Wednesday 3 December 2008 Mercredi 3 décember 2008




The committee met at 0902 in room 151.


Consideration of Bill Pr19, An Act to revive Able Insurance Brokers Ltd.

The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): We'll call the meeting to order. I'm going to call the bill. The item before us is Bill Pr19, An Act to revive Able Insurance Brokers Ltd. This bill is being sponsored by Vic Dhillon, who is here. Mr. Dhillon, could you also have the applicant introduce himself for the agenda?

Mr. Mohinder Pharwaha: Mohinder Pharwaha.

The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): You are the applicant or the applicant's agent?

Mr. Mohinder Pharwaha: I'm the applicant's representative.

The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): All right. Thank you. Mr. Dhillon, the floor is yours.

Mr. Vic Dhillon: Thank you very much, Chair. Mr. Pharwaha came to me and explained there were some inadvertent errors in closing the wrong company because the companies had very similar names, one with an "s" and one without an "s." He had made that error on behalf of his client and has presented all the documents required to have the company revived. There are no taxes owing, we've been given clearance from the Ministry of Government Services and have a certificate from the Ministry of Finance. We're here to request the committee's consideration in reviving Able Insurance Brokers Ltd.

The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Thank you. Mr. Pharwaha, do you have any comments to make?

Mr. Mohinder Pharwaha: No, thank you, Chair. I don't have any comments except that we just want to revive the company.

The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Okay. Are there any interested parties to this application? Is there anyone else in the room who wishes to speak to this, any interested parties?

Mr. Vic Dhillon: I don't believe so, Chair.

The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): But I have to ask, and there are not.

Mr. Vic Dhillon: Yes.

The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Parliamentary Assistant, are there any comments from the government?

Mr. Mario Sergio: There are no comments, or there is no position from any of the government ministries, Mr. Chairman. I'd like to thank the work of the member for Brampton West, Mr. Vic Dhillon, on behalf of the applicant for spearheading the application. I have no problem with the application and I move approval.

The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): All right. Then we have questions from committee members. Are there any? I saw Mr. Miller first and then Mr. Martiniuk.

Mr. Paul Miller: Basically, I don't have any problem with it, but it seems like we're always getting screw-ups in this committee. I don't know what these lawyers and accountants are doing. Maybe they should go back to school, because they keep screwing up these applications, or they don't read the updated legislation.

I'm making a suggestion here that this committee should send out updated legislative changes on a regular basis or at least post them on the Internet so that lawyers and accountants can get the updated version of what's going on here, because we're constantly getting these "Didn't apply," "Didn't get the information," "Didn't do this," "Didn't do that." I think it's incompetent and this thing could run a lot smoother. I'm just suggesting that maybe we could give constant updates of any legislative changes to lawyers and accountants, and it might make this committee run a lot smoother.

The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): The parliamentary assistant, I'm sure, will take that back.

Mr. Mario Sergio: There were some suggestions–I don't know where they came from—that maybe we should start charging and maybe we would get fewer applications of—

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: The lawyers will still make money—

Mr. Paul Miller: I like that.

Mr. Bas Balkissoon: They'll charge the client.

Mr. Mario Sergio: I can appreciate that. I hear the member, and I totally sympathize. I think a while ago, Mr. Chairman, we did request a report with respect to some of the applications, but the fact is, once the application reaches this committee we have no control over the actions of the lawyers. I appreciate the concern.

The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): That's correct. Mr. Martiniuk.

Mr. Gerry Martiniuk: I understand that if a company applies for a voluntary termination—I can see that there could be problems arising from that and it should come before this committee. I cannot see why we are dealing with companies that have, through inadvertence—whether it's the lawyer or the individual, it matters not—failed to file, and we are still dealing with it. Why isn't that an administrative matter?

I think this committee has an obligation. The expense is twofold. Number one, it's the additional expense to the individual to put it together; it would be a lot cheaper through an administrator. Secondly, this committee itself—why are we, at great expense, dealing with matters that arise through a mistake or inadvertence? It seems so illogical to me. I can see no ramifications arising, in cases of this kind, where there would be injury to any other party.

I think this committee has an obligation, I really do, to consider inadvertent matters of this kind, with a formal recommendation made to the minister that where inadvertence has occurred—in other words, omission rather than a positive step—this should be administration. I think we have an obligation because this is going on far too often.

The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Just for the record, the committee did send such a letter to the minister earlier in the session. Perhaps the parliamentary assistant can follow that up, because this suggestion has been made on other occasions.

I have Mr. Ruprecht and then the parliamentary assistant.

Mr. Tony Ruprecht: Thank you, Mr. Chair. As you probably realize, I've been on this very committee since 25 years ago, and recommendations of this nature are nothing new, Mr. Martiniuk. You struck a bull's eye this morning. It's obvious what we have to do here. It should be a matter of procedure, and this thing should be streamlined—it's obvious. At that point, the Conservatives struck a special committee to in fact "streamline" the process and, for some strange reason, not much is happening.

Mr. Chair, through your good offices, if you are successful at this, that would be great. Certainly, on this side of the committee, we would agree with all of that.

Having said that, I see that MPP Vic Dhillon is supporting this bill and, for the record, I'd like to say that if he supports this bill that's good enough for me and I'll support it as well.

Mr. Paul Miller: Oh, come on, that's just being kissy.

Mr. Tony Ruprecht: I'd do the same for you.

Mr. Paul Miller: Would you? Thanks, Tony.

The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): The parliamentary assistant.

Mr. Mario Sergio: Mr. Chairman, just for the sake of commenting, and I hope this does not have any bearing on the application that is in front of us here today, but I hear the concern of the members and I can truly sympathize and appreciate. We have independent agencies, both for real estate and insurance brokers as well. I think those vehicles are there and were created strictly and exactly to do that. If you will, maybe it's a way of circumventing the other process. I have taken it upon myself to speak to the minister on the matter and, hopefully, soon we will have an answer and maybe some direction may be coming forth from the ministries. But for the sake of the application today, we'll deal with it and I will approve of it, Mr. Chairman.

The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): No other questions? Are the members ready to vote? All right.

Shall section 1 carry? Carried.

Shall section 2 carry? Carried.

Shall section 3, the short title, 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? Carried.

I thank everyone for attending. There's no other item on the agenda. I adjourn the meeting.

The committee adjourned at 0911.


Wednesday 3 December 2008

Able Insurance Brokers Ltd. Act, 2008, Bill Pr19, Mr. Dhillon T-65
Mr. Vic Dhillon, MPP
Mr. Mohinder Pharwaha


Chair / Président

Mr. Michael Prue (Beaches—East York ND)

Vice-Chair / Vice-Président

Mr. Paul Miller (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek / Hamilton-Est—Stoney Creek ND)

Mr. Bas Balkissoon (Scarborough—Rouge River L)

Mr. Mike Colle (Eglinton—Lawrence L)

Mr. Kim Craitor (Niagara Falls L)

Mr. Gerry Martiniuk (Cambridge PC)

Mr. Paul Miller (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek / Hamilton-Est—Stoney Creek ND)

Mr. Bill Murdoch (Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound IND)

Mr. Michael Prue (Beaches—East York ND)

Mr. Tony Ruprecht (Davenport L)

Mr. Mario Sergio (York West / York-Ouest L)

Clerk / Greffière

Ms. Sylwia Przezdziecki

Staff / Personnel

Ms. Catherine Oh, legislative counsel