Wednesday 12 December 1990

City of Windsor Act, 1990, Bill Pr21

Goderich-Exeter Railway Company Limited Act, 1990, Bill Pr22

City of Vanier Act, 1990, Bill Pr30

City of Toronto Act, 1990, Bill Pr32

Lordina Limited Act, 1990, Bill Pr45

Restoule Snowmobile Club Act, 1990, Bill Pr9

Wolfe Consortium for Advanced Studies Inc Act, 1990, Bill Pr46

La Capanna Homes (Non-Profit) Inc Act, 1990, Bill Pr48

Committee budget



Chair: Sutherland, Kimble (Oxford NDP)

Vice-Chair: O'Connor, Larry (Durham-York NDP)

Abel, Donald (Wentworth North NDP)

Ferguson, Will (Kitchener NDP)

Fletcher, Derek (Guelph NDP)

Johnson, Paul R. (Prince Edward-Lennox-South Hastings NDP)

Jordan, Leo (Lanark-Renfrew PC)

MacKinnon, Ellen (Lambton NDP)

Miclash, Frank (Kenora L)

Ruprecht, Tony (Parkdale L)

Sola, John (Mississauga East L)

Wilson, Jim (Simcoe West PC)


Hansen, Ron (Lincoln NDP) for Mrs MacKinnon

Mahoney, Steven W. (Mississauga West L) for Mr Miclash

Also taking part:

Grandmaître, Bernard (Ottawa East L)

Clerk: Decker, Todd


Hopkins, Laura A., Legislative Counsel

Mifsud, Lucinda, Legislative Counsel

The committee met at 1016 in committee room 1.

The Chair: I am going to call this meeting to order. Just for everyone's information, Ron Hansen, the member for Lincoln, is substituting for Ellen MacKinnon today, and we are very pleased to have Bernard Grandmaître filling in for Liberal member Frank Miclash.


Consideration of Bill Pr21, An Act respecting the City of Windsor.

The Chair: Our first order of business today is Bill Pr21, An Act respecting the City of Windsor. Could Mr Lessard and the sponsors come forward. Could Mr Lessard say a few words as sponsor of it and have the applicants introduce themselves for the purpose of Hansard.

Mr Lessard: Good morning, Mr Chair and members of the committee. On my immediate left is the city solicitor from the city of Windsor, Al Kellerman, and on his left is the city clerk from Windsor. His name is Tom Lynd.

This is An Act respecting the City of Windsor. It affects the licensing commission in the city. The long and short of the act really is to change the number of members on the commission from three to a number including three or more members. If there are any questions with respect to the act or that change, Mr Lynd is happy to answer any questions that you may have.

The Chair: Are there any further comments from the applicants themselves?

Mr Kellerman: I might point out that the city of Windsor licensing commission was originally established in 1988 by way of private legislation, and what is before this committee is that same bill, save and except for a change in the composition of the number of members of the commission; namely, from three to three or such greater number of members as the city council may wish to appoint. That is the sole change from the prior private legislation, which was previously granted in 1988.

The Chair: Any comment from the parliamentary assistant?

Mr Ferguson: I have no concerns.

The Chair: Questions from committee members to the applicant?

Mr J. Wilson: Just really a curiosity question more than anything to satisfy perhaps Mr Halas's comments in his letter. Does the council of the city consider consulting with the public in any way when it makes the appointments, or do you have a citizens' group that -- -

Mr Lynd: City council does advertise vacancies for all of the committees and commissions and any interested person has an opportunity to put his or her name forward with an application and then city council ultimately makes the decision on who is appointed to commissions.

Mr Halas basically appeared before the previous licensing committee, which was a predecessor of the commission established in 1988. His basic concern was in respect of obtaining a licence as a mechanical contractor in the city and his difficulty was that he was not able to pass the testing procedures that are required for a licence, etc, in terms of demonstrating his expertise in the trade in the field.

The Chair: Any further questions for the applicants from committee members? Are there any objectors or interested parties? Seeing none, any further statements or questions? Are the members ready to vote on this?

Sections 1 to 10, inclusive, agreed to.

Preamble agreed to.

Title agreed to.

Bill ordered to be reported.


Consideration of Bill Pr22, An Act respecting Goderich-Exeter Railway Company Limited.

The Chair: Our next order of business is Bill Pr22, An Act respecting Goderich-Exeter Railway Company Limited. The sponsor of the bill is Mr Klopp. Could we have the applicants introduce themselves for the purpose of Hansard.

Mr Klopp: This is Carol Pennycook. She is from the firm of Davies, Ward & Beck and is acting as counsellor for ScotiaMcLeod. Basically this bill is to allow this private company to run a railroad from Exeter to Goderich and then a line up to Stratford to take over from the CN. They are buying it from CN. I will now turn it over to Carol Pennycook to explain those purposes.

Ms Pennycook: We act for ScotiaMcLeod Inc, which has acted as financial advisers to CN in connection with the proposed disposition of the short line that Mr Klopp has mentioned. Under the Railways Act of Ontario, in order for a corporation to operate a railroad, it must be deemed to be incorporated by a special act, even though it has been incorporated under the Business Corporations Act of Ontario.

The deemed incorporation by special act, which is the bill for which we are applying, does not in any way eliminate or bridge the need for all other provincial and federal approvals in connection with the operation of a railway. What we are applying for is really the technical qualification and does not relate at all to the regulatory qualifications. The Legislature has granted a number of private bills in this regard in the past.

CN and the proposed acquirer, Railtex Inc, have both confirmed to the Ministry of Transportation for the province their understanding of and their intention to comply with employment standards in connection with the disposition of the short line. In the case of CN, it is subject to collective agreements and employment agreements which it of course intends to honour.

CN and Railtex have both had meetings with Perth and Huron county officials, which is the area in which the short line is located, to respond to their questions and to advise them of their intentions with respect to the operation of the short line, assuming all regulatory approvals are acquired. The city of Stratford has indicated that it supports the application. All of those municipalities indicated to CN and Railtex that they had no objection to the disposition. I understand that Mr Klopp has also had discussions with those parties. We do have minutes of a meeting that Railtex and CN were at, which have been provided to us by those officials, which we can make available to the committee if it would be of assistance to you.

We understand that the Ministry of Transportation for Ontario is generally supportive of the short line business philosophically, and we also understand that the Ministry of Transportation does not object to this particular transaction. We have asked Wilf Walker, who is a senior officer with the Ministry of Transportation, to be in attendance today -- and he is this gentleman on my left -- to respond to any questions you might have in that regard. We also have available senior officials of CN to respond to any questions you might have of them in this regard.

Unless you have any questions, that would be my submission.

The Chair: Comments from the parliamentary assistant?

Mr Ferguson: Mr Chairman, the bill does not affect the interests of any municipality.

The Chair: Questions from committee members to the applicants?

Mr J. Wilson: It is a little hard to sort out the compendiums here in the letters from the Ontario Midwestern Railway Co Ltd and the Victoria County Railway Co Ltd. If I am reading them right, these are really just jurisdictional matters that they are questioning, whether the province has the right to enact the corporation.

Ms Pennycook: We actually have not been provided with copies of their submissions. We have been in touch with Kristine Curtin, who is the sole director and sole shareholder of Victoria County. She has advised us that she is interested generally in the application but does not object to it.

Ontario Midwestern, to our knowledge -- I do not honestly know if it is an objector or not. When we spoke to them about other matters they had not indicated to us that they objected. They do not operate in this area. This short line is for business purposes. The transportation on this route is primarily salt and fertilizer. My understanding of Ontario Midwestern is that it is more a recreational-type railway operating in a different area and we would not anticipate that there would be any potential conflict between the two because the businesses are quite different.

The Chair: Any further questions? Objectors or interested parties?

Mr Bowers, would you care to come forward. If you could just formally introduce yourself for Hansard purposes.

Mr Harris: My name is John Harris and I am a director of the Ontario Midwestern Railway Co Ltd. Mr Bowers is here with me.

We submitted a letter to the standing committee, and I understand that copies were forwarded to CN, which outlined our concerns with regard to this particular act. About a year ago, our company appeared here at the Legislature and we were granted at the time Bill Pr45, An Act respecting the Ontario Midwestern Railway Company Limited. We are concerned about three points principally.

One is that the currently proposed act is essentially a verbatim repeat of our act, Pr45. There are concerns that the Goderich-Exeter Railway, given the outline that Ms Pennycook has given of its intentions and the nature of its operation, rather than being defined as a locally based, regional railway system, which is what our act describes and what, because it is identical, its act describes, should be described as a track-system-specific -- that is, Goderich to Stratford and Exeter -- freight-based line and that this is what it is proposing to operate.

The second concern is the question of whether it is appropriate for this railway -- that is, the Goderich-Exeter -- to be incorporated as a provincial railway. We would respectfully draw to your attention the case of the Central Western Railway Corp, which because it is essentially carrying on the movement of federally subsidized product -- that is, grain -- within a federal distribution system as a supplier to CN, has been deemed to be a federal railway under federal jurisdiction. We are concerned that the Goderich-Exeter could likewise be construed to be a federal undertaking, essentially a captive switching railway operation service to CN, a federally regulated railway.

We are very concerned about this because we feel that the future of a balanced transportation system in Ontario depends on the successful development of short-line and regional rail in Ontario, and the creation of a railway at this time which falls into the grey area between federal and provincial jurisdiction could seriously jeopardize those railways such as ourselves which are clearly provincial railways and create a number of regulatory and other difficulties for the successful development of regional and short-line rail in Ontario.


The comments that Ms Pennycook made with regard to the nature of Ontario Midwestern's operation are not entirely accurate. Ontario Midwestern's proposal, which is now before the National Transportation Agency, is for a freight-based, not a recreational railway that would provide service on a regional basis throughout the region, including areas immediately adjacent to and in effect economically part of the same region that is to be served by this railway.

We have no objection to the creation of a short-line rail operation. Indeed, we have been active promoters of exactly this kind of approach for the Goderich and Exeter lines, but we are concerned about the danger to the successful development of regional and short-line rail in Ontario that is posed by the possible incorporation of the Goderich-Exeter as a provincial railway when jurisdictionally it may well be deemed to be more appropriate to incorporate it under an act of the federal Parliament as a federal railway, part of the federal distribution system.

The Chair: Are there any questions or comments for the objectors to this bill?

Mr O'Connor: In respect to some of the trackage and so on that you are concerned about, is in fact some of the track linkage that you are trying to get from the National Transportation Agency some of the same track or the same catchment? Can you explain that a little bit maybe?

Mr Harris: Yes. Ontario Midwestern Railway has been derived from the activities of a public interest group. That interest group, Project Rerail, has worked for over 12 years encouraging the development of alternative rail service in the region, given that CN and CP have both for many years expressed the desire to cease providing service in that area. The Ontario government in 1988 provided funding for a study of business opportunities for rail service in that region in response to Project Rerail's proposals. At that time there were no other proponents of regional rail service, and Project Rerail's proposal and the study conducted by Peat Marwick did deal with the lines that are included in the Goderich-Exeter Railway.

Ontario Midwestern was a bidder in the first round for the Goderich and Exeter lines. We were not successful. We ran into a financing difficulty in that some committed financing was not there when it was needed at the 11th hour and we were not successful in making it into the second round. We have gone back, acknowledging that another bidder would be successful on the Goderich and Exeter, and have recast our regional rail system, knowing that this entity would be created as a short line. We are pursuing that plan, which does not include the Goderich and Exeter lines, but would include providing service ultimately through the Newton subdivision into Stratford from the Bruce county and Grey county area as one part of the larger regional system that is proposed.

So we are not discussing a competitive operation. The business plan that we have developed, and the prospectus is almost complete for a financing of that, does not involve the trackage that is the subject of this application. Part of our concern is that this application is not specific about its trackage. We have, however, an application before the NTA for trackage rights that do include the trackage that is under consideration. and the trackage rights are the rights to operate on that trackage.

Mr J. Wilson: I am quite familiar with Project Rerail and Mr Bowers's correspondence. having been with Perrin Beatty, for instance; I was his assistant for several years. What exactly are you asking of the committee today on behalf of Project Rerail? I have not quite got it in a nutshell.

Mr Harris: I think we are asking the committee, before recommending this bill to the Legislature, to conduct a thorough investigation as to whether indeed it is appropriate to carry through with provincial incorporation of the proposed Goderich-Exeter line or whether it ought to be carried through as a federal incorporation.

Mr J. Wilson: What would our legislative counsel have to say about that?

Ms Mifsud: I am not able to help you with the appropriateness of incorporating under one jurisdiction as opposed to the other. What I can tell you is that the application and the bill are within the constitutional competence of the Ontario Legislature.

Ms Pennycook: May I respond?

The Chair: Yes.

Ms Pennycook: I would like to comment on a couple of items. We agree that the wording of our bill is substantially the same as the wording of the private bill respecting Ontario Midwestern Railway Company. Indeed, it is virtually identical to the private bill regarding South Simcoe Railway Heritage, Port Stanley Terminal Rail Inc, Victoria County Railway and other companies which have been incorporated by private bill, for the reasons I have said. Under the Railways Act you must be deemed to be incorporated by special act.

We believe it is appropriate to comply with the Railways Act by having a private bill to deem it to be incorporated by special act for compliance. It is not outside the realm of possibility to have federal incorporation. The short line is located solely in Ontario. No borders are crossed. This application will not in any manner eliminate the requirement for the company to go to the NTA and obtain its federal approvals regarding trackage, just as it does not eliminate any requirements to obtain provincial regulatory approvals with respect to operating matters. We feel that it is very appropriate to comply with the Railways Act through a private bill, given that this is located solely within the jurisdiction and does not eliminate any kind of need to obtain federal approvals.

The Chair: I wonder if we could have a few comments from the Ministry of Transportation.

Mr Walker: Our chief concern here is the safety of the operation and the safety of the infrastructure. Sections 4, 5 and 6 cover our requirements here. There will be a further proceeding with the Ontario Municipal Board concerning licensing of the operation. We will comment to the board on the basis of the inspections made.

The Chair: Are there any further questions or comments at this time? Do we have another objector or interested party? Could you come forward, take a chair and then introduce yourself for Hansard.

Mr White: My name is Ken White. I am regional manager of planning administration with Canadian National. I want to assure the committee that we have already approached the National Transportation Agency and we will make full application to it for permission to conduct this transaction in its completeness. Before that body, which is very well staffed and everything, as you well know, there is plenty of opportunity for interested parties to investigate and consider what jurisdiction this thing should fall under, and the confidence of the purchasing party and all things of that nature. I just thought it might be worth putting that on the record.

The Chair: Are the members ready to vote on this?

Sections 1 to 9, inclusive, agreed to.

Preamble agreed to.

Title agreed to.

Bill ordered to be reported.



Consideration of Bill Pr30, An Act respecting the City of Vanier.

The Chair: Our next order of business is Bill Pr30, An Act respecting the City of Vanier. Mr Grandmaître is the sponsor, if he could come forward along with the applicants.

Mr Grandmaître: This morning I am subbing and I am also the sponsor of Bill Pr30. I am also a part-time janitor in this place when I am not too busy.

Bill Pr30 was first introduced back in June of last year and somebody in my party called an election so it died on Orders and Notices. We are back before you this morning to present you with Bill Pr30. On my left is the chief administrative officer for the city of Vanier, Daniel Ouimet. Bill Pr30 encompasses two municipal bylaws, bylaw 2959 and bylaw 3007. The total sum of the bylaw is $1.8 million. I will let Mr Ouimet fill you in on the total dollars of the two municipal bylaws encompassing Bill Pr30.

Mr Ouimet: I think you all have the explanatory note that was sent with the proposed legislation. It is mainly a procedural problem in this case here. The bill will not give the city of Vanier or the regional municipality of Ottawa-Carleton any additional power that we would not have had if we had followed the proper channel, but since the procedure is established by statute and was not followed at the time, the only way to get the approval to finance these capital expenditures is with another statute. That is why we asked for the introduction of Bill Pr30.

Just for your information, it was well published in the local newspapers so the population is aware of the introduction of this bill. They are also aware of the total debt at this point. I think it is important to mention here that in 1980 the net long-term debt of the city of Vanier was $6 million. It is going to be, including this additional debt here, less than $3 million in 1993, so I think the city is in quite good shape, but we have to correct, legally speaking, the lack of procedure, which was not followed in the past.

The Chair: Comment from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs?

Mr Ferguson: We support the bill. It just corrects an administrative oversight. Normally when a city council debentures dollars it gets approval from the Ontario Municipal Board. For some reason, this did not happen this time around for the city of Vanier. We have no difficulty at all.

The Chair: I believe this request went before the municipal board and it is the practice of this committee to have the clerk read the report into the record. I would ask Mr Decker to do that at this time.

Clerk of the Committee: This is a report of the Ontario Municipal Board dated 4 December 1990, signed by Carolyn Fenn, manager of planning and municipal finance.

"I hereby report, on behalf of the board, with respect to proposed Bill Pr30.

"As reported in Mr Malcolm's letter to you of July 19, 1990, the board is satisfied that the bill is sought to correct an administrative oversight, and is not indicative of financial difficulties in the municipality.

"The city has sufficient outstanding debt capacity, according to the board's formula, to accommodate the debt incurred. Had the requisite applications been filed with the board, it is unlikely that hearings would have been required, given the nature of the projects involved.

"The board would have no objection to the passage of the proposed legislation, and no changes are suggested. Once advised of the bill's passage, we will adjust our financial records so that the debt incurred is reflected in our ongoing debt capacity calculation for the city of Vanier.

"I trust this is the information you require. If I can be of further assistance, please call."

This letter is addressed to the Clerk of the House.

The Chair: Are there any questions from committee members to the applicants? Seeing none, are there any objectors or interested parties at this time? Are the members ready to vote on this?

Sections 1 to 5, inclusive, agreed to.

Schedule agreed to.

Title agreed to.

Preamble agreed to.

Bill ordered to be reported.


Consideration of Bill Pr32, An Act respecting the City of Toronto.

The Chair: Our next order of business is Bill Pr32. Ms Churley is sponsoring the bill and Ms Churley and the applicant are here.

Ms Churley: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, I am glad to see everybody looking so bright-eyed and bushy-tailed this morning. I am here sponsoring Bill Pr32, An Act respecting the City of Toronto. I would like to introduce to you Pat Foran, solicitor from the city of Toronto.

Mr Ruprecht: She is well known to all of us.

Ms Churley: I am sure she is. She is an old colleague of mine at city hall, of course. It is a fairly technical bill, so I will just hand the floor over to Pat.

Ms Foran: I think Bill Pr32 can properly be called a technical bill. Its history is as follows. The city of Toronto has had over the years various pieces of special legislation enabling council to pass bylaws pertaining to a great number of matters of importance to the city. Special legislation over the years before 1980 provided that the city's bylaws passed pursuant to such special legislation could contain a penalty provision allowing, upon conviction, a maximum fine of $1,000 for a breach of any such bylaw.

In 1982 the Legislature amended the Municipal Act in such a way that bylaws passed by the councils of all municipalities could provide for a maximum fine of $2,000, and this left a discrepancy back in 1982. The city's legislation provided for a $1,000 maximum fine and the Municipal Act provided for a maximum fine of $2,000.

The city obtained special legislation in 1983 which provided that where under any special act the city could pass a bylaw imposing a maximum fine that was less than the maximum fine imposed under the Municipal Act, the Municipal Act would apply notwithstanding the special act. Therefore, the same maximum penalty applied in our special legislation as in the Municipal Act.

That solved the problem for a number of years, but on 31 March 1990 the Provincial Penalties Adjustment Act came into force and, among other things, that act removed from the Municipal Act the penalty section relating to maximum fines and provided in section 62 of the Provincial Offences Act that every person who is convicted of an offence is liable to a fine of not more than $5,000 except where otherwise expressly provided by law. That left the city of Toronto with its special legislation which provided for fines of not more than $1,000.

The city then made application to the then Minister of Municipal Affairs and asked for an amendment to general legislation to cover the situation. However, the minister replied that he did not feel an amendment to the Municipal Act was the route to take, but he did advise that, "If the city were to pursue special legislation for the purpose, such special legislation would be given serious consideration." That is why we are here today on Bill Pr32.


Basically, what Bill Pr32 says is that where the city has power to enact a bylaw under any special act which provides for a maximum penalty that is less than the maximum penalty provided in the Provincial Offences Act, the bylaw may provide for the maximum penalty as set out in the Provincial Offences Act. This can be in a separate bylaw if council so chooses.

As well, similar to the 1983 special legislation, which is to be repealed, the other penalty and enforcement provisions of the Municipal Act will continue to apply to the city's bylaws passed under its special legislation.

It is for the foregoing reasons that I am here today on Bill Pr32. I understand that the staff from the various ministries do not object and I respectfully request that your committee move to report the same to the Legislature in the form before you today as Bill Pr32.

The Chair: Comments from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs?

Mr Ferguson: No objections. Committee members are not going to be tested on this, by the way.

The Chair: Questions from committee members to the applicant or Municipal Affairs?

Mr Ruprecht: Ms Foran, could you tell this committee what kind of penalties you would impose? Give us an example.

Ms Foran: The bylaw will set out the maximum of $5,000 if this legislation is passed. That is what the bylaw will set out. We do not, of course, levy the fine. That is the courts. I cannot comment on that.

Mr Ruprecht: You cannot, can you?

Ms Foran: No, I cannot.

The Chair: Further questions? Seeing none, are there any objectors or interested parties at this time? Are the members ready to vote on this?

Sections 1 to 4, inclusive, agreed to.

Title agreed to.

Preamble agreed to.

Bill ordered to be reported.


Consideration of Bill Pr45, An Act to revive Lordina Limited.

The Chair: The next order of business is Bill Pr45, An Act to revive Lordina Limited. Mr Eves is the sponsor. Perhaps he would come forward and we could have the applicants introduce themselves for Hansard.

Mr Sooley: My name is Daniel W. Sooley and I am here on behalf of the applicant.

Mr Eves: It is a pleasure to be here this morning. Mr Sooley is a solicitor with the firm of Smith, Lyons. I believe this to be a relatively simple matter, I hope -- famous last words -- of reviving this corporation.

Mr Sooley: This is a corporation that was incorporated under the Business Corporations Act as a wholly owned subsidiary of an existing corporation. This corporation was used to refurbish and redevelop a building in Vancouver, British Columbia, in the early 1970s. This corporation was contracting with a number of various contractors and architects who put up the building and refurbished it. Part of the contract was to fireproof the building and the contract called for fireproofing which did not contain asbestos. At the end of the day, it turned out there was asbestos, but this was not discovered until about two or three years ago.

Litigation was commenced to recoup the loss in removing the asbestos and at the time that the litigation was commenced the sub had been dissolved. All the rights, title and interest that the sub had to the building had been passed up to its parent and we are now in the process of proceeding to trial. At a late stage a defence was raised by one of the defendants that the contracts could not be properly assigned because the sub had been dissolved, so we are here today to put the sub back in good shape.

The Chair: Comments from the government or legal counsel?

Ms Hopkins: I am advised that the government has no objections.

The Chair: Any questions for the applicant? Seeing none, are there any objectors or interested parties? Seeing none, are the members ready to vote on this?

Mr Ruprecht: I want you to know we are supporting this because of Mr Runciman.

Sections 1 to 3, inclusive, agreed to.

Title agreed to.

Preamble agreed to.

Bill ordered to be reported.


Consideration of Bill Pr9, An Act to revive the Restoule Snowmobile Club.

The Chair: Mr Eves is the sponsor of this one. The applicants can introduce themselves.

Ms Evans: I am Jean Evans, secretary of the Restoule Snowmobile Club.

Mr Eves: If I might, just briefly, Restoule, for those of you who have the privilege of visiting it, is a very pretty area of Ontario near the south shore of Lake Nipissing. Snowmobiling activity being what it is these days, not only is it a recreational and tourism aspect but a somewhat important aspect of the economy in that part of northern Ontario.

Ms Evans: Our application is to revive or reinstate Restoule Snowmobile Club, which was dissolved 8 September 1982 for non-compliance in reporting, I believe. I became secretary in January 1990 and applied to have the club reincorporated. It is necessary for us to have it reincorporated to belong to the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs, which we have now joined. That is basically what the whole application is about.

Mr J. Wilson: Is this a fairly large club?

Ms Evans: We are just starting from the base again, aiming for 100 members.

Mr Ruprecht: Is Ernie a member of your club?

Ms Evans: Not yet. I hope so.

Mr Eves: I have no conflict of interest.

Ms Hopkins: I am advised that the government has no objections to the bill.

Sections 1 to 3, inclusive agreed to.

Title agreed to.

Preamble agreed to.

Bill ordered to be reported.


Consideration of Bill Pr46, An Act respecting the Wolfe Consortium for Advanced Studies.

The Chair: The sponsor of this bill is Mr Runciman. He will be here in just a minute. Here he is: perfect timing. Will the applicants introduce themselves for the purpose of Hansard?

Mr Runciman: I am Robert Runciman, the MPP for Leeds-Grenville. I am sponsoring the bill.

Dr Anderson: My name is Dr Anderson. I am president of the consortium named in the bill.

The Chair: Mr Runciman, would you like to make a short statement as sponsor?

Mr Runciman: I do not have any formal statement. I would simply like to indicate that I think this is a worthwhile venture. Certainly it is something new to Ontario, but I assume Dr Anderson will be talking about some of the people who are very supportive of this. Some of the members, I gather, sat with a lady a few years ago who is a strong supporter of this legislation. She was the former Minister of Colleges and Universities, Bette Stephenson. I wanted to put that on record, based on the fact that I understand the ministry is not supportive of the legislation. I wanted to indicate clearly that a former well-respected minister of that particular ministry is indeed supportive.

Dr Anderson: Last January Premier Rae said: "My experience has taught me one thing. The best way to make an argument, to make a case, to convince anybody, is to tell a story." My story is a little longer than your previous ones because this is a very contentious issue in academic circles, as Mr Runciman has just indicated to you.

My job is to convince you to pass this bill. The story is a 20-year-long story of lack of co-operation from the provincial government here in Ontario, preventing my group from helping to train and educate a few students -- few in comparison with the great university across the way there -- and its suppression of our collective academic freedom to do this in our own way, that is, a private way which is different from the public universities, as most of you will be aware.


First, I have to thank those who have co-operated: Mr Runciman, for his kindness in sponsoring this bill; Ms Freedman, who is still here, the previous clerk of your committee now replaced by Mr Decker and Mrs Marshall, who have been most helpful to me; Miss Rowe, who I guess is not here, legal counsel of the Ministry of Colleges and Universities, I thank for her courtesy. I thank especially legislative counsel, Ms Hopkins, at the head table, whose ingenuity produced the bill before you. I think it is, subject to her further advice, the shortest bill that has ever been submitted to this House, one of the shortest certainly.

So here is my high road that I am presenting you with. In our conclave this morning, we are witnesses to what I submit to you is a signal and solemn moment in the life of our nation: confirmation of the founding of a new university. I have to tell you that it is a very small number of people who agree with me in making that submission to you; in university circles, I mean. My colleagues and I have spent nearly five years to bring us to this singular point this morning. As an academician, I have spent 60 years preparing my mind for this day -- talk about the mountain producing a mouse, eh? -- and 20 years on the project. It was 20 years ago, in Mr Auld's time, the Minister of Colleges and Universities of the day, when I first made the proposal which was turned down. So it is 20 years, as I say, that we have been labouring on this matter to get provincial support; similarly for my colleagues, some of whom are back here with me.

We are intellectually strong, but politically extremely weak, of course. By contrast, you chaps have the great powers of your office. At the end of this proceeding, if you signify to the chairman your support of the bill, you can cause Wolfe University to be in existence. In that respect, you would join your predecessors who caused the great university over there to be. I am challenging you to do this, because most people do not have any idea of what is involved as a grand gesture to mankind in starting a university, at least very few whom I meet.

By doing this simple act, you can be listed among the world's most important patrons of knowledge. In ancient times there were Pythagoras, Plato and Aristotle, who invented the idea of the university. You are following in their steps. In medieval times it was the popes, kings and emperors who started the great European universities of that time. In modem times we have had John Harvard, Elihu Yale, Leland Stanford, John Rockefeller and -- most of you will be surprised to know -- Margaret Thatcher. So you have joined that great company if you raise your hands in support of me.

In Canadian university annals you follow Bishop Strachan. who started that university there and another one besides, Trinity University; the intrepid pioneers at Waterloo, who did a marvellous job not so long ago; William Davis, who is probably the greatest university-maker ever in this country; and Arthur Margison and his two associates, who started York University. For those of you who are interested in history, York should have been called Arthur`s University; they were all named Arthur. Dr Margison is one of our honorary fellows. still with us, fortunately.

I want to paint for you the picture we see and the reason we are going to all this fuss in the face of the objections from the government for this proposal. You may not agree with this. of course, but this is our position -- my position certainly.

Your decision this morning is being made in the context of unprecedented racial, religious, economic, legal and technical strife in Canada. Mr Simpson wrote last week in the Globe and Mail that these are not normal times, for the sad but essential reason that the country is in crisis over its existence, whether all citizens yet recognize it or not. That is in every paper we read. Here is the point he makes that I want to report to you: "Everywhere the cry resounds that the country needs leadership." My colleagues and I are before you to volunteer our intellectual leadership to help cultivate the young minds Canada needs to save it from continuing its political, economic, technical, legal and moral decline.

I keep pointing to the great institution across the road, for which I worked for 30 years and from which I graduated. My colleagues there in mathematics and physics -- my own fields -- tell me about the rapid decline in just the past two years added to the slower decline over the past 20 years in the qualifications of students seeking admission there. They are not stupid, but they are poorly qualified in comparison with those of your age group.

Such men as Mr Vice, president of Northern Telecom, and Mr McCamus, the president of Xerox, keep urging, and I mean repeatedly, in the papers and in their speeches, the Canadian intellectual community to do something about our dreadful state in technology. Of course, they are referring not to the whole spectrum of university work; they urge us to do something about Canada's technological decline.

We are here to challenge the Legislature to pass this bill, which is the tool we need to do the job the science council, Mr McCamus, Mr Vice and others say must be done in the universities. Now, do not think we have an inflated idea of our capacities. I said "to help." It has taken a century and a half for the University of Toronto to get where it is, and it will be a long time after my death until Wolfe gets anywhere by comparison. However. we can start to help.

Unfortunately, as I said at the beginning. this offer of ours has not been warmly received with reciprocal offers of co-operation from government -- all parties, going back to Mr Robarts's and Mr Davis's day -- or from industries -- not just government -- or the public universities, with one exception, I am pleased to say, and that is the University of Toronto library, which is the single exception. Instead, I have to plead with you in an adversarial atmosphere, the necessity of which we deeply deplore. So if you think, Mr Chairman, that I am taking a hard line, that is the reason for it, because it has been 20 years of unsuccessful struggle.

I am asking you chaps this question. I do not understand it at all. Why, in the extremis of a host of Canadian national and local problems, do not our opponents inside and outside the government say instead: "Welcome aboard. Let's see what you can do to help"? That is all we are asking, to get our foot aboard. If we fail and go overboard and sink, so be it.

From that elevated survey of the position of a new university of this nation, I have to address the grubby, granular technicalities of the bill itself. It goes back 27 years to the informal proclamation in your House by Mr Robarts, the so-called -- I call it -- infamous Robarts policy; not a regulation, not a law, just an informal statement. This policy of prohibition is unfair and discriminatory. It is not just us saying that. Dr Fernhout over there from the Institute of Christian Studies down the way is chairman of our coalition on freestanding, university-level institutions, and there are representatives of another member of that coalition here. If we disagree about other things, we agree on the fact that this Robarts policy is unfair and discriminatory and that no person with a fair mind would tolerate it for a moment, but it has been tolerated in this province for 27 years.


It is also in conflict with the spirit of our time. which is redressing, as all of you know far better than I, all sorts of abuses of minority rights. We fellows of Wolfe are a tiny minority whose rights have been abused, and we are invoking that spirit of the time to protect us from continued abuse, which you have the power and authority to alleviate.

I come to you this morning considering the Legislature, as I always have done, as the high court of the province. Therefore, I regard your committee as a representative panel of the full court. I call the Legislature, and therefore you, a court of equity. Courts of equity go back to the Middle Ages. In a court of equity you seek, and I seek from you, natural justice. Not legal justice, not positive justice -- just ordinary, simple justice. I ask from you a fair shake; I request from you redress of the inequity of the Robarts policy which has prohibited our business for 20 years. I call that a restraint of trade in economic terms. The Robarts policy established a monopoly, and we reject the equity of that monopoly in the public universities. So you, Mr Chairman, by my view are the judge of this court of equity and these are the jurors alongside you.

The government has already taken, in just the last period, five years to consider repeal of the Robarts policy. It was referred five years ago to the advisory body. Still no answer. Therefore, you may think the basis for this bill is complex -- it would be natural if you did -- and not fit for me to try to debate it with you in a few minutes instead of the five years which it has taken them to do it. So I will simplify it for you as much as I can in Wolfe's case -- not in the case of the other institutions, which have their own cases to make, of course.

First is a legal issue and second is a moral or ethical issue. Half of the lawyers in our country are always wrong, of course. Since I am appearing as my own lawyer here --

The Chair: Just a minute, Dr Anderson. I do not mean to cut you off, but if you could bring your remarks to a close. We have witnesses on this and a discussion, and we do have another bill.

Dr Anderson: I understand, sir. I have waited five years for this statement, and I would like to go through the legal and --

The Chair: That is no problem. I would just appreciate it if you could bring it to a close shortly so we can proceed with the other business.

Dr Anderson: I will do it as quickly as I can.

The legal issue: Our institution is an institution for advanced study. Throughout the world that is a synonym for "university," but we are not allowed by the ministry to call it Wolfe University. That is what it is in the vernacular, and indeed Mr Rae has referred to it as Wolfe University himself in a letter to me.

You can see I have brought this coin here. On one side we are already incorporated, under the Business Corporations Act, as a university, as our title implies. There is no question about that. The other side of the coin of such an institution is the academic side, which we are here to talk about today. I notice it is very similar to the railway people, who had to be incorporated not only under the Business Corporations Act but separately; we are in the same position as our railway friends.

We are already licensed by the crown. The two sides of the coin are indivisible: You cannot have one side without the other. My argument, if it had to go to legal court, would be that we have already been given the power so it is only up to you to pass this little bill to symbolize your blessing. The lawyer for the railways said "technical." That is what this is. It is merely a technical bill, by my argument. If you deny us an academic licence today, you will automatically attempt to nullify our articles of incorporation already granted by the province. This would be highly inconsistent and I claim unjust.

Then there is the moral issue. I do not need to speak about that because if any of you are interested in reading my arguments in the compendium -- we request the right to the dual corporate academic freedom conferred by this bill simply, and that is all we are asking for, the right to study, do research, give community service and teach students according to our world view, which is not the same as the world view of the public universities. That is the crux of your problem with us.

Every individual professor in Ontario has broad academic freedom. I think the government has bent over backward on that point. This bill will simply honour our collective academic freedom, in which society should not tolerate any interference by the state.

My application is pursuant to the University Act of 1983. I am advised by your legislative counsel that the Wolfe act is not in legal -- I repeat, not in legal -- conflict with any other act or regulation, and I request that you recommend to Premier Rae its speedy passage.

Mr Chairman, I have several questions in reserve, depending on what happens.

The Chair: Certainly. Thank you, Dr Anderson. Representatives from the government: Is Mr MacKay here from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities?

Dr Anderson: Mr Chairman, before he speaks, there is a procedural question, a legal question. Pertaining to these hearings, it states unequivocally in the regulations that the people who appear have to register themselves in writing to the clerk. The second part of my observation is that I think, again as a matter of equity, that this ought to be required of the government. Is that not so?

The Chair: Members of the committee, in their agenda, received notice that the Ministry of Colleges and Universities would be represented here today.

Dr Anderson: The rules say that the clerk has to receive objection or support in writing.

The Chair: Precedent has been established in this committee that objectors or interested parties, whether they be government or not, can show up at the last minute and not all of them have to be registered. As you will know, we called for objectors or interested parties with the other bills that we have dealt with today.

Dr Anderson: Then I suggest, Mr Chairman, that we rewrite the regulations so that they are in keeping with your practice.

Mr Mahoney: Just on a point: It would seem to me that all members of the committee would wish to know the government officials' positions, and if they were not registered as a delegation. we would be requesting them at this point to help us make our decision, sir.

The Chair: Okay. Could we proceed to the representation from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities. If you would you just introduce yourselves for the purposes of Hansard, that would be terrific.

Mr MacKay: My name is Jamie MacKay. I am the director of the university relations branch in the Ministry of Colleges and Universities, and this is my colleague Jay Fleischer, who is a university affairs officer in the university relations branch. I have some brief remarks on behalf of the ministry I would like to make.

I have been asked by the Minister of Colleges and Universities, the Honourable Richard Allen, to convey the ministry's position with respect to this proposal to create a privately funded secular degree-granting university. Institutions wishing to offer degrees or programs in Ontario leading to degrees must comply with the Degree Granting Act, 1983. Specifically, the act restricts the authority of institutions to grant degrees. provide post-secondary study leading to a degree or be known as a university unless the institution is authorized to do so by an act of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

Government policy has been to withhold support for applications made to the Legislature to establish such institutions. Applicants have historically been advised to seek affiliation with a chartered university in Ontario. The government, however, has not objected to the establishment of private institutions wishing to offer only degrees of a theological nature, provided they meet certain criteria.


In 1985, the then Minister of Colleges and Universities asked the minister's advisory body, the Ontario Council on University Affairs, to review this policy with respect to new private, secular degree-granting institutions. The primary stimulus for the request was the desire expressed by a privately funded institution which already had the authority to grant religious degrees, to have that authority extended to include secular degrees.

In addition to acknowledging the request from the institution, among others, the ministry was also aware of the apparent contradiction between the Degree Granting Act, which provided for the possibility of new degree-granting institutions via applications to the Legislature, and the long-standing policy to which the applicant referred, known as the Robarts policy, which did not provide for such applications to be considered.

On 14 November of this year, the advice of the advisory council was finally received in the ministry. It was submitted to Richard Allen. The advice is under active consideration by the ministry. We have had it for less than a month. In the meantime, individuals and institutions who have requested government support for applications to the Legislature for secular degree-granting authority had been informed by the ministry that such support will not be forthcoming pending the review of the advice from the council and the establishment of a policy by the current government for responding to such requests.

At this time, without an established process or a set of standards for reviewing such applications. or a policy decision by the government as to whether there should be such private degree-granting institutions, the ministry would prefer not to take a position on the specific merits of this application.

Finally, with specific regard to the committee's consideration of this private bill, the minister requests that deliberation on it be postponed until the government has had an opportunity to review the advice it has received from the Ontario Council on University Affairs.

I might just add that our minister is committed to responding to that advice as quickly as he can. He is aware of the inconvenience for many applicants that resulted from his advisory council taking five years to review the matter. It is under active consideration now in the ministry.

The Chair: Are there questions for the applicant or for the ministry?

Mr O'Connor: It appears that what we are getting here from the government and the minister's office is that there is no set process, and maybe we need to develop a process and a policy. Postponement is likely in order, which does not necessarily curtail the fact that this will not go through at some later date.

Mr MacKay: There are really two things that have to be decided by the government. The first thing is whether or not we should have private universities after this long period of prohibiting their existence, and that is a matter of serious debate. Second, if it is decided that we should have such private universities, how can we as a ministry guide or advise the Legislature as to the quality of the applicant. Should we have some quality-control standards? Should the applicants for degree-granting powers have to meet some kind of criteria before they get that power?

You are absolutely right. What we are saying is if the minister decides that we should have the private universities, he is also going to have to decide what rules should govern them.

Mr Ruprecht: To some degree I find it incredible that the ministry will take, as you indicated, nearly five years to come up with this kind of recommendation. We heard the presentation by the applicant a bit earlier. We are talking about a sense of justice and fair play, so I would think we could do a little better than that.

Mr MacKay: I would like, for the record, to make it clear that it was not the ministry that took five years. It was an advisory council which is independent of the ministry and advises the minister directly. I believe there were many reasons that delayed the council's consideration of the matter, but I think the ministry agrees that it has been an unfortunately long period of time that applicants such as Dr Anderson have had to wait for an answer. We certainly will not spend any more time than necessary responding to that advice.

Mr Ruprecht: Just two fairly quick questions, I think. Having said what you have in terms of the recommendations, do you see a time limit within which this discussion could take place in order for the ministry either to grant or not to grant Wolfe its charter?

Mr MacKay: After many years of experience in government, I am rather hesitant to predict a date. In a meeting with some other applicants yesterday, our deputy minister committed himself to being able to make a statement on it or our final ministry position by midwinter. That was the term he used.

Mr Mahoney: Which year?

Mr MacKay: 1991.

Mr Ruprecht: I think most of us would agree that we realize this may not be the forum to discuss the justice of whether we want to have private universities with degree-granting status, as opposed to public, and what the cost implications would be in all the details. When would you recommend that this kind of discussion take place, if you would think that it should take place? What is the forum for this, if it is not in front of this committee?

Mr MacKay: Historically, it is the Legislature that has had the authority to establish degree-granting institutions. Since 1984, when the Degree Granting Act came into force, that has been the only route. Certainly it is a subject of a great deal of discussion within the Ministry of Colleges and Universities. It was a matter of some public hearings held by our advisory council during the course of its review, where interested parties were able to put their views forward. They have been taken into consideration in the formulation of the council's advice. I think it is a discussion that may have to take place in cabinet as well in terms of the government taking its position on the matter. Then I guess it is a matter for the Legislature to debate.

Mr Fletcher: I have four questions. The first one is for Mr MacKay. The rest will probably be for Dr Anderson. Mr MacKay, how many privately funded, privately owned universities are there in Ontario right now?

Mr MacKay: There are no private degree-granting institutions, in the sense that all the institutions that have degree-granting authority from the Legislature are in receipt of direct or indirect government funding or government operating support. We have theological institutions, Bible colleges, that have certain theological degree-granting powers. The ministry has supported the establishment of, I think, 10 or 11 of those.

Mr Fletcher: Dr Anderson, I have a few questions for you also.

Dr Anderson: Before we leave that question, I might be able to help Mr MacKay.

Mr Fletcher: No, it is okay. I have what I want from Mr MacKay.

The Chair: Dr Anderson, we will give opportunity at the end for final statements as well.

Mr Fletcher: Dr Anderson, do you fund your university right now through tuition fees?

Dr Anderson: We are not in existence, of course, until this bill is passed.

Mr Fletcher: Would it be through tuition fees?

Dr Anderson: It is impossible to start a university without degree-granting powers, because you would not get any students.

Mr Fletcher: I know. Would it be through tuition fees or through corporate donations?

Dr Anderson: No. Mr Ruprecht raised the question of funding too. That does not appear here. But Wolfe is unique in a number of respects. It is going to be owned by its investors. Students will have to pay the full fee unless they have scholarships and so on, of course. We would not accept any money from the province. This is the point I want to make in connection with Mr MacKay's answer to you. This word "private" really should be removed. OCUA uses the term "freestanding," which is not bad. We are using "free enterprise" because the public universities, except for the University of Toronto here, make the case that they are private universities, which they are legally.


Mr Fletcher: Just one more question.

Dr Anderson: They are not crown agencies.

Mr Fletcher: I was just wondering, Dr Anderson, with your university coming on, have you tried to seek affiliation with an established university, or is that not your wish?

Dr Anderson: I would not want affiliation. The purpose of Wolfe is to establish a kind of university that does not exist in Ontario.

Mr Fletcher: And may not.

Dr Anderson: No university would want to be affiliated with us. The second thing is that there is a very long history of difficulties with affiliation. It has not worked very well in 27 years.

Mr J. Wilson: I guess following along Mr Ruprecht's comments, having served on the board of governors at the U of T and knowing a fair amount about OCUA, I would be somewhat concerned about some assurance from the ministry that Dr Anderson and Wolfe and other applicants are receiving a fair hearing along the way. It is comforting to hear that the minister has made assurances to make decisions, but I would be interested to know in Dr Anderson's summation whether he really feels, after five years, he has been getting a fair hearing along the way.

In my opinion there is a bit of a bias in OCUA, where it is coming from, and perhaps full advice is not getting to the ministry. I am open to hear from Mr MacKay on that, but also I would be interested to hear from Dr Anderson.

The Chair: Dr Anderson, would you like to comment first and then we will ask Mr MacKay to respond.

Dr Anderson: When you are my age, you know that two years or five years is nothing and I understand that they are all busy, they are volunteers and have their jobs to do as well. I do not want to attack them on that score. We are a little impatient.

I was given nine dates in the past two years from the hearings that Mr MacKay mentioned, each date two months later than the previous one. Even the last one given to me in July was not true, as it turned out. I do not know the reason.

The Chair: Mr MacKay.

Mr MacKay: I cannot really comment on OCUA's advice until the minister responds to it, but I can say that within the ministry we are examining the question from all sides and have had meetings with Dr Anderson and other groups that are interested in obtaining degree-granting powers. I certainly think the final decision that results will be on the basis of deliberations that have looked at all points of view on the matter.

Dr Anderson: Mr Chairman, just to supplement the comment in connection with this point to Mr Wilson, do not be misled by his date that he gave you of 14 November. That report was finished before the election. It has been sitting somewhere for the past three months.

Mr MacKay: Once again, I think it was tabled with the minister on 14 November; it was not given to any ministry staff or the minister prior to 14 November 1990. It was at the council and we have only had it since then to deal with.

The Chair: Okay. Let us try not to pursue that specific point as to when it was there, because I would not consider it directly related to the motion. Are there other interested parties who want to comment? If you could come forward and introduce yourself.

Dr Bogorya: I am just a member of the public.

The Chair: No, that is fine. If you could just introduce yourself:

Dr Bogorya: My name is Dr Yvonne Bogorya. I am vice-president of the Canadian School of Management, which is a non-profit, private academic institution not allowed to use the word "university" that has been operating successfully in this province for about 14 years. The school was founded by Dr Korey, who was vice-president of Ryerson. It has about 65 faculty members, is fully qualified and has its own right to grant academic designations with approval of the Ministry of Colleges and Universities.

We are maybe in the same category of 20 years of struggle to convince the ministry and the minister to change the policy. I think the struggle is around the policy change. As Dr Anderson mentioned before, Robarts's policy is not valid any more. It was established many years ago. The Ontario Council on University Affairs took this matter in its hands about three years ago. I think the committee was established by Dr Nelles. The committee was looking for briefs. We submitted a brief and I think other colleges did the same thing. There was some contribution from schools like ours. We did not get any results from the committee. I think the frustrating part is probably the bureaucratic way in which the matter is handled, without ability to see the vision.

We live in the 20th century and we talk about vision and future in education. I think this is where we would be concerned as citizens of this province and as educators. We are academics who would like to be able to provide another alternative to the traditional university system. I think this is a right that we should have, to establish a private university which is self-sufficient. These universities are not asking for any funds from the government. It is a totally self-sufficient operation.

We agree with the principle of quality control, academic criteria to be set. I think we would like to be guided by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities. I am not saying that we would like to set up institutions which are totally free in wheeling and dealing, but institutions which live within the educational system and do not have to struggle on the verge, feeling like we are, alienated in a sense, being a private institution but not recognized as part of the educational system. It is very difficult to live in this way, although we do provide service to the community which is highly qualified.

To sum up, I would say that I think Mr MacKay was very helpful to us for many years and the minister is trying to overcome this problem, but the whole mechanism somehow is not leading to the final solution which could be moving a step forward to the next age and creating a new policy with regard to the possibility of setting up private universities, which are well regarded in the United States and England. It is a well-known tradition in the world, so Canada would not be falling behind other countries, recognizing that kind of need.

Mr Ferguson: I would like to move deferral of this matter for five months, or it can come back sooner if the minister looks at the whole question. I think members of the committee recognize that the minister currently has some concerns. The previous government's Minister of Education expressed some concerns as well. So I am certainly not prepared to make a decision on this whole thing.

The Chair: We have a motion for deferral. Do we have a seconder for that motion? We do not need one? Okay, sorry. I am used to always having seconders.

Is there any debate on the motion for deferral?

Mr J. Wilson: Just a comment to Mr Ferguson: Perhaps in your motion you should not be time specific, but simply put a strong message in there to the minister and to the ministry that the committee's wish is that this be fast-tracked or a solution reached as quickly as possible. I think we too agree that deferral is in order here.

Mr O'Connor: I support the amendment as well. Given that we are a new government and have a lot of work to do, to reconsider the process and maybe set a policy direction by a time limit would be quite difficult at this time.

The Chair: The amendment was from Mr Wilson. It was friendly to the mover of the motion so we will consider that acceptable.

Any further debate on the motion to defer? All those in favour of deferring? Opposed?

Motion agreed to.


Mr Ruprecht: I have a point of interest here. I had my hand up for some questions and you had recognized me. Then suddenly you introduced Mr Ferguson and consequently I did not get around to asking my final question.

The Chair: No, sorry, Mr Ruprecht. What occurred was that you had first opportunity to ask questions, and you asked a couple. I moved on to the other members on the list and Mr Ferguson was on the list after Mr Wilson and then you were up again after Mr Ferguson.

Mr Ruprecht: Let me make this point as strongly as I can for you as the Chair of this committee. One of your main jobs is to ensure that members have the right to ask questions, possibly as long and as detailed as they may want to ask those questions. Consequently --

The Chair: Mr Ruprecht --

Mr Ruprecht: Let me finish, please, because you are new in this role and I want to make sure that you understand our point of view here. Consequently, when a member raises his hand or her hand to ask that question, it is your job to ensure that member is heard and can ask the question in front of these people. Consequently, I would wish that in the future you adhere to those kinds of traditions we have on this committee. Thank you very much.

The Chair: In response to that, as I stated earlier, you asked the first set of questions. We moved around in order. Mr Ferguson was the next person in line and he had the right to the floor. As any member who has the right to the floor, he has the right to make the motion for deferral. You were up after Mr Ferguson, but Mr Ferguson --

Mr Fletcher: On a point of order, Mr Chairman: Is this a challenge to the Chair?

The Chair: No. Excuse me. Let me finish here, okay? Mr Ruprecht, you were the next one on the list after Mr Ferguson. Mr Ferguson had the right, as any member of this committee does, to move a motion of deferral at any time when he is recognized as having the floor, and that is what occurred here. So it was not an attempt by the Chair to limit any member's right to ask questions of any group.

Mr Ruprecht: If that is the case, please tell me at what point I could have asked a question of Dr Anderson.

The Chair: You had the floor at the very beginning and asked questions. I was under the impression that you were done asking questions for that time.

Mr Ruprecht: I was not.

The Chair: Well, then if that was the case, I apologize for moving on without that. That was not a deliberate attempt. I thought you had completed.

Mr Ruprecht: I had simply deferred because I thought I had asked three questions already, so consequently you would recognize someone else, and I just thought I would get my chance later.

The Chair: Yes.

Mr Ruprecht: Then I raised my hand again and you did not recognize it.

The Chair: No, I put you down on the list because we --

Mr Ferguson: That's the way it goes.

The Chair: Excuse me. Order, please. I put your name down on the list. You went on the list after Mr Ferguson because he had his hand up before you had yours up.

Mr Ruprecht: Okay. Let's just say this -- we do not have to go on discussing it -- in the future try to accommodate the committee members.

The Chair: This is a discussion between Mr Ruprecht and myself and we will leave it at that. His point has been taken and he knows where the Chair stands on the issue.


Consideration of Bill Pr48, An Act to revive La Capanna Homes (Non-Profit) Inc.

The Chair: Can we move on to the next point of business. Bill Pr48, An Act to revive La Capanna Homes (Non-Profit) Inc. Mr Ferguson is the sponsor of the bill. Would you care to make a short statement?

Mr Ferguson: Very briefly, it is just a corporate revival.

The Chair: Okay. Applicants, please introduce yourselves for the purpose of Hansard.

Mr Volpini: Good morning. My name is Frank Volpini. I represent the applicant, La Capanna Homes. To my left is the president of La Capanna Homes, Joe Levato.

The Chair: Okay. Would you care to make some comments?

Mr Volpini: In light of the foregoing discussion between committee members and the Chair, I would like to underline the fact that this is a friendly application, unopposed as far as I am aware. Quite simply the compendium that I filed -- I appreciate that we are getting on in the morning's dealings -- is self-explanatory. I can indicate that the applicant is a non-profit housing corporation, having been incorporated in October 1983 under the Corporations Act. It owns and operates a low-income housing complex in the city of Kitchener. It is a 50-unit complex and is funded jointly by the Ontario government and CMHC.

In January 1987, unbeknownst to the applicant, the charter had been essentially dissolved as a result of noncompliance with section 5 of the Corporations Information Act, which was for failing to file a special notice as was required of a number of other non-profit corporations. The reason for the failure, quite simply, was the difficulty in the notice getting to the applicant. There was an old address as a matter of record to which the notice had been sent. This did not get into the hands of the board of directors until some time quite later on. In fact, a notice was filed, albeit approximately two months late. The examination section saw fit to return a letter indicating, "Thank you for the filing of the special notice, but you are still in a noncompliance state and therefore would you mind going through the administrative revival route," which allowed for a two-year period of time.

Unfortunately, that letter also went to the old mailing address and of course that also did not get to the applicants. That deficiency was not known to the applicant until, of course, there was a refinancing in order. Through the regular searches conducted through that refinancing, it became apparent that the charter had been dissolved as of January 1989.

Unfortunately, this being a private non-profit corporation we are not allowed the luxury of going the administrative revival route as the private for-profit corporations. I understand that possibly may change in the near future, but we are here now to obtain your blessings to revive this corporation.

If you have any questions, of course, direct them to myself or to Mr Levato.

The Chair: Comments from the government or legal counsel? Mr Fletcher, while we are waiting for comments there, are there any questions for the applicants?

Mr Ferguson: I do not have a question of the applicant, but I have a question of somebody else. These revivals appear to me to be a collective waste of time. Is there not some other mechanism that we can kick into place?

The Chair: Would the legal counsel or the clerk care to make a comment to that effect, if there are any other mechanisms for revival?

Mr Volpini: My understanding is that it will be consistent with the private for-profit situation, in which case they will have five years within which to find that they are dissolved. Then you go through an administrative revival application process, which is basically that you file an application, give a reason for the oversight and a cheque and that is it. It would save all this time and effort.

Mr Ruprecht: That is what I heard. There probably should be a process whereby the public has to be informed and then there should be a process where people could come and speak if they objected. It may not be just as simple as simply putting the application in and getting a second chance.

The Chair: We have Mr Strauss from the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations. He is a legal counsel for that ministry. Would you care to comment at this time?

Mr Strauss: I am a lawyer with the companies section of the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations. The process for reviving a corporation which has been dissolved for default in respect of its information filing requirements is set out in the Corporations Act. The corporation would have two years from the time of dissolution to revive virtually automatically. What happened in this case, and this is very common, is that there was a default in filing information with the companies branch. This default was noted and the companies branch attempted to bring this default to the attention of the corporation.

We looked at our records, at information provided to the companies branch, as to the head office of this corporation and we mailed the notice of the default to that address. Unbeknownst to us, as appears to be the case, the head office was changed. Under the Corporations Information Act, that change has to be disclosed to us. It was not disclosed. Consequently we relied on the best information that we had, and hence the dissolution.

The Chair: Can I just ask if there are any objections to the revival.

Mr Strauss: None.

The Chair: Okay.

Mr Volpini: For the record, my friend is in error. A special notice, albeit late, was filed. It was required as of 27 January, I believe. The notice was in fact filed, albeit late, on 19 March 1987. Approximately a week later -- this is a week after the filing -- there was a similar letter from the examinations section saying, "Thank you very much for your late filing, but would you please comply." That letter went to the old address. As of 19 March when the late filing took place, the new address of record was in fact a correct one and had they complied with that, it would have gotten to the attention of the group.

The Chair: Okay. Are there any further questions or comments for either the applicant or the representative from Consumer and Commercial Relations? Seeing none, are the members ready to vote?

Sections 1 to 3, inclusive, agreed to.

Title agreed to.

Preamble agreed to.

Bill ordered to be reported.


The Chair: We have one more item of business to deal with as a committee. The clerk has a proposed budget that has been developed and he would like this committee's approval of that budget. Todd, would you care to comment on the proposed budget?

Clerk of the Committee: This budget contains nominal amounts for all of the basic administrative costs the committee is likely to incur between now and fiscal year-end 31 March. If this budget is approved, it would be presented by the Chair of the committee at the Board of Internal Economy at a future meeting. Once approved by the board, the committee would have this money to cover its operating expenses.

The Chair: Are there any questions regarding the proposed budget?

Mr Ruprecht: I move approval of the budget.

The Chair: Motion to approve by Mr Ruprecht, seconded by Mr Miclash. All those in favour? All those opposed? Carried.

Are we meeting again next Wednesday?

Clerk of the Committee: We are not scheduled to, unless a particular bill comes through.

The Chair: Okay. We are not at this time scheduled to meet next Wednesday, so the clerk's office will inform us if we need to.


The Chair: No, we are not planning on sitting through the break.

The committee adjourned at 1153.