Wednesday 13 December 2000

Idlewyld Manor Act, 2000, Bill Pr33, Mr Christopherson
Mr David Christopherson, MPP
Mr Paul Milne


Chair / Présidente
Ms Frances Lankin (Beaches-East York ND)

Vice-Chair / Vice-Président

Mr Garfield Dunlop (Simcoe North / -Nord PC)

Mr Gilles Bisson (Timmins-James Bay / -Timmins-Baie James ND)
Mrs Claudette Boyer (Ottawa-Vanier L)
Mr Brian Coburn (Carleton-Gloucester PC)
Mr Garfield Dunlop (Simcoe North / -Nord PC)
Mr Raminder Gill (Bramalea-Gore-Malton-Springdale PC)
Mr Pat Hoy (Chatham-Kent Essex L)
Ms Frances Lankin (Beaches-East York ND)
Mr Bill Murdoch (Bruce-Grey PC)

Substitutions / Membres remplaçants

Mr Garry J. Guzzo (Ottawa West-Nepean / Ottawa-Ouest-Nepean PC)
Mr Dave Levac (Brant L)

Clerk / Greffière

Ms Tonia Grannum

Staff / Personnel

Ms Susan Klein, legislative counsel

The committee met at 1008 in committee room 1.


Consideration of Bill Pr33, An Act respecting Idlewyld Manor.

The Vice-Chair (Mr Garfield Dunlop): We'll call the meeting to order. The only item of business is Bill Pr33, An Act respecting Idlewyld Manor. The sponsor is David Christopherson. David, do you have any comments on this?

Mr David Christopherson (Hamilton West): I'll be very brief. I've met with the trustees on this. I've gone through their proposal, and from what I can see, in terms of what we deal with, it's fairly straightforward. It's a matter of upgrading the legal foundation for Idlewyld. I guess really all I would do is suggest to you that it has my total support as the local member. I'm prepared to entertain any questions or comments, particularly that the ministry might have through the parliamentary assistant. But by way of presentation, I would introduce Paul Milne, who is on the board and will speak to the details of the bill. So with that, maybe I could turn it over to Paul, Chair?

The Vice-Chair: Yes, go ahead, Mr Milne.

Mr Paul Milne: Good morning, Mr Chair and members of the committee. I'd like to clarify: I'd been on the board for some years and left the board to assist the manor in this particular act and in the renewal of governance. It is my hope to go back on the board when it's all finished for the very reason that I think the organization is one of the most interesting and well-run organizations that I personally have contributed to in many years.

I won't take a lot of your time, but I thought I'd give you some-it has a very interesting background to it. It actually started in 1846. The main act that we're replacing was an 1852 act, and it's the governance in that act that we're modernizing to take into account the changed facility. It started as a soup kitchen and a volunteer organization in 1846 in Hamilton. With the epidemic of cholera in 1851, because of the number of orphans that resulted from that epidemic, it became a facility for orphans, and hence the act that we're replacing. A building was constructed to house the orphans and provide a school for them.

It was later on in the 1800s that a very benevolent lady in the city bequeathed $4,000 to the home, and, if you can believe it, they built a complete wing for $4,000 to house aged women. I noted with interest that by 1925 there were 52 ladies in residence, and 22 of them were over 80 years of age and there were three over 90 years of age. The waiting list at that time was some 85. Finally, as the mix of the home started to change more and more, it was in 1848 that it finally became the Aged Women's Home of Hamilton. In 1982, the Idlewyld Manor was the final name change.

The purpose of this bill is to modernize governance. The home has been allocated 96 beds by the ministry, and although it is extraordinarily well-run by the ladies' board of management and the executives and staff of the home, it doesn't suit the very elderly population that now exists in the home, because it's three storeys and it's very difficult to serve them on a long-term-care basis.

In the horizon, what is the future? The future is a new facility-they're working on it now-which will house the current 101 residents plus an extra 96. So the amendment to the act will provide a governance structure that suits that. The previous structure was a board of trustees which basically managed funds, and there was a ladies' committee of management established in 1852 with responsibility for operations. That governance worked well in the beginning, but in today's world it does not work effectively, simply because the ladies' board of management has taken on the tremendous mandate of the building of the new home and applying for the new beds and all that entails, yet the responsibility remains with the trustees. The change now will be that a board of trustees will be created, the board of management will no longer be in place and the ladies' board of management will populate the trustees of the home. The trustees will all be leaving their position, and a new board of trustees for a foundation is being established.

That's basically the background of it. I can tell you that there were substantial negotiations in discussions with the public guardian and trustee's office before the proposed bill was submitted. We took into account the charitable implications of what we're doing with that office. I really do appreciate their support and efforts. Also, we are before you today unanimously. The ladies' board of management and the trustees have all voted unanimously to proceed with this bill. Those are basically my comments.

The Vice-Chair: Questions from, first of all, the parliamentary assistant. Do you have any questions?

Mr Brian Coburn (Ottawa-Orléans): No, I have no questions. We have no objections. On a personal note, I just want to congratulate you on the reorganization so you're better able to meet the challenges into the future. I wish you well in your future endeavours.

Mr Dave Levac (Brant): I have just a couple of quick questions of clarification, maybe to David. Is there any reason why this isn't in both official languages?

Clerk of the Committee (Ms Tonia Grannum): Private bills don't have to be in French.

Mr Levac: Private bills don't have French? OK. That's just a clarification. I wasn't sure of the process.

The second question is in regard to the bill specifically. You mentioned that both groups are in favour of it. Is there an agreed-upon mix or blend of who can become members of the board, or has that already been deciphered as to how many people would constitute the board itself?

Mr Milne: Yes. We're providing for a minimum-maximum board of seven to 15. The ladies' board of management presently comprises nine. All nine will sit as the new trustees of the manor. The present trustees are five in number, and they will move to the trustees of the foundation that has been incorporated.

Mr Levac: I noticed in the notes that there were no known objectors. Did you seek anyone from the community who felt this might not be the appropriate thing to do?

Mr Christopherson: If I can, that was the first thing that crossed my mind when we're making changes like this. I can tell you that everyone who might possibly, conceivably be involved in this is supportive of it. Idlewyld is known well across the entire city. It has an excellent reputation. I would be absolutely stunned and shocked should anyone express any concern whatsoever about anything other than agreeing to the change here.

Mr Levac: My final comment is that I congratulate the member of the riding for the homework that has been done, because these are the types of bills that are very, very important to the community. When they're brought forward, the fact that you've done all that homework ahead of time prevents any kind of misgivings or any misunderstandings that the community would go through during that time. I compliment you on that. If not done, completely communicate with the community that this is for the better-I'm sure you've already done that. But my hat is off to you in terms of this bill.

Mr Christopherson: Thank you, Dave.

Mrs Claudette Boyer (Ottawa-Vanier): It's just that I want clarification. When I read yesterday your briefing note, you were saying that now, instead of having a board of trustees and a board of management, you would just have one. When I read it yesterday, I thought there was going to be a board of trustees and a board for the foundation, but this will be the same one?

Mr Milne: No. The Idlewyld Manor, which is the act in front of you, will have its own board of trustees and that will be the former ladies' board of management. The Idlewyld Manor Foundation has been incorporated, and its mandate will be to raise funds and manage funds for Idlewyld Manor only. It's a captive foundation. The present board of trustees of Idlewyld Manor will become the trustees of the Idlewyld Manor Foundation so that there will be distinct organizations and distinct boards of trustees.

Mrs Boyer: OK. Thank you very much.

The Vice-Chair: Any other questions from the committee members? Is everyone ready to vote on this?

Mr Levac: Is there an amendment that has to be done?

The Vice-Chair: Yes. Mme Boyer has the amendment. It's on section 11.

Shall section 1 carry? Carried.

Shall section 2 carry? Carried.

Shall section 3 carry? Carried.

Shall section 4 carry? Carried.

Shall section 5 carry? Carried.

Shall section 6 carry? Carried.

Shall section 7 carry? Carried.

Shall section 8 carry? Carried.

Shall section 9 carry? Carried.

Shall section 10 carry? Carried.

We have an amendment for 11.

Mrs Boyer: I move that section 11 of the bill be struck out and the following substituted:


"11. When making investments, the board shall be governed by the provisions of the Trustee Act respecting investments by trustees, with necessary modifications."

The Vice-Chair: Are there any questions on this amendment? All in favour of the amendment?

Mr Garry J. Guzzo (Ottawa West-Nepean): Is this with consent?

Mr Christopherson: Yes. They were consulted by staff yesterday and I just checked now and they're fine with the change.

Mr Guzzo: I have trouble voting for that because I am not a believer in the Trustee Act, but if it's on consent, carried.

The Vice-Chair: Carried? Everybody is in favour of it? That's carried.

Shall section 11, as amended, carry? Carried.

Shall section 12 carry? Carried.

Shall section 13 carry? Carried.

Shall section 14 carry? Carried.

Shall the preamble carry? Carried.

Shall the title carry? Carried.

Shall the bill, as amended, carry? Carried.

Shall I report the bill, as amended, to the House? Carried.

Thank you very much, everyone. That's it for today.

Mr Milne: Mr Chairman, may I make just one final comment? There's always the perception out there that when you deal with government that it's difficult and a hardship. I think the members of the committee should know that from the moment I made my first call to legislative counsel-both Susan Klein and Don Revell-their response was immediate and their assistance was immediate and was continuing. I can tell all of you very frankly that that support and help, because it's not something we do every day, brought us here quickly. We needed to be here quickly, and it was with that support and assistance that we got it all done and got here quickly. I can tell you that both I and the trustees very much appreciate that help. I just wanted you all to know that.

The Vice-Chair: We're all pleased that you'd say that. On behalf of the staff, thank you. Thank you for attending. The meeting is adjourned.

The committee adjourned at 1020.