you can approach the other serious issues around Infrastructure Ontario.
Ms. Colleen Campbell: I can’t speak to the statistics that you’re referring to. If those overruns are, in fact, in place and the contractor bears the responsibility, those contractors wouldn’t be in business, I would say. The groups that have been bidding on these projects have been fairly consistent. They’re very high-quality engineering firms and they do bear the risks. I can’t imagine they’re facing those overruns or they wouldn’t be rebidding on contracts, so I can’t speak to—
Mr. Percy Hatfield: No. I find it difficult, as well, but according to the independent lab people, this was reported to them by the ministry or someone from Infrastructure Ontario at a recent symposium and they’ve got quotes and documents to substantiate it.
I guess my question is—I understand the government—
Ms. Colleen Campbell: And I have no engineering experience.
Mr. Percy Hatfield: No; neither do I.
Ms. Colleen Campbell: At this stage in my life, I’m not going back to school, so that’s—
Mr. Percy Hatfield: Colleen, neither do I. I’m sure you could pick it up in no time at all, should you choose to do so.
Ms. Colleen Campbell: I don’t think so.
Mr. Percy Hatfield: You’re very qualified to do that.
I’m just wondering whether you were of the opinion if, indeed, as has been reported to me, that—and I know the government is doing a review of the way they’ve been doing these businesses. Are you in favour of looking at the evidence and perhaps choosing a new way of—going back to the old way of doing contracts as opposed to what they’ve adopted in recent years?
Ms. Colleen Campbell: No. I’m a big fan of what they’ve done. I’ll say that the model that has been employed—again, as I said in my remarks, I don’t think enough credit is given to the province for how effective this has been in terms of the amount of development that’s been done to support the needs of the province. I think it’s been done efficiently, effectively and without it being a political situation. When we expanded our business down to the US in the last five years, they looked with envy at what has been accomplished in this province, because they can’t get out of their own political way to get projects done, because these are long-tailed processes, and you kind of have to have an independent group.
My view is that the models worked extremely well. If there are cost overruns, they aren’t the risk of the province. They’re the risk of the engineering firms and consortia and private equity.
Mr. Percy Hatfield: All right. Thank you. The model isn’t working well when you let out a contract where you have to be CSA-approved before you start building, and you build girders for eight or nine months without CSA standards; you don’t have an engineer on-site and the girders are defective, according to the experts; some of them will eventually be removed, and it’s going to cost a lot of money. Infrastructure Ontario wasn’t providing a supervisory role. They didn’t check for a long time after they were first aware of it in order to stop construction, so I don’t think the model is working perfectly.
I’m just wondering, if, indeed, you eventually get all of those facts—
Ms. Colleen Campbell: If, indeed, the girders need to be replaced, I actually have—I don’t want to get into the technical aspects; I’m not an engineer, but I actually have some information on the specs. It’s too long a topic for this, but I would just say that if, indeed, they need to be replaced, then the engineering firm bears that cost, as the model is designed to support. It’s not a risk of the province.
Mr. Percy Hatfield: Thank you.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Monique?
Miss Monique Taylor: Sure. Thanks. I have some questions about your opinions on alternative financing and procurement. The risk premium built into the AFP contracts with winning consortia is a huge part of the AFP contract. What are your views—
Ms. Colleen Campbell: Sorry; can you just define what you mean? Do you mean the difference in financing costs when you say “risk premium” or—what do you mean?
Miss Monique Taylor: Yes. What I’m looking for—I’ll tell you—is how the risk premium is calculated.
Ms. Colleen Campbell: Can you just define what you mean by that?
Miss Monique Taylor: Within the alternative financing and procurement—
Ms. Colleen Campbell: But when you say “risk premium,” there are different aspects of that. Could you just be more precise? Do you mean the difference in financing costs for the project versus the province, or the discount rate, or what do you mean?
Miss Monique Taylor: Yes. Within winning those projects, within the public portion of it, I would guess. There’s a risk premium that is calculated into these projects. I was looking for your opinion on that.
Ms. Colleen Campbell: It’s a little—if by that you mean the discount rate, the net present value, the financing based on the private sector funding it versus the province funding it—is that what you mean?
Miss Monique Taylor: Yes.
Ms. Colleen Campbell: There is a difference in coupon on the bond. If the province was doing it directly, their financing cost would be less, because of their credit rating; government bonds trade differently than corporate securities, which these trade as. There is a higher financing cost, so I think that’s what you mean.
Miss Monique Taylor: Yes.
Ms. Colleen Campbell: But I think the view is that the risk transfer—first of all, those premiums have come down significantly, because the bonds have been good securities and the premiums have gotten quite a bit smaller, but there is still a premium; you’re correct. But the risk transfer, I would say, is significantly larger than the net present value of the difference in the cost in financing. That would be our assessment.
Miss Monique Taylor: Just to get back to your comments regarding what you’ve seen so far with Infrastructure Ontario and how you find that the model has been working quite well, and back to my colleague’s comments. I hope that, when you do take on this position, you do go in there with fresh eyes, not thinking that it is working perfectly, and that you are looking at things that possibly may not be working right, and that the government does need to stand in at those points and take responsibility for those actions of Infrastructure Ontario. I think that’s important. We see that there are things going wrong, so please just keep an open mind when it comes to those things, that there may need to be changes made, and what you can bring to that table.
Ms. Colleen Campbell: And certainly that’s the governance role: to make sure, independent of management, that you are scrutinizing their activities and making sure the government’s risks are being looked after.
Miss Monique Taylor: Absolutely.
The Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Percy, you have about half a minute.
Mr. Percy Hatfield: Thank you. A very quick question: Currently, contractors have to have CSA approval at the time of construction. Some people suggest they should be CSA-approved at the time of putting in the bid on the tender. What’s your thought on that?
Ms. Colleen Campbell: Again, I don’t know anything about that, but that seems rational to me, because what you wouldn’t want them to do is go all the way through the bid process, be ready for shovels in the ground, and then be, for whatever reason, declined. So that sounds reasonable.
Mr. Percy Hatfield: Thank you.
Mr. Rick Bartolucci: Colleen, thank you very much.
Ms. Colleen Campbell: Thank you.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): The time for questioning has finished. Now, Colleen, we vote on concurrence after all the intended appointees have been interviewed. You’re welcome to stay, or you can leave and come back at about 10:10.
Ms. Colleen Campbell: Okay. Thank you very much.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Thank you very much.
MS. SHELLY JAMIESON
Review of intended appointment, selected by third party: Shelly Jamieson, intended appointee as member, Ontario Health Quality Council.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Our next intended appointee is Shelly Jamieson, nominated as a member of the Ontario Health Quality Council.
Shelly, please come forward and take a seat at the table. Welcome. It’s great to see you again. Thank you very much for being here. You may begin with a brief statement if you wish, and members of each party will then have 10 minutes to ask you questions. Any time used in your statement will come off of the government’s time. Welcome and thank you.
Ms. Shelly Jamieson: Thank you very much, Chair. I’m quite pleased to be considered for this board position at Health Quality Ontario.
When I think about my career, there has been some element of health system planning in my work for my whole career—I’m actually 108 years old, so it’s a long time—except for two years when I was the Deputy Minister of Transportation. So I picked three things I thought I would speak of in terms of the position.
I was president of Extendicare Canada and had responsibility for long-term care and home care in five provinces, and during that time learned a lot about the differences between Ontario and other provinces as it pertains to health care.
I was also a commissioner on the Health Services Restructuring Commission for four years and learned a lot about the hospital system in Ontario from that perspective.
As secretary of cabinet, head of the Ontario public service and clerk of the executive council, I had a macro-level view of both the workings of government and the health portfolio.
And today I have this great opportunity. I’m the CEO of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, which is all about looking at evidence in cancer, reducing the burden of cancer on Canadians, and spreading the word about good evidence and good practice to make sure that the outcomes are the best they can be.
I have corporate board experience and not-for-profit board experience, and I look forward to your questions.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Shelly, thank you very much.
Ms. Shelly Jamieson: A pleasure.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): We’ll start off with the official opposition. Jim?
Mr. Jim McDonell: I guess in my experience since becoming an MPP, you get the chance to talk to hospital administrators, medical centre administrators, and in a lot of ways I get the feeling, and I’ve been told, that there are issues there, but they are basically sworn to secrecy. You know, if you have a problem and it gets out, it may affect your budget next year.
I just have a hard time, and especially—we had an issue in my riding with long-term-care beds. We see people who are being placed 100 kilometres away, numerous times, where their partner is maybe living in Cornwall and they are sending them off to Bourget. There’s a few issues with it. One, mainly, is the distance. We had another one last week. And yet when you look into it, they tell us, in spite of us having the worst record in Ontario, that we have enough long-term-care beds until after 2030, even though the population of the area that is over 75 is going to almost double.
I was just wondering: If that’s the information coming back, how can you have any faith in the organization? Can you respond to that?
Ms. Shelly Jamieson: Yes. First of all, I’ll say about health system people that there are easier places to work than being in the health system. So I find mostly people show up to work because they have a passion about health care. Sadly, as systems get big, they sometimes get dysfunctional, so you’re speaking to some of the problems that do exist.
I think that there’s so much information, and some of it not accurate, that it’s hard for clinicians, or even the public generally, to know what to believe. So I actually think that Health Quality Ontario could play a role in making sure that, where there is evidence—and there isn’t evidence, in lots of places—it’s known and it’s disseminated. Maybe I’m a little more optimistic, but I do believe that people, faced with facts, actually will make better decisions.
You are quite right about long-term-care beds. We have the highest number of long-term-care beds per capita in the country, but who is in those beds? Are they the people who should be in those beds? When you go to Alberta, they have another level of care that’s for more ambulatory people. Some of those people are in our long-term-care system, and then other people in our world are in the hospital who should be in long-term care. So in this province, we don’t quite have the people in the right place. It’s not that we don’t have the resources.
Mr. Jim McDonell: I might agree with you normally, but these facts come from the Auditor General’s report; they’re not mine. The information on the number of beds comes from the LHIN and from the CCAC. These aren’t numbers that are off the floor—and no plans to build any. I don’t disagree that maybe we need that second tier, but there are also no plans to build those either.
I see some of the delays. I was talking to one administrator, and her comments would be somewhat surprising from her political background but came back as frustrated. She said, “We’ve been told that there will be no increases for five years: ‘Find your budget somewhere else, and I don’t want to hear about it. If I hear about it in the paper, we may have to review the budget.’” That’s the type of thing you’re hearing. I guess it’s nice that we don’t see things in the paper, but I’ve never seen a group that has been so sworn to secrecy for fear of penalty before. It’s right across the health system, and I don’t think it’s healthy. I think it’s something that we’ve seen in this government; you see it in numerous cases.
The long-term-care beds—to sit here and see an Auditor General’s report saying that we’re the worst in the province and then to come back and say that we have no need for any additional beds till beyond 2030: I have a hard time with that, especially when we see the problems trying to place people within 50 kilometres. We’re talking about placing essentially way out of the region. That happens all the time. Again, on Friday, somebody came in, and their partner was being placed in, I think it was, Bourget. He’s able to get a ride up there once a week. It just seems hard to believe that we’re doing such a good job when we see that.
Ms. Shelly Jamieson: On your comment about secrecy, I think the only way you can have a quality improvement program is to not have that kind of secrecy. You can’t talk about quality unless you’re prepared to bring forward mistakes.
Mr. Jim McDonell: Oh, I agree.
Ms. Shelly Jamieson: So I think you have to create an environment where people are prepared to look at their performance and improve it.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Randy?
Mr. Randy Pettapiece: Welcome. You probably have heard of some of the cutbacks in the health care system, one of them being in the physiotherapy—
Ms. Shelly Jamieson: In the—sorry?
Mr. Randy Pettapiece: —physiotherapy business. I am one to think that preventive health care is better than it getting too bad. I guess you’re going to be faced with some real budgetary constraints because of the position the province is in financially. I wonder if you agree that a focus on prevention is more beneficial to patient outcomes and should be encouraged across Ontario, and maybe look at some of the programs that have been downsized, if we can put it that way, like physiotherapy. Diabetic strips have been cut back to the people who need them. I just wonder if that’s the right focus that our health care system should be having.
Ms. Shelly Jamieson: It’s an excellent question. I guess I personally am somewhat dismayed when I look ahead over the 10 years because I think in this province we’re facing a time of economic downturn and continued economic strife. That means that, if our health system is hugely important to us—which it is, to all of us—we need to make sure we’re spending our scarce resources in the ways that make the biggest difference.
That’s where evidence plays in. When you speak about prevention, one of the struggles with prevention in health care is that it’s really hard to make the case that something you change today will help you 20 years out because it seems so far out. In cancer, that’s certainly the case as well. But in fact, those are the conversations we actually need to have.
The reason why, frankly, tanning beds was supported by all three parties recently is that it’s based on evidence. We have to stop these kids from going to tanning beds because, 20 years from now, they’re going to be in the health system with melanomas.
I guess I would say that, where there’s evidence that programs on prevention—we have to start studying them. We have to make sure we’re resourcing the research to make sure that we can generate evidence that what we are doing is making a difference.
Tanning beds has been something that we have discussed for a long period of time, and there is evidence. We know exactly what to do, so I was really happy to see all-party support for something that is a prevention issue. There are many such issues, and we have to make sure we have the evidence and we’re making informed decisions. They dictate public policy, which in turn dictates where the money goes.
Mr. Randy Pettapiece: Less exercise, especially with elderly people—they tend to—I’m going to use the term “seize up.” Maybe that’s not the right term, but it’s very easy to see the results from something like that; in my opinion, anyway. We have gotten a few letters from people who are looking after their parents or whatever saying that the difference is remarkable since this cutback has come, that their parents are not as mobile as they were before. I think the evidence there is quite dramatic, so I would ask that, if you are successful in this thing, you look at things like that, because down the road, we’re going to be looking after that patient more, and it’s going to cost us more money, probably.
Ms. Shelly Jamieson: I agree, and my own view is that we should pick a few things that make the most difference and do them.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Lisa?
Ms. Lisa M. Thompson: When we think of health care in Ontario, we can’t help but think of scandals. I’m reassured by your comments and your apparent commitment to sound evidence and accountability, because that’s ultimately where we need to come down to, because, as you all know, the province is broke.
I find it interesting; I have to come back to where my colleague was going with our first question, to a comment that was made on a blog this morning. It was with regard to spelling, but the blog went on to say that, if the government is truly interested in open government and taxpayer engagement, the Premier will insist that gag orders in the Ministry of Health, like the media clause initiated by the OACCAC and inserted in contracts with all front-line workers by CCACs across the province, be eliminated.
So, in your role coming into the Health Quality Council, you’ve recognized that there is already economic strife. You recognize that there need to be evidence-based decisions made on everything to give confidence back to our taxpayers. What can you do in your role to encourage accountability and a culture that focuses on performance measures and outcomes?
Ms. Shelly Jamieson: I think I can do a lot—
Ms. Lisa M. Thompson: And I think you can too, actually.
Ms. Shelly Jamieson: —and the reason why I think that is, I work for an organization, CPAC, a federally funded agency dealing only with cancer, and I’ve spent the last year looking at performance measures.
It’s not enough that we all feel better because we’re talking to the cancer control agencies across the country and we think that’s good, that we’re bringing ourselves together. We have to actually demonstrate that we are moving the markers as it pertains to cancer. That’s easier said than done. We’ve spent the last year developing indicators, and now we’re looking at all our work and trying to see which of our work contributes the most to those indicators.
At Health Quality Ontario, it will be exactly the same issue: What evidence do you have? What data do you have? How is the system performing? How are we actually publishing that data so that Ontarians can understand, in regions across the country, how they’re doing relative to each other?
It’s the carrot-and-stick approach, I find, with transparency with data. Again, people come to work to do the right thing. They can actually focus on where they’re the weakest and brag about where they’re the strongest. I really believe that, in Health Quality Ontario, we’re going to have to develop some metrics and hold ourselves as people accountable to those metrics, to make sure we’re using the system in the best way that we can—
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Shelly, that exhausts the time for the official opposition.
Ms. Shelly Jamieson: Oh, darn. Sorry.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): We’ll move to the third party. Monique, are you going to go first, or Percy?
Miss Monique Taylor: Sure.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Monique?
Miss Monique Taylor: Good morning. Thank you so much for being here with us today. You definitely have a very extensive background and involvement within the government. I would like to know what further accountability and transparency measures you would like to see coming forward through our health care system.
Ms. Shelly Jamieson: I would like to see—I’m going to say a scorecard, but the equivalent of a scorecard or a quality report coming forward. What we care about, we measure. If we don’t care about it, we actually don’t measure it. I’ve learned a lot about that.
I think the health system is our system. When I was a commissioner on the Health Services Restructuring Commission, I was quite struck by how many hospital CEOs and chairs came in and presented as if this was their institution, and we fund those institutions. These institutions belong to the public, and I think there should be more transparency about how well they are doing with the resources they’re given, not just from a financial perspective but from a quality perspective and from a volume perspective. We have different pressure points in the system and I think we should understand where they are.
We have other places that, frankly, perhaps—and I don’t mean just hospitals; I could do this across the health system—probably aren’t performing up to what we would expect of them. I think that as institutions or programs that are funded by public tax dollars, we should see more comparative data.
In the instance of whatever these quality metrics are that Health Quality Ontario is going to measure, I think there should just be a public posting, a public availability of how different parts of the system are doing, when we know the evidence says, “You should do X, Y and Z,” whatever that is.
Miss Monique Taylor: Interesting. I have a question regarding long-term-care facilities and their inspections. They’re supposed to be inspected yearly. When we put in complaints about inspections, they’re priority-rated. What are your thoughts on those priority ratings, and do you think that that system is moving quickly enough?
Ms. Shelly Jamieson: Is it what enough? Sorry.
Miss Monique Taylor: Is it moving quickly enough? Are the inspections happening in a timely manner?
Ms. Shelly Jamieson: I always find it interesting—and I come from a long-term-care background. There’s no more highly inspected part of the health system than long-term care. We don’t inspect home care like that. We don’t inspect hospitals—hardly at all. There’s a rigour in there because we’re looking after frail, elderly people and because we need a little more openness, and I understand that.
I actually think they’re highly inspected. At one point, I remember hearing it’s second only to the nuclear industry in this province in terms of the number of regulations that pertain to inspection.
I think it’s important to triage those kinds of complaints that come in. There are lots of complaints that come in. Some of them are very well-founded and need to be investigated, and some of them are frivolous. I think it’s important for the inspector and the ministry to actually have a good enough relationship with the facility that they understand what they’re doing when they go in. Some of them should be investigated immediately, and I think there’s a high volume that we actually would normally expect when you start to put a process like this in place. You end up with a higher volume until things settle into the norm.
My dad’s in long-term care in this province, with Alzheimer’s. I worry about him. I think I have a role as a family member. I tell my mum, “Don’t show up at the same time every day. Show up at different times, just because it’s good for the home to know that you will show up whenever you feel like it.” I think we have a right to worry. I think we have a pretty good, rigorous process. We have to make sure we’re getting through it and getting it done and we’re inspecting the right things, not how the orange juice is poured in the kitchen, but perhaps what’s happening with bedsores and what’s happening with emergency exit plans, the things that really count.
I suspect one of the problems is that we’re so busy counting the millions of things we’re doing when we inspect long-term care that we’re not getting through as many as fast as we should on the issues that are most important and pertain to quality and safety.
Miss Monique Taylor: Thanks. Chair, how much time do we have?
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): You have exactly three minutes.
Miss Monique Taylor: Okay. I want to make sure I leave some time here for my colleague.
I have a complaint to my office. I was told about six to eight months for an inspection of a long-term-care facility. I think it’s wrong. I think we should be doing better. I’ll just leave it at that.
Ms. Shelly Jamieson: That’s a long time.
Miss Monique Taylor: That’s a long time.
The Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Percy?
Mr. Percy Hatfield: Thank you for coming in; a very impressive resumé, and thank you for all the years in public service that you’ve put in and thank you for working for cancer care now.
In Windsor-Essex, our local health unit is the most underfunded in the entire province and yet we have higher cases of cancer than everyplace else in the province. Would you be willing to look at the funding formula to see if that can be restructured in some way?
Ms. Shelly Jamieson: I haven’t yet spent a lot of time with Health Quality Ontario, though one of the things that caught my eye is how instrumental they’ve been in working with the Ministry of Health to look at the hospital funding model just for exactly that reason. So it seems to me that the model went from global funding to something better, with the help of HQO, and it would seem to me that that same kind of formula review or whatever, perhaps HQO could be helpful in looking at public health units.
Mr. Percy Hatfield: And do you have oversight over LHINs?
Ms. Shelly Jamieson: I don’t believe so—not that I know of.
Mr. Percy Hatfield: All right. I talked to the warden of Essex county, and they provide a municipal old age home. They never were expected to provide the highest quality of care that they have to do now, and it’s very expensive for them. Is there any way of allowing municipalities to do lower care in their old age homes as opposed to what’s happening now?
Ms. Shelly Jamieson: I’m sure there is. I guess my own bias is this: The operating funding level is too low in the province of Ontario, so the level of care isn’t at the level it needs to be, and those people are sitting in hospital, which is a very high, high level of care, filling up hospital beds.
So I guess my argument would be that it would be better for those people with the lower level of care to not actually be in a long-term-care facility. They should be somewhere else and with the assists they need. Nobody wants to be in a long-term-care facility. You should only go there when that’s the only place that your needs can be met.
Mr. Percy Hatfield: Just one final question, and I don’t know if I have time or if it’s in order.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): A quick one, please, Percy.
Mr. Percy Hatfield: I’m new at this, so I don’t know if I’m allowed to ask you this, and I’ll be ruled out of order if I’m not, but when you were there as secretary of cabinet in 2008 to 2012, were you there during the gas plant questions and decisions?
Ms. Shelly Jamieson: I was. I was there for the decisions to cancel the plant and not for the release of the documents.
Mr. Percy Hatfield: Right, and have you been called yet as a witness?
Ms. Shelly Jamieson: Yes, I have. I have appeared.
Mr. Percy Hatfield: Thank you. I just wanted to clarify that.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Thanks, Percy. Thanks, Shelly.
We’ll now move to the government, and Bill Mauro will start off.
Mr. Bill Mauro: Chair, thank you very much. Ms. Jamieson, good morning, and thank you for being here and for offering to serve once again. We look forward to your contributions, and on behalf of our government, thank you very much for putting your name forward. I do have a couple of comments and then a question, and I don’t know if anybody else has any, but that will be it for me.
First of all, the issue of physio was raised, and you have rightly pointed out that there is a tremendous amount of resource in health care; it’s a very large organization. We need to find ways to ensure that people are getting the right care at the right time and in the right place. Physio is a great example of that. There were four companies in the province of Ontario operating 91 clinics, and some of the work that they were doing would be to have a non-physio person running an exercise class—not physiotherapy but an exercise class—in a long-term-care home with 30 or 40 people sitting in chairs for 30 minutes and billing OHIP about $12.30 per person—so for a half-hour class from a non-physio person, the government would be billed whatever that totals up to.
When you extrapolate that out over the course of the year—and it’s been going on for decades—you can see how much money was being used. Even though exercise for seniors is still important, it wasn’t one-on-one physio. I think many of us could say that even though there was some value to it, there were ways that it could have been used better, and what the minister would say if she was sitting here is that what’s going to happen through this reform is that you’re going to see significantly more one-on-one physio. It goes to the point that you have made, and that I am going to make at the end here, about trying to find ways to get the right care at the right time in the right place, because it’s better and it’s a more effective use of our resources. I just wanted to mention that about the physio. I’m not sure if the member opposite, who raised the issue, was aware of some of the ways that money was being spent, and we feel it can be spent better.
Long-term care was raised, and I’m happy to hear that my friends in the opposition are interested in spending more money, because normally when we’re in the Legislature, we often hear concerns around, “Don’t spend any more money,” but it sounds like there’s a request for, I’m not sure how many tens of millions or hundreds of millions in long-term care they’re interested in, but—
Mr. Randy Pettapiece: Oh, come on.
Mr. Bill Mauro: Well, there’s a request for more long-term care, and it’s not inexpensive. I’ll give you an example right now. In my riding, they said there are no long-term-care beds being built. Right now, in Thunder Bay–Atikokan, in my riding, there’s a brand new 416-bed long-term-care home being built—right now—and a 132-unit new supportive housing facility that just opened a little while. The focus of the supportive housing unit project, again, was, as you say, to get the right care for people. Those ALC patients, if they were not in a supportive housing unit project that was just completed—many of them might have been in a long-term care bed or they might have been in a hospital bed. We know that’s not where they need to be.
My point on this is that when we talk about going from $30 billion to $50 billion being spent on health care since we came into government and the need to find the best use for those resources, it’s important that that change come forward.
I’ve heard the chronic criticism of “cuts to health care.” In fact, what has gone on—and I want to know if you’re aware of it and if you’re supportive of it. Maybe hospital budgets have been not so much frozen or declined, but they’re certainly not at the rates they were getting in the first seven or eight years. What the minister has tried to do is drive more of the health care money into community-based care. It was exactly the point that you’ve been making. I think it’s important that we extend that out here a little bit, whether it’s for mental health and addictions, whether it’s for respite care, whether it’s for supportive housing units. All of these things are important, and you make exactly the point.
Mr. Bill Mauro: It may seem funny to members of the opposition, but it’s absolutely important because, as I see it, over the course of the next five, 10 or 20 years there are going to be some major decisions that are necessary in Ontario when it comes to health care and I think even nationally, and I think you have a sense of that.
I want to know, first of all, if you’re aware of the minister’s approach on community-based care and trying to drive more of the health care resources there, and what your thoughts are on that and how you plan on measuring the effectiveness of that approach.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Shelly, just before you start, you have two minutes to do it.
Ms. Shelly Jamieson: Okay. It is true that what is happening in Ontario is slowing the growth of the health care budget, and there is some redistribution. I’m going to pick up on something, though. The trick is, is that exercise class still going to go on in that long-term-care facility?
Mr. Bill Mauro: There will still be exercise classes.
Ms. Shelly Jamieson: Because obviously, the long-term-care facility was using this method to get that class, so the fact that it wasn’t working and it was costing too much is one thing. We still need the exercise class for the seniors—
Mr. Bill Mauro: I’m clear on that.
Ms. Shelly Jamieson: —which I think is the point and hooks to the operational funding comment on: What level of care are we providing in long-term care?
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Thanks very much, Shelly. That exhausts the time for the government, so Shelly, thank you very much. This concludes our time. You’re welcome to stay here, or I think we would probably be asking for concurrence around 10 after or a quarter after; you can come back.
Ms. Shelly Jamieson: Thank you very much.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Thank you so much.
MS. MARGARET FANCY
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Our next intended appointee today is Margaret Fancy, nominated as a member of the St. Lawrence Parks Commission. Margaret, please come forward. Welcome. Thank you very much for being here. You may begin with a brief statement if you wish. Members of each party will then have 10 minutes to ask you questions. Any time that you use in your statement will be deducted from the government’s time. Welcome.
Ms. Margaret Fancy: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to meet with you today. My interest in the St. Lawrence Parks Commission has been a long-standing one, and I now feel that I’m at a point in my personal and professional life where I can hopefully make a contribution to its work. I will highlight, from my resumé, aspects of my professional and community experiences that I believe have provided me with the skills and qualities needed to fulfill the role as commissioner.
I’ll begin with my career in education. I worked for what is now the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario for 32 years as a teacher, school principal and system principal responsible for curriculum. The Catholic district school board extends from Gananoque to the Quebec border. During that time, I had the opportunity to work in and with a number of communities along the St. Lawrence.
Drawing on the educational, cultural, recreational and environmental experiences offered through organizations like the St. Lawrence Parks Commission, I supported schools in making correlations between curriculum and community programs. I think there are many exciting opportunities for partnerships with education, and with my background I bring experience with such initiatives and a vision for their potential in the future.
In 2007, after my retirement from education, I took on the role of community planning coordinator for Every Kid in Our Communities of Leeds and Grenville. Every Kid is a coalition of over 40 children’s service providers in Leeds and Grenville, including all Ministry of Children and Youth Services-funded agencies, health, municipal government, NGOs, recreation and education, to name some, working together to initiate, support and evaluate services and improve outcomes for children, youth and their families.
My role is funded through the Ministry of Children and Youth Services.
In addition to partners in Leeds and Grenville, I plan and communicate with multiple partners across eastern Ontario. The breadth of my job has earned me the nickname “The Connector.”
As a member of the steering committee for the Healthy Communities Partnership of Lanark, Leeds and Grenville, chaired by our medical officer of health, I work with a wide range of community partners to promote and support increased physical activity. This includes fostering awareness and use of trails, parks and other recreational facilities. In addition to the physical health benefits of being active, the partnership highlights the benefits to mental health and well-being. We work closely with municipal government to help them make links between improved outcomes for citizens in their community and physical and mental health and well-being.
I’ve worked closely with the Tamarack Institute to develop strategies to foster community development and have been involved with a number of workshops offered through the Rural Secretariat to foster economic development through tourism and recreation.
As you can see from my resumé, my work has been rooted in my community and in communities across eastern Ontario. My experiences in education and community planning have required skills in leadership, strategic planning, community development, consensus building, fundraising, managing budget priorities, working with diverse partners, meeting ministry goals and deadlines, and understanding the interconnectedness between recreation, economy, culture and the environment.
In addition, my work on community boards has provided me with experience in setting direction as defined within the parameters of policy and legislation. I have a clear understanding of the difference between oversight and management.
If I might end on a personal note, as a child my family visited Upper Canada Village every summer, and my family has continued that tradition. My degree many years ago was in Canadian history, and I continue to stay involved in working with local groups devoted to local and regional history.
For the past several years, I have been fortunate to live on the Thousand Islands Parkway. I am a consumer of the St. Lawrence Parks Commission in all its many aspects. As a resident and a consumer, I have gained first-hand knowledge of the economic, recreational, educational and health benefits that the parks commission brings to our communities, and I would be excited to be part of their important work. Thank you.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Thank you very much, Margaret. We are going to now start the questioning with the third party. Percy?
Mr. Percy Hatfield: Thank you for coming in. Yes, I think you’re well qualified for this role. Are you familiar with the—I forget if it’s called the St. Lawrence and Great Lakes initiative or the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence initiative.
Ms. Margaret Fancy: Yes, I am. I’m familiar with the partnership, yes.
Mr. Percy Hatfield: All right. Because I think in your new role you’ll be playing a role in that initiative as well, right?
Ms. Margaret Fancy: Yes.
Mr. Percy Hatfield: I guess my second question is a silly one, but do you have relatives in Windsor and Essex county?
Ms. Margaret Fancy: Windsor and Essex—no, I have friends but not relatives.
Mr. Percy Hatfield: Oh, because there’s a Fancy family down there and they own a winery. I think it’s Viewpointe. I thought maybe you could look them up and say hello next time you’re down there. Maybe there’s a family connection and—
Ms. Margaret Fancy: There could be.
Mr. Percy Hatfield: —some wine.
I notice on your resumé—I’m sorry, in your references—one from a retired judge.
Ms. Margaret Fancy: Yes.
Mr. Percy Hatfield: I thought that was unusual. I haven’t noticed judges giving references before. What’s your relationship or how do you know the judge?
Ms. Margaret Fancy: Well, he’s been a personal friend, and when he became—in my work as the coordinator for Every Kid in Our Communities, he approached me and our coalition to help set up a community program to develop a strategy to use court diversions to support addressing the root causes of youth crime.
Through working with Judge Anderson and a number of members of the legal community and multiple community partners, we’ve set up what is known as the Criminal Court Community Fund, which I helped him set up, helped him develop the partnerships, and have helped him administer. So I used him as a reference, certainly, in terms of my ability to bring community partners together.
Mr. Percy Hatfield: Very commendable. I can see where you got the nickname “The Connector.” Thank you.
Ms. Margaret Fancy: Thank you.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Monique?
Miss Monique Taylor: Thank you very much for being here. Some of the commission’s facilities, such as Fort Henry, deal with funding from the federal government. Have you dealt with the federal government in any other aspects, and do you have any of that relationship?
Ms. Margaret Fancy: Yes—
Miss Monique Taylor: “The Connector.”
Ms. Margaret Fancy: As “The Connector.” I’ve worked with Heritage Canada, when I was with the school board, on some programs involving our students, particularly around the Canadian flag. The theme of the Canadian flag has continued. Actually, most recently, I’ve been working again with Heritage Canada around the designation of Brockville as the birthplace of the Canadian flag, because of the work of our former member John Matheson. So I have worked with Heritage Canada.
In my current work, I’ve also worked with Health Canada on a partnership around preventing addictions, working with young girls and the root causes of addiction. We had a grant through Health Canada, and I’ve had some close links there.
I’ve also worked with youth justice on a program that addresses youth homelessness and its root causes.
Miss Monique Taylor: That’s really great. I think your resumé, and the extensive things that you’ve done with children and youth in our province, is obviously outstanding. How do you believe that you could bring that into the St. Lawrence Parks Commission? Do you feel that you can tie the two together? At-risk kids, and how it will benefit them: Do you see any link there?
Ms. Margaret Fancy: I think when we talk about commissions like the St. Lawrence Parks Commission, I really see the interconnectedness with community and all aspects of community, including youth. I do bring my background as an educator, where—encouraging students not only to be consumers of the St. Lawrence Parks Commission, through educational visits to its sites and using the trails and that kind of thing, but also to be stewards and to develop an understanding of the importance of their heritage, where their heritage comes from—and contributors.
Maybe using one example: This wasn’t a partnership with the parks commission, but it was a partnership with one of our municipalities, where students in a woodworking class worked with their municipal government to build outdoor furniture for the local park. Through that, though, they researched why the park was named and who the park was named for, and that sort of thing.
I see wonderful opportunities to engage youth in the use of the parks and in the stewardship piece.
Miss Monique Taylor: That’s very good. Thank you for that. No further questions.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Thanks, Monique.
We’ll now move over to the government side for questioning. You have approximately four minutes. Mitzie?
Ms. Mitzie Hunter: Ms. Fancy, thank you so much for putting your name forward. Certainly, as a community member, you have demonstrated your care for the community while at the same time managing what I’m sure was a very demanding career, and you continue to do this as well.
I just wanted to say thank you for your passion that you bring but also for the knowledge and the experience that you bring to this very important work, which is to safeguard our waterways and our natural systems.
I just wanted to say thank you for that and wish you the best.
Ms. Margaret Fancy: Thank you.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Thank you, Mitzie.
We’ll now move to the official opposition. Jim, are you going to start questioning?
Mr. Jim McDonell: Yes. Thank you. Being from eastern Ontario, Upper Canada Village in my riding has always been quite a proud tourist attraction. But the St. Lawrence Parks Commission over the years has not been—the relationship with the municipalities has not always been great, I guess, on a couple of occasions. In our former township that I was in, in Charlottenburgh, they closed the park, Charlottenburgh Park, and the township tried to take it over, but it was refused at the time. This was back in the early 1990s. Then to be given over the ability to open it up when I was mayor, it had a cost of over a million dollars to make it about half the size it was because of the damage and things that had been done in the years it was closed. One of the conditions we had was, we had to pay a huge percentage back to the parks commission, which really has not helped us at all as far as restoration.
I know in Long Sault, something similar happened, and then after running it for 20 years, the commission took it over just a couple of years ago because they thought they could turn a profit, and now they’re complaining they can’t afford to cut the grass. The residents are furious because something that used to be quite well run and manicured is now in rough shape.
It kind of shows they can run some of the larger ones—Fort Henry—but sometimes, a better relationship with the local townships—who were doing quite well. In our case, Charlottenburgh, we were at capacity. The fear now is that you’ll come back and want to take that one over after the township investing somewhere north of a million dollars into it through the different programs.
What’s your take on getting along—and maybe not having to do everything, but letting some of the municipalities do something that maybe would save money for the commission? Because the commission is always short of money and having an issue with trying to fund some of the larger projects.
Ms. Margaret Fancy: Not yet being a board member, I certainly can’t speak to specifics, but I do think that in relationships between all levels of government, fostering relationships is critical. I see the commission being at a point in time when I look at—one of the goals of the commission’s work is to foster strong community partnerships. Certainly that has to include municipal government.
Sometimes—and this may sound very simplistic, but I’ve found it very effective—I feel it’s going and really sitting down with municipal councils and having conversations about what they see for their community. Those dialogues are important. Just giving an example, in my own work, we have 13 municipalities in Leeds and Grenville, and I’ve spoken to each and every one of them about healthy communities, building healthy communities and good places to work and live in, and the importance of recreation and tourism as part of that. I think building on those conversations and seeing where one partner can contribute to the work of the other is essential.
Again, in its stewardship, I know that the St. Lawrence Parks Commission has challenges around maintaining some of those historic buildings which, as we know, over time, need more money and more work—and maintaining their parks. But good relationships with municipalities are key.
Just to cite one of the positive things that’s happened in my own community—I live in the municipality of Front of Yonge, a small municipality along the Thousand Islands Parkway. There were a lot of complaints from local residents about the cost of using Brown’s Bay, so there was an agreement reached between the parks commission and our local municipal government that there would be reduced rates for local citizens if they bought a season’s pass or a half-season pass. Again, that’s been a gesture of goodwill. It’s those gestures of goodwill that I think we can build on.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Randy?
Mr. Randy Pettapiece: Thank you. That kind of leads up to my question as to co-operation between government and local municipalities. The commission has tried to increase its revenue a bit by offering some on-site services, such as dry docking at Crysler Park Marina. This sometimes can be seen as competition with private enterprise along the St. Lawrence. There needs to be some kind of a dialogue between the two parties to see what the best consensus is that can be reached.
How can you ensure or how can you help to ensure that the commission continues to balance its focus on the consumer and revenue with the spirit of co-operation with the local community? I think you cited an example there. I was wondering if you had any more examples.
Ms. Margaret Fancy: I think, again, it’s having those conversations, whether it’s with the business or the tourism and recreation providers, and working together to develop common strategies.
I’ve noticed, just in my reading, and, of course, in living in the community, that the St. Lawrence Parks Commission has developed a number of events and programs that are in what they call the shoulder seasons, in the spring and the fall, when the parks aren’t used quite as much.
I hear certainly anecdotally through the community that at Upper Canada Village there was a local food market and festival recently. That brought together a number of our local chefs and restaurant owners and farmers. Again, that was because of a dialogue when people started to look at where the gaps were, in terms of service, to providing recreational opportunities where some of the opportunities were.
I think there are some great models. I look at Prince Edward county and other communities where they’ve really pulled together members of the tourism, business, agricultural and recreation communities to have those conversations and to develop plans together and not in isolation. I think that’s key.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Great. All right. This ends the time for questioning. Thank you very much, Margaret.
We’ll now move to concurrence. We will now consider the concurrence of Colleen Campbell, nominated as a member to the Ontario Infrastructure Lands Corp. (Infrastructure Ontario). Would someone please move the concurrence? Laura?
Mrs. Laura Albanese: I move concurrence in the intended appointment of Colleen Campbell, nominated as member of Ontario Infrastructure Lands Corp. (Infrastructure Ontario).
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Are there any questions? Comments? All in favour? Approved.
We will now consider the concurrence of Shelly Jamieson, nominated as a member of the Ontario Health Quality Council. Would someone please move the concurrence?
Ms. Mitzie Hunter: Mr. Chair, I move concurrence in the intended appointment of Shelly Jamieson, nominated as member of the Ontario Health Quality Council.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Thanks, Mitzie. Are there any questions or any discussion? All in favour? Approved.
We will now consider the concurrence of Margaret Fancy, nominated as a member of the St. Lawrence Parks Commission. Would someone please move the concurrence? Laura?
Mrs. Laura Albanese: I move concurrence in the intended appointment of Margaret Fancy, nominated as member of the St. Lawrence Parks Commission.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Is there any discussion? All in favour? Opposed? Carried.
Thank you very much to the three people for your very, very honest answering of the questions. It’s much appreciated.
Now we have a motion. Do you want to hold that motion, because we’ve got about two minutes before the bell goes.
Mr. Jim McDonell: I would like to read it.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Okay. No problem. It’s being passed out.
The official opposition has filed a motion. Jim, could you read it, please?
Mr. Jim McDonell: I move that the Standing Committee on Government Agencies meet to conduct an agency review on Metrolinx; and
That the committee shall conduct this review during regularly scheduled meeting days beginning on November 5, 2013; and
That the committee direct the Chair to write to the House leaders of the recognized parties to request that the committee sit for one day per week while the House is in recess from 9 a.m. until 12 noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.; and
That this motion be subject to the committee choosing to undertake other business pursuant to its mandate.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Thanks very much, Jim.
Just by way of maybe clarification and a little history, on April 2, 2012, the subcommittee met and selected the following agencies for review: The official opposition asked for the LCBO to be reviewed; the third party, the WSIB; and the government chose the Metropolitan Toronto Convention Centre Corp. The review of the LCBO has already been tabled. The review of the WSIB—the process is unfolding. It’s in for translation, and we believe that it’s going to be tabled before the end of the month or in November. The review of the MTCCC has not begun yet. I’m wondering: Does it make some sense to refer this motion to the subcommittee, and the subcommittee can determine what they’re going to do with the MTCCC and then bring it back to the committee with recommendations?
Mr. Jim McDonell: We would like to see it dealt with now. In our opinion, the House was prorogued, so it has opened up the slate again. We would like to see this dealt with by this committee, which it will have to be if it comes back anyway.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Monique?
Miss Monique Taylor: We’re happy to see it come back after the fact, but we would agree with going forward with Metrolinx also.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Okay. Government spokesperson?
Mrs. Laura Albanese: I would have preferred that the subcommittee met, but at the same time, if it’s the will of the majority of the committee—
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Bill?
Mr. Bill Mauro: I’m wondering if we could just ask for a five-minute recess, Chair.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Okay, a five-minute recess granted. We’ll still have the time before the bell rings.
The committee recessed from 1017 to 1024.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): All right, let’s reconvene. We have a motion on the table. Is there any discussion? Laura?
Mrs. Laura Albanese: Yes. I wanted to point out and ask—as the Chair pointed out, we have completed the LCBO, and we are almost at the completion of the WSIB, which were choices of the opposition and of the third party, but we have not had a chance to look at an agency from the government side. So just for a question of fairness, it seems to me that putting this forward—and November 5 is only, let’s say, two weeks. We would be bumping a lot of people whom you, as opposition parties, have chosen also as appointees to come forward. So just for a question of fairness, don’t you think that it would be our turn first to look at the Metro Convention Centre, as we had agreed, and then go to Metrolinx?
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Okay. Jim?
Mr. Jim McDonell: I’d answer yes, we believe in fairness, but we didn’t agree with the prorogation either, and that resets the plate. So, really, that’s where we are, and it’s up to the committee now to choose where they want to go. We didn’t reset the Legislature; the government did. So now we’re responding to their actions.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Laura?
Mrs. Laura Albanese: Yes, but as a committee, we’ve always respected the turns of each party. That has nothing to do with the prorogation, which was out of many of our controls. So it’s a committee functioning, right?
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): All right. The bells are ringing, which means we have to adjourn. This will be, I would imagine, the first item of business in the next meeting.
Miss Monique Taylor: I call the question, Chair.
Mr. Jim McDonell: She called the question.
Miss Monique Taylor: I call the question.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): No, but the reality is, the bells are going and we adjourn. So we will—
Miss Monique Taylor: But the bells were going beforehand and we still had other members speak.
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): Right. But now—
Miss Monique Taylor: If we call the question right now instead of—
The Vice-Chair (Mr. Rick Bartolucci): No, the question isn’t called when the bells are ringing. The bells mean the committee is adjourned. So we will bring this back as the first item of business next meeting. This meeting is adjourned.
The committee adjourned at 1027.
Tuesday 22 October 2013
Subcommittee reports A-91
Intended appointments A-91
Ms. Colleen Campbell A-91
Ms. Shelly Jamieson A-95
Ms. Margaret Fancy A-99
STANDING COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
Chair / Président
Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti (Scarborough Southwest / Scarborough-Sud-Ouest L)
Vice-Chair / Vice-Président
Mr. Rick Bartolucci (Sudbury L)
Mrs. Laura Albanese (York South–Weston / York-Sud–Weston L)
Mr. Rick Bartolucci (Sudbury L)
Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti (Scarborough Southwest / Scarborough-Sud-Ouest L)
Mr. Percy Hatfield (Windsor–Tecumseh ND)
Ms. Mitzie Hunter (Scarborough–Guildwood L)
Mr. Jim McDonell (Stormont–Dundas–South Glengarry PC)
Mr. Randy Pettapiece (Perth–Wellington PC)
Miss Monique Taylor (Hamilton Mountain ND)
Ms. Lisa Thompson (Huron–Bruce PC)
Substitutions / Membres remplaçants
Mr. Bill Mauro (Thunder Bay–Atikokan L)
Clerk / Greffière
Ms. Sylwia Przezdziecki
Staff / Personnel
Ms. Carrie Hull, research officer,