STANDING COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
COMITÉ PERMANENT DES ORGANISMES GOUVERNEMENTAUX
Tuesday 20 October 2015 Mardi 20 octobre 2015
The committee met at 0902 in committee room 2.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Good morning, everybody. We should get started so we’ll get done on time. Welcome back, everyone. I hope everybody got lots of sleep.
We’ve got a couple of intended appointees this morning, but our first order of business is subcommittee reports. Can I have the subcommittee reports? Mr. Gates?
Mr. Wayne Gates: I move the adoption of the subcommittee report on intended appointments dated Thursday, October 8, 2015.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Any discussion? All those in favour? Opposed? Carried.
We have a second subcommittee report. Mr. Gates?
Mr. Wayne Gates: I move the adoption of the subcommittee report on intended appointments dated Thursday, October 15, 2015.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Any discussion? All those in favour? Opposed? Motion carried.
As I said, we have two intended appointees this morning. We’re just going to make a switch in the order right now.
Ms. Sylvia Chrominska
Review of intended appointment, selected by third party: Sylvia Chrominska, intended appointee as member, University of Western Ontario board of governors.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Our first intended appointee is Sylvia Chrominska, nominated as member, Western University board of governors.
Thank you very much for being here this morning. You’ll have the opportunity to make a brief opening statement. Any time that you use for your statement will be taken away from the government’s time for questions. Our questioning will begin with the official opposition. You may proceed. Thank you very much, again, for being here.
Ms. Sylvia Chrominska: Good morning, everyone. Thank you for this opportunity to present my qualifications as a candidate for the board of governors of the University of Western Ontario.
First I’d like to share with you my professional background, and then, as time permits, I’ll talk about my community involvement.
I retired from Scotiabank some two and a half years ago, having been with them for 33 years. For the first 15 years of my career, I worked in risk, as I had really majored in finance as a student. I ultimately advanced to the position of senior VP, corporate credit, with responsibility for the bank’s corporate loan portfolio in the United States, Europe and Japan. I was then asked by the chief executive officer to consider making a transition from risk into human resources and subsequently became the bank’s first female executive. Over the next 18 years, it was both challenging and gratifying to be involved in the bank’s expansion into some 50 countries around the world and see the bank grow from 50,000 employees to more than 80,000 employees.
Working in a support function required a great deal of consultation and collaboration with the various business lines in order to advance major initiatives and also to ensure that the work that we were doing was relevant to the business. It was often challenging to achieve consensus, to move forward. Resources at the bank were always limited, and it was frequently difficult to get resources for such things as human resources initiatives and also corporate social responsibility.
As head of HR, I worked closely with the HR committee of the board as well as the chair of the board. As a group head, I was a member of a number of key decision-making committees. Amongst the accomplishments that I’m most proud of at the bank are strengthening communications between the bank and its employees, which contributed to significantly improving employee engagement and also our employee survey results. It served to demonstrate, in a meaningful way, I think, our commitment to our people. We were recognized globally as a great place to work. I also facilitated making leadership a strategic business priority, making all leaders responsible for leadership development. Lastly, I made advancement of women a priority and, in doing so, significantly increased the representation of women at senior levels in the bank.
Professionally, I’ve had the experience of serving on some five corporate boards and currently sit on three, one of which I chair. Through my involvement with corporate boards, I have solid experience in board dynamics and I clearly understand the role of the board as compared to the role of management. I have considerable experience in governance, as well as having participated in all of these boards in the annual risk assessments.
At Scotiabank, I was fortunate to have an organization that encouraged and also supported community involvement by all of its leaders. Over the years, I’ve been involved in a number of community-based organizations, in particular, several that focused on women’s issues. To name a few: I recently chaired the capital campaign that successfully raised the funds to build the new Women’s College Hospital. I also co-chaired the Women of Distinction dinner, which raised over $1 million for the YWCA. As well, I have been on the boards of several not-for-profit organizations.
I’m a proud graduate of Western and have been on the board of governors of the Richard Ivey School of Business for some 10 years. I’d been involved with the school for many years before that. I worked to establish and arrange funding for the Scotiabank International Case Competition and I personally support scholarships for women who are in need. Two years ago, I had the privilege of participating in the selection committee for the new dean of business. I’ve really enjoyed my involvement with the school, and recently, on meeting the president when I was given my honorary doctorate, I discussed with him the possibility of contributing to the university in another way, and that’s what brings me before you today.
I have met with a number of officers of the university and have reviewed the roles and responsibilities of the board and also of the board members. I feel that my professional background, as well as being a senior leader in a large organization, and also my corporate board experience as well as my not-for-profit involvement, have equipped me to fulfill the responsibilities of a board member at the University of Western Ontario. I’d like to think that I would add value. I made it clear to them that I wasn’t interested in a procedural role; I really wanted to do meaningful work and make a real difference.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Thank you very much. Ms. Martow.
Mrs. Gila Martow: Thank you very much. It’s a fantastic resumé and experience in the public sector as well as the private sector. I think you certainly would add value.
I understand you want to do meaningful work. I wonder if you have any specific projects. I’d like to see—I know the university works with corporate in terms of getting the kids hand-on experience. Is that something you would like to see happen more?
Ms. Sylvia Chrominska: Well, I think it’s very important for any educational institution, university, to do work that is relevant and important in the country and in the community. So to the extent that you can strengthen the ties or the relationships with business or with community to ensure that what you’re doing makes sense, I think that’s obviously very important.
Mrs. Gila Martow: Fantastic. I’ll leave time for others. I just need to disclose that two of my children are graduates of the University of Western Ontario.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Thank you very much, Ms. Martow. Mr. Gates.
Mr. Wayne Gates: Oh, I was waiting for the young gentleman who just showed up. Have you got any questions at all? Are you okay?
Mr. Wayne Gates: I’m sure you do. So do I. After last night, I’m not sure what I’m going to say.
Ms. Sylvia Chrominska: Good morning.
Mr. Wayne Gates: How are you?
Ms. Sylvia Chrominska: Good, thank you.
Mr. Wayne Gates: Good. First of all, I want to thank you for volunteering in a number of organizations. That’s always good. You don’t have to be nervous with any of my questions.
Something that people talk about, and certainly I’m talking about, because I have a daughter who just went to university this year—and I’ll tell you a quick story about that after I ask you the question—is tuition costs. What’s your feeling on that?
Ms. Sylvia Chrominska: Well, clearly for the university, one of the challenges is the need to pay its bills and, at the same time, in the face of a reduced ability on the part of the government, to support students. I know that in the case of Western they are working hard on developing a fundraising campaign, and I believe—I don’t know this for certain—that a portion of those funds is going to be directed to student scholarships, which I think will also be helpful.
Mr. Wayne Gates: Because we’ve hardly said anything—and I know you prepared for your write-up and it was very good.
I’ll tell you, my daughter, for a number of years, was always going to Western. I always thought it was because that’s where her friends were going. It does have a pretty good reputation for having a lot of fun at Western. I wanted her to go to Brock. I offered her a car; I offered that she could stay in residence. I did all that stuff, and my daughter said to me that she loves me but she’s going to Western. But I’m happy to say that she’s going to take health science at Brock University. So kids have the choices on where they want to go to university. Western is one of the ones that all the kids want to go to. It’s a great university. It’s a great community. I just thought I’d tell you that, that a lot of kids think of Western, even at a very young age, on where they want to go to university.
Ms. Sylvia Chrominska: One of the things that I didn’t realize until I started doing a little bit of research on Western was that their placement rates in terms of employment are a couple of percentage points higher than the national average, and their completion rate—in other words, for people who come to Western, the likelihood of them finishing—is a little bit higher than it is on the national average. So I think that speaks well about what the school does and what it has to offer.
Mr. Wayne Gates: Well, I want to wish you the best. I know you’ll get the full support, probably, from the committee that’s here today, and I like the fact that you’re saying you want to do meaningful work and not just be a member who says they’re on a board. That’s great stuff too. So I wish you the best and thank you for coming this morning.
Ms. Sylvia Chrominska: Thank you.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Thank you very much, Mr. Gates. Mr. Rinaldi.
Mr. Lou Rinaldi: Thank you very much for being here this morning. It’s a very impressive resumé. Thank you for, in a sense, volunteering for the betterment of our education system and producing, I guess, to put it in plain language, a crop of students who were able to have jobs at the end of the day in their field.
As a graduate of Western—and I’m sure that was just yesterday—can you share with us some of your experience—and I think this is a question that has come from all three sides here—of any vision, tomorrow when you leave or down the road, of what you want to see different, or a bit of your thoughts on that issue?
Ms. Sylvia Chrominska: I don’t think I can speak to the curriculum, but certainly an issue that has arisen recently at Western is the issue around governance. That was precipitated by the compensation of the president of the university, and that whole issue around administrative leave. I know that they have several governance reviews under way even as we speak. I haven’t seen the final reports on the broad-based governance review. I did read the report on the governance review as regards the president of the university.
Clearly, some work needs to be done, I think, around clarifying roles and responsibilities and decision rights. Hopefully, all of that is going to lead to more effective board governance and more effective operations of the university.
In terms of the university experience and the student experience—the curriculum—I really can’t speak to that. I know one of the things that Western aspires to is to increase knowledge creation, if you will, and I think that goes to getting research dollars. I think ultimately that affects the curriculum and also affects the student experience.
Mr. Lou Rinaldi: I guess, just as a statement, you touched on—I would hope and I’m sure that with your HR background, you’ll be able to help derive policies for better governance. Thank you very much for being here today.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Ms. Chrominska, that concludes our time for the interview. I want to thank you again very much for being here. We’ll consider the concurrences at the end of our meeting. You’re welcome to stay, if you wish.
Ms. Sylvia Chrominska: Okay.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Thank you very much again.
Mr. Jeffrey Remedios
Review of intended appointment, selected by official opposition party: Jeffrey Remedios, intended appointee as member, Art Gallery of Ontario.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Our second intended appointee today is Jeffrey Remedios, nominated as member of the Art Gallery of Ontario. Mr. Remedios, can you please come forward?
Mr. Jeffrey Remedios: Good morning.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Good morning. Thank you very much for being here this morning. You’ll have the opportunity to make a brief opening statement. Any time that you use will be taken away from the government’s time for questions. Your questioning will begin with the third party. Again, thank you very much for being here. You may proceed.
Mr. Jeffrey Remedios: Thank you very much. Good morning, everybody. I apologize for being a few minutes late this morning, and I appreciate you reversing the order of who you’re seeing this morning.
My name is Jeffrey Remedios. I am being considered to be appointed to the board of trustees for the Art Gallery of Ontario. A little bit of background about me: Six weeks ago, I took a new position as president and CEO of Universal Music Canada, the largest multinational music company, representing about 50% of all music. If you think about a recording artist and who represents them, you have a 1-in-2 chance of being right to think that it was Universal.
Prior to that, I founded and have run for the last 10 years an independent music company out of Toronto called Arts and Crafts. Over the last decade, we turned Arts and Crafts into one of the premier independent music companies in Canada, with me overseeing all aspects of the company’s business, establishing Arts and Crafts as a global music brand with offices in Toronto, Mexico City, and Los Angeles.
Arts and Crafts is a premium music-focused, artist-services company offering expertise as an independent record company, an artist management firm, a merchandiser and global music publisher. Founded by myself and my partner, Kevin Drew, with the release of his band Broken Social Scene’s album You Forgot It In People, Arts and Crafts has grown into one of the most influential voices in independent music, pioneering a boutique, full-service business model for the modern music industry.
Arts and Crafts is home to more than 100 releases from over 50 artists selling millions of albums and winning multiple Juno Awards and Polaris Music Prize short lists. Arts and Crafts is regularly named Independent Label of the Year and Management Company of the Year at the Canadian music industry awards.
In 2009, Rolling Stone magazine cited me as a key insider, shaping the future of the music business. I’m also the promoter and founder of a music festival called Field Trip, run at Fort York every June, which is one of Toronto’s premier boutique community music and arts festivals.
I serve on a number of different boards, including until recently chairing FACTOR, the Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings. I also serve on the board of Music Canada; CARAS, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences; and recently the newly formed Toronto Music Advisory Council.
I’m a graduate of McMaster University, with an honours commerce degree and a minor in music. In 2013, McMaster presented me with their Alumni Gallery Award. Recently, at the inaugural CIMA Awards gala I was named Entrepreneur of the Year.
Now I’ve been asked to be involved, and I think I can lend a unique perspective to the modern opportunities and challenges faced by one of our country’s and city’s great arts institutions. As a fan, patron and lover of arts and of our great city and of our great gallery as one of the cultural beacons in this city, I think I can bring a unique perspective to the shortening attention spans of attendees of the gallery, of media, and take some of the experience I have developed in the music industry and serving on boards in the music community and in our city to the AGO.
Thank you for your consideration.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Thank you very much. Mr. Gates.
Mr. Wayne Gates: Yes. You touched a little bit on the back, but what really motivated you to seek the appointment?
Mr. Jeffrey Remedios: You know, I’m a Torontonian born and bred. I believe I come at this from a unique perspective in that I’ve been so entrenched in the music community but I think a lot about our cultural institutions and about the disruptive forces of the digital transformation of our world and how that is a double-edged sword. It creates a lot of opportunities; it also poses a lot of threats.
I think the AGO has a tremendous position in our community, and there are incredible opportunities for the institution to be engaging with patrons of all ages and doing really interesting, dynamic work. What I want to do is take some of the learnings and lessons that I’ve gotten from my work in the music business and apply them to a broader arts field.
Mr. Wayne Gates: You said during your opening comments that you were asked to be involved. Who asked you?
Mr. Jeffrey Remedios: I put my hand up under Matthew Teitelbaum’s—
Mr. Wayne Gates: I’m sorry, who?
Mr. Jeffrey Remedios: Under former president Matthew Teitelbaum—when he was there, we had a conversation where he said, “Would you consider it?” I said, “It would be an honour to consider it,” so I put my name forward.
Mr. Wayne Gates: How do you think that your background in music will help the art gallery?
Mr. Jeffrey Remedios: I think a lot of it is transferable in terms of the larger arts community. In music, in many respects, it has been the first of the arts industries to be digitally transformed, facing a lot of the challenges of digital disruption. In terms of engaging younger consumers and getting different constituents from large backgrounds to be focused—what is the meaning of a gallery in 2015 and beyond? Those are challenges that the music industry has been grappling with for a decade, and I’m hopeful to lend some of that to the board.
Mr. Wayne Gates: Okay. My final question is probably going to be the toughest one: Who is your favourite group?
Mr. Jeffrey Remedios: You know, that would be like picking children for me—
Mr. Wayne Gates: I’ve got to write that one down: “Picking children.” All right. Thanks very much. I appreciate it.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Thank you very much, Mr. Gates. Ms. Martins.
Mrs. Cristina Martins: First of all, Mr. Remedios, I just wanted to say thank you so much for taking the time to come here today to make your deputation and thank you for putting your name forward. I think that the credentials that you’ve presented here today, your background in music, will definitely be a welcoming and refreshing mindset, if you will, to the visual arts.
As the member that represents the riding of Davenport, which I’m sure you’re familiar with—
Mr. Jeffrey Remedios: Very.
Mrs. Cristina Martins: —which is growing in terms of art and art galleries—we’ve got MOCCA coming into our riding soon—I appreciate the work that you do. Thank you so much for being here today.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Ms. Martow.
Mrs. Gila Martow: I’ve quoted you here: “engaging ... interesting, dynamic work.” I know exactly what you mean, in terms of the digital world. People aren’t interacting with each other enough. They’re listening to music on their earphones as opposed to listening in a group and talking while they’re listening and things like that.
I was reminded of a pub crawl in Dublin that I was on. Usually, when you think of a pub crawl, you think of music, hearing bands at different pubs. But this was a literary pub crawl, where we went with some actors and they acted out different scenes and things like that.
I’m just wondering if you have any sorts of ideas in your head—I have a feeling you do—in terms of how to make the Art Gallery more engaging and get people out of the Art Gallery and onto the streets, to interact.
Mr. Jeffrey Remedios: Absolutely. I think that’s a very good point that you make.
I don’t believe the Art Gallery is broken, necessarily, and I feel like they’re heading in a pretty positive direction. At least from the outside looking in, that would be my analysis.
I’m encouraged by events that they’ve begun, like the AGO First Thursdays, which is open, where you see younger patrons of art go on Thursday evenings and you see live music there. They’ve started AGO Friday Nights. It’s free on Wednesday evenings—different, dynamic ways to engage our city with the gallery and the different offerings that it has. I think there’s a lot more that can be done in that area, and I hope to play an active role in helping to do that.
Mrs. Gila Martow: Thank you so much for coming in. I hope the traffic didn’t make you too nervous.
Mr. Jeffrey Remedios: It was brutal this morning, I have to say. Thank you.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Thank you very much, Mr. Remedios. This concludes the time for our interview. We’re going to consider our concurrences right after you rise out of the chair, so you’re welcome to stay. Thanks again for being here this morning.
We will now consider the concurrence for Sylvia Chrominska, nominated as member, University of Western Ontario board of governors. Mr. Rinaldi?
Mr. Lou Rinaldi: I move concurrence in the intended appointment of Sylvia Chrominska, nominated as member, University of Western Ontario board of governors.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Any discussion? All those in favour? Opposed? The motion is carried.
Congratulations, Ms. Chrominska.
We’ll now consider the concurrence for Jeffrey Remedios, nominated as member, Art Gallery of Ontario. Mr. Rinaldi?
Mr. Lou Rinaldi: I move concurrence in the intended appointment of Jeffrey Remedios, nominated as member, Art Gallery of Ontario.
The Chair (Mr. John Fraser): Any discussion? All those in favour? Opposed? The motion is carried.
Congratulations, Mr. Remedios.
Thank you very much for being here.
We now have a number of deadline extensions to consider. The Clerk is passing those out right now. We’re going to have to go through each one. We’ll just do this by unanimous consent.
The first extension is Gita Anand, nominated as vice-chair, Ontario Labour Relations Board. That’s an extension to November 25, 2015. Are we all agreed? Okay.
The second is Simone Thibault, nominated as member, Provincial Advisory Committee on Francophone Affairs. That extension is to November 21, 2015. Do I have agreement? Thank you very much.
Jessica Smith, nominated as member, Trillium Gift of Life Network: an extension to November 21, 2015. Do I have agreement? Thank you very much.
Julie Di Lorenzo, nominated as member, Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corp.: an extension to November 21, 2015. Do I have agreement? Thank you very much.
Bahareh Hosseini, nominated as member, council of the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario: an extension to November 26, 2015. Do I have agreement? Thank you very much.
Guy Freedman, nominated as member, Champlain Local Health Integration Network: an extension to November 24, 2015. There’s an error on there. That extension is to November 24, 2015, not September as was written there. Do I have agreement? Thank you very much.
Peter Rossos, nominated as member, eHealth Ontario: an extension to November 24, 2015. Do I have agreement? Thank you very much.
Murray Porteous, nominated as chair, Agricorp: an extension to November 24, 2015. Do I have agreement? Thank you very much.
Kenneth Jeffers, nominated as member, Toronto Police Services Board: an extension to November 24, 2015. Do I have agreement? Thank you very much.
Thank you very much. This meeting is adjourned.
The committee adjourned at 0931.
Tuesday 20 October 2015
Subcommittee reports A-247
Intended appointments A-247
Ms. Sylvia Chrominska A-247
Mr. Jeffrey Remedios A-249
STANDING COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
Chair / Président
Mr. John Fraser (Ottawa South L)
Vice-Chair / Vice-Présidente
Mrs. Cristina Martins (Davenport L)
Mr. Robert Bailey (Sarnia–Lambton PC)
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. Randy Pettapiece (Perth–Wellington PC)
Mr. Lou Rinaldi (Northumberland–Quinte West L)
Substitutions / Membres remplaçants
Mr. Granville Anderson (Durham L)
Ms. Ann Hoggarth (Barrie L)
Mrs. Gila Martow (Thornhill PC)
Mr. Jeff Yurek (Elgin–Middlesex–London PC)
Clerk / Greffière
Ms. Sylwia Przezdziecki
Staff / Personnel
Ms. Heather Webb, research officer,