T026 - Mon 1 Mar 2021 / Lun 1er mar 2021



Monday 1 March 2021 Lundi 1 mars 2021

Committee business


The committee met at 1300 in committee room 1 and by video conference.

The Chair (Mr. Logan Kanapathi): Good afternoon. The Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills will now come to order.

We have the following members in the room: Dave Smith. We are joined by staff. Also, the following members are joining virtually: Vincent Ke, Laura Mae Lindo, Paul Miller, Billy Pang, Jeremy Roberts, Daisy Wai, Jamie West.


The Chair (Mr. Logan Kanapathi): Sorry, not Daisy Wai—and MPP Michael Parsa as well.

Since it will 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 should go through the Chair. Are there any questions before we begin?

Committee business

The Chair (Mr. Logan Kanapathi): On the agenda is committee business. Are there any motions? MPP Michael Parsa, you raised a hand.

Mr. Michael Parsa: Good afternoon, Chair. Can you hear me?

The Chair (Mr. Logan Kanapathi): Yes.

Mr. Michael Parsa: Thank you very much, Chair.

I move that the committee enter closed session for the purposes of organizing committee business and that broadcasting staff be permitted to remain in the closed session meeting for the purposes of operating the electronic meeting technology.

The Chair (Mr. Logan Kanapathi): Is there any debate? Is there any discussion or comments? MPP Miller.

Mr. Paul Miller: Can you hear me?

The Chair (Mr. Logan Kanapathi): Yes.

Mr. Paul Miller: I just wanted to know, what’s the purpose of that request?

The Chair (Mr. Logan Kanapathi): MPP Michael Parsa.

Mr. Michael Parsa: Chair, can you hear me?

The Chair (Mr. Logan Kanapathi): Yes.

Mr. Michael Parsa: I’m sorry; the “unmute” and “mute” are not in my hands, so I’m not sure. Thanks very much.

From my understanding, normally when the committee conducts business and it’s organized, for example, with a subcommittee, it’s done in camera. Given that it’s standard—I believe that it has been going on for at least a year. That’s why I’m requesting that we go in camera. It’s the same as conducting business with a subcommittee.

The Chair (Mr. Logan Kanapathi): Any discussion or comment? MPP Paul Miller.

Mr. Paul Miller: I’m a little curious. They said that this is normally done. Usually, subcommittees meet with the three parties in a meeting and then report to the main committee. In past practice, I have not been familiar with the committee business, the direct committee, being put in camera when the subcommittee usually reports to the committee, which deals with it publicly. So I’m not quite sure what the delicacy of this is and what Mr. Parsa is concerned about. Is there any particular item that we’re dealing with that has a connection to him that he’s concerned about?

The Chair (Mr. Logan Kanapathi): MPP Parsa.

Mr. Michael Parsa: I appreciate that. No, it’s just that when a subcommittee meets—I’m a member of the subcommittee on the committee that I serve full-time. When the committee meets, it’s usually to discuss and focus on substantive work, not on administrative work. This would simply be setting a motion to be able to have those discussions, which is why I ask that we move in camera.

The Chair (Mr. Logan Kanapathi): MPP Paul Miller.

Mr. Paul Miller: No offence to anyone, but I would be opposed to that motion. I do believe that the subcommittee, like I said—I’ll reiterate: The subcommittee meets, they decide what they’re going to bring forth to the committee, the main committee, they do that and ask for that motion to be passed, and then the main committee deals with it. I’m not used to having the main committee go in camera unless it’s something about personnel or something to do with a financial situation. It’s the same as a city meeting. When the cities go in camera, there are only three reasons for it.

I’m not quite sure what direction we’re headed here. I wouldn’t want to make this a regular thing because I think it could cause some problems later on.

The Chair (Mr. Logan Kanapathi): Thank you. And I’ll ask MPP Daisy Wai to confirm your presence, please.

Mrs. Daisy Wai: Yes. This is Daisy Wai, and I am in Toronto, Chair.

I also want to add to what PA Parsa has already said. We are doing administrative things, which is why it is great to be in camera. I just had a meeting this morning, again also dealing with administrative things that we would just do in camera. I don’t see any problem with this.

The Chair (Mr. Logan Kanapathi): MPP Fraser is in the room and he has questions or concerns.

Mr. John Fraser: Yes.

The Chair (Mr. Logan Kanapathi): Please go ahead.

Mr. John Fraser: I’ll be supporting this motion, simply because as an independent member I have no participation in subcommittee. I think it’s important for independent members, through the Legislature, to be on subcommittee.

Having said that, I appreciate that my colleague MPP Miller’s concern is that if we are going to go into session, it might be a good thing for some information ahead of time that can be communicated directly to members. It might avoid us going through this kind of debate right now. If there’s something we’re going to talk about, we can certainly alert ourselves to that beforehand.

But I will be supporting it because I believe that independent members should participate fully on subcommittees, as there’s 13 of us now.

The Chair (Mr. Logan Kanapathi): MPP Miller?

Mr. Paul Miller: The request of the member from Ottawa South to want to participate in it—and I don’t have a problem with that; I think they should be allowed to participate as independent members. But I’m not quite sure that his reasoning works with what I’m trying to say.

What I’m trying to say—and I’m very well versed in what goes on in cities and committees and council chambers. There are only three things that you take in camera: a personnel matter, purchasing land, and the other one is putting contracts out for tender. That’s the only three things, and I don’t think it’s that much different when you come to the level of provincial politics.

If we start these types of situations where we go in camera all the time, I don’t think it’s accountable and I don’t think the public has exposure to why we’re going in camera. If it fits into the criteria of the three things I mentioned, I don’t have a problem with it, but to go in camera just to discuss whatever it is—I’m not even privy to it—is, I think, a little bit of a misleading—it’s not kosher to talk about things you don’t know about and to ask to go in camera, and then it may become a problem when we’re in camera.

Like the member from Ottawa South said, a heads-up would have been a lot better and a more defined description of why you want to go in camera. So that’s my concern, and I will not be supporting this.

The Chair (Mr. Logan Kanapathi): MPP Lindo has a question.

Ms. Laura Mae Lindo: Thank you, Chair. I just wanted to also be on record to support my colleague MPP Miller. I’m not sure why we’re going in camera. It would have been great to have a heads-up to know what to expect at this committee meeting. Part of our role is to prepare ahead of time, and so it just seems a little bit odd that we’ve been brought here to do one thing and then now, all of a sudden, we don’t know what we’re going in camera for, not even in general terms. And I do share his concerns that once we’re in camera, what happens if that is something that the public should have more information about?

The Chair (Mr. Logan Kanapathi): Any further debate? If none, I will put the question. Shall the motion carry?

MPP Fraser?

Mr. John Fraser: I’m just voting.


The Chair (Mr. Logan Kanapathi): All those in favour, please raise their hand again. Sorry. Anyone opposed? Motion carried.

Just a minute to go into closed session, please.

The committee continued in closed session at 1311.


Chair / Président

Mr. Logan Kanapathi (Markham–Thornhill PC)

Vice-Chair / Vice-Président

Mr. John Fraser (Ottawa South / Ottawa-Sud L)

Mr. Will Bouma (Brantford–Brant PC)

Mr. John Fraser (Ottawa South / Ottawa-Sud L)

Mr. Logan Kanapathi (Markham–Thornhill PC)

Mr. Vincent Ke (Don Valley North / Don Valley-Nord PC)

Ms. Laura Mae Lindo (Kitchener Centre / Kitchener-Centre ND)

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

Mr. Billy Pang (Markham–Unionville PC)

Mr. Jeremy Roberts (Ottawa West–Nepean / Ottawa-Ouest–Nepean PC)

Mr. Dave Smith (Peterborough–Kawartha PC)

Mrs. Daisy Wai (Richmond Hill PC)

Mr. Jamie West (Sudbury ND)

Substitutions / Membres remplaçants

Mr. Michael Parsa (Aurora–Oak Ridges–Richmond Hill PC)

Clerk / Greffier

Mr. Isaiah Thorning

Staff / Personnel

Ms. Monica Cop, research officer,
Research Services