Wednesday 20 December 2000

St Jerome's University Act, 2000, Bill Pr34, Mr Wettlaufer
Mr Wayne Wettlaufer, MPP
Mr Frank Williams
Mrs Deborah Pecoskie


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 (Ottawa-Orléans 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-Owen Sound PC)

Substitutions / Membres remplaçants

Mr Wayne Wettlaufer (Kitchener Centre / -Centre PC)

Also taking part / Autres participants et participantes

Mr R. Gary Stewart (Peterborough PC)

Clerk / Greffière

Ms Tonia Grannum

Staff / Personnel

Ms Susan Klein, legislative counsel

The committee met at 1009 in committee room 1.


Consideration of Bill Pr34, An Act respecting the University of St. Jerome's College.

The Chair (Ms Frances Lankin): I call the meeting to order. The committee today will be dealing with consideration of Bill Pr34, An Act respecting the University of St. Jerome's College. This bill is sponsored by Mr Wettlaufer.

Mr Wettlaufer, would you like to introduce the applicant, and if you have any opening comments yourself, please go ahead.

Mr Wayne Wettlaufer (Kitchener Centre): The reason for the bill is a change of name and I believe some cleanup items. I expect that we won't have objections from any members of any of the caucuses. That's essentially it.

Debbie Pecoskie and Frank Williams are here representing St Jerome's.

The Chair: I'll say welcome to both of you. It's nice to see you again, Mr Williams, in a different setting but often around this table. Would you like to make some introductory comments with respect to the bill?

Mr Frank Williams: As Mr Wettlaufer has just said, my name is Frank Williams. I am counsel for the University of St Jerome's College, hopefully soon to be a little shorter, St Jerome's University.

I don't know how much detail you want me to go into. I can go through briefly what was in the compendium that I sent over to the clerk. Perhaps that's of some use to the committee.

The Chair: I think a brief synopsis would be helpful for committee members.

Mr Williams: I'll do my glasses routine here for a minute, so bear with me.

Some background: the University of St Jerome's College has been referred to for several years as St Jerome's university in a practical sense. In some regards we're just trying to catch up with reality in that respect. We're requesting that the committee approve that the name be changed to reflect current usage.

The composition of the teaching staff has also changed in St Jerome's over the years, from mainly priests to mainly laypersons, with the occasional priest on staff. The board has therefore decided not to restrict the makeup of persons who may be representing the teaching staff on the board to only laypersons, so we've requested a change in that respect.

The board of St Jerome's would also like to require that all board members, except the Provincial Superior of the Congregation of the Resurrection in Ontario or his delegate, be Canadian citizens. Again, in fact, that reflects the current practice at St Jerome's.

We would also like to ensure, in order to have some corporate history on the board, that the term of reappointment be increased from one term to two terms so we have a little bit more continuity on our board.

One of the present requirements is that the chancellor be elected for a term of four years. We're finding in some instances that that could prove to be somewhat restrictive. We've requested now that the act be changed so that it will be a period of up to four years, so it can be flexible according to the bylaws of the board.

The last significant change is with respect to the audited financial statements of St Jerome's. In the past it required that we provided copies to the staff, faculty and students. What we'd like to do is bring it into the modern age and say that we will make the financial statements available. We're planning to do that over the Internet and to provide a hard copy through the president's office and in the library.

The only other major change in drafting is that we're now referring to non-teaching staff as "staff" and to teaching staff as "faculty" to again reflect modern usage at most universities.

That's basically a summary of what we've done. The only other change, as legislative counsel can attest to, is bringing some of the language up to more modern parlance.

The Chair: Ms Pecoskie, did you want to add any comments?

Mrs Deborah Pecoskie: I think Mr Williams is representing us extremely well. It is basically that we were a Roman Catholic institution and we have become a lay institution, previously founded and owned and operated by the Congregation of the Resurrection, a religious order of priests. With the laypersons taking over the operation of the university, we've made the decision that we should reflect who we are today. We appreciate this opportunity.

The Chair: Mr Coburn, does the ministry have any comments?

Mr Brian Coburn (Ottawa-Orléans): I have no objections. In fact, I have a letter from Minister Dianne Cunningham supporting this change.

The Chair: Mr Bisson, did you have a question?

Mr Gilles Bisson (Timmins-James Bay): I have a question with regard to your annual statement, just to understand what you're saying. I wasn't aware that you need to have a statute here in the Legislature to be able to post your annual statement on the Internet. I'm not quite sure what you were getting at there.

Mr Williams: Let me read the old version and the new version and you can compare what we're doing. The other requirement we're adding is that the board shall now provide a copy of the audited financial statements to the minister. That wasn't previously in the bill either.

It's a bit of a nuance as to what the difference is. The present section reads, "The board shall make a financial report annually to the students, staff, and teaching staff of the university in such manner as the board determines." In truth, I'm not sure each year that there was actually a physical piece of paper that was handed to these three bodies. What we've asked now is that it read: "Every year, the board shall make available to faculty, staff and students the audited financial statement of the university and shall do so in the manner that the board determines."

My discussions with the board are such that we will be planning to post these financial statements on the university Web site as well as making a hard copy available in the president's office and in the library.

Mr Bisson: I am not quite sure of the difference between the two, what the old bill said and what the new bill says. It seems to me you can do that with the old one, but if you want to change it, that's fine by me.

Mr Williams: I think in a strict interpretation, "make available" means you give somebody a physical piece of paper.

The Chair: Further questions or comments from committee members?

Mr Bisson: There might be now.

The Chair: I'm going to move quickly, before the member assumes his seat.

Is there any debate with respect to the bill? Are members ready to vote? OK.

We are dealing with Bill Pr34, An Act respecting the University of St. Jerome's College, sponsored by Mr Wettlaufer.

Mr Bisson: On a point of order, Chair: I understand there was supposed to be a motion moved in order to waive the printing of the bill.

Mr Wettlaufer: After.

Mr Bisson: OK.

The Chair: Are any committee members intending to move amendments to this bill? OK.

Shall sections 1 through 6 carry? Carried.

Shall the preamble carry? Carried.

Shall the title carry? Carried.

Shall the bill carry? Carried.

Shall I report the bill to the House? It shall be done.

I understand there is a motion.

Mr Wettlaufer: I move that the fees and actual cost of printing at all stages be remitted on Bill Pr34, An Act respecting the University of St. Jerome's College.

The Chair: Are there any questions or comments with respect to Mr Wettlaufer's motion? Seeing none, all those in favour, please indicate. That's carried unanimously.

Is there any other business to be brought before the committee this morning?

Mr Bill Murdoch (Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound): I move we adjourn.

The Chair: Mr Murdoch has moved adjournment of the committee. All those in favour, please indicate. That is carried.

The committee is adjourned. Thank you for being with us today.

The committee adjourned at 1018.