STANDING COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
COMITÉ PERMANENT DES ORGANISMES GOUVERNEMENTAUX
Tuesday 16 February 2021 Mardi 16 février 2021
The committee met at 0900 in committee room 2 and by video conference.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): Good morning, everyone. I call this meeting to order. We are meeting to conduct a review of intended appointments. We have the following member in the room: MPP Bouma. The following members are participating remotely: MPP Coe, MPP Natyshak, MPP Martin, MPP Miller, MPP Pang, MPP Styles. We are also joined by staff from legislative research, Hansard, and broadcast and recording.
To make sure that everyone can understand what’s going on, it is important that all participants speak slowly and clearly. Please wait until I recognize you before starting to speak. Since it could take a little time for your audio and video to come up after I recognize you, please take a brief pause before beginning. As always, all comments by members and witnesses should go through the Chair.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): The first item of business will be the adoption of several subcommittee reports, which we all have seen in advance.
First, we have the subcommittee report dated December 10, 2020. Again, we have all seen the report in advance, so could I have a motion? Mr. Bouma.
Mr. Will Bouma: I move adoption of the subcommittee report on intended appointments dated Thursday, December 10, 2020, on the order-in-council certificate dated December 4, 2020.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): Any further discussion? Seeing none, I’d like to call a vote. All those in favour? Opposed? It carries.
Next, we have the subcommittee report dated December 17, 2020. Again, we have all seen the report in advance, so could I please have a motion? Mr. Bouma.
Mr. Will Bouma: I move adoption of the subcommittee report on intended appointments dated Thursday, December 17, 2020, on the order-in-council certificate dated December 11, 2020.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): Any further discussion? Seeing none, I’d like to call a vote. All those in favour? Opposed? The report carries.
Next, we have the subcommittee report dated December 23, 2020. Could I please have a motion? Mr. Bouma.
Mr. Will Bouma: I move adoption of the subcommittee report on intended appointments dated Wednesday, December 23, 2020, on the order-in-council certificate dated December 18, 2020.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): Any further discussion? Seeing none, I’d like to call a vote. All those in favour? Opposed? It carries.
Next, we have the subcommittee report dated January 21, 2021. Can I please have a motion? Mr. Bouma.
Mr. Will Bouma: I move adoption of the subcommittee report on intended appointments dated Thursday, January 21, 2021, on the order-in-council certificate dated January 15, 2021.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): Any further discussion? Seeing none, all those in favour? Opposed? That carries.
Next, we have the subcommittee report dated February 4, 2021. Could I please have a motion? Mr. Bouma.
Mr. Will Bouma: I move adoption of the subcommittee report on intended appointments dated Thursday, February 4, 2021, on the order-in-council certificate dated January 29, 2021.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): Any further discussion? Seeing none, I would like to call a vote. All those in favour? Opposed? That carries.
Finally, we have the subcommittee report dated February 11, 2021. Could I please have a motion? Mr. Bouma.
Mr. Will Bouma: I move adoption of the subcommittee report on intended appointments dated Thursday, February 11, 2021, on the order-in-council certificate dated February 5, 2021.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): Any further discussion? Seeing none, I would like to call a vote. All those in favour? Opposed? That carries.
Mr. Barak Queija
Review of intended appointment, selected by official opposition party: Barak Queija, intended appointee as vice-chair, Ontario French-language Educational Communications Authority.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): Next, we will have our review of intended appointments.
First, we have Barak Queija, nominated as vice-chair of the Ontario French-language Educational Communication Authority. As you may be aware, you have the opportunity, should you choose to do so, to make an initial statement. Following this, there will be questions from members of the committee. With that questioning, we will start with the official opposition, followed by the government, with 15 minutes allocated to each recognized party. Any time you take in your statement will be deducted from the time allotted to the government.
Welcome to our committee. The floor is yours, sir.
Mr. Barak Queija: Thank you, Mr. Chair. I will start off with my opening statement.
I was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, but my father was an immigrant from Peru. My mother was born in Halifax. My first language that I heard around the house was Spanish, as my Spanish grandmother took care of me since my mother took ill when she gave birth to me. As such, my first language was Spanish. I was bilingual by the time that I started my elementary school—Spanish and English.
My parents felt that it was important for me to learn a third language, so they enrolled me in French immersion.
J’ai fait toutes mes études en immersion française, de la maternelle jusqu’à la 12e année, puis j’ai déménagé à Montréal pour l’université.
I went to McGill University for my bachelor of science, majoring in computer science and minoring in management. Although I was involved in clubs in high school, it was in my university years where I participated in several activities. The first club that I joined in my freshman year was the Sigma Chi Fraternity. I was elected as president for my second year.
It was throughout the fraternity where I learned how to manage meetings and work with others in order to achieve a common goal. I took those lessons and applied them to my presidency of the computer science undergraduate society. We were awarded the best society in science and the best society at McGill. I was also awarded the Scarlet Key, which is awarded annually to a McGill student who excels in leadership and stewardship.
I graduated from McGill in 1999 and made my way to Toronto, where I joined Andersen Consulting, now Accenture. During my seven years at Andersen/Accenture, I worked with people all over the world. I was able to work on projects in Canada and the United States, England and Thailand. I even had the opportunity to work in India; however, I had to turn it down because that was the year I was getting married. That was in 2004.
While I was at Andersen/Accenture, I volunteered for Junior Achievement in southern Ontario, teaching grade 7s and grade 8s about money. I decided to leave Accenture in 2006 to pursue a career in financial planning with Investors Group, now IG Wealth Management. Since joining Investors Group, I have achieved my certified financial planner. I am a chartered life underwriter, certified health insurance specialist, certified professional consultant on aging, certified value builder, certified executive advisor and registered retirement consultant. I get these designations because I am committed to the art and science of financial planning and I want to be able to be the best financial planner for my clients.
When I’m not working as a financial planner, I volunteer my time, and I have worked on several boards. I was on the board of directors for Makom, which is my Jewish community group. I have continuously given my time to Sigma Chi as an alumni brother, working on the board with the Sigma Chi of Toronto alumni association as its president, past president and now alumni relations chairman. I am also on the national advisory committee for the certified executor advisor and president of the Toronto chapter. I have also volunteered on my daughter’s daycare board—Garrison Creek daycare—as a board member. Thus I have extensive experience of being on several boards with different groups of individuals. Whenever I join a board, I become an active member of that board, helping them with their mission and vision. I am committed and hard-working.
I desire to become the vice-chair of the board of the TFO. I truly believe that it’s important for the government to invest in French-language programs, as this provides valuable insights for the people of Ontario who want to enrich themselves in French culture. I am pleased that this government takes French education so seriously.
C’est par mon aptitude de parler français que j’ai appris beaucoup de choses sur la culture francophone. Quand j’ai vécu à Montréal, j’avais une petite amie québécoise d’Amos, en Abitibi-Témiscamingue. J’ai rencontré des gens là qui ne pouvaient pas parler anglais. C’est mon éducation en immersion française qui a ouvert les portes de communication avec eux.
I believe it’s important for Ontarians to have the opportunity to learn French, and I have put my two daughters in French immersion. One is in grade 8, and the other is in grade 2. I believe this is a fantastic opportunity. It has enriched my life, and as such I want to enrich their lives. Hence my total and utmost support for the French language and les Franco-Ontariens.
I am excited to bring my work and personal experience to this role on the TFO board. Thank you. Merci.
Le Président (M. John Vanthof): Merci beaucoup. On va commencer avec l’opposition officielle : madame Stiles. MPP Stiles?
Ms. Marit Stiles: Thank you for joining us this morning.
It’s good to see everybody on the committee here today, our first day back.
We have a number of questions that we ask every appointee because we have definitely seen a rather, I would say, troubling trend of people who have given significant or sometimes smaller amounts, but certainly political contributions, to the governing party. So we do have a number of questions that I hope you’ll understand I really have to ask, because this is the only place where the public has any opportunity for accountability and transparency.
My first question to you is going to be, have you donated to the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario?
Mr. Barak Queija: I have donated to the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario. However, I was approached, again, by the ministry to do this appointment based on my experience, not because of my—
Ms. Marit Stiles: If I may, my understanding is, you donated over $1,000. Was it in a leadership campaign? Is that correct?
Mr. Barak Queija: That is correct.
Ms. Marit Stiles: To which candidate?
Mr. Barak Queija: Caroline Mulroney.
Ms. Marit Stiles: You said you were approached by the ministry. Can you expand on that?
Mr. Barak Queija: I was approached by the ministry based on my qualifications, based on my stewardship and my leadership and all the qualifications I have with regard to this appointment.
Ms. Marit Stiles: You said you are bilingual in Spanish and English. But you are not a francophone. You obviously don’t consider yourself a francophone; correct?
Mr. Barak Queija: I’m a francophile—yes, I am.
Ms. Marit Stiles: You’re a francophile. You said that you love and enjoy—certainly, I attended French immersion as well, so I appreciate that.
This is a very important role, as I know you know. I just want to ask you some questions related to that, because this is such a crucial role at a very crucial time, with some major changes under way.
My question is, are you aware of the constitutional right of linguistic minorities to have access to and governance of education in the language of their choice—whether you consider TFO’s role as a government agency in this regard as a problem in light of article 23 of the charter?
Mr. Barak Queija: Again, I’m not here to talk about policy. I’m here to talk about my qualifications, based on my board experience, my governance, my executive management and strategic planning and risk management, my financial planning. That’s what I have to bring to the board—and my accounting experience, as well. That is why I’m here.
Ms. Marit Stiles: Sorry, but this is a very important part of the policy of what’s going on at TFO right now—the existence of TFO and this agency that we’re speaking of in particular. So it is actually really crucial that you understand the policy, especially considering that we have a situation where there’s a linguistic minority in Ontario that holds charter rights to make some decisions on its own. Are you okay with government taking decisions on behalf of that linguistic minority? You, as somebody who loves the language and appreciates the French language, which I completely understand and appreciate—but as not being a francophone in this role, do you not see that as problematic?
Mr. Barak Queija: I do not see that as problematic. I’m here to provide my experience and my knowledge. Un amoureux de la langue française, je peux parler français aussi. I’m here to help the committee to better themselves based on my board experience, based on my executive management and strategic planning. That’s why I’m here today—not because of policy.
Ms. Marit Stiles: Can you explain to me a little bit about what you think the role of the agency is, though? It’s more than just simply financial management. There are major changes happening. Can you talk a little bit about some of the things that you’re going to be dealing with on the board? It’s a very senior role you’re taking on.
Mr. Barak Queija: I’m fully aware of that. I know that TFO provides high-quality educational, cultural and multimedia content to the 12 French-language school boards and the broader Franco-Ontarian community through in-house productions and co-productions. I am fully aware of the roles.
However, I’m here based on my qualifications, based on what was provided to me with regard to the roles and responsibilities—my qualifications and my board experience, my governance, my executive management, strategic planning and risk management.
Ms. Marit Stiles: Can you speak a little bit, then, for me, about the issues that Franco-Ontarians face in Ontario now? Can you talk a little bit about some of their concerns regarding assimilation, minority rights? Particularly, I think it’s important in this moment to relate back to education. Can you speak for a few minutes about that?
Mr. Barak Queija: Again, I’m not here to talk about minority rights and everything like that. I’m here to talk about—based on my qualifications for the roles and responsibilities.
Ms. Marit Stiles: Sorry; with the greatest of respect, this is part of the qualifications, I think, that Franco-Ontarians certainly will expect from somebody in this role.
Mr. Barak Queija: Again, I’m here based on my extensive board experience. I’ve been on several boards, and I’ve helped out on lots of different boards. I was called upon by this committee today to talk about my qualifications based on my past experience, not to talk about policy.
Ms. Marit Stiles: I’m really not talking about policy; I’m just asking for your opinion about the minority language rights of francophones in Ontario.
Mr. Barak Queija: Again, I’m here to talk about my experience. If you have any questions based on my resumé and my experience, I’ll be more than happy to answer you.
Ms. Marit Stiles: Well, I’m kind of shocked, I’ve got to tell you. I’m sorry; I don’t want to be rude here, but we see lots and lots of appointees here, and I’ve never had anybody push back like that when I ask a general question. We are the ones who will decide whether you are appointed to this board, so for us, it’s really important to understand what you understand about the issues that francophones in Ontario, that Franco-Ontarians in particular, are experiencing.
For example, could you speak to the issues that some of the school boards have right now around some of the questions about online education and their role in the decisions that are being made about that?
Mr. Barak Queija: Again, I’m not here today to talk about that; I’m here to talk about my experience. If you want to ask me questions based on my past qualifications, I’ll be more than happy to—
Ms. Marit Stiles: We can be asking about your experience in undergraduate at McGill?
This is a very senior role at a very important time in Ontario for a lot of people who have, I have to say, felt, as I mentioned—
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): Ms. Stiles, a point of order.
Ms. Marit Stiles: Please.
Mr. Will Bouma: If I may, through you, Mr. Chair, I think we’re here to see if this applicant would be qualified for this, not to know—he’s getting on this board, so he needs to learn those things as a member of this board. We’re here to see if his qualifications are adequate, not if he has in-depth knowledge of how this board works. So I was hoping that the member could move on.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): I would say that is not a point of order. This is basically a job interview, and when you’re interviewing for a new job, you should have knowledge of that job. So continue with the question.
Ms. Marit Stiles: Absolutely. When I go in for job interviews, I know—you do your background research. This is a massive responsibility.
Mr. Chair, I’ll let my colleague Mr. Natyshak take on a few questions as well.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): Mr. Natyshak.
Mr. Taras Natyshak: Mr. Queija, do you believe that protecting French language rights in the province of Ontario is an important endeavour for governments of any stripe to partake in and to embark on?
Mr. Barak Queija: Again, I’m here to talk about my experience being on boards. I—
Mr. Taras Natyshak: Okay. Does your experience in leading your fraternity, your prior experience in whatever role you played in your fraternity—does that help protect French language rights in the province of Ontario? How does that help protect and promote French language rights in the province of Ontario? That’s specific to your fraternity. You mentioned you had some experience within your fraternity—
Mr. Barak Queija: I have experience within my fraternity and on several boards—
Mr. Taras Natyshak: — promoting French language rights in the province of Ontario?
Mr. Barak Queija: I would say my experience living in Quebec has helped me with understanding the French culture. I lived there for four years. I was in Amos, l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue, so I understand in the French—
Mr. Taras Natyshak: But specifically related to your experience in your fraternity, as you stated—how does that support protecting and promoting French language rights in the province of Ontario? You were the one who said you were here to speak about your experience, so I’m asking you about your experience and how it relates to the job that we’re asking you to do.
Mr. Barak Queija: And the qualifications based on the job are board experience, governance, executive management and strategic planning.
Mr. Taras Natyshak: But we could find a lot of people within the province who have—
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): Point of order, Mr. Natyshak.
Mrs. Robin Martin: Point of order, Chair.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): Point of order, Mrs. Martin.
Mrs. Robin Martin: On a point of order, Chair: I think the question was asked and answered. Not everything on somebody’s resumé they present is directly relevant to the position that they’re taking. Mr. Queija already explained how this is relevant: because he spent time at McGill in Montreal and was immersed in the French language and culture. So he’s already given an answer—
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): Mrs. Martin, that’s not a point of order. The opposition has the ability and the right to ask questions. The appointee has the ability to answer the questions.
Continue, Mr. Natyshak.
Mr. Taras Natyshak: Mr. Queija, to be fair, you have been very reluctant to expand on any of your thoughts around cultural issues that currently exist in the province of Ontario. I would ask you more, but I think that you probably aren’t ready, prepared or able to answer those questions. Therefore, sir, I question your ability to actually perform this role that you are being asked to perform adequately.
On pourrait trouver beaucoup de personnes avec de l’expérience en finances dans la province de l’Ontario. On pourrait trouver beaucoup de personnes qui ont vécu au Québec ou en Ontario qui sont francophones qui, aussi, ont de l’expérience en finances. Mais il n’y a certainement pas beaucoup de personnes qui sont aussi donneurs au Parti conservateur.
That is what I think sets you apart. That is what we have pointed out time after time—that it isn’t necessarily the experience that people hold; it is their connection to the PC Party of Ontario as donors. Sir, in your testimony today, you have highlighted the fact that your experience has no merit on the basis on your appointment here; it is certainly, simply, your connection to the party.
It’s really unfortunate that you refuse to expand on some form of knowledge about what the issues are that the francophone community faces.
The cuts to the French-language commissioner that this government embarked on at the beginning of their tenure have devastated the protections for francophones in Ontario. I would hope that you would be able to have some sort of personal information, knowledge or any type of position on that. But unfortunately, it seems you’re pleading the fifth.
Sir, I truly hope that you change direction, because the continuation and protection of what makes us an amazing country relies on it. As much as your appointment seems pro forma on the part of the government, where they continue to just nominate people who are connected to them, it is vitally important to those francophones in Ontario. We will make sure they know that there is someone sitting on this board who doesn’t have any opinion on whether the French language should be protected in this province. It is truly unfortunate.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): Ms. Stiles.
Ms. Marit Stiles: High-ranked people in this agency, in high-ranked positions like you will be taking on, really need to be able to work and run the shop in French. Do you actually think that your proficiency in French is at that level? I did French immersion as well and I’ve lived in francophone communities, and I don’t think mine is. But maybe you do. Do you think you have that kind of high level of French to be able to work, write, read and serve the francophone community adequately as a non-francophone?
Mr. Barak Queija: Yes, I do.
Ms. Marit Stiles: Well, I would concur with my colleague that I think this—we will certainly be informing the francophones of this province of the fact that this government has shown such little respect by appointing somebody who is not a francophone and who clearly has no interest in minority language rights in this province.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): That concludes the time allotted.
We will now switch to the government side. You have 11 minutes. Mr. Bouma.
Mr. Will Bouma: If I could begin by just asking the Clerk—Mr. Nicholls texted me and reports that he is having trouble getting on the meeting. He’s asking the Clerk to send the link directly to his three-letter address.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): On it.
Mr. Will Bouma: Thank you. Much obliged.
Thank you, Mr. Queija, for joining us today.
The TFO board is comprised of individuals with various skill sets and backgrounds. How would you say, specifically, that your work and life experience will help improve the TFO board?
Mr. Barak Queija: I have several years of board experience. I’ve been on several different boards—not only with my fraternity, but within my own executor adviser network. I’ve been on a lot of national committees. I’m also the president of my Toronto chapter. So I have not only been a participant on boards, but I’ve also led boards on corporate governance and everything like that.
Mr. Will Bouma: So if I could just dig into that a little bit deeper, what would you say are some of the biggest challenges that boards in a general—because you do have a deep depth of experience on different boards, right from university to present day. What are some of the biggest challenges that you’ve seen on boards as they move forward trying to run an organization and, just as a generalization, how do you overcome that?
Mr. Barak Queija: Some of the biggest challenges are talking about action and actually getting action done. Those are some of the biggest challenges. We all talk a lot—big talk and everything like that, but it’s just about creating a plan, and that’s what I’m able to do. I’m able to create an effective plan and execute on that plan. That is the way that I approach issues and solve them.
Mr. Will Bouma: I’ll turn it over to MPP Miller.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): Mr. Miller.
Mr. Norman Miller: I’ll follow up on that line of questioning. Obviously, Mr. Queija has a lot of board experience.
Can you describe some of the positions you’ve held and currently hold and how this will help you as you take on the role of vice-chair of TFO?
Mr. Barak Queija: Yes. Some of the positions that I have held, one of which—I was on the board of my Jewish community centre, and now is a start-up Jewish community. Makom is a small Jewish community in downtown Toronto. I was able to get onto that board and help out on the vision and mission of that board.
I’m also continuously involved with the Sigma Chi Toronto Alumni Chapter. We are helping out—coming up to our 100th anniversary. As the alumni relations chairman, I am able to help out in that respect and help with that mission and vision.
I’m also on, as I mentioned, the board of the Certified Executive Advisor Network. That is a network of over 2,000 individuals across Canada helping out executors with their mission.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): Before we continue, I see that we have MPP Nicholls on the line.
Could you identify yourself, MPP Nicholls, and confirm that you are indeed in Ontario?
Mr. Rick Nicholls: This is Rick Nicholls, MPP, and I am in Ontario.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): Thank you very much.
Mr. Lorne Coe: Thank you, sir, for your presentation earlier. It’s clear that you are a member of the francophile community and trilingual, as I understand and read your resumé. I’m familiar with many of the groups that you’ve interacted with over the years.
What I’d like you to do is to speak specifically to your long-standing relationship to the francophone community.
Mr. Barak Queija: Again, my relationship with the francophone community started off in Quebec, when I dated a French-Canadian girl. We went out; the only language that we spoke at home was French. Her roommate—her colocataire—was also a francophone, and I talked all the time in French.
I went to l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue, which is in the heart of Quebec. Understanding their French language and their culture—I got to learn their culture with regard to the French communities. I also have clients who are French, or francophone, some who are from Ontario. We always talk about their issues and their wants and needs, as well.
Mr. Lorne Coe: Thank you for your answer.
Clearly, given your experience at McGill and your length of time in the city of Montreal, where I was born—you’ve also established relationships here in Ontario.
Mr. Barak Queija: Correct.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): Before we continue, I would just like to identify that MPP Tangri has joined us.
Could you please confirm that you are indeed MPP Tangri and that you are in Ontario?
Mrs. Nina Tangri: Yes, this is MPP Tangri, and I am in Mississauga, Ontario.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): Thank you very much.
I’d like to turn to MPP Martin for questioning.
Mrs. Robin Martin: TFO’s mandate is to encourage permanent learning in Ontario by offering quality educational programming in the French language through television, new media and other communication technologies. By offering its content to francophone and francophile learners, educators and parents, TFO showcases the vitality of the Franco-Ontarian community across the world.
Like you, I’m a francophile. I went to McGill and spent a lot of time studying there, immersed myself as much as possible in the francophone community there, learned a bit about how they lived, and tried to improve my French as I was there.
As a francophile, how do you see TFO’s work in expanding French-language education?
Mr. Barak Queija: The main answer is, technology. As of March, the number of viewers was 1.4 billion and the number of subscribers was 2.3 million for all TFO channels. That is fantastic. Through the use of technology, we’re going to be able to expand the French language.
Mrs. Robin Martin: Have your daughters taken advantage of TFO’s education modules to improve their French, as well?
Mr. Barak Queija: They have.
Mrs. Robin Martin: And how have they found them?
Mr. Barak Queija: They have found them very effective, very good.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): MPP Pang.
Mr. Billy Pang: My question is about digital footprints.
Today, with the inclement weather, all the public schools are closed—well, in a normal world, the kids would stay home today but carry on their online learning.
You may have noticed that TFO has quite an impressive digital footprint—over 1.4 billion—and the number of subscribers is 2.3 million for all TFO channels.
How do you see the role of TFO in helping to equip students for the jobs of the future in our increasingly digital work world?
Mr. Barak Queija: Again, the continuing use of technology through the adoption of apps and through advertising—the key is to get the message out there and everything like that and to help individuals understand and be able to maximize on these tools.
Mr. Billy Pang: You may have noticed that our government is investing tons of dollars in broadband.
How will you promote—make it related for the digital world—for francophones and our broadband services?
Mr. Barak Queija: Based on the investment that the government is doing, it’s going to be able to help individuals learn French, improve their French, as well as communicate effectively in French and understand the French culture in Ontario.
Mr. Billy Pang: I have no further questions, Mr. Chair.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): We have about 40 seconds left. Mr. Coe.
Mr. Lorne Coe: Through you, Chair: Sir, could you speak a little bit about the role of TFO in promoting French among non-francopĥones and increasing their interest and exposure to French?
Mr. Barak Queija: The role of TFO is to promote French language, as well as French culture, through its multimedia activities, such as TV, as well as Internet, as well as apps.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): That concludes the time allotted for the interview. You are welcome to stay online for the rest of the meeting, if you so wish. Thank you for taking the time to come to our meeting today, virtually.
Mr. Rudy Santos
Review of intended appointment, selected by official opposition party: Rudy Santos, intended appointee as member, Ontario Heritage Trust.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): We will now move to our second appointment. Next we have Mr. Rudy Santos, nominated as member of the Ontario Heritage Trust.
Welcome, Mr. Santos. As you may be aware, you have the opportunity, should you choose to do so, to make an initial statement. Following this, there will be questions from members of the committee. With that questioning, we will start with the government, followed by the official opposition, with 15 minutes allocated to each recognized party. Any time you take in your statement will be deducted from the time allotted to the government.
The floor is yours, sir.
Mr. Rudy Santos: Good morning, Mr. Chairman and members of the standing committee. My name is Rudy Santos. I thank you for the opportunity to come before you today. I have a very short statement, and I’ll be happy to answer any questions that you may have.
I believe it is my civic duty to be able to give back in some way to a province that has given me so much. One of the ways I have felt I could be of service was as a board member of one of Ontario’s government agencies, such as the Ontario Heritage Trust. I have spent the last 20 years in the private sector, primarily in the advertising field.
My work has afforded me a lot of experience in fundraising for a number of charities, but I have also worked with many clients who are looking for corporate sponsorships. A recent example of this work is a campaign that I did with the Ontario Lung Association. I was able to secure them a variety of platforms in which they could promote their message, and I was able to leverage a career’s worth of relationships to ensure they were able to work within the confines of a non-profit budget.
I believe that with some out-of-the-box thinking, anything is possible. Therefore, my work has given me access to a wealth of corporate contracts who are also, like me, looking for an opportunity to be able to give back.
As a board member, it would be a great honour for me to be able to increase the size and scope of the donor and sponsor list and increase knowledge and awareness of the trust’s services across this province.
As an Ontario resident and an immigrant to this country, I do not take for granted the rich cultural heritage of this province. And as a father of two young children, I endeavour to instill in them my keen interest in history. It is this passion for the rich cultural diversity of this province, coupled with my professional experience, I believe, that makes me a uniquely suited candidate for this position. Thank you.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): Thank you very much, Mr. Santos.
We will start with questioning from the government. Mr. Bouma.
Mr. Will Bouma: Thank you, Mr. Santos, for joining us today. I appreciated your opening remarks.
I was wondering if you could share with this committee a little bit more about how you believe that your experience and qualifications make you well suited to meet the expectations of the Ontario Heritage Trust.
Mr. Rudy Santos: Thank you for the question. I believe that, as I mentioned, the wealth of corporate contacts and the experience that I have gained over the last 20-plus years in my particular field have given me an opportunity to be able to reach out, as I mentioned, to sponsors, to potential corporate donors that are looking for a way to give back and perhaps are not always aware of how to do it: who to speak to and what’s in it for them, to be a little, I guess, crass about it. In my opinion, I believe that the Ontario Heritage Trust is looking for someone to be able to attend fundraisers, to be able to show the flag as it were, and to attend networking events. In my opinion, I believe that I’m uniquely suited to that because that’s the world I come from. I have to do a lot of networking. I have to do a lot of fundraising for charities, as well, on my own. When we couple that together with what we have here, I believe that I bring that to the table; in other words, being able to add a fresh voice to a process that perhaps has not had fresh voice before.
Mr. Will Bouma: I’ll turn it over to Mr. Miller, Mr. Chair.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): MPP Miller.
Mr. Norman Miller: Thank you, Mr. Santos, for volunteering for this position with the Ontario Heritage Trust.
Obviously, your expertise is advertising and promotion, and that is an integral aspect of most organizations and associations. So I wonder—and you did mention it a bit—have you given thought to how you might leverage your unique skills to raise Ontarians’ level of awareness about the Ontario Heritage Trust and its assets?
Mr. Rudy Santos: Yes. I’ll start briefly with, when I mentioned to a few friends of mine that I was doing this, the first reaction was: “Who? What is that? What do they do? I’ve never heard of them.” Okay. So when I said, “Well, you guys look around and you can see those little plaques that you see around, including parks and things like this.” “Oh, yes, of course.”
In other words, what the Ontario Heritage Trust right now is missing, perhaps, is a little bit of precisely what we discussed: an awareness. How do we create that awareness? I mentioned networking events. I mentioned fundraising events. Quite frankly, promoting the Ontario Heritage Trust’s assets across the board, whether we promote them digitally, whether we promote them through something as simple as word of mouth, and a whole array of different things that we could do—but I, personally, looked through the website, very much so. I have my own ideas as to what can be tweaked a little bit to, again, help reach out to those educators, to those families, to those people who are looking for—especially these days—something new.
That’s one of the things that my company does really well—create that buzz, if you will, and create that awareness. In my experience, it does take a little time. Things like this don’t happen overnight. But with a little know-how, as I mentioned before, and out-of-the-box thinking, perhaps, we can in fact get more people aware of this.
Mr. Norman Miller: I’ll pass it on to MPP Pang.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): MPP Pang.
Mr. Billy Pang: Mr. Santos, thank you again for putting your name forward.
You may have noticed that we have seen over the course of the last 11 months that COVID-19 forced a lot of businesses to go virtual, where possible. OHT was no different, as 2020 was the year of the Digital Doors Open campaign.
Mr. Rudy Santos: Correct.
Mr. Billy Pang: With your background, are you able to conduct a digital audit of OHT’s assets? If so, can you elaborate on what a potential audit would look like?
Mr. Rudy Santos: Yes. Let me answer that—if I can clarify, because “digital audit” means different things to different people. In fact, my wife works at the CBC. Whenever she and I discuss digital audits, she means something completely different from what I mean.
What I mean when I say “digital audit” is—looking at the website, for example: How is the website looking? Where are people spending most of their time? How are they getting there? What are they looking at? How long are they looking at it? What is the demographic makeup of the people who are, in fact, looking at the website? And then we go into things like social media: How many people are we pulling in from the Facebooks and the Twitters and so on. Should we change content? Should we expand who we’re trying to attract demographically and so on?
So if that’s what you mean, I would literally sit down with the marketing department and just go through: What are we doing? Who are we trying to attract? What is working? What is not working? Sometimes, as they say, it’s hard to see the forest for the trees—so perhaps just stepping back and, with a fresh approach, coming in and asking what some may look at as tough questions, but we still need to be asking to see what is working and what isn’t working.
Sometimes I find that entities get caught up in the “let’s just throw information out there,” and no one, perhaps, is really looking at it. It’s just sitting there, and it’s just creating work for no reason. So I think by asking the tough questions, getting honest answers and then applying those answers, and saying, “Okay, let’s work out with a plan. Let’s see what we can do”—and, yes, with a plan into action.
Mr. Billy Pang: Thank you very much for your answer.
I will pass to Mr. Coe.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): Mr. Coe.
Mr. Lorne Coe: Thank you, Chair, and through you: Welcome, Mr. Santos, and thank you for your excellent presentation.
You’re aware, as I am and other committee members are, that the Ontario Heritage Trust raises over 65% of its budget with a significant [inaudible] out of your extensive background.
I’d like you to spend a little bit more time talking about the types of strategic partnerships you’ve been involved in in the past, particularly those involving private-public sector partnerships, and your work in brokering those types of partnerships and the success of that. Again, the backdrop is raising 65% of the budget.
Mr. Rudy Santos: Right. And it is significant; that is certainly not a small amount, by any means.
I’ve worked mostly with the non-profit sector, and what I have done there is accessed—we will call it—the old Rolodex, as it were, and reached out to companies that I know are interested in: How do we give back? Sometimes, they don’t always know they’re interested, and they don’t know always know they need to give back. That’s where I come in.
I have, for example, the lung association—I have actually worked with the Canadian breast cancer association, and so on and so forth. How do I bring those two people together? I say, “This is what the non-profit wants to accomplish. I have XYZ client who might be interested in also helping them out, or helping out in general. Let’s leverage that. How do we make this work?” So I say, “Okay, company X, let’s try to meet with the non-profits. Let’s see what shared goals we both have, and let’s see if we are able to leverage that into some, quite frankly, financial aspect of a donation, perhaps.”
That has worked quite well in the past. I have been able to, as I mentioned in my opening statement, leverage a career’s worth of experience and contacts, and to say to some of my own personal contacts, “Look, I have a non-profit here. They’re looking to reach out to these and these and these people. What can you and I do to help them reach that goal?” I believe that precisely that is what I can bring.
Mr. Lorne Coe: Thank you for that answer.
Chair, through you, to MPP Tangri.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): MPP Tangri.
Mrs. Nina Tangri: Good morning, Mr. Santos.
Mr. Rudy Santos: Good morning.
Mrs. Nina Tangri: It’s my understanding that your company, RCS Media Solutions, has a client roster that includes some major companies, such as Booster Juice, Steam Whistle brewery and Scotiabank. I know you touched on this a little bit earlier, but can you please elaborate on the work that you do with these successful companies and how those experiences may benefit the Ontario Heritage Trust?
Mr. Rudy Santos: Yes. I have been blessed to be able to work with some of Canada’s top names—Scotiabank; CIBC is another one, for example. The work that I specifically do and my company does is that—each one of those companies has a product or a service, and, like any product or service, it needs to be promoted in one way or another. It needs to be honed specifically to whatever demographic they need to reach, and that’s where we come in. How do we help? For example, Scotiabank reach a specific demographic of newcomers, as it was in the one campaign that we just did recently. How do we help them out? We help promote that service. How do we do that? By advertising, by marketing, by conducting a holistic marketing approach. We customize each campaign to suit the needs of each specific client.
I view the Ontario Heritage Trust no differently. What is it that we’re trying to accomplish? Who are we trying to reach? In this case, it’s not a product per se, but it is a service, and it is a service that all Ontarians should enjoy, should participate in—and, quite frankly, be proud that we have this organization. So how do we make that happen? How do we ensure that the next time I speak to my friends, they’ll say, “Yes, I know exactly what you’re talking about. I’m happy that they’re around. I’m happy with the work that they’re doing”? It’s going back to what I mentioned earlier: Who are we trying to reach? What are we trying to do? Perhaps clean up the current programs that are in place a little bit.
While that is the short answer—believe me, we could spend the next three hours here just talking about this—that is the very beginning as to how we approach any client. We ask, “What is it that you want to accomplish?” and then we help you get there.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): That concludes the time for the government.
We will now switch to the official opposition. Mr. Natyshak.
Mr. Taras Natyshak: Thank you very much, Mr. Santos, for appearing before us, and thanks for your answers. It seems as though you have a sharp vision for your position within the Ontario Heritage Trust, and I appreciate your answers.
Mr. Santos, we in the opposition have been forced to ask some uncomfortable questions of a lot of intended appointees due to the nature of the appointment process that the government has embarked on since the beginning of their tenure. It is because the government has, by and large, nominated or appointed folks who have some sort of connection to the government that we’ve been able to find out. It’s a little disconcerting, but nevertheless, I have to ask you these questions. I hope that you take no offence to them, but they’re important for the general public and for the vetting process.
Mr. Rudy Santos: Absolutely.
Mr. Taras Natyshak: Mr. Santos, have you ever been a member or are you currently a member of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario?
Mr. Rudy Santos: I had been a member, yes.
Mr. Taras Natyshak: Are you currently a member of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario?
Mr. Rudy Santos: I don’t believe I am, no. It expired a long time ago.
Mr. Taras Natyshak: How long ago?
Mr. Rudy Santos: I have no idea.
Mr. Taras Natyshak: Have you ever donated to the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario?
Mr. Rudy Santos: I believe I have.
Mr. Taras Natyshak: Do you know how much and when?
Mr. Rudy Santos: I don’t. I don’t recall either. It has been a long time since I’ve given money out, to be honest.
Mr. Taras Natyshak: Do you know the nature of that donation? Was it a campaign donation? Was it a leadership donation? Was it a donation to a riding association?
Mr. Rudy Santos: I believe it might have just been to the party itself.
Mr. Taras Natyshak: Was it a one-time thing, or were you a monthly or annual donor?
Mr. Rudy Santos: No, I was not a monthly or annual. I think I gave a couple of times, if I recall.
Mr. Taras Natyshak: Have you ever worked or been a candidate in an election, or sought a candidacy for the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario?
Mr. Rudy Santos: No.
Mr. Taras Natyshak: Did someone within the party apparatus or the government itself, either staff or ministers or elected officials, reach out to you to apply for this position?
Mr. Rudy Santos: No. I put my name down on the appointments website and I got reached out to.
Mr. Taras Natyshak: When did you do that?
Mr. Rudy Santos: Oh, my goodness. This was quite some time ago. I think this process has taken some time, I believe, so this was a couple of months or so.
Mr. Taras Natyshak: Is it the first time you’d ever applied for an appointment?
Mr. Rudy Santos: Correct.
Mr. Taras Natyshak: And you sought out the Ontario Heritage Trust specifically because of your experience?
Mr. Rudy Santos: Yes, that was one of them. I also put my name down for the Royal Ontario Museum and, I believe, the AGO, if memory serves. As I said, it was a while ago.
Mr. Taras Natyshak: So at the same time, you put your name in three different buckets, as it were.
Mr. Rudy Santos: Right.
Mr. Taras Natyshak: All right. That’s it. That’s as uncomfortable as it is from me. I appreciate it.
Mr. Rudy Santos: No pain, no sweat, no worry.
Mr. Taras Natyshak: Right on. I will pass it off to my most capable colleague the member for Davenport, Ms. Stiles.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): MPP Stiles.
Ms. Marit Stiles: Thank you very much, Mr. Santos, for your presentation and for being here today.
The Ontario Heritage Trust, as you’ve mentioned a few times, plays a very important role in the province. I wonder if you are aware of what has been happening at the site of the foundry—I don’t know where you’re located—if you’re aware of the ongoing attempts by the provincial government to demolish heritage properties at the foundry site.
Mr. Rudy Santos: The name rings a bell somewhere, but I honestly don’t know enough facts about that particular case.
Ms. Marit Stiles: It might, then, surprise you to know that in the heritage inventory are buildings on Eastern Avenue. The government has recently used ministerial zoning orders to begin to demolish those buildings, those sites—which were considered heritage properties—without any community consultation, for the purposes of being able to sell them off to developers. It seems to me that the Ontario Heritage Trust should probably be advocating for the preservation of buildings, raising money, raising awareness, as you pointed out.
How do you feel about the Ford government moving in to demolish those heritage sites?
Mr. Rudy Santos: Well, as I said, I really don’t know the facts well enough to have any sort of opinion.
Ms. Marit Stiles: It has been all over the news.
The government is now talking about taking over the site of Ontario’s first Parliament. Were you aware of that?
Mr. Rudy Santos: No.
Ms. Marit Stiles: And then, were you aware that Metrolinx—the intention is to take over that site, not to be preserved, but so that Metrolinx can build a station for the Ontario Line. What do you see as the role of the Ontario Heritage Trust in a situation like that?
Mr. Rudy Santos: Well, obviously, without knowing all the facts, I believe that the facts should be gathered and looked at and studied, and then, based on those, come to some preliminary conclusions, have all the stakeholders looked at—
Ms. Marit Stiles: For example, the site of Ontario’s first Parliament, would you not agree, would have some sort of heritage significance?
Mr. Rudy Santos: Where is Ontario’s first Parliament?
Ms. Marit Stiles: It’s downtown, around Corktown.
Ontario’s first Parliament seems to be of some historical significance, would you not agree?
What I’m grappling with here is that we have the Ontario Heritage Trust, we have a province that has said, “We’re taking on these properties to maintain them and preserve them,” and then we have the same government walking in and overriding any kind of heritage considerations or community consultations or city planning to literally bulldoze these sites.
What do you feel is the role of the Heritage Trust in maintaining and preserving heritage properties?
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): Excuse me. We have a point of order, I believe. Ms. Martin?
Mrs. Robin Martin: Chair, I was just concerned that the facts are not being presented fairly, obviously, to the witness, who says he doesn’t know about the circumstances. Of course, the MZO was at the request of the city of Toronto, so that is, in effect, consultation with the community, seeing as how the councillors represent the community, I think. I just wanted to make sure that the witness had the information.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): Thank you. You may respond, Mr. Santos.
Mr. Rudy Santos: Well, as I mentioned, Ms. Stiles, I don’t know the facts, and without knowing the facts, I can’t really comment on, nor is it for me to comment on, government policy.
Ms. Marit Stiles: But in fact you will be, to some extent, responding to and responsive to government policy in this role. I could hear it when you were talking about it—you want to help the Ontario Heritage Trust; you want to raise money; you want to build awareness. But you have a government on the other side that seems to be just literally bulldozing over.
To MPP Martin’s point: Actually, the city is opposed to this and, in fact, the local city councillors are all opposed to this, so the community is not in agreement.
In any case, maybe you could just speak to your understanding of why we want to maintain these heritage sites generally. What is the importance of that?
Mr. Rudy Santos: Well, you’re asking me to make generalizations about—as I mention again, I don’t know what the facts are.
Ms. Marit Stiles: I’m not talking about those specific properties—just maintaining heritage properties, which is one of the main functions of the Ontario Heritage Trust.
Mr. Rudy Santos: One of the main functions of the Ontario Heritage Trust is to maintain properties. How do we do that? You look up the existing properties that are under the umbrella of the Ontario Heritage Trust, and then you conduct a study as to what can be done, what should be done. As I said, look at all the stakeholders; see what the input is from those stakeholders—
Ms. Marit Stiles: If I may, do you think that community members should be part of the conversation about heritage properties?
Mr. Rudy Santos: I’ll repeat my statement: All stakeholders should be consulted.
Ms. Marit Stiles: Including the city? City planning departments, perhaps? Who would you consider a stakeholder in that conversation? You could say “stakeholders,” but who does that involve?
Mr. Rudy Santos: Well, the people who have an interest in the particular site.
Ms. Marit Stiles: So what perspective, then, has more importance? Is it, as a Ontario Heritage Trust, those who care about the heritage, the buildings and the community who is impacted? Or is it the developers?
Mr. Rudy Santos: I think you’re asking me to speculate on something, and I really can’t answer that.
Ms. Marit Stiles: Is there anything else you could speak to that relates to the actual issues that the Ontario Heritage Trust is facing right now around the demolition of these properties? This has been all over the news, and certainly—
Mr. Rudy Santos: Well, Ms. Stiles, I will tell you that I have not seen this all over the news. In fact, as I mentioned earlier, I heard about this quite a while ago in passing and I have not since. So as I’ve said, I can’t speak to something I don’t know the facts to, and I think it would be irresponsible for anyone to comment on something if they don’t have all the facts in front of them.
Ms. Marit Stiles: Okay. We’re facing this conundrum. We’ve got conservation areas where the government is overriding the conservation authorities; we have the government overriding municipalities and heritage designations. We all, I’m sure, live in communities where there are some areas that are heritage-designated, and we say we value these things, but they are only words unless we actually protect them; correct?
Mr. Rudy Santos: I suppose actions speak louder than words, perhaps.
Ms. Marit Stiles: That’s what I think too.
Anyway, that’s all my questions.
This is a very important role, and I really appreciate you taking it on. I do encourage you to take a look very carefully at what the government is doing here. I always feel badly for people who get appointed to things in the middle of a situation or a crisis like this. I know you definitely have an interest in playing an important role here, and I really appreciate that and the unique experience you bring to the table. It seems to be an important moment for the trust in Ontario, because the government does seem to have this vision of overriding community and heritage designation. It’s a very risky time. I hope you will take the time—and I know you will—to become familiar, to stand up for those properties and to protect our important heritage sites.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): Ms. Martin?
Mrs. Robin Martin: On a point of order, Chair. MPP Stiles keeps imputing motive to the government, which is against the rules. I would just ask that her comments be within the rules of conduct in Parliament—
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): I don’t believe she was imputing motive. Thank you.
That concludes your interview, Mr. Santos. I’d like to thank you very much for being here. You’re welcome to stay on the line as we conclude the meeting.
Mr. Rudy Santos: I thank all of you for taking the time to speak to me today.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): We will now consider the intended appointment of Barak Queija, nominated as vice-chair of the Ontario French-language Educational Communications Authority.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): MPP Natyshak?
Mr. Taras Natyshak: Thank you very much, Chair, and I thank the Clerk as well for giving me some guidance through the chat thing. This is really interesting to have to do it virtually.
I have some outstanding questions around the previous intended appointee that would be best clarified if we could have a reread of his deputation through Hansard. I realize that that doesn’t happen in real time, but I just want to clarify whether—I believe there was a question from MPP Coe around his connection to the francophone community. This is either a point of order or a point of privilege. I believe the deputant stated that his connection to the francophone community was that he at some point in his life dated a girl from Quebec. Can the Chair or can Mr. Coe clarify that that was the answer that was given, or can the committee clarify that that was his connection to the francophone community? I’m not sure that I heard that correctly.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): This could be brought up as a point of clarification after the movement for concurrence. It’s not really a point of order.
Mr. Taras Natyshak: After the movement of concurrence? After the debate?
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): When I ask for any further discussion, you could bring that up as—
Mr. Taras Natyshak: Okay.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): A question was asked and he answered it, right?
Mr. Taras Natyshak: Yes, I realize there was a question asked and answered. I just need clarification that what I heard was the answer. I apologize that I missed it, but I just need to know that that was the answer.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): We will start again. We will now consider the intended appointment of Barak Queija, nominated as vice-chair of the Ontario French-language Educational Communications Authority. Mr. Bouma.
Mr. Will Bouma: I move concurrence in the intended appointment of Barak Queija, nominated as vice-chair of the Ontario French-language Educational Communications Authority.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): Concurrence of the appointment has been moved by Mr. Bouma. Any discussion? Mr. Natyshak.
Mr. Taras Natyshak: During questions from the government, I believe Mr. Coe asked Mr. Queija what his connection was to the francophone community, and I believe his answer was that he, at some point in his life, dated a girl from Quebec. Can Mr. Coe or the Clerk or Hansard confirm that this is indeed what I heard?
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): I don’t know if we have the ability beyond what we heard to confirm that.
Mr. Taras Natyshak: Can Mr. Coe answer that question?
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): I don’t think that falls—
Mr. Taras Natyshak: Can anyone on the government side answer that question for me?
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): The appointee was asked a question; he answered it. We will have access to Hansard when it’s over. So I don’t know if there is a mechanism to question what his answer was.
Mr. Taras Natyshak: I’m not questioning what his answer was; I just wanted to know whether what his answer was was what I heard, an affirmative that what I heard was—Chair, I try to listen intently, but my ears couldn’t believe what I heard. I don’t know if that is in fact what I heard. I hope I’m wrong.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): Ms. Stiles.
Ms. Marit Stiles: Mr. Chair, further to MPP Natyshak’s comments, I do want to confirm that that was also what I heard. It would be useful to be able to have Hansard share with us the actual language. Sometimes it takes some delay, and here we are about to vote on this.
If I may, we’ve seen some real doozies of appointees by this government, but this particular appointee seems particularly underqualified for an extraordinarily important role, not the least of which is the fact that he’s not a francophone. Even if you put that aside, he was completely unwilling to answer any questions related to the role of TFO as it pertains to protecting minority language rights. He has virtually no experience, other than, apparently, dating a French-Canadian girl. It’s really insulting to francophones in this province. I’m hoping the government will reconsider this appointment, please, because I think that again, it’s extremely insulting to francophones in Ontario.
At the very least, I would ask the members of the committee to consider—maybe we could call him back again and ask him to answer in a more fulsome way. If he’s being appointed with those qualifications and those answers, it does not look good on this government, a government that has shown deep disrespect already to the francophone community in Ontario.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): Any further discussion? Mr. Natyshak.
Mr. Taras Natyshak: Is it appropriate for me to make a motion to the committee at this point?
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): We’ve got a vote on the floor. No, you can’t make a motion. I’m ruling you can’t do a motion in the middle of a vote.
Mr. Taras Natyshak: Can I do it after the vote?
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): Well, you can do what you want after the vote.
Mr. Taras Natyshak: Fair enough.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): Is there any further discussion? Seeing none, I believe we’re ready for a vote.
Mr. Taras Natyshak: Recorded vote, please.
Bouma, Coe, Martin, Norman Miller, Nicholls, Pang, Tangri.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): The motion carries.
We have one minute left before this meeting closes. We’re dealing in seconds, so if someone—okay.
We will now move the intended appointment of Rudy Santos, nominated as member, Ontario Heritage Trust.
Mr. Will Bouma: I move concurrence in the intended appointment of Rudy Santos, nominated as member, Ontario Heritage Trust.
The Chair (Mr. John Vanthof): Any further discussion? Seeing none, I would like to call a vote. All those in favour? All those opposed? The motion carries.
Our time is up. We can’t operate after a quarter after 10, Mr. Natyshak. Those are the rules.
My last time as Chair has been an interesting one.
The committee adjourned at 1015.
STANDING COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
Chair / Président
Mr. John Vanthof (Timiskaming–Cochrane ND)
Vice-Chair / Vice-Président
Mr. Taras Natyshak (Essex ND)
Mr. Will Bouma (Brantford–Brant PC)
Mr. Lorne Coe (Whitby PC)
Mrs. Robin Martin (Eglinton–Lawrence PC)
Mr. Norman Miller (Parry Sound–Muskoka PC)
Mr. Taras Natyshak (Essex ND)
Mr. Rick Nicholls (Chatham-Kent–Leamington PC)
Mr. Billy Pang (Markham–Unionville PC)
Mlle Amanda Simard (Glengarry–Prescott–Russell L)
Ms. Marit Stiles (Davenport ND)
Mrs. Nina Tangri (Mississauga–Streetsville PC)
Mr. John Vanthof (Timiskaming–Cochrane ND)
Clerk / Greffière
Ms. Julia Douglas
Staff / Personnel
Ms. Lauren Warner, research officer,