STANDING COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
COMITÉ PERMANENT DES ORGANISMES GOUVERNEMENTAUX
Tuesday 26 May 2015 Mardi 26 mai 2015
The committee met at 0905 in committee room 2.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): I’ve hit the gavel, so we’ll get going. Welcome back, everybody, this week. We just had a discussion. We have three subcommittee reports in front of us right now. We do not have any intended appointments today.
I’m going to start with the most recent report, which is the report of the subcommittee on May 21, 2015. Who has that?
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Mr. Rinaldi, are you moving—
Mr. Lou Rinaldi: Are we doing the May 12 one first?
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): May 21 first.
Mr. Lou Rinaldi: I don’t have May 21.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): I’m sorry; he looked at me. Mr. McDonell, my apologies.
Mr. Jim McDonell: I move adoption of the subcommittee report on intended appointees dated May 21, 2015.
Mr. John Fraser: Any discussion? All those in favour? Opposed? Motion carried.
Mr. Jim McDonell: The 14th?
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): The 14th, yes.
Mr. Jim McDonell: I move the adoption of the subcommittee report on intended appointees of Thursday, May 14, 2015.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Any discussion? All those in favour? Opposed? Motion carried.
Mr. Wayne Gates: I move adoption of the report of the subcommittee on committee business dated Tuesday, May 12.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): No; sorry. Can you read this out?
Mr. Wayne Gates: Do you want me to read it again?
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): No. Do you actually have the subcommittee report? Did the Clerk give that to you?
Mr. Wayne Gates: You want me to read all this? Really?
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Yes.
Mr. Wayne Gates: Your subcommittee on committee business met on Tuesday, May 12, 2015, to consider the method of proceeding with agency reviews, and recommends the following:
(1) That the committee conduct agency reviews during the summer adjournment and that the Chair be directed to write to the House leaders requesting the authorization of the House for the committee to meet during the summer adjournment.
(2) That each caucus select one agency for review.
(3) That members of the subcommittee send their caucus’s agency selection to the Clerk of the Committee by 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 14, 2015.
(4) That, upon receiving each caucus’s agency selection, the Clerk of the Committee compile a list of selected agencies and distribute it to all members of the subcommittee.
(5) That the subcommittee meet again on Monday, May 25, 2015, at 1 p.m. to determine further details relating to the agency reviews.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Is there any discussion?
Mr. Lou Rinaldi: Chair, I wonder, with the indulgence of the committee—bear with me here.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Mr. Rinaldi.
Mr. Lou Rinaldi: Item number 1 says we conduct the reviews during the summer months. I would suggest that we wait to set that particular parameter once we have a subcommittee meeting after this, if that’s possible.
Mr. Jim McDonell: It doesn’t really matter.
Mr. Lou Rinaldi: Excuse me? Sorry?
Mr. Randy Pettapiece: Why do you want to do that?
Mr. Jim McDonell: Why would it matter?
Mr. Lou Rinaldi: Well, I just thought that if we’re going to discuss the specifics—
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Go ahead, Mr. Rinaldi.
Mr. Lou Rinaldi: Sorry—if we’re going to discuss the specifics of when and how we’re going to meet, I thought that would be more inclusive, if we let the subcommittee deal with that.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Thank you very much, Mr. Rinaldi, but that won’t change this report. The subcommittee can make a decision subsequent to this report when they have discussions.
Is there any other discussion about the subcommittee report? Okay. All those in favour? All those opposed? Carried.
The suggestion was that we break to subcommittee and have a discussion—you’re prepared and you’re prepared?
Mr. Jim McDonell: I’m just wondering—all we were going to do in the subcommittee was discuss the submissions, which we all have done so far, and then suggest the timing. Can we try that at this meeting? Because we only have one meeting left after this one. That’s why we wanted to meet yesterday, so that it would be ready for today.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Thank you very much, Mr. McDonell.
Any discussion? Mr. Rinaldi.
Mr. Lou Rinaldi: We do have to discuss the time. I think we all know what we chose—we all know that—but we have to discuss the time and the process, and as the Clerk indicated, she will need some time to put that subcommittee report together for us to approve. So I would strongly recommend that we adjourn, have subcommittee and then bring it back next week, and we’ll still have time to do that.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Mr. McDonell.
Mr. Jim McDonell: I’ve been on this committee for a few years. The process is pretty simple. We just call the agencies in and we do the research. We can’t start the research until we decide, and if we wait another week, we’re done.
We were talking about a subcommittee meeting yesterday so that we could get this done today. We’re only going to reaffirm our three choices, which we’ve already made, and then pick an order and move on. We’re not going to set specific dates; that will depend on when the agencies can come in, based on work with the Clerk.
Either it’s today or we wait until September. It’s as simple as that.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Mr. Rinaldi.
Mr. Lou Rinaldi: I guess my concern is that we’re here, but we’re not setting up dates today. I thought that’s what we were doing today: We were going to set up a full schedule, who and when, so that we could let the Clerk invite whoever we’re going to invite and the specific hours.
For my part—I’m not being selfish; I’m sure we’re all in the same boat. We try to schedule, in the summer months, to handle some of our constituency work. I would hope that when the subcommittee meets, we’re able to get the final draft, for argument’s sake, of how this is going to proceed.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Thank you, Mr. Rinaldi. As a piece of information, the Clerk of the Committee is permitted by the clause to start work before a subcommittee report is adopted on a range of things. The clock doesn’t wait to start; the Clerk made me aware of that.
Mr. Wayne Gates: I think he had another comment, so go ahead.
Mr. Jim McDonell: I was just going to say that we’ll set up dates. I may not be at the meeting; somebody will be subbed in. The whole Parliament doesn’t revolve around me or anybody on this committee. We pick the dates, and there’s a good chance I won’t be here, depending on what I have in the riding.
The point is to get it moving; that’s all. There’s not a date in the summer I’m sure everybody’s going to make, so they’ll pick some dates and spread them out.
We almost have a need to meet anyway for appointments. It’s just a matter of getting on with it.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Thank you very much, Mr. McDonell. Mr. Gates.
Mr. Wayne Gates: I think the reason we met last week was to move the process along as quickly as possible. This isn’t rocket science here, guys. We’ve all picked our spots and what we want to do. I agree with you: If the dates are picked and you can’t make it—the reality is we’re going to be in our ridings for the next three months. I’m sure we can clear up a day or two around them unless we’re on vacation.
But I’d rather get the process done. Let’s move on. We met last week after committee and we had a meeting yesterday. We’re pretty sure of what we’re doing, who we’re going to interview. I agree with you: I don’t want to wait until September to do this process. I would rather get it done and move on, because there are others that we might want to take a look at.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): In the interests of getting this on the record, there were three selections. Hydro One Inc. was selected by the official opposition party, the Ontario Energy Board was the selection of the third party and the Province of Ontario Council for the Arts was selected by the government.
What’s at issue here right now, if we want to go back to it, is whether we’re going to have a subcommittee report or not. It’s clear to me that we have a division on that, so unless we’re going to get some unanimity right now, can I have someone put forward a motion, just so we can dispense with this and get going? Because we’re going to go in a circle on this if we don’t make a decision.
Mr. Lou Rinaldi: Dispense with what?
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Whether we’re going to adjourn and have a subcommittee meeting or whether we’re going to continue in full committee—unless people want to continue to have this discussion.
Mr. Jim McDonell: Sure, I’ll put a motion. I move that within committee, we decide to meet over the summer on as many of the agencies as we can, which will likely only be one or two.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Thanks very much, Mr. McDonell.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): That’s already been agreed to. The Clerk just pointed out the motion that you put forward was already agreed to by the committee. We need to make a decision about whether we’re going to go into subcommittee or not right now. I need to have a motion put that says we are or we are not going to.
Mr. Jim McDonell: What would we need the subcommittee meeting for?
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): To make a decision about when, who goes first, the details around that. That’s why.
Mr. Lou Rinaldi: Let me try this. I move, as we indicated before, that we adjourn this meeting, that the subcommittee meet right after the meeting is adjourned, and that the subcommittee report be brought back to the full committee next Tuesday.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Thank you very much, Mr. Rinaldi. I just want to check with the Clerk here: Is that—
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): It’s a debatable motion. Is there any discussion? Mr. McDonell?
Mr. Jim McDonell: If the only thing we were going to be able to do at the subcommittee is really put the order—because we can’t put dates on, even next week. When we come back, we won’t have dates because it takes time and coordination with different agencies. Could we not just adjourn and then come back with a report saying that these are the three that we’re looking at and this is the order, and then vote on it? I mean, this is not a complicated motion here. This is simply a one-liner that we’re going to have to vote on.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Thank you very much, Mr. McDonell. In terms of the decision-making, yes, we have to decide the order, we have to decide how much time, we have to decide where. So there are a few more details in the subcommittee report about the breadth of it. We’ve decided who we’re going to talk to; we haven’t decided when and how long we’re going to talk to them for. That’s part of the subcommittee report; that’s technically what it is we’re doing.
Mrs. Marie-France Lalonde: Mr. Chair, I have to agree with my colleague. I understand MPP McDonell, but in fairness, I think there are a lot of decisions that have to be made and technical points that have to be reviewed. I think that should be part of the subcommittee. To be honest with you, I don’t see why we’re still here.
Mr. Jim McDonell: I guess I’m a little upset because we made specific decisions around time to get a decision made today. There was ample time to call for a subcommittee yesterday. There was no effort. I mean, five minutes after the meeting, you were there for a vote.
Mr. Lou Rinaldi: Yes, I was.
Mr. Jim McDonell: It’s frustrating because this is the second-last week of being here. It really looks like a delay is being initiated here, and that’s the part that bothers me. These subcommittees—I’ve been at a number of them. They’re standard. We’re just talking about what day we listen to the agency speak, really, which is the standard so many hours.
I just don’t see this as being rocket science, as Mr. Gates said. Anyway, I guess that’s fine.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Thank you very much, Mr. McDonell. I know it was just by omission, but we have to be conscious of highlighting members’ absences when we’re in committee and in the Legislature.
Mr. Lou Rinaldi: Chair, I did apologize for yesterday and I will apologize again, but if we turn back the clock a little bit, about three weeks ago—I could be wrong—we were supposed to bring our selections in. I was prepared to put a selection on the table, but neither of the other two parties were prepared, and we postponed it for another week.
Mr. Jim McDonell: I don’t think that was right.
Mr. Lou Rinaldi: Well, I think it was, if you check the minutes, Mr. McDonell. We were ready to go because we decided at the meeting before to come back with the selection. I was prepared to put the selection on the table, and then we agreed—well, you folks weren’t ready. “Could we do it next week?” I had absolutely no problem with that whatsoever. To kind of—
Mr. Randy Pettapiece: We’ve got one week left after this, and that’s the problem here.
I guess I should go through the Chair. Excuse me. I’m sorry.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Sorry. I just wanted to make sure I got the right technical advice as to what’s going on here.
Mr. Randy Pettapiece: May I go ahead?
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Yes. Mr. Pettapiece.
Mr. Randy Pettapiece: We’ve got one week left after this, and this is nothing but a delaying tactic by you guys because you don’t want to open up some committee hearings. That’s what’s going on here. It’s just a delaying tactic, Mr. Chair. There’s no reason why we can’t proceed as Mr. McDonell has suggested.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Ms. Wong.
Ms. Soo Wong: I appreciate the concerns raised by the opposition colleagues. I remember this week, when we had the Chairs’ committee meeting, the issues of subcommittee membership and subcommittee issues were discussed. The Clerk could validate my concerns.
This is not the first time, Mr. Chair, through you to the committee members, that the House’s activities in determining all the logistics of meetings, agendas and what have you have been decided by all three parties at the subcommittee level. I remember raising this issue. Mr. McDonell, you could ask your colleagues who were at the Chairs’ and Vice-Chairs’ meeting. I raised that issue because that was a frustration of another standing committee.
But I can also say that this committee can also ask the House in its report, with a special request, to meet over the summer. That doesn’t preclude this committee’s request. How many dates, how often—this committee has that right. So maybe, as you guys meet after this meeting, you can direct the House, saying, while they’re in summer recess, this committee will be meeting two or three times—don’t put dates; you can put “two or three times,” or four, if it makes you happy.
I’m just saying that I raised this issue at the Chairs’ and Vice-Chairs’ meeting just this week. The Chair was there, and so was the Clerk. This is not the only committee where the subcommittee had difficulty meeting. I know all three parties are guilty as charged, but at the end of the day, we’ve already heard an apology from our colleague. Respectfully, I think we need to move forward.
I’m not a permanent member of this committee. I would certainly say that I’m happy to sub over the summer if this committee needs to meet only two or three times. I would certainly encourage that, Mr. Chair.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Any further discussion?
Mr. Rinaldi has put a motion on the table that we adjourn and that we go immediately to subcommittee after this meeting. All those in favour? All those opposed? The motion is carried.
The meeting is adjourned.
The committee adjourned at 0927.
Tuesday 26 May 2015
Subcommittee reports A-91
STANDING COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
Chair / Président
Mr. John Fraser (Ottawa South L)
Vice-Chair / Vice-Présidente
Mrs. Cristina Martins (Davenport L)
Mr. Vic Dhillon (Brampton West / Brampton-Ouest L)
Mr. John Fraser (Ottawa South L)
Mr. Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls ND)
Mrs. Marie-France Lalonde (Ottawa–Orléans L)
Ms. Harinder Malhi (Brampton–Springdale L)
Mrs. Cristina Martins (Davenport L)
Mr. Jim McDonell (Stormont–Dundas–South Glengarry PC)
Mr. Randy Pettapiece (Perth–Wellington PC)
Mr. Lou Rinaldi (Northumberland–Quinte West L)
Substitutions / Membres remplaçants
Ms. Soo Wong (Scarborough–Agincourt L)
Clerk / Greffière
Ms. Sylwia Przezdziecki
Staff / Personnel
Ms. Heather Webb, research officer,